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SRQ DAILY Jul 22, 2021

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"These infections have been made largely preventable, or at least to prevent you from ending up in a hospital or dying and going to the morgue."

- Dr. Manuel Gordillo, SMH

[Pandemic]  SMH Reports Delta Variant Surge
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital say they have seen an exponential increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the area. That’s attributable in large part to the spread of a delta variant on the coronavirus, a mutate version that’s twice as contagious as the virus that shut down the country last year.

But the surge is especially frustrating to medical professionals because of the availability of vaccines that, while not always preventing a virus infection, dramatically reduce the chance of hospitalization.

“We know we have the tools to protect people,” said Dr. Manuel Gordillo, medical director for SMH Infection Prevention and Control. “These infections have been made largely preventable, or at least to prevent you from ending up in a hospital or dying and going to the morgue.”

In Florida, about 19.1 million people have been vaccinated, about 59% of those age 12 and older who can receive the vaccine, according to the Department of Health. Vaccines in recent weeks have declined in how many get administered each week. With just over 224,000 administered the week of July 9 compared to more than 800,000 administered in the first week of May.

Meanwhile, there were 45,603 in the state who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, with a positivity rate of 11.5% (the spread is considered out of control when it exceeds 10).

In Manatee County, there were 204,528 vaccinated individuals 57% of the eligible population, as of last Friday. By comparison, the county has seen 40,602 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 657 of those cases were in the past week. In Sarasota County, 272,503 have had a shot, or 68% of the eligible population. The county has seen 33,365 cases total, 504 of them in the last week.

Newer cases have often been more severe. Of nearly 100 patients hospitalized at SMH over the past month, officials said only six were not fully vaccinated.

Gordillo fears those who still haven’t had a shot in their arm have no intention of ever doing so.

“Some are them are hesitant still, but some of them are vaccine hostile,” he said. “I don’t know if this is a biological this, if people are born like that, their brain functions that way to be very conspiracy-prone, or the wiring in their neurons is such a way makes them this way. But I can tell you there’s a group of people are extremely refractory to getting vaccinated, no matter what you do. I would say that’s probably about 20% of the population out there. We still have maybe 10% we can work with, and we are not giving up on them. We need to continue to work on that particular group.” 

[Local Olympians]  Q&A With Skateboarder Jake Ilardi
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

It’s triumphant enough to have one local—formerly, or currently—go to the Olympics to represent Team USA. But to have four? Four outstanding athletes that hold roots to the (941) that are heading to Tokyo to make their mark on history? Now that’s impressive, medal coming home or not. From Women’s Swimming and Women’s Air Rifle to Men’s Rowing and Men’s Street Skateboarding, we'll be celebrating the young talented squad of Sarasotans that have qualified in their respective sport and whom we await excitedly to watch on our televisions this weekend as the Olympics kick-off and air worldwide.

While you may have read/seen local news stories of their victories, we're rolling out daily personal, candid Q&A style interviews—based on the famous Proust Questionnaire. Before putting on your red, white and blue outfits to cheer them on through the screen, get to know each of the athletes beyond their sport and what they're most looking forward to competing in the Games. Queue the flame. 

Jakob (Jake) Ilardi 

Age: 24

Hometown: Osprey

Current City: Sarasota

Competing Olympics Sport: Men’s Street Skateboarding 

Beginnings: Started at age four at Grannie’s house; learned at home and Payne Skatepark 

Current Titles: Ranked sixth in the world, and second in the United States.

Sponsorship: Blind Skateboards, Rockstar Energy Drink, Bones Swiss Bearings, Bones Wheels, Mob Griptape

What are you most excited about going to the Olympics/representing Team USA? I’m excited to hopefully inspire more kids to start skating! 

Your favorite motto . . . 'Never Give Up' 

Your guilty pleasure . . . The Tonight Dough ice cream 

Your last supper would include . . . A plate of grandma’s cooking 

What was the funniest thing you remember doing as a kid? Building my own D.I.Y. ramps and skating them! 

Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button in your life? A rewind button to get to relive things. 

If you had your own podcast, who would your first three guests be? Gaspar Ramirez, Tyler Hunger, and Eric Matias 

What is the scariest thing you have ever done? Went back to film the last trick in my Coastal Concrete video part.

Your favorite snacks of the moment are . . . White cheddar crunchy Cheetos, mixed fruit from Publix, and Ritz peanut butter crackers  

What song best describes your life right now? “Olympian” by ASAP Ferg 

If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere else, where would you be? Barcelona!

Your greatest fear. . .  Fear itself 

If you could undo one invention in the world, what would it be? Nuclear bombs, because we don’t need to blow each other up… 

What do you consider the most underrated virtue? Patience 

What do you consider your greatest achievement thus far? I’d say my greatest achievement so far is living the life I’ve always dreamed of since I was a kid! 

What achievement/goal do you have set for yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years? I would love to have my own house with a skate park outback! But first, I have to get Grannie a house. 

On the plane, you’ll be. . .Listening to music.

What are you most excited to see or try whilst in Tokyo? I’m most excited just to see the competition unfold.  

What is your most memorable or cherished moment whilst competing? My most memorable moment was when I found out I was going to qualify for the United States Olympic Skateboarding Team and celebrating with friends, family and everyone from Compound Boardshop! 

Which sport in the Olympics are you most excited to go watch as a spectator? It’ll be cool to watch surfing for the first time in the Games!

If you weren’t an Olympian in your own sport, what other sport would you love to represent/compete in the Summer Olympics? I’m not that good at surfing but that would be cool to represent the USA Surf Team.

Where will your winning medal(s) hang when you get back? If I win a medal, I’m making a trophy room! 

Tune in on Saturday, July 24 at 8pm EDT to watch Jake Ilardi compete in Men's Street Qualification.  

Photo courtesy of USA Skateboarding

Full Olympics Skateboarding Schedule found here.

[ShopTalk]  Barking Cow Boards
Madison Mursch, madison@srqme.com

Dubbed after her black and white pit mix’s nickname, The Barking Cow e-shop came to life in December of last year by young local artist, Cat Grogan. Experimenting with epoxy resin, every pour has been a learning curve with unpredictable turnouts. Proven to be a fun yet finicky process due to temperature, humidity, time of day and pigments, Grogan has found there are only happy accidents. “I’m always learning," she says. "I’ll get an idea in my head and go for it, but it turns out to be a completely different outcome and I usually love it even more than my original idea."

Continually playing with the flexibility of painted resin pours and glossed finishes, Grogan creates household goods layered with what appears to be the crystal blue tides rolling in from overhead—reminiscent of the Siesta Key Gulf. In addition, Grogan draws and etches her seashell or marine life illustrations into the wood, using pyrography wood burning. From charcuterie boards and serving trays to decor pieces, The Barking Cow sells art that people can admire but also use in their every day. “I try to incorporate a little bit of Sarasota into my beach scenes. I use actual sand from Siesta and shells from Turtle Beach. I have shark teeth from the Jetty in Venice that I want to use in future pieces,” she says. “I grew up in Maine, so I also pay a little homage to my roots in pieces like the lobster cheese board.” 

Find The Barking Cow at local markets, where she has the flexibility to take custom orders. Or, purchase a piece online at etsy.com/shop/TheBarkingCow 

Photos courtesy of The Barking Cow, @thebarkingcow_

[Fundraiser]  The Patterson Foundation Accelerates Support for The Bay With Up to $4 Million Matching Challenge to Raise $24 Million

The Patterson Foundation is continuing its support for The Bay by committing up to $4 million in matching funds to catalyze private donations toward the completion of Phase 1 of The Bay’s master plan. Each time private philanthropy donates $5 million toward Phase 1 through 2023, The Patterson Foundation will provide a $1 million match, up to a total contribution of $4 million — resulting in a $24 million investment into The Bay. 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Embracing Our Differences Receives Grant from Macy’s

Macy’s recently awarded Embracing Our Differences (EOD) a $5,000 grant to help fund the costs of EOD’s eight Coexistence Clubs at six area high schools and two middle schools. The funds will be used for student docent training, diversity workshops for the faculty advisors, curriculum development for club activities, and materials and resources for the students and teachers. Coexistence Clubs are the high school component of EOD’s education initiatives, with more than 290 high school students participating during the past school year. 

[New Campaign]  New Campaign to Educate Families on Water Safety and Safe Sleeping

The top two causes of death among children in Florida in 2020 were unsafe sleep and drowning. In an effort to help mitigate these dangers and protect children in Manatee County, the Kayjan Charitable Fund of Manatee Community Foundation (MCF) has awarded a grant of $8,000 to Safe Children Coalition (SCC), to support an educational campaign about water safety and safe sleeping. “Any child tragedy is one too many,” said SCC President and CEO Brena Slater. “We are grateful to the Manatee Community Foundation for its support in helping to prevent the tragic deaths of young children from unsafe sleeping practices and drownings. We are looking forward to providing the families we serve with critical information and resources to keep their kids safe.” 

[New Show]  FST Improv Presents Comedy Lottery

Florida Studio Theatre (FST’s) resident improv team, FST Improv, presents the return of its popular show, Comedy Lottery. Dubbed “The Lottery Where Everyone Wins,” Comedy Lottery is designed to keep the improvisers particularly on their toes due to one defining factor: the performers have no idea what games they’ll be playing until seconds before the show begins. At the start of the performance, twelve audience members will randomly select the night’s lineup from FST’s bucket of over 50 different improv games. Once the evening’s games are chosen, FST’s cast of highly adaptable improvisers will create never-before-imagined scenes, songs, and characters to win over the audience’s laughter. Beginning August 7, FST Improv will perform Comedy Lottery every Saturday night at 7:30PM in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. 

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  CASL Inc. Hires Director of Business Alliances

Community Assisted and Supported Living, Inc. (CASL), a Sarasota nonprofit that provides supportive housing to adults with disabilities, recently hired Alex Dustin as Director of Business Alliances.  

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: The Joy Luck Club , July 22, 1pm

In San Francisco, a group of aging Chinese women (Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu) meet regularly to trade familial stories while playing Mahjong. In a series of sixteen vignettes that spans generations and continents, this adaptation of Amy Tan's bestselling novel explores cultural conflict and the often-turbulent relationships between four first-generation Chinese-American women (Ming-Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, Rosalind Chao) and their mothers. This film is Rated R. Join us at 1pm on July 22 for big-screen movie magic in the Historic Asolo Theater. July is dedicated to Asia in the Movies, an ongoing series of film screenings and conversations showcasing a broad range of films and filmmakers from across Asia and the Asian diaspora. The initiative celebrates established and emerging voices, contemporary films and classics, animated films, as well as documentaries. The series builds on The Ringling’s mission to represent and center diverse voices and celebrate various cultures, as well as to become a space for relevant conversations around current social and political topics. For her final project, Anna Green, the performance Intern from New College of Florida has thoughtfully selected films for a series that educates, provides opportunity for conversation, and fosters understanding. We recommit to our values of equity, to providing a space for representation, and to highlighting the diversity and beauty of the Asian Community through Ringling’s film programming. Asia in the Movies strives to deepen our understanding of Asian cultures and our community. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13.50 for members, and $10.00 for students.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: A Simple Life , July 23, 6:30pm

A film producer (Andy Lau) helps care for his family's lifelong servant (Deanie Ip) after she suffers a stroke and must move into a nursing home. This film is not rated. Audience members are invited to participate in a post film conversation around themes from the film with Anna Green. Join us at 6:30pm on July 23 for big-screen movie magic in the Historic Asolo Theater. July is dedicated to Asia in the Movies, an ongoing series of film screenings and conversations showcasing a broad range of films and filmmakers from across Asia and the Asian diaspora. The initiative celebrates established and emerging voices, contemporary films and classics, animated films, as well as documentaries. The series builds on The Ringling’s mission to represent and center diverse voices and celebrate various cultures, as well as to become a space for relevant conversations around current social and political topics. AWARDS: 2011 Hong Kong Film Awards – won Best Film, Best Director Ann Hui, Best Actress Deanie Ip, Best Actor Andy Lau; 2011 Venice International Film Festival – won Best Actress Deanie Ip and was nominated for Best Film. For her final project, Anna Green, the performance Intern from New College of Florida has thoughtfully selected films for a series that educates, provides opportunity for conversation, and fosters understanding. We recommit to our values of equity, to providing a space for representation, and to highlighting the diversity and beauty of the Asian Community through Ringling’s film programming. Asia in the Movies strives to deepen our understanding of Asian cultures and our community. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13.50 for members, and $10.00 for students.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Summer Food Truck Series at Bay Preserve , July 23 – September 17, 8pm

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast invites the community to a monthly Food Truck Friday Night this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey. Enjoy food and fun with friends while taking in a summer sunset at this family-friendly event. Each month, July through September, a different food truck will be onsite serving up local flavor on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. Members of the Conservation Foundation team will be available to answer questions about their work and the Burrows-Matson House will be open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for this picnic-style gathering. The dates and food trucks are as follows: Friday, July 23, 5pm to 8pm - Curb Your Appetite (classic American fare) Friday, August 20, 5pm to 8pm - Big Blue Grilled Cheese Company (creative versions of a family favorite) Friday, September 17, 5pm to 8pm - Killik’s Kitchen (modern Asian-Hawaiian fare) “After the isolation of the last year, connection is what we are all craving,” notes Christine Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “Connection with other people and connection with nature. We hope these Friday nights help our community reconnect with each other and with our beautiful natural environment.” Bay Preserve is located at 400 Palmetto Avenue in Osprey, Florida. This series is free and open to the public, however in an effort to ensure plenty of parking, RSVPs are requested. To RSVP for any of the dates, visit conservationfoundation.com/events. Food prices vary by truck. Learn more about each truck’s menu on Facebook.

Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Down Dogs and Cat Cows Yoga Night , July 22, 5:30pm

Fitness with a furry twist. Instructors Janet Boyden and Elizabeth Seymour will lead a combination yoga/pilates class in HSSC's brand-new Education & Training Center. Burn some calories and get our zen on, then celebrate a great workout with wine and light bites. Expect some shelter pets to join the fun too. They will have two fantastic yoga-themed raffle baskets up for grabs: each worth $100+. Space is limited, so sign up today.

Date: Thursday, July 22, 2021
Time: 5:30pm
Place: HSSC's Education & Training Center, 2331 15th Street, Sarasota, FL 34237
Cost: $25 per attendee (includes yoga/pilates session, wine, and light bites)
Raffle Entries: 1 for $10, 3 for $20. Two yoga-themed prize packages, each worth $100+.
Shelter Dog & Cat Cuddles: Free
Please bring your own yoga mat, straps, blocks, towels, and water.

The Humane Society of Sarasota County , 2331 15th St., Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: Sarasota Opera: Classic Movies at the Opera House: Moonstruck , July 24, 7:30pm

In her Academy Award winning role, Cher plays Loretta, an unlucky-in-love bookkeeper whose feelings about her engagement to the staid and timid Johnny (Danny Aiello) are thrown into question after she meets his hot-blooded brother, Ronny, played by Nicolas Cage. One night at the opera changes everything, as this enchanting 1987 romantic comedy unfolds to passionate Puccini melodies. Directed by Norman Jewison and also starring Olympia Dukakis. Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes. This film will show on Saturday, July 24 at 7:30pm. All seating is reserved at 50% capacity of the theater. Masks are required for those who are not vaccinated and recommended for all others. Tickets are $10 and buyers are encouraged to purchase tickets before arriving at the theater. Information and tickets can be found online at SarasotaOpera.org or by calling (941) 328-1300.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Summer Circus Spectacular , July 30 – August 14

The Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling are happy to partner once again to present the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Don’t miss this family-friendly show that runs Friday, July 30, 2021 through Saturday, August 14! The Summer Circus Spectacular showcases some of the finest circus artists from around the world, performing acts to thrill audiences of all ages. The Summer Circus Spectacular takes place at the Historic Asolo Theatre at The Ringling (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota). Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Opening Night Performance & Celebration, Friday, July 30 @ 7:00 PM

The Ringling Museum , 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  SPORTS: Aerial Straps Workshop , July 24, 10am-6pm

The Aerial Straps workshop at the CAC is a full day of training working with coaches with over 20 years of coaching experience. Throughout the workshop students can expect to advance their straps skills learning: - Flexibility/line work and drills - Breakdown of skill positioning/basic techniques and purpose - Flares/flags/switches - One and two arm swing technique - Proper roll up drills and positioning/technique Date: Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Cost: $200, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

The Circus Arts Conservatory

[SOON]  GALLERY: New Color Perspectives Gallery , August 28 – September 24
The five newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the September exhibit, New Color Perspectives, showcasing their paintings, drawings and jewelry art. Diane Boone, jewelry artist; Peter Garon, Judy Gilmer, and Hunter Jay, painters; and Arlene Steinberg, colored pencil artist, are all local, full-time residents of national and international recognition. Meet the artists on September 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the First Friday public reception with refreshments at the gallery.

The exhibit opens on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Friday, September 25. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse art works of 28 local artists are shown, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm (except First Friday when open until 9 pm), and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. www.artuptown.com. Telephone 941-955-5409 for further information

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Forty Carrots Free Community Speaker Event , September 22

This free virtual event will feature Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. who teaches the power of showing up in her book How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired. Become a community partner and SUPPORT free quality educational programming for those who care for kids in our community. The virtual speaker event will be held Wednesday, September 22 by the Community Foundation of Sarasota. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Sam Gilliam , February 21 – August 15, Museum hours.

The Ringling is pleased to announce a new exhibition of the work of Sam Gilliam. The exhibition, which is being drawn primarily from local collections and features work from the early 1970s to 2010, will run February 21, 2021 through August 15, 2021. Sam Gilliam is one of the most important abstract artists working today. He will have a career retrospective, at the age of 87, in 2022 at the Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Known for his experimental exploration of materials and constant invention, Gilliam first came to critical attention in the 1960s as a later member of the Washington Color School artists. To emancipate his art from constraints, Gilliam infused his appreciation of blues and jazz improvisation to be conceptualized in abstraction. His radical freedom to express spontaneity when working with materials created the first of his important "drape" paintings in the late 1960s that he would continue to explore throughout his career. By removing the canvas from the traditional stretcher, Gilliam created innovative work that was both painting and sculpture. His installation of the "drape" works filled galleries with painted canvases suspended off the walls or from the ceilings and often draped over objects such as sawhorses or ladders. These pieces encouraged improvisation because they could not be hung in the same manner twice.

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Life's A Beach , June 5 – July 31, 7:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre (FST)’s resident improv team, FST Improv, returns to the Bowne’s Lab stage with one the troupe’s most popular shows, Life’s a Beach. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, FST Improv’s cast members create scenes and musical numbers that celebrate—and poke fun at—all things Sarasota. Beginning June 5, FST Improv will perform Life’s a Beach every Saturday at 7:30pm in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Doors open one hour before show time. A full food and drink menu is available for pre-show dining. Tickets are now on sale at 941-366-9000 or floridastudiotheatre.org. After performing for live, limited capacity audiences this spring in FST’s Mainstage Keating Theatre, FST Improv will now return to its home theatre, FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Lampooning and celebrating this piece of paradise loved by so many are FST Improv members Kevin Allen, Sarah Durham, Kyle Van Frank, and Will Luera. ​These quick-thinking performers will also be joined onstage by one of two musical improvisers, Sergei Glushonkov and Michelle Neal. From the annual snowbird migration and never-ending construction to pervasive roundabout confusion and elusive downtown parking, nothing is safe from a good-spirited tease.

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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