Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

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COVER Inside THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS THE NEED TO CATCH UP THE FIRST 100 DAYS Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida January 4, 2013




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. Member National Newspaper Association 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 Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Stan Zimmerman City Editor Norman Schimmel Staff Photographer David Staats Columnist Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer Scott Proftt Staff Writer Tyler Whitson Staff Writer TWhitson John Riley Editorial Cartoonist Vicki Chatley Copy Editor Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Robert S. Hackney General Manager Advertising Sales Trish Ivey Advertising Account Executive Trish Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


First, we want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! And this year is off to quite a busy start, I have to say. With numerous local government meetings on the calendar for next week, we offer you a preview of some of the big topics expected to be addressed from an appeal regarding the Walmart proposed for the Ringling Shopping Center to concerns about the status of a Sara sota County advisory board member who was arrested in December to public hearings on two variances related to construction on Siesta Keys beach. For Stan Zimmerman fans and everyone interested in getting better acquainted with new City Manager Tom Barwin Stan has written an in-depth piece reecting a 90-minute interview he conducted as Mr. Barwin prepared to mark his rst 100 days on the job. It is exactly the type of article we love to present in this digital for mat, because most publications in this day and age would eschew it simply on the basis of its length. Our columnists David Staats and Harriet Cuthbert this week also have provided very different but very thoughtful commentaries. David spent quite a bit of time himself talking with psychiatrists to try to understand what turned Adam Lanza into a mass murderer. On the lighter side, Harriet will entice you into wanting to work off those extra holiday pounds. In Sarasota Leisure, Tyler Whitson is sure to make any beer acionado start to salivate as he describes Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. It is an exciting tale of a business that seems poised to make a major national name for itself. And our dear feathered friend Otus tackles a subject I cannot ever recall seeing in the av erage newsweekly: Think of the birds and the bees, but focus on the birds. Otus begins a series you will not want to miss! Editor and Publisher WELCOME


COVER PHOTOS: Front Norman Schimmel; Sarasota Leisure Norman Schimmel THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS WHAT KIND OF PRECEDENT?NEWS & COMMENTARY THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS 12 No lobbying of city commissioners documented in advance of their Jan. 7 scheduled vote on whether to hear an appeal of the Walmart decision Stan Zimmerman THE NEED TO CATCH UP 16 Sarasota County Commission expected next month to address ways to accelerate its schedule for resurfacing roads in poor condition Rachel Brown Hackney THE FIRST 100 DAYS 20 Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin reects on his rst months on the job Stan Zimmerman WHAT KIND OF PRECEDENT? 31 Protests are mounting as the County Commission prepares to vote next week on whether to allow construction on Siesta Key beyond the Gulf Beach Setback Line Rachel Brown Hackney HOW TO PROCEED 36 Commissioner grapples with Waechters role on county boards Cooper Levey-Baker FALLING FURTHER BEHIND 38 County impact fee tabulation mistake leads to staff members resignation, concerns about Florida Statute violation Cooper Levey-Baker A NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR 40 John Lege coming to Sarasota from City of Ocala Stan Zimmerman UPWARD TRENDS 42 Sarasota Countys housing market continues to improve and the county exceeded its revenue projections for the 2012 scal year Rachel Brown Hackney REMEMBERING NEWTOWN 44 Sarasota vigil participants seek stricter gun controls Staff Reports NEWS BRIEFS 46 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080


BEER PIONEERS SIESTA SEEN OPINION EDITORIAL 58 Dont doom Sarasota to the Sounds of Silence COMMENTARY 5 9 The psychological portrait of a killer David Staats I call it The Club Harriet Cuthbert SARASOTA LEISURE BEER PIONEERS 64 Cigar City Brewing expands as it garners national recognition for Florida-inspired and innovative craft brews Tyler Whitson ASK OTUS 72 So you want to know how birds do it Otus Rufous SIESTA SEEN 75 County not expected to take over Key roads from FDOT; USA Today asking for votes on best Florida beach; Eat Here opens Rachel Brown Hackney ARTS BRIEFS 80 RELIGION BRIEFS 88 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 91 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 92 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP


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THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS No lobbying of city commissioners documented in advance of their Jan. 7 scheduled vote on whether to hear an appeal of the Walmart decision Stan ZimmermanOn Monday, Jan. 7, the Sarasota City Commission will be asked to consider hearing an appeal of the City Planning Boards decision permitting a Walmart to be built in the nearly abandoned Ringling Shopping Center.The agenda item will focus only on whether an appeal will be heard. While the City Commission would not be able to schedule a hearing until February at the earliest, the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association is providing a peek at what it will argue if the appeal is granted.A cover letter on neighborhood association stationary says, The requested appeal is based on the outstanding contention and expert nding that the proposed use of the site for a Walmart store is not a permitted use in the CSC-N zone The expert is Mike Taylor, who retired last October as the citys general manager of neighborhoods, redevelopment and special projects. (Full story here) THE NEED TO CATCH UP Sarasota County Commission expected next month to address ways to accelerate its schedule for resurfacing roads in poor condition Rachel Brown HackneyTo maintain an Excellent rating for the pavement on two-thirds of its roads, the County Commission would have to authorize about $9 million per year for resurfacing, the countys chief engi -neer, James K. Harriott Jr., says in a recent email exchange with the past commission chairwoman, Christine Robinson.For the 2013 scal year, the County Commission budgeted $6,889,291, Harriott added in a follow-up email to Commissioner Nora Patterson on Dec. 26.Harriott noted in a Dec. 21 email to Robinson, [A]t the current prices for the re -surfacing work it would cost about $60 million to bring todays roads that have an OCI of 60 to an excellent rating of OCI 90 or greater.OCI, which stands for Overall Condition Index, is the standard rating system for roads, Harriott and other Public Works Department staff explained to the commis -sioners during a May 7 budget workshop. (Full story here) TOP STORIES AT A GLANCE Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


THE FIRST 100 DAYS Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin reects on his rst months on the job Stan Zimmerman Last month as Sarasotas new city manager, Tom Barwin, neared the 100-day mark on the job, he sat down with Sarasota News Leader City Editor Stan Zimmerman for a wide-ranging interview. The transcription is long, but it provides two sets of broad insights. First, Barwin views the city with a pair of new but professional eyes. He has been in public service for more than three decades, starting as a Detroit cop and con -cluding as the city manager of Ferndale, MI, (a Detroit suburb) then Oak Park, IL, (a Chicago suburb).The second group of insights concerns Barwins goals and management style. While the past two city managers were short-timers, their predecessors served long tours and had wide-ranging powers. Thus, Barwin could serve a long career in the top administrative position at City Hall. His goals and styles could be with us for many years. (Full story here) WHAT KIND OF PRECEDENT? Protests are mounting as the County Commission prepares to vote next week on wheth -er to allow construction on Siesta Key beyond the Gulf Beach Setback Line Rachel Brown HackneyWith more than 20 email protests having shown up in the Sarasota County commissioners inbox before noon on Jan. 3, opposition is mounting to requests for county variances to allow two homes to be constructed on Siesta Key about 200 feet beyond the countys Gulf Beach Setback Line.As those protests mount, Siesta Key Association President Catherine Luckner says the County Commission will be facing a potentially precedent-making decision during its regular meeting in Sarasota on Jan. 9: If the commissioners approve the variances for 162 Beach Road and 168 Beach Road, will they essentially be nullifying their own construction setback ordinance?They are sitting right now in a very, very precarious place, she added during a Jan. 3 interview with The Sarasota News Leader. (Full story here)Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


HOW TO PROCEED Commissioner grapples with Waechters role on county boards Cooper Levey-Baker What to do about Bob Waechter? That is one question some coun -ty commissioners are grappling with in the wake of the former Republican Party of Sarasota County chairmans arrest.Waechter, charged with impersonating Republican activist Lourdes Ramirez and donating in her name to the congressional campaign of Dem -ocrat Keith Fitzgerald, withdrew from his post on the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority board shortly after his arrest. But he also serves on two county advisory boards, the Board of Zoning Appeals which he chairs, and the Tourist Development Council.Newly elected County Commissioner Charles Hines tells The Sarasota News Lead -er he has heard from constituents who want to know how the county plans to deal with Waechters presence on those bodies. (Full story here) FALLING FURTHER BEHIND County impact fee tabulation mistake leads to staff members resignation, concerns about Florida Statute violation Cooper Levey-Baker A spreadsheet error cost one Sarasota County employee his job shortly before Christmas, and, according to at least one commis -sioner, it leaves the county even further behind in complying with state law.The County Commission was all set to consider new road impact fees the charges billed to developers for projects that increase demand on county infrastructure at its Jan. 16 meeting, but a late December announcement from County Administrator Randy Reid put the kibosh on that. Reids message revealed that Transportation Director Clarke Davis had discovered an error in the spreadsheet tables used to calculate the new impact fees and that the numbers could not be corrected in time for that Jan. 16 session.Commissioner Joe Barbetta wrote to Reid, It seems that excuses keep being made when in fact this should have all been resolved correctly quite some time ago, not only because of the Florida Statutory requirements, but also Board direction .Those state rules Barbettas fretting about? They can be found in Florida Statute 163.31801. (Full story here)Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


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On Monday, Jan. 7, the Sarasota City Com mission will be asked to consider hearing an appeal of the City Planning Boards decision permitting a Walmart to be built in the nearly abandoned Ringling Shopping Center. The Monday agenda item will focus only on whether an appeal will be heard. Neighbors of the site paid a $1,400 fee to ask for the ap peal. While the City Commission would not be able to schedule a hearing until February at the earliest, the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association is providing a peek at what it will argue if the appeal is granted. A cover letter on neighborhood association stationary says, The requested appeal is based on the outstanding contention and ex pert nding that the proposed use of the site for a Walmart store is not a permitted use in the CSC-N zone The expert is Mike Taylor, who retired last October as the citys general manager of neighborhoods, redevelopment and special projects. During his 30 years as a Sarasota city planner, he rose to the level of deputy director, in which capacity he supervised the updating of the citys comprehensive plan. He also was The Sarasota City Commission will be asked to weigh in on whether a Walmart can be built on the Ringling Shopping Center site. Photo by Norman Schimmel NO LOBBYING OF CITY COMMISSIONERS DOCUMENTED IN ADVANCE OF THEIR JAN. 7 SCHEDULED VOTE ON WHETHER TO HEAR AN APPEAL OF THE WALMART DECISION THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 13 t he primary author of the zoning code the city now uses. The neighborhood association says the ap peal would provide the opportunity to clarify and correct the citys decient zoning anal ysis. The letter adds that the citys Walmart zoning analyses have implications for all aggrieved neighbors, but indeed for anyone who resides or owns property in the City of Sarasota It will take an unusual 4-1 or 5-0 supermajority vote of the City Commission to schedule the hearing. In legal terms, it would be a de novo hearing, meaning afresh, anew or from the top, and not just a review of previous tes timony before the citys Planning Board. A check Wednesday, Jan. 2, showed no rep resentative of Walmart and no neighborhood delegation had scheduled or spent ofce time in the past month with individual commission ers to lobby for or against a vote to hold an appeal. TAYLORS EXAMINATION Taylor produced a 42-page document that is very critical of the citys analysis of current zoning and code issues. It says, The CSC-N zone prohibits department store structures and does not recognize any other retail struc ture type. This point was raised during the Nov. 14 Plan ning Board discussion by member Jennifer Ahern-Koch. She described the Walmart store as a department store, adding, therefore, that it was not permitted by the sites zoning. Planning Board member Susan Chapman said the Ringling Shopping Center was exclud ed consciously from downtown zoning and was limited to smallscale development. There is nothing about this plan that is small scale. I will not support it, she said during the Planning Board discussion. But Ahern-Koch and Chapman were outvoted; the plan was approved by a 3-2 margin. Member Vlad Svekis put it bluntly before the vote: Its 350 jobs versus a derelict shopping center. Walmart representatives have contend ed since August that their store is a simple 98,000-square-foot replacement for the exist ing 97,000-square-foot shopping center. The company plans to raze the former Publix supermarket and other structures, remove the parking lot and start construction from scratch. This parcel is appropriately zoned commer cial, and we need only administrative ap prove of the site plan, said Michelle Belaire, a Walmart corporate relations executive, who briefed site neighbors on Aug. 15. However, Taylors document questions her assertions. The buildings on the site do not conform to the current neighborhood com mercial zoning. If they are torn do wn, Onl y Only those uses specied shall be permitted, and if a use is not specied in a zoning district, it shall be prohibited. Mike Taylor Sarasota City Planner Retired


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 14 t hose uses specied shall be permitted, and if a use is not specied in a zoning district, it shall be prohibited, Taylors report notes. A 98,000-square-foot department store is not one of those permitted uses. Walmarts plans breezed through an Oct. 3 meeting of the citys Development Review Committee, comprising senior employees of all city departments touched by develop ment or redevelopment. No objections were raised, and everybody signed off on the proj ect. Courtney Mendez is the city planner as signed to the Walmart project; she had a baby on New Years Eve and will be on ma ternity leave until March; therefore, she has not been available for comment. The neighbor hood group says city staff should never have given the project the goahead. [T]his plan should not have been forwarded to the planning board for consid eration of approv al, the cover let ter states. Members of the planning staff are not willing to talk on the record about the depart ments review of the Walmart ap plication or their failure to address the de partment store issue or the square footage swap from the old CSC-N zone to the current Neighborhood Commercial designation. When objections were raised before the Plan ning Board, Walmart Attorney Jim Porter said during rebuttal, This is not a rezoning. It is not a site plan approval. The evidence presented is this use meets the criteria in the code, including the types of uses inside the Walmart. Thats the only competent and substantial evidence on the record. Porter also managed to get in the last word before the Planning Board prepared to take a vote. Your expert planner says this is al lowed, he said, referring to Mendez and the staff report. If the city commis sioners allow an appeal, it appears at least one more expert planner will weigh in on what is or is not allowed. If they decline to hear the de novo appeal, the neighborhood group can sue in Circuit Court an expensive and time-consum ing process against an opponent with access to air craft proverbial ly full of cash and lawyers. % Former Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner has been at the forefront of neighborhood objections to the new Walmart. Contributed photo


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. Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida


To maintain an Excellent rating for the pave ment on two-thirds of its roads, the County Commission would have to authorize about $9 million per year for resurfacing, the countys chief engineer, James K. Harriott Jr., says in a recent email exchange with the past commis sion chairwoman, Christine Robinson. For the 2013 scal year, the County Commis sion budgeted $6,889,291, Harriott added in a follow-up email to Commissioner Nora Patter son on Dec. 26. Harriott noted in a Dec. 21 email to Robin son, [A]t the current prices for the resurfac ing work it would cost about $60 million to bring todays roads that have an OCI of 60 to an excellent rating of OCI 90 or greater. OCI, which stands for Overall Condition In dex, is the standard rating system for roads, Harriott and other Public Works Department staff explained to the commissioners during a May 7 budget workshop that focused partly on the countys roads. An OCI of 60 or lower indicates a road needs to be resurfaced, ac cording to that May presentation. During that May workshop, Harriott also pointed out that it would take $15 million a year over 24 or more years to reach the goal of having no county road with an OCI below 6 0. Photos from a May 2012 PowerPoint presentation show two sections of roads rated as needing re surfacing Webber Street, between McIntosh Road and the railroad tracks; and Woodrow Street, which is between Beneva and Sawyer roads. Both are in Sarasota. Images courtesy Sarasota County SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION EXPECTED NEXT MONTH TO ADDRESS WAYS TO ACCELERATE ITS SCHEDULE FOR RESURFACING ROADS IN POOR CONDITION THE NEED TO CATCH UP By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 17 Thats a pretty unsustainable goal and target, he said at the time. He added that the county needed to spend about $7 million a year to stay close to the target of keeping no more than one-third of its roads at an OCI rating of 60 or below, and its going to be very difcult to do that. According to current budget data, Harriott pointed out in his Dec. 26 email to Patterson, the road resurfacing funding for the next four scal years has been allocated as follows: FY 2014: $1,820,000. FY 2015: $4,550,000. FY 2016: $4,550,000. FY 2017: $6,550,000 We have wants, needs and immediate needs in terms of resurfacing issues, Robinson told The Sarasota News Leader in an interview on Dec. 28. I would classify [resurfacing] as an immediate need. After reviewing the numbers Harriott had provided to her in an initial email in Decem ber, Robinson add ed, she was uncertain whether all of her fel low commissioners re alized what it would take to catch up. She joined Patterson in requesting more informa tion from him. Robinson pointed out to the News Leader If we dont do something, we keep getting into a bigger hole that might not affect this commis sion, but it would affect future boards. We need to not pass the buck on this, s he added. On Feb. 12, the County Commission will hear another presentation on the status of its re surfacing projects, Harriott noted in the email exchanges. At that time, Commissioner Joe Barbetta told the News Leader on Dec. 28, the board mem bers need to gure out how best to address the matter. He referenced the Dec. 26 email exchange between Harriott and Patterson, noting Patterson had asked Harriott to cal culate the break even point for resurfacing funding to keep the percentage of county roads needing attention from continuing to climb. If we need to do a one-time budget adjust ment of several million dollars to take care of the problem, Barbetta said, then lets do it. The risk of serious injury on these roads is going to be a bigger issue. Barbetta said he was uncertain how the coun ty had reached the current situation. I think we should have been kept more in the loop by staff, he added. During the May 7 bud get workshop, Barbet ta voiced complaints about the fact that Richardson Road, near Interstate 75 in the eastern part of the county, had not been paved since 1983. Its OCI already had dropped below 40, he pointed out at the time. Harriott explained that residents previously had requested the widening of Richardson Road, because its lanes are so narrow. How ever, a couple of years ago, after the county If we need to do a one-time budget adjustment then lets do it. The risk of serious injury on these roads is going to be a bigger issue. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 18 began improvements of Fruitville Road east of I-75, residents began requesting Richard son Road be maintained in a more rural con dition, Harriott said. Those shifting priorities had kept the road from being resurfaced, he added. This things fallen through the cracks, Bar betta replied. We blew right through the 20year mark in 2003, he added, referencing a staff remark earlier in the presentation that the county goal was to make sure roads were resurfaced at least every 20 years. THE ROAD NUMBERS As of Dec. 21, Harriott noted in his email to Robinson, the county had about 790 miles of roads below an OCI of 60. The county has been working on 86 of those miles, for which funding was budgeted in the 2012 scal year, Harriott added. Over the next ve years, he continued, we have a little over 300 lane miles budgeted for repaving. During the May 7 presentation, he pointed out in that email, staff reported that 33.6% of our roadways are categorized at undesirable (Overall Condition Index, OCI of 50 to 60) or marginal (OCI of less than 50). In other words, 66.4% are classied as satisfactory or better. Public Works Department staff runs a full OCI report twice a year, Harriott added in October, to coincide with the start of the scal year, and in January, for state report ing purposes. After wor k was completed on the 86 lane miles b udgeted for resurfacing in Sarasota County photos from a May 2012 presentation show two segments of roads rated in Excel lent condition. Images courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 19 FY 2012, he noted, the percentage of county roads with an OCI of 60 or below would drop to 30.2 percent. In an earlier email on Dec. 21, Harriott point ed out to Robinson that the county maintains 2,328 miles of roadways. Of those, he contin ued, 449 lane miles are arterial roads, 208 are collectors and 1,671 are local lane miles. FUTURE FUNDING WORRIES When the County Commission voted on Dec. 11 to authorize a bond issue to pay for ren ovations to Siesta Key Public Beach over a period of about two years, Robinson cast the lone No vote. We have dire needs for our roads in our com munity, she said then, pointing to informa tion Harriott had provided during the meeting about the loss of surtax revenue for resurfac ing. Commissioners often have noted the impact of the Great Recession on the surtax funds, leaving the county with far less mon ey than it had bud geted for projects. During the months Robinson traveled the county while campaigning for election to the board (she had been appointed in late 2010 to ll out an unexpired term), she told the News Leader she heard from many residents that good road conditions needed to be a top priority for the County Commission. During the Siesta Beach discussion last month, she also pointed to a statement by Steve Bo telho, the countys chief nancial planning of cer, that the combination of bond sales for the Siesta Beach plans and the replacement of the countys emergency communications in frastructure and radios would leave the coun ty in a lean situation until probably Fiscal Year 2017 or 2018, meaning the board would not have sufcient funds to cover any other, major expenses that might arise. However, Barbetta told the News Leader he was not convinced the replacement of the emergency communications system would cost as much as the $30 million staff has esti mated. We need a little more backup data and re search, he added. Likewise, he has said he thinks the Siesta Beach project will come in under the $16.7 million limit the commission has imposed. Regardless of those projects, Barbetta agrees with Robinson about the impor tance of the road resurfacing issue, he said. I think in the end we cant ignore this any more. We need to address it. % A May 2012 presentation to the County Commis sion shows the value of various types of roads in Sarasota County. Chart courtesy Sarasota County


Editors note: Last month as Sarasotas new city manager, Tom Barwin, neared the 100day mark on the job, he sat down with Sara sota News Leader City Editor Stan Zim merman for a wide-ranging interview. The transcription is long, but it provides two sets of broad insights. First, Barwin views the city with a pair of new but professional eyes. He has been in public service for more than three decades, starting as a Detroit cop and concluding as the city manager of Ferndale, MI, (a Detroit suburb) then Oak Park, IL, (a Chicago sub urb). The second group of insights concerns Bar wins goals and management style. While the past two city managers were short-timers, their predecessors served long tours and had wide-ranging powers. Thus, Barwin could serve a long career in the top administrative position at City Hall. His goals and styles could be with us for many years. SNL : In the Oak Park newspaper story Barwin Quits you are quoted as saying you would prefer private or non-prot sector work: Maybe government again, but that would be my third choice. Was Sarasota your third choice? Tom Barwin joins Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown at a Tiger Bay Club meeting in November. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA CITY MANAGER TOM BARWIN REFLECTS ON HIS FIRST MONTHS ON THE JOB THE FIRST 100 DAYS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 21 Barwin: No, not at all. I feel very fortunate to be here in Sarasota, It is a marvelous and mag nicent community. I was quite fortunate to have a mini-sabbatical between [city manager] jobs. For the rst time in more than 10 years, I had more than two weeks off. Arriving here in what is a stimulating community and envi ronment, I feel Im at the peak of my ability to contribute to community building. Its not my third choice at all. I had four com munities recruiting me when Sarasota offered me the job. They were all really nice commu nities. Sarasota was my rst choice and my familys rst choice. The statement you re ferred to was at the end of a long night fol lowing a commission meeting, at the end of nearly six years of effort throughout the Great Recession that required a lot of heavy lifting and tough decisions. I was a little burnt out there and had a lot of success in the environ mental world and the energy world, and there were some opportunities to go into the private sector at that time. For a couple of minutes I was entertaining those options. SNL : You led Oak Park to become the rst municipality in the Midwest, and maybe the nation, to have 100 percent renew able energy sources. Do you have a green initiative in mind for Sarasota? Barwin: I am aware of the negotiations with [Florida Power and Light] over the fran chise fee. Personally to me and I work for the City Commission and the people of Sara sota, and we do have a strategic plan I am hopeful environmental/sustainability/energy issues will work their way into the commis sions strategic plan in a little stronger fashion. Me personally, I think the threat of climate change is the issue of this generation not that other important challenges arent still out there to work on, including civil rights and economic justice. I believe climate change is happening, and I believe it is vital we work as diligently at all levels of the public and private sector as possible to address it. In my realm, we will be moving the environ mental advisor from the [Department of Pub lic Works] to an ofce here at City Hall, so I can have daily or weekly contact with her [Al lison Albee]. We are collaborating with Sara sota County to try to land our fair share of the restore-the-Gulf dollars that will be cov ered through [BP] nes. Ive been out at Mote [Marine Laboratory] and talked to some of their people and with some of our utilities people about what we can rea sonably do further to prevent or clean or deal with stormwa ter that runs into the Gulf. The mayor and I are trying to expand [those efforts] to a regional effort. Make buildings more ener gy efficient, and the savings help cover the capital costs. What Ive tried to do and practice throughout my 30-year city management career begins with personnel. On day one since I began this career and Im biased because Ive had pretty good success wherever Ive been it all begins with who you hire. Tom Barwin Manager City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 22 Oak Park has 100 percent renewable ener gy, but we dont have energy aggregation here in Florida yet. Ive been surprised there ar ent more solar installations around the town and the community. That would seem to be a logical enhancement. I know the Chamber [of Commerce] has put up some panels as a demonstration project. SNL : How often do you talk with [new Sarasota Police Chief] Bernadette DiPi no? Barwin: Three or four times since she was appointed [Oct. 16]. Two or three times in the last week. Shes ready to go. She [started] on Jan. 1. SNL : You were a member of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Have you read the standing orders of the Sarasota Police Department? Barwin: I have not. I was appointed by the [Illinois] governor to that commission, and it was a very educational experience. Its one of those things Id like to peruse. My plan coming in was to immerse myself as much as I could in this community. Ive been on a furious tear to do that. I am surprised and impressed on a daily and certainly a weekly basis with new assets that are under the radar. SNL : Can you give examples? Barwin: I know Mote is known locally. But when you go out there and talk to the folks and understand the breadth of what they do, its a phenomenal operation. I toured Booker, the [rebuilt] high school yes terday. Its going to be an incredible asset to the community. The labs the science and math labs the performing arts facilities are incredible. Once a student is inside, its an open-air university-campus-like setting. All Tom Barwin attends his rst City Commission meeting on Sept. 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 23 the new housing in north Sarasota and the Newtown neighborhood is impressive. I went to [Sarasota Military Academy] last week, an amazing place with almost a thou sand students. A gentleman donated $4 mil lion to build new classrooms. Ninety-two percent of the kids who start there graduate. Ninety-seven percent go on to further educa tion at the university [level]. What strikes me is the human capital involved, the folks in Newtown pushing for a rst-class facility. Its impressive what the African-Amer ican community has had to do, and some of the rules students had to adhere to back in the so-called day. The [Sarasota] Sailing Squadron is off the ra dar screen with a magnicent setting, teaching kids how to sail and providing a lifelong op portunity [to sail]. All the way to the theaters, the plays and things. Theres something to do here all the time. Whats really impressive, I think, instead of my city manager nameplate on the door, I should put up Complaint Department, because we hear those things. But when I travel through out the community, as I have in my rst al most 100 days, the folks who chose to live here really love the place. One of the other assets is the universities here. Ive had the chance to tour Ringling [College of Art and Design], New College and meet the new president, and spent a couple of hours with the chancellor of the University of South Florida: all impressive institutions with some growth plans. Were a college town, and that seems to be an afterthought. Youd never know it; its a little asterisk. These are high-caliber, high-quality places. Theres some nice growth potential there. A nd then you have some of the younger entre preneurs gathering at The HuB, a private-sec tor business incubator. That is really cool and very promising, in terms of having some of these college and university minds to have a chance to stay around and grow and ourish here and create some partnerships and maybe transplant some business from the idea phase to the implementation phase. There is a lot of volunteerism in this commu nity. I was in northern Sarasota yesterday and dropped in on some of the high school training programs in Newtown. I met an attorney who was just retired and mentoring kids. I met a successful businessman who had retired. He was mentoring one-on-one, teaching math. Theres a lot of that. I toured Resurrection House ; theres 200 vol unteers there dealing with the homeless. You go to the Van Wezel [Performing Arts Hall], and all the folks supporting that facility. SNL : In next few months, Sarasota will be under new management, with a new po lice chief, a new human resources direc tor, a new nance director and possibly a new utilities director. Any thoughts about how you want to run this new team? Barwin: What Ive tried to do and practice throughout my 30-year city management ca reer begins with personnel. On day one since I began this career and Im biased because Ive had pretty good success wherever Ive been it all begins with who you hire. Were putting a lot of effort into hiring positive, pro ductive, talented people with a life vocation to be a part of an effective community-building team. Thats not to say we wouldnt recruit some body from the private se ctor if they were


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 24 interested. Even private-sector folks can be heavily involved in community building. You can see the effort we put into the selection of a police chief, and Im condent we had a very good outcome. Were putting comparable efforts in picking our new nance director, our new utilities di rector, and we have a good in-house candidate to step in at the HR position. Well see how she does, but its not a done deal yet. The challenging part is we have really terric people in those positions now. [Finance Di rector] Chris Lyons is awesome. He knows every aspect of Florida nance and this citys $175 million-a-year budgets. Chris is helping with the transition; hes going to be around and be a mentor. Its the same with utilities. [Director] Bill Hallisey is really experienced, really talented, re ally conscientious. Hes been touring me around our assets, where our water comes from and how we treat it, where it goes. Its a good oppor tunity to replace really good people with really good people. Im empha sizing teamwork and partnership and good commu nications. Its one of the things as an incoming manag er; the times dic tated where some of my time needed to be spent. SNL : It is an unusual transition. Normal ly you would come in and face an existing management structure in place for who knows how long. Here, fully 90 percent of your budget will be under new managers for utilities and police. Barwin: I think most incoming managers would generally think thats a good thing. In this case, I wish Bill and Chris and Kurt [Hov erter, human resources director] were staying around a little longer, because theyre excel lent. But this is one of the strengths of the council-manager form of government. You strive to recruit and keep talented people, and the changing politics really are minimized. Good managers value and deeply appreciate other good man agers, and I think weve got some great ones here. Its a big challenge, replacing really good people with really good peo ple. They need to be committed to this community, and not neces sarily who sits in this seat or at the commission table although its im portant that all un derstand you are a team. This is a de mocracy, and you have to respond Tom Barwin addresses the City Commission. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 25 to people chosen to lead and set policy in our democracy. I dont know if its my personality or their per sonality, but weve had a terrically produc tive relationship in my rst 100 days. Maybe its because there has been such turmoil and uncertainty in a tough year that the folks here were really ready for some calm and stability and direction and, on occasion, a little bit of leadership. SNL : How many people report to you? Barwin: Im accountable for most of the whole organization. We peaked at 770 [city employees] in 2006, 2007. Were down to 555 now. But as I sit at our staff meetings, its about 10 or 12 [who report directly to me]. Ive met with my fellow managers in the coun ty and with Randy Reid, the county admin istrator, and all those folks are fairly new. I dont know what that tells us. The recession has been tough on these public-sector posi tions across the country. Florida seems to be a little more volatile than other states. But Im happy to report that we all have seemed to hit it off. Im very optimistic and very hopeful that we in Sarasota County and the city are in a period of good, and perhaps even magical, achievement and progress. SNL : Have you landed where you want to be? Barwin: We were in a temporary [home] for 90 days in Laurel Park. It was supposed to be 60 days. Then we found a place to lease for a year. Our moving van delivered our furniture two days ago. Were here in downtown [in a condominium]. I have my [Florida] drivers li cense, and my library card. License plates are next. SNL : After your rst 100 days, what is your ambition here? Barwin: My impression is that there are a lot of comparables between here and Oak Park with citizen participation and appreciation of architecture, concern for the environment. Similarly, this community doesnt want to rest on its laurels. Two things strike me. I hear the term world class a lot that whatever people are associ ated with by their choice, by their inclination, whatever their passion is, they generally want to push the envelope. They want to take it to the next level of improvement. The interesting part about it is for the people who are liv ing here to continue with a high-quality-of-life, interesting, plenty-of-things-to-do place that is safe and rewarding to be in. When you look at the art that continues to grow, the landscaping investments and beau tication initiatives under way, folks like me who come into these jobs have to maintain a pretty good sense of energy and be able to synthesize a lot of what we see and hear and make the connections and try to keep things moving in the right direction. SNL : And things are headed in the right direction? Barwin: In lots of way, yes. Big time. The economys beginning to perk up, which is good, very good. Overall, a whole lot is mov ing in the right direction. Ive established a terric relationship with the city commissioners. I value everything they


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 26 bring to the table and share with me. I hope Ive been here long enough that they can see Im committed and working hard to bring some [sense of] achievement to the conver sation. Besides economic development, there are a lot of planning initiatives under way. Were looking at a catalyst project in the Rosemary District. Im going to be proposing we look at a second catalyst project in north Sarasota, in Newtown, in terms of the Marian Anderson [browneld] site. Im still new, but we dont have to sit on our hands over that site. Were working with folks on Lido Beach, look ing at the pool and park area and its future. Its been in front of the commission a couple of times. Were ne-tuning our parking, the right way this time. That will evolve over the years. Were starting to address employee parking needs and trying to get that organized. Its sub tle, but its important. I was surprised it hadnt risen [to a higher level of awareness]. Having been through this before, I understand that. These are all good things. Times dictate your priorities. On the less pos itive side, Ive had to [suspend] two police ofcers for 90 days for incidents that were I think unfortunate. And Ive had to sus pend an ofcer for unnecessary force. But I think theres a silver lining to that, in that it accelerated my need to understand our Police Department in more depth than an incoming manager would expect in their rst 90 days. Usually, thats the chiefs job. What Ive discovered is for lack of a bet ter word victims of the Great Recession were training programs. We are going to reboot that. [I] dont know if you saw the press release, but I brought [former Sarasota Police Chief] John Lewis in for 30 days to speak to as many ofcers as possible and develop a road map Chief [Bernadette] DiPino can begin working on to have the Sarasota Police De partment become the best trained police de partment in the state of Florida. And Id like to take it a step further, to the Southern United States. I hope to begin that initiative in 2013. Once we get rolling on that, some of these in cidents weve had to deal with over the past three years will be fewer and farther between. Its a tough job; it can be very frustrating. We do have human beings in these jobs. But they have to be well trained and deal appropriately or perfectly, really with every situation they face. They need to work like a team out there. In this last incident [at the downtown Saraso ta County Area Transit transfer station], we had two ofcers. There was no sense of urgen cy about it. The guy was belligerent; he spit in the security guards face. He wasnt on his best behavior, either. It was hard to decipher on the video to what degree the individual was actually resisting arrest. But I felt, from having had that experience for four years, they could have used more discretion and coordination in effecting that arrest. Its accelerated my need to understand whats happening throughout that department, and discovering that training needs to be re-boot ed and emphasized maybe even more so during tough economic times, because you are asking fewer people to do more. The other thing: This situation has given me an opportunity to become more familiar with the whole homeless community, or sub-comm uni


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 27 ty, and how we can bring resources to bear on the revolving door of the most prolic persons who get involved with disturbing the peace. Some of these people have been through the revolving door 50, 60, 70, 100 times. They have substance abuse issues, maybe mental health issues. Thats going to be the priority of the task force, how to address that. SNL : Ferndale was a suburb of Detroit. Oak Park was a suburb of Chicago. In both cases, you managed a satellite com munity adjacent to a large metropolis. What is the difference between that type of management and the management of a freestanding city like Sarasota? Barwin : That is a great observation, a great question. Ferndale and Oak Park were like a precinct in the big urban city. I worked a lot in Detroit. I knew Mayor Daley in Chicago. The difference is Sarasota City is kind of [like] the Chicago of the region. Its the county seat; its the central community. When Im out and about within the county and have these re gional conversations, they talk about the city. They mean Sarasota, the city. And the media is centered here, too. Its a lit tle unusual to have this degree of media in a city this size. The difference is Sarasota is the central city and its kind of like Chicago sets the image for the region, like Detroit sets the image for the region; Sarasota City has a special relationship and responsibility to the region to set the tone. And it does, in many, many ways. With that comes some of this passion weve been talking about, to keep polishing it and improving it, making it as attractive and special a place as possible. I think it bodes well for everybody. I ve met a lot of folks since coming here, and before coming here, and I feel a lot of people think this is kind of the gemstone of the cul tural life of the west side of Florida. SNL : What would you consider your greatest achievement in these rst 100 days? Barwin: Early on I sensed morale was pret ty low in the city organization, so I made it a point to reach out, try to meet as many peo ple working for the city as possible. I spent a lot of time in the Police Department. I spent time at Public Works, time at Utilities been to each and every division here at City Hall. I think Ive met 75 to 80 percent of our employ ees. Its going to take them awhile to know me, trust me. But we started a dialogue and try Tom Barwin and his wife, Margaret Bai ley-Barwin, attend the Oct. 5 reception for nalists for the job of Sarasota police chief. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 28 to convey this message: Were all part of the same team, and we all have our roles to play, and so I feel pretty good about that, and I sense were all working like a team now. Ive had a number of sit-downs with [City Au ditor and Clerk] Pam Nadalini, and I think we have a good working relationship. I get along great with Bob [Fournier, city attorney] so all of that is good. I think weve hit a home run on the selection of the police chief. Weve got some good talent were looking at for the nance director and the utilities director. We hope well get a good match. Theres a lot thats happened in 90 days. And the [City] Commission has advanced a lot of projects were looking at nalizing this Palm [Avenue] hotel project [for example]. I dont know if well have a compromise with the Laurel Park neighborhood on the overlay [district], but I think whatever comes out of that is going to be a nice improvement in facil itating the communication between the neigh borhood and potential developers. Trying to deal with the aftermath of the Chalk Festival, weve had plenty of people in here to talk about that. And theres the micro-tunnel ing under Hudson Bayou for the lift station replacement; thats been a challenge. SNL : What was the worst mistake in your rst 100 days? Barwin : I dont know if it was a mistake or not, but you didnt like it and [ Sarasota Her ald-Tribune columnist] Tom Lyons didnt like it. But I just felt compelled to respond to Mr. [Michael] Bareld when he accused the city by inference of having a war on the homeless. [ Editors note: Bareld is the legal chairman of the American Civil Liberties Unions Sara sota chapter. ] I just thought it was inaccurate and unfair, and as a new manager, I felt blind sided by it. To have good working relationships, you need to establish trust. I dont want to change him. He can do his thing. Hes got his First Amend ment rights and his perspective and thats what makes this country great. Thats what veterans fought for. I would not deny anybody that. But on the rst go-round, I would only ask [that] responsible people pick up the phone and give me a call, saying, I discovered some thing you should be aware of before you call a press conference and hypercharge it with rhetoric. That has some implications to a lot of people. The people dont see our ofcers arrange for a hotel for a night or two for some body on the toughest of times. That happens. They dont see our ofcers referring a new homeless person to the Salvation Army. They dont see our ofcer telling a guy, Go to the Resurrection House to do your laundry. Maybe I felt too much of a propensity to de fend [ofcers] good work, but I was listening to the unattering stuff and did follow up on all of it. I might have got a bit defensive. But I think the public also needs to understand whats happening in that arena. SNL: Most enduring moment so far? Barwin : I have had a special moment almost every day. I tell people I get goose bumps at least daily from what people do and their com mitment to doing them. Theres bunches of em.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 29 Y esterday, I was touring Booker High School with Vice Mayor [Willie] Shaw and Barbara Langston. He was telling me what he had to do when he was in school, and she told me how they had to ght to get the assets that are at Booker. This is a great story, and this is why I stayed at the grassroots, because you get a feeling; you can see the victories. That new facility is going to help a bunch of people. Theres going to be untold mentorings nobodys ever going to know about. That was special. Then seeing this older guy come out and write a $4 million check for the military academy. Obviously, [that charter school is] working for a thousand kids. This guy was so humble and nonchalant, saying, I want to see you guys do well. Things like that happen all the t ime. SNL: Do you have a favorite nd: a restau rant, a book, a painting, a vista? My wife and I have been going to watch sun sets as often as possible, Saturday and Sunday walks and jogs on the beach at Lido. We drive down to the park and go clear to the north end. Its a delightful walk. But the other morn ing, we went the other way. We walked back toward the bay, toward town. It was a nice visual, and we both took pic tures. There were two guys shing, and there were four herons surrounding them like, whos gonna get to eat this sh? with the city as the backdrop. The whole scene was just gorgeous: the herons, the shermen, the blue sparkling water, the nature and then the backdrop of that just gorgeous skyline of downtown Sarasota. We are so happy to be here. % 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. | SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Full Service Salon 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota


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WHAT KIND OF PRECEDENT? With more than 20 email protests having shown up in the Sarasota County commission ers inbox before noon on Jan. 3, opposition is mounting to requests for county variances to allow two homes to be constructed on Siesta Key about 200 feet beyond the countys Gulf Beach Setback Line. As those protests mount, Siesta Key Associ ation President Catherine Luckner says the County Commission will be facing a poten tially precedent-making decision during its regular meeting in Sarasota on Jan. 9: If the commissioners approve the variances for 162 Beach Road and 168 Beach Road, will they es By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor PROTESTS ARE MOUNTING AS THE COUNTY COMMISSION PREPARES TO VOTE NEXT WEEK ON WHETHER TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION ON SIESTA KEY BEYOND THE GULF BEACH SETBACK LINE An Oct. 29 photo of the north section of Beach Road shows it crumbling as a result of wind and wave action associated with then-Tropical Storm Sandy. The two lots where construction is pro posed are near that part of the road. Photo courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 32 sentially be nullifying their own construction setback ordinance? They are sitting right now in a very, very pre carious place, she added during a Jan. 3 in terview with The Sarasota News Leader This is completely undeveloped land, Luck ner pointed out. Would approval of the vari ances open the door to the boards having to allow every other such parcel to be developed on a barrier island in the county, if the owners sought permission to do so, she asked. Were not sitting in a place of passing judg ment, she said of the SKA. All she and her board members want to do, she added, is pose the questions for the County Commissions consideration. The matter of the variance requests was brought up during the Dec. 6 SKA meeting, when Vice President Peter van Roekens point ed out that he and other residents of the Ter race East condominium complex in Siesta Vil lage had not received legal notices from the county thus far about the upcoming public hearings before the County Commission. Van Roekens said the Terrace East board would be meeting to discuss the matter. He also pointed out that he had photos showing the two parcels in question had been under water at one time. A Sarasota County Geographic Information Systems map shows the two lots that are the focus of the variance requests on Beach Road: 0080-24-0027 and 0080-24-0028, to the left of the Terrace build ing. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 33 Van Roekens is one of the people who have emailed concerns to the County Commission over the past several weeks. In his Dec. 31 email, van Roekens wrote, No previously undeveloped lot on Siesta has ever been granted a variance to the GBSL [Gulf Beach Setback Line], according to a record search that went back to 2007. He added that the County Commission in 1993 turned down a variance to build on one of the lots under consider ation this time. Moreover, he wrote, We know the water has undermined Beach Road north of these lots and that the storms have recently flooded these lots. And this is nothing new as there is evidence of major ooding of these lots as far back as 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1992. Further, according to coastal geologists we can expect to see a continuing and signicant rise in the sea level over the next 50 years. Finally, van Roekens wrote, There are also other considerations such as protecting the dunes and wildlife in this area Luckner pointed out that sand had been ac creting on that area of the beach over the past several years, with dunes clearly visible. She noted that one of the endangered snowy plo ver pairs on the island built a nest on one of the lots during the past summer. THE REQUESTS Both variance requests involve construc tion of new homes with swimming pools and decks, paver driveways and landscape retain ing walls. Construction at 168 Beach Road is proposed to be a maximum of 182.1 feet seaward of the GBSL, while development of the lot at 162 Beach Road a maximum of 200.16 feet sea ward of the GBSL, according to the pe titions presented to Sarasota County staff. A Sarasota News Leader search of county prop erty records last month shows the 7,429-square-foot par cel at 162 Beach Road is owned by Ronald and Sania Allen of Osprey. The parcel at 168 Beach Road, which has 7,679 square feet, was sold to Ronald G. Allen in May 2009, who transferred it about two-and-ahalf years later to Siesta Miramar LLC of 2033 Main St., Sarasota. According to corporate documents, the ofcers of that company are Ronald and Sania Allen. The Allens are being represented in both vari ance requests by attorney William W. Merrill III of Sarasota. According to the website for the Icard Merrill law rm in Sarasota, Merrill has a nationally recognized practice in land use, planning, transportation and environmen tal law We know the water has undermined Beach Road north of these lots and that the storms have recently ooded these lots. And this is nothing new as there is evidence of major ooding of these lots as far back as 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1992. Peter van Roekens Vice President Siesta Key Association


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 34 A site plan for 162 Beach Road shows the proposed construction. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 35 OTHER PROTESTS Among the other emails sent to the county commissioners are the following comments: The properties in question are often ood ed, and the roads in front of these proper ties frequently then become impassible. If [these homes are] constructed on this beach some of the grass on the gulf side would have to be destroyed. The ecologi cal balance of this area would forever be adversely affected. The variances should NOT be granted. That will violate the ordinances that [have] been established to prevent or retard erosion of our coastline [I]t would set a precedent that will nullify the current protections of the [GBSL] for everyone. This proposal would build two large struc tures entirely seaward of the setback line, would remove protective grasses and veg etation, disturb an area of dune formation, and would be seaward of Beach Road which already has been washed away at its north ern end. Siesta Beach is an acclaimed treasure. Wa ter has already ooded this area and cov ered parts of Beach Road and we have been told that with climate change and the rising level of the oceanic waters, our coastline will become increasingly vulnerable. In ad dition, the entire beach ecosystem will be gin to fall apart. Nesting areas for sea tur tles and ground nesting birds will disappear. Sea grass, so vital to keep the sand from being washed away will become sparse and disappear. Siesta Key has built a reputation for [its] white-quartz beaches that offer luxurious amenities with a relaxed vibe. Clearly, by allowing new property to be built so close to the water, you are taking away the very thing that has put Siesta on the map the beautiful, sandy beaches! New Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason has responded to the emails with the following comments: On behalf of the County Commission, I want to thank you for taking the time to write to us sharing your comments and concerns relative to Variance Petitions 79-03-12-419 and 79-0312-425. These matters are quasi judicial and as such we are discouraged from comment ing outside the public hearing. Your com ments are important to us so I have cop ied our staff to make sure those comments become part of the public record on this issue. A BALANCE Luckner told the News Leader in a follow-up email that the SKA also is concerned about people purchasing land in the county that may not be truly buildable. The county Tax Appraisers Ofce lists many risky parcels as [Residential Single Family and Residential Multi Family] despite their loca tion being 100% seaward of the GBSL and the [Coastal Construction Control Line], she wrote. Additionally, Luckner pointed out, As advo cates for property owners, we want to pro tect the barrier island coastal environment. It ensures safety as well as value for existing homes. The County Commission Jan. 9 agenda was not available before the News Leaders dead line this week. It should be available by Jan. 4 on the county website %


What to do about Bob Waechter? That is one question some county commissioners are grappling with in the wake of the former Re publican Party of Sarasota County chairmans arrest. Waechter, charged with impersonating Repub lican activist Lourdes Ramirez and donating in her name to the congressional campaign of Democrat Keith Fitzgerald, withdrew from his post on the Sarasota Manatee Airport Au thority board shortly after his arrest. But he also serves on two county advisory boards, the Board of Zoning Appeals which he chairs, and the Tourist Development Council Newly elected County Commissioner Charles Hines tells The Sarasota News Leader he has heard from constituents who want to know how the county plans to deal with Waechters presence on those bodies. Does the [Board of County Commissioners] intend to act (or has it acted) on his continu ing service as a TDC member pending reso lution of the criminal matter? wrote county resident Richard Alpher on Dec. 18. I think at least some temporary action such as a suspension from serving on the committee, would seem in the public interest as well as the BCC interest. Bob Waechter (left) watches the newly elected Sarasota County commissioners sworn in on Nov. 20. Photo by Norman Schimmel COMMISSIONER GRAPPLES WITH WAECHTERS ROLE ON COUNTY BOARDS HOW TO PROCEED By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 37 Responding to the public comments, Hines asked county staff via email if there are any conduct standards for our boards. As of Wednesday, he had not received an answer to that query. He hopes to hear an update on that point during a public meet ing next week, or, barring that, to press for more in formation on the matter. County Attorney Steve De Marsh did not respond, as of press time, to questions about whether such a poli cy exists. While Hines, for whose candidacy Waechter raised money this year, is reluc tant to comment on what he wants to see happen in this specic situa tion, he says he thinks the commission should discuss creating a set of conduct rules if none exist. Is it automatic removal? Is it up to us to decide? Do you wait to see if all the facts are in? Is it a convic tion? Is it an arrest? Hines lays out the thorny hypo theticals. You want to handle it ap propriately. Its a very dif cult situation, and people have asked us in emails; theyve asked the right questions, and were trying to get answers. % Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines/Photo by Norman Schimmel 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 Click to watch the latest TV ad Click for driving directions


A spreadsheet error cost one Sarasota Coun ty employee his job shortly before Christmas, and, according to at least one commissioner, it leaves the county even further behind in com plying with state law. The County Commis sion was all set to consider new road impact fees the charges billed to de velopers for projects that increase demand on county infrastruc ture at its Jan. 16 meeting, but a late December announcement from County Administrator Randy Reid put the kibosh on that. Reids message revealed that Transportation Director Clarke Davis had discovered an error in the spreadsheet tables used to calculate the new impact fees and that the numbers could not be corrected in time for that Jan. 16 session. In 2011, the commission voted to temporarily slash its fees in half to spur development, but that short-term reduction expires in Febru ary. The commission has pushed to have per manent rates, reecting current construction prices, in place before that deadline. On December 16, when I was transfer ring tabular data from the analysis spread sheets to the techni cal report, I found an error in one of the ta bles, Davis wrote to Reid on Dec. 19. The road impact fee methodology is implement ed as a series of interconnected tables in a spreadsheet. When an error is made at an ear ly step, it propagates through the tables and affects the nal results. Two days after sending that email, Davis re signed. Commissioner Joe Barbetta/File photo COUNTY IMPACT FEE TABULATION MISTAKE LEADS TO STAFF MEMBERS RESIGNATION, CONCERNS ABOUT FLORIDA STATUTE VIOLATION FALLING FURTHER BEHIND It just seemed like there was no sense of urgency. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 39 Commissioner Joe Barbetta wrote to Reid that he felt great concern over the mistake. It seems that excuses keep being made when in fact this should have all been resolved cor rectly quite some time ago, he wrote, not only because of the Florida Statutory require ments, but also Board direction back in Jan uary 26th of 2011, nearly 23 months ago, and also follow up direction again by the Board back during this past summer. Those state rules Barbettas fretting about? They can be found in Florida Statute 163.31801 which stipulates that the calcula tion of any impact fee be based on the most recent and localized data. The countys current rates are based on data collected in 2007, reecting numbers from the height of the housing boom, hardly recent gures. Barbetta says the countys numbers are way out of date. We all know that costs have gone down, he tells The Sarasota News Leader Calls to County Attorney Steve DeMarsh to ask about the countys potential non-compli ance were not returned as of press time. Barbetta says the commissions decision to temporarily cut the rates could discourage anyone from challenging the county over that statute. Even with the out-of-date numbers, weve remained safely below an overcharge situation for the road impact fees, Davis told the commission last September. If we were charging the full rate then may be somebody would have a gripe, says Bar betta, adding that the issue goes deeper than the potential legal violation. It just seemed like there was no sense of urgency. Barbetta says he has heard complaints from developers and trade associations about the delay. He argues that the county has failed to give certainty to our industry. Before resigning, Davis laid out one potential timeline for how to proceed, suggesting that the commission extend the temporary reduc tion till July 1, at which point the corrected tables would be ready to go into effect. Barbetta says he does not want to get ahead of the commission, which will surely discuss the issue at its next public meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 8. But we need to do something, he says. % The Sarasota County Commission will have to grapple this year with another setback in setting new road impact fees. Photo by Norman Schimmel


The City of Ocalas loss is Sarasotas gain, as John Lege (pronounced leggy) has been se lected as Sarasotas new nance director, re placing Chris Lyons. Lege holds a masters degree in business ad ministration from Webster University in St. Louis and a bachelors degree in accounting from the University of Florida. He retired as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in 2001 after 21 years of service as a division ofcer and de partment head. During his two-and-a-half years in Ocala, Lege centralized the Purchasing Department. Each city manager had a purchasing agent in their individual departments, he wrote on his ap plication. Because there was no standardized process, there were inefciencies, purchasing irregularities and discrepancies, bid protests and vendors challenging the process. The consolidated purchasing work was put under the purview of his department (Budget and Finance). The move has created stan dardization, improved internal controls, re duced costs and provided purchasing agents the ability to cross-train and support one an other, he wrote. The City of Sarasota is expected to see the replacement of several department chiefs this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel JOHN LEGE COMING TO SARASOTA FROM CITY OF OCALA A NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 41 That undertaking was similar to one of his jobs in the Navy; he was a department chief for aviation support for 12 squadrons. I main tained 100 percent inventory accuracy while increasing aircraft operational readiness by 20 percent, his application says. For three years prior to his Ocala experiences, Lege was the nance director of Sumter Coun ty, Florida, working under the county clerk of the court. He was responsible for the gen eral ledger, payroll processing, banking, cash management, bond disclosure and nancial reporting. He also prepared the countys annu al audit. Additionally during his tenure there, he developed new accounting procedures as well as the countys investment policy. For the six years prior to that stint, he was a senior auditor with Carr, Riggs and Ingram in Gainesville. The accounting rm specialized in audits of local governments and not-for-prot organizations. Lege is an advocate of TQL total quality leadership, a program that swept through the military services in the late 1980s and 1990s. I taught the fundamentals of TQL to more than 2,500 military and civilian personnel and was considered an expert in TQL, he wrote in his application. I have carried these princi ples with me and have used them successfully in all types of military and civilian organiza tions, he added. It teaches how to analyze, adapt and respond to situations that are out side of the normal process. Lege will take the position held by Chris Ly ons, the citys highly respected nance direc tor who is retiring for medical reasons unre lated to the job. % Chris Lyons works at his desk before his re tirement from the City of Sarasota. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota


Sarasota County has continued to see an improving housing market since its new s cal year began Oct. 1, county nancial data shows, with almost 27 percent more housing units sold in November 2012 compared to No vember 2011 the latest month for which gures are available. The year-to-year comparisons show 764 units sold in November 2012, while 602 were sold in November 2011. In October 2012, the num ber of units sold was 709, the data shows, a 22.9 percent increase over the 577 gure for October 2011. The median sales price also has continued a positive trend, according to the data. In November 2012, the median sales price for residential and condominium units was $170,516, a 12 percent increase from the $152,291 gure for November 2011. The November 2012 gure was down slightly 0.6 percent from the October 2012 num ber of $171,645. The median price in Septem ber 2012 was $171,195. The average number of days on the market for November 2012 was 173, down 6.7 percent from the 186-day level of November 2011. In October 2012, the average number of days on the market was 175, the county data shows. The number of building permits issued for single-family home construction also has con Sarasota County home sales stayed stronger in the 2012 scal year, county data shows. File photo SARASOTA COUNTYS HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO IMPROVE AND THE COUNTY EXCEEDED ITS REVENUE PROJECTIONS FOR THE 2012 FISCAL YEAR UPWARD TRENDS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 43 t inued to climb, according to the report. In November 2012, the county issued 48 permits with a total value of $9,243,000, compared to 25 permits in November 2011 with a total val ue of $5,622,000. In October 2012, the county issued 50 permits with a total value of $7,873,000, compared to 30 in October 2011 with a value of $4,819,000. Sarasota County also had positive news in terms of its tax collections for the end of the 2012 scal year. It brought in a total of $127,803,058 for all its ad valorem tax reve nue, although it had budgeted $125,515,648. Its tourist development tax revenue collec tions totaled $7,014,813 for FY 2012, compared to the $4,145,880 budgeted an increase of almost 41 percent. Only the countys gas tax revenue total came in lower than budgeted for FY 2012. The coun ty had planned on collecting $16,302,414, but it brought in a total of $15,623,475, or about 4 percent less than budgeted. Regarding the countys labor force: Novem bers data showed a 19.5 percent drop in the number of unemployed people seeking jobs, compared to the gure for November 2011. The November labor force numbered 162,108, down 0.2 percent from the gure of 162,404 reported in November 2011. Unemployment claims were down 11.9 per cent in November 2012 compared to the same month the previous year, 739 for November 2012 versus 839 for the same month in 2011. In October, the labor force numbered 163,067, up 0.6 percent from the gure of 162,138 in October 2011. Unemployment claims were down 18 percent year-over-year for October. Among other data that was down year-overyear, the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport saw 14.4 percent fewer passengers arrive in November 2012 compared to Novem ber 2011 47,174 versus 55,087. AirTran, which was purchased by Southwest Airlines, ceased operations at SRQ in August. The number of passengers boarding planes at the airport also was down in November 2012 compared to November a year ago 46,961 compared to 56,611, a drop of 17 percent. In October, the airport saw a 10.6 percent drop in the number of passengers arriving compared to the October 2011 gure. The number of people boarding planes was down 13 percent year-over-year for October. % A chart shows Sarasota County revenue sources and collections for the past two scal years. Chart courtesy Sarasota County


About 70 people gathered in front of the Fed eral Building on the evening of Dec. 27 for a vigil in memory of the 26 victims of the New town, CT, shootings and to call for new feder al laws restricting the sale of assault weapons. Sponsored by the Alliance Against Gun Vio lence in Our Communities, the event included the release of a letter to U.S. Rep. Vern Bu chanan, R-Longboat Key, urging him to sup port action in Congress in the wake of mul tiple mass murders in recent years in which assault ries have been used. Interim Minister Mike Young of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice was the speaker for the rally. The letter to Buchanan, also dated Dec. 27 and signed by Young, says, In the wake of so many tragic deaths of the innocent due to gun violence, we urge you to afrmatively vote for pending gun control legislation that will be introduced during the next session of Congress. The letter adds, For too long the nation has protected the right of civilians to possess weapons and ammunition which have a high capacity for the rapid and random mass killing of men, women and children. It points to the use of such weapons in the murders at Columbine High School in Colo rado in April 1999; Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA, in 2007, where 32 people were Vigil participants gather at the Federal Building on Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA VIGIL PARTICIPANTS SEEK STRICTER GUN CONTROLS REMEMBERING NEWTOWN Staff Reports


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 45 killed; Tucson, AZ, in January 2012, where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was gravely wounded and six people were killed; and the Aurora, CO, shootings including 12 deaths in July 2012 in a theater where The Dark Knight Rises was showing. The letter continues, We would also dis pel the notion that the use of [assault-type] weapons to commit mass murders can be pre vented by identifying the mentally ill early on before they have access to guns. Yes, recent mass killings with assault weapons were com mitted by individuals with mental afictions and with suicidal/homicidal aims. However, people are the victims of gun violence every day and the perpetrators are not always the mentally ill. The behavior and psyches of hu man beings whose emotional states of anger, fear, jealousy, revenge, depression or any oth er dark mood that strikes them at the moment become highly lethal if combined with the possession and use of these killing weapons. The Alliance says in the letter that it also be lieves the Florida Legislature should change the states Stand Your Ground gun law. The letter adds, Conceal Carry laws assume that it is appropriate to carry guns anywhere and everywhere and [ignore] the publics right to know that they may be among people with legally sanctioned lethal weapons. Those who believe they have [a] right to live in a gun free environment where lethal weapons are restricted to law enforcement ofcers are treated as second class citizens and viewed as un-American. The letter to Buchanan notes its endorsers include hundreds of people of all faiths and political persuasions. We are citizens of Sara sota and Venice and we are your constituents. Most importantly we are Americans con cerned about our country and the welfare of its citizens and communities. The Sarasota News Leader was unsuccessful in its attempts to obtain a response from Bu chanans ofce. % Some people carry signs while others hold candles, awaiting dusk. Photo by Norman Schimmel Signs call for a renewal of the federal ban on sales of assault weapons. Photo by Norman Schimmel


The citys controversial plan to sell 11 acres at the northeast corner of Beneva and Fruit ville Roads achieved an important milestone Wednesday, Jan 2. The Development Review Committee, com posed of senior city staffers, signed off on a plan to amend the citys future land use map to designate the site Commercial General instead Government, as it is labeled now. The city is deep in negotiations to sell the property to Benderson Development, which has announced a desire to build a shopping center on the property. Neighbors say the land-use change is inappropriate; they would prefer the area remain a park and training area for reghters. The sale was never advertised in a conven tional fashion. Only after the Benderson deal was revealed did another rm step forward A wide ditch is part of city-owned property Benderson Development wants to purchase. Photo by Robert Hackney CITYS DRC CLEARS BENEVA PLAN FOR BENDERSON NEWS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 47 and bid $2 million for the land, about twice what Benderson has agreed to pay. The sign off means staffers see no legal im pediment or zoning text problems with the change to Commercial General. A pond is one feature Benderson Development would have to deal with on a city-owned parcel it wants to buy at the intersection of Beneva and Fruitville Roads. A helipad used by the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce (at the rear of the photo) is adjacent to the Beneva Road side of the parcel. Photo by Robert Hackney The land-use map change and subsequent zon ing changes will go before the Sarasota City Planning Board on March 12. Stan Zimmerman District 1 City Commissioner Willie Shaw will host a community forum Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., the city has announced. Updates will be provided on initiatives occur ring within District 1 with an opportunity for questions, the release says. Residents, busi ness owners and District 1 stakeholders are encouraged to attend. Additionally, Shaw and City Manager Tom Barwin will introduce new Chief of Police Bernadette DiPino. Shaw also will discuss the top two priorities for District 1 in 2013: the cleanup and development of the Marian An derson Place browneld site and the creation of a small business incubator, the release says. SARASOTA DISTRICT 1 FORUM TO BE HELD JAN. 8 Additionally, updates will be provided on the following projects: Old Bradenton Road, Myr tle Street improvements, Newtown gateway/ landscaping, Newtown CRA goals and a North Sarasota Communication Plan, the release points out. Upcoming District 1 forums will be held on Thursday, March 14; Thursday, June 13; and Thursday, Sept. 12, the release says. Times and locations will be announced closer to the forum dates. The boundaries of District 1 roughly are Uni versity Parkway to the north, Fruitville Road to the south, North Tamiami Trail to the west and Tuttle Avenue to the east.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 48 Spanking new Sarasota Police Chief Berna dette DiPino will meet leaders of the local hoods Saturday, Jan. 5 the neighborhoods, that is, at the monthly conclave of the Coali tion of City Neighborhood Associations. While her rst ofcial day at the ofce was Jan. 1, she was present for the command meet ing Dec. 31, surrounded by senior police staff. After the expected so-glad-to-be-here re marks on Jan. 5, she will face questions from representatives of the 28 registered city neigh borhoods. Also at the dais will be Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight. One question sure to come up with Knight and DiPino in the room regards the likeli hood of consolidating some specialty teams fielded by both departments, such as K-9, SWAT, bomb squad and marine patrol. City Commissioner Shannon Snyder, a former dep uty, has harped for a year on the need to con sider a total consolidation of city and county law enforcement programs. The city Police Department is the largest com ponent of the citys budget, costing more than all the collected property taxes. It is likely some or all of the six formal can didates for two open City Commission seats will be in attendance as well. The election will be in March. The coalition will meet upstairs at the Walde mere Fire Station on East Waldemere Street starting at 9 a.m. Stan Zimmerman New Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino addresses an audience in the City Commission Chambers on Oct. 16 as City Manager Tom Barwin looks on. Photo by Norman Schimmel DIPINO TO MEET MEMBERS OF THE HOODS The Sarasota Republican Club will hold a pan el discussion during its meeting on Wednes day, Jan. 9, focusing on the topic, What Happened??!! The panelists will be political consultant Ja mie Miller; Andres Malave, eld coordinator for Hispanic Outreach (Americans for Pros perity); and radio talk show personality John ny Jackson, a club release says. WHAT HAPPENED??!! TO BE TOPIC OF PANEL DISCUSSION The social hour will begin at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for guests and non-members. For additional information and reservations, click on Upcoming Events at www.Sara or contact Donna Arenschield at 312-5279.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 49 The development of Bird Key, starting with the purchase of property in 1906 for construction of the keys rst mansion, will be commemo rated at a ceremony hosted by the Sarasota County Historical Commission on Saturday, Jan. 5, Sarasota County has announced. The 9:30 a.m. event will be held at the en trance to Bird Key, on John Ringling Boule vard, Sarasota, a county news release says. A ccording to information contained on the marker, the rst mansion built on Bird Key was New Edzell Castle, named for Davidella Davie Lindsay Worcesters ancestral home in Scotland, the release notes. After Worcester came to Sarasota County for health reasons in 1905, she discovered Bird Keys natural beauty and serenity while boating with friends, the release says. The design of Bird Key Park, adjacent to Sarasota Bay, makes it a memorable gateway to the island. Photo by Norman Schimmel MARKER TO COMMEMORATE DEVELOPMENT OF BIRD KEY


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 50 A deed for 12.8 acres on the key was recorded in her name the following year. Featuring modern amenities such as gas, elec tric lights and hot and cold water, the prop erty had its own dock, since access to the island was by boat only, the release points out. Although she planned much of the Geor gian-style home, Davie Worcester died before its completion in 1914, the release notes, but her husband, Thomas, lived there until his death in 1918. Family members continued to reside there until John Ringling, the circus magnate and entrepreneur, purchased Bird Key in 1922. Ringling then constructed a bridge and cause way in 1925 to connect Bird Key and the outer keys of St. Armands, Lido and Longboat to the mainland, the release says. According to the marker, John Ringlings only sister Ida Ringling North lived in the mansion from 1934 until 1959, when it was demolished by Arvida Corp. John Ringling had died in 1936, and his sister and his nephew, John Ringling North, were administrators of his estate, which included Bird Key. John Ringling North formed the Bird Key Corp. and acquired a bout 280 acres of sub merged land from the state, but his vision of developing the property did not materialize, the marker notes. In 1959, the Arvida Corp. bought 2,000 acres of Ringling property, including Bird Key. The city approved Arvidas plan for a luxurious island residential haven, the release says, and dredging and lling to enlarge the island to about 300 acres began, along with construc tion of the islands infrastructure. Enticed by sales incentives such as a Chris Craft cabin cruiser and a Lincoln Continental car, real estate agents quickly sold the rst lots, according to the marker. Bird Key was connected to the city of Sara sota water system in 1964, and in 1960, Arvi da built the Bird Key Yacht Club, which was transferred to residents in 1967. Members of the Bird Key Improvement As sociation applied for the historical marker. A brief reception sponsored by the Bird Key Yacht Club will be conducted immediately af ter the ceremony, the release says. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. New College of Florida once again has been recognized as a top value in America by Kiplingers Personal Finance magazine, plac ing seventh on the list of 100 best values in public colleges for 2012-13, the college has announced. This marks the 10th consecutive year New College has placed among the nations top 20 public colleges overall on Kiplingers list of NEW COLLEGE RANKED 7 ON KIPLINGERS TOP 100 LIST schools delivering a stellar education at an affordable price, a news release points out. Kiplingers ranked New College No. 5 in 2012 and No. 11 in 2011. To determine the ranking each year, the ed itors at Kiplingers Personal Finance nar row down a list of nearly 600 public four-year schools to about 130 schools based on SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates,


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 51 student-faculty ratios and fourand six-year graduation rates, the release adds. The edi tors then rank each school based on cost and nancial aid, though academic quality carries more weight than costs, the release points out. With a 10-to-1 student/faculty ratio, the 832 students enrolled at New College chart their own learning in close consultation with fac ulty mentors through independent study and thesis work in addition to courses, the re lease adds. The 2012-13 incoming class en tered New College with average SAT scores between 1783 and 2100 (out of 2400), and more than half of New Colleges 2012 grad uates (52 percent) completed their degrees with no debt, the release says. We applaud this years top 100 schools for their efforts to maintain academic standards while meeting the nancial needs of their stu dents, said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplingers Personal Finance in the news release. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplingers February 2013 issue and online at having been out of high school for a number of years, the news release notes. The schol arships are not restricted to four-year univer sities; higher education includes college, vocational or technical school, as well as ac credited courses of study for cosmetology, health care and other specialized elds. Adults who are residents of Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte counties, including those already enrolled in a course of study, are eligible to apply for assistance from the Adult Learners Scholarship program, the news release points out. Annually, scholarships are awarded from more than 60 funds managed by the Commu nity Foundation. These funds are diverse, fullling the wishes of donors both living and deceased who want to provide needed nancial support to promising scholars, the release adds. More information is available by clicking here or by calling 556-7114. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County recently awarded $237,750 in Adult Learners Scholarships, including 93 to new students (totaling $159,250) and 34 renewed scholarships (totaling $78,500). Amounts per student range from $500 to $3,000, a news release notes. The funds were granted from 15 donor funds held at the Com munity Foundation. The scholarships will help students attend the following schools: AHIAM (American Health Information Management Association), Argo sy University, Center for Advanced Legal Stud ies, DePaul University, East West College of Natural Medicine, Eckerd College, ITT Tech nical Institute, Keiser College, LECOM School of Pharmacy, Liberty University, Manatee Technical Institute, Sarasota County Techni cal Institute, Southwest Florida Technical In stitute, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida and the University of South Florida. The nancial assistance is offered to adults entering institutions of higher education after ADULT LEARNERS SCHOLARSHIPS PRESENTED


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 52 The eight two-hour lectures (with a break each evening) will include briengs on local weather and currents, anchoring, provisions, beating the bugs, avoiding sunstroke, coastal piloting without electronics, sail handling and trim (from dead air to full gale), non-electri cal self-steering, emergencies and much more. Successful sailboat cruising requires a vast body of knowledge, Zimmerman points out. Students are expected to bring paper, pencils and a hank of line. Each class will start at 7 p.m. sharp and end at 9 p.m. for eight consec utive Thursday evenings through Feb. 28. The Sarasota Sailing Squadron, which leases land from the City of Sarasota, offers educa tional opportunities to the public. The squadron has no heat, so dress appropri ately for a porch classroom in winter. Sailors are tough, Zimmerman adds. For information, contact Zimmerman at 9550790 or the Sailing Squadron at 388-2355. Rare is the time when sailors share their se crets. But for eight weeks, starting Jan. 10, a vast body of knowledge will be laid bare on how to cruise the Southwest Florida coast un der sail. Hard-won secrets will be the free for the tak ing. Instruction will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron clubhouse in Ken Thompson Park, just down the road from Mote Marine Laboratory. The course is free and open to any interested person. It is geared for sailors new to the area and people who wonder if they, too, could go cruising on a sail boat. The instructor will be Stan Zimmerman, a sailor with more than 30 years of experience cruising under sail in small sloops. Its not the size of the boat, its the courage and skill of the skipper and crew that determines how far you can go, he says. CRUISING (WITH) CLASS BEGINS JAN. 10 The classic will feature a silent auction and the chance to play a round with current and former Orioles players and coaches, the re lease notes. Manager Buck Showalter and cur rent Orioles Jim Johnson, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are among the team members scheduled to attend the event. Registration is open for golfers and corporate partners, the release says. Multiple levels of participation are available, including MVP Sponsor packages which consist of recogni tion as a presenting sponsor, a foursome with the opportunity to select your Orioles play ing partner, four ineld box seats to a 2013 On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Baltimore Orioles will hold the third annual OriolesREACH Bird land Golf Classic at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club to benet the Miracle League of Manasota, an organization dedicated to pro viding an opportunity for every person to play baseball, regardless of their ability, an Orioles news release says. The event will begin with registration and lunch at 11 a.m.; a shotgun start is set for 12:30 p.m. Since its inception, the Birdland Golf Classic has raised more than $56,000 for the Miracle League of Manasota, the release adds. ORIOLES TO HOST THIRD ANNUAL BIRDLAND GOLF CLASSIC BENEFIT


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 53 Newtown Estates Playground Improvements Orange Avenue Drainage Improvements Bertha Mitchell Development Improvements Just 4.2 percent of the total amount invested in Newtown came from CDBG funds, the release says. The remainder was from the Neighbor hood Stabilization Program, economic devel opment initiative funds and disaster recovery funds, but the money was awarded through the CDBG program, the release notes. This award demonstrates the commitment that both the city and the county have shown to rehabilitate this area, Don Hadsell, general manager of the Ofce of Housing and Commu nity Development, says in the release. The city and county have not only dedicated federal and state grant funds to this effort, but their own general fund dollars, he adds. The award will be presented Feb. 1, during the NCDA annual conference in Washington D.C. Audrey Nelson, for whom the honor is named, was the rst deputy executive secretary of the NCDA. She was committed to neighborhood improvements in Chicago before she died with cancer at the age of 29, the release says. The Sarasota Ofce of Housing and Commu nity Development has been honored by the National Community Development Associa tion (NCDA) as a recipient of the Audrey Nel son Community Development Achievement Award for exemplary use of Community De velopment Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Sarasota was recognized for its use of CDBG funds and Neighborhood Stabilization Funds in the Newtown neighborhood, a city news release notes. The funds have been utilized to improve neighborhoods, homes and family lives, the release adds. Since 2008, $60.6 million in public dollars have been invested in the Newtown community on 12 projects, the release points out: Janies Garden Phases I & II Kingstone Apartments (formerly The Med iterranean) Elms Apartments Fredd Glossie Atkins Park Storefront Renovation Program Robert L. Taylor Community Center Newtown Training Center Orange Avenue Playground Improvements CITYS HOUSING OFFICE WINS NATIONAL HONOR Orioles Spring Training game and more, the release points out. For the 14,000 school-age children with dis abilities and their adult counterparts in Sara sota and Manatee counties, a synthetically surfaced baseball eld with all the requisite amenities was built last year in Longwood Park, just off University Parkway in Saraso ta, the release notes. Sarasota County com mitted $500,000 to the capital improvement of Longwood Park, while the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates contributed $150,000 for the eld. The opening game of the Miracle League of Manasota was held on March 17. For more information, visit www.miraclelea For more information or to register for the golf event, contact the Miracle League of Manasota at 225-2966 or info@miracleleague The entry deadline is Wednes day, Feb. 6.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 54 Subsequent weather systems reportedly di minished the impact of red tide in the Gulf. Residents and visitors with asthma or chronic respiratory impairments who are planning to visit a local beach are encouraged to be aware of beach conditions where red tide impacts are being reported, the release points out. For those who are susceptible, the symptoms as sociated with red tide tend to become more noticeable when the winds are blowing on shore, it adds. Current beach conditions may be found online at Mote Marine Laboratorys website, www. Residents and visitors also can register to receive email reports about specic beaches. For telephone updates, call 941-BEACHES (232-2437) and press for Sarasota County beaches, the release notes. S arasota County staff worked with non-vi olent offenders from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Offender Work Program to remove more than 9,000 pounds (4.5 tons) of dead sh from Blind Pass Beach and Manasota Beach on Manasota Key Dec. 27-28, the county an nounced in a news release. The suspected cause of the sh kill was a red tide bloom located offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, the release notes. The dead sh started washing ashore earlier in the week, the release adds. County staff, including lifeguards and employ ees of Parks and Recreation, are continuing to monitor all public beaches for impacts of red tide and will respond as the need arises, the release says. On Dec. 28, Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason took this photo of dead sh on Blind Pass Beach in the southern part of the county. Photo courtesy Sarasota County COUNTY REMOVES THOUSANDS OF DEAD FISH FROM BEACHES


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 55 In the past 12 months, citizen volunteers have donated 13,638 hours of unpaid service to the City of Sarasota, the release says. Ofcer Danny Robbins, who is the volunteer coordinator, receives valuable assistance from volunteer Carolyn Fishel, who is the cit izen volunteer coordinator, the release adds. Fishel, Bledsoe, Martha Bohn and Don Herk lotz each volunteered more than 1,000 hours during 2012, the release adds. Among ofcials attending the dinner were City Manager Thomas Barwin, Deputy City Man ager Marlon Brown, Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, Commissioner Paul Caragiulo, then-Acting Po lice Chief Paul Sutton, incoming Police Chief Bernadette DiPino and Capt. Lucius Bonner. Volunteer Julie Clarke coordinated the dinner, the release notes. The volunteers donated the food. During a recent Awards Dinner, the Saraso ta Police Department and the City of Saraso ta expressed gratitude for the contributions made by 73 citizen volunteers, the city has announced. Among those honored were Volunteer of the Year Tom Solomon; Outstanding Volunteers Ron Bledsoe, Charlie Mericle, Sandy Savage and Leon Warshaw; and the winner of the Bra chle Award, A.P. Raghavendra, a news release says. The Brachle Award recognizes dedicated ser vice under difcult circumstances, the release notes. The award is named for its rst recipient, in 2001 Bob Brachle who continued to serve after a double amputation necessitated his use of a wheelchair, the release points out. City of Sarasota volunteers are honored for their hours of work in 2012. Contributed photo SARASOTA POLICE RECOGNIZE AND THANK VOLUNTEERS


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 56 Discount Beverage, 2316 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. Lees Food Store, 5604 Swift Road, Sarasota. 7-11, 4350 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. BP, 3605 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. BP, 1660 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. 7-11, 1721 Honore Ave., Sarasota. Low Price Tobacco and Beer, 700 S. Tami ami Trail, Nokomis. Hess Express, 350 Commercial Court, Venice. Another 43 businesses were found to be in compliance and were sent a letter to commend owners and employees for helping reduce the sale of alcohol to minors, the release notes. Twelve local convenience store clerks were cited for selling alcohol to a minor during an undercover operation conducted by the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Juvenile Al cohol Task Force Dec. 27-28, the ofce has announced. The following businesses were found to be in violation of selling alcohol to a person un der age 21, a news release says, and each of the clerks was given a misdemeanor Notice to Appear: 7-11, 4400 Clark Road, Sarasota. BP, 5300 Clark Road, Sarasota. 7-11, 5754 Clark Road, Sarasota. Maxxs Mart, 2616 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota. STORES CITED FOR UNDERAGE ALCOHOL SALES would reach out to peers with this lifesaving message, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the re lease. As the entries showed, we have some real talent in this community, so we hope to expand the competition next year. The winning PSA has been airing on ABC7. It will also be posted on the stations website Airtime was paid for by Regional Strike Force funding from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the release notes. The PSA will also air on The Education Chan nel, and it is posted on the Sheriffs Ofce YouTube channel, sotaSheriff % The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has se lected the winner in a student competition to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) warning teens about the dangers of prescrip tion drug abuse and misuse, the ofce has an nounced. The PSA competition was held among Televi sion Production students at Pine View School in Osprey. There were 10 entries overall, with the winning 30-second spot created by 11th graders Wesley Backer and Max Klauber, a news release says. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs by teens, so we wanted to see how students SHERIFFS OFFICE SELECTS WINNER IN PSA COMPETITION


Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida941-953-4060


EDITORIAL & COMMENTARY EDITORIAL I n the last decade of the Cold War, a mo tion picture titled The Day After was released. Directed by Nicholas Meyer and starring Ja son Robards, John Lithgow and Bibi Besch, it was a graphic and disturbing depiction of the aftermath of nuclear war as it affected those living near Kansas City, KS. In addition to mas sive casualties, radioactive fallout and the loss of every single modern convenience, their world was eerily silent. With the recent escalation of the debate over noise in downtown Sarasota, we were re minded of this lm. We also recalled such common sayings as silent as the grave and quiet as a tomb. It seems that complete si lence often is equated with death. It is in that context we remain perplexed about those who, having sought a residence in the heart DONT DOOM SARASOTA TO THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE of an urban downtown, want to project on that environment a deathlike silence what is euphemistically referred to by them as the quiet enjoyment of their property. Whenever we contemplate a silent urban cen ter, it is in the tragically unnatural circum stances of a post-nuclear disaster. Perhaps that is because, after having been in urban centers around the world, we never have en countered one that truly is silent, or which would afford its denizens any sort of quiet enjoyment. Enjoyment, yes. But silence? In an urban setting, quiet enjoyment seems like an oxymoron. Downtown Sarasota is not the heart of Man hattan, but it is an urban metropolis. And that means urban noise is an inescapable accom paniment. Trafc, sirens, construction yes,


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 59 even the booming sounds of live music are integral elements of that environment. The hustle and bustle of a citys core create the very vitality and vivacity that attract many to live there. To desire otherwise says more about the unrealistic expectations of those who eschew noise than it does about the ap propriateness of noise both good and bad in an urban center. Traditionally, people prefer to live in an ur ban setting because of the fast-paced lifestyle, the diversity, the culture in short, every thing that makes a city the last logical place to seek out quiet. Yet, apparently, some arrived in Sarasotas downtown hoping for exactly that. If only they, upon learning the extent of their folly, had moved to the country for their sepulchral silence, all would be ne. Instead, they have exerted an outsized inuence on the citys government, with the result that our downtown is nearly reduced to all the tumult one might nd in well, a tomb. We have tried to see the proverbial middle ground in this controversy, some basis for a reasonable compromise. Unfortunately, ex pecting the center of a city to be as quiet as a rural countryside is neither reasonable nor fair. Realtors and condo salespeople might have promised a quiet downtown, but they could just as well have been hawking the Brooklyn Bridge. It was not theirs to prom ise. And the sooner downtown residents em brace the sounds of the city or head east of Interstate 75 and the city backs off of its draconian restrictions on downtown nightlife, the better off Sarasota will be. % COMMENTARY News media cov erage of the Dec. 14 Newtown, CT, school massacre has been extensive. Still, many of the basic facts in the case of Adam Lanza, who is suspected of the murder of his mother and 26 innocents, remain unknown or are in doubt. Some reports depict him as a deeply troubled young man suffering from Aspergers syn drome, a form of autism spectrum disorder. Other reporting paints a different picture. By David Staats Columnist THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PORTRAIT OF A KILLER Theories as to Adams motive continue to be put forward. Three psychiatrists were interviewed for this article. Each knew Adam only from what he had read in the newspapers or had seen on television. Since they could only speculate in general terms about an individual whom they had never met or treated, the three asked to remain anonymous. One of the psychiatrists believes it is impos sible to separate Adams neuroses from those


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 60 of his mother. The high strung mother who believed in an impending and violent end to the nations social and economic order passed her apocalyptic vision to her son, who absorbed and cultivated it. She taught him marksmanship with rie and pistol skills he would need to protect himself when civilization collapsed. Adams already fragile psyche was a fertile eld in which his mother planted her obses sive-compulsive fantasies. In order to condi tion himself for the end of civilization that she had foretold, he played violent video games in the seclusion of his windowless basement refuge, where he also likely thought about ma tricide. Another psychiatrist agreed that Adams dis order is likely rooted in his familys history. This psychiatrist was skeptical, however, that Adam had ever been professionally diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome because there is no evidence he was ever treated for it. Even when Adam was in high school and had been assigned a psychologist, there is no record that the psychologist had been aware of a past diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome. The psy chologists chief concern, as was that of the school administration, was that the socially maladroit Adam, who had no criminal record, might do harm to himself, not to others. Adams parents separated in 2001 and di vorced in 2007, when he was 17 years old. Over the next three years, his father regular ly visited Adam and Adams elder brother on weekends. In 2010, Adams father remarried, and Adams brother went to work in New York City. It was then that Adam refused further vis its from his father. His brother busied himself with his new life and dropped contact with Adam. The closest male role models in Adams life had simultaneously vanished from his life and did not return. Only his mother remained. The divorce decree gave Adams mother com plete authority over his upbringing. After the divorce, she began buying guns. Adams life then more than ever centered on and depend ed upon his mother. She home-schooled him, further restricting his socialization possibili ties. Each ones neuroses fed off of and rein forced the others. A third psychiatrist consulted for this article doubted that Adam would have responded to treatment even if it had been sought for him. Only someone like the late Bruno Bettelheim, an expert in treating troubled young people, might have been able to reach Adam, but even that is doubtful. CHILDHOOD TRAUMA? Described by one contemporary as a weird kid since the age of 5, Adam, this third doctor said, may have suffered a violent episode in early childhood that left him brain-injured as well as psychologically impaired. The brains ability to repress the recall of dreadful events is strong, this doctor added, and the brain would have suppressed the conscious mem ory of such a traumatic episode, holding it in check until a stressor event released it. The psychiatrist commented that a post mor tem examination of Adams brain might not discover the physical injury, if in fact there were one unless it was a gross anatomical lesion, a tumor, etc. Chemical lesions in the


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 61 brain, which are a more common cause of be havior such as Adams, are undetectable. For this reason, Connecticuts chief medical exam iners autopsy may not produce a convincing explanation of Adams behavior. What was the stressor event that triggered the shootings? It has been suggested that Adam discovered his mother was planning to com mit him to a mental institution. Another the ory is that she was going to enroll him in a school in Washington State. Our doctors dis count these theories. A more likely explanation, they say, is that Adam began questioning himself about his mothers belief in an impending apocalypse and that he could not answer those questions satisfactorily. Her paranoid fantasies contin ued to nourish his, and he acted on them. Ad ams rst victim was his mother, whom he is said to have shot four times in the head and face. Why did he kill very young children? One psy chiatrist said that within the context of the End of Days fantasy that Adam and his moth er shared and nurtured, and which, in Adam, may have been informed by his alleged irta tion with Satanism, Adam could have come to see the children as agents of the Lord of Misrule, who had to be destroyed, as in the video games he played. One child was shot 11 times. COMMITMENT PROCESSES A word about the process in Connecticut by which mentally ill persons are involuntarily committed is perhaps overdue. Involuntary commitment is governed by CGS 7a-503. This statute provides that persons who are mentally ill may be committed involuntarily if they are judged to be a danger to others or themselves, or if they are severely disabled to the point where they may suffer serious harm because they cannot provide for their own ba sic human needs and refuse to accept neces sary hospitalization. Involuntary commitment requires that papers be led with the probate court and competent medical professionals examine the individual in question. This pro cess is neither swift nor easy. There is also an expedited process for invol untary commitment. Known as emergency certication, this venue requires a competent medical practitioner to certify that an individ ual is mentally ill, is a danger to himself or others and/or cannot care for himself with out specialized assistance. In such instances, an individual may be held for 15 days for ob servation and evaluation. If at the end of this period the test results are negative or incon clusive, and no civil commitment petition has been led with the probate court, then the in dividual is released back into his community. Based on available reporting, it appears as though Adam was never the subject of civil commitment proceedings or an emergency commitment. Adams mother, his sole care giver, took no step to secure professional help to treat his mental illness, which was obvious to many, and which she may have tacitly en couraged. The responsibility for the tragedy of Newtown is shared equally by mother and son, as well as by the dozens of individuals who turned a blind eye to the pairs bizarre, symbiotic be havior. %


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 62 COMMENTARY Is it the easy ca maraderie among tness folks people somewhere be tween the ages of 18 and 90 who love the feel ing of a good workout? Is it the studio regu lars, dancing or stepping to the beat, knowing that after their own grueling one-hour work out they will have earned a nice cool shower and their day will be better than ever? (I dont understand yoga, but I do recognize a look of satisfaction and accomplishment on the faces of the group members after their class ends.) Is it the gang of older guys who meet every week to wring out every ounce of sweat on the racquetball courts? They are denitely in their own zone, loving every second of their competitive matches. One could call it a fra ternity of ageless men who just cannot, and will not, quit. I heard one red-faced player tell his buddy, Im 65; the other guy responded, So what! Im 77. But he was outdone by the third player in the group, who wore a large elastic brace on his leg and walked away from his game with an enormous smile and a look of great pride. By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer I CALL IT THE CLUB Is it the large, round open area in the center that serves to welcome members, inviting them to have a cup of coffee and a chat? The people in this spot always seem so comfort able and relaxed, enjoying this home-awayfrom home ambience. What about the marvelous day-care services and teen programs? The Sarasota Y on Bahia Vista Street, ofcially known as the Frank A. Berlin YMCA, seems unique to me. Nobody ever judges anybody there, but maybe a few of us really like to ad mire some of the great bodies. Sometimes I am not in the mood to make the drive over to The Club, but once I arrive and it never seems to fail I am greeted by the friendly volunteers and am motivated, once again, to do my workout. If my friend, Ken, who just turned 90, can show up along with his wife and strain on all those machines, then I guess I have no choice. Happy New Year, and stay t (keep lifting). % Press Releases & News Tips




Cigar City Brewing in Tampa appears to have a serious, though exhilarating, situation on its hands. As if an unsuspecting bartender has pulled the lever on a tap that cannot be switched off, the budding business has been overowing with demand beginning a short time after it was founded by CEO Joey Redner and Head Brewer Wayne Wambles in March 2009. It has recently been scrambling to expand quickly enough to satisfy the desires of its customers in Florida and across the United States. Most breweries dont do as well as we did as fast as we did, said Cigar City Brewing Tour Guide Bob Lorber during an early afternoon look at the brewerys facilities on Dec. 22, for which he had donned a Santa Claus hat and a beaming smile. We brew around the clock six days a week, 24 hours a day and we still cant supply Florida. CIGAR CITY CONTINUES TO EXPAND The brewery is so popular locally, in fact, that even though it expanded its tasting room to three times the original size last November, extended its hours and added an additional, larger bar, many patrons still struggle to nd seating during weekend visits, whether in the evening or early afternoon. Even those who Cigar City Brewing Tour Guide Bob Lorber animatedly describes the brewing process to tour groups on Saturdays and shares samples of some of the brews before they make it into the tasting room. All photos by Arielle Scherr CIGAR CITY BREWING EXPANDS AS IT GARNERS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR FLORIDA-INSPIRED AND INNOVATIVE CRAFT BREWS BEER PIONEERS By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 65 want to purchase bottles or ll up takeaway containers called growlers often have to wait in line to get their brews and drink them at home. Expanding the tasting room, however, is only one step Cigar City is taking to satisfy its cus tomers. To increase its overall production in addition to Florida, its beers are distributed to Alabama, Philadelphia and New York City the brewery in May 2012 purchased and developed a new, additional brew house on its original property with twice the capacity of the rst one. Lorber estimated that, once the production numbers are in for 2012, they would be at least double, possibly triple those of 2011, when the total was about 8,000 barrels. Another important part of Cigar Citys expan sion is its recent purchase of a canning line that allows the brewery to package beer more quickly and efciently than with its original bottling line, a difference between 62 cans per minute and 24 bottles per minute. The brew ery began selling and distributing its canned beers in November last year. At present, only the best-selling Cigar City beers are available in cans. Cans are awesome in Florida, specically, because you can take them to the boat, the beach, the pool, the golf course, tailgating, work, whatever you feel like, Lorber said jok ingly. We love cans, he continued. Theres no white stripe; theres no oxidation; theres no seepage. Theyre easy to pack in, pack out or shotgun, he added, evoking some hearty laughter from the tour group. The most obvious choice for canning is the Jai Alai India Pale Ale (IPA) because it makes up Dario Diaz (right) tells The Sarasota News Leader he admires Cigar City Brewing CEO and Found er Joey Redners decision not to include television programming in the tasting room, so it does not distract from the experiences of patrons bonding over beers.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 66 This display, frequently referred to in the Cigar City Brewing tour, shows the ingredients used to make some of the brewerys more famous and popular beers.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 67 70 percent of Cigar Citys output and can be considered its agship beer. The ale which has a hoppy, crisp taste with light bitterness that is balanced with citrus and tropical fruit avors is rated exceptional, scoring 91 out of 100 points, by Beeradvocate an inter national authority and online social rating sys tem of beer quality and taste. In second place is the Maduro Brown Ale, a more affordable choice that helped put Cigar City on the map, thanks to its nod to Tam pas Cuban cultural heritage; its smooth mix of complex chocolate, espresso, caramel and toffee avors; and its excellent pairing capa bilities with heavy Cuban dishes such as ropa vieja. Finishing out the canned selections are two beers that fall within the same price range as Maduro: the Florida Cracker White Ale, named after the Colonial-era cattle ranchers of Florida who used to herd or hunt cattle using whips instead of lassos; and the Hotter than Helles Lager, named after the Munich Helles style of German beer to which it adheres. Those who are already familiar with the brew erys more exclusive selections will likely be excited to hear, according to Lorber, that the company has tentative plans to can the Toco baga Red Ale, which is rated even more highly than the Jai Alai on Beeradvocate ; the White Oak Aged Jai Alai IPA, which, as its name sug gests, is brewed with spirals of white oak that impart a unique avor to the ale; the Mina ret Extra Special Bitter (ESB) ale; and Cuba no-Style Espresso Brown Ale, which is one of Cigar Citys more distinctly Cuban-inuenced beers. Lorber made sure to emphasize that these plans are still tentative, however, and people should not get too excited just yet. In addition to expanding statewide and na tionally, Cigar City is giving fans who happen to live in or near Tampa the gift of an of cial brewpub: Opened recently in the Carroll wood neighborhood, it will be producing its own new beers and specializing in pairing them with particular dishes. Further into the future, locals and visitors will also have the opportunity to relax in the Florida sun at the Biergarten that will be developed outside the newly expanded brew house. THE ROOTS OF THE SUCCESS Those who have tried Cigar Citys beers know it is no secret why the brewery has gained such an ardent following so quickly. Its their creativity, said Jacob Gibson a Tampa resident of nine years who brews his own beer at home with his father and takes the Cigar City tour as often as he can. He spoke with The Sarasota News Leader on Dec. 22. You can come in here once a week and theyre opening weird kegs of random stuff, like theyre saying, Hey look what weve done! We put Jai Alai in a chardonnay barrel, inside of another barrel! It is this determination to constantly produce something new and unique without fear of fail ure that has helped make Cigar City famous. The brewery began developing this reputation less than six months after its opening by sub mitting its Humidor Series IPA a Jai Alai aged with spirals of Spanish cedar commonly used to make cigar boxes to the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in Colorado and walking away with a gold medal. Since then, the brewery has entered the competition ev ery year and has consistently won medals: In


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 68 2010 it won a silver medal for the same beer; in 2011, it won another gold medal for the Min aret ESB; and in 2012, it won a bronze medal for the Cucumber Saison, which is a light, re freshing, Belgian-style summer beer infused with cucumber and dill. These and various other awards won at craft beer competitions across the United States, along with frequent high ratings from Beer advocate and the similar RateBeer site, have combined with lore about special release beers and aged beers to create a culture of Cigar City obsession among craft beer fans across the country. Probably the best illus tration of this is Cigar Citys elusive Hunah pus Imperial Stout, which has an almost un heard-of rating of 99 points on Beeradvocate The brewery releases it only one day per year on its March 9 birthday which has been dubbed Hunahpus Day. The extremely limited-release Hunahpus, which is a variant of Cigar Citys popular Mar shal Zhukovs Imperial Stout, is brewed with three different kinds of chiles, cocoa nibs, Madagascar vanilla and Ceylon cinnamon. On its release date last year, it attracted more than 5,000 customers to the brewery, some of whom arrived hours before the doors even opened. It sold out in a matter of hours, de The tasting room at Cigar City Brewing offers ights for patrons who want to try various beers at once, which is often helpful for rst-time visitors navigating the extensive draft menu.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 69 spite the brewerys limiting the sales to two bottles per customer. Lorber said he still has a couple of bottles of it at home and that he has received offers to purchase them for $300 each, though he has not yet been able convince himself to let them go. Those who do not necessarily have Hunah pus fever can still visit Cigar Citys tasting room most other days of the year and enjoy themselves. This is not only an essential part of the true Cigar City experience, but also an integral part of the brewerys business model. After all, the tasting room is the place where beers go from a small test batch to the tap and then, depending on customer response, to oblivion or back to the tap for another run, with the hope of possibly making it into 12or 22-ounce bottles. This type of customer feedback, Lorber ex plained in an interview between tours, is one of the primary ways Cigar City makes its deci sions about how often and in what quantities to produce certain beers. Its a test market, he explained. We test it in the tasting room; we listen to the feedback. If it sells out quickly, we know its done well, he continued. If the public tells you to do some thing well, youd be stupid not to do it! While this testing process may not seem un usual for any business, Lorber explained that what makes it different at Cigar City is the companys refusal to rest on the laurels of its favorites. Cigar City, he added, has an insatia ble desire to experiment, and it continues to produce and offer a wide variety of new beers in its tasting room, which is what keeps peo ple coming back so often. Beer drinkers love us because we dont just stay with the regular rotation, we change it up. Every time you go into the tasting room there will be a different beer in there, he explained. Thats what sets us apart from oth er breweries. Ive been all over the country, to 250 different breweries, and nobody really does this. Another aspect of Cigar City that makes it unique and appealing is the way it incorpo rates the Cuban inuence of Tampas culture into its beers, particularly in using ingredients and processes that have not been tried before or may seem unusual to many beer drinkers. Dario Diaz, a Tampa native, a friend of Red ner and a fan of the brewery, explained to the News Leader as he sat at the tasting room bar on Dec. 22 that he appreciates this originality. Theyre being innovative with beer, theyre having fun with it and it shows, he said. Im proud of Cigar City, Diaz continued. Get on any forum about beer and youll see some how, somebody from another place talking about Cigar City, saying things like, We dont have it in New England yet, but were really looking forward to it! Jerry Troya, another Tampa native who was sitting and chatting with Diaz, expressed a similar sentiment. It shows that theyre cre ating a product that they enjoy and they enjoy doing it, too. They use different avors that do create the Latin-type feel of being here in West Tampa, he said, adding that Cigar City is expanding the recognition of Tampa and its culture all across the United States. I tell people I live in Tampa, he pointed out, and they say, Oh, thats where Cigar City is, right?


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 70 A GROWING AUDIENCE Cigar Citys current rate of success and expan sion may be just the beginning for the young brewery. National demand for the companys beer remains on the rise, and once the com pany is able to fulll the demand in Florida, it may move on to national distribution for good reason. The brewerys Facebook page, for example, is constantly peppered with posts from people in other states asking when they will be able to buy Cigar City beers locally. Gibson, who is lucky enough to be able to vis it the brewery whenever he wants to satisfy his own Cigar City desires, said he has friends who fall into this demographic. I know peo ple in Georgia who drive to Tallahassee just to get Cigar City beers, he said. Its ridiculous. Of course, with growth often comes change. However, from what Lorber has said about the core values of Cigar Citys employees, its owner and its head brewer, fans need not wor ry about how future commercial success will affect the brewerys prestige and adventurous ness. Its true heart craft beer, he said. For these guys, its not a job, its a passion. % At the front of its expanded tasting room, Cigar City Brewing proudly displays the awards it has garnered over the years.


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. Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida


ASK OTUS Dear Readers, It is the New Year, and in our avian world, it is in with the old! The mating season for most birds is just begin ning, celebrating the eons-old cycle of court ship and love while trying ones absolute best to get someone to do it with you! The haec ceity of a bird is simple to explain: We exist to breed and insure the survival of our species. The fact that we do it with panache and pur sue it with an intensity that oftentimes bor ders on the ridiculous is just another part of our inherent charm something that makes people smile understandingly or scratch their heads perplexedly as they watch our antics. As usual, I have a wonderful old song run ning through my head. It is called Lets Fall in Love, and it was written by Cole Porter, the famed Hoosier composer (as well as natural ist and ornithologist). It is more commonly known as Birds do it, bees do it. And here is a video I really enjoyed. The lms quality may be pathetic, but it features lots of glori ous love-struck birds as well as one ruttin g, SO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW BIRDS DO IT Oscar and Olivia mate in their nest. File photo


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 73 solar heating and heat-generating biodegrad able materials? Anyway, Oscar is rebuilding the nest he established three years ago in the hope that Olivia Osprey will again fall in love with him and they can do it. He is starting to do everything a male bird can possibly do to attract a mate. Even if it is the same mate as the one he had last year and many birds do so hope it will be the same one he still has to show her he has what it takes. I am always touched by the affection and in terest people have in birds on their property or in their neighborhood. They name the birds as though they were a part of their family or close circle of friends. On south Siesta Key, the Great Blue Heron is called Fred, Char ley or Sam. The Os prey offspring, who fledged in glorious ight, were appropri ately named Orville and Wilbur (after the Wright brothers, but Wilbur turned out to be Amelia, as in Ear hart!). Birds seem to evoke in humans a passel of interests from avi culture to zoolatry as well as emotions ranging from the proprietary, with all the good feelings of love and concern for their birds, to just downright curiosity. ea-infested squirrel pair. It also has the orig inal, and even back then, politically incorrect lyrics. Cole Porter did elucidate how it is done by some. For example, Roosters with a doodle and a cock do it, which explains our barn yard friends; but, when it came to Bees do it, he was purposely vague. I actually had to do my own research. According to eHow The mating process usu ally occurs above ground in mid-ight, and re sults in the death of the drone as he expends semen. There is not enough in that moment of passion to keep the imagination alive, nev er mind inspire romance novels, chansons de gestes or hauntingly sad ballads, is there? I have been watching Oscar Osprey for the past couple of weeks. He has been ying back forth to his nest on Little Sarasota Bay. Some times a long train of Spanish moss trails behind him; at other times, he carries the tiniest and most in consequential-look ing twig. How many of you knew that male birds take as serious an in terest in architecture as Mies van der Rohe or I.M. Pei? And who would guess that birds could con struct architectural marvels that include Oscar brings a stick to the nest he is building. File photo


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 74 That is why we should always throw out the cardinal rule of correct and proper scientic analysis in ornithological behavioral studies; i.e., Never anthropomorphize your subject! If people did not enjoy watching birds and interpreting their behavior in a manner that directly relates to them personally, well, our courtship, love games and our ludicrously adorable chicks would be as much fun and in teresting to people as a pile of dead male bee drones. And no one would ever have asked me, HOW DO BIRDS DO IT ? I hope to satisfy peoples prurient curiosity as to how we birds do it. It will take a bit of time and more than one column, because I believe that following the life of a bird ab ovo will an swer everyones questions. Next week I shall introduce you to a particular Great White Egret ( Ardea Alba ), a bird that exemplies what people recognize as a beau tiful and integral part of Floridas wildlife, but one whose breeding and nesting habits are rarely seen by most. You will enjoy learning Ardeas secrets. I sure did! Until then, I leave you with a few candid shots of our beloved south Siesta Key Osprey fami ly. Oscar Osprey constructed a nest. He again attracted Olivia to it. He assumed the mission ary (i.e., angelic) position and they mated. She laid eggs, and those eggs hatched into ludi crously adorable chicks. The chicks edged. Now all members of the Osprey family will be looking toward a nest and a mate and eggs and chicks. Ah, the New Year with all its auld lang syne .... Otus Oscar is in the nest with the chicks, Orville and Amelia. 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 Thank you.


Siesta Seen COUNTY NOT EXPECTED TO TAKE OVER KEY ROADS FROM FDOT; USA TODAY ASKING FOR VOTES ON BEST FLORIDA BEACH; EAT HERE OPENS Although talk has resurfaced recently about Sarasota County possibly taking over the maintenance of a state road segment on Siesta Key, Commissioner Nora Patterson discount ed any such move in the immediate future. Bottom line really for me, she said in late December, it doesnt make sense for us to take over maintenance of state roads [just] for us to lower a speed limit. For some time now, Walt Olson, representing the Siesta Key Condominium Council, has lob bied for a lower speed limit on Midnight Pass Road between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Six new pedestrian crosswalks complete with ashing lights that can be activated as people prepare to cross were completed on Midnight Pass Road last fall. File photo


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 76 A little more than a year ago, when she was chairwoman of the County Commission, Pat terson sent a letter to Billy Hattaway, then the new Florida Department of Transportation secretary for District One which includes Sarasota County asking on behalf of the commission that FDOT consider Olsons re quest. Although the Florida Department of Transpor tation this fall installed six new crosswalks along an approximately 1.2 mile stretch of the road, FDOT ofcials have said trafc data does not support reducing the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph. Olson was successful in getting the speed limit lowered on Beach Road between Ocean Boulevard and the Midnight Pass Road inter section near St. Boniface Episcopal Church, but that is a county-maintained segment. During an FDOT open house about the cross walk construction, held on Sept. 17, Cindy Clemmons, public information director for FDOT, explained to me that the departments engineers in Sarasota County had reviewed the data about trafc patterns on the affected portion of Midnight Pass Road at the request of residents. That data had not proven compelling enough, she said, to warrant the lowering of the speed limit on that section of Midnight Pass Road where the crosswalks were going to be in stalled. However, Clemmons said, after the cross walks were completed, FDOT would under take another trafc analysis of the speed limit situation. An Excelsior resident, Olson has been a strong advocate for helping people walk safely from the bay side of the island to the Gulf of Mex ico side and back, of course especially during high season. Before I could reach Patterson for comments, JoAnn May, the new communications ofcer for District One, told me there had been no formal discussion or correspondence about transferring roadways from the state to the county. May added in her Dec. 18 email, Department and county staff have spoken informally about things the county would like to do reduce the speed limit and add crosswalks and that the county could make those decisions and take those actions, for example, if it owned the road. More recently, Patterson told me, people have approached her about lowering the speed limit on the portion of the road with the new crosswalks because that would enable them to operate golf carts legally on that segment. Patterson has worries about the safety of such transportation, she said, not to mention the fact that Siesta has quite a few residents who are not retirees and/or seasonal inhabitants. Its not just a resort community, she point ed out. A lot of people have regular jobs off the island, she added, and they would become frustrated with much slower-moving trafc. So Im not enthusiastic about these requests.


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 77 ALCOHOL ON THE BEACH Lourdes Ramirez, the Siesta resident who has her own Siesta Key Community website and also is president of the Sarasota County Coun cil of Neighborhood Associations recently asked a good question about some signage at the public beach concession. In late December, she emailed Patterson with a photo showing an advertisement for margar itas and pina coladas at the beach. She wanted to be certain that only beer and wine legally could be sold at the concession. Patterson passed along that question to Car olyn Brown, general manager of the coun tys Parks and Recreation Department. Sure enough, Brown responded, Only beer and wine are sold at the Siesta Beach concession. Anyone may bring any beverage to Siesta Beach as long as it is not in a glass container. My curiosity was still aroused at that point. What was in those margaritas and pina co ladas? Although Brown was on vacation for the holidays, she responded quickly to my query: We checked and it is more akin to a wine cooler. We asked the concessionaire to remove the signs as they are misleading. THE BEST BEACH Speaking of county email exchanges: Coun ty Administrator Randall Reid sent a note on Dec. 28 to Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, about an article he had seen in USA Today Reid directed her to a website for the paper, where people could vote on the best beach town in Florida. In a blog posted the same day, Laura Bly had written that in light of the thousands of snow birds pointing their convertibles south to the Sunshine State for a dose of winter warmth, the papers staff had asked Dr. Beach Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman of Florida Internation al University to name Florida destina tions that combine sand, surf and a welcom ing sense of community. Lourdes Ramirez took this photo last month of an advertisement for alcoholic beverages at Siesta Key Public Beach. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 78 His answers, in alphabetical order, included Siesta no surprise, since he named it the No. 1 beach just before Memorial Day in 2011. Regarding Siesta, the USA Today staff not only noted the honor but added, this Gulf Coast barrier island southwest of Sarasota has the nest white sand in the world. Among his other Top 10 destinations are Key West, Sanibel Island and South Beach in Mi ami. I am sure Haley and her staff are thrilled, com ing as this does on the heels of big publ icity for Sarasota County in the form of a New York Times travel article. SPEAKING OF TOURISTS Although Tom Maroney, general manager of business operations in the countys Public Works Department, had told me this infor mation in time for publication just before the holidays, I wanted to note this week that Ma roneys boss recently had afrmed it. The date I am referencing regards the meet ing when the County Commission is expected Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman of Miami, aka Dr. Beach, put Siesta Key on his list of Top 10 Florida beach es for a recent USA Today article. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 79 to approve a bid for installation of lighting at crosswalks in Siesta Village. That date is Jan. 29. In a Dec. 20 email to the commissioners, James K. Harriott Jr., the countys chief engi neer (and head, therefore, of Public Works), wrote that the Invitation for Quotes for the procurement and installation of 14 decorative LED bollards at seven Village crosswalks was advertised on Dec. 7. A mandatory pre-quote meeting was held on Dec. 20, he added, with representatives from two rms present, along with Mr. Peter van Roekens, representing the Siesta Key Village Association. Van Roekens was the person who proposed the bollards during the January 2011 SKVA meeting. He represents both the Siesta Key Association which he serves as vice presi dent and the Terrace East board at the SK VAs monthly sessions. Harriott added in his email that, per the com missioners direction, staff would bring the quotes to them on Jan. 29, along with a pro posed funding solution before any notice to proceed is issued. SKVA President Russell Matthes voiced his view during both the November and Decem ber meetings of his group that the bollards should be in place by mid-February, when Vil lage businesses consider the tourist season ofcially under way. EAT HERE SIESTA KEY OPENS Sean Murphy, owner of the award-winning Beach Bistro and Eat Here restaurants on Anna Maria Island and in Sarasota, respective ly, has announced that his Eat Here in Siesta Village has opened. Siesta architect Mark Smith had told SKA members it would be completed in December in the space once occupied by Total Tennis. A press release from Murphy notes, Eat Here [in downtown Sarasota] was named Best New Restaurant by Florida Trend Magazine, SRQ Magazine, Sarasota Herald Tribune and Sara sota Magazine. It celebrates chef-crafted cook ery with presentations of local farm products; fresh, locally-caught seafood; inspired pizza and taco cuisine; refreshing, fruit-infused cocktails and craft beer and wine. The new est chef-driven, Gulf Coast cookery on Siesta Key offers the same winning formula as its predecessors. Among the menu selections, the release notes, are the Killer Grilled Cheese with muenster and gruyere cheeses and caramelized onions; free-range, buttermilk Fried Chicken and Wafes ; Lobster Tacos ; Lobstercargot ; Island Ribs ; Gulf Coast Oyster Fry and New Orle ans-style Seafood Stew The newest Eat Here is located at 240 Aveni da Madera. It serves dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays and is open until 11 p.m. on week ends. Call 346-7800 for more information or visit %


Magician Adam Trent will be bringing his unique style of pop music and modern dance to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sara sota on Saturday, Jan. 5, the Van Wezel has announced. The young performer has been making waves in the magic community with his signature combination of comedy, urban dance, catchy pop music and masterful illusion, in spiring some to describe his show as resem bling Justin Timberlake meets David Copper eld, a news release says. Trent was the youngest, and only, magician ever to win back-to-back medals in the Pacif ic Coast Association of Magicians Pro Magic Challenge, the release adds. His appearance is a Van Wezel Family Night show: Buy one adult ticket and get a second ticket for free for someone between the ages of 6 and 18, the release notes. Tickets are $10 to $35. For more information, call the box Ofce at 953-3368 or visit www. Adam Trent will bring his unique blend of comedy, song and dance to the Van Wezel stage on Jan. 5. Contributed photo ADAM TRENT BRINGING HIS MAGIC SHOW TO TOWN ARTS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 81 Science inspires art in colorful mixed media show, Florida Fantastica, which will be on dis play at Selby Gardens Jan. 9 through March 3. The show is by Philadelphia native MF Car damone whose clear and insightful artwork illuminates peoples relationship with plants, a news release says. The exhibition is included in the regular ad mission fee to Selby Gardens, which is located at 811 S. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. The show will be in The Museum of Botany and the Arts. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Car damone at a free public reception on Jan. 10 at 5:30 p.m., the release adds. In her unique form of art, Cardamone records a plants life history, ecology, folklore, wildlife value and medicinal uses by combining spec imens with digital imagery, inks and handdrawn touches that playfully modernize the traditions of plant specimen mounting and bo tanical illustration, the release notes. Like Selby Gardens, Cardamone has a passion for the education and preservation of plants, but above all, her artwork strives to express the connections between plants and people, the release adds. I like to create visual puzzles with my work and try to evoke a sense of mystery and won der in the viewer because thats the way I feel about the natural world, Cardamone says in the release. Together with Selby Gardens botany director, Bruce Holst, Education Director Jeannie Pera les and Horticulture Director Mike McLaugh lin, Cardamone developed a list of plants rep resenting both the Gardens and Florida, the release points out. Many of these selections will be featured in the Florida Fantastica exhibition, which coincides by design with statewide celebrations of Floridas 500th an niversary. Tree of Life is one example of MF Carda mones work. Contributed photo FLORIDA FANTASTICA TO DEBUT AT SELBY GARDENS


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 82 The Jazz Club of Sarasotas Joy of Jazz con cert series will kick off with David Pruyn and The Paramount Swing 6 on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Centennial Park in down town Venice. The concert will be free, a news release notes, but donations will be accepted in support of the Jazz Clubs scholarship fund. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Trumpeter and vocalist Pruyn will appear with his band, The Paramount Swing 6, con sisting of Tom Ellison playing sax and ute, Greg Nielsen on trombone, Dick Reynolds on piano, Bruce Wallace on bass and Rich Mac Donald on drums, the release adds. A New Orleans native, Pruyn is a multi-tal ented musician and conductor who has per formed with many jazz greats, including Dick Hyman, Chick Corea, Mel Torme, Steve Law rence, Frank Sinatra Jr., Al Jarreau, Rosemary Clooney, Edie Gorme, the Manhattan Transfer and his hometown buddy, Harry Connick, Jr., the release points out. Well be playing music from The Great Amer ican Songbook says Pruyn in the release, and well throw in some Big Band-era favor ites and other tunes associated with notable instrumentalists and vocalists from the true glory days of popular music. The 2012-2013 Joy of Jazz series will include two more concerts on Feb. 3, featuring the Venice High School Jazz Lab, and on March 17 with Ron Kraemer and the Hurricanes. Its a perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon: enjoying the great melodies, rich harmonies and soulful rhythms of jazz, says Bill Beck man, a Jazz Club of Sarasota board member and producer of this series, in the release. For more information, call 366-1552, or visit David Pruyn/Contributed photo JOY OF JAZZ CONCERT SERIES TO KICK OFF JAN. 13 IN VENICE


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 83 The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee will continue its 2012-2013 Jewish Book Fes tival with master chef and author Giuliano Hazan appearing on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Hazan is one of the foremost authorities on Italian cooking, a news release notes. His style is accessible and authentic, without pre tense or fanfare, the release adds. Hazan shares his lifelong love of food food that is simple, honest and incredibly avorful empowering his students to create impressive meals that are consistently and reliably deli cious, the release notes. His cookbooks have earned him a James Beard Award nomination and the World Cook book Award for Best Italian Cookbook in the English Language, the release points out. In 2007, the International Association of Culi nary Professionals named Hazan the Cooking Teacher of the Year. Together with his wife, Lael, he runs an acclaimed cooking school in northern Italy, Cooking with Giuliano Hazan at Villa Giona, the release adds. The Jewish Book Festival will continue with New York Times best-selling author Rich Co hen on Feb. 13. This years festival features a stellar lineup, says event Co-Chairman Marvin Waldman in the release. These are lively, brilliant individ uals, and were honored to introduce them to our community. Tickets, which are $10, may be purchased via the Federations website, or by calling 371-4546, ext. 119. For more information about The Jewish Fed eration of Sarasota-Manatee, call 371-4546 or visit Giuliano Hazan/Contributed photo MASTER CHEF AND AUTHOR HAZAN TO APPEAR AT FESTIVAL Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 84 The Jazz Club of Sarasota will present jazz vocalist and bassist Nicki Parrott, pianist Ros sano Sportiello and drummer Eddie Metz Jr. in concert on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The award-winning Sportiello was born in Vigevano, Italy, a news release says. He be gan studying the piano at the age of 9. By 16, Sportiello was performing professionally at jazz venues in the Milan area, the release notes. In 1992, he joined one of Europes his toric jazz bands, the Milano Jazz Gang, and toured with the group throughout Europe un til the end of 2000. Since then, Sportiello has performed with the worlds nest jazz lumi naries, including Slide Hampton, Dan Barrett, Bucky Pizzarelli, Warren Vache, Bob Cran shaw, Howard Alden, Joe La Barbera, Scott Hamilton, Jake Hanna and Dick Hyman, the release points out. Nicki Parrott, vocalist, bassist and songwrit er, came to the United States from Australia in 1994 to study with the acclaimed bassist, Rufus Reid, at William Patterson College, the release adds. Since 2000, she has performed with such notable musicians as Les Paul, Bil ly Taylor, Dick Hyman, Terri Thornton, Hol ly Hoffman, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarel li, Warren Vache Jr. and Jose Feliciano, the release notes. Parrott has also performed in such Broadway shows as Avenue Q ; Imagi nary Friends ; Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown ; Summer of ; and Jekyll and Hyde With more than 30 years of experience as a professional musician, Metz continues to re cord with jazz greats and play at jazz festivals and events around the country, the release says. He has performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Woody Allen and Patti Page. If purchased before Jan. 15, tickets are $25 for Jazz Club members and $30 for non-members, the release notes. Tickets are $35 at the door and $10 for students. For information and tickets, call 366-1552. For more information about the Jazz Club of Sarasota, visit (From left) Eddie Metz Jr., Rossano Sportiello and Nicki Parrott will per form together in Sarasota on Jan. 18. Contributed photo by Brian Wittman. Nicki Parrot/Con tributed photo PARROTT TO PERFORM WITH SPORTIELLO AND METZ


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 85 New College New Music will present Dream work featuring pianist Marilyn Lerner, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Mildred Sain er Music and Arts Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Widely recorded and internationally re nowned, Lerners work speaks to improvisa tion, not just as an approach to music making, but as a way of life, a mode of being that is ac cessible to all of us in our daily lives, a news release says. Among her best-known recordings are Lumi nance, Romanian Fantasy and Special Angel the release adds. Her intimate knowledge of the piano, combined with a fearless experi mental and passionate spirit, render her a true original, the release points out. Lerners work spans the worlds of jazz, cre ative improvisation, klezmer and 20th century classical music, the release says. She compos es for lm, theatre, radio and television. Ad ditionally, she is an audio artist, and she has created a series of soundscapes using samples of sounds she collects in the natural environ ment, the release points out. Lerner is also a practicing psychotherapist and an analyst in training at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. While at New College, she will discuss how her artistic work and her therapeutic work inform each other and how her practice in both arenas is informed by and informs her feminism, the release adds. That discussion will be part of a session co-sponsored by the colleges Gender Studies Program, the release says. Tickets for the Dreamwork performance are $15 for the general public and $5 for non-New College students. They are free for all mem bers of the New College community. Online reservations may be made at donate. For more information, visit or call 487-4888. Marilyn Lerner/Contributed photo by Karen Tweedy Holmes LERNER TO PRESENT CONCERT AT NEW COLLEGE


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 86 The Sarasota Concert Associations 2013 Great Performers Series will continue with the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra and violin soloist Joshua Bell on Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tami ami Trail, Sarasota. Under the leadership of Franz Welser-Mst, the Cleveland Orchestra remains one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world, setting standards of artistic excel lence, concert programming and community engagement, a news release says. In this Van Wezel appearance, the orchestra will perform the Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61 by Beethoven and Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14 by Hector Berlioz. Often referred to as the poet of the violin, Bell is one of the worlds most celebrated vio linists, the release adds. Born in Bloomington, IN, he received his rst violin at age 4; at 12, he began studying with revered violinist Jo sef Gingold at Indiana University, the release points out. Two years later, Bell came to na tional attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. At the age of 17, he made his Carnegie Hall debut, the release adds. Franz Welser-Most conducts the Cleveland Orchestra. Contributed photo by Roger Mastroianni CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA TO TAKE THE VAN WEZEL STAGE


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 87 Among his numerous awards and honors, Bell has been an Avery Fisher Prize recipient, and he was named Musical Americas 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year, the release notes. Recently appointed music di rector of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, he is the first person to hold the title since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orches tra in 1958, the release points out. Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradi varius. Tickets are $40, $50, $60 and $70. Tickets and information for the Great Performers Series are available by calling 955-0040 or visiting The Sarasota Concert Associa tion also presents Munchtime Musicales, a series of free con certs featuring performances by high-caliber artists based in Sarasota. The series is designed to offer a wide variety of musi cal genres including classi cal, folk and jazz and feature both vocal and instrumental performers, the release continues. The 2012-2013 concert season will continue with the Sarasota String Quartet on Jan. 16 at noon at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Seating is open; no reservations are taken. For more information about Munchtime Musicales, call 351-7467 or visit Joshua Bell/Contributed photo Shes coming back! Brassy Broads of Broad way, featuring Kathy Halenda, will return to Sarasota for a limited engagement beginning Feb. 19 in the Goldstein Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre, the theater has announced. From wistful ballads to show-stopping Broad way classics, Ms. Halenda combines her pow erful vocal style and energetic personality to create a performance that will touch as well as tickle her audience, a news release says. Brassy Broads of Broadway is a musical tribute to the larger-than-life characters of American musical theatre the women who put the broad in Broadway, the release adds. Halendas ladies include Mame Dennis from Mame Mama Rose from Gypsy Fanny Brice from Funny Girl Dolly Levi from Hello Dol ly Reno Sweeney from Anything Goes Miss Mona from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas An nie Oakley from Annie Get Your Gun and Sally Bowles from Cabaret with the zany play fulness of Ms. Halenda herself thrown in, the release points out. Halenda previously appeared in all three of FSTs productions of Sophie Tucker as well as No Way to Treat a Lady, Shakespeares Greatest Hits, Inspired Lunacy and The Robber Bride groom the release adds. Brassy Broads of Broadway will run through Feb. 24. Single tickets range from $29 to $32; they may be purchased from the FST box ofce in person, by calling 366-9000 or by going online at FST is located at 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. % BRASSY BROADS RETURNING FOR ONE WEEK ONLY


Members of the public are invited to join Tem ple Emanu-El Rabbi Brenner Glickman for a unique adult education series based on As A Driven Leaf his favorite book and one of the most important Jewish works of the 20th century, the Temple has announced. This learning opportunity will be offered on three Tuesdays this month Jan. 8, 15 and 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. The year 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Milton Steinbergs As a Driven Leaf This extraordinary work tells the story of Judaisms most famous apostate, Eli sha ben Abuyah, and his search for wisdom, a Temple news release says. It brings to life the Holy Land in the rst and second century of the Common Era and uses as settings and characters some of the most famous institu tions and sages of the period, the release adds. The book is compelling, engaging and ex tremely provocative, the release points out. Glickmans learning series will combine the book discussion with historical perspective, an examination of the theological questions the book raises and an exploration of the books enduring signicance, the release says. As A Driven Leaf is available for purchase in Temple Emanu-Els gift shop and through Advance reading is strong ly recommended. This book discussion series is sponsored by Temple Emanu-Els Adult Education Com mittee. The class is free to Temple Emanu-El members; an $18 donation is asked of guests. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Judilee Sterne at 349-9287. PUBLIC INVITED TO AS A DRIVEN LEAF BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP As a Driven Leaf will be the focus of upcoming discussions. Rabbi Brenner Glickman of Temple Emanu-El. Contributed photo RELIGION BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 89 The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in vites members of the public to a Jan. 5 discus sion titled, The Forward in the Age of Face book: The Story of a 115 Year Old Start-Up, by publisher Samuel Norich. Born in Germany in 1947, Norich immigrated to the United States in 1957, a news release says. He served as the executive director of YIVO, the Institute for Jewish Research, from 1980-1992, the release adds. Additionally, he has served as executive director as we ll as PUBLISHER OF THE FORWARD TO SPEAK ON JAN. 5 publisher of The Forward and The Forvert s since 1997. Norich also is the author of What Will Bind Us Now: A Report on the Institutional Ties Between Israel and American Jewry The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 5. It is open to the public at no charge. The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism meets at Unity, 3023 Proctor Road, Sarasota. For more information, call 929-7771 or visit Jeff Rodgers, director of Bishop Planetarium and director of education at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, will present adult edu cation classes at the Congregation for Human istic Judaism (CHJ) this month on the theme, Demystify the Universe He is an extraordinary communicator who makes the newest scientic discoveries un derstandable to everyone, a news release says. The class schedule and topics will be as fol lows: Jan. 8, 2 p.m.: The Big Picture through the creation of stars, planets and life. DEMYSTIFY THE UNIVERSE TO BE THEME OF CLASSES Jan. 15, 2 p.m.: The nature of space, time, mat ter and the evolving nature of our universe. Jan. 22, 2 p.m.: Our solar system and Earth as a habitable planet. Jan. 29, 2 p.m.: Life what is it? How did it start? How does it evolve? Is evolution really just a theory? The classes are free for CHJ members; for non-members, the fee is $10 per class or $30 for all four sessions. Classes will meet at Unity, 3023 Proctor Road, Sarasota. For more information, call 929-7771 or visit For The Best Reading Experience Get Sarasota News Leader On Your Tablet


Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 Page 90 Congregation Kol Ha Neshama will offer the course Kabbalah and an Introduction to Reading Zohar starting on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Dr. Arnie Binderman, a doctoral student at Spertus College of Judaic Studies who has a masters degree in Judaic studies, will lead the class, a news release says. The course will focus on understanding mys tical thinking and its development and mean ing to Judaism, along with understanding its codes. The group will read portions of the Zo har together, the release says. COURSE TO FOCUS ON KABBALAH AND THE ZOHAR This will be the rst session in an ongoing se ries, the release notes, with further dates to be announced. All members of the public are welcome, and all are invited to join members of the congregation after the class for their Reconstructionist Sabbath service and lun cheon. All the events will be held at South Gate Com munity Center, 3145 South Gate Circle (some times known as South Tuttle Circle or Siesta Circle). % 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. 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 There are only three sins: causing pain, causing fear, and causing anguish. The rest is window dressing. Roger Caras


04 JAN Dabbert Gallery presents A Legacy of Sarasota Masters Jan. 4, 6 to 9 p.m., 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission; 955-1315 or 04 JAN The Perlman Music Program Recitals Through Jan. 5; times vary; USF-Sarasota/Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail. Free admission (rst-come basis). Information: 955-4942 or 04 JAN Thunder by the Bay Through Jan. 6, with events at the Hyatt Regency and on Main Street and Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Festival to be held Jan. 5-6 on Main Street with bands and about 80 vendors, concluding with the Marshall Tucker Band performing at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 6. For details, visit 04 JAN Smokey Joes Cafe Through Jan. 12; times vary; Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Admission: $19 to $42. Information: 366-9000 or 06 JAN Book reading and signing Jan. 6, 1 p.m., Helga Harris will read from and sign her collection of nonction short works titled, Nothing Is Forever, at Bookstore1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., Sarasota. More information at or 365-7900. 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 WHO NEEDS A CRYSTAL BALL SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS