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SRQ DAILY Jun 8, 2016

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"I wish I could be driving around in a van, just handing out the stuff, because our motto is 'Every life is worth saving,' and that's the bottom line. Every life is worth saving."

- Julia Negron, Suncoast Harm Reduction Project

[Health]  SHRP Brings OD Prevention Training to Sarasota
Lizzy Steiner

On Tuesday night, the Suncoast Harm Reduction Project (SHRP), a local addiction advocacy and activism group, held its first Community Overdose Prevention and Response Training at the Bayside Community Church in Sarasota. Working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Sylvester, a local psychiatrist and addiction specialist, SHRP trained community members in how to use naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of overdose from substances like heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain pills.

Held in the church’s youth group space, a venue that between its all-black walls, high-tech AV equipment and reclaimed wood paneling looks more befitting of a indie rock show than an overdose prevention demonstration, the event was attended by close to forty community members. At one point, children attending the event threw a ball through a mini hoop while their parents attentively observed Dr. Sylvester demonstrating the workings of a talking auto-injector.

The training occurs in the wake of the Florida Emergency Treatment and Recovery Act of 2015, which permits health care providers to prescribe naloxone to those who are either at risk of overdosing or know someone who is. An amendment, effective July 1 of this year, will further increase naloxone access and make obtaining the drug as simple as procuring a flu shot at your local pharmacy and will not require a prior prescription.

“My hope for this week is to save a life. To educate,” said Sylvester. Also known as Narcan, naloxone is a critical tool in stopping opioid overdoses, and he believes that naloxone training should be treated as a responsible, routine preventative measure. Between 1996 and 2014, 26,400 overdose reversals were performed. “If you find your loved one blue, you need to [know how to] act,” said Sylvester. Naloxone access is critical in Manatee County, where opioid abuse has been ruled an epidemic and where, in 2014, the Florida Medical Examiners’ Commission found the most heroin, fentanyl and cocaine-related overdose deaths per capita in the entire state.

SHRP emphasizes Harm Reduction, an approach to substance abuse focused on “treat[ing] addictive illness in a pragmatic, health-orientated way,” according to lead organizer Julia Negron, and moving the conversation “away from punitive measures and incarceration and into the public health arena.” A Certified Addiction Specialist, Negron brings thirty years of experience to her advocacy work, and testified in Tallahassee last year in support of increased naloxone access. For Negron, a recovering addict herself, the issue hits home: both her mother and sister died of overdoses, and her son has struggled with addiction.

"The one and only thing naloxone does is save lives,” said Negron. “We just need to start by saving lives. You hear it over and over again. There’s no recovery if you’re dead.” 

Photo: Julia Negron, lead organizer of Suncoast Harm Reduction Project, at Tuesday night's training.

[Good Bite]  Must Taste: Spotlight on Savor Sarasota
Aviel Kanter, aviel.kanter@srqme.com

Like a good wine or stinky cheese, Sarasota’s culinary scene only gets better with age. Savor Sarasota, our version of “Restaurant Week,” gives the area’s most inventive chefs the arena to craft specialty menus that hone in on their foodie dreams. This year, over 60 local restaurants give Sarasotans a taste of what they’re made of with 14 days of culinary exploration. 

Two restaurants pushing the boundaries of their craft are The Table Creekside and Brasa & Pisco. At The Table, you’ll find three courses full to the brim with subtle spices and melt-in-your mouth adornments. Start with the Roman tenderloin carpaccio—tender slices of blood-red meat easily separate with just a pull of the fork and are sprinkled with tangy teeny bites of pickled cantaloupe and honeydew mignonette. The “can’t miss” aspect of this dish lies in the perfect saltiness of the crunchy, crispy, flaky baked chickpeas. Go for the Chilean sea bass for the entrée; baby pink shrimp and slivers of Albariño grapes compliment the lightweight white fish’s sweetness.

Brasa & Pisco adds a flare of Peruvian deep spice to the palate—lime and cilantro the superstars of the menu. Begin with classic Corvina cevice, a chilled mild fish marinated in fresh-squeezed lime juice, topped with a roasted red bell pepper rocoto sauce, fragrant red onions, grilled choclo corn and chunks of sweet potato. The unassuming “Seco” proves a winner for the entrée—a giant Portobello mushroom steak is cooked in a savory cilantro green sauce with Chilean Carmenere wine and served alongside earthy roasted garlic quinoa. Finish with a trio of traditional Peruvian Alfajores cookies—the dulce de leche is to die for.  

Savor Sarasota; The Table Creekside, 5365 S Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-921-9465, Brasa & Pisco, 8347 Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota, 941-360-0300

[Exec Moves]  Farb Presents at HR Conference

Gail. E. Farb, an attorney at Williams Parker firm recently presented at the 15th Annual Tri-County Human Resource Conference. Held May 20 in Fort Myers, the conference had more than 210 human resource professionals. Farb discussed issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. 

Williams Parker

[Hires]  Bradshaw Joins RE/MAX Alliance Group

Previously at Coldwell Bankers in the Downtown Sarasota office, Del Bradshaw has recently joined RE/MAX Alliance Group in the Venice office as a sales associate. With construction background as a former contractor specializing in high-end remodeling, Bradshaw is able to help clients make the best real estate decisions. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[Recognition]  Seider Group Achieves Platinum Club Award

The Seider Group of RE/MAX Alliance Group in Sarasota has earned the Platinum Club Award for 2015. Specializing in residential and new home construction in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, the award was given to the Seider Group which is given only to 7 percent of all RE/MAX associates worldwide. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[From Teresa Mast]  Zucker's Actions Support Common Core
Teresa Mast

Often politicians seeking re-election will say one thing during an election year while doing another once the election has come to an end.

This dictum came to mind while reading long-time School Board Member Caroline Zucker’s comments in a recent letter to SRQ Daily. Zucker wrote that she is “proud of the Sarasota County School Board as it continues to raise our voice against Common Core.” Interestingly enough, Zucker is president of the Florida School Board Association, a lobbying group in Tallahassee, which supports Common Core as well as Florida State Standards, Florida’s renamed version. The fact is, she was on the FSBA board when their 2015 priorities, which included the continued promotion of Common Core, were approved.

Does Zucker oppose Common Core as a whole or does she just oppose the standardized tests by which teachers and schools in Florida would be evaluated? Her record speaks for itself. She voted to support Common Core in the past and is now back-pedaling during an election year. The state’s tests as they stand are not optimal and work needs to be done. We have to maintain the concept of teacher and school accountability. This has not been a strength of Zucker’s, who has been on the School Board for 18 years.

She also states that her “commitment to critical thinking and development that has proven successful time and again in closing the achievement gap for all students, lowering dropout rates, improving graduation rates.” Again, fact are facts as the current graduation rate for our student body is down from last year at 79.2 percent, that means an average of one out of five students do not graduate in four years.

A School Board member must be proactive to tackle difficult issues in a timely manner. Sarasota County cannot afford four more years of Caroline Zucker. We must come together as a community, teachers, administration and parents to determine the best method to measure our students progress.

Teresa Mast is a candidate for Sarasota County School Board District 2. 

[Inside the Issue]  Reel Talk

This month, SRQ is your source for star-studded intel on the Sarasota Film Festival, now in its 18th year. In Frame of Mind, we go behind the scenes at SFF 2016 and dive headfirst into this year’s festival theme: mental health. Through a combination of in-depth, on-the-ground festival coverage and chats with directors and stars of this year’s festival selections, SRQ uncovered a variety of takes on the issue. Documentary Kate Plays Christine provided a platform for the mental health debate play out in a local context. The film, which follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil’s preparation to take on the role of Christine Chubbuck, the Sarasota newswoman who committed suicide live, on-air in 1974, was followed by a panel discussion bringing together local mental health professionals and the filmmakers. The panel revealed rifts between filmmakersread more to find out why.   

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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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