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SRQ DAILY Jan 21, 2021

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"Our country can now start healing and moving forward under the great leadership of Joe Biden as our President."

- JoAnne DeVries, Sarasota County Democratic Party

-Pirates of Manatee-An, as seen in SRQ's January 2021 edition. Click for the full feature article.
[Politics]  Party Leaders Turn Eyes Toward 2022
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

This week brought ups and downs for political leaders in both parties. The nation inaugurated a new President in Democrat Joe Biden, as Donald Trump moved to Florida full-time. Meanwhile, Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota, won a second two-year term as the Republican Party of Florida.

For JoAnne DeVries, Wednesday was a joy to watch. “What a beautiful day it has been,” she said. “Our country can now start healing and moving forward under the great leadership of Joe Biden as our President and Kamala Harris as our Vice President. As we turn the page on four years of Donald Trump, we at the Sarasota County Democratic Party are already looking ahead to 2022, when we have a chance to vote out two of Trump's biggest enablers: Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis. “

But Republicans had a good year in Florida in 2020 even if the presidency was lost. Trump won this swing state by 3 percentage points, one of just three states nationwide where he improved his margins from 2016. And much of Florida’s successful operation was headquartered in Sarasota County.

“We bucked the trends and really delivered,” said Gruters. “We were united this past cycle and that’s the reason we are going to be successful.”

In addition to Gruters winning another two years as state chair, Sarasota County State Committeeman Christian Ziegler also won another term as vice chair of the state party. And that was after Manatee County GOP chair Kathy King won another term as a national committeewoman.

In the months since the election, which included riots led by Trump supporters in the Capitol and a second impeachment of the president before he left office, the state party has  seen a loss in voter registrations. But Gruters said he will be focused ahead of 2022 chiefly on registering new Republican voters, maybe enough to close the 134,232 edge enjoyed by Democrats statewide. “That’s my No.1 priority,” Gruters said. “We’ve made a lot of progress and that will kelp us ensure Florida remains on the Republican side.”

DeVries, though, said Democrats feel energized now, and will also work to boost their own numbers looking toward the next election. “Our grassroots work begins immediately by building up voter registration, Vote By Mail and recruiting strong candidates,” she said. 

Images from Facebook

[ShopTalk]  The UTC Welcomes a Fleet of New Shops and Eateries for 2021
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

All the extravagent holiday lights and fixtures will likely be taken down from the University Town Center (UTC) soon, but new shopping and dining options are in store for us the rest of the year, and beyond. With the start of the new year, the UTC will be welcoming a dozen or so new businesses to the multi-use district and shopping/dining epicenter. 

Fresh and clean on the scene is Buff City Soap, an artisan soap shop that handcrafts each product on premises in an area called the Soap Makery. The shop will offer all-natural bath and body products that can be customized with fragrances and plant-based ingredients, like rosemary, lavender and mint. Buff City Soap will be adjacent to Norman Love in the West District at UTC. Wish Boutique is relocating from Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, to the roundabout section next to Rusty Bucket, along Cattlemen Dr. The apparel, accessories and lifestyle shop offers women’s and children’s clothing from top brands, including Joseph Ribkoff, Johnny Was, Clara SunWoo, Alembika and MacKenzie-Childs. Exercise equipment retailer Gym Source is opening another showroom in the new retail parcel along Desoto Road, adjacent to the Homewood Suites. Headquartered in New York City, Gym Source is America's oldest and largest distributor of fitness equipment for residential and commercial use. Playtri, the largest triathlon-focused retail chain, is opening next to Row House on the south end of the UTC district. The store will supply gear and support to people training for triathlons, marathons, swimming and all things endurance.

Last week, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi opened its doors along Cattlemen Dr. on the opposite side of Shake Shack. The quick-casual pan-Asian restaurant offers sushi, build your own poke, rice and noodle bowls, bento boxes and boba tea. In additional, nationally-acclaimed Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream will be opening this February next to Bento, and Hillview local favorite Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Café is coming soon to open its third location on Tourist Center Drive. Other new restaurants opening later this year include Georgie’s Garden Café, Bar George, Selva Grill, and Ford’s Garage. We're looking forward to much more than just spring weather now.  

Photo courtesy of Benderson Development

[New Position]  Children First Announces New Directors and Leadership for 2021 Board of Directors

 Children First, Inc., the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services in Sarasota County, is excited to welcome new directors and announce board leadership for 2021. Elizabeth (Liz) Stamoulis, partner at Williams Parker Attorneys at Law, leading the firm’s intellectual property practice, Linda Monda, community philanthropist, and Joe Stephan, former Vice President for the National Cash Register Corporation’s International Division, have all been named to the 2021 Board of Directors. 

Click here for more information.

[Opening ]  New Art Gallery Unveiled at Old Post Office

Interior designers, home decorators and anyone who appreciates beautiful fine art are in for a treat. Chicago neighborhood favorite Boulevard Fine Art has opened Boulevard Fine Art & Custom Framing South at 110 Colonia Lane East in downtown Nokomis. And the cool thing is, the gallery is located in the old Nokomis post office. “I love this space,” says Boulevard owner and Chicago artist David Manola who renovated the entire post office himself. “We went from being a small frame shop that offered some art to a larger gallery with a lot of art and a full-service Custom Framing Department. We specialize in original fine contemporary art. There’s beautiful art for every taste.” 

Boulevard Fine Art & Custom Framing South, 110 Colonia Lane East, Nokomis, FL, 941-220-1227

[Virtual Show]  The Van Wezel’s Education and Community Engagement Department Announces Free Virtual and Interactive Show

The Van Wezel’s Education and Community Engagement Department has recently announced a FREE virtual and interactive show for families as part of the 2020-2021 Virtual Schooltime Series. Cahoots NI brings the virtual experience, The University of Wonder & Imagination, LIVE to the Gulf Coast from Northern Ireland. The 60-minute Zoom performances stream on January 23 and 24, 2021. Ten families at a time will enter The University of Wonder & Imagination from the comfort of their own home to begin their “studies” in this magical world through this highly interactive experience. There are ten performance times available every half-hour between 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for each day with very limited capacity for each performance, and families can sign up to reserve a space now through this link

Click here for more information.

[Environmental Achievement ]  Fifth Third Achieves Carbon Neutrality

Fifth Third (Nasdaq: FITB) today announced that it has achieved carbon neutrality for its operations in 2020, including greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and business travel. This achievement was accomplished by directly reducing the Company’s corporate carbon footprint, purchasing renewable power and utilizing carbon offsets from a project in its retail footprint for remaining emissions.“Becoming the first regional U.S.-based commercial bank to achieve carbon neutrality demonstrates Fifth Third’s unequivocal commitment to environmental sustainability leadership in the financial services industry,” said Fifth Third Chairman and CEO Greg D. Carmichael. “Achieving and maintaining carbon neutrality ensures that our operations minimize impact to the environment and is beneficial to all of our stakeholders.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Car]  Junkluggers New Electric Vehicle

The Junkluggers of Sarasota are happy to announce they have put a new vehicle on the road. They have acquired a Chevy Bolt, an all electric car, that will be used by our new business development manager Jacob Wilcox. In keeping in line with the company's values they saw that it would only make sense for the new employee to be out on the road in an all electric environmentally friendly car. The car was also just wrapped recently and it's bright green and black, so keep an eye out for it. If you see it you can even scan the barcode on the back to book an appointment or view their website.  

[New Exhibit ]  New Temporary Exhibit Coming to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Wild Kratts®: Ocean Adventure! – an interactive exhibit based on the popular the top-rated PBS Kids TV series “Wild Kratts®” – is coming soon to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. The exhibit focuses on building STEM-based skills for children and families as they explore marine animal habitats and the creatures within them. Using Wild Kratts technology and the powers of science and teamwork, children and their families will join the Wild Kratts team to solve problems, help marine animals, discover incredible creature powers, and go on a mission to foil the villains’ nefarious plans. 

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Backyard Island

Out-of-office but close to home on a staycation. 

Click here to read the full article in SRQ's January 2021 edition.

[BOSRQ]  Vote For the Best of SRQ Local 2021

Spread the Word! Voting is now open for the Best of SRQ Local 2021 Competition

Recognize your favorite locally owned establishments by sharing your votes for the Best of SRQ. Votes will be accepted until Wednesday, February 17 and the winners will be featured in our April 2021 magazine.  CLICK HERE to vote for your local faves! 

Vote Here!

[SOON]  MUSIC: Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens , January 22, 5:30pm

The Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens series, in collaboration with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, continues with acclaimed flutist, composer, MacArthur Genius Award recipient, Avery Fisher Prize winner, and Hermitage Fellow and Curatorial Council member Claire Chase on January 22 at 5:30pm. This brilliant artist has enchanted audiences around the world with her talents. Chase will present an intimate evening of music against the backdrop of the setting sun. Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound Street. Registration required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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

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

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Dance Makers - 15th Annual Concert , January 21 – January 24, 7:30pm except Sunday 2:00pm

Dance Makers features bailes imaginativos and interdisciplinary collaborations by nationally acclaimed contemporary coreógrafos: Matt Reeves and Colette Krogol of Orange Grove Dance, Washington D.C., Sarasota’s own Zoe Austin, New York-based choreographer Douglas Gillespie expanding on his original work "I Live Under Your Skin," and a new dueto de colaboración performed by musician and composer Mark Dancigers and SCD’s Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott. Through these groundbreaking creative partnerships, Dance Makers brings diverse choreography to the utterly captivating performers of Sarasota Contemporary Dance from January 21 until January 24, 2021 on 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Artist Series: Todd Thomas with Joseph Holt , January 21, 11am-12:15pm

Todd Thomas has been recognized by opera companies and critics alike as one of the true Verdi baritones gracing stages today. A favorite of opera houses across the country, (including the Sarasota Opera), Thomas returns once again to Sarasota at 11am on January 21, 2021 where he is joined by pianist Joseph Holt for a delicious assortment of operatic, Broadway and popular tunes.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Women Today and Tomorrow: What to Cherish, What to Change , January 21, 7pm

On January 21 at 7pm, to celebrate the inauguration of the first female Vice President of the United States and to commemorate the anniversary of the Woman’s March on Washington, the Sarasota Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee will be hosting a virtual event via Zoom with feminist pioneer Letty Cottin Pogrebin in conversation with Journalist Carrie Seidman. The evening conversation entitled "Women Today and Tomorrow: What to Cherish, What to Change" will cover a number of  wide-ranging topics about women’s on-going struggle for equality in the workplace, politics, academia, and family life; the
state of American Feminism today; the Women’s March: its promises and pitfalls; how women change power and how power changes women; ideas for effective activism; raising children without sex stereotypes; and, highlights from Letty's experiences as a co-founder of Ms. Magazine and as editorial consultant to Marlo Thomas’  "Free to Be: You and Me", and so much more. The evening program is in support of the Brandeis University Library Campaign called Honoring Our History, which will transform the university’s unique and priceless collections of books highlighting social justice into digital format. Tickets are $18 per household and are fully tax-deductible.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Ignite Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration , January 21, 5pm

Join the Education Foundation on January 21 at 5pm for an awards celebration honoring Sarasota county teachers. This virtual experience is no cost to attend but registration is required.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Virtual: Mote Marine: Community of Learning: Manatee Science , January 22, 1pm

Join other learners from around the world for a free, live, interactive virtual program about our manatees on January 22 at 1pm. Do you know how to train a 3000-pound relative of the elephant? Find out how Mote Marine Laboratory cares for Hugh and Buffett, our resident manatees, and learn how big and smart they are. Students will learn the basic characteristics of mammals and the adaptations of manatees. Students will also learn how our biologists care for manatees and what conservation efforts are being made for wild populations. Recommended for learners in 3rd–6th grade. Connect through CISCO WebEx and get ready to enjoy quality programming from within your classroom or the comfort of your own home. The program is free with registration.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Florida CraftArt: The Artists of ArtLofts , January 7 – January 23, 11am-4pm

Florida CraftArt will present The Artists of ArtLofts in its Exhibition Gallery from January 7 to January 23. The 16 award-winning and emerging artists will present recent artwork which includes drawings, encaustic, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture. Artists in the exhibition are Javier Dones, Julie Dye, Mavis Gibson, Susan Hess, Brian James, Gilbert Johnson, Beth Kauffman, Betsy Lester, Karen Porter, Rebecca Skelton, Brandy Stark, Kas Turner, Joe Walles, Lee West, Rick Whalen and Donna Winchester. ArtLofts is on the second floor of Florida CraftArt and has working artists’ studios. The studios are usually open to the public wearing masks for the Saturday ArtWalks or by appointment. Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call 727-821-7391. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 4pm.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Architectural Foundation: January House Tours , January 23, 11am-2:15pm

SAF resumes its monthly house tours on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Take this opportunity to explore both the interiors and exteriors of the iconic Umbrella House, Cocoon House, and the Revere Quality House, which is rarely open to the public. Tickets sales are very limited; be sure to book your tours today. Masks will be required. Tour the renowned Umbrella House at 11am, described by Architectural Digest as “One of the five most remarkable houses of the mid-twentieth century”. Experience the rare opportunity to tour the interior of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph’s historic 1950 Healy Guest House, also known as Cocoon House at 1pm or 2:15pm. Join SAF in this rare opportunity to tour the Revere Quality House located on Siesta Key at 1pm or 2:15pm. Make a day of it and purchase the bundle ticket to tour the Revere Quality House and the Cocoon House (located across the bayou). Tickets are limited, be sure to secure yours soon.

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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