In the News

in_the_newsFrom the Pilgrims’ first courageous footsteps on America’s shore to Neil Armstrong’s first footsteps on the Moon; from the defiant signatures of the Founding Fathers on the Declaration of Independence to the subsequent generation of soldiers who protected, and continue to protect, that freedom; from the invention of the car to the discovery of the atom and the creation of the Internet; from family traditions to baseball and apple pie – the spirit of America is unique. And, as photographer Brian Blanco discovered, that spirit is well represented here in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Blanco photographed residents who embody the spirit of courage, ingenuity, tradition, youth and family. His poignant pictures grace the pages of our ‘Spirit of America” special section. In addition, the winners of The Observer’s first online photo contest “Spirit of America” are featured in this section along with a few of our favorite entries. Almost 8,000 votes were cast in the contest. As you commemorate this Fourth of July, be mindful of all those things that have made America great and celebrate – with spirit, of course.

SPOONMAN Lakewood Ranch resident Jorge Gutarra, an immigrant from Peru, makes larger than life sculptures from flatware. He created this eagle for a Fourth of July celebration when he lived in New York City.