Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER Inside MEET THE CANDIDATES, PART II ABOUT THOSE CLUBS ... PUT OFF AGAIN Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida March 1, 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 Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


I am sure you know the saying, Its always something. That is the most succinct way to describe my work on this issue of the News Leader When I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, I went to work for a newspaper with typewriters, not computer terminals, so we used the old cut-and-staple method of putting stories together. Whenever I realized I needed to reorder para graphs or add in something I had forgotten I grabbed the scissors and the stapler and went to work. The goal was to make certain the typesetters could gure out what went where, so the story made sense. Now we use computers, but they do not always have a good day. (My husband insists no one has stranger things occur with the kind of inanimate object on which I am typing this letter than I do.) When my computer balks, that translates into a wee bit more stress for me as I nish up articles for the publication. Still, once I complete them, I do not have to worry about literally pasting stories on pages, as I also did at that rst reporting job. Actually, it is pretty remarkable that reporters can email me their stories; our photographer, Norman Schimmel, can email me his photos; our copy editor, Vicki, can proof everything online in a system that allows her to make ex tensive comments; and our production man ager, Cleve, can use that same online system as his source for everything to lay out an issue. We do not have to see each other to create the News Leader each week! Even when my computer is being testy, I have tremendous appreciation for the fact I no longer need to fear dropping an Xacto knife on a toe (yes, it hurts a lot). And our result is a publication that looks far supe rior to anything that shows up in print. That is quite a lot for which to give thanks. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


MEET THE CANDIDATES: PART II NTOD ON SCHEDULE NEWS & COMMENTARY MEET THE CANDIDATES: PART II 8 City Commission candidates Suzanne Atwell, Susan Chapman and Linda Holland answer questions posed by The Sarasota News Leader in advance of the March 12 election Stan Zimmerman ABOUT THOSE CLUBS 32 How a national evangelical organization is spreading its message in public schools Cooper Levey-Baker PUT OFF AGAIN 37 County Commission declines to meet with advocate for domestic partnership registry until it hears a legal analysis of such ordinances Rachel Brown Hackney NTOD ON SCHEDULE 42 Administrative site plan approval remains the sticking point in this latest initiative for North Trail redevelopment Stan Zimmerman A DEPUTY CHIEF 47 Sarasotas police chief is advertising for a No. 2, a position that has been vacant since January 2006 Stan Zimmerman SOLICITATION VERSUS OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC 49 The County Commission approves an emergency ordinance in response to a Circuit Court ruling on the City of Sarasotas panhandling law Rachel Brown Hackney IN THE HOLE ALREADY 53 The citys former nance director and a retiring city commissioner speak frankly about proposals for nding $4.8 million to balance the next Sarasota budget Stan Zimmerman MORE PROBLEMS LOOM 58 Analysis: City Commissions decision to uphold the Walmart appeal raises the question, what is next? Stan Zimmerman LOOKING FOR SOME ACCORD 63 The County Commission starts the conict resolution process to try to resolve the ownership issue of Warm Mineral Springs Rachel Brown Hackney A THING OF THE PAST? 68 Sufcient groundwater supplies in Sarasota and its three neighboring counties mean no water restrictions for now Stan Zimmerman TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Selby Gardens, Robert Hackney Sarasota Leisure: Sarasota Sunset, Norman Schimmel


LA RECHERCHE DE PROUST REFLECTING IDENTITIES AN ENORMOUS MAGNET 71 The County Commission formally approves a funding transfer to facilitate the effort to land the 2017 World Rowing Championships Rachel Brown Hackney A BIT STEEP 74 An $860,000 contract for construction of public restrooms at South Lido Beach Park sparks County Commission discussion about recent project expenses Rachel Brown Hackney THE JUNGLE ROBOTICS TEAM 77 Sarasota County students will be in Orlando March 7-9 to pit their Frisbee-inging creation against other teams robots Scott Proftt NEWS BRIEFS 80 OPINION EDITORIAL 89 We get the government we deserve COMMENTARY 91 A penny for your thoughts Rodger Skidmore SARASOTA LEISURE LA RECHERCHE DE PROUST 94 Events to honor the renowned author, 100 years after the publication of Swanns Way Cooper Levey-Baker REFLECTING IDENTITIES 96 Visual artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse discuss the collaborative process at their current Tidal Works exhibition downtown Tyler Whitson ASK OTUS 102 Mr. Squirrel goes to Washington Otus Rufous ARTS BRIEFS 112 RELIGION BRIEFS 117 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 121 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 122 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


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(Editors note: In the Feb. 22 issue, The Sara sota News Leader presented a set of questions with answers from the three men running for two-at large seats on the City Commission. This week, we present the same questions with the answers of the three women candidates.) The basics: Top education? Atwell : Masters degree in counseling psy chology, Marymount University, Washington, D.C. Chapman: Juris Doctor and Master of Social Work in social policy, planning and practice. Holland: Some college courses; no degree. Marital status? Atwell: Married. Chapman: Widow. Holland: Single. Children? Atwell: Two: Maj. Justin Atwell, U.S. Army; and Josh, a stormwater engineer. Chapman: No. Holland: None. Years in the community? Atwell: Just under 20 years Candidates for the two at-large City Commission seats address a Coalition of City Neighborhoods Association meeting: (from left) Susan Chapman, Linda Holland, Pete Theisen, Richard Dorfman, Suzanne Atwell and Kelvin Lumpkin. Photo by Stan Zimmerman CITY COMMISSION CANDIDATES SUZANNE ATWELL, SUSAN CHAPMAN AND LINDA HOLLAND ANSWER QUESTIONS POSED BY THE SARASOTA NEWS LEADER IN ADVANCE OF THE MARCH 12 ELECTION MEET THE CANDIDATES: PART II By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 9 Chapman: 23. Holland: 32. How many times have you run for ofce? Atwell: This is the third time, after 2005 and 2009. Chapman: This is the third time; 2002 and 2004 for circuit judge. Holland: This will be my third. Do you have a website? Is there a tele phone number people can use to call you? Atwell: ; 957-0010. Chapman: ; 365-4546. Holland: ; 3130201 (cell). Some of these are yes or no ques tions; there is a lot of territory to cover, so Are you satised with the performance of the three city charter ofcials: city at torney, clerk and auditor and city man ager? Atwell: [City Attorney] Bob Fournier, abso lutely [satised]. [City Manager] Tom Barwin is new, but I cant say enough about him. Tom has brought a Midwestern, deliberative, laidback style, but hes very proactive. He brings out the best in our staff. Hes got those soft skills: He listens; he looks at you; hes comfor t able with what you have to say. He has those skills. And hes getting out and about. And he isnt the center of attention in the room. He isnt the smarty-pants. Pam Nadalini: I like [Auditor and Clerk] Pam Nadalini. Im going to preface this with the Turner Amendment [a recently defeated city charter amendment that would have stripped the auditor and clerk of several responsibili ties]. I agreed with the merits of the case, but I just think it wasnt handled right. I did not like the way it was done. Thats my opinion. For years Ive been talking about relationships between the City Managers Ofce and the city auditor and clerk. It started with [former City Auditor and Clerk] Billy [Robinson] saying they never invited him to staff meetings. When Pam was appointed, I congratulated her as the rst African-American woman [to be a charter Suzanne Atwell/Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 10 ofcial], an d thats important. You know how I am: Hi and lets do lunch. Its not her style. I did say [recently] maybe we need to have an outside auditor as well as an internal auditor. And this is no secret: Why does someone I consider extremely well qualied to be our public information ofcer have to get permis sion from [Deputy Auditor and Clerk] Karen McGowen, when she should have the back of the city manager and us? Nobody knows who she is in this town. If all hell breaks loose, which it sometimes does, she should be right there with Barwin. Im on it. What do you want? She has to call Karen and raise her hand. [The citys public information ofcer is Jan Thornburg, who reports to City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini.] I told Pam that; this is no secret. I said, Pam, whats going on here? First of all IT [the Infor mation Technology Department] needs to get back over to us. I know Suzanne. Were getting the investiga tion done, she said. I agree with you. Shes the most careful, protected personality Ive ever seen. Theres that little island over there. So the merits of Terry [Turners] amendment were ne, but he went for an amendment. Yes, the merits of the case were good. I will not deny that. Are you satised with the performance of the three city charter ofcials: city at torney, clerk and auditor, city manager? Chapman: I think we need to make sure they get along better. With Tom Barwin, he hasnt had a chance yet to be evaluated on his per formance. I beli eve we need to upgrade our audit function. I wonder sometimes if we set tle too many lawsuits. Are you satised with the performance of the three city charter ofcials: city at torney, clerk and auditor, city manager? Holland: As of today I would say generally yes. Any thoughts about suggestions for im provements? Holland: Mr. Barwin is so new, I think trying to judge at this point is unfair. I have been sat ised with a number of things hes done. In my neighborhood [Gillespie Park], we had some good interaction with both Mr. Barwin and the new [Police] Chief [Bernadette] DiPino. Hes been responsive to our needs. At this point, I dont have any specic sugges tions for the city attorney or the city auditor and clerk. Thats from the outside looking in. At the point where you would be a commis sioner and more involved with those charter ofcials, that would certainly give me a better feel for and ability to assess their abilities and responsibilities. Your preference: city manager or elect ed mayor with management responsibil ities? Atwell: Thats a tough one. I want to look at [the] elected mayor. Ive said that. We have fractional leadership sometimes. We have leaders that often emerge when theres a hot and heavy issue, a Walmart or School A venue


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 11 or the moor ing eld. But then they go back into the womb of the neighborhood and youre back to square one. Can we get some sort of leader that embrac es the whole city? Ive been mayor for two years. I feel Ive embraced the city. Whether you agree with the last vote, or parking me ters, whatever, Ive been out and about meet ing hundreds and hundreds of people. But the trick is, can you have an elected may or and a city manager at the same time. Im willing to look at all the language. Im not go ing out on a limb and say, Strong mayor, peri od. Im not sure what that means yet. But we need to look at a threeor four-year elected leader in the city. I dont say strong mayor; I say elected mayor. A lot of people may want the St. [Petersburg] model, the CEO [chief executive officer] model. But whether you like it or not, Im not sure in this town it would go down. Maybe it shouldnt. But Im willing to look at it. Its all about the language. A lot of the business people want a strong ver sion. We arent Tampa. We are emerging, and I want a leader. Your preference: city manager or elect ed mayor with management responsibil ities? Chapman: I have a strong preference for the city manager/council form of government. Your preference: city manager or elect ed mayor with management responsibil ities? Holland: I have as you well know I have been a proponent of the elected mayor for a number of years, because of the leadership void. Ten or however many years ago, it was because the community felt there was a lead ership void. The community wasnt satised with some of the proposals so they voted them down. I still nd in my time out in the community, they still feel theres a leadership void. Weve gone through several city managers lately, so I continue to believe in the concept and the op portunities and the possibilities that are there. I understand the concern you can point to good elected mayors and bad elected may Linda Holland/Photo by Robert Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 12 ors. B ut theres risk with that. I do continue to believe thats a possibility, and I think thats because weve done it and it hasnt worked in the form weve presented it before, [but that] doesnt mean we have to stop trying. If the argument is, weve tried it three times and its been defeated three [times] so stop trying, I dont adhere to that argument. If you use that argument, then Linda Holland, Pete Theisen, Susan Chapman shouldnt be running for City Commission because the electorate has told me twice before they didnt want me. The electorates told Pete Theisen twice be fore, and theyve told Susan once before. If you use that theory, then we shouldnt be out there running because weve already tried it and been told, No. That just doesnt hold wa ter for me. The rst time it was proposed, we heard, soand-so is going to run. The fear was the per son who was predetermined in a lot of peo ples minds. I think the current discussion, I think thats still a factor. I think that fear fac tor bothers me in terms of not opening our minds. Today four of the ve city commissioners are retired. Should city commissioners be paid a living wage? Atwell: Id have to say no, because its not going to y. If not, how will the city attract commis sioners who are not retired people? Atwell: If theyre not retired, thats the $64,000 question. Paul [Caragiulo] is the youngest; he works. Four of us are retired. I think as this city moves forward and we build revenue, and were getting out of the recession right now I think in an ideal world, yes, be cause you would draw people that make a real commitment, part of the workforce. The more sophisticated we get, and the more we get out of this and keep going, we may be headed in that direction, if we can be nancially healthy. If you cannot pay a living wage, the only people you attract are either retirees or trust fund babies. You are going to be eating rice and beans for four years, es pecially if you have children. Atwell: Whats the public going to say? This rift between City Hall and the public: Were going to pay them what? But until we get some younger people who get a living wage, who have families were all getting older. But how do you make it palatable to the com munity? How do we begin the process now of saying, what are we doing here? The Charter Review Committee recom mended it and you vetoed it. Atwell: I know, because I knew it would go down in ames. Today four of the ve city commissioners are retired. Should city commissioners be paid a living wage? Chapman: I think we might get better candi dates if they were paid a better wage, or the downside is we might have people running for the job. I do think its important we have young people represented on the commission, and its very difcult for them a working person to run and to serve on the City Commission.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 13 Today four o f the ve city commissioners are retired. Should city commissioners be paid a living wage? Holland: I have heard that argument that we would have better candidates if that were the case, and that could very well be a possibility. It was proposed by the Charter Review Board, but the City Commission took it off the ballot. Holland: I do recall that. I would imagine one of the considerations the City Commission gave was the budget issue. That would be a difcult thing for the community to accept, given the budget constraints, staff being laid off, services being cut. It was probably a tim ing thing at that point. Maybe at some future time it could be consid ered again. The concept through the years [is that] it is a part-time job because they meet at night, and I think that people have always considered [it] a part-time job. But the reality is, if they really do their job, it is not a parttime job. I think the reality is they do need to be better compensated, but I think the budget issues currently probably prohibit that from being feasible. If were not going to raise salaries, how does the city attract new and younger leadership? Is there something else we can do? Holland: With the budget constraints and try ing to pull in retirement costs, pension and health costs, it doesnt appear we have any ability to use the benet package as a way to bring them in. I think we have to have a good working environment at City Hall very in viting and theres no qu estion over the last several years, and under the last city manager, the staff I talk to and I spend a lot of time in City Hall because Im so active in neigh borhood stuff a lot of the staff love this city and love their jobs but want to be treated with recognition for sacricing some of the monetary aspects. Were getting a lot of retirements now, people here 15, 20 and even 30 years. They didnt do it for just the benets. They did it because they love the city and love working with the citi zens of the community. New people coming in need to have that feeling, too to feel they are respected by the supervisors and commis sioners and the rest of the community. Susan Chapman/Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 14 Do you s upport the continued operation of the two civilian police review panels? Have you attended any of their meet ings? Atwell: I have an issue with the Police Com plaint Committee. The IPAP [Independent Po lice Advisory Panel] I think is run I was one of the ones that wanted it to unite, and they both said no, were doing OK. I would like to continue with the IPAP and somehow morph the Complaint Committee. I had trouble with this from the very begin ning, especially complaints. So I have real is sues with the Complaint [Committee], but I would support the IPAP. Theres some inter esting things happening, especially with Ei leen Normile and domestic violence and what shes doing. Shes raising the standards high er. The Complaints [Committee], by the nature of the name of it, I dont like. Do you support the continued operation of the two civilian police review panels? Chapman: Yes. Have you attended any of their meet ings? Chapman: Yes. [ Editors note: Chapman chaired the Ad Hoc Police Advisory Panel, which recommended the formation of the two civilian police review panels. ] Do you support the continued operation of the two civilian pol ice review panels? Holland : Ive been pretty vocal on that, pretty passionate about it and the answer is, No, particularly the police complaints panel. I understand the concept, what they wanted to achieve. Ive gone to those meetings; you and I have sat through them for hours, and were the only people there. If they were designed to help the community that felt disenfranchised or felt the police were doing wrong things and needed to understand the process, then I would support it. But to my knowledge, no bodys come to nd out whats going on. To me its a huge waste of time and staff. Ive sat on a lot of advisory boards, and its a waste of volunteer time, too. Id like to know what the results are. What has it accomplished? The overall panel [the Independent Police Ad visory Board] the couple of meetings I at tended, it did not appear to me there was any particular direction. I didnt see exactly what they were supposed to be doing. There were some domestic violence initiatives that [came] out of that. I think it could have come without the expenditure of funds and staff time. Police consume the largest fraction of the citys budget, using more than the sum of all property taxes collected an nually. Is there room for improvement in how Sarasota polices itself? Atwell: Im going to start with, a lot is going to change whether people like it or not with Chief [Bernadette] DiPino as far as what shes doing with training, domestic violence, sensi tivity training. Theres talk of consolidating with the county, and Im totally, unequivocally opposed to that. Law enforcement is very important to people in this community.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 15 Whats goi ng t o happe n now is Chief DiPino is going to take law enforcement and shes going to be the peoples policeman to every neighborhood. Whether its St. Armands, Bird Key, North Trail, whatever. Shes going to be everybodys cop. Thats powerful. Shes going to balance things out. As an atlarge commissioner, I like that. As for consol idation of services and things like that, I know Ive talked to Tom [Knight, Sarasota County sheriff] about things were doing and trying to do. I love the Police Department and I dont want them consolidated, but how do we avoid what weve gone through in the past few months? And yes, some of these cops who have done the abuse of force, they may be errant cops. I dont know, but [DiPino] is going to look into the whole picture. What is going on? What is the morale? Who are the ones ying off the handle? She takes charge and she has a second skin like Ive never seen. When you look at the whole pie, when you look at this city, it wants a good police depart ment, and they want to pay for it if they get a good police department. Police consume the largest fraction of the citys budget, using more than the sum of all property taxes collected an nually. Is there room for improvement in how Sarasota polices itself? Chapman: Yes. We need more modern polic ing practices, including intelligence-led polic ing with the David M. Kennedy strategy of de terrence and hot s pot policing. The High Point [N.C.] strategy came fr om the Ad Hoc Police Adv isory Panel, so I very much endorse that strategy. Would you consider merging the Saraso ta Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce? Chapman: Not at this time. Merge some special teams such as Ma rine Patrol, Bomb Squad, SWAT and oth ers? Chapman: Yes. That needs to be studied a little bit more, to see if it can result in reduced ex penses. Some units require specialized training and equipment, like SWAT and the Bomb Squad. K-9 unit s require air -conditioned facilities. Those things require more than just stafng. City Commission Election March 12: Polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early voting begins March 2 and runs through March 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Supervisor of Elections Ofce, The Terrace Building, 101 S. Washington Blvd. (U.S. 301), Sarasota. Runoff, if necessary: May 14 For more information visit


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 16 Police consume the largest fraction of the citys budget, using more than the sum of all property taxes collected an nually. Is there room for improvement in how Sarasota polices itself? Holland: I think theres always room for im provement on anything. As I think youve heard me say, I do believe with the new police chief and some new policies and procedures and some fresh eyes to look at the operation of the police department, theres room for that. I think more and more because were not the only city facing this. We need to look at success stories, things that work in other places, and not just for the po lice. One of the things thats bothered me in the past several years is, the city decided and Im not exactly sure when the city is no longer a member of the Florida Redevel opment Association. They did that because of budget cuts, so three or four years ago. But 20 years ago, those conferences were places to really nd programs that work and ways other cities gured out to do things that may be more cost-effective, smarter. One ex ample for the police is the citizen volunteer program. I remember when we went over to Delray Beach, or one of the beach cities, and thats where that program came from. It was brought back, and look at its success: well over 100 volunteers that save the Police Department a tremendous amount of time. Thats the sort of thing that, when Im a com missioner, we are going to rejoin the Florida Redevelopment Association. Thats only one example of many, many initiatives. Things to improve Main street, affordable housing we need to nd the successes of other people and share ours. The Street Teams program [through which homeless people assist the citys Public Works Department in cleaning up parks and other areas] is another one that was found someplace else and brought in, and I cant tell you how much that program is do ing wonders. Would you consider merging the Saraso ta Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce? Holland: No. Period. Merge some special teams such as Ma rine Patrol, Bomb Squad, SWAT and oth ers? Holland: Id really have to look into it deeply. It would take a lot to convince me to do that. The city continues to run a decit in its annual budget, making up the difference from reserves. Will you raise taxes, cut services, continue tapping into savings or turn it over to staff to balance the budget? Atwell: The bone is almost to the core right now, as far as Im concerned. Dont talk about cutting staff unless youre talking about cut ting services. To your point, yes to everything. Nobody wants to raise taxes. Id be willing to raise the millage rate. If we cut staff any more, its ridiculous, and the town wont put up with it. Even though a few are complaining because this isnt mowed here, are you willing to raise the millage? Ive watched my taxes year after year after year go down because my assessment went down. Im paying a fr action of the taxes I paid


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 17 six years ag o. Ive had six years of tax cuts. After six years of sequential tax cuts, where does it stop? For a lot of people, it doesnt matter. They wouldnt even think of raising taxes. Thats the mantra everywhere you go. But they dont understand. How much do we tap into [the reserves]? It doesnt resonate with the public. When I sit at the table, I have to look at every thing. The city continues to run a decit in its annual budget, making up the difference from reserves. Will you raise taxes, cut services or continue tapping into savings or let staff gure it out? Chapman: I think part of leadership is com ing up with viable answers. I am not in favor of raising taxes or cutting services, but I am in favor of looking at everything to look for efciencies and focusing on core services. We do a lot of things and spend a lot of money on things that are not core city services. I do not believe in kicking the can down the road. Can you give examples? Chapman: There are a myriad of little pro grams that add up take-home police cars; take-home vehicles for other staff who do not live in the city. There are a lot of different little things that add up. When I talk to people like [retired city Finance Director] Chris Lyons, they indicate those things can add up. The city conti nues to run a budget de cit. Were about to start the exercise again. It makes up the difference from reserves. In reality, city staff has exer cised restraint, and at the end of the last scal year, the staff made up the differ ence and the reserves were not touched. It was not the policy guidance from the City Commission that balanced the bud get. It was the city manager and staff that balanced the budget. The city man ager and staff took it upon themselves to change policy to achieve further sav ings. It was done piecemeal, but it was not what the City Commission voted for; it was not the budget the commissioners approved. We are talking about millions of dollars in cuts to services. If elected, you have three choices: raise taxes, cut services or dip into savings, and the savings are just about shot or there is a fourth option: You pass some fantasy budget and let staff gure it out. What will it be? Holland: Certainly no one running for ofce wants to start out saying, Lets just raise tax es. The community doesnt want to hear that. And the community doesnt want to hear, Cut services. And they probably dont want to hear, Dip into reserves. I wouldnt be a big one for dipping into re serves, but I think, if thats part of a combi nation of things we can do, and recognizing were getting close to not having any more reserves, that would be a very tricky way to go. All of [the options] are tricky ways to go. All of them are difcult. Challenging is prob ably a better word th an tricky, because of


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 18 the connotations, b ut perhaps were going to have to look at a combination of those things. Maybe the commission discussion needs to be a little more intense. As much as people hate meetings, they need to take a deeper look. I really hope the new nance director be cause over the past several years weve had such tremendous trust in [retired Finance Di rector] Chris Lyons I hope we can have that same level of trust. These are some new eyes on the nances, and perhaps just a different look at it will bring in some possibilities we had not thought of. And I go back to my earli er comment about utilizing what other cities have done. Pensions: Did we overpromise and un der-deliver? Atwell: We kicked the can down the road, the whole pension issue. Those were the days when we didnt pay them much but we pro tected them. It got way ahead of us, and were not alone. They were promised the moon and the stars. You bet we have to deal with this pension thing. Each commission cannot say, Its not my problem. Ill be dead. Is a tax increase the answer to our prom ises? Atwell: Thats one of the answers. That is an answer, of course, because the way staff is now, how do we cut any more? And when will we do that? Were having preliminary budget workshops soon, and you bet Ill put every thing on the table. Whats the revenue stabili zation fund [e.g. the reserves] look like? How do we consolidate ? Would you s upport a bond issue to cov er the shortfall (as Fort Lauderdale did last November)? Atwell: Look Im willing to take a look at ev erything, including the pros and cons of that. People in this community are getting wind [of the problems], and its coming out in the fo rums. So were trying to prepare you who live in this beautiful town, and it is paradise, [but] weve got some nancial woes here. Were not broke, but we need to deal with this. Taxes? A bond issue? All of it should be on the table. Were at bare bones. You want a good police force. You want boots on the street. What are you willing to do? Isnt it amazing the fear of taxes? Have you ever attended any of the three pension board meetings? Atwell: Actually, no. Pensions: did we overpromise and un der-deliver? Chapman: We made a lot of assumptions that were not accurate, and we did overpromise. One assumption was an unrealistic rate of re turn. Another assumption is we like these peo ple [e.g. staff] and lets just reward them for city service on the assumption public sector employees are paid less so they should get more retirement benets. That isnt true. So yes, there were a lot of assumptions. And there was not a lot of scal knowledge that was used in making these assumptions and giving these benets out. So the unfunded liabilities are a problem.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 19 Would you consi der a bond issue to cov er the shortfall (as Fort Lauderdale did last November)? Chapman: I would look at anything to try and solve the problem. But a bond has to be paid, too. That may not be an adequate solution. Private industry is realizing that xed-benet [retirement plans] cannot work, and public pensions have not caught up. Im sorry about that, because I do think public employees are deserving, but its a matter that there is no po litical will to continue unaffordable pensions at the cost of all city services. Have you ever attended any of the three pension board meetings? Chapman: No, but Ive watched them. Youre aware of the overall dynamic of the pension shortfall. Is a tax increase the answer to this problem? If not, would you support a bond issue to cover the shortfall as Fort Lauderdale did last No vember? Holland: So were saddling the next genera tion, kicking the can down the road? Answer: Yes. I had not heard of Fort Lauderdales bond issue. Raising taxes is not a popular choice. If those were the two choices, I guess youd let the electorate decide ... if they want their taxes raised or if they want the bond. What if you had a City Commission can didate saying, We have to raise taxes, folks? The city doesnt have the re serves anymore. If were going to bal ance our budget, we have to raise taxes, and if we want to improve our services, it is going to cos t us even more, and, by the way, we have a pension decit that has to be dealt with. Vote for me. I will raise your taxes. Nobody is offering that choice. Holland: Nobody wants to say directly: Thats what Ill do. And I dont want to say that because Im a candidate and there are people out there who are going to say, Shes going to raise my taxes, so Im not going to vote for her. But I think if you take raising the taxes off the table, youre not being realistic. Im a taxpayer. I dont want my taxes raised. But do I want a safer city? Absolutely. And do I want city services? Absolutely. They dont have to be frivolous or excessive, but I want a safe place to live and good municipal services. I think every possibility has to be put on the table. As property values declined for tax pur poses, the dollars out of your pocket have gone. That is what has caused the budget crisis at City Hall. Holland: Exactly. Its an education because so many people either dont understand that or just ignore it and dont want to understand it because raising taxes is a difcult thing for anybody to say or do. But it has to be a con sideration. There is just no question. Do you support Paul Caragiulos efforts to reevaluate the noise ordinance? Atwell: Oh yes. I said that at [the] Tiger Bay [Clubs recent meeting]. I want to take a look at it. Hes had two meetings. We need to re frame this, frame it i nt o something palatable


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 20 for everybody if were moving along with a more active live-work-play downtown, and there are a lot of young people, and its not just about coming down and playing music forever. Its part of diversifying the economy. Some people want to come downtown, listen to mu sic, hear it in a restaurant, make it a bit more viable. You bet Im willing to look at it. Do you support Paul Caragiulos efforts to reevaluate the noise ordinance? Chapman: I think the noise ordinance was carefully considered in 2003. I do believe there are technological issues that might re solve some of the conict. But if those techno logical issues dont work, I go for the people who have a vested interest already. Recreation needs to take a back seat to quality of life. An entertainment zone has been pro posed. Chapman: An entertainment district only works if you dont fully understand how sound operates. Sound does not operate like vision, which deteriorates over distance. Controlling sound is an issue of absorption, and its a very difcult technological issue, as I know from living in a neighborhood that faced a sound issue [quieting Sarasota Memorial Hospitals emergency generators]. Its much more complex than has been ad dressed so far. I do not favor changing the noise ordinance without facing the complex ity of how sound operates. Sound is vibration and it reverberates off hard surfaces. Areas that dont have a l ot of trees like the down town carry s ound much more efciently than an area that has a lot of things to absorb the sound. The whole idea you want to identify the per son complaining is an opportunity to intimi date that person out of making a complaint, rather than resolving the issue. I am willing to look at the issue, but Im not willing to change things unless there is more competent analysis. Theres some buzz about live-workplay downtown, vitality downtown. And the noise ordinance seems to be in the way of that. Chapman: The development community and The HuB types [say that]. My feeling about live-work downtown is weve been there, done that. We have two buildings that are still authorized under the Downtown Residential Overlay District (DROD) that havent been built. [The one at] 1350 Main was built under the DROD, and the units that were built as so-called attainable units have not been sold because theres not a market for them. We talk a lot about creating supply without an alyzing whether there is demand. I have been to events with young people at The HuB. The striking thing, the depressing then is, many of them dont have a steady paycheck job. So to talk about live-work, if these young people cannot afford the units that are proposed, its an empty promise. It just rewards speculative development. Without a careful analysis of demand, were just rewarding speculation again, without ad dressing the underlying problem. I talked to a few family people at Th e HuB, and they live in


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 21 single-family hou ses with children and dont care a hoot about a downtown noise ordi nance because they have to go home at night because they cant afford a babysitter. I think this is an interesting exercise, but we in this city have been deluded by this whole idea that if we create a supply, there will au tomatically be demand. That hasnt really hap pened. What has happened instead is oversup ply and lack of economic development due to speculation. We have these big, glitzy projects that are sup posed to alter the total downtown experience: Pineapple Square; we had the Irish-American project [after the demolition of The Quay]; we had the [unbuilt] Proscenium; we had the [unbuilt] Atrium. All of those do not exist. What exists in their place is a lot of empty, underused space. That is a drag on our econ omy rather than a benet. In fact 24/7 Wall St. had a report about bestrun cities and worst-run cities. They looked at foreclosure rates. They found cities that weathered the recession better were the ones that very much controlled supply based upon the demand. A lot of the people now proposing 200 units per acre, or increased density downtown, didnt live here when the [New Urbanism ad vocate Andres] Duany Downtown Master Plan was developed. They didnt live here when we dealt with the density bonus before. They didnt live here during the Downtown Resi dential Overlay District. Theyre brand new to town, and theyre the newest, fashionable big thing. But weve been through all of this before, and not too long ago. One of the candidates is proposing 200 units per acre density, a nd I dont think he knows what that looks like Thats Manhattan density. For Sarasota, there is not the will of the peo ple to be Manhattan. My guess is, if you want to live in Manhattan, it would be a lot easier to move to Manhattan than to try to make Sara sota into Manhattan. I was talking with my building manager, and he said were 10 years away from occupying all the ofce space thats available in town. Thats a depressing thought. Where the big development is happening in this community is in the single-family neigh borhoods. You go to those neighborhoods, and its unbelievable whats happened. Do you support Paul Caragiulos efforts to reevaluate the noise ordinance? Holland: Yes, I do, to reevaluate the noise or dinance. I dont think theres anything wrong to periodically reevaluating most things. We have a growing dynamic downtown, with the greater vibrancy of downtown. I wish Id at tended those meetings [Caragiulo hosted], but I had knee surgery. I understand there is a consideration of enter tainment districts, i.e., the Rosemary District. I love to go to Mattisons [restaurant at the in tersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street] and listen to the music. Id love to see some of that noise, energy, music in the Rosemary [District] because the residential [area] is not as affected. You remember the years we tried to gure out what to do with the Rosemary. None of the ideas gelled the way we thought they might. Its a little bit of an open palette still, that you can do some things that can harness some of


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 22 this creative ene rg y, the musical energy of the younger people. Perhaps a better venue there. The seniors in the condos downtown do de serve some respect. Yes, they moved into an urban area, but they have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their lives. Certainly, getting a balance in the Main Street area is harder than in the Rosemary District area. I love the idea. It appears the meetings are based on getting something for everybody. I like that. Expand the Domestic Partnership Reg istry? Eliminate it? Atwell: Eliminate it? No. Chapman: I think the Domestic Partnership Registry is one of the more forward-thinking things that Sarasota has done. It proves what a great community we are. I believe its a mod el. Holland: I dont think we should eliminate it. Expand it? Im a huge advocate of the partner ship registry. Im a member of Equality Flori da, and it needs to continue. Do you have an opinion of Agenda 21, and how do you think it impacts the City of Sarasota? Atwell: Im representing the city, and some things you shouldnt be involved in. There are a lot of people with real issues with the U.N. Do you have an opinion of Agenda 21 and how do you think it impacts the City of Sarasota? Chapman: I dont know what is Agenda 21. But there are certain groups that are very, very afraid; they are security-oriented and afraid of internationalism. I think its a denial of reality and a retrograde movement based on fear. People get into the reference groups and feed on each others fears. We cant change that we are in an internation al world. Its going to threaten a lot of people, but it is a reality we have to face. Do you have an opinion of Agenda 21 and how do you think it impacts the City of Sarasota? Holland: How could I know about that? I am not familiar with it. Parts of Sarasota including St. Ar mands Circle are prone to ooding when high tides or storms create a rise in sea level. Should the city continue to encourage development on its barrier is lands? Atwell: I couldnt get to Mote Marine one day because it was all ooded. I said, What are we doing progressive about stormwater? So [City Manager] Barwin is having meetings with Randall Reid [Sarasota County admin istrator]. Is that something that comes rst, where you provide appropriate stormwater retention in an environmentally low-impact way so developers will c ome?


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 23 St. Armands and Lido Beach have strong neighborhood associations. They are very pro tective and savvy. How much more develop ment do we need there, Im not sure. Before you get more development, you need appro priate and environmentally sound infrastruc ture there to do it in a safe way. Thats kind of a tough area. Parts of Sarasota including St. Ar mands Circle are prone to ooding when high tides or storms create a rise in sea level. Should the city continue to encourage development on its barrier is lands? Chapman: Thats another reality were go ing to have to face: rising sea levels. Its very complex, and we have to recognize the lack of insurance, the lack of ability to stop it, is very much going to impact our area. And its not just on barrier islands. Its an earth issue we are going to have to face. Theres a substantial amount of investment out there. And it may resolve itself, like its resolving itself in New York right now with the big storm that wipes everything out. Then well really have to face that issue. Parts of Sarasota including St. Ar mands Circle are prone to ooding when high tides or storms create a rise in sea level. Should the city continue to encourage development on its barrier is lands? Holland : Barrier islands are so sensitive, but also so desirable. I believe we have to be very, very careful on development on barrier islands, and my tendency is not to look to the barrier islands for development. Renourish beaches? Atwell: Sure. Absolutely. Should we continue to renourish the beaches? Chapman: Thats a hard question. I have mixed feelings on that. Its feeding a marsh mallow thats oating in the ocean, but its also our economy, too. Were a tourist econo my. We realize beaches ebb and ow, but its hard to say, Let it go. I have exceedingly mixed feelings on that. Our economy is very dependent on tourism, and we have to recognize we have these incredible beaches. Having been here 23 years, Ive seen no beach and a lot of beach coming and going, and lots of renourishment. Siesta Key seems to be benetting and Lido Key doesnt. Should we continue to renourish the beaches? Holland: Yes, I believe we have to. They are such a critical part of our community and the whole ecosystem.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 24 The following a re planning questions, dealing with land-use issues A. Why does Sarasota not have the sky line or the canals of a Fort Lauderdale? Atwell: I think its multiple factors. You have a community here that is multi-dimensional. And its fairly recently that weve become so cosmopolitan. We didnt get into that New York high-rise kind of thing. Now people are discovering Sarasota. [This is] when you get a mass of people ac customed to compact living and [they] want [greater density of] units and bus [transporta tion] to get around. The following are planning questions, dealing with land-use issues A. Why does Sarasota not have the sky line or the canals of a Fort Lauderdale? Chapman: We took a different direction. We took the direction of arts and culture rather than just boating. We had people who came to this area who really valued arts and culture, including John and Mabel Ringling, Bertha Potter Palmer, and that helped us establish our identity. And then we had people like David Cohen, who worked to develop the Van Wezel [Per forming Arts Hall] with [former long-time City Manager] Ken Thompson. That established a different kind of identify. Instead of just boat ing and sun, we have that high level of cultural inuence in our area. And we have other eco nomic opportunities. Arts and culture are [a] $180 million-a-year economic generator for us in Sarasota. Yes, our city fathers and mothers built on a certain cultural identity, and that has contin ued to thrive with new cultural aspects like the ballet, the theaters, jazz club, and that draws authors. Would you favor pursuing the proposed Cultural District Master Plan? Chapman: Yes. I think the arts and culture are a signicant factor in creating the goose that laid the golden egg. It draws people who could live anywhere, who want to live in a place with a small-town atmosphere with tre mendous cultural amenities. Most of our really important cultural assets are on the North Trail. The following are planning questions, dealing with land-use issues A. Why does Sarasota not have the sky line or the canals of a Fort Lauderdale? Holland: Many people dont want Sarasota to become like the East Coast. Because weve been protective of our small-town feeling, and because our zoning codes and our neighbor hoods have tried to protect and insure the growth has been not just rampant. Weve got a community that is engaged and involved, and weve had good planning practices, and thats a result of what weve done. There is something different about Sara sota. It is like the poem, Two paths di verged in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled by A century ago, both were small villages. In the 1920s, they went hurly-burly crazy. But after that, the diverg ence began to show. Fort


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 25 Lauderdale embraced the high-rise cul ture. Sarasota did not. What is the dif ference? Holland: Were just better people. Were more thoughtful, were more kind, more aware. There is a strong environmental community in Sarasota. I dont know much about the histo ry of the East Coast. The desire of the people who live in the city and county is very strong environmental. Its the people, the good peo ple. B. Would you favor expanding adminis trative site plan approval to the North Trail? Atwell: Thats going to be coming to us, April or May. I tend to look favorably on adminis trative review. The [proposed] North Trail [Overlay District] is an optional thing. Im a commissioner and policymaker. I have to craft policy based on information from everybody, including the neighborhoods. When we have a Planning Department and zoning, and they go out and give their impri matur to this and the neighbors say, No, you get into a dilemma. When do you stop that? Do you think the planners dont know the neighborhoods? Youre assuming its the staff and the neighborhoods. The staff are planners; they have that resume. Yes, the neighbors live there, but some might have only been there two years. Citywide? Atwell: Yes. I would love to look into that. And Im willing to look at the DROD [Down town Residential Overlay District] again and tie that into the form-based code. B. Would you favor expanding adminis trative site plan approval to the North Trail? Chapman: No. Citywide? Chapman: No. Why? Chapman: I believe its important for the res idents to have a say-so when development is in their front yard. And I believe its a consti tutional right to assemble and petition your government. The basis for administrative site plan approval in planning is that you have clear planning and design regulations that you stick by. That isnt what has happened in Sarasota. What has been predictable in Sarasota is the changing of every plan. Even though the staff would like that, there are no clear criteria upon which we can base administrative site plan approval. So it gives staff maximum dis cretion to harm residents and neighborhoods and even areas that are commercial with in compatible development. We dont have a form-based code anywhere in the city at this point which has very clear standards to stick by. We dont have an urban transect with a step-down in intensity as it moves toward the neighborhoods.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 26 Bradenton recen tly nished and adopt ed a form-based code, and it seems to be palatable to everybody. Chapman: The reality is the development community in this community has always felt the rules could be changed for their benet. They never consider the need for the neigh borhood or the existing developed area to have compatibility as well. There has to be predictability on both sides in order to reach an agreement. Otherwise, were going to repeat this conict again and again and again. We seem to be on the road to it one more time. When the density bonus was there, we proposed a compromise; we thought we had a compromise: Lets do a test case and see if its works. By Monday, there was no compromise because they decid ed they could beat us. It turned out we beat them, and thus began my reputation of being anti-development, wheth er I am or not. Your voting record on the Planning Board does not suggest you are anti-de velopment. Chapman: Ninety-three percent of what the Planning Board sees is approved. What is not approved is things that are changes that are incompatible. The reality is, we dont have a supply issue. We have a demand issue. But we also have a development community that, in their belief system, actually believes Sarasota is anti-de velopment. They honestly believe that, sincerely believe that. Its not true. Just because you dont get a change of every rule every time you want it doesnt mean were anti-development. B. Would you f avor expanding adminis trative site plan approval to the North Trail? Holland: Its so tricky. I say [it can be han dled] through Planning Board [hearings] and the redevelopment meetings. Im a neigh borhood person, and I understand the issues of neighbors not wanting tall buildings next to their houses. I understand lot sizes are a problem, the depth of the lots. I do not have the fear of administrative ap proval that some neighborhood candidates do. I think the discussion needs to continue. You and I have done this: Weve gone to meetings since the 1980s about the North Trail. Some things have been done. There have been im provements, but there is still so much that needs to be done. I feel it could be a tool. But I have a real strug gle with it, not because Im afraid to say, Yes or No as a candidate. Its that balance I al ways struggle with, having worked so long and so hard to protect neighborhoods and be sensitive to neighborhoods, and yet know that weve got to have redevelopment, retrot, par ticularly on the North Trail, where those plac es sit there stagnant, and in some instances are magnets for the criminal activity there. [Administrative site plan approval] deserves some serious consideration, but I understand the friction with the neighborhoods and how you come to some kind of agreement. I do not have, and perhaps I should, have the fear of it. Citywide? Holland: I would consider it. Yes, I would consider it.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 27 C. Would you consider high-rise devel opment north of 10th Street? South of Whitaker Bayou? Atwell: One of my aspirations is to reinvigo rate the Cultural District. We paid $260,000 for that plan and its in a closet somewhere. The Quay is a fractured property. I would love to see something down there. You have a lot of mega-houses there. A con do rather than a mega-mansion? Wed need to concentrate them in an area. That would be a long time coming. Im pro-business and pro good development. Your eyes get wide when you think of that. I think we need to start inside and work out side. Thats a large, a very large idea right now. Id like to get live-work-play downtown rst. But thats intriguing to look at. I dont think were there yet. Say we had a strong mayor and worked with developers, could that happen? C. Would you consider high-rise devel opment north of 10th Street? South of Whitaker Bayou? Chapman: I think there is a potential along the waterfront to build more density. I do think there are very viable neighborhoods along the way. Some of those neighborhoods back up to very narrow lots. Its a difcult planning issue. Yes, I do think we need to carefully consider the North Trail because there is all kinds of opportunity. But it requires three things to be done at the same time. There has to be a decent code, not this unpredictable thing where you opt in or opt out, and there are no design standar ds. It has to deal with the parking issue. It has to deal with 45 to 55 mph trafc that has to be slowed. It has to deal with the policing issue as well, which is prostitution and drugs. South of Whitaker Bayou? Chapman: No. Its very residential and highend residential. C. Do you favor high-rise development north of 10th Street? On the shore of the bay? Holland: I would think I would tend not to. I hate to say one way or the other. You have to consider peoples property rights. The trending phrase is, We have to grow the city. Single-family homes? That does nothing for the tax base. What does is density, and the only place people are going to pay for height and density is on the water. If you do not want to do it on the barrier islands, what other water do you have? It becomes either Harbor Acres or north of 10th Street. Holland: Going back to the Rosemary Dis trict, there is so much potential there that I think that is the area. Im not sure I want to see 18-story high rises there. That is an area super-ripe for our creative venues, and not just artists but professions. You have a Salvation Army in the middle of it, but its not going anywhere. We have to gure out how to integrate the Salvation Army and social services. So when you get into some of the more creative professions, those folks are not turned off by the Salvation Army, as [are] the retirees that want to shop at Brooks Brothers downtown.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 28 Utilize the places and the people and the op portunities that are there, that can work to gether, and get some of this energy that seems to be out there and ripe for things. Nothing is off the table, but we can take a look at particular areas of the city where it makes sense to grow there. D. In Newtown virtually all streets have sidewalks (many on both sides of the street), curbs and gutters. A majority of the streets elsewhere in town have none of that. Is it time for the city to pay the same attention in other neighborhoods? Atwell: [Resident] Andy Dror comes to me all the time in McClellan Park and the sidewalks are a mess. This was last year. We dont have the staff, and lost ve landscape people. Some of our good neighborhoods are a mess. Again, services, and upgrade of infrastructure. I want to look at mobility fees, and increased density downtown. Bird Key doesnt have sidewalks. D. In Newtown virtually all streets have sidewalks (many on both sides of the street), curbs and gutters. A majority of the streets elsewhere in town have none of that. Is it time for the city to pay the same attention in other neighborhoods? Chapman: Boy, is that a hard one. All infra structure issues in built-up areas become ghting issues. I would love to have sidewalks throughout, love to have complete streets where pedestrians and bicyclists and other transit can be used. But it is a really difcult issue. This shows wha t happens when you dont have the foresight to require this when the neighborhood is developed. But thats what weve had: development without foresight. When there are sidewalks, people use them. And bike lanes: People use them. I love the idea on Old Bradenton Road [where] they are painting the bike paths green. Theyre putting chickee huts at both ends for the bus stops and painting the bike paths green. Its really an exciting project. Theyve waited 14 years for it. But this is going to set an example for how to do a complete street. The light xtures are decorative, and it will create a real impetus for that [Bayou Oaks] neighborhood. One of the hard parts for the neighborhood is, they took away their name, Old Bradenton Road. Now they have to ght to get their name back. D. In Newtown virtually all streets have sidewalks (many on both sides of the street), curbs and gutters. A majority of the streets elsewhere in town have none of that. Is it time for the city to pay the same attention in other neighborhoods? Holland: Yes. Does everybody deserve a sidewalk? Holland: I think everybody who wants a side walk, yes. In our neighborhood, and we have sidewalks on both sides and some on one side, but on Fourth Street they dont even have any sidewalks on one portion.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 29 From a safet y issue, I do believe sidewalks are necessary in neighborhoods. At least on one side, preferably on both sides. And I do be lieve the city needs to give attention to other neighborhoods. On a 1-10 scale with 1 being of highest importance, how would you rate the fol lowing? Concurrency? Atwell: State law says we can relax concur rency, so Id say about ve. Impact Fees? Atwell: It depends; it has to be in the middle. People are up in arms that weve relieved de velopers from it. I would favor doing a mobil ity fee. I want to look at a progressive fee to mitigate impact, so a ve. Growth Management? Atwell: Everybody wants to manage growth, but how do we do it in this day and age? Who wouldnt be for growth management? Im looking at alternative ways to bring progres sive growth to increase our tax base and sales tax receipts. I tend to like Benderson [Devel opment Co.] and what theyve done for the community. A lot of people despise it. I have to vacillate on these by putting down ve. On a 1-10 scale with 1 being of highest importance, how would you rate them? Concurrency: Chapman: One. Impact Fees: Chapman: One Growth m a nagement: Chapman: One, if growth management means planning. Sometimes growth management is mistaken for no growth. Im for planned growth. Im going to rattle off some planning buzzwords On a 1-10 scale with 1 being of highest importance, how would you rate them? Concurrency? Holland: Its gotta be up there, certainly a one or two. Impact fees? Holland: Thats probably two or three, in that range. Growth management as a tool. Holland: As a tool, Id have to say two or three. It has to be up there. Final question: should you succeed and win a seat on the Sarasota City Commis sion, is there a tangible goal you want to achieve? Atwell: Theres so many. I could be narrow or big. I have a few things. Ive begun with Payne Park and the sports festival to make it one of the best parks in the county. Get a soccer school going. We have the disc golf there now. Its a gorgeous 29-acre park in Alta Vista, and not enough is going on there now. I want more people downtown living over the stores.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 30 We real ly need to do something about The Quay. And were moving with lightning speed on these social workers for the homeless. Final question: should you succeed and win a seat on the Sarasota City Commis sion, is there a tangible goal you want to achieve? Chapman: Database decision-making. Reali ty-based policymaking. Ive always been con sidered a visionary, and many of my visions have come into reality because Im not into fantasy. Its interesting: Im being portrayed as the per son who always says, No. Many of my vi sions have been realized in this community. Examples? Chapman: The Womens Legal Fund, the Men tal Health Community Centers, the Hudson Bayou Neighborhood Association, the power plant at the hospital with sound-management technology, the lift station and upgrade of our entire sewage system, the modernizing of our policing. What do you want to accomplish? Chapman: I would like to accomplish a de gree of problem solving between development and residential communities where we can talk to each other and work on things without it being us-versus-them. We are a community of high standards. I hope we retain them. Final question: sh ould you succeed and win a seat on the Sarasota City Commis sion, is there a tangible goal you want to achieve? Holland: Both are tied together. My prima ry goal is to achieve the balance between the neighborhoods and the business/development community. Ive watched it for so long, and sometimes weve gotten closer to it than other times. I feel that right now, were not. Are we ever going to achieve a perfect bal ance? Absolutely not, but I feel like we were closer to that balance a little bit in the past, and were not there now. If I can bring my dedication to the neighbor hoods and preserving the neighborhoods and fighting for the things the neighborhoods want, but also to the point where the neigh bors dont feel so strongly that the develop ment/business community is such an arch en emy, and that we cannot work together, and thats the feeling I get when I sit there and listen to these discussions in the public hear ings. We dont have to be enemies. And the business community doesnt think the neigh borhoods are just a bunch of whiney babies. Weve achieved a better balance in the past, and Id like to think Id like to help bring that balance where the scales are a little more even. I live in a neighborhood, and there are certain things I dont want right next door to me. But I also understand that things are changing. Ive lived in my house for 32 years, and there are changes coming. %


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Katherine Stewart/Contributed photo ABOUT THOSE CLUBS HOW A NATIONAL EVANGELICAL ORGANIZATION IS SPREADING ITS MESSAGE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor When K atherine Stewart rst heard about the Good News Club, it did not seem like a big deal. She was living in Santa Barbara, CA, where her 6-year-old da ughter was attending what she calls a very lovely public school a school that happened to allow a chapter of the Good News Club an evangelical minis try of the Child Evangelism Fellowship to come on campus after school hours. Stewart calls herself a big supporte r of free speech


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 33 and b elieves wholeheartedly that the Bible is worth studying, so she did not think twice about it. But then I started to hear stories from par ents in town whose kids went to Good News Clubs, Stewart says, stories that often in volved attendees targeting their peers for bul lying and bigotry. One little girl approached a classmate and said, You dont believe in Je sus and so youre going to go to hell. When the other student rebuked her, telling her dif ferent religions have different beliefs, the girl was distraught. According to Stewart, the girl asked, How can this be true? I learned this in school. That experience led Stewart, an investiga tive reporter by trade deep into research about the Good News Club, the Child Evan gelism Fellowship and the surprising intersec tion of faith and pub lic schools in America today. The result? Her 2012 book, The Good News Club: The Chris tian Rights Stealth Assault on Americas Children which she will be discussing this Sunday, March 3, at a Sarasota event hosted by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Does Stewarts topic seem remote? Academic? It should not. There is a Child Evangelism Fel lowship chapter right up the road in Braden ton that proselytizes to 100 students a week. The Child Evangelism Fellowship was found ed by Pastor Jesse Irvin Overholtzer in 1937. Mr. Overholtzer read one of Charles Spur geons sermon s which stated, A child of ve, if properly instructed can as truly believe and be regenerated as an adult, the Fellowship website states. The Lord used this statement in Mr. Os life to lead him to begin the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship when he was 60 years old. Over the decades, the organization grew slowly, holding Good News Clubs meetings in churches, homes and parks, but its inu ence did not fully explode till 2001, when a Supreme Court decision said it was OK for the organization to enter public schools. Can we really teach the Bible in public schools? a section of the Fellowship website asks. Yes! The Gospel has been taught free ly in public schools all over the world for some time. Now chil dren in the U.S. have that opportunity, too! The site says Good News Clubs can meet after school hours on the same terms as other community groups, but it notes that children may attend only with their parents permission. Stewart says the Supreme Court victory was part of a long strategy by the legal advocacy groups of the religious right: the Alliance De fending Freedom Liberty Counsel and (the American Center for Law and Justice What bothers Stewart the most about how Good News Clubs operate is what she calls the deceit that lies at the heart of their tac tics the use of public school space to sug gest to students that the C lubs lessons are Whether or not theyre talking to kids about same-sex relationships the level of contempt and scapegoating of LGBT people that goes on in this organization is just bound to lter through. Katherine Stewart Author


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 34 just ano ther part of the school day. Its part of a conscious program, she says. They know very well that kindergarten students, 5-yearolds, cant distinguish between what their teachers say and what theyre learning after school. What are the kids learning? The Fellowship is very explicit about its goal: The purpose of Good News Club is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living. Stewart says the Fellowship curriculum, which is standardized around the country, is all about sin and obedience, and its a very au thoritarian version of the Christian religion. She attended a national Fellowship conven tion and was struck by the narrowness of the groups denition of Christianity. Catholics, Episcopalians and Meth odists, for example, were contrasted with those who attend Bible-believing churches. I wince, because Christi anity is so diverse in this country, Stewart adds. And while the Fellowship curriculum does not direct ly address such hot-but ton social issues as equal rights for gays and lesbians or abortion, the Fellow ships stance on those is sues was clear at the con vention Stewart observed. Wheth er or not theyre talking to kids about samesex relati o nships, Stewart says, the level of contempt and scapegoating of LGBT people that goes on in this organiza tion is just bound to lter through. CLOSER THAN YOU THINK The Fellowship website lists 16 chapters in Florida, including a Manatee-Sarasota branch ) headquartered in Bradenton. Basically its like Sunday school, says Joe Vaughn, the head of the local chapter. We play games and have refreshments. We want to see them come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The Fellowship chapters usually team up with local churches to recruit volunteers and raise money. Vaughn, who took over the Man atee-Sarasota group with his wife about three years ago after the original founders moved away, notes the group has around 20 to 24 vol unteers drawn from rough ly 10 local churches. Each week, those volunteers visit both Tara Elemen tary School and Samoset Elementary School at 3 p.m., after school is over, and reach a total of 80 to 100 children. (The group is not active in the Sarasota County Schools, accord ing to a district spokesper son.) All the students who do participate must have their parents sign a permission slip, and the volunteers are screened by the Mana tee County School District. The Fellowship pays for the time and space. The cover of Katherine Stewarts book The Good News Club/Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 35 Its not sponso red by the school, nor is it en dorsed by the school, stresses Samoset Prin cipal Pat Stream. What we do is rent them a room. Parents are informed about the Good News Club through a yer, which is vetted and ap proved by the main school district office. Stream says the Club operates like any other organization the Boy Scouts, for instance that rents space at the school. That misses the point, says Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a na tional nonprot dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state sepa ration. He says it is ridiculous to think that elementary school students can differentiate between an arithmetic class taught during normal school hours and a Bible class taught in the same building right after the bell rings. These evangelical groups have the easy pick ings of students seconds after classes end, Lynn points out. You have a captive audience at 3 oclock and then at 3:01 theyre being lured by their friends, lured by their promis es. Comparing the Good News Club to other after-school clubs just does not wash; These classes are not about the Bible, he says. They are hard-sell evangelical messages. Tara Principal Steve Royce disagrees. Its not in the school, he says. Its outside the school hours. Its not like they come in at 9 oclock. The school day is nished before they even start, so the students who choose to stay, their parents are denitely aware of what theyre staying for. Both he and Stream note they have re ceived no parent complaints about the Good News Clubs. Our role with the m is a facility lease, Royce says. Thats really what it comes down to. Lynn says that because of the 2001 Supreme Court decision, challenging the Fellowship le gally would be ineffective. He calls the rightwing legal groups that helped the Fellowship win in court real masters when it comes to advancing their agenda. I have to give them credit for this: They very carefully orchestrate the campaigns to get the right cases to the right courts, he adds. Sad ly, theyre very good at being on the wrong side of almost everything. STRATEGIES Americans United is now focused on alerting parents to the organizations presence in their childrens schools, an effort aided by Stew arts book. Stewart says she is really grateful for the reception her book has received. She regularly speaks to libertarian organizations, progressive religious groups and LGBT rights activists about her research. We have an irreducible diversity of faith in our society, she adds. There are so many dif ferent types of Christianity. If our public schools are to function, we need to set aside our religious afliations, our political aflia tions, and see schools as places to come to gether. Do we really need to be turning our public schools into these religious battleelds? The Good News Club: The Christian Rights Stealth Assault on Americas Children, will be presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1031 Euclid Ave., Saraso ta. The program is free. %


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Ken Shelin is not giving up on his goal to see a domestic partnership registry established in Sarasota County, even though the County Commission this week rebuffed his latest ef fort to address the is sue. Commissioner Chris tine Robinson raised the matter during the Commission Reports portion of the boards Feb. 26 meeting, saying she did not understand why she had received an email from the county administration s ay ing Shelin was asking to appear before the commission. Robinson added that she recalled the com missioners agreeing they wanted to see the fate of a bill led in the Supporters of a statewide domestic partnership registry as well as a registry just for Sarasota County so far are making little progress. Image courtesy COUNTY COMMISSION DECLINES TO MEET WITH ADVOCATE FOR DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY UNTIL IT HEARS A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF SUCH ORDINANCES PUT OFF AGAIN By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor So, the county is dithering while inequality and a lack of fairness prevails for county domestic partners. Ken Shelin Sarasota resident


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 38 Florida Legislature this session that would es tablish a statewide registry before addressing a county measure. They had settled on that, she pointed out, after rst asking the Coun ty Attorneys Ofce to prepare a report on le gal issues related to establishing such reg istries. The bill, she noted, had been tabled, and that is typically a way of killing things but we havent had the county attorneys report yet. Robinson continued that her personal prefer ence would be to get the report before staff scheduled a formal discussion on a registry, which would end up being followed by a sec ond discussion on the report. It just doesnt seem like an efcient way of doing things, she pointed out. I dont want to do this, Commissioner Nora Patterson said, if the implication is that were going to, by virtue of the registry, be respon sible in some way for legally representing the rights of those who have registered. That, to me would feel good but be very expensive, Patterson continued, and I want to know from the Attorneys Office whether theres a potential for getting pulled into litigation by virtue of [establishing a county registry]. County Attorney Stephen De Marsh replied that he and his staff are examining legal ram ications related to domestic partnership registries. Our efforts are to analyze the pro posal and be able to report to the board as to what we see, as lawyers, [as ways] to reduce risk or be more clear in the wording of an ordinance. He added that he expected to be able to pre pare a memorandum for the commissioners, based on his staffs ndings. County Administrator Randall Reid told the commissioners one other individual wanted to talk with them about a registry. If the board members wished, he said, he could contact the individuals and t ell them about the com m issioners decision to await the County At torneys Ofce report rst. Reid added that the individuals had requested just 10 minutes before the County Commis sion. They were free to address the commis sion at any time during the public comment portion of meetings, he noted. (Those com ments are limited to three minutes per per son.) Shelin did address the board during one of those segments of the regular meeting on Jan. 30 in Sarasota, urging it to set up a county wide registry. Chairwoman Carolyn Mason, who originally broached the idea of the registry in Janu ary, said on Feb. 26, If it is the boards consensus that they want to wait until we have something from the attorney [before scheduling the formal presentation], then Im fine with that. Ken Shelin/Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 39 I want [t he report] before [the presentation], Patterson reiterated, so we have the oppor tunity to ask questions. In an email exchange with The Sarasota News Leader on Feb. 27, Shelin pointed out that it took him from Jan. 30 until Feb. 25 to get a response from Reid regarding his request to make a formal appearance before the Com mission. He sent the following log of those attempts: /5/13 I sent an email to Chair Mason and asked how I make a formal request to be placed on the agenda. She referred me to and copied her email to the County Ad ministrator. No response. /7/13 I sent Chair Mason another email copied to the County Administrator reiter ating my request. /10/13 Chair Mason copied her re sponse to me to the County Administrator. /13/13 I made a formal request directly to the County Administrator. No response. /25/13 I sent an email to the County Administra tor asking why I cant get a response and again asking how I get on the agenda. /25/13 County Admin istrator nally responds and says a staffer will be in touch with me to schedule me for March. /25/13 Email from county staffer saying she would schedule me. /26/13 Email from county staffer say ing she wouldnt be scheduling me because Commissioners had decided to wait for a report from Mr. DeMarsh on what is hap pening at th e state. Shelin a dded, So, the County is dithering while inequality and a lack of fairness prevails for county domestic partners. They are being treated as though they were strangers to each other even though they contribute productive ly as a couple to the countys economy and tax base and to its social stability. I guess these citizens dont count. Im sure youll hear deni als from the County staff and Commissioners when they hear this, but if they are serious about the quality of life in the County for all of its citizens, they wouldnt dither, they would act. When contacted by the News Leader on Feb. 27, Reid summarized the County Commis sions action on Feb. 26 and added that Shelin was wel come to address the commis sion during the public com ments portion of any meeting. That is a right and opportun ity [Shelin] has a lway s known he has, Reid noted. There is not a right for every citizen to be on the business agenda of the Commission, he added. After the County Commission has had the opportunity to dis Florida Rep. Darryl Rou son/Photo courtesy Florida State House


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 40 cuss DeMarshs report, Reid continued, a staff member in the commission ofce would con tact Shelin about scheduling a formal presen tation. Reid added, I would suggest the registry is a potentially controversial item and the Com mission desires to understand fully the addi tional liability, parameters and use of this de vice should the County sponsor or maintain the registry. THE SENATE BILL During a telephone interview with the News Leader on Feb. 26, Shelin said he testied on Feb. 19 when Senate Bill 196 was heard during a meeting of the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, which is chaired by the bills sponsor, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Democrat from Hollywood. The members, Shelin said, felt that the bill was too broad. The local ordinances that have been adopted by municipalities and counties including the City of Sarasota are very specic and constrained, Shelin explained. However, So bels bill provided for a large number of rights for domestic partners. When state Sen. Nancy Detert of Venice, who is a member of that committee, asked the pri vate attorney who had drafted the bill how many rights it would conf er, the attorney re sponded the number was about 800, Shelin continued. So the bill is being revised, he pointed out. They expect to bring it back within another week or so. I have heard no date at this point. This is the fth consecutive year Sobel has introduced such a bill in the Legislature. In the meantime, Shelin said, he had the op portunity over the past weekend to talk with Democratic state Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, who co-sponsored a domestic partnership registry bill in the State House. Rouson said that bill still had not been sched uled for a hearing and he did not know wheth er it ever would be, Shelin added. Rouson represents part of Manatee County in the Legislature. Shelin pointed out in his email to the News Leader A ve year history of failure to deal with [domestic partnership registry] legisla tion at the state level tells us it is unlikely to happen this year The only potentially positive factor for such a bill, Shelin told the News Leader on Feb. 26, would be a U.S. Supreme Court ruling de claring the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. The high court is scheduled to hear that case this session, and the Obama Administration has led a brief with the court asking that DOMA be struck down If the Supreme Court does declare DOMA un constitutional, Shelin said, Then who knows whats going to hap pen. %


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The Sarasota City Planning Board on Wednes day evening, Feb. 27, narrowly approved the North Trail Overlay District, a planning tool aimed at revitalizing the northern gateway to town. The next step is City Commission delib eration and a vote to make it happen. The Planning Boards 3-2 approval reects a polarization in the city about the overlay dis tricts primary feature administrative site plan approval. Regu lar readers know the term well. Laurel Park residents recently won their own overlay district as a response to administra tive approval in the downtown zoning districts that surround their neighborhood. This mech anism is the newest face in the age-old battle between neighbors and developers. Administrative ap proval gives city staff the authority to sign off on development ac tivity if the project meets each and every single rule without Planning Board or City Commission action: An artists rendering shows the type of development envisioned for the North Tamiami Trail if the new overlay district is approved. Image courtesy City of Sarasota ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN APPROVAL REMAINS THE STICKING POINT IN THIS LATEST INITIATIVE FOR NORTH TRAIL REDEVELOPMENT NTOD ON SCHEDULE The city plan says citizens should have the maximum opportunity for meaningful involvement in decisions that affect their neighborhood. Jennifer Ahearn-Koch Chairwoman Sarasota Planning Board By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 43 A city map shows the boundaries of the proposed North Trail Overlay District. Image courtesy City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 44 Check all the right boxes and here is your per mit. The public is not totally excluded from the process. Before an application is led, a de veloper must hold a neighborhood meeting to inform nearby residents of the plans. If the project is approved administratively, neigh bors can still seek a Planning Board hearing on it, but only if they pay for an appeal. The cost is around $1,400. For decades the city has grappled with the declining fortunes of the North Tamiami Trail. The mom-and-pop motels were essential to Sarasota tourism in the 1950s before the big hotels came. Some, such as the high-rise Hol iday Inn at U.S. 41 and the Ringling Cause way, were built, busy, then torn down while the North Trail mom-and-pops stayed in busi ness kind of. City Planner Ryan Chapdelain gave the Plan ning Board city police statistics for the area. Over the past ve years, index crimes run about 410 per year, or more than one per day, he said. Index crimes are the most serious felonies, including murder, armed robbery and rape. The North Trail is not exactly a tourist desti nation anymore. It became the place for stayalive business, the wait for Daddy Warbucks to arrive and shower mom and pop with mil lions for their valuable land. When the dust cleared and boom turned to bust, Mr. War bucks found there was no way to make the land more productive under existing zoning regulations. Thats when the pressure started to get great er densities and heights, Paola Summ ers told The draft North Trail Overlay District plan offers concepts of how more daylight can be allowed between buildings. Image courtesy City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 45 the p lanning board. There is reluctance to build a small building if they have a shot at a bigger building if they just wait. Summers is a leader of a North Trail neigh borhood. THE GUTS OF THE DEAL The North Trail Overlay District (NTOD) is a complicated interplay of procedures, design guidelines, incentives and restrictions. It came out of three years of gurative head banging by local businesses, neighbors and property owners. Not a single North Trail neighborhood has endorsed it, although the area it would cover spans at least four. City staff presented 13 distinct issues for the Planning Board to ponder. On most points, the board responded with unanimous approv al. For a few, the vote was 3-2, with member Susan Chapman and Chairwoman Jennifer Ahearn-Koch always in the minority. (It was the same 3-2 split to approve the Ringling Walmart site plan in January.) The rst point of deviation was a simple ques tion: Should the NTOD be voluntary or man datory? As proposed, once a developer decid ed to use the NTOD, he or she had to stick with it; no going back. The action would be recorded on the deed and binding on any fu ture property owner. Three Planning Board members said the adherence to NTOD guide lines should be voluntary, allowing developers to choose if they want to participate. The board was unanimous in approving a height bonus of 10 feet (up to 45 feet) and allowing the use of current zoning standards for daylight plane conguration a kind of let the sunshine in separation of structures. For developers not wishing to utilize the NTOD, the Planning Board agreed unanimous ly to let the current zoning standards remain in plac e. Presumably, those standards would be grandfathered into perpetuity. The district calls for several design standards. One concerns signs; another establishes cri teria for building frontages, sidewalks and streetscapes. All breezed by with 5-0 votes. A provision on parking passed 3-2. THE APPROVAL PROCESS Administrative site plan approval in the NTOD was a major point of contention. This thing goes nowhere without the adminis trative approval process, said Planning Board Member Chris Gallagher. Ahearn-Koch replied, The city plan says cit izens should have the maximum opportunity for meaningful involvement in decisions that affect their neighborhood. Gallagher responded, I support administra tive review because when it becomes public, its unmanageable and unpredictable. Thats the simple reason they dont want it. Chapman referred to the City Commissions Walmart decision this week. (See the story in this issue.) We just had an example of staff interpretation for compatibility and the neigh borhoods idea of compatibility, she said. In a built-out city, we have to have a concept of compatibility. Staffs analysis is not the same as the publics. When it came to a vote, it was again the guys versus the gals. Vald Svekis, Gallagher and Morton Siegel voted for NTOD administrative review, ensuring it passed 3-2. Then it was time to vote on the entire NTOD package and the vote was the same, 3-2, with Ahearn-Koch and Chapman in the minority. The issue probably will go before the City Commission in April, when one or perhaps two city commissioners ma y be lame ducks. %


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


Sarasotas n ew Chief of Police Bernadette DiP ino is now looking for a No. 2. The posting puts emphasis on community po licing, problem-oriented policing and change initiative[s]. The job of deputy chief was posted on Fri day, Feb. 22; the application period will close March 8. It lists all the duties expected of a strong dep uty overseeing budget preparation and ad ministration, representing the department in collective bargaining and taking responsibility for administration including training, per sonnel, equipment and records. Under the heading of job-based competen cies, the posting calls for comprehensive knowledge of community policing and prob lem-oriented policing best practices. And it calls for proven ability to command [the] respect of division members with the ability to establish and maintain an effective program of supervision, communication, eval uation, discipline and remediation. It was widely speculated that DiPino wanted a deputy chief of her own choosing to watch The Sarasota Police Department is located on Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTAS POLICE CHIEF IS ADVERTISING FOR A NO. 2, A POSITION THAT HAS BEEN VACANT SINCE JANUARY 2006 A DEPUTY CHIEF By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 48 her back as she took control of the citys Po lice Department. A supplemental questionnaire on the posting poses several essay-type questions that give some indication of DiPinos plans for her dep uty. For example: What was the most difcult change initiative you have managed? What would you do differently? Another says, Describe a change initiative you have led in the area of law enforcement. A third: Do you have experience with com munity policing and problem-oriented polic ing best practices? If yes, please describe. The deputy chief will move into the top-oor ofce now occupied by Capt. Paul Sutton, the departments current No. 2. Sutton is sched uled to retire soon. Sarasota has not had a deputy police chief for more than six years. The last was Ed White head, who was deputy to Chief Skip Jolly and who served as acting chief after Jollys resig nation in May 2002. Whitehead continued as deputy chief under Police Chief Peter Abbott until Abbott was suspended and placed on administrative leave in September 2005 for what were deemed in appropriate remarks. Whitehead retired as deputy chief on January 19, 2006 after 32 years on the force. Abbott left the position vacant. Ironically, on Feb. 26, during a budget work shop, city commissioners tacitly agreed to reduce the police force by seven officers. Meanwhile, DiPino is seeking to ll a top slot. That translates into fewer Indians but another chief. % Former City Manager Robert Bartolotta (left) talks with Capt. Paul Sutton in the new police head quarters. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota


In an effort to prevent a potential legal chal lenge, the Sarasota County Commission unan imously approved an emergency ordinance on Feb. 27, changing parts of the current county code banning solicitation on roads and rights of way. The changes substitute obstruction of traf fic for solicitation and prohibit the dis tribution of any item to, receipt of any item from, or exchange of any item with the occupant of any mot orized vehicle upon a road in the unincorporated area of Sarasota County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Nora Pat terson, however, voiced some concerns about some of the new language, and Barbetta ob jected to having to act on the basis of a threat. County Attor ney Stephen DeMarsh assured them the board could advertise a public hearing at any time on the ordin ance An emergency county ordinance that went into effect this week addresses public safety instead of solicitation in response to the numbers of people on local roads seeking money or help nding jobs. photo THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE IN RESPONSE TO A CIRCUIT COURT RULING ON THE CITY OF SARASOTAS PANHANDLING LAW SOLICITATION VERSUS OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC I think we need to stand our ground. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 50 wi th further tweaks if they wish, before mak ing it a long-term part of the county code. DeMarsh recommended the action this week on the basis of a recent 12th Judicial Circuit Court judges ruling that struck down part of a City of Sarasota ordinance related to pan handling. In his Feb. 1 ruling in Hill v. City of Saraso ta Judge Rick DeFuria granted a temporary injunction against the city, preventing police ofcers from arresting people holding signs on public sidewalks or medians, issuing such people citations or directing them to move on, DeMarsh informed the commissioners in a Feb. 27 memo. Additionally, DeMarsh wrote, our ofce re ceived inquiries from the same attorneys rep resenting the plaintiffs [in the Hill case] as to the constitutionality of the Countys code pro visions governing solicitation and commercial activities in the right-of-way. Therefore, DeMarsh continued, he recom mended the County Commission adopt the emergency ordinance amending Sections 9811 and 98-12 of the countys Code of Ordinanc es to prevent a constitutional challenge. All of a sudden were reacting because of a threat, Barbetta said. It seems like were jumping because [Mi chael Bareld, a legal advisor to the Sarasota chapter of the Ameri cans for Civil Liberties Union] has confronted us about [county ordi nances]. DeMarsh responded, I wou ld say were react ing to the Circuit Courts order. Barbetta then pointed to two parts of DeFu rias ruling, which allows for law enforcement action if an individual is obstructing or im peding pedestrian or vehicular trafc or cre ating an unsafe condition. I think that we can substantiate that this is creating an unsafe situation by somebody standing in a 2-foot-wide median. I would much rather hold to that. I think we need to stand our ground. DeMarsh explained that while in his and his staffs view it is lawful to regulate ac tivity in the right of way, that is defe nsible County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh/Photo by Norman Schimmel Its America, and I dont mean that as a joke. We have public freedoms. Charles Hines Commissioner Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 51 only if the ordinance is content-neutral and provides the least amount of regulation nec essary to achieve the objective. The emergency ordinance includes the lan guage, This section is intended to be narrow ly-tailored to serve the signicant government interest of public safety, and to leave open ample alternative channels for distribution, receipt, and exchange upon the public side walks or other areas of the Public Right-ofWay not outlined [in the ordinance]. DeMarsh pointed out that since the existing ordinance was limited to prohibiting the solic itation of donations in the public rights of way, We believe the legal argument we would face in defending it is it chooses between types of speech. The new language, he added, doesnt address the purpose for the exchange between the person on the road and a person in a vehicle. Furthermore, DeMarsh told the commis sioners, the new ordinance denes road as roadbed, islands, medians, travel lanes, turn lanes and all ways open to travel by operators of motorized vehicles within unincorporated Sarasota County. PROBLEMATIC ENFORCEMENT? When Barbetta asked whether the County At torneys Ofce had consulted with the Saraso ta County Sheriffs Ofce on the changes, De Marsh said a copy of the proposed ordinance had been provided to Sheriff Tom Knights legal counsel, who had talked with Deputy County Attorney Rick J. Elbrecht about it. The Sarasota County Commission sits in session. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 52 I believe that at least at a preliminary level, they felt [the new ordinance] could work, De Marsh added. The measure does keep a law on the books, he noted, giving the County Commission time to rene it. Then Barbetta asked, If you see somebody standing in the median holding a sign looking for a job is that lawful or unlawful? It is lawful unless it disrupts the normal ow of vehicles, DeMarsh replied. Its problemat ic to go much further because of First Amend ment rights that people have to hold signs. Why cant we just have an ordinance that says you cant stand in the median unless youre crossing the road? Barbetta persisted. We want to explore that, DeMarsh said, add ing that he and his staff did not have time to delve into all possible options for new lan guage in the ordinance before they felt they had to present something to the commission. It seems to me that under the denition of obstruction of trafc, youre trying to get at that issue, Patterson said in reference to Barbettas comment. But I dont know how you would determine that somebody walking along the median who happens to be hold ing a sign that they are actually inhibiting or obstructing trafc. Some of our medians are only a foot-and-a-half wide. A deputy would have to observe a violation, DeMarsh told her, adding that was part of the ordinance that could be amended before it became a permanent part of the county code. Again referring to Barbettas remarks, Patter son said, Unless you see [a person] hold his hand out, take money that would be the only way you could even move him along, be cause youd have to see it to know that its for that purpose unless you interpret the sign, which says, Give money. We want to work with the Sheriffs Ofce on this, DeMarsh replied. Sheriffs deputies and the County Attorneys Ofce will be paying attention to such practi cal aspects of enforcement, he added. In response to a question from Chairwom an Carolyn Mason, DeMarsh said he and his staff would work with the stakeholders on any amendments to the emergency ordinance and return with those suggestions to the commis sion in seeking the advertisement of a public hearing on a revision. We would advise you not to adopt an emer gency ordinance and leave it forever, he re iterated. Patterson made the motion to approve the emergency ordinance, with Commissioner Charles Hines seconding it. This is a very difcult situation, Hines said. Its America, and I dont mean that as a joke. We have public freedoms. The ordinance at least will allow the county to keep a measure in its code to promote public safety, he pointed out, until a better ordinance can be developed. %


To understand government, you have to un derstand budgeting, because the money in the budget pays for implementing policies. In creased public safety shows up as an increase in the police budget, for example. When there is not enough money to go around, something will suffer. The Sarasota City com missioners held their rst budget workshop this week to develop a spending plan for the scal year starting Oct. 1. That plan begins with a $4.8 million decit that will have to be lled. By law, the citys budget must be bal anced. Staff came forward with a rough income estimate and expens es outline to ask the commissioners for help in lling the hole. If new city Finance Director John Lege (pronounced leg gy) was expecting Sarasota City Hall could see fewer employees coming to work next year as part of the effort to bal ance the next budget. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITYS FORMER FINANCE DIRECTOR AND A RETIRING CITY COMMISSIONER SPEAK FRANKLY ABOUT PROPOSALS FOR FINDING $4.8 MILLION TO BALANCE THE NEXT SARASOTA BUDGET IN THE HOLE ALREADY The current staff is really stretched. You want to rewrite the zoning code? That takes a lot of staff time. You want more eyes on the streets dealing with the homeless, that takes police. Marlon Brown Deputy Manager City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 54 real deci sions on tough q uestions, he was disappointed. CANDOR SPICES DEBATE Lege was assisted by Chris Lyons, the former city nance director who is helping the new guy t into the job. You have to make some tough decisions, said Lyons. The bottom line is, cut staff or use the fund balance [reserves]. And thats only good for two more years. The revenue stabilization fund a fancy name for reserves is estimated to stand at $2.9 million when the 2014 scal year begins. Commissioner Shannon Snyder said he had no appetite for a tax increase and suggested the county is going to have to pick the cost of some of this stuff, or eventually theyre going to get all of it. Commissioner Terry Turner did not throw up his hands as Snyder did. Reduce police po sitions: I think we have to. Up to now weve only focused on pensions. We need to engage our employees to changes in the terms of em ployment. Flexible work rules; healthcare; the DROP [early retirement] program. This is a long-term problem, and we cant just focus on things that help out now. Talk then turned to how the ratings agen cies will treat the city. The $15 million fund balance is reected in our credit rating, said Turner. How we balance the budget is something they rate, said Lyons. If were willing to raise the millage [property tax rate] if the state takes away revenue, theyll no te that. We could increase the millage for the $300,000 pushback by the county for the parks agree ment, suggested Lyons. When the county redrafted an interlocal agree ment on parks a few years ago, it forced the city to pick up $300,000 in maintenance ex penses. Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown remind ed the commission, The current staff is re ally stretched. You want to rewrite the zon ing code? That takes a lot of staff time. You want more eyes on the streets dealing with the homeless, that takes police. With Lyons leaving the city, for the rst time in his long career he seemed to be speaking candidly to the commission as a whole. OK, so far, no tax increase. We transfer $1.5 [million] or $2 million from the revenue sta bilization fund; we cut seven cops and ve other employees. Thats $3.5 million, leaving $1.3 [million]. Use more revenue stabilization City Manager Tom Barwin (left) was away on vacation, leaving Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown to work with the City Com mission during its budget workshop this week. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 55 funds? T hat would use it up. Without a [prop erty tax] rate increase, it will come out of the general fund. Im worried about raiding the revenue sta bilization funds totally, said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. I think the millage needs to be on the table. I want a real, balanced approach. Lege said he would come back with ways to pare the remaining $1.3 million imbalance. Commissioner Paul Caragiulo wondered about the impact of larger personnel reduc tions. Were now at 12. What would 20 look like? he asked. Brown said it was unwise to take wild stabs in the dark. If you dont pinpoint where the employees come from, the public wont un derstand the service reductions. When you do start to identify specic areas, that raises the angst in that area. Snyder added, You end up producing fear among employees. If youre at the bottom of the ladder, you start looking around. You have to do it with attrition, said Vice Mayor Willie Shaw. Otherwise, you do create fear. I believe the thing that will be real to our con stituents is a tax increase, said Turner. They wont understand hypothetical reductions in service. Our employees would understand it right away, so identifying specic slots is not going to be productive. The commissioners will hold a second bud get workshop in July. One or perhaps two of the ve commissioners could be replaced by then. Turner is not running for re-election, and Atwell fa ces ve competitors in the March 12 balloting. When we come back in July, said Lyons, It will be jobs versus a tax increase. As a lame-duck commissioner, Turner, too, was free to speak his mind. You have an 18-month to three-year challenge to renegoti ate contracts to change the way we do busi ness. Management should come back with a wish list for union contracts. Take-home cars [for police] were still talking about it, he said. This summer sets the stage for balanc ing the budget in the later years as well. Revenues are actually inching upward after years of decline. The property tax revenue is down $6 million from its peak in 2008, but it is expected to creep up $150,000 in FY14 as a result of an estimated 1.5 percent increase in property tax valuations. Other taxes fran chise fees, excise and sales taxes and revenue sharing from the state are all trending up slightly. The proverbial elephant in the budget is the cost of police, re and general employee pen City Commissioner Shannon Snyder/Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 56 sions. This year the city is contributing $12.4 million to those funds. For FY14 the number will jump 46 percent to $18.2 million. You have to look at pensions and healthcare for other savings, said Lyons. Snyder pointed out that consolidation of the Police Department with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce would probably make up the difference. Do we have the stomach to con tract with the sheriff? Duplication in admin istration could probably pay for the pension shortfall, he said. If we dont do it, were on to a tax increase, and I fear where thats go ing. The Sarasota Police Department, without pen sions, consumes 52 percent of the citys gen eral fund. My concern is the integrity of the SPD, said Atwell. At this time it may be kind of radical. What we could do is prepare to look at it. Im skeptical, said Caragiulo. You should be honest in your choices and put it out there. Its reasonable to make that available to the constituents. The Florida Legislature has been starving local government funding sources for more than a decade. The current legislative ses sion already has a bill under consideration that would ban red-light cameras. Fines from drivers running those lights are expected to total $1.8 million in FY14 funds for the city. If the red-light cameras were eliminated, the city would need to nd a source to cover that shortfall. The situation is the same with pos sible state cuts in the communications service tax, the local business tax and taxes on re and police pensions. You dont have any friends in the Legislature, said Lyons. The takeaway for the Finance Department from the workshop? Burn through the re serves, let at least 12 people go and look for ways to cut $1.3 million more and no tax increase. % 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. | A true pacist is one who is capable of dealing immeasurable damage but chooses not to when confronted with provocation. Morihei Ueshiba


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I f you have ever trained a dog, you know how to drive it nuts. It does not take long. You re ward and punish it for the same act. And so it was Tuesday night, Feb. 26, with the City Commissions review of the appeal of a Plan ning Board decision to approve a Walmart store at the Ringling Plaza Shopping Cen ter. For months, if not years, commissioners urged city staffers to be open for business, to fast-track new de velopment (especially the inll kind ) and to embrace economic de velopment as a true planning goal. When staff members did that for the Walmart project, they essentially were setting themselves up for a hearty slap in the face. By a 3-2 vote, the City Commission sid ed with the neighbor hood group appealing the Walmart decision, overturned the best judgment of staff (and the Planning Board) and set the stage for a possibly expensive lawsuit. The City Commission chambers are full before the start of the Walmart hearing on Feb. 26. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: CITY COMMISSIONS DECISION TO UPHOLD THE WALMART APPEAL RAISES THE QUESTION, WHAT IS NEXT? MORE PROBLEMS LOOM Its clear something has to be done about our code. This is absolutely something we need to be working on immediately. Paul Caragiulo Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 59 T H E PLAYERS The commission heard more than eight hours of testimony and at least one hour of legal advice pro and con over two evening sessions. It was sitting in a quasi-judicial role, able to make a decision only on the sworn tes timony and factual evidence offered by staff, the appellants, Walmart representatives, af fected parties and the general public. The issue was not Walmarts wages, the source of its goods, the degree of its philanthropy or the historic impact on small businesses near by. The only issue on the table was, did the site plan meet the requirements of the arcane city zoning code. Both sessions one on Feb. 19 and the oth er on Feb. 26 were heavily attended. The crowd was demonstrative at times, its cheers and applause pounded silent by Mayor Su zanne Atwells gavel. Walmart is an enormous corporation, the worlds largest retailer and employer and sec ond-most-valuable corporation in America. Sam Walton founded it in 1962, and by 1972, it was publicly traded. Roughly 48 percent of the stock is owned by Waltons family and heirs and is equal to all the assets of the entire bot tom 40 percent of the U.S. population 120 million people, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winni ng reporter Hedrick Smith. Residents sign in to address the City Commission. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 60 The appeal was brought by ve residents in the Alta Vista neighborhood, self-described as a working-class area with a huge variety of homes from all decades of Sarasotas ex istence. The neighborhood association nan cially supported the appeal. Architect Jerry Sparkman, who has an ofce nearby, joined the ve residents. If they lost the appeal, they and the neighborhood faced the prospect of ghting Walmart in court to stop the project. But their appeal succeeded, and now it is the city facing the specter of a legal wrestling match. Oddly, residents of the neighborhood actually adjacent to the store took no ofcial position at the Planning Board or City Commission meetings, although individual members of th e Gardens of Ringling Park weighed in on both sides of the issue. While Walmart representatives can hope for possible vindication by taking the city to court to overturn the commissions vote, there ap pears to be no vindication for the city staff members. Time and again they wrote and testied how Walmarts site plan met all the citys requirements. The case planner, Court ney Mendez, shepherded the proposal through two Development Review Committee meet ings with a full sign-off by all city departments plus the county Fire Department. And she made the case at the Planning Board on Nov. 14, 2012, where the site plan was approved on a 3-2 vote. The City Commission prepares to continue the Walmart appeal on Feb. 26. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 61 Mend ez then gave birth and went on mater nity leave. Defense of the staff position was taken up by Tim Litchet, director of building, zoning and neighborhoods. He was supported by Gretchen Schneider, general manager of planning and development. The level of scorn in the audience was high on Feb. 26, and some of that was tossed at staff. One Alta Vista resident even brought up news articles about Walmart bribing ofcials in Mexico to put its stores where the compa ny wanted them despite adverse zoning rules. Just like we do here, he said. City Commissioner Terry Turner was on the prevailing side to support the appeal. After the vote, he praised staff: For the record, I nd the city staff work to be pro fessional and e xemplary. The criticisms of staff were irrel evant, he said. But he overruled the staffs analysis, saying the project was not compatible the bulk, the 24/7 [operation], the truck noise and traf c and the intensity of the project in a neigh borhood area. THE STAKES The biggest sigh of relief came from Alta Vista residents, who will not have to foot the bill for an expensive lawsuit against the Walmart Goliath. Even though Bob Turffs was acting as the neighborhoods pro bono attorney, fees for court costs, expert witnesses and deposition transcriptions would have been borne by Alta Vista. Now the city will be the party in court, not the neighborhood. Several city residents brought with them signs protesting the Walmart plan. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 62 It wo uld appear the toll on city staff members would be both psychological and related to their workload. Their ultimate bosses reject ed their best efforts, and that would seem to bode poorly for morale. What may be even worse is additional workload on an already diminished planning staff. After the vote was taken, Commissioner Paul Caragiulo who supported Walmart said, Its clear something has to be done about our code. This is absolutely something we need to be working on immediately. For years the city has toyed with embracing a form-based code for zoning decisions. Bra denton recently adopted a form-based code, and Caragiulo suggested that might be a mod el for Sarasota to examine. Meanwhile, the city planning staff continues to get smaller and smaller. Harvey Hogland will retire at the end of February, following Mike Taylor who retired late last year. Togeth er they represent more than a half-century of planning experience in the city. Re-coding the city will require a signicant reorientation of the planning staffs priorities, duties and re sponsibilities. Plus, of course, Litchet, Schneider and Men dez must be available for depositions and eventual testimony in court should Walmart sue the city over their approved-appealed-de nied site plan on Ringling Boulevard. There will be political fallout as well, especial ly for Mayor Atwell. As the only incumbent running for re-election on the March 12 ballot, she carries the responsibility of explaining all commission decisions. Now she has been on the d eveloper end of two controversial de cisions the Walmart matter and the sale of parkland at the Fruitville/Beneva roads inter section to Benderson Development Co.. The majority of the ve challengers for the two at-large City Commission seats are pounding the drum for economic development, which is a code phrase for more physical development of property. Despite Atwells vote in favor of the Walmart project, she will nd it difcult to shake the failure to lead the commission to approval of the project. Furthermore, all the anti-Walmart voters have already pinned a target on her candidacy. A lot of gas will be vented over the citys an ti-business reputation, too. This is the second time Alta Vista has put a gurative torpedo into a major project. The neighbors battled a proposal for adjacent 10-story towers almost a decade ago, losing the zoning battle but con vincing developer Ron Burks to scale back the height of his project. And now another torpe do has gone into Walmarts plans. Underlying this neighborhood activism is the need for the city to address this east-fromdowntown expansion that puts the Gardens of Ringling Park and Alta Vista in the cross hairs of development. The creaking code of non-implementing districts in the area caus es confusion and turmoil. If the city wants to re-code, there is no better place to begin than the neighborhoods around Payne Park. Full disclosure: Stan Zimmerman is a resi dent of Alta Vista, and he was the sole vote in the neighborhood association against ling the Walmart appeal. %


Next step: conict resolution. That was the unanimous decision of the Sara sota County Commission on Feb. 26 regarding the ongoing dispute with the North Port City Commission regarding the future of Warm Mineral Springs. Commissioner Nora Patterson made the motion to initiate the procedures of the Florida Governmental Conflict Resolution Act, with the North Port Commission hav ing made no counteroffer in response to the County Commissions Jan. 29 offer to buy the citys half share of the springs for $2 million. I feel like were doing a lot of talking, but were not getting a lot of information back, said County Commissioner Christine Robinson, who proposed the county buyout in January. I dont want to sell it, County Commissioner Joe Barbetta said of the springs, so that leaves us the option of trying to buy out their interest or coming up Warm Mineral Springs remains a popular attraction, especially for people who believe in the heal ing value of its water. Photo by Rachel Levey-Baker THE COUNTY COMMISSION STARTS THE CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROCESS TO TRY TO RESOLVE THE OWNERSHIP ISSUE OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS LOOKING FOR SOME ACCORD By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Im not willing to say were just going to shut the springs down Linda Yates Mayor City of North Port


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 64 with some other method via conict resolu tion. I dont have hope on either. The rst step in following the Florida Gov ernmental Conict Resolution Act, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh explained, will be for the county to send a letter to Jonathan R. Lewis, North Ports city manager, asking him to work with County Administrator Randall Reid to set up a meeting to see whether the two of them can resolve the issues. By law, DeMarsh added, that letter has to be sent within ve days of the County Commis sion vote authorizing it. Then, that meeting has to be scheduled within 30 days of Lewis receipt of it, DeMarsh pointed out. Robinson asked that the letter go into the mail Feb. 27 and that it be emailed to Lewis as well. DeMarsh responded that he would make sure the letter went into the mail Feb. 27. Robinson also asked for clarication from Patterson about whether her motion called for the use of a facilitator to assist the two commissions in reaching an agreement. Yes, it does, Patterson responded. If Reid and Lewis cannot reach an agreement both their boards will approve, the next step, DeMarsh indicated, would be for the commis sioners to meet. We need to try to get everybody together to get this [matter] on the right track again, Robinson said, and Im hopeful everybody will go into [the conict resolution] with an open mind. County ofcials have pointed out they could be hampered in planning for Warm Mineral Springs unless the City of North Port de-annexed the spa. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 65 A memo to the County Commission from Reid and DeMarsh points out that the county and the City of North Port purchased the Warm Mineral Springs property on December 20, 2010 as joint owners. That action included an agreement to allow the owner, Cypress Lend ing Group Ltd., to continue operating the site through June 30, the memo notes. During a joint meeting on July 16, 2012, the County and City commissions agreed that an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) would be issued for management and development of Warm Mineral Springs. The process was to be com pleted prior to the expiration of the agree ment with Cypress Lending, it adds. However, the North Port Commission did not approve the ITN when it was presented for the members consideration on Nov. 26, 2012, the memo points out. The letter the County Commission authorized to be sent to Lewis says, The County and the City have exchanged several pieces of corre spondence since November 2012 with respect to the Invitation to Negotiate for proposals to operate, develop, or utilize the Warm Mineral Springs property, and the Citys desire to sell its interest in the Warm Mineral Springs prop erty. It is clear that Sarasota County and the City of North Port have a conict over future use of the jointly-owned Warm Mineral Springs property as well as the Citys expressed desire to sell its interest in the property. THE OPTIONS During his report to the board on Feb. 26, Reid pointed out three options he felt the commis sioners should consider: Sell the countys interest to North Port for $2.75 million and an equal division of all costs in curred from acquisition of the property to the d ate of transfer and closing, including those related to the purchase, management and sale of the property to the City. Purchase the citys interest in the spa for $2.75 million and an equal division of all costs. However, Reid told the commissioners, as long as the Warm Mineral Springs proper ty remained part of the City of North Port which had annexed it the city would have nal say over any use of the proper ty. We might be limited in what the county wished to do, he added. Initiate the conict resolution process in an effort to avoid litigation. The memo points out that, Ultimately, if joint owners cannot agree upon the use or disposition of a prop erty, one or the other could le a lawsuit seeking partition under the provisions of Chapter 64, Florida Statutes. Regarding the conict resolution process, Reid noted, It also has the potential of being difcult if theres not a clear desire to solve the issue or theres not a [desirable] compro mise on positions. Patterson suggested the ideal situation would be to put all 10 of the elected ofcials together in a room with a facilitator. DeMarsh replied that the county had used the process once before in a property mat ter involving North Port. I think it would be possible to include both a meeting of the en tire boards and also have some work sessions where you break out [for discussions]. Barbetta said he did not have any hope the conict resolution would work. I think a cou ple of the [North Port] board members are in transigent, he pointed out, adding that he had heard comments made pr ivately by North Port


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 66 co mmissioners, and theyre not healthy, and its unfortunate. Until the elected ofcials in the City of North Port put aside any animos ity and do the right thing for the community, were going to get nowhere here. We should not be arguing with other govern mental entities within our own jurisdiction, Commissioner Charles Hines said. This is a great project that has gotten sideways so quickly, and we need to put egos aside and just address it as what it is. Its a phenomenal asset I feel very strongly that the springs should remain in public ownership, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason said. And I strongly support proceeding with the conict resolution pro cess as soon as possible. CONCERNS AND FRUSTRATIONS During the public comments portion of the County Commissions afternoon session on Feb. 26, 11 speakers pleaded with the board to resolve the issues with the city so the spa can remain open. A number of them asked that Cypress Lending be allowed to continue to operate Warm Mineral Springs. However, DeMarsh explained at Pattersons behest that Florida Statute 125.35 would not allow the county to continue the agree ment with Cypress Lending. That would vio late the state requirement calling for compe tition on county contracts, DeMarsh noted. The city is not subject to that particular stat ute, he added. County Commissioners Christine Robinson and Charles Hines listen to a presentation during a meeting late last year in Sarasota. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 67 Afte r DeMarsh completed his answer, the board members were quiet for a few mo ments. Dont all look at me! Robinson told them jokingly, as she has taken the lead on action regarding the spa in past meetings. She said she felt it would not be productive to make another offer to purchase the springs. When the County Commission asked the North Port commissioners to address the ITN, she pointed out, They couldnt come back to us with any communication on what was wrong with the ITN. Robinson added, Were not getting a whole lot back from them as far as plans or ideas about how to go about this She also pointed out that the North Port Commission had dis cussed the springs during its regular meeting on Feb. 25, but it could not reach consensus on its next step. During that North Port meeting, Vice Mayor Jim Blucher suggested the board hold a work shop on the springs. After City Attorney Rob ert K. Robinson told the city commissioners the county commissioners were scheduled to discuss the matter on Feb. 26, Blucher said he felt the city board should await the county action before scheduling a workshop. However, Mayor Linda Yates said she wanted to have a discussion on how much it would cost the city to keep Warm Mineral Springs open just for swimming after the June 30 con tract with Cypress Lending expires. Robinson recommended the city commission ers hold off on any Warm Mineral Springs dis cussion until after t he County Commission act ed, warning about the possibility of the county bringing suit against the city. We have to concentrate on whats going to happen on July 1, Yates persisted. Then Yates asked for the consensus of her board members for City Manager Lewis to pull together numbers for them to consider about the potential costs of basic operations at the springs. Any number that we could begin to come up with would be based on lack of knowledge, Lewis told her. All she wanted, Yates said, was informa tion about the cost of a park attendant to take tickets plus the expense of the num ber of lifeguards nec essary to ensure the safety of swimmers, and, obviously, were going to have to mow the grass. Lewis pointed out that the bathrooms would need to be cleaned as well. I dont know what that frequency is, he noted, adding that Cypress Lending also is re sponsible for the on-site septic system. There are a lot of things that go into the day-to-day operation of that facility, Lewis told Yates. Im not willing to say were just going to shut the springs down, Yates said. However, Blucher refused to give his consent to Lewis researching the numbers Yates had requested. Blucher said the board needed to await the County Commission action. City Commissioner Rhonda DiFranco con curred with Blucher. % We should not be arguing with other governmental entities within our own jurisdiction. This is a great project that has gotten sideways so quickly, and we need to put egos aside and just address it as what it is. Its a phenomenal asset Charles Hines Commissioner Sarasota County


It is that time of year, the peak of the dry sea son, when water managers mobilize the wa ter cops and issue restrictions on water use. Car washing and lawn watering are the rst targets, and it gets tougher after that. Despite extraordinarily low rainfall this year, the four counties forming the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority are sitting on nearly a years worth of ground water. And no restrictions are in sight. The Authoritys executive director, Patrick Lehman, reported good news to the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFW MD) board of directors on Tuesday, Feb. 26. His organization supplies water to Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. Other parts of the district are not so fortunate. Before Lehman spoke, Lois Sorensen asked the SWFMD board to impose a Phase III wa ter restriction on Hillsborough, Pasco and Pi nellas counties. She is the districts demand management program manager. The measure cuts car washing and lawn wa tering to one time per week per household. The restrictions would go into effect March 13 and extend through the end of July. Thanks in part to Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012, Sarasota County received more rain than it had in previous summers. Photo by Norman Schimmel SUFFICIENT GROUNDWATER SUPPLIES IN SARASOTA AND ITS THREE NEIGHBORING COUNTIES MEAN NO WATER RESTRICTIONS FOR NOW A THING OF THE PAST? By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 69 Conditions are declining throughout the dis trict, she noted. But the Peace River [Au thority] has almost a years reserves. Warren Hogg, the permitting manager for Tam pa Bay Water, reported its reservoir has been drained on purpose. The 15-billion-gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir came into service in 2005, but it has a cracked ero sion-control layer. Abnormal cracking in the reservoirs interior lining has limited the res ervoirs use, a press release says. It will take two years for repairs to be completed and 18 more months to ll it up again. In the meantime, Tampa Bay Water will depend on a 20-million-gallon-per-day desalination plant, plus other workarounds. Hogg supported the Phase III restrictions for his service area. THE OUTLOOK Granville Kinsman Jr. is the water manage ment districts hydrology manager; he keeps track of rainfall, aquifer levels and other indi cators of the regions water supply. We received about four-tenths of an inch of rain last month [January], he said. Normal rainfall is 2.4 [inches of rain]. Overall, he said rainfall in the district is about half of the nor mal level. Surface water bodies creeks, streams and rivers are down as well, starved for rain. The Peace River is very, very low, at the low end of the severe range, he said. But the new ly completed reservoir for the Peace River Authority now contains 5 billion gallons, or about 289 days of storage. The four-county area of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties received sufcient rainfall in past months to avoid water restrictions. Photo by Eloquence via Flickr and Wikipedia Commons


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 70 Kinsman noted the forecast continues to show below-normal rainfall and above-normal tem peratures for the next two months. And he said some data used by long-range forecasters indicates the below-normal pattern for rainfall and higher-than-normal temperatures could last through October. By comparison with the rest of the water management district, the circumstances in Lehmans four-county area looked positive ly rosy. Bradentons Bill Evers Reservoir, the Peace Rivers 6 billion gallons in a mile-square man-made lake, and Manatee Countys reser voir on the Manatee River all healthy and full make the water future of the authority look good. That was not true 20 years ago, when Saraso ta County was utterly dependent on Manatee County for water supplies. At substantial ex pense, Sarasota County bought the so-called MacArthu r Tract to develop it into a surface water supply, but the water was so substan dard it required the same degree of treatment as saltwater. However, the four neighboring counties came together to form the Peace River Authority, which allows each of them to connect with each other. If Manatee were to develop a prob lem, the Authority would open the appropri ate valves. All of this was not cheap to achieve. In the past decade, the Authority spent more than $340 million to insure its water future. Of that total, $190 million was bonded. The remain der came from the four counties, the water management district and the state and federal governments. The City of Sarasota has its own independent water supply fro m wells. % For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP 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


Al though they voted unanimously on Feb. 12 to approve the effort, the Sarasota Coun ty comm issioners this week added another unanimous vote for the expenditure of funds needed to help a regional nonprot pur sue a bid for the 2017 World Rowing Cham pionships at Nathan Benderson Park off Univers ity Parkway. Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, pointed out in a brief presentation during the commis sions Feb. 27 regular meeting that her board as well as the Sarasota County and Manatee County Tourist Devel opment councils and the Manatee County Commission all were supportive of the ini tiative. Dredge spoils from the lake are being used to create Regatta Island at Nathan Benderson Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COUNTY COMMISSION FORMALLY APPROVES A FUNDING TRANSFER TO FACILITATE THE EFFORT TO LAND THE 2017 WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS AN ENORMOUS MAGNET Frequently in south county, you get folks who are skeptical of stuff thats happening in north county, but not with this. They are as excited in North Port as they are in Sarasota about the possibilities of this Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 72 Th e County Commissions formal vote autho rized the transfer of $245,000 from the Tourist Development Promotion Fund Reserves to the Visit Sarasota County Fiscal Year 2013 budget to assist in pursuit of the championships bid. Haley and Paul Blackketter, executive direc tor of planning for Benderson Development Co., have said the event could have a $24 mil lion economic impact on the two counties, and Blackketter had emphasized that was a conservative number. Blackketter appeared before the commission on Feb. 12 to explain the timeline to which the nonprot Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) has to adhere to submit the formal bid in late May. The preliminary bid submittal was due Feb. 28, he pointed out. During the countys Tourist Development Council meeting on Jan. 17, Blackketter said, The impression that we get is that this is ba sically ours to lose. He told both the TDC members and the Coun ty Commission the last time the World Rowing Championships was held in the United States was in 1994; yet, the U.S. has more rowers than the European countries do. Representa tives of the International Federation of Row ing (FISA) are looking at the SANCA bid as the U.S. bid, he added. County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Carolyn Mason present a trophy to the winning Sarasota Crew team at a regatta held at Benderson Park in April 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 73 In response to a question on Feb. 27 from Commissioner Christine Robinson, Haley said both the bid fees and the event fees will be split evenly by Sarasota and Manatee coun ties. During the January TDC meeting, she said the overall expense would be $1.178 mil lion for each of the counties, with the funds to be paid over ve years if SANCA wins the bid. Blackketter also pointed out to the TDC and the County Commission the importance of having local government ofcials make trips overseas to FISA events in the effort to win the bid. Blackketter has said SANCA will learn in Sep tember whether it has won the bid. When Robinson asked whether the Manatee County Commission was committed to send ing its members on some of the trips, Haley said, Yes, absolutely. Haley added, Were trying to alternate [trips by representatives of the two county govern ments] to lower some of the travel costs. Commissioner Charles Hines said it had been made clear in public meetings why the trav el was necessary. If it were not, he noted, commissioners would not have any desire to hop on a plane and travel halfway around the world and turn around the next day and come back. Robinson made the motion to authorize the transfer of funds, with Commissioner Joe Bar betta seconding it. Whats amazing about this is the region al support that this has garnered, Robinson said of the bid initiative. Frequently in south county, you get folks who are skeptical of stuff thats happening in north county, but not with this, she added. They are as excited in North Port as they are in Sarasota about the possibilities of this The return on investment is pretty incredi ble, Barbetta added. Weve seen it over the past several years with the regattas weve had so far at the park. During the Feb. 12 County Commission meet ing, Blackketter pointed to a $4.5 million eco nomic impact from just the rst regattas held in 2009. The county owns the park, but Benderson De velopment Co. has been overseeing the con struction of facilities for the rowing venue. Commissioner Nora Patterson noted that the ultimate purpose of collecting Tourist Devel opment Tax revenue is to promote tourism. Theres just no two ways about it. She conceded that in some of the early discus sions about the economic potential of rowing events at Benderson Park, some TDC mem bers showed resistance to committing county funds to the parks development. (She chairs the TDC.) I dont think youd nd a voice on that board now that doesnt believe [the row ing facility is] an enormous magnet to bring people to this area. The county has invested about $20 million in the infrastructure. Haley told The Sarasota News Leader that the names of the other bidders for the World Championships would become public in late February. That information was not avail able before the News Leader s deadline for this issue. %


Saying it appeared project teams are de signing structures to a standard that is un reasonably expensive, Commissioner Nora Patterson this week refused to support award ing an $859,754.45 bid to a local rm for the construction of new restrooms at South Lido Beach. Her queries of staff during the Feb. 26 reg ular commission meet ing led to Commission er Christine Robinson winning unanimous approval from the board for a fuller dis cussion of the project d uring the morning ses sion of the commissions March 6 meeting. The commissioners also agreed, by consen sus, to ask County Administrator Randall Reid to schedule a workshop in the not-too-distant future on how county staff and consultants are designing new buildings for which bids seem to be com ing in at higher costs per square foot than they expected. Patterson pulled the South Lido proj ect A Sarasota County aerial map shows where new restrooms are planned to be built on South Lido Beach. Image courtesy Sarasota County AN $860,000 CONTRACT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC RESTROOMS AT SOUTH LIDO BEACH PARK SPARKS COUNTY COMMISSION DISCUSSION ABOUT RECENT PROJECT EXPENSES A BIT STEEP I think the problem is the specs. Were doing restrooms that I cant justify to the taxpayers. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 75 from the consent agenda, saying, This comes out to $533 a square foot. It would be pret ty unusual unless you were dealing with gold faucets and things for the cost to be that high. However, she added, enough bids came in to indicate other people thought that it would cost that much as well. The county received six bids for the project, according to agenda material provided to the County Commission. The low bidder which was recommended to win the contract was Core Construction Services of FL, based in Sarasota. The highest bid came from Jon F. Swift Inc. of Sarasota: $1,212,708.80. Commissioner Joe Barbetta agreed with Pat terson. I think more concerning is the total project cost, he said, which is $1,287,000. That came out to $798 per square foot, he add ed. He and Patterson concurred that the contrac tors that bid on the project have very good reputations. Im sure they follow the specs, he continued. I think the problem is the specs. Were doing restrooms that I cant jus tify to the taxpayers. B arbetta praised the architect for the project, Sweet Sparkman of Sarasota, but he added, This is just over-designed. Furthermore, he pointed out, the design and permitting fees totaled about $400,000. I cant support [the project] as it is right now, he told his fellow commissioners. DESIGN FEATURES Carolyn Brown, general manager of the Parks and Recreation Department, appeared before the board to explain that the structure will be elevated, a necessity for it to comply with Fed eral Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines, and that it will have a ramp to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stan dards. The total area of the structure under roof is 3,200 square feet, she pointed out. Additionally, the building has been designed to withstand 130 mph winds, and the site will have four ADA parking spaces and ADA-com pliant sidewalks, Brown noted. A cistern will be used to collect water for ushing the toi lets, and durable xtures and features have been selected to last a long time with lower maintenance costs. Sweet Sparkman Architects of Sarasota designed the new South Lido Beach restroom pavilion. Im age courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 76 Moreo ver, Brown explained, the bid award to Core Construction includes the cost of por table restroom facilities that will have to be cleaned twice a day during the projected nine months of construction. Brown also pointed out that the cost estimate of the project was lower than it was two years ago. Which, to me, says your estimates need to come down to something reasonable for what were expecting to get, Patterson replied. Im sorry, she added, but its not the rst time Ive felt that way when [bid awards] nally came to us, but this one time seemed a bit over the top to me. Patterson continued, I just cant support it We just dont have a gold-plated budget anymore. There are lots of projects were not getting to build. Regarding the design, Brenda Bair, the pro gram manager for the South Lido project, told the commissioners, Its not gold-plated. County restroom structures generally last 30 years, Bair continued. So what were design ing now is something that will hold up to van dalism, hold up to the hurricane season and hold up to the day-to-day operation costs. Bair told the commissioners, I understand what your concern is, but the staff goal is to build structures that will last as long as possi ble with maintenance costs reduced as much as possible. I would like to have a full-up discussion on this, Robinson said, just as the board had in December on the Siesta Key Public Beach im provements. When Commissioner Charles Hines asked whether the ramp was necessary, Bair re sponded, We have no option. We would prefe r to build it at grade, but FEMA will not allow that. An email sent this week to the commission from Kim Humphrey, vertical design project manager with the county, said the nished oor of the restroom would be elevated to 13 feet 8 inches, which necessitated the structure being placed on concrete columns with 12inch footers (much more expensive than traditional slab-on-grade) and nearly 110 feet of the switchback ramp was needed to maintain ADA accessibility to that height. That ramp would be under the roof, she point ed out. Bair also explained to the commission that staff had been working with City of Sarasota staff on the project. Because the citys build ing code changed in 2012, she said, county staff had to go through a new permitting pro cess with the city. County staff then reached an agreement to complete the restroom proj ect before the end of the 2013 scal year, she added. The city is anxious to have this con struction, Bair told the commissioners. When Robinson asked Reid when the discus sion could be continued, he responded that he could provide 30 minutes for it on the March 5 agenda. Patterson pointed out that the follow-up would not take long, but Robinson respond ed with a laugh: Just for the discussion weve had this morning, it might be. The commissioners spent about 20 minutes on the matter on Feb. 26. Barbetta also asked Bair to make certain she came back with a breakdown of all the costs for the project. Bair said she would. %


I want you to make a robot for a competition. You have six weeks. And you have to start from scratch. Oh, and the robot has to throw a Frisbee into small slots while competitors try to stop you. Finally, the robot must climb up a jungle gym. We are giving you no direction, just telling you what the robot must do. You are all in school, and some of you have jobs along with homework and other activities. Did we mention you have six weeks? This was the assignment relayed to a group of Sarasota County students known as Jungle Robotics Team 3627. Presidents Day, Feb. 18, was the finale of Build Season, as it is called, for all the inter national members of the First Robotics Club, sponsored by FIRST, For Inspiration and Rec ognition of Science and Technology. The regional FIRST competition will be held March 7-9 in Orlando. Kyle Violete, a member of the Sarasota County team, put everything in perspective. We get the videos and have six weeks to build a robot. So six weeks ago, we watched the vid eos telling us what the competition would be. We were given no instructions. We were given no how to. We were given, Heres the chal lenge: Go ahead. Over the next six hours we designed a lot of prototypes. For a human to throw a Frisbee is one thing, but to make a robot throw a Frisbee was almost impossibly hard. During the six-week building period, the students gathered together most days after school till late in the evening, and they worked at least six hours on Saturdays. This is the 24th year of First Robotics, the pro gram that was the brainchild of Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers, an entrepreneur and an MIT Professor, respectively. Having started The members of the Jungle Robotics Team are headed to Orlando next week. Photo by Scott Proftt SARASOTA COUNTY STUDENTS WILL BE IN ORLANDO MARCH 7-9 TO PIT THEIR FRISBEE-FLINGING CREATION AGAINST OTHER TEAMS ROBOTS THE JUNGLE ROBOTICS TEAM By Scott Proftt Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 78 out with a small competition in New Hamp shire, First Robotics has grown into an inter national series of competition with sponsors including Microsoft, Google and Texas In struments. However, a critical element of the process is the local sponsors, who help out nancially and technically in the development of the robots. Sun Hydraulics, the Pine View Association, Sarasota County Technical Institute, JC Pen ney, Loggerhead Instruments, Star2Star com munications and Sarasota Manatee Manufac turers (SAMA) are among those who have made the efforts of the local team possible. Technical assistance from Sun Hydraulics seemed as exciting a part of the process for the students as it was to Justin Clay, an em ployee at the company. I love robots. Im one of the younger engi neers at Sun, he said. But this was put to gether by the students. The things these kids learned will be carried through life, no matter what they do. He added, Its impossible to build a robot like this in six weeks, but no one told these kids [that]. Im really proud of them. The team is representative of the entire coun ty, with members from Venice, North Port and Riverview High Schools, Cardinal Mooney High School, The Out-of-Door Academy and Pine View School. Laura OConnell is the captain of the Jungle Robotics Team 3627. Peter Straw, the execu tive director of SAMA, could not praise her enough. Kyle Violete shows how the Frisbee-inging robot works. Photo by Scott Proftt


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 79 This young lady realized it wasnt about just building a robot, it was about building an organization, Straw said. This young lady did it. The kids themselves put it together and raised the money. SAMA, through Straw, was instrumental in the early stages of the teams work. He also was the one who introduced the students who wanted to start a FIRST chapter to represen tatives of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and companies such as Sun Hy draulics. The teams they compete against have spon sors like Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin. Straw said. Yet, last year, we went to Nationals, he pointed out. Go Sarasota. Go Jungle Robotics. % Sarasota County School Board member Caro line Zucker and her husband, Mike, come to a team meeting to see the robot in action. Photo by Scott Proftt Peter Straw and Laura OConnell/Photo by Scott Proftt


Recent b each water samples collected by the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County and analyzed by Mote Marine Labo ratory for the red tide algae ( Karenia brevis ) show an increase over test results from last week, Sarasota County announced on Feb. 27. Higher levels of Karenia brevis were found at the following county beaches: Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club Park, Venice Fish ing Pier, Brohard Beach, Caspersen Beach and Manasota Beach, a county news release says. Lifeguards at impacted beaches post signage advising the public about the red tide and rec ommending that they check Mote Marines Beach Conditions Report about red tide ef fects on local and other regional beaches in Southwest Florida, the release notes. Sarasota County lifeguards were report ing slight to moderate respiratory irritation caused by red tides airborne toxins blow ing ashore at the various beaches, the re lease points out. Beachgoers may experience coughing, sneezing, scratchy throat or teary eyes, it notes. These effects should be tempo rary, disappearing when the affected people leave the beach, the release adds. However, people with asthma, emphysema or other chronic respiratory impairments should be aware of places where red tide impacts are being reported and avoid those areas, the re lease cautions. If persons experience symp toms especially if they have a chronic lung condition health ofcials advise them to make alternative plans away from red tide-af fected areas. If symptoms persi st, persons Turtle Beach, on the southern end of Siesta Key, is one of the areas affected by red tide again this week. Photo by Norman Schimmel RED TIDE RETURNS TO SOUTHERN COUNTY BEACHES NEWS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 81 should seek medical attention, the release points out. Residents living in beach areas where red tide is present are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the AC lter is maintained according to manufac turers specications), the release points out. Prevailing southerly winds earlier this week are believed to have contributed to the resur gence of red tide in Sarasota County, the re lease says. It is important to note that since winds are variable, conditions can change fre quently throughout the day, it adds. For those who are susceptible, the symptoms associated with red tide tend to become more noticeable when the winds are blowing onshore. Small amounts of dead sh have been report ed and were being cleaned up at Blind Pass Beach, Manasota Beach, Venice Beach and the area from Caspersen Beach to Service Club Park, the release noted. As a precaution, health ofcials recommend that beach goers wear shoes when walking on the sand. This will help to prevent puncture wounds from the spines or bones of dead sh, the release adds. M ost people can swim in red tide, but it can cause skin irritation and burning eyes, the release says. If your skin is easily irritated, avoid red tide water. It is advisable to get out and thoroughly wash off with fresh water. Swimming near dead sh is not recommend ed. Pet owners are advised that red tide also pos es a risk to animals brought to the beach, the release says. Red tide can affect dogs after they come out of the water, lick their paws or fur and ingest the algae, which can be harmful to their health. Be sure to rinse dogs off with fresh water if they swim in red tide waters, the release urges. Beach goers are encouraged to check the Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Conditions Report before they go to the beach, since conditions can change daily. The report is updated twice a day; it may be accessed online at www.mote. org/beaches Click on the same link to the mo bile-friendly version of the beach conditions report. Visitors also may register to receive email re ports about specic beaches. For telephone updates, call 941-BEACHES (232-2437) and press for Sarasota County beaches. SMOKING BAN BILL ADVANCES IN STATE SENATE On Feb 21, Senate Bill 258, which would al low local governments to restrict smoking on property they own or operate, passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee by unanimous vote, Marsha Hosack, manager of governmental relations for Sarasota County, reported to the county commissioners. The County Commission sent a letter to the countys legislat ive delegation on Feb. 12, asking all th e members to support both the Senate bill and House Bill 439, which would allow local governments to restrict smoking on property they own. A 12th Judicial Circuit Court ruling in Decem ber 2012 on a City of Sarasota ordinance held that any local government effort to restrict smoking was a violation of the states Clean Indoor Air Ac t.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 82 Hosack p ointed out in her email to the com missioners that the Senate bill was amended to narrow the authority to restrict smoking to specic properties to include parks, public buildings, public beaches, and recreational and sports areas. Further, she reported that no smoking signs must be posted, and designated smoking ar eas must be provided. The bill also provides for enforcement, she continued, specifying that persons rst must be issued a warning prior to any assessment of a civil penalty. Ho s ack added, Bill proponents are hopeful that the amended language will help get the bill heard in the House, where it is referenced to three committees and getting it a hearing is proving somewhat of a challenge. She noted, Sarasota County will continue to work with [the Florida Association of Coun ties], the League of Cities, American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association towards the bills passage. Rachel B rown Hackney The Lee Wetherington Foundation a sup porting organization of the Community Foun dation of Sarasota County has recently surpassed the $1 million mark for grants to local nonprots, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has announced. Established on Dec. 30, 2002, the Wether ington Foundation has supported causes rang ing from helping at-risk children to education to the arts to community planning to the en vironment and social services, a news release notes. Since 2002, it has invested a total of $1,044,100.51 in the community, the release adds. The Lee Wetherington Foundation truly ex emplies our communitys giving spirit and heart, says Community Foundation of Sara sota County President and CEO Roxie Jerde in the release. The Lee Wetherington Foun dations passion for and commitment to this community are clearly evidenced by his gen erosity toward innumerable local causes, with a focus on kids in need. The Community Foundatio n of Sarasota County is privileged to partner with Lee to be stewards of these signicant philanthropic funds. Nearly half of the funds granted by the Wether ington Foundation have gone to benet the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and Manatee counties, th e release adds. WETHERINGTON FOUNDATION SURPASSES $1 MILLION GRANT MARK Lee Wetherington/Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 83 Sarasota County will hold two initial public meetings for public comments on Sarasota 2050, a policy component of the countys com prehensive plan. The meetings will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 20, in the Green Building Conference Room at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, the county has announced. Staff of the county Planning and Development Services Department will notify people who would like to be contacted about meetings on Sarasota 2050, a news release notes. Contact information should be emailed to planner@ The County Commission included a review of Sarasota 2050 as part of a comprehensive plan evaluation and appraisal report (EAR) pro cess, the release points out. The commission initially requested discussions with private sector development representatives to iden tify issues related to the process of approval and construction of 2050 development proj ects, the release adds. The issues identied in those discussions include the following: scal neutrality, housing type requirements, open space/buffer requirements, commercial loca tion requirements, walkability requirements, density limitations and exibility limitations. Following those discussions, the commission asked for public comments on these issues and the development of a broader public out reach plan for commission consideration, the release notes. The compr ehensive plan provides the princi ples, guidelines, standards and strategies for orderly and balanced future economic, so cial, physical, environmental and scal devel opment of the county, the release says. The principles and strategies consistently guide future decisions, it points out. The countys programs and services are aligned with the plan to ensure implementation, it continues. The Sarasota 2050 component of the compre hensive plan was adopted in 2002, covering a 50-year time frame. It was intended to allow additional development outside the countys Urban Service Boundary, generally east of In terstate 75, based on a framework that applied substantial environmental and open space conservation strategies, the release notes. The Sarasota 2050 policy and implementa tion regulations created an optional overlay to manage growth with an incentive-based land use plan involving Resource Management Ar eas (RMAs). The goal is to preserve the coun tys natural, cultural and physical resources and to make all neighborhoods more livable, the release adds. The incentives are density bonuses a larg er number of allowed dwelling units that are granted to landowners who agree to pre serve open space; preserve agricultural and environmentally sensitive land; and build new, compact, mixed-use, walkable developments in appropriate areas For more information on Sarasota 2050 or the public meetings, contact Bill Spaeth of Planning and Development Services by calling 861-5140 or by sending an e mail to PUBLIC MEETINGS TO BE HELD ON 2050 POLICY AND REGULATIONS


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 84 The Baltimore Orioles on Feb. 27 announced the addition of David Rovine as vice president of Orioles-Sarasota to oversee the clubs Sara sota business affairs and community develop ment. In his new role, Rovine will represent the Orioles in the Sarasota County community, expanding the clubs presence through Ori olesREACH and its many programs and es tablishing and cultivating club partnerships with business, civic, charitable and nonprof it organizations throughout Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast region, an Orioles news release says. In that capacity, Rovine will oversee the Ori oles combined complex (located at the Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park sites), which is devoted to presenting Orioles base ball games; generating other sports and en tertainment events that promote area tourism and provide substantial economic impact in Sarasota and throughout the region; and hosting year-round athletic training through the Orioles Major League and Minor League Spring Training, Extended Minor League Spring Training, Summer Gulf Coast League, Fall Instructional League, and other athletic rehabilitation programs, the release adds. A native of Baltimore and a graduate of Tow son (MD) University, Rovine has extensive experience in marketing and venue manage ment, the release notes. He spent seven years with SMG Entertainment, a worldwide enter tainment and convention venue management compan y. In his roles as general manager of the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, Rovine was responsible for day-to-day operations, market ing and talent booking, the release notes. Rovine also spent nearly nine years as direc tor of marketing at Gulfstream Park in Hallan dale Beach, where he oversaw advertising and promotion and was responsible for attracting and coordinating concerts and other non-rac ing events, the release adds. David Rovine/Photo by Norman Schimmel ROVINE NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF ORIOLES-SARASOTA


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 85 The Sister Cities Association of Sarasota (SCAS) will kick off its golden anniversary year Sunday, March 3, at the Sarasota Bay Club, 1301 N. Tamiami Trail, by honoring vetime Sarasota Mayor Lou Ann Palmer and the Sarasota Christian School with its One World Award, the City of Sarasota has announced. The gala is open to all who wish to honor the 2013 award winners, a news release says. Tickets are $125 per person and available in advance. The SCAS annually presents its One World Award to a remarkable Sarasota individual or organization that has enhanced world un derstanding and respect through extraordi nary international work, volunteer service or philanthropy, the release points out. Palmer will be recognized as the gold stan dard for city mayors (2,500 worldwide) con necting in a signicant way with their over seas sister cities, as she traveled, at her own expense, to four of Sarasotas eight sister cit ies during her tenure as a city commissioner, the release notes. The Sarasota Christian School is being hon ored for the student relationships it carries out in each grade, K-12, with students in 13 different countries, including Iraq, Palestine, Cambodia and other troubled areas of the world, the release adds. Former One World Award winners include Robert Roskamp, Nick Bollettieri and ORT, the worldwide Jewish educational organiza tion. Other major events during SCAS golden an niversary year include the La Musica Cele bration Concert, directed by Artistic Director Bruno Giuranna at the Sarasota Opera House on April 14; and the Florida Studio Theatres Young Playwrights Festival on May 11, the re lease adds. In addition, the SCAS will host the Florida Sister Cities State Conference at the Helms ley Sandcastle Resort May 2-4 for Floridas 70 sister cities associations. It also will host a Sustainability Through Renewable Ener gy and Aquaculture conference Nov. 13-15 in cooperation with the University of South Florida-Sarasota Manatee. The Sister Cities program of citizen diploma cy continues to be a community asset which encourages international visitors to learn rst hand about Sarasota and the Cultural Coast, the release continues. These visitors, welcomed as individuals or delegations, can be counted on to return again and again following discovery of our diverse cultural offerings and our bounty of climate, beaches and friendliness, SCAS President Tom Halbert says in the release. He also notes in the release that Sarasotas volunteer citi zen diplomats create a truly robust marketing campaign to promote our region in meaning ful international markets. Sarasotas eight sister cities are Dunfermline, Scotland; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Merida, Mexico; Perpignan, France; Siming (Xiamen), China; Tel Mond, Israel; Treviso, Italy; and Vladimir, Russia. For more information about the One World Award gala and Sister Cities call 378-0085 or visit SISTER CITIES TO PRESENT ONE WORLD AWARD DURING GALA


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 86 The Sa rasota County commissioners, acting on the recommendation of County Administra tor Randall H. Reid, honored Deputy County Administrator Bill Little Feb. 26 upon Littles retirement after 44 years of public service. The commission unanimously voted to re name the Health & Human Services building at 2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, as the Wil liam L. Little Health & Human Services Cen ter. During the past 18 years, Little served as di rector of health and human services and as deputy county administrator. The commission also issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 26 Bill Little Day in Sarasota County. The proclamation cited Littles expe rience in health services, policy development, scal planning and disaster response, along with his extensive involvement in community organizations, a news release pointed out. Sarasota County is a better place to live as a result of Bills vision, knowledge and dedica tion, Reid said. Naming the Health & Human Services building after him is an approp riate acknowledg ement of Bills leadership and stewardship. Bill has made signicant contributions to health and human services in our community, implementing innovative and systemic solu tions by recognizing and promoting collective partnerships, Reid added. Bills career of public service has spanned an exceptional range of public health service where he identied and developed programs to meet community health needs, Reid con tinued. He also has served as a principled leader, policy advisor and mentor to county staff in his public service to the county and as deputy county administrator. Little was a founding member of the Commu nity Alliance of Sarasota County, the Behav ioral Health Stakeholders Consortium, the Criminal Justice Commission, the Family Safe ty Alliance, Community Organizations Active in Disasters, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, the Healthy Start Coalition and the Health Provocateur Project, a county news release pointed out. Sarasota County Administrator Randall H. Reid thanks Deputy County Administrator Bill Little (center) for his years of public service during a retirement ceremony at the beginning of the Feb. 26 County Commission meeting in Sarasota. Littles wife, Barbara, joined him for the ceremony. Con tributed photo COUNTY COMMISSION RENAMES BUILDING IN LITTLES HONOR


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 87 The Great Gatsby Wooden Racquet Tennis Tournament held at the Serendipity Racquet Club Feb. 16 raised funds for the American Cancer Society and offered participants a good time, participants have announced in a news release. I felt like Paul Bunyan with a log in my hand, says one of the players in the release. New polymer racquets make this game easy. The wooden racquets have a sweet spot the size of a raisin. You can truly imagine the greatness of Bjorn Borg and the others, the player adds. The tournament had three unique features besides the wooden racquets. All participants wore long white pants or skirts: classic 1930s tennis attire. They also played with white balls. Additionally, $5 donations to the Cancer Society gave players do-overs. A t the conclusion of the tournament, John Parsons who was born in England but is now a U.S. citizen was presented an award for most games won, the release adds. Bill Hitchcock, originator of the event, won an award for best classic tennis attire. He even wore argyle socks and drank Pimms Cup after the tennis, the release notes. Of the women players, Haunani Wallace won doubles honors and the awards for most games won and best female attire. American Cancer Society representatives Collette Russell, Maria Lanzillotti and Patti Westheimer say they enjoyed the fun and ap preciated the fundraising. We look forward to doing it again next year, says Russell in the release. % Participants in the recent Wooden Racquet Tennis Tournament enjoyed raising money for the American Cancer Society, they say. Photo by Kathy Myerburg WOODEN RACQUET TOURNAMENT RAISES FUNDS FOR CANCER SOCIETY




WE GET THE GOVERNMENT WE DESERVE EDITORIAL The current imbroglio between Sarasota County and the North Port City Commission over the future of Warm Mineral Springs is a cautionary tale for voters in the City of Sarasota, as they approach the election of two at-large commissioners on March 12. In a long ago age of comity (December 2010), the City of North Port and Sarasota County jointly purchased Warm Mineral Springs for $5.5 million, with the intention of preserving the site and using it for economic develop ment. All of that changed following the November 2012 election, which saw two challengers Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco de feat incumbents David Garofalo and Michael Treubert. The two women, to the extent that they were open about their intentions once elected, campaigned on a platform of scal responsibility. The two candidates provided scant detail about what they considered that to mean during the campaign, and they avoided most of the candidate forums, preventing voters from forming an accurate opinion of the kind of commissioners they would be if elected. In fact, it was something of a surprise when they won their primaries in August, but then only about 12 percent of registered voters in the city actually bothered to go to the polls. Turnout was considerably higher in the gen eral election, but most voters knew very lit tle about the two challengers. Their election perhaps could be ascribed to anti-incumbent sentiment among voters. Regardless, after taking ofce, the two com missioners wasted no time in staking out just EDITORIAL


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 90 how scally responsible they were prepared to be. At a meeting of the city commission on Dec. 18, Cook made a motion to sell the citys interest in Warm Mineral Springs. Although she later backtracked on her stated intentions at that meeting, she made it clear then that she preferred for the county to join the city in selling Warm Mineral Springs to a private developer. Her fellow freshman commissioner, Rhonda DiFranco, seconded the motion to divest the springs. Mayor Linda Yates from one side of her mouth expressed surprise that such a move would even be contemplated. But, moments later, the other side of her mouth uttered the tie-break ing vote to sell Warm Mineral Springs. Afterward, the county commissioners offered to buy North Ports share of the springs for $2 million, an offer roundly rejected by the City Commission with no counteroffer. Now the matter appears headed to some sort of mediation, as part of a state requirement for conict resolution before either party can turn to the courts for relief. And almost ev eryone expects the matter to wind up in the courts eventually. However North Port voters might feel about this expression of scal responsibility, nei ther candidate gave much indication during the campaign that it was afoot. Nor does it appear that either commissioner is now in clined toward meaningful discussion or com promise, especially since the mayor has pro vided them her vote to create the necessary majority. Such unrepentant dogmatism does not bode well for balanced government in North Port, or for amicable relations with the County Commission or other governmental entities. And that is what should be raising the eyebrows of Sarasota city voters. For several years, the City Commission in Sarasota has been noted more for how many different directions the individual commis sioners can pursue at once than for any mean ingful coalition working for progress and the betterment of the community. The election of two new at-large commissioners has the po tential to change that. That potential will evaporate, however, if 85 percent of the citys voters once again cannot be troubled to cast a ballot on March 12. More over, a vote for a stealth candidate, such as the two enigmata elected in North Port, has the real possibility of producing a cure that is far worse than the ailment. Sarasota voters have a duty to inform them selves about the true nature of the six candi dates seeking ofce. We have done our part by conducting in-depth interviews with all of them, asking them the same questions. If a candidates answers seem evasive or dissem bling, voters should assume the worst should that candidate be elected. If the answers seem thoughtful and earnest, perhaps that candi date is one truly interested in what is best for the city. Electing the wrong two candidates on March 12 could put the city in a precarious position going forward, with something even worse than the every man for himself ethos with which we have lived. It could produce a coa lition bent on dismantling the city in the name of scal responsibility. To paraphrase the observation of Alexis de Tocqueville almost two centuries ago, if vot ers fail to make the right decisions, they will deserve the suffering that comes as a conse quence of their wrong decisions. %


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 91 COMMENTARY With the U.S. knee-deep in bad news, from the debt crisis to sequestration, it was great to receive some good nancial news this past week: too bad it did not come from Washing ton. No, the really good news of the year is from that country far to the north maybe not far to the north of Maine, but certainly far to the north of Washington D.C. and Florida. Yes, Canada is retiring its penny. For years penny-pinchers in America have been talking about doing the same thing here. Besides the fact that penny candy now costs a dime, it is costing us 2 cents to make each U.S. 1-cent piece. When economists start talking about needing to mint a trillion dollar coin to get us past the debt crisis, you know that the penny really is insignicant. Why is Canadas move good for us? Because, once Canadian banks stop distributing Cana dian pennies, that country will be, so to speak, awash in them. Just think: millions of Cana dian pennies that no Canadian will want. And what happens in the free market when there is no demand for a product? The value drops. And to what level does the value drop, if th e highest value it ever had was 1 cent? How about zero? If the U.S. government buys all the Canadian pennies for a half a cent each, Canada will have no storage costs and will recoup some of its original investment. And America will be getting slightly used pennies at one quarter of the amount it takes to mint a new one: a win/ win situation for both countries. Now comes the tricky part: We need to get Congress to pass a law (and these days get ting Congress to pass any law has been a real problem). The law would simply be to autho rize the Department of the Treasury to make the Canadian penny legal tender in the U.S. of A. The only other problem is that the U.S. pen ny is made of zinc. The reason that we have not dropped the use of our 1-cent piece years ago is that zinc industry lobbyists have been making payments to our congressmen and those payments have not just been in pennies to keep the zinc mines open and the prots of one particular company high. But perhaps, with all the talk about saving money without increasing taxes, this plan just might work. % By Rodger Skidmore Contributing Writer A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and in clude the name, street address and telephone num ber of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Letters actu ally printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. COMMENTARY




Find us onFacebook PHOTO BY FRANK ATURA Sir Frederick Ashtons { The Wayward Daughter}This spectacular full-length ballet will be accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra and is perfect for all ages!1 8 -1 9 April 2 01 3Van Wezel Performing Arts HallB o x Off i ce: 359-0099 x101 |


For a lo ng time I used to go to bed early. With that simple sentence, Marcel Proust kicked off one of the 20th centurys greatest literary works, the six-book, 3,120-page mas terpiece la recherche du temps perdu In Search of Lost Time The rst volume of that novel, Swanns Way turns 100 this year, and as part of the global celebration of Proustiana, a handful of Sarasota organizations are com ing together for a series of lectures devoted to the man and his novel. For Elyane Dezon-Jones, the chief organiz er behind the events, the reason to celebrate Proust is self-evident. Its for Proust, you know? she says. Dezon-Jones, who now splits her time be tween Paris and Sarasota, rst read la re cherche during a break between high school and college, and fell in love. I thought it was really an amazing text, she says, like no other. Its so rich. She spent a year reading the entire book, as well as the handful of other published Proust works and translations. It changed her life. When it was time for me to pick a subject for my Ph.D., I chose to work on Proust. Voil. And I have not stopped. During the s, Dezon-Jones was part of a team of researchers given access to Prousts original manuscripts. The authors pen-andA copy of Swanns Way appears in a French lm, Sur la route de Walter Salle (2012). Photo by Pro sopee via Wikipedia Commons. Inset: Marcel Proust/Contributed photo EVENTS TO HONOR THE RENOWNED AUTHOR, 100 YEARS AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF SWANNS WAY LA RECHERCHE DE PROUST By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 95 ink writing was difcult to decipher, and many mistakes had made their way into previous editions. Dezon-Jones team worked to cor rect those. Inspired by the surge of centennial honors in France, Dezon-Jones thought it would be nice to have a little celebration here in Sarasota, and she reached out to Sarasota County librar ies, New College, the Alliance Franaise and Bookstore1Sarasota on Main Street in Saraso ta. Her original plan quickly mushroomed into a major event. It started as a little project, she says. Lets invite one or two speakers. And then it grew. Voil. The events eight in total run all March long. They range from lectures to book dis cussions to lm screenings. Topics include the life of Prousts mother, Prousts reception in the English-speaking world and even the intersection between la recherche and neu roscience. Be warned: Two of the events will be conducted entirely in French. The good news: Everything is free. De zon-Jones says that, quite contrary to la recherche s reputation as an arduous read, Proust himself said that he wanted to write for everybody, and keeping things free ts with that philosophy. Even when she is not writing academically about Proust, Dezon-Jones is always trying to help readers enter his work. She knows how intimidating books with difcult rep utations can be. She felt it herself when she read Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. So years ago, she crafted a mystery novel under the pen name Estelle Monbrun. The translated title? Murder Chez Proust All she can say is, Im a teacher. % A yer offers details about the Proust Project events. Contributed image


On Thursday, Feb. 14, the Allyn Gallup Con temporary Art gallery in downtown Sarasota unveiled Tidal Works an exhibition of visual artwork by the married team of Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse. The following day, during a reception, the art ists offered comments on both the show and their 12 years of collaboration. ABOUT THE ARTISTS Stackhouse is a veteran visual artist whose works have been collected by a number of prestigious institutions, including the Art In stitute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, th e Indianapolis Art Center and the Na tional Gallery of Australia. He is retired from the academic world, but he has held endowed chairs at Hartford University, the University of Denver and the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. He also is profes sor emeritus of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and is the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts individual artist grants. Mickett has a diverse arts background that in addition to her experience as a visual artist includes earning a doctorate in philosophy and more than 10 years of academic work in Robert Stackhouses Blue Flyer (2000), on display at the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery, is the only piece in the show that was not created collaboratively. Gallery owner Allyn Gallup points out that it shows the difference between Stackhouses previous works and those he created with Carol Mickett. All photos by Arielle Scherr VISUAL ARTISTS CAROL MICKETT AND ROBERT STACKHOUSE DISCUSS THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS AT THEIR CURRENT TIDAL WORKS EXHIBITION DOWNTOWN REFLECTING IDENTITIES By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 97 the eld. She also has experience as a writer, director, journalist, producer and host for tele vision, lm and radio, particularly programs pertaining to art. Her work, which includes essays, interviews and poems, has appeared in various publica tions, and she has received a number of grants for her projects. She is the host and creator of the series Our Town at the Dal Museum in St. Petersburg and sits on the arts advisory committee for the city of St. Petersburg. TIDAL WORKS Aside from the print Blue Flyer (2000), which Stackhouse completed while still on his own, all of the works on display in the Gallup ex hibition are collaborative compositions from 2001 to 2013 that focus on ideas of structure or identity, most of them conceptually involv ing water or the moon. Tidal Works the artists explained, combines pieces from various series that focus on the two distinct subjects, which share a strong re lationship with one another. It was a move from talking about water and then to the relationship of the moon to water and the tidal connection, Mickett said of the exhibitions title during the artists presenta tion. The visual differences between the paintings in the series as well as the artistic shifts that occurred during their creation were strikingly apparent to those in attendance. While pieces dealing with water from the pre vious decade, such as Molecular Water (2008) ( Foreground, from left): Carol Mickett, Robert Stackhouse and Duncan McClellons Icondance Plate (2011) and Asteroid Plate (2011) on display at the Gallup gallery: These pieces are made from hand-carved, etched, hand-blown glass.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 98 Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse pose in front of Third Moon (2013) during the Tidal Works exhibition reception at the Gallup gallery on the evening of Feb. 15. During the artists presenta tion, Stackhouse explained that both he and Mickett contribute in equal ways to all of their pieces. In comparing this work to one from the Aspects of Identity series (2011), Stackhouse said, The blue is no more representative of Carol, because shes wearing blue, than the white is of me because Im wearing black. Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouses Painting for Architectured Water (2008) on display at the Gallup gallery. During the artists presentation Feb. 15, Mickett and Stackhouse explained their fascination with the structure of water, particularly because they feel it is often taken for granted as something simple. They point out that it can be seen as quite complicated and anomalous.


Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 99 and Painting for Architectured Water (2008), are relatively liberal in their use of color, many of those on the same subject created in 2011 as part of the Aspects of Identity series in corporate very bold shades of just one or two colors usually with some variation of blue though some pieces were composed mono chromatically. Stackhouse commented on this aesthetic shift during the artists presentation at the recep tion: Our way of working sort of evolved over a period of time, and we came through this through different ways of doing things, he said. You can see how we kind of saturate color in a way, he continued. When we de cide were going to do blue, we do blue and theres nothing else involved in it. In works produced this year when the fo cus shifted from water to the moon the con servative use of color is even more apparent. Many pieces, such as Third Moon and Fourth Moon incorporate shades of white. If you noticed, the moon isnt very detailed, Stackhouse said of those works. And we pur posely chose not to detail the moon. What were trying to do is to see the moon as the naked eye sees it, possibly during the day. Even a piece that does not directly address the moon, such as last years acrylic painting Chrysanthemum which portrays a largescale sculpture produced by the artists em ploys a similar color scheme: variations of an off-white hue. COLLABORATION AND CONCEPTS Mickett and Stackhouse explained that the in spiration for the pieces in Tidal Works came from their shared fascination with the subject matter as well as from the collaborative pro cess itself. In an interview with The Sarasota News Lead er during the reception, Mickett talked about how water can be seen as a metaphor for a joint creation of people who might otherwise consider themselves to be rigid producers. When collaboration occurs, Mickett said, We nd out that were much more like water that changes and moves all of the time, and thats affected by many things. Were a combination of things, she continued, so in that way our identity is inuenced by lots of people. Later, during the artists presentation, Mickett explained how the moon relates to this con cept as well: The moon is something that you see because of the light of the sun, she said. And the moons always been something thats been identied with women. That, I have to say, always bugged me, she continued. But then I realized that, really, the way we see the sunlight is through the moon. She added that this point of view helps to bal ance out the metaphor. Its really about collaboration, she said. All of us trade off on being a moon and a sun, and in collaboration its very much like that. We reect each other and the way we are in the world as a result of how we each reect each other and the communities we live in, she continued. So, the moons become this very important icon for us about collaboration and just about being in the world. AUDIENCE DISCUSSION After their presentation, the artists welcomed a more casual Q-&-A session, with members of the audience asking about specic pieces and experiences the artists have had togeth er. Many audience members expressed an ad miration for the artists collaborative process and an appreciation of the resulting work.

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 100 Various screen prints from Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouses Aspects of Identity series (2011) on display during the Tidal Works exhibition reception at the Gallup gallery: Unlike the larger piec es on display from this series, some of these prints are not monochromatic.

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 101 After the Q-and-A session, the News Leader spoke with audience member Charles Perret, who had not been familiar with either artist prior to the exhibit. What rst attracted me was the color and then the subject matter, he said. Im very at tached to blue. Perret added that his favorite piece was Paint ing for Architectured Water, partially because he has an afnity for architecture and partly because he appreciated the aesthetic and con ceptual aspects of the piece. It really impressed me as being something that was not only very beautiful but it had meaning, he said. You see the color of the sea and the color of the sky. Its sort of like they combine ... and ow from one part of na ture to another and create a new reality of the sky and the sea. COLLABORATION AND CONFLICTS During both their presentation and the Q-&-A session, Mickett and Stackhouse were open to discussing the fact that, in spite of their prolic output, they do run into conicts. We get divorced every week! Mickett said jokingly, eliciting a lighthearted nod of agree ment from Stackhouse. They then related an anecdote from their ex periences working in Cortona, Italy, during the early part of their collaboration. We had some doozy Italian ghts, Stack house said. I was so mad at him, Mickett added. I had a Kleenex in my hand and I threw it with all of my might. She im itated with a uttering motion of her hand the trajectory of the tissue as it drifted gently in the air. We just burst out laughing, she said with a smile. In spite of the occasional conict, the artists pointed out, they are able to collaborate be cause they work in a similar manner. Were both process people, so when we start some thing, we arent xed on what the outcomes going to be; we allow the process to take us where we want to go, Mickett explained. When you have two very strong people, were both right and we both like it our way, Mick ett continued. But we also both know that working together takes us to places we would not go on our own and that we make choices and end up doing things that are very risky but have always turned out to really pay off, she said. Stackhouse then explained the practical as pects of the collaboration. What happens with our art is we mesh it, he said. We both work on the drawings; we both work on the color; we both work on concept, he contin ued. I guess, technically, you could say were a team, he concluded. Mickett and Stackhouse offered no indication during the reception for Tidal Works that their future plans call for anything other than con tinuing that collaboration. Tidal Works is on display Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, 1288 N. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. Monday hours are not posted, but they can be obtained by calling 3662454. The exhibition concludes on Saturday, March 23. %

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ASK OTUS Dear Readers, My contemplations this quiet, clear, star lit night focus on one of natures most con troversial gures; one that has the love and hate of hoi polloi as well as those sentiments of our nations highest authorities, our U.S. presidents; and one that has caused people to spend untold dollars in advocating or erad icating it, thereby overlling the coffers of industries devoted to its nourishment or its eradication. Is it a D.C. lobbyist? Well, no. But it is every bit as squirrely as one. In fact, it is the ea-in fested tree rat, aka the Eastern Gray Squirrel ( Sciurus carolinensis ), which has left its im print over urban and suburban Florida. Sci urus c. is a rambunctious arboreal rodent that tears up and down tree limbs, thoughtlessly knocking over anything in its path (including Eastern Screech Owls), all in hot pursuit of a female in heat with which it can mate and breed twice a year and produce lots more rambunctious ea-infested tree rodents. In determining its popularity or unpopularity, I shall rely on John Q. Publics opinion here. As squirrels fall under the aegis of powerful pol iticians, I shall tread carefully and compose a fair questionnaire. A Painted Bunting. Photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun MR. SQUIRREL GOES TO WASHINGTON

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 103 T h e following poll is a non-partisan, fair, neu tral and balanced effort to elicit readers un biased opinions. Only registered readers are allowed to vote and they must vote for one candidate only: 1 ) Which would you rather see feasting at your squirrel-proof bird feeder? a ) A gaily colored Painted Bunting, whose sweetly ariose songs evoke memories of hal cyon spring days lled with owering dog woods, perfumed narcissus and shy wild vi olets; or b ) A squirrel? 2 ) Which would you rather see digging in your garden? a ) A professional Florida garden landscaper planting a graceful Hong Kong Orchid tree, Candida variety, which bursts into exquisite white blooms from January to May; or b ) A squirrel? Oh dear! Sciurus c. is not doing very well in the polls and I am beginning to feel sorry for him. Let us help him win some votes with this nal question: 3 ) When you wake up one sunny morning and enter your lovingly tended-to landscaped garden to check on your Have-a-Heart trap, which would you rather see in it? a ) A forlorn mother opossum, North Amer icas only marsupial, with sad brown eyes, quivering pink, moist nose and a passel of na ked, helpless, innocent babies (c alled Joeys) A Hong Kong Orchid tree File photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 104 asleep in their Mamas pouch; a creature that rids your landscaped garden of vermin-infest ed mice and rats, and disease-bearing insects; or b ) A squirrel? Now that Sciurus c has soared ahead in the polls, I will curry favor by praising his virtues and highlighting his species unique talents. Other than the fact that squirrels can strike winsome and adorably cute poses, they actu ally do have many positive attributes: 1. Sciurus c. is the only mammal in all of North America that can descend a tree headrst an awesome talent, if you think about it long enough. 2. As an acrobat, he outperforms all the Wal lendas. You see, the female squirrel has a very brief estrous cycle. The m ale immediately Mother Opossum has been caught in a trap. File photo A Gray Squirrel looks cute with a nut in its mouth. File photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 105 pi ck s up her scent and tries to court her. She is as coy and coquettish as any nymphet Lolita and will lead the chattering male on a merry chase over tree branches up and down, all around it is enough to make one seasick. She abruptly stops, turns around to make certain he is keeping up with her; and Hum bert Humbert crashes into her. He loses his footing, falls out of the tree and plummets to earth; but he always gracefully lands on his feet! Squirrel mating facts: The female can have as many as 10 to 30 males in hot pursuit, and the ratio of males to females is equal. If you do the math on that, it all adds up to a lot of squirrels falling onto peoples picnic tables or the hamburger platter on its way to the grill. I once witnessed the latter. I would like to write that the mans response was What graceful precision!; but that would be untrue. This wild behavior lasts only a couple of weeks, twice a year, an d when the female d oes select her one and only true love, he is remarkably gentle and quiet when they mate. 3 Squirrels are natural-born aerators. They have very sharp claws and teeth. When they are not using them to scratch and bite at their eas, they are employing them to aerate ow er beds, planting pots, lawns, watering hos es, attic insulation and electrical wiring. You name it and the squirrel will aerate it! Because squirrels do not hibernate, they must store vast amounts of food, mostly seeds and nuts, to survive the winter; even in Florida, when the dry season is upon us and food is scarce. The Gray Squirrel is a scatter-hoarder ; it hoards food in numerous small caches for later recovery. Some caches are quite tempo rary and will be reburied and reburied at more secure sites. It is estimated that one squirrel digs several thousand caches each season. That is a lot of aeration on your prope rty! Squirrels mate on a tree branch. File photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 106 Contrary to popular belief, squirrels are not so dumb that they forget where they buried their food. They have excellent spatial mem ory for the locations of their caches and use landmarks to retrieve them. Squirrels will also pretend to bury their food if they feel that they are being watched. They do this by digging up the spots as they usually would and pretend ing to cache the acorns, while actually keep ing the nuts hidden in their mouths. They then cover up the caches as if they had really bur ied the acorns. To understand squirrel holes (aeration) in man-made objects, let me add that squirrels practice good dental hygiene. As with many rodents, the squirrels teeth are also highly s pecialized and designed for the kind of food he eats. He has two incisors in the upper jaw and two in the lower. (Incisor comes from Latin to cut, as through nutshells and electri cal insulation). These teeth never stop grow ing. Only constant use keeps them short and sharp. If a squirrel is deprived of hard nuts (or attic insulation) its teeth will grow to the point where it cannot eat and it will starve. That is why pet owners must have their pet squirrels teeth trimmed. And that is why you always see squirrels with something in their mouths; it is usually a nut being munched on, a body part being rid of eas or a section of your new garden hose being aerated. A Squirrel bites its arm eas. File photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 107 4 Whe n squ irrel s cross a road in their eccen tric zigzag stop-and-go manner, they are great entertainers and slapstick comedians, as well as supporters of law enforcement authorities in the War on Crime. For example, in Wau watosa, WI, a driver swerved to avoid hitting a squirrel. The driver slammed into a parked car, causing it to go airborne and crash into a house, making a huge hole in the front par lor wall (I told you squirrels are natural-born aerators). The driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and was cited for failing to keep a vehicle under control, driving with sus pended registration and driving without proof of insurance. Had it not been for the squirrel, the perp would never have been caught and cited. With all these inherent good-old boy char acteristics the back-scratching, the secret cached-in-the-dirt reserves, the ability to aer ate peoples pockets and wallets and the knack for landing on ones feet after a fall from grace it is not surprising that this toothy-grinned, tail-chasing Lothario jumped out of a stew pot in the White House Mess and landed smack in the Oval Ofce. I am writing a book on the subject Mr. Squirrel Goes to Washington: A Brief His tory of Sciurus carolinensis as an Agent of Inuence in White House Domestic Politics and International Relations by Otus Rufous. Copies of my book are free to all SNL sub scribers. (Dan Brown, eat your heart out! My conspiracy theory aerates your Da Vinci Code theory!) Introduction : On Feb. 16, 2011, President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Amer icas Great Outdoors Initiative and humorous ly acknowledged the squirrels power and in uence in our nations capital. He began his delightfully informative speech on the histo ry of conservation in our country by noting that the White House is actually inside an 82acre national park including an area once found to have the densest squirrel population known to science. This is true. So weve got that going for us. On Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, which is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, President Obama was publicly sworn into ofce for a second term. Hmm Chapter I Cherchez la femme The history of White House rst families and their delightful pets begins with President George Washing tons pet, Polly the Parrot. Abraham Lincoln had a pet white bunny wabbit. True squirrel appreciation in the White House only began with amazing First Lady Florence Harding. An extraordinary woman, whom his torians generally overlook, she was an ardent feminist and animal rights champion. Along side Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Teddy R.s daughter, she helped found the Humane Soci ety. Mrs. Harding also protected the squirrels aerating the White House grounds. President Harding adopted Pete, a squirrel who waylaid cabinet ofcers on their way into the White House. If promptly fed, Pete would allow them to meet with the president. Pete w as documented on lm accepting a handful of nuts from U.S. Navy Secretary Edwin Den by. Pete gr eedily devoured the nuts and Denby got his audience with the president.

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 108 The squirrels rise to absolute power had just begun. Chapter II President Truman frequently dined alfresco at the White House. He always hand-fed the squirrels visiting his table. Al though relations between President Truman and the Secret Service were never comfort able, the Secret Service had no problems with the squirrels, as they are quite gentle around people, very rarely scratch or bite anyone feeding them and they do not carry rabies. Pete, so named by members of the White House Press Corps in remembrance of Pete Harding, accompanied President Truman on many of his walks between Lafayette Square and Blair House, where the rst family stayed while the White House was under renovation. Yes, even First Families are inconvenienced when they move into a xer-upper. Pete was also known by reporters as their inside source. He only stood some 6 inches tall, but the shadow he cast was immeasurable. Chapter III President Dwight Eisenhower tried unsuccessfully to putt an end to the in uence Sciurus c. had over the White House. Eisenhower was an avid golfer and was of ten criticized for his passion for the sport, al though he and his doctor readily defended the habit as good for his health, which had suf fered during his presidency. The White House Putting Green lies a short walk outside the Oval Ofce door to the southeast; it was in stalled by President Eisenhower in 1954, with nancial help from the United States Profes sional Golf Association as well as private do nations. Ike had difculty keeping the squir rels (which Harry Truman had nearly tamed by hand-feeding) from burying n uts in the green and aerating it to the point where it was rath er cratered. He declared war on squirrels and had groundskeepers trap and relocate them. Ike had also joked to the Secret Service that they should shoot the squirrels a statement most likely leaked to the press through aerat ed water hoses and one that caused Ikes pop ularity to soar with his opponents and plum met with his supporters. The Gray Squirrel won that round. Chapters IV-V I did not feel like writing them. Chapter VI This is where it gets really squirrely. President Ronald Reagan kept his jacket and trouser pockets full of acorns so he could feed the White House squirrels. We have all read charming accounts of squirrels actually press ing their noses against a window of the Oval Ofce when he was late feeding them. The most extraordinary squirrel tale from Reagans term in ofce occurred in winter of 1984. President Reagan, during his sojourns at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Mary lands countryside, always collected bags of acorns to bring back to his beloved White House squirrels. Well, the winter of 1984 was one of D.C.s mildest in decades, and the acorns buried in the White House lawn began to sprout much earlier than usual. Squirrels cannot digest cellulose; when an acorn begins to sprout a squirrel cannot eat it without be coming sick. (A word of advice: If you feed squirrels peanuts, it is important that the le gumes be roasted, not raw.) One December morning, a squirrel, on behalf of all the White House squirrels, scurried up to the Executive Mansion to expl ain the sprout ing acorn problem to the president. This his toric moment was captured on canvas when the Reagans commissioned Jamie Wyeths Christmas Morning at the White House for

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 109 A White House Christmas card shows a squirrel (marked in parentheses) running up to the front door of the mansion. File photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 110 t he family Christmas card that year. It sudden ly became imperative that the president get to Camp David immediately and start collecting acorns. But Dec. 21 proved a long and busy day, and by days end, the weather had turned so bad that Marine One could not copter him to Camp David. Then we drove all the way to Camp D. because of fog & rain. That is Pres ident Reagans diary entry. I can almost pic ture the throngs of squirrels surrounding his motorcade only it was night and the squir rels were sleeping the sleep of the righteous, secure in the knowledge that their reign was now assured. Oh! My publisher has just advised me that The New York Times Book Review will not even consider my book unless it contains foot notes, and not the sort left by a squirrel mak ing tracks in the snow! In order to be termed a scholar rather than a sciolist, it appears foot notes must be arcane and undecipherable. So, here goes! Footnote When you visit our National Zoo in Washington, D.C., to your left, just inside the main entrance off Connecticut Avenue, you will see an inscribed bronze plaque com memorating the gift by the Department of Crown Lands of Ontario of 18 black squirrels to the United States during President Theo dore Roosevelts administration. The story of Washingtons black squirrel, a melanistic form of the gray squirrel, is still to be written. No one really knows what the U.S. did to Canada to have deserved this. Even Smithsonian Insti tution researchers and scholars are at a loss to explain the mystery, but they do point out that in the aftermath of that gift, the squirrel population in the U.S. has exploded. M y footnote answers one question and raises another. Canada dumped its unwanted ea-infested tree rats on our nations capital because Can ada did not want them! The real question is, Why did the U.S. not de clare war on Canada for that dastardly deed? Well, my research on this topic concludes with proof that we were indeed very close to declaring war on our dear neighbor over this insult until President Theodore Roosevelt met with his cabinet and a certain secretary of war (I shant name names, but it was not Elihu Root) pointed out that that if the U.S. were to lose the war, U.S. citizens would be subjected to Canadas constitutionally man dated bilingualism. That means we all would have to learn French irregular verbs, which by denition are any verb you need to use. As we live in a squirrely world, I am taking precautions in case we do go to war. I have been studying French at LAcadmie Moulin Rouge, a YouTube video link. I think if you watch Christina Aguileras tutorial on the French language, you will hope the U.S. goes to war with Canada and loses BIG time! Her Qubcois accent is to die for! See for your self in Lady Marmalade Otus (English) Otus (French) Megascops asio ( English) Megascops asio ( French) % 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.

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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

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Cameron Mackintosh will present a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schnbergs legendary musical Les Miserables March 5-10 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the Van Wezel has announced. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is break ing box ofce records wherever it goes, a news release says. The New York Times calls this an unques tionably spectacular production from start to nish, according to the release. The London Times hails the new show a ve star hit, as tonishingly powerful, the release adds. Based on Hugos classic novel, Les Misera bles is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit, the release points out. The magnificent score of Les Miserables includes the songs I Dreamed a Dream On My Own Stars and Bring Him Home Tickets are priced from $30 to $90. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit The stage version of Les Miserables is coming to Sarasota March 5-10. Contributed photo NEW PRODUCTION OF LES MISERABLES COMING TO VAN WEZEL ARTS BRIEFS

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The Rotary Club of Sarasota will present the rst Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival and Wildlife Symposium on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ken Thomp son Park, 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, City Island, Sarasota. The event will feature a juried exhibition of wildlife-inspired art and ne crafts by more than 25 painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers and other craftspeople, a news re lease says. The works, which will be for sale, were juried by Ringling College of Art and De sign instructors. The event will include a symposium with prominent speakers in the eld of wildlife re habilitation and other environmental topics, the release adds. Among the speakers will be Kevin Carroll and Dan Strzempka, two pros thetic experts known for their work with the development of prosthetic tails for dolphins, including the one worn by Winter, the aquatic star of the movie Dolphin Tale the release notes. Other speakers will be Dr. James Bud dy Powell, executive director of Sea to Shore Alliance; Sara Kane, public outreach manager for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program; and Dr. Jay Leverone, a senior environmental scientist for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. Tickets are $5 for adults; children age 12 and under will be admitted free. Admission enti tles guests to free entry to the adjacent Save Our Seabirds wildlife sanctuary and a $5 dis count on admission to Mote Marine during the festival, the release points out. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the festival will benefit Save Our Seabirds and the Ro tary Club of Sarasota, the release notes. For information, call 840-1193 or visit WILDLIFE ART FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM PLANNED The Church of the Redeemer invites the pub lic to a Friday, March 8, memorial concert honoring the late Dr. Daniel T. Moe, Redeem ers longtime composer-in-residence and wellknown area conductor. The concert will begin at 8 p.m., with a wine and cheese reception for concertgoers imme diately following it in Gillespie Hall, a news release says. Performing in the concert will be Ned Tipton, minister of music at St. Johns Episcopal Ca thedral in Los Angeles. Tipton was a student of Moes at Oberlin College in Ohio, where Moe taught at the Conservatory of Music from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, the re SARASOTA COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR MOE TO BE HONORED lease notes. After earning his choral direct ing degree in 1981, Tipton moved to France, where he was the organist and choirmaster at the American Cathedral in Paris for 20 years, the release points out. Moe and his wife, Ann Stephenson-Moe, who is the organist/choirmaster at Redeemer, had seen Tipton perform in Paris several times, and student and teacher had stayed in touch over the years, the release continues. Tipton played the organ at Moes requiem in 2012, and he has performed widely across the Unit ed States and Europe. During his career, Moe was hailed by New Yorker music critic Andrew Porter as the Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 113

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Dean of choral conductors. In more than 40 years of choral conducting, Moe brought nearly every landmark choral-orchestral work in the repertoire to performance, ranging from Bachs Passion According to St. John to the Britten War Requiem the release points out. His work drew him into the nations great con cert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, where he twice served as consulting conduc tor for the International University Choral Festival, the release notes. In Sarasota, Moe was the much-beloved music director for Key Chorale the ofcial cho rus of the Florida West Coast and he also served as adjunct professor of music at New College in Sarasota, where he conducted the choirs, the release adds. He loved his musicians. He loved his choirs. He loved his people, said Redeemers associ ate rector, the Rev. Richard C. Marsden, in the release. And he found absolute joy in praising God with his music. A $15 ticket donation ($10 for students) is suggested. Tickets may be reserved online at or by calling the parish ofce at 955-4263. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave., in the heart of downtown Sara sota. Daniel Moe/Contributed photo Ned Tipton/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 114

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An exhibit of ne art photography will be on view from March 1 through April 10 at the Sarasota County Visitor Information Center and History Center Museum, 701 N. Tami ami Trail, Sarasota, Sarasota County has an nounced. An opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1. The public is invited. Titled, Florida in Context the exhibit cap tures images of old Florida buildings and abandoned factories, as well as still lifes and vistas, including relics of boom-and-bust de velopment, a news release says. It will feature the work of ne art photographers Virginia Hoffman, Matt Allison, Salvatore Brancifort, Brian Braun, Dale Ann Clancy and Richard Porter, the release adds. The exhibit is part of the countys participa tion in the statewide Viva Florida 500 celebra tion to promote Floridas history: its people, places and cultural achievements, the release points out. This year is the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon to La Florida in 1513. The Sarasota County Visitor Information Cen ter and History Center Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. There is no admission charge. A portion of the proceeds from photography sales will go to the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center, the release notes. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. HISTORY CENTER MUSEUM TO HOST FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION After holding auditions Feb. 5 for a dog need ed in its upcoming production of the opera Of Mice and Men Sarasota Opera has announced the chosen canine is Pede, a 13-year-old Bor der collie mix owned by Jean Smith of Arca dia. The canine character in the opera is described as a good herding dog, a news release points out. The dog is also referred to as old, ragged and slow, the release adds. In the opera, the dog belongs to the character of Candy, who will be sung by bass Andrew Gangestad, the release notes. As the Act I synopsis reads: A furor erupts in the bunkhouse over Candys old smelly dog, with Carlson and the ranch-hands demanding that the dog be shot rather than remain in the bunkhouse. Candy protests, but is eventually overwhelmed by the shouts of the men, and Carlson takes the dog outside and shoots him. Pede has already joined the rehearsal process and, according to stage manager Francesca MacBeth, is doing a fantastic job! the release says. Performances for Carlisle Floyds Of Mice and Men begin on March 9 and run through March 23. Tickets are available online at or by calling the Sarasota Op era box ofce at 328-1300. SARASOTA OPERA ANNOUNCES ITS NEWEST STAR Pede will play the role of Candys dog in Sarasota Operas production of Carlisle Floyds Of Mice and Men. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 115

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The Asolo Repertory Theatre is leading off its spring season with the comedy Clybourne Park the ra zor-sharp Tony Awardand Pulitzer Prize-winning play about race, real estate and urban revitaliza tion, the theater has announced. Written by playwright Bruce Norris, Clybourne Park tells the story of the same suburban Chicago home and its inhabitants that are at the center of Lorraine Hansberrys classic drama, A Raisin in the Sun, a news release notes. The rst act takes place in 1959, when a white family agrees to sell its Clybourne Park home to an African-American family, much to the mortication of the neighborhoods all-white residents, the release adds. Act Two fast-forwards to 2009 and examines the de cision to re-sell the house to a white family moving into what has now become a predominantly black neighborhood, this time with plans for demolition, the release notes. Bruce Norris writing is funny, poetic, bitingly sa tiric and tremendously thought-provoking, the re lease says. The plays lightning-quick repartee will leave the audience reeling with laughter, in shock and reconsidering what it means to call a place home, it continues. Clybourne Park opens on Friday, March 15, with an 8 p.m. curtain. Michael Donald Edwards, pro ducing artistic director for Asolo Rep now in his seventh season will direct the show, which will run through May 2, the release notes. Clybourne Park premiered Off Broadway on Feb. 21, 2010 to critical acclaim at Playwrights Horizon in New York City and was followed by stagings at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. in Washington. % ASOLO REP TO PRESENT PULITZER PRIZE WINNER CLYBOURNE PARK Clybourne Park will open March 15 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 116

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The Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota will host a memorial concert as a tribute to Patricia Stenberg, former principal oboe for the Sarasota Orchestra, on Sunday, March 3, at 4 p.m. Stenberg passed away in 2002. Each year, the Sarasota-Manatee Alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), an international womens music fraternity, presents a concert in her name to raise funds for local music educa tion efforts a news release points out. Sten berg served as both local chapter president and national president of the fraternity, the release adds. Patricia Stenberg was a musicians musician and an outstanding player, said Redeemer or ganist and choirmaster Ann Stephenson-Moe in the release. This concert, which raises money to help aspiring musicians, is a tting tribute to her passion for music. Stenberg also served as a conductor with the Sarasota Pops Orchestra. Founded in 1903, SAI works to bring together women who are interested in music on col lege campuses around the world, the release notes. The fraternity works to encourage fe male musicians of all ages, races and nation alities while cultivating excellence in music performance, the release says. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 the day of the concert. All proceeds go to area music orga nizations. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. For ticket information and to purchase tickets, visit re or call 955-4263. The Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota will host a concert March 3 in tribute to the late Patricia Stenberg. Photo by Norman Schimmel MARCH 3 CONCERT TO BE HELD IN MEMORY OF STENBERG RELIGION BRIEFS

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 118 Temple Emanu-El celebrated the joyful holi day of Purim with an original play, song ses sion, megillah reading, costume parade and lively carnival on Feb. 24, according to a news release. Titled, Purim Pandemonium the event was hosted by the religious school and chaired by Anne Steinbach, the release notes. More than 300 Temple Emanu-El members and guests of all ages enjoyed the celebra tion, the release says. The morning began with a Purim family service conducted by Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman and song leader Amber Ikeman; it featured the religious schools sev enth-grade class performing a play written by Director of Education Sabrina Silverberg. The festivities continued with games, a dunk tank, giant slide, obstacle course, bounce house, a bake sale with plenty of hamantashen and car The Schlosberg family enjoys Purim Pandemo nium at Temple Emanu-El. Contributed photo Temple Emanu-El Religious School students Eitan and Jonah cooled off with snow cones. Contributed photo MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES MARK PURIM AT TEMPLE EMANU-EL nival foods, including hamburgers, hot dogs, snow cones, cotton candy, funnel cakes and lemonade, the release continues. Proceeds benetted Temple Emanu-El Reli gious School. Purim Pandemonium was one of the most fun, enjoyable and exciting religious events that I have ever experienced! a fourth-grader enthused, according to the release You got to hang out with friends, have fun, win prizes and overall have an awesome time there. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Purim with friends, family, and your temple. For more information about family holiday cel ebrations at Temple Emanu-El, call 371-2788.

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 119 Temple Emanu-El Religious School kindergartener Rocco Rell. Contributed photo

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 Page 120 The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) will present the Rev. Roger Fritts, min ister of the Sarasota Unitarian Universalist Church, to speak about his favorite philoso pher during a 10:30 a.m. program on March 2, the Congregation has announced. Prior to his Sarasota arrival in 2011, Fritts served in Bethesda, MD, which has one of the 10 largest congregations in the Unitarian Association, and in South Australia, New Zea land and Scotland, a news release says. The choir of the Unitarian Universalist Church, directed by Robert Lischetti, will par ticipate in the March 2 Shabbat service. The following day, March 3, the Humanaires, the CHJ chorus, under the direction of David Berman, will sing at the Unitarian Universalist Churchs 11 a.m. service, the release adds. CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. Everyone is welcome; there is no charge, the release points out. For more information, call 929-7771 or visit % FRITTS TO BE GUEST SPEAKER AT CHJ PROGRAM Roger Fritts/Contributed 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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01 MAR Budweiser Clydesdales visit Siesta Village March 1, 5 p.m., on Ocean Boulevard, Siesta Key. The horses are expected to arrive be tween 3:30 and 4 p.m. behind Circle K, where the public can see them harnessed and prepared for their parade. For details, visit 01 MAR WSLR presents Richard Price and Beth Wood March 1, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Art Center, 525 Kumquat Court Tickets: $10 advance, $12 at door; 01+ MAR WBTT presents Soul Crooners 2 March 1-24, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $29.50; 366-1505 or 01+ MAR Art Uptown presents Around Here a one-woman exhibition by artist Rita Rust March 1-30, 1367 Main St., Sarasota. Free admission; 955-5409 or 07+ MAR A Tribal Collection: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica March 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m., opening reception; March 8 to April 19, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. Exhibit free to members and children under age 6; free with regular admission: non-member adults, $17; children ages 6-11, $6. Information: 366-5731 or 10 MAR Paul Duffy, Michial Hickmott and Greg Holt in A Tribute to St. Patricks Day March 10, 4 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road. Admission: $15, includes wine and cheese reception. Information: 371-4974 or ComMunity CALendar The best of upcoming EVENTS 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:

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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 JUST HOW LONG IS THAT SHARK GONNA HANG AROUND? SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS