Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Marking the Passage of Time, and Being Wary of Gas Prices

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Marking the Passage of Time, and Being Wary of Gas Prices

Article excerpt


"Time flees" -- often translated "time flies" -- is a term first coined by the Roman poet Virgil.

I'm feeling it these days.

Today is my 18th wedding anniversary. It's almost hard to believe.

Our fleeting lives often make us wistful and nostalgic. You think about all the woulda's, coulda's and shoulda's and then rein yourself in by realizing how ridiculous that really is.

You realize that nothing happens by accident -- or at least without enormous instructive potential -- and that each joy, sorrow and stumble is just a milemarker along a journey we must all take in becoming a complete human being.

Hrrmm. Didn't mean to wax philosophical.

Besides my own personal celebration, what got me thinking about how time flies was something a lot more somber: the bad economic times of the last five years.

Five years.

That is even more hard to believe. Time didn't fugit fast enough for most of us.

But there are some pretty encouraging reasons to think those days might finally be behind us, not the least of which are some pretty hard economic data showing solid growth in our local economy.

Business writer Doug Sword has been following the phenomenon these last couple years.

The rebound has been far from consistent. Our portion of Florida has in fact taken much longer than many places to come back to life, though it now appears to be doing so with gusto.

Even within Southwest Florida, the return to some semblance of normalcy has occurred at varying clips.

On a percentage basis, Charlotte County has actually rebounded the strongest and earliest, followed by Sarasota County and, now, by Manatee County.

Both Charlotte and Sarasota can point to two years of increasing sales by businesses, according to the Florida Department of Revenue data that Sword consistently tracks.

They would be 2010 and 2011.

Manatee, now rebounding at a faster pace than either of its southern neighbors, was not so lucky in 2010, but appears to be making up for that now.

Some of the strongest places in the state would probably not surprise economists: Miami-Dade County and Orange County, the home of Orlando and of Disney World.

Both communities have a much larger exposure to the influx of global dollars, Miami-Dade because of its enormously diverse population and its geography, which have made it a commercial center on the edge of Latin America. …

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