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SRQ DAILY Nov 5, 2020

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"The environment is very forgiving and if we as humans can recognize our mistakes and are willing to change, the environment will take over from there."

- Jim Anderson, Founder of Sea & Shoreline

[Politics]  New Sarasota Commissioners Prepare To Govern
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A new, younger version of the Sarasota City Commission will take office on Friday at noon, following an election cycle that turned over two members of the five-person board. While Commissioner Liz Alpert won reelection to a second term representing District 2, Kyle Scott Battie will take over as the District 1 Commissioner and Erik Arroyo will fill the District 3 seat.

 What’s that mean for the policies and direction issued by Commissioners to administration? Battie said he won’t come into the new post and force radical change. After defeating Commissioner Willie Shaw, he wants to sit down and first evaluate the landscape. He rattled off various District 1 leaders who have priorities like street repairs and neighborhood improvements and will work to ensure those get addressed. But he does come anxious to scrutinize spending at the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency.

 “I haven’t been in a position that may be privy to the goings on and inside information,” he said. But he feels voters made a bold move installing a new generation of leadership for the city, and he wants to live up to that. “We tried to be forward-thinking and to look at facts. Looking at Newtown in particular, 72% of Newtown, $22,000 a year is the average income for a family of four.” He wants to find ways to improve the economic well-being of constituents and look at ways to ease the burdens on the community, no surprise after hitting Shaw on rising water bills.

Arroyo felt his victory over Dan Clermont, after coming second in a first election in August, came because of voter outreach, especially to the 10% of residents in District 3 who are Hispanic. The Commissioner-elect will be the first Hispanic member of the body, and plans to bring needs of his entire community to City Hall. His first priority will be on improving relations between officials. “There’s an opportunity with this new Commission and new make0up to create a stronger bond between all of the Commissioners,” he said.  

He wants to conduct more publicly noticed meetings with fellow Commissioners to simply talk about general topics and how to move the city forward. He notes his election for an open seat, where incumbent Shelli Freeland Eddie opted not to run for reelection, came as he obtained endorsements from some groups in seeming opposition much of the time, like Control Growth Now and the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange. “You can’t put me in a box,” he said. “I’m not the developer candidate and I'm not the anti-developer candidate. I will listen to both sides, and probably vote against someone’s interests at some point. But it will be a different dynamic on the City Commission.”

Alpert for her part welcomes the change delivered by voters, especially since they elected to keep her over former City Commissioner Terry Turner. She has existing priorities like transportation projects handled by the city and Metropolitan Planning Organization. But she’s excited to see younger officials with fresh perspectives. “They have to look at it from a different perspective,” she said. “Whatever we do is certainly going to affect them longer than me and people my age.”

She does hope the elections mean the city will be focused on retaining cultural institutions and helping them expand and grow. A top priority will be finding an orchestra home, she said. Her remarks also can’t help but remind of a vote against the Selby Gardens Master Plan proposal. She does hope the Commission can move forward with its current administration.


[Government]  Taxes Approved in Manatee, Sarasota

Sarasota County voters approved an extension of an economic development ad valorem tax. The approval allows the continuation of the ability of county commissioners to grant tax incentives to new and existing businesses to relocate or expand in Sarasota County. About 65.31% of voters approved the tax. A bond referendum also passed in Manatee County with 71.34% of the vote. That allows a water quality, wildlife preservation and park tax up to 0.15 mill to finance the acquisition, improvement and management of land. 

[Environmental Protection]  Sea and Shoreline is Helping Saving Florida's Marine Life with Seagrass
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

The Great Barrier Reef bleached an eerie white. A lone polar bear floating on a melting ice-cap. An orangutan sitting on the single tree left in a rainforest. These are the harrowing images that are always the first to pop to mind when thinking of the world’s climate crisis. They can seem overwhelming and morbid, but they serve a greater purpose: to wake us up and motivate people to help save the planet. 

One such company dedicated to reversing the damages of our reliance on fossil fuels, is Sea & Shoreline of Ruskin, Florida. Started in 2014 by Jim Anderson, Sea & Shoreline aims to restore the seagrass habitats of Florida’s waters. His basic philosophy is, “The environment is very forgiving and if we as humans can recognize our mistakes and are willing to change, the environment will take over from there.” 

Their pilot project began in Crystal River, after noticing a significant decline in water quality. The native vegetation had been completely overrun by invasive plants and algae, destroying the natural habitat. Local residents banded together to clean up their waters by contracting with Sea & Shoreline to dredge up the harmful plants and plant new, healthy seagrass. What started as a small dream for renewal in a three-acre plot, has now grown to a full-scale operation covering forty-six acres of restoration, Sea & Shoreline’s largest project to date. 

Restoring and protecting seagrass is important because it helps to stabilize sediment; clean and add oxygen to the water; cycle nutrients; provide food, habitat, and protection for fish and animals; and sequester carbon that can impact climate change. A nursery at their Ruskin aquaculture facility grows different species and strains of seagrass collected throughout the state act that acts as a “genetic library,” where they can source the needed seagrasses for different projects.

Our neighbors in Bradenton have enlisted their services to bring twenty-fix new seagrass plants to the beach as a small seagrass patch in addition to planting clams there. This will help two-fold, by giving the beach a chance to regrow and providing the Sea & Shoreline staff with helpful information on the benefits of farm-raised clams growing in tandem with the grass. In addition to seagrass projects, the team at Sea & Shoreline also restores oyster and coral reefs, and helps fix “scars” created by boat propellers in seagrass beds. These scars grow bigger with the tides and can wipe out the entire seagrass bed further harming the eco-system.

These projects might not be front-page news, but they are a vital part of rebuilding the natural lifecycle of our marine habitats that have been injured over the years. Seagrass loss is a huge issue not only in Florida but globally, and it is reported that almost 7% is lost each year. Ryan Brushwood, Lead Biologist on Sea & Shoreline’s Aquatic Science Team hopes their efforts can, “try to reverse the negative impacts that humans have made while also giving back some positives.” 

Click here for more information.

[Event Update]  24th Annual Montessori Foundation IMC Conference

The conference will have interactive and engaging with crucial, relevant, and practical content. In addition to opportunities for networking, reflection, renewal, and entertainment. Individual registration and site licenses still available. The event will take place November 6 through 8th, and registration is still available.  

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  Sarasota Memorial Hospital Celebrates 95 Years of Caring for the Community

Sarasota Memorial is honoring its past, while celebrating its future as the hospital marks 95 years serving the Suncoast region. Sarasota Hospital, opened its doors in the fall of 1925. Local residents raised $40,000 to build the 32-bed hospital, replacing a 6-bed facility that was being used to care for tuberculosis and emergency patients. Today, Sarasota Memorial is a thriving regional medical center, with 7,000 staff, it’s also one of the region’s largest employers. Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder attributed the health system’s strength to its longstanding community mission. “Our greatest strength comes from the community we serve,” he said. “Just like the citizens who built the first hospital, Sarasota Memorial remains as focused today on its core mission as it was 95 years ago.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Position]  Eric Troyer Joins Sarasota Chamber's Board of Directors

Kerkering, Barberio & Co., Certified Public Accountants, is pleased to announce that Shareholder, Eric Troyer, CPA, has been elected as a member of the 2020-2021 board of directors for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.  

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes New Associates

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that the following associates have affiliated with the company’s Sarasota area office locations: Edna Hernandez-Zullin, Downtown Sarasota, Robyn Sadlo, Downtown Sarasota and Matthew Sevarino, Lakewood Ranch. 

Click here for more information.

[Event Update]  Sarasota Suncoast Renaissance Festival Charges On

The SunCoast Renaissance Festival charges into the Sarasota Fairgrounds this fall with a full cast of colorful medieval characters, music, dancing, food, drink, and treats for the entire family. Organizers of the popular Brevard Renaissance Fair are now overseeing the nine-day Sarasota festival. They have planned a record number of experiences and entertainment including 35 top national acts on 15 stages, 85 artisan merchants with handcrafted wares, two food courts, four taverns, rides, and games. Pete Moolhuizen, event organizer said, “We are thrilled to present a safe and fun family activity that will stimulate the Sarasota economy from travelers coming to the festival." 

Click here for more information.

[Fundraiser]  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Receives Holiday Gift of Support from Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast–Collier County for its annual Giving Tree Toy Drive campaign. The Giving Tree Toy Drive program will begin on November 2, 2020 and end on November 30, 2020. “Fifth Third Bank is proud to support Big Brothers, Big Sisters Annual Giving Tree Toy Drive program. During the month of November, the Bank will host “Giving Tree’s” in each of our 77 financial centers throughout South Florida,” said John Slavik, SVP, Retail Executive for Fifth Third Bank. “By allowing our financial centers to host a “Giving Tree”, we hope to create awareness around supporting those families in need during this holiday season.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  The Junior League of Sarasota Awards FST $5000 Grant to Support Write a Play at Wilkinson Elementary

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is delighted to announce that the nonprofit theater received a $5,000 Community Grant from The Junior League of Sarasota, a key supporter of FST’s efforts to bring its WRITE A PLAY program, an arts-in-education initiative, to Wilkinson Elementary, a Title I school, at no cost. "The Junior League of Sarasota is proud to support FST’s WRITE A PLAY Program,” said Vickie Brill, Co-Chair of the League’s Grants committee. “This grant stood out among a record number of applicants in a year in which children must have the ability to express, create, and unlock their potential using their imaginations." 

[Fundraiser]  Manatee County 20th Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon to Benefit Food Bank

 The 20th Annual “Empty Bowls” luncheons to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee, a program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, will be held from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at Manatee Performing Arts Center, and 11am to 1pm on Friday, November 13, 2020, at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 events will be drive-thru events. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event and include a unique ceramic bowl to keep, a selection of soups, fresh-baked bread, and dessert.  

Click here for more information.

[Show Update]  WBTT Temporarily Halts Performances of 'Light Up the Night' Due to COVID-19

 Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has temporarily halted the run of its "Light Up the Night!" open-air concerts due to illness: four professionals involved with the show have tested positive for COVID-19. "We are very concerned about those who are ill - as well as those who may have been exposed - and hope no one experiences serious symptoms," said executive director Julie Leach. "We are incredibly disappointed that, despite our plentiful safety precautions and care to protect our team and patrons, we must temporarily close our show. But our first priority must be the health and safety of the community; we will not reopen until we are entirely certain it is safe to do so." 

Pictured: Raleigh Mosely performs during a recent 'Light Up the Night!' open-air concert. Photos by Sorcha Augustine.

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Online: 2020 Annual Ringling College Faculty Exhibition , September 4 – November 27, This exhibition is being hosted online.

This digital exhibition features recent work by accomplished faculty currently teaching at Ringling College of Art and Design. Featuring a dizzying array of media and artistic styles that reflect the breadth of art practices, this exhibition provides an important opportunity for art faculty members to share their work with students, colleagues, and the community.

Ringling College Galleries, Online—this exhibition is being hosted online.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Online Learning Labs: Mote Marine High School Program , October 7 – December 2

Mote’s Learning Labs are a series of virtual, interactive college and career preparatory labs that will provide students the opportunity to develop and hone professional skills for future STEM careers. Participants will gain basic knowledge in marine science concepts and experience in lab/field work. Additionally, marine science professionals will introduce participants to a variety of career opportunities and conduct career explorations. The intention of this program is to offer participants a head start toward their future goals in STEM and advance the next generation of STEM professionals. Learning Labs take place monthly on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8pm, via secure Zoom webinar. Registration for each Learning Lab is $10 and covers all necessary materials for your session.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Selby: 45th Anniversary Orchid Show: Women Breaking the Glasshouse Ceiling , October 10 – November 29

The year the land for Selby Gardens' Downtown Sarasota campus was purchased is also a momentous one in women's history. The dynamic display in the Tropical Conservatory celebrates the Suffrage Movement and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase our preserved plant collections. Our Historic Spanish Point campus Gazebo will also receive the Orchid Show treatment and pay tribute to Sarasota pioneer Bertha Palmer. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the official opening of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' Downtown Sarasota campus. To celebrate, the Orchid Show will honor founder, Marie Selby, and highlight the accomplishments of the many notable women who have built on her legacy and helped to make Selby Gardens home to the best scientifically-documented collection of orchids in the world. The year the land for Selby Gardens' Downtown Sarasota campus was purchased is also a momentous one in women's history. The dynamic display in the Tropical Conservatory celebrates the Suffrage Movement and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase our preserved plant collections. Our Historic Spanish Point campus Gazebo will also receive the Orchid Show treatment and pay tribute to Sarasota pioneer Bertha Palmer. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound Street Sarasota, 34236

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College: Illest of Ill , October 23 – December 4, Museum hours

Illest of Illustration is an annual juried exhibition that showcases the outstanding works created by current Illustration students of Ringling College of Art and Design. Over 100 works were chosen from more than 200 submissions. The talented guest jurors, Justin and Annie Stegg Gerard, made their selections based on the quality of technique, concept, and skill of medium used. Exhibition open by appointment only. Email galleries@ringling.edu to request an appointment. This exhibit began on October 23, 2020 and will end on December 4, 2020, during museum hours.

Ringling College Galleries

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: SarasotaMOD Weekend , November 6 – November 8
Please join in celebrating the architectural legacy of Carl Abbott FAIA at this year's SarasotaMOD.
[SOON]  FOOD: Glow Table Dinner , November 6, 7-9:30pm

It's time to celebrate safely, joyously, and with great food all while being entertained between meal courses with skillful, artistic cirque performers.  Glow Table DInner, presented by Lamborghini Sarasota, will highlight its first of several magical dining experiences utilizing their chic, colorful dining tables with tempered glass on Friday, November 6, 2020 in Lakewood Ranch, FL, just off Main Street, in front of Grove's restaurant and ballroom.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: Selby Gardens Fall Lunch in the Gardens , November 11, 11:30am-1pm

Co-chairs Ariane Dart and Pauline L. Wamsler cordially invite you to the in celebration of Selby Gardens' 45th Anniversary Orchid Show: Women Breaking the Glasshouse Ceiling. While we cannot be together in-person, all attendees will enjoy a delicious lunch while creating a unique floral design led virtually by one of Washington, D.C.’s most sought-after floral designers, Sarah von Pollaro, Founder, of Urban Petals Floral Design.Proceeds from Lunch in the Gardens support Selby Gardens' community outreach education programs; international research and conservation; and beautiful, world-class horticulture displays. It is their hope that they can help children and families develop an appreciation for nature.


[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: New College New Topics, Challenge and Response: Facing Hard Choices in a Time of Economic Crisis With William Dudley , November 12

Thanks to the pandemic, the United States plunged from a record-breaking economic expansion to a severe recession. What choices do we need to make to reverse that trend and secure our economic future? William Dudley (’71-’74) is a senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Center for Economic Policy Studies. He served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2009 to 2018 and was also the vice chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee. In 2019, Dudley spoke about our nation’s record-breaking economic expansion. Shortly after, the pandemic cut that short. With breathtaking speed, the United States economy has plunged from its recent heights to the deepest recession in decades. The American economy is sick. What is Dudley’s prescription to bring the patient back to health? What choices must we make to jump-start a recovery? How long will it take to turn things around? Depending on our choices, Dudley will define the best-case and worst-case scenarios.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Online: Live from the Sarasota Opera House , November 13, 7:30pm

Sarasota Opera's first live-streamed performance will take place on Friday, November 13 at 7:30 PM at the Sarasota Opera House, featuring favorite opera selections by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Wagner, and Mozart, accompanied by piano. A limited number of tickets will be available for an in-person, distanced audience at $25-45. Tickets for the live stream are $10. The live stream will be available for viewing for two weeks.

[SOON]  FILM: Starlight Movie Night Event , November 14, 7:30pm

The Florida Cultural Group Inc will produce Starlight Movie Night, sponsored by the Bradenton Area Arts & Culture Department, on the heels of the destination's month-long National Arts and Humanities celebration. Four family-friendly films will be shown on big screens set up at four outdoor locations (on land and water) found throughout the Bradenton Area. Attendees must reserve a free viewing spot at the location of their choice to secure their space and ensure a safe and socially distant movie night under the stars.

Holmes Beach Community Park:
“Dolphin Tale” (rated PG) will be featured at Holmes Beach Community Park at 5900 Flotilla Drive in the City of Holmes Beach. Reserve a spot and bring your own chairs, blankets and coolers. This screening also includes a guest speaker from Clearwater Aquarium starting at 6:30 p.m., presented by The Center of Anna Maria Island. Masks are required when not in your viewing section.

Manatee Performing Arts Center: This community hub for arts and culture at 502 3 rd Ave W in Bradenton will transform into an outdoor movie theatre, showing “Swiss Family Robinson” (rated G). At this location, attendees can reserve a section and set up their own lawn chairs and blankets outside, or reserve a parking spot and enjoy the movie from their vehicle. Coolers are allowed, and Manatee Performing Arts Center will be providing popcorn.

Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch: These sprawling fields located at 5895 Post Blvd in Lakewood Ranch provide plenty of room for guests to set up their lawn chairs and blankets and get comfortable for an outdoor showing of “Pelé: Birth of a Legend” (rated PG). Concessions will be available at this location, and guests are welcome to bring coolers.

Palmetto on the Manatee River: Cruise over and anchor your boat for a unique movie experience on the water. “Peanut Butter Falcon” (rated PG-13) will be shown from the big screen on the west side of the Palmetto Pier and the north side of the Manatee River. There are no reservations at this location, so be sure to arrive early and anchor boats 10’ apart to maintain
social distancing.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Bay Music Live at the Van Wezel , November 14, 4pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has just announced a premiere outdoor concert event, Bay Music Live. On Saturday, November 14, Jah Movement's signature sound will electrify the lawn and terrace outside of the Van Wezel in this socially-distanced, sunset show. The event kicks off at 4pm with music starting promptly at 4:30pm Lawn spaces and tables will be arranged for social distancing, and guests can enjoy fresh air and a stroll on the newly developed Mangrove Bayou Walkway. Food and beverage by Mattison's will be available for purchase, with beer by Michelob Ultra & Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: WUSF's Listen Up Livestream Event , November 16, 12pm-1pm

Join WUSF for a virtual event to benefit WUSF Public Media featuring Ari Shapiro, host of NPR's award-winning All Things Considered. Shapiro has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He has covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel. In addition, he's a singer and makes frequent guest appearances with the "little Orchestra" Pink Martini.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: SCD + Piazzolla Collaboration with Ann Pilot , November 19 – November 22, 7:30pm except Sunday 2:00pm

Back by popular demand, SCD continues to bring their collaborations to a nuevo level with renowned harpist, Ann Hobson Pilot. This performance is originally choreographed by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, inspired by la música of Astor Pantaleon Piazzolla. Pilot’s arrangement for the harp, violin, and bandoneon, inspired by Piazzola’s compositions, infuses the composer’s melodías into a contemporary mix of música de tango with jazz and classical influences. Through an invigorating visual and emotional experience, SCD brings a passionate and poignant performance to the Historic Asolo Theater with Piazzolla from November 19, 2020 until November 22, 2020. Performances at 7:30pm, except Sunday at 2pm.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Selby: Sarasota Opera at the Gardens , November 19, 5:30pm

Two outdoor concerts featuring songs celebrating nature and accompanied by piano will take place on Tuesday, November 17 at 5:30pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota and on Thursday, November 19 at 5:30pm at Historic Spanish Point. The musical program will be identical at both garden locations. Attendance at each concert will be limited to 100 people, with tickets at $35.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Art Lecture Series with Baila Miller: Photographer Francesca Woodman Lived 22 Years , November 17, 1pm-2:30pm

Join Historic Spanish Point for incredible stories on the artists that shaped and influenced history around the world. We are proud to offer this art lecture series with Baila Miller as part of our monthly programming. Baila’s unique storytelling presentations will connect you to the art world in a whole new way. All presentations take place at Historic Spanish Point’s Visitor Center Classrooms. Tickets: $15 for Historic Spanish Point members and $20 for future members.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online OLLI: Connections Documentary Film Series: Liyana , November 10, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Orphaned children from Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) collaborate to craft a collective fairytale drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character, Liyana is brought to life through animated artwork as she embarks on a perilous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. As the children’s real and imagined worlds converge, they must choose the kind of story they will tell, both in fiction and in their own lives. This genre-defying film weaves their animated hero’s journey with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance that reveals the strength of the human spirit and the healing power of storytelling. Liyana has won more than 35 jury and audience awards and has been screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world. Moderator: Julie Cotton.


[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel: An Evening with Bruce Hornsby , November 11, 7pm

Bruce Hornsby, the creatively insatiable pianist and singer-songwriter from Williamsburg, Virginia, always has succeeded on his exceptional gifts, his training and his work ethic. He has collaborated with Ricky Skaggs and the Grateful Dead. He has scored films and performed with symphony orchestras. Hornsby describes his new album Absolute Zero as “a compendium of what I like and moves me.” Prepare for a multi-faceted ride on November 11, 2021 at 7pm.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail

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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