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SRQ DAILY Mar 14, 2020

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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Saturday Perspectives Edition

"New College of Florida has offered many programs, often in collaboration with other organizations, honoring the history and heritage of multiple cultures. "

- Donal O'Shea, New College of Florida

[Under The Hood]  A Goodbye to Galvano
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Mornings in the Florida Senate the past couple weeks have been partly consumed by farewell videos and well wishes to outgoing Senators. Such a goodbye for Senate President Bill Galvano stretched into the afternoon.

In a special event that included the unveiling of a portrait to hanged permanently on the Senate walls. A video set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” flicked through a series photos of the Bradenton Republican working within the Florida Senate over the past eight years. Manatee voters know he also worked in the House eight years, holding significant leadership positions in that chamber as well.

The love fest in Senate came from colleagues. But there’s also a mix of well wishes and certain anxiety from locals on the Gulf Coast. State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, captured those fairly well. Gruters was elected to the Chamber in 2018, and has heavily leaned on his high-ranking neighbor.

“I probably had the most successful freshman senate take out of the budget in the history of Senate,” Gruters jokes. “So many projects had my name— but they weren’t really under my name. They were under Bill Galvano's name.” As Senate President, Galvano doesn’t carry local spending bill— but everyone knows his priorities. That’s helped bring everything from transit dollars to millions for red tide research at Mote Marine.

“After this year, we are going over a cliff,” Gruters openly fretted to Galvano on the floor. “I don’t now how we will ever pull our nose up and help our area more than you helped our area.”

The local advocacy hasn’t always come as forcefully as some would like. The entire regional delegation found themselves scratching their heads as they forcefully condemned a proposal to strip New College of its independence while Galvano publicly entertained the suggestion. He asserted at the time he had always tried to protect the school, and needed to hear the plan out to see if it in fact would be helpful to merge the school into another. But in the end, Galvano was able to kill the plan with the finality of a gavel smashing a bug. Though of course he did so with signature civility.

In Tallahassee, he’s held in as high regard for his congeniality as any political agenda— though he’s advanced a more conservative than many red meat chewing predecessors could achieve despite leading larger GOP majorities.

But even Democratic colleagues praised the way Galvano led through empowering colleagues. Sen. Audrey Gibson, Senate Democratic Leader, spent most of 2018 trying to win a majority in the chamber and deny Galvano his gavel. The unveiling of a Senate portrait of Galvano was whistful and bittersweet for someone who worked hard to get her own face on the wall but fell short.

“But this could not have happened to a better man than President Galvano,” she said.

Senator from both sides of the aisle testified how Galvano had worked with everyone. President Pro Tem David Simmons, R-Longwood, described a “Golden Age” under Galvano.

“The promise he made to each one of us, he fulfilled,” Simmons said. “That was the opportunity for you to be the senator you desire to be and to fulfill the goals and aspirations you have here in the Senate.”

Galvano has brushed aside questions about his political future.

“I’m playing the hole I’m on,” Galvano told me when I asked before Session began what he would do next. It’s advice his father, golf pro Phil Galvano, used to shell out on the golf course but which the younger Galvano has employed throughout his political career.

But it seems unlikely at 53 years old (Sen. Bill Montford compared the presiden officer to a GQ model) will stay out of politics forever. The question now seems to be what course he plays on next.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor for SRQ MEDIA. 

[Higher Education]  Celebrating the French Author Colette
Donal O'Shea, doshea@ncf.edu

This area’s higher educational institutions play an important role in the rich array of cultural and artistic events that characterize “season.” In particular, New College of Florida has offered many programs, often in collaboration with other organizations, honoring the history and heritage of multiple cultures. These include the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies in January, Black History Month in February, New College New Music concerts, and an exciting and very diverse array of Mellon projects in the arts and humanities.

One of the most interesting and unusual is Le Projet Colette Sarasota, a community-wide celebration spanning virtually all the arts, and two languages, of the provocative and prolific French writer Colette and the centennial of her 1920 novel Chéri.

New College faculty and staff partnered with Ringling College of Art and Design, Alliance Française de Sarasota, Selby Public Library, Florida Studio Theatre, Marine Selby Botanical Gardens, and C’est la Vie restaurant to present a series of speakers, book club discussions, movie screenings, theatrical performances, archival displays and a Burgundy-themed dinner.

Colette, who lived from 1873 to 1954, was a novelist, journalist, actress, and a liberated woman in a changing France. She influenced – and was influenced by – literary greats such as Edith
Wharton and Gertrude Stein. Her novels ranged from the semi-autobiographical Claudine series to the 1920 publication of Chéri to perhaps her most famous work, Gigi, which was published in 1944 and turned into an Oscar-winning movie in 1958.

The writer’s brilliance still resonates with modern audiences and literary scholars. We have been fortunate to welcome professors from across the country to New College to speak about the many interesting facets of Colette’s life and writing career. They included MIT Professor Emerita Isabelle de Courtivron, Arizona State University Professor Frédéric Canovas, Université de Rennes 2 Professor Marie-Françoise Berthu-Courtivron, and our own Associate Professor of Music Maribeth Clark. We were also honored to welcome the Florida Studio Theatre Artists to campus to perform Colette’s whimsical 1905 play, Barks & Purrs, in our Black Box Theatre.

While the coronavirus has many of us avoiding large gatherings and live performances, we can still enjoy the pleasure of reading a good book. As Collette herself once said, “Books, books, books. It was not that I read so much. I read and re-read the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me.”

Dr. Donal O’Shea is president of New College of Florida. 

[KUDOS]  Van Wezel Foundation Honors Three Local Teachers

The Van Wezel Foundation and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall named three teachers from Sarasota County as this year's recipients of the Appleton Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, which celebrates the best in arts integration strategies in the classroom. These educators were recognized during the Foundation's 2020 INSPIRATION Gala held on February 21 at the Performing Arts Hall. The 2020 Appleton Outstanding Teacher of the Year award was bestowed to Melissa Forsten, a first-grade teacher from Atwater Elementary in North Port who uses the performing arts to inspire her students to learn and educates other teachers on best practices and teaching techniques. Two additional educators were recognized for innovative applications of arts integration in the classroom, including Joanna Fox, a creative writing teacher from Booker Middle School in Sarasota, and Tatiana Ignotis, an ESOL instructor from Venice Middle School.  

Van Wezel

[KUDOS]  Sarasota Military Academy Cadets Receive Scholarships for Conservation Efforts

Two seniors at Sarasota Military Academy, cadets Juliana Rendle and Noah Fisher, were awarded scholarships during the recent Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association annual spring cookout on March 5, 2020. Rendle and Fisher are the first cadets from Sarasota Military Academy to apply for and receive the SSA scholarships. The cadets are members of the Academy’s Ducks Unlimited school chapter, which partners with the Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association to promote conservation efforts and enable cadets to participate in outdoor activities. Cadets involved in the SMA Ducks Unlimited club are responsible for conducting and hosting meetings, becoming involved in various aspects of conservation efforts, tracking club activities and planning and coordinating four main areas of the club including the duck box construction crew, wetland conservation, wildlife management and wildlife migration and mapping.


Sarasota Military Academy Ducks Unlimited

[SCOOP]  SRQ Passenger Traffic Up 54% in February

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) passenger traffic set an all-time record for February in the history of the airport with 232,549 passengers traveling through SRQ. Passenger traffic for February 2020 was up 54% over February 2019. The airport is up 54% for the first two months of 2020 as well with 458,204 passengers using SRQ. The airport currently has 9 airlines serving 38 destinations.


SRQ Airport

[UPDATES]  SRQ MEDIA Partner Events Postponed

The following events have been postponed until further noticed:

  • Sunshine From Darkness, March 14
  • Sarasota Film Festival, March 25 - April 5
  • SWAC Lecture, March 23
  • Women & Medicine, Sarasota Hospital Healthcare Foundation, March 27
  • Hear & Now And All That Jazz, Ear Research Foundation, March 29
  • All programs, events, performances, and guided tours are cancelled until April 6, 2020, The Ringling Museum
[SCOOP]  City Declares a Public Health Emergency For COVID-19

To protect the health and safety of the community and position the City to qualify for possible state or federal funds for losses associated with COVID-19, the City of Sarasota has declared a local citywide public health emergency.  All gatherings within the city limits scheduled to occur on or before March 20, 2020 likely to attract more than 250 persons are strongly advised to cancel. This includes all gatherings managed, permitted or supported by City staff. New special events will not be permitted by the City until further notice. City Manager Tom Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, approved the emergency declaration this morning.  By City Charter, an emergency declaration must be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis. The City Commission will review the declaration during its next regularly scheduled meeting Monday, March 16 starting at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1565 First Street. 

Florida Health

[Art Gallery]  A Lemon Tree

A new gallery graces Palm Avenue. 

Click here to read the full story in our March 2020 Home Edition of SRQ Magazine!

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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