Long Bar Pointe project wrong for Manatee County

July 19, 2013 

Regarding two articles and one letter to the editor in the July 14 edition referencing Long Bar Pointe:

The front-page article notes the developers' unusual decision to reveal intimate details to the public about their "transformative project for West Bradenton." I thought Riverwalk was built with that goal in mind.

A five-star hotel could be built on the prime waterfront spot now occupied by City of Bradenton offices or the underused library. The much-needed downtown redevelopment should not have to compete with Long Bar just when it seems everything is coming together with the Hampton Inn deal, Blues Fest, Manatee Players and plans to successfully interconnect Village of the Arts.

Long Bar is simply a frill project for IMG families. Heaven forbid they have to travel "16 minutes south" to the Ritz for accommodations that meet their vaunted standards.

Vin Mannix' commentary noted the "wonder" Beruff claims a child would experience at seeing a five-star hotel for the first time. This is beyond ridiculous if you know children at all, but I will nonetheless suggest there is much more wonder in the 463 acres of a rapidly dwindling, unique coastal ecosystem that Long Bar will wipe out forever.

Also, it's laughable that Beruff says "doing the right thing for the environment is foremost" in their plans.

In his letter to the editor, Harris Silverman, M.D., is apparently reassured by the promised oversight of the EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and endless government agencies involved in the project. Haven't we seen time and again how big money speaks louder than a silent, pristine coastline?

The solution can be found in Beruff's statement on page 14A that "If county officials don't approve the (boat) basin ... it's a deal killer." Dear county officials, the "basin" is in your court.

Carmen Marina

Bradenton

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