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SRQ DAILY Nov 17, 2018

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"But there are places where a grid is impossible. There are places where all traffic must be funneled onto one road."

- Cathy Antunes, The Detail

[Higher Education]  CCA Center Enhances Regional Competitiveness
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

The world is changing very rapidly around us. It is a whirlwind of technology, evolving consumer markets and uncertain employment futures. In higher education we maintain a balance between focusing on the skills of today’s job market and forecasting those of the future. That future is much closer than most realize.

Society has moved from the industrial age to the technological age and now to the creative age. Each age has radically changed the workforce. To remain competitive, creative and collaborative thinking must be emphasized in our educational system as we prepare our community members for the workforce. The Cross College Alliance embraces our region’s workforce needs of today and has a plan to help keep Manatee and Sarasota counties competitive in the future.

Our region has a unique collection of higher education institutions that prepare students for a wide range of occupations locally and around the world. The CCA consists of five local higher education institutions in Manatee and Sarasota counties—State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, and Florida State University/Ringling Museum. Together, our institutions form a “multiversity” of more than 16,000 students.

The CCA’s plan is to create the Center for Creativity, Collaboration and Competitiveness to address workforce skill development, education and competitiveness for the future. The Center will help members of our business, education and government sectors learn—or rediscover—how to be innovative and creative to own a competitive edge in the new economy of the creative age. It will be an innovation center, a place to experiment, a collaboration space for people to work together, a think tank for workforce development and a place to help educators at all levels learn how to teach creative thinking to our children.

We envision the Center as an opportunity to enhance the logical, sequential left-brain skills that drive today’s job market while reengaging and developing the creative right-brain skills that bring out our creativity. It is through creativity that we will build and maintain a competitive environment for our community.

It is no longer enough to provide a quality product at the right price. Innovation and distinction are now valued and expected in the marketplace. Consumers want unique products or new designs on existing ones. We see this in the lines that form outside an Apple Store each time a new product line is launched. The people standing in line aren’t waiting to replace obsolete phones, they just want the newest, most unique technology available.

Creative, collaborative individuals develop new products that catch consumer’s eyes and drive demand. We see this in successful small businesses and the start-up/incubator culture. Creativity and collaboration allow small companies to enter the market and create a competitive niche or to develop a new market. They bring imagination and the customer’s perspective to product development.

At SCF, our mission is to prepare our community’s workforce. With our partners in the CCA, we want to see our region embrace creativity and collaboration to ensure we maintain a competitive edge in Florida’s growing economy. The Center for Creativity, Collaboration and Competitiveness will give us a platform to impact the educational culture of our area and contribute to its success.

Carole Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[The Detail]  Bendersonville at the Bridge
Cathy Antunes, cathycantunes@gmail.com

How much density and intensity makes sense near a natural traffic bottleneck? Sarasota County may be pushing their luck and playing fast and loose with the health, safety and welfare of the community with the potential approval of Benderson Development’s request to build 479 residential units and 140,000 square feet of retail space at U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road. This intersection is already jammed during season, when a “Don’t Block the Intersection” electronic sign appears, threatening a $166 fine for those who “block the box.” The south bridge to Siesta Key at the west end of Stickney Point Road is the natural bottleneck, which creates the traffic backup. There are only two bridges providing access to Siesta Key. That reality is unlikely to ever change.

Traffic flows best when a road network is laid out and functioning as a grid—an interconnected system of routes giving us many alternatives to drive from one place to another. Numerous roads laid out east to west (Fruitville Road, Bahia Vista, Bee Ridge, Clark) and north to south (Honore, McIntosh, Tuttle) take pressure off of main thoroughfares like US 41. These north to south routes even help reduce local driving trips on I-75.

Congestion is also reduced when grid road networks exist in residential neighborhoods. Narrow neighborhood streets naturally force cars to slow down, and wide neighborhood streets create the perfect conditions for speeding. Offering residents a grid of narrow streets to enter and exit their neighborhoods provides safe traffic flow. A larger community grid road network does the same for a city or county. 

But there are places where a grid is impossible. There are places where all traffic must be funneled onto one road. If you want to get to Siesta Key’s beaches via a route south of Bee Ridge Rd., you must drive through U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road, and travel west on Stickney to cross the south bridge. There is no other option.

Benderson’s lots on the northwest corner of U.S. 41and Stickney Point have been vacant for over 10 years. Before being cleared, there was a Shell gas station on the corner and mobile homes behind the station. The current zoning allows for 300 mobile homes or residential multi family (townhomes, apartments) units, and some office or professional development. The current zoning would add about 4,000 car trips to the existing 45,000 cars at the congested corner.  Benderson’s request would add at least 8,000 more car trips.   

At Thursday’s Planning Commission hearing, Commissioner Robert Morris understood the unique problem at that corner. “It’s too much for there,” Morris said. “It might make sense to me somewhere else. But because you have that intersection, but because you have that bridge, it’s a unique situation.”

Benderson Development can ask to build more, but Mr. Benderson is not entitled to build more.  You wouldn’t know that listening to Planning Commissioners, who voted to recommend the project. Good Planning prevents traffic nightmares. Good planning includes saying “No.”

Cathy Antunes is the host of The Detail. 

[Argus]  Achievements that Last Beyond a Lifetime
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Two days ago, The Argus Foundation celebrated our Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards. These awards honor the trailblazers of our community. Our honorees, past and present, are business men and women involved in our community and who significantly helped to shape it. Their legacies will last for generations.

The awardees this year are business men who were in the public arena and striving to make their community better. Visible and opinionated, these men dared to put themselves out there to move Sarasota forward into a brighter future. 

Gil Waters

Gil Waters’ fascinating life took him all around the world, but Sarasota would be the place that he would stay and make his mark. His time in the newspaper business helped to shape his passion for the community. He was a visionary in business, helping to find and start the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange and FCCI Insurance. 

He drew from his worldly experience to focus on planning and infrastructure, he formed a group to present Sarasota’s first downtown Capital Improvement Plan in 1958. He became a City Commissioner and pushed a bond issue that would lead to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Island Park and Marina, Marina Jack and other amenities we enjoy today.

He focused on solving the problems of aging and built communities around that concept.

Then, there was the bridge. The fixed-span Ringling Causeway Bridge that he confidently fought so hard for. Unrelenting, he won that battle with the naysayers and today we have a bridge, named after him, that has become the icon of Sarasota.

Michael Furen

Michael Furen is a native of Florida. A respected attorney, Michael put his legal fingerprints on some of the most defining developments of Sarasota County that include Palmer Ranch, The Colony and the Sarasota Interstate Park of Commerce Development Center (now known as University Town Center). 

Mike has spent 52 years at Icard Merrill helping to build the firm into one of the best in the area while providing pro bono services and financial assistance to those who needed help.

He always gave back to the community. He worked with and served on the board of Score for a Child, which provided equipment for disabled children. He also served on the board and became vice president of Josh Provides Epilepsy Assistance Foundation, which provides assistance to victims of epilepsy and their families.

The Argus Foundation would like to congratulate Michael Furen and the family of Gil Waters for their lifetimes of achievement. We are thankful for their forward-looking vision for our community.

Christine Robinson is executive director for The Argus Foundation. 

[SCOOP]  The Voice & Visibility Salon Series Premieres in Sarasota

The Voice & Visibility Salon Series, Investing in Women premiered in Burns Court on 11/14/18. This unique event was hosted by Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, LLC, a new company that provides diversity and inclusion strategies in the philanthropic, media and business sector. The night included conversation and networking among multicultural women, and an inspired art exhibition featuring emerging artists Bianca Selkett and Laura Baran. Says Shannon, “SRP, LLC expands networks and opportunities for diverse women through events, media projects and engaging the business sector. “Lead sponsors for the series include Amore Restaurant and Pineapple Yoga.

For information about coming events, please visit the Facebook page: Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, LLC or contact ashley@shannonrohrerphillips.com. 

[SOON]  The Inspiration Project

Inspired by each other, the creators of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, have 18 one-of-a-kind items that you have the opportunity to win. Raffle tickets are being sold for $5 or 5 for $20 and all money goes to Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue. Winners of the Chinese auction style will be pulled at the end of Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24th. The Bazaar is open Thursday - Saturday form 10am - 3pm with extended hours on Small Business Saturday until 5pm. Located at 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota. 

[SOON]  Arlington Park to Host Gingerbread House Making
Sweeten up the holiday season with the City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department by building and decorating a gingerbread house at a special holiday program next month. Children and their families are invited to design and decorate sweet holiday gingerbread houses from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex, 2650 Waldemere St. Participants at the Gingerbread House Making will be able to compete against other families to create the “Most Creative” or the “Most Edible” gingerbread house. 


The cost to participate is $20 per family. All supplies will be provided. Pre-registration is required by Nov. 30, as spaces are limited. Registration forms can be picked up at the Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex front desk during operating hours, or registration can be completed online at teamsideline.com/SarasotaFor more information, contact Recreation Facilities Supervisor Emily Randell at 941-316-1346.
[SCOOP]  Doctors Hospital Earns "A" Grade for Patient Safety

When you go to the hospital you trust that you will be well cared for and safe.  Today, the Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit that tracks safety in hospitals, released new safety grades. Doctors Hospital of Sarasota once again earned an “A” grade. This is the ninth consecutive time the hospital has earned an “A” rating. According to The Leapfrog Group, the rating system focuses on errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Doctors Hospital of Sarasota earned an “A” for its efforts in protecting patients from these harms. The group assigns A, B, C, D or F letter grades to hospitals.
“We are committed to providing exceptional care to every patient, every day. We have an excellent reputation for safety and quality and I thank our dedicated team for their compassionate and safe care they provide for our community,” said Doctors Hospital of Sarasota CEO, Robert Meade.  

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota also earned five stars from the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality. Five stars is the highest rating a hospital can receive and only five hospitals in the state of Florida earned five stars. The overall star rating is based on 57 different quality measures. 

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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