Bubil: Letters from the readers


Every so often, I gather thoughtful letters that are not posted online and print them here. Today, I share two letters that reference recent articles, one on beach architecture and the second on the role of questionable banking practices in our recent economic maladies.

The first is a response to my article on Sarasota County’s new beach pavilions (“Where sun and sand meet architecture,” July 22):

“I am not opposed to the new beach/restroom pavilions, but I find it incredible that, to date, there is no sidewalk or bike lane or even safe shoulder for pedestrians and cyclists to use to get to Caspersen Beach Park.

“Existing sidewalks and bike lanes along South Harbor Drive end at the city line, about two-thirds of a mile from Caspersen Beach Park. In 2005 or so, the Venice Neighborhoods Coalition brought to the county’s attention that the paved road leading to Caspersen was dangerous due to a blind curve and the sand that builds up on the road. A fellow bicyclist took a fall in the sand and wasn’t hurt; it made us realize that this is a very unsafe situation. It appeared a project would be developed to include a boardwalk through mangroves/wetlands on the east side of the road where there is a utility easement. The project has been on and off for the last seven years.

“This is clearly a liability for the county as it owns the road going into Caspersen, as well as the beach park. This is a safety and accessibility issue; one would think encouraging people to walk and cycle to this popular park would be a priority.”

— Sue Lang

Secondly, announcing the recent creation of an institute at Florida State University, historian Raymond Vickers wrote:

“Without your interest and hard work, FSU’s Institute for the Prevention of Financial Fraud would have never been created. Your articles (“Bankers and the Boom,” et al., Jan.-Feb. 2008) put much needed sunlight on the debate about bank fraud that I have been having for the past two decades. They got the attention of Tom Blomberg, the dean of Criminology and Criminal Justice at FSU.”

Vickers credited H-T investigative reporters Michael Braga and Anthony Cormier with forcing the state to finally release the records of failed banks, uncovering the fraud and insider abuse they wrote about in a series last week (“Breaking the Banks,” et al., July 28-31, 2013).

Noting a 1992 Florida law that mandates the release of records one year after a bank fails, Vickers wrote, “No failed-bank records were ever released because the general counsel of the comptroller’s office said that the records were still confidential. It was not until your paper demanded the release of the records that their disclosure was forced.

“But you started this debate again when you wrote your series of articles. . . . I think Braga and Cormier did a great job.”

Braga said former H-T investigative reporter Matt Doig was the one who secured the release of the state banking records.


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: August 3, 2013
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