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SRQ DAILY Jul 28, 2022

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"I am grateful to be in this position because I want to be a beacon of light for others who may be struggling. I want them to know that they can direct their own lives. It doesn't have to be directed by others."

- Bernadette N., Youth Leader.

[Politics]  Manatee Commission Race Increasingly Caustic
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A Manatee County Commission race has grown increasingly tense in recent days. Republican challenger Jason Bearden attacked County Commissioner Carol Whitmore in a new TV ad calling the incumbent Republican a liberal, while Whitmore has continued to rake Bearden over his support of Bitcoin.

The two face off in an Aug. 23 Republican primary.

Bearden in a new television ad compared Whitmore to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, labeling her as “pro-choice” and saying she “voted for lockdowns” as DeSantis “kept Florida open and free.” “There is nothing Carol Whitmore has in common with Republicans or Ron DeSantis,” the ad states.

But Whitmore, who has the support of Republican leaders including U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and former Senate President Bill Galvano, dismissed the ad. 

“I haven’t seen the ad but anything to distract from his pro-Biden, pro-inflation agenda wouldn’t surprise me,” Whitmore said. “The people of Manatee County do not want their tax dollars invested in a currency that just crashed and that’s exactly what Biden’s Bearden will do.”

Her campaign has leaned on social media posts from Bearden in 2021 when he expressed interest in Bitcoin and in government investment in cryptocurrency, a message less appealing at a time when Bitcoin is down almost 60% year to date.

Mailers from the political committee United Conservatives of Florida slammed Bearden with similar messaging that also compares Bearden to Democratic President Joe Biden. “Joe Biden’s inflation is ruining our economy,” the mailer states. “Jason Bearden could make it worse.”

Friction can be seen elsewhere, including with a criminal complaint Bearden filed against Whitmore after she pulled his campaign signs from the roadside and turned them into police; Whitmore has maintained the signs violated local ordinances and were placed on private property without owners’ permission. The State Attorney’s Office continues to consider the case.

This week, Manatee County School Board member Charlie Kennedy accused Bearden  of violating state privacy laws by posting pictures of himself with school children in a flag ceremony on a campaign Facebook without parental consent. Bearden took the pictures down and asked the original person who posted them to also take them down when he realized the shots were taken without permission. 

Pictured: Jason Bearden and Carol Whitmore

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Nelle S. Miller of JFCS of the Suncoast

In the July/August 2022 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Nelle S. Miller, Interim CEO at JFCS of the Suncoast as part of our In Conversation feature about nonprofit leaders. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Miller shares her insights with SRQ readers on community growth and changes.

There have been a lot of physical changes in town over the years, but I think people are concerned about cultural change. Do you have thoughts that speak to that?

I think that there's been a community wide effort to really do the hard work on diversity, equity, and inclusion in acknowledgement of exactly this, that first of all, this community is diverse, but it hasn't necessarily melded the way it should. And secondly, as leadership in the community, I think a lot of us have acknowledged that we shouldn't be so arrogant to assume that we understand what other people want and need. So, whether it's the arts or the social services, or anything, we've, I think, begun to do a better job at bringing all voices to the table. So, I've seen a big change in that in the 20 years that I've been in Sarasota. I don't think we're there, I don't think we're even close to there, but I feel hopeful because I think a lot of us are doing the work. 

JFCS of the Suncoast, 2688 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. 941-366-2224. https://jfcs-cares.org/

To read the full article, click here.

[Recognition Given]  Outstanding Youth Leadership in Our Community: Bernadette N.

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.

Bernadette is the 2022 Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ Youth of the Year. Enrolled in Riverview High School’s International Baccalaureate Program where she is in the top 4% of her class, Bernadette manages a busy schedule as President of National Honor Society and Speech & Debate and Vice President of Papillon Club. In 2021, Bernadette was given a letter of Commendation for the National Merit Scholarship Program and was honored with the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award. This year, Bernadette was named a Coca-Cola National Scholar and was honored with the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. Through her work with the Boys & Girls Clubs, Bernadette founded her own non-profit, SHARE Wholeness, to address the prevalence of food deserts in Sarasota County. She would go on to draft SB 1450 and HB 1311 to address policy change on this issue; both bills have secured bipartisan support in Tallahassee.

We asked Bernadette about her plans for the future.

"I hope to be in a position to empower others the way the community has empowered me. Hopefully that will be somewhere in the fields of either healthcare or law," she said. "I’m grateful to be in this position because I want to be a beacon of light for others who may be struggling. I want them to know that they can direct their own lives. It doesn't have to be directed by others." 

Pictured: Bernadette N. is the 2022 Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Youth of the Year. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

[Announcement]  Baacke Insurance & Financial Services Announces the Newest Achievement from Crystal Sudbury

Baacke Insurance & Financial Services is excited to announce the newest achievement from Crystal Sudbury. Crystal is a Licensed Insurance Professional that was awarded a full scholarship from the Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS). The Scholarship was through the American College of Financial Services for The Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) designation. WMCP is a one year, self-study program that provides professionals with a goal-based planning framework to build tax-efficient strategies. Crystal received her certification in July 2022 and is excited to offer tax and retirement planning expertise and strategies to maximize her clients needs. Graduates and designees of The American College of Financial Services have studied, passed rigorous exams, and proven that they not only have the technical knowledge to serve their clients, but have sworn to practice ethically and in the best interest of the people they serve. Crystal is also a Medicare Specialist that focuses on Retirement Planning along with offering Life, Long Term Care, Dental and Vision Insurance. She is a Volunteer Educator for a National Non-Profit - Financial Education Partnership (FEP). Crystal teaches educational classes on Medicare, Social Security, Women and Wealth and more in our community. Crystal is a Florida native and grew up in Englewood. She enjoys spending time with her husband, children and her dog. Her two passions include kayaking and volunteering. Baacke Insurance & Financial Services has been working with clients (individual and group) for twenty years offering their knowledge and expertise by using the industry’s best software, carriers and products available to meet clients' financial, insurance and retirement needs. 

[Recognition]  Fergeson Skipper Attorneys Named 2022 Super Lawyers and Rising Star

Fergeson Skipper, P.A., a law firm recognized for its outstanding achievements several years in a row, is proud to announce that three of its attorneys have been chosen for the 2022 Super Lawyers list and one attorney has been designated a 2022 Rising Star. The Super Lawyers are James O. Fergeson, Jr. (Estate & Probate), Richard R. Gans (Estate & Probate), and David S. Maglich (Construction Litigation). Attorney Matthew S. Francis (Business Litigation) is no stranger to the Rising Stars list, as 2022 marks his fourth consecutive year of earning this distinction. Florida Super Lawyers is the prominent attorney rating system owned by Thompson Reuters. Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Florida using a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nominations and evaluations combined with independent research. Every candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than five percent of licensed attorneys can be designated a Super Lawyer. The process is designed to find the best attorneys in their field of practice. 

[New Exhibition]  Selby Gardens To Feature Louis Comfort Tiffany in 2023 Goldstein Exhibition

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature as the 2023 installment of its Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series. Opening February 12, 2023, the exhibition will showcase the creativity and innovation of the American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany. It marks the seventh edition of Selby Gardens’ annual Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was one of the most influential American artists and designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He founded Tiffany Studios and served as the first design director of Tiffany & Co., the renowned jewelry and silver firm established by his father, Charles Lewis Tiffany. Tiffany was closely associated with Art Nouveau, an international style of art and design characterized by organic line and natural form. He began his career as a painter, but later turned his attention to decorative arts, particularly stained glass, for which he became best known. Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature will be the first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, an especially appropriate setting in which to highlight the connection between Tiffany’s work and the natural world. Tiffany’s celebrated stained-glass windows and lamps will inspire stunning horticultural displays in Selby Gardens’ world-famous Tropical Conservatory and throughout the grounds of its 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus. Kaleidoscopic vignettes of flowers and foliage will play with light, color, and material to create a truly immersive experience for visitors. Accompanying the horticultural displays will be outstanding examples of Tiffany’s work, in various media, on view in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. Generously lent from a private collection, this remarkable group of lamps, vases, and other objects will be used to tell the story of Tiffany and his firm, which revolutionized glassmaking and elevated the status of American decorative arts at home and abroad. Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature will be on view at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from February 12 through June 25, 2023. A rich schedule of educational programs and special events will be developed to complement the show. 

Pictured: Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp. Courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

To learn more, visit

[Board Members]  Hermitage Welcomes Sondra Biller, Stephanie Jones, Liz Richardson, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Doug Wright to Board of Trustees

The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced today that Sondra Biller, Stephanie Jones, Liz Richardson, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Hermitage alumnus Doug Wright have been elected to the Hermitage Board of Trustees. These newest additions to the Hermitage Board follow a successful season that has included over 50 live programs and events, dozens of new and expanded arts and education collaborations in the community, another record-breaking fiscal year, a dramatic expansion of the Hermitage team, and the launch of a new national commission in theater. 

[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: Tap Takeover Tuesdays at Geckos on Hillview Street , August 9 – August 31, 7:00-8:00 pm

Still going strong on the second Tuesday of each month. We are local and we support local! Join us from 7:00-8:00 to sample flights of the latest craft beer offerings from our local craft breweries as they take over our taps, along with all your favorite Geckos fare. August is Sierra Nevada Brewery’s five newest craft beers to enjoy. Hillview-Southside Village, 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota. wwwgeckosgrill.com

Gecko’s on Hillview

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bar Bingo at Geckos on Hillview Street , August 1 – August 29, 7:30 pm

Join Geckos in Southside Village every Monday at 7:30 pm for Bar B-I-N-G-O! Free to play. Sponsored by various local craft breweries and distilleries with prizes galore from our sponsors and Gecko’s. We’ll play between 5-7 rounds of Bingo each week and a special chit will be given out each Monday to be collected by attendees. Every four weeks the final round of Bingo for the night will be a grand prize round and the collected chits will be used to exchange for bingo cards for a grand prize round; this month on 8/29. The more Mondays that a guest plays, the more bingo cards that they will have to play for the grand prize. August Bingo is sponsored by Sierra Nevada Brewery and Nolets Finest Gins. wwwgeckosgrill.com

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Humane Society of Sarasota County Adult Summer Camp , July 30, 3 pm - 6 pm

Do you wish you could attend HSSC's Fur Fun Camps? Now you can! HSSC's Adult Summer Camp gives adults the chance to learn about and interact with shelter pets and other animals, both domestic and exotic. Join us on Saturday, July 30, from 3-6pm, for exciting speakers, an inside look at the happenings in our facility, and "adult" snacks and drinks. Our Adult Summer Camp is designed for adults (but just as fun as the kids' version) and will be held in the Education Center at the Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th St., Sarasota. HSSC's Adult Summer Camp is open to adults, ages 21+. Cost is $40 per attendee (Pre-registration is required). For more details and to register, visit our Adult Summer Camp webpage. https://www.hssc.org/get-involved/events/adult-summer-camp.

[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.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, 11am and 2 pm

The Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling are happy to partner once again to present the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Don’t miss this family-friendly show that runs Friday, June 10 through Saturday, August 13! The Summer Circus Spectacular showcases some of the finest circus artists from around the world, performing acts to thrill audiences of all ages. The Summer Circus Spectacular takes place at the Historic Asolo Theatre at The Ringling (5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota). Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. 941-360-7399.

[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]  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]  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]  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]  HEALTH: Health and Wellness Beauty Fair , August 6, 11am-3pm

This relaxing day will feature the latest technology in non-invasive, no down time facial/neck treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, SofWave. On-site treatments, demos, discounts & samples, vendors & shopping, food, wine & live music + amazing door prizes! Free EMSlim body sculpting session w/ SofWave purchase. Please come out and meet Nancy Dowe, RN, BSN, Licensed Esthetician with 30 years of nursing and skincare experience and owner of Esteem Medical Aesthetics of Bradenton. Saturday, August 6th, 11 am to 3 pm, Peridia Golf and Country Club, 4950 Peridia Boulevard East, Bradenton, RSVP by text: 615-319-3603.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: New York State of Mind: All the Hits of Billy Joel With The Uptown Boys , August 9 – October 2, Varies.

With more than 40 years of cumulative work on some of Broadway’s biggest hits, The Uptown Boys use Billy Joel’s rich songbook as a way to share their stories of life, love, and trying to make it in New York City. Whether you’re a fan of Billy Joel’s entire catalogue or just a casual listener, The Uptown Boys have something to satisfy everyone. Featuring such hits as “Only The Good Die Young,” “For the Longest Time,” “Piano Man,” and many more you know and love. New York State of Mind: All the Hits of Billy Joel With The Uptown Boys™ by Alexander Aguilar and John De Simini will play beginning August 9, 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]  GALLERY: Atelier de SoSi Art Show , August 12 – September 22, 7pm-10pm

Atelier de SoSi announces the opening of their newest art show “An Artful Home at Atelier.” Exhibition Dates: August 12th - Sep 22nd; Opening night: August 12th 7-10pm; Gallery hours Tues - Wed - Thur 1 - 5pm. “An Artful Home at Atelier” - focus is to showcase that art can be both functional and beautiful. Atelier de SoSi’s gallery space will be transformed to represent a living space. Displaying functional art such as: handmade table settings, glassware, lighting, textiles, furniture, etc. The space will also be featuring one of a kind paintings, sculptures and an array of other unique pieces. We want to show the viewer that artwork comes in all shapes, sizes and functionalities. Yes, your coffee table can be a piece of artwork along with your favorite reading chair, lamp, and coffee mug. Art can touch every area of our lives, come see examples of this and find one of a kind pieces for your own living space.

[SOON]  SPORTS: WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup , September 9 – September 18

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and host USA Baseball revealed the new dates for the next WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, with the 30th edition of the youth world championship to take place from 9 to 18 September 2022 in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. The elite international tournament will be played at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton’s LECOM Park, the respective Spring Training homes of the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). The XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup will include 12 national teams, whose rosters will feature the best youth players in their respective countries.

Ed Smith Stadium and LECOM Park

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre Presents The Manager , July 29 – July 30, 7:30 pm

This brand-new play by Douglas Gearhart is the winner of The Players New Play Fest 2020. Rusty is an out of work middle-aged little league manager who is facing divorce and is in his last year as coach for his son Axl. But the season is coming to an end, and their future together as a family is uncertain. Showtimes: July 29-30 at 7:30pm; July 31 at 2pm. Studio 1130, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $20, $14 Student https://tickets.theplayers.org/TheatreManager/1/login?event=943

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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