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Thomas Becnel

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Paddling and pancakes make for perfect Father's Day weekend near Ocala

Let’s start with the pancakes, because that’s how we began our Father’s Day jaunt north of Orlando. There’s a place called De Leon Springs State… Read more »

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What's SUP, Sarasota? Saturday paddle boarding races on Siesta Beach

Brad Ward won the Sarasota SUP Championships last year, and the year before that, but this Saturday doesn’t look so good. The Siesta Beach lifeguard… Read more »

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Walton Ranch needs a SCORR

Here’s my one-word review of mountain biking through the new Walton Ranch nature preserve down in North Port: “Meh.” It’s nice enough on a canopy… Read more »

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New view of Siesta Beach from Sun Deck

The new pavilion opened Thursday as part of a $21 million renovation. … Read more »

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Sarasota player hopes to move up in summer beach volleyball tournaments

Luke Paige took a break from beach volleyball to play rugby, of all things, but now he’s back on Siesta Beach. I caught him and… Read more »

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Triathletes race through transitions at Wilde Storm Challenge

Michele Schenk, a 60-year-old triathlete from Holmes Beach, let me pester her with questions before the Wilde Storm Challenge on Sunday. She doesn’t get nervous…. Read more »

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Ready for Bike To Work Day? Try these tips and avoid these mistakes

Last week, I did everything wrong on my practice ride, but now I can help you get everything right on Bike to Work Day. That’s… Read more »

After Midnight | Featured 

Relay for Life: Nights of passage

Groggy adults and tireless teens share the dark hours in the annual American Cancer Society fundraiser…. Read more »

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Boys of summer keep swinging in Manatee Adult Baseball League

The Manatee Adult Baseball League is a traditional game, a wooden bat game, but now most of the players use composite models that don’t break… Read more »

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Sarasota surfers honor 'Shark Lady' in ceremony on Turtle Beach

On Sunday evening, they gathered on Turtle Beach. Surfers in board shorts. Environmentalists in bright shirts. Old men in black shoes and socks. They hugged…. Read more »

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Best place to celebrate Earth Day? Sunday at Oscar Scherer State Park

Earth Day? Does anybody still care about Earth Day? And does everyone agree that the best place to celebrate this Sunday is Oscar Scherer State… Read more »

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Rediscovering the Robinson Preserve with a newcomer to the Bradenton park

Two weeks ago, I headed to the Robinson Preserve for a Twilight 5K, but it was raining in Bradenton, so I turned around and went… Read more »

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Beach tour starts at Siesta drum circle and ends at Anna Maria Island piers

We should have gone camping. We should have gone camping last weekend when my daughters came to visit. We should have gone camping when that… Read more »

After Midnight 

Nighthawks at the laundromat

“I used to be scared to come here,” she says. “But then I realized, hey, people are just here to do their clothes.”… Read more »

After Midnight | Featured 

The mark-it market at Southern Hellfire tattoo parlor

Past midnight is when the artists, and the freshly adorned, really begin to show their stuff…. Read more »