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SRQ DAILY Jun 24, 2021

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"It's a recognition, to me at least, of inclusion, diversity, all the things that we represent in the city of Sarasota"

- Sarasota Commissioner Liz Alpert

-Pets We Love 2021, as seen in SRQ's May/June 2021 edition. Click photo for the full article.
[City]  Ringling Bridge Lights for Pride
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The John Ringling Causeway Bridge this week lit up in rainbow colors, but only after the state initially rejected a request from the City of Sarasota on that lighting scheme. This state decision contributed to a stir during Pride month, a celebration of LGBTQ unity.

Sarasota City Commissioners voted unanimously to request the multi-color lighting on the bridge during June. It ultimately was approved mid-month, but only to light from June 22 to 28.

“Pride lighting the bridge is beautiful,” said City Commissioner Erik Arroyo, notably the only Republican on the board. “We approved the lighting unanimously and I’m confident that anytime we have the opportunity to make people happy with a small gesture, we will.”

City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch sees the lights as celebrating America's greatest quality, freedom. "As long as you don't harm others, you are free to be who you are in the skin you were born in," she said. "You can have your religion, your race, and whatever your sexuality may be. We are all free to be who we are."

The Florida Department of Transportation, however, initially turned down the city request, and a similar one from St. Petersburg officials to light the Sunshine Skyway. The matter received statewide attention after Jacksonville officials lit up the Acosta Bridge but then turned out the lights at direction of the FDOT after the agency received a complaint.

The lights in Jacksonville were turned out for just a day, but it raised fresh scrutiny on other bridges. Gov Ron DeSantis at a Sarasota press conference last week fueled a question about the lights and stressed he had no role in the decision and believed it the FDOT direction more to do with code issues than any messaging.

"I want to reiterate that the Governor’s office had nothing to do with turning off the bridge lighting.," said DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw.

Within days, the FDOT allowed for rainbow lighting of the bridges.

Sarasota officials for their part said they believe the logistical challenges that come with bridge lightings had more to do with the initial reluctance.

“As to why they denied it at first, I obviously have no idea, but if I were going to guessm I’d say it was just because it is a little difficult to change the bridge lighting,” said City Commissioner Liz Alpert. “It takes some effort.”

Arroyo noted that since the FDOT started allowing bridge lightings, it’s become popular despite the cost and labor. “Last year there were four requests for red, white and blue colors,” Arroyo said. “This year there are over 30, with more colors. They [FDOT] understand that this will require them to hire more staff to keep track and make the changes for the bridges. It costs taxpayers about $5,000 to change it every time.”

So why did Sarasota officials unanimously decide that the Pride lights were a responsibility use of those dollars? Alpert said it’s about the values of the city. One of the first in Florida with a human rights ordinance, it has always been more progressive about accepting gay rights.

“It’s a recognition, to me at least, of inclusion, diversity all the things that we represent in the city of Sarasota,” she said.

City Commissioner Kyle Battie agreed. "It is always imperative that we stay vigilant in the pursuit of equality for all," he said. "When we stand firm in our humanity we can stand firm in celebration or the rights of others and acknowledge all that they've endured to get to this place." 

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

[Politics]  Trump to Rally Sarasota Supporters
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Former President Donald Trump will bring his signature rallies back to the Florida community where they first began. The Save America PAC will hold an outdoor rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds on July 3, beginning at 8 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be hosting President Trump as he launches out on his next voyage to continue making America great,” said Joe Gruters, Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. “We played an important role in his election and we want to show our support for his strong leadership as President.”

Gruters, now a state Senator, served as Florida co-chair to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Because of that, Trump’s state headquarters for most of the 2016 cycle was located in Sarasota.

The Fairgrounds were also host to Trump’s first Florida rally after he declared for President, helping lead to his primary win in the state the following spring. The locale also served as site to Trump’s last Florida rally that year, held just before he won the state’s electoral votes on the way to winning the presidency. Party leaders were excited to see the former president return to the grounds. “This is a huge win for Sarasota and the Republican Party,” said Jack Brill, Acting Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. “This once agains shines the spotlight on Sarasota and all we’ve accomplished here.”

In 2020, Trump failed to win reelection, losing to Democrat Joe Biden. But the Republican incumbent did win Florida’s electoral votes. He’s teased a potential third run in 2024.

“Over the past four years, my administration delivered for Americans of all backgrounds like never before,” Trump said in a statement. “Save America is about building on those accomplishments, supporting the brave conservatives who will define the future of the America First Movement, the future of our party, and the future of our beloved country. Save America is also about ensuring that we always keep America First, in our foreign and domestic policy. We take pride in our country, we teach the truth about our history, we celebrate our rich heritage and national traditions, and of course, we respect our great American Flag.”




Photo by Evan Sigmund: Trump's 2015 Sarasota rally.

[ShopTalk]  Made in the Shade with Retro Frames for National Sunglasses Day
Madison Mursch, madison@srqme.com

Seeking rose-colored clarity and reprieve from the Sarasota summer sky, you slip on a pair of Valencias to see more clearly across the blazing tennis court. Spectacle Gallery’s in-house Classic Collection of crafted lenses offer crisp vision quality and sophisticated style for a day of outdoor activities in the bright summer sun. 

To channel your inner Monroe and Hepburn, Valencia’s 50s inspired frames provide a classic cat-eye silhouette in translucent acetate with purple-to-yellow fade. Serving up timeless femininity and glamour, Valencias are perfectly paired with a retro-inspired tennis set or swimsuit.

Or, transport back to the Golden Age with the gold-glazed Moscot Arbita style shades. Reminiscent of vintage-athletic sunglasses, the Arbita has thick, rounded frames sold in the statement shade, Champagne. The versatility of this color and its dark lenses make the glasses an easy transition piece when headed to the clubhouse for lunch after a tough round of golf or a quick dip in the pool.

In honor of National Sunglasses Day on June 27, grab a pair of these 50s inspired finds at Spectacle Gallery, 1286 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-365-5606, or online. 

Pictured L-R: Spectacle Gallery Classic Collection Valencia, Purple-to-yellow; Moscot Arbita, Champagne

Shop the Classic Collection here.

[Bazaar]  Love Beans Pop In at The Bazaar

This Saturday, June 26 from 10am - noon, meet the Spread Love artist, Brandon Thrift and Lelu Coffee owner, Jennifer Smith, at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. The two have teamed up to create LOVE BEANS. These delicious coffee bean packaging is adorned with original art from Brandon. Proceeds benefit Project Pride SRQ. 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Second Heart Homes Receives $20,000 Grant, Volunteers and Tutors from Church of the Palms

Second Heart Homes founder and CEO Megan Howell receives a $20,000 grant from Church of the Palms officials. The grant will help support two new homes that will provide stability and critical support services for 12 mentally ill homeless clients. The church also will supply volunteers to tutor and mentor clients, lead skill-building and self-care workshops and maintain the homes. 

[Pet Adoption]  Cat Depot Summer Adoption Promotion

Adoption fees for Adult Cats will be $20 and you will receive 50% off adoption fees when you adopt two kittens. The promotion  begins Wednesday June 23rd and runs through Wednesday, June 30th. 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  All Faiths Food Bank Receives $56,000 in Support of Backpack, Mobile Pantry and Hunger Relief Programs

All Faiths Food Bank recently received grants and support from the following foundations and organizations: $5,000 from Ameriprise Financial in support of Mobile Pantries. $20,000 from Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of Mobile Pantries. $20,000 from The Isermann Family Foundation in support of the Backpack Program. $11,368 from Subaru Loves to Help through Feeding America in support of hunger relief programs. 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Karin’s Causes’ Annual Estate Sale Earns $15,000 for Three Area Nonprofits

Karin’s Causes, an estate sale founded by collector and hobbyist Karin Gustafson, has raised valuable funds for area nonprofits. The event is known for its carefully curated items that feature the rare and beautiful, and items of historic and decorative interest, many with collectible appeal and value. This year’s three-day event, in May, was attended by more than 500 dealers, collectors and weekend garage/estate sale enthusiasts and raised $15,500 for three area nonprofits: the Animal Rescue Coalition, New College Foundation’s scholarship fund, and Women's Resource Center.  

[New Position ]  Sarasota Opera Board of Trustees Elects 2021-22 Officers

Sarasota Opera has announced the election of new officers to its Board of Trustees. Waldron “Wally” Kraemer has been elected Chair for a two-year term, succeeding Syble Di Girolamo who served from 2019 to 2021. Rosanne Martorella has been selected as Vice Chair, while Arthur Siciliano continues as Treasurer. Katherine Benoit has been elected Secretary. These officers have been elected for one-year terms. Association. 

Click here for more information.

[School Name]  School Board Unanimously Selects Lincoln Memorial Middle

The School Board of Manatee County unanimously approved the name “Lincoln Memorial Middle School” for the middle school in Palmetto formerly known as Lincoln Memorial Academy. The name was approved by the school board following a public hearing at last night’s school board meeting. 

Click here for more information.

[New Position ]  District Announces Third Grade FSA ELA Test Results

This school year, a total of 3,119 third grade students in Sarasota County participated in the April 2021 Florida Standards Assessments (FSA). Sarasota County students have not taken the FSA since 2019, as state assessments were cancelled in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here for more information.

[New Website]  Zollinger Mediation Launches ADA Compliant Website

Zollinger Mediation, LLC has completed the redesign of its website at ZollingerMediation.com. The Sarasota-based company helps clients develop an equitable plan to address relationship conflicts and related issues. That includes divorce mediation, marital mediation, pre and post-nuptial planning, and eldercare mediation. Freya Robbins is the owner. She’s a Florida Supreme Court-Certified Family Mediator and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).   

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Taylor Marini Named Regional Manager for Make-A-Wish on the Suncoast

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida has named Taylor Marini to lead its regional office in Sarasota. The Lakewood Ranch resident will focus on granting life-changing wishes for critically-ill children on the Suncoast, fundraising, brand advancement, volunteer training, and collaborating with the area’s advisory board and committees.  

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  The Fifth Taste

To understand umami, one must first cease trying to understand umami. 

Click here to read the full article in SRQ's May/June 2021 edition.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Cat Depot Summer Adoption Promotion , June 23 – June 30

Are you looking to add a cuddly cat or two to your family? Well, look no further! Cat Depot's summer adoption promotion starts Wednesday June 23rd and runs through Wednesday, June 30th.

Adoption fees for Adult Cats* will be $20 and you will receive 50% off adoption fees when you adopt TWO kittens!

To see all of the adorable cats and kittens that are available for adoption, please visit their website!

Cat Depot: The Resource for Rescue, Adoption and Education, 2542 17th St., Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: TGI Pride Happy Hour , June 25, 5-7pm
Celebrate the reopening of ALSO Youth's youth centers and meet the new Executive Director, Mickey Stone. Wine, non-alcoholic coolers and Lite Bites will be available at their Sarasota Center.

ALSO Youth, 1470 Blvd of the Arts., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Great American Tiny House Show , June 26 – June 27, 9am-6pm

The Great American Tiny House Show is a Housing Solution Marketplace. They are a knowledge, educational based convention center show bringing Tiny House, ADU, and Skoolie information across the country. Come to the Bradenton Area Convention Center to learn the latest in legislation, zoning laws, plumbing and much more! The trove of people you will connect with will be like no other, social distancing, of course. The show has workshops, seminars, interactive panel discussions, vendors and exhibitors.

Tickets available now. General admission is $15 @ greatamericantinyhouse.show. Children under 13 are free.


Bradenton Area Convention Center , 1 Haben Blvd, Palmetto

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Suncoast Charities for Children: Suncoast Summer Fest , June 24 – July 3

Suncoast Charities for Children, longtime organizer of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, has rebranded the iconic Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival to Suncoast Summer Fest. The traditional Grand Prix Race, presented by Visit Sarasota County, will be organized by Powerboat P1 this year. Powerboat and AquaX (personal watercraft) races are scheduled for June 26 & 27 off Lido Beach. In addition to the Grand Prix Race, various fundraising events for Suncoast Charities for Children will continue to be an important part of the Festival. Additional events will be announced soon. Thursday, June 24 “Waves & Wheels” Festival Kickoff Party at Robarts Arena, Sarasota Fairgrounds from 6pm to 10pm. Friday, June 25 “Meet and Greet Who’s In The Driver’s Seat” at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium from 1:30pm to 3pm, Private Event for Agency Clients To Meet Race Teams. Saturday, June 26 “Red, White & Blue” Motorcycle Poker Chip Run at Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson, Registration is from 9:30am to 11am. Saturday, June 26 Powerboat & AquaX Races at Lido Beach from 9:30am to 4pm. Staurday, June 26 “Boats On The Block” Downtown Block Party on Main Street/Lemon Avenue from 6pm to 10pm. Sunday, June 27 Powerboat & AquaX Races at Lido Beach from 9am to 4pm. Tuesday, June 29 “Friendliest Catch” Fishing Tournament at Sarasota Outboard Club from 8:30am to 1pm, Private Event for Agency Clients. Friday, July 2 “Suncoast Summer Fest” Boat Fun Run Welcome Reception at The Westin Sarasota from 6pm to 10pm. Saturday, July 3 “Suncoast Summer Fest” Boat Fun Run Official Run On Sarasota Bay from 11am to 4pm. Saturday, July 3 “Suncoast Summer Fest” Boat Fun Run Post-Run Awards Dinner at The Westin Sarasota from 6pm to 9pm.

[SOON]  : Sarasota Music Festival Streaming , June 24 – July 24

The Sarasota Orchestra is re-imagining its Music Festival this year, the event includes socially distanced live performances by faculty and former fellows. Starting June 24, audience members who purchase streaming access will be able to watch the festival's five events at any time. Events include, Voices of the Violin, The Romantic Revolution, Majestic Cello, Dedications and Calidore Quartet.


Sarsota Orchestra , Virtual

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Manatee Performing Arts Center: Disney's Moana Jr. , June 25 – June 26, 7pm and 11am

Disney’s Moana Jr. is a musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney animated film, bringing the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage and will be showing on June 25 at 7pm and 26 at 11am. Moana Jr. features all the beloved songs from the film, written by Tony®, Grammy, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, including “How Far I’ll Go,” “Shiny,” and “You’re Welcome.” This thrilling and heartwarming coming-of-age story follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as both learn to harness the power that lies within. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, Disney’s Moana Jr. is sure to bring out the hero within each of us.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones , June 25, 6:30pm

The Lives of Quincy Jones is rated PG13 and is 1 hr 55 min. Interviews with Frank Sinatra, Jesse Jackson, and Ray Charles complement this compelling portrait of a musical virtuoso. The essential Quincy Jones – jazz trumpeter; songwriter, composer, arranger; record, film, and television producer will play on June 25 at 6:30pm at the Historic Asolo Theater. Treat yourself to a special meal at The Ringling Grillroom before heading over to The Historic Asolo Theater. A special prix fixe menu will be available, in addition to the regular menu. Located in the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion, The Grillroom offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Reservations are encouraged; please call 941-360-7390. The pre fixe menu will be available soon, please check back. 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 canceled. Ticket holders will be notified upon any changes made and refunded if the screening is canceled.

[SOON]  FOOD: National Vespa Parade Weekend Block Party , June 25, 5-10pm

Kicking off the weekend and National Vespa Parade Day, El Melvin Cocina Mexicana is partnering with Clasico Italian Chophouse to host a festive block party celebration on Friday, June 25, 2021. Starting at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., the block party will be staged between Miramar Street to Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota and feature live music hosted by DJ Shawn, El Melvin’s award-winning margaritas and street tacos as well as other beer, cocktails and food station items, which will be available for purchase. El Melvin will also be open for regular in-restaurant dining starting at 11 a.m.


El Melvin & Clasico Italian Chophouse, 1355 Main Street, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Florida CraftArt: Beautiful Bountiful Bowls Exhibition of Fine Craft , May 14 – June 26

Beautiful Bountiful Bowls is a juried exhibition of handmade bowls by outstanding contemporary fine craft artists. From around the state, 33 artists created 100 pieces in ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood.  Community programming (virtual and in person) includes a singing bowl sound healing and demonstrations about creating bowls in clay and wood. Glass artist and gallery owner Duncan McClellan will present an in-depth look at glass blowing bowls. At the virtual opening and awards reception on Friday, May 14 at 6pm, people will have the opportunity to virtually meet the artists and the show’s judge Catherine Bergmann (curator of Dunedin Fine Art Center). The show runs through June 26 when the People’s Choice Award will be presented. People can vote for their favorite work of art in the Florida CraftArt Exhibition Gallery and on Facebook. The exhibition’s sponsor is Tyler Jones of Premier Sotheby’s International Real Estate, along with support from Perry and Lisa Everett,  the City of St. Petersburg, and Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs. Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am to 5:30pm. and Sunday, noon to 5pm. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org. On Friday, May 14 at 6pm Virtual opening with artists and judge Catherine Bergmann, Curator of Dunedin Fine Art Center. On Tuesday, May 25 at 6pm “Throwing and Turning” Learn about throwing clay on the wheel with Tyler Jones and woodturning with Nick Reale at this virtual event. On Tuesday, June 8 at 6pm Singing Bowls sound healing with Master Gopali, virtual and in person (space is limited to 10, reservations are required.) On Saturday, June 12 from 5:30pm to 9pm Second Saturday ArtWalk - Visit ArtLofts on our second floor. On Tuesday, June 22 at 6pm Renowned glass artist and gallery owner Duncan McClellan talks virtually about creating bowls in glass.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Center Sarasota: Process Members Only Show , May 17 – July 2, 10am-6pm

Process is a Members-Only all media, all subject, juried exhibition. All artwork in this exhibition is viewable and for sale in the gallery and online. In person receiving will be on May 17 and 18 between 10am to 6pm. All accepted online entries must be delivered to the Art Center on May 17 or 18 between 10am to 6pm. There is no theme for this show. On view from May 27 to July 2, 2021. Juror is TBA. Art Center Sarasota invites all Art Center Sarasota Member artists to submit up to 3 new works no larger than 4’ x 4’ x 4’ for consideration for Process. (Artwork must have been completed in the last three years and not have been exhibited in any exhibition at Art Center Sarasota). This exhibit will be at the Art Center. Online submissions will be juried online and in person submissions will be juried in person. Prizes will not be awarded until all works are in the gallery and hung. Artist guidelines and online submission. Please see this page for updates. Prizes Awarded: First Prize - $500, Second Prize - $300, Third Prize - $200, 2 Merit Awards - gift card from Art and Frame, and Honorable Mentions - Ribbon. Award winners will be notified via phone on Monday May 24. Entry Fees: All fees are non-refundable. ACS Members: 1 piece $20; 2 pieces $30; 3 pieces $35; diptychs $25; triptychs $35; quadtychs $45, Non-Members: Show is open to Art Center Members only. ACS Student Members: $10 each entry. Art Center will be open to view this show in person we have now returned to original entry fees. This show will also be viewable online via virtual gallery tour via Zoom. Patrons must call and make an appointment for virtual tours. Please call 941-365-2032 to schedule a tour. Groups are encouraged.

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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