I’ve been hesitant in posting entries on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as the media’s coverage has been both numbing and overwhelming.   However, I read several articles over the July 4th weekend that I wanted to bring to the attention of my readers:

  • The Sarasota Herald-Tribune ran a lengthy story this weekend on how the local real estate market has been affected by the oil spill.   Even though no oil from the spill has endangered the beaches in west central Florida and much of Florida’s coastline may never see any oil from the spill, potential home purchasers are nonetheless walking away from contracts and forfeiting deposits rather than closing on real estate purchases in our area.
  • The New York Times had an article on an inventive marketing campaign aimed at educating potential visitors to Florida that most of our beaches remain untouched by the oil spill. 
  • The July 5, 2010 edition of Sports Illustrated featured a story by Gary Smith, one of the magazine’s most incisive writers, entitled "7 Days in the Life of a Catastrophe."   It’s an eye-opening and powerful report on the devastation caused by the spill.

There is a bit of good news to report:

  • The New York Times also reported on changes by the Federal Housing Administration that are expected to widen the range of lenders who can offer loans for purchases of manufactured homes.
  • In addition, the National Flood Insurance program has been extended to September 30, 2010 and has been made retroactive.  This will allow real estate sales that had been on hold due to an inability to obtain flood insurance coverage to now close and will permit new policies to be issued through September 30, 2010.

Finally, from Sunday’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune, please read Tom Lyons’ column on a rather curious response from the activities committee at the  La Casa ROC in North Port to complaints from several residents who apparently did not want to hear "O Canada" played at events in the community.   I’ll think about this column the next time I attend a hockey game in Tampa.

We’ll get back to Senate Bill 1196 in my next entry.