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SRQ DAILY May 21, 2020

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"The best we can hope for is to continue to social distance as much as we can so we can slow the spread until we have treatments."

- Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Sarasota Mayor
 

[Recovery]  Sarasota Opens Beach, Experiments with Road Closures
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Beaches closed during the pandemic were eventually all closed after a flood of bad press around Spring Break. But Sarasota County reopened its beached to pedestrians, followed by Manatee County Commissioners. And this week, the City of Sarasota became the last to lift restrictions, opening Lido Beach while still encouraging use of face masks. 

"I'm happy to see Lido open again," said City Commissionwe Hagen Brody. "The beach is our gem and it supports a lot of local families who work on St. Armands."

For Memorial Day weekend, the city will experiment with street closures to allow businesses downtown to expand into the street and accommodate more outdoor dining. starting at 4pm Friday and Saturday, and then all day Sunday and Monday, the 1300 block of Main and a stretch of State Street from a city garage to Lemon Avenue will be closed to cars.

“We’re doing everything we can to help our local business community quickly get back on its feet and adapt to these unprecedented challenges,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “We’re taking the opportunity to experiment with street closures, and we encourage the public to shop and dine locally and enjoy our beautiful downtown in a safe and responsible way this holiday weekend.”

The city has already allowed many restaurants to expand outdoor seating onto sidewalks and parking areas owned by businesses or landlords. Mayor Jennifer Ahearn-Koch said officials have carefully looked to ways to let life continue in the city conscious of the fact to novel coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic may be around for a long time.

“A vaccine is far away. Herd immunity is far away,” she said. “The best we can hope for is to continue to social distance as much as we can so we can slow the spread until we have treatments.” 

Photo courtesy Visit Sarasota County: Lido Beach

[Gardening]  Choosing the Best Soil to Grow Your Own Vegetables
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

There's nothing quite like having homegrown veggies right at your back door, and spring is the optimal time to prepare your garden beds for vegetable growing. From sweet corn, cucumber, tomato, watermelon and hot peppers, hand-picking fresh produce from your very own backyard garden tastes better than anything you can buy in a grocery store. And here in Florida, thanks to the frequent rain and plenty of sunshine, home gardeners can actually grow vegetables all year long. Home gardens are not only convenient for cooking, but fairly inexpensive and super rewarding. 

Kathy of Crowley Nurseries Inc started the nursery in her own backyard in Bayshore Gardens. As the family business began to grow, so did its facility. Now situated out in Old Myakka, her and her family have been working bringing backyards to life for close to 30 years now.

SRQ: I’d like to start a vegetable garden for the summer and noticed there is different potting soil for in-ground, raised bed and container? Does it really matter what potting soil I use? 

Kathy: Black Kow 1 cu. ft. Composted Kow Manure is an organic soil amendment for vegetable gardens, flower beds, lawns and landscapes. It is a natural, organic product that is aerobically composted and adds millions of beneficial microbes to enhance the soil structure and promote healthy plant growth. This is also a great soil if you need to add to your plants or new trees to your yard and helps promote proper drainage in clay soils. You can improve native soils with Black Kow composted cow manure because it has more nutrients than typical garden soil and 4 to 6 times more cow manure than other brands.  Never use more than 1/2 Black Kow to 1/2 your soil mixed—you do not want it too rich.

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.

[Conservation]  Conservation Foundation Permanently Protects Felts Audubon Preserve

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announces the permanent protection of the 29-acre Felts Audubon Preserve in Manatee County. The public preserve is known for its walking trails and bird-watching opportunities throughout the scenic, park-like bird sanctuary. The owners, Manatee County Audubon Society (MCAS), committed to placing a permanent conservation easement on the land, fulfilling the dream of original landowners, Otis and Anita Felts, who hoped the land would never be developed.

Conservation Foundation worked with Manatee County Audubon Society and the community to raise $50,000 in order to protect this property in perpetuity. “This is a wonderful community collaboration. Manatee County Fish & Game pledged a one-to-one matching grant to challenge the community to donate and the Floyd C. Johnson and Flo Singer Johnson Foundation made a significant donation toward that challenge. Community members stepped up and generously contributed the remainder,” noted Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. The foundation holds and will monitor the conservation easement in perpetuity.

“It is gratifying that Felts is now protected forever from development pressures,” stated Ray Jusseaume, MCAS president. “And, we are delighted to partner with Conservation Foundation to ensure that this special place remains an oasis for birds and other wildlife where we can continue to connect our community with nature.” 

Click for more info on the Manatee Audobon.

[Scholarships]  Ringling College of Art and Design is Proud to Announce its 2020-21 Trustee Scholar

Every year, the Ringling College of Art and Design Board of Trustees proudly awards its highest honor—the Trustee Scholarship—to the students who best exemplify dedication, originality, brilliance, ambition, and talent in their field of study, as well as service to the College and to the community. In addition to this extraordinary recognition, Trustee Scholars also receive a $5,000 scholarship. The runners-up each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The faculty of each qualifying department and representatives from the Office of Student Life nominate two students from the junior class in their areas for consideration as Trustee Scholars for the following year. Nominees are required to submit a written statement and a portfolio of their work for the Trustee Scholar Selection Committee, comprised of members of the Ringling College or Art and Design Board of Trustees, to review. That committee then meets to consider each nominee and, after robust and spirited discussion, selects the Trustee Scholar class to recommend to the Board of Trustees. 

“Each of this year's nominees was an amazing representative of the nominating department and of Ringling College,” confirmed Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president of Ringling College. “Though the Trustees were truly challenged in selecting this year's recipients from the nominees, as they are every year, they did arrive at a recommendation which was approved on May 8, 2020. All of the students nominated should be commended for their work, which distinguished them as being among the best in their majors and Student Life.”

It is important to note that, because it is a new major that does not yet have any rising seniors, no nominees were solicited from the Virtual Reality Development major. Nominees from that major will be eligible for consideration in the academic year 2020-21 to represent the 2021-22 class of Trustee Scholars. The Entertainment Design major will be eligible the following year for the 2022-23 class. Scholars and nominees will be celebrated by the Board of Trustees at an event in November (date to be confirmed). Ringling College congratulates all of these extraordinary students for their selection as 2020-21 Trustee Scholars and for being nominated! 

Click here to watch the full Trustee Scholars video.

[Scholarships]  Seven ‘Excellence in Experiential Learning’ Scholarships Awarded to Ringling College Students and Graduates

Ringling College of Art and Design today announced the award of seven $2,500 Excellence in Experiential Learning Scholarships. The scholarships, given by donors Nancy Markle and The Koski Family Foundation, were awarded based upon the levels of professionalism, quality of work, and intensity of engagement exhibited throughout the students’ work on real-world client projects as part of the Ringling College Collaboratory Commitment.

The winners of the Excellence in Experiential Learning Scholarships are Ringling College students and graduates, by name, major, and year of graduation: Doug Alberts, Motion Design 2020; Ellie Winslow, Business of Art and Design (BOAD) 2021; Emily Fritz BOAD 2020; Katelan (Kitt) Thomas, Visual Studies 2021; Kyle Snider, Motion Design 2020; Sophie Schonbach, BOAD 2022; and Yekyung Kwon, Illustration 2020.

Professional designer and illustrator Sydney Prusso, who worked with Nancy Markle and Nancy’s granddaughter, Aaliya, to assess the entries stated that, “[she] was very impressed by the amount of work and professionalism that went into some projects. The work was detailed, organized, and comprehensive. I have no doubt they will excel in their chosen professional environments.”

Tom Koski of The Koski Family Foundation provided detailed feedback to each scholarship winner, lauding them for their excellent creative talent, their ability to overcome obstacles, and their capacity to engender teamwork in leveraging creativity to address business realities and deliver meaningful work on time. Some submissions exhibited startling insights, like Emily Fritz’s work in rebranding the hotdog. Another scholarship judge, Veronica Brady, also applauded Emily’s project, touting the “great storytelling and awareness-building in the project,” calling it the “best (Wurst) solution!”

The Excellence in Experiential Learning Scholarship is open to all students who have been engaged in courses, immersives, and competitions offered College-wide under the Ringling College Collaboratory Commitment, including the Collaboratory, Art Network, Design Center, Studio Labs, and certain academic department projects and internships. Deadline for application was April 10, 2020.

“When The Patterson Foundation President and CEO Debra Jacobs and I first started exploring in 2009 what was eventually to become the Collaboratory Commitment, our mutual hope was to create an experiential learning model to drive professional development and enhance career success for our students,” said Ringling College President Larry R. Thompson. “Creative confidence is forged in the crucible of deadlines, demands, and deliverables - the foundation of the Collaboratory Commitment. We thank and applaud Nancy Markle and The Koski Family Foundation for creating these scholarships to distinguish and reward truly outstanding student professional development and work.”

Through the generous support and partnership of The Patterson Foundation, the Collaboratory Commitment offers every student at Ringling College the opportunity to work on real-world client projects prior to graduation to develop their client management expertise, expand their portfolios, develop professional work habits, and ultimately produce tangible and valuable client deliverables. In short, the purpose is to solve the dilemma of the new college graduate: I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, and I can’t get experience because I don’t have a job. To qualify for consideration for the scholarship, projects had to involve a real-world work experience with a company or client for which the student was paid or received course credit. 

Click for more info.

[Summer Camp]  The Players Studio offers Four Virtual Summer Camps This June

The Players Studio, the department of education and outreach of The Players Centre for Performing Arts is offering two virtual summer camps this June! Due to concerns about COVID-19 the regularly scheduled 4-week Musical Theatre Camp and the one-week mini camps scheduled for the month of June have been replaced with a new quarantine-friendly version.

Week 1: Join us through Zoom for The Players 2020 Virtual Summer Camp, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE! This camp is designed for students ages 5 to 10 and will run from June 8 through 12, from 10am-12pm Monday through Friday. Fill your summer with animalistic song and dance that will keep you from getting rusty during this time of isolation. Dance games, monologue workshops, and more!

Week 2: “Yes life is better down where it’s wetter, take it from me!” Don’t miss this fun 2020 Virtual Summer Camp centered around musical theatre, crafts, and FUN. UNDER THE SEA Summer Camp will allow the little ones to stay engaged in the arts from home! This camp is also for ages 5 to 10 but will run from June 22 through 26, 10am to 12pm, Monday through Friday.

Week 1: GETTING THE PART will prepare you for the world of auditioning for ages 11 through 17, from June 8 to 12, 1 to 3pm, Monday through Friday. What’s the right song for me? What monologue should I use? How do I pick up choreography quickly at a dance call? These questions along with many others will be answered in this week-long intensive!

Week 2: KEEPING THE PART: this week-long intensive following GETTING THE PART will teach actors rehearsal etiquette, how to maintain information and direction, and how to KEEP THE PART. A perfect Summer Camp for young performers looking to make it in “the biz.” This camp is also for ages 11through 17 but will run from June 22 to 26 from 1 to 3pm Monday through Friday.

The Players Studio will offer virtual classes as well through the month of June and evaluate continuing online or going to in-person class in July.

The Players Studio will continue to watch CDC, city, and county guidelines regarding summer camps. Look out for more information on our July camps. The health and safety of participants and staff is the Studio’s top priority. 

[Summer Camp]  Sarasota Film Festival Camps Are Now Virtual

Are your kids bored at home this summer? Get them the gift of film camps! Adapting to these challenging times, the popular Sarasota Film Camps is now able to offer its unique curriculum online for students 8-14.  Film professionals with decades of industry experience in Hollywood as well as film educators from the 22-year-old Sarasota Film Festival, an event of world renown, will keep the kids learning, entertained, and occupied in the safety of their homes. 

The camps will utilize livestream Zoom sessions, materials on Teachable and other technologies to provide a film and media program that will help students not only stay creative and engaged during the summer, but also make them stronger media creators, enriched with an invaluable skill set for our times. Filmmakers will learn in a fun, conservatory model where each student gets to experience different film-related professions, being a screenwriter, director, producer, production designer, editor, cinematographer, and actor. The students will also truly understand the value of teamwork and collaboration.

Every week of the camp will feature a different theme, from online videos to superheroes, fantasy and other genres. The theme will have its own specific curriculum and will be used to inspire the created short films and videos.

Each day will include:

Film Education in screenwriting, cinematography, editing, film history, producing, directing, and more. Students will learn how to use the professional editing application Adobe Premiere and other industry methods. Skills practice — filming with available equipment like a smartphone or tablet. The campers will be guided every step of the way. The finished projects will have public screenings for family and friends on the camp’s YouTube channel and in social media.

Weekly camps start on June 1st, 2020 and will run for 3 hours every day from 9AM EST to 12PM EST, Monday through Friday. Additional afternoon sessions may be added based on demand. Limited spots available for this online virtual film camp opportunity.  

Click here to register.

[Recognition]  Sarasota Academy Director Recognized with Rotary Vocational Service Award

The Sarasota Southside Rotary Club recently awarded Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director Christina Bowman with the Rotary Club Vocational Service Award. SMA-COL Bowman was recognized with the award as a special surprise during the Rotary Club’s monthly meeting held via a virtual video chat.

“Year after year our Rotary Club is amazed and inspired after the annual visit from the Interact students where they recount their service involvements over the school year. A substantial amount of credit for these remarkable students goes to SMA-COL Christina Bowman and the Interact Advisors - SMA-CPT Carol Pelletier, SMA-CPT Jane Clancy and SMA-CPT Lorene Baulk - because of their unwavering commitment to developing future leaders,” said Kay Yoder, Sarasota Southside Rotary Club President. “It’s clearly evident that this is not your average school. It feels much more like a family who genuinely cares for one another and is one hundred percent invested in seeing everyone succeed. This culture is not by accident but by design, beginning at the top with Christina as Executive Director modeling the way through her commitment and dedication to academic excellence and youth development.”

The Vocational Service Award, along with the club’s Service above Self Award, helps to recognize and celebrate Rotarians (Rotary Club members) and individuals demonstrating a commitment to helping others by volunteering time, talent and resources. The awards are not given on an annual basis; rather, when an individual meets the qualifications and is nominated by a club member. 

Click for more info on the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club.



[Giving Back]  The DeMarcay Donates More Than 450 Meals to Feed First Responders

The team behind The DeMarcay, a luxury residential condominium project by GK Real Estate in downtown Sarasota, Fla., recently donated more than 450 meals as part of its First Responder Friday program to provide fare from local restaurants to the community’s first responders and health care professionals.

During the eight events in April and May 2020, area recipients served included the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Sarasota County firefighters and paramedics and health care professionals from Doctors Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The participating restaurants were 99 Bottles, Café Barbosso, Il Panificio, Main Street Trattoria, Nancy's Bar-B-Q, Pacific Rim and Spice Boys Kitchen.

“Our team truly appreciates the tireless hours the first responders and health care professionals have worked and the sacrifices made for us all,” said Greg Kveton, principal at GK Real Estate, the developer of The DeMarcay. “We wanted to acknowledge them while also assisting and partnering with local restaurants. Our team is grateful for the opportunity to help take care of those taking care of us, and we are humbled to give back to those who do so much in our community.”

The team also recently concluded a series of complimentary business webinars tailored to real estate professionals but available to all. Held throughout April and May 2020, the Zoom conferences covered topics from how to create real estate videos, social media and public relations during a crisis, business coaching, real estate in the virtual world now and in the future, closings in COVID-19 and how to create a functional home office.

Those interested in exploring The DeMarcay can now schedule an online or in-person appointment, see renderings of the property and its seven floor plans and view videos packed with information, tours of the sales gallery and each residence, the scaled replica of the building, a vignette of the well-appointed kitchens and more.

The 18-story building will boast valet parking, concierge services and a resort-style rooftop pool with expansive waterfront views of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Ranging from 1,144 to 3,219 square feet, the floor plans will have the flexibility to combine units for larger square footage. A one-bedroom residence with a den starts at $660,000, with two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences available. Construction is slated for completion by fall 2021. 

Click for more info.

[Graduation]  Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County to Honor High School Graduates

While graduation ceremonies around the country continue to be canceled due to Covid19, the Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County, Inc. – a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at risk youth through peer to peer education – is planning a drive by celebration to honor graduating seniors and the newest members of the Coalition’s Teen Health Educator class.

With social distancing guidelines in mind, on Tuesday, May 26th and Wednesday, May 27th, family members, friends, teachers, and supporters of the Healthy Teens organization will caravan to the homes of 26 students: 12 graduating seniors (who have been active in the Teen Health Educator program), and 14 members of the Coalition’s newest Teen Health Educator class.

“Our Teen Health Educators are the driving force behind our award-winning program,” says Evelyn Almodovar, Program Director for Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County. “Especially during these difficult times we think it’s important to recognize the accomplishments and positive impact these youth leaders have made on our community.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Healthy Teens Coalition and their award-winning Teen Health Educator Program has served more than 7,000 higher risk Manatee County and Sarasota County youth. Participants in the Teen Health Educator program remain committed to serving as peer mentors and peer educators, as well as youth health advocates with elected officials. The program is a local, state, and national model. 

[Event Cancellation]  Salon Series 2020: May Event Canceled

The May installment of the Designing Women Boutique Salon Series 2020 scheduled to feature Cheif Bernadette Di Pino from the Sarasota Policy Department has been officially canceled.  

[Retail]  Art and Frame of Sarasota is Open

Art and Frame is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. All employees are wearing masks and they ask that all shoppers also wear a mask when entering the store. If you would like to order for curbside delivery, call 941-366-2301 and press extension 1. Place your order, prepay and call when you arrive for the order to be delivered to your car. Handmade masks also available for sale. 

[Re-Openings]  Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to Re-Open May 28

Leadership at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announced today that the visitor complex will reopen to guests effective Thursday, May, 28, 2020 with reduced admission, attendance limits and some attractions unavailable.

During the initial reopening phase, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will begin new measures and procedures in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations. This includes opening with limited attendance and encouraging advance daily admission purchases; requiring face coverings and temperature screenings for employees and guests; accommodating social distancing in queues, restaurants, and other facilities throughout the visitor complex; and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection.

During the initial reopening, a limited-time "Explore Today, Explore Tomorrow" package, which will include daily admission, parking and a complimentary ticket to return to the visitor complex in 2021, will be $29.99 for adults and $24.99 for children. Operating hours will be 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

As always, the health and safety of employees and guests is the highest priority for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

To reinforce guests’ health and safety:

— A limited number of attractions and services will be available during this initial, reopening phase.
— All guests will undergo a temperature screening upon arrival.
— The Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour will not be available due to social distancing guidelines.
— Face coverings will be required for employees and guests. Face coverings will be available for purchase at the front entrance.
— New physical-distancing measures will be in place.
— All guests are required to have a timed ticket, including annual passholders. Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged to ensure entry due to limited capacity.
— Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will continue the comprehensive and extensive availability of hand sanitizer throughout the park, as well as the increased routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the workplace and at workstations, countertops, doorknobs and ticket counters.
— Additional details are available at: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/coronavirus

Guests will also be able to purchase a space expert-led walking tour through Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Rocket Garden, Nature and Technology, Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, NASA Now, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Astronaut Training Experience®. This tour, which will be limited to small groups, costs $49.99 and includes admission and a boxed lunch.

Leadership will continue to assess the situation and make adjustments to the availability of exhibits, tours and experiences as deemed safe and appropriate. To help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure guest and employee safety, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has taken and will continue to take actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus based on the guidance of the CDC. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. These precautions are temporary and are subject to change at any time based on the recommendations of the CDC, State of Florida and Brevard County. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex management continues to work closely with local, state and federal experts to ensure that we are up to date on the situation as it evolves. 

For more details.

[Graduation]  Bradenton Christian School Drive-Thru Parade

Bradenton Christian School is pleased to announce a Drive-Thru Parade for its students to help celebrate all of their accomplishments for the 2019-2020 school year today May 21, 2020. Teachers will be lined up along the campus-wide parade route to greet families from the safety of their cars and will hand out end of the year awards to their students.

Elementary School/Middle School Parade 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

High School Parade (freshmen, sophomores, juniors) 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm

Bradenton Christian School will also honor the Class of 2020 by hosting its annual “Senior Walk” when the seniors, wearing their caps and gowns, will walk the entire campus one last time before graduation which is currently scheduled for Friday, July 31, 2020 at Bayside Community Church Main Campus. This is a tradition that is normally held the last week of school with the entire student body lining the campus to cheer on the senior class. This year, senior families and friends will line the campus-wide parade route and will be able to take pictures and video from the safety of their cars. The BCS class of 2020 will end their walk at the Panther Den Gymnasium where they will receive their end of the year awards and be able to say one final goodbye to the iconic building as the last BCS senior class to play a full year of sports in the gym before it gets torn down later this year to make way for the new BCS sports complex which is scheduled to open this coming fall 2020.

Senior Walk 7:15pm 

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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