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SRQ DAILY Aug 30, 2021

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"It will be the heart and soul of Wellen Park."

- Rick Severance, Wellen Park

[Development]  Wellen Park Breaks Ground on Downtown
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Developers broke ground on a new  downtown for Wellen Park in South Sarasota County. Dirt moved on the project at a ceremony on Friday as leadership in the master-planned community discussed how the central commercial hub would change the community.

“It will be the heart and soul of Wellen Park,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “There are just a lot of really thoughtful elements that will be interesting, fun and definitely Instagram-worthy.”

Formerly called West Villages, which is still the name of a portion of the development, Wellen Park covers several thousand acres in the Venice-North Port area. The downtown will feature retail and waterfront dining on an 80-acre lake. Artistically decorated shovels used in the groundbreaking will go on permanent display in the downtown area. A food truck park will increase culinary offerings, and a town hall and great lawn will serve as venues for events, including concerts.

The master plan for the community includes pedestrian-focused walkways as well as a 2.8-mile trail for biking, walking and running around the lake.

“It’s a healthy place, and there are many ways to be healthy” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing for Wellen Park. “It might mean taking your kayak or paddleboard out or fishing the 80-acre lake. It might mean hiking, biking or walking around our pathway.  It might be a sunset happy hour toast with friends, or simply sitting under the big oak and relaxing.”

The groundbreaking also included public activities like the making of floral bouquets and having a vintage horse trailer retooled as a bar, all part of an effort to show the amenities expected to come to the downtown area when it opens in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The entire event was curated to reflect the vibe of Downtown Wellen,” Severance said. “We don’t want to wait until next year to start celebrating and enjoying the Downtown Wellen experience.” ‘Countdown to Downtown’ events will be announced over the coming year

The community is already garnering national interest, with high-profile real estate rankings from RCLCO showing Wellen Park as the No. 5 top-selling master-planned community in the country in the first six months of the year. Lakewood Ranch came in at No. 1 on that list. Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County came in at No. 25.  

Rendering courtesy Wellen Park

[Gardening]  Flourish and Nourish This Fall with Seasonal Herbs and Flowers
Madison Mursch, madison@srqme.com

To the plant killers and passion project DIY-ers, this one is for you. Whether it's for sprucing up the backyard with no fuss or picking up a new homegrown hobby, gardening and landscaping experts of Sarasota, Jay Vowels and Alex Barth, share with us their tricks of the trade when it comes to keeping your garden alive and thriving.

When starting an edible garden, it can be difficult to wait for your homegrown vegetables to be ready for harvest, but Your Farm and Garden Plant Purchasing Agent and overall plant geek Vowels explains, “produce such as tomatoes and peppers are notorious for long growing seasons.” The nursery sells a vast variety of tomatoes like the Cherokee Purple, Midnight Snack, Better Boy and Big Boy. The Sunshine State is the perfect growing ground for tomato and pepper plants because they soak up sunshine just like water. Compost is your soil’s best friend. “It doesn't matter if it's an herb, vegetable or succulent—all plants want to be amended from Florida’s sandy soil,” says Vowels. “There is no nutritional value in our soil, so it is important to amend with composted material and nutrients.” For those who are no-fuss, farm-to-table fanatics, try tomatoes, peppers, zucchini or squash.

Your Farm and Garden also carries the ever-popular milkweed (a plant with purpose). After a decline in reproductive habitats and climate change impact, Monarch populations have been on a decline, but they prosper when feeding off of milkweeds. “Milkweeds are great for the environment because they attract crucial pollinating insects,” Vowels says. Milkweeds are must-have pollinator plants for Monarch butterflies, as well as other beneficial bugs like bees, other butterfly species and moths. When beautifying your garden with pink petals and fluttering Monarchs, milkweeds are the perfect easy-to-manage plants.

Troy’s Tropics Plant and Design Specialist Alex Barth recommends thyme and basil as herbs to garnish your favorite pasta or chicken dishes—bringing flavor from the earth to your dinner platter. These classic, flavor-packed plants are guaranteed to fill your kitchen with the fragrant aroma of herbal incense. Backyard basil and thyme will stay happy as long as you keep them hydrated, watering regularly with one inch of water each week. 

Zinnia flowers are vibrant plants of the sunflower tribe, with a red, orange and yellow shade variety of layered petals. The flower’s bold, pack-a-punch pigment will set your at-home oasis apart. Barth says Troy’s Tropics carries these as a popular purchase for gifting and gardening throughout September—perfect for sunny Sarasota’s autumnal weather. 

Pictured: Zinnia flowers

[Retirement]  FSU/Asolo Conservatory Director to Retire After 17-Year Tenure

Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training program and associate director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, will retire at the conclusion of the academic year after 17 years of teaching, directing and leading the MFA Acting Program at Florida State University’s School of Theatre.

“Working with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and Asolo Repertory has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career,” Leaming said. “The faculty, staff, artists at Asolo Rep and the administration in Tallahassee are all superb craft persons, and our alums are truly the future of the American Theatre.” 

Leaming said he looks forward to guiding the program through this school year and “passing the reins on to a younger and more energetic individual to move this remarkable institution into the next decade.” 

“Finding ourselves solid and stable after the past 18 months, and after having recently been named one of the top training programs in the English-speaking world by The Hollywood Reporter, the Conservatory is in an excellent place for me to step aside and retire,” Leaming said.  

[Health + Wellness]  Ramos Center Offers Breakthrough Treatment for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

The Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine announced that they are among the first in our area to offer an innovative approach to provide relief for patients suffering from chronic low back pain (CLBP). The treatment known as Intracept® Procedure is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure which targets a nerve located in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). During the procedure, recently performed at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Dr. Fabian Ramos advanced a specialized probe into the vertebrae and used radiofrequency energy (heat) to disable the nerve, rendering it unable to transmit pain signals.

The Intracept Procedure takes approximately 60-90 minutes and is implant-free. It is supported by multiple clinical studies, including two Level I randomized controlled trials and five-year data showing patient outcomes last long-term. “We are excited to be able to offer this treatment option for patients who suffer from chronic low back pain and look forward to continued close collaboration with Lakewood Ranch Medical Center” said Dr. Fabian Ramos, Interventional Pain Specialist, and Medical Director at the Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine.

The indicated patient for the Intracept Procedure has chronic low back pain of at least six months duration, has not responded to at least six months of conservative care, and presents with degenerative endplate changes consistent with Type 1 or Type 2 Modic changes at L3 through S1 on an MRI. To find out if you are a candidate for Intracept, call the Ramos Center at 941-708-9555 or visit their website for more information, RamosCenter.com

Photo courtesy of The Ramos Center.

[Real Estate]  Sarasota Real Estate Couple Open School

A real estate couple in Sarasota has just launched a new Real Estate Prelicensing School in Florida, called SHORE Real Estate Academy. Real Estate Broker Associates and Educators Erick and Tracy Jones have a combined 25 years in the real estate industry and an extensive background in real estate leadership.  They have a taught prelicensing courses in another state for many years and are excited to bring their school to Florida.  Shore Real Estate Academy combines the couple's extensive background in real estate with Dearborn's tried and true real estate curriculum. To learn more about their school floridarealestateclass.com 

[Public Service]  Mayor Receives Key to Soil and Water Conservation District

Sarasota Mayor Hagen Brody was recently recognized by Sarasota Soil & Water Conservation District Board for his advocacy and dedication to the planned water quality improvements on the Bobby Jones Golf Course property.

The City of Sarasota is undergoing a major wetlands rehabilitation and renovation effort on the property which Brody has been advocating for since elected. “I’m humbled to receive this recognition, and on behalf of all of us working to make these water quality improvements a reality: Thank you,” Brody said. 

Acting Chairman Matt Wooddall presented the mayor the Key to the District at its recent board meeting. Board of Supervisors Member Steve Horton said, “This recognition by the Sarasota Soil and Water Board acknowledges the strong leadership and commitment to Sarasota’s environment by our Mayor Hagen Brody.”

Sarasota Soil & Water Conservation District was established for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Sarasota County through conservation of its natural resources. For more information visit SarasotaSWCD.com

[Event]  The Argus Foundation to Host Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at First Meet the Minds Event of the Year

The Argus foundation will be hosting former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn to share his experiences as an executive mayor and more at their first Meet the Minds event of 2021. Bob Buckhorn served as the 58th mayor of Tampa—the nation’s 49th largest city and 3rd largest in Florida—from April 2011 to May 2019. During his time, Buckhorn led the city out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Upon taking office, he faced a $30 million deficit and managed to balance the city’s $1 billion budget for eight straight years, making strategic investments in infrastructure and preparing the City for its future. One of his first acts as mayor was to establish a diverse panel of local business leaders and community activists to help reshape the way their city hall did business. He led the development of the Invision Plan, a blueprint for the development of Tampa’s urban core, and successfully worked with the Obama administration to secure a grant to complete the Tampa Riverwalk—named by the American Planning Association as 2018’s National Great Places in America as a “People’s Choice” winner. Mayor Buckhorn set a tone of inclusiveness in Tampa city government, which laid the foundation for the establishment of one of the state’s first domestic partnership registries. 

Meet the Minds event to be held at Michael's on East Ballroom, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota on Tuesday, August 31, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Community members interested in this event must register to attend. Seating is limited. For more information, visit http://argusfoundation.org. 

[People]  Deputy Rex Troche Appointed Interim Chief of Police

Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown last week appointed Deputy Chief Rex Troche as interim Chief of Police. Troche succeeds Chief James Rieser, who has announced his retirement from the City of Sarasota. 

“We appreciate Chief Rieser’s dedicated service to Sarasota for the past 29 years and his leadership as police chief over the past seven months,” Brown said. “Now, we look forward to a seamless transition with Deputy Chief Troche stepping into the interim role. With his extensive background in law enforcement and his exemplary service to the department in a variety of positions over the past two decades, he is a natural choice to immediately step into this role while continuing to serve the community.”

Interim Chief Troche began his career with the Sarasota Police Department in 2002. He’s served in all four agency divisions (Patrol, Professional Standards, Criminal Investigations, and Support Services) as either an officer or supervisor. “It’s been an honor and privilege to serve under Chief Rieser’s direction. He‘s been extremely impactful not just for our agency but for our community,” Troche said. “I would like to ensure our community that the Sarasota Police Department will continue to move forward with initiatives that are in place and keep the City of Sarasota a safe place to live, work and play.” 

[SRQ Competition]  35 Under 35 Nominations NOW LIVE!
35 Under 35 Nominations NOW LIVE!

Could you or someone you know be one of our first honorees? There's only one way to find out. Nominate someone by September 3rd!

We are proud to introduce the SRQ Magazine 35 under 35 Competition where we're recognizing young professionals who are innovators, scientists, creatives, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists and leaders in their field. 

Thank you to our Presenting Partner | Fifth Third Bank


Click here to nominate someone.

[SOON]  GALLERY: We Dream A World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen , July 10 – September 26

We Dream A World, African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen, explores the depth of art and business enterprise created by a unique set of landscape artists. Guest Curator Radiah Harper takes visitors through the experience of African Americans who, living in a hostile climate of racial injustice, were able to both learn their artistic craft through formal and informal education, and successfully break away from traditional field labor jobs to monetize their work. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition from July 10 to September 26.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Ecoperformance Week , September 6 – September 12

The John and Mable ringling Museum of Art is pleased to present Ecoperformance Week, Sept. 6- 12, 2021. Ecoperformance events at The Ringling have an arts-driven focus on conversations, performances, activities and films about ecology, climate, culture and environmental justice. The field of eco-performance looks at climate change and environmental justice as multifaceted environmental and social phenomena that can be transformed through cultural engagement. The week will kick-off with a streaming presentation of Ludic Proxy: Fukushima on Sept. 6. Set a few years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the film is a video adaptation of Brooklyn-based theater-maker Aya Ogawa’s play Ludic Proxy. The presentation, which runs approximately 35 minutes and is presented in Japanese with English subtitles, may be viewed anytime during the day. Additionally, all ticketholders will have access to an “on demand” version, available from Sept. 6-12, 2021. Performance and Environmental Justice: A Panel Discussion will be offered via ZOOM on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. This panel presents perspectives that elucidate and redefine environmental justice and how culture, performance and storytelling impact awareness and social transformation around these issues. The series will include two films that will be screened in the Historic Asolo Theater. TrashDance will be presented Sept.9 th at 1 p.m. Trash Dance follows choreographer Allison Orr as she finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the unseen men and women who pick up our trash. Waste Land will be shown Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The week will close with a workshop on Sept. 11 via ZOOM. Decolonizing Theatre Basics with Groundwater Arts will examine the nuances of colonization and how they intersect with how we live and work. The workshop will entail both active and passive activities, videos and discussions, creating radical access points for everyone of all levels to leave empowered.

The Ringling Museum , 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Children's Cancer Center: 9th Annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede , September 1 – September 30

This year marks the 9th annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede benefitting the Children’s Cancer Center. The event is held every September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month. We challenge you to virtually walk or run with your herd for the Children’s Cancer Center. Run/Walk: We challenge you to set a mileage goal to complete by the end of September. All participants will be entered in a chance drawing where 30 people will win FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH; 1 Mile, 5 Miles, 10 Miles, 25 Miles, 50 Miles, and 100 Miles. Raise: Create a fundraising page and raise funds throughout the challenge for the immediate needs of children battling pediatric cancer. The top 10 fundraisers will receive FREE Chick-fil-A for a MONTH. Packet Pickup: Drive by our COVID-19 compliant Packet Pick Up Party on Monday, August 31 from 8am to 10am or 6pm to 8pm where all participants will receive a t-shirt, swag bag and a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Tampa: Children’s Cancer Center (4901 W. Cypress St. Tampa) or Sarasota: Fruitville Chick-fil-A (5384 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota). Free Chick-fil-A for a Month consists of 30 promotional cards redeemable for a free Chick-fil-A entrée (Chick-fil-A Sandwich, Original or Spicy, Chick- fil-A Nuggets, Original or Grilled (8-count) or a Grilled Chicken Sandwich). Valid during lunch and dinner hours only.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Triple Play , March 20 – December 25, 8:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre’s resident improv troupe, FST Improv, will return to a weekly live performance schedule with Triple Play, a full-length show created specifically to entertain from a distance. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, a rotating cast of three improvisers will perform games, scenes, and songs—all made up on the spot. Starting Saturday, March 20, Triple Play will take place Saturday evenings at 8:30pm for socially-distanced audiences in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $15 per person and are now on sale. To purchase tickets, call FST’s Box Office at 941.366.9000 or visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org. FST's musical improvisers, Jim Prosser and Helena Rankin, will provide comical accompaniment as performers play some of Sarasota's favorite improv games - all while maintaining social distancing. In addition to live audiences, the cast of Triple Play will draw inspiration from prompts submitted virtually through text or via Twitter. With this added virtual element, FST Improv will engage with audiences in Sarasota and beyond. Triple Play performances will be socially-distanced and in compliance of all CDC guidelines, including socially-distanced seating, paperless ticketing, and limited theatre capacities. Facial coverings must be worn at all times - including throughout performances - when on campus at FST, aside from dining in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar. Socially-distanced pre-show dining is available indoors and outdoors in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar one hour before each Triple Play performance.

[SOON]  FILM: Virtual: This Light Of Mine: The Making of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe , December 17 – December 31

The dream of one man became a cultural tour de force for Sarasota’s performing arts community. In 1999, actor and playwright Nate Jacobs founded the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, establishing a unique dramatic company to present and explore the Black experience. After twenty years of challenges and hard-won triumphs, the troupe experienced one of its toughest years yet in 2020. The killing of George Floyd ignited a national reckoning on race, and the COVID-19 pandemic made theatres go dark. Drawing on the resilient spirit that carried the troupe across previous hardships, WBTT has reimagined ways to stage its performances and fulfill its mission to promote inclusion and diversity in the arts. As a new generation of artists comes onboard, the troupe also finds successful approaches to address racism and lift others up through opportunity, mentorship and outreach. Produced by WEDU PBS in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with generous funding from the George J. & Alice Pugh Donor Advised Fund. The film is available at https://www.wedu.org/shows/documentaries/this-light-of-mine/

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: The Ringling: Private Lectures presented by Dr. David Berry , April 13 – December 31

David Berry, Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Special Projects, is one of Sarasota’s favorite lecturers. His dry sense of humor and wealth of knowledge is sure to both entertain and educate your group. Dr. Berry is available to speak on any of the following subjects: The origins of museums, museum architecture and display, The Victorian museum, early museums in America, museums, education, and community engagement, great women collectors, the illicit trafficking of cultural property, world fairs, an introduction to natural history, great illustrated natural history books, natural history and children’s literature, scientific illustration, natural history specimens, natural history collections, art and medicine, the art of anatomy, the art of astronomy and microscopy, the art of geology and paleontology (including dinosaurs), botanical and zoological art, botanical and zoological gardens, the golden age of botanical exploration, the orchid craze in Victorian Britain, and Japanese garden design and horticultural practices (ikebana and bonsai). $100 flat fee; must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance, $250 for custom topics; must be scheduled at least 6 weeks in advance. Lectures include a single-speaker, slide illustrated lecture. All programs are hosted via Zoom. For additional information, or to book a virtual program, contact Laura Steefel-Moore, Head of Educational Programs, at laura.steefel-moore@ringling.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Ringling: Blue Star Museums Initiative , May 15 – September 6, Museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art announced it will join museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The 2021 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 15, and end on Labor Day, Monday, September 6. Find the list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums nationwide. Blue Star Museums include children's museums, art, science, and history museums, zoos, gardens, lighthouses, and more, and hail from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The current list of participating museums will continue to develop over the summer as organizations are welcome to register to be a Blue Star Museum throughout the summer.

[SOON]  GALA: Annual Fundraiser at Waterworks Sarasota , October 9

Save the date for Sarasota Contemporary Dance's 16th Main Stage Season "GRIT" is a testament to the company's passion, purpose, and perseverance. After surviving and celebrating its landmark 15th season through a global pandemic, SCD is returning to the stage with greater conviction than ever before in its responsibility to progress contemporary dance in Sarasota. Tickets and subscriptions will become available soon. The fundraiser will be held to kick off the season at Waterworks Sarasota.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance , 1005 N Orange Ave., Sarasota

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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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