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SRQ DAILY Dec 5, 2017

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"We're not going to prejudge anything."

- State Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Clearwater

[Government]  Sarasota, Benderson Park Officials Welcome Scrutiny
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The World Rowing Championships may have put Nathan Benderson Park on a world stage, but the fact the event arrived before many once-promised structures could rise from the earth opened a fresh round of criticism of the venue, including inquiries from state lawmakers upset at a lack of financial accountability. But officials with Sarasota County and the organization managing the park remain optimistic about the future of the park.

This fall, state Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran requested an accounting of all spending at the facility, which has seen $15 million in state funding awarded. “The House will not tolerate attempts to shield from public scrutiny financial information relating to the expenditure of public dollars,” reads a letter from Corcoran. “The Legislature has enacted reforms and accountability measures to ensure transparency and good stewardship when it comes to public funds.”

The county and Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, the organized contracted to run the park, have provided more than 700 pages of accounting material to the state since then that officials say will prove no funds were mismanaged. “Anything we have received, we have put back in the park,” says Stephen Rodriguez, SANCA president and CEO. “We as an organization only exist as stewards of the park for Sarasota County.” Rodriguez was announced for his post in July, a couple months before the World Rowing Championships that started in September.

The letter from Corcoran notes a promised boathouse that was not finished before the international event. At the Championships, the only major facility complete was a finish tower, which did a major role at the event. But detractors remain concerned that more structures, a selling point from the start for making the park into a sporting venue, have yet to start construction.

The parks brought some $22.6 million in economic impact for the state of Florida, according to a report generated for Visit Sarasota County, and generated 25,491 room nights in area hotels. That’s just a little shy, though, of the $25 million impact predicted, though officials note that Hurricane Irma impacting the region shortly before the games reduced the amount of time teams spent here before the championships.

Sarasota County Paul Caragiulo also notes that the long-term relationship with the World Rowing Championships should be taken into account, After speaking with athletes impressed by the venue, he’s confident the Championships will end up with some level of permanent presence in Sarasota. “It’s expensive, but everything worth doing on a scale like that is going to be expensive,” Caragiulo says.

State Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Clearwater and the expected speaker in the 2021-22 session, says so long as all books are in order, the issue won’t growing a problem. But based on concerns about mismanagement raised to the state, he says it’s important for the issue to be studied. “We’re not going to prejudge anything,” he says. “Once we get our questions answered, we will know what the taxpayer money was used for, and once we have that information, then we will go from there.” 

[Exec Moves]  Trace Eye-D Hires Hartwell as Chief Marketing Officer

Trace Eye-D, a security and instant explosive threat detection company headquartered in Bradenton, Florida with a research facility in Sarasota, has hired former U.S. House of Representatives chief of staff and seasoned lobbyist, Rob Hartwell, to serve as its chief marketing officer. Hartwell brings more than 33 years of hands-on Congressional, political and legislative experience, serving on Capitol Hill in 1978 and from 1983 through 1993, and since then has worked within the private sector in key lobbying and political leadership positions. During Hartwell’s career on Capitol Hill he played a key role as chief of staff to Congressman Dick Schulze, (R-PA) a senior Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means. He was also a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Mike Oxley (R-OH). Trace Eye-D has positioned itself to become a major player in the security technology industry. This year, the company successfully completed field trials with federal government agencies and was named as one of the top innovative companies in the Tampa Bay area by Innovate Tampa Bay. 

Trace Eye-D

[Hiring]  Newly Opened Waterline Marina Resort Hosts Job Fair

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club is hosting a job fair and is looking to fill full-time and part-time positions at the newly opened resort. Opportunities range from trolley driver, recreation associates, front desk hosts, housekeeping attendants and food & beverage supervisor to servers, kitchen steward, cooks and more. The job fair will take place at the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 10am—4pm. Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, a full-service resort on Anna Maria Island, FL features 37 stylish guest rooms and suites, a 50-slip marina offering a variety of water activities, 2,000 square feet of meeting space, Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen and a resort-style swimming pool with oversized sun deck extending into the marina. For additional information about careers at Waterline, visit the website below. 

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club

[Holiday]  Cafe BarBosso Announces Holiday Catering

Local foodies can now bring the best of Café BarBosso’s menu to the next holiday party or to savor over the holiday season with family and friends, as Café BarBosso has announced a wide variety of its house specialties, such as lasagna, Nona’s meatballs, braised short rib pasta, rigatoni with broccoli, minestrone, tiramisu and chocolate bread pudding. You don’t have to be Italian to taste the best homemade pastas, Bolognese sauce and over the top sausage and peppers, guests just have to call Café BarBosso and let them transform their table at home into an authentic Italian feast. The catering menu offers an array of Italian entrees, salads, soup and desserts to complement an at-home turkey and ham holiday table. Catering orders need to be placed a minimum of 48 hours in advance and can be made by calling the restaurant at 941-922-7999. 

Café BarBosso.

[TODAY]  FOOD: iTN SunCoast Luncheon , December 5, 11:30am

Attend the 2nd annual luncheon this winter, featuring several notable guests. Learn how to mitigate social isolition among seniors with the help of social psychologist and author Dr. Richard Luker, and see Heidi Godman, the host of "Health Check with Heidi Godman." Tickets are $75 and available for sale online.

The Meadows Country Club, 3101 Longmeadow, Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSIC: Sonata a Due , December 5, 6pm

La Musica opens its season with an intimate recital performance. Enjoy cocktails and a fine dinner with fellow chamber music enthusiasts while violist David Avshalomov and pianist Derek Han perform a recital.

The Field Club, 1400 Field Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: SWAC Speaker Series , December 5, 6:30PM

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for a series of high–profile foreign affairs lectures covering current international issues ranging from foreign intelligence to peace negotiations to immigration and trade. This month, Dr. Peter Bartu, member of the UN’s stand-by mediation team and foreign policy advisor will discuss the Gulf States—particularly Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Qatar and their roles in the ongoing struggle for the heart and soul of this region. Each lecture is followed by a wine and cheese reception for members. 

Mildred Sainer Pavillion, 5313 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34243

[TODAY]  FOOD: 2nd Annual Come Ride With Us! Luncheon , December 5, 11:30AM

Join iTN SunCoast for the2nd Annual Come Ride With Us! Community Awareness Luncheon on December 5 at The Meadows Country Club. This year’s theme is Ending Social Isolation & Loneliness Among Seniors. Guest speaker, Dr. Richard Luker, social psychologist and author of Simple Community, will examine the role of community in connecting people of all ages. Tickets are $75. 

The Meadows Country Club, 3101 Longmeadow Sarasota, FL 34235

[SOON]  THEATER: The 1940's Radio Hour , December 7 – December 23

Just in time for the holiday season, comes this marvelously theatrical show! This lively and big band sounding musical delivers a delicious slice of ‘a live radio broadcast from NYC’ in December of 1942.  Enjoy the spirit of that bygone era when the world was at war and pop music meant “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

The Players Theatre, 838 N Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: PINC Speaker Series , December 7

People, Ideas Nature Creativity (PINC), presented by Ringling College of Art + Design is a one–day conference which follows the same format as its Dutch counterpart. PINC Sarasota 2017 showcases exceptional international speakers, astounding artistic intermezzos and culinary delights at the Sarasota Opera House. The conference showcases accomplished international speakers in their widely varied fields who share a common passion for what they do and absolute faith in the power of innovation, inspiration and creativity. Whether on stage or in the seats, this conference aims to bring together leaders, innovators creative thinkers entrepreneurs specialists designers artists scientists and people looking to stimulate their mind, heart and brain. Conference begins at 8am. 

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SRQ Media's 14th Annual Home of the Year Competition , December 8

Calling all builders, architects, designers and landscape companies —the 14th Annual SRQ Home of the Year Competition is officially open! From serene water features to breathtaking bay views and green buildings, SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to produce this prestigious annual architecture and home design program, recognizing truly stunning spaces from Venice all the way to Anna Maria Island. Our panel of qualified judges hail from regions outside the geographic area of the HOTY competition and represent excellence in the areas of architecture and interior design. They will review entries based on innovation, functionality and overall design aesthetic to bestow SRQ’s Home of the Year Platinum, Gold and Silver awards. Local professionals are invited to submit their best work in home design by the Call for Entries deadline of Friday, December 8, 2017. Winners in each category will be featured in the coveted SRQ Home of the Year awards supplement in the March 2018 issue of SRQ Magazine.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Symphonic Carnival , December 8 – December 10, 8pm Friday and Saturday; 2:30 Sunday

Along the exciting journey, audiences will visit American icon Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from his popular musical West Side Story, before being set ablaze by the powerful pyrotechnics of Barber’s Violin Concerto. Finally, listeners will be subdued by the emotional intensity of Stravinsky’s Firebird, the perfect close to an electrifying evening spearheaded by guest conductor Larry Rachleff and violin soloist Benjamin Beilman.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: The Nutcracker , December 9, 7:00PM

Sarasota Cuban Ballet School students will perform the World-Famous Nutcracker at the Venice Performing Arts Center for the very first time on December 9. This holiday classic is conceived and choreographed by the school’s artistic directors Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez, master teacher Delia Ballart Arcia, and resident choreographer Tania Vergara.

Venice Performing Arts Center , 1 Indian Ave Venice, FL 34285

[SOON]  GALLERY: Sea Debris - Awareness Through Art , December 9 – June 15, 10am to 5pm

Artwork made of marine debris including Greta the Great White Shark and Natasha the Turtle will arrive to Mote Marine this winter. This exhibit will bring awareness to the 4.4 pounds on average of trash genereated by each American daily. These larger-than-life sculptures are entirely made from plastic and other debris gathered from the Oregon Coast.

Mote Marine, 600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Holiday Boat Parade of Lights , December 9, 6:00PM

The 32nd Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is a beloved local holiday tradition and fun for all ages. Whether you choose to view the show from Marina Jack Restaurant at Bayfront Park, City Island or Centennial Park, join the approximately 15,000 spectators for the most sparkling night of the year as boats decked in festive adornments glitter on Sarasota Bay. The Holiday Boat Parade begins at 6pm and benefits Suncoast Charities for Children. 

Sarasota Bay, Marina Jack Trail Sarasota, FL 34236

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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