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SRQ DAILY Apr 7, 2022

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"To be able to save a person's life and improve their quality of life is the best thing about living donation."

- Melody Williams, organ donor and HCA Florida Blake Hospital caregiver.

[Politics]  Fredd Atkins Sees Path to County Commission
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Former Sarasota Mayor Fredd Atkins is running once again for Sarasota County Commission. And this time the lines are staying put. 

He announced this weekend he’s running in District 2. He made his decision to run, he said, after a referendum seeking to roll back single-member districts failed. But a seat at the county dais is something he’s wanted for years.

“I’ve been thinking about this all my adult life,” he said.

He noted he worked in the 1980s with the NAACP on a lawsuit that ultimately led to single-member district elections for Sarasota City Commission. In 1985, we won election as the first Black person elected in the city, and would become Sarasota’s first Mayor.

He had higher ambitions and ran years later for Sarasota County Commission countywide multiple times, most recently in 2016 when he lost to Republican Mike Moran. After single-member districts at the county level were approved by voters in 2018, Atkins filed to challenge Moran for a District 1 seat in 2020. But a controversial decision to redraw county lines ahead of the elections carved Atkins out of the district. When the lines were drawn in 2020, Atkins ended up in a Democrat-leaning seat. 

Still, Atkins wondered when county commissioners held a special election in March if it would mean the end of single-member districts before he could run again. “I don’t like running for recreation,” he said. “I want to win, and we are going to win this time.”

Of course, there’s a long road to that goal. Atkins faces Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody and activist Mike Cosentino in a Democratic primary in August. The winner of that race will most likely face Republican incumbent City Commissioner Christian Ziegler in November, though Ziegler has yet to file for re-election.

But Atkins feels confident in large part because, unlike the last time he ran, the lines of District 2 create a constituency who knows him well. “It’s a citywide election with a little bit of the county sprinkled in to the electorate,” he said. “People will recognize my history and the work Fredd Atkins has done for us in the city of Sarasota, and the state of Florida will be rewarded by them acknowledging that I’m the best candidate for this position.”  

Photo: Fredd Atkins

[Bagel Enthusiasts]  SRQ's Best Bagels

The Best of SRQ Local competition was bigger than ever this year. With so many categories and incredible businesses participating, the Best Local Bagel category managed to slip by us as we went to press. However, out of sight in the magazine does not mean out of mind for SRQ readers. Today, we are happy to post the results for best bagels. Drum roll please.....

Whoever invented breakfast food had a thing for circles—pancakes, donuts, sausage patties, english muffins. The shape reigns supreme and perhaps the most beloved is the bagel. Synonymous with New York City as much as the early morning, bagels provide the perfect pick your own adventure culinary journey. Between the seemingly endless bagel flavors—sesame, everything, cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, and the multitude of cream cheese choices plus toppings the possibilities are endless. Toasting their way to the top this year is Platinum winner Brooklyn Bagels & Deli. In second place, lox no further than Gold winner 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop. And, rounding out the competition is Silver sensation Lox' n Egg Bread Company.

Emily Govaars, (on Brooklyn Bagels & Deli): Their bacon egg and cheese bagel is to die for and always a quick hearty breakfast on the way to work! Their customer service feels like home and so does the food. So glad they’re in business!

Sarah Seay, (on 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop): Best bagels in town. So many options on how to get them prepared. With great drink selection!

Werner Gundersheimer, (on Lox' n Egg Bread Company): Bagels are extremely fresh, not excessively doughy, with consistent quality across the range; the bialys are even better.

We will be publishing this category as part of the Best of SRQ Local Showcase in the July/August 2022 edition of the magazine. And that's the hole truth. 

[Grant Awarded]  Mote Receives Grant to Continue STEM Programming for PACE

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is pleased to recognize support from Manatee Community Foundation for Mote’s award-winning education programs. Thanks to The Bishop-Parker Foundations Fund of Manatee Community Foundation, Mote and partners at Pace Center for Girls will provide year-round monthly STEM programming for 40 Manatee County students at Pace for the year. This is the 7th year of partnership between Mote and Pace, which works to create an environment that fosters the long-term growth and development of young women in the community. Through virtual interactive lessons, in-person visits to Mote, and targeted lesson plans, students at Pace will learn more about marine animals, the factors that contribute to healthy marine ecosystems, and learn more about conservation-minded practices. Participation in the program also helps girls develop the self-confidence needed in academic settings to engage with STEM content. 

Photo courtesy of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

[New Homes]  Pulte Homes Announces Avanti at Waterside

Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s most recognized and trusted brands in homebuilding for 70 years, has announced their new Avanti at Waterside community. This 32-acre community in Lakewood Ranch – the No. 1 multigenerational master-planned community in the United States – will feature 166 homesites. Avanti at Waterside will offer new construction townhomes, single-family homes and attached villas, with expected pricing from the low $300,000s. A myriad of homesites will enjoy views of a 125-acre lake.

Avanti at Waterside will be located in Sarasota County and situated just a mile-and-a half from the new Waterside Place, a lakeside town center home to restaurants, beauty and wellness services and a Sunday farmers’ market. Residents at Avanti will have quick access to The Plaza and The Yard, popular spots for community events and gatherings, while The Marina offers outdoor exploration with rental kayaks available for paddling the waters of Kingfisher Lake. Avanti at Waterside also offers close proximity to Interstate 75, Nathan Benderson Park and the University Town Center shopping, dining and entertainment district. Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Lakewood Ranch Main Street and a Publix supermarket are all within a few miles. The community will be located less than one mile from Lakewood Ranch Business Park and within 10 miles of several major employment hubs and downtown Sarasota. Local schools include the well-rated Tatum Ridge Elementary School, McIntosh Middle School and Booker High School. Nearby recreational options include parks, sports complexes and golf courses. Lido Beach is just 11 miles away, and the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is nine miles from the community. For exclusive monthly updates as the community progresses, join the VIP Interest List by visiting www.Pulte.com/Avanti. 

Pictured: Cascadia Kitchen and Gathering Room. New homes in Avanti will offer Pulte’s signature consumer-inspired plans, with open-concept designs offering plenty of space for gathering indoors or out.

[Issues Advocacy]  Jewish and Black Students Address Hatred and Genocide

Today, a diverse group of religious and issues advocacy organizations in Sarasota County announced the launch of the Impact Theatre, a program that seeks to educate younger generations about the common history of oppression and persecution among Jewish and Black people. Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s relationship, 16 Jewish and Black high school students are serving as Agents of Impact, where they are interviewing Holocaust survivors in addition to Black elders who lived in the segregated South. The students will then apply what they’ve learned to educate others and stand against all forms of hatred. As part of their roles as Agents of Impact, the students are leading one-on-one interviews with their paired elders. They will then prepare presentations that recap their elders’ stories, express how the experience affected them, and describe what course of action they plan to take as a result. The students will be surveyed at the start and end of the project to measure changes in their perceptions and attitudes. The entire project will be filmed to produce a documentary upon its completion. The organizations at the forefront of the project are the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Temple Sinai, and Newtown Alive. Zaret and her co-founders Walter Gilbert and Bethany Leinweber hope to spread the messages of Impact Theatre far beyond Sarasota County, with the documentary film and through the students as they impact others throughout their lives. 

[Living Donation]  Living Organ Donor Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary of Giving the Gift of Life This National Living Donor Day

HCA Florida Blake Hospital honors caregiver Melody Williams on this National Living Donor Day. November 18, 1992, Melody gave the gift of life to her sister Debbie by donating one of her kidneys. Years ago, Melody’s sister Debbie ended up in the hospital with very elevated blood pressure after the passing of their father. After extensive diagnostic work, it was discovered that Debbie’s kidneys were failing. Debbie was placed on peritoneal dialysis and was told that eventually, she would need to have a kidney transplant. She was on peritoneal dialysis for 18 months. Debbie’s siblings, one brother and three sisters tested to see if they were a match. Melody tested to see if she was a match while she was in the hospital after giving birth to her youngest child and was the perfect match. The local transplant program promptly contacted Melody with the test results. “I did not think twice about it,” says Melody. “Was it scary, yes, but it was the most important decision I made in my life, to safe my sister’s life.”

Six months after giving birth to her youngest child, Melody and her sister Debbie both checked into the hospital and the transplant was a success. This year marks the official 30th-anniversary of the transplant. Melody shares that both she and her sister Debbie are doing great, and Blake Hospital is proud to honor Melody for her selfless, life-saving decision and for sharing her story to help raise awareness about living donor donations. “To be able to save a person’s life and improve their quality of life is the best thing about living donation,” says Melody. “To me, it is even more special if the person’s life you save is your family member because you can see how their quality of life has improved firsthand. My sister is still here with us to share all the special family moments that life brings.” 

To learn more, click here

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Sarasota Audubon Society Guided Walks: Oscar Scherer State Park , November 4 – April 7, 8:30am

Sarasota Audubon Society (SAS) Oscar Scherer State Park Walks will take place every Thursday, from November 4 through April 7. Meet 8:30am inside park at Lake Osprey Nature Center (fee). 1st, 2nd and 5th Thursdays led by Venice Audubon; 3rd & 4th Thursdays led by Peter Brown (508-241-5541).

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: An Officer and a Gentleman , April 6 – April 7, 7:30pm

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere, is a breathtaking production that celebrates triumph over adversity and includes one of the most iconic and romantic endings ever portrayed on screen. Featuring the Grammy Award winning, #1 hit single “Up Where We Belong” and a score based on the 1980s catalogue of music that gave voice to a generation, the live stage production is a new adaptation by multiple Tony Awards nominee Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture), based on the original screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart. The musical is directed by Scanlan with choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Motown, A Night with Janis Joplin). Zack Mayo’s got smarts and a body built for US Navy pilot boot camp, but he also has too much swagger… until he meets a drill sergeant who’s determined to drill his arrogance out of him. Zack finds comfort in the arms of a local factory girl. But it isn’t until tragedy befalls a fellow candidate that Zack learns the importance of love and friendship, and finds the courage to be his best self and win the heart of the woman he loves. Shows on April 6 and 7 at 7:30pm.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail

[SOON]  MUSIC: Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center:Good Morning Bedlam , April 7, 7pm
This 3-piece folk trio brings a new energy and excitement to the Midwest folk scene. Utilizing a thumping kick-drum, three part harmonies and lyrical storytelling Good Morning Bedlam will take the audience on a new and captivating adventure.

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Breakfast Event at Manatee Community Foundation to Share Success of Community Partnership School Model , April 8, 8:30am

Join the Manatee Community Foundation for breakfast and a discussion about Manatee Elementary School. Learn how gains for the neighborhood and its student are made through supporting access to health care, social and basic needs services, and academic support. 

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Pops: Great American Songbook , April 8 – April 9, 7:30pm and 2:30pm

Hear the tunes Nat King Cole was talking about when he crooned, "Unforgettable." Celebrated Pops conductor Sean O'Loughlin leads a program of romantic anthems featuring exciting vocalists on Friday, April 8 at 7:30pm at the Van Wezel and Saturday, April 9 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm at the Van Wezel. Music will include Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me," Etta James' "At Last," and Cole's "Nature Boy."

[WEEKEND]  DANCE: Dance For Child Abuse Prevention , April 9, 3:30-5:30pm

Local Zumba Fitness instructors are hosting a "Dance For Child Abuse Prevention." Zumba classes will be offered to participants. Food Trucks and vendors will be availible from 3:30-5:30 pm, and a raffle will take place at 5pm. Guets of all ages are welcome and encouraged to wear blue. A donatation of $20 is encouraged. 

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: Key Chorale: American Roots: Bluegrass , April 8 – April 10, 7:30pm-9:30pm and 4pm-6pm

American Roots: Bluegrass will take place on April 8 7:30pm-9:30pm, April 9 4pm-6pm, and April 10, 2022 4pm-6pm. A genre-bending fusion of Bluegrass and folk meets choral music featuring the tight vocal harmonies and virtuosic playing of The Lubben Brothers. The Lubben Brothers is an acoustic group made up of triplet brothers, Michael, Tom, and Joshua. The brothers specialize in sublime vocals as well as a unique blend of folk instruments including banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, accordion, hammered dulcimer, and fiddle. Classically trained at a young age, their modern songwriting style incorporates folk roots, pop and bluegrass.

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Chamber Soirees: Quintessential Clarinet , April 10, 4pm

Sarasota Orchestra Principal Clarinetist Bharat Chandra in a program of music highlighting this most versatile of instruments on Sunday, April 10 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's A Psalm of Life. This program consists of Coleridge-Taylor Clarinet Quintet and Brahms Clarinet Quintet.

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: La Musica International Chamber Music Festival: Strut and Fret , April 10, 3pm

Concert III, Strut and Fret, will take place on April 10, 2022 at 3pm at Sarasota Opera House. Single concert tickets are $50. There will be a pre-concert talk with Robert Sherman at 2:15pm. Grammy Award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux returns to perform in contemporary and Classical quintets, contrasted with the lush Dvorak quintet for piano and strings. Luigi Boccherini, Guitar Quintet in D Major, G.448, “Fandango”, Giacomo Susani, Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet, and Antonin Dvorak, Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Major, Op. 81. Benny Kim, violin; Ruth Lenz, violin; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Dmitri Atapine, cello; Christine J. Lee, cello; Wendy Chen, piano; Jason Vieaux, guitar.

[WEEKEND]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Terry Fator: Who's The Dummy Now? , April 10, 7pm

TERRY FATOR is the most gifted and accomplished ventriloquist/singer on the planet, whose repertoire includes more than 200 celebrity voices, many of whom we see on stage. Being onstage is Terry’s lifeblood, and he is wildly excited to return to the stage to share his talents with his fans. Who’s the Dummy Now? is a comedic and musical “origin story,” in which we explore what makes Terry tick and how he came up with the puppets who are his partners on stage. Nothing connects people like laughter and song, and Terry is so grateful to once again have the opportunity to bring people together under the same roof on Sunday, April 10 at 7pm after a year of being apart.

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: Ring Sarasota Performance , April 10, 4pm
Join Sarasotas premier handbell ensemble for a performance of songs from the stage and screen! The ensemble will ring out tunes from movies, musicals and TV, along with a selection of original songs.

Peace Presbyterian Church, Lakewood Ranch

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Mansion Of Dreams Starring Illusionist Rick Thomas , April 11, 7pm

This is a journey never to be forgotten. MANSION OF DREAMS is the crowning achievement of the multi-award-winning Master Illusionist, Rick Thomas. He has the unique ability to transport his entire audience to a mystical and riveting world unlike their own, and it is all found within the walls of his Mansion of Dreams. Stunning magic, extreme comedy, exquisite dancers and an inspiring story are woven into one of the most amazing productions ever to be seen on stage and television today. Mansion of Dreams will take place on Monday, April 11 at 7pm.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association: Music Matinees: The GS Duo , April 13, 1pm

A longstanding community outreach program, Music Matinees feature accomplished area-based musicians who perform an array of musical styles. Concerts take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1pm in David Cohen Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. The GS Duo will take place on April 13. The award-winning GS Duo formed in early 2010 during their undergraduate classical studies at Stetson University. Flutist Angela Galestro and guitarist Jonathan Smith offer a diverse repertoire of classical, jazz, Latin American and popular music. The group won second place in The American Prize Chamber Music Competition, making them the only two-person chamber music ensemble to earn a top prize in this category.

[SOON]  MUSIC: La Musica International Chamber Music Festival: From Darkness into Light , April 13, 7:30pm

Concert IV, From Darkness into Light, will take place on April 13, 2022 at 7:30pm at Sarasota Opera House. Single concert tickets are $50. There will be a pre-concert talk with Robert Sherman at 6:45pm. Mozart’s dark and stormy piano quartet may have deterred its publisher, but it showed the way from the Classical to the Romantic – so Tchaikovsky owes Mozart (and Florence) for his inspiration. This souvenir is beyond festive – think 1812 without the cannons. Wolfgang Mozart, Quartet for Piano and Strings in G Minor, K. 478, Zoltan Kodály, Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, String Sextet in D Major, Op. 70, Souvenir de Florence. Benny Kim, violin; Ruth Lenz, violin; Daniel Avshalomov, viola; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Dmitri Atapine, cello; Christine J. Lee, cello; Wendy Chen, piano.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Strings Con Brio , April 13, 6pm
A concert by Strings Con Brio will be preformed with the complimentary backdrop of Robert Mapplethorpe's body of work. The performance will echo the symmetry, beauty and compositional form of the Mapplethorpe exhibit currently on display at The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling: Corporeal Decorum by Liony Garcia , April 14 – April 16, 11am and 7:30pm

Liony Garcia is a dancer and choreographer based in Miami, FL. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New World School of the Arts. As a performer, he has worked with BodyTraffic (LA) performing choreographic works by Guy Weizman and Roni Haver (NL) and Barack Marshall. Locally he's worked under the direction of Alexey Taran with Bistoury Physical Theater and is a founding member of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater. Liony is currently a dancer in Brigid Baker’s WholeProject. He’s worked director Celia Rowlson-Hall on her latest short film entitled Swamp Lake. He's recently worked with filmaker, Claudio Marco Tulli on his film installation, Blasting Pixels. As a solo performer, Liony has performed at Mana Contemporary , International Noise Music Conference and most recently at Bas Fisher Invitational, along with modular furniture designer Deon Rubi. This performance will show on April 14, 15 and 16 at 11am and 7:30pm.

[SOON]  FOOD: Mote Marine: SEAsonal Tasting at Nathan Benderson Park , April 14, 6pm-9:30pm

Enjoy delicious food during this special event at Nathan Benderson Park celebrating restaurants of University Town Center (UTC) and benefiting Mote Science Education Aquarium (Mote SEA), your future neighbor in the UTC community on Thursday, April 14 from 6pm to 9:30pm, Finish Tower at Nathan Benderson Park (event takes place outside). Ticket price is $125.

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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