Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
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Sarasota, FL
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Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

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University of Florida
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COVER Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida March 15, 2013 Inside FULL-COURT PRESS COUNTY EYES DOWNTOWN PLANS A FLORIDA-FRIENDLY OPTION




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 have had the pleasure of knowing Stan Zimmerman for about ve years, but it seems we have known each other much longer than that. Sometimes you meet people with whom you have an instant connection, and you feel they have been part of your lives far longer than they actually have. Stan had been covering Sarasota County for several months when I traded places, as I like to say, with longtime Pelican Press Editor Anne Johnson in May 2008. (Instead of retiring, as she had every right to do, Anne was eager to stay on part-time as associate editor; I do not know what I would have done without her.) I learned early on that Stan is a jewel of a journalist. He always makes deadline, he always keeps me updated on any changes regarding the stories he plans to turn in each week and he has an incredible store of knowl edge about this community. When we started the News Leader we could think of no better person to cover Sarasota City Government. Fortunately, he was willing to do that. No matter what is going on in the city, we trust Stans take on things above the reports of all others. The institutional knowledge he has is too rare a thing these days, with veteran jour nalists having been downsized everywhere. Only when you have been in a community a long time, as he has and taken in all the comings and goings with a discerning eye can you truly understand the new news as it happens. Although news publications as a practice do not tout the gifts of their staff members, I am pleased to utilize this space from time to time to do so. A publication is its staff. Without ours, how would you know what is really going on? Editor and Publisher WELCOME


FULL-COURT PRESS A FLORIDA-FRIENDLY OPTION NEWS & COMMENTARY FULL-COURT PRESS 8 Environmental groups step up their opposition to proposed Sarasota 2050 overhaul Cooper Levey-Baker COUNTY EYES DOWNTOWN PLANS 13 The County Commission next week will revisit a 2003 agreement with the city regarding future property needs Stan Zimmerman A FLORIDA-FRIENDLY OPTION 17 The County Commission has asked staff once again to research the potential for using chickees as bus shelters and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars Rachel Brown Hackney LAWSUITS AND POTENTIAL SUITS 23 The City Commission on Monday is expected to deal with repercussions of challenges from Citizens for Sunshine and open the way for Walmart legal action Stan Zimmerman AND THEN THERE WERE THREE 28 Analysis: City voters send Chapman, Atwell and Dorfman to the nals Stan Zimmerman ON THE LEGISLATIVE FRONT 32 While a bill that would give local governments control over regulating smoking has advanced, the proposal for a statewide domestic partnership registry remains stalled Rachel Brown Hackney LOOKING GOOD 34 Most of Sarasota Countys latest economic data shows positive trends, especially in Tourist Development Tax collections and the countys portfolio Rachel Brown Hackney BULLET CHANGES LIFE FOREVER 38 Courageous couple speaks out for gun control Vicki Chatley ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL 42 A petition to restrict parking on the south side of Siesta Keys Avenida de Mayo will be scheduled for a County Commission agenda Rachel Brown Hackney THE SOUND AND THE FURY 47 A county staff study in Siesta Village reveals that placement of speakers in a restaurant and the design of two buildings has exacerbated noise problems Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 53 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Chillounge Night Sarasota Robert Hackney Sarasota Leisure: The Orioles Dugout Norman Schimmel


THE MONTH OF PROUST ASK OTUS OPINION EDITORIAL 63 Legislatures annual Misogyny Fest in full swing COMMENTARY 66 No rest for the wicked David Staats SARASOTA LEISURE THE MONTH OF PROUST 71 Proust Project Sarasota celebrates 100th anniversary of Swanns Way Tyler Whitson ASK OTUS 76 Putter the Prairie Dog remains safe and well at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, where many deserving animals can be adopted Otus Rufous SIESTA SEEN 85 Stormwater project bid coming to the County Commission March 19; Village crosswalk lighting report due at any time; Adopt-A-Road effort nets record turnout Rachel Brown Hackney ARTS BRIEFS 90 RELIGION BRIEFS 94 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 97 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 98 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080


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O ppo sition to developer-proposed changes to Sarasota Countys 2050 plan may have been minimal so far, but environmental groups and their allies are making a big push to educate their members and press the County Commis sion to keep the land-use program intact. Linda Jones, the chairwoman of the Mana tee-Sarasota Sierra Club says even her highly engaged mem bers do not know the ins and outs of 2050, and that it is a chal lenge to inform them. That makes sense. Not many people have the time or patience to read 73-page land-use planning documents. But those 73 pages are important: They lay out a series of rules intended to encourage village-style neighborhood development in stead of urban sprawl. Those regulations have been under attack by deve lopers, who say they are so restrictive that instead of produc ing smart growth, they have led to no growth. While more than 7,000 new units have been approved under 2050 guidelines in the de cade since th e plan A partner with the county in the promotion of the Celery Fields as a tourist destination east of Sarasota, the Sarasota Audubon Society also is taking a stand against pro-development changes to the 2050 plan. Photo by Rachel Hackney ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS STEP UP THEIR OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED SARASOTA 2050 OVERHAUL FULL-COURT PRESS The way theyre worded, theyre getting rid of everything. Thats what the developers are trying to do. Linda Jones Chairwoman Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 9 The Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club website offers a two-page statement about its opposition to changes to the Sarasota 2050 plan. Image courtesy Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 10 was rst implemented, only one new project, Neal Communities Grand Palm, has launched. Last fall, in a series of meetings with county staffers, developers submitted 38 proposed changes to 2050, changes that opponents ar gue would eviscerate the plan. Jones says it is hard getting the word out about how important it is to protect 2050, but she is trying. The Sierra Club is putting a state ment about the issue on the front page of its newsletter. A slightly different version of that newslet ter piece appears on the Sierra Club website, and it unsurprisingly frets about the changes potential consequences for the environment: Sarasotas beautiful natural habitat and open spaces are integral to our high quality of life and we must protect them for economic and aesthetic reasons. The proposed changes have an enormous price tag in terms of scal costs, environmental degradation, air pollution, and loss of wildlife hab itat. T he Sierra Club calls on the coun ty to, among other things, retain all of 2050s open space stipulations and to not allow lakes or developed spaces such as golf cours es to be used to meet these require ments. One of the develop ers 38 recommen dations is to allow them to classify lakes as open spac es so those bodies of water count toward preservation minimums. That is just one ex ample of how the proposals might signicant ly degrade 2050, Jones says. The way theyre worded, theyre getting rid of everything, she says. Thats what the developers are trying to do. The Sarasota Audubon Society is also ofcial ly opposed to any changes. The board passed a resolution recommending that the county leave the plan alone. Conservation Chairman Wade Matthews says Audubon does not have a problem with minor tweaks that may be need ed to x technical aws in the plan. If there are some little twitches that dont change any thing substantive, we would consider them, he adds. But that is not what is on the table, he argues. In a piece he wrote for his groups newslet ter, he says the 38 modications would gut Sarasota 2050, and that builders want to re turn to their old practice of getting the County Commission to al low exceptions to the Comprehen sive Plan for al most any piece of sprawl they want to build. The article calls on Audubon mem bers to attend the countys open house events on the 2050 debate the second of which will be held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday, March 20, at Twin Lakes Park. The Sarasota 2050 plan includes numerous de nitions relative to provisions for development and open spaces. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 11 Matthe ws sa ys that taken as a whole, the pro posed changes would lead to greater densi ty, less green space, narrower corridors and buffers, as well as a host of other problems: fewer mixed neighborhoods, less scal neu trality, wider roads, less verication of com pliance and more. With all that in mind, Matthews this week signed onto an alternative set of 22 2050 rec ommendations, each intended to strength en the plan. One rec ommendation, for example, would de crease the maximum density from ve units of developed [acre] to four, with the existing bonus of one unit per acre for additional af fordable housing. The document claims such a move would reduce the excessive impact of the urban developments in rural lands. A team of folks concerned about the devel opers 2050 proposals including Matthews and Jones met with county staff last week to discuss their opposition. Jones says the employees were responsive. One particular objection was simple: the formatting of the list of proposed changes. Jones points out the document does not make clear which devel opers were consulted, or that the suggestions did not come from the countys Planning and Development Services department. While some ghting the 2050 changes are pes simistic about their odds, Matthews believes the changes can be defeated. I dont think this is a done deal by any means, he says. I think theres a decent chance to ght these, a quite decent chance. Lourdes Ramirez, president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associa tions feels the same way. Ramirez attached her name to the counter-proposal to strength en 2050 and is working to publicize the issue. I talked to several of my members during our neighborhood expo, she tells the News Leader and they have a general idea of what its all about. Theyre talking about develop ment east of 75 and ur ban sprawl got it. But theyre not diving deep into planning jargon. Were relying on you to get into the nitty-gritty, they told Ramirez. So while your average Sarasotan may not grasp the nuances of how to properly dictate buffer sizes, Ramirez says people are able to understand what is at stake, and she thinks that will make a difference. Im optimistic; I really am, she says. Im not happy with the County Commission at all, and I know you cant control what they think, but when they see the opposition they will be pretty surprised. Catch the nal Sarasota 2050 open house 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20; Green Building Conference Room, Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. To join the countys Planning and Develop ment Services email mailing list for updates about 2050, send your contact information to % I dont think this is a done deal by any means. I think theres a decent chance to ght these [changes], a quite decent chance. Wade Matthews Conservation Chairman Sarasota Audubon Society


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 12 The FOCUS ON FLORIDA Conversation Series is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. F o g a r tyvi l le COMMUNITY MEDIA AND ARTS CENTER CONTACT AT ( 941 ) 894-6469 WSLR OR INFO@WSLR.ORG SARASOTA CHAPTER ACLU: Election reform will definitely be on the table during this years Legislative session in Tallahassee. Come join the conversation with representatives of three groups that have it at the top of their priorities list. Sarasotas Own Community SARASOTA BRANCH OF THE 6pm Thursday, March 28th Program Moderator is COOPER LEVY-BAKER, Associate Editor Sarasota News Leader SUSIE COPELAND Manatee NAACP, President PAT PRICE Voter Service Chair --LWVSC for the past 15 plus years DONNA CUBIT-SWOYER Board Secretary for Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE) 6pm Thursday, March 28th Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services


In the summer of 2003, Sarasota County lev eled an ultimatum to the City of Sarasota: Give us what we want, or were pulling out. Faced with the prospect of losing the county seat, the Sarasota city commissioners capitu lated. The decision cost the residents of the city at least $30 million in bonds to build a new police headquarters, because the county wanted the land under the old building. The giveaway was set in stone on July 15, 2003 with a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The county agrees to satisfy its facilities mas ter plan for Court and Administration needs within the downtown judicial complex area, and the City agrees to provide the county with the police facili ty site ready to build, the document says. It is a sore that has not totally healed, and next week the County Commission will hold The old Sarasota Police Department headquarters on Ringling Boulevard was demolished in the spring of 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COUNTY COMMISSION NEXT WEEK WILL REVISIT A 2003 AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY REGARDING FUTURE PROPERTY NEEDS COUNTY EYES DOWNTOWN PLANS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor I like to say demographics are destiny. Were starting to grow again. And despite what some people say, government is going to have to get bigger, too. Randall Reid Administrator Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 14 a discussion about its future space needs in the city. Meanwhile, the old police station site lies fallow, a reminder every day of the tactics of former County Administrator Jim Ley. The decade-old MOU also puts the city on the hook for $4 million to participate in nancing shared parking to support the expanded court facilities, the Citys Payne Park and vicinity needs, providing up to 300 additional spaces but not to exceed $4,000,000. The document provided a certain date to ter minate the citys Community Redevelopment Agency and its tax-increment nancing dis trict in 2016. The so-called TIF district has allowed the city to pour millions into improv ing the downtown area. The county staff is alr eady planning on how to use the money after 2016, when the tax increment nancing scheme stops. REVISITING THE ISSUE Only 10 years have elapsed since then-Mayor Lou Ann Palmer says she reluctantly signed the MOU. But most of the major players are gone from the stage. So when city and county staffers sat down on March 7 to look at the countys downtown space needs, there was no institutional memory at the table. County Administrator Randall Reid informed the county commissioners of the meeting by email. The meeting conrmed the historic de sire to keep Sarasota government in the down The new Sarasota Police Department is located on Adams Lane, near the courthouse complex in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 15 town, but man y of the 2003 issues in the MOU remain unresolved or may no longer even be felt timely, he wrote. A second meeting is being set up to further discuss the unresolved items and alignment of existing and future ef forts, he added. Later Reid and City Manager Tom Barwin took a stroll through downtown together, looking at ways to heal an old wound. Were both new here, said Reid. And theres not a lot of staff that were here at the time. As a new manager, Im trying to determine our status. The county commissioners on Wednesday, March 20, will hear a staff presentation on the countys space needs downtown for the next 30 years. And they may consider a city plea to extend the TIF plan for another 30 years. DEVELOPMENT PRESSURE BUILDING An old proposal to build a hotel on the parking lot at Washington Boulevard and Main Street is coming back in this context as well. The MOU gave the air rights over the parking lot to the city until 2018. So any hotel on that property would need county approval for the land deal, and possibly city approval for the air rights. City Attorney Bob Fournier says the air rights were never memorialized beyond the MOU. Do they start one inch off the ground? he asked. However, the city would need to approve any site plan, plus a land-use and zoning change from Government to Downtown Core. The hotel proposal predates me, said Reid. There is a proposed property swap, instead of selling it for cash, for a building in the Sara sota School of Architecture. Unlike his predecessor, Ley, Reid says he is a fan of county seats in cities. He comes from the county administrators position in Alach ua County, where the seat is in Gainesville. During the Wednesday meeting, he said, Ill demonstrate we can have most of our neces sary facilities downtown. Were looking at a 30-year window. Reid noted that virtually all government build ings are good for more than 30 years, so the planning horizon for facilities must be at least that long. I like to say demographics are destiny. Were starting to grow again, he said. And despite what some people say, government is going to have to get bigger, too. % County Administrator Randall Reid/File photo


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With staff having told the Sarasota County Commission the cost of a new Sarasota Coun ty Area Transit (SCAT) bus shelter is about $40,000, Commission er Joe Barbetta has asked County Admin istrator Randall Reid to put renewed effort into checking out the feasibility of a less ex pensive option: chick ee huts. Ba rbetta raised the point again during the commissions March 5 regular meeting in Venice. Referring to chickees, he said, They can be put up very inexpen sively, and the permit tings not a problem. He understood, he added, that the C ity of OLearys Tiki Bar and Grill on the bayfront in downtown Sarasota is one large chickee. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAS ASKED STAFF ONCE AGAIN TO RESEARCH THE POTENTIAL FOR USING CHICKEES AS BUS SHELTERS AND SAVING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A FLORIDA-FRIENDLY OPTION What could be more Florida than a chickee? And what would be better than getting people out of the weather? Jack Gurney Former Member Tree Advisory Council By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 18 Sarasota w as considering using a couple on Old Bradenton Road. A chickee, Barbetta pointed out, is Flori da-friendly [and] theres nothing that says the bus shelters have to be the Plexiglas steelframe shelters that they are. By law, a Miccosukee or Seminole Indian con tractor can erect the open-air chickees, which are exempt from local building regulations. They are considered historic structures. One well-known example of such facilities is at OLearys Tiki Bar and Grill at Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota. In an interview with The Sarasota News Lead er, Barbetta said he had referred the initiative to st aff about three years ago and never real ly got a report back on the feasibility. During an update about SCAT operations on Jan. 29, Glama Carter, the systems manager, told the board the cost for each new bus shel ter would be between $30,000 and $40,000, with an annual maintenance expense of about $4,000. Im shocked at that, Barbetta said at the time. A Feb. 14 memo to the commission from Car ter and Isaac Brownman, acting director of capital projects in the Public Works Depart ment, noted, Bus stops require a number of improvements associated with their con struction. Depending on the characteristics The bar at OLearys Tiki Bar and Grill in Bayfront Park is a chickee. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 19 of the spec ic locations (for example, open vs. closed drainage), the amount or degree to which these improvements are required can signicantly impact project costs and the timeline to complete the project. One recently constructed group of eight shel ters had an average cost of $61,911 per stop, the memo continued. Those projects faced immediate hurdles, [including] right-of-way acquisition challenges, federal and State proj ect solicitation requirements, and other issues which increased costs and time beyond what would be expected for a project this size, the memo noted. Additionally, they included substantial side walk construction that is not typical with most bus stop projects, the memo said. A BETTER ALTERNATIVE Barbetta credits Jack Gurney, a former Sara sota mayor and longtime community journal ist, with the idea for the chickees at bus shel ters. In an interview with the News Leader Gurney said he came up with the idea when he was serving on the Sarasota Tree Advisory Coun cil about three years ago. That groups discus sions about trees along public rights of way evolved during one meeting into talk about the fact that there are many, many bus stops that are no more than a stick by the road, Gurney pointed out, referring to the signs for the SCAT stops. Rarely did they provide adequate shelter for people, Gurney added. A man waits in a standard Sarasota County Area Transit bus shelter at Westeld Southgate Mall. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 20 That was one reason he felt the SCAT sys tem never had gained wide spread popu larity, he noted. Youre trying to convince peo ple to ride a bus instead of drive a car, he said, but the lack of shelters means they usually have to stand in the sun or rain while they wait for the bus. Moreover, Gur ney said, Peo ple are standing in the dirt and theyre getting their feet chewed up by ants. Gurney added that he and a couple of other Tree Advisory Council members decided to drive all the way to Naples one day to check out the types of bus shelters erected in other communities. All of them look an awful lot like steel and glass, he pointed out. People go inside those things and theyre just going to cook. Shortly after the group took that road trip, Gurney said, he was in Deland, near Dayto na, when he spotted really modest little wooden shelters with cross-ventilation. That brought back to mind, he said, a sto ry he had written some time earlier about a proposal for a chickee at the Casey Key Fish House. It was a topic he had covered as a re porter for the Pelican Press He began won dering, he add ed, Why cant you have a lit tle chickee [at a bus shelter]? Theyre inex pensive and easy to main tain. Gurney said at the time, he estimated the cost of a chickee at $3,000, though that would not include a poured concrete pad for the oor or handi cap-accessibility. During the March 5 County Commission meet ing, Barbetta pegged the cost per chickee shelter in the range of $3,500 to $5,000, built and installed. He pointed out that was a lot cheaper than the $40,000 estimate from staff. Gurney noted that a chickee generally needs a new thatched roof every six or seven years, but the county probably could factor that into the overall bid specications. In fact, he said, the contractor who built the chickee complex at OLearys weaves new fronds in on an as-needed basis. A Feb. 14 memo to the County Commission outlines expenses for recent bus shelters. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 21 During the March 5 County Commission discussion, Commissioner Nora Patterson responded to Barbettas suggestion with the comment, Frankly, I think [chickees are] cool looking. However, she asked how sturdy they are in storms. I gather they dont just immediate ly blow away or theyd be less popular, but it would be nice to get some information on that, she added. Reid said he could do that. Commission Vice Chairman Charles Hines concurred with Barbetta that the staff cost es timate for shelters was a surprise. Its worth exploring to see other options that could be doable, he agreed. One other possibility, Patterson suggested, was to work with commerc ial establishments t o ge t permission to construct regular bus shelters on rights of way instead of having to buy the property. After all, she pointed out, bus shelters serving businesses are a boost to the owners. Theres got to be a better way than spending $40,000, she added. The chickee is a cheaper opportunity [and] we can get em up quickly, Barbetta told the News Leader on March 12. What could be more Florida than a chick ee? Gurney said, and what would be better than getting people out of the weather. The keep-it-simple philosophy is obviously the best. Well see what happens, Barbetta told the News Leader % I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Full Service Salon 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota


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One old lawsuit, one new lawsuit and one like ly lawsuit are on the Sarasota City Commis sion agenda for March 18. The old and new suits are driven by Citizens for Sunshine, while the likely lawsuit will come from the Walmart Corp. A task force dubbed The Working Group was established by City Manager Tom Barwin to look for quick solutions to homelessness in the city. But Citizens for Sunshine led suit, charging the group needed to operate under Floridas Public Meetings Laws. 12th Judicial Circuit Judge Lee Haworth agreed, and he en joined any further meetings of the group. On Monday the City Commission will be asked to formally create a Homeless Advisory Task Force and then decide what aims the group should pursue. The original goal was to re duce the number of unsheltered persons liv ing/sleeping outdoors on public and/or private properties by 50 percent through mobile ser vice delivery to those homeless willing and able to receive available services aimed to ward a stable lifestyle and housing and em ployment whenever possible. Downtown noise issues will be back before the City Commission on Monday, March 18. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY COMMISSION ON MONDAY IS EXPECTED TO DEAL WITH REPERCUSSIONS OF CHALLENGES FROM CITIZENS FOR SUNSHINE AND OPEN THE WAY FOR WALMART LEGAL ACTION LAWSUITS AND POTENTIAL SUITS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 24 Barwi ns initial proposal called for one fulltime and two part-time caseworkers. Includ ing equipment, benets and supplies, the tab would run about $150,000. He appointed Sara sota Police Capt. Paul Sutton to spearhead the task forces efforts to seek immediate stop-gap solutions, particularly dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues, according to a Nov. 30, 2012 city press release. A budget amendment later in the evening of March 18 would allow the city to accept $100,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and add $20,000 from Sara sota County plus $20,000 from the citys coffers to create the program. As the city wrestles with resolving the old Sunshine suit, a n ew one surfaced Tuesday, March 12; it also was led by Citizens for Sun shine. It alleges the scoring and ranking of the contractors who bid on the $7.3 million State Street parking garage were changed in viola tion of the states open meetings laws. Using the Public Records Act, Citizens for Sunshine obtained scoresheets ranking the bidders that indicated bid scores were crossed out and altered, the group said in a media release. The organization added that the win ner A.D. Morgan of Tampa did not even make the short list until after the scores were changed. The company received additional points after the scores were tallied because a city staffer claims the points should have been awarded during the [open-to-the-public] committee meeting, but it was inadvertently overlooked, according to the lawsuit. The City Commission will consider a budget amendment March 18 to create a program to aid homeless people in the community. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 25 The city is holding an advertised meeting of the ranking committee on Friday, March 15, offering a full explanation of the problem and then making the appropriate corrections. We want to do in the sunshine what didnt hap pen in the sunshine, said City Attorney Bob Fournier. He hopes the Friday session will serve as a cure meeting, which will be doc umented before the judge when the case gets heard. Citizens for Sunshine does not charge the bids were rigged, only that the nal tally vaulting A.D. Morgan into rst place should have oc curred at a regular and advertised meeting of the bid award committee. The group noted that its suit was led, coincidentally, during Sunshine Law Week the annual celebration of Floridas widely respected and emulated public records and open meetings laws. W hile the third lawsuit on commissioners minds has not been led, that is only because the last bit of paperwork is on the agenda to be completed Monday afternoon. It is wide ly expected the Walmart Corp. will challenge the City Commissions denial of the compa nys plans to build a 98,000-square-foot store open 24/7/365. The Planning Board approved the site plan 3-2, but its decision was appealed to the City Commission, which voted to deny the approval by the same margin. At Mondays meeting, the commissioners will be asked to adopt a resolution memorializing their 3-2 vote to deny the Walmart request. Once it is signed by Mayor Suzanne Atwell, Walmart will have 30 days to appeal the deci sion to circuit court. The City Commission listens to citizens public comments during a meeting last fall. Photo by Nor man Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 26 THE NOIS E COMMITTEE At their last meeting, the commissioners gave the green light to staffers to begin working up the requirements for an ad hoc citizens advi sory committee to study the existing Noise Ordinance and make recommendations for any changes. Barwin is recommending ve to seven mem bers for the panel; they would report back to the City Commission within 75 days. The com missioners could name the members, or they could allow Barwin to pick them. In a memo accompanying the agenda, Barwin said he had contacted ve people with an in terest in the issue, including Mort Siegal, Rich Swier Jr., Peter Fanning, Jill Kaplan and Jay Sparr. The committee, which would be governed by Floridas Sunshine and Public Records laws, would meet about once a week before return ing with its recommendations, if any. At present two city regulations control out door sound. One part of the zoning ordi nance bans amplied sound of any sort; the city has suspended enforcement of that under threat of a constitutional legal challenge. The second regulation is the so-called Noise Ordinance, which says entertainment cannot be louder than 75 decibels. It also stipulates the hours when music can be played. Many residents of downtown condominiums have objected to outdoor noise, while patrons of downtown establishments are urging a relax ation of the regulations to promote more vi tality downtown. Establishment of an ad hoc committee would push the issue off the city commissioners plates until after the May elections. Speaking of noise: The city commissioners Monday are expected to pass on second read ing a legally defensible ordinance regulating so-called boom cars. If noise from an auto can be heard 50 feet away, that is too loud under the new regulation. MOTE GOES TO COLLEGE Additionally on Monday, the commissioners will be asked to modify the lease of Mote Ma rine Laboratory to allow creation of college classrooms and science labs. The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee wants to build educational facilities at the Ann and Al fred Goldstein Marine Mammal Center. The $991,000 project would create two sci ence laboratories. One would be clean for organic chemistry experiments; the other would be a dirty lab for ecology education. The classrooms, as well as a study area and two small ofces, would be added on the sec ond oor of the marine mammal center. The Mote complex is located in Ken Thompson Park on City Island. While thinking about that neighborhood, the commissioners will hear a plan by the Sara sota Sailing Squadron, also located on City Island, to build and manage a kayak storage facility. %


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


The six cand idates who led to run for two at-large City Commission seats have now run for ofce 15 times altogether. Suzanne Atwell, Linda Holland, Pete Theisen and Susan Chap man have each run three times. Richard Dorf man nished his second try this week, leav ing Kelvin Lumpkin as the only virgin in the bunch. When the votes were counted Tuesday eve ning, March 12, three veterans emerged at the top, and they will continue the race to a May 14 nish line. Suzanne Atwell, the cur rent mayor and a retired therapist, will face off against Richard Dorfman, a retired sports executive and Susan Chapman, a practicing attorney and member of the citys Planning Board. More than $80,000 was raised in campaign contributions of $200 or less per person. Dorf man garnered fully half of the total. Corpo rate donations are banned by the city charter. While political action committee contribu tions are allowed, they were miniscule in the race. It was a disappointing fourth-place nish for Holland, a 35-year champion of her Gillespie Park neighborhood. She has run within her district twice against steep odds because District 1 is intentionally drawn to favor (and elect) African-American ca ndidates. Suzette Jones lights a cigar for Richard Dorfman, who marked his third-place nish, which placed him in the runoff. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: CITY VOTERS SEND CHAPMAN, ATWELL AND DORFMAN TO THE FINALS AND THEN THERE WERE THREE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 29 She h oped her name recognition from those prior races would benet her citywide effort. But only 1,531 people marked their ballots for her, or about 14 percent of the vote. Dorfman ran third and made it into the nals with 2,311 votes, or 21 percent. In other words, Dorfman spent more than four times as much as Holland, but he won only one-third more votes. TROLLING THE PARTIES Campaign parties for city primary elections can be notoriously brief. Needless to say, the losers close up shop pretty early. The victors know the hard work has just begun. (I visited them all, and I said I would call each of them the next day. I left messages, and three returned my calls Lumpkin, Atwell and Chapman.) There is no professional staff to drink late into the night, the food is seldom tasty enough to cut through the thrills and agonies and almost everybody has a job in the morning. With that said, the vote for Best Party has to go to Kel vin Lumpkin at the Toasted Mango on Fifth Street. Because it is open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant was reserved for Lump kins supporters alone. There were plenty of seats, the noise was low and it had the feel of a gathering of classmates. While he came in fth, with 1,440 votes (13 percent), a wide coalition of people attended Lumpkins party. In his rst outing, he came within 100 votes of Holland, a city icon. But I had to keep moving. The second oor of the Broadway Bar was Holland Country. Pi zza, of course, is the re Linda Holland put on a brave face moments after the initial results came in, showing her in fourth place. She was not going to make it into the runoff. Photo by Stan Zimmerman At her party in Caragiulos on Palm Avenue, Suzanne Atwell said her rst-place nish would frame the runoff. Final vote totals showed she nished second. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 30 located restaurant icons staple. I arrived just as the rst returns came in: not good news for Holland supporters. She conceded immediate ly and said it would be her last electoral foray. Theisen said he was not holding a party, de spite his 434 votes, or 7 percent. Theisen, Holland and Lumpkin racked up 31 percent of the total vote. The other two-thirds of the votes were split among the three win ners. As the three winners campaign for the two seats available, the fate of those more than 3,000 votes received by Theisen, Holland and Lumpkin will make the decisive difference. The campaign subsequently is about reaching those voters. With that in mind, I headed downtown to the relocated Patricks Restaurant on Main Street. Richard Dorfman was holding court there in a jammed, shoulder-to-shoulder mash-up, cele brating his 2,311 votes. Unlike the Mango and the Broadway with private spaces, Patricks was full of evening diners as well as Dorfman supporters. You needed a machete to get to the bar. I congratulated him on third place, and moved on to Palm Avenue. Suzanne Atwell came in second with 2,606 votes, or 24 percent. By now I had an idea of how the vote had been split. As I walked into the party in the bar area at Caragiulos Restaurant, I wondered how a two-consecu tive-term mayor could get only a whisker less than one-quarter of the vote. Kelvin Lumpkin held his party at the Toasted Mango on Fifth Street. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 31 Atwell was ebullien t. Weve framed this elec tion, the three of us, she said. There are three lanes and Ill be in the center one. The nal stop on this election night tour was Word of Mouth on Osprey Avenue for the Su san Chapman party. Without question it was the most eclectic. One man had walked south from Newtown; his hands were freezing and his smile was gleaming. Of all the parties, this was also the most inclusive, from big-bucks supporters to those scraping by. Did it reect the 2,705 votes Chapman received? Or the roughly $15,000 in campaign contributions? For sure it reected a potpourri. CHOICES AHEAD One key element now is endorsements. Three candidates pulled nearly one-third of the total vote but did not make it to the nals. While endorsements of losing candidates do not automatically move voters, they can. So who endorses whom may play a role per haps a deciding role in the May game of odd-person-out. Three candidates are in the race, but only two will win the seats they cov et. Holland and Lumpkin collectively received almost 27 percent of the tally, nearly 3,000 votes. And somebody an unnamed some body is already asking for those votes. One candidate has reached out to me, said Lumpkin. Well talk. Dorfman told me on March 14 that he is the candidate who has reached out. Lumpkin could not be reached to conrm that. Both are registered Republicans, while the two women rem aining in the race are registered Demo crats. Neither Dorfman nor Holland returned my calls. Old-timers are probably asking, Why May? It used to be April when the City Commission runoff was held. State law changed the date to give serving military personnel in remote bases in Afghanistan time to receive, mark and return their ballots so their votes could be counted. Closer to home, a new phenomenon is rising. Is it unique to Sarasota? No, it is probably universal, as social media begins to play a bigger role in local elections: Blogs with anon ymous writers making accusations, akin to electronic whispering campaigns. It is easy to do and hard to stop the kind of stuff that makes for dirty campaigns. In a Sarasota disinclined to Twitter, more in volved with Facebook for grandkids and aloof from political hate-blogs, the potential for a serious impact from attempted smears may seem remote. But if such tactics prove suc cessful, they will intensify. I am happy to report all of the candidates are on speaking terms. They have lived through countless and endless forums (fori?), learned from each other and begun to build relation ships. Make no mistake: Running for City Commission win or lose makes you a community leader, a person of gravitas. Each and every one of the six candidates to day stands taller in our community than the rest of us. %


Local governments including Sarasota County seeking control over smoking reg ulations on their property have seen further progress on a bill they are supporting in the Florida Senate. However, supporters of a statewide domestic partnership registry are in stall mode, with a hearing on a bill introduced again in this ses sion by state Sen. Eleanor Sobel having been temporarily postponed this week. A spokeswoman in Sobels ofce told The Sarasota News Leader she did not know when the bill would be brought up again for action in the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, which Sobel chairs. On the tobacco front: Marsha Hosack, man ager of community and intergovernmental re lations for Sarasota County, reported to the County Commission on March 7 that SB 258 the bill to allow smoking restrictions passed the Senate Health Policy Committee by a 6-3 vote. She added in a March 7 email that the bill in cluded an amendment providing that local governments may not add smoking restric tions to pre-existing leases of a business lo cated on public property without the lessees consent. That amendment was made part of the bill at the request of the Hotel and Restaurant Asso ciation, Hosack added. At that point, she continued, the bill had just one more committee hearing to clear before going to the full Senate. That remaining hear ing is before the Community Affairs Commit tee, she noted. Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, cited a prohibition against smoking on Siesta Public Beach as big factor in naming it his No. 1 beach in the U.S. in 2011. Photo by Norman Schimmel WHILE A BILL THAT WOULD GIVE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CONTROL OVER REGULATING SMOKING HAS ADVANCED, THE PROPOSAL FOR A STATEWIDE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY REMAINS STALLED ON THE LEGISLATIVE FRONT By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 33 Nonetheless, Hosack reported, the companion version of the bill in the Florida House HB 439 has not yet been put on the agenda of the House Health Quality Committee. Efforts are focused on getting the bill a hearing in the House. Sarasota County stopped enforcing smoking prohibitions on its property after a December ruling by a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge in Sarasota said local governments did not have authority under the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to take such action. The bills in the cur rent legislative session were designed to rem edy the situation. MORE REGISTRIES Although the statewide domestic partnership registry effort is on hold, supporters have been cheered this week by relevant local gov ernment action. On Monday morning, March 11, the Venice City Council unanimously voted approval on a rst reading of an ordinance creating a registry in that municipality. Former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken She lin, who has been advocating for such regis tries in the county, told the News Leader he was pleased that no council members raised any concerns about the issue. No members of the public spoke in opposition to it, either, he said. That same day, the Leon County Commission voted unanimously to establish a registry, which will go into effect May 1. The City of Sarasota established a registry last fall. Jan Thornburg, the public informa tion ofcer for the city, told the News Leader that 124 couples had registered with the city through March 12. % State Sen. Eleanor Sobel/Contributed photo Local governments are hoping legislative action this year will give them formal control over tobacco use on their property. Photo by Eldinaldo do Espirito Santo via Wikimedia Commons


The num ber of building permits issued by Sarasota County for single-family home con struction came close to doubling for both De cember and January compared to the same months a year ago, according to data compiled by the countys Ofce of Financial Planning. Likewise, the value of that construction has continued to climb. In January, the 65 permits granted represented $12,286,000 in construction, compared to 35 permits with a value of $7,859,000 in January 2012, the gures show. The cou nty issued 66 permits in December, compared to 34 in the same month of 2011. The value of construction in December 2012 was put at $10,926,000, a 110.3 percent in crease from the $5,195,000 gure for the per mits issued in December 2011. At the same time, house and condominium sales remained strong for those two months, the data shows. In January, 626 units sold, a 22 percent increase from the January 2012 gure of 513. The median sale price also was up 1.7 percent year-over-year, at $170,049, according to the Sarasota Asso ciation of Realtors. Sarasota County staff received an application on Feb. 7 for construction of a new restaurant with fewer than 100 seats at 2407 Bee Ridge Road, an example of increased development in the commu nity this year. Image courtesy Sarasota County MOST OF SARASOTA COUNTYS LATEST ECONOMIC DATA SHOWS POSITIVE TRENDS, ESPECIALLY IN TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX COLLECTIONS AND THE COUNTYS PORTFOLIO LOOKING GOOD By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 35 In January 2012, the median sale price was $167,193. Houses and condos stayed on the market an average of 154 days in January, compared to 192 days in January 2012, the data shows. The countys Tourist Development Tax reve nue remains another bright spot in the econ omy, according to a report. The latest gures from the Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce show the December collections totaling just under $1 million, at $996,915.53. That was a 16 percent increase over the $855,638.54 collected in December 2011. (The December 2012 gure was the lat est available.) It was very, very strong, Virginia Haley, pres ident of Visit Sarasota County, said of the most recent number. Weve broken [tourism revenue] records now for two years, she added in a telephone inter view with The Sarasota News Leader At some point, she noted, if tourism contin ues to stay this strong, new hotels will be a necessity. Already, she said, a new Comfort Suites is go ing up on Clark Road, and the transformation of the former Holiday Inn in Venice into a Ra mada Inn has been completed. Its beautiful, she said of the latter property. Theyve done an amazing job. Since the Oct. 1 start of the countys scal year, Siesta Key has collected 23.35 percent of all the Tourist Development Tax revenue, according to the latest gures available. Graph courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 36 Hale y also pointed to the partnership between the Baltimore Orioles and Visit Sarasota Coun ty, an element of the agreement the county signed with the team to bring it to Sarasota for spring training. The TV and ballpark advertising in Baltimore and its environs has been a real boon to us, Haley said, adding that she and her staff have noticed not only a big increase in the number of people from that metropolitan area check ing out the Visit Sarasota County website but also in the number coming to this community. So you can really see [the agreement] paying off. The January economic data from the coun ty showed gross sales for hotels and motels up 23.3 percent compared to the gure in the same month of 2012: $28.36 million versus $22.99 million. Yet another boost for Sarasota came through internationally known aerialist Nik Wallendas high-wire walk across the bayfront on Jan. 29. Mayor Suzanne Atwell told the City Commis sion audience on March 4 that Haley had let A full house at Ed Smith Stadium watches the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Yankees in late February. Photo by Norman Schimmel`


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 37 her know the wa lk generated 167,807,055 me dia impressions (persons learning about the event through the print media or online). Jen nifer Mitchell, marketing director for Circus Sarasota which featured Wallenda during its shows this season pointed out that the walk captured an additional 29 million broad cast media impressions. Circus Sarasota had projected 50 million me dia impressions altogether, Mitchell told the City Commission audience, so [we] blew that out of the water four times over. Wallenda walked a wire between a crane on the bayfront and the Marina Tower condo minium complex. His goal, he had said at the outset of his planning, was to put the beauty of the city in the spotlight. Among other data in the latest county eco nomic report: Gross retail sales were up 3.2 percent yearover-year in January. In December 2012 (the latest month for which gures were available), the labor force saw a 2.5 percent increase in the num ber of people holding jobs compared to De cember 2011. The gure for those employed was 149,345. Additionally, the unemploy ment rate for the county decreased by 20.6 percent from December 2011 to December 2012: 12,627 people who reported looking for work compared to 15,9 10 a year earlier. Unemployment claims were down 22 per cent in January compared to January 2012: 910 versus 1,167, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Just about all of our economic numbers are pretty impressive except for gas tax [reve nue], County Commissioner Christine Robin son told the News Leader Unfortunately, we mostly dont see the budgetary impact from these numbers until a year later, but it really looks like a bright and shiny future! The February report notes the county col lected $16,133,203 for all ve of its gas taxes in the 2011 scal year; the collections for FY 2012 were $15,623,475. By the end of January 2012, the county had collected $2,451,882 of that tax revenue; by Jan. 31 this year, the gure was $2,232,358. Along with the economic data, the latest Monthly Pooled Investment Report, released by County Clerk of Court Karen Rushing, showed the countys portfolio balance at the end of February at $913,427,231. That was down from about $920 million in January, but the average for the four months from Au gust to November 2012 was approximately $835,750,000. Since December, the month-end balance has remained above $900 million. % Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night


Life as she knew it was over. That was how Capt. Mark Kelly described the moment his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Gif fords, was struck by a bullet during a shoot ing rampage while she was making an ap pearance in her home district of Tucson, AZ. The bullet entered the skull above the eye, traveled through the brain and exited at the back of her head. Since that fateful day on Jan. 8, 2011, Gif fords has undergone several operations and remains in therapy. Six bystanders, including a child born on 9/11, lost their lives, while others were wounded. Giffords suffers from aphasia (the total or partial loss of the ability to understand and use words) and sight problems. Walking is difcult and requires assistance. Neverthe Capt. Mark Kelly listens to a question during a media brieng on March 11. Photo by Robert Hackney COURAGEOUS COUPLE SPEAKS OUT FOR GUN CONTROL BULLET CHANGES LIFE FOREVER By Vicki Chatley Contributing Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 39 less, she maintains a positive outlook. Unable to join her husband in Sarasota, she sent a message to the audience to be passionate, be courageous. As a result of their personal experience and similar events, such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Kel ly and Giffords are speaking out in favor of gun control measures. Access to guns is an issue, Kelly said, [and] most important is a universal background check. Noting that it is a complicated issue, Audrey Gonzalez, an illustration senior at Ringling College of Art and Design, presents Capt. Mark Kelly a portrait of himself in his Space Shuttle suit during the media brieng on March 11. A Florida native hailing from Miami, Gonzalez was awarded the Trustee Scholarship for Illustration this year at the college; it recognizes students who exhibit creative talent, good thinking and speaking skills, and who have contributed to the department, school, and community. Photo by Robert Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 40 he said records show the mass-shooting per petrator is often a young white male whos failed in many things and wants to be famous. Kelly bought guns, at least one of which will be turned in to police, to understand from a rst-hand basis how hard or easy it is to buy weapons. He said high capacity magazines and assault weapons are ne for the military, but now anybody can purchase them. Kelly and Giffords are gun owners and strong supporters of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but they believe there are com mon sense things we can do [to] protect people. He suggested citizens interested in gun con trol contact their representatives in Washing ton. He noted when Giffords arrived at her Capitol Hill ofce, she always would ask her staff, What are people calling and writing about? Kelly discussed gun control at a press brieng prior to speaking before a capacity audience Capt. Mark Kelly meets with representatives of the Sarasota area media on March 11. Photo by Rob ert Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 41 Monday, M arch 11, at the Van Wezel Perform ing Arts Hall in Sarasota as part of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall 2013 lecture series. He also touched on the subject during the question-and-answer session at the completion of his prepared remarks. Perhaps best known as an American astronaut and the husband of Giffords, Kelly is also a retired U.S. Navy captain who ew combat missions during the rst Gulf War, a best-sell ing author and a cancer survivor. With the dream of becoming an astronaut, Kelly devised a plan to achieve his goal. Af ter graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1986, he entered training as a na val aviator and then as a navy pilot before be ing selected as an astronaut in 1996. He said he did not begin as a stellar student, but how good you are at the beginning is not an indica tor of how good you can become. Kelly described the most awe-inspiring sight beyond the reach of the planet as seeing the Earth as a big blue marble oating in the blackness of space, and he commented that looking down from that vantage point, one cant really see borders of the various coun tries. Kelly told the audience ying in space is com plicated and dangerous. He presented inter esting details of space ight. Liftoff and, no, Kelly said, the astronauts do not hear that word so familiar to the rest of us but we know when it happens feels like a run away train zooming down the track. The In ternational Space Station is about the size of a football eld, he added. The space shuttle is a glider for landing and it comes down on a single runway at Canaveral with water on both sides. A highlight of his career was attending the 50th anniversary celebration of John Glenns orbital ight, where he was seated between Neil Armstrong, a role model, and Glenn. Kelly also has had an illustrious career. Among the awards he has received are the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Defense Superior Service Medals. He has visited the International Space Station on four missions, one of only two individuals to do so. Interestingly, his rst ight was aboard Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2001, the same craft he commanded on its nal ight in May 2011. Presented with a portrait painted by Ringling College senior Audrey Gonzalez, Kelly noted one of the patches on his jacket was from [his] second ight as pilot on [the shuttle] Dis covery. He plans to hang the painting in his den alongside one of his wife. Currently Kelly is a consultant for SpaceX the company that not only takes cargo to the International Space Station, but can bring it home. He is optimistic about the future of space exploration and the role of private en terprise. Ultimately we have this plan to go to Mars. We can land somebody on Mars now [but] we cant get them back. The lecture series is a fundraising event for the Ringling College Library Association, which is assisting the College in its capital campaign for a new library to support the needs of its 1,400 students. Its students and graduates are the recipients of numerous awards, including the prestigious Oscars presented by the Acad emy of Motion Picture Arts an d Sciences. %


The Sarasota County Commission will have nal say on whether parking should be pro hibited on the south side of Siesta Keys Aveni da de Mayo, following a split Trafc Advisory Council (TAC) vote on the issue March 11. Richard Musior, administrative specialist in the countys Trans portation Planning & Traffic Engineering Ofce, told The Sara sota News Leader he was uncertain when the item would go on a County Commission agenda, but Ryan Mon tague in the Traffic/ Mobility Ofce sa id it typically takes about eight weeks to get something scheduled. Petitioner Marlene Merkle, who lives on Avenida de Mayo, made her case for the park ing change during a presentation to the TAC during its meeting in Venice. After the 2-2 vote, Chairman Frank Domingo explained a tie usually means the same as the denial of a request. However, he added, Im betting this will probably go to the [County Com mission]. The split decision of the TAC members, A county sign was set up on the south side of Avenida de Mayo to alert neighbors and business own ers to the Trafc Advisory Council meeting discussion on March 11. Photo by Rachel Hackney A PETITION TO RESTRICT PARKING ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF SIESTA KEYS AVENIDA DE MAYO WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR A COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL It used to be an exception where we would get a little overow parking, like on the Fourth of July or Siesta Fiesta, but now its basically the rule. Marlene Merkle Resident Siesta Key By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 43 Domingo pointed out, reected a good sam pling of views of her request. On the positive side, he continued, it pushes the discussion for a bigger solution. Merkle has been working for more than a year to bring the matter to the attention of county ofcials. She told the News Leader last week that vehicle parking in the street on Avenida de Mayo has become routine, and it is creating dangerous situations by leaving only one lane open to vehicles using the road. Regarding the staff decision to seek a Coun ty Commission vote, Merkle said in a March 12 interview, Thats one bit of encouraging news. She is hopeful, she added, that the discussion will be scheduled during a meeting in Saraso ta. Its a nightmare in the middle of the sea son, she added, for people to travel to Venice a factor, she felt, in the low turnout of her neighbors at the March 11 TAC meeting. Domingo said he was surprised more speak ers had not asked to appear before the advi sory board that day. Although the TAC has seven current members and one vacancy Merkle told the News Leader she thought another factor in putting the matter before the County Commission was the presence of only four TAC members to hear her request. During the March 11 meeting, Ryan Montague in the Trafc/Mobility Ofce, explained to the TAC members that no parking restrictions ex ist on Avenida de Mayo. While Merkle original A photo by Marlene Merkle shows vehicles exiting the municipal parking lot onto Avenida de Mayo on Siesta Key. Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 44 ly had soug ht a parking prohibition along the entire south side of the street, she was willing to compromise with a ban just from the inter section of Canal Road to the intersection of Avenida de Cortez. When member Ken Swartz asked about ve hicles parking on the grass on the south side of the street, as shown in photos Merkle had provided the TAC, Montague explained that grass was county right of way. So therefore you could drive on it or park on it? Swartz responded. Thats correct, Montague told him. MERKLES COMMENTS In addressing the TAC, Merkle explained she has lived on Avenida de Mayo for 25 years. Three of the four neighbors who had signed her petition seeking the parking restriction have lived there more than 30 years, she pointed out. This photo shows vehicles double-parked on Avenida de Mayo. Contributed photo by Marlene Merkle


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 45 It used to be an exc eption where we would get a little overow parking, like on the Fourth of July or Siesta Fiesta, Merkle said, but now its basically the rule. The trafc and parking have increased signicantly over the years, and theres hardly a season. She added, In fact, there really isnt a season on the key anymore. While she has sympathy for the businesses that need customer parking, Merkle contin ued, and she understands the importance of tourism to the countys economy, she does not understand why a residential street should subsidize parking for businesses. Merkle pointed out, We have very lofty prop erty taxes out there [on Siesta Key], and we dont derive income from their businesses any more than they pay our property taxes. The curbing on the south side of Avenida de Mayo runs from the Canal Road intersection to Avenida de Cortez, she added. I myself wouldnt mind if [the county] would just pro hibit parking in that area, because people ar ent parking off the street; people are parking on the street. She encouraged the TAC members to look at the photos she had provided them. Merkle also pointed out that other side streets directly off Ocean Boulevard do not allow street parking or provide for parking by per mit only, and I just dont know how we got left out of that loop In response to a question, Montague said park ing on the west side of Ocean Boulevard in the Mira Mar Parking District is by permit only, and those permits go only to people oc cupying rental units. Street-side parking is not allowed on the east side of Ocean along other roads, he said. When TAC member Sgt. Darrell Seckendorf of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce asked her when she had taken the photos she had submitted, Merkle replied she had shot them at different times of the year, some during sea son and some out of season. Was there an event going on? Seckendorf asked. No, she responded. It was just a weekend. Pointing out that she works in Venice, she said she often sees cars parked not on the right of way but on the road when she returns home in the evenings. I cant imagine a retruck or an ambulance trying to get by there, she added. When Swartz asked how far the curbing con tinued from the Canal Road intersection, Merkle said she thought the distance was about 40 feet. When he then asked whether it continued be yond the entrance to the municipal parking lot between Avenida de Mayo and Avenida Mad ura, she told him it does. Swartz also asked her whether it is true a grass right of way exists along the curbing. Yes, she said, but people are not parking on the grass; they are parking next to the curb. Some of the grass areas have huge boulders there that residents have put on the right of way, Merkle noted. When Swartz asked about the boulders, she told him they had been in place for years, so


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 46 Im not sure wh o put them there, to be honest, sir. When Domingo then questioned Montague about whether the curb was too high for vehi cles to get over it easily, Montague responded, It looks like a high-back curb. A second petitioner, Pat Conti, who lives at 339 Avenida de Mayo, told the TAC, To get out of my driveway its almost impossible. She added that she almost struck two children on skateboards last week because vehicles along Avenida de Mayo prevented her from spotting them when she was trying to pull into the street. Furthermore, she said, children getting on and off a school bus that stops on Avenida de Mayo are in danger because of the vehicles blocking the line of sight. Its really, really quite bad, Conti added. BUSINESS REPERCUSSIONS When Swartz then asked Montague how many vehicles would be prevented from parking along Avenida de Mayo if the TAC approved the request and the County Commission con curred, Montague told him, Weve not done an analysis Domingo pointed out that parking issues on Siesta Key are a big deal, more so than in other areas of the county. Then a third speaker asked to address the council. Stefan Weiss, the general manager of the new Eat Here restaurant on Avenida Madura, told the TAC members he estimated as many as 50 vehicles at a time on a weekend day park on the stretch of Avenida de Mayo from Canal Road to Avenida de Cortez. Instead of a parking prohibition, Weiss sug gested more trafc enforcement. Theres not enough parking for Siesta Key, he added, not ing some residents charge people to park in their driveways. Im all for entrepreneurial spirit, Domingo said, but he added he did not believe it is le gal for anyone to lease a driveway for vehicle parking. Weiss also pointed out that once the municipal lot becomes full, people park at its entrance and exit, leaving only one lane of trafc open. When theres a festival, theres parking every where, Weiss continued. After Domingo closed the public hearing, Swartz pointed out, Parking is certainly al ways an issue in an area thats heavily congest ed with business. He characterized a vote on the petition as a toss-up situation, because it involved both residential and commercial interests. Swartz made the motion to deny Merkles re quest; Seckendorf seconded it. Domingo and Capt. John Donavan of the Flor ida Highway Patrol voted against the motion. I was a little surprised, Merkle said of the vote. Still, she is happy she will have another chance to make her case. We may have lost the battle, she continued, but we havent lost the war. In the meantime, she said, she is taking more photos, which she plans to submit to the County Commission. %


After months of complaints from residents in Siesta Keys Terrace East and Beach Ter race condominium complexes about the mu sic coming from Blas Caf on Ocean Bou levard, it turns out the problem is rooted in architecture and the position of the restau rants speakers. That was the news Sarasota County Code Enforcement Officer Kevin Burns present ed to members of the Siesta Key Association during their March 27 regular meeting. The Blas Caf forms an almost perfect am phitheater, Burns told the approximately 30 people in the audience. Moreover, he ex plained, the restau rants speakers had been pointing directly into the vortex of that amphitheater, which was the worst thing that could be happen ing. A Sarasota County Code Enforcement graphic shows how sound emanating from Blas Caf (marked with the red balloon labeled A) has been directed toward the Terrace East and Terrace buildings in Siesta Village. Image courtesy Code Enforcement staff A COUNTY STAFF STUDY IN SIESTA VILLAGE REVEALS THAT PLACEMENT OF SPEAKERS IN A RESTAURANT AND THE DESIGN OF TWO BUILDINGS HAS EXACERBATED NOISE PROBLEMS It turns out there is nobody really to blame. The architectures just bad. Kevin Burns Code Enforcement Ofcer Sarasota County THE SOUND AND THE FURY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 48 Burns said he and his assistants including SKA Vice President Peter van Roekens had developed a way to determine what it is you should be hearing and what it is you are hear ing. They recorded sound measurements simul taneously at the restaurant and the Terrace buildings, he added. The condo residents are hearing almost exactly what [they] would be hearing if [they] were sitting down in the club itself, he pointed out. Thats scary, said SKA Director Michael Shay. Well, its very noisy, van Roekens responded. It turns out there is nobody really to blame, Burns continued. The architectures just bad. Terrace East has two vertical pillars on its faade that are gigantic, and it is across the street from Blas Caf, Burns pointed out. The more surfaces available to reect sound, the more sound is funneled into a particular area, he said. Because the balconies of the Terrace East condos are receded in the faade of the building, the music from the restaurant is channeled in toward the condos, he added. Its almost like an ear, Burns explained of the effect. Those poor people in the building, theyre re ally hearing some noise, Burns added. After the noise study was concluded, Burns noted, he contacted Rami Nehme, owner of Blas Caf, and asked him if he would be will ing to reorient his speakers so they point to ward the Gulf of Mexico, and immediately [Nehme] said he would. In such examples as the Mormon Taberna cle in Salt Lake City, UT, and an area of New York Citys Grand Central Station called the whispering wall, the structures have been designed to amplify sound, Burns said. Re Musicians perform outside Blas Caf on March 7. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 49 gardi ng th e Te rrace buildings and Blas Caf, Burns noted, What we have here is just an unfortunate coincidence, and thats why these [Terrace] buildings are the primary complain ants. Burns added that he and van Roekens would set a date for a follow-up test of the noise lev els to make sure the change in the restaurants speaker orientation had ameliorated the prob lem. SKA President Catherine Luckner told Burns, Your doing that study is really helpful. She added, Some of our folks who have been working on this noise issue feel some vindi cation Many times, Luckner pointed out, when SKA board members complained about noise problems in Siesta Village, the responses they heard were You dont like the music or Youre just getting old. In the end, Luckner said, it is in the ear of the beholder RULES AND EXCEPTIONS Burns presentation came amid almost 75 min utes of discussion about the countys Noise Ordinance and its Air and Sound Pollution Or dinance, which were set to sunset in Novem ber 2012. The County Commission extended the date to Nov. 18 of this year, to enable com munity groups and businesses to offer sug gestions about any changes, Assistant Zoning Administrator Donna Thompson explained to the SKA members. Last fall, the county commissioners discussed whether the Noise Ordinance should become part of the zoning co de. Thompson pointed out that three business es in Siesta Villag e have special exceptions that allow the m to provide music later than the 10 p.m. cutoff that is part of the current Noise Ordinance: The Hub Baja Grill, Siesta Key Oyster Bar and the Speakeasy (which was transformed a couple of years ago into the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar). To obtain a special exception, Thompson continued, a business owner has to hold a neighborhood meeting about his plan and go through two public hearings one before the Sarasota County Planning Commission and a second before the County Commission. When SKA member Bob Luckner asked whether the public hearing stipulation applies to lawsuit settlements, Thompson told him, That, I do not know. Luckner pointed out that when the county settled a lawsuit with Chris Brown, owner of The Hub, in 2009, one element of the agree ment afrmed Browns special music excep tion. It allows him to provide live music until 1:30 a.m. seven days a week (The sound level A Google Map shows the location of Blas Caf at 5236 Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Village. Image courtesy Google Maps


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 50 cannot exceed 85 decibels as measured at the property boundary.) Commissioner Nora Patterson told the SKA members, That settlement, which was not a unanimous vote was basically to recognize a special exception that had existed years be fore [in a business The Hub replaced]. So may be that was a special case. She added, And you could have argued it should have had a public hearing, but the lawyers didnt seem to feel like that was re quired. When SKA Director Joe Volpe asked wheth er a special exception remained in place in perpetuity, Thompson replied that any busi ness with a special exception has to have a binding development concept plan. Anyone requesting a special exception has to provide the Zoning Department staff with a diagram showing where the music will be performed in a building or where a dance oor will be locat ed, she pointed out. That runs with the prop erty in perpetuity unless [the music] would stop for 24 months, she added. After Patterson challenged her, saying the time period was 18 months, Thompson hand ed Patterson a copy of the Zoning Code to research the point. Patterson eventually con rmed that if an establishment ceases use of its special exception for 18 months, it has to reapply for the exception. The 24-month peri od is the time allowed for a business to start using a special exception after it has been granted, Patterson noted. Frankly, if we have written [a code] that is so complex, maybe you could suggest a way to make it more comprehensible, she told the SKA members. Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer Kevin Burns (standing) addresses members of the Siesta Key Association on March 7. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 51 Bob Luckner was impressed she remembered details about special exceptions, he told her. Its because Ive lived through it! Patterson responded. Thompson also explained that if a business owner with an existing special exception wants to modify his building, he has to sub mit an application to the zoning administra tor for county staff determination of whether the change will be minor or substantial. If the change in plans for the musical performers location or site of the dance oor is signi cant, she added, the business owner has to go through the process of the neighborhood meeting and public hearings once again. FOCUS ON THE HUB Volpe pointed out that The Hub is a larger restaurant than the one it replaced Fandan gos, which had the original special exception. Furthermore, he said, The Hubs musicians play outside. They have a binding concept plan, and their entertainment should be in the same area as what that special exception plan shows, Thompson replied. So they might possibly be in violation? Volpe questioned her. Tom Polk, the countys director of planning and development services, told Volpe staff would have to compare the details of the orig inal special exception for the site with the one The pillars on the front of the Terrace East have helped to amplify sound from Blas Caf across the street, according to a study conducted by county Code Enforcement staff. Photo by Rachel Hackney A document provided to the Siesta Key Village Association in 2012 shows the special noise excep tion for The Hub Baja Grill. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 52 Brown is using. It wou ld be hard for us to say [if a violation has occurred], he added. Regarding some special exception cases, Thompson noted, it is quite difcult to make that determination [of violation] today Some of our older exceptions dont quite have the specicity that we really need to make a knowledgeable determination that the dance oor or entertainment has moved, but we make every effort, the best effort, we can. According to material she had distributed to the SKA members that day, Volpe said The Hubs entertainment has to be indoors. What denes indoor? he asked. It means just that, Thompson replied, adding that a violation could occur only after 10 p.m. The county code allows entertainment until 10 p.m., she had noted earlier. And a patio is outdoor, Volpe said. The Hubs special exception calls for the entertainment to be indoors, he reiterated. In their special exception? Patterson asked. Thats interesting, she added as she read the section Volpe had indicated. Then Patterson told the audience, You know, were in a lawsuit with these folks right now anyway. She said no more in response to Volpes points. (Although the Sarasota County Attorneys Of ce had recommended a settlement follow ing mediation in a lawsuit Brown led in October 2011 regarding his assessments for Siesta Village parking, no agreement has been signed. During his report to the County Commission on Feb. 12, County Attorn ey Stephen DeMarsh said only that he and his staff needed to work through a factual matter.) A copy of the countys special exceptions for Siesta Key businesses, provided to The Sara sota News Leader by the Siesta Key Village Association in 2012, says of The Hub, Must be a restaurant on site and any expansions will require an additional Special Exception. The notation also notes that the music cannot exceed 85 decibels as measured at property boundary of the nightclub. The special excep tion was granted on March 24, 1992, it adds. The document Thompson provided the SKA members says, Approved indoor entertain ment from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. with the decibel level not to exceed 85 decibels at the property boundary from sound generated by the activity permitted by the Special Excep tion. PARKING VERSUS MUSIC During the discussion, Diane Erne, who lives near Siesta Village, also pointed out that some restaurants use parts of their parking areas to stage musical performances. To get [a] permit to operate, youre supposed to have so many parking spaces, Erne said of restaurants. Yet, all those spaces get used for entertainment on some occasions, she added. They just spontaneously do this in the park ing lots? Catherine Luckner asked. They shouldnt be using their required park ing for entertainment, Thompson responded. It happens, Erne told her with a wry laugh. Thompson said Erne should report any such violations to Burns. %


A nationwide se arch turned up 86 people who want to be Sarasotas next deputy chief of po lice. Stacie Mason, the interim director of the citys Human Resources Department, is now sorting and ranking the candidates, along with Chief Bernadette DiPino. The application period closed March 8. The position has been open since 2006, when Ed Whitehead retired after 32 years on the force. The position remained open during the tenure of Chiefs Peter Abbott and Mikel Holloway. The nal decision will rest with DiPino. How ever, she is considering forming a citizens pan el to talk with the nalists. A similar panel was used in the recent screening of candidates for the chiefs post, which resulted in the hiring of DiPino. Mason said that after the initial screening, nalists would be invited to town for more ex tensive interviews. She added that she hopes to nish the selection process in April. Stan Zimmerma n City Manager Tom Barwin announces the selection last fall of Bernadette DiPino (right) as Saraso tas new police chief as Mayor Suzanne Atwell listens. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY CHIEF SEARCH CLOSED NEWS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 54 Competing wit h 62 other teams from around the state at the Orlando Regional FIRST Ro botics Competition, Sarasotas Jungle Robot ics Team won the Chairmans Award, the high est regional honor the organization bestows, the Sarasota County Schools have announced. The award was presented to the team on March 9 at the University of Central Florida Arena. The honor recognized the students for their efforts to promote science, technol ogy, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives throughout the Sarasota community, a news release adds. Earning the regional Chairmans Award means the team is invited to the National FIRST Ro botics Competition, set for April 24-27 in St. Louis, the release points out. FIRST, an international high school robotics competiti on with regional and national levels, stands fo r For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. In FIRST Robotics contests, teams are chal lenged to design and build a robot in just six weeks. The robot must be capable of execut ing specic tasks in a challenging competition with 3,000 other teams from around the world, the release notes. Jungle Robotics, also known as Team 3627, consists of 30 members from four Sarasota County public schools, Pine View School, Riv erview High, Suncoast Polytechnical High and Venice High; and one private school, The Outof-Door Academy, the release adds. The regional judges issued the following state ment about Jungle Robotics winning the re gional Chairmans Award: You wont nd this team just sitting unde r the trees. Sustained SARASOTA ROBOTICS TEAM WINS TOP AWARD AT REGIONAL CONTEST Members of the Jungle Robotics Team gather during a session before heading to Orlando. Photo by Scott Proftt


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 55 outreach has built a support system of strong partnerships in their community. Run much like a family business with a CEO, their alli ance with the [Greater Sarasota] Chamber of Commerce nds them helping lure science/ technology economic development. The statement continues, Partnerships with their school district created a new technical certicate system curriculum in their county. They reached out to all students from every elementary and middle school spreading the message of FIRST and the enjoyment of robot ics. Turning students into resourceful leaders has raised awareness to the business com munity, promoting the availability of a future technical workforce. In the regional contest in Orlando, the Saraso ta team competed in Ultimate Ascent, which is played by two competing alliances on a at, ( From left) Jungle Robotics team members and Pine View School students Robert Sears, grade 11, and Kyle Violette, grade 12, prepare for the Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. They are care fully adjusting the hooks that give the teams robot the ability to hang, a crucial ability for scoring points in the contest. Contributed photo 27-foot by 54-foot eld, the release points out. Each alliance consists of three robots, which vie to score as many discs into their goals as they can during two matches. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the alliance receives, the release notes. The match ends with robots attempting to climb pyramids located near the middle of the eld. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs, the release adds. Jungle Robotics has participated in FIRST competitions for three years. Last year it won a regional event in Boca Raton by placing rst among 50 teams statewide. As a result the team participated in the national competition in April 2012. At the 2013 National FIRST Ro botics Competition in St. Louis next month, the team will once again will compete in the Ultimate Ascent.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 56 Following a community dialogue on economic development in the Rosemary District and an analysis of the current parking inventory, the City of Sarasota has been creating 100 new on-street parking spaces along Lemon Avenue and Fourth Street, the city has announced. Late last week, workers were restriping the pavement, a city news release says. Approximately 30 new spaces will be available on Fourth Street between Central and Orange avenues, the release says, while approximate ly 70 new spaces will be on Lemon Avenue between Fruitville Road and Ninth Street. All the spaces will be for parallel parking, the re lease adds. The additional spaces are an outgrowth of a recent community meeting concerning a cat alyst project in the Rosemary District, the re lease notes. As the City of Sarasota prepares to issue an Invitation To Negotiate to develop a signicant project at 1440 Boulevard of the Arts, the extra parking is a rst step in sup porting the Rosemary Districts economic ef forts, the release points out. Convenient parking and the perception of convenient parking will be benecial to the fu ture redevelopment and inll of the Rosemary District north of Fruitville Road, City Man ager Tom Barwin says in the release. We are excited over this collaboration as the econo my appears to be reawakening after the Great Recession. The parking spaces will remain temporary as staff studies how parking patterns evolve with the combination of new development and nearby trafc ow improvements, the re lease notes. Parking enforcement signage will be installed soon, the release adds. In the meantime, no time restrictions are being enforced; however, no overnight parking will be allowed. CITY CREATES 100 PARKING SPACES FOR ROSEMARY DISTRICT City workers stripe new parking spaces in the Rosemary District. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 57 The C ity of Sarasota, in conjunction with the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, Downtown Im provement District and other organizations, will host city planner and author Jeff Speck during a forum next week. Speck will present his thoughts on how to make downtown more walkable, the city has announced. The forum will be held on Wednesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 1565 First St. The forum is free and open to the public. A revered authority on new urbanism, Speck offers creative and often simple ways to make an urban area more walkable and ultimately more vibrant, a city news release says. Having worked for 10 years under renowned new urbanist Andres Duany, who developed the citys master plan, Speck recently wrote a book titled, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time the release points out. The book outlines 10 steps to increasing walkability of municipalities, in cluding addressing public parking, increasing mixed-use developments, welcoming bicycles and creating green spaces, the release notes. This book is very timely, Senior Planner Steve Stancel says in the release. The city is embarking on several initiatives and street scape projects that are meant to promote walkability downtown, he adds. Jeff Specks book has received substantial local interest and is acting as a renewed catalyst in the citys continuing efforts to bring new urbanism and sustainability to our urban core. Speck served as director of design at the Na tional Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2007. During tha t p eriod, he oversaw the May ors Institute on City Design and created the Governors Institute on Community design, a federal program which helps states battle sub urban sprawl, the release points out. To learn more about Speck, visit Speck will offer more in-depth observations during a luncheon and book signing at Lou ies Modern, 1289 N. Palm Ave., on Thursday, March 21, at 11:30 a.m., the release continues. Tickets for the event are $40 in advance. To purchase them online through the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, clic k her e CITY TO HOST WALKABILITY EXPERT AT PUBLIC FORUM Jeff Speck/Photo courtesy City of Sarasota; In set: Jeff Speck is the author of the book, Walk able City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. Contributed image


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 58 As coyotes continue to show up in Saraso ta County neighborhoods, it is important to know what to do and what not to do if you spot one, a county news release says. Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Saraso ta County staff will host Coyotes in Florida a free informational seminar, at 6 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Sarasota County Operations Center, 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota. FWC experts will talk about strategies that homeowners can use to coexist with the spe Coyotes are being reported in Sarasota County neighborhoods. Photo by Christopher Bruno via Wi kimedia Commons GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO ADDRESS CONCERNS ABOUT COYOTES cies a nd answer questions about coyote be havioral patterns, a news release says. Phys ical contact between people and coyotes is rare since the animals are instinctively afraid of humans, the release notes. However, these smart, highly adaptable animals can live in developed areas, and over time begin to lose their fear, resulting in possible danger ous encounters, the release adds. Residents who witness aggressive coyote be havior should report it to the regional FWC ofce at 863-648-3200 or call the FWC wildlife hotline, 1-888-404-39 22, the release notes.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 59 With Hall of Famer C al Ripken Jr. on hand to throw out the ceremonial rst pitch on March 7, the Baltimore Orioles recorded a crowd of 7,465 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota a sellout, according to Monica Barlow, the teams public relations director. The team played the Toronto Blue Jays that day. Ripken b rought with him 400 copies of his new book, Wild Pitch and sold every single one of them, Barlow added. He signed each copy, she pointed out, which took about two hours. The visit was part of a national book tour for Wild Pitch, the third installment in the New York Times best-selling Cal Ripken, Jr.s AllStars series for children. ORIOLES GAME A SELLOUT FOR RIPKEN APPEARANCE Cal Ripkin Jr. (second from right) autographs an Orioles shirt for a fan at Ed Smith Stadium on March 7. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 60 Cal Ripken Jr. autographs a copy of his new book, Wild Pitch, at Ed Smith Stadium on March 7. Photo by Norman Schimmel People wait in line on the lower concourse of Ed Smith Stadium to talk with Ripken and buy his book. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 61 Faith Lutheran Church has announced it was informed late on the night of March 13 that the U.S. Army Chorus concert it was offering on March 15 has been canceled by the Public Affairs Ofce of the U.S. Army because of the sequester. All other activities for the quartet of singers in the Sarasota area have also been cancelled, a news release says. CONCERT CANCELLED BECAUSE OF SEQUESTRATION T ic ket holders may return their tickets to Faith Lutheran Church at 7750 Beneva Road in Sarasota between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on March 15 or between 8:30 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 17. For further information, contact the church at 92 4-4664. With the approach of the hurricane season on June 1, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Floridas Foundation are of fering a series of webinars on what homeown ers can do to prepare their homes to withstand high winds, Sarasota County has announced. The webinars are offered through June 25. A list of times and dates is available on the Flor idas Foundation website The webinars are part of the countys miti gation program to reduce damage to home owners property, said Richard Kerkering, Sarasota County Emergency Management planning chief, in a news release. The webi nars explain wind forces on houses and ways to strengthen the structures. WEBINARS OFFER HOMEOWNERS TIPS TO AVOID WINDSTORM DAMAGE Hurricane Andrew attened the Dadeland Mo bile Home Park in south Florida in 1992. Pho to courtesy of NOAA via Wikimedia Commons The web site also contains a Homeowners Wind Mitigation booklet that offers techniques for avoiding wind damage, the release adds. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY: 7-1-1) or visit A news brief in the March 8 issue about the recommendation of a bid for the Beach Road drainage/Siesta Key Public Beach stormwater project had an incorrect gure. The lowest bid submitted was $4,467,933.30 from Gibbs & Register Inc. of Winter Garden; that gure included alternate work proposed for the project. The e d itorial in the rst version of the March 8 issue said Susan Chapman, a candidate for Sarasota City Commission, is the chairman of the citys Planning Board. She is a former chairman of that board. The editorial was corrected on the morning of March 8. % CORRECTIONS


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EDITORIAL LEGISLATURES ANNUAL MISOGYNY FEST IN FULL SWING EDITORIAL The Florida Legisla ture has returned to Tallahassee and has wasted no time in intro ducing a number of bills designed to diminish the status of women, reduce their ability to obtain proper healthcare and deny to them rights which are guaranteed by the United States of America (of which Florida, legisla tive efforts to the con trary, is a constituent part). Legislators have launched an all-out attack on womens reproductive choice with bills that seek to ban abortion outright and violate the sanctity of the doctorpatient relationship, a corner stone of civilized medical practice. Only eight years after legislators acted, in spite of no professional qualifications, to trump the actions of trained physicians in the Terri Schiavo case, they apparently have not tired of showing the world that their ig norance and malignity will always take prece dence over the sound decisions of medical professionals. The worst of these bills are SB 1056, intro Disregarding the constitutional right that American women have to safe, legal abortions a right upheld by the United States Supreme Court these bills insert the ignorant opinions and beliefs of legislators into complex medical decisions that are best left to trained professionals.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 64 duced by Sen. Gre g Evers, an d the companion bill in the House, HB 395, introduced by Rep. Charles Van Zant. These seek to outlaw abor tion of any kind in the state of Florida, with no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape, incest or other sexual assault. Very lim ited exceptions exist for the life of the mother or other narrowly dened medical emergen cies, quite similar to the narrowly dened re strictions in Ireland that recently resulted in the death of a pregnant physician who had developed septicemia. Disregarding the constitutional right that American women have to safe, legal abor tions a right upheld by the United States Supreme Court these bills insert the igno rant opinions and beliefs of legislators into complex medical decisions that are best left to trained professionals. It is ironic that the same legislators who pass laws outlawing the practice of medicine by untrained and unlicensed persons seem so in tent on defying their own proscriptions. But then, the Legislature has consistently exempt ed itself from laws and regulations binding upon all other people in the state (e.g., ethical practices). In that vein, two other bills SB 1072 and HB 845, also introduced by Evers and Van Zant seek to turn doctors into criminal investiga tors and their patients into suspects by mak ing it a crime to perform an abortion if the patients motivation is based on race or gen der of the fetus. These misguided bills attempt to create the myth that abortions are routine ly sought for the purpose of gender selection and foster the eristic view that abortions are a form of racial genocide. While gender selection is practiced elsewhere in the world, the World Health Organization, in concert with othe r human rights organiza tions, has stated that ... curtailing abortion access is not a legitimate means of address ing sex selection, and that gender bias can be resolved only by addressing the underlying conditions that lead to it. It is also ironic that the Legislatures obvious patriarchal bias creates the very premium on male offspring that has led to gender se lection in other countries. Another pair of bills SB 876 and HB 759 has the apparently well-intentioned effect of making it a crime to destroy a fetus in the commission of another crime. But, unlike the so-called fetal homicide laws adopted in other states, these bills seek to dene human personhood as occurring at conception, thus criminalizing the destruction of a fertilized egg equating the act with the killing of an adult. Similar personhood initiatives have failed in other states, includin g Mississippi. However,


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 65 it appears the intent of this proposed laws authors is to disguise their effort by titling the bills, Unborn Victims of Violence, and claiming the intention is to reduce domestic violence. The bills also are troubling constitutionally because they remove the scienter or knowl edge and intent requirement, for all offens es enumerated in them. That means there is no requirement to prove that the perpetrator knew or should have known about the victims pregnancy or that there was an intent to cause harm to, or destroy, the fetus. Domestic violence is a serious concern in our state. Yet, the Legisl ature has seen t to curtail spending fo r shelters for victims of domestic violence and other proactive efforts to reduce its incidence. With these bills, it further mocks the real victims of domestic violence by focus ing solely on harm done to a fertilized ovum. These are not the only bills introduced in the Legislature to limit access by women to legal abortions, but they are some of the worst. And they demonstrate the ongoing animosity dis played by legislators against the women of the state, in the continued effort to limit womens rights and imperil their health. In a time when the state is struggling to re cover from the effects of the Great Recession and many Floridians are searching in vain for meaning f ul employment; when the environ ment of t he state is so woefully neglected that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has assumed authority over 85 percent of the states waterways; when millions of property owners face economic ruin from a catastroph ic hurricane because of the dysfunction in the states insurance industry; and when health insurance still is beyond the reach of millions because the Legislature will not accept the Af fordable Care Act as the law of the land, it is especially frustrating that legislators contin ue to engage in hateful, misogynistic tactics that hurt half of our residents and hold us up to ridicule in the rest of the country and the civilized world. % LETTE RS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Lead er welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Let ters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota Ne ws Leader.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 66 COMMENTARY Ven ezuelan Pres ident Hugo Chavez, the anti-U.S./United Kingdom social ist despot, died from an unspecied cancer on March 5. His nal words were I dont want to die. Please dont let me die. In view of the fact that his heir apparent, In terim President Nicolas Maduro, plans to ex hibit Chavezs embalmed corpse for eternity in a museum, the late presidents dying plea takes on special meaning. Chavez is being readied to join a select group of socialist corpses preserved for the ages as national relics. They include Russias Vladimir I. Lenin, Chinas Mao Zedong, Vietnams Ho Chi Minh and North Koreas Kims, pre et ls Popular only in the U.S. and Canada, embalm ing is a highly invasive process that replac es blood with formaldehyde, as well as oth er toxic embalming uids. Sometimes dye is mixed with the embalming uids to produce the supercial, short-lasting effect of rosy skin color. Embalming is only intended to preserve a body temporarily until burial, allowing mourners to view the dearly departed in a state of restful repose so they can leave with a beautiful memory picture, as per the industry litera ture. Embalming is not intended to prevent a bodys eventual decomposition. For that there is mummication. Vladim ir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924), leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and founder of the Soviet U nion, ranks rst on the list of mum mied socialist corpses. The success of his transformation from national leader to nation al relic is due exclusively to the remarkable talents of his team of embalmers and those of their successor morticians. The history of the teams accomplishments is ably recorded in the book Lenins Embalmers by Profes sor Ilya B. Zbarsky (1913-2007), a member of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences who headed the Department of Developmental Bi ology (1956-1989), which was responsible for Lenins postmortem care. Professor Boris Zbarsky, Ilyas father, had em balmed the body in 1924. After Hitler invaded the USSR in May 1941, Stalin ordered that Lenins corpse be secretly taken by special train guarded by NKVD (se cret police) troops to Tyumen in Siberia, some 1,000 miles to the east, for safekeeping. Be fore the body left Moscow for Tyumen, how ever, Lenins brain was removed from his skull and preserved in parafn. The brain remained in wartime Moscow. It is there today. Boris and Ilya Zbarsky accompanied the body and tended to it over the next four years. With the wars end, Lenin and the Zbarskys returned to Moscow. Preserving Lenins corpse is labor-intensive. It is also expensive: about $500,000 per year. Twice a week the mummys face and hands are NO REST FOR THE WICKED By David Staats Contributing Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 67 soaked in a special preservative and carefully inspected for signs of mold and decay. Ev ery year the body is submerged in a tank of this special preservative for six weeks. The pro cess is apparently quite successful; so much so that Ho Chi Minhs corpse is own from Hanoi to Moscow for an annual two-month makeover. State funding for preserving Lenins corpse ended in 1991 with the implosion of the Soviet Union. Since then, the work of the preserva tionists has depended on private donations, which have been generous. The preservation team also has offered its services to private individuals for a hefty fee, of course. Busi ness is said to be brisk among the families of Russian oligarchs, maa chieftains and oth ers. Please click on this link for details. The team has offered its services to the Venezue lan government to embalm and maintain Hugo Chavezs body. The mummicatio n techniques pioneered and perfected by the Russians are producing high ly satisfactory results. This is not always true of the work of embalmers of other nationali ties. For example, the syphilitic body of Kle ment Gottwald (1896-1953), Czechoslovakias rst communist president, was embalmed and placed on public display in 1953. After a while the corpses legs fell off. They were replaced with articial limbs. Then the chest cavity col lapsed. Decomposition persisted. Finally, in 1962, what remained of Comrade Gottwald was scooped out of his sarcophagus and cre mated. Mao Zedong died in 1976 at the age of 82. He had often stated his wish that his body be cremated. Maos successors ignored his tes tamentary directions. Instead, they ordered Maos corpse embalmed for permanent dis play in a crystal casket resti ng in a grand mau soleum in the middle of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It was meant to surpass in grandeur that of Lenins Mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow. It is important to keep in mind that in 1976 the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China were in conict with one another over several doctrinal and policy issues of criti cal importance. Relations between the two communist giants were icy. For understand able ideological reasons, the Soviets did not want a Chinese relic in the form of Maos pre served corpse to challenge that of Lenins. For this reason the Russians withheld from the Chinese the mummication technology that had been so successful in preserving Lenins corpse. After failing to acquire this technology from Vietnam, which had used it to preserve the body of Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), a team of nearly 40 Chinese physicians, nurses and mor tuary specialists, relying on a single library book describing embalming techniques, de cided to go it alone with disastrous conse quences. Following the initial treatment, during which six times the normal volume of formaldehyde was injected into Maos body (just to make sure), the corpse bloated horribly. Li Zhisui, MD, author of The Private Life of Chairman Mao who presided over this procedure, wrote that Maos face was a round as a ball and his neck was the width of his head. His ears stuck out at right angles. Formaldehyde oozed from his pores For another ve hours the team worked with towels and cotton balls to force the liquid down into Maos body. At last his


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 68 f ace looked normal. But his chest was still swollen. So we slit his jacket and trousers in the back to cover his new bulk. The body was then draped with the red Communist par ty ag and placed in a vacuum sealed crystal casket. Speculation persists that thanks to the teams incompetent craftsmanship, Maos body de composed long ago and that a mannequin has replaced it in the crystal casket. If so, the Great Helmsman may nally have been grant ed his wish for cremation. The body of Eva (Evita) Pern (1919-1952) was a well-traveled cadaver, covering 14,500 miles in 20 years. This bizarre odyssey was ordered by the junta that overthrew Presi dent Juan Pern so the nal resting place of Evitas corpse would not become a Pernist shrine and pilgrimage destination. Her corpse was described as waxlike. On orders from the junta, one of her ngers was snipped off and tested to determine whether it was indeed hu man. It was. Then the junta had the mummy surreptitiously own to Europe for a series of burials under false names. It went from Bue nos Aires to Bonn, then to Milan, then to Ma drid and nally back to Buenos Aires. When Evitas mummy was returned to Juan Pern, he often kept her cofn on his dining room ta ble. It is said that at Perns request, his third wife, Isabel, now 82, would sometimes crawl into the cofn with Evitas corpse to draw into herself the spiritual energy radiating from the exceedingly well-preserved mummy. Not all recent mummies in glass display cas es are socialists. There is Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989), the Philippines dictator. His em balmer, Frank Malabed, 62, has offered his services to the Venezuelan Government to preserve the remains of Chavez Witho ut family permission, Princess Diana was illegally embalmed by French morti cian Jean Monceau following her death in an automobile wreck in Paris on August 31, 1997. This procedure was done, Monceau ex plained, to prevent her body from decaying in the extreme heat in Paris at the time. In any event, Dianas body was entombed and not exhibited. Nicknamed Goofy for his big feet and skinny frame as a teenager, Commandante President Chavez faces a busy afterlife. A squad of mor ticians will attend him constantly, ensuring that his corpse is uncorrupted by the natural forces of decomposition. Intervention will be weekly, if not more frequent. Like Uncle Ho, The-Relic-Formerly-Known-asChavez will likely have to be transported to Moscow annually for regular maintenance. To keep the body at optimum humidity, a regu lating device may have to be implanted in the chest cavity. The chemical composition of the atmosphere within the sarcophagus will have to be carefully balanced. The temperature in side and outside the sarcophagus will also require regulation. The body will be bathed in soft pink light throughout eternity to give it a more natural appearance. Immortality, it seems, is not without its price or humiliations. The fut ure destined for Chavezs earthly re mains will not be pretty. One is reminded of Evelyn Waughs doggerel eulogy for a charac ter in his novel The Loved One : Here pick led in formaldehyde and painted like a whore, shrimp-pink incorruptible, not lost nor gone before. Poor Hugo. There really is no rest for the wicke d. %




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 |


This year marks the centennial anniversary of the original French publication of Marcel Prousts Du Ct de Chez Swann or Swanns Way the rst volume of the epic, seven-vol ume magnum opus la Recherche du Temps Perdu, or In Search of Lost Time Rather than languish on dusty shelves as many books written the same year will likely do Swanns Way will be picked up, read carefully and discussed by ardent fans and newcomers alike, and in numerous languages, as part of worldwide celebrations this year. One of those events is local: Proust Project Sarasota began on March 5 and concludes on Tuesday, March 26. Organized by Elyane Dezon-Jones, Ph.D., pro fessor emeritus of French Literature at Wash ington University in St. Louis; Jocelyn Van Tuyl, Ph.D., New College of Florida professor of French language and Literature; Barbara Frey, president of the Board of Directors of the Alliance Franaise de Sarasota; and Vera Neu mann-Wood, senior librarian at the Selby Public Library, Proust Project Sarasota has so far been a diverse multimedia event that has done far more than simply highlight the writing itself. During his March 5 lecture at New College, Proust scholar William C. Carter noted the inuence Proust has had on popular culture. The graphic in this slide is from a special edition of Sports Illus trated honoring Proust. All photos by Arielle Scherr PROUST PROJECT SARASOTA CELEBRATES 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF SWANNS WAY THE MONTH OF PROUST By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 72 At various locations in Sarasota includ ing New College, Selby Public Library, the Alliance Franaise de Sarasota and Staken borg Fine Art Proust Project Sarasota has and will express appreciation for the many facets of Swanns Way with lectures on the text in English and French by noted acade micians from universities across the United States as well as France; participatory book discussions; documentary and lm adaptation screenings; an art gallery featuring pieces by artists alluded to in the book; presentations about the books legacy and its future; and even a lecture relating Proust to neuroscience. AN ENDURING WORK During the celebrations opening lecture, Proust: A Centenary Tribute on March 5 in New Colleges Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Wil liam C. Carter, Ph.D., distinguished profes sor emeritus of French at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explained that the books enduring prestige and popularity are the results of its own merit and not of outside inuences. la Recherche du Temps Perdu is not a book that has been kept alive by the acade my, Carter said to a rapt audience. No pro fessor in a classroom can breathe life into a During his lecture for Proust Project Sarasota on March 5, William C. Carter commented that the celebration itself is very Proustian. We are retrospective; were looking backwards, he said. But were also prospective: Were looking into the future.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 73 New College of Floridas Jane Bancroft Cook Library has organized a display in honor of Proust and the 100th anniversary of the publication of Swanns Way. (From left) Proust Project Sarasota organizers Jocelyn Van Tuyl, Elyane Dezon-Jones and Barbara Frey gather following the celebrations kickoff lecture on March 5 at New College.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 74 work that is dead, that no longer speaks to us and mainly for us. Carter went on to explain that part of the reason In Search of Lost Time remains both relevant and appreciated a century after its publication is that the narrative deals with universal themes such as the creative process, memory and the individuals reection on past experiences. In spite of the relatability of the story in which a narrator expounds on his own in ability to write while recounting numerous memories from his past many prospective readers have been deterred from beginning In Search of Lost Time. People are often daunt ed by the books length it surpasses 4,000 pages in certain editions and the commonly held view that it is a complicated work that could prove laborious or overly challenging for the average reader. Those who have read the book, however, of ten nd such characterizations unfair. Proust is not difcult, Van Tuyl told The Sarasota News Leader in an interview after the March 5 lecture. (She helped organize many of the New College events.) Hes dense, hes complex, but hes very readable, she con tinued, explaining that those who have enter tained the idea of reading In Search of Lost Time should not hesitate to dive right into it. Dezon-Jones who has authored numerous works on Proust, including a mystery novel titled, Murder Chez Proust published in 1994 under the pseudonym Estelle Monbrun Proust scholars William C. Carter (left), and Marilyn Sachs pose following the Proust Project Sara sota kickoff lecture at New College. Carters Proust biography, Proust: A Life, will be reissued at the end of this month by Yale University Press, and Sachs upcoming book In Search of a Lost Source: Marcel Proust in the Light of William James, will be published this year by Lexington Books.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 75 agrees with V an Tuyl about the overall read ability of In Search of Lost Time. However, she offers different advice to readers prepar ing to tackle the initial volume. I say that it would be good to skip the rst 40 pages, she said in an interview with the News Leader af ter the March 5 lecture, referring to the Over ture section; she believes it can discourage some readers. She pointed out that the following section, Combray would likely serve as a better intro duction for most readers. Its easier because its the story of a child who is in a French vil lage and people can relate to that, she said. While Van Tuyl agrees that the Overture sec tion of Swanns Way can be considered some what dense, she views it as an opportunity for the reader to begin pondering the novels themes. In fact, she said, she even uses the be ginning pages to introduce her Proust seminar students to the text on the rst day of class. At that point, many of them have not had the opportunity to obtain a copy of the book. We can spend an hour and a half ... talking about this one paragraph where he talks about disorientation when youre awoken in the midst of a deep sleep, she added. In spite of her appreciation of the Overture Van Tuyl says those who feel put off by it can go ahead to the happy childhood section. Still, she hinted, It gets much more twisted later. PROJECT CONTINUES Regardless of where one begins, Dezon-Jones and Van Tuyl concur that now is the best time to begin reading In Search of Lost Time by picking up a copy of Swanns Way Although the festivities in Sarasota are about halfway complete, a few upcoming events have been designed to intrigue new readers and enthrall longtime devotees. On Friday, March 15, from 6 to 9 p.m., Staken borg Fine Art, located at 1545 Main St., Sara sota, will host an exhibition of works by art ists mentioned in Swanns Way On Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at New Colleges Mildred Sainer Pavilion, David R. Ellison, Ph.D., dis tinguished professor in the humanities at the University of Miami, will lecture on the theme, Prousts Reception in the Anglo American World On Monday, March 25, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Selby Public Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota, Dezon-Jones; Inge Wimmers, Ph.D., professor of French Studies at Brown University; and Sylvia Eckes will present a program titled, Madeleines, Macarons and Music about the musical pieces Proust alluded to in Swanns Way The nal event, on Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at New Colleges Sainer Pavilion, will feature a lecture by Wimmers, titled, Proust, the Arts and Neuroscience Afterward, De zon-Jones will offer closing remarks titled, Reading Proust Tomorrow Even after Proust Project Sarasota concludes, a number of similar celebrations will take place throughout the world leading up to the ofcial 100th anniversary of Swanns Way on Nov. 13. In addition, November will see the publication by Yale University Press of a new edition of the acclaimed Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff translation of that volume, revised and annotated by Carter himself. %


ASK OTUS Dear Readers, Good grief! What is this fascination with ea-infested rodents? Having disposed of the tree rat (i.e., Eastern Gray Squirrel) in a col umn published just a couple of weeks ago, I am now asked for an update on Putter the Prairie Dog, a ground rat! This request comes f rom an avid golfer concerned over his course scores anything over par and he could blame Putters bumpy tunnels; anything un der par, well, that is what he would have shot last year if it had not been for Putters bumpy tunnels. Sounds squirrely to me! For those lucky readers, who are blissfully un aware of the history of Putters plight Putter the Prairie Dog. File photo PUTTER THE PRAIRIE DOG REMAINS SAFE AND WELL AT SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS, WHERE MANY DESERVING ANIMALS CAN BE ADOPTED Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta 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 Thank you.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 77 In the winter o f 2012, Putter, a black-tailed Prairie Dog ( Cynomys ludovicianus ), was dumped on the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota, where he ruled over the course. At rst, he was a popular ruler and admired for his industriousness and toothy grin. He was even interviewed by NBCs Bri an Williams but a difference over the princi ples of club governance led to his downfall. The clubs members were timocrats. They be lieved that possession of property is required in order to hold ofce. Well, they did actually own the land and knew how to use it wisely for the benet of mankind s golng passion. Putter was more of a socialist freebooter and believed in physiocracy (Greek for govern ment of nature); i.e., the wealth of the club was derived from land development. So, after he constructed the clubs 19th hole without the proper permits and neglected to apply for a liquor license, he was deposed and sent into exile at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens (SJG). Sic transit gloria Cynomys ludicrous Putter was probably one of those adorable (i.e., almost as cute as an owlet) pups bought as a childs pet by well-intentioned but rath er uninformed parents. Mommy, Daddy, hes sooo cute. Can I have him? Pleeeeeease! Squint, the tiny Eastern Screech Owl at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, is perched on a gloved hand. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 78 Poor family. Poor Putter! But what wonder fully kind and dedicated staffs at the Bobby Jones Golf Course and Sarasota Jungle Gar dens, who rescued him and will allow him to live out the rest of his healthy, but rather lone ly life, in a safe environment. According to the SJG resident Eastern Screech Owl, Squint, a marvelous gossip who eaves drops on all SJG staff conversations, Putter is a great pet during the rst few minutes you bring him home. After that, it is all downhill literally! Prairie Dogs can only live their lives to the fullest when they are a part of their co terie/town, the terms for a group of Prairie Dogs. The instinctive ethos of that coterie is that its members live, love and breed, and die sometimes even sacricing their lives for the benet and survival of that coterie. What the new pet owner ends up with is a feral rodent with little scissors-sharp teeth an d claws meant for digging burrows that can be up to 10 feet deep and 30 feet long. Even worse, Putter cannot be litter-box trained. As buyers remorse sets in, what is the rueful, but well-meaning pet owner to do? The most commonly chosen solution is to dump Putter into the wild; after all, that is where feral an imals belong, right? But Putter is an exotic non-native-to-Florida species. He cannot be considered an exotic invasive species (such as the Spiny Black-Tailed Iguana) because he is quite out of his element here and does not stand a chance of surviving long in the wild, never mind breeding and producing more lit tle ea-infested ground rats just like him. It is at this point I wish Charles Dickens had chosen Putter rather than Oliver as his pro tagonist because you now would be reading a true tale of pathos rather than bathos. Here is this abandoned orphan: He is starving; he is deprived of his natural birt hright, his fam Dominic the American Crocodile. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 79 ily and friends; and he is preyed upon by the lowest and most vicious elemen ts of our so ciety the timocrats, the alligator, the pygmy rattlesnake, the hawk, the eagle, the re ants and the rains that suddenly ood his new bur row. And he is all alone. That is, until Sarasota Jungle Gardens agreed to adopt and maintain him. But even then, Putter had to be quaran tined (alone) for several weeks to insure he could not transmit the bubonic plague to Bob and P ork Chop, his new Prairie Dog compan ions, with whom he has a cordial relationship. PLEEEEEEASE, dear readers, if you are con sidering acquiring an exotic pet, know that there are ways to enjoy one without the pain ful scratches on the ankles or bites on the hands and face; without the expenses of veter inary care or pet boarding and those hard-toremove stains on your wall-to-wall carpeting. Sarasota Jungle Gardens has an Adopt An Ani Buster the White Peacock. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 80 A Catalina Macaw. File photo Bocca and Pepper, the Sun Conures. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 81 mal pr ogram, which, for as little as $35 a year, will allow you the privilege of knowing that your pet is in good hands, in good health and is educating us on what makes it so unique and wonderful. Read all about it here. I would now like to introduce readers to sev eral other orphan residents at SJG. Like Put ter, they all have very sad stories to tell and when you visit the Gardens you can ask the dedicated staff there to recount to you those hard-luck stories. Bring some Kleenex! Squint my dear friend, who has all the mak ings of a great gossip columnist. Squint was taken in by Sarasota Jungle Gard ens after she was hit by a car. She lost her right eye and is painfully shy due to this physical impair ment; she rarely poses for direct headshots. You see, the basic element of an animals hae cceity is procreation and proliferation of the species, so animals must always look their best, be impeccably groomed, parasite-free, display prowess and skills in hunting and Sulcata tortoises mating at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 82 hopefully make th emselves attractive to a po tential mate. Squint is healthy and impeccably groomed, but she no longer is able to fend for herself in the wild or attract a mate. Being an owl, Squint has taken a philosophical stance on her situation. She loves her role as an educational bird and frequently appears in SJGs Birds of Prey presentations Her calm, gentle demeanor and exquisite petite features make her awfully popular with the children, whereas the Red-Tailed Hawk in the program inspires awe rather than cuddly feelings. Dominic is our very own native American Crocodile. If you are lucky, you will see him throughout the wild in Florida, mostly in south Florida. If you are unlucky and do not see him, you might get eaten! His open mouth shows him gaping. Because crocs are ecto thermic, they need to regulate body heat by absorbing the suns warmth in any manner they can. Well, that is the scientic explana tion for gaping. Squint secretly conded in me that Dominic is hoping some plump, juicy morsel, such as a lost poodle, might one day land in his mouth. Dream on, great American Crocodile! Buster is a White Peacock, not an albino. He just showed up at the Gardens one day, liked A Flamboyance of Flamingos. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 83 what he saw, and stayed! Squint says peacocks are very affectionate and crave companion ship. I think she has great empathy for Bust ers loneliness and admiration for his fading beauty. Bocca and Pepper are the Sun Conures. Charming pair! You can (for a small fee) have your photo taken with them sitting on your shoulder, or you can choose from a variety of other spectacular parrots, such as the Catali na macaw, to have the kids pose with. Sulcata Tortoise pair: The third largest tor toise species on earth! Squint condes that they are at it nonstop! Squint once asked them their names, but they pretended not to hear her, or maybe they actually did not. A Flamboya nce of Flamingos That is what a amingo group is called, and they are always a crowd pleaser. Visitors actually get to feed these birds with little food pellets bought at the entry ticket counter. Squint advises a per son to extend an arm with the pellets plainly displayed in an open palm with ngers held together. Squint assured me no one has ever lost a nger to these birds because amingos do not eat sausages. I also have included a picture of an uniden tied bird at SJG. Can you guess what it is? I will give you a hint: Its scary, cacophonous call was used in many Tarzan movies, but it is an Australian, not an African, native. Otus % The mystery bird at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. File photo


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


SIESTA SEEN Sarasota County staff remains at work on two big projects for Siesta Key the construc tion of a new stormwater system at the public beach (referred to as the Beach Road Drain age Project) and the illumination of cross walks in Siesta Village. In his March 4 capital assets update to the County Commission, James K. Harriott Jr., the countys chief engineer, wrote that the bid award for the stormwater project is to go be fore the board on March 19. He pointed out what The Sarasota News Lead er reported last week: The company submit ting the lowest bid, Gibbs & Register Inc. of Winter Garden, was found to be insufciently qualied to handle the work. That meant the STORMWATER PROJECT BID COMING TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION MARCH 19; VILLAGE CROSSWALK LIGHTING REPORT DUE AT ANY TIME; ADOPT-A-ROAD EFFORT NETS RECORD TURNOUT By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Tourists on Siesta Key may be coping with intermittent cool weather, but that has not deterred them from frequenting Siesta Village at night. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 86 Proc urem ent Department was recommending the bid go to Forsberg Construction Inc. of Punta Gorda. The Forsberg bid for the project, plus al ternate work recommended by staff, was $4,550,683.28. Gibbs & Registers base bid plus the alternate was $4,467,933.30. The County Commission also is scheduled to hear a staff update on March 19 regarding spoil materials resulting from the stormwater project. Last summer, Program Manager Car olyn Eastwood reported to the board that the county could save about $250,000 if it could save material excavated at the beach park for the stormwater project and use it when the park improvements begin. Digging out the new 1-acre stormwater re tention pond would yield about 26,000 cubic yards of ll material, she pointed out. We need about 10,000 cubic yards for the park project, she added. Without use of any of that ll, Eastwood not ed, the county would have to plan on about 1,500 dump-truck loads coming onto the is land once the park improvements were under way. However, commissioners expressed reser vations about the aesthetic disruption to the park from having that much dirt piled up. Harriotts report also touched on the park im provements themselves. Staff from several different county groups including Operations and Maintenance, Parks and Recreation and the Sarasota County Sher iffs Ofce along with the design team and representatives of the countys Environmental Permitting and Zoning Ofce, had met to talk about the plans for trees in the new parking areas, he pointed out in his March 4 update to the commission. The project team is seeking the active input of these groups to ensure a balanced and ap provable plan, he wrote. Additionally, Harriott reported, oral presenta tions by the rms bidding for the construction manager at risk role in the beach improve ments project had been postponed. That ac tion had been prompted by a complaint from one of the respondents after the bids were winnowed to a short list. However, Assistant County Administrator Tom Harmer added a note to the report indi cating that staff subsequently had met with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. representa tives the countys consultants on the proj ect to clarify the scope of the work related to the use of a construction manager at risk. Therefore, the number of oral presentations had been increased from three to ve and re scheduled, Harmer noted. In December, the County Commission ap proved the use of a construction manager at risk for the beach project. That is a rm re sponsible for hiring the subcontractors and


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 87 ensuring t he work comes in at or below the projected cost. On yet another point regarding the beach park improvements: The News Leader reported on Feb. 15 that Parks and Recreation General Manager Carolyn Brown had told the County Commission during a Feb. 8 budget workshop that plans to create two-way trafc routes through the park had been set aside. Sgt. Scott Osborne, who leads the Sheriffs Of ces Community Policing Station on Siesta Key, announced that news to attendees of the Siesta Key Associations March 7 meeting. Osborne said Sheriffs Ofce representatives had met several times with county staff over the past month to discuss features proposed as part of the park improvements. He pointed out that spaces will be added and the lot will be divided up into about four or ve segments, changing the aesthetics of the whole parking lot. However, the one-way trafc plan had been settled on, he said, to try to prevent ghts over spaces. Anyone who has been to the beach on a busy weekend, he noted, probably had seen people get into arguments over spots for their vehi cles. Thats one of our major disturbances for Si esta Key Public Beach, Osborne added. Drivers and occupants of two vehicles pulling up at the same at an open space can get into pretty heated altercations, he has said many times in the past. ABOUT T HE BOLLARDS Regarding the plan to install bollards with LED lighting at seven Siesta Village cross walks, Harriott noted in his March 4 capital assets report that after the low bid came in at approximately $120,000 for that project with the county having estimated a total of $31,500 staff had requested quotes from a rm already under general contract with the county. He expected a report on the response to be delivered to the County Commission this week. As of this writing, I have seen no indication that report has been completed. However, Ryan Montague in the Trafc/Mobility Ofce who worked with Village representatives on company lighting demonstrations last sum mer assured me last week he would get a copy of the report to me once it is in the hands of the commissioners. Sgt. Scott Osborne addresses the Siesta Key Association audience on March 7. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 88 During the March 7 SKA meeting, Vice Presi dent Peter van Roekens another participant in those demos said Montague also had told him the report should be going soon to the commissioners. Please, he added. During the March 5 meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA), van Roekens ex pressed a bit of frustration over the fact that he rst suggested the Village crosswalk light ing in January 2012. RECORD TURNOUT Siesta Key Association Director Michael Shay, on whom van Roekens settled the Adopt-ARoad mantle last year, reported at the March 5 SKVA meeting that the SKA and SKVA had a record turnout for their latest island cleanup. Nineteen people showed up on Feb. 16, he said. Based on his notes, he added, that was the largest group we [ever] had. The volunteers filled 34 garbage bags of stuff, Shay pointed out. Treasures, Village Caf co-owner Kay Kou vatsos interjected. Somebodys garbage is somebodys treasure, Shay concurred with a chuckle. In response to a question, Shay explained the volunteers pick up trash all along Ocean Bou levard on an ofcial basis. Unofcially, he add ed, they pick up garbage on Higel Avenue up to the north Siesta bridge and along Midnight Pass Road by Turtle Beach. Technically, we work on that Higel stretch with the Bay Island Association, he noted. Four people from that organization routine ly handle the cleanup effort from the north bridge to the hump bridge on Siesta Drive, he added. Thats huge, Kouvatsos said. Volunteers are being sought to gather up garbage on the Siesta beachfront on April 27 as part of the Great American Cleanup. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 89 Shay also pointed out that Mark Smith, past SKVA president and past chairman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, col lects all the bags of treasures from the volunteers: the bag man, Shay said. Yes, the bag man, Smith agreed. Shay was quick to ex tend a gracious thanks to Kouvatsos; her hus band, Tom; and the staff of Village Caf. The restaurant serves free breakfasts to all the Adopt-A-Road volunteers, but Shay like van Roekens before him always suggests heavy tip ping. On a related note: During the March SKA meeting, Shay said he would have more infor mation soon about the April 27 Great Ameri can Cleanup. He emailed me this week with the following news: Established by Keep America Beautiful Inc., the nations premier litter prevention and edu cation organization, in partnership with state and local afliates such as ours, the Great American Cleanup is our countrys larg est annual cleanup, beautification and community improve ment program. Keep Sarasota Coun ty Beautiful is spon soring the local clean up effort for Sarasota County on Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. until noon, he added. The Siesta Key As sociation is proud to partner with the County for this noble effort, he continued. We intend to put to gether a platoon of volunteers to clean the Siesta Key beach front as well as Beach Accesses 2-11. The rst 1,000 volunteers who register will receive T-shirts from KSCB, trash bags and gloves, he noted. ST. PADDYS DAY With spring break fully under way on the Key, the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar is marking St. Pat ricks Day Sunday, March 17 with a Pub Crawl. Drink specials will be available from 10 p.m. until closing. For more details, check out the Daiquiri Deck website % The Siesta Key Village Association is remind ing everyone about the annual Easter Egg Hunt and other festivities on March 30 at Beach Access 5. Contributed image


Parsons Da nce, which combines modern and classical dance styles, will appear at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on March 20, the Van Wezel has announced. The sexy athleticism, exuberant personality and joyous movement that is Parsons Dance comprises eight full-time dancers and main tains a repertory of more than 80 works (20 with commissioned scores) choreographed by David Parsons, a news release notes. The companys style is a fusion of the gesture and movement that make up the modern dance vocabulary and the discipline and precise exe cut ion one expects from a classical company, the release adds. The dancers are picked for their virtuosity, energy and sexiness, says Clive Barnes of The New York Post in the release. They at tack the audience and stage like gangbusters, he adds. The visionary choreography of David Par sons has become the benchmark on which all modern/classical fusion dance is compared, the release says. Tickets are priced from $10 to $45. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit www.VanWeze Parsons Dance will bring its signature performance style to the Van Wezel on March 20. Photo by Paula Lobo PARSONS DANCE MAKING A SARASOTA APPEARANCE MARCH 20 ARTS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 91 The Hungarian father-son cello duo of Csa ba and Zoltn Onczay will perform in an af ternoon concert on Sunday, March 24, at the Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. Father and son perform together across the globe as DuOncelly a play on words rep resenting the two Onczays and two cellos, a news release notes. This unique concert will begin at 4 p.m., sponsored by Redeemer and the Sarasota Kossuth Club. DuOncellys concert will feature a combina tion of well-known and lesser-known pieces for cello; the Hungarian duo has mastered works by Barriere, Haydn, Popper, Albniz and Paganini, among others, the release notes. The suggested ticket donation is $15 ($10 for students); it may be made online in advance at or by calling 955-4263. The Kossuth Club of Sarasota is a nonprot that promotes the understanding of Hungarian WORLD-RENOWNED CELLISTS TO PERFORM AT REDEEMER culture thr ough concerts, lectures and other events, the release points out. The organiza tion is part of the Global Friendship Founda tion, which works to help nations of all kinds connect through cultural activities. For more information about the Kossuth Club or the Global Friendship Foun dation, visit The father-son cello duo DuOncelly. Contrib uted photo Florida Studio Theatres tribute to the toe-tap ping sounds that brought Americans to their feet, Urban Cowboys has once again been ex tended and will play until April 6, the theatre has announced. The boot-scootin revue opened in Florida Stu dio Theatres (FST) John C. Court Cabaret on Jan. 4. Urban Cowboys explores the emergence of country music into the mainstream, which be gan in the 1970s and continued into the s, a news release notes. It is a tribute to the evo lution of country music led by legendary art URBAN COWBOYS EXTENDED AGAIN, UNTIL APRIL 6 i sts such as Mickey Gilley, George Strait, Dolly Parton, John Denver and Kenny Rogers, the release adds. Their music forever changed the Nashville Sound of the s, which com bined the traditional storytelling of country music with big band jazz, it adds. Featured performances include Take Me Home, Country Roads The Gambler Looking for Love and Islands in the Stream Tickets may be purchased by phone at 3669000, online at or at the box ofce, 1241 N. Palm Ave. in Sarasota.


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 92 The Sarasota Concert Association will present Sarasota Operas Studio Artists in a Munch time Musicales performance at noon on Wednesday, March 20, at Holley Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The concert is free and open to the public. The Sarasota Operas Studio Artists are emerg ing artists who perform in main stage produc tions by serving as understudies for or cov ering the principal roles and by performing supporting roles, a news release notes. With dozens of roles needing covers each season, the Studio Artists are often called on to substi tute for an ill or injured principal, sometimes with little notice, the release adds. The Studio Artists are also Sarasota Op eras ambassadors of opera, bringing music to communities outside the Opera House, the re l ease points out. Serving Sarasota and Manatee counties, they perform concerts of operatic and non-operatic greats for people who might not otherwise be able to attend a performance, the release adds. These out reach initiatives are held in schools, retire ment homes and community centers as well as at guild meetings, it says. Studio Artists not only return to Sarasota Op era as principal artists, they also have gone on to perform with opera companies around the world, including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and the Paris Opera, the release notes. Seating for the performance is open; no reser vations are taken. For more information about Munchtime Musicales, call 351-7467 or visit Sarasota Operas Studio Artists will perform on March 20 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Cen ter in Sarasota. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Opera SARASOTA OPERA STUDIO ARTISTS TO PRESENT CONCERT


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 93 Brya n Adams will bring his highly successful solo-acoustic concert tour to Sarasota with a special, intimate concert at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Saturday, May 18, the hall has announced After Adams recent tour stop in St. Louis, the citys Post Dispatch newspaper wrote, Armed only with a small array of acoustic guitars, Adams packed enthusiastic fans sometimes a bit too enthusiastic into the intimate Sheldon [venue] for a great night of music and insight, a Van Wezel news release notes. They sang along with the ever-so-familiar choruses, lled in vocal gaps he left for them, clapped the missing drum parts, hummed the missing solos and roared their approval after every offering, right u p to a long and hearty standi ng ovation after Run To You, the To ronto Star reported, according to the release. Adams has sold more than 65 million records, toured six continents and achieved No. 1 sta tus on charts in more than 40 countries, the release points out. Tickets are on sale at or at the box ofce: 953-3368. % Bryan Adams will perform in Sarasota on May 18. Contributed photo BRYAN ADAMS TO TAKE THE VAN WEZEL STAGE IN MAY Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers


On Palm Sunday, March 24, at the Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, the liturgies at 7, 8:45, and 11 a.m., will include The Liturgy of the Palms, The Passion Narra tive and Holy Eucharist, the church has an nounced. For Palm Sunday, palm fronds decorate the entrance to the Church of the Redeemer. Contributed photo PALM SUNDAY WORSHIP WILL INCLUDE CHILDRENS TABLEAUX During the 8:45 morning Mass, children of the parish will re-enact the Procession of the Palms and participate in a series of Holy Week Tableaux depicting events from Jesus nal days on earth, a church news release says. RELIGION BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 95 and circling around the Gulfstream Avenue cul-de-sac back to the front of the Church of the Redeemer, the release notes. The Palm Sunday Mass will take place inside the church, said in Spanish and English; con gregants will be aided by a bilingual service booklet. A dinner in Gillespie Hall will follow, the re lease adds. Complimentary parking will be available be tween 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bank parking garage on McAnsh Square. For more information, visit www.redeemersara or call 955-4263. The exterior and interior of the church will be reverently decorated with palm fronds to represent the triumphal entry of Jesus into Je rusalem, the release adds. The church will also offer a special Bilingual Liturgical Mass (English/Spanish) at 1 p.m., which will start with a Blessing of the Palms and Procession of the Palms held outside the church by the Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson, rector, and the Rev. Mario Castro, assistant priest. A reenactment of Jesus Christs entry into Jerusalem will follow, with a procession traveling from the front of the church to Ring ling Boulevard, north along Palm Avenue to McAnsh Square, then turning left on McAnsh Te mple Emanu-El Preschool students enjoy welcoming volunteer readers throughout the year, as Temple members and communi ty guests visit classrooms and share favorite stories with the children, Preschool faculty members say. Recent readers Lee Crowe and Melissa Fox delighted the students with their enthusiasm and warmth; and Fox made a special impres sion, a news release says. Wearing a beau tiful pink dress, she was approached by one little boy who asked earnestly, Are you a princess ? The connection between Temple Emanu-El and the preschool is very special to us, Pre school Director Elaine Sharrock comments in the release. The children love seeing kind new faces and hearing new stories. We cher ish our volunteers! To volunteer as a reader in Temple Emanu-El Preschool classrooms, call 377-8074. PRESCHOOLERS APPRECIATE THEIR VOLUNTEER READERS Melissa Fox shares a story with Temple Ema nu-El Preschool students. Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 15, 2013 Page 96 The C ongregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) is extending a warm invitation to mem bers of the public to attend its second night Seder on March 26. The dinner will feature a Humanistic Jewish Haggadah along with food prepared PUBLIC WELCOME AT SECOND NIGHT SEDER ON MARCH 26 by Michaels On East at 1212 East Ave., Sara sota. CHJ is an afrming congregation that cele brates Jewish tradition and history in a hu manistic manner, the Congregation points out. For more information and/or to make reser vations, call 929-7771. % By popular demand, author and scholar Rab bi Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., will return to Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, as this years scholar-in-residence the weekend of March 29-30, the Temple has announced. Executive director of The Jacob Rader Mar cus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) and professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinna ti, Zola is an internationally recognized his torian and prolic author who has received presidential and congressional appointments to the Commission for the Preservation of Americas History Abroad and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, a news release notes. His latest book is He Was Like One of Us a volume on Abraham Lincoln and the presidents close and captivating re lationship with the Jews, the release says. Titled, He Was One of Us! American Jewrys Relationship with Abraham Lincoln Zolas featured program at the Temple will focus on this new book and explore the little-known story of Lincolns connection to the Jews of the United States. Zolas presentation will begin Saturday, March 30, at 10 a.m. The talk is free and open to all members of the community; the public is warmly invited, the release adds. Zola will also speak during Shabbat services on Friday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., when he will share the pulpit with Rabbi Brenner Glickman and address the topic, Proles in American Jewish Courage This lecture is also free and open to all, the release points out. In addition to his vast knowledge, brilliant mind and keen understanding of American Jewish history, Rabbi Zola possesses a won derful wit and an engaging, inspiring pres ence, the release adds. His 2006 stint as Tem ple Emanu-Els scholar-in-residence is fondly remembered, and the congregation looks for ward to his return, the release says. For more information, call 371-2788. RABBI ZOLA TO RETURN TO TEMPLE EMANU-EL Temple Emanu-Els Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Gary P. Zola. Contributed photo


15 MAR WSLR presents Spider John Koerner March 15, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Admission: $12 in advance or $15 at the door; tickets available at 15+ MAR Dabbert Gallery presents Black & White & Red All Over art by Barbara Krupp and Allan Teger Through March 30, 76 S. Palm Ave. Sarasota. Free admission; 955-1315 or 15+ MAR A Tribal Collection: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica March 15 to April 19, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. Exhibit free with regular admission. Free to members and to children under age 6. Admission for non-member adults, $17; for children 6-11, $6. Information: 366-5731 or 17 MAR Chautauqua Sunday After Brunch Soire March 17, 2 p.m., Sherra Babcock, director of education at the world-famous Chautauqua Institution, will be at Bookstore1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., Sarasota, to talk about the role the written word plays in Chautauquas mission. She also will introduce the 2013 picks for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientic Circle the oldest continuous book club in the U.S. More event information at or 365-7900. 20 MAR Parsons Dance choreographed by David Parsons March 20, 8 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $10-$45; Information: 953-3368 or 21 MAR Author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time to speak at Downtown Sarasota Alliance luncheon March 21, 11:30 a.m., at The Francis, 1289 Palm Ave. Tickets for the program with Jeff Speck are $40; to reserve space, call 955-5133. More event info at or 365-7900. 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:


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 MY TRAVEL AGENT PROMISED ITD BE WARM! SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS