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SRQ DAILY Mar 27, 2018

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"When people lose faith in the government, whether that's in prosecuting criminals or spending taxpayer dollars, it's a dangerous situation for a government."

- Tommy Gregory, candidate for Florida House of Reps, District 73

[Politics]  Former JAG Gregory Eyes State House Seat
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

One Sarasota attorney says he’s ready to take his skills from the courtroom to the Florida House of Representatives. Tommy Gregory, a retired military attorney now working as a senior counsel at Williams Parker in Sarasota, announced he will run for state House in District 73, which covers much of east Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The Republican says he wants to protect individual rights while promoting financial responsibility in Tallahassee. A self-described fiscal conservative, Gregory says he appreciates that Florida, unlike the federal government, has a balanced budget requirement in its constitution, but he’d like better restraint from lawmakers when it comes to raiding trust funds. “In particular, I see the impact on affordable housing,” he says. A board member for Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, he says it hurts families on the Gulf Coast when state funding disappears and erodes the power of public-private partnerships.

Gregory says he had not planned to run for this post before learning the current holder of the seat, state Rep. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, planned to run for state Senate. But he would have voted differently on some issues than the incumbent.

Notably, Gregory says he could not support the school safety and gun control bill recently passed by the Legislature. While he supports many provisions, he says increasing the age of purchase to buy a firearm to 21 violates rights of individuals protected by both the U.S. and state constitution. “Saying ‘shall not be infringed’ is pretty clear language to me,” he says while quoting the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. He did not have strong objections to allowing professionals on campuses to carry firearms as part of a guardian program, so long as those individuals undergo proper training. 

Gregory has two children attending the State College of Florida Collegiate School so the issue of providing a safe, secure school system is personal; his youngest son attends St. Martha Catholic School.

He also feels strongly about maintaining proper funding and support for other programs in the state that help families and society. His own kids grew up in numerous schools around the world during his military service with the Air Force, and he says he understands the value stability at home can bring. He notes his wife Erica previously volunteered as Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Centers and also worked at Healthy Start.

The retired lieutenant colonel’s legal background includes work as a staff judge advocate for the 48th Fighter Wing in the UK, where he supervised a 35-person legal office. He says that gave him a healthy understanding in maintaining the public trust in a fair justice system, and he hopes as a lawmaker to also work on justice reform. “When people lose faith in the government, whether that’s in prosecuting criminals or spending taxpayer dollars, it’s a dangerous situation for a government,” he says.

Gregory is the first Republican to file for the open House seat, though more candidates are considering a run. Democrat Liv Coleman has also filed for the seat.  

[GoodBite]  Taking the Road Less Traveled
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

As drool-worthy as the specialty artisan pizzas among the impressive wall of craft beers are, there’s more than meets the eye (mouth) at Oak & Stone. Contrary to popular belief, the upscale tavern joint has much more to bring to the table than just pizza and beer. Venture beyond the go-to rituals here and you’ll be delighted to find some gems—surprisingly underrated compared to its signature staples. Folks looking for a gut-healthier option, take the unexpected route with one of the three Oak Bowls up for grabs. The Tuna Poke brings the swag with soy-sesame tuna, crushed peanuts, veggie slaw, jalapenos, soy pearls and a sweet chili aioli. The Buffalo Chicken brings the spice with grilled buffalo chicken, wood-fired mushrooms, celery, crushed avocado and crumbled bleu cheese. The Veggie Power brings the savory with lomi-lomi tomatoes, guacamole, cucumber, roasted mushrooms, marinated broccoli, carrots, radish and red onions. You’ll then choose your preferred base—sesame kale or quinoa pilaf, and both happen to pair perfectly with a glass of one of their neglected, full-bodied wines.

If satisfying your vast appetite is harder to please, go the homemade meatloaf route for a comatose kickback! The unconventional alternative may be off the beaten path here, but you’ll discover the hearty dish’s lick-your-plate-clean effects shortly upon ordering. The Stone Fired Meatloaf is a sumptuous blend of Kobe beef, short rib and veal made in-house and finished in the wood-fired oven for a charred effect alongside its pizza comrades. Served with mashed potatoes, Guinness gravy, crispy onions and a sunny egg—pairing it with a flight from the hand-selected list of bourbon/whiskeys makes you a boss. You’ll just as easily commingle with the wrist banned beer drinkers, so next time your friends ask you to head out to University Park, spread the love by expanding your horizons to Oak & Stone’s diverse menu at its welcoming neighborhood-style digs! And be sure to look out for the new location opening this spring in St. Petersburg! 

Image provided by Tableseide Restaurant Group

Oak & Stone, 5405 University Pkwy #101, University Park, 941-225-4590

[The Out-of-Door Academy]  Guests Transported to Vintage Vegas for ODA's 2018 Banyan Ball Earlier this Month

Glitz and glamour filled The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, as more than 300 attendees enjoyed a night in Vintage Vegas for The Out-of-Door Academy’s annual Banyan Ball. Guests were greeted by showgirls, Banyan Ball Chairs and an elegant champagne tower while enjoying the vocal stylings of Vegas favorites Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Many guests took the opportunity to roll the dice at games of chance before entering the ballroom for a decadent dinner service. Several items were auctioned off and a paddle raise demonstrated the community’s commitment to the students and programs that make ODA an exceptional institution for students in grades Pre-K - 12.

ODA extends a special thank you to Banyan Ball Chairs Courtney and Tony Bonacuse & Stacy and David White for their vision to bring this fun and festive theme to life. A special thanks to the Brunckhorst and Dart families for their generous sponsorship of this event. See a full list of sponsors at www.oda.edu/banyanball

Content and image provided by The Out-of-Door Academy

The Out-of-Door Academy

[Opening]  Doctors Hospital of Sarasota Opens New ER

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota opened a new emergency room yesterday, located on State Road 70 in Lakewood Ranch, just east of 1-75. The new emergency room is open 24/7 and provides care for patients of all ages, with all types of illnesses and injuries. The facility has on-site diagnostic services including CAT scan, ultrasound, X-ray and laboratory services, and holds the same national certifications as Doctors Hospital of Sarasota’s main campus ER. 

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

[Education]  DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarships Accepting Applications

DutchCrafters, one of the largest online retailers of Amish furniture, is accepting applications for the DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarship. Information about the scholarship can be found at the website below. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2018. Every year since its establishment in 2012, three exceptional students who have been accepted to or are attending a four-year college or university have received $500 to assist with their educational costs. Along with a brief financial need statement, applicants are asked to submit an essay explaining how they plan to use their cultural heritage to shape their vocational aspirations, offer creative value to their future employer and serve their community. Winners of the scholarship for the 2017-18 academic year were Brianna Kinsey, Rebecca Price and Amalia Weber. 

DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarship Application

[Community]  GCCF Selects 2018 Leadership Institute Class

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has selected 26 participants from across the region for its 2018 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. Class members will take part in seven training sessions from April through June conducted by the acclaimed Leadership Development Institute of Eckerd College. Gulf Coast provides all training and resources at no cost to participants in exchange for their commitment to use their new skills to benefit the community. The 26 participants selected for the 2018 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute include Laurie Birnbach, national account director with the Coca-Cola Company; Kelly Carlstein Buehler, marketing and public relations coordinator with Blake Medical Center; Beth Bush, vice president of philanthropy at All Star Children’s Foundation; Leroy Butler, community engagement specialist for SCOPE; Janet Carrillo, social services manager for the City of North Port; Eric Collin, president of Firmo Construction; and more. This is the 11th year of Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, which was preceded by two classes of the foundation’s North Port Leadership Institute. In all, nearly 300 community members have completed the training provided through this leadership-development initiative. This marks the first year that Eckerd College’s Leadership Development Institute will provide all training for the Leadership Institute. Eckerd is one of six institutions that make up the Cross College Alliance, a regional higher-education consortium supported in part by Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Expansion]  PGT Innovations Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Childcare Center

PGT Innovations will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9am on March 29 to celebrate the completion of its new 7,500-square-foot child care center at Sunshine Education Academy off Triple Diamond Boulevard in Venice. The new center offers affordable, convenient childcare services to PGT Innovations’ families with young children, as well as parents who work in the Triple Diamond Commerce Park and the surrounding area in North Venice. Teachers with the Sunshine Education Academy, operated by the Venice branch of the SKY Family YMCA, will provide tours after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Built by Venice-based J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp., the Sunshine Education Academy contains an administration office, a multipurpose room, nine classrooms, which are equipped with child-sized lavatories and sinks and a safety system with access controls at the exterior doors. The licensed and accredited facility will offer curriculum-based programs, healthy meals and an outdoor playground to children aged six weeks to five years old. 

PGT Innovations

[Recognition]  Coldwell Banker Wins Humanitarian Outreach Award

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has been recognized with the 2018 Humanitarian Outreach award. Presented by NRT LLC, the parent company of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, the award annually recognizes a single organization within the NRT LLC family of companies that showcases extraordinary service and commitment to its community. NRT LLC is the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, with operations spanning the state of Florida, was recognized for charitable efforts including $250,000 in grants to local charities, relief efforts for hurricane Irma and Maria victims totaling 35 tons of supplies and dozens of company-sponsored fundraising events throughout 2017. 

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

[TODAY]  THEATER: Shakespeare in Love , January 10 – March 28

Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, Shakespeare in Love will offer an entrancing theater production that follows the story of Will Shakespeare, a struggling playwright tormented by writer’s block. To his rescue comes the vivacious Viola, Will’s greatest admirer. But Viola has a secret and Will finds himself star cross’d.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSIC: Motown Musical , March 27 – March 30

It began as one man's story, became everyone's music and is now Broadway's musical. Motown the Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit Motown the Musical. Purchase quickly as tickets are nearly sold out.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Funny Girl , March 29 – April 15

Fanny Brice is a nobody who dreams of being famous, and through sheer guts and determination, fulfills her dream and becomes a star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Set in New York City just prior to and following World War I, it’s the songs and story that generations have grown to love including: “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”  The original cast recording was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame!

The Players Theatre , 838 N Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: American Modern Architecture: Frame + Character in Hitchcock's Cinematic Spaces , March 29, 5:30pm

Buildings played a pivotal role in Alfred Hitchcock's groundbreaking works. For Hitchcock, modern buildings both visually and metaphorically represented the future in contrast with the past. Hitchcock utilized modernism's essential elements as cultural shorthand to convey society's views on anonymity and one's place in increasingly complex urban environments. Christine Madrid French, an advocate for the study and preservation of American architecture, will discuss in this visually-rich presentation of Hitchcock's penchant for filming suspenseful scenes against the backdrop of American modernist architechture. 

Ringling College of Art and Design's Alfred Goldstein Library, 2700 Bradenton Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Little Bit Country Little Bit Rock n' Roll , March 30

Grab yer guitar and boots, tilt yer cowboy hat and got ready to “Yeee Hawwww” your way through this country romp mixed with a healthy serving of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Jimmy Mazz takes you back to visit great country classics like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, then crossing over to rockers like Bobby Darin, Jerry Lee Lewis and of course, Elvis plus many more!

The Players Centre of Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Femmes Fatales , March 31 – April 27

In this exhibit, Elisabeth Trostili's digital paintings celebate the power of women. Each painting in Femmes Fatales could be described as a digital photographic collage that captures beauty, diversity, gender roles, spirituality and the richness of woman. New work by all of Art Uptown's 25 professional artists will be shown along with Trostili's featured pieces.   

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Master Class: Introduction to Connoisseurship , April 3, 10am

Master Classes offer a deeper look at various subjects, though are designed for any level, so no advance training required. This Master Class session will engage with key questions around art and quality. Throughout the series, you’ll discover your own criteria for quality, and begin to use your skills to assist your decision-making, whether you are acquiring works of art, or simply engaging as a viewer. 

The Works, 891 South Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Honor Killing , April 4 – April 25

Allisyn Davis, an American reporter for The New York Times, heads to Pakistan to cover the honor killing of a young woman. Through a series of cultural collisions, candid interviews, and dangerous encounters, she learns the details of this event, and faces her own demons and judgments. One culture mirrors the other, asking questions about forgiveness, self-worth, and justice

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Gloria , April 4 – April 29

Directed by Greg Leaming, this biting commentary on the office environment and the drive to succeed marries the horror of shocking workplace violence with a satirical sendup of how individuals respond, whether taking advantage or falling apart. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and selected by The New York Times as one of the best shows of 2015.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Save Our Seabirds Sunset Soirée , April 5, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Don’t miss a fabulous evening of fine food, fun, and music to benefit Save Our Seabirds at Sarasota's hottest new venue, Michael's on the Bay at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Enjoy gourmet dinner, open bar, silent auction and live auction and live Music. Save Our Seabirds mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick and injured wild birds while educating our community about preventing injuries and preserving habitats.

Michael's on the Bay at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Women Laughing Alone With Salad , April 5 – May 13

Sheila Callaghan breaks all the rules of our image-obsessed culture in this raw, audacious comedy about the unreasonable expectations demanded of women and their bodies. Gleefully vulgar, bitingly poignant and raucously unafraid, Women Laughing Alone With Salad is a gender-bending feminist fantasia with balls. For more information please visit www.urbanitetheatre.com for show times and tickets. 

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 Second Street, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Red Violin , April 6 – April 8

Enjoy this program featuring one thrill ride after another. John Adams' Short Ride is full of surprises and leaves you wishing for more. While a contemporary composition, John Corigliano's Violin Concerto evokes music of past eras. Based on his score for the film, The Red Violin, the work showcases the expressive capabilities of the violin. Elina Vähälä is the perfect star for this ravishing work.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: SRQ Magazine's Best of SRQ Local TGIF Party , April 6, 5-8pm

Join us to celebrate the winners and finalists of this year's Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition at the Best of SRQ Local TGIF Party on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Aloft Sarasota Hotel from 5-8pm. Meet the restaurants who topped the charts and garnered the most reader votes to sample their award-winning dishes and cocktail pairings. Thank you to 20th Anniversary Partner Ringling College of Art and Design and TGIF host Aloft Sarasota Hotel.

Aloft Sarasota Hotel, 1403 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Glades to Gallery , April 6

530 Burns Gallery is pleased to announce Nikki Sedacca for Dusty “Wildman” Crum, a line of luxury python snakeskin accessories designed by Nikki and made in Florida. The goal of the collaboration is to raise awareness of the dire threat invasive Burmese pythons pose to humans and native wildlife of Florida’s Everglades. The show will highlight the efforts made by Dusty “Wildman” Crum and members of the Python Elimination Program to restore the Everglades’ delicate ecosystem. 

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Ct., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour , April 6

This kids show is an all new interactive live concert experience. Sing along to Disney Junior’s greatest hits with your favorite characters: Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Sofia The First, Puppy Dog Pals, Elena of Avalor, Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, The Lion Guard and more! Kids of all ages and their families are invited to get up and dance, play games and join the biggest dance party around!

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 32nd Annual Run for the Turtles , April 7, 6:30am-9:00am

Time to dust off those running shoes and get ready for the 32nd Annual Run for the Turtles on Siesta Key Public Beach. This run supports the Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program at Mote Marine Laboratory and is the Program's major fundraiser devoted to help sea turtles! Sign up to walk, run or crawl (for turtles only!) in this year's Run for the Turtles.

Siesta Key Beach , 948 Beach Road Sarasota, FL

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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