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SRQ DAILY Jun 20, 2020

"The screams of indignation and rage will keep igniting if we allow the embers of inequity and injustice to smolder. The water has to reach everyone."

- Mark S. Pritchett, President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Community Finances]  Budgeting Should Reflect Policy and Priorities of the Real World
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

It is local budget time. It is by far the most important time of the year for the taxpayer. This is when policy really gets set and you see who is actually representing taxpayers. You get to see who is only interested in the elected official title and who is actually representing you and setting solid policy.

Whether it be the County Commission, City Commissions, School Board, or Hospital Board, these legislative bodies should be active, aggressive, and very thoroughly holding their budgets up to a critical eye. If the legislative body is relatively silent and the budget meetings are brief and fast, then you have a legislative body letting staff set policy and not doing their jobs. These are the seat warmer officials. Another indication is if the legislative body spends more time praising itself and its staff than asking critical questions, you clearly have a problem.

If you have a legislative body asking questions about projects, making sure they know the capital project lists inside and out and how they were generated, verifying expenditures in the budget with results, questioning fees, reprioritizing, and verifying the measurables of success for departments, you have a representative legislative body who is analyzing and verifying for the taxpayer.

The City of Venice has been far ahead of all of the local governments in its budget work this year. They did not rest on COVID-19 as an excuse for lazy budgeting and less discussions, but instead, they used it as motivation to become more involved in their budget. They gave direction early and are being very cautious with taxpayer funds. Unlike other bodies, they aren’t budgeting based upon hope for a better economy or a guess that it will.

We are in a recession. We are having a dip in revenues, that is for certain. We have been in a recession since February. There are very few individuals, businesses, and organizations who have not reprioritized their goals and spending based upon what has happened. It is jaw-dropping that some governments have not reprioritized their goals for this year amidst COVID-19. You did read that right, some governments have not adjusted their goals at all. Those that have not, just don’t want to put the effort in, and the optics are not good. Make no mistake about it, we see you. Those that have reprioritized, are in touch with what is happening in the world outside government. The same world where unemployment is at 14%.

Watch your elected officials and governments closely now. See if they are putting in the time for budgeting and prioritizing based upon what is happening in the non-government world. Ask questions, see if they are just cheerleading and ceding policy setting to staff. Or, are they using their budgets to accomplish real changes in policy to help the community in a real time of need. 

[Gulf Coast]  Hearing the Screams
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

Author, entrepreneur and all-around big thinker Seth Godin wrote an incisive blog last week on privilege (without ever using the word). In his brief, thoughtful post, Godin riffed on a classic comic in which a surprised goldfish says to its tank-mate, “Wait, there’s water?”

The metaphor here: Those who benefit most from a system can be oblivious to the very conditions that make it so. Godin refers specifically to “the dominant culture.”

A dominant culture can easily morph into the “tyranny of the majority.” Alexis de Tocqueville saw this potential blind spot in our young nation during the 1800s. He suggested that the power of the majority can crush a minority without even hearing its screams.

Recently, we have heard those tragic screams in Minneapolis, Atlanta and throughout our country. The outrage is real. And it is our duty as citizens of our representative democracy to check and transform the institutions that have turned a deaf ear to them.

American communities, including ours, face a reckoning. Persistent gaps in educational achievement, health status and wealth have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our region’s communities of color and residents living in poverty are disproportionately impacted by negative health and economic outcomes. We can’t ignore their screams anymore.

So how do we change a dominant culture, in our communities and our public institutions? We have to change people’s hearts and minds. And we can only change hearts through listening, civil dialogue and wanting the best that life has to offer for everyone.

At Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we hold our values as true north: integrity, leadership, collaboration, and excellence. By integrity, we mean demonstrating an unwavering commitment to trust, transparency, civility, and inclusion. We ask our partners to hold us accountable. We urge you to work together with us to achieve our vision of thriving communities with opportunities for all.

The screams of indignation and rage will keep igniting if we allow the embers of inequity and injustice to smolder. The water has to reach everyone.

To read Seth Godin’s blog on “The dominant culture,” go here.

Mark S. Pritchett is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Higher Education]  SCF Returns to Campus
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

As we navigate this unprecedented time, the pursuit of a college degree can provide both a sense of consistency and positive momentum into lives. Students must also feel comfortable and safe in their environment. The mission of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, is to provide the higher education students seek in the manner that best suits their preferences for access and safety.

We are slowly opening our campuses this month, returning more than 50% of our administrative staff on June 22 and a limited number of students on June 25 in Summer B Term courses that require more hands-on education. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority as we embrace a new normal for our college.

In May, SCF convened a Return to Campus Task Force to define the things we needed to do to prepare our campuses for the return of our personnel and students. The task force created a phased approach to opening our campuses and provided recommendations for creating more social distance in our classrooms, common areas and work spaces, policies for dealing with COVID-19 cases on campus and surveyed students on their preferred method for taking classes in this environment.

We will always put our students’ needs first and the survey provided great insight for our Fall 2020 Semester schedule. Based on survey results, we plan to offer a schedule that meets student demand for on-line and face-to-face courses. Student registration preferences will drive adjustments to the schedule.

We are excited to introduce Go Live with SCF Online, a new online delivery method. Go Live students will take classes online at a set time with live instruction from their professor and the opportunity to interact with their classmates. When we converted nearly all our courses to online in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we knew that some students were not comfortable with the lack of classroom instruction and interaction. Go Live brings the in-classroom experience to the students, while allowing them to remain in the environment they prefer. These students can also take advantage of SCF’s robust online support services, including advising and tutoring.

As students prepare to return for fall classes, we know that many were impacted financially by the pandemic shutdown. Students can still apply for federal CARES Act funding through SCF’s website. The SCF Foundation also has the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund to assist students impacted by coronavirus. The fund still has more than $20,000 available to students who are registered for summer or fall courses at SCF. Visit www.scf-foundation.org  for more information or to donate in support of our students.

SCF provides all local college students a chance to continue their college education. While some area students may be reluctant to return to a residential higher education setting in or out of state, SCF provides a safe environment to maintain progress toward a degree without taking a gap year by providing course credit that easily transfers to a state university.

We are entering a new environment and I am confident that we are putting the measures in place to ensure a safe learning and working environment for our students, faculty and staff. SCF is ready to play a leading role in our community’s resurgence from the coronavirus pandemic

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[Beach Renovation]  Anna Maria Island-wide Beach Renourishment Project to Begin in July

A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will begin an extensive beach renourishment to restock a 5.5-mile stretch of beach from northern Holmes Beach to the southern end of Coquina Beach at Longboat Pass. Crews began mobilizing equipment this week for the project that is scheduled to begin during the first week of July. Construction will start at 78th Street North in Holmes Beach and continue south to Coquina Beach. The project schedule calls for restocking about 300-feet of beach per day, baring weather delays, the project should be complete by the end of October. "This beach nourishment management program is very much like a roadway or other such infrastructure, as in once it is built, it must be maintained," said Charlie Hunsicker, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Director. "The work you see is maintenance that will help ensure continued presence of a sandy beach and storm protection for the upland, as well as provide important nesting habitat for endangered sea turtles and shorebirds." 

Click here for more information.

[Florida School Board Association ]  Jane Goodwin Named President of FSBA

Jane Goodwin, the most recent past Chair of the Sarasota County School Board, has been named the President of the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) for the 2020-2021 operational year. Goodwin served as FSBA’s President-Elect for the 2019-2020 operational year, and has previously served the organization as Chair of their Legislative Committee.

“I am honored to serve as President of the Florida School Boards Association,” said Goodwin. “This organization represents the collective voice of all elected school boards, and by extension, the millions of families within 67 unique counties that comprise the state of Florida. It’s FSBA’s steadfast mission to continually improve the quality of public education for all students. Now more than ever, we need to band together and chart a solid course forward for our students and teachers that promotes diversity & inclusion, reduces the achievement gap, fosters high-quality academic standards, and promotes emotional & civic growth. I look forward to working with my fellow county school board members across the state as we move towards fulfilling these objectives together.” 

[Exhibit]  Art Center Sarasota is Open to the Public with Four Exhibits

Art Center Sarasota, recently reopened to the public, has extended its current exhibit cycle through June 30th. “JAVO,” in Gallery One, features a solo show by Sarasota artist and illustrator Javier Rodriguez. “The Razor’s Edge,” in Gallery Two, features a solo exhibit of whimsical cut-paper artworks by Sarasota-based artist Philomena Marano. “The Stories Within,” in Gallery Three, features work by Cuban artists, Miguel Saludes & Alvaro Labañino, who explore unity and heterogeneity in contemporary America. “Uncharted,” in Gallery Four, is an exhibition of works in all media juried by Tom Stephens. Gallery hours, through July 3rd, are 10:00am-4:00pm, Mondays through Fridays. Starting July 14th, new hours are 10:00am-4:00pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. 

[Father's Day]  Enjoy Discount Admission at The Ringling Museum through June 30

Enjoy discounted admission of $15 through June 30. The Museum Store has reopened, just in time for Father's Day. From July 5th-11th members will receive 25% off on all full priced merchandise. Also on the horizon is a brand new restaurant, featuring farm fresh locally-sourced ingredients. Several special exhibitions are currently on view. If you aren't ready to visit in person quite yet, check out a virtual walk-through of Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed with commentary from his son Mike Solomon on their website.  

Click here for more information.

[Father's Day]  Last Minute Father's Day Gifts Available at Bobby Jones Golf Club

Bobby Jones has increased their sale from 30% to 40% off merchandise. Offer runs from Sunday, June 21 thru Wednesday, June 24, 9:00am – 5:00pm. Stock up on heavily discounted, exclusive Bobby Jones Golf Club merchandise, golf equipment, shoes, gloves, and more. All gently used Junior club sets are $28.03 and Adult club sets are $46.72. Callaway & Bridgestone Golf Balls as low as $18.34 a dozen. 

Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Blvd.

[New Grant]  McCune Family Foundation Continues Transformational Support of the Child Protection Center

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) was selected as the recipient of a $90,000 grant from the McCune Family Foundation.
The McCune Family Foundation has a long history of major investment in CPC’s mission- the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse. Their continued transformational support has given CPC the ability to positively impact thousands of children in Sarasota County while furthering the vision of a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. Since its inception in 1980, The Child Protection Center has grown in service capabilities to become the only DeSoto and Sarasota service provider with a multifaceted approach to the prevention, intervention, and treatment, of child abuse. The four core programs that work towards the mission of The CPC include: Personal Safety and Community Awareness (PSCA), Child Protection Team (CPT), Children and Families Supervised Visitation Program (CFSVP), and therapy programs. 

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Roar of a Survivor

From hopeless to homeless, a young Sebrena Pawley would eventually come to learn that falling ill to a life-threatening virus was just another survival obstacle to overcome. 

Click here to read the full article from SRQ's Summer 2020 edition.

[Park Re-Opening]  Palmetto Historical Park Opening by Appointment

Palmetto Historial Park is happy to begin welcoming a limited number of visitors back to the Palmetto Historical Park for tours of the 1880 Post Office, 1920s Schoolhouse and replica Chapel. For your safety and the safety of the staff, attendance is by appointment only. Visitors are encouraged to make appointments online, prior to arrival.

Tours are free and limited to 10 people all in one group. To allow for social distancing, we will not book another party during your tour even if your group is smaller than 10. Tours are available Tuesday through Friday at both 10am and 2:00pm. 

Click here for more information.

[Temporary Closure]  Selva Grill Closes for Two Weeks To Assess COVID-19 Concerns

Selva will be voluntarily closing for two weeks while they assess the current outbreak in Sarasota. It will resume normal business hours Thursday, July 2nd at 5:00pm. Due to limited capacity mandates for restaurants in the State of Florida they recommend making a reservation to ensure a table upon reopenig for the holiday weekend.  

[Safety]  Citywide Public Health Emergency Extended Through June 26

The City of Sarasota has extended its declaration of a local citywide public health emergency through June 26 following a weekly review, as required by the City Charter, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency order issued Friday by City Manager Tom Barwin, in consultation with Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and City Attorney Robert Fournier, again strongly urges the public to wear protective masks when leaving home. 

[Restaurant Closure ]  Artisan Cheese Company Suspends Table Service

While Florida and Sarasota’s COVID-19 numbers soar, Artisan Cheese Company has stepped out ahead of concerns, and effectively right now is suspending table service at least for the time being. They still have outside seating, take out, walk up window for lunch and cheese plates. And the ability to order it all online safely. The Cheese Counter is still open with social distancing. Hours are 10:00am – 5:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday. The kitchen is open 11:00am-4:00opm, and 11:00am-3:00pm on Saturday. Closed on Sunday and Monday going forward. 

Artison Cheese Company, 550 Central Avenue, 941 951 7860

Click here for more information.

[In Person Services]  Manatee Clerk of Court Resumes In-Person Services

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller’s Office will be resuming all in-person services, on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020. They will be doing this by appointment only in an effort to limit the number of customers in the office and comply with social distancing. To make an appointment at the Clerk’s office, please call 941-749-1800 and we will schedule you during our normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. 

Click here for more information.

[Gallery Opening]  Art Uptown Gallery Re-Opens with New June Featured Artist

Art Uptown's carefully crafted business approach maintains the safety of visitors and staff, while offering an opportunity to see two and three dimensional work by the gallery’s 29 acclaimed regional artists.  There’s been a beehive of creative activity during the past two months and now the gallery’s artists and staff look forward to sharing their artistic diversity.  Liz Cole, Art Uptown’s president, says, “Our gallery holds a special place in the community."  We are committed to bringing collectors and visitors a memorable visual experience when they walk through our open doors."

Art Uptown Gallery welcomes the work of Elisabeth Trostli in the gallery for the month of June. The theme of her work is entitled Masks/Unmasked. Elisabeth is noted for her beautiful and intriguing presentation of figure/ground relationships in the execution of her work. The work will be on display from May 30 until June 26, and may be viewed in the gallery 

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main Street, 941-955-5409, www.artuptown.com

Click here for more information.

[Restaurant Re-Opening]  Brunch and Blues are Back at Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille

Mattison’s popular weekend brunch is returning to the open-air restaurant on the Bradenton Riverwalk on Saturday, June 27th and 28th from 11:00am-3:00pm. On the 4th Sunday of each month, brunch diners get an extra treat with live blues. The monthly blues brunch is a partnership with Realize Bradenton and the Bradenton Blues Fest and features some of best local, regional and national blues musicians. To kick off the return of Blues Brunch, Memphis Rub Band will take the stage on Sunday, June 28th. Memphis Rub Band is a 4-piece band from the Sarasota/Bradenton area, performing a blend of blues, rock, funk and R&B as well as a strong portfolio of originals.

Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Mattison’s is known as a favorite place for locals and visitors to enjoy a delicious meal, live music and an outside dining atmosphere on the beautiful Riverwalk. 

Photo credit: simplypictured.com

Click here for more information and reservations.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Ringling: Syd Solomon, Concealed and Revealed , December 19 – January 24, Museum hours.

Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed offers a unique selection of paintings by the artist, along with numerous objects from the Solomon Archive on view for the first time. Syd Solomon (American, 1917-2004) described himself as an “Abstract Impressionist” alluding to the fact that his work infused impressionism into the processes, scale and concepts of Abstract Expressionism. Solomon moved to Sarasota in 1946 with his wife Annie. His was the first work of contemporary art to be collected by The Ringling in 1962. His paintings were greatly influenced by climatic factors and reveal a fascination and concern for Florida’s aquatic environment. Solomon incorporated his experience as a camouflage designer during World War II into his painting. It is not well-known that he was also an accomplished graphic artist, who in his early years designed commercial signage for prominent hotels and businesses in Sarasota. Like his work in camouflage, Solomon’s calligraphic skill was essential to the development of his later gestural abstraction. The exhibition began December 19, 2019 and will end January 24, 2021, during museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Nathan Benderson Park Fireworks on The Lake , July 3, 4pm - 11pm

Nathan Benderson Park’s annual July 3 tradition, NBP Fireworks On The Lake, returns with a social distancing twist. It’s the finale of WWSB ABC7’s Independence Day special, tentatively airing at 9pm Saturday, July 4, 2020. The in-person fireworks celebration at the park will be a drive-in, social-distancing event. Fireworks will begin at 9pm on July 3 at the park. Ticketed fireworks viewing areas are on the park’s Regatta Island, in the Green Lot next to the SCAT station on North Cattlemen Road, and on the park’s south end. Vehicles will be spaced to allow for social distancing, so parking in each lot will be limited. Tickets will be sold beginning June 24, 2020. Pricing is $15 per car and $40 for recreational vehicles, with RV parking in the south park lot.

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL 34235

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Art Center Summer Art Camps , June 15 – August 7, Varied.

Summer Camp will be virtual this year from June 15 to August 7, 2020! We have decided for the health and safety of our teachers and campers that we will host camp virtually. Camp hours: 10am – 3pm. Cost: $75 for members | $100 for non-members (youth membership is $25) for one week. Space is limited please register for the weeks that your child is interested in.

The Creative Kids Summer Camp is for ages 6-9 years old. The Emerging Artists Summer Camp is for ages 10-13 years old. Contemporary Studies Summer Camp is for ages 14-18.

A Supply List will be sent to parents a few weeks before the camp week starts. The supply lists contain basic materials that your camper will be able to use more than once and where to find them. The camp project packet will be downloadable, for printing at home, on the Friday before the camp week starts and contains the projects for the next week. A printed version of the Camp project packet will be available upon request for pickup at the Art Center the Friday before camp from 10-2pm.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: State of the Talent Virtual Conference (SOTC) , July 16, 9am-3pm

The State of Talent Conference is presented by CareerSource Suncoast and is the premier one-day conference experience completely focused on the future of workforce and talent development. This leadership-focused conference provides a unique insight into the current state of talent and what leaders need to do to tackle one of business’ most complex challenges, their people assets. While the original live conference was cancelled this year in light of COVID-19, we are pleased to provide a completely immersive digital experience. Free. Fully Immersive Digital Experience. 4+ CEUs (SHRM/HRCI).


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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