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SRQ DAILY Dec 2, 2019

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"If I had a Kellyanne Conway who could have deflected, or whatever people do at that level, maybe I could go on. But I was caught up in the middle of something and I was panicked."

- Martin Hyde, former Sarasota City Commission candidate

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[Politics]  Hyde Unsure About Continuing Sarasota City Race
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

It was less than a week ago when Martin Hyde said he grew frustrated and got into a shouting match with teenagers at the Sarasota’s Bath & Racquet Club. By his account, the boys were disrupting his son’s tennis lessons, and video taken of Hyde confirms he demanded the players be kicked out. “I don’t know what drugs they are on,” he told club employees.

By Friday afternoon, that video had been posted on Twitter, the Club was canceling his membership and the political website Latino Rebels had up an article, along with an accompanying account from player Sergio Dilan alleging Hyde told the Puerto Rican players to go “cut some grass,” something players also accused Hyde of saying in the video.

By Saturday, Hyde, a second-time candidate for Sarasota City Commission, had been written about by Spanish media around Florida, was the subject of an article on Heavy.com and was on the phone with a national reporter from CBS. Ultimately, he announced plans to withdrew from the local political race, as well as from any civic engagement at Sarasota City Hall, where’s he’s made weekly comments to elected officials criticizing financial and management decisions. “Please know I’m a lot of things but I’m not a racist,” he wrote in a message to city leaders and local press. “Happy Holidays to all of you and goodbye.”

On Sunday, he said he was reconsidering that decision. "A girl has a right to change her mind and so do I," he said. "I'm not saying for sure I'm just saying I'm reconsidering. Truthfully, a significant number of people said I'd jumped too soon and others that called me urged me to carry on. I made a mistake and I want to rectify it. I'm wondering if I can do that better in than out."

The whirlwind of the past 48 hours was still taking its toll on Hyde, who maintained he never said any comment about grass and had simply lost his temper with a group of young players. But he remains realistic enough to know how difficult a campaign will be after this bruising week.

“I wish none of this had happened, and a part of me wants to stand up for myself and continue,” he said. “I wanted to see the finish of it (the campaign). I put in a fair amount of time, and it feels like an unanswered question, which is could I have gone and done a little bit better than I did last time. That’s very selfish, though.” Over social media, he’s received death threats, though he doesn’t take them too serious. He’s more concerned how the episode will not impact his child at school, and out of extreme caution, he did have the child staying with family much of this holiday weekend lest one crazy person react negatively to the barrage of negative attention online.

Could he get back in the race? Hyde hasn't made up his mind. He notes his city campaign has no rapid response team. “I’m just one guy, and I’ve been faced with the walls closing in,” he said. “If I had a Kellyanne Conway who could have deflected, or whatever people do at that level, maybe I could go on. But I was caught up in the middle of something and I was panicked.” 

[Government]  With Meters Installed, the Parking Advisory Committee Sees its Job Coming to An End
John Witte, john.witte@srqme.com

Basically, I think our job is over. The meters are in, they’re working well. People are getting used to them, and using them well.”

Sarasota resident Eileen Hampshire is a member of Sarasota’s Parking Advisory Committee, a group of locals who have dedicated a portion of their time to advising the City Commission on issues related to parking and congestion. As opposed to many other advisory boards that consult the City Commission, which are often staffed by real estate developers and entrepreneurial luminaries from around the area, the PAC features more small business owners and activists than one would ordinarily expect. “That’s by design,” says Mark Lyons. The PAC is a platform for the city’s parking manager, Mark Lyons, to get feedback from the community and, in his words, “take a thirty thousand foot perspective on parking issues in the city.”

Of course, the first PAC was formed in 2013, just a year after the city’s last attempt to install paid parking meters in busy downtown areas was rescinded because of a lack of popular support. While the PAC consults on many issues, its main goal was the installation of a paid parking system in St. Armands and downtown Sarasota. That goal is not only complete, but is, according to Mark Lyons, on the way to being self-sustaining and cost neutral. The parking garage on St. Armands (financed through a bond, rather than with public funds) has not yet reached that goal, however—Lyons believes this to have been caused by bad press, red tide, and a rough hurricane season. In addition, the City Commission has requested a report from the PAC that elucidates the different parking policies on St. Armands and in the downtown parking spots.

These complications will be worked out in due time, according to Lyons, who is planning his report to the city and a study of the St. Armands parking structure. He remains confident enough in the new parking meters to propose that the PAC begin the process of sundowning in the near future. Lyons will soon cut the meetings to every other month, and eventually, the PAC will stop meeting at all. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

[Politics]  Mayor to Speak at Educational Meeting Regarding Ranked Choice Voting

In 2007 Sarasota voters passed a ballot initiative supporting the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting in the City of Sarasota. It was seen as a way to improve elections and save taxpayer dollars by avoiding costly runoffs. At the time of the referendum, the election machines in use in Sarasota were not capable of RCV, but this changed with the purchase of new machines by the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections last year.

On Wednesday December 11th 5:30 at the Selby Library, 1331 First Street Sarasota. Ranked Choice Voting SRQ and & The Election Reform Committee of the Peace Education and Action Center will host an educational meeting, to explain how ranked choice voting works, review the current status of RCV in Sarasota and examine the opportunities, challenges and next steps in implementation.

Featured speakers will be Adam Friedman, Founder of Voter Choice Massachusetts, Sarasota Mayor, Jennifer Ahearn Koch , New College Professor, Dr. Frank Alcock and RCV SRQ Chair John Severini will address benefits and when we will implement. 

[Business]  Oak & Stone Opens New Location in Bradenton

Oak & Stone, a New American tavern known for its craft beer, artisanal pizza and gourmet fare, is unveiling its downtown Bradenton location at 1201 1st Avenue West, alongside Springhill Suites, on Monday, December 2. 

The newest pub in its portfolio has a 4,300-square-foot first-floor restaurant, 3,400-square-foot rooftop bar with views of the Manatee River and pet-friendly al fresco dining along 12th Street.

With a mix of bar stools, lounge seats and high-top tables for a capacity of 160 downstairs, the newest location also has a wraparound bar, large windows and Oak & Stone’s other notable natural elements of brick, wood and concrete flooring.  

[]  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

[]  THEATER: The Sound of Music , November 13 – December 28, 7:30pm and 8pm evening performances and 1:30 and 2pm matinees

Like a breath of fresh Alpine air, this beloved musical masterpiece sweeps onto the Asolo Rep stage just in time for the holidays. Maria, a young nun causing trouble at the abbey, is sent off to be governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven troublesome children. She brings much-needed love and joy to the family – and the widowed captain – and transforms their world and hers through the power of music. But the looming threat of Nazi Germany’s invasion of their native Austria darkens their future. Overflowing with some of the most iconic songs of all time, this heart warming family musical will be helmed by Josh Rhodes, returning on the heels of his spectacular production of Evita in 2017.

FSU Performing Arts Center, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[]  SEMINAR: PINC 2019 , December 12, 8am-8pm

PINC is People, Ideas, Nature, and Creativity. It's a one-day, conference-style experience delivered by a cascade of international speakers from every imaginable discipline, skill, and talent you can think of. Speakers range from Iditarod champions, the founder of Vertical Farming, a famous felt artist and a lawyer whose territory is outer space, all the way to Nobel Prize winners, perfume virtuosos, a Master Acoustician, and the doctor who performed the first-hand transplant. Whether a speaker or a guest, the PINC experience attracts creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, specialists, designers, artists, scientists, and anyone looking to stimulate their mind, heart, and soul. It's an opportunity to participate in an eclectic mix of the fundamental pieces that create the human experience. If you want to be inspired, you want to be at PINC.

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , December 2, 12:15pm-1:45pm

Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC and Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, hosts a monthly lunch at The Rosemary restaurant in Sarasota. This event provides caregivers some time to relax, enjoy themselves and eat a delicious meal with others sharing similar situations. The lunch takes place from 12:15-1:45pm.

The Rosemary, 411 North Orange Avenue

[]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Reverend Barry & The Funk , December 5 – December 8, 7:30pm

As part of Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, SCD Artistic Director’s passion to collaborate with local musicians, SCD will join forces with Reverend Barry & The Funk, an 8-pc funk band featuring a 3-pc horn section, and one of the fastest-rising “buzzworthy” acts in the state of Florida. Fueled by their recent #1 Global Position on ReverbNation’s Funk Charts after the release of their debut album “SxyGdLuv,” and the success of their recent breakout single “LoveShine,” the band is now headlining festivals and larger venues around the state. This is the first time that SCD will be partnering with a funk band, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that they are already a Sarasota favorite. This production will feature original choreography by Artistic Director, Leymis Bolaños Wilmott in collaboration with the SCD dancers. This unique evening is sure to be unlike any other, and is not to be missed!

Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL 34243

[]  PERFORMANCE: Art of Performance: Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol: Tijuana , December 6 – December 7, 7:30PM

This Mexico-city based theater ensemble has created a suite of works that explore ideas of democracy in the 21st Century and blends them with narrative collages from Mexican history. The solo work Tijuana is the staged result of a real anthropological theater experiment undertaken by Lagartijas ensemble member Gabino Rodríguez, in which he abandoned his life in Mexico City to work on an assembly line in a Tijuana factory on the U.S. border. Passing under a false identity for six months, he earned the legal minimum wage to explore how the current day Mexican working-class survives.

Historic Asolo Theater , 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[]  PERFORMANCE: Art of Performance: Son Luna y Jvenes Zapateadores: Vivelo! , December 12 – December 14, 7:30 PM

¡Vívelo! merges different rhythms and dance styles such as folkloric dance, contemporary, Spanish dance, and African-inspired movements. Mexican musical ensemble Son Luna provides the traditional music of Veracruz, Mexico, and dance troupe Jóvenes Zapateadores showcase the evolution of Son Jarocho roots with different rhythms and dance styles. Masterfully displaying dance genres from the region, this production provides strong entry points for audiences of all ages seeking a highly energetic folkloric performance experience.

Historic Asolo Theater , 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

[]  BUSINESS: BeingWE: Women Balancing Business & Life - Creating What's Possible Against All Odds , December 3, 4:30-7:30pm

Women are natural-born leaders. Yet, many feel overwhelmed by attempting to juggle life’s demands and have it all—home, family, and career. How to balance work and home life? The Women’s Resource Center will explore these issues with BeingWE (Being Women Empowered), a guided conversation series for women by women, created by Keren Lifrak, an area-based entrepreneur and real estate professional. The series launches with three sessions: The Superwoman Badge, October 29th, Women Balancing Business & Life: Creating What’s Possible Against All Odds, December 3rd and Follow Your Bliss: How Our Brains Are Uniquely Wired to Take Action, January 23rd. Each session is 4:30-7:30 p.m., and all genders are welcome to participate.  

The Women’s Resource Center, 340 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237

[]  GALA: Brunch & Bubbles - Celebrating Sarasota County Teachers , December 11, 10:30am-12pm

On Wednesday, December 11, join the Education Foundation for a morning of brunch & bubbles as they honor phenomenal teachers in Sarasota County. The awards ceremony will recognize an Alumni of Distinction and unveil the 2020 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year. The event is from 10:30am to 12pm. Please use complimentary valet service. 

The Westin Sarasota, 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

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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