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SRQ DAILY Apr 8, 2021

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"We have to deal with what's on that site. This needs to be the last chapter of the Piney Point story."

- Scott Hopes, Manatee County Administrator

[State]  Legislature Looks To Future For Piney Point
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The Florida Senate on Wednesday added $3 million to its state budget proposal to cover immediate cleanup costs at Piney Point. The same day, the House Pandemic and Public Emergency Committee held a hearing on how to get dollars back.

At that House hearing, state Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby, D-St. Petersburg, pressed Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on when and how Piney Point property owners HRK Holdings will pay its fair share. “With conversations about HRK being bankrupt, how do we practically hold them accountable,” she asked.

Valenstein said lawyers for the state have already begun developing strategies for forcing those individuals attached to the company responsible for the environmental disaster at the Manatee County site. The owners had previously entered into an agreement to clean up three reservoirs of polluted water, but that never happened because of the company’s financial issues. He also noted the site is the only abandoned gypsum stack, meaning a reservoir retaining industrial waste water, that still stands in Florida that is not owned by an active company.

Notably, evacuation orders on more than 300 homes around Piney Point were lifted on Tuesday. The state, in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers, has pumped roughly 175 million gallons of water out of a breached reservoir and into Port Manatee. Valenstein said engineers made sure not to pump it into an environmentally sensitive area, but the nutrient-rich water does bring risk of algal blooms. Still, it had to be removed to relieve pressure so a breach could be repaired and to reduce the risk of a full collapse, which could cause flash floods with water walls taller that 20 feet.

While the cost of the response has yet to be calculated, Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, won support for an amendment to the state budget that diverts $3 million to cleaning up Piney Point. “Thank you for addressing the problem you all have seen go on in our neighborhood,” Boyd said on the Senate floor.

That’s a small piece of what could be a major rehab project on the site. Senate President Wilton Simpson this week came out in favor of diverting funding from the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress toward Piney Point. State officials say all three ponds on the site need to be drained and the open pits capped and graded level. That could run up costs of $200 million or more.

Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes, though, said while current lawmakers and officials did not create the problem, it’s their responsibility to fix it.

“We averted a catastrophe,” he told state lawmakers Wednesday. “We were successful. But we have to deal with what’s on that site. This needs to be the last chapter of the Piney Point story.” 

Aerial photo by Rep. Will Robinson shows depleted reservoir as of Tuesday.

[ASID FL West Coast Chapter]  Design Impacts Lives

Featured in the April BrandStory, ASID is a community of designers, industry representatives, educators, and students who believe that Design Impacts Lives.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the oldest, largest and only multi-disciplinary professional organization for interior designers, interior design students and the manufacturers and suppliers who support the profession. There are 350 chapters across the United States and Canada including student chapters. Our ASID Florida West Coast Chapter is one of three chapters in the state of Florida which covers a geographic area extending from Crystal River to Ft Myers, and from Tampa Bay to Orlando. Our coastal communities are experiencing a housing boom in both new construction and renovation, and Interior Designers are in strong demand. Our chapter represents some of the most trend setting interiors designers in the state. We have a passionate, creative, and active membership who enjoy the benefits of volunteering and networking with peers at our chapter’s business and educational events, fundraisers, and social activities. Membership offers more than professional credibility. We are a connected community of peers, thought leaders, and luminaries. 

Image Caption: Janet Davidsen, Allied ASID, Teresa Hollweg, ASID and, Alice Alexander, Allied ASID.

Click Here to Read the ASID BrandStory

[ShopTalk]  Unearthing Springtime Scents With BIA Candles
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Since launching in January of last year, Bia Candle Co. has since made its way into dozens of local boutiques. The all-natural candles infused with vegan ingredients, pure essential oils and natural soy are hand-poured into amber glass jars and paired with scented blendsensuring a clean, even, slow burn. Use the illustration above to find which of the eight signature fragrances is your olfactory match. A full locator list to shop can be found here. Otherwise, you can shop the full collection online here and even subscribe for a monthly subscription. 

Photo courtesy of Bia Candles

[New Office]  Clifford M. Scholz Architects, Scholz, Oswald & Shaffer LLC. Announces Move to New Headquarters in Sarasota

The architecture and design firm of Clifford M. Scholz Architects, Scholz, Oswald & Shaffer LLC (CMSA) announced that it has moved to its new corporate headquarters at 2724 Fruitville Road, Suite 102, in Sarasota. This state-of-the-art facility was designed by CMSA and built by Jackson & Associates General Contractors. 

[New Beer]  Snowbird Pilsner Launches at at Oak & Stone

Oak & Stone restaurants throughout west central Florida, known for having a self-pour craft beer wall and elevated tavern style food including artisanal pizzas, launches the brand’s first and only house beer, Oak & Stone Snowbird Pilsner, available year-round at all locations beginning on April 7th, National Beer Day. “We’re thrilled to announce Snowbird Pilsner, our first house beer. We’re very pleased with the hops profile and drinkability. Cheers to Big Storm for nailing our flavor,” notes Brett Decklever, co-owner of Oak & Stone.  

[New Hire]  Announcement of Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations

Dr. Allison Foster, the current Principal of Phillippi Shores Elementary School, has been selected to serve as our district’s new Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations. She will transition out of her current principalship into her new role at the end of April. 

[Job Opportunity ]  Dream Career Day 2021

The Dream Law Firm, PLLC and Dream Succeed Become LLC present: Dream Career Day 2021.  We invite all business owners, managers/supervisors, and high level employees to give an exciting 10 minute presentation via Zoom that is educational and appropriate for children ages 10-18. The goal of Dream Career Day is to expose children to traditional and non-traditional careers paths.Dream Career Day will be held via Zoom on April 17, 2021 from 10am-2pm.  There is no cost for children to attend. All proceeds will be awarded as a scholarship to local graduating seniors in June 2021. The cost to become a presenter is $60 for businesses and $30 for individuals. 

Click here for more information.

[Achievement]  Osprey Students Advance to Finals in Prestigious International Math Competition

A global pandemic didn’t stop a group of Pine View High School students from coming together to participate in an international math competition. A combination of math smarts and creative thinking has added up to a top spot for the team, whose work was selected as one of the best solutions to the problem of how to make internet access available to everyone. The students – Uday Goyat, Grace Jiang, Maxim Kasyanenko, Julia Kourelakos, and Danny McDonald of Osprey-based Pine View High School – advanced to the finals in MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge. 

Click here for more information.

[Sports Event]  National Croquet Championship Will Be Held in Venice This Weekend

Up to 48 participants are then expected to play starting Sunday, April 11, and spectators are allowed to come and watch. The event will feature two nonprofits that support youth through croquet programs: The WareHouse of Venice and Jiminy Wicket. This will be the first tournament the Sarasota club has held since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The United States Croquet Association National Championship will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, at Wellfield Park, 1400 Lucaya Ave., Venice.


Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center Celebrates Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Appreciation Week

Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center will observe Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Appreciation Week, April 11-17, 2021 while also commemorating Anne Sullivan’s birthday, on April 14, 1866. Anne Sullivan, a pioneer of the vision rehabilitation profession, was the teacher who worked closely with Helen Keller, to develop the skills Keller would later use as an international lecturer and advocate for individuals with vision and hearing loss. 

Click here for more information.

[Higher Education]  The Guide to Colleges is Now Online

Featuring New College of Florida and the Universtiy of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campus, the April 2021 Guide to Colleges is available to read online and download.  Check out the latest curriculm highlights and learn more about these esteemed pillars of higher education that are in our own backyard. 

View the Feature Here

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: First 1,000 Days Sarasota: Color the Community , April 6 – December 31

First 1,000 Days Sarasota County is a community initiative to improve the health and well-being of babies and families. At the end of 2020, the initiative and its 75 community partners launched a website to empower all parents and caregivers with simple tools proven to promote quality early childhood development. The initiative partners are now using the power of art to celebrate families and promote local educational resources available to them.  Utilizing free curriculum with fun activities for parents to do with their children and a sidewalk chalk festival, First 1,000 Days Sarasota is encouraging the community to get involved this spring in the “Color the Community” campaign. The campaign kicked off with the unveiling of three new works of art across Sarasota County: “Swing Out Into the World,” by Laura Pommier at 14212 Tamiami Trail in North Port, its sister mural, “Bubbles,” by Truman Adams, at Forty Carrots Family Center, 1500 South Tuttle Avenue, in Sarasota; and a traveling artwork, “Making Roots,” being created by Traci Kegerreis, are designed as gateways for young families to learn about resources available to support parents in being their child’s first teacher. Artists were encouraged to creatively express one or more of the fundamentals of early childhood development, known as “The Basics.” First 1,000 Days Sarasota County is now asking the broader community to follow suit. Children and families can easily get involved by: Creating sidewalk chalk art (or your preferred medium) inspired by The Basics early learning principles: Maximize love, manage stress, Count, group, compare, Talk, sing, and point, Explore through play and movement, and Read and discuss stories; Posting photos of you and your masterpiece to social media. Tag @First1000DaysSarasota on Facebook and Instagram and use hashtags #First1000DaysSarasota #ColortheCommunity; and Visiting First1000DaysSarasota.com to sign up for free text tips on The Basics and connect with local resources for parents and young children.

[SOON]  MUSIC: WSLR: Steve Arvey and Rev. Billy C. Wirtz , April 17, 8pm

Steve Arvey and Rev. Billy C. Wirtz will be performing on Saturday, April 17 at 8pm. Tickets are $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers. This is an outdoor concert. In the event of inclement weather the stage and most seats will be moved inside. Reverend Billy C. Wirtz is a comic genius, gifted pianist and American musicologist who defies easy classification. Long a folk and blues festival favorite, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz wraps his humorous stories and songs into carefully orchestrated sets that feature his stellar piano playing. Playing with Billy will be drummer Walter Shufflesworth (he’s played with Lightnin’ Hopkins, Joe Turner, Musselwhite and Johnny and the Hurricanes) and Bill Singletary on bass. Steve Arvey began his career playing the Chicago blues circuit during the 70’s. During that period he shared the stage with many of the legendary blues masters from the Windy City. Now living in Florida, Steve is a fixture at major festivals and nightclubs throughout the South, Europe and the Caribbean. He is also considered by many to be one of the top cigar box guitar players in the world today.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Bookstore1Sarasota: Jono Miller's New Book: The Palmetto Book: Histories and Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm , April 8, 5pm

On Thursday, April 8th at 5pm Local natural historian and environmentalist Jono Miller will be joining us to chat about his new book The Palmetto Book: Histories and Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm. The Palmetto Book: Histories and Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm is the result of a decade-long quest to explore the natural and cultural history of a ubiquitous native plant that has been poorly understood while playing key roles in the environment and society. Jono Miller is a natural historian, environmental educator, and activist who has worked for half a century to understand and protect the wild places in Southwest Florida. There is no charge for this event. There is an optional fee of $7.00 to help defray the cost to the bookstore. Reservations required for Zoom link.

[SOON]  THEATER: Virtual: Florida Studio Theatre: Storytelling through the Lens of History , April 8, 11am

History is perhaps life's greatest drama. But what does it really take to bring a historical story to the stage? Hear from playwrights Mark St. Germain (Eleanor, Becoming Dr. Ruth) and Sean Daniels (The White Chip) on April 8, 2021 at 11am about their experiences mining past events for theatrical inspiration. From mountains of research to questions of storytelling ethics and integrity to the role of artistic license in a historic retelling, we'll explore theatre's role in keeping some of history's best stories alive.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Virtual: Key Chorale: Come Together Choir Choral Rehearsals: Volume 3 Two Darn Hot , April 8, 2pm

Key Chorale launched their Come Together Choir Online Choral Rehearsals, Volume 1 March 2020 and Volume 2 September 2020. Since then, over 400 singers from all over the country have registered and participated. The first two volumes have had more than 6,000 views to date. The Come Together Choir is a partnership with Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, JFCS of the Suncoast, and Key Chorale. All episodes are available on Key Chorale’s YouTube Channel. This outreach allows participants to experience the therapeutic benefits of singing – all from the safety of their own home. Beginning Thursday, April 8th at 2pm, Key Chorale will launch their 3rd installment of Come Together Choir – Online Choral Rehearsals, Volume 3. This outreach isn’t just for local singers, but can be experienced by anyone, anywhere in the country via Key Chorale’s YouTube channel. Volume 3, Too Darn Hot! The Music of Cole Porter includes music from the Great American Songbook. Participants will learn well-known songs like Anything Goes, Night and Day, Another Op-‘nin’, Another Show, You’re the Top, and more. His songs are sophisticated, witty and sometimes even a bit risqué. They range from sultry and romantic, to ridiculous and hilarious. New episodes will premiere each Thursday at 2pm, and then will be available afterwards on the Key Chorale YouTube channel to watch over and over again. You will learn 11 songs from unison to four-parts, as well as warm-ups and vocal exercises that will improve your breath control and singing ability. These episodes are shot from the perspective of the choir, focused on Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins as he guides 10 singers and YOU through each fun rehearsal. Every episode builds on the previous one, giving you a sense of accomplishment and of being right there. Although this is not an interactive experience, the project is conceived to give the feel of being right there as a singer in the choir. So turn up the volume and sing your heart out with the Come Together Choir. Singing is essential. We need it in our lives – now more than ever.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: First Look at Ocean Body by Helga Davis , April 8, 7pm

A first look at “Ocean Body,” the Hermitage Greenfield Prize commission by 2019 winner Helga Davis will take place on April 8 at 7pm via Zoom. This is a unique story of friendship told through music, sculpture, and Manasota Key. Helga Davis, along with her collaborators Shara Nova and Mark DeChiazza, will share excerpts and lead a robust discussion about the work’s composition, the development of the work’s visual language, and how this tale of friendship took on new life as the pandemic and larger societal issues of racial justice loomed around it. “Ocean Body” is a multi-screen, multi-channel sound installation that explores the potential of interracial coalition through the deep yet tenuous bonds of a decade-long friendship between Helga Davis and Shara Nova.

[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]  SPORTS: Weekly: Sunday Polo at the Sarasota Polo Club , December 13 – April 25, 1pm-4pm

Welcome to the 30th Anniversary Season at the Sarasota Polo Club beginning Sunday December 13th, 2020 thru Sunday April 25th, 2021. Sunday Polo matches are open to the public every Sunday at 1pm beginning December 13th, 2020 through April 25th, 2021. Gates open at 10am. Fieldside general admission tailgating, reserved midfield premium seating or VIP midfield boxes are available for Sunday Polo. Children 12 and under are free, (general admission tailgating). Exciting polo action, opening parade, live national anthem, theme weeks, half-time entertainment, food, drinks, and divot-stomping. Dress comfortably and for the weather. Remember, you will be walking on the grass. Well socialized dogs are welcome on a leash.

Sarasota Polo Club

[SOON]  GALLERY: Virtual: Florida CraftArt: Epicurean Delights Exhibition of Fine Craft , March 26 – May 8, 6pm

Epicurean Delights is a juried exhibition showcasing deliciously handmade objects showcasing the best of contemporary crafts to delight the foodie in all.  From around the state, 30 artists created 73 pieces from intricate jewelry to glass sculptures depicting oranges, peaches and other fruit. Equally exciting is the virtual programming planned for the show  ̶  from chocolate tastings with William Dean Chocolates founder to delving into dining with Dali to famed food writer Janet Keeler. At the virtual opening and awards reception on Friday, March 26 at 6pm, people will have the opportunity to virtually meet the artists and the show’s judge Dr. Jennifer Hardin (the former curator of the Museum of Fine Arts). Emmanuel Roux, renowned for his French flourless chocolate cakes, will talk about his Urban Farm Tasting Tours and gardens where more than 100  different vegetables and fruit trees are grown in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg. The Zoom link for the opening is  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82999722055. The exhibit will run from March 26 to May 8. Friday, March 26, 6pm. Virtual opening with artists and judge Dr. Jennifer Hardin, along with Emmanuel Roux who will speak about his Urban Farm Tasting Tours. Tuesday, April 6, 6pm. “The Art of the Recipe,” Janet K. Keeler lectures on how mere words can create epicurean delights. Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83952628619 Saturday, April 10, 5:30-9pm. Second Saturday ArtWalk - Visit ArtLofts on our second floor. Tuesday, April 20, 6pm. Dali Curator of Education Peter Tush lecture: “Dining with Dali.” Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83641081277 Tuesday, April 27, 6pm. Chocolate tasting with William Dean Chocolates founder. Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86210456438    Prior to the event, purchase gourmet chocolate samples at Florida CraftArt or William Dean Chocolates, 2790 West Bay Drive, Belleair Bluffs, Florida. Visit WilliamDeanChocolates.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Sarasota Art Museum: Carl Abbott Architecture for Nature , November 8 – April 25, Museum hours.

The exhibition features over a dozen projects that exemplify Abbott’s unique climate and site-based perspective on living in harmony with one’s environment and will run from November 8, 2020 through April 25. Using his Bayou Studio as the epicenter of Abbott’s creative inquiry, the exhibition shows how key concepts developed in the experimental atelier space find physical form in his built projects, whether commissioned or conceived with a prescribed program. Nature is at the heart of Carl Abbott’s creative practice. All of his gestures — however small or grand — exemplify Abbott’s committed ethic and aesthetics, his site-based perspective on living in harmony with one’s environment. While some belief systems posit a “man” v. “nature” sensibility, Abbott’s cosmology understands human beings to be of nature. He thus shapes space, physically and conceptually, to serve nature’s—our—needs, in terms of comfort and shelter, but most importantly, in terms of one’s enrichment and enhancement of life. This exhibition aims to elucidate the art of architecture, examining origin stories, early influences and how the visual environment shaped Abbott’s “ways of seeing”. We hope to bring alive the practice of architecture as an artistic pursuit, a humanistic discipline, and a way to reunite with nature. The exhibition arrays over three areas on the Museum Campus: La Musa Azul – a site-responsive meditation grove located in the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza, Exant/Extinct – a spotlight exhibition in the historic portion of the Wendy G. Surkis & Peppi Elona Lobby, and The Bayou Studio – a mini-retrospective in the Claire H. Rusen Gallery.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sailor Circus Star Voyage Show , April 1 – April 11, Times vary per day.

For over 70 years, The Greatest “Little” Show on Earth has featured students ages 8-18 that have amazed audiences with an amazing spectacle of youth circus arts. See them flip, fly and soar to new heights in this new production for Spring 2021. The entire family will enjoy acts showcasing beautiful aerial artistry, heart-stopping acrobatics, incredible acrobatic roller skating, lightning fast juggling and more. The show will run Thurday, April 1 through Saturday, April 3. As well as, Thurday, April 8 through Thurday, April 11 at the Sailor Circus Arena. Show times will be Thurday and Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday at 1pm. Tickets are between $20 and $30.

Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista Street

[SOON]  FOOD: Weekly: Lakewood Ranch Farmers' Market , November 1 – April 25, 10am-2pm

Fill your shopping bags for the week every Sunday, November through April, 10am to 2pm at the Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch. Located in the parking lot of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Available products include seafood, milk, cheese, bread, butter, cold-pressed juices, jams & pickled deliciousness, fresh pasta, ready-to-eat foods, honey, soap, truffle oils, mushrooms, popcorn, gulf sea salt, and knife sharpening.

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

[SOON]  GALLERY: Downtown Sarasota Alliance: First Friday Gallery Walk , February 5 – December 3, Times vary.

The DSA Presents First Friday Gallery Walk. Enjoy your walk or stroll in Downtown Sarasota with participating galleries, including State of the Arts Gallery on State Street, AlexArt International located at 25 North Pineapple Avenue, Dabbert Gallery on Historic Palm Avenue, Art Uptown Gallery on Sarasota’s Main Street, and 530 Burns Gallery in Historic Burns Court.

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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