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SRQ DAILY Aug 10, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"The City Commission and administration do not fully comprehend the importance of arts and cultural institutions in our community."

- Joe Barbetta, Sarasota City Commission candidate

-Cutting Room Floor || A shot from SRQ's June 2020 Feature Foragers Ahead that didn't make it to print.
[Politics]  How Will Candidates Approach New Selby Plan?
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The Sarasota City Commission decision to reject a proposed master plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens became one of the most divisive and heated of the past year. With City Commission elections ahead, the matter has come up again. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce debates included questions about a revised plan submitted by the nonprofit and how candidates in District 2 and 3 view the new proposal.

District 2

Terry Turner: The commission was right to reject the original proposal. It is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. It was disruptive to adjoining neighborhoods and traffic patterns were not adequately addressed. The revised plan is better. I’m not satisfied that it adequately deals with the disruption in the adjoining neighborhoods.

Jerry Wells: You can’t put a garage that’s trice the height of the lift station. It would just overwhelm that neighborhood. I like the modified plan. I just don’t want to see Selby build that type of a garage facility. I understand they need more parking. But you can’t overwhelm the neighborhood and then putting restaurant on top.

Liz Alpert: I’m certainly on record having supported the original plan. I don’t think it was too tall, and I thought it was much better to use less footprint in the gardens and add more greenspace, by adding a little bit of height to the parking garage. The revised plan has a parking garage, it’s just that we’re now going to take up more space in the gardens.

Joe Barbetta: I commend Selby for coming back with a modified plan. It’s extremely important. The City Commission and administration do not fully comprehend the importance of arts and cultural institutions in our community. They provide tremendous economic income, economic impact to the city. The modified plan deserves fair consideration.

Martin Hyde: This is classic small town politics, bought and paid for. The idea that you would put a massive structure in a neighborhood. It’s a slippery slip under Bert Harris. At the end of the day, if we do it there we have to do it everywhere. Bottom line here is that, yeah, we should give it full consideration.

Don Patterson: - It’s important for Selby Gardens to remain relevant in this day in age as the demographics change, so it’s important they continue to stay profitable. They took an easy path but it wasn’t conducive to the neighborhood. I think there’s a compromise for the neighborhoods.

District 3

Dan Clermont: There was certainly a lot of voices from the neighborhoods that were frustrated and I understand. This is a negotiating point. We have to sit down with (Selby CEO) Jennifer Rominiecki and discuss it. But as far as the capital improvements. I was in favor of them. Moving forward to a modified plan, I do like the idea of bringing the parking ramp down a bit.

Erik Arroyo: We have a lot of projects in town where the city does a great job of just shutting them down. All the people are asking for is a seat at the table to be able to come together and discuss some ideas. Selby was great with making concessions. If you look at the modified plan after they listened to the people, the restaurant is now on the first floor.

Rob Grant: I did support the city’s decision to vote down the project. I know there is a new proposal out there with a lot of change. I have spent some time looking at it. There are still some neighborhood concerns. I learned during a budget workshop, there’s a new roundabout planned there at that intersection and I don’t know if that has been considered. 

[Awards]  Venice Chamber Announces Laurel Civic as NonProfit of The Year

The Venice Chamber of Commerce announced it's Business of the Year 2020 award winners today. Laurel Civic is honored to have been chosen in the Non-Profit Category. Executive Director Michael D. Fluker attended the event and was thrilled when Laurel Civic's name was announced. "With all that has happened this year, it is great to get some happy news," he said. "We have been working hard to provide much-needed services to members of the community during COVID-19 as well as to continue our programs for adults and children. It is so gratifying that the Venice Chamber recognizes the work non-profit groups do on behalf of the community. There were wonderful organizations nominated this year and we are honored to stand with them. I couldn't be prouder."

The Business of the Year Award evaluates the health of an organization as well as its accomplishments. Laurel Civic submitted its application, outlining programs like the After-School Homework Assistance and Teen Empowerment for children and rental and food assistance for adults and families. Then COVID-19 hit, and Laurel Civic responded on a whole new level. During the interview portion of the process in July, Michael outlined to chamber members how Laurel Civic worked with the Sarasota County Department of Health to host five COVID-19 free testing days, the only non-profit the department selected to work with during the first months of the pandemic. They also hosted twice-monthly food distribution days for All Faiths Food Bank to make sure our neighbors had food. Working with Season of Sharing, they increased the number of successful applications for rental and utility assistance to help families with their household expenses. And they provided meals and masks for the families who attend their programs.

"We have done a great deal in the past several months, but there will be much more to do in the future. To be recognized for the work is a reflection of the commitment of the board of directors, staff, donors and volunteers who made it happen," Michael said. "But we can't rest on our laurels...no pun intended!"

Gulf Coast Community Foundation sponsored the Non-Profit Category of the Business of the Year Awards and will provide a $500 donation to Laurel Civic for being selected. 

Pictued: Michael accepted the award at the Chamber Luncheon held August 7, 2020 at Plantation Golf and Country Club.

[Reading]  Bookstore1 Welcomes Football Legend Reggie Williams to a Special Virtual Event

On Tuesday, September 8 at 7:00 pm, NFL Football legend Reggie Williams will virtually visit Bookstore1Sarasote for a Zoom book launch of his new memoir, Resilient by Nature. This amazing memoir follows the story of Reggie Williams—ex-NFL linebacker, former Disney executive, renaissance man, and the epitome of determination in the face of extreme challenges. In so many ways, Reggie Williams has had the type of life that people dream of: he starred as an athlete, excelled with an Ivy League education, built a sports empire as part of an iconic corporate brand, achieved global impact as a public servant, and won major honors for his community work. Along the way, Williams glowed on the biggest stages alongside celebrities, business leaders, and social icons. In Resilient by Nature, Williams provides an intimate account of his remarkable journey while also sharing his unique perspectives on a wide variety of issues. Resilient by Nature is being published on September 8. Bookstore 1 will have signed copies of Resilient by Nature available for curbside pickup or sent by mail after the event. Copies can be pre-ordered here.

The event is free, but registration is needed for participation. The Zoom link will be sent one day prior to the event.

Click here for event registration. 

[Voting]  New Initiative Harnesses Voting Power of Single Member Districts

Citizens for District Power (CDP), a new Sarasota County citizen initiative, aims to engage voters for the local county commission election.  CDP is a non-partisan group of Sarasota County residents, and aims to get the word out that each county district can now elect a representative whose mandate is to be responsive to the interests and concerns of neighborhoods within a district, as well as the county at large.  Subscribers to the website blog will receive alerts of events, articles, and media coverage of candidates. You can locate your voting district – which may have changed because of redistricting since the last election – on cdpsarasota.org.  Website visitors can also explore County Commission candidates and learn how to connect with other citizen groups.  

[Allegiant Private Advisors]  A Different Type of Financial Planner: Your Most Trusted Advisor

Unfortunately the financial services industry has historically revolved around a sales culture, and the client often suffers. Allegiant Private Advisors is different.

The firm’s independent, fiduciary, non-sales philosophy provides a safe, trusting and caring environment so that all your goals and dreams can be discussed and planned for in total confidence. All this and more combine to create a multifaceted, comprehensive wealth management firm.

Allegiant’s proprietary “Client Bill of Rights” pledges the firm’s standards in writing. Some of these rights include having every phone call and email answered promptly, daily access to all accounts online, and an open invitation to meet with the team as often as the client deems necessary.

Allegiant team members manage all assets as team fiduciaries and do all of their own research (which advisors often share in the form of reports and white papers). Client accounts receive individual personalized advice instead of boilerplate packages created by mass-marketing financial firms. To accomplish this Allegiant maintains a high staff-to-client ratio, and forms strategic advisory teams with clients’ attorneys and accountants.

“We also put together family meetings where we have conversations about values and the core mission statement of the family,” Allegiant President Benjamin (Ben) W. Jones, CFP®, AIF® explains. “We help talk through existing assets and estate plans, and make sure heirs are prepared financially and legally. We are always checking in, seeing where our clients are in life and what they need help with along the way. Then we help them in every way possible. That’s why we’re here.”

Learn more at allegiantpa.com.

Editor's Note: 

As of July 31, 2021, Allegiant Private Advisors became part of Mariner Wealth Advisors, a national registered investment advisor offering 360° financial advice designed to last. 

Read More about Allegiant Private Advisors HERE

[Grant]  Senator Gruters and DEP Announce Resiliency Grant Funding to Aid in Sarasota County Beach Management

Last Friday, Senator Joe Gruters joined DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein to celebrate the award of a $125,000 resiliency grant to improve the management of Sarasota County beaches. This funding will aid the development a comprehensive vulnerability study and subsequent resilience plan that will allow federal, state and local officials to collaboratively and strategically plan for sea-level rise along sandy shorelines of Sarasota County. Sarasota County is home to nearly 35 miles of sandy shorelines, of which 24.2 miles have been designated as critically eroding. The county does not currently have a resilience plan for coastal management that addresses current conditions, existing management strategies and projected sea level rise. 

“I am pleased to be here today to celebrate this historic step for beach management in Sarasota County and across our state,” said Senator Gruters. “Beaches are economic drivers for the state and are part of our way of life, and recognizing this, we continue to make the restoration of our beaches a priority. It is no surprise that this region will be leading the way in addressing the importance of incorporating sea-level rise into our beach management strategy as well as a regional approach to this effort.” 

“DEP is proud to be able to able to provide grant funding to support this important study,” said Secretary Valenstein. “Under the Governor’s leadership, DEP is making it a priority to support our coastal communities in the planning and preparation for the 2 to 3 feet of sea-level rise our state is expected to experience by 2060.” 

A comprehensive study has never been completed before that focuses specifically on the effects of sea-level rise on future coastal management practices. The strategic plan that will be developed with the aid of this state funding, combined with existing coastal management practices, will allow partner agencies to build resilient beach and dune systems that will continue to provide recreational and natural resource benefits to residents and visitors, and reduce flooding and storm erosion damage to upland property. A county-wide resilience plan will also outline roles and responsibilities for the four main local coastal management sponsors.  

[Testing]  DOH Sarasota Schedules Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing in Englewood

DOH Sarasota has scheduled a by-appointment-only COVID-19 testing opportunity at the Englewood Sports Complex August 13. DOH Sarasota will have 100 COVID-19 tests available, appointments are required. DOH Sarasota is prioritizing COVID-19 testing for anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell) or who works in a health care setting, and first responders. While these are primarily drive-thru sites, DOH Sarasota can accommodate walk-ups, and people on bicycles. To date, DOH Sarasota has tested more than 4100 community members for COVID-19 during our community-based testing events. The Florida Department of Health continues to see new positive cases across the State, please visit flhealth.gov/covid-19 for the most current case count and county-specific data.

Thursday, August 13, 8 am to noon at Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 South River Road, Englewood.  To be evaluated and to make an appointment, please call (941) 861-2883, Monday - Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

DOH Sarasota recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. 

[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.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery Presents Summer Sojourn Artists' Showcase , August 4 – August 29, 11am-5pm

Art Uptown's regionally acclaimed artists offer passage to worlds unseen and under explored through the upcoming Summer Sojourn showcase on view from Tuesday, August 4 through Saturday, August 29. The exhibit features a wide array of media: photography, jewelry, fabric, glass, ceramic, sculpture and painting. Hungering for a reminder of Provence? Take in Jill Krasner's Yellow Daffodils (top left) or Jana Millstone's Tulip Trip (lower left). Seeking a little Zen-like serenity? Pause at Joan Libby Hawk's ceramic vessel, Elegy (top right). Marlane Wurzbach's Egret's Buffet (lower right), Bill Swanson's Juvenile Angelfish and Maro Lorimer's Haze take you right to the water's edge of your choice. Elijah (below left) by Janet Mishner invites the viewer to a more spiritual place and Liz Cole's abstract Bring on the Sun (below right) pushes the darks to brights. More than twenty other accomplished artists' work fills the Summer Sojourn showcase with unexpected, art-inspired journeys. The gallery continues its commitment to visitor and staff safety by the use of masks, sanitizer, frequent cleaning and social distancing.

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

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Academy A Homeschool Hub at Music Compound , August 3 – December 31, 8:30am-4pm

Music Compound is officially launching a new program,  The  Academy, for grades 3-8, that offers core curriculum through Florida Virtual School and then afternoon electives in the arts. The registration deadline is July 31. Education Session (Education Coordinator position) is offered daily from 8:30am to Noon Monday through Thursday. Students have the option to attend two, three or four days a week. This portion is being offered with Florida Virtual School. Deadline to register is July 31st. Lunch and relaxation time offered daily from Noon to 1:00pm and available to FULL day students only. Students will have time to enjoy lunch and outdoor play. The last 20 minutes will be reserved for quiet time. Our team will offer yoga or meditation sessions. Students can opt to read a book, nap, or check out in another capacity. Enrichment Session is arts related. (Elective and credit based) and offered daily from 1:00 to 4:00pm Monday through Thursday. The afternoon session will include a daily afternoon snack break for students. The afternoon sessions are based on interest. Afternoon classes sizes will range from 6-12 students per class. Classes that have more than 6 students will be hosted in our large 3,000 sq. ft. event venue. Electives are One hour and 20 minutes per session. Electives are offered quarterly, by semester, or yearly. Courses offered: Art, Dance, Drama, Music / Group Instruction / Music Theory / Music Appreciation, Musical theatre / Show Choir, Band program (Kidz Rock, Rising Stars, Youth Bands) and Career Exploration.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Weekly: Sarasota Farmers Market , August 1 – April 24, 7am-1pm

Visit the Sarasota Farmers Market in Downtown Sarasota from 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. 

Downtown Sarasota, Lemon Avenue and State Street, Downtown Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Myakka River: A Florida Treasure at The Bishop , February 7 – September 6, Museum hours.

Ultra-white sand beaches and magnificent sunsets have long defined our region, but just nine miles east of I-75 you’ll find an environment just as alluring, exotic and primal at the Myakka River State Park.  For more than 20 years, Clyde Butcher has explored the deeper regions of Myakka and spent seasons experiencing its changes and its diverse ecosystems. Designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, the tannic waters flow through bottomland swamp and freshwater marsh spilling into lakes and sinkholes. Alligators, turtles and cottonmouths swim in the river. Herons, cranes and limpkins strut through its shallows, feeding in the muck. In the rainy season, the river rises and floods. In the dry months, the river shrinks and wildlife once again lines the banks of the Myakka River.  Myakka River: A Florida Treasure features large-format, amazing photographs taken by world-renowned landscape photographer Clyde Butcher, known as the “Ansel Adams of Florida.”  The special exhibition will remain open through September 6, 2020. Visiting is included in the price of admission.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton

[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]  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]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Power Hour Lunch , August 12, 11:45am-1pm

Join us for our "virtual" Power Hour Lunch. Stay connected with Chamber Members and update each other on your current business opportunities. If you like to submit an electronic or virtual door prize, please email cmcgonigal@sarasotachamber.com to let him know what it will be. We will have Trivia questions during the meeting for attendees to win the door prizes. Attendees are responsible for getting door prize to the winner. If you decide to order your own lunch, please support our Chamber Members who have restaurants or provide food and beverage, listed here. Please Note: Many restaurants have adjusted their hours and operations. Please check with the restaurant directly for more information.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: "The Art of Medicine" Panel Discussion with Sarasota County Medical Society , August 11, 6pm

The Ringling’s Community Gallery is currently showing an exhibition called "The Art of Medicine," which features artwork by physicians who are members of the Sarasota County Medical Society. This panel will feature some of exhibiting artists as they discuss how art enriches their lives as medical providers. The Community Gallery is generously sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. We’ve designed a dynamic line-up of live, conversational, virtual programs for you to enjoy from anywhere. Tickets will be available 14 days prior to each program. Tickets are limited, but only 1 ticket is required for each household ($5), for regardless of how many in your household will participate. Free for members.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: LWR Business Alliance Presents Meet the Candidates: 2020 Primary Elections , August 4 – August 11, 4pm-5pm and 4pm-5:30pm

Join us for a special virtual meet and greet with candidates running in the 2020 state and local primary elections. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Candidates on August 4: Manatee County: 4:05 - 4:20PM County Commissioner, Dist. 7 Edwin J Hunzeker (REP), 4:22 - 4:37PM County Commissioner, Dist. 7 George W Kruse (REP). Sarasota County: 4:40 - 4:55PM County Commissioner, Dist. 1 Michael A. Moran (REP). Candidates on August 6: 4:05 – 4:20 PM FL Senate, Dist. 21 Jim Boyd (REP), 4:23 – 4:38PM FL Senate, Dist. 21 John Manners Houman (REP), 4:40 - 4:55PM FL House, Dist. 72 Donna Barcomb (REP), 4:58 – 5:13PM FL House, Dist. 72 Fiona McFarland (REP), 5:15 – 5:30PM FL House, Dist. 72 Jason M. Miller (REP). Candidates on August 11: 4:05 -  4:20PM FL House, Dist. 70 Keisha Bell (DEM), 4:22 - 4:37PM FL House, Dist. 70 Michelle Grimsley (DEM), 4:39 - 4:54PM FL House, Dist. 70 Mark Oliver (DEM), and 4:56 - 5:10PM FL House, Dist. 70 Michele K. Rayner (DEM).

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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