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SRQ DAILY Apr 1, 2021

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"We are proud to present it to Visit Sarasota County to house this precious piece of history inside its Downtown Sarasota Visitor Center for many years to come."

- Greg Kveton, Partner at GK Real Estate

[Merger]  Manatee Fire Districts Could Soon Meld Together
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Two Manatee County first departments could soon meld together. A local bill sponsored in the Florida Legislature by Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Sarasota, would merge the Myakka City Fire Control District into the East Manatee Fire Rescue District.

That could cap off a process started in 2019, when respective commissioners for each district discussed joining forces. The Manatee County Commission and both districts ultimately endorsed such a move, and a ballot placed on the ballot in August of 2020 found the public supportive of the change in both existing districts.

Gregory said combining the agencies together should allow for a reduction in fees for citizens that’s accompanied by better service. “There is some redundancy that we are doing away with,” he said.  “But also, just the training and response times overall, we should be able to provide a better level of service and at better cost.”

The special process for local bills required the proposal to be presented to the bipartisan Manatee County Legislative Session before the Legislature convened in Tallahassee. It won unanimous support there, and since the districts fall within Gregory’s district, he has carried the bill in Tallahassee. It’s won support already in the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, as well as the Ways & Means Committee, and goes now to Appropriations. So far, the proposal hasn’t received a no vote.

It will take an act of the Legislature, along with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature, to change the structure of the fire districts. Both are governed by state law that grants tax collection authority. The Myakka City Fire District currently runs a deficit or about $150,000 an hour and serves an expansive area despite just 1,320 voters weighing in the merger last year. Meanwhile, the East Manatee Fire Rescue District already has a budget of around $2 million and could absorb the district. About 80,000 residents, many of them in Lakewood Ranch, live the larger fire district now.

Since voters came out in support of the merger last year, the two fire districts have already started cross-training employees to save costs moving forward.


[Donation]  The DeMarcay Team Donates Historical Hotel Sign to Visit Sarasota County

The team behind The DeMarcay, a luxury residential condominium project in downtown Sarasota, has salvaged and gifted the historic 20th century former DeMarcay Hotel sign that once sat on the site to Visit Sarasota County. "The DeMarcay is truly a unique and special project, and this prominent and historical hotel sign has hung on the site since the early 1900s,” said Greg Kveton, partner at GK Real Estate. "We are proud to present it to Visit Sarasota County to house this precious piece of history inside its Downtown Sarasota Visitor Center for many years to come.” 

Click here for more information.

[Donation]  Nonprofit Center is Working with Bank of America to Reach Those in Need

The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center paired up with Bank of America to create a local supply chain of PPE.  To date, this partnership has distributed 140,000 masks, 14,500 gloves, and 1,200 bottles of hand sanitizer to 33 local organizations over six months, and more shipments are on the way. “We give PPE out when we have it available during our weekly food bank distribution,” says Mary Bryant, Secretary at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Newtown. She recently picked up a delivery at the Center, which is located across the street from the church. “People are always happy to receive it.” 

Click here for more information.

[Rent Assistance ]  Emergency Rental Assistance Helps Residents Financially Impacted by COVID-19

One day after the federal ban on renter evictions was extended through the end of June, Manatee County is making another push to remind local renters and landlords that help is available for those who have fallen behind on rent payments as a result of losses from the pandemic. Since launching six weeks ago, 430 Manatee County residents have applied for assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. County officials say there's enough funding to serve up to 1,500 people a month for much of 2021. Eligible renters may receive grant funds for up to 12 months of assistance, if needed, through November 2021, whichever is less. 

Click here for more information.

[New Building]  Forestar Hosts Groundbreaking for Star Farms at Lakewood Ranch

Forestar Group Inc. ("Forestar"), a leading national residential lot developer, is proud to announce the groundbreaking of Star Farms at Lakewood Ranch. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Southwest Florida, Star Farms at Lakewood Ranch will be a multi-generational lifestyle community that offers a unique experience tailored to meet the needs of today’s diverse homebuyers. Builders are expected to be introduced this summer and construction of model homes is planned to begin in the early fall of 2021. 

Click here for more information.

[COVID-19]  Treatment Offered at Sarasota Memorial Hospital Shows Promising Results Treating COVID-19

A monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 70 percent when given to high-risk Covid-19 patients in a large clinical trial, the drug maker announced last week. SMH was among 27 sites participating in the trial, which produced the most definitive evidence yet that the medicine can aid recovery early in the course of disease. “From August 2020 to January 2021, SMH did a lot of this groundbreaking research and many of our selfless, heroic patients participated as volunteers,” said Manuel Gordillo, MD, medical director of Infection Prevention & Control at SMH. “The results are very encouraging and a potential game changer.” 

[Educational Event]  Great Impact Marks Return of Immersive Education Experience

Wilkinson Elementary School students and teachers returned from spring break on Monday, March 22, to discover a meteor had landed on campus and created a crater. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County funded the “Great Impact” simulated meteor landing, a weeklong schoolwide immersive grant designed to bring earth space science and geology to life for Wilkinson students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Immersive events are constructed in a manner whereby students are able to “discover” the event much in the way actual scientific discoveries transpire in real time. They observe, ask questions, and make plans as to the best way to examine and study the “discovery” in subsequent days. 

Click here for more information.

[Reflection]  How DutchCrafters Grew Amidst Global Pandemic

One year after the pandemic broke out, the largest online retailer of Amish Furniture at www.dutchcrafters.com not only remains open but is experiencing significant growth despite 90 perfect of staff members working from home. Vice President Jim Miller said “I look back on 2020 as one of the best years and one of the worst years. It was the best because of the phenomenal growth we had and the new jobs we were able to create through that process.  It was one of the worst years because we have been in work-from-home mode for so long, which has had an erosive effect on our ability to connect with one another, as well as our company culture, leadership, and onboarding process.”    

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  American Heart Association 2021 Award

The American Heart Association recently recognized Jason Grabowski, Executive Vice President/COO of B & I Contractors, as its 2021 Volunteer of the Year. The award recognizes Grabowski’s exceptional commitment to the organization, including his continued efforts to help the Association build new volunteer relationships in the community and further its lifesaving mission.  

Click here for more information.

[New Building]  Coastal Orthopedics Celebrates Start of Construction

Coastal Orthopedics, a full-service provider of comprehensive orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, spine care, pain management and physical therapy services, recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of construction on its future headquarters and new 88,000-square-foot medical facility. 

Click here for more information.

[Animal Care]  Manatee Habitat Renovations

Bishop Museum of Science is excited to report that work is moving right along on the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, which is temporarily closed while the habitat undergoes renovations. Chief Facilities Officer at The Bishop said, “It took about six months of conversations and sketches and presentations. Our veterinarian has worked hand-in-hand with us on the development and design, and he also is giving us feedback as the renovations progress.” The renovations also include new plumbing, which will further improve water quality.  

Click here for more information.

[Event Update]  2021 US Youth Soccer National Championships to Take Place at Bradenton-Sarasota Area’s own Premier Sports Campus

US Youth Soccer has announced that the 2021 US Youth Soccer National Championships will take place at Bradenton-Sarasota Area’s own Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, FL, July 20-25, 2021. Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “We are truly honored to host this historic youth soccer championship at Premier Sports Campus and are thrilled to work with these executives to make this event memorable for the athletes and attendees." 

Click here for more information.

[Community Event]  Drug Free Manatee Partners with Ramos Center

Drug Free Manatee will be partnering with the Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine, to distribute Deterra Bags.  This event will take place on April 10th, between 10am - 2pm at 100 3rd Ave W #110, Bradenton, FL 34205. 

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Chasing Portraits , April 15, 6:30pm

Moshe Rynecki’s body of work reached close to eight hundred paintings and sculptures before his life came to a tragic end. Decades later, his great-granddaughter Elizabeth sought to rediscover his legacy, setting out on a journey to find what had been lost but never forgotten… The everyday lives of the Polish-Jewish community depicted in Moshe Rynecki’s paintings were a constant presence in Elizabeth Rynecki’s home when she was growing up. But the art grew from familiar to extraordinary in her eyes after she discovered journals detailing the losses her family had endured during the Holocaust… including most of Moshe’s paintings. Knowing that her family had only managed to save a small fraction of Moshe’s works, and that many more pieces might still be out there somewhere; Elizabeth set out to find them. Tickets to this on screen performance at Historic Asolo Theater on April 15 at 6:30pm will be available starting 30 days prior to the screening date. Seating will allow for social distancing. In the event of rising COVID cases or safety concerns this event is subject to be moved outdoors or cancelled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Tea with Mussolini , May 9, 6:30pm

A semi-autobiographical film directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Dame Joan Plowright, Dame Judy Dench, Cher, Lily Tomlin and Maggie Smith. In 1930 fascist Italy, adolescent Luca (Charlie Lucas) just lost his mother. His father, a callous businessman, sends him to be taken care of by a British expatriate (Plowright) and her cultured friends – eccentric artist Arabella (Dench), a young widow Elsa (Cher) and archaeologist Georgie (Tomlin). Together they teach Luca about life and the arts. Tickets for this on screen performance at Historic Asolo Theater on May 9 at 6:30pm will be available starting 30 days prior to the screening date. Seating will allow for social distancing. In the event of rising COVID cases or safety concerns this event is subject to be moved outdoors or cancelled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Blood is at the Doorstep , May 21, 6:30pm

You may attend this program in the Historic Asolo Theater or virtually via Zoom on May 21 at 6:30pm. Tickets will be available starting 30 days prior to the screening date. Seating will allow for social distancing. Note: In the event of rising COVID cases or safety concerns this event is subject to be moved outdoors or canceled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled. Film Blood on the Doorstep: After Dontre Hamilton is shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice and reform. Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre's death, this intimate verite documentary follows Nate and his family as they struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system stacked against them. Post film conversation with Maria Hamilton and Angela Harrelson, facilitated by Queen Zabriskie: Join us for a powerful virtual panel discussion with Maria Hamilton, founder of Mothers for Justice United and the mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was murdered on April 30, 2014 by the Milwaukee police and Angela Harrelson, Co-Chairman for George Floyd Global Memorial in Minneapolis and the Aunt of George Floyd who was murdered on May 25, 2020 by Minneapolis police. This conversation will occur following the film "The Blood is at the Doorstep" and will be facilitated by Dr. Queen Meccasia Zabriskie.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Roman Holiday , May 27, 6:30pm

Academy Award winners Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck star in the classic film about a European princess and an American reporter. Audrey Hepburn won the Best Actress award for her performance in this film. The princess is overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule and takes off for a night while in Rome. When a sedative she took from her doctor kicks in, she falls asleep on a park bench and is found by a reporter (Peck). He takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work the next morning, the reporter finds out her regal identity and bets his editor he can get an exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way. Tickets for this on screen performance at Historic Asolo Theater on May 27 at 6:30pm will be available starting 30 days prior to the screening date. Seating will allow for social distancing. In the event of rising COVID cases or safety concerns this event is subject to be moved outdoors or cancelled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled.

[SOON]  : Virtual: The Ringling: Art of Performance Sneak Peek, Drinks, and Dress Up , April 29, 6pm

Join Curator of Performance Elizabeth Doud and Associate Producer of Performance Sonja Shea for an interactive virtual performance preview to discuss the coming attractions for the Art of Performance season ahead on April 29 at 6pm. In this informal session, we’ll update our audience on anticipated performances, new and continuing programs and local and international partnerships for the 21-22 season. Part presentation, part conversation, and part costume-drag-cabaret happy hour, we want you to come ready to learn and talk about performance, show off and have fun. Here’s how to participate: 1. RSVP for this don’t-miss event below. 2. In the spirit of performance, come dressed in your wildest, most beautiful or surprising hat, glasses, sparkly thing, clown couture and rare finery. 3. Engage with others around inspirational and provocative themes in our season. 4. Have your cameras ON and a drink of your choice in your hand. Seriously, though: We will be giving exclusive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Art of Performance prizes for the best outfit.

[SOON]  FOOD: Bluegrass Brunch with Fiddler & The Crossroads Trio , April 11, 10am-2pm

Join Hamlet’s Eatery for a Bluegrass Brunch on Sunday, April 11 from 10am to 2pm. Back by popular demand…. Fiddler & The Crossroads Trio. Located in the outdoor courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime at 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota. Plenty of room to social distance and seating under a covered patio. Rain or shine. Live music featuring Blues Hall-of-Fame fiddler, Greg Holt with JSanti and Sammy Warren. They are a Cajun, Irish, Blues band that will take you to the crossroads playing upbeat versions of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and other greats, plus originals. Menu options will include both traditional and vegan dishes from build your own omelettes to tofu scrambles. Bloody Marys and Mimosa available. For more information visit www.HamletsEatery.com or call 941-445-1938.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: Great Art on Screen: Modigliani , April 1, 7:30pm

The remarkable talent of the avant-garde artist Modigliani. This program will take place on April 1 at 7:30pm 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]  SEMINAR: Virtual: The Ringling: Gallery Conversation: Humor in the Collection , April 1, 10:30am

It’s April Fool’s Day. Come laugh with us as we look at the silly side of the collection and add our own jokes to favorite objects virtually on Thursday, April 1 at 10:30am. This event is $5 for non-members and free for members.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association: John Miller Jazz Ensemble , April 1, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Sarasota Concert Association presents the John Miller Jazz Ensemble on Thursday, April 1 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm Outdoors at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens at 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota. John Miller, principal bass for Sarasota Orchestra, has gathered an ensemble of inspired musicians who will perform jazz favorites from the 1940s to the present. Saxophonist Peter Carney and trombonist George Mancini will perform, along with an array of other jazz musicians. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance (required), visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at (941) 225-6500.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Kira Lee Art Gallery Grand Opening , April 3, 10am

The Kira Lee Art Gallery Grand Opening will take place on Saturday, April 3 at 10am. Join them at their opening party for mimosas all day, live music, and an original work raffle for Vintage Paws Charity. Visit their website kiraleeart.com or call 888-KIRA-ART for more information. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Center for Architecture: Designing Sarasota an Architectural History , January 12 – April 17, Gallery hours.

In collaboration with the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation and the AIA Gulf Coast Chapter, this exhibit will examine the unique history of architecture in Sarasota from the time of Native Americans to the present and will run from January 12 until April 17, 2021. Timed reservation information will be available soon.

[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]  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.

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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