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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July 12, 2013
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Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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COVER Inside MULTIPLE CAUSES FOR ALARM PROPOSED 8 PERCENT JUMP JUSTICE DELAYED Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News LeaderThe Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 44 July 19, 2013




Copyright 2013 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 Digital Press Association The Sarasota News Leader is a publication of: New Sheriff Publishing, Inc. Post Ofce Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277-5099Rachel Brown Hackney Editor and Publisher Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Stan Zimmerman City Editor Roger Drouin County Editor Norman Schimmel Staff Photographer Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer John Riley Editorial Cartoonist Vicki Chatley Copy Editor Letters To the Editor Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Robert S. Hackney Opinion Editor / General Manager Advertising Sales Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


Given the revenue losses newspapers nationwide have faced, staff reductions have been understandable. However, one bit of evi -dent downsizing that never has made sense to me has been the loss of copy editors.As much as I love to edit copy yes, I really do! I still miss things. When I am guratively wearing my reporters cap, I am prone to leave out a word here and there or not think about back -ground information I should include in an article, leaving puzzling gaps.Fortunately, we have an excellent copy editor in Vicki Chatley. Be -hind-the-scenes people at most publications never get the atten -tion they deserve, but Vicki really should be in the spotlight every week. Sometimes she and I laugh after an issue is put to bed, because she had me scurrying around to ll in holes so you, our readers, would not have to scratch your heads over them.This was one of those weeks when some things just did not make sense, so Vicki kept after us until they did. In the end, you have much more in-depth stories to savor.All that being said, you will nd greater diver -sity among the topics Vicki worked through this week from former Sarasota GOP Chairman Bob Waechters legal woes to city ofcials scrapping over the proposed budget to new development planned for Sarasota County.Oh, and there is plenty happening again on Siesta Key from serious county and FEMA code violations to more vandalism in endangered birds nesting areas. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


MULTIPLE CAUSES FOR ALARM PROPOSED 8 PERCENT JUMP NEWS & COMMENTARY MULTIPLE CAUSES FOR ALARM 8 The county les a lawsuit against Siesta Key property owners who have not offered any response to notices and legal rulings that they have violated building and ood codes Rachel Brown Hackney PROPOSED 8 PERCENT JUMP 15 City to tap reserves, raid insurance funds and hike the millage rate to balance the 2014 scal year budget Stan Zimmerman JUSTICE DELAYED 21 Former GOP chiefs day in court pushed back Cooper Levey-Baker DATE CERTAIN 24 Judge names trial date in years-old Buchanan dispute Cooper Levey-Baker BANKING ON A REAL ESTATE RECOVERY 26 Two developers seek to move ahead with residential projects: U.S. Assets Group III LLC wants to build 20 homes on McIntosh Road; stalled Hunter Creek Estates comes back to life Roger Drouin SMA PLANS MIDDLE SCHOOL 30 The academy is seeking a rezoning for a 10.5-acre portion of property on Fruitville Road to construct 35 to 40 classrooms and a lighted athletic eld Roger Drouin RETOOLING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT 33 As part of her 2014 scal year budget presentation to the City Commission, Chief Bernadette DiPino explains her reorganization of units Stan Zimmerman CITY BRIEFS 37 Couple convinces commission to hold off on part of the Main Street improvements; a new Laurel Park Overlay District wins approval; the proclamation process may be tweaked Stan Zimmerman A CONTINUING PLIGHT 42 New incidents of vandalism on Siesta Public Beach appear to have resulted in the loss of four Least Tern chicks as well as multiple tern and Snowy Plover nests Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Basking in the late-day sun Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: A lagoon for herons Robert HackneyNo. 44 July 19, 2013


MAD FOR COWS GOING NATIVE FROM THE FARM 49 A new farmers market that would bring 30 to 40 vendors to Sawyer Loop Road in Palmer Ranch requires a county zoning amendment Roger Drouin A BIT OF A SNAFU 53 The Eat Here Siesta Key restaurant is in violation of the parking plan it submitted to Sarasota County before opening last year because a real estate ofce uses some of the spaces after 5 p.m. Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 58 CRIME BLOTTER 65 OPINION EDITORIAL 69 Florida must reconsider stand your ground law COMMENTARY 72 For sports fans, it is indeed a fever Harriet CuthbertSARASOTA LEISURE MAD FOR COWS 75 Florida is the place to be if you are a fan of bovines Fran Palmeri GOING NATIVE 80 Even natural plant species in Florida can reap the benets of extra attention from time to time Rick Wielgorecki SIESTA SEEN 8 Siesta Village bollard installation is set for August; county staff is still working on new pedestrian warning lights for Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare as well as illumination for Old Stickney Point Road Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 90 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 94 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 95 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article No. 44 July 19, 2013 FOR ADVERTISING INFO (941) 227-1080


Tonya Herschberger & Linda Keefe Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406 Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Tonya was the nurse who prepped Linda for surgery after she was hit by a drunk driver while walking with her husband and their dog. In spite of her pain and the anxiety that precedes any surgical procedure, Linda gazed up at the nurse and immediately felt at ease. You have a beautiful smile, she said. Thats when Tonya shared with Linda the person responsible for her beautiful smile, Dr. Christine Koval. For over 25 years, Dr. Koval has been one of the areas most trusted experts in creating beautiful, natural smiles using the latest advances in restorative, cosmetic, laser and general dentistry. Most new patients come to her based on referrals from people who just cant stop smiling. Linda turned to Dr. Koval to repair her smile and jaw which was so misaligned she couldnt chew her food properly. Tonyas comforting smile and advice gave me hope and direction, she says. Im so grateful to her, and of course to Dr. Koval. Now I have a smile that I love to share with everyone I meet.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 or for a more extensive smile gallery viewing visit ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.


The listing on the Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) website offers a glowing description of the house located at 6537 Sabal Drive on south Siesta Key:This is an absolutely beautiful enclave on Siesta Key. Beautiful ly and tastefully fur nished to a very high standard. Pet and Family friendly!!! Newly built in 2012!! This is [a] 12 Bed room/5 Bath divided res idence ( Family reunions, wedding receptions, multiple fami ly or even the couples romantic get-away, we can cater to almost ANY occasion!! ( This EXPANSIVE home is situated on a double sid -ed lakefront lot, with lots of room for kayak -ing, shing, or paddle boating right in your backy ard. Exclusively hidden neighborhood, very quiet, fantastic vacation enclave.The VRB O website listing says the house The ground level part of the house at 6537 Sabal Drive has been enclosed with only one point of in gress or egress. Photo by Rachel HackneyTHE COUNTY FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST SIESTA KEY PROPERTY OWNERS WHO HAVE NOT OFFERED ANY RESPONSE TO NOTICES AND LEGAL RULINGS THAT THEY HAVE VIOLATED BUILDING AND FLOOD CODES MULTIPLE CAUSES FOR ALARM While we have aggressively pursued this through Code Enforcement, we believe its advantageous at this time to go to court and seek redress Stephen DeMarsh County Attorney Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


rents for $4,500 a week from January through April; that drops to $3,900 a week from Sep -tember through December.But after Julie Miller Jones of Arden Hills, MN, and members of her family walked inside in early November 2012, Jones was alarmed, she wrote in a formal statement for Sarasota County Fire Safety Inspector Katelyn Qualey.[W]hen we got there we were concerned about the safety of all, but particularly families with babies staying in the lower level. None of the six rooms in the basement, billed as bed -rooms, had windows, egress or sprinkler sys -tems. For the entire space, there was only one door for egress and a plate glass window in the kitchen which would need to be broken in the event of a re blocking the other door.After researching Florida building codes on the Internet on Nov. 5, 2012, Jones contin -ued in her email, she started calling various agencies in the [county] Once she and her family members had secured other accommo -dations, she invited Qualey and county Code Enforcement staff onto the property on Nov. 7 and stayed with them while they took pic -tures and documented various areas where the property failed to meet standards set by the jurisdiction, she added in her formal statement.When Fire Inspector Qualey went into the house on Nov. 7, 2012, she noted in a report several areas of concern related to safety improper exits, TVs hung on walls with wire The website offers information to people interested in renting the house at 6537 Sabal Drive on Siesta Key. Image from Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 9


On Nov. 19, 2012, county Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally issued a Notice of Violation/Notice to Obtain Permit to The Daniels Law Firm in downtown Sarasota, the registered agent for the property owner, Siesta Resorts LLC.Under Statement of Facts, Lally wrote, Res -idential alterations without a permit including windows, entry door, electric, plumbing, A/C and ductwork. A shed, deck & covered deck also installed without a permit. Obtain an after the fact permit for all items that are [allowed by the code]. Items that are not [allowed by permit] will have to be removed.During hearings before a Sarasota County Special Magistrate, neither anyone from The Daniels Law Firm nor the trustee of Siesta Re -sorts LLC Sarasota chiropractor Dr. Craig Siegel showed up to offer any comments or defense. The Special Magistrate found the property in violation of both county ordinanc -es and Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) regulations regarding construction in ood zones. As a result, on June 14, the mag -istrate imposed a ne of $250 per day for the rst day of noncompliance in each case and a ne of $500 per day for each subsequent day the property remained in noncompliance.With the nes mounting, there still has been no response from the Daniels rm or Siegel.As a result, County Attorney Stephen De -Marsh on July 9 sought County Commission approval to le a civil lawsuit against Siesta Resorts LLC to seek remedies. While we have aggressively pursued this through Code En -forcement, DeMarsh explained to the board, An aerial view shows the house at 6537 Sabal Drive located adjacent to a section of canal on the south ern part of Siesta Key. Old Stickney Point Road runs diagonally across the upper left-hand part of the image. Photo from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 10


An outside staircase leads to the second oor of the house. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 11


we believe its advantageous at this time to go to court and seek redress Commissioner Nora Patterson who lives on the north end of Siesta Key did not hesitate to make a motion authorizing the ling of the lawsuit.Referring to the law rm and Siegel, Com -missioner Joe Barbetta asked DeMarsh, Are they just non-responsive or do they just think theyre not in violation? I dont understand what their defense would be.DeMarsh replied that both parties had been non-responsive. Its incredible! Barbetta said. The motion passed unanimously.Assistant Attorney David M. Pearce led the complaint on July 17; he had shown The Sara -sota News Leader a draft of it a day earlier.CHANGES ON THE PROPERTYAmong documentation Sarasota County has accumulated for its lawsuit is a pair of print -outs from the county Property Appraisers Ofce. In 2012, the total building area listed for the house on Sabal Drive was 4,928 square feet, with the nished living area listed at 2,245 square feet. That reects one living unit with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, the record shows.The house also has a pool that was built in 2009.The 2013 property record says the total liv -ing area has increased to 4,390 square feet. It also shows that the house encompasses two living units with a total of 10 bedrooms and ve bathrooms. The VRBO website has photos showing bunk beds and loft-type beds, by way of explain ing how the house can accommodate up to 40 people.T he 2013 just market value of the property, which has a total land area of 10,206 square feet, is $646,300. On Dec. 31, 2012, it was deeded to Siesta Re -sorts LLC for zero dollars from Conrado Salas Jr., who had acquired it in October 2010 for $100 from Siesta Vacations Inc. Dr. Craig Sie -gel is the trustee of the Siesta Resorts land trust, property tax records show.According to county tax records, the princi -pals of Siesta Resorts LLC are Jason Walsh and Susan Siegel. Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally issued this Notice of Violation for the 6537 Sabal Drive property on Nov. 19, 2012. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 12


Siegel has a practice called State Street Spine located at 1379 McAnsh Square in downtown Sarasota, according to www.sarasotaori The website also says he has been a chiropractic physician since 1998, having completed his doctorate in chi -ropractic medicine at Life University in Mar -ietta, GA, in the spring of 1996.Siegel recently applied for a homestead ex-emption for the house, according to county staff emails provided to The Sarasota News Leader through a public records request. Email exchanges show a Code Enforcement ofcer notied the Property Appraisers Ofce that the house is used as a rental property.TWO ISSUESThe county Code Enforcement cases revolve around two issues: construction that does not comply with the building code and the viola tion of FEMA regulations.County documents show that Siegel submit -ted an application on Dec. 27, 2010 for con -struction on the site with an estimated total cost of $94,000.A Sarasota County permit was issued on Jan. 14, 2011 for the installation of a single-family manufactured home on the parcel. That per -mit included a FEMA Flood Insurance Pro -gram Elevation Certicate and Instructions.To comply with flood zone rules, the struc -ture was elevated over [an] open unfin -ished storage enclosure of flood resistant materials and with flood openings, county records show.However, contrary to code, the storage area was converted to a sleeping and living area with bathrooms and a laundry room. The re -quired ood openings were sealed, says a re-port written on Jan. 14 of this year by Martin Duran, a Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer.A Notice of Violation and Order to Correct Violation issued by the county on Nov. 30, 2012 points out that in the ood zone where the house is located, enclosed areas below the lowest oor shall be used solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or limit -ed storage. And such areas shall be designed and constructed to automatically equalize ood hydrostatic focus on exterior and inte -rior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of oodwater.A Special Magistrate issued an Order to Cor -rect and Notice of Penalty Hearing Form to Siesta Resorts LLC on March 22 of this year, detailing the violations of FEMA regulations. With no response from the Daniels Firm or Siegel, the case proceeded to the Special Mag -istrate hearing on June 14, when the penalty order imposing a ne was issued.Regarding the building violations: Code En -forcement Ofcer Lally issued an Afdavit of Violation on March 25 of this year, providing details about the residential alterations under -taken without a permit, including electrical, plumbing and ductwork.The Special Magistrate on June 14 then is sued the penalty order imposing the ne in that case.The Daniels Law Firm did not respond to mes -sages left by the News Leader this week. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 13


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It is an exercise that takes the U.S. Congress months, and it often misses the deadline. For Sarasota City government, it is an exercise that takes days and the commissioners never miss their deadline. It is the creation of an annual budget.Make no mistake: Both are exercises in acri -mony, because the process of deciding who gets what is as old as Alexanders knot-cutting sword. Fundamentally, the job of any govern -ment is the redistribution of wealth.For thousands of years, that wealth went from the peasants to the king. In todays Sarasota, Florida, the process is a little more complicated.THE NUBNext month, city property owners will receive a Truth in Millage notice. The TRIM postcard will tell taxpayers how much each taxing body wants for the coming scal year. By law, it contains something called the rollback rate, guaranteed to confuse many homeowners, be -cause any tax rate higher than the rollback is often seen as a tax increase.For Sarasota city property owners, the roll -back rate this year is 2.8480 mills, or $2.85 on every $1,000 of appraised value of the taxable property. But the tax rate decided by city com -missioners on July 1 7 is a tad higher, at 3.1738 The City Commission listens to a Parking Advisory Committee presentation this spring. Photo by Norman SchimmelCITY TO TAP RESERVES, RAID INSURANCE FUNDS AND HIKE THE MILLAGE RATE TO BALANCE THE 2014 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET PROPOSED 8 PERCENT JUMP By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


City commissioners and staff continue to grapple with how to pay for parking enforcement. Photo by Norman Schimmel This is an extravagant budget [item]. We dont need spin doctors.Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 16


mills. Kicking aside the decimals, the latter represents an 8.5 percent increase in taxes. For a home valued at $200,000, that represents a tax bill $49.58 higher than last year (or 14 cents per day).Commissioner Susan Chapman made the mo -tion to approve the proposed millage rate for the 2014 scal year; Commissioner Suzanne Atwell seconded it, and it passed 3-2 (Com -missioners Paul Caragiulo and Mayor Shan -non Snyder in the minority). The 3.1738 mills is a line in the sand; commissioners can low -er the rate later, but they cannot go above it when they adopt the nal FY 2014 budget.It took two days of focused meetings to ar -rive at the nal number. Between the opening prayer and the closing gavel, a great deal of information was traded between staffers and commissioners. Most of it was bleak.The exercise began with a growing budget, up 8.4 percent over the current period. Revenues lagged $3.4 million behind planned expenses. Instead of spending two days whittling away the decit, commissioners piled on more ex -penses into the FY 2014 budget.NEW INITIATIVESA number of additional projects were con ceived at a November strategic retreat in -volving the commissioners and staff. Two city parks will receive master plans next year, for example. North Water Tower Park and Gilles -pie Park will be examined for $50,000 and $30,000 respectively.The city is budgeting $300,000 for an urban design studio for two consultants to develop a new zoning code for the city. The effort is expected to last three years in producing a form-based code. Also new in the budget are a couple of initia tives proposed by City Manager Tom Barwin. One is $100,000 for caseworkers to help home -less and vagrant people. Barwin also wants to encourage training for all city employees, and he budgeted that at $15,000 along with a $50,000 line item for employee development, including tuition reimbursement and profes -sional training.City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini added $200,000 to the budget, asking for the money to repair the citys aging audio-visual equip -ment that allows meetings in City Hall to be broadcast on cable systems and streamed on the Internet. The system has begun to fail, she City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 17


said; it needs n ew cameras and a switcher. Were praying everything will keep working, she noted.All totaled, the strategic plan funding needs added nearly $816,000 to the new budget.THE FATE OF ONE WOMANOne issue kept popping up during the bud -get discussions the fate of Jan Thornburg. She is the citys public information ofcer, an eight-year veteran on the job and a former news reporter from Tampa. She has won mul -tiple awards for her work with the city, but her boss decided she was not needed any more.My intention was to eliminate the position and reallocate those funds for a new internal auditor and repairs to the audio-visual sys -tem, said Nadalini. At issue was the $116,000 in pay and benets for Thornburg.Nadalini wanted to keep the money in her bud -get. At least two city commissioners thought otherwise. And Barwin wanted Thornburg to work in his ofce. It became a white-gloved battle of charter ofcers in front of their mas -ters, the city commissioners. Then the gloves came off.Did the city need a public information of -cer? This is an extravagant budget [item]. We dont need spin doctors, said Mayor Shannon Snyder.Im think ing of the taxpayers to cut the position and keep the money, with no justi -cation to keep the money, said Commission -er Chapman. And we have an unresolved legal issue.The legal is sue revolves around a letter Thornburg sent to all ve city commissioners earlier this month. At press time, the city at -torney had not completed the redaction of le -gal and medical issues from the letter to make it public. Thornburg herself is out of the ofce until August.The tug-of-war over who controls city public relations has been going on quietly for years. It eventually emerged into a public referen -dum on last Novembers ballot to change the city charter, including stripping Nadalinis ofce of the public information and informa -tion technology responsibilities. The initiative failed at the polls.However, by a 4-1 vote (Snyder in the minori -ty) the commissioners agreed to shift the pub -lic information pos ition to Barwins ofce, but Vice Mayor Willie Shaw. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 18


they allowed Nadalini to keep the $116,000 in her budget. The battle continued when Chapman with Commissioner Willie Shaws second moved to ask the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to conduct an external quality assessment of Nadalinis auditors. Nadalini said such an au dit would place a heavy responsibility on her auditing staff, so she wanted to hire a third person.Clearly, if my department is not adequately staffed, it takes a signicant amount of work to cooperate with the IIA staff when they come in, she said.The motion failed 2-3. Atwell and Chapman were in the minority; Shaw failed to support the motion he seconded. A subsequent motion to call for an audit of Nadalinis ofce after she hired a third auditor passed unanimously.THE BOTTOM LINEFor a number of years, the city has tapped into one-time funds to keep the books in bal -ance. For next years budget, it will transfer $500,000 from the reserves of the solid waste and self-insurance funds for the second year to help make ends meet. However, the com -missioners were told those funds are now tapped out, and any future raids will require rate increases.The one pot of money the commission contin -ues to tap is the general fund reserves, known ofcially as the revenue stabilization fund. And for next year, the commission proposes to pull out another $1 million. The bottom, though, is in sight for those monies. There will be about $1.4 mill ion left, meaning a year from now, when the scal year 2015 budget is being developed, the revenue stabilization fund will be good for one last drawdown.In addition to hitting the reserves for $1 mil -lion, the commissioners also called for a $250,000 increase in parking revenues to bal-ance the upcoming budget. The Parking De -partment next year will require a $500,000 subsidy to stay in operation.Parking Director Mark Lyons presented four options that had been discussed by his Parking Advisory Committee. Two were non-starters, calling for drivers to pay for on-street parking. One option was a continuation of the current everything free system that requires the half-million-dollar annual subsidy. The fourth option was unanimously opposed by the Parking Advisory Committee, which said it is not nancially sustainable even though it would seem to raise the money the City Commission needs. That option would continue free on-street parking, but it would demand payment at parking garages and es -tablish a paid employee parking system.Commissioner Shaw at one point offered a motion to cut through all the gimmickry and simply raise taxes to pay for the spending plan: no one-time transfers, parking gymnastics or raids on the reserves. The proposal would cover the $3.4 million decit with a 20 percent increase in the millage rate. The 3.5112 mills would cost the owner of a $200,000 house an additional $117 per year, or 32 cents per day.Shaws motion fai l ed for lack of a second. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 19


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The trial of a former Sarasota County GOP chairman accused of a third-degree felony, originally slated to begin next month, has been pushed back to the fall because the Sheriffs Ofce has not yet nished a forensic analysis of computers seized during the investigation.The jury trial of Bob Waechter, the head of the Sarasota Republican Party from 2004 to 2006, had been scheduled to begin Aug. 19, with a pre-trial docket sounding penciled in for July 29. But Assistant State Attorney Brian Iten and Waechter attorney Stephen Walker, cit -ing unexpected delays in case preparation, agreed to push the trial back to Oct. 21, with a docket sounding now scheduled for Oct. 7. Were still waiting on the results of the foren -sic analysis of some of the computers, Iten explains to The Sarasota News Leader He says his ofce doesnt expect to pursue any additional investigations before the trial be -gins, and that the October court date should hold. Walker did not respond to a phone call.Waechter is facing a Criminal Use of Personal Identication Information charge stemming from a complaint lodged last year by Saraso -ta County Council of Neighborhood Associ -ations President Lourdes Ramirez. Ramirez, a likely Republican candidate for the County Commission next year, went to authorities after she received a note sent by Democrat -ic congressional candidate Keith Fitzgeralds campaign, thanking her for donating $200 to the Fitzgerald effort in 2012. Bob Waechter (second row, far left) watches the swearing in of new county commissioners on Nov. 20, 2012. Photo by Norman SchimmelFORMER GOP CHIEFS DAY IN COURT PUSHED BACK JUSTICE DELAYED By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Problem: Ramirez never donated anything to Fitzgerald, and she felt someone had stolen her identity, according to the probable cause afdavit led for Waechters arrest.The Sheriffs Ofce was able to pinpoint the prepaid credit card used to make the false donation (a $35 donation was also made to the campaign of Democratic state House can -didate Liz Alpert), as well as the Bee Ridge Sweetbay where the card was purchased. Store surveillance footage showed someone resembling Waechter purchasing the card, and the investigating detective also discov ered that the donations were made from an IP address afliated with Waechters company, RWR Installations. Waechter turned himself in Dec. 14, 2012 and was released on a $1,500 bond.Since being arraigned, Walker has deposed a number of people involved in the case, in -cluding Alpert and Ramirez. Ramirez tells the News Leader her deposition lasted only a half-hour and was mostly pro forma. She says shes waiting for the trial to conclude before ofcially launching her County Commission campaign because she wants to see who else knew about the false donation scheme so she can avoid them.Shes also re-led a complaint with the Fed -eral Election Commission, which she argues should take civil action against Waechter: I want to send a clear message that theres an identity theft issue, but theres also a federal election violation.She points out that on March 16, Sarasota De -mands Accountability, a political committee registered at Waechters home address, donat -ed $28,000 to Citizens Have Rights in Sarasota, a committee registered at the address of Eric Robinsons CPA rm. Robinson served as lo -cal GOP chairman from 2006 to 2008; his wife, Christine, holds a seat on the County Commis -sion. Theyre still out there working behind the scenes, as if nothing happened, Ramirez says.Since being arrested, Waechter has resigned from his position on the countys Tourism De -velopment Council and its Board of Zoning Appeals. He also withdrew from his post on the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority.Waechter has long been inuential in local GOP politics: He co-chaired the countys Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, and last year he supported the campaigns of County Commis -sioners Carolyn Mason, Christine Robinson and Charles Hines all winners. % Lourdes Ramirez addresses the County Com mission regarding transfers of development rights. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 22


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


A years-old business dispute involving U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key may nally have an end point in sight: July. July 2014, that is.The dispute between Buchanan, the Sarasota Republican, and Sam Kazran, a former busi -ness partner, stretches all the way back to Sep -tember 2008, when Kazran originally led suit against the congress -man and his company, 1099 Management. But the case has picked up steam since March 2012, when Kazrans attorneys led a sec -ond amended motion.That motion accuses Buchanan of defrauding Kazran, as well as abusing the good ofces of this Court to silence Kazran regarding nu -merous election laws which were knowingly violated by Buchanan during his run for public ofce. The ling claims Kazran lost his en -tire business and more than $40 million in the process. The judge in the case this year gave Kazrans attorneys leave to assert a claim for punitive damages. Kazran has repeatedly maintained that Bu-chanan instructed him to reimburse employ ees for $67,900 worth of contribution s to Bu The U.S. Capitol. Photo by Raul654 via Wikimedia Commons JUDGE NAMES TRIAL DATE IN YEARS-OLD BUCHANAN DISPUTE DATE CERTAIN By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor The judge is pretty adamant that that is going to be the date.Josh Kon Attorney Stok Folk + Kon


chanans 2006 a nd 2008 congressional cam -paigns, a violation of campaign nance rules. The Federal Election Commission led suit against Kazran for the scheme in late 2010. Kazran has claimed he didnt know the reim -bursements were illegal, but he settled with the FEC last year, agreeing to pay $5,000. The Buchanan team has called Kazrans charges ludicrous.In a deposition taken by Buchanans lawyers last June, Kazran said Buchanan pressured him in October 2008 to sign an afdavit clear -ing Buchanan of any campaign nance wrong -doings as part of an agreement to settle their business dispute. That echoed claims Kazran made to the FEC in 2009.[Buchanan attorney John Tosch] told me, Sam, you got ve minutes to sign the afda -vit, or the deal is off, Kazran said, according to a transcript of the deposition.Did you ever tell Sam that if he did not sign the afdavit in ve minutes, the deal was off? Kazran attorney Robert Stok asked Tosch during a deposition of Tosch recorded this January.No, sir, Tosch answered, according to the deposition transcript. Sam said that under oath, and hes lying. He perjured himself. It never happened. That meeting never hap -pened.As that back-and-forth illustrates, the case is a thick stew of allegations and counter-alle -gations, with countless motions and appeals. But thanks to an order led last month, some certainty is now in sight: A jury trial has been scheduled for July 2014.Josh Kon, an attorney with Stok Folk + Kon, which is representing Kazran, tells The Sara-sota News Leader the long delay before the three-week trial starts is an effort to push the case to conclusion. He says an earlier date could have been set, but the case would have been bumped if there were any additional de -lays. Kon says the July time frame is solid: The judge is pretty adamant that that is going to be the date.Buchanan avoided being deposed last summer because, his team told the Herald-Tribune his attorney, Mark Ornstein, became serious -ly ill. Nonetheless, Kon thinks Buchanan will be deposed this fall.Motions in the case continue to y, even as of this writing, but Kon says the months lead -ing up to the trial should be relatively calm: Theres not going to be much reworks. Somehow, that seems doubtful. % U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Photo from the U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 25


As a sign of a strengthening real estate mar -ket, Sarasota-based development rm U.S. Assets Group III LLC is seeking to rezone 9.6 acres on McIntosh Road to clear the way for 20 single-family homes. Steve Brown, a partner at U.S. Assets Group, is proposing two units per acre for a cluster housing development at 5005 McIntosh Road. The developer said he was unable to comment on the specics of the project at this point in the approval process.According a preliminary application led with Sarasota County July 3, three existing build -ings will be demolished to clear the way for 20 residential lots.Cl uster housing developments typically set aside smaller residential lots, usually allowing a portion of the land to be preserved as open space or a common area, according to the Uni -versity of Minnesota. The idea was conceived by renowned New Urbanist ar chitect Peter Calthrope of Sausalito, CA. Plans for U.S. As-sets Groups proposal submitted to the county show 80-foot by 120-foot typical lots with a re -quired retention pond and open space on the northwest corner of the community. A gated private roadway is also evident in the plans.The petitio n for the rezoning the developer is seeking will appear before the Planning Com -mission; the County Commission will have a nal vote on the change. Agricultural land and three existing buildings sit on the land currently zoned Open Use Estate (OUE-1) at 5005 McIntosh Road. Photo by Roger DrouinTWO DEVELOPERS SEEK TO MOVE AHEAD WITH RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS: U.S. ASSETS GROUP III LLC WANTS TO BUILD 20 HOMES ON MCINTOSH ROAD; STALLED HUNTER CREEK ESTATES COMES BACK TO LIFE BANKING ON A REAL ESTATE RECOVERY By Roger Drouin County Editor


The future land use for the property is mod -erate density residential, according to county documents.The Amberlea neighborhood directly borders the property to the north and east. The U.S. Assets development rm has been banking on a real estate economy that is pro -jected to rebound. In 2012, it purchased 50 home sites in Bozeman, MT. Earlier this year, the development rm started construction of Grand Oaks, a gated residential community of 55 single-family homes in Venice.In the past, the company has constructed projects ranging from the 17-story Beau Ciel downtown tower and marina to $2-million lux -ury units at En Provence on Longboat Key. The latter project was completed in 2002. One of three existing buildings on the 9.6 acres. Photo by Roger Drouin A sign faces McIntosh Road on a portion of the 9.6-acre property. Photo by Roger Drouin Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 27


HUNTER CREEK ESTATESAs another sign of the recovering real estate market, the foreclosed Hunter Creek Estates subdivision appears to have a second life. A developer is applying for new approval of plans for the equestrian-orientated subdivi -sion at 14567 Fruitville Road because the orig -inal permits have expired.What I am here today to do is to nd out what we need to do to reactivate the approval of this project, Ralph Rhodes, an engineer rep -resenting the developer, told county planners at the July 18 Development Review Commit -tee meeting.Under Owners Name, the application lists the contract purchaser as Terry Clayton. An Internet search located a Terry Clayton who is the managing partner of Florida Land & Ranches in Jacksonville; he has the same tele-phone number as the one listed on the appli -cation. Florida Land & Ranches is a real estate development rm. The subdivision, with lots ranging from 3 to 7.5 acres, was originally approved in 2005 as a conservation plat. Roads were built and sewer lines put in, but construction of the subdivi -sion was halted during the real estate crash. The bank stopped funding, Rhodes said. SunTrust Bank took over ownership of the 330-acre parcel in January from Hunter Creek of Sarasota LLC, according to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser Ofce records.Sarasot a County planners said the develop -er has to resubmit plans and go through the approval process once again, since so much time has passed since the project originally was given the go-ahead. % U.S. Assets Group III, LLC is requesting to rezone the 9.6-acre parcel at 5005 McIntosh Road from Open Use Estate (OUE-1) to Residential Single Family (RSF-2). Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 28


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 or (941) 227-1080Advertisers 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 Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 29


Since Dan Kennedy opened Sarasota Military Academy 12 years ago, he has wanted to build a new middle school to prepare students for the charter high school. There was not enough room at the acade -mys main campus on Orange Avenue in the Rosemary District downtown. Therefore, over the years, Ken nedy had been look -ing for a piece of land large enough for the middle school facility and w ithin the Sarasota Military Academys budget.I have been all over the county looking for sites, Kennedy said I could never make the numbers work.Then earlier this year, Kennedy discovered a 12-acre parcel east of Interstate 75. On July 17, Sarasota Military Academys board of directors unanimously voted to mo ve f orward According to county planning staff, a proposed charter middle school at the 8351 Fruitville site is compatible with surrounding properties. Image courtesy Sarasota CountyTHE ACADEMY IS SEEKING A REZONING FOR A 10.5-ACRE PORTION OF PROPERTY ON FRUITVILLE ROAD TO CONSTRUCT 35 TO 40 CLASSROOMS AND A LIGHTED ATHLETIC FIELD SMA PLANS MIDDLE SCHOOL I have found through experience that middle school [graduates] often come to high school unprepared in certain areas.Dan Kennedy Headmaster and Co-Founder Sarasota Military Academy By Roger Drouin County Editor


with a project to build a campus that would house 35 to 40 classrooms. Plans show two single-story classroom buildings, an admin -istrative and library structure, a gym and an athletic eld to be used by both the middle school and high school.Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) submit -ted its initial proposal to Sarasota County in May. On July 18, construction contractor Fred Starling, representing the school, presented preliminary plans during the countys De -velopment Review Committee meeting. The academy is seeking a rezoning of the 10.5-acre parcel at 8351 Fruitville Road from Industrial and Research (IR) and Open Use Rural (OUR) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD).The project is contingent on the rezoning of that portion of the property; the County Com-mission would have a nal vote on the petition for that action.I think we can get you where you want to go, but it will be a little more complex than you might think it is, Kirk Crane, senior planner for Sarasota County, told SMA ofcials at the July 18 development review meeting.If the rezoning is approved, Kennedy hopes to begin construction of the charter middle school in October and open it in August 2014.We have a very aggressive schedule, but we feel we can accomplish it, Starling said. The school plans to submit an application next week to the Sarasota County School Board, which approves the creation of new charter schools in the county.The school would be constructed to initially house 400 students in the 2014 school year, then exp and to 600 to 650 students after a sec -ond phase of construction, Kennedy said.Ultimately, plans call for 800 students in grades 6, 7 and 8. Kennedy said the academy would lease the property with the objective of purchasing it within ve years.We did the same thing with our main cam -pus, Kennedy noted.When Sarasota Military Academy representa -tives met with county planning staff before the DRC meeting, staff told them they should seek a rezoning of the 9.5-acre parcel since educational institutions are an allowed use on property zoned as Planned Commercial De -velopment.According to county planning staff, a pro -posed chart er middle school at the 8351 Fruit Since its opening, Sarasota Military Academy has proven one of the countys more popular charter schools. Image from the website Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 31


ville site is com patible with the surrounding church properties to the north and east of the site. To the west, the property is bordered by land zoned as a major employment center (MEC), but county staff determined there is sufcient landscaping and space between the proper -ties.CENTERED AROUND A DRILL FIELDThe two single-story classroom buildings, ad -ministrative building/library and gym will all line a 200-foot long drill eld, according to the plans submitted to the county.All students will be learning drill techniques, Kennedy said.Plans also call for a 360-foot by 150-foot light -ed lacrosse and soccer eld.Both the middle school and high school teams will use the eld. Currently, those Sarasota Military Academy teams must play at alternat-ing parks because there is not enough space for a eld at the Orange Avenue location. We need a home eld, Kennedy said.There will be a total of 43,000 to 45,000 square feet in the structure on the new site, Sterling told the county planning staff. The main impetus for a middle school comes down to preparation for the high school where students participate in a vigorous cur -riculum that Kennedy describes as not the easiest way to spend four years and Army JROTC training.I have found through experience that middle school [graduates] often come to high school unprepared in certain areas, Kennedy point ed out.The middle school would offer a rigorous academic curriculum, with electives mod -eled after some of the classes offered at the high school, including horsemanship, fencing, martial arts, drum line and forensics, Kennedy said.Teachers will alternate between the high school and middle school so they know what is required of middle school students prepar ing for the high school, Kennedy added. Sarasota Military Academy has been trying to meet demand for growth. A renovated main campus will be opening in September, Ken -nedy said. % Sarasota Military Academy is located at 801 N. Orange Ave. in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 32


The Sarasota Police Department is located on Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel RETOOLING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT Im seeing a budget decrease for equipment. This is Priority One. We are sending people out there every night.Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota


It is not the same city Police department any -more. In six months, a new chief has turned things upside down. Bernadette DiPino used her one-hour slot during the City Commis -sions budget workshop Wednesday, July 17, to explain the stamp she is putting on the de partment.Starting at the top, she has remodeled the whole organization. The Sarasota Police De -partment is now divided into four bureaus. Two of them are headed by people DiPino recently promoted.S ix weeks ago, Pat Robinson was a police ser -geant. Today he is the captain in charge of the largest of the four bureaus Patrol Opera -tions. When the current scal year began last Oct. 1, the SPD had 175 sworn police ofcers. When the new scal year begins, it will have 158 ofcers, and 98 of them will report to Rob -inson.The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, and the underwater search and rescue DIVE team also will report to Robinson plus crisis negotiators, bomb defusers and other special operators. Chief Bernadette DiPino (far right) addresses ofcers after their promotions in June. Photo by Stan ZimmermanAS PART OF HER 2014 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET PRESENTATION TO THE CITY COMMISSION, CHIEF BERNADETTE DIPINO EXPLAINS HER REORGANIZATION OF UNITSBy Stan Zimmerman City Editor Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 34


T he new Ofce of Professional Standards will be run by veteran SPD Capt. Lucius Bonner. It will be home to the departments numer -ous volunteers, as well as the Crime Preven -tion Unit, the accreditation team, a planning and research section, and Internal Affairs. It also will be responsible for the Citizens Police Academy which begins July 31. The departments rst female captain Cor -rine Stannish is running the Bureau of Support Services, replacing the retired Capt. Jeff Carr on July 12. She will be in charge of records, training, the property and evidence unit, red-light cameras, special events, alarm enforcement and recruiting. The last is a crit -ical function, because in ve years, half of the serving ofcers will be retired. The fourth new organization is the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, run by 28-year-vet -eran Det. Pat Ledwith. He is in charge of 24 sworn ofcers, including 17 detectives along with crime-scene technicians. His bureau is divided into four units Crimes Against Property as well as those against persons and children, and the Vice/Narcotics Squad.The Police Department has embarked upon a so-called High Point (NC) strategy of crime reduction, arresting serious criminals and threatening second-tier offenders with pris -on unless they promise to go straight. As The Sarasota News Leader has reported, the strat -egy has begun. Ledwith says the second-tier effort, using the carrot of deferred prosecu-tion, is just getting under way.WAIT, THERE IS MORE Chief Di Pino opened her presentation to the commission with a list of accomplishments. She has hired a deputy chief and a civilian public information ofcer, for example. In an -other organizational rearrangement, the Intel -ligence Unit now reports to the Ofce of the Chief.Every sworn ofcer will receive 80 hours of high-liability training per year, she said. That is a response to an analysis undertaken earlier this year by former SPD Chief John Lewis, indicating the force had nearly zero training over the past two years.After Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight dropped his school resource ofcers stationed Chief Bernadette DiPino. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 35


in city schools, DiPino picked up the assign -ment, putting SPD ofcers in selected schools. The county School Board is picking up the tab for $312,000. Were embracing this, s he said.THE SAME PAGEThe nal budget request is a $1,250,000 in crease over last years budget, DiPino told the commissioners. Of the $28.8 million total, $16.4 million is for patrol, $5.5 million is for support and administration, $4.7 million for criminal investigation and $2.1 million for the Ofce of the Chief, she added, referring to the four new bureaus.Commissioners wanted to know how the city police worked with, and shared information with, the Sheriffs Ofce. None mentioned the June 18 appearance of the sheriff before the County Commission, when he said, I can as -sure you we have rescued the City of Sarasota more in the past two months than we have in the previous four-plus years I have been sher -iff.Commissioner Suzanne Atwell asked if DiPi -no would share information with the Sheriffs Ofce. We will be sharing back and forth, said DiPino.However Mayor Shannon Snyder, a former sheriffs deputy, asked a series of pointed questions aimed at Adam Richter, the infor -mation technology manager for the SPD.Richter replied, They get a limited data set, a parsed-down version, referring to ofcers on the street.But not the details, the ner points, said Sny -der. Not the victim info or what was stolen or their procedures. Can our ofcers on the street look up records? They have a limited ability, said Richter. Shouldnt there be a full integration of these two systems, asked Commissioner Paul Cara -giulo, referring to records at headquarters and data available to patrol ofcers. Yes, said DiPino. Previously our radio systems were not coor -dinated with the county, said Commissioner Willie Shaw. We could not talk with them and vice versa.We can communicate now, said DiPino. Across North America, she added, referring to the citys new radio system.Commissioners grilled DiPino further about equipment. Im seeing a budget decrease for equipment. This is Priority One. We are send -ing people out there every night, said Snyder. How old are our rearms? Every single one of them was broken down, parts replaced if necessary and redone, said Capt. Stannish. Were trading some old Glocks for new ones.We dont have systems that interface. We need more cooperation, back and forth. We can no longer be parochial about this, Snyder responded. Were all going to have to get on the same page. % Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 36


A couple ghts City Hall and succeeds. How can you qualify for a key to the city? And a neighborhood wins a possibly historic deci -sion. These are the stories as we review the City Commission activity of July 15.DO NOT LET ME DOWNLouise and Parker Converse showed up before the meeting in a bit of a panic. They buttonholed the mayor to ask how they could speak to the commis -sion about a city action they worried would put them out of business. By luck, the issue came up as the second item on the agenda.The Downtown Improvement District is em -barking on a $1 million-plus series of improve -ments to Main Street. One of them will be the addition of $57,000 worth of brick pavers to the c rosswalks at Main Street and Palm Ave-nue. The work will re -quire a 16-day closure of the intersection, and that is what terri -ed the Converses. Main Street improvements are under way in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUPLE CONVINCES COMMISSION TO HOLD OFF ON PART OF THE MAIN STREET IMPROVEMENTS; A NEW LAUREL PARK OVERLAY DISTRICT WINS APPROVAL; THE PROCLAMATION PROCESS MAY BE TWEAKED Well be isolated and trapped on a dead-end block.Parker Converse Co-Owner Artisan Cheese Co. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor CITY BRIEFS


We learned only this week the DID added in the brick, said Parker. Well be isolated and trapped on a dead-end block.The Converse couple owns Artisan Cheese Co. in the 1300 block of Main Street, across from the now-demolished Living Walls show -room and Sports Page bar and grill. The two businesses were razed to make way for an 18-story condo complex. Louise Converse said their business dropped signicantly when the rehabilitation of the sidewalks began. Were losing 50 percent, she pointed out. If the road is closed, we might as well go out of business.City commissioners seemed sympathetic. Why not September? asked Commission er Susan Chapman. Who wants it in July? asked Commissioner Paul Caragiulo. June and September are the lowest months [for economic activity].The contractor, who was in the audience, came forward. We have no problem doing it in September, said Jason Swift. We can do it at any time.Commissioner Willie Shaw moved to switch the schedule to September, and the motion passed unanimously. As a petition for redress, the Converses plea may have set a record for alacrity. Then Mayor Suzanne Atwell participates in a presentation to internationally known aerialist Nik Wallenda (right), as Pedro Reis, CEO of Circus Sarasota, listens at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in October 2012. Photo by Kelly French Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 38


THE RULES FOR SEEKING RECOGNITIONGovernment can be more than just a prob -lem-solving entity. Sometimes government acting for everybody recognizes people and organizations that make a difference. Guide dog trainers, literacy coaches, record-setting athletes and people who improve the commu -nity are often recognized by the reading of a proclamation of the City Commission.But who qualies? Dolly Parton came to per -form at the Van Wezel, and then-Mayor Su -zanne Atwell gave her the key to the city. But the next performer did not get one. When the current mayor asked staff to develop some guidelines, the process stopped cold, and the local branch of the Literacy Council was denied a proclamation as was Any Given Child, a partnership between the local school system and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.The denials spurred Chapman to question the entire procedure. In the past, some have been mailed and were not part of the agenda, she said. Apparently, proclamations have been regularly granted. But now they have to be requested by the mayor or a commissioner. If one asks for it, who presents it?I started this, replied Mayor Shannon Sny -der, who put the issue on the agenda. I saw in other communities things were arbitrarily done. I think I took proclamations and keys to the city to a new level in this community, said (From left) Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, Mayor Shannon Snyder and Commissioner Susan Chapman listen to a presentation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 39


Atwell. I did any and all. How do you distin -guish between one group and another? I want less rules and regs.Chapman moved to table the discussion to a future meeting, but that action failed 2-3 (Chapman and Atwell in the minority). Shaw then moved to send the issue back to staff, but that failed for lack of a second.The commission was momentarily stumped. Then Chapman moved to ask Atwell to make revisions to the policy as our senior commis -sioner. Caragiulo seconded that, and the mo -tion passed unanimously.He later asked, Does this mean were not giving any proclamations until we get this gured out? Atwell responded, We should just use the sta -tus quo.A BLANKET BIG ENOUGH FOR A CITY?Laurel Park is an enclave neighborhood, sel -dom visited because it is almost exclusively residential. It is a time warp neighborhood of Craftsman-style bungalows and duplexes built in the 1920s during that bright but brief time called the Florida Land Boom.It is blessed and cursed to be adjacent to downtown, and it is surrounded by zoning al -lowing skyscrapers to loom over the cottag -es. It is a neighborhood that long stood in the trenches of land-use warfare in the city. Its residents are knowledgeable and tenacious, and they love where they live.Over the years they have struggled to devise some mechanism to preserve their island of mostly one-sto ry homes in the midst of a po The City Commission has approved a new overlay district for construction near Laurel Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 40


tentia l high-rise sea. On Monday, July 15, they achieved a solution that may be embraced citywide.It is called the Laurel Park Overlay District the L-POD. The commission approved it on a 4-1 vote, with Caragiulo in the minority. It will use a procedure that is a compromise between current land-use regulations and new ones that will emerge over the next three years.For most neighborhoods, a developer with big plans needs to go before the Planning Board and City Commission to win approval to make changes in the future land-use map, as well as to obtain variances and other changes to the status quo. And the developer must start by in -forming nearby residents and calling them to a neighborhood meeting to outline the plan. But downtown, the developer needs none of that. Only staff approval of the plan is required so-called administrative site plan approval.For Laurel Park residents, that meant a new skyscraper could be proposed and approved across the street before anybody heard about it. The proverbial done deal and one the neighbors refused to accept.A compromise arose. Neighbors would be told ofcially notied when a project on their perimeter was afoot. And they would have the opportunity to confront the developer at a public meeting, able to ask questions and make suggestions. Then, after the developer submitted a site plan, another public meeting would be held. At neither meeting would any binding decision be made.If staff a pproved the site plan, neighbors could pay roughly $1,600 to appeal that decision to the Planning Board; and they could pay anoth-er $1,600 to appeal the Planning Board deci -sion to the full Sarasota City Commission.While they now will give up their automatic public hearings at the Planning Board and City Commission levels, the hearings will still be available as appeals for fees. Yet the compro-mise keeps alive the administrative site plan approval desired by developers, a point made by Chapman.It could become a model on how to resolve community differences with development in -terests, she said. It is a very valid compro -mise. Chapman heard all the arguments as a Planning Board member before her election in May to the City Commission.Mayor Snyder, also an alumnus of the Plan -ning Board, but at an earlier time, said before the vote: This is a solution good for down -town and good for the city.Passage of the Laurel Park Overlay District demonstrates commission support for a pro -cess to allow administrative site plan approv -al, but with safeguards for neighborhoods, including the right to appeal.As the city begins the early work on creating a form-based code, the compromise with Laurel Park may prove a palatable standard accept -able to current residents and developers alike. The overlay in concept may be expanded to encompass the entire city. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 41


Four recently hatched Least Terns another endangered bird species have disappeared on Siesta Public Beach and are feared dead af -ter new incidents of vandalism in buffer areas designed to protect both the terns and Snowy Plovers, Sarasota Audubon volunteers have reported.This latest incident fol -lows episodes of van -dalism in early June near Beach Accesses 9 and 10. That area has remained relatively problem-free, Sarasota Audubon volunteers told The Sarasota News Leader this week.Early on the morning of July 6, volunteers found signs of someone having dragged lawn furniture through the buffers near Beach Ac -cesses 3 and 4, according to witness reports. Sarasota Audubon volunteer Catherine Luck -ner told The Saraso ta News Leader that people were able to identify a man who re -portedly pulled heavy beach chairs about 2,000 feet down the An adult Snowy Plover makes itself at home on Siesta Key in March. Photo courtesy of Catherine LucknerNEW INCIDENTS OF VANDALISM ON SIESTA PUBLIC BEACH APPEAR TO HAVE RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF FOUR LEAST TERN CHICKS AS WELL AS MULTIPLE TERN AND SNOWY PLOVER NESTS A CONTINUING PLIGHT They are a rare little bird and we dont want to lose the species.Dr. Allan Worms Retired Wildlife Biologist By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


beach from Access 5 then along the entire length of the beach to the area Access 3; the marks showed the furniture was dragged up to that access.One Snowy Plover nest in the area had eggs close to hatching before the incident occurred, Luckner added.Then on July 17, Luckner emailed ofcers with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as well as Sarasota Coun -ty Natural Resources Department personnel, to report the following:This morning all of the south perimeter of the [Access 4] buffer had been torn down. Fur -ther, there were both human and dog tracks through the buffer from the south to north. More bad news: after having lost multiple [Snowy Plover] nests in that buffer due to hu -man acts and one crow attack, we now have lost all the [Least Tern] nests A few days ago there were at least ten (10) least tern nests. Now there are none! (Luckner added the em -phasis.)Its very disappointing, she told the News Leader on the afternoon of July 17.Luckners husband, Bob, is in charge of the volunteers monitoring the beach-nesting birds, she noted, so he receives daily updates about the birds activities.Following the June vandalism near Beach Ac -cesses 9 and 10 and a similar incident in that location in March, along with a quickly extinguished brush re the Sheriffs Ofce A Least Tern stands near eggs in a nesting area disrupted by people apparently dragging lawn chairs. Photo courtesy of Bob Luckner Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 43


Drag marks are visible through a nesting area that had been marked off by Sarasota Audubon volunteers. Photo courtesy of Bob Luckner Drag marks are visible over a swath of the beach. Photo courtesy of Bob Luckner Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 44


and the FWC had stepped up patrols and sur veillance.Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sheriffs Ofces Community Policing Station in Sies -ta Village, told the News Leader earlier this month that shortly after Sheriffs deputies and FWC ofcers began surveillance near Ac -cesses 9 and 10, an FWC ofcer saw someone acting suspiciously about 11 one night on the beach. That person was wearing night vision equipment, Osborne added. The man appar -ently spotted the FWC ofcer and got out of there, Osborne said, although not before the ofcer observed him appearing to follow a few groups of people for a short while. The FWC ofcer thought the man might have been one of the Sarasota Audubon volun -teers, trying to keep a watch over the area as well, Osbo rne said. However, when ofcers checked with the Audubon volunteers the next day, they learned that was not the case.Osborne told the News Leader on July 17 that deputies and FWC ofcers would collaborate on more monitoring in the area of Accesses 3 and 4 through the remainder of the nesting season, which ends in early September. He is hopeful they can catch the culprits, Os borne added.Additionally, Investigator Scott Kirsch with the FWC is planning to visit Siesta Key on Monday, July 22, to investigate the July 6 buf-fer violations, Bob Luckner told the News Leader.What has made the nesting area near Access 4 particularly vulnerable to disruptions, Os -borne pointed out, is that it is right out there in the center of the beach. Most of the other A sign that advised people the area was being used by beach-nesting birds has been knocked to the sand. Photo courtesy of Bob Luckner Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 45


Signage at Siesta Key beach accesses are designed to educate the public about beach-nesting birds, including the endangered Snowy Plovers. File photo Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 46


areas where the Snowy Plovers like to nest are closer to the dune line and therefore more protected, he added.SYMBIOSISAlthough the Snowy Plovers in the past have nested more frequently near the dunes be -tween Accesses 7 and 10, Catherine Luckner pointed out that this year, the Audubon vol -unteers had marveled over the number of plo -vers and Least Terns settling in in a symbiotic manner between Accesses 3 and 4.One very positive aspect of that situation, she noted, is that terns ght off crows, which have snatched up many a Snowy Plover chick over the past years.It was just amazing to see this, Luckner add -ed of the multiple nests. And we had every reason to believe [that symbiosis] would be successful in terms of producing chicks.Dr. Allan Worms, a retired wildlife biolo gist who also volunteers for what Sarasota Audubon members refer to affectionately as the chick patrols, told the News Leader this week that the latest information he had learned from Nancy Douglass, a well-known FWC wildlife biologist, was that only about 220 Snowy Plovers remain in Florida. They are a rare little bird and we dont want to lose the species, he said.GOOD NEWS AMID THE BADIn spite of the heartbreaking news this week, Worms related the volunteers excitement re -garding two Snowy Plover chicks that hatched this summer: They are getting close to edg -ing being able to y on their own.They still need protection, of course, he pointed out, but the parents have been keep-ing a close watch over them as have the volunteers. A Snowy Plover is hard to spot against the Siesta sand. Photo courtesy of Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 47


Moreover he said, it appeared a chick hatched in another nest on July 16, with one more pre -paring to come out of its shell in that same nest. Yet a third egg has been seen in the nest, Worms noted.The mother hen in that case found good ground cover to camouflage herself from predators, he pointed out. New Audubon vol -unteers can stand just outside the buffer area and fail to spot her, he added. Veteran volunteers can see the hen with the naked eye. That hen just picked a really good spot.Regarding the two older chicks, Worms said, They are starting to stretch little wing-like structures. Soon, he said, they should be able to wave their wings and try jumping into the air.Typically, for a few days, they fall on their beaks, he pointed out. Then, at last, they y about 6 or 8 feet on their rst real airborne adventure.Next thing the volunteers know, they are y -ing all over. You dont know where the heck theyve gone, he said with a chuckle.MORE PROTECTIVE MEASURESThe key to helping these endangered bird spe -cies survive, Luckner said, is education. She is hopeful that Sarasota Audubon can begin working more closely with rental ofces, con -dominium complex boards and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce on means to alert vis -itors to the presence of the endangered birds that nest on the beach each summer.Thats just going to have to take place, she said of such an initiative.In the meantime, Worms said he could not offer sufcient praise for the volunteers who have been patrolling so diligently this year.They are the meat and soul of success out there on the beach, he added.Anyone interested in volunteering to work on the chick patrol may visit the Sarasota Audubon website where email addresses are available, or call the chapter at 364-9212. People also are welcome to call the Siesta Key Association at 364-4880. % Dr. Allan Worms. File photo Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 48


Sarasota could soon be getting another Satur -day farmers market. This one would be located about halfway be-tween downtown Sarasotas popular market, which draws an esti -mated 350,000 people annually, and the mar -ket in downtown Ven -ice.Three local vendors have started a non prot group to spear head the effort. They have b een working with the Culverhouse family, which owns the undeveloped land on Palmer Ranch and controls the Palmer Ranch Master Association, to set aside property on S awyer Loop Road, in Palmer Ranch, for the new venture.The plan is in the pre -liminary phase, said Todd Underhill, pres ident of the nonprof it that runs Manatee County-bas ed Gerald The Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota has proven incredibly popular, especially during season. Photo by Norman SchimmelA NEW FARMERS MARKET THAT WOULD BRING 30 TO 40 VENDORS TO SAWYER LOOP ROAD IN PALMER RANCH REQUIRES A COUNTY ZONING AMENDMENT FROM THE FARM How would [their plans] affect the [downtown] Sarasota farmers market? I prefer they have an open communication and dialogue on that.Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


son Community Farm and a member of the group planning the Palmer Ranch initiative.Underhill and the two other vendors Tim Brown, who co-owns Browns Grove with his wife, Heidi, and Mary Arndt, owner of Bliss -ful Essence Spa Co. have already met with three county commissioners to introduce their concept. Underhill, Brown and Arndt are ven -dors at the Wednesday Phillippi Farmhouse Market at Phillippi Estate Park on South Tami -ami Trail in Sarasota; Brown is a vendor at the downtown Sarasota market as well.The group has the OK from the Culverhouse family to lease land, with the understanding the property used for the market will likely be developed at some point. Then, the market would have to relocate to a new home, Under -hill said.The biggest challenge will be the countys zoning code, which allows farmers markets only on properties in unincorporated Sarasota County that are zoned Commercial General/Siesta Key Overlay District (CG/SKOD) on Si -esta Key or at a place of worship, with approv -al of a temporary use permit.Based on the underlying zoning district for the subject property on Sawyer Loop, an amendment to the current code would be re -quired in order to have a farmers market at that location, Sarasota County Zoning Admin -istrator Brad Bailey wrote to County Commis -sioner Christine Robinson in a July 17 email. The downtown Sarasota Farmers Market is located along Lemon Avenue and State Street. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 50


MARKET DETAILSThe Palmer Ranch outdoor market would specialize in foods such as meats, sh, baked goods and produce although other consum -able products such as soap would be sold, Un -derhill said. The plan is to have a total of 30 or 40 vendors.I think initially we will be able to start pret -ty quickly with 30 vendors, added Underhill, who has spoken to other potential vendors. Since locally grown items are the key ingredi -ents for a successful farmers market, Under -hill said, the group also plans to require that vendors who sell produce at the new market grow a portion of what they offer to the public.We are trying to be a positive economic force for local ag producers, he added.Robinson met with the group July 3, and the commissioner likes what she has heard so far.There have been no decisions made on it, Robinson said. But I think exploring a new farmers market is an exciting thing. These folks are doing their homework. They have been involved in markets and the agricultural industry, and I am encouraged by the experi -ence they have.Robinson added that she sometimes tries to schedule meetings so she can attend farmers markets, and having places where residents can buy farm-fresh produce and similar foods is a sign of a healthy community.If I have an appointment in Englewood, I will try to schedule it so I can swing by the mar -ket [in Venice], Robinson said. Sawyer Loop Road could become the site of a new farmers market in Palmer Ranch. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 51


One conc ern Robinson has, however, is how a new market southeast of downtown Sarasota would impact that longstanding venture. She would like to see the group pushing for the new venture meet with the organizers of the market at the corner of Lemon Avenue and State Street in downtown Sarasota. How would [their plans] affect the [down -town] Sarasota farmers market? I prefer they have an open communication and dialogue on that, Robinson said.Phil Pagano, operations manager for the downtown market, told The Sarasota News Leader that Brown had approached him about the idea for the new venture. It is on our board agenda to discuss Aug. 6, Pagano said, adding that he hopes such a ven -ture in Palmer Ranch would not have a nega -tive impact on the downtown market and its vendors.We are pretty established; weve been here for 34 years, Pagano said. I dont know if it would be damaging to us.Since the downtown market changed its orga -nizational leadership a few years ago shift -ing to vendor control it has grown even more in popularity, now bringing 350,000 vis itors a year downtown on Saturdays, Pagano pointed out.He worries that a Palmer Ranch market could have more of an impact on the Venice market because of its location.Pagano also notes that new farmers markets often advertise fresh local food and produce, saying they plan to specialize in edible goods, but they end up sellin g mostly paintings and othe r craft items after some time. He points to the Siesta Key Sunday market, which has good vendors but not as many food vendors, as one example.How many of these markets are true farmers markets, Pagano asked.He also has discovered, he added, that it can be difcult to nd additional local farmers for the downtown Sarasota market a reality that could prove a bigger challenge if another Saturday morning market were to open.Robinson said many of the smaller markets she has attended seem to be self-governing, preventing farmers markets from becoming ea markets.That is a concern expressed, Robinson said. But they have done a pretty good job at all the markets Ive been to. % County Commissioner Christine Robinson. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 52


W hen restaurant entrepreneur Sean Murphy announced plans to open a new establishment in Siesta Village last year, some concern im -mediately arose about parking.It took a lot of wrangling among business owners, residents and county ofcials, after all, to work out a revised parking ordinance in 2009 that was mostly satisfactory to every -one.Murphys Eat Here Si -esta Key would be the first big test of that new ordinance, because the restaurant was going to be designed to seat 150 people. Longtime Siesta businessman John Davidson the landlord for the new restaurant at 240 Avenida Madera was able to ensure a suf -cient number of parking spaces were avail -able, Siesta architect Mark Smith explained during the Nov. 1 Si esta Key Association meeting. The other businesses on the south side of Avenida Madera Eat Heres neighbors a ll closed Cars ll the spaces in front of Eat Here on Avenida Madera. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE EAT HERE SIESTA KEY RESTAURANT IS IN VIOLATION OF THE PARKING PLAN IT SUBMITTED TO SARASOTA COUNTY BEFORE OPENING LAST YEAR BECAUSE A REAL ESTATE OFFICE USES SOME OF THE SPACES AFTER 5 P.M. A BIT OF A SNAFU By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Its a lot to do about nothing here.Mark Smith Principal Smith Architects


at 5 p.m ., before the restaurant opened its doors in the evenings, Smith pointed out. That would give the business 52 spaces, but only 48 would be required under the new code, Smith added.Well, as it turns out, all those businesses do not close at 5 p.m. The Coldwell Banker Res-idential Real Estate office located at 5145 Ocean Blvd., on the corner of Avenida Made-ra and Ocean, stays open seven nights a week until 8:30 p.m.When Smith was working on county permit applications for Eat Here, Davidson informed him the real estate ofce closed at 5 p.m., Smith told The Sarasota News Leader this week. Moreover, Smith said, I went by there [on July 17] and theres nothing on the door to indicate the hours of operation.The actual business hours for Coldwell Bank -er have Sarasota County Zoning Department staff, a deputy county attorney and presum -ably Murphy though he provided no com -ment to the News Leader this week trying to gure out the best way to bring the restau rant into compliance.John Lally, the county Code Enforcement of -cer who works on Siesta Key, told the News Leader on July 15 that the earliest the matter might be resolved would be next week. That is because Deputy County Attorney Alan W. Roddy, who is handling it, is on vacation.Nonetheless, Smith told the News Leader he feels the situation can be remedied easily, pos -sibly through valet parking on the site. The Coldwell Banker real estate ofce located at Ocean Boulevard and Avenida Madera is open until 8:30 p.m., its Realtors have veried. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 54


Lally said a valet parking permit costs $1,000, noting that Davidson Plaza also owned by John Davidson could be utilized as an alter -native valet parking area for Eat Here. Its a lot to do about nothing here, was how Smith characterized the matter to the News Leader.After word began circulating recently in Siesta Village that Eat Here was not in compliance with the parking code, Lally sought verica -tion of the Coldwell Banker ofces hours, according to email correspondence the News Leader obtained through a public records re quest.Steve Bailey, the managing broker in that of -ce, responded in a July 9 email to Lally that the ofce opens at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sun -days. It remains open through 8:30 p.m. each day, Baile y added, noting, At times, depend -ing on the business trafc, the ofce may be open later. Because of its location contiguous to a number of restaurants and shopping, we have extended hours.In response to a question from the News Lead -er on July 17, Bailey wrote in an email that the ofce hours he provided Lally had been in ef fect for at least a year. He added that at least one employee is on site on weekdays. On Sat -urdays and Sundays, independent contractor sales associates use the ofce. From Monday to Friday, my employee leaves at 5:30 pm, but the ofce remains open until approximately 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. depending on the prospect activity level, he wrote. On Sat. & Sun. the same closing hours are in effect except there is no employee onsite. The ofce is staffed by independent contractor sales as -sociates who work three-hour shifts. Valet parking for Eat Here could utilize spaces in Davidson Plaza, across the street, county staff says. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 55


Smith said that information was all the more reason he felt the parking non-compliance is -sue was not really a problem. Its a skeleton crew after 5, Smith pointed out of the Cold-well Banker stafng.Additionally, Smith emphasized Baileys com -ment to Lally that the people most likely to stop in the ofce in the evening would be those walking around in the evenings in Siesta Village.In all honesty, Smith said, if I thought it was going to be a problem [with counting the Cold -well Banker parking spaces], I would have re -duced the square footage of the restaurant in the design process.THE PERMITTING PROCESSAccording to county records, Smith sent an email on Aug. 16, 2012 to Brad Bailey, the county s zoning administrator, notifying him that A new restaurant is planning on moving into an existing retail and ofce space in the Avenida Madera South Plaza on Siesta Key.The email says the restaurant plan called for utilizing 2,378 square feet of dining area. This would require 48 parking spaces at 1 space/50 sq. ft. of patron area, Smith wrote, noting that 52 parking spaces surround the plaza and all the other businesses close at 5 p.m. or earlier.Before the tenant signs the lease agreement [he is] looking for assurances that Saraso ta County is in agreement with this parking analysis to allow [him] to get the necessary permits to renovate and get a certicate of occupancy, Smith added.On Aug. 29, 2012, Bailey wrote Smith a letter pointing out that county zoning regulations allow applicants to request approval of an Part of the plaza where Eat Here is located used to be home to Total Tennis of Siesta Key. File photo Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 56


alternative park ing plan when development or uses utilize different operating hours.Bailey continued that because Smiths request indicated the restaurant would be open when the other businesses were closed, meaning no overlapping of hours, your request for an Al -ternative Parking Plan is approved.THE CURRENT SITUATIONSince the restaurant has been open, Smith told the News Leader, the dumpster area has been expanded, which cost the site about 1 parking spaces. However, a couple of spaces could be restriped and marked for scooter or motorcycle parking, he pointed out, to com -pensate for that loss.Another option, Smith noted, is for the restau -rant to provide valet parking on the site. With an additional parking area around the corner of the building, he said, valets should have no trouble getting plenty of vehicles into the space available. I think theres room there. Its just a matter of how they want to handle it, Lally said.In the meantime, Steven Bailey, the managing broker at Coldwell Banker, pointed out in his email to the News Leader, I will state that [Eat Here] has been a good neighbor and there is a nice synergy among the business owners in our area of Siesta Key Village.That end of the shopping plaza was vacant for some time, Smith said. Suddenly, you have a vibrant business, he added of Eat Here. Prosperity its a good thing. % A diagram submitted by Smith Architects to the county planning staff shows the parking spaces for Eat Here on Siesta Key. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 57


S arasota and Manatee county ofcials will learn in about a week whether Nathan Bend -erson Park will be recommended as the host for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid told The Sarasota News Leader this week.Although the Ordinary Congress of the Fdration Internationale des Socits dAvi -ron the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) generally accepts the recommendation of its Council, Reid added, that is not a given. (Above) Among the local delegates participating in the International Federation of Rowing Associa tions presentation in Switzerland were Paul Blackketter of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Asso ciation, Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta, Manatee County Commissioner Larry Bustle; Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, Manatee County Manager Ed Hunzeker and Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid. Contributed photoWORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS PRESENTATION GOES WELL NEWS BRIEFS Paul Blackketter Joe Barbetta Randy Benderson Ed Hunzeker Randall Reid Larry Bustle


Representat ives of US Rowing joined the del -egation of local government ofcials and busi -ness leaders from Sarasota and Manatee coun -ties for the Benderson bid presentation to the Council in Lucerne, Switzerland on July 14.You very much had the feeling you were rep -resenting the United States, Reid told the News Leader.The formal announcement of the winning bid will be made in Chungju, Korea, on Sept. 2, according to FISAs timeline.US Rowing and U.S. Olympic Committee members previously joined county represen -tatives in Washington this spring to secure support for the bid from President Barack Obama. The national organizations involve -ment in the effort underscores the signicance of Benderson Park as a venue for the sport, Reid pointed out. The facility is considered the best in the Western Hemisphere, he added. With the increasing international publicity, he continued, area leaders hope they will begin to see teams from smaller countries without such facilities willing to travel to this area to train at Benderson Park.Its huge, Reid added of the worldwide rec-ognition. As for the appearance before the FISA Coun -cil: Reid said Paul Blackketter, the chief oper -ating ofcer of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association which manages events at Benderson Park took the lead in the 15-minute presentation.In a July 15 email to Sarasota and Manatee government ofcials, Blackketter wrote, Our U.S. delegation visit to Lucerne went quite well and our TEAM came together as one, rehearsed, worked, rehearsed some more [and] met the rowing federation ofcials from around the world; attended the FISA racing Championships [during which] the United States won [its] rst World Cup in history and participated in multiple meetings with FISA Council members. We feel we hit it out of the park! Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta wrote his colleagues in a July 15 email, Paul did a superb job in presenting the proposal. Reid told the News Leader that the entire ap -pearance before the Council took about an hour, as FISA members asked numerous ques-tions after Blackketter provided a PowerPoint presentation. The group received a standing ovation afterward, Reid noted.The venue for the event was a large hotel in Lucerne, he added.That evening, the Sarasota/Manatee delega -tion by happenstance encountered the delega -tion from Bulgaria, the only other entity bid -ding for the 2017 World Championships. They all were dining in the same restaurant, Reid said. We celebrated with them, he noted.Altogether, he said, We had a wonderful trip.Rachel Brown HackneyCORRECTIONA June 6 article, Fairness and the zoning code incorrectly identied one of the business owners interested in modifying the county zoning code to permit outdoor merchandise displays. James Ritter is the manager of Siesta Key Outtters, located at 5121 Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Village. A separate business, Siesta Vil -lage Outtters, also is located in Siesta Village, at 5200 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 59


Robert Hackn ey, opinion editor of The Sara -sota News Leader has won second place in the Editorial Writing category of the 2013 Sun-shine State Awards, sponsored by the Flori -da Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The awards were presented in Miami on July 13. This is the 19th year of the competition.Hackney was recognized for editorials on the City of Sarasota ch arter amendments that NEWS LEADER WINS HONOR IN JOURNALISM COMPETITIONappeared on the November 2012 election ballot, the homeless situation in Sarasota County and a call for vision and unity among city leaders.The judges commented, Well-reasoned opin -ions that leave no doubts about where the ed -itors stand on these issues.Hackney was competing against editorial writ -ers from newspapers of all sizes in the state of Florida. Staff Reports Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 60


The Sarasota County Fire Department is ad -vising the public of a nationwide recall of 55,000 propane tanks manufactured by the Lite Cylinder Company. The emergency recall order was issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Ad -ministration (PHMSA), a news release says. The order is directed at certain two-piece, fully wrapped ber composite cylinders, the release notes. According to PHMSA, these cylinders may leak ammable gas or suddenly rupture, it points out. The recall order applies to cylinders manu -factured by Lite Cylinder Co. with any of the following markings: DOT-SP 14562.FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUES ADVISORY ABOUT PROPANE TANK RECALL DOT-SP 13957. DOT-SP 13105. Any cylinder requalied under requalica tion approval H706. Any cylinder manufactured under M5729. Any person who has one of these cylinders is advised to stop using it, close the valve, safe -ly disconnect the cylinder once the valve is closed, store the cylinder in a space that is well-ventilated and not enclosed and protect the cylinder from all heat sources, the release adds.For more information, contact PHMSAs Hazmat Info Center at 800-467-4922 or visit Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 61


As part of th e City of Sarasotas Bradenton Road improvement project, trafc at the Myr -tle Avenue/Bradenton Road intersection will be temporarily disrupted effective through to -day, July 19, the city has announced. The eastbound lane on Myrtle Avenue adja -cent to the intersection will be closed while utility crews prepare to relocate a water line, a news release points out. Drivers will not be able to approach the in -tersection while driving eastbound on Myrtle Avenue. Likewise, motorists northbound or southbound on Bradenton Road will not be able to turn eastbound onto Myrtle Avenue, the release adds. Although Bradenton Road from Dr. Martin Lu -ther King Jr. Way to University Parkway will remain open during the improvement project, drivers are strongly encouraged to use alter -nate routes, the release says. When the eastbound Myrtle Avenue lane re -opens, utility crews will contin ue to relocate a water line along a 1.5-mile stretch of Braden -ton Road, which will require nearby residents to be placed under a boil water advisory, the release notes. Residents will be notied via door hangers before the advisory goes into effect and after the advisory is lifted. Approx -imately 11 boil water advisory notices are an -ticipated along different portions of Braden -ton Road as the project moves forward, the release continues. The rst advisory is expect -ed to occur within the next two weeks. As part of the improvement project, Old Bra-denton Road will be recongured into a two lane divided roadway with a 5-foot raised me -dian with landscaping and drip irrigation, and roundabouts will be constructed at Myrtle Av -enue as well as 47th Street.Residents are asked to be patient during this project, which is expected to be completed in January 2014, the release continues. Register to receive email updates on the project by visiting Also, fol -low the progress on Twitter @CityofSarasota.MYRTLE AVENUE/BRADENTON ROAD TRAFFIC DISRUPTEDSarasota native and Green Bay Packers cor -nerback Sam Shields and Bradenton native and Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, will be among the partic -ipants in the Stop the Violence Celebrity Bas -ketball Fundraiser to be held today, July 19, at Booker High School, the Sarasota Police Department has announcedThe gates will open at 6 p.m. for the fundrais -er; tipoff is set for 7 p.m., a news release says. The family event has been designed to focus STOP THE VIOLENCE CELEBRITY GAME PLANNED FOR JULY 19on non-violence and community building, the release adds.Admission is $5. All proceeds will go toward funding youth programs at the Robert L. Tay lor Community Complex, the release notes. We do our best to convey to our youth that violence is not the path for them to reach their full potential, said Jerry Fogle, Taylor Com -plex manager, in the release. Booker High School is located at 3201 N. Or -ange Ave. in Sarasota. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 62


The Sarasota Police Department has honored Ofcer William Bud Johnson for rescuing several children during a summer storm on July 16, the department has announced.At approximately 2:15 p.m., about 43 children in 25 boats were taking part in a local sail -ing camp when a rain squall caught them by surprise, a Police Department news release says. Because of the fast-changing weather conditions, the boats capsized near 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.All of the children were wearing life vests, and they used their training from camp to remain calm, the release points out.Karen Tone, the camp administrator, told Sarasota Police ofcers that staff members were just starting to bring in the children when the squall hit. Nine safety powerboats with instructors in them and four squadron members in personal vessels began pulling the youngsters aboard and transporting them to shore, the release continues.Johnson and several other ofcers responded to various locations around Ken Thompson Parkway in an attempt to locate other chil -dren, the release notes.Johnson could see several in distress in the water, the release notes. Without hesitation, he jumped onto a [type of] dingy with one of the camp instructors and began pulling the youngsters onto the boat with him, the release adds.Chief Ber nadette DiPino said in the news re -lease, This ofcer exemplied exactly what police ofcers are: heroes. He was instrumen -tal in the saving of the lives of many young people. Im really proud of Ofcer Johnsons performance and his example of ne, out -standing police work. Ofcers were able to conrm all the children attending the camp were accounted for; no injuries were reported, the release notes.OFFICER RECOGNIZED FOR SAVING CHILDREN DURING A SQUALL Ofcer William Bud Johnson/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 63


Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight this week presented a check for $3,000 to students from Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing (BSDRT), a Sarasota nonprot group that pro -vides tutorial services and summer camps for local children, the ofce has announced.Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing is based at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center in Sarasota and is dedicated to keep -ing neighborhood children in school by keep -ing them actively engaged in new experienc -SHERIFF PRESENTS FORFEITURE FUNDS TO NONPROFIT GROUP Sheriff Tom Knight presents a $3,000 check to representatives of Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing. Contributed photoes an d offering them opportunities that will lead them far beyond their present ten block boundaries, a news release notes.Im always happy to support organizations that provide positive, character-building ac -tivities for young people, said Knight in the release. When we can use money seized from criminals to better our community and sup -port programs for young adults, were also doing the right thing. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 64


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has cap-tured a violent fugitive who has been on the run and in violation of his state probation for the past 13 months, the ofce announced July 15.On July 15, the Fugitive Apprehension Unit, working in conju nction with the U.S. Marshals Flor ida Regional Fugitive Task Force, arrested Roy Pandeloglou, 55, in the 3400 block of Park Ridge Circle, Sarasota, according to a news release. He was on probation for a 2010 felony battery case in which he caused great bodi -ly harm to the female victim, the report says. Pandeloglou absconded in June 2012, the re -port adds. He is being held without bond. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce released a poster in March showing those on its 10 Most Wanted list. Image courtesy Sheriffs OfceVIOLENT FUGITIVE CAPTURED IN SARASOTA THIS WEEK CRIME BLOTTER


Roy Pandeloglou/Contributed photo Darryl Lamar/Contributed photo Oliver Locke/Contributed photo The arrest of Pandeloglou leaves just two fugi -tives on the initial list of Sarasota Countys 10 Most Wanted, released in March of this year, the news release notes. Darryl Lamar has been wanted since 2011 for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, and Oliver Locke is want -ed for nine counts of Credit Card Fraud, the release adds.Anyone with information on either Lamar or Locke can contact Crime Stoppers by calling 366-TIPS (8477) or visiting www.sarasotac Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 66


With the assistanc e of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce, Kyle Riley, 25, has been arrest -ed and charged with Capital Sexual Battery and Incest, the Sarasota Police Department announced on July 18. Riley was arrested by deputies with the Sher -iffs Ofce just after midnight on July 18 in the 6500 block of Gateway Avenue, in the Gulf Gate area, a news release says.The crime with which Riley has been charged happened in the city of Sarasota, the release adds. The victim told detectives the battery and incest started the summer when she was 10. The victim said Riley would use a butter knife to unlock her bedroom door and come to her, the report adds. On June 27, the vic -tim conded in a friend and detectives were called, a news release says.A Capital Sexual Battery charge carries no bond and could carry a sentence of life in pris -on without parole, the release notes. Kyle Riley/Contributed photo SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SARASOTA SEXUAL BATTERY CASEThe Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce is inves-tigating the circumstances leading up to the discovery of a restaurant manager with severe head trauma on the night of July 14, the ofce has announced.Deputies were called to New Dynasty Chinese Buffet, located at 6131 S. Tamiami Trail, Sara-sota around 9:38 p.m. after customers found 51-year-old Tain Andrew Tian lying uncon -scious in the driveway of a nearby business, according to the report.Employees and witnesses say the manager followed three male customers who left the restaurant without paying for dinner, the re -port adds. They heard tires squeal a short time later but did not nd Tian for some time and did not kno w how he was injured, the report SEARCH CONTINUING FOR SUSPECTS IN RESTAURANT INCIDENTnotes. Tian was transported to Sarasota Me -morial Hospital, where he underwent surgery for his injuries.The suspects are described as three Hispanic males in their 20s with short hair, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall and weighing 210 to 250 pounds. One has a pierced lip and eyebrow, and another has a distinct rosary tattoo on his wrist and hand, the report says.Anyone with information is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 861-4900, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), go online at or send a text message by texting TIP109 plus a mes -sage to CRIMES (274637). % On July 3, Joshua Riley, 22, was arrested and charged with Capital Sexual Battery and In -cest in connection with the same case, the release adds. Reports provided by the Police Department do not indicate whether Joshua Riley and Kyle Riley are related. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 67


Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida941-953-4060


OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL It has bee n 17 months since that fateful night in February 2012, when Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman had their fatal encounter. Martin died that night, and Zimmerman found himself at the center of a storm of public con -troversy about vigilantism, race relations, gun rights and the new denition of self-defense known as stand your ground.Eventually, and perhaps because of the nation -al outcry, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree mur -der in Martins death. That process end ed earlier this week when a Seminole County jury acquitted Zimmerman of crimi -nal complicity in the killing.Many legal experts maintained from the out -set that there was virtually no chance that Zimmerman could be convicted of either man -slaughter or second-degree murder, given the circumstances of the case. The reason most frequently offered for this expected outcome was chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes, titled, Justied use of force.Under that statute, a provision now wide ly known as stand your ground allows someone to use dead -ly force against anoth -er when [h]e or she believes such force is necessary to pre vent imminent death or great bodily harm The infamous stand your ground law has lived up to its most dire predictions: Someone has killed someone else under questionable circumstances but could not be held accountable because the law shielded him from effective prosecution. FLORIDA MUST RECONSIDER STAND YOUR GROUND LAW


to himself or herself or to another or to pre -vent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.The previous standard of self-defense allowed the use of deadly force only when retreat from the peril was not an option. Now, of course, such prudence has been tossed out the win-dow and the much lower standard of a person -al belief that one is in imminent danger of death or harm allows one to proceed directly to the use of deadly force.Tragically, the only witness to a shooters state of mind that is, whether there was a le -gitimate reason to believe that death or great harm was imminent generally is the shoot -ers victim. And, as the saying goes, Dead men tell no tales.Despite the outrage over a teenager being gunned down by an overzealous community watch member, only Zimmermans account of the events was available, as most legal au -thorities pointed out. Martin, who could have rebutted his version of what transpired that night, no longer was able to speak for himself.A rickety conglomeration of frantic 911 calls and other circumstantial evidence collapsed in the face of that hard reality. As the law is written, Zimmerman had to be proven a liar beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury of six women could not nd the evidence convinc -ing enough to overrule his version of events, and thus voted for his acquittal.In the aftermath of the verdict, many have called for some other avenue of retributive justice, from a federal charge that Zimmerman v iolated Martins civil rights to a civil wrong -ful death suit against Zimmerman brought by Martins family. But both actions are even more tenuous than the original homicide prosecution and likely to fail. Why? Because a criminal prosecution for violating Martins civil rights must prove that Zimmerman killed Martin not because the latter was a suspected criminal but only because he was black. And the civil action would be even more hampered by the state statute, now buttressed by the jurys decision in the criminal case. (That is quite unlike the situation in California, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder but found civilly liable in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron -ald Goldman.) What made a criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman difcult, and any other criminal charges or civil actions unlikely, is Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes. The infamous stand your ground law has lived up to its most dire predictions: Someone killed some -one else under questionable circumstances but could not be held accountable because the law shielded him from effective prosecution.So the question understandably becomes, Why does Florida have such a law? And the short answer is, Because of the National Rie Association.But the more complete answer is, Because of a wholesale usurpation of the democratic process in Florida by corporations and their right-wing policy organizations. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 70


For de cades, Charles and David Koch, the right-wing billionaires famous for using their wealth to inuence American elections, have funded an extremist organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. ALEC sends its minions into the ofces of mostly Republican state legislators around the country and, with smooth words, copious cash and ready-made legislation, convinces these legislators to sponsor its initiatives.As powerful as the NRA is, it could not have single-handedly pushed the stand your ground law through the Florida Legislature without the generous assistance of ALEC.Passed in 2005, the law became a blueprint for the rest of the country; it has been adopted in 24 other states.The NRA ercely proclaims that stand your ground laws are about supporting a funda -mental human right the right of self-de -fense. However, such laws bypass centuries of common law that have dened a reasonable right to defend ones self. Instead, the NRAs stand your ground law appeals to the basest, most atavistic nature of humans, encouraging unthinking and reactionary responses to per ceived threats. It would inculcate the imagin -ing of an individuals immersion in a hostile, prehistoric world, where danger lurks at every turn and is best resolved with extreme force.The NRA leadership seems to laugh at the quaint notion of the better angels of our na -ture, as articulated by Abraham Lincoln. In -stead, it encourages the devilish world of the violent troglodyte.Admittedly, Fl orida has not devolved into a lawless, Wild West scenario of daily gun bat -tles in the streets. But that is only because the people of Florida have kept their wits about them, and the better angels of their nature have resisted the urge for a more visceral, vi -olent response to threats. But that does not lessen the need for corrective action.The people of Florida must accept that, de -spite the small measure of comfort they might derive from carrying a concealed weapon to church or to the grocery store or knowing they can shoot and kill any malefactor with impunity their world has not grown safer as a result of those rights. In fact, they face a higher risk that they might instead become victims of someone who zealously but injudi -ciously decides to stand his ground.They must demand of their Legislature a re -turn to the carefully rened concept of self-de-fense that has served this nation and the civi -lized world for centuries: Deadly force only if safe retreat is not possible.Doing so is not about a further rebuke to George Zimmerman or even a memorial to the slain Trayvon Martin. Rather, it is a rm rejection of the politics of fear that the Koch brothers and their fellow travelers would im pose upon Florida and the rest of the nation.Florida should be governed by Floridians, and carpetbaggers such as the Koch brothers and their NRA toadies should be sent packing. Stand your ground needs to receive the ulti-mate sanction it so cavalierly encourages. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 71


COMMENTARY Having been to -tally absorbed in the matches at Wimbledon for the previous week, and then, during the mens nal, watch -ing every second of the players mastery with the intensity of the chair umpire, I decided to explore what I am calling Sports Fever. The match between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovich (an instant classic) two genius -es at the game of tennis will go down in history for many reasons. One of those is that it marked the occasion when another British male nally won at Wimbledon and succeeded Fred Perrys name as the last one belonging to a Brit on the Wall of Champions. The British and all Anglophiles the world over had been caught up in a waiting game for 77 years, and Andy Murray, their beloved Scot, nally re -lieved their anxiety.Being a sports fan (or fan-atic, as I call it) is not easy for the fan or his/her loved ones. The latter simply do not understand how we can devote so much time and pour so much emotion into an activity in which we are not physically involved. We are NOT serving aces; NOT kicking a soccer goal; NOT scoring a touchdown. We are very actively engaged in our favorite sport, but we are viewing it from afar. The good news is, we will not get hit by the ball. The bad news is, we do not have a prayer of getting hit by the ball.However, as a sports fan-atic, when I watch a major tennis match, I feel no guilt or embar -rassment if I yell out loud at the TV screen. And clapping is even more fun. So what if Rafa (Rafael Nadal) does not hear me? I am in the moment and participating in his match with as much fervor as possible.Rooting for teams may be different from play -ing them. Nonetheless, the camaraderie of guys hanging out at their local sports bars and bonding over their favorite teams and my watching a tennis match alone are expe -riences probably just as emotionally charged as being on the courts or playing elds is for the competitors.Let the games continue only five more weeks until the U.S. Open. % COMMENTARY FOR SPORTS FANS, IT IS INDEED A FEVER By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and in clude the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Letters ac -tually printed will be selected based on space avail -able, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted be -come the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 72


Sarasota Leisure SARASOTA LEISURE Your Lifestyle Guide To The Suncoast Inside MAD FOR COWS GOING NATIVE SIESTA SEEN


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Back then I could never get them to stop.As a 6-year-old riding with my parents through the Pennsylvania countryside, we would pass acres and acres of cattle ranches, including an eastern extension of the Texas King Ranch. I sat in the back seat, pleading with them to stop so I could pet a cow. But the closest I ever got to one was the huge plastic one we kids took turns riding in front of the Guern -sey Cow (known to locals as the Greasy Cow), an eatery in Lancaster, PA.Nowadays, I get to stop wherever and when -ever I want. Florida is a cow junkies dream. In the center of the state, they are everywhe re pastured on innumerable ranches, grazing among ancient cypress trees or standing in the Myakka River in winter, when the river is reduced to a trickle. ( Drive out State Road 64 or 70, stop by a ranch and hang over the fence. Settings are picturesque, with cows grazing nearby or resting under huge live oaks. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys, sandhill cranes and caracara, which frequent pastures. Lis -ten for the meadowlark. Deer and feral hogs feed alongside the cattle, which do not seem to mind.Practice cow etiquette! Do not climb fences, chase cows or moo loudly. The landowner or the bull could be nearby. FLORIDA IS THE PLACE TO BE IF YOU ARE A FAN OF BOVINES MAD FOR COWS Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer


Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 76


Where the re is a cow, there is a cattle egret. Originally from Africa, these small white birds capture grasshoppers and other insects stirred up by grazing cows. The egrets arrived in South America in 1877 and made their way up to the U.S. by 1941. They have done so well here that, unfortunately, they displace some of our native birds. ( In Sarasota you can get a quick x along Fruit -ville Road, where you will nd what look like prop cows tucked in here and there on small parcels among the strip malls. Back roads in most jurisdictions have their share, too. ( Cattle have been part of the Florida scene for centuries. The cow you see today may have ancestry going back to the ones Ponce de Leon unloaded here in 1521. Many more were brought by the Spaniards on later expe -ditions. Descendants of those Spanish Anda -lusian cat tle mixed with breeds introduced by the English colonists to become our Cracker cows, now considered critically endangered. Eating scrub plants and whatever else they could nd, these cattle became inured to the heat, mosquitoes, ticks, ies and other chal lenges served up by Florida. ( Historians tell us that as early as 1700 there were 34 ranches and approximately 20,000 head of cattle. Thousands were pastured in the Alachua Savanna when William Bartram met Cowkeeper, a Seminole chief in 1774.After the Seminole wars, rustling was com -monplace. Free-roaming cattle were to be had for the taking though it took some doing, as Tobias MacIvey, the main character in Patrick Smiths book, A Land Remembered found out. Settlers built their fortunes on these cattle. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 77


Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 78


During the Civil War, tens of thousands of cattle were rounded up at Alachua and driv -en to Georgia to feed the troops on both sides. ( Happily for those of us with a secret ob session with cows, in Florida they are as ubiquitous as sunshine and citrus. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 79


There has been some controversy in our fair county recently about the use of native plants in landscapes. Without rehashing the details or taking sides, I thought this subject would be fodder for an interesting discussion.There is a school of thought that is passion -ate about the idea that growing Florida native species is the only way to go when design -ing gardens. Implicit in this rationale is that these cultivars exist best in the environment in which they proliferate naturally. There also is an undeniably good argument that this ap -proach conserves water and nutrients.An a dditional benet is the reduction of ni trogenous pollution, which leaches into groundwater and drainage that runs off into our marine and aquatic waterways. The resul -tant growth of algae in both salt and fresh bod -ies of water shuts down oxygen and stresses all forms of life in those habitats. It is folly, however, to believe that native plants require no nutrition, moisture or regular care other than that which nature provides. Most plants regardless of their place of origin will benet from the moderate ap -plication of fertiliz ers, whether the plants are Firebush is a Florida-native plant. Photo by Rick Wielgorecki EVEN NATURAL PLANT SPECIES IN FLORIDA CAN REAP THE BENEFITS OF EXTRA ATTENTION FROM TIME TO TIME GOING NATIVE By Rick Wielgorecki Contributing Writer


natives or exot ics. And organic products are available for those gardeners who want to im -pact the environment minimally.Mother Nature is a ckle gardener herself, dol -ing out excessive amounts of rain sometimes and withholding it for long periods at other times. Irrigating, especially during dry seasons and dry spells, enables all species to avoid ex -cessive stress and survive those times.Natures way of pruning is primarily through storms, which occasionally remove small amounts of deadwood and foliage. But the more violent tempests may snap off major branches or even fell entire trees. The vigi -lant gardener knows that with proper pruning techniques, dense, ingrown foliage, deadwood and crossing branches can be removed to al -low erce winds to blow through trees and shrubs rather than knocking them down. It is also a fact that pesky insects are com -pletely unbiased about feasting on either na -tive or exotic cultivars. I have spent many hours spraying popular natives, such as re -bush, which have been attacked by aphids, scales, whiteies and mealybugs. There just are not enough ladybugs, praying mantises and benecial wasps to prey upon ravenous insect species. And for the ecologically sensitive gardener, there is a host of soaps and oils that will do a minimal amount of environmental damage while controlling the interlopers.So if you choose to use them exclusively or in concert with exotics, bear in mind that a little horticultural attention will keep the natives from getting restless.Rick Wielgorecki may be contacted at 362-0600 or % Hibiscus is a Florida native plant commonly seen in Sarasota County. Photo by Kurt Stue ber via Wikimedia Commons Marlberry produces white owers. Photo by Ho mer Edward Prince via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 81


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


Some days, Peter van Roekens must feel like the voice crying in the wilderness.More than a year and a half after he first broached the idea of better crosswalk lighting in Siesta Village, county staff nally appears on the verge of getting bollards installed to provide LED illumination at seven crosswalks.Just as I was nishing up my column for this week, I found the following note in Saraso -ta County Chief Engineer James K. Harriotts July 8 report to the County Commission:The work assignment was issued to the con -tractor. A purchase order is scheduled to be issued the week of July 15, 2013. Preparation work, utility locates and permitting is sched -uled to be completed by the end of July, 2013. Installation ... is [scheduled] to start by August 1, 2013. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August, 2013. Now it has been more than ve months since van Roekens brought up the need to remedy another situation: constantly blinking lights at crosswalks for Siesta Public Beach-goers at Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare. That proj-ect is still in the memo phase.SIESTA VILLAGE BOLLARD INSTALLATION IS SET FOR AUGUST; COUNTY STAFF IS STILL WORKING ON NEW PEDESTRIAN WARNING LIGHTS FOR BEACH WAY AND AVENIDA DEL MARE AS WELL AS ILLUMINATION FOR OLD STICKNEY POINT ROAD By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A map shows the area of Avenida Del Mare on Siesta Key. Map courtesy of Google Maps


SIESTA SEEN This young visitor to Siesta Public Beach for the July 4 holiday period seems fascinated by treasure he found in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 84


Although the re was a slim chance staff would have a report on the latter matter ready for the County Commission before its summer recess began last week, the memo evidently was not nalized in time.Van Roekens the secretary of the Siesta Key Association and a Terrace East condominium complex representative to the Siesta Key Vil -lage Association meetings explained during the Feb. 5 SKVA meeting that the constant ashing of the lights at the two sets of cross -walks on Beach Road is dangerous because drivers who have become inured to them fail to look for pedestrians using the crosswalks. He suggested that county staff needed to ad -just the lights to blink only on demand in other words, a person getting ready to cross the street would press a button and the lights would begin ashing.After raising the same point during the SKA meeting that February week, van Roekens ended up working on a compromise with fel-low SKA Director Deet Jonker a Siesta Isles resident. The request was that the county in-stall the type of crosswalk lighting the Florida Department of Transportation put in last year along Midnight Pass Road.The Siesta Isles Association has fought for that light over the years, Jonker said of the Beach Way ashing light during the February SKA meeting. But residents really liked the new Midnight Pass crosswalks, Jonker said.Tom Maroney, general manager of business operations in the countys Public Works De -partment, recently gave me an update on the Beach Way/Avenida Del Mare request, and he sent one by email to Commissioner Nora Pat -terson, who lives on Siesta. Maroney noted in his July 3 email to Patterson that the rectangular rapid ashing beacon pe -destrian sign (RRFB), like those on Midnight Pass Road, is becoming pretty popular with people. Alternating, or wig-wag, ashing lights are mounted below each sign. Nonethe -less, There have been some unresolved cor -rosion issues with the circuits. This has been brought to FDOTs attention and the manufac -turer, Maroney added. Repairs were made and they are currently functioning. However, we continue to evaluate their reliability and await manufacture resolution to the corrosion problem before recommending further use, he wrote. The goal with the memo being prepared by staff is to provide all the relevant details to the County Commission, Maroney told me, so the board has enough information to make a quality decision.In a related matter, Harriott, the countys chief engineer, reported to the County Commission on June 17 that county staff recently had posi -tioned a truck with a camera near the intersec -tion of Beach Way and Beach Road to record vehicle and pedestrian movements. Several citizens have requested a signal at the inter -section, he added. This a repeated request, [but] studies have shown that the intersection does not meet warrants for a trafc signal. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 85


PLENTY OF PATHS TO THE BEACHCounty staff email this week also provided an update about a popular path to Siesta Public Beach that will be eliminated as a result of the new stormwater project.On July 13, Carolyn Brown, general manager of the countys Parks and Recreation Depart -ment, explained that the path by the county re station on Beach Road will disappear, to be replaced by the new stormwater retention pond. That project tentatively is set to be com -pleted in late fall.Brown did offer aerial views showing multi -ple ways to enter the beach park without that path.She wrote: The solid yellow lines indicate ac -tual sidewalks. The dashed yellow lines are paths on the sand. As you can see, there will be a path between the new parking [area] and where the new tennis courts will be repo-sitioned. This is not too far from the original path. (See the accompanying image Brown provided.) A county map shows where new parking spaces and the new tennis courts will be placed when im provements are completed at Siesta Public Beach. The solid yellow lines represent sidewalks, while dotted lines represent paths in the sand. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 86


OLD STICKNEY POINT ROAD LIGHTINGYet a t hird ongoing topic has been reprised in recent county memos to the commission. This one concerns the interest of business owners on or near Old Stickney Point Road in seeing better illumination installed in that area for pedestrians.In early February, Commissioner Patterson asked staff to begin investigating what it would take to get lighting installed along the road. She was responding to a request from Dave Stewart, one of the owners of Captain Curts Crab & Oyster Bar, and Aledia Tush, co-owner of CBs Saltwater Outtters.They feel [Old Stickney Point Road] is very dark and dangerous at night and a deterrent to the folks visiting businesses and restaurants, Patterson wrote Chief Engineer Harriott in a Feb. 1 email. Their preference would be decorative lighting as was originally planned when the area was improved with sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks [about 10 years ago]. They believe the little park at the end would benet as well and apparently the con -do down at that end is supportive of that also.During his report to the County Commission for the week of July 1, Harriott noted: Cost estimates are being provided (as request -ed) to the property owners for two options: Power lines are visible along Old Stickney Point Road, but no light poles stand on the street. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 87


Captain Curts Crab & Oyster Bar is at the corner of Midnight Pass Road and Old Stickney Point Road. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 88


1) Florid a Power and Light (FP&L) xtures mounted on existing infrastructure and 2) County street lights mounted on new poles and infrastructure.Harrio tt added, The FP&L option may not result in lights in the preferred locations [if existing poles are used]. Either option will re -quire a new lighting district. The lights could be added to the existing Siesta Key lighting district, which would require a [vote] for in -clusion by the entire existing district. Form -ing a new district is simpler and improves the likelihood for success.In a May 8 memo, Ryan Montague in the coun -tys Trafc/Mobility Ofce explained the steps for setting up a new lighting district:. Meet with steering committee to determine type of lighting and lighting locations.. Obtain feasibility and estimates from FPL/lighting vendors/electrical contractors.. Present project plan along with estimates/assessments at a Public Meeting.. Require steering committee to obtain pe -tition from at least 67% of property owners from proposed district. Present project, estimates, and petition to [the County Commission] at a Public Hearing, request funds transfer to pay for initial year costs. If approved, construct project, and assess properties within district for project costs. Steps 1, 2, and 3 may repeat as necessary depending on commen ts and requests from steering committee members and proposed district property o wners. For instance, we may need to have three steering committee meetings before a lighting style is agreed upon, and we may need to have two or more public meetings depending on whether or not we reach a consensus from property owners.Earlier on Feb. 1 Montague emailed Pat -terson with the following information: As I explained to Ms. Tush, Old Stickney [Point Road] is within the Siesta Key Lighting Dis -trict, and there are several poles on the street available for overhead lights which can be provided by FPL at no up-front cost and a neg -ligible increase in annual energy costs (less than 2% impact to the districts annual bud -get). Ms. Tush is amenable to having that type of lighting installed. Tush and Stewart were both out of town this week, so I was unable to reach them for com -ments on the latest staff information for the commission.CHAMBER IN NEW SPACEAs of July 1, the Siesta Key Chamber is in new quarters 5114 Ocean Blvd., just a few steps from the old location, 5118 Ocean Blvd. In its monthly newsletter, Chamber staff noted that the new ofces include a completely up dated Visitor Center, which serves more than 10,000 visitors each year. We encourage you to attend an open house for the new location, the newsletter adds. That event, scheduled for July 25, will be held in conjunction with a ribbon cutting for one of the Chambers new neighbors in Davidson Plaza, Senor Siesta. % Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 89


The Van W ezel Performing Arts Hall will host its second Friday Fest of the summer on Fri -day, July 19, from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring Kettle of Fish, the hall has announced.Playing the perfect mix of bluesy rock with a touch of soul, Kettle of Fish [has] become a staple of the Sarasota live music scene, a news release says. If you like [the] Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Robert Cray, BB King, Ste -vie Wonder, The Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, or Eric Clapton, you will love Kettle of Fish, the release adds.Be sure to bring a blanket or chair, and a good pair of dancing shoes, or feet! it continues. Local vendors will have food and drinks for sale. Among them will be Mattisons On The Bay, J&J Bar-B-Que, Snack It To Me!, Tasty Takeout, TCBY, SRQ Pizza, Suncoast Food Trucks, Sweet Doctors and Lemonbar, the re -lease notes.The Van Wezel is located at 777 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. For more information, visit Kettle of Fish/Contributed photo KETTLE OF FISH TO PERFORM AT FRIDAY FEST ON JULY 19 A&E BRIEFS


A c ollabo ration between Realize Braden -ton and the Manatee Players will bring live cabaret and classic movies Music & Movies to Bradentons new Manatee Performing Arts Center July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, the center has announced.The cabaret performance begins at 6 p.m. followed by the movie at 7 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more in -formation, call the Man -atee Players box ofce at 941-748-5875.According to Janene Witham, executive director of the Man -atee Players, the series is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.The Selby Foundation grant empowered us to pur chase a state-of-the-art pro jector system for the facility, says Witham in a news release. With its live music and cinematic elements, this series is a great way to beat the summer heat and take our brand new facility for a test drive. We know audiences are going to love it!The series kicks off at 6 p.m on July 21 with a performance by The Wirebeaters, Man -atee Countys high-energy bluegrass quintet, the release notes. That per -formance will be followed at 7 p.m. with a screening of Fried Green To -matoes the 1991 lm starring Kathy Bates as an unhap py housewife and Jessi ca Tandy as a lonely nursing home resi dent who enthralls Bates with her tales of her life.The series will continue at 6 p.m. on Aug. 18 with vocalist Eve Caballero and the Manatee Players performing sultry jazz fa -vorites and setting the mood for the 7 p.m. screening of Chicago, [director] Rob Marshalls Acad -emy Award-winning adaptation of the satirical musical exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, murder and corruption in the Jazz Age, the release adds.The series will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 with a performance by actor Berry Ayers, aka Beneva Fruitville, the plucky Southern belle with a risqu mouth who hosts the popular Drag Queen Bingo series at area venues, the release points out. Following the per -formance at 7 p.m. will be a showing of The Birdcage Mike Nichols entertaining Beneva Fruitville/Contributed photo MUSIC & MOVIES COMING TO THE MANATEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 91


Eve Caballero/Contributed photo remake of La Cage aux Folles about a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen compan -ion who agree to put up a false straight front when their sons nances parents come to dinner, the release continues. This show is for adult audiences only.This series is an excel lent way to introduce the community to its new, cut -ting-edge performing arts center, says Johnette Isham, Realize Bradentons executive director, in the releas e. Its our way of raising the curtain on this new venue and giving audiences a sneak peek at what theyll be experiencing for years to come. Realize Bradenton, the Manatee Performing Arts Center and the Manatee Players are all about working together and thinking big for Bradentons future.The Manatee Performing Arts Center is located at 502 Third Ave. West in downtown Bradenton. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 92


Associate Director, Kate Alexander will direct the production.The cast includes, Jeffrey Plunkett, a return -ing company member whose previous FST credits include this past winter seasons hit play, The Columnist, and previous seasons successes: Race and Sylvia the release con -tinues.Matt DeCapua, who previously performed in McKeevers FST production of The Miamians in 2008, will return to play the main character, Jonas Blodgen. Cindy De La Cruz will make her Mainstage debut in South Beach Babylon the release points out You may recognize De La Cruz from The Frog Prince, Under Six and Seven Up this past year, the release notes: De La Cruz spent the past nine months with FSTs troupe of acting apprentices cultivating and honing her skills as an actress.Tickets for the performances will be on sale through Aug. 18. They may be purchased by phone at 366-9000, online at FloridaStudio or by visiting the box ofce at 1241 N. P alm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. %FST will open its third show of the summer season, South Beach Babylon on July 26 in the Keating Theatre, FST has announced.Written by one of south Floridas most cele-brated playwrights, Michael McKeever, this play tells the story of Jonas Blodgen who is fresh out of art school and ideas, a press release says. When he lands a job in South Beach, he is thrown into a world full of in tense artists, alluring models and cutthroat curators, the release adds.I am thrilled to have another one of my plays produced at Florida Studio Theatre, says McKeever in the release. I have been fortu -nate enough to see my work produced at the -aters around the world and Florida Studio is one of the very best. The work that this theater produces is consistently top-notch. I cant wait to see what Artistic Director Rich -ard Hopkins, Director Kate Alexander and their amazing cast and design crew come up with for South Beach Babylon.McKeever has had two other plays produced at FST, 37 Postcards in 1999 and The Miam -ians in 2008, the release notes Hopkins prais -es McKeevers artistry, saying in the release, Michael McKeever is a good and trusted friend of FST. His plays have been tremen dously successful here in past seasons He is without a doubt Floridas favorite play -wright in residence, and South Beach Babylon captures the style, fun and sexiness of Miami as no other play can. South Beach Babylon is an exciting adventure a new play with a fresh look at south Florida and her variety of wacky characters. (From left) Roger Clark, Priscilla Fernandez, Jeffrey Plunkett, Matthew DeCapua and La rissa Klinger star in South Beach Babylon. Contributed photo by Brian BraunFST TO OPEN SOUTH BEACH BABYLON ON JULY 26 Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 93


19JULYFriday Fest at the Van Wezel, featuring Kettle of FishJuly 19, 5 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail. Admission: Free. Information: 953-3368 or presents The Best of Stevie WonderJuly 19-28 (times vary), Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1626 10th Way, Sarasota. Tick -ets: $29.50. Information: 366-1505 or online at Studio Theatre presents The UnderpantsThrough Aug. 11 (times vary), Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $18 to $42. Information: 366-9000 or Summer ImprovThrough Aug. 24, 8:30 p.m., John C. Court Cabaret, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $12. Infor -mation: 366-9000 or Gallery presents Summer ShowcaseThrough Sept. 30, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Admission: free. Information: 955-1315 or presents The Couple Conundrum a staged readingJuly 20, 8:30 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at door. Information: 894-6469 or presents A Social and Blues JamJuly 21, 7 p.m., Ocean Blues, 1936 Hillview St. Admission: Free. Information: 894-6469 or CalendarThe best of upcoming EVENTSThis Week In Sarasota recently was sold to The Observer Group. This sale ends our collaboration with TWIS. Sarasota News Leader July 19, 2013 Page 94


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 PERHAPS THIS WAS NOT A GREAT SPOT FOR MY NEST. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS