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SRQ DAILY Sep 16, 2019

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"I believe the hallmark of a good organization is knowing when to close shop."

- Mollie Cardamone, STOP!

[City]  STOP! Hits The Brakes
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Leaders for STOP!, a civic group in Sarasota, will dissolve the nonprofit organization. 

Steering committee members informed supporters of the move on Friday, noting limits on political activity for 501(c)(4) organizations and suggesting a desire to support the ouster of two incumbents in net year’s City Commission elections. “The STOP! Steering Committee has concluded that city voters must replace the non-supportive commissioners with new citizen-friendly candidates,” the email reads.

Members themselves said there are also various obligations pulling their own time. Eileen Normile, a steering committee member, serves as chair of the city Planning Board and has limited participation in STOP! for fear of conflict of interests. Founding members Kate Lowman and Bob Hendel recently retired from the group. Gretchen Serrie, another steering board member, has faced competing family obligations.

“We realized a lot of successes, accomplished a lot of our goals and especially feel good about educating the public as to importance of an improved zoning code and public involvement,” said Mollie Cardamone, a steering committee member and former Mayor.

“Actually, I believe the hallmark of a good organization is knowing when to close shop.”

The email noted a June 17 City Commission split vote nixing a proposal to hold public hearings for major downtown buildings. Commissioners Liz Alpert, Hagan Brody and Shelli Freeland Eddie voted against the plan, a signature issue of STOP!

Alpert and Eddie are up for re-election in 2020, though neither has yet filed. Brody’s first term on the commission ends in 2022.

But it’s unclear if any political organization will take up where STOP! left off, or if members will wage challenges on members themselves. “Really and truly I know of no plans to form a PAC or continue our work,” Cardamone said. “I believe our 'leadership' is not planning any further engagement but you never know what might spur interest on the part of any individual.”

Beyond legal constraints on nonprofit organizations, STOP! leaders acknowledged not all supporters of the group would back any entry into political activity. The group noted 18 civic groups, mostly neighborhood associations, had endorsed its mission. That support came, though, while STOP! served as a technical and research organization largely compiling information for advocacy on zoning and transportation issues.

Should leaders begin to take stances for or against political candidates, many associations behind STOP! may withdraw support.

“If STOP! were to become actively engaged in the political arena, it is clear to us that this coalition would disintegrate,” the email reads. “Even if people agreed on the technical goals, endorsement of candidates would be divisive, especially considering the likely hyper-partisan nature of the next election, taking place at the same time as the presidential election.”

The 2020 election marks the first since approval of the “Change The Date” amendment, which moves elections from spring in odd-numbered years to November of even-numbered years.

STOP! leaders listed accomplishments since its formation in 2016, including  pushing for collection of all fees associated with new buildings, approval of wider sidewalks in the Rosemary District with groundwork laid for similar planning in other areas, pressing the city to reestablish a separate planning department and lobbying Florida transportation officials to reevaluate traffic formulas around resorts.

Remaining assets will be donated to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

“We regret taking this step, as we have greatly enjoyed working with one another and with all of you, but we feel it is the most practical solution to the situation,” the email reads. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan: STOP! founding members Eileen Normile, Mollie Cardamone and Kate Lowman participate in the SRQ Rumble!

[Government]  Sarasota County Holding Five Open Houses on Redistricting

Sarasota County is hosting a series of five open houses on redistricting starting September 18, providing citizens with the opportunity to view alternative district maps, give feedback through a survey and submit conceptual ideas for district boundaries.

The open houses will be held 5-7 p.m. at the following locations: Wednesday, Sept. 18, Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Public Library,2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota; Thursday, Sept. 19, Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice; Monday, Sept. 23, Selby Public Library, 1331 1st St., Sarasota; Wednesday, Sept. 25, Gulf Gate Public Library, 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota; and Monday, Sept. 30, Shannon Staub Public Library, 4675 Career Lane, North Port.

Citizens who can't make it to the open houses, which will be held in each of the five districts, will also be able to provide their input online with a survey starting September 18. The survey will remain active through Oct. 1. The survey will be available at the website below. 

Sarasota County Redistricting Open Houses

[Law]  Allegiant President/CIO Named to Forbes' 2019 Next-Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors List

Allegiant Private Advisors President and Chief Investment Officer Benjamin W. Jones, CFP, AIF, has been named to Forbes’ 2019 Next-Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list. This list spotlights advisors from Alaska to Florida with team assets amounting to more than $1 trillion. Overall, 6,389 advisors were considered, and 1,495 (23 percent of candidates) were recognized. Jones is one of only two advisors recognized from Sarasota.

Jones has been managing assets for private individuals, families, and charitable organizations for nearly 15 years at Allegiant, and leads the investment committee, is responsible for establishing the firm’s overall investment strategy, security selection, portfolio management, and oversees research activities. Since joining Allegiant, he has been active in the community through local nonprofit organizations and professional associations including the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Young Leaders Alliance, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and Forty Carrots Family Center. 

Allegiant Private Advisors

[Law]  Williams Parker Attorney Named to 26th Edition of 'Best Lawyers'

Williams Parker has announced that attorney Patrick W. Ryskamp was recently named by Best Lawyers as a member of its 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes exemplary legal integrity and excellent practice. Ryskamp is a board-certified real estate attorney with Williams Parker. He focuses on commercial and residential real estate. He represents developers and investors involved in the development of residential subdivisions and condominiums and commercial and industrial projects, including conversions, hotel, restaurant and apartment acquisitions and a wide range of residential transactions, successfully closing over 2,000 real estate purchases and sales. He also advises clients in establishing estate plans. 

Williams Parker

[Transit]  SRQ Airport Sets All-Time Passenger Record for August

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) passenger traffic set an all-time record for the month of August with 135,467 passengers traveling through the airport. Traffic for August 2019 was up 38% over August of 2018. Year-to-date passenger numbers are up 40% with 1,270,640 passengers using the airport so far this year. In addition to the record-breaking month, Delta Air Lines added nonstop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). The Minneapolis service will be offered on Saturdays only from January 11 through April 11. The service will be provided using Airbus A319 aircraft.

The nonstop Minneapolis-St. Paul service on Delta Air Lines will be the first time the airline has flown this route from SRQ and will be one of six Delta destinations offered at SRQ this upcoming season. The other five destinations include Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Boston (BOS), and New York airports (LGA) & (JFK). 

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

[4WALLS]  Call for Entries: 4WALLS Design Competition

Are you an architect, interior designer, contractor, builder, or developer? Submit a recent project to the 4WALLS Design Competition. We're looking for the best multi-unit projects designed as public or private spaces.

The competition is open to multi-family, commercial or mixed use buildings, new home communities and public spaces. Your project does not have to be fully realized, but must have complete renderings to be considered.

The 4WALLS winners will be announced in the December 2019 edition of SRQ Magazine. 

Learn more and submit your entry HERE

[TODAY]  FILM: Sun Xun: Time Spy , August 11 – February 16

A mesmerizing 3D animated film by Chinese painter and draughtsman, Sun Xun incorporates traditional techniques including ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing. He uses analog and digital technologies to explore pressing concerns of the time.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[SOON]  GALLERY: CFAS: Halflants + Pichette , September 12 – October 10

Center for Architecture Sarasota opens its fifth season at the McCulloch Pavilion with its new Solo Architecture Series. The first exhibit of the series features the Sarasota firm of Halflants + Pichette. The opening reception is September 12 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Information and registration is available at the CFAS website.

McCulloch Pavilion, 265 South Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , September 16

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  HEALTH: Veterans' Caregivers Free Lunch and Learn Support Group , September 16, 12:15pm-1:45pm

Welcoming all Veterans' Caregivers and Veterans caring for a loved one to a free lunch and monthly Caregivers Support Group every third Monday of the month. This group focuses on the Caregiver, and not the patient. Julie Cook Downing, Facilitator and President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC, has over two decades of experience with both support groups and Family Caregiving.

Mindspa Integrative Wellness Center , 5632 Bee Ridge Rd #101, Sarasota, FL 34233

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Voice + Visibility Women's Summit Lift Off Luncheon , September 17, 11am

Don’t miss the Voice + Visibility Women’s Summit hosted by Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, LLC at 11am on September 17 at Michael’s on East. The Voice + Visibility Network of SW Florida convenes diverse female leaders in Business, Philanthropy, The Arts and Community Advancement for maximum impact. At the event, SRP, LLC will highlight local leaders and announce the Inaugural Program for February 4th, 2020. VVWS will feature nationally recognized visionaries who will share their stories of leadership, innovation, wealth creation, and community investing in women and girls.

Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Ari and the Alibis , September 20

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. Rounding out Friday Fest 2019 is the high-energy band, Ari and the Alibis! Infusing Funk, Jazz and Samba with Blues Soul and Rock, this 5-piece group has earned two Grammy® nods (Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance) and an award for “Best original song by a local group” in the Bradenton Times “Best of the Bay.” Don’t miss Ari’s powerhouse voice filled with emotion and strength – live at the Van Wezel’s Friday Fest!

Van Wezel

[SOON]  GALA: ACS Real Men Wear Pink Fashion Show , September 21, 5pm

Don’t miss the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink fashion show at 5pm on September, 21st in the Grand Court at The Mall at UTC. The show will feature Sarasota and Manatee candidates and each man will be dressed by one of the stores in the UTC Mall. These men are raising awareness and funds to fight breast cancer in our community.  Public is Welcome. Reserved Seating available. Contact Bethany Lynch at bethanyk.lynch@cancer.org to reserve your seat. Let's support these men in our community who are dedicated to fighting breast cancer.

The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SPORTS: Totally Tailgate Benefiting Girls Inc. , September 21, 630pm

Get ready to tailgate at the 4th Annual Totally Tailgate benefiting Girls Inc. of Sarasota County. Girls Inc. invites you to the largest tailgate party under one roof with fan favorite food and drinks, classic games, raffles, multiple screens to watch your favorite football games and the opportunity to brag about the team nearest and dearest to your heart. Come out and represent your favorite team and support Girls Inc.

Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GALA: Sertoma Speakeasy and Casino Night , September 21, 7pm

Come out and support Sertoma Kids at the Speakeasy and Casino Night featuring casino-style games, hor d-oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction and raffle. Entertainment provided by Bill Buchman's Art of Jazz Band. Flappers, Hollywood Glam and Ganster attire is encouraged. True to Speakeasy tradition, the party will be held at an exclusive private location. Password and location will be provided via email after purchasing tickets. All proceeds benefit Sertoma Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outpatient speech clinic funded by Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota. Purchase tickets at SertomaKids.org/news.

Private Club in Downtown Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Grey Matters A Symposium on Alzheimer's Research , September 27, 11am

Join us at the Grey Matters luncheon symposium at 11am on September 27th at The Ritz-Carlton. The luncheon will be hosted by The Roskamp Institute, and will involve presentations and interactive Q&As from their leadership team in addition to featuring New York Times bestselling author Kimberley Williams-Paisley as the Keynote Speaker. Attendees will hear updates on various areas of brain health, potential treatments and information for caregivers, preventative measures, early symptom warnings and clinical research updates regarding the potential for new treatment. Proceeds raised go towards research and development at The Roskamp Institute. 

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL

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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