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SRQ DAILY Jul 21, 2022

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"Southwest Florida is one of the most desirable relocation markets in the country and Lakewood Ranch offers newcomers an incredible lifestyle and strong sense of community within it."

- Laura Cole, Senior Vice President, Lakewood Ranch.

[Politics]  Cietek Wants Schools Focused On Commonalities
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Nora Cietek would just as soon avoid politics altogether. A candidate for Sarasota County School Board, she frequently tells voters she’s an educator, not a politician. “If I had to do five intense interviews to get this job, I’d rather do that,” she said.

The Venice retiree worked 30 years in education in New York, where she served as a classroom teacher, school principal and eventually a district level administrator in charge of special education. She’s lived in Sarasota County more recently, and with an open seat on the School Board, sees the need to put her experience to use here.  

“It was a way I could pay it forward, a way to use my skillset to help Sarasota County maintain their ‘A’ grade and have equitable programs for all children,” she said.

Cietek feels her background working in all levels of education allows her both a 30,000-feet view on a school district’s broader needs and a comprehension of the challenges facing educators every day.

As she watched contentious school board meetings overtaken by political rhetoric, Cietak hopes to bring an ear and calm demeanor to address parents’ concerns. “There’s heightened talk about children, and sometimes their delivery isn’t so great,” she said. “But I have talked to some who have been regulars who speak to the board. Communication is something I’d like for us to work on. That would bring more harmony to the team.”

What most upsets Cietek about the political discourse right now remains how little conversation seems focused on students’ individual needs.

She sees that approach helping address even hot-button issues, like those raised by individuals angry about parents’ rights. She references legislation allowing challenges of learning materials available within district schools. “If a parent doesn’t like a book, we should ask ‘How would you like it so your child doesn’t interface with that book?’” Cietek said. That could respect parents’ fears about the contents of some material without completely censoring it. 

It could also go a great deal of distance, she said, in refocusing all involved on finding commonalities between what parents, teachers, students and the wider community want public education to provide.

Whatever druthers she may have brought to a campaign, she hopes interfacing with voters leading into the Aug. 23 School Board election offers the community a glimpse of how she would handle herself on the board. 

“It has been a real positive. The amazing people I’ve met are very focused on whatever they believe in,” she said. “The passion has just been incredible.”

There’s been a level of partisanship around the races she doesn't appreciate. Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed a slate of Republican candidates, including Cietek’s opponent, Tim Enos. But Cietakn said she believes the nonpartisan race should be focused on issues affecting all students and families. Decisions regarding schools should not be made, she said, based on whether school leaders hold the same political beliefs as families.

“That’s how I will govern when I sit on the board,” she said. “And I will be listeneing through that lens. If people have an agenda, why are they pushing it? And what is motiviating them if it is not helping kids.” 

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Mason Ayres of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation

In the July/August 2022 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Mason Ayres, President of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation as part of our In Conversation feature about nonprofit leaders. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Ayres his insights with SRQ readers on community growth and changes.

We are a community that's bursting at the seams at the moment. There are a tremendous number of new residents every day. How does that affect your organization, both in the pressures involved and the benefits to the system from having new people coming?

I think the hospital definitely has seen and has anticipated to some extent the growth that's going on in our community overall. And that's what's pushing them to continue to expand services for the community as it relates to how people can benefit. It's kind of interesting in our role from the philanthropy side. It really gives the community an opportunity to step in and help the hospital continue to expand out its services. They can play a very important and critical role in that growth. And we have seen that from the healthcare foundation's standpoint, that the community has continued to step in and help support the hospital as they expand their vision. So it's really a unique time right now for those that are philanthropically minded and have healthcare as an interest that they can kind of work alongside the hospital as it grows. 

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, 1515 S. Osprey Ave., Suite B4 Sarasota. 941-917-1286, https://www.smhf.org

To read the full article, click here.

[Recognition Given]  Outstanding Youth Leadership in Our Community: Lillian H.

Our community is filled with many incredible young people doing such amazing things. This summer, we are featuring some of these young people in our Thursday Family & Education edition. Each of the students we are highlighting has been chosen as one of this year’s SRQ Magazine’s top youth leaders based on their values, determination and outstanding achievements in different aspects of their lives in and out of school.

Lillie is an eighth-grader at Brookside Middle School. She puts her knowledge to the test as a participant on her school’s robotics team. Aside from academics, she is also involved in rowing. Lillie has been at Girls Inc. since 2016.

We asked Lillie about her inspiration to be a role model and her goals for the future.

"I try to be a leader because I had a leader that showed me right from wrong and it helped me a lot. I want to be that for others," she said. "My role models are the people who never give up no matter what. My goal for the future is to do well in rowing and to never give up on engineering." 

Pictured: Lillie is an eighth-grader at Brookside Middle School. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Recognition]  LWR Remains Best-Selling All-Ages Community

Lakewood Ranch is once again the top-selling multi-generational community in the nation with 1,026 sales so far this year, according to RCLCO’s semiannual Top 50 Master-Planned Communities report. The Villages active-adult community in Central Florida was first place overall with an estimated 1,500 sales year to date and Silverado in Dallas came in a distant third place with 599 sales. Florida leads the nation in MPC performance, representing 36% of all sales among ranked communities; Texas was close behind with 34%. Lakewood Ranch has been a perennial top performer because it embodies the principals of a strong community. “With each new phase we continue to integrate our hallmark features including parks, trails, schools, shopping, dining, job centers, healthcare, and day-to-day conveniences,” said Laura Cole, Senior Vice President of Lakewood Ranch. “Our multigenerational appeal and lifestyle offerings continue to be a strong draw and we anticipate that buyers who have been sidelined in the inventory crunch will reemerge as conditions stabilize a bit and as supply-chain pressures on builders ease,” she added.The Ranch’s location and regional attractions are also a major driver of sales. The Sarasota-Bradenton area has continued to rank at the top of “where to live” lists due to the extremely high quality of life, a dynamic downtown, vast arts offerings, excellent beaches, winning sports teams, top-rated schools, and top-notch health care offerings. “Southwest Florida is one of the most desirable relocation markets in the country,” remarked Cole, “and Lakewood Ranch offers newcomers an incredible lifestyle and strong sense of community within it.” 

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Christmas in July , July 21 – July 23, 10am-3pm

Ho! Ho! Ho! Head over to the Limelight District if you are ready to find great deals on unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and visit with Santa! The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime is celebrating Christmas in July from Thursday the 21st to Saturday the 23rd from 10-3 each day. The 40 creators and curators are offering great deals on clothing, original art, plants, jewelry, unique one-if-a-kind items, and so much more! Plus, kids can always pick out a free book when they visit. It’s Breakfast with Santa at Hamlet’s Eatery in The Bazaar courtyard from 10:30-12:30. Enjoy delicious breakfast items off the menu and bring your camera. Our neighbors across the street, Creative Liberties, are also celebrating Saturday with deals, cookies, and activities for the kids. 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information call 941-445-1938 or visit www.BazaarOnApricotandLime.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]  SPORTS: International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships , July 18 – July 24

The 13th CCWC will be held from July 18 to 24, 2022 at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP), located in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. Held in alternate years, these championships are for entire boats from individual clubs around the world. Dragon boat races are water sport activity in which teams race in a canoe-like vessel.

Nathan Benderson Park

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: The Fantasticks , July 21 – July 24

The Fantasticks, with Book & Lyrics By Tom Jones and Music By Harvey Schmidt, will show July 21 - 24. “Try To Remember” a time when this romantic charmer wasn’t enchanting audiences around the world. The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in the world and with good reason: at the heart of its breathtaking poetry and subtle theatrical sophistication is a purity and simplicity that transcends cultural barriers. The result is a timeless fable of love that manages to be nostalgic and universal at the same time.

Venice Theatre Jervey Main Stage

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Fun Under the Stars at The Bay's Family Movie Night! , July 29, 7:30pm-9pm

Come early to enjoy a walk through The Bay Park, then find a spot on the Civic Green, set out your blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic if desired. We recommend you bring beverages and bug spray, but definitely don't confuse the two! Once the sun sets, enjoy the free movie, popcorn and ice cream stretched out under the stars. Brought to you by our Founding Business Partners of The Bay! Run time: 1.5 Hours Date and time Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 7:30 PM EDT Location The Bay Park - Civic Green North side of the Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail.

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century , March 6 – August 28, Museum hours.

The exhibition features work from the past decade by an international selection of artists and visual activists that are working to make palpable the unseen information, or metadata, that undergirds the image regime. This includes not just the tags or descriptors attached to image files, but the power relationships, biases, and economic interests that are not always visible in the image itself. The exhibition emphasizes an expanded concept of photographic practice that includes research-based projects, installation, conceptual work, and activism as well as analog and digital photographs. Artists featured are Mohsen Azar, Viktoria Binschtok, Mladen Bizumic, Joy Buolamwini, Jason Lazarus, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Lilly Lulay, Trevor Paglen, and Penelope Umbrico. Metadata: Rethinking Photography in the 21st Century will be held at The John and Mable Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida from March 6 through August 28th, 2022. The exhibition is curated by Christopher Jones, Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away , June 14 – August 7, Varies.

This is Rock & Roll Reignited! Inspired by the legendary music of artists like Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and more, this new revue reignites Rock & Roll classics with sizzle, showmanship, and style. Fresh off their national tour, Not Fade Away has performed to sold out theatres in over 150 cities. Now, the four-piece band brings the best of the ‘50s and ‘60s to Sarasota with such hits as “It’s So Easy,” “Rave On,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and more. Rock & Roll Reignited With Not Fade Away, created by Jared Mancuso with musical arrangements by Jared Mancuso and Nick Gallardo plays June 14 - August 7, 2022, in FST's John C. Court Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Friday Fest 2022 , June 17 – September 16, 5pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Friday Fest events are our outdoor concert series that provide the community with 4 entertaining and FREE events from June to September, showcasing the best of local bands from Sarasota and Bradenton. Friday Fest brings together a wide variety of talented artists along with food trucks and drink stations on the Van Wezel lawn along the beautiful Sarasota Bayfront. Our Friday Fest lineup includes: Yesterdayze - June 17, Kettle of Fish - July 15, Big Night Out - August 12, and Jah Movement - September 16 at 5pm. 

Van Wezel

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Moxie , June 25 – July 30
The July Gallery for Art Uptown will exhibit "MOXIE by Rita Rust." Rust's watercolor action portraits capture the feeling of joy that can be found even in the darkest times.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Farmers' Market at Lakewood Ranch , January 2 – December 25, 10am-2pm

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch is home to more than 90 curated vendors of the region’s best food and flavors, located at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. It takes place every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at Waterside Place. It’s your weekend destination for organic produce, meat, poultry, seafood, bread, pasta, juices and prepared foods. Stay up to date on vendors and events by visiting TheMarketLWR.com.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Limelight Market , April 23 – December 17, 10am-3pm

Every 3rd Saturday from 10-3 The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime opens their outdoor space for guest vendors, dog rescues, and live music. Check out the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar every Thursday - Saturday. Enjoy a delicious lunch and support local. Free, until you buy something amazing! 

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movies at Sarasota Opera House , May 22 – September 23, Varies.

Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce the lineup for the 2022 summer movie series: HD at the Opera House and Classic Movies at the Opera House. HD at the Opera House featuring filmed performances of opera and ballet from around the world will open on Sunday, May 22nd at 1:30 p.m. with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, with tickets at $22, and $20 for Sarasota Opera subscribers. The Classic Movies at the Opera House series will open with In the Heat of the Night on Friday, July 8th at 7:30 p.m. with tickets at $12. (Tickets will go on sale starting Monday, May 2nd.)

[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

[SOON]  HEALTH: Zumba at The Bay , July 9 – September 24, 10am-11am

Join Ya’el Campbell for a special monthly Zumba from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. This is a high energy outdoor Zumba class! Come dance with a fantastic group of Zumba Rockstars who will make you move, smile, jump, shake and sing… (it happens sometimes). Grab a friend, bring your kids, and meet new Zumba friends. Program Dates: July 9 (Bayfront Community Center); August 20 (Bayfront Community Center); September 24; The Bay Park, 655 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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