« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

SRQ DAILY Sep 11, 2021

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"We foster critical-thinking skills, ensuring that our graduates are perfectly positioned for the workforce."

- Patricia Okker, New College of Florida

[Under The Hood]  Anxiousness, Division, and Ultimate Unity
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

There will be no structures from Sarasota buildings turned into monuments around the country. It’s unlikely a president will ever choose to hold a memorial to 9/11 victims in this county. But the striking number of connections in this community to the most notorious terrorist attack against America in history is striking.

The connections are proud moments (The Colony hosted the nation’s leadership on its land as the U.S. faced one of its darkest hours) and they are ignoble  ones (the lead terrorist received flying lessons at a Venice airport, with management blind to his intent). There’s mystery, with former Sen. Bob Graham, Senate Intelligence Chair at the time of the attacks, long raising questions about a family is Prestancia and a potential connection between the Saudi Arabian government and the attacks. And there’s pride, with many a philanthropic effort in this region rich in generosity offering help to New York and D.C.

Sarasota suffered its time in the background of lampooned moments. That included President George W. Bush’s choice to wait several minutes while visiting a Sarasota classroom and hear a reading of My Pet Goat after being told the country was under attack. The hyperbole around moments like that (what, really, would be different had he abruptly charged out of the room?) has faded with time but shows the incredible interest that surround every instant on Sept. 11, 2011, in the days that led up to it and those that would follow.

It’s also turned Sarasota into somewhat of a grounds for paranoia, perhaps giving the community a front row seat to the anxiety that seems since to have consumed 21st century politics. This area would receive numerous visits from conspiracy mongers. Before the world learned of Alex Jones’ role in spreading any number of lunatic ideas in the intervening decades, he began a harassment campaign against Rudi Dekkers, the owner of Huffman Aviation when Mohammad Atta and his crew trained there. Dekkers for years dealt with accusations he was an agent of the government, a cog in some inside job to bring the World Trade Center down for any type of ill-conceived policy goal.

I’m sure 9/11 truthers still exist, but they for the most part moved on to other crazy notions. Who knows how many genuine believers there ever were? But whether because of the growth of the internet or simply the unimaginable terror of the moment, it seemed somehow the conspiracy theory gained traction more widely and quickly than any before.

But sadly, the dark imagination and zeal that motivated truthers became more commonplace, not less. It seems easier than ever to believe those with competing agendas from our own represent a warring ideology rather than a differing worldview.

Then again, 9/11 gave this country a strange kind of hope amid the fears and tears. There’s so much talk of the unity in the country after the attacks it can be forgotten how divided we had been just prior. A presidential election had been decided by a few hundred votes in a single swing state (Florida with a front row seat again!) and settled by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. We had a 50-50 Senate for the first time in the nation’s history, but as contemporary political junkies know, not the last.

So here we are after a close election with another split Senate and emotional 5-4 court rulings in the news. It’s easy to see how the anxious moment 20 years ago feeds us still. But remember too that in the darkest of times, Americans looking for a shoulder to lean on never needed to look far, for there’s still more shared values than reasons to fight one another.

And no one should know that better than Sarasota.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor for SRQ MEDIA 

Image courtesy Pixabay.

[Higher Education]  Entrepreneurs are built at New College of Florida
Dr. Patricia Okker

It’s no secret that New College alumni are powerhouses in the professional world—from top financial experts to tech trailblazers to environmental leaders.

Many of them are also entrepreneurs, building thriving companies in Florida and bolstering the statewide economy (sometimes even before they graduate).

So what makes New College the ideal environment for cultivating an entrepreneurial, innovative mindset? Well, if you sit down and have a heart-to-heart with our grads and current students—which is something I thoroughly enjoy doing—you’ll notice a common thread forming.

They will tell you that New College taught them “how to adapt,” “how to strategize” and “how to solve complex problems.” Can you imagine anything more valuable than these practical skills in today’s job market, especially during times of economic flux?

Here at New College, we often say that we “prepare intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement.” But how do we do this?

It starts with a holistic, experiential approach to learning that is combined with robust career preparation. Our students expand their knowledge outside of the classroom—from excavating archaeological sites in Manatee County to studying human rights in Nepal and Jordan.

Through professional internships, study abroad opportunities and community engagement, they experience firsthand what it’s like to take what they’ve learned and apply it to the real world—all before they leave New College.

Every single one of our students is assigned an individual career coach to help them fill out applications for internships and fellowships, teach them how to market themselves at career fairs, and connect them with professional mentors. All of our undergraduates are required to complete a senior thesis/capstone project—an undertaking akin to an entrepreneur thinking up a product, securing the resources to develop it, and proving its worth to investors. Because of this, we cultivate self-reliant self-starters.

For example, one of our alumni, Norm Worthington (founder and CEO of Star2Star) sold his Sarasota tech firm for $437 million earlier this year. Maxeme Tuchman, the Miami-based co-founder and CEO of Caribu (an interactive video-calling platform), was named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top 100 Female Founders.”

One of our current thesis students, Aleah Colón-Alfonso, has already built two companies, including the global Stay Safely Away brand (wearable merchandise, like T-shirts and masks, that allows customers with immune issues to “stay distantly social” during the COVID-19 pandemic). Her products have gone global, and she runs her business from her dorm room.

These amazing individuals and their companies make a significant impact on the state. Beyond that, about 70 percent of our alumni still live in Florida. If we want to keep diversifying and growing emerging sectors like fintech and environmental science throughout the state, we need to produce the talent those fields need. New College does that.

We foster critical-thinking skills, ensuring that our graduates are perfectly positioned for the workforce. We are introducing new majors in in-demand fields, such as data science—and combining those with applied, active learning experiences in partnership with employers.

And, because our campus is located right on Sarasota Bay, our students don’t have to travel at all to conduct cutting-edge marine research. Together with their professors, they are monitoring the health of sharks, dolphins and manatees; and working to improve the sustainability of mangroves and other native plants in our region. They are compiling reports on red tide and rising seas, and sharing that data with scientists globally.

Alumnus Justin Bloom, J.D., for instance, has used the in-depth environmental knowledge he learned at New College to found Suncoast Waterkeeper—an organization that monitors the quality of local waterways and holds polluters accountable. As an environmental attorney, he fights for regional water quality in the arena of the law, and our planet is safer and cleaner because of him.

That’s the thing about New College—it is a place that produces these types of bold changemakers. It is a place where ground is broken, and where thinkers and leaders are devising new solutions to the world’s oldest problems.

This entrepreneurial energy motivates and inspires me every day I come to campus. I can’t wait to witness the incredible breakthroughs our students and alumni will make next.

Patricia Okker, Ph.D. is the president of New College of Florida. 

Photo courtesy Stay Safely Away: Aleah Colon-Alfonso

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST Improv: Comedy Lottery , September 11 – September 25, 7:30pm

It’s the lottery where everyone wins! Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team of highly-adaptable improvisers by selecting the night’s lineup from FST’s bucket of over 50 different improv games. Once the night’s games are chosen, our cast of funny people will be off to the races, spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. What will they come up with next? We have absolutely no idea. But one thing is for sure: every Saturday night at 7:30pm through September 25, their destiny is in your hands.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Opera Film: Ariadne auf Naxos , September 12, 1:30pm

The proven Richard Strauss trio of Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch and Christian Thielemann gets together once again on September 12 at 1:30pm at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, which continues its series of triumphs after Rosenkavalier. In this colorful and humorous staging by Philippe Arlaud, Strauss specialist Thielemann leads his first opera at the head of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, which performed the world premieres of nine Strauss operas. While Renée Fleming dazzles in her role debut as the spurned Ariadne, Sophie Koch, Robert Dean Smith and Jane Archibald prove themselves worthy counterparts of the American soprano. Conductor: Christian Thielemann, Director: Philippe Arlaud, Cast: Renée Fleming | Robert Dean Smith | Jane Archibald | Sophie Koch | Eike Wilm Schulte | René Kollo. Opera in a prologue and one act, Total running time: 136 mins. Sung in German.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The City of Sarasota: Public Input Meetings for Penny Sales Tax , September 15 – October 6, 6pm-7pm

The City of Sarasota will host three community meetings to welcome input on infrastructure projects for the continuation of the countywide Penny Sales Tax. Residents are invited to suggest infrastructure projects during the following public listening sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 15 6pm– 7:30pm at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Thursday, Sept. 16, 6pm – 7:30pm at Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex, 2650 Waldemere St., and Wednesday, Oct. 6 6pm – 7:30pm at City Hall Annex – SRQ Media Studio, 1565 First St. Input also can be provided online at www.SarasotaCountySurtax.net. The Sarasota County Penny Sales Tax, also known as the sales surtax, surtax, or one cent tax, is a countywide voter approved one percent sales tax used to invest in local infrastructure improvements, including parks, libraries, schools, sidewalks, police vehicles, street resurfacing and mobility upgrades. Sarasota County voters approved the Penny Sales Tax in 1989 and again in 1997 and 2007. The current surtax expires at the end of 2024. Voters throughout Sarasota County will have an opportunity in November 2022 to continue the Penny Sales Tax for another 15 years to fund local infrastructure projects.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Stromboli , September 16, 1pm

The first collaboration between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman is a devastating portrait of a woman’s existential crisis, set against the beautiful and forbidding backdrop of a volcanic island. After World War II, a Lithuanian refugee (Bergman) marries a simple Italian fisherman (Mario Vitale) she meets in a prisoner of war camp and accompanies him back to his isolated village on an island off the coast of Sicily. Cut off from the world, she finds herself crumbling emotionally, but she is destined for a dramatic epiphany. Balancing the director’s trademark neorealism—exemplified here in a remarkable depiction of the fishermen’s lives and work—with deeply felt melodrama, Stromboli is a revelation. This On Screen will show on September 16 at 1pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[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]  FESTIVAL: Manatee Pride Festival , September 18, 12-5pm

We are please to announce that the 7th Annual Manatee Pride Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2021, once again at the beautiful downtown Bradenton Riverwalk, from noon to 5 pm. We credit our sponsors, donors, vendors, volunteers, and patrons for making Manatee Pride the success it has become. We know and appreciate that you have supported Manatee Pride in the past, and we also know LGBTQ+ youth in Manatee County would not have a safe space in Manatee County without the corporate and community support we've received since 2010. We would welcome your continuing support at our 7th Annual Festival. In the past, all of the proceeds benefited Prism Youth Initiative Inc., a non-profit Florida corporation, however, in October of 2020, Prism Youth merged with Also Youth. Also Youth continues to provide even more services to the LGBTQ+ youth in Manatee County and all the proceeds will benefit the youth in Manatee County. Also Youth’s mission is Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth and their Allies, and Creating Inclusive Communities. Manatee Pride 2021 will again have live performers and renowned bands, great food at reasonable prices, beer, cider, health checks and more. We expect our attendance to meet or exceed our previous attendance record. Our all inclusive community is growing every day. 452 3rd Ave W., Bradenton

Manatee Pride

[SOON]  HEALTH: Let's Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos , September 18 – September 26, 10am-2pm, 11am-3pm, 10am-2pm, 12pm-4pm

Let’s Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos, Florida Penguin Production’s annual wellness expo series, is returning to 4 locations this September. (Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater & Citrus Park) Each “Let’s Get Healthy Wellness Expo” will feature 30-40 wellness related resources & activations catered to patrons of all ages. From Geriatrics to Pediatrics, and holistic to modern, we have it all in one place for Tampa Bay to learn more about all the options available to them. Activities include fitness demos, free health checks, healthy food & drink samples, product sampling stations, a Teddy Bear Giveaway sponsored by Florida Blue, and dozens of vendors on display including many of the top Health Insurance brands, chiropractors, mental health, government services, primary care, fitness, and healthy food and drinks. Sponsored by Florida Blue, Liberty Dental Plans, Life Guard Imaging, and Your CBD Store. September 18th (10am-2pm) at The Mall at University Town Center - 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, September 19th (11am-3pm) at Westfield Brandon Mall - 459 Brandon Town Center Dr, Brandon, September 25th (10am-2pm) at Countryside Mall - 27001 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, and September 26th (12pm-4pm) at Citrus Park Mall - Center, 8021 Citrus Park Town, Tampa.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Shades of Buble: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Buble , July 13 – September 19

With three voices singing incredible songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and many more, Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Next up in the Cabaret is Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé, a high-energy concert event highlighting the swinging standards and pop hits of “The Modern Sinatra.” Since the show’s sold-out debut in 2015, Shades of Bublé has entertained audiences across the country with exciting three-part harmonies, smooth choreography, and sophisticated charm. Featuring songs like “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” and “Home,” Shades of Bublé will play in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret starting Tuesday, July 13 and will run through September 19.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Friends of the East Manatee Library: Heather Graham Interview , September 19, 1pm

Prepare your mimosas, sit back, and relax while Heather Graham shares intimate knowledge about her career and sneak peek into her upcoming book. “The Unknown” is the latest in the Krewe of Hunters series and takes place in New Orleans. A suspicious fire sets off an investigation that sends an agent to catch a serial arsonist roaming the shadowy streets of New Orleans... before the city burns down. Registration is open for the virtual event that takes place on September 19, 2021 at 1pm. Tickets begin at $15 and can be purchased at https://libraryfriendsemlwr.org/events. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. She has written over 200 novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, and the occult.

[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

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

Copyright © 2021 by SRQ Media Group, 331 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Powered by Sarasota Web Design | Unsubscribe

Read More

Paws on the Ranch

Paws on the Ranch

Brittany Mattie | Sep 17, 2021

Brunch at the Ranch

Brunch at the Ranch

Ariel Chates | Sep 17, 2021

Ranch Dining Expansions

Ranch Dining Expansions

Jacob Ogles | Sep 17, 2021

Down By The Waterside

Down By The Waterside

Jacob Ogles | Sep 17, 2021