TWISler Update: The TWISler endorses three lucky candidates

Published Jan. 31, 2011

TWISler Update: The TWISler endorses three lucky candidates

The TWIS-meister has been keepin’ it pretty real lately and all of us here in TWIS land thought that instead of dropping a 1,500-word A-bomb of information on readers each week, it might be wiser to slow things down and make sure everyone is still on the same page. We’d hate for half the class to get behind and then come finals week and nobody shows up for the test — especially since we’ve got some potentially life altering exams down the pipe and only five weeks to prepare.

But don’t fret! The TWISler has decided to reserve the sumo-sized horse pills of justice he’s been shoving down your gullet for special occasions, and substitute them for more palatable, jockey-sized mouse pills that can be easily and comfortably ingested throughout the week in frequent doses. You might call them tutoring sessions between lectures, but we’ll be calling them “TWISler Updates.” These Earth-shattering truth-quakes may not rate as high on the realness keepin’ Richter scale as the “TWISler Breakdowns,” but sit through enough of them and you’ll feel just as sick to your stomach. Continue reading “TWISler Update: The TWISler endorses three lucky candidates”

TWISler Update: The real deal with the DEAL

Published Feb. 3, 2011

TWISler Update: The real deal with the DEAL

Alrighty folks, the TWISler has some good news and some bad news for ya. The bad news is in last week’s Breakdown of the Design and Economic Acceleration Lab, aka the “DEAL,” we didn’t exactly frame the whole concept behind the project with perfect accuracy. The good news is that’s because none of the other local news sources managed to get it right either. But it’s understandable, seeing as how at the January 18 press conference Lars Hafner, president of the State College of Florida, said the DEAL would be a “new educational model housing all the agencies essential to the economic development equation.” Apparently, the plan is not to relocate all the economic development entities in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to Lakewood Ranch, only to provide an arena where all those groups can join forces and tag team businesses that are interested in moving to the area, while having all the resources and information they might need right there at their fingertips. Continue reading “TWISler Update: The real deal with the DEAL”

TWISler Update: Examining the youth vote… or lack thereof

Published Feb. 8, 2011

TWISler Update: Examining the youth vote… or lack thereof

When it comes to local elections, that whole “voting” thing hasn’t always been our strong suit. We seem to have a problem getting our citizenry to exercise their civic duty whenever it comes time to elect the people that vote on the laws that directly effect our daily everyday lives. Go figure! And nobody has proven harder to get off the couch and into the voting booth than the youth of our fair city.

Just to give you an idea of the scope of our apathy, we’ll look at the turnout from 2009’s At-Large City Commission election among registered voters age 40 and under. (You might want to check out TWISler’s Breakdown of the City Commission Candidates and Districts to get the full context.) In the case of District 2, the “rich” district comprising St. Armands, Bird Key and most of the Bayfront, there were 3,176 youngsters registered and only 109 of them cast a ballot — a 3.4% showing. As for District 3, the “middle class” district spreading out east and south of downtown, 2,983 youthful voters on the rolls and only 61 showed up for a big 2% turnout. And then there’s District 1, the “poor” district housing Newtown and Rosemary, which out of it’s 3,370 voters under 40 only managed to inspire 26 of them to hit up the polls — a whopping 0.7% of registrants. Continue reading “TWISler Update: Examining the youth vote… or lack thereof”

The TWISler Breaks Sarasota Down

Published Feb. 11, 2011

The TWISler Breaks Sarasota Down

As you read this column, there are a half-million Egyptians gathered in Downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a rebellion of peaceful protest — a right our constitution has led most of us to take for granted.

Their revolution was primarily organized by young people using social media to rally the nation. They have pledged their lives in their fight for freedom — a luxury most of them have never known.

The TWISler is gonna have some fun with facts today, folks — a little illumination through enumeration. Because we all know stats and demographics are the only true measure of a town. The outcome of those stats may not always deliver the most desirable results, but running the numbers at least helps to make some sense of it all. Hopefully, if we can come to grips with what our little piece of paradise is really made of, we can start to change some of our crazy ways.

Now, the new 2010 census numbers don’t come out until March, but we felt it was important to give our fellow SRQites a little insight into who we are, how we live, what we do and why in the Sam Hell we do it. So, like something out of your digit-crunching dreams, the TWISler has scoured the Internet on a quest to hunt down and harvest the most accurate information a string Google searches can bestow. Admittedly, these numbers may not exactly match current levels to the tenth decimal place (Hey, give a TWISler a break!), but they should be close enough for comfort. Continue reading “The TWISler Breaks Sarasota Down”

TWISler Breakdown: Governor Skeletor’s Epic Fail

Published Feb. 17, 2011

TWISler Breakdown: Governor Skeletor’s Epic Fail

For today’s lesson, the TWISler had planned to regale you with the pathetic extent of Sarasota’s piss-poor voter turnout numbers in past local elections. But in light of our newly elected Governor Skeletor’s most recent epic fail, we thought it might be more motivational to show you what can result, and is currently resulting, from the act of a few voters having better things to do on election day. While the TWIS always tries to keep it local, we simply could not pass up this golden opportunity to drill into your thick skulls just how monumentally critical it is to get off your ass and rock the vote.

First of all, let’s provide a little overview of who this reptilian creature we’ve just handed our state’s veto pen to really is, and a bit about the hellish brimstone of a rock from whence he hath crawled. Richard Lynn Scott made his first foray into the business world with the purchase of two Kansas City donut shops in college. Obviously concerned about the health and wellbeing of his fellow Americans, he teamed up with two former executives of Republic Health Corporation while still a partner at the largest law firm in Dallas, and with the help of a $5 billion loan from Citicorp, attempted to buy the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in 1987. The HCA passed, and Scott was very sad that he wasn’t able to take control of the 100-plus hospitals HCA operated so he could, you know, help people. Continue reading “TWISler Breakdown: Governor Skeletor’s Epic Fail”

TWISler Update: Vote Early and Often

Published Feb. 22, 2011

TWISler Update: Vote Early and Often

The responses from TWISler’s little rant on the governor says we’ll be sticking to local happenings from here on out. And it’s for the better. The complex and craterous black hole that is Florida politics is a bit too deep and dark of a pool to wade in safely. Obviously, the TWIS ain’t a fan — but hey, whatever floats your boat. If we do touch on broader issues, it will be through the perspective of how our local representatives are handling, or not handling, the problem at hand.

Speaking of, let’s move along to our own hometown politicians — the real public servants that actually make real things happen for all us real citizens really concerned about really real problems, because they can actually be real with us — without having to hold a really unreal press conference. Yes, my dear Sarasotans, let’s talk of the cream of our crop, our local heroes for which we root and cheer with colorful street signs in the hopes of subconsciously storing a cheesy campaign slogan in our neighbors’ memory banks as they pass by on their way to work everyday. The most accomplished and elite of Suncoasters, still so sweet and innocent, and mostly untainted by the bright lights of ballot name recognition. Continue reading “TWISler Update: Vote Early and Often”