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SRQ Daily Sep 26, 2017

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"We need people in Tallahassee who understand the science behind environmental policy."

- Alexandra Coe, state House candidate

[Politics]  Coe Runs on Sustainability Platform in District 72
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

After years of working as a consultant lobbying elected officials, Alexandra Coe says she got the bug to run herself. After an unsuccessful attempt to run for Sarasota County Commission without party affiliation, she’s now eyeing a special election to represent state House District 72. This time she’s running as a Republican, but still hoping to buck the system. “I’m not interested in politics to become a career politician,” she says. “I do have this make-the-world-a-better-place disease I can’t seem to shake.”

A trained anthropologist and sustainability consultant, Coe has worked with the United Nations on crisis programs around the world, and also been involved in local education efforts about the agricultural economy. Should she be elected to the Florida Legislature, she hopes that expertise will help the state deal with environmental issues. “I understand what is and isn’t climate change and global warming,” she says. “Florida’s environment is our economy. It supports tourism and the second economic engine that we have: agriculture. We need people in Tallahassee who understand the science behind environmental policy.”

She also expects issues like health care to become critical as new directives come from Washington, D.C. to the state capital, and wants to champion women’s issues from a seat in the House.

Long involved in Libertarian politics, Coe says she left third-party politics in part because of disenchantment around the 2016 election cycle. She had been among attendees at the Libertarian National Convention last year, when presidential candidate Gary Johnson emerged on second ballot.

Coe says she’s had an eye on this legislative seat for sometime, really since former Rep. Ray Pilon announced he would not run for re-election in 2016. But she stayed out of that contest, fresh off her county-wide run in 2014, and Alex Miller ended up winning the seat last November. But Miller resigned the seat earlier this year; Coe heard about the impending special election while traveling in Europe and decided to file for the seat after she returned home. While she did not qualify by petition, Coe says she’s raising money this week to pay the qualification fee. Candidates must qualify by noon Friday.

Coe right now faces Republican James Buchanan in a Dec. 5 Republican primary. Democrats Margaret Rowell Good and Ruta Jouniari have also filed, as has Libertarian Alison Foxall. The special election is set for Feb. 13. 

[Traffic]  The Greater Sarasota Chamber Aims to Turn Concerned Citizens into Traffic Policy Experts
Wes Roberts

Sarasota’s most dedicated policy wonks gathered last night at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota to hear “A Comprehensive Review of Mobility, Transportation, and Local Congestion.” It says a lot about our community that more than fifty interested community members, as well as current and past city commissioners, were eager to spend their evening learning the nitty-gritty of such arcane subjects.

The program was the first in a series of six called Grid Un-Locked, organized by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Tablesiede Restaurant Group, and SRQ Media. The guest speaker, Demian Miller, a principal with transport and community planning firm Tindale Oliver, held forth for nearly 50 minutes on a wide range of related topics. It was the first installment of what Sarasota Chamber President Kevin Cooper described as a “six class course” designed to turn community members into experts.

Miller warned the audience that it was going to be detail heavy. He covered the ranking system for the average travel speeds of throughways--designated “A” through “F”--which can be a bit misleading as it does not reflect the same pass/fail judgment as school grades. Participants learned details about the pneumatic hoses that they drive over on occasion in the road and how data gathered from them is used to evaluate traffic patterns, including the particular information of how high a spike is expected during “rush hour” traffic for a given street. Miller shared the interesting tidbit that traffic intensity is judged based on the 100th highest hour from any given year. This 100th hour system caused some concern in the audience as questioners wondered if a seasonal community such as Sarasota might be incorrectly evaluated by the method.

Perhaps most surprising was the fact that the amount of traffic on the roads in the Sarasota area has increased far less than you might think. Traffic is driven in large part by both population growth and the economy. Nationwide traffic per capita has been depressed for the past decade and has only recently seen a fast increase as the economy has rebounded.

The population of the City of Sarasota over the past twenty-five years has grown less than 1% percent a year, while the population of Sarasota County has grown less than 2% per a year over the same period. Florida has grown at nearly twice that rate with some counties averaging as high as 5.5% per year. The growth of the city population, even over such a long window of time, has been relatively incremental. The faster-growing surrounding county has increased by about 30%.

“The point I make, and it is something that most of you probably know intuitively," says Miller, "the changes in traffic around the city, particularly when you get up around the interstate, are probably more about what’s happening with the government in the unincorporated part of the county or other cities in the county than what’s happening within [the city of ] Sarasota. You’ve got what you can control and that should be your main priority, and you’ve got what influences you and that should be your number two priority.”

Another unexpected piece of information is that fully half of all traffic slowdowns and delays are the results of car accidents and the post-accident period of traffic disruption. The single best thing that city drivers could do to keep everyone moving smoothly is to not hit each other. Easier said than done, but it is an area that traffic planners take seriously as they explore ways to improve traffic safety with techniques like adjusting the timing of traffic signals, and using visual signifiers to help drivers not miss important signs and traffic markings. A tip Miller shared with attendees is that when you see a traffic signal with an unusually large yellow frame surrounding it, it is probably that way because many drivers before you have crashed their way through that intersection. Approach with caution, be safe, and keep the streets flowing smoothly.

If this deep-dive on traffic and transport has caught your interest, reserve your seat at the remaining five events in the series by visiting the Greater Sarasota Chamber’s events calendar. 

Click here for future events,

[Politics]  Three Qualify Via Petition in District 72

Three candidates on Monday qualified via citizen petition for an upcoming special election in state House District 72. Republican James Buchanan, Democrat Margaret Good and Libertarian Alison Foxall all collected more than the required 305 signed petitions from registered voters within the district, according to Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner. The deadline to qualify by petition was Monday at 5pm. Two other candidates, Republican Alexandra Coe and Democrat Ruta Jouniari, have also filed for the seat. Candidates may still qualify by paying a filing fee of $1,781.82 for partisan candidates and $1,187.88 for candidates running with no party affiliation. The deadline to qualify through the fee is Friday at noon. A primary election, if necessary, is scheduled for Dec. 5, with the special election set for Feb. 13. 

[Recognition]  Eight Williams Parker Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers

Eight Williams Parker attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The attorneys named to the 2018 list include Charles D. Bailey, Jr. (Land Use and Zoning), John T. Berteau (Trusts and Estates), Ric Gregoria (Trusts and Estates), Michele B. Grimes (Real Estate Law), J. Michael Hartenstine (Real Estate Law), William M. Seider (Real Estate Law), James L. Turner (Real Estate Law and Trusts and Estates) and E. John Wagner, II (Tax Law). Selection to Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising over six million confidential evaluations by the country’s top attorneys. Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is a singular honor. All eight Williams Parker attorneys selected have previously been named to the annual list. 

Williams Parker

[Recognition]  Centauri Ranked Among Fastest Growing Companies

Centauri Insurance, a Sarasota-based property and casualty insurance provider operating across nine states, was recently ranked #99 among the Business Observer’s 2017 Gulf Coast Top 500 companies reflecting a 28-percent growth from the previous year’s listings. The Business Observer annually ranks the top 500 companies from Polk to Collier County by their gross revenues. This year's ranking is based on 2016 gross revenues which topped $151.6 million compared with gross revenues of $118.3 million in 2015, which previously earned Centauri the #102 spot. Centauri has achieved this recognition for the past four years due to their financial strength, solid performance and continued growth in the insurance industry. To provide needed space to accommodate its consistent pattern of growth, Centauri recently completed construction of a new 30,000-square-foot facility, which now houses its corporate headquarters in Lakewood Ranch. 

Centauri Insurance

[Expansion]  Neal Communities Debuts 'Independence' Design

Neal Communities, southwest Florida’s premier, private homebuilder, is debuting a new two-story floor plan, the Independence, at Indigo, a gated, island-resort style community in Lakewood Ranch. At 2,104 square feet, the Independence is an open design that features three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage. The layout has a gourmet kitchen, a large island and a cafe-styled dining space. A large walk-in closet along with two sinks, walk-in shower and water closet complete the master retreat. Flexible space options for the plan include an additional bonus room, extra bedroom and bath as well as an outdoor kitchen. 

Neal Communities

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: SB2 Rumble: How Will STOP! Impact Our Economy and Growth? , September 26, 5:30-7pm

What will be the impact of the recent STOP! movement on economic growth and the quality of projects in our region? Join us at the Mildred Sainer Pavlion at New College for lively debates on issues that some consider “too hot to handle” where our modified Oxford-style debate gives us civil discourse designed to sway through both factual information and rhetorical skill. Attendees are asked their position on the topic of the day before and after the debate–the success of the participants being judged on those they sway from their initial positions. 

Mildred Sainer Pavilion, New College, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243

[TODAY]  THEATER: You Can't Take It With You , September 26 – October 15, Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm

In this play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, enjoy an American comedy classic centering around the life of the eccentric Sycamore family. When the only daughter with a normal job invites her fiancé and his family for dinner, the household erupts into chaos. Tickets are $25 for adults, $17 for college students and $15 for children.

Venice Theatre, 140 West Tampa Ave.,Venice

[SOON]  THEATER: The Will Rogers Follies , September 28 – October 15

Anyone who has heard of Will Rogers knows his signature phrase:  “I’ve never met a man I didn’t like”. This philosophy is the jumping off point for this showy piece of Americana that follows his many accomplishments as well as his tumultuous personal life. It was the winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best original score!

The Players Theatre, 838 N Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Beehive: The '60s Musical , September 28 – October 22, Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm

This musical will go back in time to the days of miniskirts, transistor radios and flower power. Told from the perspective of six young women who came of age in this enigmatic decade, the muscial looks back on the challenges they facesd alongside memorable songs from the era. Tickets are $30 for adults, $17 for college students and $15 for children.

Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice

[SOON]  FOOD: Dining for a Difference , September 28, 5pm to close

Dine at one of 18 participating restaurants to support local nonprofits through this event. Restaurants will donate 15% of food and beverage sales from 5pm to close to the Designing Daughters Grant Program, which will benefit a variety of Sarasota area charities and causes.

[SOON]  SPORTS: Row for the Cure , October 1

In honor of the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a "Row for the Cure Erg-a-Thon" will be hosted. Stationary rowing machines on land will be used to provide access to participants who do not have any previous rowing experience. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Forty Carrots 15th Anniversary Educational Community Speaker Event , October 3, 7:00pm

The not-for-profit Forty Carrots Family Center is commemorating 15 years of free annual education talks with its most prominent speaker to date. Dr. Siegel will explain how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that children can lead balanced, meaningful and connected lives by drawing insights from his best-selling book, The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind.  Dr. Siegel will offer parents, teachers and other professional strategies to nurture children’s minds at all ages, survive everyday parenting struggles, and help your family thrive. Along with Dr. Siegel’s sage advice, attendees will receive a free copy of the book and Sarasota County educators will have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits (CEUs). While admission is free, tickets are required and available starting August 1.

Riverview High School Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL 34231

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig , October 6

Don't let Mote's snook tournament be "the one that got away!" On October 6 and 7, 2017, anglers can join our William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig- a catch, sample and release tournament targeting snook released by scientists from Mote’s Fisheries Ecology and Enhancement Program and our colleagues at Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Anglers of all ages can take home prizes (and new fish stories) in this tournament on Sarasota Bay. Participants will help Mote scientists find out how snook fare after being raised and released into the wild by Mote and FWC staff. 

Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Prkwy., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Aftermath: The Fallout of War - America and the Middle East , October 8 – January 21

Active in the US and Middle East, the artists in the exhibition depict the conditions and people caught in the crossfire of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, and Israel from a variety of perspectives. The artists included are Lynsey Addario, Jananne Al-Ani, Jennifer Karady, Gloriann Liu, Rania Matar, Eman Mohammed, Farah Nosh, Suzanne Opton, Michal Rovner, Stephen Dupont, Ben Lowy and Simon Norfolk.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: 12th Annual Key To The Cure , October 12, 5:30-9:00pm

This year marks the 12th Anniversary that Saks Fifth Avenue is partnering with Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation to present Key to the Cure! To date, this event has raised more than $1,300,000 to further breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical cancer research and related projects in the Sarasota/Manatee community. This year's "Party with a Purpose" event will feature food, beverages, entertainment, shopping and an exclusive "chance drawing" that is sure to engage, excite and empower!


Saks Fifth Avenue, 120 University Town Center Drive Sarasota, Florida 34243

[SOON]  DANCE: SCD + Piazzolla , October 12 – October 15

The highly anticipated collaboration with renowned Harpist, Ann Hobson Pilot and Violinist, Tai Murray is a performance inspired by and to the music of Astor Pantaleon Piazzolla.

Jane B Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Anna in the Tropics , October 12 – October 29, 8pm

Go back in time to a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929 Florida. Lectors are employed to educate and entertain the workers, and when a new one comes to a certain factor and reads aloud from Anna Karenina, he influences the lives of his listeners. 

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Phil LedererNote: 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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