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SRQ DAILY Jun 12, 2023

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"We have to be a community that builds up and retains the next generation. We can no longer be the community that sends off our sons and daughters to far away colleges to never see them return,"

- Neil Rainford, Sarasota County Commissioner

[Politics]  DeSantis Appoints Rainford to Sarasota County Commission
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Planning Commissioner Neil Rainford to serve out the remainder of the late Sarasota County Commissioner Nancy Detert’s term. That could set up the long-time Republican Party leader for nearly a decade holding the county office.

“Taking the seat of a legend like Nancy Detert won’t be easy, but I’m honored to be entrusted by Governor DeSantis with this appointment to the Sarasota County Commission,” Rainford said in a statement. “We are consistently ranked as one of the top communities in the nation in which to live. So we are already doing a lot right.”

Detert died unexpectedly in April, a little more than halfway through her second term on the Sarasota County Commission holding the District 3 seat. The Venice Republican previously served this region in the state Senate, state House and School Board.

Rainford previously won a seat on the Sarasota County Charter Review Board. He’s also the secretary for the Republican Party of Sarasota, and just won re-election to the county position in December.

Christian Ziegler, Republican Party of Florida chairman and a former Sarasota County Commissioner, cheered the appointment.

“I’ve known him for a long time. He’s been a good party activist for years,” Ziegler said. “He was always the first to knock on doors, make calls and help the Republican team every level of government. He has served on the Planning Commission and has a good business background. He’s a good friend, and more important, a good human, and I’m excited to have him serving in that role.”

Local party leaders cheered the appointment as well.

“He’s part of the next generation to lead this county as an elected official,” said Jack Brillchair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County.

But the appointment was a bit of a surprise, many political observers confirmed. Many assumed former Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, who also applied for the vacant post, would be appointed to the job.

Regardless, Rainford will hold the post immediately. The board will meet on Tuesday for the first time with Rainford as a member.

“We have to be a community that builds up and retains the next generation. We can no longer be the community that sends off our sons and daughters to far away colleges to never see them return,” he said. “We can be a place for diverse business interests, a place for young families to set down roots. That includes promoting innovation and diversity in housing that allows young families to get strong starts and build wealth in careers.” 

Photo: Neil Rainford courtesy Facebook.

[Recognition]  Sarasota County Maintains AAA, AA+ Bond Ratings with a Stable Outlook

Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings assigned 'AA+' ratings for Sarasota County’s 2023 Capital Projects Improvement Revenue Series 2023A Bonds, affirmed 'AA+' ratings on all Capital Improvement Bonds, and reaffirmed the 'AAA' rating for the county’s General Obligation (GO) bonds. Proceeds from the approximate $24.3 million Capital Projects Improvement Revenue Series 2023A Bonds will fund portions of the new Sarasota County Mosquito Management Service facility and the new Emergency Services Administration building. According to Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis, these bond ratings continue to demonstrate the county’s commitment and ability to successfully generate revenue and manage finances responsibly as stewards of taxpayer dollars while fiscally planning for the future. Steve Botelho, deputy county administrator and chief financial management officer, noted that the county continues to maintain a conservative budget and perform strongly with debt servicing. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings reports determine the county’s perceived worthiness for investing, similar to an individual’s credit score. Higher bond ratings are typically accompanied by a lower interest rate. ‘AAA’ and ‘AA+’ indicates the county is doing a great job at paying off current debt and is likely to pay off future debts. The rating also indicates lower risk to investors. Fitch Ratings noted that the ‘AA+’ rating on the capital improvements bonds reflects the strong growth prospects for pledged revenues and continued ability to meet debt service. In addition, Fitch’s rating notes the county’s “superior gap-closing and low long-term liability burden,” highlighting the county’s ability to maintain a high level of financial flexibility. S&P Global Ratings indicated that their rating on the capital projects improvement bonds is supported by these credit factors: A broad and diverse taxing base, with wealth levels above the national average and steady population growth. Pledged revenues that rebounded quickly and surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and 2022 after experiencing a minor dip in coverage in 2020. General creditworthiness, which supports and does not constrain the characteristics of Sarasota County's sales tax revenue bond features. Sarasota County issues revenue bonds to help fund capital projects. To view a complete analysis of the county’s utility system revenue bond ratings, visit Fitch Ratings or S&P Global Ratings. For more information, call 311 or visit sgov.net. 

[Crime Prevention]  Fraud Prevention Seminar June 22nd

Fraud accounted for over $13 million in financial loss to Sarasota County residents last year. To combat this, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes and Crime Prevention Units, along with Assistant State Attorney Andrew van Sickle, will present a free, educational seminar to assist citizens in recognizing and avoiding trending scams and frauds. This two-hour presentation will discuss various types of scams as well as how and when to report them to law enforcement. The seminar will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, on Thursday, June 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Seats are limited. Please register through Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scams-and-fraud-tickets-629380091797. 

[Ceremony]  Sheriff Hoffman Holds Promotion Ceremony

Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is pleased to announce the promotion of Deputy CJ Sunderman to the rank of Sergeant. Sunderman was hired by the sheriff’s office in March 2005 and assigned to the Patrol Bureau. In September 2013, he was transferred to the agency’s tactical (TAC) unit. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, Sunderman earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and obtained his certification in law enforcement from the Valencia Community College Criminal Justice Institute. He received two lifesaving awards during his career, including one for his quick and selfless actions in rescuing a suspect who had fled a scene and jumped into a body of water to avoid apprehension. Recognizing the suspect’s struggle to stay afloat, Sunderman jumped in to save him from drowning. "It is with great pleasure that I watch Sergeant Sunderman take the next step in his career," said Sheriff Hoffman. "His commitment to serving the citizens of Sarasota County shows in his outstanding performance." 

[New Program]  DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Launches Realtor and Home Builders Rewards Program

DutchCrafters Amish Furniture, the leading retailer of Amish furniture at dutchcrafters.com, recently launched the DutchCrafters Real Estate and Home Builders Rewards Program. This collaborative program offers incentives to real estate agents and home builders with a vision to maximize value for their clients. It was developed to help realtors and builders provide information to their clients about high quality furniture and exceptional service along with showing appreciation for client referrals to DutchCrafters Amish Furniture. Benefits include a $50 VISA gift card each time a referred client purchases furniture from DutchCrafters exceeding the value of $2,500. Referring realtors and home builders can receive an unlimited number of gifts cards. The referring business will also be recognized on DutchCrafters social media platforms. DutchCrafters showroom staff in Alpharetta and Sarasota provide expert guidance including selecting furniture styles, wood type and finishes, hardware and other options that make DutchCrafters furniture one-of-a-kind. Easy online rewards member registration is available at www.dutchcrafters.com/content/rewards. For more information, contact Nancy Kirshe, in-house interior designer and showroom furniture specialist at Nancy@dutchcrafters.com or 941-867-2231. 

[New Homes]  North River Ranch Welcomes New Home Builder Cardel Homes Florida

Neal Land & Neighborhoods is pleased to announce the addition of a new home builder to its flagship, master-planned community of North River Ranch: Cardel Homes Florida. The acclaimed home builder has begun construction on two model homes, planned for a late summer opening. In the meantime, interested buyers can join the priority pre-sales list. Cardel Homes Florida will build 40 homes in the gated Riverfield neighborhood of North River Ranch, with homes ranging from 2,010 to 2,746 square feet. Neal Land & Neighborhoods is a Manatee and Sarasota-based master-planned community developer. Cardel Homes Florida will offer a dynamic range of single-family home models with pricing starting in the mid $400s: Brighton; three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage; Northwood; three to four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage; Southampton and Windsor; four to five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage. Riverfield is located closest to the community’s Market Walk anchored by Publix, schools, and the future wellness-oriented village center. The walkable neighborhood features access-controlled gates and a mix of single-family and townhomes. While residents can enjoy all of the extensive current and future amenities offered at North River Ranch, the neighborhood features the Riverfield Verandah – an amenity with a pool, community lounge room, and nearby Avid Fitness Stations. Plus, connection to North River Ranch’s community trail system allowing for walking, running or biking throughout the community. David Weekley Homes continues to build single-family homes in the neighborhood while Neal Communities nears the sellout of 150 townhomes. Recently celebrating its 50-year milestone, Cardel Homes has built over 20,000 homes in 150 communities across North America. They work closely with home buyers to ensure customization and the highest standard of customer service, from letting customers select their homesites to a design team helping customers personalize each home. For more information on Neal Land & Neighborhoods, including the company’s latest development news, visit www.NealLand.com. To learn more about North River Ranch, visit www.northriverranch.com.



[New Hire]  Francine Mona Fields Joins RE/MAX Platinum Realty

Francine Mona Fields has joined RE/MAX Platinum Realty as a Broker-Associate in the Venice office. A Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and Military Relocation Professional (MRP), she specializes in new homes, senior clients and military clients. Fields has a background in business, serving as an auditor for relocation and expense accounts for the IBM Corporation, and as owner of a senior moving service. She also worked in property management for the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She brings substantial customer service, negotiating and marketing skills. A native of New York, she received her associate’s degree in Business Administration at Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers, and studied accounting at Marymount College in Tarrytown. She enjoys antiquing, yoga, pilates, decorating and writing. The Venice office is located at 307 W. Venice Avenue, Venice, Florida 34285. Fields can be reached at (561) 704-8644 or fieldofhomes@gmail.com. 

[New Opening]  RE/MAX Platinum Realty Opens Siesta Key Office

RE/MAX Platinum Realty has announced its expansion to Siesta Key with the opening of a new office at 6633 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, Florida 34242. While RE/MAX Platinum Realty has always served the Siesta Key community, the opening of the new office is consistent with the company’s strategy of opening smaller offices in highly visible locations. RE/MAX Platinum Realty is currently interviewing real estate agents who wish to join the new office. The company is also pursuing a joint venture with an established vacation rental business, to serve both residential sales and vacation rentals.  "We're thrilled to bring international exposure to Siesta Key real estate through the leveraging of the RE/MAX brand and RE/MAX Platinum Realty resources," said Broker-Owner Bryan Guentner. "We continue to position our company as the premier international luxury real estate brand in Sarasota and Manatee counties and beyond.” Guentner, who served as president of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce in the early 2000s, said he is “delighted to return to Siesta Key in a meaningful capacity.” 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Hermitage Artist Retreat Celebrates the Hermitage 20th Anniversary with Alumni Reunion Party in NYC!

Two decades of Hermitage alumni came together in New York on Monday, June 5th to celebrate the lasting legacy of the Hermitage and connect with Hermitage Fellows across all artistic disciplines. Nearly 200 alumni – including Pulitzer Prize winners, Tony and Grammy Award winners, MacArthur ‘Genius’ and Guggenheim Fellows, National Book Award winners, and more – gathered together at the Sanctuary Hotel’s Haven Rooftop to commemorate the impact of this leading national arts organization located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

Photo Credit: Hermitage Artist Retreat/Danny Bristoll Photo.

[Feature]  It's Only Life After All
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

It's Only Life After All | Former SFF Director Tom Hall gets the inside scoop on the documentary It's Only Life After All by Alexandria Bombach of the Indigo Girls, May/June 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps SCORE Workshop , June 14, 12pm
Showing up when customers are searching online is more important than ever. Ensure customers can find accurate, updated information about your local business on Google Search and Google Maps, no matter which device they use. In this workshop, you will learn how to create and manage a Google Business Profile from start to finish. In this session we will show you how to create or claim your Google Business Profile, manage your business info across Google Search and Maps and use your Business Profile to connect with potential customers. Visit score.org to register.
[SOON]  FILM: Exhibition on Screen, Tokyo Stories , June 9 – June 15, Various times

Based on a major exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford, Tokyo Stories spans 400 years of incredibly dynamic art, ranging from the delicate woodblock prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige, to Pop Art posters, contemporary photography, Manga, film, and brand-new artworks that were created on the streets. The exhibition was a smash-hit five-star success and brought a younger and more diverse audience to the museum. The film uses the exhibition as a launchpad to travel to Tokyo itself, and explore the art and artists of the city more fully. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive 8, Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Summer Circus Spectacular , June 9 – August 12, Various times

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show. The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular, which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike, takes place from June 9 through August 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, and tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9, which includes a gala reception with the artists, are $50. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399 to purchase tickets and learn more. The Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  DANCE: Saltare Mortis In Studio Series at Sarasota Contemporary Dance , June 9 – July 17, 7pm
At the Saltare Mortis In-Studio Series, come take a glimpse into our lives as detectives as we attempt to solve a mystery in a town where crime is next to none. Though detectives in training, we have many tools up our sleeve to help us solve the mystery. But we could use your help. Put your detective skills to the test to help us unmask the criminal. You never know what surprises we will run into along the way. Shows will run in person on June 9 and 10 and July 14 with virtual options on June 19 and July 17. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sarasotacontemporarydance.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Think and Drink Science at The Bishop, Burrowing Owls, Uncovering the Secrets of Their Natural Lives , June 14, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Join us for a Special Edition of think and drink, science featuring guest speaker Dr. Raoul Boughton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Rangeland Scientist-Wildlife. Presented by Mosaic Company. The Florida Burrowing Owl, is one of a few bird species to excavate its burrows, using them to protect their nests and young and to escape predators and the midday sun. Join Dr. Boughton as he discusses the biology and conservation of this State Threatened species and research that is being done to uncover their secret nocturnal lives. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Bishop After Dark, Love and Lights, a Celebration of Inclusion , June 15, 6 to 10 pm
This month join The Bishop as Bishop After Dark features Love and Lights, A Celebration of Inclusion. Come spread the love with us on Thursday, June 15th. Join us for delicious bites from local LGBTQ-owned businesses while sipping local craft beer and wine for purchase with cash or card. You will be welcomed with a fabulous specialty cocktail before enjoying not one, but two Laser Light shows featuring music artists Lady Gaga and Lizzo. Bring the one you love and your singing voice, as it is time to show our pride. Tickets are $40. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Cheese 101 at Artisan Cheese Co. , June 15, 6pm
In Cheese 101, we take you through over eight cheeses and two wines. There will be a little bit of milk science, cheesemaker stories, and a lot of fun. From fresh to blue, we will introduce you to our most favorite pairings and wine to complement the cheese. Space is limited to 16 people, reserved in advance either by phone, or at the shop. The cheese classes are taught by our trained and enthusiastic cheese mongers. Visit artisancheesecompany.com to purchase tickets. Artisan Cheese Co., 550 Central Ave., Sarasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Cinema at The Bay featuring Mamma Mia , June 15, 8pm

Join us for a free movie at The Bay Park. Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a wonderful evening under the stars. The Nest, the new concession at The Bay, will be selling tasty food and beverages along with Simply Greek Food Truck to make the evening a legit and fun movie-going experience for all. In Mamma Mia, set on a colorful Greek island, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna Sheridan, who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her back-up singers. The Bay Park, The Oval at The Bay, 1055 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Kettle of Fish , June 16, 5-9pm
Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns this year with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet! The events run from 5-9 p.m. and are located on the lawn of the Van Wezel. Opening the Friday Fest series on June 16 is returning favorite, Kettle of Fish. Kettle of Fish plays festival music that features blues, soul, and funk with the energy of rock n roll. They make old songs new again, and their originals sound like classics. Kettle of Fish is one of the hottest live acts in southwest Florida, headlining to thousands, and opening for such acts as Eddie Money, Marshall Tucker, Elvin Bishop, Dickey Betts, and many more. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit VanWezel.org.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity at Hermitage , June 16, 6:30 pm
The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity with Hermitage Fellow Tony Barnstone, will be held on Friday, June 16. The Hermitage is about creating new works. When in conversation with Hermitage Fellow and creator Tony Barnstone and The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity an entirely new, yet ancient, approach is revealed. Inspired by the words of Rilke and William Blake amongst many other artists and practitioners, the artwork and guidebook of this Tarot deck are aimed at awakening creativity and personal growth. In this program, Barnstone, author of the guidebook, will illuminate some of the impulses behind its creation, its potential interpretations, and the creative projects it has already inspired. Hear from this multidisciplinary author of more than 20 books and begin to uncover the connections in the cards. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org $5 per person registration fee. Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Gothic Library, Three Classic Tales of Terror Brought to Life by Live Radio Theatre , June 16 – June 17, 8 to 9pm
Join us for an evening of classical gothic storytelling. By way of live radio theatre performed in the loft, watch and listen as a professional cast, with the help of a sound effects operator, dramatizes three stories by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, and M.R. James. Tickets for this live performance are $15. The Gothic Library is an immersive audio experience designed to ignite the dark side of the imagination. This performance features moments that may prove too intense for younger guests or those with a sensitive disposition.Registration can be found here, https://www.sarasotabooks.com/events, or call 941-365-7900. Bookstore1Sarasota, 117 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Script to Screen Movie with Post Film Talk , June 17, 7pm

Join BookStore1 Bookseller and Film Critic Roxanne Baker to watch and discuss the 2022 Palme DOr Nominated Film Eight Mountains. Eight Mountains explores the lifelong friendship between two very different men, one who is apathetic to the Alps hiking of his father and the neglected boy who thrives on climbing endurance. The novel, Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti, was adapted to the screen by husband and wife team Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. The book is available at BookStore1 Sarasota 117 S. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota www.sarasotabooks.com and the film showing and talk take place at Burns Court Theater and tickets are available at www.filmsociety.org or at the box office at 506 Burns Lane 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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