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SRQ DAILY Aug 15, 2019

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"I'm trying to create a level playing field for Main Street and everywhere else."

- Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota

[Politics]  Joe Gruters Files E-Commerce Bill Again
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, says you don’t have to look much further than local malls to see the impact of internet commerce. “The malls are getting creamed on the ground,” he says.

But he hopes changing Florida law to require e-commerce to charge sales tax the same as retailers serving customers at cash registers helps.

“It’s one of my biggest bills of the session, one of my top priorities,” he says. “I’m trying to create a level playing field for Main Street and everywhere else.”

Merchants in traditional brick-and-mortar shops for years have complained that internet giants like Amazon can both undercut costs by keeping overhead low and don’t have to charge sales taxes.

Graters notes, though, that a 2018 Supreme Court ruling in fact says consumers still owe tax even if it’s not charged at point of sale.

That’s why he argues charging sales tax on e-commerce doesn’t constitute a tax increase. Rather than try and hunt down consumers to shake down owed taxes, he wants it collected when purchases get made.

That already happens in states like New York, Illinois and Massachusetts, places that already charge more in taxes than Florida.

This isn’t the first year Gruters filed this type of legislation. It failed to get support last year, despite Gruters serving as chair of the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee. But he filed it as a revenue neutral bill before.

Now, he hopes to get the legislation through in part because his bill offers no direction on where to spend additional state revenue that comes in. That means an estimated $750 million could be raised in state coffers. Leaders in the Legislature could divert that to education, environmental spending or any number of other politically popular causes.

“It’s fair to the consumers and it’s making a convenience to the consumers to do the right thing on their behalf,” he says. 

[GROVE]  Sip Your Cake and Eat Too

Save the date for an authentic Napa Valley dining experience as GROVE Restaurant will welcome Cakebread Cellars for a five-course, winery-inspired pairing menu. GROVE will host The Cakebread Wine dinner on August 31 with a menu crafted by Chef Greg Campbell to pair with Cakebread’s award-winning, signature wines. With 40 harvests completed, Cakebread Cellars has become one of the most successful and respected wineries in Napa Valley. Here on the Suncoast, GROVE’s wine program is gaining notoriety itself as the Lakewood Ranch-based restaurant with a farm-to-table focus has been recognized with a 2019 Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator. With these two viticulture enthusiasts working in collaboration, the palate is guaranteed to be satisfied with what will be on plate, and in the glass.

The Cakebread Wine Dinner will begin with passed house-made hors d’oeuvres paired with the vineyard’s delicate Vin De Porche Rose 2018. The culinary journey continues with lobster-and-cornbread-filled clams to pair nicely with the floral, citrusy notes of Cakebread’s renowned Chardonnay. As the meal progresses, Chef Campbell will celebrate Cakebread’s more bold, full-bodied reds. Attendees will enjoy courses like a bison rillette and duxelle popover with a beef demi-glace while sipping on Cabernet Sauvignon from Cakebread’s 2016 vintage. The evening will also present wine lovers with an opportunity to dine with a Cakebread representative who will be onsite to speak about the winery’s innovative winemaking philosophies and estate-grown practices. Limited to just 90 seats, the Cakebread Wine Dinner will be a celebration of wine done in true Napa fashion—with no excursion to wine country necessary.  

Click here for Tickets. GROVE is a member of NOSH, SRQ magazine's content marketing program for local restaurants.   

GROVE | 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch | 941-893-4321 | www.grovelwr.com

Cakebread Winner Dinner

[Government]  Three Manatee County Historical Sites Reopen

Supported by the office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, the Palmetto Historical Park, Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Manatee Village Historical Park have reopened after closing for month-long improvements.

During the closure, the artifacts at the Palmetto Historical Park currently not on display were organized and stored together on the air-conditioned stage in the Carnegie Library. In the future, the Palmetto Historical Commission plans to build a Preservation and Education facility to house the collection. Several artifacts have been transferred to peer institutions or relocated to the current storage area, including old newspapers, scrapbooks and Palmetto Historical Commission records. The schoolhouse received restoration work to its windows and walls, and the Cypress House Military Museum was outfitted with new insulation and the ceiling repainted. Once construction on the schoolhouse and Military Museum projects are completed in fall 2019, they will reopen to the public.

While the Manatee County Agricultural Museum was closed, all the preparation work was accomplished for upcoming programming, including “Make It Take It Tuesdays and Thursdays” program, the installation for the Florida Highwaymen Exhibit and updates to the hands-on Junior Agricultural spots. Manatee County Agricultural Museum staff also assisted the historic Duette School House and assembled five exhibit cases, and the Curator of the Manatee County Agricultural Museum reviewed, archived and cataloged artifacts and the records of the museum’s history. Also, the City of Palmetto installed drains to help eliminate future flooding.

Manatee Village Historical Park closed for cleaning, sorting and organizing of its collections. Four filing cabinets full of staff files from the 1980s and 1990s, such as press releases, event fliers, notes, ideas and research, were digitally saved and archived. The cabinets have now been replaced with shelving, providing much-needed space for its artifacts. Staff also completed the Religion in Manatee exhibit now on display in the Wiggins General Store. 

Manatee County Historical Resources

[Architecture]  Sweet Sparkman Architects Names Demperio Partner

Sweet Sparkman Architects has announced that Michele Demperio has been named a Partner at the firm. Awarded the 2018 AIA Florida / Caribbean Firm of the Year, Sweet Sparkman Architects (SSA) has reported dynamic company growth in the last year, and credits the relationships Demperio has developed in her 15-year tenure at SSA as contributing greatly to this success. Constantly adapting to the changing needs of a growing company, she has encompassed every role from Office Manager to Director of Business Development, before finally culminating in Partner. A Sarasota resident for over 20 years, Demperio also currently serves on two boards: 96.5 WSLR / Fogartyville since 2012 and ACE Mentoring since 2018. She is also a recent graduate of the 2019 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. 

Sweet Sparkman Architects

[Business]  Cross, Nantes Join Allegiant Private Advisors

Allegiant Private Advisors, a fully independent, fee-based financial advisory firm based in downtown Sarasota, has hired Michelle Cross, CFP, CPA, CDFA, as a wealth advisor and Karyn Nantes as an operations specialist.
Having worked in the financial services industry since 2002, Cross’ role at Allegiant focuses on a holistic advisory approach, guiding client families through all areas of financial planning to help define and achieve their financial goals. She previously worked for Deloitte & Touche’s investment management audit group and spent several years as an audit manager at a large local CPA firm before becoming an independent financial planner. Nantes is responsible for processing money transfers, new account setup, account maintenance and handling client questions with the highest quality of service. Prior to joining the firm, she worked for Harvest Partners Private Equity in New York and Mallitz Investment Group in Sarasota. 

Allegiant Private Advisors

[Law]  Archbold Named to Best Lawyers in America 2020

Sarasota attorney J. Allison Archbold of the Archbold Law Firm was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2020 for her work in Trusts and Estates in Sarasota. This is the fourth consecutive year she has earned this honor. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become widely regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence, and is compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. For the 2020 edition, 8.3 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 62,000 leading lawyers being included. Archbold has been practicing estate planning, probate and trust administration in Sarasota since 2007, and is board-certified in wills, trusts and estates. 

Archbold Law Firm

[Health & Wellness]  Arietta Senior Living Introduces A La Carte Model

Senior living center Arietta is introducing a new option for independent seniors in Sarasota with luxury à la carte, independent living. This lifestyle allows residents to enjoy the services and amenities they want without paying for the ones they deem unnecessary.

Located within five miles of Downtown Sarasota and close to Siesta Key Beach, residents can maintain their independence in apartments ranging from 940 to 1,492 square feet. Features include large windows for abundant natural light, full washer and dryer units, screened-in private balconies and modern kitchen appliances and finishes. Amenities include a newly remodeled clubhouse, indoor parking, outdoor pool, shaded dog park with a gazebo and a gated community entrance. Arietta also employs a full-time Resident Experiences Director who facilitates events and activities such as Tai Chi, social media tutorials, billiards tournaments, cocktail parties and trips to Selby Gardens. Transportation, an on-site hair and nail salon and a myriad of other conveniences are available, and residents only pay for the services they use. 


[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Interpolations: Artwork from The Ringling and Monda Collections , March 17 – September 8

This new exhibition fuses artworks from The Ringling’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary art and selections from Keith D. and Linda L. Monda’s collection. As part of the four promised gifts from the Monda family, pieces by Beverly Pepper, Teo González, Yayoi Kusama and Richard Serra enable the Museum to present a broader and more complex history of late twentieth- and early 21st-century art. These new promised gifts will be featured along with other selections from Monda’s collection and key works from the Ringling’s own growing collection of modern and contemporary art.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems , March 17 – September 29

Mazurka’s work reflects the communicative potential of pattern by combining visual references to architecture, biology, data analytics and instructional code. From her intense research into pattern languages, Mazurka presents an art exhibition that flatters and disturbs concepts of certainty and stability residing within pattern systems existing all-around us.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade , July 23 – August 30

Back by popular demand, The Swingaroos return to FST with a brand new show. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, this jazzy music revue pays tribute to such icons as Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire. Travel back in time this summer to the ‘30s and ‘40s when big bands and swing dancing were all the rage. 

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Scorch , July 26 – August 25

For Kes, falling in love for the first time happened online. But the exhilarating fantasy quickly turns into a terrifying reality when the young teen is accused of criminal conduct. Inspired by real cases of ‘gender fraud,’ Scorch is a touching and provocative story of love though the eyes of a gender-curious teen.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Cottage , July 31 – August 24

Set in the English countryside in 1923, this sexy comedy of love and betrayal unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her secret love affair to her husband. The true meanings of love and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous—potentially murderous—romantic comedy.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Reverend Barry & The Funk , August 16

Join us for The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay.


Featuring 3 Grammy®-nominated musicians, this 8-piece band plays a high-energy set of originals and covers of funk & soul music including Earth, Wind & Fire, Commodores, Kool & the Gang and Prince. Sit back and relax or dance the night away as Reverend Barry & The Funk returns to the Friday Fest stage! 

Van Wezel

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , August 19, 10am

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  GALA: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick Off Celebration , August 29, 530pm

Join us to Kick Off the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer season and for the reveal of the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink candidates.  Hear about the American Cancer Society’s lifechanging research and patient programs that are funded by Making Strides and Real Men Wear Pink events. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. RSVP is required. Please RSVP by Monday, August 26th to Lucy.Fox@cancer.org or 941-328-3755. MakingStridesWalk.org/SarasotaManatee

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , September 2, 1215pm

Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC and Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, hosts a monthly lunch at The Rosemary restaurant. This event provides caregivers some time to relax, enjoy themselves and eat super delicious food with others sharing similar situations. The lunch takes place from 12:15pm-1:45pm. For lunch details, contact Julie at caregivercomfort@aol.com.

The Rosemary, 411 North Orange Avenue

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Stars, Stripes and Style 26th Annual Fashion Show , September 4, 11am

Join us in celebration of the Women's Council of Realtors Sarasota Network 26th Annual Fashion show on Wednesday, September 4 at 11:00 am. WCR will honor America's veterans at the Stars, Stripes and Style fashion show featuring fashions by Goodwill Manasota. Enjoy lunch by The Hyatt Sarasota and a fun filled fashion show by local realtors and business partners. There will be a live auction, lotto tree raffle, silent auction and shopping at tabletop boutiques.

Hyatt Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , September 6

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: X-Men. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to enjoy during the movie.

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Goldtones , September 7, 8pm

The Goldtones have been called the “hottest doo-wop group in Florida” and entertain their audiences with the sweet sounds of street-corner harmony and all the favorites from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The group is back by popular demand after performing at Venice Theatre for five years in a row. Proceeds benefit the Venice Theatre Guild’s Scholarship Fund!

Venice Theatre MainStage, 140 W Tampa Ave.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group Leadership Breakfast , September 13, 730am

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will honor Jaime DiDomenico, Cool Today/Plumbing Today/Energy Today President, and Dr. Rachel Shelley, Booker High School Principal, at the 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering our community’s future leaders to reach their full potential. The event will take place on Friday, September 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota.  Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at bgcsarasota.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Tanya Orr, Community Engagement Manager, for more information by calling (941) 366-3911 or emailing torr@bgcsarasota.com.

Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota Wellness Expo , September 15

This expo provides an opportunity for locals to meet with local businesses that promote healthy living, and learn how to better their health and mind. This event caters to all ages and attendance is free. Guests can enjoy free fitness demos, health checks, a teddy bear clinic for kids, healthy food demonstrations, interactive activities and more.

Westfield Sarasota Square , 8201 South Tamiami Trl., 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.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. 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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