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SRQ DAILY Jun 9, 2020

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"Mote is honored to establish Islamorada's first science-based coral nursery as part of our broader strategic reef restoration and science education mission."

- Michael Crosby, President/CEO of Mote Marine

[Politics]  Joe Barbetta Files for Sarasota City Commission, District 2
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The Sarasota City Commission race in District 2 just attracted a high-profile candidate. Joe Barbetta, a Sarasota County Commissioner who served from 2006 through 2014, submitted his paperwork Monday to run.

“I’ve just been watching what’s going on and it seems like some changes need to be made,” said Barbetta. “My property taxes are going up— surprisingly with the new construction going on. And I have been watching some of the meetings and it seems dysfunctional.”

Barbetta will challenge incumbent Commissioner Liz Alpert. His entry makes it a six-person contest, with Ascend Wireless Networks' Don Patterson, former City Commissioner Terry Turner, retired commodities trader Jerry Wells and Gulf Business Systems' Martin Hyde also running. The qualification deadline in Friday at noon.

Challenging Alpert seems especially notable considering Barbetta offered the then-candidate advice in 2015 on how to unseat then-incumbent Eileen Normile. But Barbetta said he’s been disappointed in the commission the last four years. “I helped her and [now District 3 Commissioner] Shelli Freeland Eddie but that was based on the promise they move the election to November and possibly consider a strong mayor,” Barbetta said. Ultimately, the commission took up neither issue, though a citizen initiative did lead to the rescheduling of elections.

But his concerns with the city don’t stop there. He felt while he served on the county that there was progress toward a come-as-you-are shelter in North Sarasota, but city resistance derailed that effort. Seven years later, a site Barbetta had in mind remains city-owned and vacant, and downtown still has a visible homeless problem, he said.

Barbetta since leaving the commission has continued consulting work, including at Nathan Benderson Park. He lists developing sports tourism, including turning that park into a rowing venue, as a chief achievement of his time in office. Barbetta also led county negotiations on a 30-year spring training deal with the Baltimore Orioles. That said, both county efforts have had detractors for years.

Barbetta served 14 years on the county Planning Board before holding county office, and said he remains interested in public service. Mostly, he feels Sarasota deserves to be a more successful mid-sized city the likes of Saratoga, New York, Asheville, North Carolina or Greenville, South Carolina. And he hopes to lead it there from the commission dais. 

Photo of Joe Barbetta

[Comfort Food]  Bohemios Serves up Fine Wine and Exotic Comfort Food
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

Clark Road remains by-and-large an industrial corridor. Warehouses, car dealerships and gas stations border its six lanes of asphalt, with here and there a respectable strip mall sprinkled in. One such strip mall has found itself for the moment a niche as an outpost for a variety of cuisines, including El Toro Bravo for Mexican fare, Vila Brasil Café for Brazilian cuisine and, now, Bohemios Wine and Beer Tapas Bar for a Spanish-influenced, Venezuelan-tinged assortment of small bites and entrees tailormade for partaking in that slow-paced, broad-plated style of eating popular in Spain.

Entrees include easily identifiable dishes like rack of lamb, mushroom ravioli or ahi-tuna, each with the expected sides for the cuisine from which they borrow. But buried within the vast menu of seafood bites like lobster sliders, fried calamari and grilled octopus are some little morsels of Venezuelan comfort food not often seen on menus in town. Pataconcitos, tequeños, Venezuelan-style empanadas and arepas would be easy to overlook on a menu with more recognizable names, but if one is to accept a Clark Road strip mall as a food destination, an open mind and a sense of adventure are implied. A selection from the restaurant’s mixed plates is a respectable beginning for the adventure, and the Iberoamerican might be the best among them.

A large wooden serving board comes loaded with two each of the aforementioned small bites, with a small ramakin of ceviche thrown in for good measure. Tequeños, little croquette-like pastries stuffed with cheese, have all the down-home charm of mozzarella sticks without the grease-stained paper basket. The corn meal empanadas, lightly fried, are stuffed with seasoned beef and served with a small side of cilantro aioli. Pataconcitos look almost like one-bite fruit tarts, but the fried plantain shell is stuffed with seasoned ground beef and pico de gallo, then drizzled with a pink sauce. With avocado, cabbage and shredded chicken coated in a cilantro sauce, the arepitas are like little sandwiches in which the bread has been replaced with cornmeal patties. Finally, the ceviche, a mix of shrimp, corvina and scallop chunks, has all the tang and zest of its citrus and onion base and offers a bit of textural and temperature contrast with the other tapas. The wine selection is vast both in country of origin and price range, with house wines by the glass starting at $5 for their “friendly hour” (3-6pm) and climbing all the way up to a Brunello di Montalcino or a Caymus cabernet for fans of the finer things. 

Bohemios Wine & Beer Tapas Bar, 3246 Clark Road, Sarasota, 941-260-9784

[Mote Marine]  Mote Announces Plans for An Additional Coral Nursery and International Coral Gene Bank

At a press conference earlier today in Islamorada, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium announced plans for future development to further coral reef research and restoration in the Florida Keys and in Sarasota. This announcement, made on World Oceans Day, is in direct response to the urgent plight Florida’s Coral Reef is facing. Warming waters, more acidic conditions due to higher carbon emissions, a devasting coral disease and other stressors have left our once abundant, thriving reef near the brink of extinction.

Mote, a global leader in marine research and conservation since its founding in 1955, has been actively paving the way in science-based restoration efforts in the Florida Keys for over 25 years. With a growing staff of highly revered and heavily published PhDs and expert practioners, Mote is the only organization completing the entire restoration loop under one entity: from assisting sexual-reproduction cycles, to rearing the next generation of coral, to resilience testing, asexual fragmentation with scaled up outplanting and extensive monitoring. To date, Mote has outplanted over 78,000 coral fragments on Florida’s Coral Reef, with a survival rate of over 90% in most cases. Additionally, thousands of corals are growing in Mote’s land-based nursery on Summerland Key and Mote’s two underwater nurseries in the Lower Keys.

This morning, Dr. Michael P. Crosby, Mote President & CEO, shared Mote’s plans to build an additional land-based coral nursery on the property of famed Bud n’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada in the Upper Keys—the first of its kind in Islamorada. “We’ve been incredibly successful with our efforts in the Lower Keys, but to meet the urgent demand of restoring our rapidly declining reef, we must double our operations and capacity to serve additional parts of the reef tract.”

Late last year, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced its initiative Mission: Iconic Reefs, which identified seven “iconic reefs” in the Florida Keys that will receive a concentrated, collective effort of restoration support in the coming decades. Cheeca Rocks, a prominent reef near Islamorada, is one of the identified Iconic Reefs and the focus of Mote’s targeted response with the new coral nursery. Crosby adds, “the Islamorada community has a rich history of world-class fishing, diving and ocean recreation, and in many ways is the heartland of the Florida Keys. Mote is honored to establish Islamorada’s first science-based coral nursery as part of our broader strategic reef restoration and science education mission.”

The new nursery was not the only partnership unveiled during the press conference. Islamorada Conservation and Restoration Education, I.Care, is Islamorada’s newest environmental awareness organization, focusing on a community-based approach to coral restoration. They will work with citizen-divers to help outplant and monitor Mote-supplied coral fragments onto Islamorada’s reefs. Dr. Kylie Smith, co-founder of I.Care explains, “true advocacy, conservation and education comes from hands-on experiences with citizen scientists. Giving the citizens and visitors of Islamorada the tools and ability to save our reefs may be the difference we need to ensure our reef can survive now and for future generations.”

In addition to the new partnerships in the Florida Keys, Mote recently announced that it is moving forward on building a new coral gene bank within the 200-acre Mote Aquaculture Research Park in east Sarasota County. Crosby explained, “this gene bank is an eco-vault like no other, a modern-day Noah’s Ark, that will ensure we will never lose the diversity of coral that makes our reef so special.” This gene bank, purposefully chosen to be built at an inland location, will be housed in a Category-5 hurricane resistant building, with state-of-the-art environmental systems and controls. Mote already has over 1,600 individual genotypes of corals from 17 different species of Florida coral in their care. Crosby added that “Mote now has one of the largest single collections of living coral genetic diversity in existence, and our long-term strategy is to extend our coral gene bank’s capacity to hold species and genotypes from reefs around the world.” 

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Fla., 34236 941.388.4441

[Recognition]  Manatee Realtor Barry Grooms Inducted into the National Hall of Fame

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has announced that long-time member Barry Grooms has been inducted into the National Association of Realtors Hall of Fame. Grooms is co-owner of Florida Suncoast Real Estate and currently serves as the 2020 President of Florida Realtors, he joins a very small and elite group of Realtors across the United States to earn such an honor.

In fact, only a fraction of 1 percent of all Realtors nationwide have received the coveted honor and recognition.The National Association of Realtors Hall of Fame recognizes dedicated Realtor members who go above and beyond to invest in their profession and protect the private property rights of all Americans. As the voice of real estate in the United States, Realtors like Grooms, understand the importance of homeownership as a major tenet of the American dream and work to preserve it. Grooms was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 2019 Realtors Legislative Meetings held in Washington, DC. His name has now earned a distinguished position on the Hall of Fame wall located on NAR’s Washington, D.C. building rooftop overlooking the United States Capitol. 

Click for more info.

[Leadership Opportunity]  Leadership Manatee Applications Now Available

Applications for the 2020-2021 Leadership Manatee class are now available online and the deadline to submit is June 22. Leadership Manatee is a program of the Manatee Chamber Foundation in partnership with the Bradenton Kiwanis. Leadership Manatee is a comprehensive program designed for participants to have an in-depth look into the opportunities and challenges facing our community. The class meets twice a month (on Wednesdays) and participates in tours and discussions on topics such as education, transportation, healthcare, human needs, culture, industry, agriculture, local government and more. 

For questions or more information, please contact Jacki Dezelski at 941-748-4842, ext. 131

Click here for application.

[PPP Loan]  Enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

SBA, in consultation with Treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP. These modifications will implement the following important changes:

Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.

Lower the requirements that 75 percent of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs and that 75 percent of the loan forgiveness amount must have been spent on payroll costs during the 24-week loan forgiveness covered period to 60 percent for each of these requirements. If a borrower uses less than 60 percent of the loan amount for payroll costs during the forgiveness covered period, the borrower will continue to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, subject to at least 60 percent of the loan forgiveness amount having been used for payroll costs.

Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.

Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees, to provide protections for borrowers that are both unable to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020, and unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020.

Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans that are approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5, 2020.

Extend the deferral period for borrower payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period).

In addition, the new rules will confirm that June 30, 2020, remains the last date on which a PPP loan application can be approved. 

[Crisis Support]  Tidewell Community Offers Support Hope Line

To help meet the emotional-health needs of the community during COVID-19, local hospice provider Tidewell Hospice is offering the Tidewell Community Hope Line. This is not a crisis hotline but a “hope” line for people who need help dealing with today’s challenges. The service is available 24/7 and is staffed by Tidewell grief specialists, social workers, and spiritual care advisors. 

 “For 40 years Tidewell has been helping the community during times of challenge, grief and loss,” Tidewell President and CEO Jonathan Fleece said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented emotional-health issues for our society, including isolation, anxiety, stress and grief. Many family members are disconnected from their loved one during end of life due to government and public health requirements, which is incredibly difficult. In response to the community’s growing and vital needs, Tidewell has created the Community Hope Line to serve people throughout the COVID-19 crisis. I want to thank Tidewell’s support teams who have developed this innovative program that will serve many.”

Following are the services available for callers through the Community Hope Line:

Grief Support – If a caller has lost a loved one to COVID-19, been separated from loved ones due to hospital or facility lockdowns or is in need of a reassuring voice during this anxious and isolating time, the Hope Line offers caring professionals to listen. No one needs to face this pandemic alone. Grief specialists are available to provide grief education and emotional support. Trained grief professionals can support callers over the phone or via a Zoom video conferencing session.

Spiritual Support– Throughout many times in life, many find it helpful to reach out to faith leaders and spiritual elders. Regardless of where a caller is or what his or her background may be, the Hope Line offers the opportunity to speak to a chaplain. The chaplains at Tidewell are all non-denominational, ordained and clinically trained to walk with you wherever you are on your journey.

Social Support– Social workers at Tidewell see themselves as problem solvers. The coronavirus and the resulting stay-at-home order have caused people to lose jobs, face financial problems, experience childcare concerns and suffer shortages of certain necessities. Though they cannot provide direct financial support, Tidewell social workers can connect callers with community resources available to help them navigate this new normal. 

The line can be reached at 855-930-HOPE (4673) or 941-556-HOPE (4673). communityhope@tidewell.org

[New Guidelines]  SMH Eases Visitors Restrictions

The new visiting guidelines for SMH are below. They appreciate your help in emphasizing that all visitors over age two must wear masks (either cloth or surgical masks that we provide at our entry points – bandannas, scarves and buffs are not sufficient). 

Limited Visitation Allowed: Upon entry, all visitors must answer screening questions and will have their temperature checked. Visitors must be 18 or older and must wear a hospital provided or cloth face mask (bandannas, scarves and buffs are not permitted). Visitors who refuse to wear a face mask in the hospital will be asked to leave.

Hospital inpatients (in areas other than Critical Care, Labor & Delivery/Mother-Baby, Pediatrics and NICU) may have 1 visitor per day for a 1-hour visit between the hours of 1 pm and 6 pm. Visitors must stay in the patient's room for the duration of the visit.

Critical Care patients may have 1 visitor per day for a 30-minute visit between the hours of 1 pm and 6pm. Visitors must stay in the patient's room for the duration of the visit.

Emergency Care Center (ER) patients will be allowed to have 1 visitor, who may accompany the patient to the treatment room or wait in the hospital’s main lobby.

Parents visiting Pediatrics or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may now visit at the same time.

Labor and Delivery patients may have one support person, as well as a certified doula and/or licensed community midwife, in the event the patient is transferred to SMH for care. No other visitors are allowed in Labor-Delivery or the Mother-Baby units. Expectant parents with questions about how this will impact their birth experience may call 941-313-0943 to speak with a clinical nursing leader. (Click here for a Q&A on pregnancy, birth and COVID-19.)

Patients in surgical, procedural and testing areas may each have 1 support person, whose access will be limited to hospital's first floor. Exceptions to this visitor policy may be made in certain extraordinary circumstances, including end-of-life situations. 
Note — Our No Visitor restrictions will remain in effect for patients suspected of having COVID-19; those who have tested COVID-19 positive; patients at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health; and patients at Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Rand Boulevard.

[Visitation]  Inpatient Visitation Hours Extended at Manatee Memorial Hospital

Starting tomorrow, Manatee Memorial Hospital will extend Inpatient Nursing Units visitation by an additional three hours.  The hospital will allow one visitor, age 18 or older to visit patients on the Nursing Inpatient Units from Noon to 6pm. Patients who are positive for COVID-19 or are being tested for COVID-19 will not be allowed visitors.  We encourage family/friends to continue to call, use FaceTime or Skype if they are unable to visit their loved one or friend. 

Click for more info.

[Father's Day]  Metro Diner is Fulfilling Father's Day Heat & Serve Meals at Home

If you’re planning a day out for dad or a cook-free backyard BBQ for Father’s Day, Metro Diner is prepping heat and serve meals that guests can preorder and pick-up all holiday weekend long (Friday, June 19 - Sunday, June 21) to enjoy and celebrate. Meals detailed below feed families of four and all include a garden salad and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that can be pre-ordered starting Wednesday, June 10 through Friday, June 19 at 5 pm. Families are welcome to dine around Metro Diner’s tables again to celebrate Father’s Day as they have reopened for sit down service following CDC and local government guidelines to best protect guests and staff as they plate up diner classics like their Fried Chicken and Waffles featuring half a fried chicken and a Belgian waffle, topped with powdered sugar and sweet strawberry butter, complete with their signature sweet and spicy sauce. Eat up with dad in the diner, order and pick up a hot meal, or have it delivered. 

To place your preorder starting June 10 or to scope out the menu before you dine-in, please visit https://metrodiner.com/

[Order Online]  Zildjian Catering Now Available Online for Delivery and Curbside Pick-Up

Online ordering is now available with their Fresh Food to Go Menu. Delivery and curbside pick-up: Tuesday through Friday 11 am-6 pm and Satruday 11am-4pm. 

6986 South Beneva Road Sarasota, Florida 34238, chefalyson65@gmail.com. 941-363-1709

[Webinar]  Book Your Spot For The Free Grapevine Webinar

Pivot, Don't Panic: Presented by Allison Imre, (President/CEO/Owner), Gabriele Harris(Chief Development Officer) and David Aitken (Digital Director). Learn how to embrace the digital age during these uncertain times and target consumers, shift spending, reevaluate your messaging, win the Google game and maximize your social media footprint. The webinar takes place next Thursday, June 18th, 2020 at 10am.


Click here to RSVP.

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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