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SRQ DAILY Mar 3, 2020

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"It is guaranteed to become a popular gathering area for residents and visitors to the Farmers Market or downtown employees seeking a place to enjoy being outside."

- Tom Barwin, City Manager

[The Dish]  That Thing From That Movie, on Toast
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

In cinema, most of the films celebrated for their true-to-life depictions often portray bloody wars. Outside of that, Hollywood likes to take liberties with the truth, even when the film is “based on a true story,” which seems to mean little. That’s part of what makes Disney’s Ratatouille so special. As a film largely about food, its truthfulness does not result so much from the sentient rat that aspires to be a chef (of course) but from the film’s depiction of life in a restaurant kitchen that so fully captures the ethos of the culinary elite. Anthony Bourdain went so far as to say, “I think it’s quite simply the best food movie ever made.” 

The star dish in the film is, naturally, ratatouille, a stewed vegetable dish with origins in France’s Occitan region. Commonly, the dish includes tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, squash, eggplant, bell peppers and seasonal herbs, but its preparation varies so widely that it can hardly be said to have a single, essential version. The film immortalized the artful interpretation of the dish from chef Michel Guérard called confit byaldi, a decidedly modern take with its highly stylized plating, but ratatouille can also be made as more of a stew with all the veggies crudely chopped. The freshly minted Blasé Bistro on Hillview makes use of the latter for its ratatouille bruschetta appetizer. 

Served atop two thick slices of rustic, grilled bread, their version of the stew includes roasted tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant, goat cheese, pine nuts and olives, then garnishes of herbs that include parsley and fennel. The great triumph of the preparation is that, in spite of all the ingredients, the flavor of each vegetable remains distinct. Not to say that they clash, but that they do not undergo the diffusion of flavor most stews do. The result is a ragout that tastes as fresh and green as a salad, but with the richness of a porridge. The olives and goat cheese, in particular, add a nice bit of saltiness and flair that make it entirely Blasé’s, and the overall impression of the appetizer feels more like a serving of vegetables than bread. An appetizer this good bodes well for the meatier sections of the menu.  

Photo taken by Andrew Fabian.

Blase Bistro, 1920 Hillview St., Sarasota, 941-312-6850.

[Precaution]  Buchanan Meets With Doctors Hospital Chief on Coronavirus Patient
Congressman Vern Buchanan was assured by the chief of the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, where a presumptive coronavirus patient is being treated, that the hospital is taking every precaution possible to limit exposure to others. In an hour-long meeting at the hospital yesterday morning with Chief Executive Officer Robert Meade and other specialists, Buchanan was told the hospital was proceeding as if the patient had COVID-19 and was taking all possible precautions. Meade said they had the situation “under control” and that the hospital was doing everything possible to protect other patients, hospital staff and the community. He declined to discuss specifics of the patient’s condition given health privacy statutes. Meade said he was awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control to confirm the patient had coronavirus. Buchanan said he has spoken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital president David Verinder, who expressed assurances that his facility was prepared and ready should any cases of COVID-19 be reported there.
“Speed is critical to containing the threat,” said Buchanan, who was one of the first in Congress to call for the president to declare a public health emergency days before Trump did so. Buchanan also was one of the first to call for restricting flights into the country from China, the origin of the disease. The first two “presumptive” cases involved residents of Manatee and Hillsborough county — both counties in Buchanan’s congressional district. The United States recorded its first two deaths attributed to the coronavirus over the weekend.
Congressional leaders have discussed a supplemental appropriation to address the spread of the disease, but no timetable for passage has been set. Buchanan said the bill should be enacted this week and sent to the president’s desk to get the funding in the pipeline. 
[Community]  Paul Thorpe Jr. Park/Lemon Ave. Grand Re-opening Set for Friday

The community is invited to a block party to celebrate the grand re-opening of Paul Thorpe Jr. Park and Lemon Avenue on Friday, March 6, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Paul Thorpe Jr. Park, 135 S. Pineapple Avenue.  The free event will feature live music, refreshments and guided tours of the improvements in the park and along Lemon Avenue, which will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic during the event.

Started in May 2019, the Lemon Avenue Streetscape project was designed to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience in downtown Sarasota.  From Main Street south to Pineapple Avenue, the existing roadway, sidewalks and curbs were removed and replaced with decorative brick pavers, new landscaping and streetlights.  Medallions also were handcrafted in three intersections along Lemon Avenue: Main Street, State Street and Pineapple Avenue.

“These improvements enhance the pedestrian experience and provide a sense of place in downtown,” says Planning Director Steve Cover.  “This environment will attract people who want to stroll, shop, eat and simply enjoy the experience of being in a pedestrian-friendly downtown.  That was the vision when the Lemon Avenue Streetscape was first conceptualized. Now that it’s complete this really helps make downtown Sarasota that much more special, a place people want to be.”   

Paul Thorpe Jr. Park was modernized with the installation of pavers, additional trees, seating areas and an impressive trellis, where visitors can walk under flowering vines. The whimsical mermaid fountain remains a focal point of the park. “This park is a perfect tribute to Paul Thorpe, known as ‘Mr. Downtown,’ said City Manager Tom Barwin.  “It is guaranteed to become a popular gathering area for residents and visitors to the Farmers Market or downtown employees seeking a place to enjoy being outside.” 

As part of the grand re-opening celebration, The Mark’s public art contribution will be formally unveiled. Complimentary light refreshments will be provided by Brick’s Smoked Meats and the Sarasota Farmers Market.  The block party is also sponsored by Jon F. Swift Construction and Kolter Urban LLC. 

[Tourism]  Siesta Key Named No. 1 Beach in the United States and No. 11 in the World by TripAdvisor

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) recently shared that Siesta Beach in Sarasota County on Florida’s Gulf Coast was once again designated the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top Beach in the United States. Siesta Beach ranked first out of 25. In the Top Beaches in the World category, Siesta Beach ranked No. 11.

“It is a great honor to receive the Top Beach in the United States ranking by TripAdvisor Travelers again this year,” said Virginia Haley, VSC President. “With soft, quartz-crystal sand, beautiful blue-green waters, a great selection of accommodations, restaurants and activities, Siesta Beach is truly a gem in our community. VSC is proud to market the destination and have such an asset  to promote on the world stage. It is because of these travelers that we get to tout this designation!”

Part of VSC’s strategy to raise awareness of Siesta Key Beach is to sponsor the Siesta Key destination page on TripAdvisor. This tactic increases consideration of the island and beach within the platform and reaches those researching a trip to Siesta Key Beach. The TripAdvisor Destination Page encompasses an overview on things to do, places to stay, where to eat, and top nearby attractions. VSC also sponsors the Sarasota destination page on TripAdvisor. 

Between the two Trip Advisor pages, there are over 90,000 images associated with Siesta Key Beach and Sarasota County. The mix of user-submitted photography and content from VSC creates a great experience for those looking to plan their visit. 

To see the full report, visit www.TripAdvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches. 

[Traffic]  Fruitville Road Closure Begins This Week for Phase 2 of Roundabout Construction

The second phase of construction for the US 41-Fruitville Road Roundabout Project will begin and will include the closure of westbound Fruitville Road from Cocoanut Avenue to US 41.  This closure is part of a new traffic pattern that is expected to be in effect through Summer 2020. To bypass traffic on US 41 within and around the project limits, the primary route to travel is Lemon Avenue, whether your destination is north of downtown Sarasota or on Longboat Key.  Local businesses in the project limits are accessible and you’re encouraged to support them.

To review the best detour routes to help you navigate around construction to your destination, follow these links:  Primary Detour Map and Local Business Access Map. For more information, please visit US41FruitvilleRoundabout.com, call 941-275-9360, or email info@us41fruitvilleroundabout.com.

The US 41-Fruitville Road roundabout is being constructed by Wright Construction Group, Inc. for the Quay Sarasota, on behalf of the City of Sarasota in cooperation with the Florida Department of Transportation. 

[Healthcare]  New Interventional Radiology Suite Opens This Week with Latest, Non-Surgical Solutions for Patients

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is “seeing” patients better than ever in a new outpatient interventional radiology suite that has been added to SMH’s expanding University Parkway outpatient campus. Many conditions that once required surgery – from blocked arteries to cancerous lesions – can be treated by interventional radiologists using advanced medical imaging and percutaneous (through the skin) and catheter-based procedures. Interventional radiologists are board-certified subspecialty physicians whose diagnostic and clinical expertise cross all specialties. They use X-rays, MRI, ultrasound and advanced imaging to diagnose, treat, and cure conditions and disease in nearly every organ and system of the body. Interventional radiology (IR) procedures typically result in less risk of infection, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery. Thanks to the expansion of SMH’s University Parkway radiology center, local patients now have safer, less invasive treatment options close to home.  

Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center, 5350 University Parkway, Sarasota (University Parkway/Honore outpatient campus).  

[Symposium]  Two Coastal Orthopedics Physicians to Speak at Orthopedic Symposium

Pain management specialist Dr. Douglas L. Constant and shoulder and elbow specialist Dr. R. Stephen Otte from Coastal Orthopedics, a full-service provider of comprehensive orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy and pain management services, are presenting on recent advances in orthopedics and pain management at an Orthopedic Symposium from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 7. Put on by the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, the complimentary community event will be held at the Grand Living at Lakewood Ranch at 7230 University Parkway.

Dr. Constant will discuss interventional pain procedures for treatment of back pain and sciatica, and Dr. Otte will outline common causes of shoulder pain and options for improving comfort and reducing pain. Following the presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the topics through a question-and-answer period. Booths with information will be set up for Coastal Orthopedics and the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. 

[Recreation]  Spring Swim Lessons Being Offered at the Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex

This spring, the City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation District is increasing the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming for youth by offering swim lessons at the Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex. The Parks & Recreation District’s Learn to Swim program provides a positive, fun-filled opportunity for youth to learn skills that will help reduce the number of water accidents and provide lifelong skills in swimming. Swim lessons are taught by City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation District certified lifeguards and swim instructors. Swim lessons are geared toward youth ages 6 months to 12 years. Participants will be divided into classes based on their abilities and ages. Classes are offered in four-week sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays evenings and eight-week sessions on Saturdays. Both sessions offer eight lessons for a registration fee of $65. Parent & Me classes are offered in a four-week session consisting of four lessons on Saturday mornings for $35.

For a detailed schedule of swim lesson levels and times or to register your child for swim lessons, please visit our website at letsplaysarasota.com. Enrollment is limited, pre-register as soon as possible. For more information, please contact the Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex at 941-263-6732. 

[Staff Announcement]  Heather McLain Joins ATLARGE as Director of Communications

Heather McLain has joined ATLARGE as Director of Communications. In her new role, McLain is responsible for leading and growing the agency’s communications department, as well as overseeing communications across an array of brands, including strategic planning, media relations, key messaging development, issues/reputation management and crisis communications. “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Heather to the team. Her experience in the field is unprecedented and coupled with her leadership across the industry, we couldn't be more excited," said Anand Pallegar, Founder, ATLARGE. "I am confident that she will contribute tremendously to our overall vision across the brands/companies we operate.” In addition, McLain is on the board of the Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association and serves as the VP of Communications. 

For more information about ATLARGE, visit atlargeinc.com.  

[ITB]  Now Online: the Achieva Credit Union BrandStory

Now available online to view and download, the Achieva Credit Union BrandStory tells the story of this community-focused institution.

It all started in 1937 when seven Pinellas County teachers were denied a loan from a bank. The teachers soon banded together to form a financial institution of their own - a credit union - with just $99.25. Today, Achieva Credit Union has more than $1.7 billion in assets, and over 160,000 members across 26 branches. 28,000 of those members are right here in Sarasota. 

Click here to view the BrandStory

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed , December 15 – April 26

Concealed and Revealed offers a unique selection of paintings by the artist, along with numerous objects from the Solomon Archive on view for the first time. Syd Solomon (American, 1917-2004) described himself as an “Abstract Impressionist” alluding to the fact that his work infused impressionism into the processes, scale and concepts of Abstract Expressionism. Solomon moved to Sarasota in 1946 with his wife Annie. His was the first work of contemporary art to be collected by The Ringling in 1962. His paintings were greatly influenced by climatic factors and reveal a fascination and concern for Florida’s aquatic environment. Solomon incorporated his experience as a camouflage designer during World War II into his painting. It is not well-known that he was also an accomplished graphic artist, who in his early years designed commercial signage for prominent hotels and businesses in Sarasota. Like his work in camouflage, Solomon’s calligraphic skill was essential to the development of his later gestural abstraction.

Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed is presented in partnership with the Estate of Syd Solomon and is accompanied by a 96-page publication with essays by former curator at The Ringling Michael Auping, George S. Bolge, Dr. Gail Levin, and Mike Solomon. The exhibition will include artworks from private collections and The Ringling’s permanent collection.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Ringling Reflections , January 12 – June 14, 10:30 am

Ringling Reflections programs are designed specifically for people with memory loss and their care partners. They are relaxed, conversation-based gallery tours in the Museum of Art. The tour routes will be wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available for use free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Listening devices, including induction loops for t-coil hearing aids, will be provided. Portable stools will be available for all participants. Tours take place on select Sundays. Please plan on arriving to the museum’s Visitors Pavilion at 10:00 to check in. The tours are free of charge, however, advance registration is required and space is limited.

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

[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: Family Saturdays , February 1 – April 25, 10:00 am

Attendees can be a part of creative projects relating to museum collections: themes will rotate weekly to cover the Circus, Ca' d’Zan, Museum of Art, and Grounds and Gardens! Each week, the program will have a making component in the Education Building classrooms as well as a special handout to help attendees locate and learn more about the objects and places that inspired each project. 

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., 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]  BUSINESS: The New Puppies On Parade Unveiling Is Here , March 3, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join Southeastern Guide Dogs for an evening of art and purpose as they unveil 46 new sculptures in the Puppies on Parade fundraising campaign. Don't miss the custom painted puppy banks that will be on display around the Tampa Bay area in the coming months. Each bank will provide a unique bit of visual art as well as a collection point for donations to Southeastern Guide Dogs. Meet the artists and sponsors of our puppy banks at this special event. RSVP to Frances Marinaro at frances.marinaro@guidedogs.org

Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th Street E., Palmetto

[SOON]  GALA: Cat Depot's Whiskers and Waves Gala , March 6, 6:30pm- 10:00pm

Change the destiny of Sarasota’s homeless cats and kittens by supporting Cat Depot’s upcoming gala fundraiser, Whiskers and Waves. This magical evening under the sea will feature remarks from special guest, Gregory Castle, Co-Founder & CEO Emeritus of Best Friends Animal Society, as well as a delicious plated dinner by Zildjian Catering, hand-crafted cocktails, dancing to the tunes of DJ Rob Briya, and with your help, our best silent auction to date! For information, to reserve tickets, become a sponsor, purchase raffle tickets/program ads, or donate an item, please contact us at gala@catdepot.org or call 941- 366-2404 x 302.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium , 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Florida Creativity Conference , March 6 – March 8

Florida Creativity Conference celebrates 17 years in 2020! If you are open to awakening more of your creative potential, this conference is the great opportunity to explore creativity in many wonderful forms! FCC provides hands-on and interactive learning, music and movement, connecting and innovating. Participants walk away with a fresh ‘tool kit’ of creative problem solving skills and productive practices for their personal and professional life, and a sparked imagination which can positively impact every area of life! 

USF Sarasota-Manatee - March 6-7, 2020 | Ringling College of Art and Design - March 8, 2020, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 | 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234

[SOON]  DANCE: It's A Yoga Party! , March 8, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Finally, a party that leaves us nourished, our cups full, bodies turned on, spirits flying high. That not only activates our highest selves, but also gives us tools to be it in with each other and out the world. This workshop starts with a moving meditation to drop attendees into their hearts with Maggie Kay, then move into a Vinyasa Yoga class to strengthen bodies with Body Heat Yoga Owner, Kelly Prince and Head Teacher, Angela Mynatt. From this place of remembering, dance, connect, and celebrate with sounds by Antoinette Van Dewark and Nati Pitch. The practice will finish with embodiment tools from Maggie Kay and learning how to integrate them into daily lives - so we can always remember who we are. Don't miss this one of a kind yoga experience! Admission is $30, purchase your tickets through Eventbrite.

The Circus Arts Conservatory | Sarasota, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Sunshine From Darkness: Journey to Wellness Symposium , March 14, 8:00 AM -12:15 PM

National and local mental health scientists and speakers address new treatments, discoveries, and insights into the emotional well-being of your child, loved one, family member or friend. A Q&A will follow the program. Community and national resources will be available. CEUs will be available. This event is FREE and open to the public. Register for this event on Eventbrite

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Grand Foyer , 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

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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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