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SRQ DAILY Jul 28, 2020

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"Adaptability is putting aside my worries about finishing my last semester of high school online and preparing for an unknown first semester of college to make face shields for doctors and nurses who are saving the lives of people just like me. "

- Claire, Suncoast Science Center Volunteer

-Photo from SRQ Magazine's New Summer 2020 Feeding the Region
[Health Food]  An Elixir Fit for a Video Game Protagonist
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

Some of the most celebrated videogame franchises often feature expansive worlds in which their heroes must vanquish monsters, save the village and/or unlock some latent, ancient power/sword/spirit. The best of these games—Zelda, Final Fantasy, Red Dead Redemption, etc.—often require the gameplayer to track down food or potions to replenish their health and heal from bloody battles. Sometimes the food can even boost the main character’s strength or grant temporary special powers. And if any food retailer in the real world has the kind of healthful mystique of the quaint apothecaries, inns and saloons of the videogame worlds that peddle these foods and potions, CROP most certainly would qualify.

Its menu is a dazzling array of nutrient-rich juices, smoothies and bowls, all made from 100% organic ingredients for vegan and gluten-free eaters. The back of the menu, in the bottom right corner, features a selection of caffeinated drinks, and the Coconut Mocha Joy might be the most impressive among them. Made with coconut water, cold brew coffee, unsweetened almond milk, young Thai coconut meat, stoneground almond butter, dates, cacao, vanilla and Himalayan salt, the drink contains in its earthy ingredients promises of rejuvenation and replenishment. “It makes me think of Almond Joy,” says Lexi D’Abbraccio, the attendant behind the counter. But, where the candy bar can hardly be considered part of a healthy diet, the Mocha Joy manages to feel light and rich simultaneously, with a nice balance of nuttiness from the almond butter, creaminess from the coconut meat, a dash of bitter notes from the coffee and cacao, and a hint of savory from the salt. The dates glue it all together with a bit of natural sugar.

My health stores replenished, I was ready for another grueling day of vanquishing blank pages with an inept flurry of words and sentences. CROP’s Gulf Gate location operates Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, and Saturday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The University Park location has additional hours on Sunday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. 

CROP, 2320 Gulf Gate Dr. Sarasota, @cropjuice, 941-923-8640.

Click here for more.

[Pasta]  Travel to Gulf Gate for A True Taste of Italy at Tortellino Bistrot
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

There are breakfast people, there are sandwich people, there are dessert people and then there are pasta people. I am a dedicated and lifelong pasta person. To put it mildly, I’m crazy about pasta. Now that you know this about me, I feel comfortable sharing with you a secret I learned this past weekend. The best pasta I’ve ever had outside of Italy, and not to veer into the dramatics but some of the best I’ve ever had, is being dished out in a ‘blink and you miss it’ establishment in Gulf Gate. Looking at the reviews this place has racked up with only a few short weeks under their belt, it is clear my feelings are shared by most guests.

The Tortellino Bistrot opened on March 5th in the midst of the first days of the growing global pandemic and only a week or so before the initial shutdown. Despite this setback, owner and chef Leonardo Pierucci has not lost hope of achieving his American dream. After five years of running a successful Italian restaurant named Trattoria Bolognese in Brazil, Leonardo and his wife Merci left for the states and settled in Sarasota.

Leonardo grew up working in a family food store with his mother and grandmother in a small city right between Bologna and Florence. His restaurant’s name is an ode to Bologna’s signature pasta and style of cooking, where the tortellini was born. His grandma taught him all the classic techniques for rolling the pasta dough, but perhaps most importantly, “the passion to do it in the right way.” I can confirm from the first bite, he is most certainly doing it “the right way.” 

To start we tried the Ravioli Lobster which is stuffed with chunks of sweet lobster and mascarpone cheese in a creamed light rose sauce finished uniquely with feta crumbles. The fresh sheets of pasta folded delicately to make each ravioli provided the perfect pillow-y bite for the rich lobster.

Next we had the Tortellini Alfredo and Tortelloni Bolognese. The pasta was sensational and the service was delightfully educational. A pasta fact for you: Tortellini is the smaller, more common pasta shape filled traditionally with prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano, while the tortelloni is its bigger cousin stuffed primarily stuffed with ricotta. Leonardo rolls and stuffs each of these by hand the old-fashioned way as no pasta cutter can mimic the expertise of his deft hands.

The standout for me was by far the Tagliatelle with Red Wild Shrimp. Two shrimp served atop a heaping pile of fresh tagliatelle tossed in a buttery seafood sauce. Insanely simple, yet incredibly good, with that al dente bite only homemade pasta can achieve. The menu definitely focuses on the fresh pasta handmade daily, but Leonardo is also cooking up dishes like Lasagna with Porcini Mushrooms, Ossobuco with Saffron Risotto and Risotto Frutti di Mare.

Open for dine-in, takeaway or delivery, Tortellino Bistrot is as authentic as it gets without stamping your passport in Italy. The perfect spot for a date night, if you can’t make it to Bologna this summer, Leonardo and Merci are serving up Italian hit after hit for you Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. 

Tortellino Bistrot, 6584 Superior Ave, 941-388-7174.

Click here for more information and reservations.

[Board Members]  The Ringling Museum Names New Members to Board of Directors

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce the election of several new board members and the installation of Jeffrey R. Hotchkiss as the board chair, and Dr. Sarah H. Pappas will serve as vice chair.

Other new members include H. Michael Bush, Rebecca Donelson, Cynthia Louise Peterson, Kelly Ann Romanoff, Mayra Niubo Schmidt, Mercedes Soler-Martinez, Joan Uranga and Kirk Ke Wang.

Additional members of the board include: Edward M. Swan, Jr., CFA, Treasurer, Dr. Judith F. Shank, Secretary, The Honorable Dennis Archer, Ellen S. Berman, Warren R. Colbert, Sr., Leon R. Ellin, Darrel E. Flanel, Margaret “Meg” Dunwoody Hausberg, Robert D. Hunter, Thomas F. Icard, Jr., Thomas W. Jennings, Ph.D., Ambassador James A. Joseph, Michael A. Kalman, M.D., Nancy Kotler, Dr. Lisa Merritt, Tina Shao Napoli, Leslie Pantin, Margaret A. (“Peggy”) Rolando, Debra (Deb) Short, Javi Suarez, Howard C. Tibbals,  Dr. Larry A. Wickless, and Leslie Young. 

[Recognition]  Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Honored as National Pacesetter

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading received multiple Pacesetter Honors from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for its work to support early school success in 2019.

Each year, the national Campaign uses its Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that make measurable progress on key indicators of early school success: early literacy and school readiness; addressing chronic absence and its effects on reading progress; and mitigating summer learning loss by connecting children with quality educational opportunities and programs. The Suncoast Campaign, which represents aligned efforts in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, has received Pacesetter Honors every year since 2014.

“The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is honored to once again receive recognition as a Pacesetter within the vast Network of communities working to enhance early learning efforts and improve third-grade reading proficiency,” said Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for The Patterson Foundation. “The regional approach we take to this work allows us to accelerate progress and impact. We are grateful to our community partners and salute all of the active and engaged members of our four-county region who strengthen the work taking place in our communities. These Honors are a testament to the collaborative nature of our work and everyone who puts their hearts and heads behind it.” 

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

[Recognition]  Coastal Orthopedics' Physician Named Blake Medical Center’s Doctor of the Year

Joint replacement specialist and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alan Valadie with Coastal Orthopedics, a full-service provider of comprehensive orthopedics, sports medicine, pain management and physical therapy services, was recently honored with Blake Medical Center’s 2020 Doctor of the Year award. Since the awards’ inception in 1983, Dr. Alan Valadie is the only physician to receive this distinguished recognition twice. He first won the award in 2013.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this incredible accolade again,” said Dr. Alan Valadie. “It’s a privilege to work with my colleagues at Coastal Orthopedics and Blake Medical Center to serve the medical needs of the community with high-quality care.”

Dr. Alan Valadie joined Coastal Orthopedics in 1996. Since then, he has also been a part of the medical staff at Blake Medical Center, helping to bring innovative and cutting-edge joint replacement strategies to the hospital.

“Dr. Alan Valadie’s contributions to our hospital over the last 24 years are invaluable,” said Randy Currin, president and chief executive officer of Blake Medical Center. “His leadership, dedication and intense focus on quality, safety and optimal patient outcomes have significantly shaped our award-winning orthopedic program and enhanced procedures throughout the hospital.” 

[Recognition]  FCCI Insurance Group Makes Top 100 Best Companies List

FCCI Insurance Group was recently named one of Florida’s Best Companies To Work For. This year marks the company’s 12th year on the list, ranking at number 14 in the Large Companies category. 

“This year, it was appropriate to focus on how the Best Companies to Work For responded to the impact of the coronavirus,” says executive editor, Mark Howard. “The companies we report on found creative ways to keep their businesses going while supporting their employees and continuing to serve their customers.”

FCCI was named one of the Best Companies To Work For, in part, because of its unparalleled support of its most valued resource: its people. FCCI strives to maximize the human experience through a dynamic culture and purposeful work. FCCI’s focus has been on the teammate experience amid the dramatic spread of COVID-19.

“We took proactive steps to ensure the well-being, health and safety of our teammates while providing uninterrupted support and exceptional service to agents and policyholders,” said Cina Welch, president and CEO at FCCI. “We’ve worked hard to maintain our relationships with each other through the use of virtual meetings and digital tools, including a weekly town hall forum with all teammates connected at the same time. We have thrived during this health crisis because of our dedicated teammates, who have exhibited resiliency.” 

Pictured: The Sarasota, Florida home office of FCCI Insurance Group, a 12-time 'Best Companies' honoree Courtesy photo/FCCI Insurance Group

[Virtual Workshop]  Sarasota County to Host Virtual Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Workshop

Sarasota County's Public Works Department is inviting the community to participate in the second Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan virtual workshop at 11:00am Tuesday, Aug. 4.

"The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan focuses on road connections and mobility options and is updated to reflect transportation trends in the community," said Patrick Lui, Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails coordinator. "Community members are encouraged to participate in the workshop to share input on the consultant's findings and have a voice in the development of our community's mobility system."

The updated master plan is expected to be completed later this fall. The first workshop, held in December 2019, focused on plan development and information gathering. The second workshop planned for August 4th will present consultant Tindale Oliver's initial draft findings. 

For more information on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, or the public workshops, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.

[In This Issue]  Brain Boost
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

How the Brain Health Initiative is providing a boost to the community when we need it most. 

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

[New Event]  Van Wezel Announces Two New Performances for the 2020-2021 Season

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has just announced exciting new performances for the 2020-2021 season. Single tickets for these performances go on sale Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:00am. The shows will be: Engelbert Humperdinck on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 8:00pm with tickets from $37-$82. As well as, Mansion of Dreams starring Illusionist Rick Thomas on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:00pm with tickets from $19-$57. 

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Bookstore 1 Presents New Non-fiction Mindful Reading Zoom Book Club , July 30, 7pm-8pm

Our new non-fiction Mindful Reading Book Club on Zoom, led by Roxanne Baker. Meets virtually via Zoom. This month we’re discussing Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek Murthy, M.D. Purchase of a ticket is required for participation. The $32 ticket includes the book which you can pick up curbside (We will send you an email when the book is ready for pickup) or have shipped to you via USMail, tax, and the Zoom meeting. Complete the ticket purchase and we will get you the book with plenty of time to read it before the book club meeting. The Zoom link will be sent one day prior to the book club meeting.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: CEO Squawkbox Online with LWR Medical Center's Andy Guz , July 31, 11am-12pm

Covid 19 - You've got questions, we've got answers from the frontline. Join us for this special opportunity to get current and accurate information on how the pandemic is affecting the Sarasota/Manatee community and learn what you can do to stay safe. Andy Guz, CEO at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center gives a summary update and answers as many of your questions as he can in one hour. $5 members and $10 non-members.

[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]  PERFORMANCE: Arts in the Park with The Players Centre , July 7 – August 4, 10am-11am

Join The Players Centre for Performing Arts for some performing arts fun in the sun from every Tuesday and Thursday. Amazing instructors from The Players Studio will be spending an hour on Tuesday and Thursday mornings teaching acting and dance in Bob Gardner Community Park, completely free. If you're looking for a way to stay active and get your fill of performing, join us. For ages 8-14.

Bob Gardner Community Park, 2710 White Eagle Blvd Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

[TODAY]  GRAB BAG: Selby Gardens Presents Advanced/Intermediate Watercolor Classes , July 14 – July 28, 10am-2pm

Each three-class session focuses on demonstrations and a variety of watercolor techniques. Students with some previous experience will enjoy the freedom to experiment, create their own compositions, or paint along with the instructor. Instructor: Carolyn Merenda. Class Fee per Session: $140, members $125.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  HEALTH: Virtual: Mindful Moments Self-Care Toolkit , July 7 – August 25, 8:30am-9am

Lakewood Ranch, in collaboration with the Brain Health Initiative and their meditation expert, Trish Hart of Hart Mind Body Solutions, will be providing weekly mindful moments to help kick-off your week with a healthy brain boost. 10-15 minute video clips featuring Trish Hart who will provide a mindful moment to implement into your Tuesday routine. Mindful moments will include brief meditations, affirmations, short readings, yoga practice tips, and more. RSVP and invite your friends and neighbors to be notified when a new video is posted on Tuesday mornings. The Brain Health Initiative (BHI) is a cutting-edge, new approach to studying brain health that's set to revolutionize neuroscience research and position the Gulf Coast as a global leader in scientific innovation. Formed in 2018 and headquartered in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, the BHI features collaborative leadership from the Academy for Brain Health and Performance and Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital. Brain health clinicians, researchers, academics, and innovators from across the Harvard system and throughout the state of Florida, as well as national and global collaborators, are engaged in this collective impact effort to support significant positive brain health and performance outcomes for the greater Gulf Coast region and beyond. Trish Hart is a facilitator of the Massachusetts General Hospital's, Benson Henry Institute's (SMART) Stress Management and Resiliency Program, trained in Mindfulness for Professionals through Duke Integrative Medicine, and is an Ananda Meditation and Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Beer Garden Bazaar: Monthly Night Market , July 31 – December 25, 6pm-11pm

Join us in the Beer Garden every last Friday for our monthly “Beer Garden Bazaar” Night Market featuring local makers showcasing their original arts, handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind goods, plus live music from 7-11pm, food trucks, delicious craft brews (of course) and extensive wine & cocktail offerings. Invite your friends, swing on by the Beer Garden and mingle with a drink in hand while perusing tons of awesome local wares. Eat, shop and drink the night away under the glow of the moon and beautifully lit old oak tree. Family & Pet Friendly Free Event.

Motorworks Brewing, 1014 9th Street West Bradenton, Florida 34205

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: Florida Studio Theatre Presents Suffragist Saturdays: In Conversation with Jane Plitt , August 1, 4pm

FST invites you to join us for Suffragist Saturdays, a casual conversation series featuring leading women in our area. Come connect, learn, and celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote as well as the real people who made it all possible. Featured guest: Jane Plitt, first Executive Director for the National Organization for Women (NOW). Suffragist Saturdays are free to attend, though registration is required. Presented as part of FST’s Suffragist Project: Celebrating 100 Years of the Woman’s Right to Vote. Suffragist Saturday with Jane Plitt will be held exclusively online. After registering for this virtual event, you will receive an email the day before the event from Florida Studio Theatre containing information about joining the online Zoom event.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Try Your Hand at Poetry: A Zoom Workshop , July 28 – August 18, 6pm-8pm

Join us for Try Your Hand at Poetry led by Georgia Court. There will be four Zoom sessions: Tuesdays at 6pm: August 4, August 11, August 18. Have you always wanted to write poetry, but thought the genre was just too difficult? This is your chance to give it a try using Ted Kooser's The Poetry Home Repair Manual as a guide. A fee of $30 is required for participation. This includes a copy of The Poetry Home Repair Manual and all four sessions. The book can be picked up curbside (We will send you an email when the book is ready for pickup) or you can have it shipped to you via email. This Zoom workshop is limited to 12 participants. If the workshop is full and you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email georgia@sarasotabooks.com. Complete the registration and we will get you the book with plenty of time before the first meeting. The Zoom link will be sent one day prior to the book club meeting. Ted Kooser is a former US Poet Laureate and, as a human being, as humorous and folksy as anyone I have ever meant. His personality shines through this book and makes all of us feel like we could actually be poets. We'll write our own poems based on his advice and share them with others in the club. This is the perfect place for absolute beginners and for more experienced poets who just want to have a good time with poetry. Oh, and as an added bonus, we'll be joined from time to time by two experienced and well-published poets: Phil Terman and Rick Hilles.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Rock Your LinkedIn Profile , July 30, 9am-10am
Join us for a free, virtual workshop and discover how to rock your LinkedIn profile. Get a hands-on start developing a stellar profile and learn how to grow your professional LinkedIn skills. Build your online brand, engage with your network, and sharpen your resume. Presenters include Gio Dominique of Microsoft, Cody Herring of Microsoft, Jack King of Microsoft and Ana Sanchez of Microsoft. A Zoom meeting code will be sent to registered attendees 24 hours prior to the event. You do not need a Zoom account to register for this event.
[SOON]  HEALTH: Virtual: The Players 5K , August 1 – August 31

Walk or run on your own or with a group of friends anytime between August 1 - August 31, 2020. Participants will receive an event t-shirt, lanyard and Players swag. Prizes and incentives are offered! Please list shirt size in order notes. Registration Deadline is July 15.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Farmers Market , August 1 – December 26, 7am-1pm

The Sarasota Farmers Market is proud to announce the reopening of the market on Saturday, August 1st. Hours will remain the same as always, 7am-1pm, rain or shine. We understand the severity of COVID-19; therefore, we are instituting some guidelines for both vendors and customers to follow as you join us downtown. Customer Code of Conduct: Stay home if you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick, Make a shopping list before coming, Pre-order and prepay vendors online if possible, Designate one shopper per household, Leave pets at home unless it is a service animal, Wear a mask, Look with your eyes only touch what you will buy, Maintain 6 feet of space between you and any others, Shop quickly and get everything to go, No gathering keep walkways clear, Hand sanitizer available at all vendor booths and sanitizing stations. Thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time!

Downtown Sarasota

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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