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SRQ Daily Oct 4, 2017

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"To pay someone $8 an hour when the average rent is $1,000 a month, even if they work full-time they can't afford to live in Sarasota and in District 72."

- Ruta Jouniari, State House District 72 candidate

[Politics]  Jouniari Focused on Economic Issues
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Ruta Jouniari found herself walking through the migrant food camps of Immokalee speaking with residents savaged by wind and flooding but virtually ignored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The founder of Universal Crescent Clinic always felt drawn to provide medical resources for the poor, so she soon worked with a local Baptist church establishing a tent city complete with medical clinic to help care for the population. “We’ll be dispensing medicines for free. Dermatologists will do suturing,” she says. “I’m just so proud of people in Sarasota helping make this happen.”

She took care of some other business last week too, filing her paperwork and qualifying fee to run for state House in a special election in District 72. The Democrat plans to bring her passion for the economically disadvantaged to her platform as well, and hopes, should she represent the area in Tallahassee, to fight for a higher minimum wage and broader accessibility to health care in Florida.

The Boston native today runs two companies: International Staffing Group, which connects military veterans with American aircraft companies; and Universal Crescent Clinic, which provides free medical care to underfunded families in the Sarasota area. Ideally, she would like to see single-payer health care for all, but acknowledges that’s a decision that will be decided in Washington. But the state needs to act, she says, as the Affordable Care Act seems to be “crumbling.” “We only have Blue Cross in our area,” she says of the ACA-created insurance marketplace. She feels Florida should mandate insurance companies to provide plans here.

She’d also like to require counties to designate zoning for affordable housing, an inventory sorely lacking in tiny Sarasota. The minimum wage conversation goes hand-in-hand with the lack of reasonably priced homes, she says. “To pay someone $8 an hour when the average rent is $1,000 a month, even if they work full-time they can’t afford to live in Sarasota and in District 72,” she says. Jouniari knows if she gets elected as a Democrat, she walks into the state capitol as a minority, but she feels her stances can be embraced as bipartisan positions.

Jouniari right now faces Democrat Margaret Good in a Dec. 5 Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in the Feb. 13 special election. 

[Synergy]  GCCF Awards $67,200 to Nonprofits for Post-Irma Relief

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded $67,200 in emergency grants to nine local nonprofit organizations in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma.  The funding comes from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund, which the foundation activated just before the storm to accept donations from the public in anticipation of potential damage, and the Community Health Endowment Fund, a permanently endowed fund at Gulf Coast designated for healthcare needs. The following organizations have received emergency grants from Gulf Coast: All Faiths Food Bank - $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food and water distribution and logistics support; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice - $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund to distribute food, water and household cleaning kits; Education Foundation of Sarasota County - $5,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund to restore classrooms and replenish supplies in schools used as emergency shelters; Harvest House - $10,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund for clean-up of supportive and affordable housing properties, hurricane supplies for clients, and lost rent; Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast - $4,700 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food and rehousing; Laurel Civic Association - $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food assistance and temporary lodging for affected residents in the Laurel community; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - $2,500 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for storm recovery materials and supplies; Pines of Sarasota Foundation - $10,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund to help restore air-conditioning to buildings in the Pines of Sarasota senior-care community; and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation - $5,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund for patient needs and special-needs shelter. 

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Recognition]  City of Sarasota Financial Department Receives GFOA Award

For the fourth year in a row, the City of Sarasota’s Financial Administration Department received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting. The department received the award for its Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the Fiscal Year, ending Sep. 30, 2016. The GFOA represents more than 19,000 public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada and strives to promote excellence in the field. This national award recognizes the best and brightest finance departments in local government. The goal is to encourage government financial professionals to make annual financial reports accessible, user friendly and easy to understand for the public. This award completes “The Trifecta” for the fourth year in a row, which includes the GFOA awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Distinguished Budget Presentation and Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting.  

City of Sarasota Financial Administration Department

[Exec Moves]  Gard Joins Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has welcomed back Dr. Kathryn Gard, a new OB-GYN physician and former FSU medical student. Gard returns to SMH’s First Physicians Group Obstetrics and Gynecology practice, joining Drs. Ruth Dyal, Kelly Hamel, Neil Pollack, Kristen Shepherd, Michael Shroder and Greg Towsley in the practice where she completed her OB-GYN rotation during medical school five years earlier. After earning her medical degree at Florida State University College of Medicine’s Sarasota campus, Gard completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology in June 2017 at George Washington University in Washington, DC. A junior fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and member of the American Medical Association, Gard is nationally certified in electronic fetal monitoring and neonatal resuscitation and will provide a full spectrum of women’s reproductive and gynecological care at the FPG practice located at 1921 Waldemere St. 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

[Exec Moves]  Elmore Appointed to Easter Seals Board of Directors

Williams Parker has announced that shareholder Douglas J. Elmore has been appointed to the board of directors of Easter Seals Southwest Florida and the Easter Seals Southwest Florida Foundation. Easter Seals offers care and services to children and adults with special needs so that they can enjoy access, opportunities, and increased life choices. Elmore is a trusts and estates attorney. He counsels individuals, families and institutions in estate planning, business succession and estate and trust planning and administration matters. 

Easter Seals Southwest Florida

[Recognition]  Radford Earns GRI Designation

Realtor Angeles Radford of RE/MAX Alliance Group recently received the nationally recognized Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation. This designation signifies her commitment to increasing her knowledge and enhancing her professionalism to perform successfully in today’s complex real estate field, having completed extensive course work in specialized subjects such as contracts, finance, professional standards, agency, marketing and use of real estate technology. Radford has experience with first-time buyers, new construction, short sales and all types of residential properties, and holds the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designations. She is an agent in RE/MAX Alliance Group's Sarasota office at 2000 Webber Street. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[TODAY]  FOOD: Set the Bar Cocktail Competition , October 4, 5:30pm to 8pm

The first ever of its kind, the Set the Bar Cocktail Competition will determine the local area's best bartender. 10 bartenders from restaurants across Sarasota will come together to craft drinks, where attendees will choose their favorites and award the best drink a People's Choice Award.

Aloft Sarasota, 1401 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

[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]  SPORTS: Roller Derby Finale , October 7, 4:30pm

The Bradentucky Bombers will take on the Gainesville Roller Rebels in the last competition of the 2017 season. Watch the best local roller derby tems in the area compete for victory. Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door; kids under the age of five receive admission at no cost.

Astro Skate, 803 17th Ave. West, Bradenton

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

Sarasota Contemporary Dance will kick off their 12th season with a highly anticipated collaboration between renowned harpist, Ann Hobson Pilot and Violinist, Tai Murray inspired by and to the music of Astor Pantaleon Piazzolla. SCD + Piazzolla will present a unique musical and choreographic spin on this famous artist, which promises to keep romance alive through a hot contemporary production. 

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

[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

[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]  MUSIC: Sarah Mac Band , October 14, 8pm

Sarah Mac Band has been called the "Next Big Thing in Florida." Musicians Sarah Mac, Claire Swindell, and Charlie Vanture make up the twelve year old trio. The group create original music that blends the styles of all three artists.

Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Remembering Red: A Tribute to Red Skelton , October 14, 2pm, 8pm

Take a trip down memory lane and reminisce Red Skelton. Brian Hoffman portrays the man and some of his popular characters in a spot-on depiction. Meet characters from Gertrude and Heathcliffe, Clem Kadiddlehopper and Freddy the Freeloader and bust you gut from laughter. Arrive early to enjoy a half hour pre-show video with celebrities from the screen in the 50s to 70s. 

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

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Mission: Wildlife , October 15, 2pm

Catch Wildlife Ambassador Julie Scardina and her troupe of rescue animals on the big stage. Audience participation is heavily featured and encouraged in this performance for people of all ages. Learn more about flora and fauna from across the world. Tickets are $27, $30 or $37, depending on seating.

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

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Ringling International Arts Festival , October 18 – October 21

For ardent aficionados of adventurous art, the 2017 Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF) presents a dynamic array of ingenious and inventive contemporary performance. With music ranging from the folkloric to the avant-garde, dance that explores the comedy and pathos of 21st-century life, and theatrical narratives both intimate and massive in scope and in scale, this is your opportunity to explore the unexpected and expect the unexplored. With affordably priced performances you can enjoy the entire day. Lunch and dinner are available on-site. Members save 10% on all tickets and Non-Members save 10% when purchasing 4+ RIAF productions. Tickets may be purchased online, in person or by calling. Come, be amazed, and take part in the adventure!

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Orchid Show , October 18 – November 22, 10am to 5pm

This year's Orchid Show will showcase spectacular flowers from across the world. The event will combine a display of plants in the Tropical Conservatory and additional treasures from search collections in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. Each part of the show will also include the science behind orchids and their relationship to earth, air, fire, and water.

Selby Gardens, 900 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Ringling International Arts Festival , October 18 – October 21

Experience the brilliance of internationally-acclaimed musicians, actors, and dancers at the 2017 Ringling International Arts Festival.  With affordably priced performances you can enjoy the entire day. Lunch and dinner are available on-site.

Ringling Museum , 5401 Bay Shore Rd.,Sarasota

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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