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SRQ DAILY Jun 4, 2020

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"This is another important step in fully engaging the power of local businesses to reignite our economy,"

- Jacki Dezelski, Manatee Chamber of Commerce

-Remembering the awesome spaces of the SRQ Home of The Year 2020. Pictured: Platinum Winner Best Overall Home (Over $2 Million): Bayview House by Leader Design Studio/SAWA Design Studio
[Recovery]  Florida To Enter Phase Two Reopening
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Most of Florida, including Sarasota and Manatee counties will shift into Phase Two of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

That means bars can reopen, serving just seated guests, at 50% capacity. Movie theaters can begin selling half the seats for screenings. A number of personal services from tattoo parlors to tanning salons can reopen so long as they follow Department of Health guidelines.

This is another important step in fully engaging the power of local businesses to reignite our economy,” said Jacki Dezelski, president and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. “Phase Two will allow more employees to return to work and companies to get back to business. Guidance is available to help with health and safety protocols. Throughout this pandemic, business leaders have worked tirelessly to plan, protect, pivot and innovate.”

Among the notable shifts, mass gatherings will no longer be limited to only 10 people or less. There will still be a cap of 50, though. Still, that allows a greater crowd at playhouses, concert halls and sporting venues.

"The slow steady phased approach has given businesses the time to retool and convert their businesses to best meet the new safety precautions going forward," said Heather Kasten, President and CEO of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. "With each phase our business community moves towards being able to save their business and get through these trying times.”

But the shift into broader reopening comes as Florida continues to see new cases. As of Wednesday, a total of 58,764 individuals had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, including 2,566 Florida residents killed by the disease. In Manatee County, 98 residents have died, and there have been 1,110 positive cases. In Sarasota County, there have been 649 cases and 80 resident deaths.

Officials note that while the virus continues to spread, the medical infrastructure has not been taxed excessively. Indeed, local hospitals have returned elective surgeries into service.  

[Community]  Three Local Teens Organized Sunday's Black Lives Matter Protest
Ariel Chates

This past Saturday, May 30, local teenagers Gwen Goodacre, 18, Gabe Gonzalez, 19 and a third young person who would like to remain anonymous attended a protest in Downtown Sarasota in response to the killing of George Floyd. Underwhelmed by the turn-out, they decided to organize another protest the following day.

They circulated the flyer advocating their support of the Black Live Matters movement and announcing the protest on social media to take place the following day. In the flyer, the organizers asked for individuals attending the gathering to offer a peaceful protest. City of Sarasota officials provided support, blocking intersections from Payne Park to the end of Main Street.

"I have never and will never experience what it is like to be a black woman or man in America,” said organizer Gwen Goodacre. “What I can do is use my privilege to help organize events, donate, advocate against police brutality, advocate for minorities' mental health, and health care, urge people my age to vote for their rights, and, most of all, help educate others on why Black Lives Matter is what matters right now.”

A crowd turned up and made their way through Downtown Sarasota in the Florida heat with signs advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement that also called for remembrance of George Floyd and the other victims of police violence. The protest remained peaceful and ended back at Payne Park with a string of passionate speeches from members of the crowd.

"My hopes for the future are simple," said Gabe Gonzalez. "We want peace, unity, and equality for all people, but the first step to that, is standing up for those that are treated lesser than."  

[Gardening]  Kathy Crowley on the Diverse Growing Habits of the Ficus Tree
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

What is the difference between Fig and Ficus?  The two words are so often interchanged in horticulture text, even experienced gardeners ask the same. Well, the word “Ficus” is the botanical name of a rather large genus of plants that includes 800 individual species, all with diverse growing habits. The “common fig” is just one of the most familiar ficus plants (Ficus carica), known for its edible flowering fruits of the mulberry family. So what should gardeners know about some of the stark differences in the Ficus species when planting in their home gardens? Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries gets down to the root of it...

SRQ: Is it true that figs are root hogs? A friend of mine with fig trees told me that if I wanted to plant figs, I had to build an underground container to constrain their roots because if they got to roam free, the fig would spend all of its time growing roots and not cultivating fruit. I think they used concrete slabs to limit its root growth. Does this work?  

Kathy: Ficus trees, commonly called weeping fig, can indeed root hogs and will go to your water supply like pool, faucet, foundation, and even uproot your sidewalk. However, this is different from the fig tree that has edible fruit (Ficus carica). A fig's roots are not aggressive enough to injure masonry, building foundations, or pipes. Keeping your tree watered will help to keep it in check not to become invasive. Figs love the water which also brings on fruit. When you do not water, it will cause the root system to grow more aggressively to search for water. Figs have a hard time in our sandy soil, as nematodes will clog the roots and usually kill your tree by clogging the roots. At the Nursery, we use Atomic Grow to keep nematodes out of the root system and we water extra to produce fruit and keep the roots close to the tree.

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

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

[Savor Sarasota]  Visit Sarasota County Launches 15th Annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) launched Savor Sarasota earlier this week on June 1, 2020. Now in its 15th year, Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week runs annually from June 1-14 and allows guests to enjoy prix-fixe, multi-course lunch and dinner menus for just $16 and $32 per person. This is the first-year participating restaurants are offering their Savor menus for dine-in and/or to-go service, at the restaurant’s discretion, and all considering COVID-19 safety regulations. Currently, there are more than 60 local restaurants participating in Savor Sarasota. “Whether dining in or taking your meals to-go, Savor Sarasota is about experiencing your favorite restaurants, and trying new ones,” said Virginia Haley, VSC President. "And, we all know our local restaurants could use a boost right now. Visit Sarasota County is hoping Savor can be that." 

Pictured: Gecko's Meatball Sliders, photo by Lauren Jackson of Visit Sarasota County.

Click for more info.

[Webinar Series]  Manatee Chamber Announces Headliners Summer Series

The Manatee Chamber is excited to announce a Headliners Summer Series designed to provide relevant and timely information on important policy matters as well as business and community issues The first of the Headliners Summer Series, featuring Manatee County Administrator, Cheri Coryea, is on Wednesday, June 10 from 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm via Zoom.Coryea will provide up-to-date information on important matters that impact local businesses and our community. Manatee County continues to move critical projects forward and provide services to its 400,000+ residents while also navigating the evolving COVID-19 recovery process. Join us to learn more about our area's current status and future strategies. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about issues that impact you and your business. The cost is $15 for Manatee Chamber and MYP members and $20 for future members. Reservations are required. To register online, visit www.ManateeChamber.com/Headliners, or you may contact Cara Misiewicz at 941-748-4842, ext. 122 or CaraM@ManateeChamber.com. 

Click for more info.

[Restaurant Closure]  Lemon Tree Kitchen Temporarily Closes While Seeking New Location

Tableseide Restaurant Group announces their departure from Lemon Tree Kitchen. Lemon Tree Kitchen, formerly Louie’s Modern was renovated in 2019. Lemon Tree Kitchen will be seeking a new location, possibly in Lakewood Ranch, to continue operations as soon as possible. Tableseide Restaurant Group has occupied the 1289 N Palm location since 2014. Lemon Tree Kitchen is a refreshing brand, created with the conscientious diner in mind.

“The past year operating Lemon Tree Kitchen has been a wonderful experience. I am proud of our team of talented chefs, managers, servers and bartenders who made Lemon Tree Kitchen what it is today. We were honored to be a part of such a wonderful history of the downtown Sarasota area and look forward to passing the torch to the new vendor” says Joe Guli, CEO of Tableseide Restaurant Group. “We are excited to shift our focus to our new location for Lemon Tree Kitchen-we are actively seeking the perfect location where we can continue to develop the Lemon Tree Kitchen concept and make it even better” stated Joe Guli.

Tableseide Catering will be an option for anyone wanting signature Lemon Tree Kitchen dishes. 

Click for more info.

[Fundraising]  Child Protection Center Celebrates 40th Year of Service with Fundraiser

To celebrate the Child Protection Center's 40th year of service, chairwoman of CPC’s Advisory Council, Alisa Pettingell, proposed the idea of recruiting 40 captains with the charge of raising $10,000 each and the goal of raising $400,000 collectively. This led to the creation of an incredibly dedicated group of individuals who worked tirelessly to raise these funds to the benefit of our youth. 

The support received through the Captains' Initiative is helping them dive into the next 40 years with the determination and fight to continue reducing child abuse in our community. This has proven to be even more impactful than they could have foreseen prior to the difficulties surrounding coronavirus. 

From January 1st though April 30th the Child Protection Center was able to accomplish: 750 therapy sessions, 238 specalized interviews, medical evaluations and consultations, PSCA presented 17,443 participants and SVP conducted 263 family visits.  

Child Protection Center | 720 South Orange Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236

[Donation]  Personalized Estate Liquidation donates $15,000 to Booker High School Foundation

PEL recently donated $15,000 to the Booker High School Foundation. These funds will be used for scholarships to help needy Booker High graduates continue their education in college or technical schools. Booker High School has a very impressive college preparation for its students.

“I want to personally thank your embracing Booker High School’s vision: 100% of Booker High School students will graduate college and career ready and become productive members of our society," says Dr Rachel Shelley, Principal of Booker High School. "Your generous scholarship donation in the amount of $15,000 will level the playing field for students who graduate with a grade point average between 2.0 and 2.9. Your donation provide 15 current seniors tuition assistance at $1,000 each.”  

[Award]  Artist from Sarasota Wins "People's Choice Award" in 2020 Embracing Our Differences’ Exhibit

"El Sueño Americano," Clifford McDonald’s striking photograph of a young boy whose eyes reflect the flags of both the United States and Mexico, won the "People's Choice Award" at Embracing Our Differences' 17th annual outdoor juried art exhibit celebrating diversity. McDonald, who is a Sarasota-based artist and educator, received a cash award of $1,000. McDonald will share his prize money with Elijah Garza, the subject of his photograph. Garza is a first-grade student at Visible Men Academy in Bradenton.

In his artist statement, McDonald says the image reflects the often precarious situation children of immigrant parents face. “People move to the United States from all over the world for many different reasons. This piece represents the opportunity that others see in the United States. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country that promises freedom, education, job opportunities, quality healthcare and an overall better life? But imagine coming to America as a child and being taken away from the hands of your mother. Or as a parent having your child ripped out of your arms. It’s sad to see how some immigrants have been treated for chasing the American Dream.” 

The 2021 exhibit will be January 20 through April 1, 2021, in Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota 

[Pets]  DOGPerfect to Offer Free Perfect Club Memberships for Healthcare Workers and First Responders

To show its gratitude during this historic time, DOGPerfect is offering free Perfect Club memberships to the Suncoast community’s healthcare workers and first responders throughout the month of June. The independent pet retail company with stores in Lakewood Ranch, University Park and Sarasota is launching the new campaign in support of its overall 2020 local giveback effort.

“Now is the time to do what we can to help make the lives of those on the front line a little bit easier,” said Fernando Carrera, DOGPerfect’s director of operations. “This is our way of saying thanks, we appreciate your selfless work.” Healthcare workers and first responders can simply bring a work badge or ID into any DOGPerfect store and receive a one-year membership in the Perfect Club.

Perfect Club membership plans normally cost $99 each and can provide more than $500 in savings. Perks are available on a per family basis, so if a family has more than one pet, all pets will be entitled to the benefits. Free membership plans are also available to pet shelter volunteers, foster parents, and pet parents who adopt animals at local shelters throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Perks for the year include will include: 15% or more off all dog/ cat food, unlimited use of the self-serve dog wash, unlimited nail trims, one complimentary private training lesson, full bag of bulk biscuits for the price of a half bag, all year long 20% off all grooming, free birthday tender-tuffs plush toy (up to $15). VIP shopping nights throughout the year and 20% off all cat litter. 

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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