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COVER Inside FEEDING THE HUNGRY A LOOMING SHORTFALL POWER, THY NAME IS PAM Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News LeaderThe Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida November 23, 2012
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Copyright 2012 Sarasota News Leader All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. The Sarasota News Leader is a publication of: New Sheriff Publishing, Inc. Post Ofce Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277-5099 Rachel Brown Hackney Editor and Publisher Rachel@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Cooper@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Stan Zimmerman City Editor Stan@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Norman Schimmel Contributing Photographer NSchimmel@SarasotaNewsLeader.com David Staats Contributing Writer DStaats@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer FPalmeri@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer HCuthbert@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer ERogosin@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Scott Proftt Staff Writer SProftt@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Tyler Whitson Contributing Writer TWhitson @SarasotaNewsLeader.com Vicki Chatley Copy Editor Vicki@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Cleve@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Robert S. Hackney General Manager Robert@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Advertising Sales Sales@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Trish Ivey Advertising Account Executive Trish @SarasotaNewsLeader.com Subscription Services Subs@SarasotaNewsLeader.com Press Releases & News Tips News@SarasotaNewsLeader.com MASTHEAD
Every week, we are most appreciative of the comments we re ceive about how good the News Leader looks. In recent weeks, I truly have been touched by the number of compliments we have received from a wide variety of people. It is amazing to me, sometimes, to realize just how much the look of publications has changed over the decades. Newspapers dating to the early 1900s feature column upon column upon column of type, with few photos. In this 21st century, some news publications subjugate their stories to the photos and graph ics. Our digital platform gives us a big advantage over newsprint in the first place in terms of our look. We dont have to worry about whether the printing companys workers are having an off day when we send them our pages, for example. Still, without good photos and illustrations, your eyes would not be drawn so easily into the sto ries we have labored over each week. More than anything else, the design of the pag es is what makes those stories look good. That is why every week not just Thanksgiving week we give thanks for Cleve Posey, our production manager and graphic designer. Norm Schimmel takes excellent photos for us all over Sarasota County, and our report ers do their best to come up with artwork and photos to accompany articles. Nonethe less, without Cleves magic, creative touch, those photos and graphs would not have nearly the same impact, and our stories probably would not seem quite as enticing. Editor and Publisher WELCOME
COVER PHOTOS: Front Norman Schimmel; Sarasota Leisure Robert Hackney FEEDING THE HUNGRY A LOOMING SHORTFALLNEWS & COMMENTARY FEEDING THE HUNGRY 11 Donations surpass food tonnage collected in 2011, but more residents reported to be in need Rachel Brown Hackney A LOOMING SHORTFALL 14 Unless projections change over the coming months, the Sarasota County School Board may have to consider new cuts for its 2014 budget Scott Proftt POWER, THY NAME IS PAM 17 Analysis: City auditor and clerk proves to be a survivor Stan Zimmerman HATE SPEECH DEPLORED 20 Jewish Federation criticized for planning event starring an anti-Islam rebrand Cooper Levey-Baker WHATEVER ST. ARMANDS WANTS 22 Sarasota City Commission abandons the new parking restrictions that had brought a plethora of complaints Stan Zimmerman STAYING THE COURSE 24 Narrow County Commission majority approves Housing Authority exclusivity in competition for federal low-income housing program tax credits Cooper Levey-Baker STAFFED AND STAYING 26 City Commission decides to keep two independent police advisory panels for the time being Stan Zimmerman THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY 28 Sarasota County seeking comments on a draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in preparation for a Comprehensive Plan update Rachel Brown Hackney SOME EXPLANATION, PLEASE 31 Veterans seeking public-art marker for doughboy statue Stan Zimmerman TAKING THEIR OATHS 33 Three Sarasota County commissioners formally begin their terms after their election on Nov. 6 Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 37 TABLE OF CONTENTS
CONVOLUTIONS IN COMMUNICATION SAVORING A CRUISEOPINIONEDITORIAL 45 Religion versus realityCOMMENTARY 4 7Marked contrasts seen in the deaths of two ambassadors David StaatsLETTER TO THE EDITOR 4 9SARASOTA LEISURE CONVOLUTIONS IN COMMUNICATION 52 Eric Deggans discusses his new book, Race-Baiter, as part of USF Sarasota-Manatees Conversations with Authors series ASK OTUS 57 Dont fear the Black Racer, because it is very good at pest control Otus Rufous SAVORING A CRUISE 61 Life on a ship proves even better than the experience touted in all those brochures Matt Orr A MEDLEY OF THEMES 68 Sarasota Ballet dancers shine in Company B, with hits and misses in two other pieces on the program Elinor Rogosin HOT OFF THE PRESSES 74 Oceanview Publishing on Longboat Key launches the latest Don Bruns mystery in the Stuff series Scott Proftt SIESTA SEEN 76 Light Up the Village will be the next big event for Siesta Key, kicking off the holiday season on Nov. 24 Rachel Brown Hackney RELIGION BRIEFS 82 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 84 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 85
FEEDING THE HUNGRY Donations surpass food tonnage collected in 2011, but more residents reported to be in need Rachel Brown Hackney Using two staging areas Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and Cranberry Elementary School in North Port volun teers for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program boxed up more than 44 tons of food on Nov. 16 for area residents who otherwise would not enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, Scott Biehler, vice chairman of the program, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. The food was scheduled to be delivered to 25 different food pantries in Sarasota and Manatee counties, he said. Biehler noted that the need for assistance continues to grow in the area. Weve seen a lot of people who have given to the food pantries in the past are coming to the food pantries themselves now, he added. ( Full story here ) A LOOMING SHORTFALL Unless projections change over the coming months, the Sarasota County School Board may have to consider new cuts for its 2014 budget Scott Proftt The budget for the Sarasota County Schools 2014 scal year likely will have a shortfall, based on preliminary g ures, Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Al Weidner told the School Board members during their Nov. 20 workshop at The Landings. As of Oct 31, the districts general fund budget for 2014 shows a projected increase in revenue of $4 million from the state and $3 million from prop erty and other taxes, Weidner said. On the spending side, the budget allows for a $4.6 million decrease in sala ries a result of eliminating 10 positions because of the overall decrease in student population from previous years, Weidner added. However, he projected an $8 million rise in appropriations. ( Full story here ) TOP STORIES AT A GLANCE
POWER, THY NAME IS PAM Analysis: City auditor and clerk proves to be a survivor Stan Zimmerman It is very rare for a city charter ofcial to receive public afrmation. These ofcials serve at the pleasure of city commissioners, not city citizens. If charter ofcials do not perform as expected, they can be removed by a simple majority of three commissioners. After her selection as city auditor and clerk on Feb. 25, 2010, Pam Nadalini fought a bureaucratic battle that led to the dismissal of her bte noire, City Manager Bob Bartolotta, enabling her to take control of the citys Informa tion Technology Department from the City Managers Ofce. For nearly three years, she stood in violation of a requirement in the city charter that she hold a surety bond; and for two years, she managed to keep that a secret from the City Commission. And on Monday, Nov. 19, she withstood a no-condence motion at the City Commission meeting when nobody wanted to second it. ( Full story here ) HATE SPEECH DEPLORED Jewish Federation criticized for planning event starring an anti-Islam rebrand Cooper Levey-Baker An upcoming appearance by a controversial anti-Islam au thor, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Man atee, is prompting sharp criticism, with at least one critic labeling the writers past words hate speech. At the center of the controversy is Brigitte Gabriel, the author of Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. She is scheduled to appear in Sarasota on Dec. 12 as part of the Jewish Fed erations ongoing Israel @ 65 celebration, intended to commemorate the founding of the Jewish state in 1947. While a press release promoting her appearance describes Gabriel as a leading expert on global Islamic terrorism, that fails to capture the heat of her rhetoric. ( Full story here )
WHATEVER ST. ARMANDS WANTS Sarasota City Commission abandons the new parking restrictions that had brought a plethora of complaints Stan Zimmerman Even as its representatives came to the table, city employ ees were at work putting things back the way the island merchants wanted them. The issue was parking. When the Sarasota City commissioners yanked the parking meters out of downtown last year, they created a uniform parking policy but did not both er to tell the merchants and residents of St. Armands about it. Suddenly, what was unfettered and free became timed and policed. When the tickets appeared last month and word began to circulate, a political storm started to brew. Seven weeks later, the city is making everything as it was before the uni form policy was adopted. ( Full story here ) STAYING THE COURSE Narrow County Commission majority approves Housing Authority exclusivity in competition for federal low-income housing program tax credits Cooper Levey-Baker After a debate over free-market principles and the need to nish projects that long have been in the works, the Sarasota County Commission voted narrowly on Nov. 13 to approve a policy that gives the Sarasota and Venice Housing Authorities the exclusive right to apply for state housing tax credits. The policy will help the Housing Authorities in the competition to win fed eral tax credits for affordable housing through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, administered in the Sunshine State by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. In the past, that money has gone toward projects such as Janies Garden, a mixed-income complex built in north Sarasota to replace the horribly dilapidated Janie Poe apartments. ( Full story here )
This may take a while. Some things are just hard to resist. Like The Sarasota News Leader Its a feast of indepth local news, delightful and entertaining features, and thanks to its partnership with This Week In Sarasota access to the best community calendar available. The rst impulse is just to gobble it all up. But its better to take it slow and relish every news morsel. Theres no rush. You have a whole week. SarasotaNewsLeader.com Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida
Using two staging areas Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and Cranberry Elementary School in North Port volunteers for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program boxed up more than 44 tons of food on Nov. 16 for area resi dents who otherwise would not enjoy Thanks giving dinner, Scott Biehler, vice chairman of the program, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. The donations surpassed the 34-ton mark re corded in 2011, Biehler added. Last year, the program had 161 locations col lecting food for the Thanksgiving drive, Bie hler said. This year, 220 locations participated. More volunteers also showed up to help box the donated packages and cans, he added. The food was scheduled to be delivered to 25 different food pantries in Sarasota and Mana tee counties, he said. In an earlier press release, Laura Williams, di rector of Florida operations for the Baltimore Orioles, said the Major League Baseball team was pleased to be able to offer the use of Ed Smith Stadium to help with the program. Families and individuals in Sarasota County are desperately in need of assistance to ad dress a most basic need: food, she said in the news release. Boxes of food donated for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program are marked according to contents at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Photos by Norman Schimmel DONATIONS SURPASS FOOD TONNAGE COLLECTED IN 2011, BUT MORE RESIDENTS REPORTED TO BE IN NEED FEEDING THE HUNGRY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 12 Volunteers for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program use handcarts to take the boxes to waiting trucks.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 13 Donations still are being accepted, Biehler pointed out, as the program also will purchase $10 gift cards from Publix to distribute to the food pantries for their staffs to divide among clients for the remainder of the holiday sea son. Biehler noted that the need for assistance con tinues to grow in the area. Weve seen a lot of people who have given to the food pantries in the past are coming to the food pantries themselves now, he added. Mayor Suzanne Atwell of Sarasota told the News Leader this week, The playing eld has been leveled on all of us, concurring with Biehler about the spreading need in the com munity. She added that the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program stands out as a wonderful opportunity to give. P rogram representatives are especially con cerned about rumors indicating many more people will be losing full-time jobs in the com ing weeks, Biehler said. Reports have been circulating about big companies moving fulltime employees to part-time status as a way to avoid paying new healthcare costs associated with the Affordable Health Care Act. It really puts a dent in their monthly income, he said, if workers lose full-time pay and ben ets. Atwell said she will be manning a booth at the Sarasota Farmers Market downtown in mid-December to encourage people to sup port the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program. People may go online at www.mayorsfeedthe hungry.org to give a donation, or they may mail a check to Mayors Feed the Hungry Pro gram, PO Box 1992, Sarasota, FL 34230. % Rental trucks stand ready for the tons of food donated to help low-income families enjoy Thanksgiving
The budget for the Sarasota County Schools 2014 scal year likely will have a shortfall, based on preliminary gures, Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Al Weidner told the School Board members during their Nov. 20 work shop at The Landings. As of Oct 31, the districts general fund budget for 2014 shows a projected increase in reve nue of $4 million from the state and $3 million from property and other taxes, Weidner said. On the spending side, the budget allows for a $4.6 million decrease in salaries a result of eliminating 10 positions because of the overall decrease in student population from previous years, Weidner added. However, he projected a $3.5 million increase in the cost of employee benets, an $8 million increase in purchased services and several other less signicant increases in spending, resulting in an anticipated $8 million rise in appropriations. Unless other revenue sources become avail able, Weidner indicated, the School Board may have to consider new ways to pare the districts expenses for the 2013-14 school year. The districts general fund for education has three basic sources of revenue, Weidner point Al Weidner, deputy chief nancial ofcer for the Sarasota County Schools, addresses the School Board during the Nov. 16 workshop. Photo by Scott Proftt UNLESS PROJECTIONS CHANGE OVER THE COMING MONTHS, THE SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MAY HAVE TO CONSIDER NEW CUTS FOR ITS 2014 BUDGET A LOOMING SHORTFALL By Scott Proftt Staff Writer
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 15 ed out: The federal component for the 2014 scal year will be about $ 2.7 million, the state will provide about $76 million and local funds will amount to about $262 million. Local funds make up almost 75 percent of the budget for the Sarasota County Schools, he noted, with the majority of that money coming from property taxes. The district also has a special 1 mill tax that voters have kept in place since 2002. The last time voters approved that extra tax was in 2010, with district ofcials pointing out that the revenue makes programs possible that otherwise would have to be cut back or cut out. A number of factors have put stress on the budgets of schools nationwide, Weidner said. The Great Reces sion resulted in fewer dollars for all government funding at the same time property values and therefore proper ty taxes plummeted. Sarasota County has cut $140 million from its budget and 600 jobs since 2006, Weidner noted. Another funding issue in Sarasota County, he pointed out, is the increasing number of char ter schools. That means less money for the other public schools to share. The preliminary budget indicates charter schools will claim an extra 700 students in the 2013-2014 school year, Weidner added. With the district expected to gain only 500 more students than it has this year, he said, that will result in a net loss of 200 students for the reg ular public schools. Each student who moves to a charter school takes with him his share of the state money provided per pupil for the district, Weidner noted. School Board mem ber Frank Kovach pointed out that, be cause the board has been approving use of its reserve funds for budgets over the past years, those reserves soon might be dried up. We continue to be as frugal as we can, Weid ner said. -15 will be a critical year, he added. We have to see what state revenues will be . The last time the district saw a budget in crease was in the 2006-07 school year, Weid ner told The Sarasota News Leader % We continue to be as frugal as we can. Al Weidner Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Sarasota County Schools I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | www.askdrkoval.com
ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.A smile is the first thing I notice about someone. However, that was the part of me I wanted to hide from everyone, including myself. In 2007, my family dentist of 30 years told me he could help. He then crowned all of my teeth. They looked better, but they immediately started to crack, one by one. He kept promising me he could correct them by re-making them. He was frustrated, but I was devastated. I then realized that I never received a stable, comfortable position to chew. My bite was totally off. After four consultations with different dentists and lots of research, I chose Dr. Christine Koval for her warmth, reassurance, confidence, and experience in correcting bites and making teeth beautiful! Dr. Kovals team is very caring and professional, and her skill level is second to none. I am so incredibly pleased, not only with my beautiful smile but also with my comfortable and natural bite. I feel so thankful and blessed for this second chance on my smile!For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit askdrkoval.com Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406 www.askdrkoval.comAwarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Barbara Lee
It is very rare for a city charter ofcial to re ceive public afrmation. These ofcials serve at the pleasure of city commissioners, not city citizens. If charter ofcials do not perform as expect ed, they can be removed by a simple majority of three commissioners. After her selection as city auditor and clerk on Feb. 25, 2010, Pam Nadalini fought a bu reaucratic battle that led to the dismissal of her bte noire City Manager Bob Bartolotta, enabling her to take control of the citys Infor mation Technology Department from the City Managers Ofce. For nearly three years, she stood in violation of a requirement in the city charter that she hold a surety bond, just as the city manag er and city nance director do; and for two years, she managed to keep that a secret from the City Commission. This month she withstood a proposed amend ment to the citys charter that would have dis membered her ofce, watching voters turn it down 45 percent to 55 percent. And on Mon day, Nov. 19, she withstood a no-condence motion at the City Commission meeting when nobody wanted to second it. Who is this survivor? City Attorney Bob Fournier and City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini listen to public comments during a City Commission meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: CITY AUDITOR AND CLERK PROVES TO BE A SURVIVOR POWER, THY NAME IS PAM By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 18 LOCAL WOMAN RISES TO THE TOP Local government is one area where a talent ed woman can enter an ofce environment at the bottom of the ladder and work her way to the top. Deputy County Administrator Jeannie Fuller demonstrated in the 1980s that it was possible for a woman to smash the glass ceil ing to grab all but the top spot after joining the county staff as a secretary. Pam Nadalini attended Fruitville Elementary and graduated from Riverview High School in 1984. She went to work as a junior clerk for the City of Sarasotas Finance Department two days before Christmas in 1985. She rose to become a senior accounts clerk in 1989, and almost ve years to the day after her orig inal hire, she became an executive assistant. Nadalini switched departments to join the City Auditor and Clerks Ofce; in 2000, she was promoted from executive assistant to as sistant auditor and clerk. Two years later, she took the No. 2 job in the ofce as deputy au ditor and clerk for $75,000 per year. She held that job until Jan. 6, 2010, when upon the retirement of long-serving Auditor and Clerk Billy Robinson she was appoint ed acting auditor and clerk. Six weeks later, on Feb. 25, the City Commission awarded her the job by a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Terry Turner in the minority). The employment agreement was signed on April 7. She receives $135,000 per year, plus $300 per month for a car allowance. Should the city commissioners let her go for their convenience, she has a severance pack age in place that will give her six months of pay and medical benets. If she were to be red for cause, no severance would be granted. A PERILOUS TRANSITION When Nadalini took over from Robinson, a smooth transition was expected. She had been his deputy for eight years, and she was a 17-year veteran of city government. However, the promotion held a snag. For the rst time in her career, she needed a surety bond. And nobody wanted to grant one to her. A Sept. 28, 2011 memo from the citys insur ance agent noted he had tried hard but failed to nd a company to offer a bond. Unfortu nately we were unsuccessful in securing terms for the City Clerk/Auditor position. Our mar keting efforts included accessing all the stan dard and substandard bond writers includ ing Travelers, Chubb, Suretec, Hartford and others. Underwriters are unwilling to extend surety without signicant collateral for the City Clerk/Auditor position bond, wrote Paul Dawson, the senior vice president of Public Risk Insurance Agency in Daytona Beach. Knowing Nadalini could not get a bond, the citys Human Resources Department staff, act ing upon advice of the city attorney, obtained an employee theft and dishonesty insurance policy to cover her. The city attorney called it functionally equivalent to a bond, after The Sarasota News Leader broke the story about Nadalinis lack of a bond. Members of the Coalition of City Neighbor hood Associations on Sept. 8 heard City Attor ney Bob Fournier and Rob Wagner of Brown & Brown Insurance discuss the difference be tween bonds and insurance. Insurance is a risk-pooling device, said Wag ner. A surety bond is a contractual guaran tee. It is a guarantee of performance, not a risk-transfer.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 19 He explained that if a bonded employee steals cash, an insurance policy covers the loss and the incident is reported to the police. A bond ing company will also cover the loss, but it will pursue the employee to regain the lost money. The premiums are more like a service fee, to cover the overhead and expenses and prot, said Wagner. Another difference between bonds and in surance is the level of background check that takes place before each can be secured. They dig into his credit and his wifes credit. Its much more personal, said Wagner of a bond. A PERILOUS MOTION Every year, the Sarasota City Commission must authorize the level of bond it will re quire of the three city ofcials who must have a bond the city manager, the city nance director and the city auditor and clerk. This years resolution came up on Monday, Nov. 19. Kurt Hoverter, the city HR director, said the rates for the coming year for $100,000 in bond coverage would be $444 for City Manager Tom Barwin, $507 for Finance Director Chris Lyons and $9,350 for City Auditor and Clerk Pam Na dalini. In other words, Nadalinis bond was 20 times more expensive than Barwins. The city will be paying almost $10,000 for a one-year bond of $100,000. What affects the rate is up to individual fac tors, said Hoverter. Using Wagners overhead, expenses and prof it factors, it appears the bonding company anticipates much higher expenses from Nad alinis bond. The amount was too much for Commissioner Turner. For nearly three years, she refused to address her bonding problems, causing each one of us to violate our oath of ofce, he said. Upon taking ofce, commissioners swear to uphold not only the federal and Florida con stitutions but also the Charter of the City of Sarasota. Knowing a charter ofcial is violat ing the charter and not taking action is itself a violation of the charter. Ironically, it is Na dalini who administered the oath to the ve current city commissioners, knowing she was in violation of a specic charter provision. Turner went on: Now we have quantitative evidence her integrity is one-twentieth that of Mr. Barwin and Mr. Lyons. Her unknown personal activities clearly disqualify her from ofce, he said. Turner then made a motion to terminate Nad alini for cause. For the past several months, Nadalini has re fused to answer or has ducked the question of why she could not get a bond and she has not commented on why the bond nally secured for her is so much more expensive. Turners motion hung in the air, as the oth er four commissioners looked down at their desks. Motion dies for lack of a second, said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. Not only did Nadalini survive another scrape, but she also could bask in the knowledge that Turner announced last week he would not run for re-election to the commission. In three years, the city auditor and clerk has ousted a city manager, absorbed a major city department into her bureaucratic empire and outlasted her only critic on the commission. And at last she has a bond. %
An upcoming appearance by a controversial anti-Islam author, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, is prompting sharp criticism, with at least one critic label ing the writers past words hate speech. At the center of the controversy is Brigitte Ga briel, the author of Because They Hate: A Sur vivor of Islamic Terror Warns America and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It She is scheduled to appear in Sarasota on Dec. 12 as part of the Jewish Federations ongoing Israel @ 65 celebration, intended to commemorate the founding of the Jewish state in 1947. While a press release promoting her appear ance describes Gabriel as a leading expert on global Islamic terrorism, that fails to capture the heat of her rhetoric. The New York Times quoted her last year charging that radical Mus lims have inltrated the CIA, the FBI, the Pen tagon and the State Department, and that the cancer of radical Islam takes its ideology di rectly from the Muslim holy book, the Quran. Gabriel also leads a nationwide grassroots organization dubbed ACT! for America, dedi cated to opposing violent jihad, stealth jihad, the advance of sharia law, the inuence of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the scourge of politi The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has its headquarters on McIntosh Road in Sarasota. File photo JEWISH FEDERATION CRITICIZED FOR PLANNING EVENT STARRING AN ANTI-ISLAM FIREBRAND HATE SPEECH DEPLORED By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 21 cal correctness which are enabling the rise of radical Islam. According to the Times ACT! claims its mem bership is as large as 155,000, with 500 chap ters around the country. And yes, there is a chapter in Sarasota. The Southern Pover ty Law Center, a non prot whose mission is to fight hate and bigotry, places Gabri el in its Anti-Muslim Inner Circle, writing that she views Islam in absolute terms as a monolithic threat to the United States, Isra el and the West and is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she de scribes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspir acy bent on world domination. Kim Mullins, the Fed erations director of communications and programming, tells The Sarasota News Lead er that Gabriel spoke in the area in 2008, and was really well re ceived, while acknowl edging that she has a strong message. The founder and co-chairwoman of the Womens Interfaith Network, a local group created to bring togeth er women from diverse faith backgrounds, calls that strong message in fact, hate speech. She is part of a group that is making lots and lots of money promoting hate speech against Muslims, Arlene Pearlman says, and I have a real problem with bringing in somebody like her. Id have the same problem with anybody in Sarasota who preached hate. Pearlman, who is Jew ish, received a mailer promoting Gabriels appearance, and says she contacted the Federation to voice her dis pleasure. These are not people who should have a platform, she says. Gabriel is not the only controversial speak er the Federation has invited to Sarasota. Among past visitors have been John Hagee, the televangelist infa mous for saying Hur ricane Katrina struck New Orleans because of a planned homo sexual rally, aka sin ful conduct. Pearlman says the Federation received a lot of ack on that one, including from her. Hate speech is hate speech, Pearlman says. You dont do it. % Brigitte Gabriel/Contributed [Brigitte Gabriel] is part of a group that is making lots and lots of money promoting hate speech against Muslims. Arlene Pearlman Founder and Co-Chairwoman Womens Interfaith Network
If you dene power as the ability to inuence events, it was very clear Monday evening, Nov. 19, where the power lies in the City of Sarasota. It is along a roundabout on the little island called St. Armands. Even as its representatives came to the table, city employees were at work putting things back the way the island merchants wanted them. The issue was parking. When the Sarasota City commissioners yanked the parking meters out of downtown last year, they created a uniform parking poli cy but did not bother to tell the merchants and residents of St. Armands about it. Suddenly, what was unfettered and free be came timed and policed. When the tickets ap peared last month and word began to circu late, a political storm started to brew. Weve had a tsunami of complaints about parking tickets, Eric Seace told the St. Ar mands Business Improvement District on Oct. 9. Seven weeks later, the city is making every thing as it was before the uniform policy was adopted. City workers are un-striping the new stripes, re-signing the new signs and un-enforcing the new rules because the new rules no longer apply. Visitors and residents on St. Armands will be able once again to enjoy their former parking regula tions. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA CITY COMMISSION ABANDONS THE NEW PARKING RESTRICTIONS THAT HAD BROUGHT A PLETHORA OF COMPLAINTS WHATEVER ST. ARMANDS WANTS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 23 After St. Armands merchants and property owners trooped to City Hall on Nov. 5, the commissioners ordered staffers to consult on the matter and nd an agreeable solution. When the staffers returned on Nov. 19, the solution was to throw in the towel and return to the status quo ante City Parking Manager Mark Lyons started the conversation by telling the commission ers that city staffers were already removing stripes from 375 newly established parking spaces. That started last night, he said. Also scrapped were time restrictions on 200 on-street spots, mostly along the Bou levard of the Presi dents. When Lyons tried to preserve some restric tion on parking along the circle until 8 p.m., that did not stick, either. The old limit was 6 p.m., and the commissioners reset the time to the earlier hour. The new Saturday limits? Gone, too. I came before you with deep frustration two weeks ago, said Dianne Corrigan with the St. Armands Circle Association. We were totally surprised the new policies were not shared with the [business improvement district] or the association, or all of this could have been avoided. Nor apparently were the new policies shared with Lyons own Parking Advisory Committee. Marty Rappaport sits on that committee and is chairman of the St. Armands Business Im provement District. There was total shock when the new parking regulations were im posed, he told the commissioners. Who compromised with whom? asked Commissioner Ter ry Turner rhetorical ly. I dont think we should compromise with them. I think we should give them what they want. After the commissioners voted unanimously to uproot the old policies and return to his torical parking norms and fatally wound ed their uniform policy Turner said, Im surprised our downtown merchants havent shown up. % I dont think we should compromise with them. I think we should give them what they want. Terry Turner City Commissioner Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota 941-953-4060MyPlannedParenthood.org
After a debate over free-market principles and the need to nish projects that long have been in the works, the Sarasota County Commis sion voted narrowly on Nov. 13 to approve a policy that gives the Sarasota and Venice Housing Authorities the exclusive right to ap ply for state housing tax credits. The policy will help the Housing Authorities in the competition to win federal tax credits for affordable housing through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, administered in the Sunshine State by the Florida Housing Fi nance Corp. The initiative is known as the 9 percent pro gram, referring to the approximate percent age of the eligible project costs that investors may claim on federal tax returns for a 10 year period, according to program material. In the past, that money has gone toward proj ects such as Janies Garden, a mixed-income complex built in north Sarasota to replace the horribly dilapidated Janie Poe apartments. Also in the past, private developers have at tempted to convince local governments to sup port their projects in the competition, which could have shut out the Housing Authorities. Don Hadsell, the director of the countys Of Sarasota County Commissioners Carolyn Mason (left) and Nora Patterson peruse background ma terial on agenda items. File photo NARROW COUNTY COMMISSION MAJORITY APPROVES HOUSING AUTHORITY EXCLUSIVITY IN COMPETITION FOR FEDERAL LOW-INCOME HOUSING PROGRAM TAX CREDITS STAYING THE COURSE By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 25 ce of Housing and Community Development, asked the commission last week to set a for mal policy of supporting only projects submit ted by the Housing Authorities, to guarantee that their work gets top priority in the grant process. Commissioner Joe Barbetta objected. What were doing in effect is precluding the private sector from competing with us, he said. Im not one to stie competition. Hadsell pointed out that developers can swoop in on any available property, unlike the Housing Authorities, which are locked into specic urban plots. It places our Housing Authorities at a com petitive disadvantage, Hadsell said, arguing that the commission ers had stated in the past that the tax cred it program should be funding projects that local government wants funded, such as the completion of Janies Garden. Many abandoned Janie Poe units remain standing in north Sarasota. Barbetta asked whether other counties had adopted similar policies, a question Hadsell could not answer with certainty, to the dis pleasure of both Barbetta and Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson. Commissioner Nora Patterson argued the commission should approve the policy to en sure that if the area does win the tax credits, they go toward completing projects in prog ress such as Janies Garden. She called Janie Poe a horrible mess and pointed out that the new construction is already a result of a public-private partnership. This is very innovative to form a partnership with a private developer to take advantage of that, she said. Its a huge success, and it cre ates mixed-income properties where it isnt just people who are on a complete govern ment subsidy. To Barbettas point about not knowing what best practices other counties have developed, Patterson argued, I think we have set the best practices with what happened with Janies Garden and we need to expand that effort. She eventually made a motion to adopt the Housing Authorities policy, which was sec onded by Commission er Carolyn Mason. There were not pri vate businesses bang ing on our door to tear down Janie Poe Drive, Commissioner Jon Thaxton argued, support ing the measure. Janie Poe was in a state of embarrassment and disrepair at the time, he said, noting that after the current developments are completed, that might be the time to embrace Barbettas desire for a more market-driven process. Thaxton, Patterson and Mason all voted for the measure, while Barbetta and Robinson demurred. % I think we have set the best practices with what happened with Janies Garden and we need to expand that effort. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County
The Sarasota City Commission on Monday, Nov. 19, decided to maintain two separate police review panels and appointed two new members to one of them. There had been talk about combining the two boards the Police Complaint Committee and the Independent Police Advisory Panel. Both were created upon the recommendation of an ad hoc citizens panel that reviewed op erations of the Sarasota Police Department in the aftermath of a videotaped altercation in the jail sally port between an ofcer and a suspect. The ofcer was red but reinstated nearly three years later by the Civil Service Board. Elmer Berkel, chairman of the Independent Police Advisory Panel, gave his rst annual report to the commission on Monday. We rec ommend continuing the two panels as origi nally structured, he said. The complaints panel reviews closed dis ciplinary cases after those cases have been investigated by the Sarasota Police Depart ments Internal Affairs division. The panel has worked through an enormous backlog of cases in the past year. After reviewing disci plinary proceedings following the investiga tions, two members of the review panel quit in disgust. They said the police union and state legislation called the Police Ofcers Bill of Rights prevented any meaningful punishment of miscreant ofcers. Those two complaints committee positions were lled Monday. Attorney William Full The Sarasota Police Department headquarters is located on Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION DECIDES TO KEEP TWO INDEPENDENT POLICE ADVISORY PANELS FOR THE TIME BEING STAFFED AND STAYING By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 27 er, vice chairman of the Coalition of City Neighborhood Asso ciations, was named chairman of the Police Complaint Committee. Frank Soriano, exec utive director of Uni dos Now, also was ap pointed to that board. Unidos Now is a relatively new organization working with Hispanic residents in the com munity. The complaints committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Federal Building at Orange Avenue and Ring ling Boulevard in Sarasota. The Independent Police Advisory Panel meets quarterly in City Hall on First Street in downtown Sarasota. City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo lob bied to combine the two groups. However, other commissioners noted that a new po lice chief is sched uled to begin work in early January; they deferred the decision until she could offer some comments. I am not willing to rip it out right now, said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. I dont want to take away the mechanism that has put a spotlight on this problem, said Com missioner Shannon Snyder. The complaint board reviews everything but has no author ity. The policy board is about initiatives that an aggressive chief should be working on. % The complaint board reviews everything but has no authority. The policy board is about initiatives that an aggressive chief should be working on. Shannon Snyder City Commissioner Sarasota Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. Al ls tate Agent 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services agents.allstate.com/manuel-r-chepote-sarasota-.html Click to watch the latest TV ad Click for driving directions
Buoyed by the participation of approximately 900 residents in Phase One of the creation of Sarasota Countys rst Bicycle and Pedestri an Plan, staff assembled a draft proposal with the hope of seeing similar participation in the form of new comments and suggestions. However, the preliminary burst of enthusiasm seems to have waned, Beth Rozansky, a senior planner in the Transportation Planning Group, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. Since the draft was completed, discussion of it among the public hasnt been as active as we had hoped, she added. Given the potential for federal funding to as sist the county in creating more bike paths and pedestrian trails, she said, staff is encour aging people to weigh in. To allow more time for that, she said, the county will continue to make the draft available through the end of the year on its website and possibly through January. Staff also is working on ways to bring the draft plan to the attention of groups and organiza tions whose members might not be familiar with it. Were trying to make sure we have reached out to the stakeholders, Rozansky said. Bike lanes are common along major streets in Sarasota County, but more are sought. Photo courtesy Sarasota County SARASOTA COUNTY SEEKING COMMENTS ON A DRAFT BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PLAN IN PREPARATION FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 29 Really, the intent overall is looking at what we can do to improve, she said. The goal is to present the proposed plan to the County Commission next spring, Rozansky pointed out, so changes can be made to the countys Comprehensive Plan and the federal grant fund search can begin. The draft plan notes the county has more than 264 miles of inventoried bicycle facilities and more than 1,300 miles of pedestrian fa cilities. It says, The Countys bicycle network connectivity is concentrated west of I-75, with a few links extending to the east, and limited connectivity allowing north/south travel west of I-75. In preparation of the draft plan, a consultant distilled data from a survey distributed to residents from April through October 2011, Rozansky said. The survey was available on the countys website and placed in strategic locations throughout the County to reach the maximum number of interested parties, the draft plan says. Among those locations were local bicycle and recreational stores. The results showed the majority of respon dents were ages 50 to 69. A subset of that group, people in the 50-59 age range, made up 27 percent of the total, she added. More men responded than women 53 per cent to 46 percent, the results also showed. Yet, it is important for staff to have the views of younger people and families with children as well, Rozansky pointed out. A Sarasota County graphic illustration shows locations of bicycle and pedestrian crashes between 2006 and 2009. Image courtesy Sarasota County
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 30 Because of the demographics of the survey respondents, she continued, it was no surprise to staff that the majority put less emphasis on a desire for bicycle and pedestrian paths leading from neighborhoods to schools. Instead, the answers showed high demand for an increase in paths leading to parks and gre enway trails, she noted. Thats obviously a connection that could be made from the age levels of those who took the survey, Rozansky said. Among the parks mentioned were Rothen bach, Myakka and Arlington, as well as Oscar Scherer State Park. Along with schools, the lowest-scoring loca tions for improved bike and pedestrian con nections were Places of Worship and Place of Employment. One surprise for staff, she pointed out, was the fact that respondents seemed to consider the countys needs both from the perspective of being on foot or bicycle and from being be hind the wheel of a vehicle. We expected to hear more from bicyclists and pedestrians about lack of safety and lack of respect from automobile users, Rozansky said. The survey made it clear, she added, that theres got to be a balance of all the users of the road. The draft plan notes that a review of the coun tys bicycle and pedestrian crash data from 2006 to 2009 showed 788 incidents. The major ity of them, the draft continues, were on Tami ami Trail 125. Fruitville Road and Washing ton Boulevard had 41 each, with 39 reported on Bee Ridge Road and 28 on Tuttle Avenue. The draft plan, she pointed out, is one neces sary tool to moving forward and seeing some positive changes made in the county. Any feedback, good or bad, is helpful. To participate in the discussion of the draft plan on the countys website, visit www.scgov. net/PublicWorks/Pages/BicycleAndPedestri anPlan.aspx % A graph in the draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan shows top priorities for more connectors, as indi cated by respondents to a survey in 2011. Image courtesy Sarasota County
After silently memorializing Sarasotas fallen veterans for close to 100 years, a downtown war memorial deserves more recognition, say three living vets who stepped forward at the Wednesday, Nov. 14, Public Art Committee meeting. We have a relatively simple request, said former Sarasota Mayor Jack Gurney. Lets provide some history of this monument. The octagonal base with bronze plaques topped by a statue of a World War I dough boy infantryman is the gathering point for the public after the Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades troop through downtown. We are one of the few towns our size that still has these parades, said Dan Kunkel, chair man of the Patriotic Observance Committee of the Sarasota Veterans Commission. We have all these people who gather there, said Gurney. But theres nothing there to ex plain [the markers] history or the story of the doughboy. Wed like to see an educational marker. Gurney was a Marine. Kunkel served in the infantry. The Public Art Committee took their request under advisement, sending it to staff to exam ine issues of expense and content. The pro posed language for a sign will come back to the committee at its next meeting, Feb. 13. Sarasotas doughboy statue is in ne shape, but vets say it needs some explanation. Photo by Nor man Schimmel VETERANS SEEKING PUBLIC-ART MARKER FOR DOUGHBOY STATUE SOME EXPLANATION, PLEASE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 32 THE TWO-FER MEMORIAL A decade after troops came home to Saraso ta from World War I in 1918, a local architect built a base around the agpole at Five Points. The eight-sided structure provided room for bronze plaques commemorating the local war dead. Architect Clare Hosmer did not realize his monument would commemorate the dead from wars far in the future as well. The memorial was moved around a bit, from Five Points to the bayfront outside what was then City Hall in Hover Arcade. When the con struction of U.S. 41 obliterated the old arcade and city dock, the monument was moved to its present location at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park on Gulfstream Avenue. In 1998, local veterans found one of the pop ular American Doughboy statues in Clear water. After World War I, more than 150 cit ies across the country had purchased these pressed-copper versions of the statute created by E.M. Viquesney to honor the vets and vic tims of that war. Sarasota vets paid to repair the Clearwater statue; then, local sculptor Frank Colson made a lost-wax mold to create an all-bronze version for Sarasota. In 1998 80 years after the guns fell silent along the Western Front the bronze doughboy was hoisted atop Hos mers base. Today the memorial notes the sacrifice of Sarasotans from two world wars, plus a police action in Korea and a variety of undeclared conicts in Vietnam, Panama, Iraq and Af ghanistan. During and after each additional conict, local veterans raised the money to add more names to the memorial names of the Sailors and Kilties and Rams and Tor nadoes and other Sarasotans who were not coming home. % The doughboy statue stands to the right of the tent for the ceremony in Hamel Park following the 2011 Veterans Day parade in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel
With a number of county and municipal lead ers joining members of the public to witness the proceedings, the three Sarasota County commissioners formally elected on Nov. 6 raised their right hands and took the oath of ofce Nov. 20. Chief Judge Andrew D. Owens Jr. of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court did the honors, with Commissioners Charles Hines, Carolyn Ma son and Christine Robinson repeating the oath after him. Hines won his seat in the August primary, while Mason was unchallenged for a second term on the board. Robinson beat her Demo cratic opponent in the General Election to win her rst full term on the commission. ThenGov. Charlie Crist appointed her to the board in late 2010 to serve out the unexpired term of Commissioner Shannon Staub. With Robinson and Hines both from Venice, murmurs of excitement could be heard among South County local government ofcials be fore the ceremony even began. Its been an honor to serve you the last 23 months, Robinson told the audience after the ceremony, and an even greater honor to serve you the next four years. Public ofcials, county residents and members of the news media nearly ll the Commission Cham bers at the Sarasota County Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard before the swearing-in ceremony begins. Photo by Norman Schimmel THREE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FORMALLY BEGIN THEIR TERMS AFTER THEIR ELECTION ON NOV. 6 TAKING THEIR OATHS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 34 Commissioner Christine Robinson is joined by her husband, Eric, and their three children after the swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 20: (from left) Johnny, 7; Madi Grace, 4; and E.J., 8. Inset: Robinson wel comes members of the audience for the swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 20. Photos by Norman Schimmel
She added of Hines, Charles was a supporter of my campaign before he had his own. Hines said he was excited about working with Robinson, espe cially, after watching her serve the county the past couple of years. Welcome to the family, Mason told him, adding, The last cou ple of years have been such a wonderful experience. She had not worked with a n er group of public servants, she said. Allowed the opportunity for some remarks as well, Commis sioners Nora Patterson and Joe Barbetta both of whom will serve until 2014 took turns at the podium. This is a wonderful county, and its going to be a great new year, Patterson said. Weve got a great commission and a great community, Barbet ta told the audience. Mayor Linda Yates of North Port summed up the feelings of exuberance when she ad dressed the newly seated com mission during the public com ments portion of the meeting: We do have the best county in the state of Florida. I will stand on that. % Commissioner Carolyn Mason holds the bouquet of owers she received after taking the oath of ofce for her second term on the board. At left is Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Photo by Norman Schimmel
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 36 Newly elected Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines takes the oath of ofce surrounded by his family: (from left) son Grifn, mother-in-law Elsie Hamrick, wife Susan, daughter Bailey, son Preston and mother Avis Hines. Inset: Hines makes brief remarks to the audience. Photos by Norman Schimmel Enter To Win A New iPad e contest concludes when e Sarasota News Leader achieves 1,000 Likes on Facebook, One winner will be selected at random from among sub scribers. Only subscribers are eligible to win the iPad, regardless of having Liked our page on Facebook. Contest is open only to residents of Sarasota County. Selected winners must provide a valid Sarasota County street address to receive the iPad. Contest is void where prohibited by law. 2 Then Like Us On Facebook When our Likes on Facebook reach 1,000, we will randomly select one of our subscribers to receive a new iPad. 1 Click to Subscribe
NEWS BRIEFS More than 3,000 residents and visitors attend ed the inaugural Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Saturday at Ken Thompson Park, organiz ers reported. The purpose of the unique festival was to cel ebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to the regions environment and economy, a press release notes. More than 200 residents used the free water taxi that ran from Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota to the dock at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. Freedom Boat Club, one of the 45 sponsors of the water festival, donated two boats commanded by Coast Guard-certied captains, the release says. Seventy groups from private industry, local government and the nonprofit sector pre sented exhibits and activities that promoted Sarasota Bay Water Festival site manager Bryan Moore poses with volunteers Kathy Harmon, Alice Sciarrino, Christine Sciarrino and Rina Avellaneda. Photo by Pia Cormier Tents line Ken Thompson Park for the rst Sarasota Bay Water Festival on Nov. 17. Photo by Nor man Schimmel THOUSANDS ATTEND INAUGURAL SARASOTA BAY WATER FESTIVAL recreation, creative arts, conservation and ed ucation related to the Sarasota Bay estuary system, the press release adds. The festival was an opportunity to remind residents and elected representatives how im portant Sarasota Bay is to our region, said Randy Moore, the festival director and owner of Triple 3 Marketing (T3M). Sarasota Bay is not only beautiful, its also a major economic engine beneting tourism, real estate, com mercial and recreational shing, recreational boating and much more. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) was the host sponsor; T3M managed the event with volunteer support from residents of Sara sota and Manatee counties. SBEP is one of Americas 28 national estuary programs and a catalyst for the ongoing restoration of Sara sota Bay.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 38 Just as parking was liberated at St. Armands Circle this week, the screws were tightened along Ritz-Carlton Drive in front of the down town Sarasota hotel. Signs sprouted recently to say parking was by permit only. City of Sarasota Parking Manager Mark Lyons says the Ritz-Carlton owns the road, and it in stalled the signs to improve safety, turnover and ow. Members of the public are allowed to use the road, and they previously could park there for extended periods of time. This was a surprise to us, said Lyons when asked about the hotels new restriction. The Ritz controls the parking. Stan Zimmerman Although members of the public may park on the streets by the Ritz-Carlton, they should be aware of new restrictions on time limits. Photo by Norman Schimmel BE WARY OF PARKING AT THE RITZ A sign put up by the Ritz-Carlton warns mo torists of new parking restrictions on the roads by the hotel. Photo by Norman Schimmel
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 39 During construction, a temporary odor con trol system will be in place to minimize any localized issues, the release notes. New land scaping including trees, shrubs and plant ings also will be provided around the Lift Station 16 site. The rehab work is the second of a twophase project, the release points out. A new, much-needed forcemain was installed earlier this year. This $1.6 million utility construction project is one of many infrastructure improvement proj ects planned or already under construction as envisioned by the City of Sarasotas $89 million Utilities Department Capital Improve ment Program, the release says. This program has been undertaken to ensure that the citys water, wastewater and reclaimed water sys tems remain sustainable by upgrading major components with state-of-the-art equipment and materials, the release adds. This upgrade program will help mitigate the potential for environmental impacts of potential system malfunctions associated with or caused by an aging infrastructure, the release points out. On Monday, Nov. 26, contractors will begin re habilitating Lift Station 16, located at 34 South Gulfstream Ave. in downtown Sarasota, the city has announced. The project involves upgrading the electrical panels and instrumentation as well as replac ing the pumps and internal piping, which will enhance the reliability of the citys infrastruc ture, a city news release says. Minimal impact is expected to residents, pedestrians and mo torists, the release notes. The rehabilitation work will include the re placement of the existing pumps with new higher-capacity pumps and a new electric motor control center to transport wastewater more efciently to the wastewater treatment facility, the release points out. New standby diesel emergency pumps will be installed to replace the existing generator in case the sta tion pumps should fail. A new odor control system also will be in stalled, the release says. These new facilities will be contained within the existing lift sta tion structure. The status of all the major com ponents will be monitored remotely 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the release adds. A construction fence surrounds materials for the Hudson Bayou lift station work near Mound Street in Sarasota. That project remains stalled. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY LIFT STATION REHABILITATION TO START NOV. 26
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 40 14, according to information on the Sheriffs Ofces website. The Sheriffs Ofce report says deputies found Smith, Kinney and Conrad in a vehicle depu ties stopped about 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. The women had with them in the car a plethora of jewelry, the report notes. Deputies also found several pieces of jewelry and an iPad in the home shared by three of the girls, and they were able to connect those items to a burglary case, the report adds. A separate report says Catarzi went to a lo cal pawnshop on July 30 and pawned her fa thers television, which she allegedly had sto len from his residence. The report adds that Catarzi texted her father afterwards about pawning the TV. The shop manager told the investigating of cer that Catarzi said she was selling the TV, which she claimed was hers, because she needed the money for a move to Orlando. The women are also suspects in numerous burglaries being investigated by the Sarasota Police Department, the report adds. Charges in those crimes are forthcoming, the report notes. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has bro ken up a female crime ring suspected of com mitting at least 20 burglaries at Sarasota-area homes over the previous two weeks, the ofce announced Nov. 16. Deputies say 19-year-olds Samantha Smith and Brandy Jean Kinney, 23-year-old Alyssa Conrad and 20-year-old Caroline Elaine Catar zi had been breaking into homes in the South gate area to steal jewelry, coins and cash. The suspects say they committed the crimes to fund their addiction to Oxycodone, according to the Sheriffs Ofce. A report identies Catarzi as the leader of the alleged burglary ring. The Sheriffs Ofce has charged both Smith and Kinney with ve counts of Burglary; Con rad and Catarzi each are charged with ve counts of Burglary, one count of Fraud for providing false information to a pawnbroker and one count of Dealing in Stolen Proper ty. Additional charges are pending, the report says. Conrad was placed in jail under $33,120 bond. Catarzis bond was set at $32,000, and Kinney and Smith both are under $30,000 bond. All of them are scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. Samantha Smith/ Contributed Caroline Catarzi/ Contributed Brandy Kinney/ Contributed FEMALE BURGLARY RING BUSTED BY SHERIFFS OFFICE Alyssa Conrad/ Contributed
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 41 Sarasota County government ofces, includ ing libraries, the History Center and recre ation centers, will be closed Friday, Nov. 23, for the Thanksgiving holiday, the county has announced. However, some county services will be avail able on Nov. 23, a news release says. Libraries will be open Saturday, Nov. 24, and other county ofces will reopen Monday, Nov. 26. The Payne Park Tennis Center will be open Nov. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the news release notes. Residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county did not have yard waste, recy clables or garbage collection on Thanksgiving Day. For residents whose regular collection day is Thursday, yard waste, recyclables and garbage will be collected Friday, Nov. 23. For COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICES CLOSE FOR THANKSGIVING residents whose regular collection day is Fri day, yard waste, recyclables and garbage will be collected Saturday, Nov. 24. Because collection times vary, residents should place refuse materials at the curb by 6 a.m. the day of pickup, the news release points out. Sarasota Countys chemical collection centers at 8750 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, and 250 S. Jackson Road, Venice, will be closed Friday, Nov. 23, but the Citizens Convenience Center at 4010 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. All three centers will be open Saturday, Nov. 24. The landll at 4000 Knights Trail Road, Sara sota, also will be open Nov. 23, but the landll administrative ofces will be closed. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. Long-time civic activist Susan Chapman an nounced on Nov. 20 that she is running for an at-large seat on the Sarasota City Commission. The election is set for March 12, 2013. She becomes the fth announced candidate for two seats. Chapman has lived in Sarasota 23 years. She serves on the citys Planning Board, and she previously served on the Ad Hoc Police Ad visory Panel and the board of the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations. Chapman also has been involved with the Civic League and other organizations. A practicing attorney, she served as a volun teer judge in Teen Court for 20 years. CHAPMAN ANNOUNCES FOR CITY COMMISSION I have worked throughout my career in sup port of good governance. I believe our City Commission must become a more functional, more civil, more focused and more effective body, she said in a news release. Stan Zimmerman Susan Chapman addresses the City Commis sion during a recent meeting. Photo by Nor man Schimmel
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 42 A 30-minute edited video has been released of the Countdown to Election 2012 program sponsored recently by the Campus Democra cy Project at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. The panel discussion, which was held on Nov. 3 at the Half Shell Oyster House on Main Street in Sarasota, was mentioned in the Fighting COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2012 DISCUSSION ON VIDEO then and ghting now article in the Nov. 16 issue of The Sarasota News Leader The panelists were Scott Perry, associate pro fessor of history at USF-SM; Sonia Pressman Fuentes, an attorney and co-founder of NOW; Frank Alcock, associate professor of political science at New College of Florida; and modera tor Bonnie Greenball Silvestri, senior fellow for arts, culture and civic engagement at USF-SM. Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Click to watch the video
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 43 Following the approximately 2.8-mile bridge walk, participants are invited to return to Hamel Park. Online resources regarding Israels fight against Hamas are available at www.Saraso taLovesIsrael.com a news release says. For more information about the federation, visit www.jfedsrq.org The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is sponsoring a Solidarity Demonstration for Israel at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota, followed by a walk over the Ringling Bridge at 4 p.m. The park is located at the intersection of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. Participants are asked to wear blue and white for the interfaith demonstration, to show sup port for Israel. SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATION FOR ISRAEL PLANNED Leaders of the Sarasota County Fire Department are reminding residents to use ladders safely when decorating indoors and outside this hol iday season. They offer the following tips: Before using a ladder outdoors, choose a location that is well away from power lines. Contact with live wires can be fatal. Place the ladder on level ground and open it completely, making sure all locks are engaged. Use the 4-to-1 rule for extension ladders: for every 4 feet of distance between the ground and the upper point of contact (such as the wall or roof), move the base of the ladder out 1 foot. Stand at or below the highest safe standing level on a ladder. LADDER SAFETY TIPS OFFERED FOR HOLIDAY DECORATING Always face the ladder when climbing and wear slip-resistant shoes, such as those with rubber soles. Keep your body centered on the ladder and gauge your safety by your belt buckle. If your buckle passes beyond the ladder rail, you are overreaching and at risk of falling. Make sure rungs are dry before using the ladder. For a stepladder, the safe standing level is the second rung from the top. For an extension ladder, it is the fourth rung from the top. For more information on holiday safety, con tact the Sarasota County Call Center at 8615000 and ask for the Emergency Services Public Education Ofce or visit the countys website at www.scgov.net Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota 941-953-4060MyPlannedParenthood.org
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OPINION EDITORIAL In the aftermath of the election, two themes emerged from the Right. The rst was that the Republican Party needed to do a better job of reaching out to African-Americans, Latinos, women and young people if it wanted to be more competitive in presidential races. The second was a call for unity in addressing the nations problems, with a commensurate re duction in partisan bickering. But either ex pectation is a fools errand if the party does not come to terms with the unsound demands of the fundamentalist Christian block at its core. The Religious Right has made it plain that compromise, at least for its adherents, is a four-letter word. It has no intention of back ing off from its unilateral opposition to abor RELIGION VERSUS REALITY tion and reproductive choice, gay rights, stem cell research or their ght for sectarian prima cy over government policies (the latter col lectively advocated under the disingenuous heading of religious liberty). But perhaps no other position of the Religious Right more imperils Republican presidential prospects or, for that matter, the intellectual sanctity of the nation as a whole, than its stubborn attach ment to Creationism. This concern was once again brought to the fore by our own U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who, in a recent interview in GQ magazine, re sponded to a question about the age of the Earth with the tautological response, Wheth er the Earth was created in seven days, or sev en actual eras, Im not sure well ever be able to answer that. Its one of the great mysteries.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 46 If he truly believes that, he is not t to repre sent the people of Florida, much less become President of the United States. It is ironic that Republicans lambasted Presi dent Obama throughout the recent campaign for his unwillingness to embrace their belief in American exceptionalism that the United States is the greatest nation on earth. Yet, how can our nation be exceptional at least in a good way when, according to a recent Gal lup poll, 46 percent of the American people believe, in contravention of all established sci entic evidence, that the planet is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old? Incredibly, this conversation is being had in the 21st century, not the Middle Ages. Every achievement of the past hundred years medical breakthroughs, space exploration, even skyscrapers is rooted in the intricate interconnection of bedrock scientic princi ples. Physics, biology, paleontology, geolo gy, chemistry all are contingent upon the scientists understanding and acceptance of the physical properties of the planet and all life that exists upon it. To limit oneself to the belief that our planet literally was created in six days only a few thousand years ago is the scientic equivalent of entering a track meet with ones right hand roped to ones left ankle. In other words, failure is the inevitable result. If the United States is even to survive in the global economy let alone be the greatest na tion on the planet it must produce the most capable physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists and engineers, providing the nation with an insurmountable advantage in techno logical advancement. Such a feat, however, is not possible if our government leaders are al lowed to pander to the perpetuation of super stitious nonsense about our biological origins and the nature of our physical universe. While Rubio has embarrassed the people of Florida with his recent remarks, he has help fully brought front and center the need to ad vance the incorporation of science, technol ogy, engineering and math ironically, just as our governor, Rick Scott has advocated into the education curriculum, ensuring that the next generation of Americans will be equal to the task of competing with all other na tions. Otherwise, American exceptionalism will be merely a wry euphemism for American ineptitude. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to Letters@SarasotaNewsLeader.com with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 47 COMMENTARY On the night of Sept. 11, 2012, John Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassa dor to Libya, was trapped in an interior room of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during a well-planned attack on the facility by a heav ily armed insurgent force. The attack left the compound shattered and in ames. Later, Stevens was found alive but uncon scious by a group of non-insurgent Libyans who transported him to a nearby hospital. Doctors were unable to resuscitate him and Stevens was pronounced dead at 2 a.m. lo cal time on Sept. 12. The cause of death was smoke inhalation. Reaction to Stevens murder by the Obama Administration was to scapegoat responsibil ity for the inadequate security protection it gave our ambassador. Republicans clumsily attempted to parlay Stevens murder as a cam paign issue. Both parties behaved shamefully. There was a time, however, when a chief of state did act resolutely when his ambassador was murdered. In 1216, Shah Aladdin Muhammad of Khwarezm proposed to Chingis Khan a last ing peace and preferable trade relations with the Mongol Empire. The shah ruled over West Asia: Iran, Central Asia (Transoxania) and Af ghanistan. Chingis Khan, who had just com pleted the conquest of northern China, ruled over East Asia. Chingis Khan approved the pact and dis patched a trade caravan of 500 camels to the shah. The Mongol trade delegation was placed under the command of Chingis Khans ambas sador and personal representative, Uquna. When the caravan reached the Khwarezmian frontier, the provincial governor, Inalchiq, murdered Uquna and plundered the caravan. Thinking that Inalchiq had acted without the shahs approval, Chingis Khan then sent a second diplomatic mission to Khwarezm, de manding the extradition of Inalchiq and the return of the caravan animals and the goods they carried. Not only did Shah Muhammad refuse to extradite Inalchiq, but he also ex ecuted the senior Mongol envoy on Chingis Khans second mission. The Mongol attack on Khwarezm was pursued without mercy. Khwarezm was completely de stroyed. For his greed, Inalchiq was executed by having molten silver poured into his eyes and ears. In Nishapur, all of the inhabitants were beheaded and their skulls arranged in great pyramids. The slaughter took two weeks to complete; then, the remains of the city were burned to the ground. The similar destruc tion of other cities followed. In 1220, Shah Muhammad died while eeing the Mongols MARKED CONTRASTS SEEN IN THE DEATHS OF TWO AMBASSADORS By David Staats Contributing Writer
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 48 His son and heir, Jalaluddin, was murdered in 1231 in what today is Turkey. Chingis Khan had wanted peace and trade with Khwarezm, not war. The shahs murder of his envoys, however, had made war inevitable. Any indecisiveness in this matter by Chingis Khan would have opened him to accusations of weakness, which he was not prepared to tolerate. At 1:40 a.m. on Saturday morning, April 5, 1986, Libyan intelligence operatives exploded a bomb in the La Belle Nightclub, a disco in West Berlin. The explosion killed two U.S. ser vicemen and a Turkish woman. Another 229 people were wounded in the attack, including 79 Americans. Ten days later, the Reagan Administration or dered the U.S. Air Force to bomb Tripoli and Benghazi. France refused permission for the U.S. warplanes based in England to overy French territory on this mission. The French refusal increased the danger to our pilots and the outcome of the mission. One U.S. aircraft was lost. Still, the overall mission was suc cessful, and the F-111 came to be seen as a highly effective asset in Americas counter-ter rorism arsenal. Ronald Reagan had not wanted to bomb Lib ya, but after the Gadda regimes cowardly attack on U.S. servicemen in West Berlin, he had no other option. Those who engage in ter rorist acts must be taught that their actions will result in deadly punishment. Terrorists will cease their killings of innocents only when they understand and believe that they themselves will be hunted down and killed however long retribution may take. This is a lesson that they will not learn, however, as long as Washington politicians point ngers at one another and assign blame in order to achieve narrow political advantage. To be successful in defeating terrorists, we will need far more statesmen, who are in very short supply, and far fewer politicians, who are not. Apotheosis of War by Vasily Vereshchagin. Photo from the authors personal archive
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 49 To the Editor The true costs of oil production and explora tion become clearer every day. As the pace of growth in offshore production increases, the cycle of death and destruction sadly seems to be keeping pace. More than two and a half years after the Deep water Horizon disaster, we have yet to see any real change. I would argue the risks are great er today. Since the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico was lifted in the fall of 2010, the U.S. has gone into high gear, selling off millions of square miles of the Gulf to explo ration and development. Oil production has rocketed past 2010 levels, expecting to reach record highs in 2013. Safety measures by the oil industry and reg ulation by government sadly lag behind the rush to drill, placing workers, the environment and coastal communities at increasing risk. The day after a controversial settlement was announced that would relieve BP of further liability for most of the crimes committed related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we are reminded that a big payout by one of the richest corporations in the world is not enough to make a signicant difference. It is certainly inadequate for the survivors and families of workers who are killed and injured by negligence, and in the case of the Deepwa ter Horizon, as recompense for criminal acts. It is not enough for the communities that rely on a healthy gulf. We dont yet know the causes of this tragic loss of life, and we have too little informa tion about any environmental impacts. But one thing that last weeks Justice Department settlement with BP brings to light is that cor porations that callously disregard the law, re sulting in injury to human health and the en vironment, will be convicted of felony crimes. The collateral consequences of such a con viction can include being disqualied from contracting with the U.S. and being excluded from certain benets and privileges granted to other corporations. Accordingly, the sen tencing judge and the U.S. should consider terminating or limiting contracts or subsidies to BP and other felonious corporations, par ticularly in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic and other sensitive areas. Black Elk Energy, the owner of the ill-fated platform that will now contribute to the grim statistics of tragedy in the gulf, was recently named one of the fastest-growing privately held companies, with an impressive three year sales growth of 2,510 percent. Black Elk was racing to drill the rst of 23 new wells in the Gulf of Mexico. If the evidence shows that in its race to prot, Black Elk, like BP, broke the law, it should be prohibited from both explo ration and production in waters of the United States. Justin Bloom Sarasota facebook.com/suncoastkeeper MORE DEATH AND DESTRUCTION EXPECTED IN THE GULF
Featuring Sarasota Leisure Inside CONVOLUTIONS IN COMMUNICATION ASK OTUS: BLACK SNAKE MOAN SAVORING A CRUISE
I like to take my time. Sure, its a temptation to rush. Each issue of The Sarasota News Leader is brimfull of in-depth coverage of all the news and goings-on in Sarasota County. And it has delightful and informative feature stories. Thanks to its partnership with This Week In Sarasota I always know what the most exciting happenings are each week. Plus, it is simply so beautiful, with photography that takes my breath away. There is so much there, I dont know where to begin. So it is hard to resist the urge to read it all at once. But I know better. Take your time and indulge in all that it has to offer. You have a whole week. SarasotaNewsLeader.com Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida
Those who attended the most recent install ment of the University of South Florida Sara sota-Manatees Conversations with Authors series on Tuesday, Nov. 13, know that Tampa Bay Times television and media critic Eric Deggans is not afraid of being called names. Many of those in the Selby Auditorium au dience that night learned that the journalist, author and pundit even went so far as to title his rst book, Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation after an epithet assigned to him on national television by controversial Fox News host and conservative political commentator Bill OReilly. Ive never been really sure ... why [OReilly] called me that, because he didnt really say, Deggans replied when asked by the programs interviewer, Sarasota Herald-Tribune Opin ion Editor Tom Tryon, about his unsuccess ful attempt to discuss the label with OReilly earlier this year. Deggans went on to explain that, after OReilly and Fox both declined his request to speak with OReilly, Deggans de cided to take matters into his own hands: He attended a press conference at the Van We zel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, where OReilly was promoting his own recently pub lished book, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America For ever Aside from his regular contributions to the Tampa Bay Times, Eric Deggans has been a contribu tor to National Public Radio, CNN.com, the Hufngton Post and many other popular media outlets. Photos by Arielle Scherr ERIC DEGGANS DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK, RACE-BAITER, AS PART OF USF SARASOTA-MANATEES CONVERSATIONS WITH AUTHORS SERIES CONVOLUTIONS IN COMMUNICATION By Tyler Whitson Contributing Writer
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 53 Unfortunately, Deggans told the audience, his efforts to reach out to OReilly to start a con versation about racial tensions in the media were unsuccessful once the two nally sat down together. According to Deggans, the questions he posed to OReilly about why he was called a race-baiter and his follow-up question about OReillys thoughts on the possibilities of dialogue between black peo ple and white people concerning race were largely evaded or dismissed. In the introduction to Race-Baiter Deggans quotes OReilly as telling him, I think its a press problem, not a people problem. Despite these convolutions in communica tion, Deggans explained to the audience, the idea behind the term itself is clear. The ba sic point of [OReillys] commentary was that white people couldnt talk to black people about race anymore because its too danger ous. Its too easy to be called a racist and just not worth it, Deggans added. Although he may not agree with OReillys decision to be stow the label upon him, Deggans explained that he chose to embrace it because it present ed him with a poignant opportunity to openly discuss, dissect and analyze issues of subtle racism and stereotyping in Americas modern, hyper-competitive news media landscape. He read a passage from Race-Baiter to un derscore his point: Sometimes such a slur, coming from the right people, feels less like a criticism than a badge of honor, communi cating mostly one thing: Youre on the right track. Bill OReilly called the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Eric Deggans and the media watchdog organization Me dia Matters for America race-baiters in the Talking Points segment of the April 7, 2008 episode of his show, The OReilly Factor.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 54 To promote a better understanding of both sides of the argument, Deggans explained that those who have called others race-bait ers often said they did so because they felt they were being misunderstood. The bottom line is that people who use that term ... are folks who just want to talk about race, who just want to talk about these different issues, he said, paraphrasing the viewpoint. However, Deggans continued, that idea itself might be the result of a misunderstanding. When I talk about the suspicion that theres institutional prejudice and stereotypes that were dealing with in the media, that doesnt make [them] racist; that doesnt make us race-baiters; that doesnt make us race hus tlers trying to get some kind of weird advan tage. All were really trying to do is connect with each other and enjoy our differences rather than ignore them or be separated by them. CODE WORDS Deggans wrote in Race-Baiter that the pro cess of improving understanding among races is hampered by the exposure of Americans to code words that many media gures and outlets use to attract attention or stir up emo tion, in the effort to gain a devoted following. When Tryon asked about this concept, Deg gans related it to stereotyping. Code words are these phrases that are in tended to, in a weird way, sort of shortcut your active critical thinking. What they do is they access these thoughts that you have in the back of your head and they make in Eric Deggans has worked as a columnist and critic for the Tampa Bay Times since 1995.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 55 stant connections, so you dont really have to think too much. One example Deggans mentioned was former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrichs notorious labeling of Presi dent Barack Obama as the food stamp pres ident. To further illustrate the way code words gain their meaning, Deggans referred to a book ti tled, Why Americans Hate Welfare It includes research by author Martin Gilens, who found that covers of news magazines published be tween the 1960s and the 1990s more often than not associated images of black people with generic stories about poverty. What ends up happening is that the terms welfare and poor black people getting some thing for nothing wind up getting associated with each other, he said. What I talk about in the book are implicit messages. Messages that are not out in the open that you think about consciously, De ggans said. The great achievement, I think, of the civil rights movement, is that its cre ated this social space in the mainstream now where open bigotry is frowned upon, he con tinued. Now stereotyping is implicit. Its in the background; its on the edges; its in the margins; its food stamp president. Deggans concluded this explanation by say ing his goal in Race-Baiter is to take implicit Eric Deggans discusses his new book, Race-Baiter, with Joseph Segars and Elizabeth Segars.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 56 messages and make them explicit, bring them out, make people think about them. Deggans also discussed how code words were particularly relevant to the 2012 election. There was this attempt to turn Barack Obama into a more conventional black politician, to make him look like someone who has some chip on his shoulder about race, Deggans said. To make him look like someone who wants to disadvantage white people and favor black people. To make him look like someone who is some secretly subversive person. Despite all of this, Deggans said he found some hope in the election results because the aforementioned tactics did not sway the Americans who helped re-elect Obama. After the conversation and a short ques tion-and-answer session involving the audi ence were over, and Deggans had nished signing copies of Race-Baiter for excited fans, he took a moment to speak with The Saraso ta News Leader about the proliferation and increasing popularity of online news outlets. Specically, he was asked how the shift that Americans are making from television to the Internet for news and analysis might affect the presence of code words and divisive tactics in the content that most of them are consuming. I dont think [the shift] will affect [the con tent] as much as you might think, he respond ed. When you have a media outlet that needs to get a niche of people to pay attention to it, then one way you get that niche is you make them scared of everybody else and you draw them to you with controversy. And thats what stereotypes and prejudice often do. Deggans said Internet sources could be even more prone to fostering prejudice and stereo typing than television sources. The fact that many Internet outlets cater to very specialized audiences, he added, can make it easier for them to utilize shocking or offensive remarks without gaining as much negative attention for it as they would if they were on television. I think the Internet could make [the divisive dynamic] worse if you dont keep an eye on it, he concluded. AUDIENCE RESPONSE After Deggans left the campus, many of the audience members staying for a reception dis cussed their thoughts about his comments. Joseph Segars, who had purchased a copy of Race-Baiter told the News Leader he great ly enjoyed the lecture. Theyre very salient issues, he said. Race is very important. We dont like to talk about it, but its something weve got to talk about and I think Eric hit all of the right notes. Segars added that, like Deggans, he is con cerned about political polarization in the Unit ed States. The new president what is that going to do with the status quo? Are we going to become more polarized or are we going to learn to get together? Debbie Trice shared a similar sentiment with the News Leader. I think we need to have the conversations at least to help eliminate some of the stereotypes or to take some of the pow er away from those words that [Deggans] was speaking about, she said. It was clear from those comments and others that Deggans race-baiter or not accom plished his goal that night of encouraging peo ple to discuss race openly. %
ASK OTUS Dear Otus, My husband, Hiram, took this photo of a black snake when we were visiting his mother on Siesta Key last summer. When we visited her again last month we saw the snake again. Is it poisonous? Hys mom has a Maltese terrier she lets run in the backyard. Thank you. Ellen Taubman Dear Ellen, What a great photo Hiram took! The snake is instantly recognizable as an adult Southern Black Racer ( Coluber constrictor priapus ). The Black Racers dorsal side is jet black, its chin is white and its belly is gray. These non-venomous snakes are typically quite active during daylight hours, so it is not surprising that both of you saw one. They are very common around our key and are good mousers, but they also eat other small ro dents, frogs, anoles, insects, bird eggs and even small birds. That is very similar to my diet, but I do enjoy the occasional crustacean and eschew dragonies. DONT FEAR THE BLACK RACER, BECAUSE IT IS VERY GOOD AT PEST CONTROL This Black Racer makes its home on Siesta Key. Photo courtesy of Hiram Taubman
Sarasota News Leader November 2, 2012 Page 58 Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 58 Despite its Latin name, constrictor the Black Racer does not kill its prey by constriction but by biting, holding and crushing it. The Black Racers white chin can cause it to be mistaken for the highly poisonous Cotton mouth, with the result that people kill it. They shouldnt, because this snake is a good pest controller and prefers to lickety-split slither away when it sees people or dogs. Yes, arbore al snakes such as the Black Racer have excel lent vision, but that does not save them from a ying hawks sudden swoop and snatch. It is not uncommon on Siesta Key to see a Red-Shouldered Hawk in ight clutching a three-foot-long Black Racer in its talons. Why do snakes stick out their forked tongues? Most people are told that is how they smell food, but that is not true. It is far more com plex than that, as snakes have no sense of smell. Snakes have a receptor in the roofs of their mouths called the Jacobsons Organ. It has two tiny holes in it; so, a snake sticks its tongue out and collects chemical particles from the air. The snake then puts its tongue back in its mouth and places both forked tongue tips into the organ holes. After the par ticles, especially those of animal body odors, Snakes have a complex reason for sticking out their tongues. File photo
Sarasota News Leader November 2, 2012 Page 59 Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 59 are analyzed and interpreted, the snake acts according to the processed data. Thats im pressive! So is the males rapidly ickering tongue display when he seeks to charm a fe male into mating. Did you know that snakes can regurgitate their food? They dont do it often, but heres how it works: The snake can distend its jaws and open its mouth up to 150 degrees (people can do only 45 degrees) and swallow whole a young rat or a marsh hare prey that appears way too big for its small mouth and slim body. The snake is now contently lying around with this huge meal in its bulging intestines and feeling groggily sated, as though it had eat en the entire Thanksgiving turkey, when sud denly it senses danger. Even Napoleons army could not march on its belly if it were that overly stuffed, so the snake vomits its hefty meal and now is able to make a fast retreat. The expression speak with forked tongue, meaning, to lie, was coined by Native Amer ican tribes. Liars are not to be trusted. Amer ican colonists and government ofcials often took great care in negotiating with tribal lead ers to assure them they spoke with straight, not forked, tongues. Other times, they spoke with forked tongues. In 1833, a small, non-representative group of Cherokee Indians was tricked into signing A Black Racer has distended its jaws in preparation for vomiting its most recent meal. File photo
Sarasota News Leader November 2, 2012 Page 60 Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 60 the Treaty of New Echota, by which the en tire Cherokee Nation obliged itself to abandon its lands in the Southeast in exchange for land in what today is Oklahoma. To no avail the Cherokee protested the treaty as illegal. When the majority of the Cherokee tribe failed to remove themselves by the deadline stipulated by the treaty, some 16,000 were marched west at gunpoint. A quarter of these Cherokee per ished along the Trail of Tears. However, the Native American proverb, White man speaks with forked tongue, actu ally originated long before that betrayal, when the French, warring against the Iroquois in the 1690s, invited their foes to attend a peace con ference and then slaughtered them in situ But enough on politics and war and back to the Black Racer, pets and people. Black Rac ers are so adaptable that they are at home in rural and urban areas climbing through wild mangroves or swimming lengths in your pool. Pets actually deter snakes from creating a home in your yard because the snakes have smelled, i.e., processed through their Jacob sons Organ, the presence of a larger animal already inhabiting that area. Dogs get bitten by snakes (and spiders) when they stick their wet noses into places they shouldnt small holes in the ground or rock crevices. But it is wise to keep your lawn mowed short and wood piles stacked far away from your house to deter snakes from taking up residence close to your living quarters. People have always had a fear-and-fascination relationship with snakes. Fear is good for both parties safety: People should be wary of the non-venomous and seemingly harmless Black Racer because it can bite and bite again and again when cornered or threatened. These bites are painful and quite prone to infection. So, dont go chasing after snakes, particularly in July and August when it is mating season and the male snake is aggressively concen trating on reaching that female to show her what amazing things he can do with his forked tongue. Do not block his path to true love! Otus Black Racers are common sights in the daytime. File photo ABOUT OTUS Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Sies ta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of natures secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to askotus@sarasotanews leader.com. Thank you.
I am plagued with misophonia disorder, which is sort of this years restless leg syndrome. Diagnosis for misophonia is pretty easy. You can test yourself by simply setting out a bowl of almonds, popcorn or any other loud food and wait for someone to eat it. If you can hear chewing and have the sudden urge to beat the you-know-what out of the innocent eater, you probably have misophonia, too. Imagine my alarm when I boarded a ight to Barcelo na, only to nd Esther sitting behind me with bags (yes, bags) of celery. For nine hours, Esther ate celery and talked incessantly, as though it were her job to make noise. Adele says you never listen, she said to her husband. Why dont you lis ten to me, Art? The sad, beaten slump of a man muttered, Nnnn , which sort of sounded like Huh with less effort. I was seconds from turning around, grabbing the back of my seat and opening my Celebrity Solstice offers so many amenities, it is difcult to say what is the best one. Contributed LIFE ON A SHIP PROVES EVEN BETTER THAN THE EXPERIENCE TOUTED IN ALL THOSE BROCHURES SAVORING A CRUISE By Matt Orr Contributing Writer The passengers celery lls a bag on the oor of the plane. Contrib uted/Matt Orr
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 86 mouth as wide as it would go to scream my face off, when the Ambien chased by a vod ka and soda kicked in. Just as I was falling asleep, I heard a nal statement from Esther: Adele says the cruise boat we are going on is her favorite. WTF!? I, too, was on a plane heading to Bar celona to board a boat. Every single fear sur rounding the Celebrity cruise I had booked for my boyfriend Seths 40th raced through my increasingly cloudy mind. The chewing/ talking machine sitting behind me in row 12A was not only going to be on the same ship as me, but so would 3,000 other people just like her. My amygdala red as I imagined the smells of cafeteria food while we waited in line at the Grande (spelled with an e intentionally) Buf fet, our feet sticking to the oor as everyone around us chewed audibly. Fortunately, the celery lady was not on our ship. And that was just one of a seemingly endless number of good things to recount from our experience. SPEAKING OF CRUISES Ive never cruised because of the stereotypes associated with cruise lines, but I have since learned that each boat has a personality and clientele of its own. Oceania is awesome if you are comfortable with the median age of passengers being 65. Carnival is a party boat. Royal Caribbean is a family-friendly boat. And Celebrity is the boat that breaks the stereo type of cruising. It is not your least expensive boat, but it is not the priciest either. It attracts Matt and Seth enjoy one of the sunsets with their boat family. Contributed/Matt Orr
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 87 a traveler who likes an occasional break from total immersion travel, and it is also known as a food cruise, boasting specialty restaurants galore and unique shore excursions. Cruising is not about diving into a culture to discover all the hidden places in a given des tination. It is a way of getting the Cliffs Notes version of a city and unpacking only once. Cruising is probably the easiest travel you can do, ever. In 12 days, we saw seven countries. Everything was packaged at one price (about $158 a day per person), and that included food, some booze, an upgrade to a top-oor room and entertainment. THE SHIP As we boarded the Celebrity Solstice we were handed a glass of champagne and guided to our room, where a butler asked if he could help us unpack as he handed us a plate of appetizers. On an excitement scale from one to 10, I was at a 32, to have that plate-o-goodness, so you can just imagine my excitement when some one came every single afternoon with herbal tea! Our butler (judge me if you must, but I got so used to saying that) greeted me immedi ately as Lord Matt. (Instead of checking the box marked Mr. when I signed up, I checked The shower is just one of many attractive features of the suite. Contributed/Matt Orr
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 88 Lord; that made me completely awesome to the new friends we met on board). Our room was in the Suite section, which of fers the best value for sure. That is because you get the following: A butler who makes up your room twice a day and brings you just about anything you want, day or night. A daily pillow menu to choose the exact rmness of your pillow. A-damn-dorable animals made from tow els every day. This is very important: early debarkation at ports. With 3,000 people trying to get off a boat at one time, it is nice to know you go rst. Priority for spa treatments. Our very own restaurant called Blu, which specializes in clean cuisine. Unlike the main dining room (to which you also have access), Blu allows you to dine at any time you would like and the food is marketed as more healthful. Heres the complete list of everything included in the suites. Living on a ship is wildly ro mantic. In fact, it is downright Titanic-esque. You do not have a cell phone, so you cannot communicate with anyone un less he or she is standing in front of you. By default, you have a microcosm of people looking at and talking to you, but not texting. You dress up for dinner (which I actually re ally liked), and you are accessible only by being present at one of the eight restaurants, 11 bars, casino, three pools, spa, rooftop gar den, movie theater, shops, gym or theater It is just you, your traveling partner and 3,000 awesome new people you meet along the way. There is something about traveling that re sults in the creation of new friends. And I am not talking about namby-pamby friendships you can nd only on land. NO! We met weare-stuck-on-a-giant-oating-playground-foradults-so-lets-play-with-no-responsibilities kind of friends. Our days together began with a quick work out in the killer gym (Who am I kidding; I was hardly there), fresh coffee made by Sladja na Ivanovic (were totally Facebook friends now) and a fresh crpe from one of the boats restaurants. Afterward, we would meet up with other new friends (the ones who actu ally went to the gym) and explore the given country du jour then head back to the boat at our leisure. Once on the boat, we would shower and take a nap on the heated chairs in the Persian Garden (that is right warm ing tiled chairs overlooking the water in which to nap; deck-adent) and nally catch a party on the rooftop of the boat. The top of the boat is a tremen dous, beautiful yard with real grass and no re ants to bite you. We played bocce ball and croquet or read books as the boat sailed to the next stop. It is hard to resist the fancy drinks on board. Contribut ed/Matt Orr
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 89 OH, THOSE AMENITIES Celebrity has a 1:2 staff-to-passenger ratio, and the cruise line specializes in making you feel like a rock star. No matter where you go, there is always a staffer who somehow remembers your name, looks you in the eye with a gigantic, Good morning, Lord Matt, or Lord Matt, I will be folding your towels into a monkey tonight; I hope you like it, or my personal favorite, Lord Matt, it looks like you had fun tonight. Would you like room ser vice? Never, ever, ever in my life have I ordered room service because I am too cheap. That being said, if you meet new friends and one happens to be a sassy Brit accompanied by her full-of-life mother, they may talk you into sitting in the Molecular Bar way past your bedtime. Should that happen, room service is the best thing sailing on the seven seas. Every day the butler demonstrated whimsical ways of leaving the fresh towels. Contributed/Matt Orr
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 90 Room service on Celebrity goes pretty much like this: You pick up the phone and hit the button marked room service. You tell the friendly person on the other line what you want and he somehow deciphers your 3 a.m. requests. They bring you everything you want for no extra money. Seriously. Plates of food arrive at your door, piping hot. The best part of room service is when your butler asks, Would you like breakfast in bed, too? At rst I thought he was joking, but he was not at all. I blankly looked at him and said, Nnnnn huh (which is the intoxicated Matts version of Arts Nnnn, but with a little more effort). The next morning, more food arrived at our door. When the attendant saw me standing before him, bracing against the door in my inside-out underwear, belly swaying back and forth with the rhythm of the waves (I did say it was a food cruise), puffy face set with bloodshot eyes, he had a choice of wincing or making me feel like a rock star and he chose rock star. Good morning, Lord Matt! Welcome to Flor ence. You look fresh and ready to start the day! He bounded in with Danish, coffee, eggs, toast, salmon, bagels and everything else I had ordered. Within seconds, the balcony ta ble was set. As we pulled into port, Seth and I had breakfast and aspirin. I swear I felt awe some in seconds. THE OTHER DINING CHOICES Aside from the ego-building room service, Sol stice is home to several specialty restaurants that range in the level of caloric intake they offer. Sure, I booked this ship partly because of the clean cuisine, thinking the boat would be just like eating at home. I would go to the gym every day and eat at the low-cal restaurants, and the only sugar I would touch would be a sugar rub in the spa. The fact is that I was telling myself a lie. After one healthful meal on Day One, I spent the rest of the time as if I were a piranha, open-mouthed and eating anything I could tear into. Gym, shmym. I forced myself to go four times at the very end of the cruise just to say I exerted energy. Regardless, it is good to know you can eat healthfully if you are into that kind of thing. THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE Before leaving, I read online that Celebritys staterooms were unbelievably well planned for space. I thought, of course the marketing information would say that. Let me be the rst to say that for three days, all everyone onboard talked about was the accuracy of the brochures and website. The rooms are crazy good, offering amenities from a balcony to a sitting area to a full king-size bed. As I said before, cruising will never be a letsgo-submerge-ourselves-into-a-new-culture type of thing. It is more of a I-want-to-skirtthrough-countries-and-be-pampered type of thing.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 91 Matt and Seth explore Pompeii on one of the shore excursions. Contributed/Matt Orr As I also noted earlier, the cost for 12 days, seven countries and zero effort is about $158 per person a day. OK, now, listen up and listen well: That is less than a Motel 6 in Manhattan. The cruise includes food and entertainment, and every day there is a new country outside your window. If you add $700 to the cost you get unlimited booze. You unpack once and there is no credit card bill at the end of the trip. I will take anoth er cruise for sure. It is the most affordable way to see the most. % Enter To Win A New iPad e contest concludes when e Sarasota News Leader achieves 1,000 Likes on Facebook, One winner will be selected at random from among subscribers. Only subscribers are eligible to win the iPad, regardless of having Liked our page on Facebook. Contest is open only to residents of Sarasota County. Selected winners must provide a valid Sarasota County street address to receive the iPad. Contest is void where prohibited by law. 2 Then Like Us On Facebook When our Likes on Facebook reach 1,000, we will randomly select one of our subscribers to receive a new iPad. 1 Click here to Subscribe
In an evening of contrasts and surprises, Iain Webb, director of the Sarasota Ballet, shared his love of dance history in a video conversa tion with Wendy Ellis Somes, the charming former dancer with the Royal Ballet who set Sir Frederick Ashtons quintessential, neoclas sical ballet, Symphonic Variations, on the young Sarasota Ballet Company. Commenting on the prized video clips of the original 1946 rehearsals with Sir Frederick, Somes said the origins of the ballet stemmed from Sir Fredericks belief in new beginnings after the horror of World War II. There were also some recent clips that showed todays dancers learning their roles: It was a tantaliz ing glimpse into the backstage world of dance and an enjoyable start to the evening. Ashtons Symphonic Variations is a retreat into the pure abstraction of the classical ballet vocabulary, and it challenges both the tech nical ability and the musicality of the danc ers. A stunning geometric set (by Sophie Fe dorovitch) is the background for the hint of a world transported to a mythical Greece, as suggested by the white tunics of the women and the one-shouldered, brief costumes of the Amy Wood and Ricardo Rhodes perform the Je ne taime pas segment of Christopher Wheeldons There Where She Loves. Contributed photo SARASOTA BALLET DANCERS SHINE IN COMPANY B WITH HITS AND MISSES IN TWO OTHER PIECES ON THE PROGRAM A MEDLEY OF THEMES By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 69 Ricardo Graziano and Victoria Hulland in Symphonic Variations. Contributed photo
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 70 men. All of the dancers are carefully placed in groups of three as the curtain lifts: the women in front; the men along the back wall. Cesar Francks melancholic, mournful score is a powerful element from the rst moments of the ballet as the three girls set the theme of pure classicism in a dialogue with the legato music take small steps, pose, extend a leg slowly to the side, pose one arm stretched rigidly across each body as if sculpted on an ancient Grecian urn pose. In a combination of solos, interchangeable duets, trios and ensemble groupings, the six dancers explore every nuance and every step in the classical lexicon, and they manage both the balances and quick movements of the cho reography with clarity and precision. Danielle Brown and Ellen Overstreet were suitably restrained in the cool slowness of their movements. Shi Fan, new to the compa ny, showed promise, while Ricardo Graziano and Ricardo Rhodes did their best. There were some awkward moments with lifts and, to be honest, pure classicism is not their strength. Victoria Hullands elegance, softness and mu sicality brought magic to her role and to the ballet, which can be compared to a beautiful game of statues that exists out of time. While Sir Frederick casts a cool eye on re lationships, Christopher Wheeldons There Where She Loves tears apart the emotions of love. The varied seven sections, each with a Chopin or a Kurt Weill song (sung in Pol ish and German), reect the tangled edges of needy love. That is what Wheeldon explores in a series of inventively choreographed nar ratives that blend classical ballet with a 21st century contemporary, natural use of the body. Christine Peixoto, lovely in the opening quar tet, Tzcenie (The Wish) may be coming into her own as a performer this season. In Nan na Lied, she was like a gummy doll pulled and pushed with one limb here, another there, lifted and slung around by four men until she nally slid to the oor. Ricardo Rhodes, her partner in both sections, may be the compa nys go-to partner for the unique lifts that toss dancers around like rag dolls and are the fo cus of each duet. It is as though Wheeldon is trying to experiment with every conceivable twist and turn of the human body in devising these lifts, but it is his mastery of these cho reographed acrobatics that dene his style. In Surabaya Johnny, Rhodes slid easily into his role as a womanizer indifferent to the ago ny of a vulnerable and fragile Danielle Brown, a perky Rita Duclos and a sweet Emily Dixon. Sara Sardelli, always a cheery sprite of a danc er, and Logan Learned, who shares her boun cy appeal, swept through Wiosna (Spring), a joyous duet that challenged Learneds skill in partnering. At one moment, Sardelli was up side down, hanging from her partners shoul der like a bionic attachment as he spun and twirled around the stage. The long-limbed Danielle Brown showed a glint of humor and a sprightly style in her solo, Gdzie Lubi (There Where She Loves) Rita Duclos cast an enchanting spell in the Hulank (Merrymaking) quartet with three other women. And Amy Wood and Ricardo Graziano brought the ballet to a close in their touching duet Je ne taime pas
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 71 Rita Duclos and Ricardo Rhodes in There Where She Loves. Contributed
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 72 There is an underlying assumption of sexual tension throughout There Where She Loves but though the young dancers in the company easily handled the difcult, seamless choreog raphy, there were only glimpses of the charis matic element that transforms acrobatics into a passionate, emotional drama. Love and desire skirt the world of Paul Tay lors Company B his tribute to the 1940s and World War II. It is set to the popular swing music of the period, and though the dancers whip across the stage in youthful enthusiasm, Taylor is intent on commenting on the frag mented, disconnected world American teen agers face as young men become soldiers. The ballet opens on a group of silhouetted dancers who slowly begin to react in unison to the in fectious beat of the rst of the 10 songs that are the basis of the stories to be told. A few soldiers shadowed in silhouette moved slowly along the back wall miming shoot ing, crawling, dying while Sara Sardelli and Ricki Bertoni performed the polka with deft delight, swirling across the stage. The image of a single, shadowed line of sol diers moving in slow motion across the back wall is repeated from time to time during the ballet. Taylors message is obvious, and the im age remained in my mind after seeing Compa ny B performed by the Taylor Company in the past. In fact, I have always thought of this as one of Taylors anti-war ballets. Now I do not know whether my memory is playing games or there has been a difference in the staging, as this time, I found the use of the silhouetted gures to be a self-conscious attempt at cre ating a message. But the explosive, exuberant dancing and the toe-tapping ride through nos talgic rhythms are exactly as I remembered. The dancing never stops, and the cumulative effect of high energy substitutes for emotion in the solos, duets and group numbers that are counterpoint to the words and rhythms of the songs with the agony of war. Simon Mumme almost stole the ballet in his solo of subtle shifts of weight and high-spir ited leaps as he threw himself into the tricky, fast-paced Latin rhythmic beat of Tico Tico. David Tlaiyes devilish sass and easy uidity in Oh Jonny, O Jonny Oh made the cast of seven women happy. But the mood constantly shifts between hope and longing, as in Kirstianne Kleines yearn ing solo interpretation of I Can Dream, Cant I? and in There Will Never Be Another You a love duet between Kate Honea and Jamie Carter. I do not think anyone could resist Rita Duclos light-footed dancing to the Andrews Sisters version of Rum and Coca Cola But it is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Com pany B) that sums up the essential message of the ballet. Logan Learned skimmed through the air and had fun with the rhythm until the last moment when he, as the Bugle Boy, dropped dead from a bullet wound. The ballet comes to a close as it opens with a shadowy single le of men slowly crossing the stage and the rest of the cast jiving in uni son to Bei Mir Bis du Schon. No question: Company B is a perfect ballet for this group of well-trained, energetic dancers who, I am sure, are going to love dancing to the Tchaikovsky score in the newly choreo graphed version of The Nutcracker that they will be premiering in December. %
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 73 Logan Learned and Kate Honea in Paul Taylors Company B. Contributed photo
Did you know that 40 percent of all murders are done with a kitchen knife? And you dont need a license for one of those. So begins the opening paragraph on the of cial Don Bruns website, which touts the au thors sixth murder mystery in the Stuff series this one titled, Hot Stuff The book opens with the murder by knife of a sous chef at a famous restaurant in Miami Beach; thus, the kitchen knife quote. Hot Stuff ofcially hit the shelves, in a man ner of speaking, during a book launch party held Nov. 16, and the turnout at the publishers Longboat Key ofce was standing-room-only. Sipping a Sauvignon Blanc made with grapes harvested from the New Zealand vineyards of Oceanview Publishing owners Bob and Pat Gussin, the author and the Gussins discussed Bruns latest novel with The Sarasota News Leader When the News Leader ventured, The early reviews seem quite favorable for Hot Stuff ; in fact, many say it is the best so far in the series, Bruns replied, For 200 bucks people will say anything. Undaunted, the News Leader asked who his favorite character is in the new novel, other than the two protagonists a couple of goofy young men who, upon graduation from col lege with no prospects or vocational abilities, decide to start a private investigations rm. Don Bruns/Contributed by Oceanview Publishing OCEANVIEW PUBLISHING ON LONGBOAT KEY LAUNCHES THE LATEST DON BRUNS MYSTERY IN THE STUFF SERIES HOT OFF THE PRESSES By Scott Proftt Staff Writer
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 75 I guess Chef Jean Bouvier, who hires James Lessor and Skip Moore of the More or Less Detective Agency, said Bruns. Hes sort of a combination of some of the more eccen tric, odd and peculiar chefs you see on The Cooking Channel Wait, I guess the truth is I think the best is the woman who never makes an appearance, the soon-to-be-famous sous chef whos killed in the beginning of the book. It was kind of interesting; Ive never tak en a character and made them a lead charac ter without them being alive to speak. But you get to know her as the story unfolds. Asked how the changing world of publishing, with new electronic gadgets and the Inter net, has affected authors, Bruns said, Its un charted territory. In some cases, particularly with small publishers, it makes them a little more agreeable to publish a book, because a big chunk of any books sales will be in the electronic formats and doesnt have all the costs of printing a hardback. My book is be ing released in all formats at the same time: hardback, paperback, the various electronic versions and Brilliance audio is putting out the audio version. So hardbacks, which are expensive, are still printed, but fewer than ever, and so it costs less to publish. Bob Gussin weighed in then with his opinion that Hot Stuff indeed is the best so far in the Stuff mystery series. Don has given his two lead characters a lit tle more depth, Gussin said. The previous books were light, funny. His writing, as with most writers, has matured, and I think it shows in Hot Stuff . Asked how Oceanview is coping with the changing world of books, Gussin said, I think it is affecting the big publishers, who are used to huge hardback print runs. Half of our book sales are in e-books, and we expect that to increase. We mourn the loss of the indepen dent bookstore. Losing Circle Books [on St. Armands] was a big blow, but selling online allows for authors, publishers and books to still be a vibrant, growing business. Hot Stuff by Don Bruns is available from your favorite bookstore or Amazon or directly from Oceanviewpub.com in whatever form you, the reader, prefer these days electronic or the old-fashioned variety with pages you ac tually can turn. % Author Don Bruns (center) chats with fans during the launch party for his new book hosted by Oceanview Publishing. Photo by Scott Proftt
Siesta Seen LIGHT UP THE VILLAGE WILL BE THE NEXT BIG EVENT FOR SIESTA KEY, KICKING OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON ON NOV. 24 Word has it that not only will the Siesta Village holiday parade have more oats than ever this year, it also will feature Santa Claus arriving by boat. No sooner did island business people and vol unteers wrap up another highly successful Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Com petition last week than they started in earnest on nal preparations for the annual Light Up the Village festivities. The traditional Siesta Village holiday kickoff event, Light Up the Village brings hundreds and hundreds of children and their families to the island. Musical groups perform, Siesta Key Village Association President Russell Matthes starts up his snow-making machine in Siesta Center and Santa Claus with the help of some of his trusty elves greets children of all ages, eager to hear their Christmas wishes. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 24, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. For months now, SKVA members have been meeting regularly to make sure all their is are dotted and ts are crossed, so the faces of the youngsters and moms and dads will shine brightly with wide smiles. During the Nov. 1 Siesta Key Association meeting, board member Joe Volpe estimated 550 children came to Light Up the Village in 2011, based on the number of candy canes SKA members gave out. Volpe drew some chuckles when he added that not only were boys and girls the recipients of those treats, A couple of blondes got candy canes from me. During the Nov. 6 SKVA meeting, Secretary Helene Hyland told everyone she thought the Village saw a record-breaking number of at tendees in 2011. Volpe also pointed out that more activities will be taking place this year in Davidson Plaza on Ocean Boulevard. Deputies will assist people to cross the street between the plaza and Si esta Center, he added. The running joke among SKA members for the past several meetings has been whether board member Bob Waechter will have his antique re engine in running order for the parade. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 77 the parade route to Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofces Com munity Policing Station in the Village, one crit ical step in ensuring a smooth event. Although the parade still will head down Ocean Boulevard, van Roekens added, staging will take place along some of the back streets this year instead of at the public beach. Ocean Boulevard will be closed to trafc from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 24 for the parade, according to organizers. All bets are on Waechters engines engine will purr smoothly this year; a group of male SKA board members had to push it along the route last November. The parades going to be really neat, Volpe assured everyone at the Nov. 1 SKA meeting. During the SKVA meeting, Hyland concurred with Volpe: The parade looks to be bigger and better than last year. SKA Vice President Peter van Roekens point ed out at the SKVA meeting that he had given Proprietor Sean Murphy has won many awards for his original Beach Bistro concept on Anna Maria Island, Smith added. A press release notes the Village restaurant will offer the same winning [menu] formula as its predecessors. The release adds, Eat Heres Beach Bistro-trained staff demon strates the Bistros same level of commitment and dedication to providing culinary excel lence at accessible pricing for the everyday budget. When SKA board member Deet Jonker asked about the parking situation, Smith pointed out other businesses in that shopping center will be closed when Eat Here is open. Counting spaces in the parking lot to the east of the building and those along the right of way on Avenida Madera, the total is 52, he added. During the Nov. 1 SKA meeting, Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mark Smith had an update on plans for the new Eat Here restaurant opening in January in the space on Avenida Madera formerly occupied by Total Tennis. Smith is the architect for the establishment, a sister to the popular dining spot near the intersection of Links Avenue and Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Plans call for the Village Eat Here to have 157 seats, with 16 outside, he said. It will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. on weeknights and until 11 p.m. on weekends. Its a family restaurant, Smith pointed out, though it will have a full bar. Its the type of thing I think we need on Siesta Key. EAT HERE SOON
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 78 Work is continuing to transform the Total Tennis space into a new Eat Here restaurant on Avenida Madera in Siesta Village. File photo The parking ordinance Siesta Village business owners and organizations agreed to about three years ago, which the County Commis sion approved, calls for one parking space for every 50 square feet of patron area, Smith continued. Therefore, 46 spaces would be re quired for Eat Here. It should be OK, Jonker said. Itll be OK, Smith concurred. When he began to add, The building being vacant doesnt re ally help, Jonker lled in with, anybody. SKA President Catherine Luckner then noted that she understood Siesta businessman John Davidson, who owns the buildings on Avenida Madera, had signed a legal agreement with the county to make it clear the parking spaces in that plaza would be dedicated to Eat Heres clientele at night. Smith said that was correct. On a related note, Smith said owners and em ployees of a pet store that formerly occupied space next to the Total Tennis location appar ently did not keep their pet food contained well. There was a rodent problem with the build ing that you wouldnt believe, he said. Thats all been cleaned up.
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 79 The six new pedestrian crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections are almost complete, Brian Bollas, planning and environment manager for Parsons Brinckerhoff, a consulting rm for the Florida Department of Transportation, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. All that remains is for pads to be added at each end of every cross walk to comply the Americans with Disabilities Act, he added. Those pads facilitate use of wheel chairs over the crosswalks. Photo by Rachel Hackney A close-up shows the new crosswalk near the Excelsior condominiums on Midnight Pass Road. Pe destrians can activate a light before using the crosswalk, to alert drivers to stop. The permanent ther mal striping was placed on the crosswalks last week, the News Leader has learned. Photo by Rachel Hackney NEW CROSSWALKS ON MIDNIGHT PASS ROAD
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 80 However, Matthes noted, some of the com plaints are coming in before 10 p.m. Matthes pointed out that because of the con crete structure of Beach Terrace and Terrace East at the western end of the Village, sound carries. You can hear people talking [from condo balconies] when youre walking down the sidewalks, he said. Its a challenging situ ation. Its not a new situation. Everybody who has live music or stereos deals with it. Its just the way it is. Nehmi said he had been told some people have downloaded an app to their smartphones that enables them to check decibel levels. A couple of months ago, a deputy arrived at the restaurant and checked the decibel level after a complaint, Nehmi added, but the depu ty told him the music was way below the lev el allowed. The deputy also pointed out that the app readings could vary from the noise meter readings Sheriffs ofcers and Burns take. On another occasion after complaints had been aired about Blas Caf, Nehmi said, Burns pointed out to him that wind had been the culprit, elevat ing the normal sound levels. I really would like that Code Enforcement should be the one to enforce the code, Nehmi added. It will help us not to jump to con clusions. % During the Nov. 6 SKVA meeting, President Russell Matthes told members he and SKA Vice President and Terrace East delegate to the SKVA Peter van Roekens had met recently with Kevin Burns, the Sarasota Coun ty Code Enforcement ofcer who is working after hours in the Village to handle noise com plaints. The meeting had been scheduled after anoth er burst of emails had gone to county commis sioners about businesses exceeding decibel levels. We just talked it out, Matthes said. In late August, the County Commission ap proved an expense of $21,060 for Burns to work 10 to 15 hours per week of overtime, because so many complaints about Village noise come in after normal employee hours for the Code Enforcement staff. While recent complaints focused on Blas Caf, Matthes said, Its not just Rahmi [Neh mi, the co-owner of the restaurant]. Its every body in the Village as a whole. Matthes added of the situation, It was pretty loud on Hallow een. Nehmi had been really good about stopping [his live mu sic] before 10 p.m., Mat thes said, referring to the curfew for most businesses in the Village. MORE NEWS ON NOISE
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 81 Even Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight remarked to the County Commission last week on the smooth operation of the third annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competi tion Nov. 8-12. Co-Chairwoman Maria Bankemper told The Sarasota News Leader, What made it so special was the collaboration of so many community businesses, sponsoring us and supporting us in so many ways, to make this happen. That says a lot about our community in general. Photo by Norman Schimmel SIESTA KEY CRYSTAL CLASSIC SMOOTH OPERATION
Nov. 17 was the date for a Shabbat of superhe roes at Temple Emanu-El, as young children and their families gathered for Hero Tot Shab bat. Part of the synagogues popular monthly Shab bat Playdate program which recently re ceived a prestigious Incubator Grant from the Union for Reform Judaism Hero Tot Shabbat brought Jewish and interfaith chil dren, parents and grandparents together for a joyful, friendly and age-appropriate Shabbat celebration. In addition to enjoying playground time, a ba gel breakfast and Shabbat blessings, songs and movement with Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, children received specially decorated super hero capes and decorated superhero-themed challah covers. They also listened to a story about the biblical Samson the rst Jewish superhero. Hero Tot Shabbat was chaired by Liana Shein tal Bryant. Volunteers included Jessica Fair weather, Erica Friedman, Amy Meese and Ali cia Zoller. For more information about Temple Ema nu-Els Shabbat Playdate and programming for young families, call 379-1997. % Melanie and Rebecca Murphy enjoy the Hero Tot Shabbat at Temple Emanu-El. Contributed photo TEMPLE EMANU-EL HOSTS A SHABBAT OF SUPERHEROES RELIGION BRIEFS
Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 Page 83 The all-musical Shabbat Alive! service will re turn to Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIn tosh Road, on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Members of the community are warmly invit ed to this unique and exhilarating worship experience, a temple news release says. Featuring traditional Shabbat prayers set to upbeat, contemporary and stirring musical ar rangements, Shabbat Alive! is held quarterly at Temple Emanu-El. The service is conduct ed by Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman and Music Director Cynthia Roberts-Greene with a full range of professional and volunteer musicians and vocalists. Among the composers to be featured at Shab bat Alive! are Debbie Friedman, Cantor Lisa Levine, Rick Recht, Bonia Shur and Craig Taubman. The Shabbat Alive! service will be preced ed by a 6 p.m. Shabbat dinner. For dinner reservations and payment information, call 388-7899. The Shabbat Alive! service is free, with no res ervations required. For more information, call 371-2788. % SHABBAT ALIVE! RETURNS TO TEMPLE EMANU-EL NOV. 30 Liana Bryant embraces her hero tot, Woody. Contributed photo
23 NOV Dave Koz and Friends 15th Anniversary Christmas Tour Friday, Nov. 23, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30 to $65. Call 953-3368 or visit www.VanWezel.org. 24 NOV Light Up the Village Saturday, Nov. 24, 6 to 9 p.m., Ocean Boulevard, Siesta Key. Enjoy the traditional Siesta Village kickoff of the holiday season with a parade, live musical performances and San ta Claus accepting Christmas lists from all the children. Activities in Siesta Center and Davidson Plaza. For more information, visit www.siestakeyvillage.org 24 NOV Clay Aiken presents A Joyful Noise Saturday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30 to $60. Call 953-3368 or visit www.VanWezel.org. 29 NOV Curtis Institute of Music comes to South Florida Thursday, Nov. 29, 8 to 10 p.m., Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $30; 360-7399 or https://tickets.ringling.org/public 07 DEC WSLR presents Mark Stuart and Stacey Earle Friday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at the door. For information, call 587-6588 or visit WSLR.org 07 DEC Lasting Impressions art exhibit opening Friday, Dec. 7, 6 to 9 p.m., Dabbert Gallery, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. For information: 955-1315 or DabbertGallery.com ComMunity CALendar The best of the upcoming week To get all the details on these and other great ac tivities food, nightlife, music, art, theater, chil drens events, learning opportunities and more go to Sarasotas No. 1 source for local events, hot spots, fun activities and hidden gems:
Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS AN OASIS OF SERENITY SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS