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SRQ Daily Sep 13, 2018

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"Think of Stephen Hawking, who functioned using only one muscle in his teeth."

- Faith Olivia Babis, State Senate District 23 Candidate

[Politics]  Babis wants Empowerment for Disabled
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Editor's Note: Part 1 of 2.

Faith Olivia Babis says she just wants the opportunity to debate her opponent in the state Senate District 23 race. But to date, the Democrat hasn’t had a chance to share a stage with Republican Joe Gruters. “I am the only legislative candidate that has not had access to a nonpartisan candidate forum,” she says.

For Gruters’ part, he says he’s prepared to debate with her at any point. “I’m willing to debate whenever and wherever she wants, pending that my schedule allows it,” he says.  But so far, the candidates got left out of a recent Sarasota County Coalition of Neighborhood Associations event, and a Tiger Bay forum got cancelled. 

It’s especially troubling for Babis, who raised $26,000 through August compared to Gruters’ war chest of $266,000. But she’s continuing to spread her message forward of better treatment for disabled Floridians. Babis, a congenital double amputee born without arms, cares deeply about this, particularly in granting the disabled dignity and opportunity to be working members of society. She works as a peer mentor at the Suncoast Center for Independent Living helping people with physical disabilities find jobs and take advantage of government services. 

“Think of Stephen Hawking, who functioned using only one muscle in his teeth,” she says. “Without care, the smartest man on the planet, without the use of his computer, would have been stuck in a nursing home.”

Babis’ biggest issue is the recent combination of “medicaid waiver” lists at the state level. Until the most recent budget bill, Florida had five lists to handle different types of patients, but now boasts just two. Everyone from brain trauma patients to adults with Cystic Fibrosis or HIV wait on the same list with nearly 52,000 patients. “That’s when we had 6,500 people die in 2016 waiting for services,” she says.

Gruters says that sounds like a side effect from an intended efficiency. Should he be elected, he wants to learn more about the issue. “Just having Faith run in this race, it’s already raised the issue of disability rights,” Gruters says. “She’s done a good job of pushing that agenda, certainly one that can’t be ignored. I’m more than willing to sit down with her.”

The election for state Senate District 23 is set for Nov. 6. 

Photo courtesy Babis campaign

[Marina Jack]  Fall Flavors Sweep Sunny Sarasota
Cori Spruiell

As the first day of autumn fast approaches, there is a snap to the air, a distinctive crunch of fallen leaves and the nostalgic crackling of fires in the night. At least – that’s the rumor beach-dwelling Floridians hear. Although the weather in the Sunshine State may see few changes in the coming months, the rich, warm flavors of fall have begun to make to their way onto menus up and down the Gulf Coast. Should you find yourself pining for the foliage of New England, take a trip to Marina Jack this season and allow the Cedar Plank Chilean Salmon to briefly transport your taste buds north.

Although the hearty portion of fresh Chilean salmon is clearly the star of this dish, it’s what you’ll find below that truly sets it apart. A plank of white cedar from the woods of Maine serves as the vehicle for the fish, and it has been charred to perfection; summoning a scent that stirs memories of a warm campfire on a cool evening. The salmon is baked atop the white cedar plank, infusing the dish with an irresistible smoky flavor. Continuing our New England tour, a Vermont Maple stone-ground mustard glaze smothers the main course, complimenting the refreshing salmon with a flavor both sweet and tangy. With a side of crisp asparagus to brighten the autumnal plate, revel in the spirit of the season with this remarkable dish, arriving soon to Marina Jack’s fall menu. 

2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota

[Business]  Kirby Named Community Foundation VP of Strategic Communications

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has appointed Mischa Kirby as Vice President of Strategic Communications, Marketing. Kirby will serve in the newly created position and assume the role beginning October 1. In this position, Kirby will develop and implement the foundation's communications strategy and marketing across a variety of audiences, demonstrating the impact made through Community Foundation donors and initiatives. Kirby is an accredited public relations professional with 20 years of communications experience in journalism, tourism marketing and nonprofit management. Kirby most recently held the position of vice president for external relations at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. She is a past board member for the Florida Public Relations Association, serving as president of the local chapter, and a graduate of the 2018 class of Leadership Sarasota County. She earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

[Travel]  Frontier Adds Third Nonstop Destination at SRQ

Frontier Airlines announced today it will add nonstop service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). Service between ATL and SRQ will begin on December 10, 2018 with thrice-weekly flights offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using Airbus A320 aircraft. To celebrate these new routes, Frontier is offering special introductory fares as low as $39 each way. Flight times are as follows: departs ATL at 8:09am and arrives SRQ at 9:39am, and departs SRQ at 10:30am and arrives ATL at 12:10am. 

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

[Business]  Rabbi Simon Joins Toale Brothers Funeral Home

Rabbi Howard A. Simon has joined the staff of Toale Brothers Funeral Home as a liaison to the Jewish community. In this newly created, multi-faceted position, Simon will provide counseling and outreach with a focus on serving the needs of Jewish families. Simon was ordained as a rabbi at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to assuming leadership of Sarasota’s Temple Emanu-El Congregation, he had served congregations in Baltimore, MD; Atlantic City, NJ; Cincinnati, OH and Knoxville, TN. Simon is vice president of the Sarasota Ministerial Association, and writes a monthly column for The Jewish News sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota/Manatee.  He was a founder and president of Knoxville’s Interfaith Health Clinic, served a number of years on the board of the Jewish Federation, led three Interfaith Missions to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Federation and was the founding Chairman of the Esther and Robert Heller Israel Advisory Initiative of the Jewish Federation. 

Toale Brothers Funeral Homes

[Synergy]  FSU/Asolo Conservatory Receives Grant from GCCF

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training has announced that it is the recipient of a $7,500 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The grant supports this season’s Shakespeare in the Gardens performance of As You Like It, which runs April 10-27, 2019. The grant will help transform Marie Selby Botanical Gardens into a theatre, complete with state-of-the-art lights, sound, costumes, and more. Tickets for the third annual Shakespeare in the Gardens production may be purchased through the box office either online, starting September 28, or by phone or in person (941-351-8000 or 5555 North Tamiami Trl.), starting October 1. 

FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

[TODAY]  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

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection , September 9 – December 2

Explore two exhibitions selected from one of the world’s finest private collections of French art, “Imaging Text: French Drawings for Book Illustration” and “17th and 18th Century French Paintings,” from The Horvitz Collection. Features 60 drawings and 10 related prints for book illustration, created between the 16th and 19th centuries, as well as a selection of 10 paintings. Subjects range from mythological and religious scenes to more playful genre imagery.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  THEATER: Salute to the Queen: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin , September 11 – September 15

Nate Jacobs directs this special tribute to the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul, featuring WBTT favorites Naarai Jacobs and Teresa Stanley. The evening highlights Franklin's classic hits and musical impact, while ongoing narration spotlights her professional achiecements and lasting influence.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 North Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Florida Watercolor Show , September 7 – October 26

Considered one of the finest watercolor shows in the country, whether one credits the local talent or local beauty, watercolorists from around the state will be showing in all three galleries of the art center, taking over the entire space for this premier exhibition.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St. W, Bradenton.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest: Dr. Dave Band , September 14, 5pm-9pm

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is wrapping up their Friday Fest summertime concert series this September with the Dr. Dave Band. A Bradenton favorite performing for more than a decade as a top-choice house band, this group knows how to wow a crowd with high-energy Southern Rock blended with bluegrass banjo and fiddle. During the show, don’t forget to indulge in the refreshments provided by Van Wezel, including local food trucks and popular beverage vendors. Bring a blanket, lawn chairs and settle in for a good time.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Boys & Girls Club 13th Annual Leadership Breakfast , September 14

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will honor Dick Vitale, Sarasota Philanthropist and Sports Personality, and Todd Jones, Publix Super Markets’ CEO, at the 13th Annual Intertape Polymer Group Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering local youth as future leaders. The event will be held on September 14, 2018 and will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at bgcsarasota.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Tanya Orr, Community Engagement Manager, for more information by calling (941) 366-3911 or emailing torr@bgcsarasota.com.   

Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Watercolors from the Permanent Collection , September 15 – February 3

A selection of watercolors drawn from The Ringling’s permanent collections, illustrating various ways artists have used the medium. The exhibition will feature works by Edward Hopper, Charles Burchfield and Childe Hassam, among others.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Dining for a Difference , September 20, 5pm-10pm

Join the Designing Daughters for Dining for a Difference, a community wide, dine out event featuring 20+ local Sarasota and Manatee County Restaurants who will donate a portion of all sales made on September 20 back to the Designing Daughters Grants Program for local Children and Family charities. Simply grab your friends, colleagues and neighbors, pick a participating restaurant and enjoy a meal. No ticket, no fancy clothes, just a night out with your favorite people.This simple act will make a huge impact for local families in need.

Multiple locations, Multiple locations

[SOON]  THEATER: Annie Get Your Gun , September 20 – October 7

Sure-shootin’ Annie Oakley can win prizes with her marksmanship, but she can’t get a man…or can she? This slice of magical American musical theatre still thrills audiences with the classic tunes of the legendary Irving Berlin.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Agency of Architecture: Meetup with Germane Barnes , September 21, 5:30PM - 7:30PM

Join the Center for Architecture Sarasota and Germane Barnes for a meetup and lecture. What is the role of the architect and architecture in today's intersetional environment? Can the architect, once singularly viewed as the master builder, be held responsible for non-inclusive space?

Center for Architecture, 265 S Orange Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: 2nd Annual Taste of New Orleans Benefit Dinner , September 22, 6pm-9pm

Truly Valued presents its 2nd Annual Taste of New Orleans Benefit Dinner, at Michaels on the Bay at Selby Gardens with speaker Captain Todd Shear of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and a night of entertainment with NuJazz. All proceeds support Truly Valued's mission of building self-esteem, confidence and character to promote a positive self- image, positively impact educational and career aspirations and improve academic achievement in adolescent girls. Dinner is complimentary and an opportunity to make a financial gift will be extended during the event.

Michaels on the Bay at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens', 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Boards for Bravery: A Charity Charcuterie Event , September 23, 4:30pm–7pm

Learn how to build the perfect charcuterie board while supporting pediatric cancer research. Inspired by Benjamin Gilkey’s love of charcuterie, admission includes wine and appetizers from Louies Modern, a handcrafted charcuterie board to take home, pairing education from local experts and the chance to create your own palette of fine meats, cheeses and delicious accoutrements, provided by local artisans. Proceeds benefit The Benjamin Gilkey Fund for Innovative Pediatric Cancer Research, which supports groundbreaking studies led by physicians at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Louies Modern, 1289 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: iconcept jr: The Future of Fashion , September 23, 12pm

25 designers ages 8–16 are encouraged to use repurposed/recyled materials in their creations. Most of them will also wear their outfits in the runway show, adding self-confidence and stage presence as skills gained. The participants are treated to a professional fashion photoshoot for the program guide, as well as professional hair and makeup stylists backstage to complete their look. Proceeds from the event benefit the expansion of the Art Center's youth art education programs and help students who are in need of financial assistance receive scholarships.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 16th Annual Forty Carrots Free Community Speaker Event , September 25, 9am-12pm; 7pm-8:30pm

Forty Carrots Family Center's Annual Free Community Speaker Event presented in partnership with Community Foundation of Sarasota County returns for a 16th year featuring best-selling author and parenting expert, Dr. Michele Borba. She will be discussing “How to Cultivate Mentally-Healthy, Resilient, Empathetic Children (Despite a Trophy-Giving, Anxiety-Driven, Helicoptered and Bubble-Wrapped Culture)” and “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About Me World.” In these free presentations, parents and educators will learn how to shift children's focus from I, me, and mine, to us, we and ours. With examples from years of research, Dr. Michele Borba will offer a framework that yields successful, happy kids who grow up to be kind, moral, courageous and resilient adults.

Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Riverview High School Performing Arts Center, 2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota; 1 Ram Way, Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 2nd Annual Grey Matters, A Symposium on Alzheimers Research , September 28, 11am-2pm

Don't miss out on this year's amazing Grey Matters Luncheon Symposium benefitting The Roskamp Institute. This year's Alzheimer's Disease-Research based Symposium will focus on lifestyle, wellness and healthy aging. For information or to be added to this year’s waiting list please call Megan Micale at (941) 552-9832.

Michael's on the Bay at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Real Men Wear Pink Reveal Party , September 29, 5pm-7pm

Join the American Cancer Society as they reveal the 2018 Real Men Wear Pink of Sarasota–Manatee. The candidates will participate in a fashion show, hosted by the tenants of the Mall at University Town Center. Come out and see which men in our community are dedicated to raising funds and awareness to help fight breast cancer. Light refreshments will be served.

The Grand Court at The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Raisin , October 3 – November 11

Taking place in the 1950s on the South Side of Chicago, the story revolves around a working class black family aspiring to a better life after the death of their father. Hope is sparked by the arrival of a $10,000 life insurance check. But conflicts arise when mother and son want to spend the money in different ways. 

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 North Orange Ave., 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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