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SRQ DAILY Mar 24, 2020

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"I hate to use the term forever, but you'll definitely have food for months when you pickle."

- Executive Chef Chris Covelli or Sage Restaurant

[The Dish at Home]  Pickling at Home with Sage Restaurant Executive Chef Chris Covelli
Andrew Fabian

On March 12th, after much deliberation and with a heavy heart, Sage restaurant announced they were temporarily closing shop. “It was not the easiest decision to make,” says Executive Chef Chris Covelli, “but we felt strongly about protecting our staff and guests.” Following the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing, many restaurants have followed suit while others have transitioned to solely take-out orders. But though the closure of Sage means Covelli and his talented team of knife-wielding kitchen ninjas will no longer be plating the fancy fare of Sage’s eclectic menu, the work of a chef is never over. As soon as the closure was announced, Covelli turned his attention to pickling.

Pickling is common throughout Europe and the American South for any occasion, but the practice is particularly relevant in light of people taking fewer trips to the grocery store. “I hate to use the term forever,” says Covelli, “but you’ll definitely have food for months when you pickle.” So, he grabbed some vegetables that had been sitting around and got to work chopping and blanching, making brine and jarring an assortment of veggies that will make for delicious snacks well into the summer months. A basic brine consists of vinegar (preferably rice or white wine), salt, sugar, and any combination of fresh herbs or spices. Dissolving the salt and sugar in vinegar can be accomplished by boiling them together or whisking for an extended period of time, but everything else can essentially be thrown into a jar and submerged in brine poured to a ½” from the top.

From left to right, Covelli jarred asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, julienned carrots and daikon radishes, and peaches. Each brine is slightly different, with the cauliflower achieving a rich yellow hue thanks to turmeric. Peppercorns and juniper berries make their way into other brines, while the peaches soak with some added nutmeg. Covelli suggests a dash of sesame oil and scallions if someone wants to add more of an Asian flair to their brine. Pickled veggies go great with pan-seared fish, and once the veggies are gone, the brine can be mixed with olive oil and used as a vinaigrette. “There’s just so much flavor,” says Covelli, “it’s like fine dining in a jar.” 

[Philanthropy]  Season of Sharing Gift from The Patterson Foundation up to $1,000,000 Made in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

As an initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is relying on the Season of Sharing partnership with the Herald-Tribune Media Group and multiple nonprofit agencies to quickly and proactively help the most vulnerable individuals and families with immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, childcare, and rent. As a response to this crisis and to bolster Season of Sharing funds, The Patterson Foundation has committed up to $1 million to strengthen this important safety net. The commitment includes an immediate $500,000 contribution, along with an additional dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000. “Even in regular times, Season of Sharing is vital to many in our community, and we are so fortunate to have it to help now,” said Roxie Jerde, president, and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “In times like this, philanthropy can truly shine by providing resources for those most vulnerable. Our network of local human services nonprofits will be especially needed.  Bolstering Season of Sharing funds now will further support the changing government and private measures that are being developed at state and federal levels.”    

When the match is fulfilled by the community, there will be $1.5 million total in additional funds for distribution in the four-county region of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. “While people navigate the evolving challenges COVID-19 presents in their own lives, they also want to know how to help others who find themselves facing uncharted financial trauma,” said Debra Jacobs, president & CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “For 20 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group have harnessed Season of Sharing to help strengthen individuals and families in our region and move them from uncertainty to security. Season of Sharing’s network offers donors a tried and true way to ensure their funds are administered effectively to those with immediate needs.”

Donations to the Season of Sharing fund may be made online at www.cfsarasota.org/season-of-sharing or by sending a check (payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County) to Attn: Season of Sharing, 2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237. 


Donate online to the Season of Sharing.

[Children's Services]  The Florida Center for Early Childhood Supports Children & Families during COVID-19 Crisis

As a leading provider of early childhood mental health, developmental services, and family counseling, The Florida Center for Early Childhood is committed to continuing services for vulnerable children and families during the COVID-19 crisis. As the threat of the virus becomes increasingly serious, safety is the utmost priority. Based on information from the Governor’s Office, Centers for Disease Control, and other agencies, we will now provide critical mental health support and counseling through confidential phone and video services rather than in-person sessions. This crisis is unprecedented, and our primary concern is to protect our clients and staff. Existing clients will receive direct communication about therapy options moving forward. In cases when services cannot be provided remotely, such as our Starfish Academy Preschool, we are temporarily suspending operations. We will continue to take referrals for mental health counseling and the Healthy Families program (specialized support for at-risk pregnant women and new parents.) 

“We are in unchartered territory,” said Kathryn Shea, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and CEO of The Florida Center. “One thing we do know is that more families than ever will need support, especially as so many are already facing hardships like poverty, substance abuse, and physical or mental health challenges. Our goal is to continue providing resources for caregivers that promote children’s healthy development and ultimately prevent child abuse.”

For positive approaches to handle the emotional stressors that children and families are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.thefloridacenter.org. Tips, tools, and resources will be regularly added to The agency website and social media pages. Those with service questions or needs may email info@thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820. 

Connect for positive approaches to handle emotional stress for children and families.

[Summer Fun Camps 2020]  Creativity in Music, Art and Drama at The Suzuki Institute

Celebrating 30 years of music education in Sarasota, The Suzuki Institute offers a full program of music instruction with highly qualified teachers all year-round, with flexible hours. Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, from beginner to adult, for violin, drums/percussion, guitar, piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and flute. Registration is now open for weekly summer music and arts camps taught by expert and experienced teachers. The camps (for 7 to 14 year olds) will be a fun blend of music, art and drama, offered in full day or half day sessions between 9am-3pm. 

Check out the SRQ Summer RocketKids Magazine for more camp listings. 

Click here for more information

[Closures]  Selby Five Points Park To Close For Repairs; Ringling Bridge Pedestrians Urged To Help Limit COVID-19 Spread

The City of Sarasota on Monday announced the closure of Selby Five Points Park as part of emergency orders related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The downtown park will be closed to facilitate park restoration and landscaping repairs, which are planned to begin later this week. The emergency order also strongly urges pedestrians and bicyclists on the John Ringling Causeway Bridge to travel in the same direction as traffic to limit the potential of spreading the coronavirus when passing others. Bicyclists, joggers and pedestrians heading westbound should use the westbound sidewalk and bike lanes, and vice versa. A local public health emergency remains in effect for the City of Sarasota. Although City buildings are closed to the public, most City operations and functions are still available. The public is advised to conduct business with the City either online via www.SarasotaFL.Gov or by phone at 941-263-6000. A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is now available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County:  941-861-2883. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19.  A 24/7 hotline is also available:  1-866-779-6121. 

For more info.

[School District Updates]  Sarasota County Schools Frequently Asked Questions

Sarasota County Schools have provided an update consisting of additional, frequently asked questions about the school district’s next steps on a number of fronts. Topics covered include the following: Instructional Continuity Plan, Devices for utilizing the Instructional Continuity Plan, Questions pertaining to Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students, Employee concerns about childcare, Questions pertaining to Substitutes and Long-Term Substitutes, Questions pertaining to Support Staff and Paraprofessionals, Virtual School, Questions pertaining to the Transportation Department, Meals for students during school closures, Working conditions at schools and other district facilities, Access to school campuses, Other questions not covered in the subjects above. To see the full list of questions and answers, visit  www.sarasotacountyschools.net and scroll to the "District News" section. Look for the “March 20 - School-Related Questions and Answers” post. The school district will be communicating updates with families and employees as new information becomes available.  

For more info.

[Closure]  Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization Temporary Closure

In response to the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Sarasota/Manatee MPO is implementing safety measures to protect the health and safety of staff and the community. Following directives from state and federal health officials, MPO Board Chair Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant has approved the following: Cancellation of in-person meetings from Friday, March 20 to Sunday, April 19, 2020; Limiting access to the MPO offices to ensure adherence to social distancing advisories; Initiating remote work as needed to continue operations and to fulfill state and federal mandates. The following meetings have been canceled or postponed: March 23, 2020 - MPO Board Meeting, March 23, 2020 - Public Transportation Task Force. The MPO staff will be available for virtual meetings and by phone or email during normal business hours. Staff contact information is available on the MPO website at https://www.mympo.org/o/organization.      

More info.

[Community Development ]  DeAngelis Diamond Breaks Ground on Tru Hotel

DeAngelis Diamond recently began work on Parks Hospitality’s newest Tru by Hilton hotel in Franklin, Tennessee, half a mile from the company’s Tennessee office. Designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, the new five-story, 60,000-square-foot hotel will be situated on a 2.3-acre site and feature 135 modern guestrooms, fitness center, business center, game area, lounge, and pantry/dining area. Tru Hotel is one of DeAngelis Diamond’s current hospitality projects, with similar developments currently in preconstruction and newly completed. DeAngelis Diamond is the contractor for the upcoming Margaritaville Resort in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, and recently completed Arthrex, Inc.’s 172,459 sq.ft. INNovation Hotel in Naples, FL in early 2020. DeAngelis Diamond is an innovative, award-winning, national construction management firm, specializing in commercial, multifamily, and healthcare construction with more than 23 years of general contracting experience across the United States and in the Caribbean Islands. It’s one of America’s fastest growing companies, according to Inc. 5000, and is listed on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list annually. DeAngelis Diamond’s mission is to develop authentic relationships and have a positive influence on everyone they meet.  

Fore more.

[Summer Camps]  RocketKids Magazine, Summer Camps Special Edition Has Launched

Is your family ready for Summertime? Now available to download and view online, RocketKids is your family's ultimate guide to Summer 2020. Explore the latest summer camp options and family programs scheduled at destinations in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. We've created an all-in-one guide to local camps and activities for children of all ages. Summertime will be here before we know it - check out the exciting opportunities that our region offers and register soon to join the fun! 

Click here to view RocketKids

[Gourmet Chefs]  The Chef Inside the Egg

Three executive chefs prepare the classic French omelet and reveal what makes them tick. 

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

[Postponement]  Choral Artists of Sarasota Postpones Listen to the Earth Project

Joseph Holt, the artistic director of Choral Artists of Sarasota, announced that the group is postponing its “Listen to the Earth Project,” which was scheduled for April 17, 18 and 19. “We have listened to the earth and the message is clear—the world premiere of James Grant’s ‘Listen to the Earth’ concert and the additional ‘Listen to the Earth Project’ activities, which were planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day are postponed until April 2021,” says Holt. “You can imagine how disappointed we are and how frustrating it is to postpone these events which have been four years in the making.  But, the health and safety of our audiences, singers, instrumentalists, and volunteers is our first and foremost concern. We are looking ahead to brighter days and have reserved the Sarasota Opera House for April 25, 2021 for the world premiere. So, mark your calendar and plan to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day with us then.” 

Holt adds that the group is doing its best to adjust to the significant financial impact cancelling the event will have on the artists and vendors Choral Artists works with. “The singers of Choral Artists are, for the most part, freelance musicians and rely on a variety of income sources to make their living,” he says. “We’re reaching out to our patrons and audiences hoping they will consider either donating their tickets to Choral Artists as a tax-deductible donation or holding them for the 2021 event.” 

Holt hopes that people will remember Choral Artists during the Giving Challenge, April 28 and 29, when donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100.  Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota and the Patterson Foundation, this unique fundraising event supports many nonprofits in southwest Florida.


For more info.

[ Law Enforcement ]  Sheriff’s Office Continues COVID-19 Precautions

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to take precautions and modify law enforcement services at the recommendation of local and state officials. The following changes will be effective today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020: The sheriff’s office is temporarily suspending all public fingerprinting services at both its Sarasota headquarters located at 6010 Cattleridge Blvd., and the county’s correctional facility located at 2020 Main St. Citizens will be notified when services resume. All sex offenders and predators are no longer required to report to the county’s correctional facility and instead asked to report to the agency’s headquarters located at 6010 Cattleridge Blvd., Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, for registration. Due to statutory requirements, all criminal and career offender registrations will still take place at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility located at 2020 Main St. All other in-person law enforcement services remain available to the public however, citizens are strongly encouraged to connect with the sheriff’s office via phone or online whenever possible. By visiting www.SarasotaSheriff.org, citizens can complete public records requests, make payments for specialty details, pay inmate commissary, telephone, and tablet fees. Citizens can also connect with the agency on social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For general inquiries, citizens are asked to dial 941.861.5800. For non-emergencies, citizens can call 941.316.1201, and as always, during an emergency, call or text 9-1-1. 

For more.

[Restaurants]  J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Café Open for Carside Carryout, Takeout and Delivery

JR’s Packinghouse Café is open daily offering Carside Carryout, Takeout and delivery via Bitesquad. Guests who crave JR’s comfort cuisine can order from the restaurant’s full menu and have it delivered to their car or home – all the hospitality and laid-back charm with the perfect social distance. For guests who want to take advantage of JR’s Carside Carryout, call the restaurant at 941-371-9358 and inform the team member that you would like Carside Carryout and advise them of the color and make of car. Guests will be greeted curbside with their carefully packaged order, by one of the friendly servers at JR’s or even the big man himself. Home Delivery orders are handled through Bitesquad. "This community has done so much for me and my business over the years, and we want to help in any way that we can,” said JR Garraus, owner. "These are tough times but a little comfort food might be just the thing to brighten our guests’ day.” The restaurant continues to monitor the CDC for updates as well as the National Restaurant Association and local health departments. J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe is located at 987 S. Packinghouse Road (next to Detwiler’s) in Sarasota. Hours: Monday–Saturday: 11am–9pm; and now Sundays from noon- 6:00 p.m. Hours subject to change.  

[Financial]  Carranza Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment. “The SBA is looking at every option and taking every action to cut red tape to make it easier for small businesses to stay in business. Automatically deferring existing SBA disaster loans through the end of the year will help borrowers during this unprecedented time,” said Administrator Carranza. “Today’s announcement adds a list of growing actions the SBA is taking to support small businesses. These actions include making it easier for states and territories to request a declaration so small businesses statewide can now apply for economic injury disaster loans, and changing the terms of new economic injury loans to allow for one-year deferments. We are working around the clock to find ways to assist small businesses and today’s action is one step in this process.” 

For more info.

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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