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SRQ DAILY May 9, 2019

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"We don't normally do a lot of marketing during season, but we knew we had to have a good season this time."

- Virginia Haley, Visit Sarasota County

[Tourism]  Sarasota Occupancy Up In March
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Months after red tide publicity inspired countless cancellation, Visit Sarasota reports increases in occupancy and rooms rented for March compared to last year.

It’s good news to share as the agency hosts its annual luncheon today at 11:30am at Michael’s On East, and celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week.

Lodging occupancy for March climbed slightly, about 1.7 percent from last year, to about 89.6 percent countywide. Meanwhile, the raw number of room nights sold in March jumped 6.3 percent to 392,200.

“It’s successful marketing,” says Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. “One of the things we did this year was to move a lot our marketing to the beginning of the calendar year. We don’t normally do a lot of marketing during season, but we knew we had to have a good season this time.”

Not all metrics climbed. Average room rates in March dropped to $241.79, about a 3.1 percent decline from last year. But more than red tide, that’s largely a market result of so many new hotel rooms in the region coming online this year, Haley says. That occupancy still grew shows a sign demand is continuing to drive up for visitors to the region, she says.

The luncheon today will include handing out the “Faces of Travel” awards to hospitality players and partners in the area. Visit Sarasota has kept mum on the winner of this year’s Voice Of Sarasota Award. The honor always goes to someone outside the tourism industry but who raises the positive profile of the region. Haley wouldn’t disclose a winner but offered a hint.

“In the past, we’ve had sportscasters, circus performers, but one area that has gone largely unsung is in the outdoors and nature world,” she says. “We will be honoring someone in that realm.” 

Photo Courtesy Visit Sarasota: Tourism bureau markets St. Armands Key culinary tours.

[GoodBite]  Queen of the South
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Dirty south cuisine with elevated flare may be just what the hubby ordered for Mom this weekend. Combining the gritty essence and fresh seafood of the South with the sophistication of quality bubbly and seaside-modern design, you have yourself Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen. Located in Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, the restaurant will be offering moms a complimentary glass of house wine, beer or bubbly with the purchase of a dinner entrée on Mother’s Day. 

Treat your matriarch to signature Southern dishes with a coastal twist. From the Raw Bar, find Wood Grilled Oysters with parmesan cheese, garlic vinegar and chives, or Sam’s Ceviche with cola hot sauce, lime, avocado and yucca chips. If the fam is spending the day out on the boat and Dad happens to reel in a big one from the Bay, take advantage of Eliza Ann’s ‘Catch & Cook’ offering—you bring the catch and let the kitchen do their thing. The AMI Fish Chowder, She-Crab Soup and chef’s daily selection of Gumbo du Jour with andouille, pickled okra and rice are sensational soup options, while salads like the Fried Oyster Green Goddess with avocado, bacon, fennel pollen and hard boiled egg may be right up Mom’s alley.

From daily catches, hushpuppies, shrimp scampi, jumbo lump crab cakes, Cortez fish tacos, smoked fish dip, stewed greens, live oak-grilled steaks and Old Bay french fries—Sunday’s dinner will be nothing short of smoke, spice and soul. Top off the holiday with that free glass of brew or sparkly and the queen will be feeling that heartfelt Southern hospitality.


Sunday, May 12 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm.

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, 5325 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-238-6264. Reservations are recommended.

[The Bayside Club]  The Bayside Club: We want you to seize your day, every day

Ever wanted to live at a high-end hotel? Now, you have your chance. Bruce and Josh Weiner, owners of The Longboat Group and developers of the amenity-rich CitySide Apartments, are taking it one step further with The Bayside Club. The Bayside Club, a Downtown condominium complex, has an incredible array of amenities, but owners will also have all the hotel services that go along with resort-vacationing. CitySide has gained notoriety for its lifestyle and sense of community. For this reason, its apartments are in the highest demand of any building in the area. During late-night Bayside Club planning sessions, Bruce and Josh consistently asked themselves the question, “What can we do to ensure that our residents spend even more time doing the things they love?,” and used the answers to develop The Bayside Club concept.

Baysiders don’t have to worry about any routine maintenance or repairs at their condo–it’s one of the Signature Club Services offered. There are also concierge services available for everything from dog walking to dry cleaning. No more waiting for deliveries, or having to schedule maintenance and repairs around your busy schedule. Just call the front desk and they will ensure that you maximize enjoyment of your day.  


Click here to visit the Bayside Club's BrandStory

[Education]  Oak Park Music Teacher Selected as State Teacher of the Year Finalist

Sarasota County Schools has announced that Shane Swezey, a music teacher at Oak Park School, has been selected as a state Teacher of the Year finalist. Since 2013, Swezey has provided music education and therapy services to students ages 5–22 at Oak Park School, the district’s center school for special needs. He is one of five finalists to compete for the 2020 statewide Teacher of the Year. This year’s finalists were chosen from more than 176,900 public school teachers throughout the state. 

After each school district selects its Teacher of the Year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community reviews each district application on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service. After interviews are completed, each of the 74 District Teachers of the Year will gather in Orlando in July for the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Roundtable and Gala, where the announcement of the 2020 Florida Department Teacher of the Year will be made. 

Oak Park School

[Government]  Manatee County Creates Advisory Board for Confederate Memorial Relocation

Manatee County Commissioners unanimously decided to create a temporary advisory board that will research local sites to place the Confederate Memorial, which was removed from the grounds of the downtown Historic Courthouse in 2017. Commissioners want the new committee to provide options that will appear on the 2020 ballot for Manatee County voters to have the final decision on where the concrete monument is placed. 
Veterans Memorial Park and Gamble Plantation were ruled out as potential relocation spots. Deputy County Administrator John Osborne provided a list of County-owned properties where the monument could be located, including Rye Preserve, a County-owned parcel off Church Road in Ellenton and Bunker Hill Park.
Commissioners want at least four members of the nine-member committee to be African American. 

Manatee County Advisory Board Applications

[Business]  Plant Parents Hosts Spring Plant Sale and Open House This Weekend

Plant Parents will host its Spring Plant Sale and Open House this Friday and Saturday, May 10–11. The event boasts a broad selection of houseplants and plants for yards and lanais at deep discounts. One, two, and five-dollar deals make the sale an opportunity for bargain-hunters looking to start or bolster their personal collections, connect with fellow aficionados and get expert advice from the Plant Parents’ team of horticultural technicians.

This spring, attendees can expect many palms, orchids, Guzmanias and a diverse assortment of specimen bromeliads. Those eager to explore the increasingly popularized health benefits of houseplants will be happy to find many indoor acclimated varieties, including dracaenas, aglaonemas, ZZ plants, Pothos and more. Discounted planters will also be available, among them pieces for indoor and outdoor use.

In addition to deals on plants and containers, the event offers the opportunity to tour a working nursery not normally open to the public. Guests are invited to explore the grounds and enjoy the scenery. 

Plant Parents

[Healthcare]  Coastal Orthopedics Physicians Named to Top Doctors for 2019

Nine Coastal Orthopedics physicians were recently recognized as recipients of the Castle Connolly Top Doctors for 2019. The doctors who earned this prestigious recognition include pain management specialist Dr. Richard Bundschu, joint replacement specialist Dr. David Cashen, pain management specialist Dr. Douglas Constant, pain management specialist Dr. Gennady Gekht, shoulder and elbow specialist Dr. Avinash Kumar, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Laura Ottaviani, sports medicine specialist Dr. Steven Schafer, spine specialist Dr. Eric Sundberg and joint replacement specialist Dr. Alan Valadie. 

Each year, Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors are rigorously selected from nearly 100,000 nominations. The physician-led research team screens these physicians’ medical educations, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories and additional information. 

Coastal Orthopedics

[Business]  Forza Wealth Management Moves to Snug Harbor

Forza Wealth Management has moved its office from Downtown Sarasota, opening a new location at the enclave of Snug Harbor in south Sarasota off Holiday Drive. The move has been made in response to rapid growth and to be more convenient for its client base. Forza’s move comes on the heels of an impressive growth year that saw the firm surpass $70 million in assets under management. In addition, Forza has added independent trust services to its platform, enhancing the compelling portfolio of services the firm provides. 

Forza Wealth Management

[TODAY]  FESTIVAL: Harvey Milk Festival , May 9 – May 11

The photo exhibition, at the Art Center Sarasota from May 9-11 is intended to showcase American LGBTQ+ history from the 1890s to the times of Harvey Milk. May 10-11, located at 500 Tallevast Rd, presents the BASSment which offers the community a safe space and diverse platform to inspire the youth. May 11 starts off with a brunch at Stage Restaurant following the Harvey Milk Music Festival which celebrates the 10 year anniversary by presenting music at HD Jamal Park.

Various locations , Various locations

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gauguin's Voyage to Paradise , February 10 – June 30

Just as Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world, the deep impact of botanical imagery on his work cannot be denied. This exhibition will highlight the essential role of botanicals in achieving the artist’s vision of the savage, primitive and exotic. Together with lush displays of tropical plants in the conservatory and gardens, the show will feature dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Creative Camera Techniques , May 9, 10am-1pm

This workshop will explore creative composition techniques done in-camera that will give the “wow” factor to photos no matter the camera. Discuss techniques for DLSR cameras, point and shoot and mobile devices. Techniques include using bokeh, angles of light, reflections, pinhole photography, lens techniques including long lenses and fisheye, backgrounds, natural and artificial lighting and more. Then visit the gardens for an hour of practice. Registration is $60 for members/$75 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: An Afternoon of Operetta , May 12

Two centuries after the beginnings of operetta - a form of opera with light music and subject matter - it continues to delight audiences worldwide. Our production showcases the work of favorite composers Gilbert & Sullivan, Franz von Suppe' and Jacques Offenbach. Revel in the glorious melodies featurning soloists, chorus and instrumentalists.

Sarasota Opera HOuse , 61 NOrth Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Hydrosols - The Next Aromatherapy , May 15, 10am-1:30pm

Discover the multilayer use of the distillates of aromatic plants, including the aromatic waters of Rose Damascena, Greek Sage, Frankincense, Rose Geranium and Lavender Angustifolia. These aromatic waters can also be found as a delicious flavoring in deserts, complementing their simultaneous therapeutic value. Taste, smell, and experience food and drinks from these waters and blend some to take home. Registration is $50 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Spritzing, Spattering, Sponging, French Rule and More Advanced Watercolor Techniques , May 16, 10am-4:30pm

At this special workshop with Academy of Botanical Art Founder, Olivia Braida, learn various advanced watercolor skills. Bring all paints and brushes. Instructor will supply several special tools and paper to help accomplish our goals. Registration is $135 for members/$160 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Introduction to Ikebana , May 17, 10am-2pm

Discover the pleasures of this ancient Zen art and learn to create spontaneous, understated and decorative flower arrangements using branches, flowers and leaves easily found around the home and garden. No experience necessary. Instructor will furnish materials. Bring garden scissors, paper towels and a creative spirit. Registration is $50 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Relay for Life Sarasota , May 18

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Money raised from Relay For Life helps the American Cancer Society save lives by funding ground breaking research to discover cancer’s causes and cures and help people facing cancer today with free programs and services. People form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and unites us in our commitment to fight back against the disease.

Van Wezel , 777 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  FOOD: Morton's Market 50th Anniversary Party , May 19

Join Morton's Market to celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary. Food & Fun! Live music & raffle prizes! All proceeds to benefits the Morton Culinary Education Fund.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Fur, Feather, Flora & Fauna , May 21 – June 21

An all media, open exhibition throughout all galleries. Includes Art & Animals on June 1—a fun family day with animals and art, nonprofit organizations, information, activities and photo opportunities. Guests are invited to bring their leashed, well behaved pets.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St W., Bradenton

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kokedama - A Different Bonsai , May 22, 10am-12pm

Kokedama is a style of bonsai in Japanese culture. In this class you will take a fresh plant (epiphyte) and wrap it in a peat-based soil recipe that is designed to hold its spherical shape; then you will fasten moss around it to make a gorgeous little green orb. You will make two of these plants to take home and display. Registration is $35 for members/$50 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Warrior Pose For Warriors: A Yoga Fundraiser Supporting Veterans at the Sarasota Opera House , May 23

An evening with Operation Warrior Resolution (OWR) supporting military servicemembers with yoga, breath and body work and sound immersions on the stage of the legendary Sarasota Opera House. The event will be led by popular yogi master and Lululemon ambassador, Ms. Ashley Stewart. All proceeds will support OWR’s mission of providing immediate and effective mental health care at no cost for all U.S. military veterans and family members. Operation Warrior Resolution is a locally-based military nonprofit celebrating its first year as an officially recognized 501 c3 with a warrior pose for warriors – doing a downward dog on the same very stage a young Elvis Presley once shook his hips and sang “Hound Dog” at the Sarasota Opera House.


A variety of small eats and juices will be provided by local vendors in the courtyard immediately afterwards. Spots are limited, so get your ticket today and support our country’s warriors with a warrior pose yourself at the Sarasota Opera House!

Sarasota Opera House

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Still Life & Flat Lay Photography , May 23, 10am-1pm

Learn how to photograph “top down” from above. Create vignettes, explore props to use, minimalist styles, what to use for backgrounds and how to create backgrounds. Hands on play and photographing. Focus on mobile photography but all cameras welcome. Open to all levels. Registration is $60 for members/$75 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gelli Plate Printing a la Gauguin , May 24, 10am-3pm

Experience the joy of mono-printing without a press thanks to the gelli plate, a product that looks and feels like gelatin and can be used again and again. In recognition of the Gauguin exhibit, special emphasis will be placed on printing leaves and flowers from Selby Gardens Botanical Paradise. Create one-of-a-kind prints using textures, stencils, household items and acrylic paint. Registration is $50 for members/$60 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: SRQ Margarita Festival , May 25, 2:00PM - 10:00PM

Join us for the inaugural SRQ Margarita Festival, the perfect combination of live music and margaritas. Enjoy a variety of margarita flavors, 5 great bands, the areas best food trucks, games, anda spectacular firework display to end the night. Tickets are limited and are on sale now. Proceeds from event will benefit Turning Points, Barking Out Loud Rescue, and Farm Dog Fosters. #SRQritafest

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Cycle 5 , May 30 – July 5

In Gallery 1, Monumental, a group show, features small-scale sculptures. Next door, local artist Keith Crowley will exhibit a recent series of his meticulously layered photographically-based oil and watercolor paintings in his first solo exhibition at Art Center Sarasota. In Gallery 3, and featuring incisive and satirical investigations of the ego, sexuality, and competitiveness found on full display at gyms, Caitlin Albritton’s paintings and drawings of contorted figures address questions of gender issues and body politics.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Niceties , May 31 – June 30

Zoe is called into her professor's office to discuss her paper about slavery's effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history and power.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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