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SRQ DAILY Aug 7, 2018

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"This is yet another act of desperation on behalf of the Steube campaign and those who follow him."

- State Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice

[Politics]  Gonzalez Accused of Unlawful Campaign Financing
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Editor's Note Updated with further comment from Julio Gonzalez 

A federal election complaint alleges Republican Julio Gonzalez is illegally financing his run for Congress with a loan from his father-in-law. But Gonzalez said the loan, listed on his financial disclosures, has nothing to do with the campaign.

Linda DeLozier Ivell, a Lakeland real estate agent and longtime conservative activist, sent a complaint to the Federal Election Commission highlighting a change in the financial disclosure noting Gonzalez’s financial liabilities as of June 1. On the form, Gonzalez lists a $317,033 loan from Dr. Winston Arabitg, his father-in-law. “Other than this apparent loan from Dr. Arabitg, Gonzalez does’t list any item on his financial disclosure that indicates he has access to large sums of cash,” she alleges. Yet, Gonzalez contributed a $150,000 loan to his campaign in the second quarter.

Gonzalez said the family loan relates to his private medical practice in Venice, not his campaign. As for assertions he’s using the money to run? “It’s not true,” Gonzalez says, “and that’s shameful.”

Gonzalez, now a state representative, is running for Congress in District 17. He’s in a Republican primary against state Sen. Greg Steube and Charlotte County activist Bill Akins. 

The accusation, Gonzalez says, “is yet another act of desperation on behalf of the Steube campaign and those who follow him.” Representatives of the Steube campaign declined to comment. 

Ivell, though, said she follows races statewide. “I watch a lot of campaigns,” she said. Her letter to the FEC looks at Gonzalez’s federal disclosure this tear and his state disclosures from 2017. “While I do know know the date that Gonzalez received this loan from Arabitg, I can report that he did not list the loan as a liability on his 2017 Form 6 Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests,” she wrote.

Candidates may loan personal funds to their campaign, and there’s no cap on amount. But FEC rules say gifts or loans to candidate for the purpose of the campaign cannot be considered personal funds. Rather, such loans would be subject to the $2,700 limit on campaign donations by individuals.

“It seems clear that the $150,000 loan to the [Gonzalez] Campaign came from these Arabitg funds,” Ivell wrote.

Gonzalez says the loan from his father-in-law would not appear on the 2017 disclosure because that covers assets and liabilities from 2016. The loan came in 2017 and therefore only showed up on his disclosure this year.

Gonzalez also reported several loans from Regions Bank, he listed Regions liabilities on his disclosure last year as well. He also listed a Stonegate Bank loan on his previous disclosure that is not on his new forms. Gonzalez says the Regions loans were used to finance his campaign for Congress. He said the loan from his father-in-law predates his candidacy for Congress. He did not provide documentation of when he took the loan from Arabitg. 

PIctured: State Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice.

[Good Bite]  Peace, Love and Pizza
Jordan Glover, jordang@srqme.com

Put on your favorite pair of bell-bottoms and round rose-colored sunglasses, and take a trip down the Trail to the funky new pizza joint, appropriately dubbed Mellow Mushroom. With its imaginative and prismatic murals adorning the walls, all surrounding the colorful and retro interior, you are instantly transported back to the psychedelic flower power of the 1960s.

Dining choices are not limited solely to the “out of this world pizza;” the menu offers plentiful options, from salads, calzones and hoagies, to “munchies” like soft pretzels, Magic Mushroom Soup and oven-roasted chicken wings. The Holy Shiitake specialty pizza pie takes a mouth-watering spin on the traditional white pizza—shiitake, button and portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and mozzarella and MontAmore cheeses sit along an olive oil and garlic base, all dressed to the nines with black truffle oil, fresh chives, shaved parmesan and a perfect swirl of garlic aioli. Patrons can opt to customize their own pies as well, choosing from more than 30 toppings and 10 different cheeses. Different types of crust, such as thin crust and gluten-free crust, are available upon request. Pair your savory pie with a libation from Mellow Mushroom’s bountiful selection of spirits, like wine, brews and cocktails. If you spare some room for dessert, choose from a variety of giant gourmet cookies, or Mary Jane’s Triple Chocolate Brownie: a buttery, chewy brownie topped with chocolate chunks. Whether choosing to stop in for a bite to eat or a beer to sip on, chill out and “get baked” at Mellow Mushroom–your new and totally radical neighborhood hangout.  

Pictured: The Holy Shiitake specialty pizza pie

Mellow Mushroom, 6727 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-388-7504.

[Arts and Culture]  2018/19 Sarasota Culture Collective Season Announced

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County has announced the programming for the 6th Sarasota Culture Collective Season. Sarasota Culture Collective is a member program that provides young adults (ages 21-39) the chance to experience a variety of Sarasota’s world-class arts and cultural organizations. Members receive tickets to seven scheduled performances plus exclusive access to behind the scenes tours, conversations with the performers, rehearsals, introductions to local arts leadership and arts discounts. In addition to exploring Sarasota arts through performances and events, members of the Culture Collective form their own arts community and are introduced to opportunities to become further involved in local arts. The season features an Orchid Show Tour at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in November, and performances from Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and more. Single Memberships are $125 and Dual Memberships are $240. 

2018/19 Sarasota Culture Collective Season

[Healthcare]  MUV Medical Cannabis Dispensary to Open on Fruitville

Sarasota-based AltMed Enterprises, through its affiliate AltMed Florida, has announced its flagship MÜV Medical Cannabis Dispensary is scheduled to open Friday, August 10, 2018 at 10am at 5045 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay Plaza, contingent on receiving approval from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. The dispensary will be the second of the 25 planned MÜV Dispensaries throughout the state of Florida. MÜV Products offer an extensive variety of delivery methods, including several that are singular in Florida, led by its patent-pending 72-hour transdermal patches, transdermal gels and metered dose inhalers. Products will come high in CBD or THC as well as CBD/THC balanced formulations.  Product categories include topicals, transdermal patches, metered dose inhalers, distillate vaporizer pens (without any cutting agents), all-natural terpene enriched vaporizer pens, oral sprays, tinctures and concentrates. MÜV Products will be sold exclusively in Florida at ‘MÜV by AltMed’ dispensaries because Florida does not allow wholesale of product between license holders—only products that license holders produce themselves can be sold in their dispensaries. The publilc is invited to attend the opening, where staff and representatives will be on hand to answer questions. 

MUV Medical Cannabis - AltMed Florida

[Business]  Fashion Focus Hair Academy Recognized by NAHA Awards

A 30th anniversary renovation of Fashion Focus Hair Academy to revolutionize and bring a new one-of-a-kind teaching experience to Sarasota reached a new level of recognition recently when Salon Today and North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA), the industry’s equivalent to the Oscars, selected the Academy as one of their 2018 Salons of the Year. Originally founded by brothers Bryon and Richard Weintraub, Fashion Focus Academy is now currently co-owned by Bryon’s son Aaron and Richard, who is also a partner in Yellow Strawberry Hair Salons.  For the 30th Anniversary renovation, the partners entered a relationship with Sarasota-based salon designer Leon Alexander of Eurisko. The resulting salon re-do caught the attention of Salon Today and NAHA judges. Noted design highlights included the Academy’s backlit LED lighting and a barbershop accentuated with dark wood cabinets, which helped Fashion Focus Academy earn a top spot on Salon Today’s 2018 Salons of Distinctions list. 

Fashion Focus Hair Academy

[On Education]  Bowden: Hold Contract Vote After Elections
Todd Bowden

As we rapidly approach the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, I want to take a moment and reflect on all of the successes of this past year. Our 15th consecutive “A” grade, the 4-percentage point increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18, the renewal of the referendum—none of these milestones would have been possible without the effort and valuable support of our district’s teachers. I had the pleasure of addressing our administrative, operational and instructional leaders recently at our Summer Leadership Institute. The energy and passion in the room was contagious, and it was clear to me that our district, without a doubt, has the most committed educators championing for educational excellence. Our community’s students are at the heart of what we do, and they are the driving force for our policies.

That is why I have written to the School Board, requesting that they delay any discussions concerning my employment contract until after the start of school and after the board elections have concluded. The primary focus of time and energy should be on our students and teachers. Though there are a myriad of diverse opinions and methodologies among the current School Board members, I have confidence in their operational prowess and ability to rise above any divisive distractions. We are all equally focused on positively elevating our district and its students to their highest collective potential. Great work has already been done, but there are more opportunities on the horizon to further close, and hopefully eventually eradicate, the achievement gap among our diverse and unique student population. I look forward to collaborating with our School Board to increasingly meet and exceed the needs of our students and their families.

I am committed to the academic, civic and emotional growth of our students. The strategies we’ve employed since I assumed the job of superintendent are working and it’s exciting to see our students thrive. I am thankful to the supportive community of Sarasota for valuing our students and standing alongside district educators to ensure continued opportunities for all. I am honored to serve as the Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools.

Dr. Todd Bowden in superintendent of schools for Sarasota County. 

[TODAY]  GALLERY: "40 by 8" , June 25 – August 31

True to its name, the summer exhibit, curated by Mark Ormond, features 40 works by eight artists, including Luisa Basnuevo, Jean Blackburn, Luis Delgado, Daphne Gamble, Leslie Lerner, Melissa Meyer, Helen Shulman and Joyce Ely Walker. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL, 34236.

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Turn of the Screw , August 7 – August 26

1840: an era charmed by superstition, madness, and the writings of Sigmund Freud led Henry James to write one of the most chilling ghost stories of all time. A young governess arrives at a seemingly idyllic country house to look after two orphaned children. But shortly after her arrival, she realizes they are not alone. She risks everything to keep the children safe, until she begins to question her sanity, and the children’s innocence.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[TODAY]  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

[TODAY]  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

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Music of the Night , July 17 – August 19

The Swingaroos return to the cabaret with an all-new show—Music of the Night. Offering their swingin'est versions of songs embraced by the worlds of theatre and jazz, this hit show overflows with hits by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Kander & Ebb and many more. With a touch of 30s and 40s flair and bold arrangements, The Swingaroos lend a spirited voice to the most-cherished American songs and personalities of the past century. 

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Possibilities , July 19 – August 17

This members only, juried exhibition opens July 19th with an opening reception from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Approximately 250, two- and three-dimensional works in a wide variety of media will be on display throughout all four galleries. Juror Vicki Chelf is a fine art graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design and also studied classical drawing at the Southern Atelier in Manatee County. Chelf derives much of her inspiration from spontaneous thoughts and unplanned drawings, as well as current events. 

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: On Golden Pond , August 8 – August 19

This 1979 play by Ernest Thompson focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. The play explores the often turbulent relationship between a daughter and her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage. It is the winner of numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: YP Summit: "Thrive" , August 10, 8am-12pm

The third annual Young Professionals summit is a half day conference geared toward helping local young professionals develop personally and professionally as leaders in the community. The summit will feature keynote speaker Trey Lauderdale, founder and CEO of Voalte, speaking on the work/life balance. In addition to the keynote presentation, attendees will select breakout sessions from two tracks: personal development and professional development. 

The Westin Sarasota, 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALLERY: VOLUMES , August 12 – October 9

This summer light and sound come into play with a special installation by the artist Ezra Masch. VOLUMES harnesses the speed of light to reveal the volume of sound and space. This immersive audio and visual installation will feature a 3-d grid of LED lights that will fill the interior of the Ringling’s Monda Gallery.

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

[SOON]  MUSIC: Ricky Nelson Remembered , August 18

Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Ricky Nelson emerged from “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” to establish himself as one of the most important rock artists and influential musicians of the last 50 years, selling over 140 million recordings. The Nelson Family Legacy continues as Ricky’s twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson present an interactive, multi-media rock & roll concert experience, taking the audience on a musical journey down memory lane. 

Sarasota Opera, 61 North Pineapple Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged , August 21 – September 23

Pour the pirate sherry, braid the raven hair, polish up the handle of the big brass door, and celebrate Gilbert & Sullivan’s most beloved songs. Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged has delighted audiences across the US with lovingly loopy renditions and joyfully irreverent excerpts from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. Last seen at New York’s 54 Below, this isn’t your grandmother’s Gilbert & Sullivan!

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

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Making Strides Kick Off Celebration , August 23, 5:30pm-7pm

Don’t miss the 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick off Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Celebrate survivors, hear from Team Leaders and learn more about the mission of the American Cancer Society. If you have been thinking about starting a team, becoming a sponsor or you just wish to know more about the programs and services the American Cancer Society provides in our community, the Kick Off celebration is the place to start. Light refreshments will be served and complimentary valet parking is available.

Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: German American Social Club Sommerfest, August 25 , August 25, 6:00 PM

This is one party you won’t want to miss! Come down and celebrate everything you love about summer at this shindig hosted by the German American Social Club of Sarasota. Enjoy friendly conversation with other Sarasota locas. Kick your feet up and relax with an ice-cold beer. Enjoy lively dancing and music provided by DJ Bustin Justin. You’re guaranteed to have a good time at this casual summer bash! Authentic, delicious German food will be provided by the Schnitzel Trailer, and proceeds will go toward benefiting students studying German both here and abroad. You can purchase tickets in advance on their website.

Music Compound, 1751 Cattlemen Road Sarasota, FL 34232

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elsewhere , August 30 – October 5

This juried exhibition opens with a reception on August 30th.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami 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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