Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What the Mall at UTC needs: indie music, books and gooey butter cake

The top vote-getters so far: Cheesecake Factory and Apple. My favorites on that list: Anthropologie, World Market and an IMAX theater (my real picks are below, and won't make any CFO happy).

Those are among the more than 120 votes Herald Business Reporter Charles Schelle has received so far to his column on Sunday asking what you want to see come to the Mall at University Town Center!

Charles has launched our latest blog, "Up in Your Business." A bit edgy, you might ask? "A bit over the edge?" is what I asked Charles and Business Editor Toni Whitt when they proposed the title and subject matter.

"Urban, southern, local -- the business world now," was their response. And Charles' launch sets that tone in his intro:
"By getting involved in your business, I want to know what's happening and share it with the world -- the good and the not so good  -- but mostly what's on the up-and-up.

"I have a tendency to come up with ideas that I think would be cool as a tourist attraction or business in the area, and this space will be a place where I'll spitball and put it out there, and it's ok if everyone tells me how harebrained they really are."
So I hope you bookmark Up in Your Business. Weigh in on whether Tropicana would make an amazing tour. Give Charles your bucket list for shopping. Sound off on all things business.

My own personal picks for UTC?
 Park Avenue Coffee, complete with 76 kinds of gooey butter cake
Grimey's New and Preloved Music, straight from Nashville
City Lights Bookstore, bringing the west coast's best independent book store to our West Coast

An aerial photo of the construction site for the Mall at University Town Center

Troy Morgan and to the Herald

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Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Golden Heralds: superlative, as always


Those were just a few of the phrases swirling through Bradenton Auditorium last night as the 2013 Golden Herald nominees took to the stage before 2,000 friends, relatives, teachers, administrators, media, judges, volunteers... you name it.

Somehow this annual event never fails to inspire everyone as, once again, we witness how many great young people make up Manatee County. For 36 years, the Bradenton Herald has sponsored the Golden Heralds to recognize the top high school seniors here. I've been lucky enough to join for 14 years now, as a judge, a host, a fan. Each time -- wow. Reporter Richard Dymond and photographer Grant Jefferies covered this year's ceremony, capturing the optimistic joy of these kids. Herald Marketing Director Jill McGarry pulled off the amazing job of organizing 99.9 percent of the evening, too -- hats off to you, Jill.

It's always so difficult to pick just two winners in each category, or to single out one success story from all 142 nominees. That room overflowed with 142 success stories last night. But Rich certainly picked one of the most moving in Alexandria Priebe, who started her night with a stunning kickoff rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and ended it dedicating her Golden Herald victory in music to her mother, Denise "Dee" Priebe, who is battling two serious tumors.

"My mother is my inspiration," said Alexandria, a member of Music Members Vocal Ensemble, National Honor Society, American Sign Language Club and captain of Bayshore's color guard.

Alexandria, you are our inspiration. You and all the other Golden Herald nominees, year after year.
Alexandria, her mom Denise, and her dad Doug

Hamming it up for the iPhones

Reporter Rich Dymond, right, interviewing the Priebe family