Monday, September 17, 2012
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, Laura-Lee Minutello is busy spreading her message of acceptance and understanding.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- D'Ann White
Monday, September 17, 2012
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, Laura-Lee Minutello learned early on in life what it meant to be a disabled person in an able-bodied world. The 24-year-old Valrico resident, who uses a wheelchair, was just 7 years old when her mother, Marcia, took her to Busch Gardens the first time, intending to give the little girl a day of carefree fun. The mother and daughter soon discovered, however, that the theme park wasn’t designed for children in wheelchairs. There was no way for her to access the theme park’s train; many of the thrill rides required riders to mount steps; and the magical Land of the Dragons she looked forward to playing in was virtually inaccessible to a child in a wheelchair. Marcia Minutello remembers placing her …
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
State Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, said she decided to allow a Hillsborough County Commission task force to come up with ideas to oversee the controversial community center in Riverview.
Just before it was scheduled to be heard by the Bay Area Legislative Delegation Sept. 27, state Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, decided to withdraw a proposed bill intended to regulate The Regent community center in Riverview. Burgin drafted the proposed legislation last month following criticism about how The Regent was being used and the way it was being operated by the Brandon Community Advantage Center Board of Directors. The bill, said Burgin, was intended to resolve the controversy surrounding The Regent, which opened in January. State Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, agreed to co-sponsor the bill. A 30,000-square-foot facility, the $6.5 million community center was constructed with county, state and federal funds. Critics have slammed…
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Attorney calls bill "misguided."
The Brandon Community Advantage Center board, which operates The Regent community center on Watson Road in Riverview, is calling a proposed bill by state Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, "misguided" and possibly unconstituional. Following criticism over funding of The Regent, which opened in January, Burgin has proposed a bill calling for the appointment of a new board and the opening of its books for public inspection. The bulk of the criticism stems from the fact that the facility was constructed with $6.5 million in county, state and federal funds, yet is used to host private functions such as weddings although The Regent does host community functions as well. Also a bone of contention, the BCAC has closed its meetings to the public and…
Saturday, September 24, 2011
State Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, said she's proposing legislation that would make The Regent more accessible to the community.
State Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview wants to make sure residents have access to the community center their taxes financed. So she is sponsoring a bill in the upcoming Legislative Session to make the board of The Regent more accountible to the public. Burgin plans to propose legislation that would force the Brandon Community Advantage Center board of directors, which oversees the use of the ballroom and downstairs conference room at The Regent in Riverview, to open its meetings, its books and its spaces to the public. Currently, the BCAC's meetings are closed to the public and the all-volunteer board does not release its earnings from renting the facility. The BCAC's attorney, Marsh Rainey, said, as a private, not-for-profit entity, The …