« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

SRQ DAILY Nov 21, 2015

"Most literature on this subject traces the roots of concentrated poverty to our country's unfortunate history and lingering effects of racial discrimination related to housing, education and employment. "

- Thomas Barwin, Sarasota City Manager

[Government]  Our Fight to Deconcentrate Poverty
Tom Barwin, Thomas.Barwin@sarasotagov.com

If you have a few minutes this pre-Thanksgiving weekend, I would encourage you to Google the term “Concentrated Poverty.” For those who may not have the time, here is the Wikipedia definition: “... areas of concentrated poverty place additional burdens on poor families that live within them, beyond what the families own individual circumstances would dictate … limiting economic potential and social cohesion.”

The Brookings Institute has documented that the “concentration of poverty results in higher crime rates, underperforming public schools, poor housing and health services, as well as limited access to private services and job opportunities.”

Most literature on this subject traces the roots of concentrated poverty to our country's unfortunate history and lingering effects of racial discrimination related to housing, education and employment. As a City Manager for 35 years who constantly reviews community data and history, I believe this is true.

As Sarasota's historically segregated community of Newtown proudly celebrated its 100-year anniversary this year, the enthusiasm, optimism and commitment to progress and economic development has been palpable. Newtown and city leaders have been quietly and effectively making important strides over the past decade to break the bonds of concentrated poverty that engulf and frustrate so many minority communities across America. It's not an easy fight.

Space does not allow me to share all of the progress and many exciting initiatives currently underway but the recent investments to modernize housing at Janie's Garden, opening the well run Robert L. Taylor Community Center and rebuilding the new Booker High School are paying dividends and have lifted community spirits. These important investments have begun to stimulate private sector investment. The vision of restoring Newtown's once functional and vibrant main street, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is within reach. 

As momentum builds, Sarasota and Newtown are poised to do something over the next decade that few communities have accomplished. Overcoming historic geographic poverty by, with and for the people living within its reaches is an attainable goal our community is committed to achieving.

The first rule to the formula of breaking the cycle of concentrated poverty is similar to a guiding principle for physicians, “First, do no harm.”

Why is this important? It explains the strong and legitimate community reaction to the plan announced this week by Sarasota County to place a 250-bed, 24/7/365, “come-and-go-as- you-are” jail diversion facility on Myrtle Street near the Robert L. Taylor Community Center at Myrtle and 301. We anticipate 50 beds for homeless and 200 beds for offenders.

As the City and Newtown strive to overcome the seemingly intractable challenge of concentrated poverty, permanently adding 250 of the region’s most challenging health and socioeconomic cases to Sarasota neighborhoods is perceived at best to be yet another example of governmental indifference.

Policies that place extraordinary burdens and pressures on poor areas keep poor neighborhoods poor. This example is especially troubling when other options exist which are less expensive, faster to implement, enjoy far better buffers and are not in close proximity to a community center frequented by large numbers of children.

On behalf of Newtown and the City, I respectfully urge our County Commissioners to listen to their constituents. They have legitimate concerns. Reconsider the outrageously bad advice you are following from the out-of-state consultant. He clearly has no interest in or sensitivity to issues related to concentrated poverty, the historic struggle Newtown is overcoming and the opportunities ahead if not derailed by such an ill-conceived plan.

Let us strive together to do no harm and in the affirmative aspiration of the Athenian Oath, “Let us transmit this city greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.” 

Thomas Barwin is city manager for the City of Sarasota. 

[Higher Education]  Strategic Priority No. 1
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

An education from the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, must be available to every student in our region who is willing to do the hard work necessary to achieve their educational dreams. As our population grows and migrates, we must have educational opportunities available for our students through classroom and virtual modalities. We will boldly engage our community to design these necessary solutions.

The first strategic priority in our recently launched 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is to ensure that SCF programs are available to students in all geographic locations of our service region. We are seeing dynamic growth in both Manatee and Sarasota Counties and we know that student needs change over time. We have to match our delivery methods to the needs of our students and be accessible to all students in our service area.

We must begin planning now, specifically for the areas east of Interstate-75 and north of the Manatee River. Permanent buildings and campus amenities take years to design and build so we will begin now to identify existing facilities where we can provide classes or even entire programs in the communities in this region that are rapidly developing. We need to be innovative and integrate cutting edge education right where our new neighbors work, live and play. It is imperative that we remain part of the fabric that serves our citizens.

Ensuring programs are available to students in all geographic locations also means implementing virtual online services to assist students who choose to take on-line degree-producing courses at their most convenient place and time. We know that just because students take online classes, it doesn’t mean they want an entirely virtual college experience. Many students will take a mix of online and on-campus classes and those online students still want access to traditional campus resources and experiences.

Planning for future growth does not mean we will ignore our traditions. Ensuring access means in particular that our SCF Venice campus develops flagship programs that address the unique educational needs of the area and that attract students to our Venice campus as South County continues to grow.

We will look at centralizing our high cost/high demand health science programs within our two-county service area. Would putting them at our Lakewood Ranch campus provide greater access? We will answer that question and take the appropriate measures to ensure that all students have easy access to our programs.

The most innovative, productive and vibrant communities in America today have integrated higher education within the fabric of the community. This is my goal for the State College of Florida and Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

Where you are … we will be, building the future together since 1957.

Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[Argus]  Thankful For Community Leaders
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Sarasota’s history is rich with community leaders who transformed it into what we see today. Residents and visitors enjoy the wonderful features and amenities that make it such a coveted place to live, it’s hard to imagine what the future has in store. At the recent 14th annual Argus Lifetime Achievement awards, I found myself overwhelmingly proud to be a part of a community with such proven leadership on several levels. This has been demonstrated from our community’s early founders, and continues to this day. This year, our board chose to honor Reverend Don Roberts and T. Mabry Carlton. Each have given the community the gift of visionary leadership and a philanthropic spirit. 

Roberts led Goodwill Manasota from 1977 until his retirement in 2012. Under his leadership, the nonprofit powerhouse grew from three to 45 locations throughout Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Hardee counties. He applied business principles to a non-profit and served a public need. Not only did he grow the stores, but the former Argus President increased revenues by close to 100 percent and was responsible for creating thousands of jobs and housing countless during his tenure. 

T. Mabry Carlton, our posthumous honoree, was an eighth generation Floridian, rancher and notable Sarasota County philanthropist. The former Sarasota County Commissioner played a critical role in the County’s purchase of a 24,000-acre natural preserve that so many continue to enjoy today as the Mabry Carlton Memorial Reserve. This cattleman’s dedication to public service and his focus on water resources created a legacy that still stand the test of time. Of course, having two amazing daughters who have created public service and philanthropic legacies of their own was his ultimate gift to us.  

Both men left lasting impacts that will be remembered for years to come. As we honored them, I found myself looking around the room at the many modern community leaders and philanthropists and was humbled by the great responsibility we all share to care for this wonderful community. I was also moved by the number of young faces in the crowd and felt another responsibility of passing along the importance of legacy to the next generation. That was epitomized by a comment from Barbara Carlton. She noted how important it was for her grandchildren to be present to see Mabry honored 26 years after his death, and to understand his impact on the community. With young kids of my own, that statement stuck with me. What can we do today to ensure a rich, successful future that continues to honor our past? The answer, I believe, lies in her comment: Our community will continue to be great with the passing of this legacy of leadership onto the next generation. 

In a month when we are all concentrating on giving thanks, I am—among many other things—thankful to be part of a community like this one. With diverse voices all united in the common goal of moving forward proactively, we can impart this outlook to our children and grandchildren.

Christine Robinson is executive director for The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  A BIG Month for Innovation
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

The past two weeks were big ones for innovation on the Gulf Coast.

Last Monday, Gulf Coast Community Foundation announced the winner of our inaugural Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge. Healthy Earth–Gulf Coast, as the top team dubbed itself, is creating a sustainable seafood system that stands to transform an industry segment within our region’s Blue Economy.

The team aims to build a billion-dollar seafood industry here through sustainable-fishery certification, improved use of catch, a state-of-the-art processing plant in Manatee County and development of new international markets for locally sourced seafood and other value-added products. Their project also would negate environmental impacts of some current fishing practices. Ground zero for this sustainable economic engine is Sarasota Bay and the heritage fishing community of Cortez, hit so hard by a net ban two decades ago. I’d say that project meets our original challenge to “save our seas, feed our communities, and grow our Blue Economy.”

Of course, our foundation didn’t create the Healthy Earth team or its idea. Nor will our $375,000 in grants fully build out the team’s multipurpose processing plant. But Gulf Coast did help bring them together in the first place, as several team members initially met at a marine-science roundtable convened through our Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast initiative. And our funds will pay for key pieces of the “sustainability” aspect of their vision, ensuring a meaningful public benefit as well as a differentiator that other coastal communities will want to look at.

Even better, our Challenge helped spur other new and unlikely partnerships that, while not winners in this competition, are nonetheless poised to become winners for our community and beyond. Projects led by Mote Marine Laboratory to develop new medicines from the sea and improve water-filtration technology, and by Selby Gardens to create ecologically friendly “living seawalls”—those are just a few innovations to gain real momentum since the launch of our Challenge. 

This incentive-grant challenge is just one timely example of the role philanthropy can and should play in economic development. As a community foundation, we’ve long believed that a healthy economy helps everyone, so that’s a place to invest our time and resources. And for our region’s particular changing characteristics, an innovation-based economy is where we should aim. To be communities that attract active retirees and young professionals alike; that can retain talented youth and provide jobs with family-sustaining wages; that leverages and sustains the cultural and environmental assets we cherish—that all requires an economy fueled by innovation, not dependent on services and seasons.

I mentioned two weeks of innovation highlights. Before our Challenge finale, the Sarasota-Manatee area spent a week showcasing companies, institutions and people transforming the healthcare industry with the region’s first-ever Health Innovation Week. Coordinated by the EDCs of Sarasota County and the Bradenton Area (a collaboration that itself exemplifies the effort’s regional vision), the week comprised open houses, a conference and an expo, as well as media focus on the diverse and thriving activity that could transform the Gulf Coast into a center of health innovation. Check out www.HealthInnovationProject.com to learn more. 

True innovation isn’t about special events or moments in time. It comes from a mindset, and it must be relentless. Gulf Coast laid out a roadmap to help move our region toward an innovation economy back in 2013, and while the tactics and execution evolve, the underlying strategy remains as solid as ever.

Events and achievements like those earlier this month are exciting manifestations of the continuous hard work of so many innovators in our community. As a community foundation, Gulf Coast and our donors are committed to the research, collaboration and investments that it takes to reach them and grow beyond. 

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[From Sonia Pressman Fuentes]  Christian Values Shouldn't Dictate Policy

I have suggested to Planned Parenthood that they comment on the substance of Jesse Biter’s comments in SRQ Daily. Mr. Biter was responding to Susan Nilon’s column, “Pro-Birth Vs. Pro-Life,” in the Oct. 31 edition of SRQ Daily.

I, however, would like to comment on Mr. Biter’s references to “Christian values,” which he states Ms. Nilon referred to. I fail to see that “Christian values,” whatever those are, have any place in this discussion of pro-birth vs. pro-life. This country is still predominately populated by Christians, although their percentage in the general population has fallen starkly. However, it is also populated by people belonging to a multitude of other faiths—or of no faith. It would be well if those who refer to “Christian values” remember that while those may be their values, they are not necessarily the values of about 30 percent of our population.

Sonia Pressman Fuentes, author of Eat First—You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter, responding to the letter "No Need to Back Planned Parenthood" in the Nov. 14 edition of SRQ Daily. 

[SCOOP]  Mariners Club SRQ Celebration

Janet Walter of Michael Saunders & Company recently partnered with Barton & Gray to highlight and celebrate the company’s Mariners Club at a  soiree on Longboat Key.  Guests attending the “Future of Yachting" fete sipped cocktails on one of Barton and Gray's signature Hinckley Yachts and learned the benefits of the Mariners Club’s hassel-free luxury yachting. The Mariners Club offers Membership in a fleet of crewed Hinckley Yachts throughout the Eastern seaboard. Members have unlimited annual access to the entire fleet and a crew organizing and facilitating incredible experiences on the water in fabulous ports and destinations including Palm Beach, Nantucket, Newport, The Hamptons, New york and many more. A resident of Longboat and Lido keys for 20 years, Walter is Barton & Gray’s exclusive Sarasota/Bradenton area realtor with the ability to show waterfront property via Hinckley Yacht. Walter can be reached at 941-232-2000 or janetwalter@michaelsaunders.com. To learn more about Barton & Gray’s Mariners Club click on the link below.  

Barton & Gray Mariners Club

[SCOOP]  Manatee Memorial Hospital Offers New Heart Failure Monitoring Solution

Manatee Memorial Hospital is the first facility on Florida’s West Coast to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF). The CardioMEMS HF System™ is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. “The CardioMEMS HF System is a new and exciting tool in the outpatient management and treatment of patients with heart failure,” said Joseph Pace, MD, the cardiologist who performed the first three procedures at Manatee Memorial Hospital in October. “Once implanted into the pulmonary artery, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system located in the cardiologist’s office. The cardiologist can detect any changes and adjust treatment.” 

Manatee memorial Hospital

[SCOOP]  Selah Freedom Celebrates Support

Selah Freedom celebrated their third annual Take Back The City VIP Vision Night to celebrate, highlight and show gratitude to their champion supporters. They shared how support from the community and Manatee and Sarasota law enforcement is helping them bring light into the darkness of sex trafficking, and presented their vision for the future to reach more survivors.  The organization unveiled a video titled #IAmYourDaughter that captures the heart of why Selah Freedom does what it does. Every girl is someone's daughter, she could even be yours. To view the video and learn more about Selah Freedom click on the link below. 

Selah Freedom

[SOON]  Dan Rather To Discuss Mental Health Crisis
Emmy Award-winning Dan Rather, whose investigative reporting has made him a legend in broadcast journalism, will present "America's Mental Health Crisis," on December 5 at the Sarasota Opera House. Rather will lead a local panel of experts from Sarasota Memorial and the Salvation Army as they discuss how severe this problem has become for individuals, hospitals and law enforcement agencies throughout the US and right here in Sarasota. The event is free and open to the public however registration is required. Call 941-925-2970 or email kimkanconnect@gmail.com

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

[SCOOP]  Holiday Dangers For Pets

In all the flurry of decorating and entertaining during the holiday season, our beloved pets may be exposed to hazards less commonly found other times of the year. Pets may be intrigued by new sights, smells and tastes that could be harmful. Cat Depot will host a “Holiday Dangers for Pets” presentation by Dr. Laurie Putnam, on December 3 from 6-7pm in Cat Depot’s Education and Activity Center in Sarasota. Dr. Putman will present an overview of potential dangers to both cats and dogs  during the holidays. The class is free with a suggested donation of Friskies wet cat food or any brand of dry cat food. 

Cat Depot

[SOON]  Re-imagine, Re-focus and Re-invent YOU While Caregiving

"Re-imagine, Re-focus and Re-invent YOU While Caregiving," a free interactive workshop hosted by the Friendship Centers, in collaboration with AARP, is slated in Venice and Sarasota in December. The program is designed to help individuals caring for a loved one learn new strategies for self-care, explore the emotional experience of caregiving and discover their individual talents. “My thoughts, My feelings, My fears,” presented by Miriam Lacher, LMHC, will focus on learning to let go, breathing for increased self-awareness, and resources to inspire and educate. Barbara Dondero, MFA, will share how to “Access Your Inner Wisdom,” using art to gain intuitive insights and find answers to challenges and problem. The Venice workshop will be held at the Venice Friendship Center Community Room on December 2. Registration is at 12:30 pm and workshop is from 1–4pm. Call 941-584-0071 to register by November 20. The Sarasota workshop will be held at the at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County on December 9, with registration at 8:30 am, and the workshop from 9am-noon. Call 941-556-3268 to register by November 25.  

The Friendship Centers

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

Copyright © 2024 by SRQ Media Group, 331 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Powered by Sarasota Web Design | Unsubscribe

Read More

Driven by Honor, Soured by Division

Driven by Honor, Soured by Division

Jacob Ogles | Apr 1, 2024

A Class Act

A Class Act

Dylan Campbell | Apr 1, 2024

Return of the Roaring Twenties

Return of the Roaring Twenties

Laura Paquette | Apr 1, 2024

Versatile Venue

Versatile Venue

Laura Paquette | Apr 1, 2024