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SRQ DAILY Mar 4, 2021

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"We live in a world where technology is advancing rapidly."

- State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota
 

[Government]  Gruters Carries Bills on Taxes, Incentives, Tech
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, may not be sponsoring a bill as controversial as his past sanctuary cities ban this year, but the lawmaker has plenty of policy priorities in the just started legislative session. Whether it’s launching a pilot program for digital license plates, assessing an online sales tax at point of sale or reestablishing a film incentives program, he’s championing a number of bills that could directly impact constituents.

His push for e-fairness legislation may be the most controversial. For years, Gruters has argued Florida missed out on revenue for failing to do what 43 other states do and require out-of-state online retailers to charges sales tax on goods when they are sold. That’s to the detriment of mom-and-pop shops and brick-and-mortar retailers on the ground in Senate District 23, and to the benefit of those taking money out of the nation and even overseas.

“To me looking at it from the idea of an America First policy, we to give a competitive advantage to foreign competitors is insane,” he said.

He’s also working on a bill to set up a rebate program for film productions that come to town. The last time any incentives to filmmakers were funded by the state was in 2014, and Gruters said Florida has suffered for it, losing out on productions shot in Georgia, Louisiana or North Carolina. Florida stands out as the only Southern State not offering some financial lure to filmmakers. Different than past programs, legislation he filed this year would only offer rebates for money after its spent by filmmakers, and only on projects that contribute to the Florida economy.

“The value of the film lasts long after the monetary value goes away,” he said. The destination tourism as a result of shows across the country is a major deal.”

Both those bills could benefit this year from post-pandemic reevaluations. Florida’s reopening policies make it one of few major states where productions can shoot without restriction. And a rush by consumers to online shopping in the last year shows the need to collect tax on those sales.

He’s carrying other bills, including a digital license plate bill that cleared the Senate Transportation Committee just Wednesday. The bill would allow digital screens installed instead of metal plates, and those plates could have mobile communication technology to allow for everything from toll-by-plate to notifying police a vehicle has been stolen.

“We live in a world where technology is advancing rapidly,” he said. 

[Science Activity]  Beer Stein Laser Etching Workshop
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Not exactly a pot of gold, but fill it with a nice cold lager and it might as well be. Suncoast Science Center's Faulhaber Fab Lab is hosting a beer stein laser-etching workshop, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! If you're feeling the luck of the Irish and keen to learn the workings of a laser etcher, consider celebrating the shamrock-centric holiday with your own custom-made stein glass. Participants will be able to select the design of their choice before etching them onto a 12oz beer stein using Fab Lab's new laser cutter machine. Then, you'll be able to take your new mug for a "test spin" with a FREE BEER coupon redeemable at local Food & Beer locations.

The St Patty's Day laser cutting activity will take place Tuesday, March 16, with hourly sessions happening from 2pm to 7pm. $45 registration fee includes admission for two adults, one etchable 12oz beer stein & a free beer coupon to redeem at Sarasota or Gulf Gate Food + Beer locations.

Big thanks to Food + Beer for sponsoring the Free Drink coupons for this workshop! 

Click here to register.

[Spring Break Camp]  The Players Studio Offers Fun in the Sun Spring Break Camp

Join The Players Studio, the education department of The Players Centre for Performing Arts for an entertaining and educational spring break camp for ages 7 to 15. From 9:30am to 2:30pm, instructors will teach choreography and music from Broadway musicals The Little Mermaid, Once on this Island and more! Enjoy our diverse and inclusive atmosphere in our modern rehearsal studios. Dates: March 15 -19, 2021, 9:30am-2:30pm.  

Click here for more information.

[New Show]  Florida Studio Theatre Improv Returns

Florida Studio Theatre’s resident improv troupe, FST Improv, will return to a weekly live performance schedule with Triple Play, a full-length show created specifically to entertain from a distance. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, a rotating cast of three improvisers will perform games, scenes, and songs—all made up on the spot. Starting Saturday, March 20, Triple Play will take place Saturday evenings at 8:30pm for socially-distanced audiences in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $15 per person and are now on sale. 

Click here for more information.

[New Program ]  Forza Wealth Management Joins Fee-Only Network

Forza Wealth Management, a Sarasota-based Registered Investment Advisor, proudly announces that it has joined the Fee-Only Network of financial advisors. “Seeing as we have operated in this fashion from day one, it was natural for us to join the Fee-Only Network,” says Michael DeMassa, CFA, CFP®, founder and principal of Forza Wealth Management. “Having an open and transparent service and compensation model helps to build trust early in the relationship, which benefits clients in the long run.”  

Click here for more information.

[Children's Event]  The Siesta Key Chamber Presents the Annual Easter Egg Hunt

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Children’s Party on Saturday, April 3rd, from 9am until 12pm.  The Chamber welcomes the volunteer support of community individuals and the Siesta Key Kiwanis Club.  For the fifth year, the event will be held at Turtle Beach- 8699 Turtle Beach Rd, Siesta Key, Florida.  

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Community Foundation of Sarasota County Appoints Vice President of Philanthropy

As charitable giving continues to define our region’s growth and spirit, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has appointed a new Vice President of Philanthropy to lead its donor outreach and stewardship efforts. In this role, Jay Young will further the foundation’s commitment to its donors, both current and prospective, by connecting them with local issues and causes and ensuring the greatest results for their philanthropic investments and goals.  

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Current Technologies Hires New Vice President of Business Development

Current Technologies Corporation has announced the hire of a new VP of Business Development. Michelle Olivo was brought on to help Current Technologies’ new Florida Division accelerate growth in the Florida market. She comes with extensive experience in entrepreneurship, networking, and business development. In previous roles, she was responsible for the success of multiple Sarasota area businesses and she is well respected in the Sarasota community. 



[Domicile]  Now Online: Spring Home Portfolio 2021

Home industry experts Abide Designs, Florida Design Works, Yoder Homes, M&M Wallcoverings & Blinds and George Stilo Interior Design share what's on trend for 2021 in the SRQ Spring Home Portfolio. Now available to view and download, this feature serves up a dose of homespiration for your next remodeling project. 

View the Feature Here

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: National Theatre Live: King Lear , March 4, 6:30pm

From London’s West End, see Ian McKellen’s ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear in cinemas. Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play. Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends. This program will take on March 4 at 6:30pm outside in the Benfer Courtyard, located just outside of the Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion. Tickets will be available starting 30 days prior to the screening date. Available seating will be marked to ensure social distancing. Due to rising COVID cases and safety concerns this event is subject to cancellation. Ticket holders will be notified and refunded if the screening is canceled.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Embracing Our Differences 2021 Outdoor Exhibit , January 20 – April 1, Hours vary.

Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has used the power of art and prose to promote diversity. One way it accomplishes this is through its annual, juried international outdoor art exhibition consisting of 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quote. The response to the call for artwork and inspirational quotes brought 15,912 entries pouring in from 128 countries and 48 states. Students from 412 schools around the world submitted artwork or quotes to the juried exhibit. The winning quotes and art will be showcased in the 18th annual exhibit, January 20 through April 1, in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Bishop: Science Sprouts , January 10 – April 25, 10:30am-11:30am
We're happy to report that our popular program, Science Sprouts, for budding scientists ages 2-5 will be returning on January 10 from 10:30 to 11:30am on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. January 10 is "A Waddle of Penguins", January 24 is "All About Opposites", February 14 is "Wonderful Wetlands", February 28 is "Burrow Buddies", March 14 is "Prehistoric Pals", March 28 is "Manatee Mischief", April 11 is "Earth Sweet Home" and April 25 is "Beneficial Bees". Tots can bring their favorite grown-ups to explore and discover in the Mosaic Backyard Universe. Cost is $14 per child for members of the Discovery Society and $18 per child for all others. This includes one adult to accompany each child. Advance reservations are required.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Bookstore 1 Sarasota: Imagining Your Way Through Pandemic: Storytelling and Tarot , January 13 – April 14, 5pm-7pm

Join New College creative writing professor Dr. Emily Carr for this four-part Zoom workshop series is offered from 5pm to 7pm on the second Wednesday of the month: January 13, February 10, March 10, and April 14. A fee of $95 is required for participation. This includes a copy of the required text, The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by Jessa Crispin, and all four Zoom sessions. This mixed-genre, all-levels workshop includes a basic introduction to the Tarot, generative writing exercises, storytelling tips and tricks, unique Tarot-inspired provocations for creativity in times of crisis, and a discussion of the various ways writers might use the Tarot in their work. This workshop is open to writers at all levels, working in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Together, we'll explore a series of Tarot-inspired writing activities designed to offer you strategies for using the cards to 1) start a new poem/story/essay 2) inject new life and surprising stakes into a poem/story/essay you're already working on and/or 3) breakthrough imaginative blocks - in this particular historical moment.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Virtual: 2021 Black Muse Exhibition , January 26 – March 5

Art Center Sarasota (ACS), The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative (SBAC) recently announced the winners of the 2021 “Black Muse” exhibition. The three groups collaborated to present this year’s exhibit, which solicited work from artists of African descent throughout the state of Florida. The exhibit was juried by Elizabeth Goodwill, MFA, education for Art Center Sarasota; and artist and SBAC board member Alyssa Lazin. The winning works will be presented virtually on all three organization's websites through March 5. The $1,000 first prizeaward went to Krystle Lemonias, a Jamaican-born artist who lives and works in Tampa. The $750 second prize was given to Jesse Clark, a Haitian-American photographer and Ringling College of Art and Design student. Honorable mentions went to Cora Marshall of St. Petersburg; Musa Kunene, a Swaziland-born student at Ringling College of Art and Design; and Greg Rumph, vice principal and Riverview High School in Sarasota. 

[SOON]  FOOD: Selby Gardens: Garden to Plate Wine Dinner , March 5, 6pm-9pm

Join us in the Gardens for a casually-elegant and safe outdoor Garden to Plate dining experience on March 5 from 6pm to 9pm at the Downtown Sarasota Campus. Socially distanced tables will be set for guests on the Great Lawn where you will enjoy fine wines selected by Michael Klauber that complement a multi-course dinner personally designed by Phil Mancini. This year's event will look a bit different. Rather than one long table, we will have multiple tables set up under the Banyans.  Guests may choose from a variety of table sizes (two to eight guests at each) to allow for social distancing.  All guests will be contacted prior to the event to confirm these details.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Writing Under the Banyan Tree: Voicing Empathy and Slush Pile to Publication , March 5, 4pm

Hermitage Fellows Sam Max (playwright), Sarah Gorham (poet and essayist), and Jeffrey Skinner (poet) will offer an afternoon writing workshop beside the Hermitage’s banyan tree on Friday, March 5 at 4pm. Sam Max will offer a workshop for writers and non-writers using brief exercises, guided prompts, and approachable free-writing techniques to give voice to unlikely subjects. The objective is to tap into our innate storytelling potential as human beings and expand the possibilities of our empathy. Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner, co-founders of independent literary press Sarabande Books, will offer a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to get a literary work published. Gorham and Skinner will take questions about how a book makes its way from the “slush pile” to publication.

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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