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COVER Inside A TORTUOUS PATH DISTURBED AND DISCOURAGED RECOVERED MILLIONS Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida December 7, 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
With the Sarasota City Commission, the Sarasota County Com mission and the School Board all meeting this week, you will nd we have plenty of news in this latest issue. Sometimes people wonder why we cover certain topics and forgo others. The factor that gets the most weight in that equation for an editor is guring which stories will be most engaging for readers. The second most critical factor is the amount of time our report ers have to write their stories after they have listened to hours of discussion. For example, do we crank out three shorter articles, to give you a wider sampling of what took place, or just one long in-depth story about something we feel you should know? We hope you will not ever hesitate to tell us if we have overlooked something important you watched or about which you heard. Reader comments are most welcome in guiding what we do. As for getting those stories into their nal ver sions: I introduced our proofreader, Vicki Chat ley, to you when she joined our staff. Copy ed itors are the true unsung heroes of the news business. If you do not believe that, just think back to the last time you muttered something to yourself about a stupid mistake you spotted in print. I have been fortunate to work with several gift ed copy editors through the years, but Vicki is one of the very best Ideally, a copy editor does not just catch grammatical mistakes and misspellings, she also carefully consid ers the content. Vicki does not hesitate to let me know if something makes no sense, and that is the key to a good publication. Reporters have lots of information rolling around in their heads. We all need someone to read behind us and digest our stories, to make certain we include all the crucial pieces of information. Editor and Publisher WELCOME
COVER PHOTOS: Front Norman Schimmel; Sarasota Leisure Norman Schimmel A TORTUOUS PATH RECOVERED MILLIONS NEWS & COMMENTARY A TORTUOUS PATH 12 Analysis: Many questions left unanswered, as Walmart appeal process formally gets under way Stan Zimmerman DISTURBED AND DISCOURAGED 16 County Commission takes aim at North Port Commissions backtracking on Warm Mineral Springs agreement Cooper Levey-Baker RECOVERED MILLIONS 19 Sarasota County settles with Wells Fargo for almost $24 million about 70 percent of the investment funds the county lost during the world nancial crisis Rachel Brown Hackney GOOD SCHOOL TRENDS 21 Sarasota County Schools see an increase in the graduation rate and a decrease in the dropout rate Scott Proftt REOPENING SHORTLY 25 Osprey Avenue soon will see regular trafc ow, but the work on Lift Station 87 might take longer than construction of the Great Pyramid Stan Zimmerman STILL GOING STRONG 28 Atomic Holiday Bazaar marks its seventh year Cooper Levey-Baker A HOMELESS CAMP 30 Residents complain about the number of homeless people and their actions in Sarasotas Gillespie Park Stan Zimmerman CONFUSION AND CONSTERNATION 32 After criticizing staff for the delay in providing new proposed road impact fees, the County Commission moves forward on advertising rates for a Jan. 16 public hearing Rachel Brown Hackney PARKING WAR ENDED 36 City Commission votes to return enforcement restrictions to their previous norms all over Sarasota Stan Zimmerman WHO SHOULD PAY? 39 Sarasota County commissioners question whether the School Board has applied for state funds to make the rebuilt Booker High suitable as a hurricane shelter Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT I DID FOR LIFE WARM WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAYS NO MORE FREE BERTHS 42 Citys new mooring eld off Bayfront Park shows a prot for its rst 30 days of operation Stan Zimmerman ONE STEP CLOSER 44 After current scal year parking assessments are collected for the Siesta Village municipal lot, a county public hearing will be scheduled to abolish the parking district Rachel Brown Hackney BACK WHERE IT BELONGS 46 Unconditional Surrender returns to the bayfront Staff Reports NEWS BRIEFS 52 OPINION EDITORIAL & COMMENTARY 60 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 66 SARASOTA LEISURE WHAT I DID FOR LIFE 70 A heart-healthy diet is easier to adhere to than it may seem, especially with plenty of grocery and restaurant choices in Sarasota Sonia Fuentes ASK OTUS 76 No wild turkeys on Siesta, but the butteries are plentiful and particularly pretty at several sites in Sarasota Otus Rufous WARM WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAYS 81 Sarasotas Holiday Parade 2012 takes to the streets on Dec. 1 Staff Reports ARTS BRIEFS 91 RELIGION BRIEFS 100 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 102 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 103
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A TORTUOUS PATH Analysis: Many questions left unanswered, as Walmart appeal process formally gets under way Stan Zimmerman Call it the slo-mo appeal. So far it has come in fragments an email one day, a payment another day and a written form on a third. The objective is to obtain a rehearing by the Sarasota City Commission of a Nov. 14 split decision by the Planning Board to approve the construction of a Walmart to replace the Ringling Shopping Center in downtown Sarasota. While the appeal was widely reported last week, the actual appeal itself was not led until the afternoon of Dec. 4. The required $1,597 ling fee was paid on Dec. 3. City staff received an email on Nov. 26 suggesting an appeal would be led. That was the last day, by law, that a notice of appeal could be led following the Planning Board decision. ( Full story here ) DISTURBED AND DISCOURAGED County Commission takes aim at North Port Commissions backtracking on Warm Mineral Springs agreement Cooper Levey-Baker Upset with how the process to solicit plans to redevelop Warm Mineral Springs has unraveled as a result of the North Port City Commissions abrupt 180-degree turn on the issue, the Sarasota County Commission this week denied a request for a joint meeting with the North Port commissioners. Instead, the County Commission asked the city leaders to outline their objections in writing before considering a get-together. The North Port Commission last week put the brakes on the Invitation to Negotiate process that both the city and the county approved unanimously back in July. Mayor Linda Yates, joined by two newly elected city commis sioners, voted to stall the Invitation process and instead request a meeting with the County Commission to discuss the future of the springs. ( Full story here ) TOP STORIES AT A GLANCE facebook.com/SarasotaNewsLeader
RECOVERED MILLIONS Sarasota County settles with Wells Fargo for almost $24 million about 70 percent of the investment funds the county lost during the world nancial crisis Rachel Brown Hackney Sarasota County has recovered $23,750,000, or about 70 percent of the $34 million it lost in investments during what Karen Rushing, clerk of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, re ferred to as the world nancial crisis of 2008-09. In her routine report to the County Commission on Dec. 4, Rushing said Wells Fargo had agreed to settle a lawsuit the county had led in June 2010 against Wachovia which Wells Fargo later acquired for the loss of those millions through an asset-backed security issue involving Lehman Brothers Holdings and the countys securities lending contract. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The county had bought investment-grade debt securities from the rm. ( Full story here ) GOOD SCHOOL TRENDS Sarasota County Schools see an increase in the graduation rate and a decrease in the dropout rate Scott Proftt The Sarasota County School District saw a 7 percent in crease in its graduation rate from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 school year, Steve Cantees, executive di rector of Sarasota County High Schools, told the School Board members during their nal meeting of the year, on Dec. 4. Since 1999, he said, the district and state rates had climbed almost 20 per cent. The federal requirements for a standard diploma increase every year, he pointed out. We had a signicant increase in the last year, both in the county and the state, Cantees added. We were very reassured that we had a signicant increase in our gradua tion rate, Superintendent Lori White said. ( Full story here ) For Advertising Info Sales@SarasotaNewsLeader.com (941) 227-1080
REOPENING SHORTLY Osprey Avenue soon will see regular trafc ow, but the work on Lift Station 87 might take longer than construction of the Great Pyramid Stan Zimmerman It will take about as long to build Lift Station 87 at Luke Wood Park as it did to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu near Cairo, Egypt. Work on the citys star-crossed sewage pumping facility began in 2008, after repeated failures at Lift Station 7 led to spills of hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into Hudson Bayou and on into Sarasota Bay. The latest estimate for completion released Monday, Dec. 3 indicates the work will be complete in 2015. ( Full story here ) A HOMELESS CAMP Residents complain about the number of homeless people and their actions in Sara sotas Gillespie Park Stan Zimmerman Sarasotas focus on homelessness shifted to Gillespie Park this week. At the Monday, Dec. 3, City Commission meet ing, a parade of neighborhood residents delivered a long litany of complaints during the evenings open-to-the-public session. Speak ers had only two minutes to make their points. I wont walk in the park. Its becoming a homeless camp, said Louise Tracy. There is an inux of homeless spending days in the park. They bring im mense amounts of trash; were just inundated with it, said Dale Orlando. He produced pictures of the trash to emphasize his statement. The problem is not geographic and the solution isnt musical benches. You need long-term solutions, he added. ( Full story here ) For The Best Reading Experience Get Sarasota News Leader On Your Tablet SarasotaNewsLeader.com/webapp
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
Call it the slo-mo appeal. So far it has come in fragments an email one day, a payment another day and a written form on a third. The objective is to obtain a rehearing by the Sarasota City Commission of a Nov. 14 split decision by the Planning Board to approve the construction of a Walmart to replace the Ring ling Shopping Center in downtown Sarasota. While the appeal was widely reported last week, the actual appeal itself was not led until the afternoon of Dec. 4. The required $1,597 ling fee was paid on Dec. 3. City staff received an email on Nov. 26 suggesting an appeal would be led. That was the last day, by law, that a notice of appeal could be led following the Planning Board decision. So far, seven peoples names are on the appeal: Kelly Kirschner, Ron Burks, Candy Spaulding, Pat Kolodgy, Juanita Rawlinson, Jerry Sparkman and Marian Maxson. Spaulding is the presi dent of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Asso ciation, which abuts the property where the Walmart would be built. City Attorney Bob Fournier said Walmart rep resentatives verbally challenged the legitima cy of the appeal, saying the actual appeal was not led on time, nor was the fee paid on time, nor was the appeal led on a proper form. A Walmart Neighborhood store opened in September on North Tamiami Trail. Some opponents of a Walmart on Ringling Boulevard say the second new store is not needed. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: MANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED, AS WALMART APPEAL PROCESS FORMALLY GETS UNDER WAY A TORTUOUS PATH By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 13 There is nothing about this plan that is small-scale. They havent met the criteria in my opinion or the standards for site plan approval. I wont support it. Susan Chapman Planning Board member City of Sarasota Fournier responded by citing a 1970s Florida Supreme Court case saying failure to pay the ling fee on time did not derail an appeal as long as the fee was paid before the hearing. The city has the right to request they ll out the proper form, he said. The City Auditor and Clerks Office fur nished the appeal form to The Sarasota News Leader The form con tains little information beyond Spauldings name, address and tele phone number. It does conrm payment of a $1,097 fee to appeal and a $500 escrow fund for advertising and city legal costs. PUBLIC MUZZLED? The City Commission will decide on Jan. 7 whether to accept the appeal to rehear the case. At that time, the commissioners must vote 4-1 or 5-0 (a supermajority) to accept the appeal. If the appeal does not receive a supermajority vote, then it must go to 12th Ju dicial Circuit Court if the lers want to pursue the matter. The issue will come up under New Business at the rst commission meeting of 2012. It is unclear at this time who will be able to ad dress the City Commission before it decides to accept or reject the appeal process. City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini sent an email Nov. 30 to the participants saying, no citizen input will be permitted when the com mission discusses the matter on Jan. 7. Nad alini acts as the commissions parliamentar ian and advises on rules of order. The City Commissions normal rules of pro cedure allow any member of the pub lic to sign up and ad dress any item on the agenda (except items on the consent agen da the commission ers have not pulled for discussion). The mayor, as chairman of the commission, has the power to set special rules for a meeting but can be overridden by a simple majority or the parliamentarian if the special rules violate fundamental rights and guarantees. Assuming the commissioners take the su per-vote to accept the appeal, Fournier said the earliest date to reconsider the Walmart decision would be the Feb. 4 City Commis sion meeting. Nadalinis email says that at the February meeting the parties to the appeal as well as the applicant (Walmart) will be enti tled to speak. No general citizen input will be permitted. The appeal to the City commission would be a de novo hearing, meaning new evidence and testimony would be allowed. A court appeal is based only on the record of the case from the lower court level. The city code is mute on the need for a super majority vote on the appeal decision itself, so it appears a simple majority would prevail.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 14 THE 3-2 VOTE The petitioners say the majority of the Plan ning Board members did not follow the zoning code and instead were swayed by the promise of 350 retail jobs, 500 construction jobs and the lure of an improved tax base. The nal vote of that board was 3-2. A minority on the Planning Board said the store did not t the denition of neighborhood commercial zoning. For me its a department store, and that is not allowed, said Planning Board Member Jennifer Ahearn-Koch. I can not support this. Planning Board Member Susan Chapman, who later announced her candidacy for City Com mission said, There is nothing about this plan that is small-scale. They havent met the crite ria in my opinion or the standards for site plan approval. I wont support it. Planning Board Member Vlad Svekis support ed Walmarts site plan. He said, Its 350 jobs versus a derelict shopping center. His colleague, Morton Siegel, said, The bot tom line is, we need Walmart in this commu nity. I think youll be very pleased with what theyll do in this community. When neighbors walked out that night, there was no re in their eyes to challenge Ameri cas largest retailer. But two weeks later at a regular monthly meeting, the Alta Vista Neigh borhood Association voted 26-1 to dip into its treasury and contribute $400 to appeal the Planning Board vote. The newest Sarasota Walmart would be constructed on the site of the Ringling Shopping Center downtown. Photo by Norman Schimmel
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 15 PERCOLATING FOR TRUTH What happened between the 3-2 vote and the 26-1 vote was more thinking about AhearnKochs statement: For me its a department store, and that is not allowed. People pored over the zoning code. Was not a 98,000-squarefoot Walmart bigger than the 15,000-squarefoot department store allowed in the CSC-N zoning? Hmmm. Was Walmart grandfathered in the property? Current rules say a new use allows the dem olition of 75 percent of the old property to qualify under the existing zoning of a site. But Walmart wants to demolish 100 percent of the old Ringling Shopping Center. Hmmm. Even more troublesome was the ease with which Walmart breezed through the develop ment review process. Twice its application was reviewed by senior representatives of all the citys departments at the Development Re view Committee level. Trees were evaluated; drainage plumbed; trafc considered. But no one cited the zoning code text about depart ment stores not being allowed in the CSC-N zone. With the appeal, the citys zoning staff is now legally muzzled and cannot explain why or how its decisions were reached. To further complicate matters, the Planning Depart ments action officer on the Walmart case Courtney Mendez will be on maternity leave in January. In the meantime, the neighborhood is raising money through a website: https://fundrazr. com/campaigns/1OkX8 Full disclosure: Stan Zimmerman is a mem ber of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Associa tion and a past president of it. He cast the sole vote against the appeal. % For The Best Reading Experience Get Sarasota News Leader On Your Tablet Rich, Interactive Media Share Stories With Friends Text-only Reading Feature Portable Ready Anywhere SarasotaNewsLeader.com/webapp
Upset with how the process to solicit plans to redevelop Warm Mineral Springs has un raveled as a result of the North Port City Commissions abrupt 180-degree turn on the issue, the Sarasota County Commission this week denied a request for a joint meeting with the North Port commissioners. Instead, the County Commission asked the city leaders to outline their objections in writing before con sidering a get-together. The North Port Commission last week put the brakes on the Invitation to Negotiate process that both the city and the county approved unanimously back in July. Mayor Linda Yates, joined by two newly elected city commis sioners, voted to stall the Invitation process and instead request a meeting with the Coun ty Commission to discuss the future of the springs. The city and the county jointly purchased the property whose waters are known inter nationally for their alleged healing prowess in 2010, so any decisions about the springs future must be approved by both boards. The current agreement to manage the springs runs out next June; the county hoped to have a long-term plan in place by that point. But the North Port Commission heard public testimony questioning the hydrological health COUNTY COMMISSION TAKES AIM AT NORTH PORT COMMISSIONS BACKTRACKING ON WARM MINERAL SPRINGS AGREEMENT By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor DISTURBED AND DISCOURAGED A Sarasota County map shows the location of the Warm Mineral Springs in South County. Image cour tesy of Sarasota County; Inset: The Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously Dec. 5 on the wording of a letter it is sending to the North Port City Commission. Letter courtesy of Sarasota County
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 17 Our commissioners, our elected ofcials, need to mean what they say and stick to their word. Carolyn Mason Commissioner Sarasota County of the springs, and Mayor Yates pointed out several licensing and tax concerns she had with the original agreement to buy the land factors that led the city to slow down the redevelopment process. Yates is insistent that the boards should outline their desires for the property before involving the private sector. The County Commission was, shall we say, displeased. At their Tuesday, Dec. 4, regular meeting, Commissioners Christine Robinson, Joe Bar betta and Carolyn Mason all criticized how North Port handled the process. Robinson asked whether any city commissioners had expressed heartburn about the Invitation to Negotiate process between the July vote and this week. The answer: Nope. She said she was troubled by that. Robinson also criticized the city for shooting down the process altogether, rather than sug gesting improvements to the document that the county could then consider. The County Commission itself modied some of the lan guage to make sure both the city and coun ty will be able to re view all the proposals, rather than just those deemed OK by the se lection committee. Were kind of in a cir cle that keeps repeat ing itself, and it will keep repeating itself, Robinson said. We lost ve months, four and a half months, on this. ... Its a lot of taxpayer money that was wasted. Robinson hit the exact crux of the prob lem, Barbetta said. I dont want to go to a joint meeting ... until I know why Im there, he said. I want to know in advance what the North Port Commission nds wrong with this process. We get an election and all of a sudden its thrown out, he added. Its really, really un fortunate that all this time has gone by. Mason, less vocal a participant in meetings than Barbetta and Robinson, said she was disturbed by the North Port decision. Both commissions, eyes wide open, made the decision we made and now its become unraveled, she said. I, too, was disturbed at some of the comments made in watching the meeting. Our commissioners, our elected ofcials, need to mean what they say and stick to their word, she added. That barb seemed directed at Yates, who voted for the Invitation to Nego tiate process in July, and now opposes it. The County Commission eventually voted to send a letter to the North Port City Com mission, asking the board to put its specif ic objections in writ ing within 30 days. If the city complies, the county will consider a joint meeting. The North Port assistant city manager said if the boards stick to that timeline, the Invitation to Negotiate process could still be completed by the June deadline. We are not agreeing to a joint meeting at this time as we feel we do not have enough infor mation to plan one, Robinson wrote in the
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 18 letter approved by the county Wednesday. In order to move this process forward in the spirit of the very collegial hard work that was done before, on, and since July 16th, we are respectfully requesting that your Commission detail each City Commission objection to the ITN proposal. Yates tells The Sarasota News Leader she was disappointed and discouraged by the meeting. To me, it seemed uncooperative, she says. Having already voted against the Invitation to Negotiate, Yates says she is unlikely to support revisiting the idea. How would I be amenable to continuing this process, and even shorten ing the time? Yates asked. That doesnt even make logical sense. When asked why the North Port Commission chose to reject the Invitation to Negotiate process altogether rather than suggest mod ications, Yates said those decisions should be made when the two boards are across the table from one another. Together, addressing the same issues, perhaps we could have come up with something, she says. Yates was also unimpressed with a new Sara sota County report that showed no trace of phthalates in the springs water one serious concern the North Port Commission heard tes timony on last week. Yates says the research ers did not go deep enough to get a denitive answer on the presence of phthalates. What they did, in my opinion, says nothing, Yates says. That didnt satisfy my concerns. ... I cant go by that report. % 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
In my opinion, there arent many other jurisdictions that are so fortunate as to recover monies that were lost in the nancial meltdown of 2008. Stephen DeMarsh County Attorney Sarasota County Sarasota County has recovered $23,750,000, or about 70 percent of the $34 million it lost in investments during what Karen Rushing, clerk of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, referred to as the world nancial crisis of 2008-09. In her routine report to the County Commis sion on Dec. 4, Rush ing said Wells Fargo had agreed to settle a lawsuit the county had led in June 2010 against Wachovia which Wells Fargo lat er acquired for the loss of those millions through an asset-backed security issue in volving Lehman Brothers Holdings and the countys securities lending contract. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The county had bought in vestment-grade debt securities from the rm. Rushing worked with the County Attorneys Ofce on the lawsuit, she pointed out. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Bank after the Great Recession began in 2008. File photo SARASOTA COUNTY SETTLES WITH WELLS FARGO FOR ALMOST $24 MILLION ABOUT 70 PERCENT OF THE INVESTMENT FUNDS THE COUNTY LOST DURING THE WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS RECOVERED MILLIONS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 20 I think this represents a very good settlement and resolves the litigation that I brought, Rushing added. The countys general fund was made whole from other county accounts after the losses were recorded in 2009, she said. As a result, the settlement money was being returned to those other county funds according to the ap propriate percentages, Rushing noted. Deputy County Attorney Frederick Rick El brecht told The Sarasota News Leader the settlement agreement was signed on Nov. 9; the payment was received by the county on Nov. 19. Rushing said her staff was preparing proposed amendments and an ordinance regarding the countys investment policy; she will bring those before the County Commission when they are completed. Rushing commended both County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh and Elbrecht, as well as lead counsel Andrew Drew Clayton Jr. of the Clayton Law Firm in Sarasota, for their work with her on the lawsuit. It takes a very tal ented team to achieve the results that we did, and I wanted to thank them publicly for their support and their guidance, Rushing said. Thank you for your work on this, Chairwom an Christine Robinson told DeMarsh. DeMarsh took the opportunity to point out that Clayton was instrumental in getting the re covery that was achieved. Al though Elbrecht and the staff of the County Attorneys Ofce did a lot of in-house discov ery, Clayton was the principal attorney in the case, DeMarsh said. In my opinion, there arent many other juris dictions that are so fortunate as to recover monies that were lost in the nancial melt down of 2008, DeMarsh added. The commissioners later asked Clayton to step to the podium in their chambers in the R.L. Anderson Administration Center in Ven ice so they could thank him publicly. DeMarsh pointed to the signicance of a local attorney having the expertise to work with the County Attorneys Ofce on the case. He further noted Claytons dedication to what ever project Clayton undertakes, adding that the attorney did not allow a at tire on his drive to Venice to keep him from making it to the meeting. The commissioners also thanked Clayton for his efforts. During the discussion, Commissioner Nora Patterson said she did not recall all the in vestment money having come from the gen eral fund, though she deferred to Rushings account of the circumstances. Rushing agreed to meet later with Patterson to explain the methodology accounting for the funds. Rushing added, The general fund was made whole completely and then some. On one other related note: Rushing told the commission ers the countys portfolio from 2008 through Dec. 4 had earned $161 million. Editors note: City Editor Stan Zimmerman contributed to this story. % Karen Rushing/Contributed
The Sarasota County School District saw a 7 percent increase in its graduation rate from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 school year, Steve Cantees, executive director of Sarasota County High Schools, told the School Board members during their nal meeting of the year, on Dec. 4. Since 1999, he said, the district and state rates had climbed al most 20 percent. The federal require ments for a standard diploma increase ev ery year, he pointed out. We had a signicant increase in the last year, both in the county and the state, Can tees added. We were very reassured that we had a signif icant increase in our graduation rate, Super intendent Lori White said. We are looking at this data. We are concerned that we will continue to have a safety net for our stu dents, with constant, ever-increasing feder al standards for pro ciency requirements to get a diploma. The School Board members consider business during their last meeting of the year. Photo by Scott Proftt SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOLS SEE AN INCREASE IN THE GRADUATION RATE AND A DECREASE IN THE DROPOUT RATE GOOD SCHOOL TRENDS Were still using $12 million in reserves each year, and we have no plan for how were going to quit using those reserves. Frank Kovach Member School Board By Scott Proftt Staff Writer
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 22 She added, This is a challenge, to meet this high bar. School board member Dr. Carol Todd asked White whether a federal graduation level had been set. I know under the No Child Left Be hind program, the bar was set at 100 percent, and, of course, when the graduation level was not met, the state changed the bar, Todd pointed out. Is there an expectation [from the state for a graduation rate]? White indicated there was no bar. With diplo ma requirements continuing to change, White added, a graduation rate goal was not expect ed from the Florida Department of Education. School Board member Frank Kovach point ed out that the state graduation rate and the countys rate were converging. State data showed a 74.5 percent high school graduation rate for students across the state in 2011-12, compared to the 77.96 percent rate in Sarasota County. Is that the state improving or are we going down? he asked. Cantees replied that with both the state and the district, further increases would be dif cult to achieve. White interjected, You do see the gap narrow ing. In some ways, everybody is improving. Cantees also pointed out that the district drop out rate had fallen from almost 8 percent to about 2 percent between 1999 and 2011. Regarding other data Cantees said a minor increase had been recorded in the districts average daily attendance level, though it was less than 1 percent. Further, he said, no trends had been seen in student disciplinary action involving drugs and weapons. Members of the Class 7A state championship Venice High School Girls Volleyball Team and their coaches gather after being recognized during the Dec. 4 regular School Board meeting. The team also won a national Top 20 ranking. Senior Danika Yoder will be playing for Stetson University next year on scholarship, Holly Mattmuller will be playing for the Coast Guard Academy and Taylor Jais will be playing at Harvard. Photo by Scott Proftt
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 23 During the boards monthly workshop, Cantees also point ed out that the teen parent program, Cyesis, had seen a 60 percent decrease in student enroll ment over the past three years. This program al lows pregnant stu dents and new par ents who are still in high school to continue attending classes; childcare facilities and pa rental training are an integral part of the program. Cye sis was established in 1978; it became a part of the River view High campus in 2010, after the new high school was constructed. Moving the program to Riverview has resulted in several benets for the district, staff said, including economic ones by establishing it on a regular high school campus. Board Member Shirley Brown pointed to an other benet: I think one of the most import ant things you offer [the students] is some thing that they get after they leave ... And that is when they go off to a job interview they can put down they went to Riverview High School, and people will say, Yeah, I under stand that. In the past, with students having to put on applications that they had graduated from Cyesis, Brown said, that opened up a whole can of worms that wont help them get a job. Brown added, So I think [the River view factor] gets them a much better footing. The value of that diploma is so much more than we can put a price on. When The Sara sota News Lead er asked whether any reasons for the decrease in the 35-year-old pro grams enrollment had been pinpoint ed, no one could offer an explanation. Admin istrative staff said they speculated part of the decrease was linked to a greater acceptance of pregnant students in all schools, access to online classes and charter school options. All pregnant students have the option of re maining at their current schools. THE BUDGET Once again during their monthly workshop, the School Board members addressed budget concerns. Federal funding decreases, state budget short ages, a decline in local property tax rates and a falling student enrollment in the regular public schools continue to exert pressures on A chart shows the graduation rates for Saraso ta County public high schools from the 2009-10 school year through the 2011-12 school year. Chart courtesy Sarasota County Schools
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 24 the budget, Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Al Weidner has pointed out. Im really concerned about where were heading, said board member Frank Kovach. Were using 3 percent of our unrestricted fund balance this year [to supplement the bud get]; were projected to use 3 percent of our balance next year. He added, I keep hearing people say things are going to get better. I dont think things are going to get better. Im just really concerned about where were going. Kovach continued, I give the county credit for one thing: At least they have projected when their reserves are going to run out. We dont talk about when our reserves are going to run out. They are going to run out if we keep doing what were doing. We need to come up with a plan. Were still using $12 million in re serves each year, and we have no plan for how were going to quit using those re serves. Kovach add ed, I think if I personally knew I was go ing to be broke in two years I wouldnt wait. And thats it for my soapbox for this week. While Chairwoman Jane Goodwin agreed with him, Todd said she felt the issue was one of philosophical disagreement between the board and the superintendent. The board, ac cording to Todd, would like to receive a bud get from staff in which the tough choices have been made by the administrative staff. White responded that she felt the board mem bers were elected to make the tough choices. In my discussions with [high-ranking admin istrative staff] so far, in terms of where we nd additional reductions, it becomes a very pain ful process for any of us, White said. Ulti mately, whoever brings to you the budget, the results or consequences the outcomes we all share. It is your budget. Its not easy af ter so many years of pretty signicant budget reductions. I just dont think we can continue to kick the can down the road, Kovach responded. Budget matters will be on the agenda again in the New Year, starting with the Tuesday, Jan 22, School Board work shop. % A chart compares the dropout rates for the state of Florida and the Sarasota County Schools from the 2003-04 school year through the 2011-12 school year. Chart courtesy Sarasota County Schools
It will take about as long to build Lift Station 87 at Luke Wood Park as it did to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu near Cairo, Egypt. Work on the citys star-crossed sewage pump ing facility began in 2008, after repeated fail ures at Lift Station 7 led to spills of hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into Hudson Bayou and on into Sarasota Bay. The latest estimate for completion released Monday, Dec. 3 indicates the work will be complete in 2015. Craig Smith in his 2004 book How the Great Pyramid Was Built wrote, [T]he schedule goal for pyramid construction (exclusive of site preparation, construction of the mortu ary temple and valley temple, and other major auxiliary works) would have been within the range of ve to eight years. The chief engi neers name 4,500 years ago was Hemiunu. AN EXTRA $750,000 Of course Hemiunu did not have to deal with lawyers or Fortune 500 corporations. Sara sota does, in particular with a company called AECOM. The original design of the connec tions to Lift Station 87 was the focus of a con tract won by Boyle Engineering in 2008. Work on Lift Station 87, which has disrupted trafc in the Osprey Avenue/Mound Street area near downtown Sarasota, remains on hold. Photo by Norman Schimmel OSPREY AVENUE SOON WILL SEE REGULAR TRAFFIC FLOW, BUT THE WORK ON LIFT STATION 87 MIGHT TAKE LONGER THAN CONSTRUCTION OF THE GREAT PYRAMID REOPENING SHORTLY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 26 Boyle was soon acquired by AECOM, a For tune 500 rm specializing in engineering de sign. In Sarasota, the problem was drilling a hole under Hudson Bayou for a 36-inch pipe large enough to convey millions of gallons of sewage per day to the Luke Wood Park Lift Station 87. The facility would use pumps to propel the sewage to the citys treatment plant more than a mile away on 12th Street. Using what the city staff calls outdated and inaccurate survey data, the Boyle/AECOM crew drilled a lateral hole that was insuf ciently deep under the waterway. The city lost condence in the company and declared it in default. A lawsuit and countersuit followed. Meanwhile, Westra Construction was hired to build the actual pumping facility underground. That work has been done, but without the pipeline, it is useless. Worse, the micro-tunnel ing required closure of the northbound lane of Osprey Avenue, causing annoyance in the neighborhoods south of Mound Street, such as Avondale. Some of the disturbance halted projects, snarled trafc, defaulted contractors, law suits was remedied Monday, Dec. 3, when the Sarasota City Commission approved a $750,000 change order to Westras contract. For that money Westra will reopen Osprey Av enue within 30 days and mothball its all-butnished lift station. Of course, that will not solve the legal prob lems. Alan Tannenbaum, the citys special counsel for this case, said, Westra is prepar ing a signicant claim against the city. And AECOM, of course, believes it is blame less and will claim that in court. Tannenbaum is condent the citys case is strong, so the city should be able to recoup from AECOM all the money to put everything back together. In the meantime, old Lift Station 7 is still pushing the freight. Public Works Director Bill Hallisey says the city has mobilized pump er trucks to handle the additional water load caused by rainstorms. If we do bring in addi tional trucks, we can put them in different ar eas so they wont impact the same areas with noise, he said. For those whose leisure reading includes case studies of project management, Craig B. Smiths is unique. He is a consulting engineer with a global practice. His analysis of the man power and material requirements to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu is dry (no pun intend ed) but fascinating reading. One surprise: No slaves were used. And no hieroglyphics indi cate a contractor defaulted. % 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
Atomic Holiday Bazaar impresario Adrien Lu cas is taking the maxim If aint broke, dont x it to heart for the seventh edition of her wildly popular alternative crafting bonanza. This weekends two-day shindig will be much like past Atomics. Hundreds of creative ar tisans and crafters slinging one-of-a-kind items? Check. Roll er derby gals handing out swag-stuffed totes? Check. A voracious crowd of locals pack ing the Sarasota Mu nicipal Auditorium, eager to snap up sweet gear? Check. It is Atomic Groundhog Day, Lucas admits, only its the good kind of Groundhog Day. Of course, it is not exactly the same. Lucas is promoting a rst-of-its-kind Friday evening Atomic Holiday Ba zaar art show, hosted by Clothesline Gal lery & Boutique. Lucas says she has wanted to put on an exhibition for many years, but that it took the help of Shoppers delight in scoping out the sweet nds at the Atomic Holiday Bazaar in 2011. Photo by Sid Graves ATOMIC HOLIDAY BAZAAR MARKS ITS SEVENTH YEAR STILL GOING STRONG It is Atomic Groundhog Day, only its the good kind of Groundhog Day. Adrien Lucas Founder Atomic Holiday Bazaar By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 29 Clotheslines Austin Kowal and Van Jazmin to make it happen. Lucas solicited work from current and past Atomic artists and is proud of the results. Its a really eclectic mix of artwork, but its de nitely representative of Atomic, she says. I really had fun going through seven years of reaching out to people. Consider Friday nights art show an appetizer for the full course that comes over the week end. One hundred seventy vendors will be setting up shop, offering up everything from hand-stitched clothing to homemade kids toys and stuffed animals. The general style with, of course, many, many tangents is a fun amalgamation of punk rock, mid-century kitsch and the DIY idiosyncrasies of different crafters styles. And do not think you can get away with just going just one day; different vendors will be installed on each day, meaning you cannot peruse the full range of goods unless you at tend both Saturday and Sunday. (There is a discounted ticket price if you bring your stub back on day two.) Atomic has become so big it is bursting at the seams of its longtime home. The Bayfront ATOMIC ART SHOW 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7; Clothesline Gallery & Boutique, 529 S. Pineapple Ave., Saraso ta; free. ATOMIC HOLIDAY BAZAAR 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; Sara sota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tami ami Trail, Sarasota; $5 ($3 on day two with ticket stub from day one); free for kids 12 and under. Room, which sits on the back side of the Mu nicipal Auditorium, will be lled with vendors who were late to the original application pro cess. It costs $5 to get into the main room (the same fee charged at the rst Atomic, way back in 2006), but that rear section is completely free. Lucas is already planning ahead for the 2013 edition and wants to incorporate some kind of philanthropic party during the weekend. But even if that goes through, do not expect major changes to the basic Atomic formula. After all, it is a winning one. % 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
Sarasotas focus on homelessness shifted to Gillespie Park this week. At the Monday, Dec. 3, City Commission meeting, a parade of neighborhood residents delivered a long lita ny of complaints during the evenings opento-the-public session. Speakers had only two minutes to make their points. I wont walk in the park. Its becoming a homeless camp, said Louise Tracy. There is an inux of homeless spending days in the park. They bring immense amounts of trash; were just inundated with it, said Dale Orlando. He produced pictures of the trash to emphasize his statement. The problem is not geographic and the solu tion isnt musical benches. You need long-term solutions, he added. The City Commission removed the benches from Five Points Park last year to discourage homeless people from loitering in that loca tion. Concern was expressed about people using twigs and leaves in the BBQ grills in Gillespie Park to heat food that is then left on the grills for animals. We cant continue with this level of trash and activity, said Linda Holland, the neighbor hood president and a City Commission can The Sarasota City Commission sits in session. Photo by Norman Schimmel RESIDENTS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS PEOPLE AND THEIR ACTIONS IN SARASOTAS GILLESPIE PARK A HOMELESS CAMP By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 31 There is an influx of homeless spending days in the park. They bring immense amounts of trash; were just inundated with it. Dale Orlando Sarasota resident didate. We have asked the Police Department to help us. I live next to Gillespie Park, said Bill Hol land. Over the past six months, Ive seen an increase in the number of transients and va grants occupying the picnic pavilion. Its caused casual users and families to stop using the park. [The homeless] use the bushes for toilets; they use loud, vulgar lan guage and feel it nec essary to yell at each other. On any day until 11 p.m. ,there are 12 to 30 individuals occupying the park, monopolizing the park, said Charles Morris. The locked covers over electrical outlets are ripped off. There are drug sales and prostitution. Hours later, at the end of the meeting during the Commissioner Comments agenda item, the issue came up again. Gillespie Park deserves some kind of atten tion, said Commissioner Paul Caragiulo. Commissioner Terry Turner suggested the city might want to install cameras in the park. The public has described a lot of violations of the law, he said. Sarasota police ofcers have come under re for alleged use of force on homeless people, a point raised by Commissioner Willie Shaw. Im glad to see us be come more sensitive to our diverse com munity. The last three men beaten have been Caucasian, and now its an issue, he said. City Manager Tom Bar win is forming a home less task force. Lots of people want to participate, said May or Suzanne Atwell. Shaw added that he would like to see higher education institutions involved in the process, including student members. Barwin said, This task force will be action-ori ented. Our law enforcement folks could use some additional help, especially for substance abuse and mental health. There were 30,000 free meals served last year, and 29,500 were in the city. Ive spoke with [Sarasota County Administrator Randall] Reid to make this a larger effort. Well be reaching out to those folks at Gillespie Park. % Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. For Advertising Info Sales@SarasotaNewsLeader.com (941) 227-1080
It took about 50 minutes of discussion for them to sort out their confusion and air their frustrations on Dec. 4, but the Sarasota Coun ty commissioners nally voted unanimously to advertise proposed new road impact fees for a public hearing on Jan. 16. During the public comment portion of the boards afternoon meeting in Venice that day, Mary Dougherty-Slapp, executive director of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, asked for a two-year extension of the current impact fees developers pay when they construct roads. That period would give the market the continu ity it needs to pull out of recession, she added. I personally dont want to do that, Commis sioner Nora Patterson said, adding that she felt a years extension of the rates would be sufcient. Commissioner Joe Barbetta opened the dis cussion by criticizing Clarke Davis, head of the countys Transportation Group, for not having a new impact fee schedule prepared sooner. We asked you to do it a couple of years ago after [Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson] came on board, Barbetta said, and nothing ever happened. And here we AFTER CRITICIZING STAFF FOR THE DELAY IN PROVIDING NEW PROPOSED ROAD IMPACT FEES, THE COUNTY COMMISSION MOVES FORWARD ON ADVERTISING RATES FOR A JAN. 16 PUBLIC HEARING By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor CONFUSION AND CONSTERNATION A chart shows current and proposed road impact fees for Sarasota County, with possible reductions by percentage. Image courtesy Sarasota County
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 33 Sarasota County staff provided the County Commission a chart showing all the road impact fees de rived through use of current data. Image courtesy Sarasota County
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 34 are on Dec. 4 and you still dont have enough information. Referring to another comment Dough erty-Slapp had made, Davis told the commis sion early in his presentation that she was fair in characterizing her discussions with him on behalf of builders as limited before the new impact fee tables were completed. Both of them wished they had had more time to work on the process, Davis said. It would be nice to take a look at some of the numbers a little longer, but we believe that the rates are defensible, he added. ALL THOSE NUMBERS In response to questions from Patterson, who said the new table of rates was confusing, Da vis explained that, based on staff research and use of methodology the county had rst uti lized in 2007, it appeared the cost of building a road was 4 percent less today than it was in 2007. Data used in 2007 came from 2005, Davis pointed out. Putting it another way, Davis said, todays full road impact fees are roughly 68 percent of the 2007 road impact fees. Both Barbetta and Commissioner Charles Hines, who was attending his rst full meeting since he was elected on Nov. 6, questioned the new road impact fee for the construction of hotels and motels. Barbetta pointed out that it was up by almost 31 percent. That goes against what we seem to think is common sense, Hines said. Davis explained the numbers in the tables re ected full impact fees as well as reduced fees the county had been requiring of builders the past couple of years. In 2011, the County Com mission reduced the impact fees by 50 per cent, to help builders cope with the recession. MISSING INFORMATION Robinson asked Davis about the reference in staff memos to a county road impact fee tech nical report. That is being drafted, Davis said. So we are authorizing to advertise [the new rate schedule] and it includes this impact fee technical report that we dont have yet? Rob inson asked. The advertisement for the Jan. 16 public hear ing would include a notice that the report would be available for review, he responded. It would be ready in about two weeks, he said later. There wasnt time to get together a full report for the Dec. 4 meeting, he added. The County commissioners listen to a speaker in Sarasota on Nov. 20. Photo by Norman Schimmel`
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 35 We asked you to do [this] a couple of years ago after [Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson] came on board and nothing ever happened. And here we are on Dec. 4 and you still dont have enough information. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County When he pointed out that the municipalities would have an opportunity to see the report as soon as it was available, Robinson questioned why they would see it before the commission did. The cities are advisory committees to the County Commission, Davis replied. However, he said, he could provide a copy of the report to the commissioners before he sent it to the municipalities. I didnt mean to exasperate the County Com mission, Davis added. This is the way weve done it in the past and if we need to think about doing it a different way, then we can. I had understood the municipalities were ad visory to us in terms of how to spend the mon ey, not to how to craft the ordinance, Patter son told him. The cities by law had to have the opportunity to comment on any pro posed changes in the countys impact fees, Davis said. The City of Sarasota was allowed up to 30 days for com ments, while the City of Venice had two weeks, he noted. I was unaware of that, Patterson said. Were only here for an authorization to adver tise, Barbetta pointed out. Right now were utilizing the wrong gures. Barbetta added that the commissioners could decide after the Jan. 16 public hearing what percentage of the new gures they wanted to require of builders, and I submit its going to be lower than they are today. So youre perfectly OK with [the rates] going lower than they are today? Patterson asked him. Current data is going to reect lower [rates], he told her. In response to further questioning, Davis said staff could work with homebuilders as well as other builders to determine whether any differ ent methodologies should be applied to devel op the rates. Asked to weigh in, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh told the commissioners they could ad vertise the proposed impact fees at the 100 per cent level determined for 2013 or a percentage of those levels. They would not be able to vote on higher rates than those advertised, however, he said. I believe we had the opportunity with pri vate industry to get some better numbers, Robinson said. We asked for that to hap pen and that did not happen. Barbetta eventually made the motion to ad vertise the rates at 68 percent of the full 2013 levels staff had provid ed. When the board voted after the Jan. 16 pub lic hearing, he continued, it could put into ef fect rates that were 50 percent of those reduced numbers, similar to the action the commission took in 2011. We have to give some kind of certainty to the building industry out there, he added. In the meantime, Barbetta said, Davis could consult with representatives of all the building industries. It does make sense, Patterson said of Barbet tas recommendation; she seconded the motion. The industries can provide [comments] direct ly to us by email, Robinson added. %
The timing of the return of the giant sailor statue Unconditional Surrender to the bay front Tuesday, Dec. 4, was perfect. The night before, the Sarasota City commissioners ca pitulated totally in their parking war. Do not think sailor-kisses-nurse; think parking scofaw and meter maid. The commissioners ordered that parking en forcement return to pre-war levels, dropping Saturday enforcement and returning to a 6 p.m. cutoff for tickets. In other words, forget worrying about your car on Saturdays on St. Armands, downtown or the Southside Village area around Hillview Street and Osprey Avenue. Park all day if you like. And if you slide into a space at 4:01 p.m. on a weekday, you dont have to move your car until 9 a.m. the next day. However, do not rush out to exercise your re gained parking rights. City staffers are work ing out a timeline when the new-but-old regu lations will take effect. The commissions foray into creating universal regulations for parking citywide including the purchase and installation of half-a-million dollars worth of downtown parking meters Anyone may pay for a parking ticket at the Sarasota Police Department on Adams Lane. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION VOTES TO RETURN ENFORCEMENT RESTRICTIONS TO THEIR PREVIOUS NORMS ALL OVER SARASOTA PARKING WAR ENDED By Stan Zimmerman City Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 37 A parking meter stump on Main Street in September emphasized the citys losing battle over meters last year. Photo by Norman Schimmel
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 38 foundered rst on public hostility and then on merchant antipathy. After nearly three years of study, debate, decisions, purchasing, instal lation, new signage and tougher enforcement, it is back to 2009 before all that began. We all acknowledge an error in applying the same standards across the city, City Commis sioner Paul Caragiulo said Monday evening. The return to old rules means the return of the original cause of the conict employee parking. Keeping employees from using up all the con venient spots and pushing away customers was a prime motivation for city commission ers to embark on tougher parking regulation and enforcement. The old arguments popped right back up on Monday. How about permits for employees to use the [Palm Avenue parking] garage? That keeps them off Main Street, said Caragiulo. But that prevents a restaurant worker from coming downtown on his day off, replied Ron Soto, president of the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association. Commissioner Shannon Snyder replied to Soto, Downtown folks need to solve the em ployee [parking] problem by themselves. City Manager Tom Barwin stuck his neck out and said, We can put together a downtown employee parking program and bring it back to you. MEET MR. BOOT While the regulations are relaxing, the nes and fees are tightening. Late fees for parking tickets more than two weeks past due will be $15. Thirty days after that, the city will tack on an additional $15, and another $15 after a second month. Motorists with unpaid tickets face the immo bilization of their vehicles. City staffers have parking boots technically called wheel locks and are ready to use them. The cost to get un-booted is jumping to $75 from $50 plus, you will need to pay the outstanding tickets and nes, of course. That will require a trip to the Sarasota Police Department on Ad ams Lane, and that could ruin your afternoon. If you pull out your toolbox to take off the boot yourself, the act will cost you $250 if you are caught more if you break the lock. And because the boot crew makes a note of which boot goes on which car, it is doubtful you will evade detection. Like many modern problems, the root of Sara sotas parking uproar is nancial. Snyder re peated himself Monday, saying We dont have a parking problem. We have a scal problem. Our biggest problem is who pays for parking garage maintenance? While the citys Parking Department should be revenue-neutral bringing in as much as it costs to operate that has not happened in years. Were going to be in the red again this year, said Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown. %
A fter one commissioner questioned whether Sarasota County School ofcials had applied for state funding for the project, and no an swer was available, the County Commission voted unanimously to wait until next week to decide on paying for modications to make the rebuilt Booker High School suitable as a hurricane shelter. Scott Lempe, the school districts chief oper ating ofcer, told The Sarasota News Leader Dec. 6 he understood staff from the countys Emergency Management Department would take the lead in a presentation tentatively scheduled for the commissions Dec. 11 meet ing in Sarasota. Although the $1,004,822 hurricane shelter funding item was on the commissions con sent agenda for the Dec. 4 regular meeting in Venice, Barbetta pulled the item and referred to a new state statute that went into effect in January. Dont get me wrong, Barbetta said. I ap plaud the fact were trying to do hurricane shelters, as many as possible, wherever. However, he added, It clearly says [in the new statute] its the obligation of the schools The rebuilding of Booker High School on North Orange Avenue is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS QUESTION WHETHER THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS APPLIED FOR STATE FUNDS TO MAKE THE REBUILT BOOKER HIGH SUITABLE AS A HURRICANE SHELTER WHO SHOULD PAY? By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 40 I just dont want us spending money we dont have to spend. I want to make sure the Sarasota County school system is applying for those [state] funds. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County to handle the hurri cane hardening of fa cilities. Moreover, he said, a Public Educa tion Capital Outlay (PECO) Fund is avail able to help districts cover those costs. Lempe told the News Leader the district has had no money in its budget from that PECO fund in the past two years. He added that the district had applied for no state funding relative to hurricane harden ing. Anne M. Miller, the logistics chief in the coun tys Emergency Management Ofce, point ed out to the commission on Dec. 4 that the School Board was required to pay only 50 percent of the cost of the structural enhance ments to enable the county to use the school as a shelter. By law, she said, schools have to be able to withstand wind of 139 mph. However, a shel ter has to be able to withstand wind of 170 mph, she noted. So were getting added ben et by putting our funding with their funding, she added of the school district. Lempe concurred with Miller. A Florida school district has to build new structures that meet the state building code in terms of their abil ity to withstand hurricane winds. If a county wishes to use a new school as a shelter, he added, a county will typically say, Here are the upgrades we will help you fund. The $58 million Book er rebuild is expect ed to be completed in 2013, Scott Ferguson, spokesman for the school district, told the News Leader I just dont want us spending money we dont have to spend, Barbetta told Miller. I want to make sure the Sarasota County school system is applying for those [state] funds. Have we looked into the fact that they have exhausted all their funding sources before we volunteer money? I dont have the answer to that, Miller re plied. I dont mind approving this, Barbetta said, but its a million dollars. There are other things we could do with that money, [but], obviously, safety is most important. To reassure you, Miller told Barbetta, what were paying for is way above and beyond what they are required to do. Commissioner Nora Patterson pointed out the commission had meetings scheduled on both Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 in Sarasota. Perhaps the decision could be delayed, she added. Mike Tobias, the countys chief of emergency services, stepped to the podium and told Bar betta, We understand your concern, commis sioner. He pointed out that state law requires all schools be built to certain standards for pro tection from hurricane damage but not for use
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 41 as shelters. And we use our [school] shelters pretty well across the board here in Sarasota County, because theyre pretty far inland, To bias added. SURTAX REVENUE The funding for the Booker project was desig nated out of the Surtax III revenue, he pointed out, because we had such a decit of shelter space. During an Aug. 29 joint meeting of the School Board and the County Commission, Ed Mc Crane, the countys emergency management chief, told the boards he and his staff were eager to see the Booker High project complet ed. He added, [I]t will serve the citizens of North Sarasota County who need a shelter desperately. A Dec. 4 memo from Tobias to the County Commission says the shelter would be able to handle 2,400 people for 24 hours. Patterson pointed out to Tobias, There are tens of millions of dollars of proj ects that were approved for sales tax [revenue funding] that have been cancelled because of in sufcient revenue and were struggling on some other public safety-type issues like the 800MHz and where those dollars are going to come from. Tobias has said the total cost of infrastructure and new radio equipment to provide the county with a modern emergency radio system to replace the outdated 800MHz system will cost about $30 million. We didnt mean to imply that there is not another avenue to get the funding or to use this funding for something else, Tobias told the commissioners. However, he said, These funds have been specically committed for this project. Both Patterson and Barbetta said they did not want to hold up the Booker project, with Pat terson noting, I dont want to hurt the [hur ricane shelter] partnership [with the school district] in any way. Still, she said, it was rea sonable to ask whether school ofcials had looked into the state funding. We can address this next week, Tobias said. When Commissioner Charles Hines asked whether county staff was working with the school district to use the rebuilt Venice High School and Sarasota High School as shelters, too, Miller replied that shel ter guidelines probably exempted use of Venice High for that purpose, be cause of its low elevation. However, it was possible the rebuilt Sarasota High School could be used as a shelter, she said. Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Mason made the motion to hold off on the funding decision until next week; Patterson seconded it. % Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta/Photo by Norman Schimmel
The decades-old practice of free boat moorings along the bayfront is over, gone the way of the Payne Park baseball stadium and the Hover Arcade. Boaters are now paying $250 per month to Mari na Jack for the right to moor. Harbormaster Sam Chav ers reported to the Sara sota City Commission Monday, Dec. 3, saying, On Nov. 1, we began charging rates. For the rst 30 days, we exceed ed expectations. The city will get a check for the rst months operations. The city using its own money and grants put about $1 million into the 35-unit mooring eld. The rst attempt at installing mooring anchors failed stress testing; another company was called in to do the job properly. Marina Jack Inc. manag es the area. The contract calls for the city to cover a percentage of any nan cial losses and to share in any prots. White hulls stood out against the blue sky and water in citys mooring eld in July. Photo by Nor man Schimmel CITYS NEW MOORING FIELD OFF BAYFRONT PARK SHOWS A PROFIT FOR ITS FIRST 30 DAYS OF OPERATION NO MORE FREE BERTHS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor On Nov. 1, we began charging rates. For the rst 30 days, we exceeded expectations. Sam Chavers Harbormaster City of Sarasota
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 43 Chavers said on Dec. 3, The future outlook is pos itive, and we are entering prime boating season as people travel up and down the coast. Some of the moorings are for transient boaters, while others are for permanent storage. Sailors can live aboard, but only for six months out of the year. To install the eld, the city had to displace a num ber of boaters who did not want to pay the monthly fee or be managed by the marina complex. These boaters have been pushed further away from shore, or they have moved to other locations. Chavers said the moored boaters are now enjoying free WiFi service, as well as the use of a shuttle to take them to and from their vessels. He also invited people down to the bayfront for the annual Christmas Boat Parade. It will form up at about 6:15 p.m. in New Pass along City Island on Saturday, Dec. 8, and travel past downtown Sara sotas Island Park about 7 p.m. % Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. Sales@SarasotaNewsLeader.com or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night
Siesta Key property and business owners moved one step closer on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to seeing an end to a special tax designed to pay for the municipal parking lot in Siesta Village. On a 4-1 vote, the Sarasota County Commis sion approved a staff recommendation to ter minate the collection of the parking assess ment after the taxes come in for the current scal year. Once all those funds are in, the next step will be to hold a public hearing, followed by an other commission vote to abolish the district altogether, Ryan Montague, a staff member in the countys Mobility/Trafc Ofce, told the board during its regular meeting on Dec. 4. No one spoke during the public hearing held on the matter. Following an Oct. 10 discussion in which com missioners agreed county staff had applied the parking assessment methodology on an unequal basis, the commissioners voted 4-1 to authorize the advertisement of the Dec. 4 public hearing as the rst step in abolishing the parking district. As she did on Dec. 4, Commissioner Nora Pat terson cast the lone No vote on Oct. 10. At The Hub Baja Grill (right) and The Cottage on Avenida Messina are two of the Siesta Village proper ties owned by Chris Brown. Photo by Norman Schimmel AFTER CURRENT FISCAL YEAR PARKING ASSESSMENTS ARE COLLECTED FOR THE SIESTA VILLAGE MUNICIPAL LOT, A COUNTY PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED TO ABOLISH THE PARKING DISTRICT ONE STEP CLOSER By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 45 the meeting two months ago, she said, People understood that they would pay for half of the cost of the parking lot. She added, What I dont understand is why [the assessment val ue] was ever xed to go up or down, and I think it needs to be nailed in place. The Oct. 10 parking district discussion fol lowed the airing of commissioner concerns in August about a third lawsuit Siesta property owner Chris Brown led against the county, this one in October 2011. That lawsuit provid ed documentation that Brown had seen the parking assessments for three of his Siesta Vil lage properties rise on his 2011 property tax bill, while the assessments for other proper ties in the district had gone down. One of his assessments was up about 1,500 percent over the amount on his 2010 tax bill. Browns third lawsuit remains unresolved, with a mediation hearing set for Feb. 1, 2013; that session was delayed from this month, ac cording to court records. Brown offered to settle the suit with the coun ty for $315,000 in October an increase from an earlier offer of $277,219. The second settlement gure has not been broached to the County Commission. Browns attorney, Morgan Bentley of Bentley & Brun ing in Sarasota, told The Sarasota News Lead er If no commissioner brings it up, its up to [County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh] to bring it up. DeMarsh told the News Leader on Nov. 20 that he had not mentioned the second gure to the board because of his staffs work on the law suit. Brown has claimed damages of $1.7 million as a result of lost prots at The Hub Baja Grill the rst business in which he encountered parking assessment issues with the county court costs and attorneys fees. He led his original lawsuit against the county in 2007, after The Hubs opening was halted for three months because of the reversal of a decision made by the countys zoning administrator at the time. That decision was linked to the park ing capacity for The Hub. THE REMAINING BALANCE Montague told the commissioners on Dec. 4 that when the 2012 scal year ended on Sept. 30, the balance remaining to be paid for the municipal parking lot was $334,680. A memo to the board dated the same day from Montagues boss, Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr., says anticipated revenues for the 2013 scal year are $47,811, leaving an antic ipated debt of $286,868. The countys general fund would absorb the remaining amount, the memo notes. The parking lot was completed in 2000 at a cost of $863,714.51, according to the same memo. The county paid for the work from its general fund, with the understanding proper ties within the Siesta Village Parking Improve ment District would be assessed annually to repay the money, the memo points out. Commissioner Carolyn Mason made the mo tion to accept the staff recommendation for the Dec. 4 vote. Commissioner Joe Barbetta seconded it. None of the board members offered a com ment prior to the vote. %
After being struck by a sedan in late April, the statue lies on the ground, awaiting pickup and transportation for repairs. Photo by Norman Schimmel UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER RETURNS TO THE BAYFRONT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS Staff Reports After it was struck by a sedan and damaged signicantly in late April, the Seward John son sculpture Unconditional Surrender was transported north for repairs. Hurricane Sandys assault on the Northeast slowed its return. However, by Tuesday, Dec. 4, it was back at its highly visible spot in downtown Sarasota, adjacent to U.S. 41 and Bayfront Park. Staff photographer Norman Schimmel record ed the progress of the statues return home this week as a crew worked to make sure it was rmly in place. %
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 47 The kissing couple lies on the ground again, ready to be lifted back into place. Blues guitarist Eric Culberson and his band were on their way to Sanford on Saturday, Dec. 1, when they spied a very unusual sight on Interstate 95 between Savannah, GA, and Brunswick, GA. Facebook chatter with Sarasota friends gave them the identity of the sculpture on the atbed truck. Photo courtesy Eric Culberson
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 48 The statue lls the atbed at the bayfront.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 49 A crane begins lifting the statue from the atbed. Slowly but surely, Unconditional Surrender tilts upward.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 50 Almost there. The ground crew works with the crane operator for the perfect placement.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 51 On the morning of Dec. 5, the ground crew continued to work to get the statue situated.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Community Foundation of Sarasota County hosted Camp Giving, a program for children ages 8-12 and their par ents, to inspire the next generation of philan thropists. Nearly a dozen children attended; they learned about the value of giving back, discovered how to use the online nonprot resource Giv ing Partner to nd causes they care about, heard from a high school volunteer and en joyed a presentation by Southeastern Guide Dogs staff and volunteers, a news release says. At the conclusion of the program, each of the young participants received a Moon Jar, which is designed to help children make de cisions about saving, spending and sharing. Every young person also received a $25 Giv ing Spirit Card, which can be donated to any charity of his or her choosing. Camp Giving participant Max Kunkel with his Moon Jar, which helps children make de cisions about saving, spending and sharing. All of the Camp Giving participants and their parents gather with the Southeastern Guide Dogs, handlers and volunteers. Photos by Community Foundation of Sarasota County/Sharon Kunkel CAMP GIVING HELD TO INSPIRE YOUNG PHILANTHROPISTS NEWS BRIEFS
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 53 The Sarasota Womens Interfaith Network will present the award-winning lm Paper Clips at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Unitarian Univer salist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road. Admission will be $2. The lm focuses on a small town in Tennes see where two middle-school teachers saw an opportunity to educate their students not only about the history of European fascism, but to provide more general lessons about diversity, prejudice and tolerance, the news release notes. Following the presentation, a discussion will be led by Irene Mirkovic, who has combined her lifelong interest in Holocaust studies with her passion for lm and literature, a news re lease says. She teaches at the Lifelong Learn ing Academy at the University of South Flor ida. Mirkovic visited the town in Tennessee where the lm was set and spoke with residents, the news release points out. For more information, call 377-1003. WOMENS INTERFAITH NETWORK TO PRESENT FILM, DISCUSSION Sarasota County Parks and Recreation will host the 36th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota. The popular event will begin with registration at 7 a.m. at the south picnic shelter, the county has announced. The 1-mile fun run will begin at 8 a.m., and the timed 5K run will begin at 8:20 a.m. Registration on race day is $25; each partici pant will get a T-shirt as long as supplies last, a county news release says. The 36th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run is sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club, which uses ChronoTrack timing, the news re lease notes. Awards will be presented to the winners in rst through sixth places in each age group. Those taking rst-, secondand third-place honors will receive trophies, and fourththrough sixth-place winners will get ribbons, the news release says. All registered participants will be entered into a rafe for prizes, the release adds. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 or visit www. scgov.net 36TH ANNUAL SANDY CLAWS BEACH RUN SET FOR DEC. 8 Seaview Street from Brookhaven Drive to Beneva Road in Sarasota will be closed be ginning Dec. 10 for replacement of a failing stormwater pipe, Sarasota County has an nounced. SEAVIEW STREET TO BE CLOSED STARTING DEC. 10 Only local trafc will be allowed during the closure, a news release says. The road is scheduled to reopen by Dec. 21. Residents in the area are being notied via door hangers, the release adds. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 54 The public is invited to attend a communi ty meeting Monday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall to discuss redevelopment in the Rosemary District, the City of Sarasota has announced. Two signicant topics will be discussed, a city news release says: parking and using a city-owned parcel possibly to create a pub lic-private partnership. The City Commission indicated last month it would like to pursue a public-private partner ship to redevelop city-owned property at 1440 Boulevard of the Arts (the former Community Garden), the release points out. Located near Boulevard of the Arts and Central Avenue, the COMMUNITY MEETING TO FOCUS ON ROSEMARY DISTRICT parcel could help spur other redevelopment efforts in the district, the release adds. We want to be proactive for when we begin to emerge from the recession, said City Man ager Tom Barwin in the release. There arent any preconceived notions on what the rede velopment could be. We want to hear from the community as far as what they would like to see with regard to a catalyst project for eco nomic development. The redevelopment discussion makes it logi cal to focus as well on public parking, the re lease notes. City staff is seeking comments on parking in the Rosemary District to support future economic development, the release adds. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested a woman for leaving her toddler locked in her vehicle while she shopped. Concerned citizens called deputies around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 when they noticed a little girl sitting alone in a newer Chevrolet Malibu in the parking of Big Lots at 3750 Bee Ridge Road, according to a Sheriffs Ofce report. Store security personnel said the mother, Sun nie Jo Andrepont, 31, of 6030 Medici Court, Sarasota, had a cartload of toys and was shop ping for half an hour. Andrepont said she left the 22-month old girl in the car intentionally but that she also had left the vehicle running, the report says. The child was unharmed; her father respond ed to take her home, the report adds. Andrepont was charged with Felony Child Neglect. MOTHER ARRESTED FOR LEAVING TODDLER IN LOCKED CAR Sunnie Jo Andrepont/Contributed
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 55 The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested two Bradenton men in connection with two residential burglaries in the past week, but the investigation is continuing, according to a news release. During a trafc stop on Friday, Nov. 30, dep uties found a jewelry box, burglary tools and prescription drugs in a blue 2002 Grand Mar quis driven by Jeremy Maxwell, 30, of 5506 16th Street W., Bradenton, and occupied by Michael Mullins, 22, of 5318 Seventh Avenue Drive W., Bradenton, the news release says. The vehicle matched the description given by a victim whose home on Woodbirch Place had been broken into that day and a victim whose Cedarwood Drive home was burglarized on Nov. 26, the release adds. Both of those inci dents were in Sarasota County. Most of the recovered property was identied by both victims, but the remaining items could be from other burglaries; therefore, the inves tigation is continuing, the release notes. Maxwell, who has an extensive criminal his tory in Sarasota County, is charged with two counts of Burglary, Driving with a Suspended License and being a Habitual Trafc Offend er, the release says. Mullins, who is already on felony probation for Grand Theft in Man atee County, is charged with two counts of Burglary, two counts of Possession of Bur glary Tools and Possession of a Controlled Substance, the release adds. The suspects reportedly targeted homes with open windows and broke in through the screens, the release points out. The Sheriffs Ofce is advising all residents to heed previous warnings to close and lock all windows when they leave homes unoccupied and to be vigilant for people or vehicles that do not belong in their neighborhoods, partic ularly during the daytime. Michael Mullins/Contributed Jeremy Maxwell/Contributed TWO ARRESTED FOR RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 56 Two curators from the Ringling Museums, Ron McCarty (Ca dZan) and Deborah Walk (Cir cus Museum) will present an interactive talk about the life, times and inuence of Charles Ringling on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church in Pioneer Park. The park is located at 1260 12th St., Sarasota. The program is free to members of the His torical Society of Sarasota County and $10 for the public. In 1912, with the Ringling Bros. Circus in its heyday, Charles Ringling came to Sara sota to visit his more famous and amboy ant brother, John, in Sarasota, a Historical Society news release says. Subsequently, Charles and his wife, Edith, fell in love with the town, moved into a house and in 1925 built a Georgian pink marble mansion on 40 bayfront acres just north of Johns home, the release adds. Eventually, the Charles Ringling mansion became the centerpiece of the New College bayfront campus as the schools rst library. Today it is called College Hall. While in Sarasota, Charles Ringling purchased land and donated signicant parcels to the newly created county, the news release notes. He owned 52 commercial lots and a 33,000acre ranch, and he developed the 10-story Sarasota Terrace Hotel and 150 Spanish-style homes. Additionally, he founded the Ringling Bank and donated land for a courthouse for the newly created Sarasota County. Ringling Boulevard, the street between the courthouse and his hotel, was named for him, the news release adds. When Ringling died in 1926 in Sarasota at the age of 63, he was a working president of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Ron McCarty/Contributed Deborah Walk/Contributed RINGLING MUSEUM CURATORS TO DISCUSS LIFE OF CHARLES RINGLING
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 57 We will be focusing on Charles Ringling, of course, said Ca dZan curator Ron McCarty in the news release. But we will also be in cluding lots of information about John and their sister, Ida Ringling North, to provide in sight into their family holdings in Sarasota and their investments in Sarasotas future. Truly, the Ringling family members developed so much of what we enjoy today in Saraso ta, he added. The Charles Ringling event at Crocker Memorial Church is the third in a series of year-long panel discussions organized by the His torical Society of Sarasota Coun ty. Conversations at The Crocker events highlight specic aspects Charles Ringling/Con tributed of Sarasotas past and examine pivotal events and people who have inuenced Sarasota to day, the release notes. Proceeds from this panel discussion series help to maintain the Historical Societys two heritage properties at Pioneer Park the Bidwell-Wood House (1882, Sarasotas oldest private residence) and the Crocker Me morial Church (1901). Docent-led tours of both buildings are avail able an hour before each of the Conversations at The Crocker events. For additional information, con tact Linda Garcia at 364-9076 or visit www.HSOSC.com The report says Smith walked to a white Mer cury sedan he had parked in a lot at 1926 Golf Drive. He was taken into custody after dep uties watched him start to exit the lot onto Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota, the report adds. In all, this is Smiths 50th ar rest in Sarasota County for a variety of crimes, including False Imprisonment, Battery and the Sale and Possession of Rock Cocaine, the Sher iffs Ofce reported. Half of those arrests were for Viola tion of Probation and Con tempt of Court, a news re lease notes. On Dec. 4, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce arrested Lashay Alexander Smith, 45, of 2441 Central Ave., Sarasota, for driving with a sus pended or revoked license for the sixth time. Smith appeared before a judge the same day on con tempt charges for Driving With a Suspended License and was admonished not to drive, according to a Sher iffs Ofce report. Plainclothes deputies were conducting an operation at the courthouse, the report says, watching defendants with suspended licenses af ter they left the courtroom. Lashay Smith/Contributed HABITUAL OFFENDER ARRESTED AS HE DRIVES AWAY FROM COURT
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 58 Fitch said the countys healthy nancial po sition is a result of conservative budgeting practices, strong management and econom ic recovery efforts, the release adds. These characteristics, including sizable reserves and a low debt burden, are part of the rationale behind the AAA for the implied general obli gation debt rating, the release says. Additionally, Fitch reafrmed the AA+ rating on Sarasota Countys communications services tax, infrastructure surtax (1-cent sales tax) and 5-cent local fuel tax bonds. The stormwa ter utility revenue bonds AArating also was reafrmed, the news release points out. Fitch Ratings a national bond rating agency, has reafrmed Sarasota Countys AAA implied general obligation debt rating, the county has announced. The AAA rating reects the countys excel lent credit prole and healthy nancial posi tion, a news release points out. This rating is a testament to the commitment and focus weve maintained for several years on sound operating and nancial principles, said Chief Financial Ofcer Steve Botelho in the news release. SARASOTA COUNTY BOND RATINGS REAFFIRMED The Patterson Foundation and the U.S. De partment of Veterans Affairs National Cem etery Administration broke ground Dec. 3 on Patriot Plaza, a ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. The project, which is estimated to cost $8 mil lion, is fully funded by The Patterson Foun dation; it represents the rst time a private philanthropic entity has partnered with the National Cemetery Administration on a cere monial enhancement of this scope to a nation al cemetery, a news release points out. Patriot Plaza will feature a combination of shade, seats and commissioned art that will honor veterans, inspire patriotism in the com FOUNDATION BREAKS GROUND ON CEMETERYS PATRIOT PLAZA munity and embrace freedom, the release says. The name, Patriot Plaza, reects the courage, dedication and values of those who served in our nations armed forces, said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Founda tion, in the release. The plaza is intended to honor the service of veterans and our partner ship with the National Cemetery Administra tion will serve as a model for other communi ties with national cemeteries. The Patterson Foundation will endow a fund for the maintenance of the plaza. Construction is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014, the release notes % Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night
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OPINION EDITORIAL Florida often is said to resemble a block of Swiss cheese, resting on a bed of ancient lime stone shot through with sinkholes, spring ba sins and subterranean caves and caverns. Over eons, rain falling on the surface perco lated through the limestone bedrock, ltered until it was absolutely pure. It is no wonder early Spanish explorers were said to have been convinced the fountain of youth could be found among these pristine waters. As population and development increased dra matically over the past 100 years especial ly the last 50 these unspoiled waters have become the unfortunate victim of progress. Nutrient loading from agricultural and resi dential lawn fertilizer runoff, livestock waste, leaking septic tanks and improperly treated sewage has produced a dramatic increase in WITH NEW EPA RULES COMES HOPE FOR FLORIDAS WATERWAYS algal blooms and other signs of pollution in our once-pure waters. Documentaries such as Florida Springs The Unexplored Florida have detailed explo ration of the states labyrinthine subterranean caves and caverns. The lmmakers revealed the bones of mastodons and other ancient creatures in waters that were untouched by humans over the millennia. Sadly, the re searchers also found evidence the waters were changing, that even in the deep recesses of these springs, pollution could be found. In recent years, the U.S. Environmental Pro tection Agency has sought to have Floridas regulatory agencies do more to protect both surface and subterranean waters. As has been the case in so many other cases of developers versus the environment, the state has dragge d
its feet. Finally, the EPAs continued tolerance for this was more than the environmental community could bear. Several organizations, including the Sierra Club, sued the EPA in federal court four years ago to force it to better protect the waterways in Florida. In a negotiated settlement, the EPA promised the court it would demand stricter oversight by Floridas environmental regula tors or take over the job at the federal lev el. Now that time has arrived. This week the EPA released pro posed nutrient guide lines for the states roughly 100,000 miles of waterways, emphasizing the states own pro posed regulations were adequate to protect not more than about 15 percent of those wa ters. The rest would be governed by federal rules enforced by the EPA. Predictably, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scott and the business and development commu nities was one of outrage. In their best Louis Renault impersonation, they were collectively Shocked! Shocked! that the state was not an adequate custodian of Floridas waterways. They made dark predictions of economic col lapse and industrial ight if the EPA was al lowed to foist its oversight on the state. The people of Florida, however, should have none of it. This is our proverbial backyard that has become a dumping ground. All of us can suffer the ill effects of exposure to toxic substances in our drinking water. It is our off spring who will have to bear the burdens of congenital defects and disease as a proximal result of the states laxity. We, the people of the state, should welcome the EPAs rules with a collective sigh of relief and hope the damages of the last few decades can be reversed. The EPA has left open the door for state regu lators to play a greater role in protecting Flor idas waterways. Rath er than opposing the new rules, the state should embrace them and commit to improving its stewardship of a treasure that belongs to its employer the people of Florida. % The people of the state should embrace the EPAs rules with a collective sigh of relief, and hope that the damages of the last few decades might now be reversed. 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 December 7, 2012 Page 62 The Protestant world was not different. En gland and her colonies in the New World re fused to adopt the superior Gregorian calen dar when it was introduced in 1582, believing it to be a Papist plot. They stuck with the less accurate Julian calendar until 1752. The role, controversial at times, played by reli gion in politics was no stranger to the Found ing Fathers. All believed Christianity to be the best religion, now and forever, and adherence to it was desirable in order to maintain public morality as the primary social pillar on which good governance rested. They also believed in religious tolerance and the separation of church and state. Beyond that, however, their individual views on the subject diverged mark edly from mainstream theology. Small won der: They were revolutionaries. The Religious Left? George Washington was vague about his reli gious beliefs. Thomas Jefferson was not. He refused inclusion in any Christian denomina tion. Writing in 1819, he penned, I am in a sect by myself, as far as I know. Jefferson disbelieved the Trinity, denied the Immaculate Conception, doubted Christs divinity and was skeptical of miracles. COMMENTARY Over the past several weeks, political pundits have autopsied the results of the Nov. 6 national elections and published their ndings. Some ndings perpetuate the myth that the failure of the GOP to win the White House was principally due to its surren der to the so-called Religious Right, an amor phous group thought by detractors to be an ti-scientic (Creationist) and misogynic, among other things. Religion today exercises little inuence over Western politics because church and state are rmly independent of one another. This was not always the case, of course. Until the late 18th century, church and state were closely allied. Religion was never the willing handmaiden of science. Early Christian cartographers duti fully drew maps depicting Jerusalem at the center of the world because God Himself had placed it there: Thus saith the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem that I have set in the midst of nations and countries that are round about her (Ezekiel 5:5). Later, and under the Inquisitions threat of tor ture and life imprisonment, Galileo recanted his heresy of a heliocentric universe. TAKE A LOOK AT RELIGIOUS POLITICS: LEFT AND RIGHT, PAST AND PRESENT By David Staats Contributing Writer
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 63 J effersons extreme heterodox beliefs caused the New England Palladium to write in 1800, Should the indel Jefferson be elected to the Presidency, the seal of death is that moment set on our holy religion, our churches will be prostrated, and some infamous prostitute, under the title of goddess of reason, will pre side in the sanctuaries now devoted to the worship of the most High. Still, Jefferson was twice elected president. Religion and the Republic survived together harmoniously, thanks to Jeffersons having built into the First Amendment a wall of sep aration between church and State, as he ex plained in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Bap tist Association. John Adams was a Congregationalist who sought to rationalize Christian teachings with common sense and observable nature. Ben jamin Franklins religious progression was perhaps the most extensive of all those of the Founding Fathers. He was a sinner turned prodigal. Franklins core belief is perhaps best expressed by the last of his 13 Virtues (1726): Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Todays Religious Right is said by some to promote a vision of society that exemplies the best of American values and traditions: love of God and reverence for life. Others, including former Sarasota Democratic con gressional candidate Keith Fitzgerald, have claimed that it wages war on women. Intelligent Americans know that the war on women is being fought elsewhere. In Afghan istan after more than a decade of U.S.-led nation building costing billions of dollars family planning services are still outlawed. Sex outside marriage is punished by behead ing. An adulteress and her lover will die by public stoning An Afghan victim of rape later may also be come the victim of honor killing, a form of ritual murder committed by her close male relatives to expunge the familys shame of having a rape victim living under their roof. Afghan women also face severe punishments for lesser crimes, such as deserting an abu sive husband. In such cases, suicide is often a womans only exit from the marriage since access to divorce is most often denied her. That is the real war on women. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, American voters are sometimes gullible but not stu pid. The GOP lost the White House in 2012 because too few voters supported its candi date and the entire spectrum of policies and positions he championed. The serious issues contested included reform of the tax code, the federal budget, the national debt, immigration, healthcare, Social Security, Iran, etc. Pinning the blame for the loss primarily on the GOPs presumed surrender to the Religious Right demands an enormous leap of faith. %
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 64 NEWS FROM THE FRONT: COMMUNITY DATA By Allison Pinto and Tim Dutton Guest Columnists GUEST COLUMN T here are times when it is especially helpful to reconnect with a broader network of thought leaders to see beyond the horizon on issues we are focusing on here in our home community. Such was the case this month when we par ticipated in the 2012 Summit of the Commu nity Indicators Consortium, an international conference held at the University of Maryland. We presented local efforts and also listened to a diverse group of colleagues who are at the forefront of what is now being referred to as the data revolution. This article is a way of looping back with our home community a sharing of informa tion from the frontlines. Here are some of the messages we found most compelling: Focus on change It is not sufcient to focus on increasing community awareness of the value of data or on making data available. This is time for everybody to use data on a regular basis to bring about change. Becom ing a robustly data-informed community is possible, but it requires an active commit ment to use local data each time we face decisions. As Michael McAfee (director of the PolicyLink Promise Neighborhoods Ini tiative) said, We make the aspiration real when we begin to do the work. In Sarasota County, we are not there yet. It is time to start using community data. Challenge the status quo Are we using data in creative and provocative ways for the sake of positive community change? As Bryan Sivak (chief technology ofcer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) said, Innovation means chal lenging the status quo wherever it exists. This means addressing power dynamics, both locally and beyond. It means experts acknowledging the tyranny of experts. It means spotting and rallying around posi tive deviance. It means focusing on issues of equity and equality. Who here is ready and willing to challenge the status quo? Generate data for neighborhoods The amount and variety of data we generate as a society have increased profoundly in recent years. As Robert Groves (former director of the U.S. Census Bureau) said, We have a data ecosystem now. These data offer tremendous potential for gener ating knowledge and informing decisions; however, there still is not much available at the neighborhood level. Within-city or with in-county data are still typically organized by the boundary systems of policymakers
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 65 and other professionals for example, by census tract or block group, zip code, precinct or attendance zone. Recognizing citizens as the primary change agents of our community means organizing data by resident-dened neighborhoods and en suring the data are exible enough to be re-organized as residents continue to clar ify and redene boundaries. Over the past two decades, the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership has been advancing neighborhood data efforts in dozens of cit ies across the U.S. Here in Sarasota County, such efforts started over a decade ago. They have grown signicantly over the past two years, but we still have a long way to go. Keep inventing To become a community that continuously improves through the use of data, we will need to create new ap proaches to data. As Lisbeth Schorr (senior fellow, Center for the Study of Social Poli cy) said, Breakthrough impacts depend on making [established practices] the start of our knowledge base, not the nal destina tion. There is still much room for invention when it comes to community data, especial ly with regard to organizing data and data processes around the actions and perspec tives of residents. Focusing on change, challenging the status quo, generating data for neighborhoods and inventing new approaches we experience these messages as more than challenges. We see them as imperatives for community well-being. Over the past year, it became ev ident to us that the time has come for a new organization committed to keeping these im peratives central to its mission hence the establishment of the Sarasota Community Stu dio. The messages are just as relevant to other resident groups and organizations grappling with the ever-changing nature of community. One network through which this community can grapple together locally is the Commu nity Data Collaborative. This Collaborative is not a project of any particular organization; instead, it comprises individuals from diverse associations and institutions throughout the county. Formed in 2011, it works to clarify communi ty indicators, develop community data sets, establish a resident-centric online data plat form and promote the use of community data throughout Sarasota County. Everyone who recognizes the power of residents to effect community change is encouraged to get in volved especially neighborhood groups. Materials generated by the Collaborative and partner organizations are available online at SCcommunitydatacollaborative.weebly.com The resounding message of the 2012 CIC Sum mit was this: The data revolution is upon us. How do we choose to be a part of it? Editors note: Allison Pinto and Tim Dutton are co-executive directors of Sarasota Community Studio and founding members of the Commu nity Data Collaborative of Sarasota County %
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 66 On Thursday, Nov. 29, my husband and I were walking on the beautiful bayfront sidewalk from Selby Gardens to Bayfront Park. We were enjoying the sunny sparkle on the water, the breezes and brilliant blue sky. A bearded man, in disarray, sped by us on his bike without warning, barely missing us and scowling. In a loud voice, he spat out at us, Stupid people! He rode on, scowling back at us and mumbling something angrily. He had bags of possessions in his basket; he looked dirty; and one would assume, he was living on the street. His anger was palpable, and scary. We stopped on the spot, watching him ride on. I was mad and felt insulted. My rst instinct was to shout back, Use your bell! or We have a right to walk here! I didnt say a thing. We kept walking toward Marina Jack. Five minutes later, we were enjoying looking at the boats laying at anchor and the dinghies, having fun identifying the different types of mangroves and looking out to Bird Key and behind us to the tall condos facing the water. I had just nished telling my husband, How lucky we are to be living here. This is such a beautiful spot. We should do this more often, when before us, blocking the entire sidewalk with their bags, shopping bags and clothing were two shirtless men, their possession-lad en bikes leaning against the bench. One man, walking to the bench from the tiki bar, had dumped out a huge trash bag full of empty crushed beer cans and was shouting at the other to get off his f ...... a .. and help him count them. These men were also rude, loud and smelly, and they glared at us as we walked by. They staked out their claim on the bench and were going to live there all day long. Their looks said, This is our sidewalk. Dont come here. I turned to my husband and said, Lets go home. This is ruined for me now. I smiled at the man counting the beer cans as I turned around. Ironically, your editorial Friday, Nov. 30, de scribed Sarasotas chronic problem of home lessness as a tug of war with a hardening of positions on both sides. You describe a gen tried downtown angry at vagrants and civ il rights leaders angry at public treatment of vagrants. I am not gentried, nor am I a merchant. Yesterday, my rights as a citizen of Sarasota were infringed upon by uncivil behavior toward me in a public place that I pay taxes to have access to. I could have kept walking to the park, but I had seen ahead of LETTERS TO THE EDITOR THE HOMELESS DO NOT DESERVE A PASS ON UNCIVIL BEHAVIOR
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 67 me more homeless men sitting on the benches and walking on the point. I chose to not put myself there anymore. It was not worth it. Arguing with these people or insulting them or glaring back would have done nothing except anger them and would have demeaned me and them as human be ings. I denied myself and my husband a nature walk in Sarasotas most beautiful city bay front area because I didnt feel safe or happy. I also didnt have the tools to x the scenarios I found myself in. These guys were not look ing for a handout. They just didnt want us in their space. The dialogue in this tug of war must address the rights of all citizens to have access to pub lic areas with civil dress and behavior and a sharing of the beauty that is Sarasota. The bayfront is a magnicent space. Governments can enforce dress codes but cannot force civil behavior. Each of us is responsible for our actions to ward others, whether we are homeless or not. Nancy R. Wilson Siesta Key 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
Featuring Sarasota Leisure Inside WHAT I DID FOR LIFE ASK OTUS WARM WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAYS SARASOTA LEISURE
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
On Sunday, July 24, 2011, I went to the Chau tauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, for a week to give a talk titled, The Second Wave of the Womens Movement: Where Its Been, Where Its At to the Road Scholar (former ly Elderhostel) attendees at the historic Ath enaeum Hotel (where I was staying) and to attend a weeks programs on womens rights issues around the world. (I am a founder of the National Organization for Women NOW and a feminist activ ist and frequently write and speak about the womens movement.) I had an exhilarating week; and on Friday, July 29, the day before I was to y home to Sara sota, I left my hotel to walk the few blocks to the Hall of Philosophy to hear what appeared to be a most interesting panel discussion. I had just walked a few feet and was standing at Chautauquas 5,000-seat amphitheater when suddenly I could not catch my breath and my legs would not move. I raised my hands and cupped them to bring air into my mouth and lungs, but that did not work. I looked down at my legs to see why they would not move but saw nothing different. (Friends subsequently asked me why I did not call 911 when this started happening, since I had a cell phone. I am sorry to admit that it never occurred to me, perhaps because I did Sarasota Memorial Hospital exercise physiologist Seth Stinson (in scrubs) works with Marilyn Bowker and Peter Farrell as part of the hospitals Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Photo courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital A HEART-HEALTHY DIET IS EASIER TO ADHERE TO THAN IT MAY SEEM, ESPECIALLY WITH PLENTY OF GROCERY AND RESTAURANT CHOICES IN SARASOTA WHAT I DID FOR LIFE Sonia Fuentes/Photo by Arielle Scherr By Sonia Fuentes Contributing Writer
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 71 not realize the seriousness of what was hap pening.) Somehow, I was able to turn around and re turn to my room at the hotel. I realized I had three options: I could lie down and rest. I could begin packing for my trip home the next day. I could try to get a ride to the hall and at tend the panel discussion. Naturally, I chose the third option. I asked one of the hotels bellmen if he could give me a ride to the hall in one of the hotels golf carts since I was not physically up to walking. He said he was not supposed to, but (perhaps moved by my woeful state) said he would. After he drove me to the Hall of Philosophy, I found a seat and thoroughly enjoyed the 1-hour panel discussion. But, when it was over and I got up to return to my hotel, I again could not breathe and I could not walk. By holding on to the tops of the seats, I somehow made my way out of the hall. However, as I started to walk back to the hotel, I realized I could not do so. I looked for a bench or a stoop on which to sit down, and found a bench. I sat down and thought: If there were only some way in which I could get to the hotel and reach Laurie Paterniti, the director of the Road Scholar program, or Kay Hutton, her assistant, they would help me But I was blocks away from the hotel and throngs of people were marching in front of me, leaving the Hall of Philosophy. I looked up and there, in the midst of all those people, I saw Kay. Kay, I called to her. I need help. She came right over and I told her what had happened. She told me the Chautauqua Institu tion had a medical clinic only steps away. She wanted to run to it for help before it closed for the afternoon and asked me if I would be OK while she did so. I said I would. Kay was back in a few minutes and said an ambulance was on the way. The ambulance came in short order, and Kay and I got inside. As soon as I was seated, the technician placed an oxygen mask over my face. Immediately, I felt bet ter and that shortness of breath and inability to walk never returned. The ambu lance took me to a near by hospital, where the staff mem bers gave me sever al tests but Jill Edwards checks on Peter Morrison as he uses the treadmill. Photo courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 72 said they were not equipped to deal with my condition. They suggested I go to a second hospital, and Kay strongly recommended the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, PA, which I lat er learned was one of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. By this time, Kay had been with me for 2 hours and I insisted she go home for dinner; I told her I would be ne. Reluctantly, she left, and a second ambulance took me to Hamot. I arrived there at 6:30 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. Dr. Richard Petrella, a world-class cardiolo gist, was in my room. I asked him whether I could go home to Sarasota the next day as I had planned. Petrella said I could not do that: I had been diagnosed with acute coronary syn drome, but I had not had a heart attack. However, the next morning when he came to my room again, Petrella said that if I wanted to, I could return to Sarasota that day. I do not know what changed his mind; perhaps he had seen some positive test results. He went on to say that I could also stay and he would run some tests on me beginning Monday, Aug. 1. The choice was up to me. I did not know what to do. I was 83 years old; my clothes, computer and everything I had packed for a weeks stay in Chautauqua were in Chautauqua; I was in Erie, PA, where I knew no one; and I had commitments back home in Sarasota. I had had a cardiologist in Sarasota since I had been diagnosed with a mild heart murmur, so I telephoned her. She said, Sonia, you look decades younger than you are, and Ive been treating you that way. I havent given you lots of tests. Stay at Hamot and have the tests. Kay kindly offered to pack my things and ship them to Sarasota, and Petrella said he would perform a catheterization on me on Aug. 1. On Monday morning, I awoke with strong feel ings of guilt. I had felt absolutely ne since the oxygen mask had been placed on my face in the rst ambulance. I had Kay packing and shipping my things, I had others set to handle my commitments at home and I was about to have a catheterization all for nothing. I shared my thoughts with Petrella, who paid no attention to me. After the procedure, Petrella told me the cath eterization had revealed two blockages in the arteries of my heart and he was glad he had also done an ultrasound, which showed two more blockages where he had not expected them. He had implanted four stents in three arteries of my heart that were 75 percent to 85 percent blocked. Petrella put me on daily doses of a blood thin ner, which he said he wanted me to stay on for the rest of my life (as it keeps the stents open), as well as a statin (to keep my choles terol level down) and on baby aspirin. I had already been on blood pressure medication for several years. (Subsequently, I had to stop taking the statin because it caused muscle pain, as well as the blood pressure medication. Fortunately, my blood pressure and cholesterol level stabilized without them.) Ordinarily, I would have been able to go home the next day, but I had a reaction to the anes thesia. Because of that and the difculties of making travel arrangements from my hospital bed, I was not able to leave until two days later.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 73 Before I left Hamot, I asked Petrella wheth er I could go on a long-planned 10-day tour of Germany and Belgium one month after the implantation of the stents. He said, On one condition. When I asked him what that was, he said, You must send me a postcard from Berlin. On Sept. 4, I left for my trip. REHAB On my return, when I was casually looking at my discharge instructions for the rst time, I saw I was supposed to take a cardiac rehab course. Petrellas nurse conrmed this when I called. No one at Hamot had mentioned this to me. I then signed up for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System at 5880 Rand Boulevard (off Clark Road). The program is designed to help those who have experienced a cardiac event return to the highest level of functioning possible. It consists of 36 one-hour sessions, which one can attend either two or three times a week. The program includes individualized exercis es (with monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate and heart rhythms) and lifestyle educa tion lectures designed to keep participants informed of important strategies to protect heart health. I am covered by Medicare and a secondary insurer; Medicare picked up 80 percent of the cost, and my secondary insurer picked up the remainder. One of those lectures, by Jill Edwards, a clin ical exercise physiologist with a masters de gree in science, was about nutrition and it changed my life. (From left): Exercise physiologist Meredith Cleveland (left) talks with Marilyn Bowker as Bowker and Peter Farrell work on bikes. Exercise physiologist Seth Stinson keeps an eye on Jill Edwards (in blue scrubs at the top of the photo) as she works with patients. Photo courtesy Sarasota Memori al Hospital
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 74 I did not think I would have much to learn at the lecture because I felt I was pretty savvy about the subject already. I was 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 124 pounds, a little overweight but nothing horrendous. I had been educating myself for years on healthful eating: I watched calories, cholesterol, fat and salt and had eschewed red meat for years, eat ing chicken and sh instead. At the Hamot Medical Center, Petrella had given me a pamphlet titled, Low Cholesterol or Low Animal Fat, Low Sodium Diet, dated January 2006, which was pretty much what I had been eating all along. In fact, I had won dered why I had had the blockages in my ar teries since I had paid such close attention to my diet. At her lecture, Jill distributed a seven-page handout she had prepared. The principal points in her lecture and the handout follow: 1. Eighty percent of our diet has to consist of vegetables, fruit, legumes and nuts. 2. Dairy products and processed foods are to be avoided. (It took me considerable time thereafter to determine what processed foods were. The denition can vary slight ly, but the term usually refers to foods that are packaged in boxes, cans or bags. These foods include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, ham and packaged luncheon meat, including low-fat deli meat.) 3. Whole grain bread, cereals and other prod ucts are recommended. 4. One does not need to eat foods from ani mals to get enough protein. 5. Oils, including olive oil, are to be limited. 6. Ones intake of added sugar, sugar substi tutes and salt are to be limited. (Conven tional wisdom has always been that one should avoid salt except when it is need ed after physical activity. A June 2012 New York Times article however, stated that evi dence supporting this advice is very weak.) 7. The handout recommended several books and websites. Among the books were Dr. Joel Fuhrmans Eat to Live and Dr. Cald well Esselstyns Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. ( You can read about Esselstyn .) Among the websites was www.pcrm.org In addition, a friend recommended a superb DVD on the subject, Forks Over Knives I came away from Jills lecture totally bewil dered and with endless questions buzzing in my brain. How could I give up so many foods I enjoyed? Since I rarely cook, what grocery stores could I shop at that would have such foods already prepared? Since I frequently eat out, what restaurants could I go to? No dairy foods? What would I do for milk? I learned that Jills lecture and handout were only the beginning of an educational project on which I needed to embark. I concluded that the project was worth the time, effort, and money it would entail because I wanted to keep on living The questions I had just kept coming, but I wrote them down and asked Jill if she could meet with me one-on-one to an swer them. She agreed, and we met on three occasions for about 45 minutes each. NEW DIETARY HABITS I learned a great many things for example, to seek out organic foods. I learned that many
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 75 kinds of non-dairy milks are in the supermar ket and that local gourmet grocery stores car ry a good many prepared vegetarian items. I learned balsamic vinegar and olive oil make a good salad dressing. I also learned to avoid processed egg substi tutes and to eat whole eggs instead. Additionally, I learned it was all right to go off my diet at the occasional reception and cocktail party as long as I went right back on afterwards. I found a good many local restaurants have vegetarian and vegan options When I am going to a function given by an organization at a local restaurant or country club, I request a vegetarian meal and fresh fruit cup for dessert in advance. As a vegetarian, I am in good company. Pres ident Clinton, who had quadruple bypass sur gery and the implantation of two stents, now considers himself a vegan. Vegetarians and vegans, however, are still a tiny proportion of the U.S. population. The lat est update on vegetarianism is contained in a Gallup poll of July 2012 Jill told me to stop worrying about calories and fat and to focus instead on eating proper ly. She turned out to be right. In short order, I lost about seven pounds and have kept them off, and my cholesterol dropped from 201 to 174. Jills handout included the following quote from Hippocrates, the iconic Greek philos opher who was born around 460 B.C., died around 370 B.C., and is considered to have been the first physician in human history: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. It was true then and it is true today. % Jill Edwards works with Peter Morrison (left) and Robert Lew. Photo courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital
ASK OTUS Dear Otus, I enjoyed your article on wild turkeys espe cially the part about Siesta Key not having any. We cant wait to get back down there in January. Yesterday, I shot this photo of a ock in our yard. They get bigger and bolder each year. Drives the neighborhood dogs crazy. And the grass seeds we all put down for the lawns are gobbled up in minutes. The Boston Globe recently reported on a woman in Newton who has a ock of nui sance turkeys roosting in the trees around her house. They poop all over her car, house and garden. At night she goes out with tennis racquet and balls and smashes the balls into the trees in an attempt to drive them off. Thus far, the turkeys have refused to budge. Tom Plymouth, MA Dear Tom, Thank you for the great photo and stories! They truly illustrate the problems wild tur keys are creating up North. Wishing you a safe trip down to Siesta Key, and dont for get to pack a few turkey sandwiches for the ight. No wild turkeys here, so you need not pack your tennis racquet, but do bring your golf clubs in case you run across one of our keys tegus! Otus NO WILD TURKEYS ON SIESTA, BUT THE BUTTERFLIES ARE PLENTIFUL AND PARTICULARLY PRETTY AT SEVERAL SITES IN SARASOTA These wild turkeys have become bolder about making themselves at home in the yard of a Massachu setts reader. Photo courtesy Tom in Plymouth, MA.
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 77 A White Peacock/File photo Dear Otus, My granddaughter is coming here for the Christmas holidays. She is 8 years old and lives with my son in Sutton Place, NYC. She wants to see butteries. Where do I take her around here and what can I promise her that shell see there? Thank you. Sandy Longboat Key Dear Sandy, How lovely! I am recommending four places specically created as buttery gardens that not only will your granddaughter enjoy but you will, too. The Secret Garden at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, with paid admission to the museum. The small but exquisite Catherine and Rich ard LaBrie Buttery Garden at the Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, south of the Ringling Museum and on the same road as The GWIZ Museum. Free ad mission. The Buttery Garden at the Marie Selby Bo tanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., with paid admission to the Gardens. The Buttery Garden at Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Trail (Osprey), with paid admission. What butteries will you see in those loca tions? Who knows? I am including this week photos of commonly seen butteries at all four gardens. Do keep in mind that butteries do not like to utter about until the temperature is close to 75 de grees. The early bird may get the worm and an early riser may be healthy, wealthy and wise; but if you want to catch a buttery, sleep in and plan on a warm late morning or early af ternoon visit! Otus
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 78 A Monarch Buttery/File photo
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 79 A Giant Swallowtail/File Photo
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 80 The Gulf Fritillary/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.
With balmy temperatures underscoring a trop ical holiday atmosphere, oats, marching band units, circus acts, the Orioles Bird, city and county ofcials and even Big Cat Habitats reign ing cats combined for a creative Holiday Parade on Sarasotas Main Street Saturday, Dec. 1. Crowd members from wee tots to wise elders welcomed the variety and creativity that went into producing the annual event. All photos by Norman Schimmel. % SARASOTAS HOLIDAY PARADE 2012 TAKES TO THE STREETS ON DEC. 1 WARM WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAYS Staff Reports Santa Claus waves to the crowd.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 82 People line Main Street, waiting for the parade to get under way. The Garbage Men band performs in front of Toy Lab on Main Street as part of the festivities Satur day night, Dec. 1.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 83 Here Comes Santa Claus
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 84 Snow falls on the Mighty Sailor Band of Sarasota High School. Who says you need a real train?
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 85 Circus Sarasota and Sailor Circus performers team up to delight the crowd.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 86 Sarasota Police Department motorcyclists show off their skills on Main Street. Members of the Sarasota Military Academys Music Battalion march along the parade route.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 87 Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell waves to the crowd. The U.S. Marine Corps reminds everyone to think of Toys for Tots for disadvantaged children.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 88 Balloons that Bloom presents its own special crew of holiday revelers.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 89 The Sahib Shrine Temples Hillbilly Clan takes its place amid the oats and other entries of the parade. Students from the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences ride a boat oat.
Sarasota News Leader December 30, 2012 Page 90 The Sarasota County Fire Department color guard makes its way down the street.
Many moviegoers are aware of the action and drama portrayed in the 2002 cinematic release of Catch Me If You Can However, at 8 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, audience members will see that the movie merely hinted at the extravagant life Frank Abagnale Jr. was able to live as a result of his incredible ability to con his way into and out of just about any situation. His talents enabled him to become quite the ladies man and to experience the illustrious lifestyles associated with portraying, falsely, a doctor, pilot, lawyer and a number of oth er professions, a Van Wezel news release notes. Building upon this aspect of his crimi nal career, the Catch Me If You Can musical brandishes the excitement and glamour he ex perienced over his ve years on the lam, the release adds. The production is a family-friendly show, though, with plenty of laughs and a catchy tune, the release notes. Tickets are priced from $30 to $80. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit www.VanWezel.org The Van Wezel is located at 777 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Catch the stage version of Catch Me If You Can on Dec. 7 at the Van Wezel. Contributed photo CATCH ME IF YOU CAN CAN CAPTIVATE STAGE AUDIENCES, TOO ARTS BRIEFS
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 92 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman has announced that the Hermitage Artist Retreat is one of 832 nonprot organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works Grant. The Hermitage has been recommended for a $15,000 grant to support its artist residencies, a news release says. This is our fourth consecutive year to re ceive NEA funding and the fourth year since artist communities have been given [their] own funding category through the NEA, said Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, in the news release. We still com pete for the same Arts Works money as all arts organizations, but being recognized as an arts category reinforces the vital role art ist communities play in our national cultural landscape. We are honored to be chosen as a recipient of this important national funding. Landesman reinforced the importance of the Hermitages selection for one of the highly competitive awards: These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences and exemplary education programs. In March, the NEA received 1,509 eligible ap plications for Art Works, requesting more than $74 million in funding, the release adds. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $23.3 mil lion, span 13 artistic disciplines and elds and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benet of American audiences, the news release points out. Artist Michael Eade is inspired by the setting of the Hermitage. Contributed photo HERMITAGE RECEIVES NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS GRANT
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 93 Applications were reviewed by panels of out side experts convened by NEA staff, and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit, the release notes. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov The Hermitage is a not-for-prot artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Engle wood. It brings accomplished painters, sculp tors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for extended stays on its 8.5-acre campus. Each artist is asked to contribute two services to the community during his or her residency. For more information, call 475-2098 or visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org Artist Bradley Castellano works on a painting. Contributed photo Composer Missy Mazzoli works on a piece during her residency at the Hermitage. Contributed photo
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 94 Known for inspiring and transforming at-risk students from Sarasota County Title I schools, The Sarasota Ballets educational program, Dance The Next Generation (DNG), is mak ing some internal transformations of its own, the ballet company has announced. Having moved to a larger rehearsal space ear lier this month, this one-of-a-kind program funded by community donors and foundations and free of charge for the students will have room to stretch out and extend its impact to more local children, a news release says. Previously housed inside the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, the program had long outgrown the cramped and crowded quarters that it shared with The Sarasota Ballet Compa ny and School, the release points out. The new space, a 6,000-square-foot building located at 500 Tallevast Road in Sarasota, will feature three large dance studios along with multiple classrooms and administration ofces. Thanks in large part to Mark Famiglio, a board member of The Sarasota Ballet who is making the space available, this exceptional program will now comfortably accommodate the 116 students who participate, the release adds. This program helps students realize their full potential both in the world of dance and in ed ucation. Having the additional room will allow us to support the kids in the program more effectively, said Lisa Townsend, director of DNG. In conjunction with that additional legroom, DNG which traditionally has catered to stu dents in grades three through nine, will be of Dance The Next Generation students work at the barre. Contributed photo SARASOTA BALLET DANCE PROGRAM EXPANDS SPACE, OFFERINGS
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 95 fered all the way through high school gradu ation. The extended curriculum, made possible through a multi-year donation from a pri vate contributor, will help Sarasota Ballet bring DNG closer to its long-term goal of being honored with the Coming Up Tall er Award once again, the release notes. Now known as the Nation al Arts and Human ities Youth Program Awards, this honor recognizes exemplary arts and humanities programs that foster young peoples intel lectual and creative de velopment, the release says. Having accepted the award once before, DNGs administration has since made thoughtful strides in order to be eligible again, the release notes. The generosity of in dividuals and of our foundations has just been outstanding, said Iain Webb, di rector of The Saraso ta Ballet. It has pro pelled us to the level we are at today and will allow us to aug ment the program and support the children of Sarasota County for years to come. Were so thankful. Dance The Next Generation program par ticipants practice the rst position. Contrib uted photo The Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores Neigh borhood Association has announced it will sponsor the Sun Circle Art Show in Sapphire Shores Park on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The show will feature works of local artists, craftspeople, musicians and writers and will include a silent auction. Any Indian Beach Sapphire Shores resident, any student or fac ulty member of Ringling College and any stu dent or faculty member of New college who SUN CIRCLE ART SHOW TO HIGHLIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD TALENT wishes to participate should contact Jane Johnson at 351-1920 or suncirclefest@gmail. com by Dec. 15. Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores Association is a voluntary neighborhood organization whose members have worked together for more than 50 years to enhance the quality of life and Old Florida environment of their historic bayfront neighborhood, a news release notes. Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 96 New College of Florida professor Miriam Wal lace has co-edited a collection of essays titled, Re-Viewing Thomas Holcroft, 1745-1809: Es says on Thomas Holcrofts Works and Life published by Ashgate. The book focuses on Holcroft, the self-edu cated son of a cobbler who became a popular 18th-century playwright, inuential reformist novelist and controversial political radical, a New College news release says. Re-Viewing Thomas Holcroft is the rst es say collection devoted to Holcrofts life and literary work, the release points out. Wallace and her co-editor, A.A. Markley, have com piled essays that illustrate Holcrofts central role among Londons radical reformers and intelligentsia as well as his theatrical innova tions within ongoing explorations of the late 18th-century public sphere of letters and de bate, the release adds. Holcroft introduced melodrama to Britain and was known as the playwright who brought Beaumarchais Le Mariage de Figaro to the English stage as The Follies of a Day He was also a victim of the 1794 London Trea son Trials. Wallace is professor of English at New Col lege, where she teaches courses on the Brit ish novel and literary theory with a particular interest in feminist and gender theories. As a 2012 Lewis Walpole Library Fellow, she con ducted research in Yale Universitys Walpole library collection for her project, Illustrating Speech: Depicting Professional, Popular, and Illicit Speaking In 2002, she was awarded a National Endow ment for the Humanities College Teacher Fel lowship for her book, Revolutionary Subjects in the English Jacobin Novel, 1790-1805 The cover of New College professor Miriam Wallaces book on Thomas Holcroft. Contrib uted photo Miriam Wallace/Contributed NEW COLLEGE PROFESSOR PUBLISHES BOOK ON HOLCROFT
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 97 The Jazz Club of Sarasota will present re nowned jazz guitarist Nate Najar and the cel ebrated clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Pep lowski in concert, Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. Accompanying the duo will be John Lamb on bass and Steven Bucholtz on drums, a Jazz Club news release says. Najar is a composer and producer as well as a guitarist. Grounded in classical music, with a distinct afnity for jazz, Latin, blues and gospel, Najar considers himself a product of his many passions, including Antonio Carlos Jobims Bra zilian rhythms and the stylistic genius of guitar and pia no innovators Bar ney Kessel, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, the news release adds. He uses the acoustic guitar like a piano, eliciting rich and unique sounds that are the result of his ongoing mastery of the finger-style nylon string tech nique, the release notes. For more information, vis it www.natenajar. com One of the nations top clarinetists and a very talented tenor player, Peplowski has helped keep the tradition of small-group swing (and, occasionally, Dixieland) alive, the release points out. After spending two years in the late 1970s touring with the Tommy Dorsey ghost orchestra (directed by Buddy Morrow), Peplowski settled in New York, freelanced in a variety of settings and played with Benny Goodman, the release says. He has performed with such greats as Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, Madonna, Hank Jones, Dave Frishberg, Rosemary Clooney, James Moody, Houston Person, Steve Allen and Woody Allen, the release adds. In 2007, Peplowski was named jazz ad visor of Oregon Festival of Amer ican Music and music director of Jazz Party at The Shedd, both in Eugene, OR. Tickets are $30 at the door; $10 for students. For tickets or for more infor mation about the Jazz Club of Sarasota, call 366-1552 or visit www.jazzclubsa rasota.com Nate Najar/Contributed JAZZ ARTISTS NAJAR AND PEPLOWSKI TO PERFORM ON DEC. 14
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 98 Ken Peplowski/Contribued photo by Carol LoRicco
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 99 The Van Wezel Foundation has donated a new grand drape to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, the hall has announced. The $15,000 grand drape has been installed and is in use, a news release notes. Its rst show was Dave Koz & Friends in November. The drape itself, manufactured by Rose Brand, is composed of two panels, each 34 feet high and 40 feet wide, for a total width of 80 feet. The fabric of the drape is sewn from 25-ounce synthetic velour, which is considered a heavy weight suitable for professional theaters, a news release says. This type of fabric is inherently re retardant and will not need to be re-treated for re re sistance, the release adds. The curtain (including the chain in the bottom hem) weighs about 900 pounds; with its other hardware, the total weight is 1,020 pounds, the release notes. Because of the counterweight y system, it can be raised and lowered by one man. The previous grand drape had suffered from more than six years of usage in damaged con dition, the news release points out. % The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota has a new grand drape, thanks to its foundation. Contributed photo VAN WEZEL STAGE SPORTING A NEW GRAND DRAPE
Members of the community are warmly invit ed to a Hanukkah celebration as Temple Ema nu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, hosts the annual Hanukkah Happening on Friday evening, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. An exuberant and spirited evening for all ages, the Hanukkah Happening features a de licious dinner of homemade brisket and chick en with all the trimmings as well as the tradi tional latkes (fried potato pancakes); crafts and childrens activities; a menorah-making contest with prizes for all entrants; and a visit from Hanukkah hero Judah Maccabee, who will retell the story of Hanukkah and distrib ute dreidels and chocolate gelt, a Temple news release says. The annual Hanukkah Family Service, which includes candle-lighting, songs and a Hanuk kah play, will follow at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the Hanukkah Happening The cost is $25 per adult and $15 for children under 13. All proceeds benet ed ucational and scholarship programs at Temple Emanu-El Religious School. Checks made out to Temple Emanu-El Reli gious School and the names of attendees may be mailed to Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, FL 34232. For more informa tion, call 371-2788. Sam Silverberg will portray Judah Maccabee at Temple Emanu-Els Hanukkah Happening on Dec. 14. Contributed photo TEMPLE EMANU-EL TO HOST HANUKKAH HAPPENING RELIGION BRIEFS
Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 101 will be available at the BMO Harris Bank park ing garage on McAnsh Square between 3:30 and 9 p.m. For more information call the parish ofce at 955-4263 or visit www.redeemersarasota.org % Advent Lessons and Carols a festive celebra tion in preparation for the birth of Christ, will be offered at The Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota, on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 5:15 p.m. Lessons and Carols is a joyous, interactive recounting of history from the Fall of Man, through the prophets, to the Annunciation of the Saviors birth to Mary, a Redeemer news release says. The congregation will join in the reading of Scripture and the singing of wellloved Advent carols. The Canterbury, Westminster and Adult choirs will lead the congregation in song, under the direction of organist-choirmaster Ann Ste phenson-Moe. A light reception will follow in Gillespie Hall. Lessons and Carols is a free event, a gift to the community in the season of Advent, the news release adds. Complimentary parking The Church of the Redeemer is located in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel PUBLIC INVITED TO ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS Members of Congregation Kol HaNeshama recently delivered gifts to Jewish Family and Childrens Services in Sarasota for two families struggling to get back on their feet. (From left) Jan Alston of the JFCS thanks the K-H Social Action Committee members: Elle Pack, Leny Cohen and Judy Barde. Hanukkah will be celebrated Dec. 8-16. Contributed photo HANUKKAH COMES EARLY THIS YEAR
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: $12 at the door. For information, call 587-6588 or visit WSLR.org 07 DEC 1776 the Musical Through Dec. 22 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For ticket information, call 351-8000 or visit asolorep.org 07 DEC Annie Dec. 7-16 at The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For ticket information, call 365-2494 or visit theplayers.org 08 DEC 26th Annual Boat Parade of Lights Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m., with viewing from City Island, Centennial Park and Island Park. Free to the public. 09 DEC Book signing: Carolina Cositore Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m., Bookstore1, 1359 Main St., Sarasota. Admission free; purchase book for signing. Information: 365-7900 or bookstore1sarasota.com 14 DEC Ken Peplowski and Nate Najar Quartet Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Admission: $30; call 366-1552 for tickets. 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 SAILORS DELIGHT SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS