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SRQ DAILY Jul 10, 2020

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"The transformation in this country over the last several decades is encouraging and that can't happen unless there is more widespread acceptance."

- John Young, Sarasota Opera

-Photo from SRQ Magazine's New Summer 2020 Feature Pets We Love
[Their Story]  Sarasota Opera Power Couple Talk Culture Shifts
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

While the Stonewall Uprising rightfully occupies a large slice in the collective consciousness of gay rights activists, another historical moment gets less attention. That moment was the police raid on Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys screening that took place in Atlanta on August 5th, 1969. The raid transformed the city and signaled to the country that, even in the South, the LGBTQIA+ community was a demographic to be reckoned with. Husbands Ken Yunker and John Young, a lighting designer and an accountant for Sarasota Opera, respectively, lived and worked in Atlanta in the 80s and 90s and had a front row seat to the city’s transformation following the raid.

“When I first moved to Atlanta, there were gay ghettoes,” says Yunker. At the time, Yunker was an accomplished lighting designer in the thick of a career in theatre that began at Lyric Opera of Chicago. When he came out in the 70s, being gay was still very much an underground experience. But, through the 80s and 90s, he and now-husband Young saw the evolution of Atlanta ghettos into something decidedly different. “Those ghettos don’t exist anymore,” says Yunker, “because the gay community felt safe spreading out. Now any gay neighborhoods are considered cool and trendy.”

Still, the upward trend in acceptance suggests there was a baseline of homophobia that pervaded the Atlanta area. Young originally studied oboe and piano in college but discovered he had a knack for singing, making a living with his voice in NYC before moving to Atlanta. When he and Yunker moved South, he joined the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. “Back then, even in Atlanta it was a struggle,” says Young, “there weren’t many performance opportunities, so we’d play a small church here or a school auditorium there.” However, as the city’s Pride festivals got bigger and bigger, so did acceptance of the gay community. “When I left to move here, the Chorus was filling up auditoriums and huge performance venues and doing huge production shows.”

And when the pair said farewell to the city, they found a home in a quiet little town with an opera house on the rise. “We started thinking, ‘where do we want to be in 5, 10 years?” says Yunker. At the time, Sarasota Opera was hiring a lighting designer. Yunker got the job, of course, and Young got on board later in the accounting department. For the pair, the rich world of opera has been a throughline in their marriage, providing them a space to be themselves, the space to fall in love and the space to continue carving out lives in a world that, more and more, trends towards acceptance and a celebration of who they are. “Our experience has been largely supportive in the world of theatre,” says Yunker. “The transformation in this country over the last several decades is encouraging,” says Young, “and that can’t happen unless there is more widespread acceptance.” 

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Avenue, 941-328-1300. Photo credit: Ken Yunker.

Click here for more information.

[Outdoor Recreation]  Fly High Into The Summer
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Epic parasail adventures take place around the waters of Siesta key with Parasail Siesta. Each trip lasts approximately 2-2 1/2 hours and gets you 1,200 ft. of line and 450 ft. in the air, which is the highest legal height possible. Its Parasail boat is brand new, and the company replaces all of its harnesses, life jackets and safety equipment annually to ensure the safety of every single customerkeeping it the highest-rated parasailing company on the island.

Although parasailing is its specialty, they also offer Private Daytime Excursions as well as Sunset Dolphin Tours. “Our Private Daytime Excursions are perfect for all occasions; whether you want to have a relaxing boat day with your family or head out to the sandbar to party with your friends, we provide a boat with a USCG-certified captain to take you wherever you would like to go for a very reasonable price,” shares office manager Taylor Eason. Sunset Dolphin Tours depart every night at 7 pm and last approximately 1 1/2 hours with complimentary drinks included. “Once we board the boat over at CB's Saltwater Outfitters, we travel up the intercoastal looking for dolphins and manatees,” she says. “If and when we find them, we observe them from a safe distance making sure not to disturb them in their natural environment but getting close enough to get awesome photos and videos. Our ride comes to halt right at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico which is also known as Big Pass where we watch the sunset with the best view in town.”

In addition to its high flying watersports and boating activities, Parasail Siesta offers another unexpected service in the form of six-passenger golf-cart rentals. “Our Golf-Carts are street legal and can travel almost everywhere on Siesta key,” says Eason. “They are perfect for commuting around the key and hauling your family back and forth from the beach!”  

Photo courtesy of Parasail Siesta

1250 Stickney Point Rd, Siesta Key, 941-346-8200, @parasailsiesta

[Partnership]  Suncoast Science Center and SunCoast Blood Centers Partner to Increase Blood Donations Amid COVID-19

Just a few short months ago, the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab (SSC) rapidly shifted its work to design, prototype and fabricate face masks and shields to help fill the growing shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers as the COVID-19 pandemic developed. With the support of over 250 volunteers, the SSC COVID-19 Face Mask & Shield Project provided over 4,000 masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders who have continued to work diligently to defend the health and safety of the community.As a not-for-profit community organization seeking to continue its support of citizens during this time of need, SSC has partnered with SunCoast Blood Centers (SCBC) to host a blood drive and address urgent blood and platelet deficiencies. Local hospitals are relying on convalescent plasma as a first line of treatment for COVID-19 patients but there is a shortage of reserves to meet current patient needs. New blood and plasma donations are critically needed at this time. All successful blood donations made at the drive will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies at no charge.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic SCBC has relied on the generosity and support of our community. Many of our blood drives are canceled due to the virus so we are especially grateful to the Suncoast Science Center for hosting the upcoming drive,” shared Jayne Giroux, Director of Community Development for SCBC. “While we endeavor to provide the products needed for critically ill COVID patients, we must still provide blood products for those who are suffering traumas, going through cancer treatment as well as having major surgery.”  The blood drive will be held from 11am-4pm on Wednesday, July 29 at 4452 South Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233. Volunteer-led tours of the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab will be available for blood donors and visitors. In addition to the COVID-19 antibody test, all blood donors will receive a special memento designed by SSC students using the lab’s state-of-the-art equipment. For questions about the blood drive, contact Donna Leigh-Estes at donna.estes@suncoastscience.org or call 941-840-4394.


Reserve your appointment online or by calling 1-866-97-BLOOD.

Click to reserve your appointment to donate blood.

[Ocean Animals]  Mote Marine Laboratory Releases Two Sea Turtles

Two sea turtles have been returned to the Gulf of Mexico after recovering at Mote Marine Laboratory's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. The turtles were released on July 8 on Casey Key near a private residence. The first to be released was a juvenile green sea turtle juvenile, nicknamed "Hookee". Aptly named, Hookee was accidentally caught by a fisherman on June 20, 2020 in Englewood, Florida. The fisherman immediately called Mote's 24/7 Stranding Investigations Program hotline and held the turtle until the team arrived. After being transported to Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, Hookee underwent surgery to remove the hook from its esophagus. In total, Mote staff cared for Hookee for 18 days before release. Next up was a far bigger turtle, Joyce, an adult female loggerhead sea turtle. Originally reported swimming erratically by a member of the public, Joyce has been recovering at Mote's hospital since March 27, 2020. It took several months for Joyce to begin foraging on her own and become less buoyant. 

Pictured: Female loggerhead sea turtle female Joyce crawling towards the water during her release.

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  Williams Parker Welcomes Four Law Students to 2020 Summer Associate Program

Williams Parker is pleased to welcome law students Grant Cole, Jesse Hubers, Adrienne Phillips, and Hayleigh Sawyer to the firm for its 2020 summer associate program. Mr. Cole attends the University of Georgia School of Law and obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, summa cum laude, from the University of Georgia. Mr. Hubers attends the University of Florida Levin College of Law and received his Bachelor of Business Administration, summa cum laude, and a Trust Certificate from Campbell University, Lundy Fetterman School of Business. Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Phillips attends Emory University School of Law and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Towson University. She also holds a Paralegal Certificate from Duke University. Ms. Sawyer attends Boston University School of Law and earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and International Affairs, magna cum laude, as well as a Political Science Research Intensive Bachelor Certificate and an Emergency Management and Homeland Security Certificate from Florida State University. 

Click here for more information.

[New Business]  Grand Opening of Cairn Clinic

Rejuvenate and replenish the energy of the mind, body, and spirit through the ancient science Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine at the newly opened Cairn Clinic. According to Dr. Karen Cox, AP, DOM of the Cairn Clinic, a typical session includes a warm oil Medical Myofascial TuinNa Massage, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. Medical Tuina Massage is utilized to determine the most ideal Acupuncture Point Protocol and to eliminate blockages/restrictions in the Fascial Network which contribute to the patient's pattern of disease and disharmony. By addressing structural imbalances and muscle tension along fascial “connective tissue” planes neurological connectivity and blood flow throughout the entire body improve, allowing for optimal benefits and relief. Each session begins with Psychosomatic Mindfulness Protocol to further enhance the Healing Session. Dr. Karen Cox designed this course of treatment, Resolutions Acupuncture Massage, based on scientific research which has shown the efficacy of all 3 modalities (Acupuncture, Massage, Mindfulness); combining each consecutively is hypothesized by Dr. Cox to provided greatest benefit to the patient. The interchange between the different modalities provides a relaxing total mind and body regenerative effect. "We must have a willingness to let go of past restrictions, in order to move freely in future health". 

Click for more info.

[Election Update]  Vote-by-Mail Ballots on Their Way to Domestic Voters

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots for the August 18 primary election to stateside voters today, July 9. A total of 96,761 ballots are scheduled to go in today’s initial mailing, Turner said, with an additional 5,475 to go out tomorrow and 4,516 scheduled for mailing on July 14. More than 1,800 ballots have been mailed to overseas civilian and military voters. To date, the elections office has received more than 108,000 requests for vote-by-mail ballots for the August 18 election, a single-election record for Sarasota County. A voter may submit a vote-by-mail request online at SarasotaVotes.com/VotebyMail or by calling 941-861-8618. Requests for ballots to be mailed domestically must be received by the elections office no later than 5:00pm. on the 10th day before the election (August 8) to allow sufficient time for the ballot to reach the voter and be returned to the elections office in time to be counted.  Voted ballots may be returned by mail or in person but must be received by the supervisor of elections no later than 7 p.m. on election day. Voters who return ballots by mail should return them promptly to avoid postal service delays. Voters also may drop their voted ballots into secure drop boxes, located in the three elections offices in Sarasota, Venice and North Port, during normal business hours (8:30am to 5:00 Monday-Friday), and at all early voting sites during early voting hours (Saturday, August 8 - Sunday, August 16, 8:30am.-4:30pm daily).


Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  UnMasked
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

The hands behind Sarasota's selfless sewers. 

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

[4Walls]  Now Accepting Entries for SRQ '4WALLS Design Competition'

Are you an architect, contractor, builder, or developer? Have you been working on a multi-unit project that you can’t wait to share with the public? SRQ Magazine is hosting the second annual 4WALLS Visionary Buildings Design Competition to recognize projects that have been designed as public or private spaces and to highlight the region’s built milieu without limits on scale, function or form. SRQ Magazine highlights the best of the built environment of the creative West Coast of Florida.

Judges from around the country will review entries based on innovation, function, architecture, aesthetics, place-making and livability to name this year’s 4WALLS Visionary Design Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards. 

Regular call for entries must be submitted by Friday, August 21, 2020. Winners will be featured in a special awards supplement in the December 2020 edition of SRQ Magazine and in the 2020 4WALLS Virtual Awards Presentation. 

Click Here to Learn About the 4WALLS Visionary Buildings Design Competition

[COVID-19]  City Launches Online and Mobile Options for Building Permits and Inspections

The City of Sarasota’s Development Services Department is rolling out new phone, online and mobile services that will make it even easier for customers to do business with the City, especially during the COVID-19 health emergency.

The department’s Building Division is now accepting credit card payments for permits via an online portal. Staff members receive an alert when a payment is made so that they can issue the approved permit, helping to streamline the process. The portal can be found by clicking on the “Permits & Licenses” button on the City’s homepage, SarasotaFL.gov, and then clicking the “Building Permit Lookup/Pay Online” link. The department has also launched an integrated voice response (IVR) system that allows contractors and property owners to schedule, reschedule and cancel inspections and check the results through an automated phone line and text service. Next-day inspections can be scheduled up until 9:00pm, depending on availability, by calling 941-263-6998 or by texting “schedule” to 844-394-2702.

“We’re excited to be making these process improvements and give our customers the option to skip trips to our office if they choose,” said Interim Development Services Director Gretchen Schneider. “We’re always looking for ways we can be more efficient and enhance the customer service experience for our citizens and the development community.” 

For more information, contact Development Services at 941-263-6449.

Click here for more information.

[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]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Presents Arboreal Conversations , June 27 – July 25, Gallery hours.

Cecile Moran, Art Uptown’s July featured artist, presents a rich series of paintings entitled Arboreal Conversations, teeming with color, form and mystery. They prompt viewers to think about the trees themselves and their interconnectedness to each other, us, and forests of the world. The artist realizes her bold compositions through a distinctive layering and resistance technique: paint is applied and removed in selected areas to reveal new and different color relationships. Cecile looks to Florida’s diverse tropical terrain for inspiration. She says, “The landscape here offers remarkable twists and turns that create an otherworldly appeal. My work contains images of plants and trees that give us life through the air that we breathe.” Further enriching the visual experience, many of the works are imbued with gold leaf to create a back light and glow. The painter credits her father’s influence – a sign painter by trade, he taught her the application of gold leaf techniques which he used with lettering applied to glass in his signage.

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Online: STEMventures with Mote , July 6 – August 31, 8am-9pm

Looking for fun and engaging programs that you and your child can do at home? Try these pre-packaged STEMventures. These themed packets delivered via email will include education materials and links to videos of our early childhood educators introducing topics and activities. Follow along with us from the comfort of your own home, pause when you need to and complete at your own pace. The Coast Counts: Join us to learn how humans and animals alike count on our coasts. Roleplay as a Mote scientist while learning how to monitor the health of Florida's coastal habitats and the inhabitants found there. Hide and SEAk: Ready or not, here we come: to learn all about how animals hide from predators and "SEAk" out their prey. Investigate the adaptations ocean animals have at their disposal like patterns, textures, bioluminescence, and more. Sea Shapes and Sizes: From the smallest plankton to the biggest blue whale; round pufferfish to arrow shaped barracuda; the ocean is filled with all shapes and sizes. Join Mote Educators to learn what this variety does for ocean animals then explore the shape of the ocean floor. Each Pre-Packaged STEMventure Theme: $45 for members, $50 for non-members. Upon registering for any OSM program, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to your weekly Guide to help prepare for a virtual week with us. Supplies for all of our OSM programs should be easily found around the home. The guide you receive in your confirmation email will detail what you need so you can prepare for your OSM week.

[SOON]  THEATER: Online: Asolo Repertory Theatre Online Classes for Kids, Ages 8-18 , July 6 – July 31, 10am, 11am and 3pm

Introducing Asolo Rep Young Artist: Online Classes, designed for ages 8-18. From demystifying Shakespeare to exploring innovative ways of creating theatre together, these classes will spark your young artist’s imagination and help to hone their theatrical technique. See below to find out more about the exciting content and amazing professional artists who will be leading these classes. Classes are $50 to $75 to register. Contact Asolo Rep Education & Engagement Department: education@asolo.org

Online Program.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Florida Studio Theatre Presents Ariel Blue , July 10 – July 11, 5:30pm-7pm

Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to announce that vocalist Ariel Blue will perform for diners at FST’s Green Room Cafe & Bar Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 from 5:30-7PM each night alongside FST resident pianist Jim Prosser. Blue and Prosser will perform for socially-distanced diners featuring such hits as “All I Do” by Stevie Wonder, “Just My Imagination” by the Temptations, “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5, and “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” by Frankie Valli. Ariel Blue is a Florida-based actor, singer, and writer. She has been performing for the last 12 years in Mainstage productions with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, FST Improv, and The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. She has performed behind legends like Christopher Williams and Sharon Scott and with the circus in Europe.

FST Green Room Cafe & Bar, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

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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