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SRQ DAILY May 25, 2019

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"I still represent District 21. My career has been based on making sure that we are focused as a region."

- Bill Galvano, Senate President

[Under The Hood]  Governing From The Room Where It Happens
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The president of the Florida Senate may be one of the most powerful politicians in Tallahassee, but he has a lot more to worry than most pols as well. State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, faced questions throughout session about school vouchers, sanctuary cities and health care regulation. All these issues have local ramifications, of course. But none of those things earn unified applause at the local Rotary the same as a multi-million-dollar grant to the Easterseals school in Bradenton.

But Galvano made sure not to let the major issues driving the 2019 Legislative Session, his first as the presiding officer for the Senate, overshadow local priorities.

“I still represent District 21,” he said. “My career has been based on making sure that we are focused as a region.”

Indeed, Galvano in some ways laid groundwork for years to make sure the duties of Senate President don’t prohibit work on behalf of the greater Bradenton area.

Galvano as a House member founded the Bay Area Legislative Delegation to create a bipartisan force focused on boosting the region’s statewide influence. He chaired the BALD again this year, an ambitious action considering he also runs the Senate and must conduct the intimate and demanding negotiations that occur between the Senate President, Speaker of the House and Governor. But because of the role as a delegation chair, he stayed involved in budget fights through a network of members focused more purely on their home constituencies. 

That bore fruit. Galvano the state Senator can celebrate dollars coming home for an extension of 44th Avenue in Manatee County, operational funding coming down to the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee campus, and maybe most importantly, millions delivered for a Red Tide initiative based out of Mote Marine Laboratory. That Sarasota facility, not coincidentally, hosted the BALD’s annual pre-session delegation meeting, where Tampa Bay represents from Pasco to Sarasota voted to make red tide the top priority for the region this year.

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, made the motion and sponsored the bill. And of course, he deserves credit, as do local House members, for yeoman’s work securing funding. But Galvano arranged the menu, the venue, the seating. Hopefully that all results in some long-term solution to a problem the savaged the area economy and ecology last summer.

“I’ve been involved for years in research funding for red tide,” Galvano said. “There has been a lot learned but there has not been an acute focus of prevention, mitigation and remediation.” After red tide savages most of Florida’s west coast last year, with Sarasota and Manatee in many ways the center of the struggle, the time seemed right to seek long-term focus.

Galvano dismisses criticism that the Senate focused too much on cleaning water and not enough on preventing pollution. This year saw unprecedented amounts spent on water quality projects, he said, including water storage north of Lake Okeechobee. That again serves a statewide role while addressing a regional problem.

The same goes for Galvano’s top priority this year, an expansion of Florida’s toll roads. That includes creating a toll road from Polk to Collier counties, something which should generate economic stimulus in one part of the state while relieving pressure and congestion on the coast.

Galvano didn’t sponsor a single bill this year, but final negotiations on the Florida budget happened in a room with himself and House Speaker Jose Oliva. Galvano ultimately kicked off work on regional issues through his work with the BALD and other outlets, then got final say on what made the final cut—which included some Easterseals money as it turns out.

That’s benevolent puppet-mastering at its finest, with Galvano hoisted to the highest heights which still guiding the small and subtle movements below.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor of SRQ Media Group. 

Photo by Jacob Ogles: Bill Galvano made sure Bradenton benefitted from his first year as Senate President.

[Higher Education]  Commencement: The Ending that is also The Beginning
Dr. Larry Thompson, lthompso@ringling.edu

May. Seasonal Floridians are returning to other states and the traffic is easing. In colder states, flowers and animals are reappearing after winter’s freeze. In the midst of region-specific spring activities, college campuses across the country are alive with motion and anticipation. Why? Because Commencement season is upon us.

For all of us touched by it—students, parents, educators—it is a bittersweet time marked by celebration and tradition, excitement and nostalgia. For students, it is the end of a phase of concentrated learning, about the chosen field of study, about turning potential into reality, and perhaps most importantly, about self. For parents, it is the end of tuition bills, but also the end of their child’s adolescence and dependence. For educators, it is another successful year completed and in the books, but also a letting-go of those minds and talents that we have spent the last many years helping to broaden, deepen, grow and blossom.

However, the very name—Commencement—tells us it is so much more: To commence is to start. Commencement, therefore, is also a beginning of something new. For graduating college seniors, it marks the start of the careers for which they have been preparing so diligently over the preceding four (or more) years. It is the launch of early adulthood and all of its wondrous opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities. It is a time of POSSIBILITY. And we at Ringling College of Art and Design make sure that our students are prepared to take full advantage of it.

Over the last six months, I have told you that Ringling College of Art and Design matters because we prepare our students for success in a future that will be enormously impacted by the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I have stated that we teach our students to blend right-brain skills, like creativity and holistic thinking, with left-brain skills, like analysis and literacy, to think in new, innovative ways that will be so critical for the leaders of tomorrow. I have asserted that industry is beginning to embrace creativity as an integral skill in its workers and leaders. We see that truth in the more than 100 companies that come to recruit and hire Ringling College students every year. It is evidenced by the many companies that seek out our students for design solutions to myriad problems through a partnership with our Collaboratory. And it is embodied by the careers of people like our 2019 Commencement speaker, Reggie Fils-Aimé, retired president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America.

When Fils-Aimé had his commencement—his ending that was a beginning from Cornell University—he had a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics. This degree is not exactly what comes to mind when you think of creative disciplines; yet, his career took him to companies like VH1 and Nintendo, where he became known as an innovator who could also manage complex day-to-day operations. That combination of creativity and logic, of right-brain and left-brain skills, brought him to the pinnacle of success at one of the world’s gaming giants. In his biography for the Ringling College Commencement program, he cites creative and non-linear thinking as common elements to his biggest business and personal accomplishments.

When Ringling College graduates had their commencement on May 9, Reggie Fils-Aimé stood as an example of the importance of what we at Ringling College taught them—how to think and create—to achieving their own success. And they can be confident in the knowledge that, thanks to their Ringling College education, they are prepared to meet the challenges of the coming Creative Age head-on.

 Dr. Larry R. Thompson is president of Ringling College of Art and Design. 

Photo courtesy Ringling College: Commencement speaker Reggie Fils-Aimé with Dr. Larry Thompson.

[SCOOP]  Community Buy LOCAL Campaign Kicks off on Memorial Day

Sarasota Architectural Salvage’s (SAS) is kicking off a “Buy Local” campaign with customer appreciation day, free hotdogs, free beer and beverages, and home town pride on Memorial Day from 11am- 2pm at the Downtown Location: 1093 Central Ave., in Sarasota and Free beer at the University Park store, 5265 University Pkwy, next to the Fresh Market. “Buying Local has a huge impact on local area communities and summertime is a challenging time for many businesses.”  Says Jesse White, Owner/Founder of SAS. “So I’m launching a “Buy Local” initiative and asking customers to get involved with our “Buy Local Pledge.” The Buy Local Pledge states: “I pledge to vote with my dollars and purchase as much as I can from local businesses. I will maximize sustainability and community investment. I will minimize environmental impact through my buying.”  Guests sign and date the business card sized pledge and keep it in their wallet as a reminder.  Pledge cards will be available at both SAS stores this summer. Studies show that buying local has a multiplier effect in the community.  The Institute for Local Self Reliance reports that $1 spent in a locally owned business typically returns $0.60 to other businesses in the community, whereas that same dollar spend in a national retailer returns approximately $0.33 to the community.  So buying local returns twice the local economic benefit. 

Sarasota Architectural Salvage

[SCOOP]  Haunted Sarasota: Mummies, Murder & Mayhem- Discover Sarasota New Tour

Discover Sarasota Tours launches a fun new tour about the city's colorful haunted history at 8pm on Fridays: Haunted Sarasota: Mummies, Murder & Mayhem. The brand-new Haunted Sarasota tour kicks off on Friday, May 31. Each tour includes free beer or wine at the Trolley Cottage Tiki Bar before boarding. Hop on board for a spellbinding narrated adventure. Hear stories about famous murders, haunted buildings, and unsolved crimes from ghost guide Seva. All tours depart from the DST Trolley Depot located at 1826 Fourth Street—a cute 1930s cottage near downtown with a charming Vintage Sarasota gift shop. Haunted Sarasota Tours run Friday evenings at 8 PM. Ages 21+ | $35 per person + tax and fees. 

Discover Sarasota Tours

[SCOOP]  Sarasota's Children's World Wins Tampa Bay Area Sustainable Business Award

In recognition of commitment to the triple bottom line, social responsibility and environmental stewardship, Children’s World has won the 2019 Sustainable Business Award for Retail Businesses from the Sustany Foundation. The award was presented at the Sustainable Business Awards Gala at the historic Tampa Theater May 22nd. The other retail business recognized was Publix. Children’s World President, Cynthia Holliday said “We are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts to make a difference in the community, and are happy to be recognized with another great company in Publix”. 

Children's World

[SOON]  Evolve Summer Social "Saturday Night Fever"

Don't miss the Evolve Summer Social "Saturday Night Fever" benefitting the Children’s Guardian Fund on June 1st from 7-11pm at the Grove at Lakewood Ranch.  Each year, hundreds of children in foster care go without birthday presents or celebrations.  Through the proceeds from this event and  community donations, the Children’s Guardian Fund can provide $35 Walmart Gift cards to guardians for each child’s birthday.  Last year’s event “Havana Nights” raised over $13,000 providing over 370 gift cards. Tickets are $100.  For more information click on the link below. 

Evolve Summer Social "Saturday Night Fever"

[SOON]  Global Wellness Day June 8th

Global Wellness Day will be celebrated for the second year in a row at the Westin Hotel, Sarasota with Pineapple Yoga Studio and a village of holistic wellness partners from across southwest Florida. Global Wellness Day is an entirely not-for-profit day, a social project dedicated to living well. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness. Global Wellness Day will be celebrated on Saturday, June 8th in more than 130 countries at 5000 different locations. The Westin Hotel will host a full day of events including yoga, cycling, a vendor village, speakers and much more.  All events and activities are free and open to the public. 

Pineapple Yogay Studio

[SOON]  Summer Adult Swim Lessons at R.L. Taylor Community Complex

dult learn-to-swim lessons will be offered at R.L. Taylor Community Complex (1845 34th St.) starting June 4. U.S. Masters Swimming certified adult learn-to-swim instructor and Sarasota Tsunami Masters Swimming coach Jeff Waddle will lead the instruction. The class is limited in size and is aimed at adult-beginner swimmers, ages 18-plus. Instruction will follow the U.S. Masters Swimming adult learn-to-swim curriculum, which focuses on helping the student be safer in the water and teaching the student to swim, at a minimum, one length of the 25-yard pool. The 6-lesson session will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, June 4-27, 5:45-6:30 pm, and costs $60. Scholarships are available through a grant from the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. For information about adult learn-to-swim lessons and to register, contact Jeff Waddle at 843-422-6766 or jeffwaddle@yahoo.com. 

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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