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SRQ DAILY Jun 27, 2015

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"The effort to make the case for same sex marriage was a concerted local effort from city to city and state to state across the nation building an understanding that gay people were being discriminated against because their relationships were not being given the dignity and respect they deserved."

- Ken Shelin, Equality Florida

[The Detail]  What's Walkable
Cathy Antunes, cathycantunes@gmail.com

There is a stark difference between walkable and auto-centric living. Last Saturday, my best friend from elementary school came to visit. As Carol and I talked with my parents, my mother and father described how our lives changed when we moved from our walkable village neighborhood (where Carol lived next door) to our more autocentric digs. “We didn’t realize what we were getting into” my Dad explained, “that we’d have to drive a half hour to get a loaf of bread.” The mixed-use, walkability lingo is absent, but my family learned from experience how different life is when you can walk instead of driving everywhere.

It’s been a few years now since Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City, came to Sarasota and shared information on the tangible benefits of walkable development. Walkable communities offer superior economic, social, health and safety benefits over autocentric subdivisions. The City of Sarasota’s form-based code initiative has the potential to deliver these benefits through a new City planning code. The County’s work in defining fiscal neutrality will also impact whether new County development (under the 2050 plan) brings us promised high-value walkable communities.  

In order for a neighborhood to be walkable, Speck says walking must be useful, safe, comfortable and interesting. Useful walking means access to work, housing, goods and services. Safe walking is an environment where the pedestrian has low risk of being hit by a car or being a crime victim (residential development above commercial units provides “eyes on the street”—a huge crime deterrent). Comfortable walking in Florida includes shade from awnings and street trees. An interesting walk provides visual stimulation—from store windows, views and architectural variety. The mere presence of a sidewalk does not make a neighborhood walkable, yet this has been described as sufficient by at least one developer at a County meeting.

Economic and physical benefits accrue to residents of walkable communities. Data presented at the 2014 American Diabetes Association convention demonstrated an average 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years for people in walkable neighborhoods versus those that were less walkable; the most walkable neighborhoods had the lowest incidence of obesity. Average income in the top six U.S. walkable urban metros is 38 percent higher than the average GDP per capita ($43,900) in the 10 low-ranked walkable urban metros. 

Subdivision development is a financial drain. A 2010 study in Sarasota County showed subdivision housing takes 42 years to pay off its infrastructure—longer than the life of the infrastructure. Walkable, mixed-use development is more valuable, generating over 10 times more tax revenue. All signs point toward the County adopting a toothless definition of fiscal neutrality, one which will permit the same standard subdivisions which drain County coffers over time.

My parents solved their walkability problems by moving again to a walkable neighborhood in Rye, N.Y.  In Sarasota, municipalities which adopt truly walkable development standards will be the winners, ensuring healthier, more prosperous futures for their constituents. 

SRQ Daily columnist Cathy Antunes serves on the boards of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations and Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government. She blogs on local politics at www.thedetail.net.

[Robert's Rules]  Incorporating Elements Beyond Plants
Robert Davie

Editor's Notes: Robert Davie attended the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May. This is the first in a two-part series on the event.

The beautiful collection of flowers never ceases to inspire. You go to these things because you want to see something remarkably creative, something ingenious something very clever that somebody hasn’t done. Something that stuck out for me that they do, especially in the U.K., they use all types of elements. You have aluminum bands that look like reverberating sound waves. These things are are there for effect and create dimension, texture, substance. They create another complete new genre of things that can be in your garden other than plants. They really aren’t sculpture, just part of the elements to add to the overall feeling and balance. If you have a big stage, you have room for elements

Along the same vein, I was impressed by screens where they were laser-cutting aluminum and brushing them down to make beautiful mechanical motifs out of them. I am working on a project right now where we’ve designed them in.  There are gorgeous patterns with many different applications in landscaping, to shield something or add to a view. 

Robert Davie is the founder of Robert Davie Landscaping

[On Equality]  Still More Work Ahead
Ken Shelin

There is a sense of relief and joy that the hard work of building public acceptance of same sex marriage has paid off in the recognition by the U.S. Supreme Court that the U.S. Constitution means what it says about equality for everyone.

The effort to make the case for same sex marriage was a concerted local effort from city to city and state to state across the nation building an understanding that gay people were being discriminated against because their relationships were not being given the dignity and respect they deserved.

But, as you might expect, there is more to be done because it is still legal to fire gay people without cause from their jobs, to discriminate against them in housing and in public accommodations. So we are working on putting such legislation in place in cities and counties throughout Florida. We will also be working in the Florida Legislature and the US Congress to do the same. 

Ken Shelin is the co-chair of Equality Florida

[SCOOP]  Splashin' Success

Kids and families are loving the 75’ slip-n-slide and abundance of water time fun they are having each and every Saturday this summer during Splashin’ Selby Saturdays in Selby Gardens from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm. The event has become so popular that Selby has decided to add a waterslide for some more wet ‘n wild fun! Splashin’ Saturdays will continue through August 1. More families are joining to take advantage of all the year-round educational and family programs offered in the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden, Kids’ Corner and throughout the campus. Holiday happenings like the new Selby Spooktacular this year on Halloween, Lights in Bloom that happens during the winter break, Garden Music Series in the fall and spring, summer camp and pop up programs that happen regularly just because! At $120 for an annual family pass, it’s a priceless way to make one-of-a-kind family memories. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

[SOON]  Celebrating the Americans with Disabilites Act

On Friday July 24, Goodwill Manasota is presenting “ADA 25: Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The free luncheon will take place at Goodwill’s International Training center from 11:30am-1pm. The ADA was passed in 1990 with the intention of providing civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. It guarantees equal opportunity in all facets of daily life. The ADA breaks down the barriers that people with disabilities have faced in the past, and it has enabled society as a whole to benefit from what individuals with disabilities have to offer. Goodwill Manasota is committed to providing opportunities for those with disabilities to find employment, and it employs more than 100 members with significant disabilities through its Supported Jobs Plus Program. “Goodwill has been innovative in hiring people from the community who may have been told they weren’t employable elsewhere,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We choose to look past a person’s disabilities and, instead, see and appreciate them for their abilities. We want to empower people and show them they are worth the time and investment to help them achieve job and life success. Everyone deserves a chance to earn a paycheck and feel the dignity of work." 

Goodwill Manasota

[SCOOP]  Summer Tour Special

Now through Labor Day, September 7, 2015, you can receive a free guided tour of Ca’d’Zan first and second floors when you purchase a Ca’d’Zan Private Places Tour. First, take a peek at the lifestyle of one of the world’s richest men and explore the mansion’s private places and the stories that are behind them. Then, you can experience Ca’D’Zan as if you were a guest of John and Mable Ringling and see for yourself the beloved house in which they resided. Tickets are $20 or $10 dollars for Ringling Members. Make sure to allow enough time for each tour. 

The Ringling

[SCOOP]  A New Home for Man's Best Friend

Yesterday, Marsha Panuce, Founder/ President of Donte’s Den Foundation and Mike Carter, President of Mike Carter Construction celebrated the opening of Donte’s Den state-of-the-art canine campus with a private ribbon cutting ceremony. Set on 50 pristine acres of central Florida countryside, the new facility is specifically designed to give temporary and permanent homes and personal attention and quality medical care in a homelike setting to canine companions who are separated from their owners due to illness, injury, abandonment, long-term travel or military deployment. The campus boasts a host of facilities designed to serve dogs and those that love them.  A Welcome Center is the first stop for dogs where they can receive an initial health check-up and salon grooming before heading back to the spacious dens that house canine residents. The adoption center offers top-notch temporary residence for homeless and abandoned dogs. Nestled between the two housing facilities is a veterinary hospital that administers full canine medical services, from spay and neuter to neurosurgery. Dogs large and small can enjoy pine forest trails, spacious meadows and a bone-shaped hydrotherapy pool. There’s even a lakeside memorial pavilion along with a rainbow bridge and butterfly gardens for the public to honor the memory of beloved pets.  

Donte's Den

[SCOOP]  Sea Turtle Saviors

At just 12 years old, Lexi Mariash has her goals set high. A few years back, she founded local organization Turtle Inc. with a commitment to helping the sea turtle programs at Mote Marine Laboratory and educating today’s youth about the environment and sea creatures. Last weekend on June 20, Turtle Inc. held its first annual Miniature Golf Tournament at Evies on the Green. Every dollar raised by the event was matched by national youth-centric nonprofit organization Positive Tracks. By the end of the day, Lexi was able to present a $9500 check to Mote Marine Laboratory to help deepen the global impact of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.  

Turtle Inc.

[SOON]  Get a Taste of Floridian Art

Art Center Sarasota is presenting the third annual “Florida Flavor” juried exhibition of works by Florida artists. This exhibition was born from the desire to showcase the wide-ranging talents of Florida-based artists varying in both dimension and media. This year’s exhibition will be juried by critically acclaimed artist Robert Tarbell. Art Center Sarasota’s director Lisa Berger notes that the exhibition’s off-season timing provides cultural tourists a motive to include Sarasota in their summer plans. Florida Artists who wish to be considered for inclusion in “Florida Flavor” can bring their work to Art Center Sarasota on June 30 from 10am-6pm. For individuals who simply want to enjoy the diverse artistic talent that our state has to offer, the opening reception is July 9 from 5-7pm, and the exhibition continues through August 14.  

Art Center Sarasota

[SOON]  In the Limelight

This year’s 31st Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival produced by Suncoast Charities for Children is bringing with it many exciting changes as an International Invitational race site. This includes a one hour prime time special on CBS Sports Network July 15 featuring 7 powerboat classes expected to participate.  The inclusion of P1 Aqua X USA (jet ski racers) and P1 Superstock USA (open canopy style race boats) brings with it coverage on Fox Sun Sports and MAV TV.  Powerboat racers will vie to win part of a $70,000 prize purse to be paid out to all those who place. The infusion of television, a significant prize purse, two full days of continuous racing, and having the Awards Ceremony right on the beach behind the Sandcastle Resort is expected to attract a much broader demographic to the Sarasota area and increase participation from racers around the world. This year’s festival offers 9 days of fun and excitement across different venues in Sarasota.  

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix

[SCOOP]  A Great Day for Breast Health

Sarasota Memorial’s Breast Health Grant Support Program was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation (SMHF).  This funding will enable SMH’s Breast Health Grant Support Program to continue providing qualifying residents of Sarasota County the breast health screening and diagnostic services they need. With this grant, the program will be able to provide an estimated 665 mammograms, 330 breast ultrasounds, and 30 breast biopsies free of charge. Unlike other free mammogram programs, SMH’s Breast Health Grant Support Program ensures that all qualifying individuals will receive access to the full continuum of breast health care. Any grant recipient diagnosed with breast will be assisted in obtaining Medicaid through the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, and will be given timely access to the medical surgery, treatment and care she needs.  Through this grant, SMHF has helped ensure that all Sarasota County women from all walks of life receive the access they deserve to maintain their breast health.  

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation

[SOON]  Little Black Dress Luncheon & Fashion Show

Goodwill Manasota and the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida are partnering together for an Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show and Luncheon on July 10 at Michael’s on East. The Little Black Dress was re-imagined by Chanel, made popular by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and now a chic standard. It has become trendy to seek out that elusive little black dress at Goodwill locations instead of paying rack price at mainstream retailers. So whether you are looking for a strapless little designer number for a great night of dancing with your girlfriends or a more conservative look for that business cocktail party, you can find it at your local Goodwill stores. Every purchase, including your little black dress and accessories, helps Goodwill achieve its mission of changing lives through the power of work.  

Goodwill Manasota

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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