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SRQ DAILY Feb 10, 2020

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"I am generally OK with allowing voters to directly decide if they want a program like this, but I do want to ensure that there are some protections in place"

- Christian Ziegler, Sarasota County Commissioner

[Government]  Survey To Weigh Support For Mental Health District
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Should Sarasota County Commissioners ask voters to tax themselves to fund mental health facilities in the region? It’s a question being posed in a new survey from Sarasota County to gauge public interest in better indigent care for those with various disorders.

The questions come as Florida ranks 49th out of 50 states in funding for mental health services. Regional leaders can set up a Mental Health Special Dependent District to charge a property tax, but such a district would need to be approved by voters. That decision could be placed on the ballot in November.

As imagined right now, the Sarasota County Commission would set the millage rate and annual budget for the district.

Commissioners themselves have largely held back from the debate until a formal proposal can be rolled out.

“I am generally OK with allowing voters to directly decide if they want a program like this,” said Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, “but I do want to ensure that there are some protections in place, which is which is why I am pushing for this to occur during a General Election and brought up the idea of having it renew periodically (which would allow for ongoing accountability by the taxpayers).”

Similarly, a sales tax benefiting Sarasota County Schools gets re-enacted every four years, but that has appeared on a special election ballot.

The survey doesn’t just ask for input on the desire for a tax and how much property owners may be willing to pay, but asks citizens to share if any individuals in their lives have needed mental health care. If so, the survey asks how that care was received.  

Take the survey here

[American Dreams Restaurant Group]  Love Is In the Air at these Sarasota Spots for Valentines Day

Once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve we tend to hang up our holiday cheer and put our party hats away. February, however, keeps us in the mood for fun, with the most loveable holiday of all: Valentines’ Day, and love interest  or not who doesn’t love a good excuse to go out and eat a great meal! 

Ease yourself into festive spirit with Fizz and Fromage on February 10th. A cheeky and, “fancy name for sparkling wine and cheese,” Element: Modern Mediterrian Grill invites you to “mingle, soothe your soul and feed your mind.” This pre V-day event will include a Sommelier sharing their wine knowledge while playing cupid between you, artisanal cheeses and an over-the-top charcuterie board. 

Whatever your relationship status, there’s a place on the fourteenth for you to feel like you’ve stepped into a romantic comedy. Besties can head over to Plaza Bistro n’ Tavern for the adorably dubbed Palentine’s Day. A night to “celebrate the beauty of your squad,” with drink specials and a DIY tea blending bar with Local Tea Company. Also, did we mention karaoke? Grab your girl group, get a drink, and belt out a love ballad! 

For those with hubbys or wives or boyfriends or just a big crush, take your special someone to Element and treat them to a four course meal at Sarasota’s Most Romantic restaurant. Or head over to Duval’s for some delicious surf & turf. Even if your night doesn’t end with a kiss, a Chocolate Decadence dessert surely will do the trick. 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, these sweet spots are just the place to say I love you.

Element: Modern Mediterrian Grill is a member of Nosh, SRQ magazine's content marketing program for local restaurants. Further event and reservation details listed in the links. 

Element: Modern Mediterrian Grill | 1413 Main St Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941- 724-8585

Visit Element's website to learn more about their upcoming events!

[Economy]  Sarasota County Commission Creates Economic Development Week

During the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, February 4, the EDC of Sarasota County proudly accepted a Proclamation of Economic Development Week. Officially proclaimed February 9 – 15 2020, Economic Development Week is an event created throughout Florida communities by the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC). The FEDC designed this initiative to celebrate the achievements of economic, workforce and community development practitioners, as well as raise the general public’s awareness of the importance of economic development for Florida communities and to deepen the understanding and appreciation of the work contributions to Florida’s business climate, job retention and growth, tax base and overall quality of life.

“We sincerely appreciate the county commission recognizing Economic Development Week and will spend the week highlighting the positive impacts that economic development and the associated work of our partners has on our businesses, friends, neighbors and children,” said Dave Bullock, Interim CEO of the EDC.

He continued, “Economic Development is about creating high paying career opportunities and increased investment in our community, understanding that the businesses support jobs whose wages ripple throughout our local community and benefit many. It is only possible through the support and collaboration of our county and municipal partners, higher education, workforce development agencies, and the network of service providers that contribute to a business climate second to none here in Sarasota County.”


Photo courtesy of The Thompson Group.

For more information on the EDC of Sarasota County, visit here.

[Legislation]  U.S. House Passes Buchanan-Backed Bill to Preserve Sarasota Bay

The U.S. House Wednesday passed legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Vern Buchanan to protect Sarasota Bay and other estuaries across the country. The bill extends the National Estuary Program through 2026 (it’s set to expire next year) and increases funding from $26.5 million annually to $50 million. The law is designed to protect drinking water and natural habitats in areas where saltwater meets freshwater and serves as one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources. Sarasota Bay is one of only 28 ecosystems in the entire country that have been formally designated by Congress as an “estuary of national significance.” It is home to more than 1,400 native species of diverse plants and iconic wildlife, such as the manatee, the bald eagle, the sea turtle and the bottlenose dolphin. It also contributes nearly $1.8 billion to Florida’s economy, according to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. Additionally, the Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act approved Wednesday requires that the estuary programs take into consideration the impact of extreme weather events on estuaries and implement adaptation strategies. The bill would also allow the program to provide grants to organizations working to address stormwater runoff, coastal resilience and sea level rise. Estuaries, or bodies of water and their surrounding coastal habitats, are typically found where rivers flow into the open sea. They are also some of the most productive ecosystems in the world – many animal species rely on estuaries for primary sources of food, nesting and breeding. Individual estuaries are managed by local leaders with input from local stakeholders. Florida has four of the 28 nationally recognized estuaries in the country including the Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program has focused on improving water quality and habitat restoration. Recent goals for the program have included creating more than 25 acres of wetland. 

To read more on this issue and other legislative issues

[Scholarships]  Women's Resource Center's Career Connections Program Connects Women with Vital Funding Sources

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is partnering with Suncoast Technical College (STC) to offer individuals free assistance with completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and other scholarship applications, and to learn about the high-demand training programs available at STC’s North Port campus. WRC is hosting this free information session on Wednesday, February 19, 1-3 pm, at the Shannon Staub Public Library, located on the campus of Suncoast Technical College, 4675 Career Lane, North Port. The workshop is part of WRC’s newly launched Career Connections monthly program, which helps individuals learn about quality job openings and funded training in the area. No registration is required. “Millions of education dollars, such as Pell Grants, go untapped each year because people don’t realize funds are available for adults interested in pursuing a college degree or technical certification. Our goal is to help connect women to these funding sources and to credentials that will help them earn family sustaining wages,” explains WRC CEO Ashley Brown. In this workshop, participants will learn about educational resources, including WRC’s scholarship program, and receive information about STC North Port’s short-term programs in highly sought-after professions, including accounting operations, business management, practical nursing (LPN), and emergency medical technician (EMT). STC also offers classes in GED preparation and English language acquisition. WRC also offers free resume writing support, career mentors, job seeker support groups and professional women’s clothing.   

Pictured: WRC CEO Ashley Brown.

To learn more about this Career Connections session or other services available at WRC's Venice, Sarasota and Bradenton locations

[Financial Services]  City of Sarasota And Manatee Community Federal Credit Union To Host Open House And Car Sale

The City of Sarasota, in partnership with nonprofit financial institution Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, will host an open house aimed at educating residents about the low-cost financial services available to them, including the Reliable Ride Transportation Initiative. Through the City’s partnership with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, Sarasota residents of all credit levels can qualify for a low-interest vehicle loan through the Reliable Ride initiative. Attendees at the open house can pre-qualify for a loan and participate in a variety of other banking services. “Our goal is to provide more opportunities to the unbanked, underbanked and underserved members of our community,” said Economic Development General Manager Steve Stancel. “Through our collaboration with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, which specializes in bringing credit and financial services to underserved areas, we can help our residents secure reliable transportation and achieve greater financial stability.” The City and credit union will also team up to host an all-day car sale on March 14 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex. There, the public can browse a variety of certified, pre-owned vehicles from reputable area car dealers and work with the credit union’s auto adviser to negotiate a deal with a low-cost warranty and manageable monthly payments.

The open house will be 4-8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St. The public is welcome to stop by, enjoy free refreshments, meet with the team from the credit union and learn about the new banking options now available to City residents. Those who can’t make it to the Feb. 20 open house can also stop by the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex during additional banking hours with the credit union from 3:30-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 or March 5 to learn more or to pre-qualify for an auto loan.

For more information about access to financial services through this initiative, contact Redevelopment Specialist Rowena Elliott at 941-263-6284. 

To learn more abut this event and the City of Sarasota

[Staff Announcement]  Claudia Barnett Elected Chairperson Of Sarasota Historic Preservation Advisory Board

Claudia Barnett, a sales associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Sarasota - Downtown office, has been elected 2020 chair of the Sarasota Historic Preservation Advisory Board. Appointed by the City Council, she is serving her third year on the board. An accomplished professional with 40 years of experience in real estate, Claudia specializes in historic preservation.  After ten years as a snowbird living on Siesta Key, she and her husband Jack relocated from Washington, D.C. to Sarasota full time, where they purchased and renovated their own Landmark 1926 home in the Sapphire Shores neighborhood — on the first lot ever sold by John Ringling.  

Claudia Barnett

For more information on Sotheby's International realty

[Waste Management ]  Tidy Up With The Nokomis Community Cleanup

It's time to clean out the garage and gather discarded household items, appliances, junk, tree trimmings and other garbage as Sarasota County will hold a free community cleanup in the Nokomis area from 8 am to noon Saturday, February 22. Dumpsters will be available at the following locations: Nokomis Community Center, 234 Nippino Trail E., River Boulevard at Adriatic Street.

Hazardous materials, including paint, auto parts, electronics, televisions and computers will not be accepted at any dumpster location and should be taken to the following Sarasota County facilities: South Chemical Collection Center 250 South Jackson Rd., Venice. 8 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Saturday; Citizens' Convenience Center 4010 Knights Tr., Nokomis, 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 2 pm Saturday; North Chemical Collection Center 8750 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday. 

For more information on this event or Sarasota County

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Art Center Sarasota's New Exhibition , January 30 – March 6

Art Center Sarasota’s 2019-2020 exhibition season continues with four exhibits “Incandescence,” in Gallery One, features a solo show by New College faculty member, Kim Anderson, who weaves fantastical painted mythologies from the carnivalesque magic of stereoscopy and found vintage photographs. “Interplay,” in Gallery Two, features work by New College faculty member, Ryan Buyssens, who explores the interactivity of kinematic objects and environments in order to create new experiences for participants. “ASALH: Black Muse 2020,” in Gallery Three, is an annual collaboration with the Manasota branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, which recognizes African American artists and craftspeople of Sarasota and Manatee counties. “Eye Candy,” in Gallery Four, is an exhibition of works in all media juried by Kim Anderson and Ryan Buyssens. A reception for all four exhibits is Thursday, January 30, 5-7 pm A “Garden Party,” featuring wine and craft beer, live music and food trucks will continue the reception until 9 pm or beyond. 


Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Automotive Art of Ferdinand Porsche and Enzo Ferrari , February 1 – May 1, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Guests can “step back in time” to see an in-depth history of both Ferrari and Porsche, and the incredible cars that were released along the way, at Sarasota Classic Car Museum’s upcoming exhibit. The exhibit will showcase over 16 Porsche models, from 1951 to 2004, as well as six classic Ferraris ranging in years from 1965 to 2011. This exhibit is included in the price of admission to the museum. 

Sarasota Classic Car Museum, 5500 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: 2020 LECOM Suncoast Classic , February 10 – February 16, 8:30 AM

After the success of the inaugural LECOM Suncoast Classic, the tournament will return to the Korn Ferry Tour (previously the Web.com Tour) the week of February 10-16, 2020. Lakewood National Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, Florida will again host the 144 professionals competing for a $600,000 purse and a chance to contend against the world’s best golfers on the PGA TOUR.

Lakewood National Golf Club, 17605 Lakewood National Parkway, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

[SOON]  FILM: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child , February 13, 1:00 pm

A thoughtful portrait of a renowned artist, this documentary shines the spotlight on New York City painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Featuring extensive interviews conducted by Basquiat's friend, filmmaker Tamra Davis, the production reveals how he dealt with being a black artist in a predominantly white field. The film also explores Basquiat's rise in the art world, which led to a close relationship with Andy Warhol, and looks at how the young painter coped with acclaim, scrutiny and fame

Historic Asolo Theatre at the Ringling , 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: A Ballerina's Tale , February 14, 1:00 pm & 6:30 pm

Few dancers reach the elite level of ballet; of that already small number only a fraction are black women. Misty Copeland shattered those barriers in 2015, making history as the first African-American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT). A Ballerina’s Tale intimately documents Copeland’s historic rise while shining a light on the absence of women of color at major ballet companies. The film also explores how ballet’s emphasis on waifish bodies impacts the health of ballerinas while sending a negative message to young fans.

Historic Asolo Theatre at the Ringling , 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota,

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed Symposium , February 14, 10:00 am

The Ringling will convene a symposium to celebrate the legacy of Syd Solomon. Attendees will be able to learn more about Syd’s life, early influences, long relationship with the Ringling Museum, the importance of ecology in his work, and his famed home/studio at Midnight Pass. The day of talks will begin at 10:00 and will culminate in a reception during which participants can meet the speakers and spend time in the exhibition of Solomon’s work, Concealed and Revealed. Speakers include Mike Solomon, the artist’s son, Art historian Dr. Gail Levin, Architect Max Strang, Scientist Karen Willey, and Curators Michael Auping and Ola Wlusek. Tickets are $25/ $15 for members/ $5 for teachers. Ticket price includes the entire day of talks and a concluding reception. 

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Picture This Kids Photo Saturday Camp: Art Center Sarasota , February 15, 9:30-3:30pm
Participants in photo class will have a brief lesson in Digital Photography covering topics like exposure, composition and lighting. Types of opportunities to practice behind the camera will vary, but will include taking photos indoors using the light boxes, portrait photography and walks to nearby places like the Garden Center. Ages 10-17 years old. Students are required to bring their own memory cards and should bring either a Digital SLR Camera or Point & Shoot (that has variable settings). Cameras will be available for use during class for campers that do not have a camera to bring. Taught by Barbara Gerdeman. Students must be registered by the Thursday before the session starts. Sessions will be canceled Friday morning if we do not have enough students registered. Click here for more youth programs.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Out-of-Door Movie Matinee Concert featuring Orchestra, Chorus, and Jazz Band , February 15, 2:00 pm

Out-of-Door presents a lively mix of songs from popular movies in a unique concert that’s free and open to the public!  Enjoy music selections from “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “James Bond,” “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Moana,” “Walk the Line” and more. Admission is free with donations benefiting Manasota Buds.

Woodland Community Church, 9607 East State Rd. 70, Bradenton

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Viewpoint Lecture: Abstract Expressionism: The Genesis of a Movement , February 15, 10:30am

The American Abstract Expressionists came of age during the Great Depression of the 1930s and developed during World War II, when many European modern artists – from Joan Miró to Max Ernst took refuge in New York City, where the Abstract Expressionists first showed their work with dealers like Peggy Guggenheim, Betty Parsons, and Sidney Janis. This talk will look at the complex political and aesthetic contexts for the development of this movement, the first one in America to gain an international following. Dr. Gail Levin (PhD, Rutgers University) is Professor of Art History, American Studies, and Women Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of CUNY. She is an art historian specializing in art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with diverse research interests that include the work of Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Judy Chicago, women artists, Jewish artists, Chinese emigre artists, and contemporary art of the United States, Europe, and Japan, as well as American Studies and the cinema. Tickets are $10/ $5 for members. 

Historic Asolo Theatre , `5401 Bay shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The World’s Most Celebrated Love Story Comes To The Stage of The Historic Sarasota Opera House on Valentine’s Weekend , February 15, 7:30 pm

Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo & Juliet will open Valentines day weekend. Set in 14th-century Verona, the deep love between Romeo and Juliet rivals the longstanding feud between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets. In this story — overflowing with lush melodies — the young lovers pursue their great passion to the grave. Romeo & Juliet will have nine performances through March 20, 2020. Individual tickets start at only $19 and are available at SarasotaOpera.org and the Sarasota Opera Box Office. For more information on Romeo & Juliet as well as the rest of the 2020 Winter Festival season—Puccini’s La bohème (opening February 8), Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (opening February 22), and Catalani’s La Wally, (opening March 7)—contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office by visiting SarasotaOpera.org, call 941-328-1300, or visit the box office at 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236.

Sarasota Opera House , 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Love is in the Air! Fundraising Event for HSMC , February 16, 11am-4pm

Show your love for the Humane Society of Manatee County (HSMC). Watch dozens of awesome pups soar through the air during a dog dock diving competition. Enjoy an exhilarating polo match from the Sarasota Polo pavilion, the best seats in the house. Eat, drink, visit with vendors, see Search and Rescue dogs and win prizes. 100% of your ticket purchase will be donated to HSMC (after credit card fees).

The Sarasota Polo Club Pavilion, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Sarasota, FL 34240


The SRQ State of the Regional Economy luncheon and panel discussion will explore the forecast on the horizon of small business, regional economic trends and economic development. What's trending, who's innovating, why are donor-advised funds growing so rapidly and what exactly are donors looking for? The luncheon will culminate with the SRQ Localpreneur of the Year program at which we will honor the finalists and winners of the annual cometition recognizing business leaders who have forged a successful path for their entrepreneurial endeavors in our region. 

The Hyatt Regency, Sarasota , 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALLERY: Florida Southern College Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Bus Tour , February 20, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Get on the bus for an amazing tour of Frank Lloyd Wirht architecture at Florida Southern College! Tour departs from Center for Architecture Sarasota for Lakeland, FL where attendees will experience an expert docent-tour of the campus. The tour is followed by a buffet lunch at the historic terrace Hotel. The cost of the tour is $125, includes transportation, tour, and lunch. Center for Architectures mission is to heighten understanding of and appreciation for innovative architecture, good design and resilient urban planning. The gallery is free to the public and open Tuesday-Friday 12:00pm-5pm, and Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm. 

Center For Architecture Sarasota, 265 South Orange Ave., 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.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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