Sarasota News Leader

05/03/2013

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Whew! What a week it has been — for us, at least. Stan Zimmerman proved to be the "Scoop Master" — reeling in a couple of stories before anyone else had them. The first was about the owners of the Ringling Shopping Center filing suit over the City Commission decision to deny Walmart the right to build on that site. The second is about the new deputy chief of police in Sarasota. As of this writing, another publication had picked up the scent of the shopping center suit, but I can vouch for Stan's sniffing it out first. For Cooper Levey-Baker and me, it was County Commission Extravaganza. Reporters never know whether what appears to be a hot agenda item will prove that exciting once it is aired. Concomitantly, engaging topics not on the agenda just pop up. The County Commission meetings this week featured examples of both situations. Cooper had the worse end of it, however, because he sat through hours of the Bee Ridge/Beneva Walmart discussion on Wednesday — which I was covering by live video streaming — awaiting a presentation on Transfers of Development Rights (TDRs). Finally — after a county staff member reportedly suggested the commissioners might be very late eating dinner that night — the TDR agenda item was delayed until June. Good thing, too, since the Walmart matter wrapped up well after 5 p.m. Cooper and I did trade duties this week on covering Warm Mineral Springs, after his late-breaking work last week. Thankfully, though, I had all his past reporting as backup material. When you make it beyond our news stories, you will see an expansive Opinion section, including a very well-researched commentary by David Staats about the deceased suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. To complete the issue, our Sarasota Leisure section has plenty of light offerings, thanks to Tyler Whitson, Otus and contributors Fran Palmeri and Elinor Rogosin. Editor and Publisher

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