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SRQ DAILY Oct 2, 2018

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"Hopefully we can agree on preserving our most precious resources."

- Will Robinson, District 71 House candidate

[Politics]  Conservation Part of Robinson Legacy
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Editor’s Note: Part 2 of 2

Saving the environment for future generations means more to Will Robinson than a campaign slogan. The real estate attorney’s surname landed on the the Robinson Preserve, a 487-park in Manatee County made up largely of land donated by his family for conservation. And should he win a seat in the Florida Legislature, he’d like to see the state properly investing in more property. “We should be funding dollars to preserve environmental lands,” he says. “Hopefully we can agree on preserving our most precious resources.”

But it could take more than a family history in conservation to ensure Robinson has a say this year. He’s now the Republican candidate in state House District 71, running against Democrat Tracy Pratt, another Bradenton attorney. The seat for the past eight years was represented by state Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, who is retiring because of term limits.

Robinson entered the race early, filing in February 2017, and he proved a solid contender early. He initially faced a primary challenge from James Buchanan, who later decided instead to run in a special election in District 72 then lost. Buchanan decided next to run in District 74 rather than re-entering the fray with Robinson.

That’s no shock. Robinson raised more than $272,000 over the course of his candidacy, including about $26,000 in early September alone. By comparison, Pratt raised more than $41,000 since entering the race in March. Pratt also chipped in $20,000 of her own money; Robinson put in $90,000 out of pocket.

Pratt, for her part, has also painted herself an environmental champion, chastising the Republican Legislature for failing to fund conservation as required by Amendment 1. “The environment has been my No. 1 priority since before red tide hit the region,” Pratt says. “We lack the infrastructure to address issues related to sea level rise and climate change.”

But the candidates differ on other policies, such as education. Pratt expresses frustration at decisions by the Legislation to require more funding go toward charter schools while lawmakers dabble with increasing voucher spending at the expense of public school systems. "School choice has decimate dour school system," she said. While she supported limited public charter schools, she says directed funds away from schools has starved districts around the state.

Robinson, a product of local schools, says parents deserve choices. “We should invest in public schools but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also invest in nontraditional schools like charter schools or even other types of institutions,” he says. “We should give parents and students maximum choices.” That could include private school vouchers, he says. The top priority should be transparency in the schools, though he noted  “We have gotten too out of control with a lot of the standards.” 

As for school security, the two express similar unease with the expansive bill passed after the Parkland shooting in February, but for different reasons. Robinson likes the funding provided for public health but thinks raising the age limit for rifle purchases leans into young adults’ Second Amendment Rights. Pratt was happy to see some gun restrictions included, but dislikes the guardian program that could allow more staff to keep firearms on campus. Neither, though, can say how they would have voted on the bill, and both hope if they had been involved in crafting the legislation it might have been closer to their liking.

Robinson and Pratt face off in the Nov. 6 general election, open to all voters registered in District 71, which includes parts of Sarasota and Manatee counties. 

Photo courtesy Robinson campaign: Will Robinson addresses a crowd in an area pavilion.

[Politics]  Democrats Tap Ellison in U.S. House District 17
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Allen Ellison, president and CEO of the Center for Economic and Policy Development, will be the Democratic nominee in U.S. House District 17. Democratic leaders from around the nine-county district selected Ellison Monday evening from a list of applicants who applied after the unexpected death of Democratic nominee April Freeman last month. JoAnne DeVries, Sarasota Democratic Party chairwoman, said the fact Ellison lived in the district for decades and previously filed to run for Congress in past cycles convinced party leaders he was the best choice.

Ellison will face state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, who won the Republican nomination in August. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 6. The winner will succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. 

[GoodBite]  Lady in Blue
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com


















Bottom’s up! All of Gecko’s Hospitality Group family of restaurants will be offering a newly crafted and exclusive cocktail developed by Mike Ferrara, Gecko's Director of Operations. Dubbed The Shark Lady—this aqua blue libation was created and named in honor of Mote Marine & Laboratory founder and fascinating pioneer of Marine Biology, Dr. Eugenie Clark.  

“We decided that we wanted to offer our guests a delicious way to become aware and appreciative of the valuable work our independent world-class laboratory is doing all the time, not just when Red Tide is prevalent,” says Anne K. Rollings, head of Business Development.

With Mote scientists on the front lines of keeping our waters healthy and full of vibrant marine life even when no one is talking about it as heavily as we have, recently with Red Tide crisis, Gecko’s plans to keep this specially-made beverage on the menu for the long haul. Ocean lovers and cocktail imbibers alike can feel good about sipping this elegantly strong and top-shelf cocktail, knowing $1 donation will go to Mote every time guests order The Shark Lady.

Recipe: Don Q Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, fresh pineapple juice, house sour, mixed up nice and frothy, garnished with a gummy shark and served in a highball glass 

Photo provided by Gecko's Hospitality Group.

Now available at all Gecko's Grill & Pub locations, as well as Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, for $7.

[Government]  Sarasota County Announces Sample Ballots Available Online

Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner has announced that sample ballots for the November 6 general election are now available online. Voters may go to SarasotaVotes.com, choose the “Precinct Finder” icon at the top of the home page and follow the instructions to view English and Spanish language versions of their personalized sample ballots. Pursuant to a U.S. District Court order, Sarasota County is providing sample ballots in both English and Spanish by mail, in legal advertisements and in all polling locations.

All Sarasota County voters will have the opportunity to vote in races for U.S. Senator, Representative in Congress, Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, Commissioner of Agriculture, State Senator, Board of County Commissioners, Charter Review Board and Hospital Board. In addition, there will be judicial merit retention races for the Florida Supreme Court and the 2nd District Court of Appeal, and a number of state and county ballot questions on all ballots. Depending on their voting districts or municipalities, some voters may also have the opportunity to elect a State Representative and local officials, and to weigh in on one of two municipal questions. 

Turner also points out the following regarding the November 6 ballot:

Voters in Congressional District 17: Due to the recent death of the Democratic candidate in the race for the office of Representative in CD 17, the Democratic Party is entitled by law to select a replacement candidate by October 2. However, it is too late to change the ballot. Therefore, if a replacement candidate is named prior to the deadline, a vote in that contest for the Democratic candidate will be a vote for the named replacement candidate.

Voters in the Bobcat Trail CDD: A candidate in the race for Bobcat Trail Community Development District, Seat 2 (Pct 333 only) has withdrawn, resulting in an unopposed race.  Therefore, a vote cast in this race will not change the outcome, as the remaining candidate is deemed by law to be elected. 

All Voters: Proposed Constitutional Revision No. 8 was removed from the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court. However, the numbers of the remaining proposed amendments will remain unchanged on the ballot.

For assistance or more information, voters may call 941.861.8600 or visit the website below. 

Sarasota Votes

[Festival]  Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival This Weekend

Thousands of practical, whimsical, affordable and customized handmade art and craft creations are coming to Five Points Park this weekend for the 24th Annual Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival. More than 100 of the state’s top craft artisans will be on site to take custom orders for holiday shoppers and to discuss their processes and inspirations during the free, two-day event, October 6 and 7, from 10am to 5pm both days.

Presented by American Craft Endeavors, the rain-or-shine outdoor event is pet-friendly for leashed animals, and includes a full greenmarket of live plants, handmade soaps, delicious edibles and more. The vast array of artistic media includes folk art, photography, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, basket weaving, beaded utensils, candles, cork assemblage, fabric design, fiber quilts, fused wax & glass, hair accessories, handbags & accessories, handmade cards, leather, mosaic, wood, painted wood, plaster craft, stained glass, paintings and more. 

Downtown Sarasota Arts and Craft Festival

[Business]  Gulfside Bank Appoints Martin, Saunders Executive Officers

Thomas Martin and Jeff Saunders have been appointed executive officers of the new Gulfside Bank. Martin will be executive vice president and senior lending officer and Saunders will be executive vice president and chief financial officer. Martin has a long career in both lending and administration having most recently worked with First Citizens Bank, a $35 billion institution. He has worked in the market for over 25 years. As Senior Lending Officer he will manage all aspects of the new bank’s lending function including loan production, credit administration and loan operations. Saunders has been a bank accounting officer for over 25 years. Most recently he was CFO and COO of HomeBanc, a $10-billion bank based in Tampa with an office in Sarasota. Gulfside Bank will be the first new bank to be chartered in Sarasota in over ten years. 

Gulfside Bank

[Upcoming Marketing]  In the Spirit of Giving, SRQ Magazines December 2018 Edition

SRQ Magazine is honoring the organizations that are giving back to our community with our December In The Spirit of Giving section. 

Click here for more info!

[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.

[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]  BUSINESS: Discover Sarasota Tours Grand Opening Party , October 4, 5-6:30pm

Discover Sarasota in style. Travel into the past aboard Discover Sarasota Tours air-conditioned trolleys to hear stories of fascinating people, enchanting places, and intriguing events that shaped Sarasota’s amazingly rich culture.  Discover Sarasota Tours invites you for its Grand Opening celebration on October 4th from 5-6:30pm at the 1826 4th Street, the home of the Downtown Trolley Depot.   Hop aboard one of DST’s trolleys to experience old time Sarasota vibe as costumed tour guides entertain and inform you about the history and fun facts that make Sarasota so special. Imbibe at the Depot Tiki Bars and enjoy free wine and beer, peruse delightful offerings at the Vintage Sarasota gift shop,  nosh on BBQ and soul food catered by S&T BBQ and mellow out to Latin/Caribbean guitar music by Bryan Spainhower.

[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]  HEALTH: Day of Action: Mental Wellness and Stigma in Communities of Color , October 6, 11:00am

Day of Action:  Mental Wellness and Stigma in Communities of Color:  A 2-Generational Approach will be presented Saturday, October 6, 2018, 11:00 AM at Lincoln Memorial Academy located at 305 17th Street, East in Palmetto, FL.

The Bradenton/Sarasota (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Lincoln Memorial Academy (LMA) are partnering to promote a diverse program on mental wellness that will foster education, awareness, positive social interactions, self-esteem and self-worth to six grade students and parents of LMA on mental health, applying a two-generational approach. 

Lincoln Memorial Academy, 305 17th Street East, Palmetto

[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]  BUSINESS: SWAC Lecture , October 15, 6:30pm

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for the first program in its 2018-19 lecture seriesFrom PIGS to Hot Spot:  How Portugal Is Engineering the Great Comeback Story of Post-Crisis Europe, featuring Dr. Michael Baum,Director of the Study in Portugal Network and an Executive Board member of the Luso-American Development Foundation. A dual-national of Portugal and the United States, Prof. Baum describes how Portugal has defied critics who insisted on austerity as the only way out of Europe’s debt crisis.  Each SWAC lecture is followed by a members-only reception with the speaker in a historic building on Sarasota Bay.  The lecture is free, but reservations are suggested 

[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]  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]  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.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Pirates in Paradise , October 13, 9am-4pm

Aargh!  Listen up, Matey!  Don’t miss the 80th Annual Flower Show presented by the Scallywags of the Sarasota Garden Club. Enjoy a fun flower show both inside and out as you view the creative and beautiful floral designs, the lush and diverse horticulture and the stunning photography. While enjoying the flower show, be sure to stroll through the acre-plus of botanical gardens, a real Pirates Treasure you won’t want to miss. Avast ye! You ain’t done yet! Don’t miss the Annual Plant Sale & Gardenfest in conjunction with the Flower Show with a variety of plants and flowers propagated by club members priced typically lower than retail.

Sarasota Garden Club , 1131 Blvd of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Coco Fusco: Twilight , October 14 – February 17

A solo exhibition presenting recent video projects by internationally acclaimed writer and interdisciplinary artist Coco Fusco. Works explore the current political and social climate in Cuba as the Revolution enters its twilight years. Fusco will be premiering her lasted video project currently in production. This newest project, made possible by her 2016 Greenfield commission at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, is a short video-essay on contemporary Cuba that reflects on the anxieties emerging as the country faces an uncertain future. Fusco will also be unveiling a new sculpture on The Ringling’s grounds.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., 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. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

Copyright © 2020 by SRQ Media Group, 331 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
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