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SRQ DAILY Jul 9, 2019

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"They're as easy and convenient to use as an ATM."

- Mark Lyons, City of Sarasota

[Community]  Downtown Sarasota Parking Program Begins This Week
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

The Parking Operations Division, Judicial Parking District and Downtown Parking District announced the rollout of the new downtown parking meter program is now in effect. In the midst of the ongoing debates amongst patrons, merchants, employees and city officials on paid parking implementation in Sarasota—first administered on St. Armands Circle, now on Main Street, Palm Avenue, Ringling Blvd. and the First Street Lot—the City’s Parking Manager Mark Lyons sat down to answer questions yesterday at Sarasota City Hall.  

Over the past seven years, he says, the Parking Division has worked to design a program that is “simple and sustainable,” and endorsed by downtown business associations, the Downtown Improvement District, urban planners, parking consultants and the Parking Advisory Committee (comprised of merchants, property owners and residents).  

Lyons notes that the 43 pay station machines and 35 pole-mount model meters now in effect Downtown—the same as those installed earlier this year in the St. Armands Parking District—were selected based on considerable public input and consensus that they are the most user-friendly technology available. Visitors can pay by credit card, debit card, coins or through the ParkMobile app. Reminders can be sent when parking session nears expiration and time can be extended via the app as well. “They’re as easy and convenient to use as an ATM,” says Lyons. 

When confronted about the $1.50/hour payment (with a small ParkMobile fee applied for each mobile transaction as well), Lyons acknowledges no one wants to pay for parking, including him, but believes it will ultimately improve service to citizens and benefit curbside merchants for Sarasota. “The Downtown parking program will increase availability and access to prime parking spaces for patrons, improve a higher turnover rate and create shorter walking distances to restaurants and stores and cut down on vehicles cruising around in search of parking,” he says, before adding that the City looked extensively into other cities throughout Florida—including Tampa, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Delray Beach and Hollywood—who already adapted to ParkMobile meters on their busy destination streets, and deemed the change “successful”. 

It’s still a tough pill to swallow for residents who have lived here only ever knowing parking to be free in these areas, or for those who recall the City’s former failed attempts at implementing paid parking. To this sentiment, Lyons notes that the State Street Garage and Palm Avenue Garage will still remain free for two hours, and “88% of the 4,000 on-street parking spaces will remain free around downtown.” And for quick stops—perhaps for a cup of coffee or an in-and-out errand—the first 10 minutes of paid parking is complimentary.

Lyons says that enforcement will be “soft” in the beginning, to help transitioning to the new program smoothly. A “One Time Ticket Waiver” will be offered for the first few months to those who receive a parking ticket for expired time. With a receipt of $25 or greater from a downtown business presented to the Parking Operations Division within 14 days, the citation will be waived. To be eligible, the receipt must be issued same day as the parking ticket. 

Parking map courtesy of The City of Sarasota. Brochures with the map have been provided to downtown merchants for distribution.

Frequently Asked Questions about the paid parking program are posted on SarasotaFL.Gov

[GoodBite]  Born on the Bayou
Olivia Liang

With everything from gumbo to jambalaya, boiled crawfish and fried pickles, Palmetto's Louisiana In A Box restaurant dishes up exactly that. And its gastronomic gem: the classic Shrimp Po’boy. These South Louisiana shellfish are hand-battered in buttermilk and a white flour and creole seasoning, then fried until golden. Wrapped in a New Orleans French loaf from Leidenheimer Baking Company, the oldest po’boy bakery in the world, this shrimp po’boy transports you to the Bayou State. With colorful dressings of mayo, lettuce and tomatoes with fries on the side, there’s a bit of Louisiana tradition in every munch.

In the early 20th century, New Orleans street-car-driving brothers Benny and Clovis Martin invented the po’boy, vowing that their street-car brethren on strike would never go hungry. For the poor boys then and the happily hungry today, the po’boy nourishes all those in need. Dine in, carry out or follow the new food truck of Louisiana In a Box, dedicated to serving this authentic deep south cuisine. 

Louisiana In a Box, 704 10th St. W, Palmetto, 941-845-4444.

[Provisionist]  Modern Soul for the Modern Woman

Holly Skowronski knows how to unlock your inner fashionista. Owner of Modern Soul on St Armands Circle, she hand selects pieces that satisfy what's on your agenda. From work appointments in a lightweight blazer to grabbing brunch with the gals in a floppy hat and sunnies, these hand-selected pieces are versatile yet chic and ready to be worn by the "woman-on-the-go.” New to the Circle as of January 2019, the boutique is a recent addition to Lido Key and a new haven for local trendsetters. From leopard print, satin midi skirts, striped jumpsuits and white flowing maxi dresses--Modern Soul's summer collection features day-to-night classics that have been updated with playful prints. 

Modern Soul Boutique | 59 South Blvd of the Presidents, Sarasota | 941-650-6808

Modern Soul Boutique website

[Healthcare]  Sarasota Memorial to Open Second Healthcare Center in Lakewood Ranch

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is opening a second medical campus in Lakewood Ranch: the new Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at Lorraine Corners. The $6.7 million, 12,000-square-foot campus features two new primary care practices that are part of Sarasota Memorial’s growing First Physicians Group (FPG) network—FPG Pediatrics at Lorraine Corners and FPG Internal Medicine at Lorraine Corners—as well as clinical office space that will be available for obstetrics, endocrinology and other subspecialists. 

A grand opening is slated for Friday, July 12, from 10am to 12pm. The community is invited to tour the new facility, meet the doctors, and enjoy free chair massages, balance screenings, refreshments and family fun with a teddy bear clinic where children bring along a stuffed animal or toy for a check-up), balloon-twisting and children’s favorite characters. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30am. The first 100 children to attend will receive free teddy bears at FPG’s teddy bear clinic. 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

[Business]  VBM Advancement to Assist Website Compliance with ADA Standards

As a full-service marketing agency, VBM Advancement is using its 15+ years in working with the National Safety Council, the Home Safety Council and Goodwill to help companies provide website accessibility to people with disabilities.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Web Design in September 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. Last year, there were 2,285 ADA website lawsuits filed in federal courts across the nation, an increase of a 181 percent from 2017, according to website accessibility company UsableNet. Recently, a lawsuit filed in federal court against Longboat Key claims the town’s website is “deliberately indifferent” to provisions of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and seeks fixes and damages.

The ADA standards apply to commercial and public entities that have “places of public accommodation,” which includes the internet. VBM Advancement provides a platform that does automated testing for digital accessibility and performs a compliance scan to show results of a website detailing the domain’s current level of conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. 

VBM Advancement

[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

[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]  MUSEUM: The Fabric of India , July 7 – October 13

This exhibition showcases over 140 examples drawn from the internationally-renowned holdings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and private collections. This exposition illustrates the variety, technical sophistication and adaptability of Indian textiles from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Through a range of historical dress, carefully preserved fabrics, and cutting-edge fashion, discover how Indian textiles have been interwoven with religion, politics and global trade for centuries. Or join the Curator of Asian Art Dr. Rhiannon Paget for a tour at the Gallery Walk and Talk, 10:30am–6pm on July 25. 

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  THEATER: Come Together: When the 60s met the 70s , June 11 – July 21

With music made famous by Cher, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and more, this rockin’ revue explores the changing musical landscape from 1965-1975. Come Together explores the musical soundtrack of one of the most exciting, controversial, and impactful decades our country has ever seen. Featuring hits like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Come Together,” and “Killing Me Softly.”

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip: Deer Prairie Creek to North Port , July 10, 9am–11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, get outside and enjoy nature on this kayaking trip from Deer Prairie Creek to North Port. All kayak equipment will be supplied and is included in the cost of the trip. Call John for additional information, exact launch location and required reservations. 

Deer Prairie Creek

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip: Shakett Creek to Dona Bay , July 12, 8:30am–11:30am

Join John Sarkozy and have a relaxing time paddling on Shakett Creek and Dona Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied and is included in the cost of the trip. Grab an opportunity to go outside and get to know nature again. Call John for additional information, exact launch location and required reservations. 

[SOON]  THEATER: Sophisticated Lady: Songbook of Natalie Cole , July 13, 8:00pm

Cole’s career spanned decades and genres, from R&B to pop. Her greatest success was “Unforgettable… with Love,” made popular by her father, which sold over seven million copies. In this concert, Katt Hefner pays musical homage to Cole and her music. Hefner’s extensive credits include off-Broadway musicals, television, movies, jazz festivals and much more.


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

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Family Saturdays: Circus Costumes , July 13, 10am

Explore the Circus at Ringling through a creative project: costume making! Work in the Education Building classrooms and explore the Museum with a special handout to help locate and learn more about the objects and places that inspired the project.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Ringling Reflections , July 14, 10:30am

Embark on a relaxed, conversation-based gallery tour designed specifically for people with memory loss and their care partners at the Museum of Art. Listening devices, including induction loops for t-coil hearing aids, will be provided. Wheelchairs and portable stools will be available free-of-charge for all participants. The tours are free but advance registration is required and space is limited.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip: Little Sarasota Bay to Palmer Point Beach , July 14, 8:30am–11:30am

Join John Sarkozy as he shows off the natural beauty of Little Sarasota Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied and is included in the cost of the trip. Take a break on the "crown jewel" of our local beaches and take a swim, walk or do some birding before we paddle back to the mainland. Call John for additional information, exact launch location and required reservations. 

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Museum of Art Mondays: Colorful Venus , July 15, 10am

Join the Ringling staff in the Education Building for a Colorful Venus art-making project, bridging active creation with artwork in the Museum. Then visit the galleries to find each day’s featured artwork and learn more about it from a docent!

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip: Myakka River from Snook Haven , July 16, 8:30am-11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, get outside and take a kayak trip on the wild and scenic Myakka River. This trip will travel the portion of the river that is downstream from Snook Haven. All kayak equipment will be supplied and is included in the cost of the trip. Call John for additional information, exact launch location and required reservations. 

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Rebel Heart , July 19

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.


Rebel Heart returns to Friday Fest at the Van Wezel with some of today's most popular country songs, mixed with a healthy dose of hits from pop, rock, dance and the blues! The 5-piece band puts on a high-energy, powerful and melodic country rock act that you won’t want to miss

Van Wezel

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Christmas in July , July 19 – July 20

Forget your stresses and get in the spirit at the Downtown Venice “Christmas in July” event. Catch Santa and Mrs. Claus riding the trolley and visiting the shops, ride the trolley from 11am to 4pm or participate in a raffle for four large gift baskets. Pick up your free raffle tickets at many of the participating downtown businesses and experience holiday magic like never before.

Historic Downtown Venice , 101 West Venice Ave. #23

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Family Saturdays: Terracotta molds , July 20, 10am

Explore Ca d'Zan through a creative project: sculpting terracotta molds! Work in the Education Building classrooms and explore the grounds with a special handout to help locate and learn more about the objects and places that inspired the project.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

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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