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SRQ DAILY Apr 16, 2020

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

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Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"But thank God there would finally be sports on TV."

- Virginia Haley, Visit Sarasota County

[Sports]  Spring Training Facilities May See Use After All
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The loss of spring training delivered one more blow to area tourism courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. But could Major League Baseball still take place in Gulf Coast stadiums after all?

Plans were leaked to blogs and sports media last week about a potential plan to rework the season and base all activity in Florida and Arizona. Rather than the normal American and National League season structure, teams would instead be sorted by Spring Training leagues, with the Grapefruit League teams playing each other in Florida spring training facilities and the Arizona-based Cactus League doing the same out West.

According to an article in USA Today, this would put the Baltimore Orioles, who train in Sarasota, and Atlanta Braves, who train in North Port, in a division with the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, who train in Charlotte, Fort Myers and south Lee County respectively. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who train in Bradenton, would be in a division with New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, who spend their springs in Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin and Lakeland.

It’s something Virginia Haley, president of Visit Florida, is paying attention to, though it wouldn’t mean salvation for the tourism industry. That’s because no crowds would be allowed to attend games. Stands instead would be used as giant dugouts where players could sit at least six people apart to follow social distancing guidelines. But with no games to attend, that means no reason for fans in Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to fly to the region and sit in the bleachers.

“But thank God there would finally be sports on TV,” Haley said with a laugh.

She figures there would be a benefit for the area long-term, albeit an indirect one. She expects whenever MLB starts its season, even a truncated one lasting weeks and not months, it will draw some of the highest viewership in the sport’s history.

“So you are getting to see beautiful Ed Smith Stadium and the gorgeous new CoolToday Park nationwide,” she said. “That kind of exposure would be a plus.”

Will it happen? Well, an executive order signed Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis has earned attention mostly for allowing WWE wrestling to take place in Florida. But it allows for employees at any "professional sports and media production” to move ahead with essential personnel so long as it’s closed to the public. The plan being discussed by MLB leadership meets those guidelines as well, and does it with a sport where athletes spend most of the game standing apart anyway. 

Photo of CoolToday Park

[Gardening]  Lemon Trees- Gardening at Home with Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

We hope our new weekly gardening column is helping you get started planting that beautiful, edible outdoor sanctuary you always envied. For those vying to get their hands dirty, and backyard green, perhaps you have questions you’d like cleared up to get/keep your garden in tip-top shape and last long after quarantine.

Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries & Gardens Inc started the nursery in her own backyard in Bayshore Gardens. As the family business began to grow (pun intended), so did its facility. Since expanding out to Old Myakka, her and her family have been bringing beauty to backyards for close to 30 years now. Kathy will be providing useful tips and expert advice to share with us each week as a new question is presented to her. 

SRQ: For those new gardeners who are drawn by the allure of having a fully stocked lemon tree in their yard, what are some of the considerations to give the most popular sizes and varieties of citrus plants? 

Kathy:  When it comes to citrus, you can plant trees in the yard that are grafted which will become full-grown trees.  The other option is patio citrus, which is grown on its own roots.  These can be grown in a container or planted in the ground.  They will be shrubs that may reach 7 ft. in the ground unless pruned back.  There is also a dwarf tree that is grafted that can be grown in a container or in the ground.  They will not become as large as a regular tree and produce a smaller amount of fruit which may be more to your liking if you do not eat a lot of fruit. I do not feel multi-grafted trees are worth the money they want for them and you usually end up losing some of the grafts and end up with one fruit variety anyway.  

In patio plants, the citrus that does the best on its own roots is lemon and lime.  There are other choices but they take a long time and usually not worth the wait.  For more options, go with a dwarf tree in which you have grapefruit, orange, tangerine, lemon, and lime. In regular trees that grow to larger specimens, you have a larger selection to choose from and many that are not available in the dwarf sizes.  It is important to note that citrus needs about 4 in. of water to produce good, juicy fruit at the end of their season.  You can break it up and water twice a week so the roots can dry out in between waterings.  If you do not let them dry out, your tree will eventually rot. I also suggest using organic products that are sprayed on your trees, as poison has never healed our food crops nor do we want to eat poison sprays. My products are Atomic Grow and KeyPlex which is only sold at my nursery. Last, but not least, do not mulch your citrus trees, as the roots need to dry out. Make sure they are planted in a well-drained area and every few years or so, treat with Dolomite to keep the ground sweetened.

If you have a particular gardening question you'd like answered and featured in a future column, email SRQDailyGardening@srqme.com  

Crowley Nursery 16423 Jomar Road Sarasota, 941-322-0315.

[Artists]  Chasen Galleries Spotlights DUAIV

Born in France, artist DUAIV is both an accomplished painter and musician, often finding ways to merge the two pursuits. He has built a career full of international acclaim and cultivated an imitable style from bold hair colors, chic fashion, and a penchant for fast cars. He’s traveled the world, receiving accolades for his incredible work in service of nurturing and promoting the arts. Inspired by artists like Monet and Van Gogh, DUAIV has embraced the tenets of Impressionism and crafted an art style that is uniquely his own. With the world as his canvas, DUAIV's work is a contemporary representation of Impressionism at its height. In this week's video, you'll get a look inside the life of DUAIV and see its various facets for yourself! From the studio to the driver seat, to the stage - it is an artistic life, lived boldly. 

Watch the video.

[Awards]  Local PR Association Celebrates Image Awards Winners Virtually

Annual awards program showcases the best practices and programs in the fields of public relations and communications. The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) recognized the area’s best work in public relations, marketing and communications during its first ever virtual “2020 Image Awards: Roaring ‘20s" event live on Facebook April 15. The local Image Awards competition is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs and to encourage and promote the development of the public relations professionalism in our area.

Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning, and design. The competition recognizes work in three divisions: Public Relations Programs, Printed Tools of Public Relations, and Audio-Visual Tools of Public Relations.  Awards were presented by chapter president, Kim Livengood, APR, CPRC, and Image Awards director, Elise Ramer, APR, and were sponsored by Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Anand Pallegar and Nicole Miskovic of At Large earned top honors - the Grand All Image Award - for their entry “The Bay”.

Earning Image Awards were: Pallegar and Miskovic for “The Bay”, Elise Ramer, APR, of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty for “Share a Story Sunday” and KSC, Inc. and NGS Films & Graphics for “Texas School Safety Grant Campaign”.

Earning Awards of Distinction were: Stephannie Kettle, Mote Marine Laboratories for “Communications Training”; Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR, CPRC, of Selby Gardens for “Selby Gardens Member Benefits Restructure”, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Marketing Department for “Small Town, Big Roar”; Mischa Kirby, APR and Hunter Carpenter, Community Foundation of Sarasota County for “Philosophy Gatefold”; Heather McLain, Marianne Sibille, Brianne Taber of On Ideas for “ClosetMaid Media Kit” and Anand Pallegar and Nicole Miskovic for “Ask The Bay”.

Earning Judges Award were: Andrea Knies and Jim Shirley of Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County for “Cultural Affairs 50th Anniversary Celebration”; KSC, Inc. and NGS Films & Graphics for “Texas School Safety Grant Campaign” and Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR, CPRC, of Selby Gardens for “Selby Gardens Member Benefits Restructure”.

“The Image Awards are the standard of public relations excellence in the state,” said Elise Ramer, a multi-Image Award winner. “This year’s theme, “The Roaring’ 20’s” was supposed to be representative of the three-ring-circus that is a career in Public Relations. We are the ringmasters, supporting a colorful cast of characters, with exciting highs and dramatic moments. And while this year’s circus may prove to be one much different than we envisioned at the start of the year, we will persevere and remember, THE SHOW WILL GO ON!” We are proud to recognize our local chapters’ innovators and award-winners in planning, execution, and design.” Ramer adds that participation in the Image Awards is not required to enter at the statewide level for the FPRA’s Golden Image Awards; entries are due by May 18, 2020. 

For more.

[Museum]  Florida Railroad Museum Update

As we all continue to feel the effects of COVID-19, we wanted to provide an update on what is happening at the museum. The museum itself is still closed and all museum train rides in all aspects are suspended including but not limited to: General Admission rides, car charters, caboose charters, locomotive rentals, cab rides, events and train charters. The target re-open date of April 25th and 26th with the Wild West Train Robbery featuring the Hole-in-the-Head-Gang has been cancelled. The postponement date of May 16th and 17th that was set for the Wild West Train Robbery has also been cancelled. At this time with the uncertainty of COVID-19, the museum will simply remain closed until further notice. To set a date for re-opening is just not possible at this time. Updates on re-opening will be posted as we move forward.  During this shutdown period, limited staffing will be on hand to answer calls. The best way to ask questions is via email. Emails will be checked a couple times a week. 

Refunds, Exchanges or Donations

If you have tickets for any trip or rental during the shutdown you can receive a refund, a credit for future use or simply donate your ticket value to the museum. Please reply to this email with your confirmation number and name on the transaction with weather you prefer a refund, exchange or if you will donate the ticket value. No matter your request, it will be processed and no further action is required on your part. If you accept a credit, please state as such and the credit will be placed under your name. You DO NOT need to re-book at this time. The credit can be applied at any time to any future trips or rentals, including special events. If you choose to donate the value, thank you. 

Staff will be in the office tomorrow April 16, 2020 to process requests based on replies to this email. 

[Safety]  Manatee County Fire Chiefs Urge Public to Heed Local Burn Ban

Fireworks, sparklers, flares, campfires and open burning are all temporarily prohibited as part of a local burn ban that continues into April as dry conditions persist. Residential fire pits are allowed, as long as they're being monitored by an adult until the fire is extinguished. Local fire chiefs are now asking the public to take the burn ban seriously until steady rains return to Manatee County.

“Manatee County’s drought index, a scale of 0 – 800, is now over 600 which is in the moderate drought range,” said East Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Lee Whitehurst. He is also chairman of the Manatee County Fire Chiefs Association. “Since the burn ban went into effect two weeks ago, there has been a decline in brush fires, so it is working.” "When the Fire Department is preoccupied with responding to illegal outside fires, it becomes very difficult to respond to serious medical calls," added Myakka City Fire Control District Chief Danny Cacchiotti. "Before you illegally burn, think about how it affects your neighbor." Manatee County fire chiefs said Manatee County residents can find a host of online resources on fire prevention on this area of the Florida Forest Service's website.

To report a potential violation of the burn ban, Manatee County residents are asked to call a violation hotline at 941-748-2071 (Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm). On evenings and weekends, call the Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at 941-747-3011, ext. 2260. Manatee County Commissioners initially approved the burn ban on March 24. The seven-day resolution has been renewed in subsequent weeks each time it expired. 

For more on wildfire prevention.

[Wellness]  Centerstone Establishes 24/7 CareLine to Support Community

Many people are experiencing increased levels of stress, fear and anxiety during the challenging times presented by COVID-19.  The need for social distancing makes it harder to access our normal social supports.   Being in contact with people who can relate to your experiences is comforting.  Centerstone's CareLine can help you learn about coping skills, find resources, and feel supported.  If you or someone you know needs to talk, the team at Centerstone is available to help any time of the day.  Centerstone, a leading not-for-profit behavioral health care organization, offers mental health and addiction programs and services throughout Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Lee, Glades and Hendry Counties. 24/7 CarLine: 941-782-4300 #CstoneNeverQuits. 

Fore more on Centerstone.

[Best of SRQ]  Celebrating the Best Local Sushi of 2020

Our readers have spoken! For a second year running as the reigning champion in the world of sushi, PACIFIC RIM remains soymates with the Platinum Best of SRQ Local standing, and coming up in the rear as a longstanding finalist, JPAN sticks the Gold as a local favorite for its consistency and freshness at both its Siesta Row and UTC locations. Following up at a respectable Silver, TSUNAMI had fans raving about its many creative vegan options, while YUME rolls up a Bronze finish with Dynamite Rolls and Tuna Bombs. 

Readers weigh in: Aurec Senenoi (on Pacific Rim): A Sarasota staple. If you want to go somewhere for a nice dinner with friends, look no further than Pacific Rim. Fantastic food, fantastic atmosphere. And let’s not forget the history this place has. I’ll always be coming here as I am a proud regular. Chris Voelker (on JPAN): You can count on FRESH, innovative fare every time. Leslie Laven (on Tsunami): Vegan sushi like no other. And for non-vegans, the regular sushi is fresh and outstanding. Lisbeth Hansen (on Yume): Always fresh, great selection and the best Lemon Drop Martini. Best of SRQ Local 2020 Platinum Winner- Pacific Rim / Gold Winner- JPAN Sushi Bar & Grill / Silver Winner- Tsunami Japanese Steakhouse / Bronze Winner- Yume Sushi 

Check out the Best of SRQ Competition Winners HERE

[Special Offer]  Three-Months Free at Freedom Boat Club This Summer

Freedom Boat Club is offering a special discount. Join today and save $2,000, plus receive three months free, plus fixed monthly fees for life, plus only 50% of the entry fee due now, 50% of the entry fee due on Oct. 1, 2020. And, if you are not ready to start your membership and you take advantage of this special, they can postpone your start date.  Ask about their Military/Veteran & 1st Responder (Nurse, Police, Firefighter & EMT) Discount Program. 

For more.

[Wellness]  Three Webinars Designed to Help Parents and Children Talk about COVID-19

The Florida Center for Early Childhood and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading partnered on three webinars designed to help parents and children talk about Coronavirus, COVID-19, and how to navigate the challenging new realities we are all facing in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety. Click here for the first webinar focusing on children six years old and younger where Beth Duda, director of SCGLR, asked Dr. Kristie Skoglund, COO of The Florida Center for Early Childhood, questions from young children ages 6 and under. Click here for the second webinar focused on children seven years old and up where Beth Duda, director of SCGLR, asked Melissa Bradley, director of school-based mental health therapy at the Florida Center for Early Childhood, questions from children ages 7+. Click here for a parent chat on how to help children deal with COVID-19.  Beth Duda, director of SCGLR, Tamra Cajo, director of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic for The Florida Center for Early Childhood, and Marina Bunch, clinical director of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services for the Florida Center for Early Childhood share how parents can help themselves and their children through this challenging time.

Also, The Power of Presence book and program is back.   In The Power of Presence, Joy Thomas Moore explores seven pillars of presence: heart, faith, mind, courage, financial freedom, values, and connectedness, which all parents can use to positively influence their children. Using compelling stories from women who have been there and practical advice on everything from savings accounts to mindfulness, this book is a compassionate look at what it takes to raise great kids, even in less than ideal circumstances.  Families across the country are adapting to the evolving changes to daily life during the pandemic. Join author Joy Thomas Moore for a discussion on how the seven pillars of presence can help guide families through these challenging times.  In partnership with The Florida Center for Early Childhood, participants will be invited to continue the connection in a series of weekly facilitated discussions focused on the seven pillars of presence on May 1 at 2pm, May 2 at 10am and May 4 at 8pm. 




[Support]  Free COVID-19 Testing in Newtown

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County will be offering COVID-19 testing by appointment for North Sarasota residents on Friday, April 17th. Their mobile medical unit will be setting up in the parking lot of the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex located at 1845 John Rivers St from 8 am-12 pm.Testing will be provided by scheduled appointments only. Testing is for anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms (fever, cought or shortness of breath) or who works in a health care setting. To make an appointment, please call 941-861-2883. Callers will be screened using current CDC testing criteria. Appointments are limited however more testing opportunities may be scheduled in the future. All patients must have an appointment to be tested. 


[Programs]  Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County Transforms its Operations

For 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County has worked tirelessly to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for thousands of children and families, especially for those who need high-quality youth programs the most. With incredible support from the community, the organization has navigated times of tragedy to provide safe places for kids and teens. Today, the organization is committed more than ever to continue serving local youth and families from providing meals to those in need, expanding services to support first responders and offering virtual learning and programming to keep kids and teens engaged and on-track academically.

“Our community’s children are currently facing serious challenges that no child should ever have to experience,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “Challenges that could not only devastate their paths to success, but also the vibrancy of our local economy such as food insecurity, learning loss, skill regression and lack of access to critical resources.”
While the effect of this global pandemic has required the agency to close its doors through May 1, the organization has transformed its operations to continue serving local youth and families.

The organization expanded its longstanding partnership with All Faiths Food Bank to pack and distribute hundreds of bags full of food for Club families for pick up every Wednesday at its Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club in Sarasota and Friday at its Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club in North Port. Numerous local businesses are also helping the organization feed Club members. For example, The Overton is making hundreds of free boxed lunches for Club members that are being distributed Monday through Friday at the agency’s Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club in Newtown.

The organization also built an online hub at bgcsarasota.com for Club members to access resources that will help keep them engaged in exciting, educational activities and on track to achieve their full potential while Clubs and schools are closed. Examples of virtual engagement activities include livestreams and videos from the agency’s team of dedicated youth development professionals such as exercise classes, book readings, art project demonstrations and guided recipes using ingredients from All Faiths Food Bank’s food supply.

The agency is also actively responding to meet the dire childcare needs of parents and guardians who are at the front line defending the Sarasota community’s health and safety. Through the COVID-19 Response Initiative led by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the organization launched its First Responder Program on April 8, to serve up to 90 children in conjunction with key health and human services providers. The program runs Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club. Currently, the agency’s First Responder Program is open only to children of essential health care and public safety employees between the ages of 6 and 12 from Sarasota County Fire Department, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota Police Department and Sheriff’s Office of Sarasota County. While the program adheres to all official health guidelines, several area businesses, organizations and individuals have donated goods to help further ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children being served and Boys & Girls Club staff. For example, the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab donated 100 face masks to the program through its COVID-19 community project.

Across the county lines in Arcadia, the organization is working alongside the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust and implementing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan that will significantly impact Arcadian’s needs in Education, Food Insecurity, Health & Safety and Family Sustainability based on a complete assessment of the community’s needs.

The organization will continue to shift its operations as this unprecedented situation evolves.

“When we emerge from this crisis, our Clubs will be here to help rebuild our community and restore a sense of safety and security for kids that has been lost during the pandemic, from facing empty grocery store shelves, missing needed social interactions and enduring school cancellations,” said Sadlo.

With the long-term economic and societal impact of COVID-19 unknown, communities will need Clubs more than ever to help young people to stay on the right path and build essential skills to contribute to the future workforce. 

For more.

[Weekends]  Key Sailing With Your Family

Key Sailing is not just staying afloat during these changing tides, but continuing to sail hope to the Caribbean. Want to sail your cares away, too? Affordable private and group sailing charters personalized for you in beautiful Sarasota, Florida. Call 941-346-7245 for details on a private charter for your family. 

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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