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SRQ DAILY Jun 13, 2019

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"This is a great way to keep people out of the county process and make sure someone is selected who they want to fill the position."

- John Holic, Venice Mayor

[Politics]  Cities Revolting Over Redistricting
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

As Sarasota County Commissioners continue to entertain redistricting this year, a growing number of elected officials in cities cast shade on the plan.

“It’s spending taxpayer money to accomplish, evidently, their own goals,” says North Port City Commissioner Jill Luke.

She wants the North Port Commission to send a letter to county commissioners asking for redistricting to be delayed until after the 2020 Census. Otherwise, the already political process will hurt trust within the public.

Sarasota County Commissioner Nancy Detert pushed for an immediate redistricting in response to passage of Single-Member Districts, asserting if voters start electing commissioners only within their own commission district, the county needs to make sure the districts are nearly the same population.

But critics say that’s a way to get around the single-member district and allow commissioners to choose their own constituencies in advance of the 2020 elections. Redistricting will take place again in 2021 regardless, when county officials get official census numbers instead of state estimates.

The Venice City Council this week already voted to send a letter to commissioners demanding they stop the early redistricting plan now. 

Mayor John Holic said it’s a waste of resources to hire a consultant to estimate county population when the Census Bureau will provide a more accurate count in less than two years. But he also stressed the redistricting fiasco was already disrupting local politics.

“Very few people can file for the next election because they don’t know the district where they are going to be living,” he says. “This is a great way to keep people out of the county process and make sure someone is selected who they want to fill the position.”

Not every Venice Council member supported sending a letter. Councilman Bob Daniels worries the move will fray already strained relations between city ad county government. “I don’t know how this will be viewed,” he says. “It could be just another thing we are asking for, and the list we have already is pretty long.”

Luke, though, applauded Venice for taking action and hopes other cities like her own do the same. The process looks transparently like a snub of the will of voters, she says. In fact, county commissioners might save their own political skin if they “heed our warning,” Luke says.

“If you look at single-member districts, 60 percent voted for it,” she says. “And the support for this was all over the county. They may be hurting themselves if they do something like this.” 

[Ophelia's on the Bay]  Still Savoring the Flavoring

Although "Savor Sarasota" may be nearly over, at Ophelia's on the Bay- it's only just begun. Sarasota Foodie's favorite summer food phenomenon will be ending on the 14th but Ophelia's has extended their promotion through the end of September. Offering a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian options; the menu provides visitors with a 3 course meal ranging from a plethora of delectable island flavors and seafood classics with a modern twist. Whether you're in the mood for a fresh filet of coconut and macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi or craving a rack of orange blossom honey bbq ribs, Ophelia's dedication to offering only the freshest ingredients (Florida-grown fruit and vegetables and international seafood flown in daily) is apparent throughout their Savor Sarasota menu specials. And if you have room for any more, don't forget to satisfy a sweet tooth with Executive Pastry Chef Josh Draken’s sumptuous silky bourbon island vanilla bean panna cotta. 

Ophelia's on the Bay is a member of Nosh, SRQ magazine's content marketing program for local restaurants. 

Ophelia's on the Bay | 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key | (941) 349-2212

Ophelia's on the Bay

[Healthcare]  Venice Approves SMH-Venice Development Plans

The Venice City Council approved a zoning amendment that gave a green light to Sarasota Memorial’s development plans for its new Venice hospital. The 65-acre site at the intersection of Laurel and Pinebrook roads near I-75 had been zoned for a shopping center. With this vote, the City Council unanimously approved SMH’s request to allow a hospital and related health care facilities to be built on the site. The health system broke ground on the hospital campus in April and obtained permits to begin land clearing and deep foundation work. On May 7, the Planning Board approved SMH’s site and development plans pending approval of the zoning amendment.

Construction is expected to take two and a half years with a total project cost of $437 million. The initial development covers 48 acres on the eastern side of the parcel and includes: a five-story, 365,000-square-foot hospital, with 110 private rooms and 28-bed emergency center; a two-story, 60,000-square-foot medical office building; related support structures and service area; and an adjacent parking garage and surface parking lots. The hospital will offer a full array of medical and surgical care, including: Cardiology Unit/Catheterization Lab; Critical Care/Intensive Care Unit; Emergency Care; Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum Unit; Laboratory/Diagnostic Testing; Oncology; Orthopedics;; Imaging/Radiology; Urology and more.

The campus is expected to generate hundreds of jobs during construction, and more than 500 employees will work at the facility when it opens. For architectural renderings, building animation and more information, visit the website below. 

SMH-Venice Updates

[Healthcare]  FVMA Names Clekis 2019 Veterinarian of the Year

The Florida Veterinary Medical Association’s (FVMA) 2019 Veterinarian of the Year Award was presented to Bradenton’s Dr. Terry Clekis on May 17 at the 90th FVMA Annual Conference in Tampa. Last year in October 2018, Dr. Clekis and his disaster relief team deployed to the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael to provide aid and assistance to victims of the storm. He showed outstanding leadership, service and dedication to the veterinarians and animals that were impacted.

Clekis is a 1983 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He purchased Braden River Animal Hospital in Bradenton in 2002 and later opened North River Animal Hospital in Parrish in 2017. Involved with the FVMA, Clekis has been chairing the Disaster Preparedness Committee since 2010 and a member of the Florida Veterinary Corps since 2013. In 2007, the FVMA awarded him the Gold Star Award. Clekis is also a board member of the Southeast Guide Dog Association, the Manatee County Humane Society and the American Heartworm Society. 

Braden River Animal Hospital

[Travel]  SRQ Airport Announces Updated Animal Policy

The Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority, operator of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) has updated existing regulations regarding animals using the terminal facility. The new regulations do not affect trained service animals, which are always welcome at any time. Other non-service animals including pets, emotional support, and comfort animals must adhere to the policy.  The updated rules can be summarized as follows:

Non-service animals will not be allowed in the terminal building unless traveling with their owner. Non-service animals must be kept in an animal carrier while inside the terminal. If no carrier is available, the animal must be carried.  If the animal is too large to fit in a carrier or be carried, the animal must be kept on a non-retractable leash extending no longer than three feet from the owner. All animals must be housebroken. The owner is responsible for cleaning up and reporting any mess left by the animal. All animals must be under the control of the owner. 

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

[At the Table]  Element Restaurant Adds Lunch Service to the Menu

element: Modern Mediterranean Grill in downtown Sarasota has launched its latest expansion of service, and the one-year old fine dining restaurant has now opened for lunch. Lunch guests will enjoy “starters” including charcuterie, salads and soups, with available additions of shrimp, salmon, and tenderloin of beef among others. And element’s “sandwich board” will include prosciutto on ciabatta, smoked salmon, spice rubbed steak and a serious eight-ounce Brasstown Beef burger. This new lunch service is offered Monday to Friday from 11am until 2pm, and Weekend Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 2pm. Through June 30, element is participating in the “Savor Sarasota” dining promotion with special three-course lunches for $16, and four-course dinners for $32. 

element: Modern Mediterranean Grill

[Business]  ThriveTracker Appoints Varga Managing Director

The premier tracker for performance marketers, ThriveTracker, a tracker for performance marketers, has announced the appointment of Peter Varga Jr. to Managing Director. Varga is a 16-year veteran of the industry, developing key relationships with clients, providing guidance in the performance marketing space, and helping customers to optimize return on investment (ROI). As Managing Director of Thrive, Varga will oversee client relations, design and implement long term strategy for the tracking platform, manage sales efforts and lead Thrive’s team in creating customer experiences. 


[Tourism]  Waterline Marina Resort Installs Web Cameras for Live Access

Mainsail Lodging & Development has announced the installment of Deckchair Livecam Technology at each of their five Autograph Collection Hotels, including Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club on Anna Maria Island. The new web cameras allow consumers to access live views and daily time-lapse video from anywhere in the world, in real-time and high definition.

Mainsail Lodging & Development is one of the first in the United States to install Deckchair to Autograph properties in both the US and Caribbean. Website viewers can spend time interacting with each of the properties at the website below. 

Waterline Marina Resort Webcam

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: SkillSHARE: Mentoring at the Speed of Life, June 13 , June 13, 5-7:30pm

Join us for an evening of deep-dive peer mentorship at the spring SkillSHARE: Mentorship at the Speed of Life on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the SRQ Studios at 331 South Pineapple Avenue in Downtown Sarasota from 5-7:30pm. Register online by submitting questions from the areas in which you'd like to be paired with a peer mentor for the evening at SRQMAG.COM/SKILLSHARE. Light bites and wine. Registration closes on Friday, May 17, 2019; the registration fee is $25 per person. Limited to 16 mentees. For more information, contact SRQ MEDIA at 941-365-7702 x204.

SRQ Studios, 331 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

[TODAY]  THEATER: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 11 – August 3

This family-friendly spectacular showcases some of the finest circus artists from around the world, performing acts to thrill audiences of all ages. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets for preview shows, June 11-14, are just $12; for the remainder of the run tickets are $16/adults, $12/children 12 and under.

Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gauguin's Voyage to Paradise , February 10 – June 30

Just as Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world, the deep impact of botanical imagery on his work cannot be denied. This exhibition will highlight the essential role of botanicals in achieving the artist’s vision of the savage, primitive and exotic. Together with lush displays of tropical plants in the conservatory and gardens, the show will feature dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Three Titans (Saturday Symphony) , June 15, 7:30pm

Spend an evening with three titans of the Classical Period of music history: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. “Papa” Haydn and Mozart were close friends; the young Beethoven studied with Haydn and played for Mozart. Together, these three giants form a family of classicists that transformed the history of Western music in the space of 75 years. The program opens with the young Beethoven’s Octet in E-flat Major for winds. Festival Faculty are joined by Fellows for this boisterous romp of youthful enthusiasm. The concert continues with Haydn’s Symphony No. 80, performed “classical style” without a conductor. The Festival Orchestra will be led by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Alexander Kerr. 

Sarasota Opera House, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Garden Music Series , June 16, 1pm

Join local band favorite, Ari and the Alibis, for an afternoon of Funk, Jazz, Samba, Blues, Rock and Soul infusion. Experience a taste of classical, modern and well-known hits while venturing on a relaxing stroll throughout Selby's lush greenery. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Club of Sarasota (Summer Concert Series) , June 17

Enjoy a fabulous concert featuring The Danny Sinoff Trio and Patricia Dean. In this concert, Danny Sinoff obtains a style of Jazz that is both swinging and emotionally heartfelt. On drums and vocals is Patricia Dean. As a drummer, she is an inspiring and supremely tasteful time-keeper, accompanist & soloist. On vocals, she is swinging, sensitive and musical. Completing the trio is Scott Smith on bass. Jazz Club members $35; non-members $39. 

Florida Studio Theatre Court Cabaret, First Street and Coconut Avenue, Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: June BCE at Siesta Key Palms Hotel , June 20

Mix and mingle with fellow Siesta Key Chamber members at the June Business Card Exchange hosted by Siesta Key Palms Hotel. Join for complimentary drinks, appetizers, and chances to win prizes. Don't forget to bring business cards and a door prize to promote businesses. 

Siesta Key Palms Hotel, 1800 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Big Night Out , June 21

Join us for The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay.


Kicking off Friday Fest 2019 is Big Night Out – a grooving six-piece dance band performing Latin, R&B and Island dance music! A powerful horn section and Latin percussion add to the commanding vocals of Frank Alverez. Dance the night away with a perfect view of the Sarasota sunset as Big Night Out’s kicks off our annual summer concert series!

Van Wezel

[SOON]  THEATER: Junie B. Jones The Musical , June 21 – June 22

Junie B. starts her first day of first grade, where she encounters many changes. Her best friend finds new best friends. She makes friends with Herb, the new kid. She has problems reading the blackboard in Mr. Scary’s class. Include the friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament, and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” First grade has never been more exciting! A Kidz Camp production.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Wigs and Wit , June 25, 8pm

This showcase features a head-to-head battle of the wits between the area's most fabulous drag queens and hilarious stand-up comics. Music, comedy and surprises make this a unique live experience. Hosted by Jeff Klein and Sarasota's favorite hometown girl, Miss Beneva Fruitville.

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

[SOON]  THEATER: Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow , June 26 – August 10

This powerful musical biography celebrates the life of actress and singer Ethel Waters. From abject poverty to Broadway and Hollywood stardom, Ethel Waters crossed racial barriers to become a legend. No matter what challenges she faced, music gave Waters strength, solace, and success. 

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Elvis Jailhouse Ballroom Revival! , June 30, 7pm–9pm

From his romantic ballads to his lively jives, embark on a journey through the era of Elvis. Choreographed and directed by world-renowned three-time World Champion, Wilson Barrera, this production is performed by both the professional dance instructors and students of Wilson's Dance Club International. Experience Elvis like never before.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SB2 Transformation in Philanthropy Symposium- July 25; 11:30am-1pm , July 25, Registration 11am. Program 11:30am-1pm.

Join us for the SB2: Transformation in Philanthropy Luncheon on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota from 11:30am to 1pm. The topic of discussion will be creating bold and resonant impact through the nonprofit mission. Registration opens at 11am. Panelists include special guests: David Moore of Moore Strategic Consulting, Sabeen Perwaiz of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance and Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation. Tickets: $55/person. Table Sponsorships Available. Purchase tickets online at SRQSB2.COM. 

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Share Your Story - SRQ Magazine's Reader Engagement Survey , July 1

There's still time to connect with the team at SRQ Magazine | Live Local and Love Local for the 2019 Readers Engagement Survey. We invite readers to share their thoughts on how they want to enjoy their time with the magazine—from the types of stories we cover to the way we lay them out in our pages. We want to know what you'd like to see more of in our coverage. Thank you for sharing your insights with us. To take the survey, visit SRQMAG.COM/HelloReader before July 1st.

[SOON]  GALA: "Red, White & You" Bayfront Kickoff Party , July 3

Kickoff the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival and 4th of July weekend at one of the biggest parties of the year! This event is a fundraiser for Suncoast Charities for Children. Guests will enjoy an open bar, island style food stations, live music and exciting live auction destination packages. Dress is Patriotic/Island Casual.


Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Grand Foyer, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Fireworks on the Lake 2019 , July 3, 7pm

Celebrate Independence Day a night early with music, food, concessions and a sky show on the water. Join in on a family fun, four-mile, patriotic themed race just before sundown, followed by the annual fireworks display on the lake. The race begins at 7pm, followed by fireworks at 9pm. Race participants get VIP parking for the fireworks, and a front row seat in the park after completing the race.

Nathan Benderson Park , 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix , July 5 – July 7

The first Sarasota Boat Races, called the Suncoast Offshore Racing Grand Prix, took place in 1984 and have become an annual event for thrill seekers and offshore boat racing enthusiasts. 2018 marks its 34th Anniversary. 

Hyatt Regency Sarasota , 1000 Blvd. of the Arts, 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

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