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SRQ DAILY Sep 25, 2021

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Buyers should be patient in finding their home, aggressive when offering for a home, and above all, make sure that their offers allow them the opportunity to do their due diligence,"

- Alex Krumm, Realtor Association Sarasota and Manatee president

[Under The Hood]  Let The Redistricting Games Begin
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Florida lawmakers started the redistricting process for state and federal jurisdictions this week, and with that unveiled a new public tool where the public can envision their own ways to carve apart the Sunshine State. While delays in the census likely mean no massive listening tour like that seen in 2011, there’s more ability than ever to pick apart data.

And the first taste of data gives a little indication at least of what changes must happen with South Florida’s lines. If no one knew it before, Lakewood Ranch has massively grown as Sarasota’s population remained roughly static. We know Venice and North Port’s population within the city limits boomed, and we know Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach suffered major losses in resident counts.

It’s all going to factor into the process of redrawing Florida’s political districts for when voters elect representation next year. That said, with 120 state House districts, 40 state Senate districts and now 28 U.S. House districts — a boost of one — it’s anyone’s guess how much disruption in the Sarasota-Manatee area occurs. It doesn’t help that what politicians say and what they do has probably less relationship in the redistricting process than any other public undertaking.

But here’s what the maps at first blush tell us about local districts based on the lines that exist now.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, represents too many constituents though U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has a constituency that’s just about right. The Venice and North Port growth matters with Steube, as his U.S. House District 17 covers a lot of other areas with little to no growth. Still, even divvying up Florida’s population 28 ways instead of 27, the district has 10,734 more people than necessary. But in Buchanan’s U.S. House District 16, which spans all of Manatee and north Sarasota, there’s 114,826 more people on his constituency roster than he should have. The Legislature must balance all U.S. House districts down to one resident, so that’s a lot of weight to shed.

No surprise, there’s a similar difference between districts for state Sens. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota. Boyd, in Manatee-centric Senate District 21, represents 49,088 too many people as things stand now, and Gruters’ District 23 has 3,626 more constituents than it ideally should. With state districts, lawmakers only will try to get populations balanced within a couple percentage points. Boyd today has a a district that spills north into Hillsborough County while Gruters’ boundaries wrap around part of Charlotte County to the south. It may be that the districts remain centered around the Bradenton and Sarasota communities respectively. Or shake-ups elsewhere in the state could dramatically impact the map.

Then there’s the House, where the imbalanced growth in the region most readily presents itself. Locally, Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Sarasota, has been the voice of too many people In his Lakewood Ranch-centered district. As of the 2020 Census, he represented 42,409 more people in House District 73 than the 179,485 residents that would be in a perfect 120th-of-Florida’s-population district. That means it’s oversized more than 20%, one of the worst imbalances in the state.  Rep. James Buchanan, R-Venice, also has too many constituents in House District 74, but just 13,765 too many.

Meanwhile, the other house districts in the region are all too small. State Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby, D-St. Petersburg, has 6,328 too few constituents in House District 70, a majority minority district. State Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, has House District 71 underpopulated by 7,802 people. And state Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, has 7,760 fewer residents than the Census thinks she should.

With a majority minority district (Rayner-Goolsby’s) and a swing district (McFarland's) both in need of people and two neighboring GOP-leaning districts with voters to spare, one can imagine a lot of creative swishes around the edges taking place this year. But then, lawmakers are bound by a Fair Districts amendment, and at least outwardly seem in no rush to test it.

Go to floridaredistricting.gov if you have your own idea what should happen from here.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor of SRQ MEDIA. 

Image from FloridaRedistricting.gov: Population deviations from ideal under current state House boundaries.

[On Real Estate]  Buyer Demand Continues into Fall

Housing prices continue to rise in the Sarasota and Manatee market with August 2021 marking the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases for single-family homes. According to data from Florida REALTORS and compiled by the REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM), August reports fewer closed sales, while an increase in cash sales coupled with low supply indicates high demand and competition among buyers.

In August 2021, the combined closed sales of all property types in both counties decreased year-over-year by 7.5% to a total of 2,125 sales. August tends to be a slower month for home sales in the region, and while sales are down from the pandemic induced ‘frenzy’ in late 2020, closed sales for August 2021 improved by 8.4% when compared to August 2019.

For single-family homes, closed sales decreased year-over-year by 6% to 815 sales in Sarasota County and by 2.7% to 694 sales in Manatee. Condo sales decreased by 15.6% to 341 sales in Sarasota and decreased by 12.1% to 275 sales in Manatee.

“We're just a few months out from our high season, and right now we have about half the number of available homes than we did this time last year. There is still enormous buyer demand—expect competition, and therefore prices, to continue to rise,” said 2021 RASM President Alex Krumm, Broker Owner of NextHome Excellence. “Inventory almost always creeps up in the late summer and this year is no exception. It will be interesting to see what happens as we enter season with one-third of the available homes we had last year.”

Single-family prices have increased year-over-year each month since June 2020 and continue to rise in August. In Manatee County, the median price for single-family homes was $430,000, a 19.4% increase from last year. The single-family home price in Sarasota was $390,093 in August, an increase of 18.2%. In the condo market, Sarasota condos reported a 26.3% increase to a median price of $315,000, and Manatee reported a 23.3% increase to $275,000.

Newly listed homes, combined between the two counties, grew year-over-year by 2.3% for single-family homes and decreased by 16.3% for condos. As for new pending sales, the combined data in August showed a 16.4% decrease for single-family homes and a 24.4% decrease for condos.

“High competition for the limited number of available homes is tempting buyers to make sacrifices in price or condition in order to purchase. Buyers should be patient in finding their home, aggressive when offering for a home, and above all, make sure that their offers allow them the opportunity to do their due diligence,” added Krumm.

August 2021 reported more cash sales than the same month last year. In the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton MSA, cash sales increased by 46.4% for single-family homes and by 12.7% for condos.

The inventory of all property types in the two counties decreased by 61.9% to 1,836 active listings at the end of August. The month’s supply of inventory for single-family homes is 0.8 months in both counties, a 63.6% decrease in Sarasota and a 61.9% decrease in Manatee. Condo inventory decreased by 83.8% to a 0.6-month supply in Sarasota and dropped by 78.8% to 0.7 months in Manatee County.

The median time from listing date to contract date is hovering around one week in the two counties. For single-family homes, combined for both counties, the median time to contract was 5 days in August, an 83.3% decrease from the same time last year. For condos in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton MSA, the median time to contract decreased by 85.1% to 7 days.

REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Afghan Refugees Resettlement Relief Donation Drive , September 26, 11:00am - 3:00 pm

JFCS of the Suncoast and The Jewish Federation of  Sarasota-Manatee are co-sponsoring an Afghan refugees resettlement relief donation drive to collect essential items for individuals and families who are resettling in our community. Essential items are gently used or new clothing for men, women and children, toiletries,  bedding and bath items, kitchen essentials and cleaning supplies. However, housing is the greatest need. JFCS is asking area landlords, Airbnb hosts, Vrbo owners, or anyone with additional room in their homes, to provide free housing for Afghan refugees. Interested parties may email JFCS at Marketing@JFCS-Cares.orgwith their contact information and details about the housing location, housing type and how many refugees they can help.  Arthur Lerman, JFCS President/CEO, and his wife will be housing Afghan refugees at their home. Children also need school supplies, backpacks and reading books to assist them in learning  English and cultural concepts. Additional details about all donations are available on JFCS’  website where monetary donations are also being accepted.  

[SOON]  GALLERY: Michael Murphy Gallery: Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection , September 16 – September 26, 1pm-3pm and 7pm-9pm

Michael Murphy Gallery, Tampa’s premier fine art gallery, is proud to announce its presentation of Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection. The collection will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at the gallery beginning September 16, 2021. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to meet Madame Christine Argillet, daughter of Dali's legendary publisher and confidante Pierre Argillet, during scheduled special appearances by Madame Argillet for the public: Saturday, September 25 from 1pm–3pm and 7pm–9pm as well as Sunday, September 26 from 1pm–3pm. All appearances are complimentary to the public. For additional information about this exhibition, contact the gallery via phone: 813.902.1414 or info@michaelmurphygallery.com. RSVPs are strongly recommended HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/salvador-dali-the-argillet-collection-tickets-165960505339.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Arts A Blaze Studio: Saturday Morning Pottery and Donuts , September 11 – October 30, 10am

Bring your Coffee, Tea or Hot Cider and join Arts A Blaze Studio at 8111 Lakewood Main St. #107, Bradenton on Saturday Mornings throughout September and October at 10am. Free Donuts for every Painting Customer while they last.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Book Fair , September 25, 10am-3pm

Love to read? On Sept. 25 from 10am-3pm The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime welcomes more than a dozen local authors. Meet the writer of your new favorite books including children's books, vegan cookbooks, romance, mystery, and sci-fi. While you are here, enjoy food from award-winning Hamlet's Eatery, live music, and the 40 local vendors and artisans who make up The Bazaar community. Participating authors include: Vicki Chelf, Ann and Alan Votta, Rena Koontz, Lucia Barrett, Kate Costigan, David Marks, Hannah Bagnall, Christina Westott, Karen Hamilton, Simone Knego, Tara September, Darlien Simos, Teresa Michael, Betty Mann McQuee, MaryKatherine Wainwright, and more. Located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.BazaaronApricotandLime.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: St. Armands Circle: Sol of the Circle: St. Armands Family Day , June 27 – September 26, 11am-1pm

Life on the Circle only gets better when days are bathed in the summer sun. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and immerse yourself in the perfect setting for adventure and fun. Join us for the “Sol of the Circle,” a series of special events for the entire family. St. Armands Family Day will take place every last Sunday from 11am to 1pm. Dates are June 27, July 25, August 29, and September 26.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization: Destination Zero Workshop , September 27, 10:30am-12pm

All members of the community, and the press, who live, work, or play in Sarasota and Manatee County are invited to join Manatee and Sarasota County and City Elected Officials, the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 1 to prioritize regional transportation safety needs for the MPO Destination Zero Action Plan. The MPO is interested in hearing from individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and economic statuses about regional transportation safety challenges. the Destination Zero Workshop will be held on September 27, 2021, from 10:30am to 12pm, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Boulevard, Palmetto. Contact Corinne Tucker at 941-259-6046 for more information or to schedule an interview with an MPO representative.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Friends of the East Manatee Library: Author Luncheon Presents Author and Journalist Mary Walton , October 6, 11:15am

Author Luncheon presents acclaimed author and journalist Mary Walton. She will share the historic account of one of our nation’s leading suffragettes, as featured in her book, A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot. Where HIStory meets HERstory will celebrate the perseverance and self-sacrifice of Alice Paul that resulted in the unalienable right for all women, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Registration is open for the in-person fundraiser that takes place on October 6, 2021 at 11:15am. Very limited seating. Masks strongly encouraged per CDC guidance. Tickets begin at $45 and they can be purchased at https://libraryfriendsemlwr.org/events. Sponsorships available. Mary Walton is a retired journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 22 years, where she wrote scores of articles as a staff writer for the Sunday Inquirer magazine. She has also written for the New York Times, Washingtonian, the Washington Monthly, the American Journalism Review, and PBS. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Petra , September 25, 6:30pm

This short Spotlight Florida film centers on the problematic closing night of a Spanish language production of Las Amargas Lágrimas of Petra von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant), the play based on Fassbinder’s renown text. Written and directed by Ringling Artist in Residence Randy Valdes, the film ruminates on risk, an artist’s journey and the sacrifice of making theater. Marlie, a dutiful assistant who dreams of being the theater’s next star, struggles to wrangle a flamboyant cast of characters for a closing performance. Along the way, she learns that what she thought would bring her closer to her big break, is what is keeping her from her dreams. Dealing with Margo, the theater group’s volatile director becomes critically challenging when Marlie has to tell her the main electrical panel for the theater has collapsed. The only solution is to call the only electrician who could possibly fix the archaic apparatus: Margo’s ex-husband, Frank. Margo would rather set the stage on fire than have Frank return to that building. Tensions culminate as an aging, sensitive and melancholic star like Karilda confronts her very last performance after a long and highly acclaimed career. All while, the cast must deal with the fascinating young star sensation and drunken trainwreck: Eva. The production was filmed in Miami and is part of our commitment to support Florida based artists in creative residence and public programs and presentations. Post-Film discussion with Randy Valdes at the Historic Asolo Theater. This On Screen will show on September 25 at 6:30pm.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Skyway 20/21 Exhibition , June 20 – September 26, 10am-5pm

The Skyway 20/21 exhibition, now in its second iteration, is a celebration of artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, as it is a collaboration between four institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. Working together, curators from each institution will offer context for the diversity of art being made in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. Artworks and projects in the exhibition will be selected by museum curators and the guest juror, Claire Tancons, an independent curator and scholar whose practice takes a global focus on the conditions of cultural production. 


The Ringling Museum , 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens , July 10 – September 26

Selby Gardens and the Duncan McClellan Gallery in St. Petersburg present the fourth annual summer glass show at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from July 10 to September 26. This year’s exhibition, featuring nature-inspired glass work created exclusively by Duncan McClellan, will be displayed in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens against a backdrop of lush flowers and plants.  All artworks are available for sale with a percentage of proceeds benefiting Selby Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound St., Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Hermitage Artist Retreat: Paint on Canvas: An Artist Talk with Karen Chandler , September 28, 6pm

Join Hermitage Fellow and celebrated Sarasota/New York artist Karen Chandler as she discusses the various forms her work takes and what inspires her to spark joy in the people who see it. Recently featured in Sarasota Magazine for her “Sarasota Heroes” mural, Chandler’s work has taken her across the country: from the halls of many of the major publishing houses, to the launchpads and runways of NASA and the U.S. Air Force, and more recently to the vibrant beaches of Florida. Learn how her work has changed over time and continues to grow. This event is presented in partnership with Art Center Sarasota. Capacity is strictly limited. Tuesday, September 28, 6pm, in the courtyard at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail.

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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