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SRQ DAILY Aug 13, 2016

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Teresa is the fresh perspective that Sarasota County School Board truly needs. She will provide the much-needed transparency with an ethical viewpoint. "

- Amy Reasor, Teresa Mast supporter

[Under The Hood]  An Alternative Establishment
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

As a rock kid growing up in the 1990s, I loved this thing called “alternative rock” but always cringed at the genre’s name. How could the Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana be labeled alternative when they and cohorts were topping mainstream charts? But then that’s the goal of any underground movement, to overthrow the hair bands and remake Billboard with the sounds of a new era.

I thought of this Thursday as I watched Republican Party of Sarasota chairman Joe Gruters take the stage to emcee a Donald Trump rally in Central Florida. Trump, of course, is famously anti-establishment, enough so that it seemed difficult for him to endorse some incumbent Republican senators with whom he has quibbled before. Gruters, though, seems a man determined to bring Trump into widespread acceptance. Perhaps he can see victory requires more than defeating the establishment; you have to make a new establishment.

In Florida, that effort may be further along than many other states. Gruters himself, after all, holds a lot of clout in the state party as vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott opted against endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican primary this year, then threw in with The Donald as soon as voters expressed a liking for the eventual Republican nominee. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, still the most likely successor to the governor’s mansion once Scott is term-limited in 2014, also jumped on the Trump Train, albeit her motivations have been criticized in the wake of a decision not to pursue an investigation of Trump University.

Is that enough to win Florida this November? Anything can happen, but Trump hasn’t been the best at becoming more radio-friendly, repeating controversial statements and complaining about media, who regularly get booed at rallies. But his message has fared better in the South than other states. A Pollster.com aggregate shows Trump trailing Hillary Clinton 42.2 percent to 44.3 percent, within most error margins, even the aggregate shows him lagging nationally with 36.2 percent to Clinton’s 44 percent.

The strength of the Democratic establishment in Florida, of course, has been inconsistent for many years, but seems to be having a good year in the discipline department. Bernie Sanders could never scale up his exuberant primary campaign enough to compete with the established Clinton in a state as populous as Florida, and in the Senate race here, the Obama Administration-backed Patrick Murphy seems to be pulling away from counter-culture hero Alan Grayson in the Democratic primary.

Of course, Rubio seems to be faring far better in his incumbent Senate primary than he did with his presidential ambitions. It would be a shock if Bradenton developer Carlos Beruff, a candidate who describes himself as one in the same vein as Rick Scott, defeated Rubio in the Republican primary later this month.

But no doubt, the anti-establishment Republicans in Florida have at least become a second establishment themselves. Rank Republicans once wary of Scott when he challenged political fixture Bill McCollum for the governor’s seat six years ago carried him to re-election two years ago.

It’s easier to beat the establishment in an off-year than it is when the presidency is at stake. But even if Florida doesn’t go red this November, it very likely will be a closer race than in other swing states. But come 2018, what seemed an alternative movement in Florida not long ago just may be the new Republican sound.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor to SRQ Media Group. 

[Letter from Amy Reasor]  A Fresh and Ethical Perspective
Amy Reasor

As a parent of a current student in the public school system, specifically a freshman at Pine View, and also parent of a 2009 Pine View graduate, I am writing this letter to express my opinion on the current Sarasota County School Board race.

I have personally known Teresa Mast for over 20 years. I got to know Teresa through our children as they attended school together. I know Teresa as that person who is honest and hardworking with high expectations for her children and the school system that helped to provide the educational platform for their success. She has first-hand experience with our school system as both of her two grown daughters were educated in Sarasota County Schools.

As a former Sarasota County employee, she worked with tenacity for over 10 years in community outreach and handled business relations throughout the county.  Since 1992, Teresa has also been the owner of a small business providing jobs and economic stimulus to our community.

Teresa is the fresh perspective that Sarasota County School Board truly needs.  She will provide the much-needed transparency with an ethical viewpoint. I am voting for Teresa Mast as she provides a level of integrity that genuinely represents the entire community. 

Amy Reasor is a parent of a student at Pine View School. 

[From Steve Largo]  Continue With Outstanding Leadership
Steve Largo

During my 25 years as Principal with the Sarasota County School District, I had the privilege of working with a number of outstanding school board members. Certainly on that list was Caroline Zucker.

For over 17 years, Caroline demonstrated the care and concern for children and teachers that have become her trademark. Her focus on student learning instead of testing, her support of the referendum, and the role she played with the " Do The Right Thing " program are just a few examples of the positive impact she has had on our schools. In addition, Caroline was an active participant at our schools. Year in and year out, she showed up to offer her support and encouragement to children, parents and staff.

Mrs. Zucker always led by example. She is a role model for all of us and a child advocate who has made a difference. We need to provide her with the opportunity to continue to make that difference. She has my vote on August 30 for Sarasota County School Board.

Steve Largo is former principal of Pine View School. 

[SCOOP]  Thank You Sarasota

Sarasota locals rejoice! A co–op of downtown restaurants will be hosting the first annual Thank You Sarasota–Dine Downtown–Restaurant Week from August 18t to August 31. All participating restaurants will be offering special Thank You Sarasota lunch and dinner menus. Order an entrée from any of the ‘Thank You’ menus and receive one free bonus item at lunch, and two at dinner. Participating restaurants include Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood., El Greco Café Made Salute Ristorante Enoteca State Street Eating House + Cocktails and Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill.  

Thank You Sarasota

[SCOOP ]  Something to Smile About

Good news for Sarasota County residents 18 or older who need dental care but cannot afford it. The Friendship Centers and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County are joining forces to provide dental care for qualified adults. To qualify you must be below 200% of federal poverty guidelines. Eligibility screenings are conducted on a walk–in basis at the Sarasota County Health Department, located at 2200 Ringling Boulevard.  

The Friendship Center

[SCOOP ]  USFSM Launches Dual Enrollment

High school students in Sarasota will soon be able to earn college credit under a new dual–enrollment program at USF Sarasota–Manatee. Kicking off in Spring 2017, dual enrollment will enable high school juniors and seniors to get a jump on college by taking classes at USFSM’s campus provided they meet certain academic requirements. Once the program launches, the campus will be able to accommodate up to 150 dual–enrollment students over the course of the academic year. Under this agreement dual–enrollment students will be able take up to two classes per semester provided they have an unweighted grade point average of 3.5 or higher.  

USF Sarasota Manatee

[KUDOS ]  Goodwill's Good GRACE

GRACE Project is celebrating one year of helping people who are entering the workforce through employment services and a makeover. GRACE (Goodwill Returning Ambitious, Confident people to Employment) was created through a partnership with 92.1 CTQ radio personality Maverick Johnson and NUOVO Salons. GRACE participants who are already receiving career counseling from Goodwill’s Job Connection offices or Veterans Services Program receive clothing from Goodwill, on–air support from Maverick and a hair and makeup tutorial from stylists at NUOVO to help them during the interview and employment process. In the past year, GRACE has helped half a dozen people gain confidence in their appearance. 


Goodwill Manasota

[KUDOS ]  Grand Prix Festival Economic Impact

A recent Visit Sarasota County report measured the economic impact of the 32nd Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix festival to be $37,165,654 with 18,300 hotel room nights generated. This is a significant increase over last year's economic impact estimate of $32 million. Powerboat P1 USA sanctioned this year's race with 60 AquaX racers and 33 powerboat race teams participating. Domestic broadcast networks such as Fox Sports, NBC Sports MAV TV and the Nautical Channel are currently airing one-hour specials on the Grand Prix Race into 63 Million households, while international broadcasters are airing in 140 countries worldwide. Suncoast Charities for Children, which produces the entire festival is expected to net just over $100,000 for the charity. Total expenses for the charity to produce the Grand Prix festival and July 4th Bayfront Fireworks averages approximately $300,000 each year. Next year's festival is scheduled to take place from June 24 to July 4, 2017.   

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix

[KUDOS ]  Calming Belt

Child Protection Center recently received a generous donation of Sensory Belts from Creator Matt Bruback to help assist children during the evaluation and rehabilitation process. The belts have been proven to help calm children suffering from anxiety and sensory related disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Local Occupational Therapist Kristen Bohan stated, “Children often experience an improved calmness and centering with this simple tool. Parents and teachers love the ease of having access to something with immediate impact to help children succeed throughout their day.” 



Child Protection Center

[SCOOP]  Youth Opera World Premiere

After a nationwide search, Sarasota Opera is proud to announce that composer and librettist Rachel J. Peters has been commissioned to compose Sarasota Youth Opera’s next world premiere. Ms. Peters’ opera, Rootabaga Country was selected over 12 other submissions. This will be the sixth opera commissioned by the Sarasota Youth Opera program which is slated to premiere in November of 2017.  

Sarasota Opera

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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