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SRQ DAILY Jul 18, 2022

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"This is a moment here. I believe it benefits our children when parents are engaged and involved. Our students absolutely win when we build partnerships with families. That is a recipe for academic success."

- Bridget Ziegler, Sarasota County School Board Member

[Politics]  Ziegler Pushes for Parental Rights in Schools Race

In the eight years since first joining the Sarasota County School Board, Bridget Ziegler developed a national profile. She has appeared regularly on Fox News, played a vocal role in the school choice movement and stood alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis as he signed his most high-profile education priorities. This weekend, she appeared on a panel with Sen. Rick Scott at the Moms For Liberty conference in Tampa with other high-profile conservatives to discuss education issues.

Now she stands for re-election to a third full term and hopes an energized parents’ rights movement paves the way to political success. “This is a moment here,” Ziegler said. “I believe it benefits our children when parents are engaged and involved. Our students absolutely win when we build partnerships with families. That is a recipe for academic success.”

First appointed to a School Board vacancy by then-Gov. Scott in 2014, Ziegler always served as a controversial figure. She’s served in a political minority on the board her entire tenure, and frequently clashed with some outgoing School Board members like Shirley Brown and Jane Goodwin. Notably, she’s supporting other candidates, Robyn Marinelli and Tim Enos, for open seats on the board and could find herself the leading figure in a new majority.

Meanwhile, she’s a fixture on cable news, where she has talked about hot-button issues like critical race theory and the handling of LGBTQ students in schools.

As a personal matter, her opponent Dawnyelle Singleton has questioned the fact Ziegler opted to enroll all of her own children in private schools instead of the district. Ziegler feels discussing family decisions falls out of bounds for the campaign. “I will never apologize for the decision we believe was best for our child and neither should any parent,” she said.

But she also said the board needs to hear the concerns of parents angry about certain agendas being pushed in schools.

“That’s the frustration— the continuing moving of policies focusing on promotion of gender ideology and different political agendas that clearly a diverse community doesn’t always agree on,” Ziegler said.

While Ziegler does stress the need to keep schools an environment where all students are safe from bullying, she supports a parental rights bill that says schools should leave instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation to parents and out of the classroom. She also voices concerns about books parents don’t want on library shelves that discuss such matters. Asked about whether taking those books off shelves, as another law passed this year could lead to, she stressed the need for schools to focus on core curriculum.

“The role of education as a public government body is to stay within their lanes,” she said. “Parents are more frustrated that education is going far outside those lines, and asking to do far more than what an educator is even capable of doing in a school day, and that further creates division.”

Ziegler also stressed a belief that policymakers, not teachers themselves, should be held accountable for this shift. Locally, she blames the School Board majority.

“We need to be teaching a curriculum based on fact and rooted in science and not agendas,” she said, “and there is clearly a different element that cares about feelings versus facts.”

The Sarasota School Board election will be held on Aug. 23. 

[Salaries]  North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Sees the 6th Largest Wage Increase in the U.S.

On the surface, the economy of the last two years has been extremely favorable to workers. After spiking to nearly 15% early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate today sits around 3.6%. Despite employers’ urgency to hire, labor force participation has been slower to recover, and the “Great Resignation” has workers quitting at historic rates in search of better jobs.

With these factors contributing to a tight labor market, workers have more choice of job opportunities, and more employers have been raising wages to hire and retain employees. As a result, nominal wages are growing faster than at any point in at least two decades.

But rising inflation over the course of 2021 and 2022 has taken a bite out of rising wages. Year-over-year inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has hovered around or above 8% for much of 2022. Prices for essential expenses like food, shelter, and energy have skyrocketed due to supply challenges. With prices rising so quickly, workers are discovering that their increased pay does not go as far as they had hoped.

The effects of inflation on wages have also varied by geography. While all 50 states showed at least some increase in non-adjusted wages between 2020 and 2021, only 13 saw a real increase after adjusting for inflation. And among those, New Hampshire (5.2% inflation-adjusted increase) and Florida (2.8%) stand out as the only states whose workers experienced inflation-adjusted wage increases above 1% from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

The analysis found that average weekly wages in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area experienced a year-over-year increase of 8.5%. Out of all midsize U.S. metros, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton saw the 6th largest wage increase during the study period. 

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Smartest Dollar's website.

Click here.

[Festival]  2022 Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Festival Returns

Online advance tickets and parking passes are now available for purchase for the 12th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic to be held November 11-14, 2022 on Siesta Beach. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

This four-day festival features twenty-four premier master sand sculptors competing for top prizes in solo and duo categories. Their masterpieces transform the always beautiful Siesta Beach into an amazing outdoor art gallery. And it’s more than just sand...the festival also features live music throughout the event along with a large variety of 80+ shopping and food and drink vendors. Free filtered water stations are provided by Sarasota County. Official Crystal Classic merchandise will also be available. Other activities include the popular three-day “Quick Sand” competition, sand sculpting lessons, an amateur sculpting competition and people’s choice voting.

The festival will be open 10 am to 5 pm daily with extended hours Saturday night until 9 pm with live music by Fleetwood Max, The Definitive Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band. A full live music lineup will be announced in October. Designated food and beverage trailers and the party tent will be open and the sculptures will be lit through a fabulous light display.

In 2021 the festival welcomed over 30,000 attendees and generated over $9 million in economic impact for our community. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic is presented in collaborative partnership between the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and the Siesta Beach Festival, Inc. Our mission is to promote tourism, local businesses and the visual arts via the production of one of the most unique sculpture festivals held in the world on the #1 beach in the U.S. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Scholarship Fund for Ringling College of Art + Design. 

Click for more.

[Staff Announcement]  Community Day School Appoints Director of Early Childhood Education Programs

Hershorin Schiff Community Day School (CDS) recently appointed Tracey Bortz as its director of Early Childhood Education Center programs. Bortz had previously served as the director of early childhood education at the Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike, Ohio. According to Dan Ceaser, CDS’s Head of School, Bortz was chosen as the result of a nationwide search that took place over a period of six months. “Our search committee sought a veteran leader who has a clear appreciation for diversity and the teaching of universal values to students of all faiths through Jewish values, traditions, and practice,” says Ceaser. “Our candidate also had to be able to cultivate relationships with teachers, students, and families to create a positive team spirit throughout the school. We had a long list of other requirements, including that they be a lifelong learner who consistently grows their own breadth of knowledge and skill sets while encouraging the same development for all Early Childhood Education Center staff. We’re thrilled to say we found all of these qualities and more in Ms. Bortz.” Tracey Bortz was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-one years ago, Bortz and her family emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from the Johannesburg College of Education in South Africa and then later received her master’s degree from Siegal College of Jewish Studies in Cleveland. Bortz enjoys travelling with her husband Barry to visit their children in New York, Chicago and Australia. 

Click for more.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: The Jersey Tenors: Part II , July 19 – September 11, Varies.

Back with a new show, this opera/rock mash-up sensation blends iconic opera classics with Rock & Roll hits from artists like Queen, Journey, and Elton John, along with the songs from Jersey’s finest—Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Bon Jovi. From Frank Sinatra to Figaro, hear The Tenors’ original arrangements of songs celebrating artists from the stage to the screen, including “Walk Like A Man,” “Your Song,” “That’s Life,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and many more. The Jersey Tenors: Part II, created and conceived by Brian Noonan, will play beginning July 19, 2022 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Amore Restaurant Extends Savor Sarasota Promotion to December , June 1 – December 18

Amore Restaurant has decided to extend Savor Sarasota Menu through December 18th (not combined with any other offer and, not available on special occasions). Savor Sarasota is a 3 course menu dinner for $35.00 per person. The restaurant offers a Portuguese and an Italian menu. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9PM. Fridays and Sundays 5 to 9:30pm. With indoor and outdoor seating available. Easy and free parking. Menu can be viewed here:https://www.amorelbk.com/savor-sarasota/

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Bishop: Laser Light Nights , May 26 – August 13, 7pm and 9pm

Break out the big hair and acid-washed denims—Laser Light Nights are back at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 26 through August 13 at 7pm and 9pm, we are rocking out to some of your favorite artists in the Planetarium. A variety of food options and drinks are available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Tickets are going fast—get yours today! Please note: Laser Light Nights run at a volume similar to a rock concert. Ear plugs are advised for those who prefer a lower volume.

Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Tripletail Seafood and Spirits Wine Down Wednesdays , July 11 – July 31, 3pm-close

Every Wednesday from 3:00 to Close we offer discounted pricing on select bottles of wine. Explore our extensive domestic and imported wine list or just indulge in your favorites. Tripletail Seafood & Spirits will extend Savor Sarasota to Tripletails Summer Savor, through July. Taste Chef Traes extensive special Savor Menu of appetizers, entrée’s and desserts, with suggested wine pairings from our imported and domestic wine selections. Tripletail Seafood and Spirits Happy Hours menu. 3pm-6pm Every Day, Classic & Signature Cocktails, Wine and Beer $1 off plus some delish new Small Bite offerings. https://www.tripletailsrq.com/

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Love, Linda at The Players , July 14 – July 24, 7:30 pm and 2:00 pm

The Players Centre presents Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter. July 14-16 & 21-23, 2022 at 7:30pm; July 17 & 24, 2022 at 2pm. The timeless music and lyrics of Cole Porter weave through the compelling narrative of Linda Lee Thomas, the Southern beauty who was the driving force behind the legendary songwriter. Studio 1130-The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Please park and enter the mall at the Connors Steak & Seafood.

[SOON]  GALLERY: As long as there is sun, as long as there is light: Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art , November 21 – August 13, Museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of As long as there is sun, as long as there is light. Selections from the Bring Gift and The Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will run Nov. 21, 2021 – Aug. 13, 2023, in the museum’s Searing Wing. In 2020, The Ringling received a significant gift of art from Murray Bring and Kay Delaney Bring, in support of the modern and contemporary collection. Highlights from the gift include an important minimalist work by Anne Truitt and a monumental work on canvas by Gene Davis, both artists affiliated with the Washington Color School, an art movement during the 1950s to 1970s in Washington D.C., made up of abstract expressionist artists Additional works in the gift represent a generation of prominent artists who work, or have worked, in abstraction, including Clement Meadmore, Jules Olitski, Beverly Pepper, Rebecca Salter, Kenneth Snelson, and Yuriko Yamaguchi, among others. Also on view are sculptures and paintings by distinguished African American and Latin American artists from The Ringling collection, including William Edmondson, Eduardo Mac Entyre, Omar Rayo, Baruj Salinas, and Joyce de Guatemala.  

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Art Museum: Jazz Thursdays , January 13 – January 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Jazz Thursdays at Sarasota Art Museum will runs through January 12, 2023 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members. Sarasota Art Museum invites you to be our guest at our first Jazz Thursday at SAM, featuring Hot Club of SRQ. Sarasota Art Museum is partnering with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for Jazz Thursdays. Join us for our special late-night performances on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Jazz Thursdays will occur on the second Thursday of each month until January 12, 2023. Galleries + Bistro + Shop will be open.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Circus Arts Conservatory & The Ringling: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, Varies.

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts. Some of the circus world’s most exciting acts have signed on for the annual show - a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling - with performances presented over nine weeks this summer. The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes a wide range of acts, including duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla, and more. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Go to Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399.

Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, 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

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