SARASOTA – Local restaurant brands are fickle, particularly the local concept restaurant. The concept restaurant was a relic of the 1960s and 70s, an idea that a diner not only needed food, but a unique atmosphere to make it an experience. In tourist areas, the concept restaurant has a particularMORE HERE

TAMPA – Repair businesses were once a backbone of a small-town economy. If Main Street was the front-facing retail and public end of the local business ecosystem, the side streets and corners, with cheaper rents, offered small businesses the space to fix things. The Norman Rockwell painting What Makes itMORE HERE

As American companies have abandoned their legacy and sold out or turned into ever larger monopolies, new companies, often non U.S., have reaped the great rewards. One such story is Rockwell, which was one of the stellar brands of the United States space program, and best known and most trusted industrialMORE HERE

MIAMI – The late Sylvester “Pat” Weaver, the innovative NBC president responsible for the Today and Tonight shows, had a saying about Today. It was a show you could not kill, no matter what. Bad hosts, bad producers, off stories, worries! It was such a good idea that itMORE HERE

One of the most venerable names in American inventing and entrepreneurship is Powell Crosley (1886-1961), an innovator who is credited with the first economy car, the first fax machine and the first lighted baseball field. Pictured here is the Crosley car, seen at an auto show on St. Armand’s CircleMORE HERE

Israel does it. Virginia does it. Britain does it. Italy does it. They even do it on Marco Island, where old native Calusa artifacts helps to define an image of the city, and the Southwest Florida kingdom that they used to rule. It’s archeology, and it’s a very under-used weaponMORE HERE

BRADENTON – We heard Pepsico CEO Indra K. Nooyi on TV after Davos talking about how they were seeking out healthier options for snack foods. Pepsico was going healthy. Really healthy. We were thinking some kinds of new versions of Quaker Oats or some such. But when we saw theseMORE HERE

SARASOTA – At the Mote Marine Aquarium here, there is a small cabinet of shark repellent brands. During World War II, the Navy tried to come up with ideas, and numerous brands were launched. They didn’t survive. Apparently, certain copper compounds do chase away sharks, but there has never beenMORE HERE