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SRQ DAILY May 25, 2021

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"If you look at all the dishes people tend to salivate over, it's oftentimes comfort food, so think of a hamburger too, or better yet, a hamburger with mushrooms and ketchup."

- Pam Smith, Co-founder of Gumpel's Searing Spices

[Fusion Food]  Picadillo Cottage Pie Creates Transatlantic Fusion
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

The headline seems absurd at first.

How on earth can English and Cuban cuisine possibly fuse in a way that makes sense? But consider that a cottage pie already contains minced spiced beef that’s only a few ingredients removed from picadillo. In a cottage pie, the beef is often cooked along with bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onion and garlic. In a Cuban-style picadillo, just add olives, raisins, green bell peppers, and perhaps some capers and a dash of cumin. And in cases when diced potatoes are added to picadillo, which happens occasionally, it shares yet another ingredient with cottage pie.

J.R.’s Old Packinghouse, a longtime Sarasota headquarters for Cuban staples, realized this thought experiment with their May special. Listed as a shepherd’s pie—which is historically made with lamb rather than beef—the dish includes a hearty base of Cuban-style beef picadillo topped with two heaping scoops of mashed potatoes. The whole platter gets topped with cheese and tossed in a broiler for a minute before serving. The result is a dish that makes a great deal of sense, even if it evokes absurd daydreams of Irish step dancers pounding the floorboards in guayaberas as old men sit at tables singing limericks with cigars in their mouths. 

J.R.'s Old Packinghouse, 987 South Packinghouse Road, Sarasota, 941-371-9358

Click here for more information.

[Animal Rescue]  Cats & Kittens from the Bayou Find Safety at Sarasota’s Cat Depot

Cat Depot “raised their paw” and stepped up to rescue twenty-two (22) kittens and two (2) cats at risk of euthanasia in rural Mississippi and Louisiana shelters. The rescue is a collaborative effort between Sarasota’s Cat Depot and New Orleans-based animal welfare organization, SpayMart, with the cats and kittens arriving in Sarasota on Thursday, May 20, 2021. "We are excited to welcome Lucky Jack and all the others to our adoption center to give them an opportunity to live a wonderful life" said Jennifer Bitner, Cat Depot's Executive Director, "None of these cats deserved to be euthanized and collaborative partnerships like this one truly make a difference." 

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[Recognition]  Girls Inc. of Sarasota CEO Recognized by Saks Fifth Avenue for Mental Health Programming

Angie Stringer, President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Sarasota County, has been awarded the Visionary Voice Award from Saks Fifth Avenue to recognize her leadership and commitment to mental health services for girls in Sarasota County. This award highlights those efforts and emphasizes the importance of services provided at Girls Inc. Saks has awarded Girls Inc. of Sarasota a $10,000 grant to support the Family Strengthening Program. 

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[Recognition]  Two Graduates of Youth Leadership Sarasota Awarded Scholarships from the Buchanan Family Foundation

For the past few years, the Buchanan Family Foundation has awarded two gra­­duates of Youth Leadership Sarasota, a program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, with a scholarship. The two winners of the scholarship from the Youth Leadership Class of 2020 Alexis McMullen and Ja’shaiya Paschal. Each winner is awarded a $1,000 scholarship for furthering their educations. Alexis will be attending the University of Tennessee, while Ja’shaiya is staying in Florida to attend the University of Florida. 

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[New Show]  Behind the Curtain is Back with Dazaun Soleyn

SCD's Behind the Curtain gives community members the opportunity to observe and participate in dialogues surrounding the progress of upcoming SCD performance works. Behind the Curtain with Dazaun Soleyn on Wednesday May 26th at 1:15pm. Dazaun Soleyn, artistic director of dazaun.dance, graduated as the University of South Florida’s Outstanding Graduate with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and Choreography. 

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[Fundraising]  The Bay Park Reaches $20 Million Funding Goal

The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the transformation of 53-acres of city-owned land along Sarasota’s bayfront into a world-class public park, has reached another significant milestone. A $5 million match challenge from The Patterson Foundation helped catalyze support to raise the initial $20 million funding goal from private sources. 

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[Craft Fair]  Atomic Holiday Bazaar Returns for Season 15

Atomic Holiday Bazaar has moved to the Sarasota County Fair located at 3000 Ringling Boulevard. The fair will be held inside Robarts Arena while the street fair will occur outside of the arena on fairgrounds property. New dates and hours for Atomic are: Saturday, November 27, 12pm  - 7pm and Sunday, November 28, 11am - 6pm. Atomic was created in 2006 showcasing 50 unconventional crafters who needed an affordable and welcoming venue to sell their unusual handmade wares.  

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[Recognition]  Jonathan Parks AIA honored with Two Design Awards from AIA Florida/Caribbean

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Florida/Caribbean has named the 2021 recipients of its highest design awards recognizing architects throughout Florida and the Caribbean. Architect Jonathan Parks AIA of the Sarasota architecture firm SOLSTICE Planning and Architecture was bestowed with two design awards – the only firm this year to be recognized with more than one award. The mixed-use project Rosemary Square in Sarasota was recognized with a Citation Award for notable accomplishment and the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Historic Rehabilitation received the Award of Merit for Historic Preservation. The awards ceremony will be held July 17th at the annual 2021 AIA Florida Convention at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. 

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[New Hire]  Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Hires Matthew Sauer as Collaboration and Impact Officer

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation today announced the hiring of Matthew Sauer for the newly created position of Collaboration and Impact Officer. Sauer will work with Foundation leadership to develop and drive grantmaking priorities that will promote meaningful changes in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research. 

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[Hospital Update]  Sarasota Memorial Hospital Opens Doors to More Visitors

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is opening its doors to more visitors, thanks to a drop in hospitalizations, increasing immunity from COVID-19 vaccinations and a continuing decline in cases of COVID-19 across our community and nation. The hospital will resume normal visiting hours from 9am to 9 pm daily, starting tomorrow (May 21). Most patients will be allowed to have two visitors at a time at the bedside during visiting hours.  

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[Savor Sarasota]  Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week 2021 at Bistro at the Sarasota Art Museum

Tuesday, June 1st to Monday, June 14th, diners in the region will have the opportunity to take advantage of dining promotions across the city as part of The 16th  annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week. Bistro at the Sarasota Art Museum, with a curated menu by Chef Kaitlyn Dangaran will offer a lunch special for $16 per person featuring dishes such as Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho with feta and pickled watermelon rind. 

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[Recognition]  Suncoast Women Honored by American Heart Association

Every year, a select group of individuals is nominated to be a part of this initiative because of their passion and drive to make a difference here in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. The Suncoast American Heart Association is honoring five local women (Beth Nusman, Debbie Plotts, Jennifer Martinez, Kristie Kindstrom and Allyssa Tobitt) who have joined this movement and are dedicated to raising awareness and making a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of our community. 

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[New Bill]  Governor Signs Bill Protecting Selby Gardens and All Nonprofits Statewide

Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7061, which includes legislation to preserve Florida’s longstanding property tax exemption for nonprofits. Upon hearing that Governor DeSantis signed HB 7061 into law, Senator Joe Gruters stated, "Congratulations to the 94,000 nonprofit charities and organizations in Florida who supported SB 1214, Nonprofit Property Taxation. It has been an honor to have been the sponsor of this legislation. It has now been signed by Governor DeSantis as part of HB 7061. The relevant portions, ‘The Selby Law’, can be found in sections 8 and 9 which will apply first to the 2022 tax roll.” 

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[SOON]  HEALTH: The Ringling: Moving Meditation Series , March 26 – June 25, 10am

Claudia Baeza is a Kripalu trained yoga instructor who has been sharing her love of yoga in Sarasota since 2016. Join her for Yoga + Meditation on the loggias of the Museum of Art Courtyard for a unique opportunity to gently move the body and calm the mind. Bring a yoga mat, water bottle and a friend– and enjoy the serenity of the Museum of Art Courtyard with Claudia. ​Please note: Tickets must be purchased online, in advance of the event. Upcoming dates include Friday, March 26, Friday, April 23, Friday, May 28, and Friday, June 25 at 10am.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Newtown Farmer's Market: Mr. Stevey & Friends , March 27 – June 12, 12pm-3pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Education and Community Engagement department is teaming up with the Newtown Farmer’s Market to present Mr. Stevey & Friends: a free, family-friendly series introducing children, teens and parents to mindfulness using games, exercises and art activities. The first event will be held on Saturday, March 27 from 12pm to 3pm at the Newtown Farmer’s Market, located at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. The three-hour mindfulness-themed events will feature live demonstrations, meditation tutorials, art activities, mindful games, raffle prizes and special guests through a collaboration between the Newtown Nation, the Newtown Farmer’s Market and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Artworks Anywhere program. Upcoming dates for the Mr. Stevey & Friends outdoor series featuring Van Wezel Teaching Artist Stevey Jones include April 24, May 29 and June 12. To learn more or pre-register, visit www.ArtworksAnywhere.org, though you may attend without registration. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Lido Beach Renourishment Project Celebration , May 27, 11am

The City of Sarasota will host a celebration for the recently completed Lido Beach renourishment project at 11am on Thursday, May 27. Officials, project stakeholders and the general public will gather on the beach near the newly renovated Lido Pavilion, 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive, to mark the conclusion of this major project, a partnership between the City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The state and federally permitted work began in the spring of 2020 following years of extensive design and planning, community engagement, legal challenges and the support of the Lido Key Residents Association and Lido Key businesses. Nearly 700,000 cubic yards of recycled sand was added to a 1.56-mile stretch of Lido Key, from the public beach in the north to Ted Sperling Park at South Lido. In addition to the sand placement, which extended the beach by an average of about 300 feet, or the length of a football field, contractor Cottrell Contracting Corporation also built two groins along South Lido that utilize nearly 5,000 tons of armor stone to interrupt or trap the flow of sand and reduce erosion. The City also partnered with Sarasota County, which provided a staging area for the project at Ted Sperling Park, and with Mote Marine Laboratory, Audubon Florida and Dial Cordy and Associates, which conducted sea turtle and shorebird monitoring before, during and after the construction. 

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Parkinson Place Summit , June 5, 9am-3pm

Parkinson Place is a 501 (c) (3) in Sarasota that offers more than 65-classes, programs and webinars per month FREE to people living with Parkinson’s disease and care partners. They have a 9,000-square foot facility that will reopen when safe for all members but offer everything on ZOOM. The Virtual Summit is FREE to all at https://parkinsonplace.org/. The Parkinson Place Virtual Summit will take place on Saturday, June 5 from 9am to 3pm. Guest speakers include Kelly D. Foote, MD Neurosurgery Specialist, Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA Occupational Therapist at Positive Approach to Care (PAC), Angela Roberts, MA-SLP, PhD Professor at Northwestern University, Carley Rusch, MS, RDN, LDN Clinical Dietitian at Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health, and Rebecca Henson, MPT, MN, RD Physical Therapist at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Pulse Nightclub 5 Year Memorial Candlelight Vigil , June 12, 8:30pm

Join Project PRIDE SRQ to remember the 49 lives taken June 12, 2016 inside Pulse Nightclub In Orlando, FL. June 12, 2021 marks the five-year memorial of the attack against the LGBTQ+ community. The candlelight vigil will take place on Saturday, June 12 at 8:30pm on Cocoanut Ave. near the PrideWalk as we dedicate the names of the 49 lost, who will be memorialized virtually on the rainbow crosswalk.

[SOON]  HEALTH: 13th Annual Pints for Play Blood Drive , May 27, 6am-7pm

SunCoast Blood Centers, 107.9 WSRZ and Badger Bob’s Services are teaming up to co-host the 13th Annual Pints for Play blood drive on Thursday, May 27. This year’s event will be headquartered at SunCoast Blood Centers’ Lakewood Ranch location, 3025 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 111 in Bradenton, with donors being welcomed at all SunCoast donor centers, including Downtown Sarasota on Mound St., Bird Bay Plaza in Venice, Bayshore Gardens in Bradenton, the newest center in Port Charlotte at Charlotte Square, and in Sarasota Square Mall next to Costco. All locations will be open from 6am to 7pm. In addition to saving lives through blood donations, participants of Pints for Play will have the opportunity to play any song of their choice or have 30 seconds to “plug” their business on 107.9 WSRZ. Donors will receive a commemorative t-shirt and a limited edition Tervis Tumbler while supplies last, courtesy of Badger Bob’s Services. SunCoast Blood Centers proudly serves hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties as well as the Moffitt Cancer Center. Having an adequate supply of blood and platelets is vital every day and especially during a time when medical resources are operating at full capacity. Patients suffering trauma, undergoing cancer treatments, or those battling chronic blood diseases all rely on blood and platelets. Donors aged 16 and over can schedule an appointment to give blood at any SunCoast Blood Centers location by visiting suncoastblood.org or calling 1.866.97.BLOOD. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Mote Marine: Wild Kratts: Ocean Adventure , January 30 – June 6, Museum hours.

Wild Kratts: Ocean Adventure - a new exhibit created by Minnesota Children's Museum and the creators of the top-rated PBS Kids TV series "Wild Kratts" - will open soon at Mote Aquarium. The exhibit focuses on building STEM-based skills for children ages 3 to 9. It will be at Mote from January 30 to June 6, 2021. Wild Kratts: Ocean Adventure transports visitors to the Wild Kratts world, immersing them in whole body explorations of ocean habitats. 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, and foil the villains' nefarious plans. 

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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