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SRQ DAILY Sep 27, 2018

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[Politics]  Did One STOP! Steal Another's Branding
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A new movement against single-member Sarasota County Commission districts has a long-standing civic organization in Sarasota concerned its message and branding have been wrongly co-opted.

The STOP Coalition in Sarasota, better known as STOP!, says the new political committee STOP! Stealing Out Votes just stole their name. After STOP! Stealing Our Votes posted a new Facebook page and messaging alleging big developers want single-member districts, STOP Coalition steering board member Kate Lowman said the new group intentionally muddled conversation. 

“Anyone looking at the “Stop! Stealing Our Votes” Facebook site would readily assume it is a STOP! website,” Lowman said, “but they would be wrong.” 

Lowman said the use of “stop” in all caps with an exclamation point, along with the use of red colors in the messaging, appeared a clear impersonation. Already, the STOP Coalition received one email from someone asking if the new website was the work of the older group.

Officials with the new group say the hope would be the older group felt kinship, not animosity, toward a new organization in town. “We would hope that the Stop Coalition would join with Stop Stealing Our Votes to protect the rights of voters,” said Russ Bobbitt, chairman of STOP! Stealing Our Votes.

And other groups opposed to single-member districts said the notion anyone owned the word ’stop’ should not be taken seriously, much less the color red. 

“I would hope that's a universally recognized color for stopping,” said Jack Brill, vice chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota. “This is happening because that group (the STOP Coalition) is for single-member districts and they will do anything they can to drum up publicity. This is a desperate move on their part.”

A switch to single-member districts would mean voters could only vote for their own district representative on the county commission. Right now, all five county commissioners, while required to live in their district, get elected countywide. Supporters of single-member district say the change with allow more diverse representation, a focus on their geographic constituency and cheaper political campaigns. Supporters of the existing system say such a switch would suppress voter participation and reduce ever voter’s electoral power to elect all five members of the commission.

Dan Lobeck, a supporter of single-member districts, says more than the use of STOP! branding, he’s upset that the new group would conflate a switch with pro-development interests. The STOP Coalition is Sarasota supports stronger controls on growth, like replacing administrative approvals at the city with public hearings. Lobeck says single-member districts would actually reduce the influence of big donors like developers. 

“Because a county-wide campaign for County Commission is so very expensive, for many years the candidates bankrolled by the big development interests have always won,” he said. “Candidates who do not receive their massive funding just can’t compete effectively in reaching voters from the Airport to North Port.”

Bobbitt declined to discuss the group’s message in detail. STOP! Stealing Our Votes’ Facebook page states: “Big developers are pushing the Single-Member District Amendment to divide and conquer our County Commission. We must stop this uncontrolled growth.”

Brill acknowledged the term “stealing our votes” may overstate things and said the party would do its own campaigning against the proposal. But he says suggesting the little guy gets helped by single-member districts simply isn’t true. “This will change the cohesiveness of county commissioners to instead only taking care of the constituents and needs of one district in the county,” he said. “It’s a terribly thing that is being brought in front of the voters.”

Regardless Lowman says she knows there' no likely legal remedy, especially before the general election, but the STOP Coalition has asked Facebook to look if the ads qualify as false identity use, and she's stressed her group does not oppose single-member districts or agree with the STOP! Stealing Our Votes' message.

Sarasota County voters will vote on single-member districts in the Nov. 6 general election. 

Graphic: STOP Coalition messaging (left); STOP! Stealing Our Votes messaging (right).

[PBNT]  National Taco Day Takeover at PBNT
Cori Spruiell

Seven days without a taco makes one week – so mark your calendars for next Thursday, October 4, and celebrate National Taco Day the right way with PBNT! With a blend of new creative and authentic Mexican flavors, the deceptively simple taco has become a staple in American cuisine, with over 4.5 billion consumed in the United States last year alone. It seems only fitting that there be a national holiday to celebrate the dynamic dish; and while banks may stay open and mail is still delivered, National Taco Day is the perfect excuse to tuck into everyone’s favorite meal.

No matter how you like them, hard or soft, chicken or beef, PBNT has something to tantalize every taco-craving taste bud; as well as their crowd-pleasing pizza and burgers. There’s no need to compromise on National Taco Day! On October 4 only, add a classic taco to any of PBNT's mouth-watering entrées for only $2 – now that’s something worth celebrating! 

1409 Main St, Sarasota

[Business]  Cat Depot Welcomes Ott Jaakola as Executive Director

Cat Depot, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a free-roaming facility, clinic and adoption services, recently welcomed Jackie Ott Jaakola as its executive director. With more than 30 years of experience in animal welfare, Ott Jaakola is an experienced professional with expertise in nonprofit management, strategic planning, budget management, organization and program development, event management and fundraising. The talent management company, MBJ Group, led the nonprofit’s search for the position. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s consistent achievement of its vision, mission and financial objectives. Ott Jaakola will drive the strategic direction, culture and overall management and oversight of Cat Depot. She will also lead fundraising and development initiatives and manage Cat Depot’s 34 employees. Relocating from California, Ott Jaakola most recently served as the senior manager of advocacy, outreach and programs advisor for Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. 

Cat Depot

[Architecture]  Halfacre Tapped to Build South County Courthouse

Halfacre Construction Company, a commercial construction company, has been selected to make improvements to the Robert L. Anderson Administration Center and construct a new approximately 29,000-square-foot courthouse. The new courthouse will provide four new courtrooms and spaces for court-related functions. The project’s improvements consist of renovating more than 62,000 square feet of existing space in the complex and site work and parking updates to the entire site. The pre-construction services have started for the project, including the data-gathering phase and the schematic design phase. Halfacre Construction Company partnered with Tarpon Springs-based Kokolakis Contracting on the project, and DLR Group and Sweet Sparkman Architects will be tasked with creating the architectural designs. The construction start date has not yet been determined, but a 24-month construction schedule is slated once construction commences. The work will be done in phases, and the courthouse will remain operational during construction. 

Halfacre Construction Company

[Government]  Manatee County Accepting CAC Applications

Manatee County is accepting applications for three vacancies on a citizens advisory committee that makes recommendations on regional transportation issues. The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) assists the Metropolitan Planning Organization by providing input to the transportation planning process that reflects citizens' views and attitudes. CAC members represent a general cross section of the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee counties including the cities within the counties. CAC representatives are recommended for appointment by their respective units of local government and are appointed by the MPO Board. Manatee County residents may apply for the following the three seats: one resident of unincorporated Manatee County; one at-large seat representing minorities; and one at-large representing the disabled. Applications are taken through a rolling application process, and may be found online at the website below. 

Manatee County Advisory Board Applications

[BRANDSTORY PARTNER]  Firmo Construction Celebrates 15 Years

“It’s not just the construction; it’s a collaboration.”

SRQ Magazine invites you to meet the creative team of Firmo Construction | Modern. Sustainable. Innovative. As the featured BrandStory Partner in this September’s 2018 edition of SRQ Magazine. Firmo Construction has been raising the bar in Sarasota construction for 15 years and shows no sign of slowing. An early adopter of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certifications, their sustainable portfolio reflects award-winning projects spanning across commercial construction, high-end custom homes, adaptive reuse, tenant improvements, and hospitality. 

Read the full story!

[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]  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.

[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.

[TODAY]  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.

[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.

[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.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SkillSHARE October 4 Mentoring Summit , October 4, 5-7:30pm

Made for speed, SkillSHARE is the basics of mentorship concentrated into mini-sessions that encourage honest interactions and allow for spontaneous connection. This event is a way to meet like-minded professionals, make valuable connections and get straight to your most burning questions about career and personal development. Each participant will be paired with several mentors for mini-sessions. Lasting from 10-12 minutes, each mini-session is unstructured, allowing for conversation, guidance and direction from each mentor.

SRQ Studios, 331 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Beer, Bands & BBQ , October 6, 12pm-7pm

Music Compound is ready to kick off the fall season with the 4th annual Beer, Bands & BBQ. This will be a day for the whole family, with craft and domestic beers, local BBQ favorites, top local bands and local businesses supporting the talent. Not only will there be traditional BBQ to look forward to but also BBQ with a twist, with menu items such as BBQ chicken pizza and more. At this event, everyone can enjoy the music that they love with different genres playing each hour.

Music Compound , 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232

[SOON]  MUSIC: Piano Grand III , October 6

Don Bryn, Joseph Holt, Andrew Lapp, Thomas Purviance and Jonathan Spivey; this year joined by Genevieve Beauchamp, Avis Romm, Lee Dougherty Ross, Milana Strezeva and Aza Torshkoeva. Five Steinway Concert Grand pianos direct from New York and featuring ten renowned pianists performing familiar classics and popular songs.

Sarasota Opera House, 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: Key to the Cure , October 11, 5:30pm-9pm

Don’t miss Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundations's Key to the Cure on October 11. In partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue, Key to the Cure has raised more than $1,500,000 to further research for women’s cancer services, which include breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer. Proceeds are reserved for SMH Cancer Care Programs and continue to benefit the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers including state-of-the-art technology and surgical approaches.

Saks Fifth Avenue , 120 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  DANCE: SCD + NOW Ensemble , October 11 – October 14

Sarasota Contemporary Dance kicks off the season with their live music and dance collaboration, "SCD + NOW Ensemble." NOW Ensemble is a dynamic group dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. This evening-length performance, led by Mark Dancigers (Composer) and Leymis Bolaños Wilmott (Choreographer), will feature a world premiere composition and choreographic work inspired by Joan of Arc and, by popular demand, a restaging of "Dreamfall," co-choreographed by longtime company dancer, Xiao-Xuan Dancigers.

Jane B Cook Theatre - FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Cycle One: Lerner, Jounquil, Onghena , October 11 – November 16

The first exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Natalie Lerner, daughter of Leslie Lerner, features a series of intimately scaled etchings and graphite on paper drawings. Miami-based installation artist Brookhart Jounquil brings his mesmerizing and illusory glass- and light-based sculpture. An Onghena, brings her diaristic take on traditional and contemporary printmaking to create a series of daily prints.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., 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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