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SRQ DAILY Jul 24, 2018

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"I know this district better than anybody running."

- April Freeman, District 17 candidate

[Politics]  Pollard, Freeman Hope to Usher Change in District 17
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

It’s tough rallying Democrats in south Sarasota County, more so in some of the inland parts of U.S. House District 17. But two candidates have been traveling the nine-county jurisdiction speaking to voters unhappy with Republican rule. Cape Coral film producer April Freeman and Avon Park sleep technologist Bill Pollard each believe they have what it takes to flip this seat.

Freeman has run here before, challenging Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, in 2016. She lost to the incumbent by 27.6 percent, but got her name out. “We made Rooney spend $1 million in the last two weeks in an election, and he’s never done that before,” she boasts. But when Rooney announced he would not seek a second term, she saw a clearer path to Washington. “I know this district better than anybody running,” she says.

Pollard also sees a chance for a Democrat to win here, but it’s more because of who lives in the White House. Pollard himself had been a third-party or independent voter for years—until the day after Donald Trump won the presidency. “I went to the Highlands County Democratic headquarters and said I want to register Democrat,” he says. 

Pollard voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016, but regrets that now. “I really thought Hillary [Clinton] would win regardless of what I did,” he admits. “A lot of voters did the same thing. I'll admit I’m part of the problem.” But he’s found those who joined the party post-Trump have been the most energetic voters when it comes to prepping for 2018. He’s met Republicans who changed parties and independents committing to voting Democrat this fall.

Freeman notes that this district includes parts of state House District 72, which state Rep. Margaret Good flipped blue in a special election in February. She also sees similarities between House District 17 and a Pennsylvania Congressional seat Democrat Conor Lamb filliped in a special election in March.

As far as issues, Freeman says many senior voters worry about social security coming under attacking Washington. In Sarasota specifically, she’s found incredible concern for the environment, and throughout concerns have grown tremendously about algal blooms field by discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Pollard is running on a Medicare-for-all health care platform, with a promise to strengthen social security and roll back the full retirement age to 65, renewing a promise by the government to voters. He’s also like to see the government pay for workforce training and community college. And he wants better protections from discrimination in jobs based on race, religion, politics or sexual orientation.

Freeman and Pollard are running in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary. 

Pictures by Jacob Ogles: Bill Pollard and April Freeman

[Good Bite]  Once in a Blue Moon
Jordan Glover, jordang@srqme.com

If your cravings ever find themselves oscillating between Mexican, Italian or American food, look no further than one of the town’s newest joints, Blue Moon Grill—a charming and neighborly counterpart to the brilliant Sarasota sun we all know and love, that just recently opened its doors (and hearts) to the public, dubbing itself “your new neighborhood spot!”

Once presented with the vastly eclectic menu at Blue Moon, it’s rather easy to prevail indecisive from such a mouthwatering list. If you’re incredibly torn between the buffalo wings, Korean style steak skewers or pulled pork nachos, though all positively delicious bites, you might instead be steered toward the smoked turkey reuben or BLT wrap. Priding itself on its in-house smoked meats, the reuben and wrap have quickly become Blue Moon’s number one recommendations—for understandable reasons. Unlike your run-of-the-mill reuben, which contrarily might overcompensate with abundant quantities of Russian dressing, the quality of the meat in Blue Moon’s sandwich does all of the talking. Cradled between two slices of toasty rye grain bread sits a hearty mountain of fresh turkey, dressed lightly with gooey Swiss cheese, savory dressing and sauerkraut. Pair it with one of the tasty sidekicks, like tater tots, pasta salad or coleslaw, but the homemade mac n cheese takes the cake; penne noodles beneath a blanket of warm, velvety cheese, coated with herbs and crispy breadcrumbs provides the most satisfying opportunity to feel like a kid again.

Once the clock strikes 4, Blue Moon embraces its Italian heritage with house specialities like chicken francese–chicken breast sauteed in lemon, white wine and butter with a side of pasta–and chicken florentine–chicken breast sauteed in a bechamel sauce, served on a bed of spinach with prosciutto, provolone and mozzarella, and a side of pasta. Delizioso! 

Pictured: smoked turkey Reuben, mac n cheese and a side of tangy housemade BBQ sauce.

Blue Moon Grill, 2045 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, 941-260-8597.

[Government]  Newtown Secures Early Voting Location, Registration Drive

Local community pressure has been successful in getting Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner to open an early voting location in the Newtown community at the North Sarasota Library for the August primary. The location had been eliminated as an early voting site in previous years due to low voter turnout. To increase the community’s commitment to showing up at the polls, local organizers are hosting a Voter Registration Drive in Newtown on July 28 and 29. Monday, July 30 is the last day to register to vote in the August 28 primary. Volunteers will be out in the community knocking on doors and volunteers will also be set up at two local barbershops, Phat Headz and Kuttin’ Up, from 10am to 2pm, to register people to vote. The Voter Registration Drive will continue with Commit to Vote Sunday on July 29 at area churches, where local pastors will emphasize the struggle African Americans have waged to secure the right to vote. 

Sarasota County Government

[Education]  School Board Candidates to Attend Arts Education Forum

The Arts and Cultural Alliance has invited the public to a forum on arts education with the candidates for Sarasota County School Board. The forum will take place Wednesday, August 1, at the Center for Arts and Humanity at 1226 North Tamiami Trail. From 4pm to 5pm, the candidates will participate in the panel discussion, and from 5pm to 6pm they will network with attendees. The candidates have been asked to complete a survey on arts education prior to the forum, and the responses can be viewed at the link below. 

Arts and Cultural Alliance Arts Education Survey Responses

[Music]  PMP/Suncoast Names Board Chair, Development Director

The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast (PMP/Suncoast) has announced the return of Fran Lambert as Chair of the Board of Trustees, and welcomed Kurt Rachwitz as the organization’s new development director. Lambert first joined the PMP/Suncoast Board of Trustees in 2011 and served as the Celebration Dinner Gala Chair for the 2011-2012 season. She became board chair for the 10th Anniversary (2013-2014) Season and continued in that role through 2014-2015, when she stepped down. Rachwitz comes to PMP/Suncoast from a life as a migrant worker. He has conducted feasibility studies and fundraising campaigns as senior development counsel in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, as well as here in Sarasota and in Arcadia, Florida. 

Perlman Music Program/Suncoast

[Education]  CareerEdge Teams with Dealerships for Technician Program

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with a consortium of eight local automotive dealerships to provide a fast-track pathway to becoming an automotive technician. Given the shortage of mechanics, CareerEdge worked with Suncoast Technical College (STC) to create an “express program” in the evenings so that entry-level employees can receive both on-the-job as well as classroom training. Participating employers include: Gettel Automotive, Sunset Auto Group, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota, Venice Honda, Wilde Automotive, Sarasota Mitsubishi and Howard Lincoln and Mazda. These organizations will hire individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for full or part-time trainee positions. The new hires must then attend the mandatory, free 11-week automotive training program at STC’s Beneva Road campus from August 21 to October 30. Once participants complete the 11-week class, they will be paid $13 per hour full time with benefits and have the potential for additional industry certifications and growth at the dealerships. No experience is required for this training and all interested applicants should apply directly to any or all of the participating dealerships using their online employment portals. 

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative

[Real Estate]  RASM Reports Increasing Home Sales, Rising Prices

The Sarasota and Manatee market has stayed on trend with increasing home sales, rising median prices and low inventory in June 2018, according to the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM). Sarasota County and Manatee County reported a total of 2,097 closed sales in June 2018, a 5.2 percent increase from last year. In the condo market, Sarasota sales increased by 3.8 percent to 384, while Manatee condo sales increased by 20.9 percent to 278. As for single-family homes, Manatee sales increased by 4.8 percent to 637, while Sarasota increased by 1.7 percent to 798. Median sales prices continue to rise. Sarasota single-family homes increased by 1.6 percent to $279,500, while Manatee increased by 0.8 percent to $300,000. Condo prices in Sarasota increased by 2.7 percent to $221,250 and Manatee increased by 4.9 percent to $191,500. For comprehensive statistics dating back to 2005, visit the website below. 

RASM Statistics

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip From Snook Haven Down The Myakka River , July 24, 8:30am-11:30am

Take a kayak trip led by John Sarkozy from the wild and scenic Myakka River, and travel downstream from Snook Haven. All kayak equipment will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 per person for ALS members and $25 for non-members. For those who want it, there will be a short training session given before launch.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SB2 Luncheon: Transformation in Philanthropy , July 26, 11:00am-1:00pm

The SRQ Transformative Philanthropy luncheon and panel discussion will explore the organizations and individuals who are changing the face of the nonprofit world through innovative approaches, strategic alliances and groundbreaking initiatives that foster and employ engagement to make a difference. The luncheon will culminate with presentation of the SRQ Local Philanthropy Hero Award honoring area trailblazers whose passion and drive are benefitting nonprofit organizations along the Gulfcoast.

The Francis , 1289 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Little Sarasota Bay to Palmer Point Beach , July 26, 8:30am-11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, as he shows you the natural beauty of Little Sarasota Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied to you and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members. A short training session will be given before the trip for those who wish to take it. Take a break on the “crown jewel” of local beaches and take a swim or a walk before paddling back to the mainland.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  MUSIC: 1st Annual Sun n Fun Music Festival , July 27 – July 29

This festival will rock Sarasota's residents and RVs. Bands featured include Kiss America, a slammin' Kiss cover band, the Shane Duncan Band for country music lovers, Rush Hour, an intriguing Countdown Reloaded cover band and many more. You will not want to miss this day of music, food and fun. 

Sun n Fun RV Resort, 7125 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Nights Out - ArtCenter Manatee , July 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Learn to make a Stained Glass Suncatcher with artist Pamela Kramer, using the traditional copper foil techniques with lead free solder. Many colors are available and all tools will be provided to complete your masterpiece! Bring a friend and start creating! Seating is limited so register today! Tickets cost $40.00 and include supplies, wine or beer, and light snacks. 

ArtCenter Manatee , 209 9th St West, Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Friday Fest: Reverend Barry & the Funk, July 27 , July 27, 5:00 PM

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is continuing their Friday Fest summertime concert series with Reverend Barry & the Funk. Bassist and lead singer Barry Nicholson only has one goal for the band: to keep the crowd dancing all night long! The group regularly performs at nightclubs, parties, and private events around Sarasota. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Prince are just a few of the classic artists that audiences will hear from this dynamic group. And while you’re enjoying the music, be sure to check out Van Wezel’s selection of food trucks, drink vendors, and more! This seven-piece band--including a live horn section--will make this Friday Fest the best one yet!

Bayside Lawn of Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: On Stage with the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School , July 28, 7pm

Experience a remarkable one-night-only show that includes selections from ballet classics—such as La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, and Don Quixote—as well as dramatic contemporary works performed by national and international young dancers trained in the exhilarating Cuban Ballet style. Watch special guest dancers from The Royal Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, the Cuban National Ballet, and six other prestigious American ballet companies, as wel as ballet prodigy Harold Mendez in his first performance after winning the bronze medal at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition!

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

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Don Quixote , July 28, 4pm

“Don Quixote” is a ballet based on episodes taken from the famous novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus and first presented by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Petipa’s choreography reflects the local Spanish culture by incorporating the dance idiom into the movements and bringing Cervantes’ gypsies and bullfighters to life. This is a perfect family comedy ballet with rich costumes and sets and a host of colorful characters.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave. West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Caspersen Beach to Lemon Bay , July 28, 8:30am-11:30am

Enjoy quiet water, open-seated kayaking and exploration from Casperson Beach to Lemon Bay. All kayak equipment will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  DANCE: The Summer Intensive Student Showcase , July 28, 2pm

Enjoy an awe-inducing performance by the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School's Summer Intensive participants. More than 50 promising young dancersfrom 15 U.S. states and 5 foreign countrieswill grace the stage with their mastery of ballet classics as well as contemporary works, created by SCBS' award-winning faculty.  

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

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip On Shakett Creek and Dona Bay , July 31, 8:30am-11:30am

Have a relaxing time paddling through Shakett Creek and Dona Bay, led by John Sarkozy. All kayak equipment will be provided and will be included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members.  

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Teen Court of Sarasota’s Volunteer Recognition Dinner , August 1, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Join Teen Court of Sarasota in celebrating their adult volunteers and community leaders with an award presentation hosted by Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center.Teen Court of Sarasota has awarded more than $188,000 in scholarships to dedicated volunteers since 1996. These scholarships assist recipients as they head off to college, the armed services and other endeavors. Scholarships further the mission and memories of distinguished Teen Court friends and volunteers, including Jack Byers, Dennis Wood, Katie Self and Jenna Hellman.

Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center, 2002 Ringling 2nd Floor Court Room 2A

[SOON]  THEATER: Other People's Money , August 1 – August 19

Fast-talking Wall Street shark Lawrence Garfinkle has his sights set on taking over the undervalued stock of New England Wire and Cable. It is up to Kate Sullivan, a determined big-city lawyer, to stop Larry from gutting the company. Loaded with conflict, comedy, and a touch of romance, Other People’s Money delves into the seedy and deceptive world of business.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Wakey, Wakey , August 3 – September 2

How do we confront the uncomfortable inevitability of death? Obie-award-winning playwright Will Eno chooses to celebrate life’s lingering gifts with an uplifting mix of gratitude, absurdity and humor in a profound rumination on life and humanity.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

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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