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SRQ DAILY Jul 2, 2020

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"We changed the narrative on what an urban school district is able to achieve."

- Marie Izquierdo, Sarasota County School superintendent candidate

-Remembering the awesome spaces of the SRQ Home of The Year 2020. Pictured: Platinum Winner Best Kitchen || Bay View House by Leader Design Studio / SAWA Design Studio
[Education]  Sarasota Superintendent Finalists Answer Community Questions
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Candidates for Sarasota County Schools superintendent came to town Wednesday for a meeting with the School Board and to answer questions from the community. With board members seated yards apart with plastic sheets diving them, candidates endured an unusual setting for a job interview into a public town hall with questions posted online instead of in person. The finalists for the job fielded questions on fiscal management, community involvement and how to repair trust with the board and public.

Dr. Brennan Asplen committed in the town hall to be accessible to parents and community leaders. “I definitely need to meet the School Board members one on one and get to know them,” he said. “I also need to make sure i am informing them of everything going on in the school district, and need to keep them out in front of any issues that may occur.”

Dr. Peter Licata said he took on his current after an abrupt schism with a prior superintendent, much like Sarasota is about to experience. Outreach to the community is key to restoring trust, he said. “I allowed them to be a voice in serious decision-making like selecting principals,” he said. “What you want is safeguards to make sure trust isn’t lost. It is so hard to build trust and so easy to lose it.”

Marie Izquierdo told Board members who experience in life and in the nation’s largest school district prepared her to handle the diverse population in local schools. “We changed the narrative on what an urban school district is able to achieve,” she said, noting the district’s 89% graduation rate. Making parents feel welcome in schools with bilingual front offices and safe environments helped make a difference.

Dr. Gonzalo LaCava said communication also ensures financial support of the schools by the community, an issue that came up discussing tax referenda. “One of the things about referendums and bonds is they are an extension of trust between the school district and the board,” he said. “We need to make sure we are fiscally responsible to the community.”

And Keith Oswald stressed the importance of having systems in place to address crises before they take place. “There is a lot of prevention work, but we do know things do happen,” he said. Staying in front of issues will be key to any conflicts that arise with personnel, and that guarantees the district takes responsible steps for dealing with matters. 

[Gardening]  How Much Should I Be Watering My Plant?
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

How fickle some plants can be when it comes to watering--do their leaves tend to get droopy, dried up and sad when thirsty, or are the leaves turning yellow-brown and falling off from root rot and overwatering?   For many gardeners, the age-old question of just how much water we should be spraying our gardens and filling out pots continues to be a prominent curiosity. While many species differ in their plant-specific watering needs and maintenance, Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries & Gardens, LLC. weighs in on some generic, easy-to-remember and follow tips to keep your green babies happy and hydrated at home.  

SRQ: I just purchased a new plant, but have no idea how much to water it. How often should I be watering to ensure it doesn't die?

Kathy: Watering is an important factor for the life of your plant. Picture your tree and it is raining, where does the rainwater go?  It goes around the drip line of your tree, not on the root ball.  The root ball is the last place for the roots to dry and watering the root ball will cause root rot especially to newly planted plants.  Using drip irrigation around the drip line will keep the water off the leaves.  Keeping water off the leaves helps to prevent fungus buildup or bug infestation.  New plants should be watered about three times a week depending on the weather.  Many customers come in and ask, 'How do I know how much to water?'  Picture the size pot your plant came in and that should be the amount of watering you should do three times a week, for the first month, at which time the tree or plant should be ready for regular watering. Also, never fertilize when you first plant your plant, as you can burn the new roots.  Wait at least a month before adding any fertilizer around your plant.  

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.

[Heat Advisory ]  Manatee County Encourages Residents to Avoid Heat Exposure During Fourth of July Weekend

With local temperatures consistently in the 90s and heat indices above 100 degrees, Manatee County leaders are encouraging Manatee County residents and visitors to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and humidity, especially during the Fourth of July weekend. Extreme temperatures will be come combined with the Florida Surgeon General's advisory to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could be a dangerous mix for anyone who's outdoors for long stretches and not hydrating regularly. 

"Find air conditioning and try to stay there," said County Administrator Cheri Coryea. "If you’re outside, find shade, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion can happen quickly, so know the signs of heat-related illness."

Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea and vomiting are all signs of heat exhaustion. If you're experiencing those symptoms, cool off quickly indoors or with a cool shower. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Manatee County's public beaches will remain open for the Independence Day weekend and there will be additional law enforcement on Anna Maria Island to assist with the influx of residents and visitors to the Island during a busy holiday weekend. The County will place many more public port-a-lets near the public beaches and have them serviced daily during the holiday weekend. Trash will be removed more frequently from public beach areas during the weekend.  

Click here for more information.

[Donation]  The Florida Center Receives $100,000 in Grants to Help Vulnerable Families

The Florida Center for Early Childhood recently received $100,000 in grants to help children and families cope with adverse outcomes associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and other social conflicts.

Life has changed drastically over the last few months, leaving many families who were already struggling to face new hardships. The upset in regular routines and uncertainty of what comes next causes stress that affects both adults and children. They need extra support to manage stressors and move forward. With one in six children between the ages of 2 and 8 years diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder, the need for therapeutic services to deal with some of these major changes is at an all-time high. The risks are even higher for those in low-income families, single parent households, and foster care. 

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County Receives National Excellence Award in Fundraising

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County received the 2020 Major Gifts Program Award during the 3rd Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Resource Development Awards for Excellence in Fundraising virtual celebration on May 27.

“This award honors one outstanding Major Gifts Program from 4,300 Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation that has led to serving more kids with greater impact,” said Amy Sexton, Senior Director of Resource Development Club Consulting at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County’s advancement philosophy involves every single team member of the organization from the Board of Directors to the youth development professionals, and has resulted in thousands of children and teens having life-changing opportunities to achieve their full potential.”

“With unwavering support from the community, our organization has become one of the top-performing Boys & Girls Clubs in the nation,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “While 2020 marks our 50th year as a leader in youth development, we are positioned to make an even greater impact on families across Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for years to come. This award is a wonderful indication of our area’s culture of philanthropy, and we would not be able to serve those who need us most without such a loving, caring community.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Homes]  London Bay Homes Enjoys Robust Model Activity in The Founders Club

London Bay Homes’ 3,322-square-foot designer-finished Isabella Grande model home has been purchased. The buyer was attracted to the popular floor plan’s livable design, with three bedrooms, three baths, a study, a formal dining room, and a butler’s bar. The home features a coastal contemporary design, with driftwood finishes and a mixture of textures, silver accents, earth tone woods and artwork, evokes a timeless Southwest Florida style. Statement-making 10-foot sliding glass doors welcome abundant natural light and establish a connection to the outdoors from the great room, study and café. Showcasing London Bay Homes’ signature attention to detail and tasteful finishes carefully selected by Romanza Interior Design, the model features stone flooring in the great room and granite-topped designer cabinetry in the gourmet kitchen.
With three bedrooms and three baths, the Isabella Grande also offers a study, formal dining room and great room. The home can be recreated on select homesites throughout the community. 

Click here for more information.

[Anniversary ]  Local Rodeo Camp Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, Sandy Johnson, owner of Johnson & Johnson Show Horses, located in Sarasota, Florida, started the J&J Summer Youth Rodeo Camp to accomplish her dream of helping local young equestrians hone their horsemanship skills.

The week-long camp, which runs from Monday, June 29th, 2020 to Friday, July 4th, 2020, features events including barrel racing, pole bending, cattle sorting, roping, keyhole, jumping, goat tying and a variety of “classic” camp activities including egg and spoon and stake races. The summer camp ends with a relay race including the week’s events, followed by the legendary “Saddle Race” where every camper plays a role. After the saddle race event, the scores for the weekly events are compiled and added to the final relay and saddle race scores, and the fastest team wins.

“This camp is made possible by an awesome group of parents and kids with a passion for rodeo, horsemanship, teamwork and improving skills,” said Sandy Johnson, founder of Johnson and Johnson Show Horses & JJ Summer Youth Rodeo Camp. “This camp is something I dreamed up and I’m so proud to see new and returning campers each year. Many of our campers return to help after they age out of the program, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see our campers progress in their confidence and ability to communicate with their horses throughout the week and beyond.” 

[Airport Updates]  SRQ Opens Shade Parking As Air Travel Increases

In anticipation of increased air travel during the approaching July 4th weekend, SRQ will be reopening its shade parking lot on Thursday, July 2nd. The lot will provide protection for your vehicle from the sun while ensuring plenty of parking during the holiday weekend and into the summer months, as airlines continue to add service. The parking lot is located on the east side of the terminal and provides shaded parking for approximately 300 vehicles. It has a fully automated exit; accepting only credit card payments, is a short walk to the terminal building and costs $14.00 per day. 

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Pets We Love 2020

A roundup of this year's paw-sitively paw-esome animal friends. 

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

[COVID-19]  Latest SMH Update from CEO David Verinder

The hospital has seen a concerning uptick in hospitalizations, reaching our all-time high number of COVID positive inpatients yesterday, 50. Today there are 49 COVID positive inpatients. There has been a noticeable increase in younger people getting the virus from community spread and being hospitalized. SMH has numerous contingency plans in place and is prepared to handle the current patient volume and any potential surge if COVID numbers do continue to rise. Initially, SMH eased the “no visitor” policy while there were less COVID positive patients in the hospital, but because of the uptick SMH has had to re-instate the policy with exceptions. This is just one of the many things SMH is doing to keep patients, staff and the community safe. The hospital has re-opened all of the Urgent Care Centers and is seeing an increase in patient volumes there. Virtually all furloughed staff have come back to work, while some support staff are working from home to reduce the number of people in the hospital. While SMH continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital is asking the community to take this seriously and take all proper precautions including social distancing when possible and wearing masks to reduce the spread of the disease. 

[COVID-19]  Selby Gardens Returns to Phase One of Reopening

In an abundance of caution Selby Gardens is returning to their Phase One reopening status for members and guests. All indoor areas at both the Downtown Sarasota and Historic Spanish Point campuses are closed and only outdoor areas are open (including the Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden). Ticket prices have been reduced at both campuses to reflect these changes. In accordance with local guidelines, masks are required for all guests and staff. 

[COVID-19]  Free Masks Available at Office of Economic Development

The City Commission on Monday approved an ordinance requiring that face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public locations and businesses in Sarasota whenever social distancing isn’t possible in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.Free masks available are available for pick up from 9:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday while supplies last; except Friday, July 3rd as the City will be closed in observance of 4th the of July Holiday.  

Economic Development Office, 1782 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  THEATER: Online: Asolo Rep Ground Floor Series Presents Making Musicals-Maya, July 2 , July 2, Online at 6pm

Tune in to our Facebook and YouTube pages this Thursday at 6pm for the first installment in Asolo Rep's new Making Musicals competition, designed specifically for an online audience. On May 21, June 4, June 18 and July 2 at 6pm, we will preview four completely new and original musicals on our Facebook and YouTube pages. Each 30-minute session will consist of a fifteen-minute preview performance of one new musical, followed by a fifteen-minute discussion with the playwright/composer and James Monaghan, Asolo Rep Dramaturg and Literary Manager, and Celine Rosenthal, Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director, who serves as the Director of the Ground Floor Series and is also directing all four musicals. To add to the fun, we're incorporating a Virtual Happy Hour into the presentation. One day prior to each performance, you will receive an email notice of the broadcast that includes a cocktail recipe specifically chosen to compliment the theme of that week’s new musical.

July 2 at 6pm: Maya. Book and Music by Cheeyang Ng; Book and Lyrics by Eric Sorrels.

At the center of the story is Maya Mehta, a Cambridge-educated girl from India striving for recognition as a poet in the West, while her family plans her wedding to a wealthy prince. But in one life-changing moment, the Salt March, led by Mahatma Gandhi against the tyranny of the British Empire, arrives on Maya’s doorstep. When Maya joins the thousands in their quest to shake the foundations of an empire, the Mehta family’s world changes forever. With a score that fuses Western pop and Indian Classical music, MĀYĀ is about the ties that hold us, the illusions that bind us and the truth that can finally set us free.

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Virtual: Choral Artists of Sarasota's July 4th American Fanfare Concert , July 4, 4pm

For the last 15 years, Choral Artists of Sarasota has honored Independence Day with a concert of rousing songs celebrating the United States. The choral group will continue that tradition this July 4—with a twist. To ensure the safety of its singers and audience, the concert will be virtual. According to Artistic Director Joseph Holt, this year’s concert will feature highlights of previous Independence Day celebrations—and will be streamed over various platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. “Audiences should prepare to tune in and sing along on July 4 at 4 pm,” says Holt. “We’ll be safe, and we’ll be celebrating.”

Holt explains that Choral Artists’ July 4th concert “has been a vital part of our community’s celebration of Independence Day for the past 15 years. These concerts featured musical pieces that form the heart and soul of our collective national sense of pride and patriotism. For all these years, Choral Artists has celebrated, through music, the thread of ‘liberty and justice for all’ that characterizes our nation.” He adds that, last year, Choral Artists moved the concert to the Sarasota Opera House due to popular demand. It also partnered with the Sarasota Concert Band last year to present a “musical tradition that is as American as hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks.” Original plans for the live performance of “American Fanfare” were to include patriotic music composed by female composers. This year’s virtual performance will feature one of those works, “The March of the Women” composed by suffragette Ethel Smyth, recorded specifically for this concert.

Holt says the July 4th video will feature hits from the past years, including such patriotic standards as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America,” and “America the Beautiful.” According to Holt, with the cancellation of the group’s “Listen to the Earth” in April and the July 4th concert, Choral Artists has lost more than $50,000 in ticket sales. “This represents a significant loss of income for our singers,” he says. “As we are all freelance musicians in this organization with incomes derived from a variety of performing opportunities, the pandemic has been financially devastating.”


[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: Try Your Hand at Poetry With Well-Published Poets in Online Class , July 28 – August 18

A Zoom Workshop will be offered Tuesdays at 6:00 pm on July 28, August 4, August 11, August 18. Led by store owner, Georgia Court, this is a chance to give poetry writing a try. They will be using Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual as a guide. As a bonus, two experienced and well-published poets, Phil Terman and Rick Hilles, will be making guest appearances. A fee of $30 is required for participation. This includes a copy of The Poetry Home Repair Manual and all four sessions.


[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).


[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Ringling: Circus and Suffragists , October 25 – January 21, Museum hours.

From its founding in the 18th century, women found path to independence through the circus by actively making the decisions that shaped their lives. Female performers often entered into contracts on their own, moving from one show title to another as it was deemed advantageous to their career. Their well-traveled lifestyles and exposures to a diverse population of performers provided circus women with broad knowledge not only of various cultures, but also on legal matters that impacted their profession. In April of 1912, one week after meeting with women from the Barnum & Bailey Suffrage group, leaders of the Women's Political Union leaders acknowledged that “there is no class of women who show better that they have a right to vote than the circus women, who twice a day prove that they have the courage and endurance of men.” This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Howard and Janice Tibbals, the Howard Tibbals Collection, and the Howard Tibbals Endowment. The exhibit began October 25, 2019 and will end on January 21, 2021 during Ringling museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

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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