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SRQ DAILY Oct 31, 2019

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"I’m disheartened by a lot of he public input, which was accusatory and in some cases vicious."

- Nancy Detert, Sarasota County Commissioner

[Politics]  Sarasota Narrows Down Redistricting Maps
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Sarasota County Commissioners on Wednesday moved ahead with a controversial redistricting plan, and narrowed options down to two proposed maps for commission districts in 2020.

One of those maps wasn’t designed by a professional consultant, but based on a proposal from long-time political activist Bob Waechter.  Three out of five commissioners said they were comfortable with that map, which turns District 1 from a Democratic district to a Republican one while moving Newtown into District 2. That improves County Commissioner Mike Moran’s political ambitions next year, especially since it draws Sarasota Mayor Fredd Atkins, who already filed to run in District 1, out of the area.

But the map treats District 2 County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, the only member of the all-Republican commission to vote against pursuing redistricting now, poorly. That said, county commissioners will have to review the map again after the 2020 Census, and could completely redraw lines before the 2022 elections, when Ziegler is up for re-election.

The three commissioners who favored this map said they like that each major city in the county—Sarasota, Venice and North Port—will span more than one district. “I have always been a fan of the cities having more than one commissioner,” said County Commissioner Alan Maio, who is term limited.

Ziegler heavily criticized the action. He said if the county should move forward with a map, it should be one of three options generated by consultant Kurt Spitzer. He said a map that dramatically reshapes districts is a bad idea. “This entire process from the beginning has reinforced and stated over and over that the perceived goal was to get populations as even as possible,” he said. “If that’s the case, then take what we have and simply adjust it.

The county commission did vote to advertise one of the Spitzer-conceived maps. County Commissioner Charles Hines, who has supported balancing district populations, noted the map based on Waechter’s proposal had the least balance in the five districts and may be less defensible in court.

County Commissioner Nancy Detert, who pushed hardest for redistricting, criticized the citizens who testified for hours that changing lines ahead of the census was a bad idea.

“I’m disheartened by a lot of he public input, which was accusartory and in some cases vicious,” she said. 

[Restaurants]  Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie Opens in Lakewood Ranch

Tableseide Restaurant Group is expanding its restaurant namesake Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie, to Lakewood Ranch. The new, casual dining location will officially open today at 8445 Lorraine Road in University Corner. Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie offers a warm and inviting environment with indoor seating for 119. Guests may also enjoy al fresco dining on Libby’s patio which accommodates 70 people. The highlight of the 3,200-square-foot restaurant is an open kitchen and the intimate interior design features exposed brick and a high ceiling. “We’re extremely excited to bring Libby’s to Lakewood Ranch,” said Tableseide co-owner, Joe Seidensticker. “Lakewood Ranch is a growing community that appreciates local businesses. We believe Libby’s modern casual menu has something for everyone. We look forward to our guests making Libby’s a regular dining location and also sharing life’s special occasions with them.” 

The restaurant will open for dinner only beginning at 3 pm until November 7, when Libby’s will open for lunch and dinner during its regular operating hours of 11 am – 9 pm Monday – Friday and 10:30 am – 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit tableseide.com or make a reservation by calling 941-357-1570. 

[Auto]  Dazzling Array of Ferraris Assembled to Benefit Flight to the North Pole Charity

Stroll amidst dozens of Ferraris on St. Armands Circle this Saturday, November 2 when the Sarasota Ferrari Drivers Group hosts Ferraris on the Circle, an event to benefit Flight to the North Pole, a charity with deep roots in the greater Sarasota area. A percentage of the proceeds gathered from the event will go to help terminally ill children and their families, not only during the Christmas holidays but also year-round. “We anticipate a terrific turnout and the venue—the lovely St. Armands Circle—couldn’t be better," says co-organizer Joe Brielmann. The event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For additional information, contact Joe Brielmann 941-544-3130 or Jurgen Otto (941) 356-4626. 

[Achievments]  JMX Brands Makes Internet Retailer's Next 1000 List

Niche online retailer JMX Brands has been named a 2019 Next 1000 company by Internet Retailer, the leading source for ecommerce news. In its inaugural year, the Next 1000 list ranks North American midsized online retailers by ecommerce sales. The Sarasota-based parent company of DutchCrafters Amish Furniture, the largest online retailer of Amish furniture, ranked 1443 overall and 39 in the primary merchandise category of housewares/home furniture. This marks the sixth time the small business has been named to an Internet Retailer list having previously ranked on the publisher of Internet Retailer Magazine’s Mid-Market 500 lists from 2012-2017. JMX Brands has remained competitive by focusing on putting the mobile experience first, creating content with an emphasis on video, and growing the business’ presence on Amazon. The small business has also embraced the complexities of working with small Amish and Mennonite woodshops where communications and culture intentionally slow down the furniture making and delivery process.  “We’ve innovated around that with better options menus on our website, chat support, and really strong personalization by phone. We unapologetically sell slow furniture on a fast platform,” said JMX Brands CEO Jim Miller.  

JMX Brands 3709 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota.

[Music]  Sarasota's First Country Music Festival Comes to Downtown

Coming this weekend, November 1-3, is the inaugural Sarasota Country Music Festival. The downtown country music festival will feature live music, local craft beer, activities for the kids, arts and crafts from local artisans, special attractions for family fun, including a bungee trampoline, mechanical bull and rock climbing wall. Enjoy Southern BBQ and other great food and drinks while listening to local and national bands. The festival will deliver three days of everything from classic country to folk to bluegrass to Cajun, zydeco music and blues. This event is dog-friendly and free general admission, located at J.D. Hamel Park on the Bayfront, Downtown Sarasota; Friday, November 1 from 4pm-10pm; Saturday, November 2 from 11am-10pm; Sunday, November 3 from 11am-6pm. 

See the lineup and learn more about Country Fest Florida here.

[Music]  WSLR’s 11th Annual "Very Merry Jerry Day" Saluting the Music of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia

Break out the tie-dye and hula hoops for WSLR's annual celebration of Jerry Garcia on Sunday, November 3, 4:30-9pm at Fogartyville. Playing guitar and singing for his band, The Grateful Dead, as well as several others, Garcia took his hippie movement from the 60s into the 90s. Musicians honoring the Dead this year will be Experimental Farm Road, the Stillhouse Shakers and Ship of Fools. Jamming and dancing are encouraged and food will be provided by Chef Richard of Kumquat Kitchen. This is a family-friendly event, with kids’ activities and local vendors tabling. Attendees can bring t-shirts, socks, etc. for tie-dying, but no coolers please. Come out and celebrate the music of the Grateful Dead.  Tickets are $12 for WSLR members and $15 for the general public; half-price for students and free for children under 12. Tickets are available at www.wslr.org.  For more information call WSLR at 941-894-6469.  


[Recreation]  Manatee County Master Gardener Volunteers Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Master Gardener Volunteers are holding an “Open Garden” celebration on November 8 and 9, 9am - 12pm, to commemorate 40 years of volunteer service to the Manatee County's University of Florida/IFAS Agriculture and Extension Service.  Friday will include self-guided tours of the award-winning garden, as well as Information stations and demonstrations geared toward inspiring the creation of Florida-Friendly landscapes. The Information Stations will educate visitors on the many services provided by the Master Gardeners, such as the plant clinic, soil and water testing, school and community gardens, rain barrels, vermicomposting, the Landscape Assistance Program, classes for all ages and much more. Master Gardener Volunteers will also provide several container garden demonstrations followed by a drawing for each item created. Saturday, November 9 is devoted to families and children. In addition to self-guided garden tours and Information Stations, the morning will include fun activities for children. Home Depot will be on site to build a make and take craft with the children and Boyd Nature Preserve will entertain families with several birds of prey and reptiles. Complimentary cookies and beverages are available both days and on Saturday, Kona Ice food truck will be on site as well. 

The free event, open to the public, is taking place in the Master Gardeners’ Educational Gardens on the Extension grounds, located at 1303 17th St. West at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto. Contact the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service at 941-722-4524. 

[Politics]  James O'Keefe and Stephen Moore Highlight Women For Trump Florida's Road To 2020 Speaker Series

Women For Trump Florida has lined up some of the biggest names in national conservative politics for the Road To 2020 Speaker Series, including Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and Economic Advisor to President Trump, Stephen Moore. “Our success in getting some amazing and prominent speakers shows the importance of Florida and of the Sarasota and Manatee region to President Trump’s re-election,” said Caroline Wetherington, President of Women For Trump Florida. “We’re excited to be able to offer this educational series and price it affordably for students.” The series, entitled Keeping our Constitutional Republic, kicks off November 7 with O’Keefe speaking on “Guerrilla Journalism: Uncovering Corruption and Fraud in America.” O’Keefe goes undercover to investigate corruption, dishonesty, waste and fraud in both public and private institutions. He is best known for his undercover videos of governments and organizations. A special guest with O’Keefe will be Eric Metaxas, national radio host and New York Times bestselling author and is a regular guest on national news programs.

The program will include a VIP Reception at 6 pm and the program at 7 p.m. at the Christian Retreat Center, 1200 Glory Way Boulevard, Bradenton. The Road To 2020 Speaker series is an educational series, not a fundraiser. Women For Trump Florida is charging the minimum to cover venue, food and speaker costs. In a desire to get as many young people as possible, student ticket pricing is $5. An event pass for all four of the evening events is only $150 for VIP and $90 for General Admission — only available until November 6. For more information or to make reservations, contact 949-734-9200, Women4TrumpFlorida@gmail.com or visit eventbrite.com/o/women-for-trump-florida-20174270224

[Moving Stories]  Introducing the Latest SRQ Moving Stories Project: Every 1 Counts

SRQ MEDIA is pleased to share Every 1 Counts, the latest video documentary produced by Moving Stories, SRQ’s new in-house video and documentary division. Created for Step Up Suncoast, Every 1 Counts highlights the nonprofit's ongoing Every 1 Counts campaign as well as the critical early childhood programs offered by this community-focused organization.

Check out the latest post on our SRQ Inside the Brand Blog  to learn more about the project and the SRQ Moving Stories division. 

Click here to view Every 1 Counts

[SOON]  FILM: Sun Xun: Time Spy , August 11 – February 16

A mesmerizing 3D animated film by Chinese painter and draughtsman, Sun Xun incorporates traditional techniques including ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing. He uses analog and digital technologies to explore pressing concerns of the time.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  GALLERY: Artists Minding Their Business , October 18 – December 6

How do you go from creative spark to creative business? An interactive multimedia exhibition and event series, Artists Minding Their Business takes us on the evolution from making art to making a living. Ringling’s Business of Art & Design Department and founder of Culture Hustlers, Lucas Spivey (BFA/MBA) have curated the Willis Smith Gallery into a visual showcase of the entrepreneurial journey. Inside interactive installations, visiting founders and creative entrepreneurs swap inspiring stories and provide visitors with practical advice. Opening Reception, Friday, October 18, 6-8pm.

Willis Smith Construction Inc. Gallery in the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , November 1

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: The Peanuts Movie. 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]  SEMINAR: Boomer Conference, 2019 , November 1, 8:30am to 1:30pm

Retirement. What a concept! And what a challenge. Even those who have prepared financially might not be psychologically ready. Who are you when you’re not working? What do you do with all that free time? What do you want to do with the rest your life? Boomers across America are facing these questions. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College) will address these concerns with the fourth annual Boomer Conference. The event features speakers and networking sessions offering useful strategies on retirement’s social, financial, and practical implications. Keynote speaker Marianne Oehser, a certified retirement coach and author of “Your Happiness Portfolio for Retirement: It's Not About the Money,” will challenge audiences to rethink their retirement expectations. The fee is $39.95, which includes lunch, with a $5 certificate toward OLLI membership for each registrant.

Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Sunset at Phillippi Estate Park Farm to Fork Dinner , November 3, 5-9pm

Join Chef Paul Mattison for a unique 4-course Farm to Fork Dinner overlooking the beautiful Phillippi River, featuring vendors from the Phillippi Farmerhouse Market. Each course will be paired with wine. Guests will enjoy live music by Romy Hernandez and artwork by the Light Chasers, plein air painters of the Suncoast, who will exhibiting and selling their original paintings and will donate 30% of all sales to the renovation of the Historic Keith Farmhouse. Please join us for sunset and an evening to remember! In case of inclement weather, the farm-to-fork dinner will move inside the Edson Keith Mansion. Tickets are $100 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and available for purchase at mattisons.com or by calling Mattison’s Forty-One at (941) 921.3400.

Philllippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231

[SOON]  FOOD: Brunch on the Bay , November 3, 11:30am-1:30pm

Table sponsorships and individual tickets are still available for Bank of America Brunch on the Bay, USF Sarasota-Manatee’s signature fundraising event for student scholarships. Brunch will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and showcases USFSM’s role as a local university that provides a high-quality, convenient and affordable education for students who become valued members of the workforce and vibrant contributors to the Sarasota-Manatee community. Visit USFSM.edu/brunch for tickets.

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , November 4, 10am-11:30am

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]  FESTIVAL: Veterans Day Block Party , November 9, 4pm-9pm

Everyone is welcome to come celebrate the military nonprofits of Sarasota over Veterans Day weekend, November 9th at CitySide Apartments in the historic Rosemary District. The celebration will kick off at 4pm with Sarasota's most popular yoga teachers for an hour of Street Yoga, the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner and color guard to kick off the bands at 5pm with performances by Dan Johnson of Operation Hemingway, Ari and the Alibis, Enrique Casados and Kaliedogroove. Great food and beverages provided by Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Tsunami Sushi, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. There will be fun activities for kids and admission is free.

CitySide Apartments , 700 Cocoanut Ave. and May Ln.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 16th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament , November 9, 7:30am

Golf one of the country’s finest courses while supporting children, teens and young adults in grief. Before you tee off, a delicious breakfast will be generously provided by Station 400. Enjoy food and fun on the course, and then come back to the clubhouse for cigars and whiskey. All food and drink for the entire day is included in your golf registration. 

Legacy Golf Club At Lakewood Ranch, 8255 Legacy Blvd, Bradenton, FL 34202

[SOON]  SPORTS: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk , November 10, 8am

This year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk will be held on November 10, 2019, at Nathan Benderson Park. When you sign up, you join thousands of people just like you who want to see a world where this disease doesn't exist. You'll walk, you'll fundraise, you'll make lifelong friends. Most of all, you'll help save lives from breast cancer - and help us work toward a future without it. Check in begins at 8am for participants and the walk starts at 9:30am.

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL 34235

[SOON]  FOOD: Bowls of Hope 2019 , November 10, 11am-2pm

Bowls of Hope returns November 10th to Ed Smith Stadium. Join All Faiths Food Bank for one of the community’s largest and most popular family-friendly events where more than 40 of our community’s finest restaurants and caterers serve delicious soups, breads, desserts, and more. Guests select beautiful handcrafted bowls to keep, donated by by local potters, artists, and students while enjoying a modest meal as a reminder of the empty bowls they help to fill.

Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Orchid Evening , November 6, 6pm

The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School presents “Flowers in the Air.” Choreographed by Tania Vergara, with students from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, this premiere is inspired by traditional Asian culture, its strength, lyricism and rich dance heritage. This visually stunning piece weaves technique, flamboyance and colorful movement, drawing from both folkloric narrative and contemporary artistry. “Flowers in the Air” uses stylistic elements such as long sleeves, fans and defense sticks, among others, to reveal a new dimension of rigor and spectacular beauty

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: PMP Alumni: Around Town at Harvest Sarasota , November 10, 7pm-9pm

The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast presents PMP Alumni KJ McDonald and Rinat Erlichman, violins; Hannah Geisinger, viola; and Derek Louie, cello, performing selections of string quartet repertoire by composers such as Claude Debussy, Anton Dvořák, Alexander Borodin and Jack Frerer. This family-friendly event will begin with Light Refreshments at 7:00pm followed by a 7:30pm performance and a Q&A with the musicians. Tickets: $15 (18 & Under: free) 

Harvest House, 3650 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235

[SOON]  SEMINAR: SWAC Lecture: Gustavo Mohar , November 11, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for the next program in its 2019-20 Lecture Series, “Migration across a Common Border: a Challenge for Mexico and the U.S.,” featuring Gustavo Mohar, Founder and Director of Grupo Atalaya, a private Mexican consultancy that specializes in nontechnical risk and strategic intelligence. Mr. Mohar will discuss ow can Mexico and the U.S. can share the responsibility of this enormous challenge of a massive flow of people running from violence and poverty and what can be done to prevent Central Americans from emigrating. Each SWAC lecture is followed by a members-only reception with the speaker in a historic building on Sarasota Bay. The lecture is free, but reservations are suggested. 

Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

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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