Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First rowing team set to practice on Manatee River training facility Thursday morning

A worker completes a floating dock at Fort Hamer Park.
EAST MANATEE -- Northeastern University rowers will be the first to try out a new county training facility at Fort Hamer Park.

The team, which is staying in Ellenton, arrived Dec. 29 and plans to be on the water at 7 a.m. Thursday. The practice is slated to end at 10 a.m. The team will be back on the water for another session 2-5 p.m. Thursday.

Six teams are due to arrive in the area for winter rowing training this winter.


For a full story on preparations to open the Fort Hamer Park training facility, click this link:

Boat racks were still being installed at Fort Hamer Park this week.

Todd Radebach works on restroom facilities at Fort Hamer Park.

No snow blower? No problem

Sun filters through the oaks on Zipper Road.
Breeze puts flags into motion at the veterans memorial at San Marco Plaza.
Sandhill cranes pause before crossing University Parkway.
Sandhill cranes look both ways before crossing University Parkway.
Look at these photos. Can you tell in what state and when they were taken?

Obviously, it's  Florida, given the lack of snow on the ground. And more specifically, East Manatee. No need to call Mayor Bloomberg and complain about snow drifts keeping you socked in at your house.

The photos were taken the afternoon of Dec. 29 after a record-setting freeze this morning for this area. But in midafternoon, the weather was nice, putting anyone lucky enough to be outside in not only the state of Florida, but in a state of bliss.

For the record, the sandhill cranes were photographed in the median of University Parkway east of Lorraine Road. The American flag and fountain were photographed at the new veterans memorial at San Marco Plaza in Lakewood Ranch, a very peaceful place. And those southern oaks, draped in Spanish moss, were photographed on Zipper Road.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hmm, what's it look like on the other side?

Photo: Jim Jones/
Arlene Merriman takes a look through the window of a cabin at Jiggs Landing, furnished the way it might have been in 1950.

  We spotted this image at the grand reopening of the new county park at Jiggs Landing on Saturday. Arlene Merriman is looking out, while a couple of other visitors were looking in. There's lots to see at Jiggs Landing.

 In case you've never been there, take State Road 70 to the edge of Tara, turn south on Braden River Road and continue to its intersection with Linger Lodge Road. You have arrived!

Jiggs Landing is a precious resource now available to all those who live in or visit Manatee County. Someone called it a jewel among Manatee's public lands, and I wouldn't argue with that description.

For more, see Sunday's Herald.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Look what Lyn started

Lyn Griffin (left) greets Lori Basilone.
Twelve years ago, Lyn Griffin started a holiday party and dance tradition at Lakewood Ranch . . . in her own living room.

Now, a dozen years later the event has grown to be part of the fabric of life at Lakewood Ranch and the holiday party was held Sunday night at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club.

The Lakewood Ranch holiday party attracted many avid dancers.
Looks like a good time.
Gina Adams and Bob Tuden
From left, Bob and Judith Heck and Virginia and Joseph Carro.
Happy holidays Lyn,
Kathy and Mike Vejine

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Crazy, busy time of the year

In less than an hour this morning volunteer shoppers for the 25th Annual Holiday Toy Drive, Santa Cop, spent more than $5,000 on gifts at Bealls Department Store, 7365 52nd Place East in the Creekwood Crossing Shopping Center.

Helping Manatee Lodge 70 of the Fraternal Order of Police are the Gulf Coast Corvette Club and the Mustang Club of West Central Florida. More than 120 classic, collectible cars are in the parking until about 3 p.m. for a car show.

Ken Dodd, treasurer for the Fraternal Order of Police, is hopeful that before the day is out, toy drive shoppers will have spent $10,000. The money goes a long way with the steeply discounted prices Bealls is providing.

The toys go to disadvantaged children who might otherwise go without, said Captain Robert Williams of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and president of Manatee Lodge 70.

Daniel J. Boyle, senior vice president of Bealls, said, "How can you not get a smile on your face when you see all these toys going to kids?"

Store manager Charlene Pursell said what the event shows is "the spirit of the season."

Santa Cop is just one of dozens events going on in Manatee this weekend. Take a look at the link below for others.


Ron Berno of Palmetto is showing his green 2006 Corvette.

Les Barkovich of Parrish brought his spotless 1956 Chevy to the show.
Patricia Rhodes and Greg Stratakes buy toys for the Santa Cop program.

Linda Volino (left) and Susan Otto load up on toys for the Santa Cop program.
Kaydin Morrissey met the Grinch at Bealls on her fifth birthday Saturday.