Sarasota News Leader


Material Information

Sarasota News Leader
Physical Description:
Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, FL
Creation Date:
July 12, 2013
Publication Date:


newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )


General Note:
Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EST1U4II7_TU8DPL INGEST_TIME 2013-09-27T23:11:51Z PACKAGE AA00013179_00046


COVER Inside SIGN OF SUPPORT A RUN FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER IN THE WAKE OF FRAUD Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 46 August 2, 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 34277-5099 Rachel Brown Hackney Editor and Publisher Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Stan Zimmerman City Editor Roger Drouin County Editor Roger 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


After last weeks rush of stories, I was worried we would have little left to offer this week. Silly me. In fact, we had so much going on, it was more difcult than usual to decide the order in which to present our stories. That is a problem we much prefer, of course, to feeling we have little of interest to grab your attention. And while I used to be torn about how big a play to give a top ic you might have read about in another publication, I nally worked myself out of that frenzy. We prefer to think that our reporters give you a better and denitely a more thorough take on current events than you will nd elsewhere. Thanks also to the gifts of our wonderful production manager, Cleve Posey, we believe rmly that you will not nd those stories presented in a more eye-catching fashion anywhere else. (In fact, when I was speaking with a county staff member for the rst time this week, she mentioned she was aware of the News Lead er and especially commented on the looks of it. More kudos for Cleve.) Back to this weeks issue: From the latest community discussion on how to handle the homelessness issues to City Commissioner Paul Caragiulos run for the County Com mission to a malodorous sludge problem to fraudulent ippings effects on a Sara sota neighborhood to the latest on Warm Mineral Springs, we truly have ranged widely. Throw in some politics and the hurricane season, and you will not want for variety. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


SIGN OF SUPPORT JUSTICE FOR SOME NEWS & COMMENTARY SIGN OF SUPPORT 8 A new committee votes to recommend the hiring of homeless consultant Dr. Robert Marbut, with City Manager Tom Barwin saying that would clear the way for action mode Roger Drouin A RUN FOR COUNTY COMMISSION 14 City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo plans to seek the District 2 seat occupied by County Commissioner Joe Barbetta Stan Zimmerman IN THE WAKE OF FRAUD 19 The convicted ippers are gone from one quiet neighborhood west of U.S. 41, but they left behind barren and desolate reminders of their past Roger Drouin IT STINKS 26 The daughter of a property owner along the Myakka River voices continued dismay over sludge on the site as the company that did the dumping calls a halt to it Cooper Levey-Baker JUSTICE FOR SOME 30 A Tiger Bay Club panel debates the tribulations of the non-wealthy members of the public in their encounters with the judicial system DEPARTMENT CHECK-UP 33 The 90-day review of the countys beleaguered Environmental Utilities Department will result in the presentation of a report to the County Commission Roger Drouin ONE NATION UNDER SURVEILLANCE 36 The president of the Florida chapter of the ACLU underscores concerns about the lack of serious oversight regarding the National Security Agencys actions Cooper Levey-Baker A NEW PROSPECT FOR SPRINGS 39 Mote Marine indicates an interest in the long-term management of Warm Mineral Springs; short-term management bids are due Aug. 9 Rachel Brown Hackney HIGHER AND HIGHER 45 Tourism gures, the number of permits issued for home construction and housing sales combine for a bright county nancial report Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Summer Clouds Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Breeze on the Bay Robert Hackney No. 46 August 2, 2013


SIESTA SEEN A&E BRIEFS MOVING FORWARD IN FORECASTING 50 The National Hurricane Center expands its window from three to ve days for predicting when an area of disturbed weather might become a tropical storm Stan Zimmerman MAINTAINING A POSITIVE TREND 52 In his efforts to keep the crime rate going down, Sheriff Tom Knight is working with the County Commission on his stafng challenges for the future Rachel Brown Hackney MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 59 The City Commission and Sarasota Orchestra smooth out details for repairs to the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 62 CRIME BLOTTER 72 OPINION EDITORIAL 77 When greed becomes a threat to public safety SARASOTA LEISURE SIESTA SEEN 82 Bollard installation is under way; more beach-nesting bird hatchlings have been reported, in spite of buffer vandalism; a public meeting is scheduled on low-speed vehicles on the key Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 90 RELIGION BRIEFS 101 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 104 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 105 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article No. 46 August 2, 2013 FOR ADVERTISING INFO (941) 227-1080


ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.A smile is the first thing I notice about someone. However, that was the part of me I wanted to hide from everyone, including myself. In 2007, my family dentist of 30 years told me he could help. He then crowned all of my teeth. They looked better, but they immediately started to crack, one by one. He kept promising me he could correct them by re-making them. He was frustrated, but I was devastated. I then realized that I never received a stable, comfortable position to chew. My bite was totally off. After four consultations with different dentists and lots of research, I chose Dr. Christine Koval for her warmth, reassurance, confidence, and experience in correcting bites and making teeth beautiful! Dr. Kovals team is very caring and professional, and her skill level is second to none. I am so incredibly pleased, not only with my beautiful smile but also with my comfortable and natural bite. I feel so thankful and blessed for this second chance on my smile!For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406 www.askdrkoval.comAwarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Barbara Lee


Conversation at the July 31 meeting of the Community Alliance of Sarasota Countys new Homeless Committee ranged from how many shelters are needed in the county to whether a temporary homeless facility should be allowed on the border of Gillespie Park to the need for affordable housing and a working wage. The breadth of the discussion showed the com plexit y and challenges revolving around Sara sotas growing home less population. The main item of busi ness, however, was whether to hire Dr. Robert Marbut as a con sultant to help local ofcials as they work on all those issues. Marbut is an expert who has tackled home lessness for three decades. He visited Sarasota for two days earlier last month, going on tours and participating in meetings including a forum sponsored by the Gulf Coast Com munity Foundation and the Community Foundation of Saraso ta County. During his brief stay, it was evi Paul Sutton, chairman of the Community Alliance Homeless Committee, addresses residents and local leaders on Wednesday in the County Commission Chambers on Ringling Boulevard. Photo by Roger Drouin A NEW COMMITTEE VOTES TO RECOMMEND THE HIRING OF HOMELESS CONSULTANT DR. ROBERT MARBUT, WITH CITY MANAGER TOM BARWIN SAYING THAT WOULD CLEAR THE WAY FOR ACTION MODE SIGN OF SUPPORT I think we need him. Tom Pfaff Chaplin Sarasota Ministerial Association By Roger Drouin County Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


dent Marbut had earned the respect of local leaders. On Wednesday, residents, nonprot service providers, homeless advocates and local of cials attending the committee session agreed that Marbut should be paid $16,500 for four months of consulting services in the county. By a show of hands, nearly all of the 50-plus people in the County Commission Chambers on Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota indicated their support. With additional costs for travel, the total ex pense for Marbuts consulting assistance will be about $40,000. Im glad they are recommending Dr. Mar but, but were not going to wait [to seek solu tions], said Paul Sutton, a retired Sarasota Police Department captain and chairman of the Homeless Committee. Sutton added that the Salvation Army, for ex ample, just implemented a Front Porch pro gram, partnering with the Sarasota Police Department to provide space at the Salvation Army facility in the Rosemary District to en able homeless people to gather safely. Many of the folks utilizing that program previ ously spread out on sidewalks along Central Avenue or Five Poi nts Park, Sutton said. The Homeless people gather along Central Avenue earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 9


Salvation Armys space is sheltered, too, mak ing it especially welcoming during spells of inclement weather. The Salvation Army is also relocating people enrolled in programs such as drug rehabili tation, so other persons needing emergency shelter do not have to wait for it. Further, tem porary emergency housing designed for fam ilies will open later this month, an initiative Marbut proposed during his visit to Sarasota. Sutton pointed out that the issue of homeless children in the community has gone unad dressed for too long. That is one reason local ofcials are tryin g to work quickly with the Salvation Army to open the emergency family housing. If there is a family of four without a home, they dont want to wait for four months to see the results of a study, Sutton said. With the committee Wednesday having en dorsed the hiring of Marbut, the City and County commissions will likely act soon on the recommendation. The County Commis sion will return Aug. 20 from its summer re cess. After conversing on July 24, County Admin istrator Randall Reid and City Manager Tom Barwin decided to collaborate in preparing a People sat on the sidewalk bordering Five Points Park when the city had the park fenced off for im provements in May. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 10


joint agreement to hire Marbut, who lives in San Antonio, TX. Sarasota County staff then sent an email to town ofcials in Longboat Key, Venice and North Port, asking if they would be open to joining the process and con tributing funding. For the past six months, Barwin has been a proponent of bringing Marbut in to work on Sarasotas homelessness issues. I think we are ready to pull the trigger, he said in an interview with The Sarasota News Leader the day before the committee meeting. Hiring the consultant would clear the way for ofcials to move into action mode, Barwin added. In the meantime, Sutton said he would call Marbut and let him know there was an over whelming vote to bring him here. The committee is scheduled to continue meet ing monthly. The next session will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 at the Sarasota County Admin istration Center on Ringling Boulevard. Valerie Guillory sits on a bench at her homeless shelter near Gillespie Park. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 11


SERV ICE PROVIDERS WEIGH IN Tom Pfaff, a chaplain with the Sarasota Minis terial Association, spoke in favor Wednesday of hiring Marbut as a consultant. Pfaff had traveled to Pinellas County to tour Safe Harbor, a homeless transformation facil ity operated by the Pinellas County Sheriffs Ofce. Marbut was instrumental in that cen ters opening several years ago. I left there absolutely amazed to see that all seven of Dr. Marbuts guiding principles were instilled in people working there, Pfaff told those attending the committee meeting. I left that facility knowing in my heart that man can bring a community together and give us a con tinuum of care. I think we need him. David Klimut, special projects developer for the Suncoast Partnership to End Homeless ness, said he thinks Marbut can foster more welcoming situations for homeless people who use local services. It will be a better client experience and will lead to better results in the long run, Klimut noted. Resident Ira McNut, who said he was living with his father, talked about how he almost became homeless recently. McNut added that bringing in an objective outsider would be the best way to launch an initiative to improve the homeless situation across the county. There was one speaker, however, who thought Marbut might not be needed at this point. Dr. David Sutton, director of programs/fa cilities at the Salvation Army, agreed that Marbuts expertise in our opinion is unques tioned. However, Sutton added, Marbut ac knowledged that Sarasota leaders are already addressing many of the most important issues. Therefore, it might be premature to pay for his consulting services. The priority should be making sure local homeless advocates are all collaborating. Can we bring everyone together? David Sut ton asked. I think we can. CONTROVERSIAL PLANS Valerie Guillory, of the nonprot Trinity With out Borders, also spoke at the meeting. Guil lory said she had talked with Marbut about her controversial plans to provide temporary shelter for the homeless on a 4-acre parcel off U.S. 301 near Gillespie Park. Guillory was interested in gaining his advice, to help her operate the shelter more smoothly. Opponents of Guillorys plan have voiced the view that a permanent facility run by an es tablished nonprot would be a better option. Nonetheless, Guillory remains committed to her plan, she said, even if city ofcials have not welcomed it with open arms. She hopes to keep operating the facility with or without Marbuts assistance and with or without local support. I dont care who tries to run me out of this town, my mission is in my heart, Guillory added, referri ng to critics. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 12


Find us onFacebookrfnttbnr bffrnf ttb


City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo will be a candidate for the Sarasota County Commis sion in 2014, aiming at the seat being vacated by his friend, Joe Barbetta, who is limited to two terms. Caragiul o will open his ca mpaign account next week to legally raise and spend mon ey. Candidate quali cation will not begin until next year. He will face Pete Theisen in the Re publican pri mary a year f rom now. N o other candidates have announced they are running for the seat. While he has been pondering the move for a while, Caragiulo said his decision jelled earlier this month af ter the budget work shops and passage of the Laurel Park Over lay District. He voted against both the pro posed millage rate and the overlay plan but was in the minority. Paul Caragiulo has put his hat in the ring to move from the City to the County Commission dais. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSIONER PAUL CARAGIULO PLANS TO SEEK THE DISTRICT 2 SEAT OCCUPIED BY COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOE BARBETTA A RUN FOR COUNTY COMMISSION Im a hard-core conservationist type. Im not going to do anything to threaten my urban experience in my home, and I want to be able to drive 30 minutes east and go bird watching. There is room for everybody in this. Paul Caragiulo Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Afterwards he sat down with Barbetta. I didnt want to go head-to-head [in a campaign] with people with an awful lot of money, peo ple with a different set of values, Caragiulo told The Sarasota News Leader Talking it through, he didnt think that was the case. It is likely Barbetta will be a political rain maker for Caragiulo, opening doors to fund raisers and inuential people. Joe has been an enormous part of my short public service, Caragiulo added. I talk with him nearly every day. I bounce ideas off him. Barbetta told the News Leader It will be a tough race, [but] hes bright, highly ethical and has a great work ethic. Hes not afraid to tackle problems. Barbetta added of Caragiulo, He understands economic development, and he understands we need to grow our tax base. Caragiulo was elected to the Sarasota City Commission in 2011. He is 38 years old; married, with two daugh ters. With his brothers, he manages three restaurants in town. ON THE FA TE OF THE CRA Two former city commissioners already sit on the Sarasota County Commission. Both Nora Patterson and Carolyn Mason are two-term veterans of the city board, but both have ex pressed skepticism in the past in regard to continuing the Community Redevelopment Agency. The county now contributes about $4 million into the citys downtown, ostensibly to ght blight. The county is already budgeting that $4 mil lion annual contribution into its general fund for the scal years after the CRAs 2016 expira tion date. Patterson leaves the board in 2014, also term-limited out. Masons second term ends in 2016. It is unclear when the county will address the issue of whether to extend the CRA. If Caragiulo is elected in November 2014, he could be casting a vote on the issue. I think the preservation of [the CRA] is pretty set. I have condence in that group, he said. What we dont know is about [the county share of] the increment. We do know the issue Paul Caragiulo (middle right) listens to remarks during a City Commission meeting in 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 15


City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo and a Sarasota Police Department ofcer compare noise readings on St. Armands Circle in December 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 16


is going to com e up in South County. Engle wood and North Port are interested [in estab lishing one or more CRAs]. THE URBAN SERVICE BOUNDARY Land development is a major responsibility of the County Commission. There has been agitation to amend the county comprehensive plan, and especially the component called the 2050 Plan Developers want the latters restrictions eased. Opponents see any easing as a broken promise. Ive spent a couple of days thinking only about this, said Caragiulo. Its a comprehen sive plan; its a living document. Even if 2050 is working, doesnt mean you dont look it at. Im a hard-core conservationist type. Im not going to do anything to threaten my urban ex perience in my home, and I want to be able to drive 30 minutes east and go bird watching. There is room for everybody in this. Land use can get complicated, he noted. You have the power side and the practical side and the compromise angle. LESSONS FROM THE NOISE Caragiulos singular initiative on the City Com mission has been a reexamination of the socalled Noise Ordinance. Starting last year he called together downtown stakeholders musicians and residents alike to evaluate the citys attempt to regulate recorded and live music, especially in the e vening. It had to be done, he said. It was exhaust ing, but I would do it again. One result has been a study conducted by the Sarasota Police Department of enforcement over the past 90 days. That study is in the City Attorneys Ofce; it should be ready for discussion at the City Commissions Aug. 19 meeting. Caragiulo did not use city staffers for research or evaluation. I tried to absorb as much of the process by myself, and not send staff on a goose chase. His lesson from the experience? Control the information from the beginning. Make sure you have a consistent message so people cant put words in your mouth. And make sure ev erybody is paying attention to the details, he said. TOP ISSUE NOW I cannot imagine any issue more pressing than doing something about the homeless, Caragiulo told the News Leader There are things we can do. He took a caravan of diverse stakeholders to see the Safe Harbor homeless facility in Pinel las County. The county has some responsi bility to help the homeless, he said. Its not that complicated. You need to show people it can work. Weve been looking at this like a disaster de ployment, he added. What we need to ad dress is the housing issue. Im optimistic. We have to start the process somewhere. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 17


Pulled Pork Ribs Chicken Beef Brisket Sides Made Fresh From Scratch Big salad Chilled Salmon Beer & Wine Homemade Desserts Kid Friendly 301 S Pineapple Ave Sarasota, FL Open: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 9:00pm Catering Across The Suncoast Since 2005 Click For Driving Directions Click To View Our Video Online 941-366-2271 (BBQ1)


Maril yn Gerkins neighborhood has been hit hard. But it is not just the economic slump that has impacted this west-of-the-Trail Sara sota County neighborhood. The streets in this quiet area of canal-front homes are still reeling from the direct after math of one of Southwest Floridas largest home-flipping fraud rings Four of the houses that sit vacant were once owned by some of the master minds of the ipping ring known as the Bobka/Adams fraud con spiracy. This used to be a nice neighborhood, Gerkin said. The convicted flippers are gone, but they left behind barren and desolate reminders of their past. Residents here, such as Gerkin, point to now empty homes which once belonged to people convicted of illegally and vastly in Mold grows on the front of the home at 1762 Southpointe Drive. The mega-home was once owned by Rich Bobka, who was indicted on 34 counts of home-ipping fraud. Later, his brother, George Cavallo, owned the house. All photos by Roger Drouin CONVICTED OF FRAUD, FLIPPERS ARE GONE FROM ONE QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD WEST OF U.S. 41, BUT THEY LEFT BEHIND BARREN AND DESOLATE REMINDERS OF THEIR PAST IN THE WAKE OF FRAUD Right now there is a lot of uncertainty. Josh Sankes Resident North Holiday Drive By Roger Drouin County Editor


Rich Bobka once owned the home at 1762 Southpointe Drive. The balcony at 1762 Southpointe Drive is host to a straggling vine. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 20


ating the value of more than 100 waterfront homes in Sarasota as a hurdle to restoring this neighborhood to its former ambiance. At least four of the people convicted in the fraud case resided in waterfront homes on these streets. The ripples have spread widely, with at least a dozen more houses not owned by the peo ple convicted in the case either the prop erty of banks or of other persons and sitting empty. According to court records, Rich Bobka and Craig Adams provided lenders false informa tion to obtain loans. Between 1997 and 2008, Adams, Bobka and their associates complet ed more than 150 fraudulent real estate deals, borrowing more than $200 million from area banks. The mega-home at 1762 Southpointe Drive is the largest neighborhood reminder of a de cade of fraud that was plotted, in part, from this s mall community west of the Tamiami Trail. A year after Bobka was indicted on 34 counts of fraudulent home-ipping, the spa cious waterfront house he once owned sits vacant, with mold growing along the faade and vines covering its balcony. According to Sarasota County property re cords, several years before he was convicted, Bobka identied as one of the two ringlead ers of the fraud conspiracy transferred the property to Paula Hornberger and his brother, George Cavallo. In 2012, Cavallo and Horn berger were both convicted of participating in fraudulent deals with Bobka and Adams. One street south, at 7767 N. Holiday Drive, Bobkas father, George Bobka Sr., owned and lived in a canal-front home that sits vacant. It has been covered with a blue tarp for at least a year, Gerkin said. The father pleaded guilty to participating in fraudulent deals with his sons and other members of the conspiracy. The home at 7767 N. Holiday Drive has been covered with a tarp for at least a year. It was once in habited and owned by George Bobka Sr., father of Rich Bobka. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 21


The driveway entrance at 7767 N. Holiday Drive has become so overgrown, neighbors have tried to trim it back. Neighbors say the interior of the home at 7767 N. Holiday Drive has likely deteriorated as a result of a roof that has been leaking for a year. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 22


B ank of America foreclosed on the house at 7767 N. Holiday Drive in April of this year, ac cording to Sarasota County court records. The property is slated for a Sept. 6 sale at auction, according to the Sarasota County Clerk of Cir cuit Court & County Comptroller Ofce. Joseph Dirocco, who was sentenced to a twoyear prison sentence in October 2012, still owns a home at 7748 Holiday Drive and 7736 Holiday Drive, according to county property records. Dirocco is a Sarasota businessman who also pleaded guilty to the illegal deals linked to Rich Bobka and George Cavallo. Di rocco lived in one of the homes. In 2007, Dirocco was charged with lying about his income to obtai n a mortgage for 7736 Holiday Drive. At the time, Dirocco said his monthly income was $25,000, when In, truth and fact as the defendant then and there well knew, he had a monthly income substantially less than $25,000, according to paperwork led in U.S. District Court in Tampa in De cember 2010. THATS HOW BAD IT IS Making matters worse, a new marina at the site of the old Hidden Harbor Marina has been planned for more than 11 years, yet the de velopment, plagued by delays, remains un nished. The marina is less than half a block from Gerkins house. For Gerkin, that project and houses such as the empty one at 7767 N. Holiday Drive, cov The marina at North Holiday Drive and U.S. 41 has been in the works for 11 years, but it is still not completed. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 23


ered with the b lue tarp, are an impediment to the neighborhoods turnaround even as the rest of the Sarasota areas real estate market rebounds. I joke that someone can put up a sign at the end of the street that reads: House for Sale. Your Choice, Gerkin said last week during an interview with The Sarasota News Leader Thats how bad it is. Gerkin added that she is frustrated and just wants to see her neighborhood lled with well-kept, occupied homes not dotted with For Sale signs. We have some people on the street who re ally do care, and we just want it to look nice, Gerkin said. Gerkin notes that other neighborhoods throughout the county were hit rst by the real estate crash then, more recently, by price ination. But her community is unique be cause of its ties to fraud from the recent boom times. The area was in the heart of the Adams/Bob ka ipping scandal, and we have watched the value of our neighborhood decline, even though the taxes are quite high, Gerkin wrote in a July 22 email to county commissioners. Gerkin has called the countys Code Enforce ment Ofce a few times after some of the yards in front of her neighborhoods vacant properties have become overgrown. She said county ofcials have been helpful, but there is only so much Code Enforcement can do. A LOT O F UNCERTAINTY It took some time for the full depth of the Bob ka/Adams conspiracy to come to light. Josh Sankes said when he and his wife moved into his home on North Holiday Drive in 2010, he knew the area had seen some turnover, be cause he had found several short-sale listings. However, he saw no indications at the time that some of the former residents had been in volved in a massive home-ipping conspiracy. Even when Sankes began to hear stories, he did not dwell on them. I didnt really think much of it, Sankes said. There were all these rumors, but I didnt un derstand the whole thing until I read about it in the paper, he added. There is no neighborhood association for North Holiday Drive. But since some of the empty homes have new owners, Sankes and Gerkin have talked about re-establishing one that was active about 10 years ago. Sankes, who has two young children, would like to see more families move in. Right now there is a lot of uncertainty, Sank es said. I think once some of these houses get sold, it will be a different story. We are trying to make it a nice place for fam ilies to live, Sankes pointed out, a normal, nice neighborhood. But for the time being, Sankes said he is just waiting for new owners to move into the va cant houses. Living on the water, you dont expect this, he added. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 24


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


Molly Bowen plants a shin-high buttery-print rain boot into the long, winding driveway that leads up to her fathers Myakka City property: Squirch. The sole sinks down into the dark gray muck that has collected. Below the top layer of shimmering slime sits the driveways normally light brown sand, visible in the footprint left behind when Bowen lifts up her boot. She shows me more as we tour the 3.5-acre plot. The Myakka River, which has ooded over its banks after days and days of rain, rushes by in a big loop around the Bowen land. Theres plenty more of that muck, as well as pools of foamy stagnant water. I cant smell anything amiss, but Bowen says todays scen t is very mild compared to what it was a couple of weeks ago. The stench is so bad it gives her head aches, she says, and while she planned to spend the summer out Molly Bowen talks about the problems with sludge on her fathers property. All photos by Cooper Levey-Baker THE DAUGHTER OF A PROPERTY OWNER ALONG THE MYAKKA RIVER VOICES CONTINUED DISMAY OVER SLUDGE ON THE SITE AS THE COMPANY THAT DID THE DUMPING CALLS A HALT TO IT IT STINKS This is not normal decaying river leaves. Molly Bowen By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


here amid the peaceful trees alongside the riv er, she cant imagine doing that now. Personally, my sense of smell is almost shot, so I dont really have much of a sense of smell, says Terry Mackintosh, who owns the property just upriver from Bowens. My wife, though, she said it really stank. The muck on Mackintoshs land showed up after a ood that slowly drained away. It was just black, he says of the residue. This is not normal decaying river leaves, points out Bowen, gesturing to the muck. But what is it? Months ago, Bowen reached out to the Flori da Department of Environmental Protection, as well as to the Manatee County Natural Re sources Department, to complain about the stuff, which, she charged, was originating from a biosolids application site just upriver. The EPA denes biosolids as the nutrient-rich organic materials left over after treating sew age, sludge that can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer to sustainably improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. Sin ce the late 1990s, the Terra Ceia Residual Management company Appalachian Mate rial Service has dumped such sludge on 891 acres located along M & J Road in Myakka City, just across the street from the river. Responding to Bowens complaints about the muck on her property, both the state De partment of Environmental Protection and Manatee County inspected the site and found bupkus nothing wrong. The sludge is easily visible, in a variety of states. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 27


According to a report written by Manatee County Senior Environmental Specialist Scott Browning, he observed a silt/muck layer and oating scum/debris on the Bowen property, but he told Bowen no elevated levels of nitro gen, phosphorous or fecal coliform had been detected in the river. The report says there were several other possible sources/causes upstream in the river that could be responsi ble for the muck. Browning also investigated the sludge site and found no evidence that biosolids were ow ing off of the property. We didnt nd any evidence at all that any biosolids were making their way into the river, Browning tells The Sarasota News Leader There was no clear source for the Bowen muck. Department of Environmental Protection Bio solids Inspector Craig Little also visited the site, on both April 30 and May 23. A eld re port from his April 30 trip includes a reference to a Mild Odor, which he notes came from Biosolids out of the city of Oldsmar. The May 23 eld report indicates no such concerns. Appalachian voluntarily purchased two 55 gallon drums of Malador Odor Counteractent to help reduce any potential future odor com plaints, Department External Affairs Manag er Ana Gibbs explains in an email. Sludge permit holders are required to keep de tailed logs of what theyre dumping, as well as the results of all soil and ground water mon itoring, according to the most recent permit issued to Appalachian. Gibbs says the process ensures that testing is done before the biosol Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 28


ids are deposited: We dont want it to reach the groundwater, so what we require is they measure it up front. Department staff then inspects those logs to make sure companies are complying. But that permit is a moot point. Appalachian abruptly announced it was abandoning its MJ Ranch site in June. According to a letter the company sent to the Department of Environ mental Protection, the last load of sludge was received June 5, and the site will be fully dismantled by the end of August. We were totally in compliance, an Appala chian representative tells the News Leader She declined to give her name. Weve been on that ranch for a long time, and weve never had any problems, the employee adds, but the property owners phones were blowing up with complaints, and the company decid ed to stop the dumping. Thats not what the landowners say, though. Terry Schrader, whose family has owned the ranch since 1978, says complaints have been minimal: We had one lady who called because she was concerned, but I have not elded any telephone or any kind of written complaints from anyone out there. Schrader, who runs a real estate company in San Antonio, FL, says it was Appalachians decision to stop the project. Weve had a great relationship with them over the course of time, he notes. His familys property now covers 3,300 acres. Browning says the Appalachian permit was the last of its kind in Manatee County. New state rules approved in 2010 created slightly more strict setback requirements that some companie s have decided they dont want to meet. The state-of-the-art with biosolids is to dry it and create a product that can become fertilizer, says Browning. Thats what Mana tee County does, using landll gases to re the kiln that dries the sludge. Thats an expen sive process, Browning acknowledges, but biosolids can also be safely deposited in lined landlls. Appalachian may have ceased its Myakka City operation, but Bowen still wants to know whats sitting on her fathers property. Hes 79 years old and has planned to leave the prop erty to Bowen and her sons. However, with conditions as they are today, she wont let her kids or grandkids near it. Its nasty, she says. Its not right. It gives you a headache, an instant headache. You feel like youve got to have a mask on. Gibbs points out there are no reasons to be worried about human health near the river, but Bowens not convinced: It stinks to me. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 29


Thursdays Sarasota Tiger Bay Club program asked, Is money the key to the courthouse? The answer from the panel: Pretty much, yep. Public Defender Larry Eger, who moderated the panel, steered the talk away from criminal litigation and toward the civil side, manag ing a discussion that touched on everything from high filing fees for court action to pro bono help for the poor. But one refrain was common: We are not adequately funding our courts. Money for organizations that provide legal assistance to low-income folks facing issues such as foreclosure and divorce has dropped signicantly in recent years, said Legal Aid of Manasota Executive Director Linda Harra dine. Legal Aid is one such group, a 501(c) (3) organization dedi cated to providing pro A courtroom in the Sarasota County Courthouse. Photo by Clyde Robinson A TIGER BAY CLUB PANEL DEBATES THE TRIBULATIONS OF THE NON-WEALTHY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC IN THEIR ENCOUNTERS WITH THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM JUSTICE FOR SOME Moneys not the solution for everything, but one of the key solutions for all of this is better funding. John Patterson Attorney By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


bono help to i ndigent clients. The nonprot logged more than 5,700 free hours on behalf of clients last year, helping in cases involving domestic violence, guardianship, veterans fac ing homelessness and more. Legal Aid relies heavily on the Florida Bar Foundation, a nonprofit that receives its funding principally through interest earned on trust accounts, but panelist and Founda tion President John Patterson of Sarasota said his organization has taken a big hit in recent years. Income is way down from where it was in 2007, when it was around $70 million. I believe our funding to Legal Aid of Mana sota is about half of what it was at the peak, he added, and the situation has placed a huge The historic Sarasota County Courthouse is part of the Justice Center in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Public Defender Larry Eger. Photo courtesy of Florida Studio Theatre Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 31


strain on organizations all over the state. Patterson said Leg al Aid helps the working poor, not just welfare mothers, and Harra dine outlined how the ceiling for help from her group is a $30,000 income for a family of four. Some of Legal Aids clients cant even read, she pointed out; they need help just un derstanding the documents they are required to le. Panelist and Circuit Court Judge Lee Haworth praised area lawyers for their volunteer work, especially in housing litigation. We had this tsunami of foreclosures hit us, he said. We saw a number of people who needed repre sentation because of the way the banks were processing these cases. Haworth also brought up the issue of sky rocketing ling fees: $400 for any civil action, $1,900 for a foreclosure, etc. He added that hes heard cases of people who want to di vorce but cant afford it, and landlords who pay unwanted tenants to leave rather than pony up for an eviction proceeding. And those expenses are just to le the pa perwork. Add on top of that lawyers fees Patterson said his rms average hourly rate runs between $200 and $450 and payments to expert witnesses and court reporters, and the bill can quickly mushroom. Patterson not ed that a typical lawyers bill for a civil trial would be $20,000 to $25,000. Patterson criticized Gov. Rick Scott, as well as Congress, for refusing to better fund legal aid programs. Moneys not the solution for everything, but one of the key solutions for all of this is better funding, he said, arguing that the $400 million Congress sets aside is little more than a drop in the bucket. We dont want to fund the court system, Eger put it bluntly. We put it on the backs of those who cant afford it. Toward the end of the program, he acknowledged the panel hadnt produced any profound solutions, but he made it clear the current system isnt working: The ones who can afford it least are paying for it. % John Patterson. Photo courtesy of Livingston, Patterson, Strickland & Siegel P.A. Judge Lee Haworth. Photo courtesy of the 12th Judicial Circuit Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 32


Over the next three months a national consult ing rm will undertake a review of Sarasota Countys beleaguered Environmental Utilities Department. A countywide procurement scandal came to light in 2011 after a utilities manager was charged with receiv ing illegal gifts from a contractor award ed mil lions in bids for sewer repair work for the county. Unfortunately this is one of the areas where the procurement problems came up, County Administrator Randall Reid said in an interview with The Sarasota News Leader this week. The department was again thrust into contro versy and the media spotlight after a billing mix-up in which cus tomers were charged for backflow valve inspections that were never conduct ed. The refunds due were then sent to the wrong customers. THE 90-DAY REVIEW OF THE COUNTYS BELEAGUERED ENVIRONMENTAL UTILITIES DEPARTMENT WILL RESULT IN THE PRESENTATION OF A REPORT TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION I expect changes. That is the whole point of doing this. Randall Reid Administrator Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor DEPARTMENT CHECK-UP Wastewater treatment is among the responsibilities of the countys Environmental Utilities Depart ment. Images courtesy Sarasota County


After the two ascos, several of the depart ments managers resigned including the utilities director. Reid hopes the review and a resulting report will help guide new managers that will soon be hired by the county. We are recruiting for those vacancies, Reid said. We want to give the new people some kind of game plan. The goal for the review, he added, is to pro vide a guide for future managers in the En vironmental Utilities Department. After 90 days, consulting rm Management Partners, working with county ofcials, will wrap up the review and present a report to the county commissioners, said Reid, who called for the utilities department review. The review will cost $98,000. The issue of the backow valves increased the urgency of an outside review of the de partment, noted Reid. A COMPLICATED OPERATION Reid described the review of one of the coun tys biggest divisions a department that is a complicated operation, intense in capital fa cilities as a good step. The review will include an analysis of the countys water and sewer systems as well as the Stormwater and Solid Waste divisions in the department, which has a budget of $168 million. Environmental Utilities has more than 200 employees. Sarasota County has about 80,000 water connections, 65,000 sewer connections and 3,000 reuse connections. It began water ser vice in 1975 and operates eight wastewater treatment plants. I expe ct changes, Reid said. That is the whole point of doing this. For example, the review could call for im provements to the departments Information Technology issues. Those would cost money initially, but they could led to efciencies in the departments billing division in the long run, Reid said. In addition to billing, the review will study inspection services, repairs and maintenance efforts, the management structure within the department an d stafng levels. A chart shows how the Environmental Utili ties budget was broken down for the 2012 s cal year. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 34


It will also gather information about the age and condition of pipes and other infrastruc ture throughout the county. Additionally, the review could shed some light on the possible acquisition of Dolomite Utili ties Corp., a private water and sewer compa ny. County commissioners have discussed the potential acquisition of Dolomite. Over the past decade, there has been an ef fort by the county to acquire private systems and incorporate those into the countys utility systems, Reid pointed out. Dolomite is the last opportunity to do that, Reid said. The acquisition would require the transition of 16 staff positions from the private company to the county, but it would also expand the countys customer base. % County Administrator Randall Reid. Photo by Norman Schimmel Gene Burgess and Melonie Burgess, licensed acupuncture physicians Serving Sarasota since 2008 Treatment rates are on a sliding scale, from $15-$35; new patients pay a onetime additional fee of $10 AFFORDABLE ACUPUNCTURE FOR EVERYONE 3615 Webber St Sarasota, FL 34232 (941) 922-4611 Open Tuesday through Saturday Our Mission To provide our community with high quality and affordable acupuncture and herbal medicine and to create a treatment space that connects people and builds community. Click for larger map and driving directions Click To Schedule An Appointment Online MENTION THIS AD TO RECEIVE $5 OFF THE NEW PATIENT FEE Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 35


Early on in his Tuesday evening talk to the Democratic Club of Sarasota, retired Col. Mike Pheneger, the president of the ACLU of F lorida, held up a T-shirt emblazoned with a statement sum ming up his message: One nation under sur veillance. Billed as a discussion of surveillance, pri vacy and civil liberties, Phenegers talk was sparked by the revelations of Edward Snow den, the former Booz Allen Hamil ton contractor whose leaks about the activ ities of the National Security Agency have (Above) The National Security Agency complex stands mostly dark at night. Photo courtesy National Security Agency THE PRESIDENT OF THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF THE ACLU UNDERSCORES CONCERNS ABOUT THE LACK OF SERIOUS OVERSIGHT REGARDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCYS ACTIONS ONE NATION UNDER SURVEILLANCE This is a system that is broken. Mike Phenegar President ACLU of Florida By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


caused outrag e around the globe. Documents released by Snowden to The Guardian have revealed that the NSA works with American tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Ap ple to harvest information on users, and that it is collecting huge amounts of data on phone calls placed within the U.S., among many oth er programs. Pheneger, who spent three decades as a U.S. Army intelligence officer, said Snowdens leaks came as no surprise to him. He outlined in detail how the NSA goes about its business, but he also touched on the use of surveillance cameras to track individuals across entire cit ies, the governments ability to follow people through their cellphones and the widespread use of drones, which can range in size from a 737 to what he called a nano-drone. But even more problematic than the specif ics of the programs Pheneger outlined is what he called the total lack of serious oversight. He described a system in which the members of Congress most knowledgeable about the NSAs actions are legally barred from discuss ing them, and an executive branch that relies on state secrets loopholes to ward off legal scrutiny. This is a system that is broken, he said, warning attendees to be damn skeptical about the federal governments claims about spying. Even with Snowdens leaks, we still know very little about how the NSA works and how the executive branch interprets legislation cover ing national security, such as the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act, Pheneger argued. You cant nd out whats going on, he said, discuss ing how ACLU leg al action has been stied. Luckily, he added, we have the interesting Fourth Amendment, which protects Ameri cans against unreasonable searches and sei zures. The NSA revelations have scrambled tradi tional party politics in Congress, so bogged down these days by shortsighted obstruc tionism and absurd gamesmanship. Libertar ian-minded liberals and conservatives alike have expressed concern over the information contained in Snowdens leaks. Republican Rep. Justin Amash, from Michi gan, last week introduced an amendment in the U.S. House intended to squash the NSAs collection of American phone records. While the amendmen t was narrowly defeated in a 217-205 vote, the list of lawmakers support ing the measure included some strange bedfel lows. How often do you see liberal rebrand Alan Grayson and our Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan on th e same side of a vote? Mike Phenegar chats with a Democratic Club member on Tuesday evening. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 37


Buchanans staff did not respond to a request for comment on his Amash vote, but the con gressman did proudly note on Twitter the next day that he voted to restrict the National Se curity Agency from collecting phone records from American citizens NOT under investiga tion. Compare that to 2008, when Buchanan voted in favor of the FISA Amendments Act, harshly criticized by Pheneger for simply le galizing a lot of the things President George W. Bush was doing. The Act, which updated many of the provisions in the original 1978 FISA surveillance law, immunized telecom munications companies working with the gov ernment, shielding them from lawsuits. The politics of civil liberties may indeed be shifting. The Pew Research Center for the Peop le & the Press released results of a sur vey last week showing 56 percent of Ameri cans believe the courts are not providing ad equate limits on information being collected. I think Congress needs to have full hearing on whats going on, Pheneger told The Sara sota News Leader when asked his thoughts on the Amash amendment and the potential for congressional intervention. We need to have ways we can have effective judicial oversight of whats going on. When all the government lawyers talk to one another and say everything is OK, thats a narrow view of whats going on. It would be nice to bring other lawyers in that might have a slightly different view of the world, that actually think the Fourth Amend ment means wh at it says. % The National Security Agency headquarters is in Fort Meade, MD. Image courtesy National Security Agency, via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 38


By 3 p .m. on Aug. 9, the City of North Ports management should know how many rms are interested in taking short-term control of Warm Mineral Springs. That is the deadline the citys Purchasing De partment has set for responses to its adver tisement for bids, As sistant City Manager Daniel Schult told The Sarasota News Leader this week. In the meantime, Sara sota County Manager Randall Rei d has been e xploring the potential long -term management of the resort with a research and tourism en tity as well known to county residents as the resort itself: Mote Marine. Reid notified the County Commission by email on July 29 that he had had severa l dis cussion s about the possibility with Ku mar Mahadevan, the recently retired CEO of Mote, who remains on staff with the Sara sota County-based re search facility as its president emeritus. The advertisement for a short-term operator of Warm Mineral Springs notes the winning bidder will have the right to hold exercise classes in the water. Image courtesy City of North Port MOTE MARINE INDICATES AN INTEREST IN THE LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS; SHORT-TERM MANAGEMENT BIDS ARE DUE AUG. 9 A NEW PROSPECT FOR SPRINGS I believe that involving local experts like Mote is a step in the right direction. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Mahadevan init iated the conversations, Reid pointed out in the email. Those discussions also have included Little Salt Spring the South County historical site whose purchase Sarasota County is negotiat ing with the University of Miami. Ideally both facilities (with the agreement of North Port) could be managed by Mote as the synergy between the two would work well and enhance tourism, Reid noted in his email. Mote is familiar with research, marketing, concessions operations, tourism and interpre tation and c ould adjust plans to cooperate with adjacent property uses, health related tourism or enhanced preservation, he added. In an interview with the News Leader on July 29, Reid said he thought the prospect of Motes taking on the long-term operations of both Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Spring is a great option. He added in the email that Mote has Sarasota and Charlotte county facilities. He also was quick to point out that the county is not working unil aterally on this. His email An aerial map shows the area of Warm Mineral Springs under consideration for a short-term lease. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 40


says he has invited North Port City Manager Jonathan Lewis to attend a meeting, tentative ly set for Aug. 26 at Mote, to discuss the po tential with Mote executives. Additionally, Reid notied the County Com mission in his email, he spoke last week with Thom Stork of The Florida Aquarium, who had called to convey the interest of the Tam pa facilitys staff in having continued access to Little Salt Spring for research purposes, if the county does purchase the site. Stork is the Aquariums president and CEO. Stork also indicated the Aquarium would be willing to operate Little Salt Spring, Reid not ed. [B]ut when told of my discussion with Mote and their more local emphasis [Stork] indicated [the staff] would be happy to work with or thru Mote. A section from a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet provided by the City of North Port and Sarasota County relates to refunds for pass-holders of Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County Kuman Mahadevan is president emeritus of Mote Marine. Photo courtesy of Mote Marine Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 41


Neither Mote nor The Florida Aquarium pre sented itself as bringing signicant capital improvement dollars to these projects, Reid pointed out in his email. Contacted on vacation this week, County Commissioner Christine Robinson told the News Leader I believe that involving local experts like Mote is a step in the right direc tion. Local experts will be sensitive to heri tage and environmental concerns particular to our area, which is important for both springs. Robinson has been the point person for the County Commission regarding the future of Warm Mineral Springs. She represents South County interests on the board. THE BACKGROUND Warm Mineral Springs closed on June 30 after its co-owners the City of North Port and Sarasota County failed to reach an agree ment about its future in time to negotiate a new management contract. June 30 was the last day of the management agreement with Cypress Lending, which sold the resort to the local governments in December 2010. Although the city and county boards agreed in July 2012 to seek an Invitation to Nego tiate for the long-term management of the resort, the election of two new members on the North Port City Commission last Novem ber also led to a new majority on that board which was opposed to development. Mayor Linda Yates and Commissioners Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco have said they would prefer to see Warm Mineral Springs operated more like a park After months of disagreements and one fa cilitated meeting of the boards in April, under the guidelines of the states conict resolution statute the City and County commissions nally approved an interlocal agreement in June that will govern the short-term operation of the resort. SHORT-TERM PROPOSALS Schult, the North Port assistant city manager, told the News Leader on July 29 that about 55 people showed up for his 1 p.m. tour that day of the facilities on the Springs property. None theless, the gathering was not mandatory for those interested in submitting bids to serve as a short-term operator. Thom Stork is CEO of The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Image courtesy of The Florida Aquarium Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 42


And not all of those people were potential bid ders, he pointed out. The majority were North Port residents and other community repre sentatives interested in the latest information about the resort, he added. Asked whether he could guess how many in the group might have been potential bidders, Schult responded, I couldnt even begin to tell you. After the tour, he elded a number of ques tions, he said. The bid had been advertised for a little over a week by July 29, he noted, so members of the public knew they could get a look at its current state. From July 1 through July 29, the countys Call Center received 287 inquiries about Warm Mineral Springs status, Curt Preisser, a coun ty spokesman, told the News Leader on July 29. Most of those were recorded in the rst week to 10 days after the closing, he pointed out. It has settled down signicantly since then, Preisser added. According to the interlocal agreement with the county, the city had 60 days to make good faith efforts to undertake the competitive bidding process from the time its commission approved that document June 24. Once the City Commission settles on a rec ommendation, the County Commission has 30 days to vote on that. Warm Mineral Springs is being patrolled by security ofcers until a new management rm can be hired. Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 43


Altho ugh the City Commission is not sched uled to meet again until Sept. 9, Schult told the News Leader it does have the option of calling a special meeting to discuss the bid decision forwarded by the citys Purchasing Department. The advertisement points out that Warm Mineral springs has been an important wa ter source for thousands of years. The property to be licensed is approximately 21.7 acres ... It continues, The focal point of this site is a spring-fed natural pool and the structures that have served as an operating spa since 1959 and which reportedly draw more than 80,000 annual visitors. The property is primarily used as a swimming/soaking location with an em phasis on the reputed healing nature of the water. The existing facilities, the bid advertisement notes, include the spring and outdoor area; a restaurant with approximately 1,250 square feet; a spa with about 1,340 square feet including a number of manicure stations; three massage therapy rooms; ve aestheti cian/acupuncture rooms; two meeting rooms with space of about 1,250 square feet and 450 square feet, respectively; restrooms and show ers; and a gift shop encompassing approxi mately 1,080 square feet. The terms of the agreement would not exceed 12 months, the advertisement says, though the city and county could renew it for a term to be decided. The minimum rent for any prospective oper ator would be 10 percent of all monthly gross revenues, including, but n ot limited to, any revenue t he licensee received from any sub contractors or other agreements directly re lated to use of the premises. It further species that the minimum hours of operation would be eight hours a day from November through May and nine hours a day from June through October, unless otherwise determined by the City of North Port and Sarasota County. INSPECTION While awaiting the bid deadline, City of North Port staff also is evaluating responses to a re quest for quotes for an independent party to survey the facilities to determine the condi tion of the structures and offer recommenda tions about repairs that should be made. Responses to that request were due by July 26. That advertisement notes, The inspection should identify if additional in-depth analysis should be completed for the roof; the septic and plumbing systems; electrical service and panel grounding; windows; and the cooking suppression systems and other related safety devices. It also seeks information about the presence of asbestos, lead in the paint and any other environmental hazards. The nal report, it adds, should include a writ ten estimate of the cost of replacing or repair ing items that will be needed in the long-term utilization of the resort. Under an agreement with the County Com mission, the city took the lead on handling the inspection process. As Preisser, the county spokesman, noted, It is moving along. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 44


A line snakes outside Yoders Amish restau rant on the last Saturday morning in July. Families of six and eight gather around tables on a Sunday night at Patricks in downtown Sarasota. Visitors in bright pink scootercars from Siesta Sports Rentals join the string of trafc on Siesta Keys Midnight Pass Road. The signs of a strong summer season in Sara sota County have been veried by the latest Tourist Development Tax (TDT) gures from the county Tax Collectors Ofce: The county has pulled in $10,999,671 through May the latest records available and a 4.9 percent in crease compared to the same period for the 2012 scal year. Siesta Key continues to lead the way, with its businesses having collected $3,444,095.42 in TDT tax revenue through May, accounting for 31.31 percent of the total. The city of Sarasota is in second place, with 29.5 percent of the revenue. June was also an excellent month for anyone in the community who runs a tourism-relat ed business, Virginia Haley, president of Vis it Sarasota C ounty, told The Sarasota News Construction is under way on an Orange Avenue house in late July. Photo by Rachel Hackney TOURISM FIGURES, THE NUMBER OF PERMITS ISSUED FOR HOME CONSTRUCTION AND HOUSING SALES COMBINE FOR A BRIGHT COUNTY FINANCIAL REPORT HIGHER AND HIGHER By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Leader on July 31 especially since last year was record-breaking and we beat last year. As predicted, she added, the Pan-Am Masters Swimming Championship gave us a real boost, along with the heavy marketing her staff did this year in the Northeast. According to the preliminary data, the county saw 6.6 percent more tourists in June this year than it did in the same month in 2012. The ho tel/motel occupancy rate was up 4.4 percent, room rates were 5.6 percent higher, the reve nue per available room was up 11.6 percent, and the number of room nights increased 5.5 percent. As for the tourists themselves: The county saw a 12.1 percent surge in people heading here from Europe. The total from the Midwest was 9.4 percent higher in June, year-over-year, and that gure was followed closely by a 9 percent increase in Canadian tourists. During the July 2 meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sheriffs Ofces Community Policing Station on Siesta Key, remarked on how busy the public beach has been. Its not slowing down like a typical summer, he said. More and more people are coming. After that meeting, Russell Matthes, co-own er of the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bars on Siesta, St. Armands and the island of Venice, told the News Leader his summer business was up about 5 percent over 2012 at that point. He and Bob Kirscher, co-owner of The Bro ken Egg restaurants on Siesta and Clark Road and in Lakewood Ranch, had compared notes earlier, with Kirscher reporting similar news, Matthes added. A Premier Sothebys sign indicates a home for sale just outside downtown Sarasota. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 46


On July 31, Matthes told the News Leader the upward trend was continuing for his restau rants on St. Armands and in Siesta Village. The Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar in Venice opened late last year, so no year-over-year comparisons are available for it. Nonetheless, Matthes said, the customer numbers have been very good at the Venice location, too. Siesta Village is seeing a lot of pedestrian trafc, Matthes continued, in spite of the fre quent thunderstorms this summer. As long as it doesnt rain too early, he said, people at the beach head into Siesta Village instead of off to the malls. Mike Lewis, co-owner of Siesta Sports Rent als, told the News Leader on July 31 that he expected the numbers for his business to come close to those fo r 2012, and Last sum m er was absolutely outstanding. His store front is located in a shopping center just south of the Stickney Point Road intersection on Si esta Key. BEYOND TOURISM Bustling tourism has not been the only good news for the county this scal year, as the July economic report indicates. The number of permits Sarasota County is sued for single-family home construction in creased from May to June, and the total value of the projects remained higher, according to gures from the countys Ofce of Financial Planning. In May, the county issued 86 permits for proj ects costing $18,666,000. That compared to 59 permits in May 2012 with an estimated value of $9,776,000 a 90.9 percent increase in value. So far, Siesta Key businesses are leading the way in Tourist Development Tax collections for the 2013 scal year. Image courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collectors ofce Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 47


County charts compare numbers for permits issued for single-family and townhouse residential con struction. Images courtesy Sarasota County Planning and Development Services Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 48


In June of this y ear the latest month for which numbers have been posted the num ber of permits issued was 112, down slightly from the June 2012 gure of 117. However, the construction value was put at $19,011,000, up 25.5 percent year-over-year. As for home sales: The May 2013 gures again, the latest available showed 1,020 houses sold, up 19.4 percent from the May 2012 total of 854. The average number of days on the market was down to 153 from 176, com paring May 2013 to May 2012, and the median price was up 15.9 percent, at $212,856. For April of this year, the Sarasota Associa tion of Realtors reported a total of 1,017 home sales, up 14.8 percent from t he April 2012 g ure of 886. The average number of days on the market for April was 152, compared to 184 in April 2012, and the median price was $207,477, a 14.9 percent hike year-over-year. And yet more good news: Retail sales in the county through June of this year were round ed up at $959,570,000, 7.1 percent higher than the June 2012 gure of $895,910,000. The July economic report also shows that ad valorem tax collections through June add ed up to $128,237,686, or 102 percent of the projected total for that point $126,102,339. Impact fee collections are up as well year-todate: $6,107,315 compared to the budgeted gure of $5,289,598. The countys scal year will end on Sept. 30. % A chart shows preliminary data about the increase in the number of tourists Sarasota County has seen so far this year. Image courtesy Visit Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 49


The Nationa l H urricane Center on Aug. 1 ex tended from three days to ve its prediction window for when an area of disturbed weath er might form into a tropical system. That extension from 48 to 120 hours is a huge step for the center, the rst change in its cy clone activity forecasting in more than 30 years. This modication capitalizes on the various tools and products the center uses for hurri cane forecasting. It expands greatly the fore casting models for weaker systems that could develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm, using both text and graphic formats. Regular visitors of the National Hurricane Center site at are familiar with the map showing Atlantic tropical cy clone activity, with three color-coded circles designating respectively low, medium or high potential for tropical system formation. A yellow circle shows the area of interest, de noting a less-than-30 percent chance, while orange signals a 30to 50-percent (medium) level of probabili ty, and a red circle indicates a 50/50 or greater chance of cyclonic activity. The National Hurricane Center issued this image on June 5, indicating the probable path of Tropical Storm Andrea. Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER EXPANDS ITS WINDOW FROM THREE TO FIVE DAYS FOR PREDICTING WHEN AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER MIGHT BECOME A TROPICAL STORM MOVING FORWARD IN FORECASTING By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The expansi o n of the forecast is a result of the National Hurricane Centers renement of meteorological modeling over the past three years. It now has enough condence in its work to go public with the expanded outlook. A companion effort not quite ready yet for prime-time would expand the path and intensity predictions for tropical storms and hurricanes from the current ve days to six or maybe even seven in th e future. As always t he National Hurricane Center re minds people these are predictions and that tropical storm systems have demonstrated wild and unpredictable changes of direction and intensity. Any survivor of 2004s Hurricane Charley in Florida recalls how it intensied from Category 2 to 4 in hours, and how it took an unpredicted hard right turn into Pine Island Sound instead of staying offs hore up t o Tampa Bay. % This June 3 outlook shows the beginnings of Tropical Storm Andrea, which, on June 5, put Sarasota under a tropical storm warning. Im age from the National Hurricane Center Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 51


Administrative staff for the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce works in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Rachel Hackney MAINTAINING A POSITIVE TREND We dont want cops here. We want professionals that are going to be tolerant, well trained, well educated, that mirror this community. Tom Knight Sheriff Sarasota County


Expanding on brief sta tistics he reported to the Sarasota County Commission last month, Sheriff Tom Knight has announced crime was down 10 percent in the county for the rst half of 2013. As he has in appearances before the commis sion over the past year, Knight credits pro active policing, actionable intelligence on prolic offenders and crime prevention part nerships with the community for the reduc tion, a news release notes. Major crimes, known as Part 1 Offenses in the FBIs Uniform Crime Reporting Index, dec reased 13 p ercent from January to June, while violent crime fell 10 percent, resulting in part to declines in the following categories, the Sheriffs Ofce reported: Murder, down 75 percent. Burglary, down 21 percent. Grand theft, down 11 percent. Robbery, down 28 percent. Auto theft, down 14 percent. The decrease for the rst six months of this year follows an overal l decline of more than (From left) Sheriff Tom Knight, Col. Steve Burns and Maj. Kurt Hoffman address the County Com mission during a June 21 budget workshop. File photo IN HIS EFFORTS TO KEEP THE CRIME RATE GOING DOWN, SHERIFF TOM KNIGHT IS WORKING WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSION ON HIS STAFFING CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 53


16 percent in 2012 and a 21 percent drop in crime since Knight took ofce in 2009, the re port notes. To maintain those trends, Knight told the County Commission in late June, he needs to continue hiring highly qualied people. That was why he commissioned a workforce study, he said: to help the commissioners understand the demographics with which he will have to work through budgets they will approve over the next several years. And those demographics show that, with a higher cost of living and an older population in the county, many of his recruits will have to come from other places. That also will mean paying them enough to entice them to relo cate. Were very proud of [the lower crime rate], Knight told the commissioners on June 18. The county is your vision, he added. My job is to keep your vision intact through proper planning I truly believe we live in the great A chart shows reasons law enforcement and corrections ofcers gave for leaving the Sheriffs Ofce over the past four years. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 54


est county in Flor i da. Everybody wants to be here; everybody wants to vacation here. Knight pointed out that the Sheriffs Ofce doesnt just hire cops. We dont want cops here. We want professionals that are going to be tolerant, well trained, well educated, that mirror this community. Knight said he hired Carl Hawkins, who retired after 35 years with the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Ofce, to undertake the workforce study. Hawkins is a professor at the University of South Florida. Knights primary concern, Hawkins said, is hiring good deputies now and over the next 10 to 15 years. To enable him to undertake the study, Hawkins con tinued, There was not anything I [asked] for that I didnt re ceive and quickly. [Knight] opened up his department. COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS Hawkins pointed out that, with 386,000 resi dents, Sarasota County is the 14 th most popu lous in the state. According to 2011 statistics the latest available when Hawkins under took his research its median age is 53.1, compared to 41.1 for the state and 37.3 for the United States. For other comparisons, Hawkins noted that the median age in Hillsborough Coun ty is 36.4; in Manatee, 45.8; and in Charlotte County, 56.1. A chart compares pay of deputies in several Florida counties. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 55


A chart shows the total number of crimes handled by the Sheriffs Ofce for the rst half of this year. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 56


Forty p e rcent of Sarasota County residents are 60 or older, while 26.9 percent are ages 45 to 49. That age factor, Hawkins continued, makes it a challenge to nd good employees for the Sheriffs Ofce in in Sarasota County. The de partment looks for candidates in the 21 to 41 age range, he pointed out. Military retirees in the 35 to 38 age range also are typically good candidates, he added. Sarasota County residents are also well ed ucated, Hawkins continued. However, while 94 percent of those ages 25 to 34 have high school degrees or the equivalent, only 19 per cent of them have bachelors degrees from colleges. Still, Hawkins said, Its not uncommon to see the kids today take longer to graduate, which might explain the latter nding. Regarding the cost of living, Hawkins noted that Fort Lauderdale and Miami have the high est indices in the state, according to 2012 g ures for 12 Florida reporting areas. Sarasota County and Bradenton both had a composite index of 99.5, fourth highest in the state. Tam pa ranked the lowest on the index, at 93, the gures show. Housing e xpenses are a key factor in deter mining that ranking, he pointed out; yet, that is an important consideration in recruiting candidates for the Sheriffs Ofce. Its go ing to cost [Knight] a little bit more to con vince someone to take a job in the Sarasota County department compared to positions in other counties with lower costs of living, Hawkins s aid. One positiv e factor about the Sheriffs Of ces target demographic for future recruit ment, Hawkins continued, is that its members will be mostly Millennials people born in this century. That means they will be very tech-savvy, Hawkins noted. When they were in preschool, they were surng the Internet. On the ip side of that, however, Hawkins said, Millennials comprise only 17 percent of Sarasota Countys population, compared to 28 percent, for example, in Hillsborough County. Another positive factor for the Sarasota Coun ty Sheriffs Ofce in terms of recruitment, Hawkins continued, is that it has a low attri tion rate 4.9 percent putting it near the bottom of rankings in the state. By comparison, the attrition rate for the Man atee County Sheriffs Ofce is 6.7 percent, he said. Hillsborough County Sheriffs Ofces rate is 4.8 percent, while Pinellas Countys is 6.5 percent. From 2009 to 2013, the Sarasota Sheriffs Of ce lost about 30 deputies per year, including those in Corrections, Hawkins pointed out. A lot of em went for retirement, he said. Some were terminated, and some left the Correc tions staff for law enforcement positions in other counties because Knight had no open ings for them. However, Knight has used cross training op tions and reimbursement for training to lure some people back to the department, Haw kins added. One big concern, Hawkins continued, is that Knight will be losing abo ut 35 high-ranking ofcers to retirement over the next ve years. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 57


[T]hat is something that is a challenge, he pointed out. To prepare for that, Hawkins said, Knight is sending most of his sergeants to command school to prepare them for higher-ranking po sitions. Regarding salaries, Hawkins explained to the County Commission that he sent a survey out to counties around the state in December and began getting answers in January to compile his data. The annual pay of a Sarasota County deputy ranges from $28,520 to $72,821, according to Hawkins report. The average minimum, he said, is $40,000, while the average statewide is $38,300. However, Hillsborough County, for example, pays $44,881 a year as an average minimum, and Collier County pays $41,645. A negative factor, he noted, is that the maxi mum Sarasota County salary for a deputy is $60,889, which is about $2,000 less than the average for other departments. Over the next three to ve years, Hawkins continued, Knight will be talking with the County Commission about adjusting salary steps for his deputies. For lieutenants, the beginning salary is on the low range of the comparison scale, he said, though the top salary level is among the high er ones in the count ies surveyed. SPECIAL S ITUATIONS One other topic Knight broached with the County Commission during the presentation was the need for more manpower in coming years to assist with events at Nathan Bender son Park, located off University Parkway, and the increased number of people who will be shopping at the new mall and other businesses under construction in that area. Knight said he already was leaning toward the idea of having a specially trained group of of cers based in that part of the county, just as he has ofcers on Siesta Key who are well versed in the ordinances that apply to situations at Siesta Public Beach, for example. If Benderson Park wins the 2017 World Row ing Championships bid, Knight continued, his ofcers also will see more and more residents coming from other countries to train and com pete at the facility in the future. Were certainly going to travel to some of these other [rowing] venues, Knight added, to get a sense of what can be expected in dealing with international rowing teams. Maj. Kevin Kenney, who traveled with the county delega tion to Washington, D.C., this spring to lobby for federal support of the Benderson bid for the 2017 event, already has been talking with representatives of the U.S. Olympic Commit tee, for example, Knight added. For me, it isnt about keeping it safe, Knight said. Its about keeping things from happening % The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 58


It was a meeting that should never have hap pened. An unready Sarasota Orchestra caught in a time-bind of its own making created the need for a special meeting of the City Commission this week so it could ask for exemptions to local and state regulations gov erning its need to maintain its building on city land. When the dust had settled after some last-minute footwork involving a letter of credit and a general contractor the need for the special meeting was moot, as City Manager Tom Barwin put it. The solitary sig nature required on a permit from a general contractor to whom the orchestra already had a cce ss was the last note for this confused cantata. THE ONE-MONTH WINDOW The Sarasota Orchestra comprises a hard-working crowd. It runs a steady 11-month season, not only with concerts and music fes tivals but also with educational programs and outreach and cooperative projects with other artistic organizations. Only in August can the musicians relax. And that is also the only time of the year when major maintenance can be performed on the orchestras hall, the Beatrice Friedman Sym phony Cen ter. But for the past six years, the The Sarasota Orchestra stays so busy, the only period repairs can be undertaken at its performance hall are in August. Image courtesy of Sarasota Orchestra THE CITY COMMISSION AND SARASOTA ORCHESTRA SMOOTH OUT DETAILS FOR REPAIRS TO THE BEATRICE FRIEDMAN SYMPHONY CENTER MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The Sarasota Orchestra performs many of its concerts in Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Sym phony Center in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota Orchestra Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 60


management pu t off main tenance because of the economic downturn. Now the orchestra is ready to make up for lost time and tackle almost $500,000 in deferred repairs. But the center sits on leased city land, and the lease like virtually any lease of city prop erty demands certain standards so the city does not get caught holding the bill. It requires a performance bond or a letter of credit to cover the entire cost of the construction ac tivity. And it requires adherence to the state building code, which in this case necessitated that a state-certied general contractor sign the building permit application. On those particular points last week, the or chestra was decient. A special meeting of the City Commission was called for Wednesday, July 31, to consider how to get the organiza tion out of its quandary. Should the lease be modied? Should the nancial requirements be changed? And what about that state statute requiring a general contractor? From a legal point of view, if the city relaxed the standards for the orchestra, would oth er city leaseholders demand the same treat ment? That question vexed City Attorney Bob Fournier. THE UNTANGLING It took only an hour on July 31 for the orches tra representatives and the City Commission to nd a common sheet of music, so to speak. Joe McKenna, the chief executive ofcer of the orchestra, had met with city staffers including Barwin on July 23. At that time, the bonding was insufcient and the general contractor requirement was unmet. The Sarasota Orchestra will not put itself or the city in an awkward position, said McK enna on July 31. He had arranged for a bigger line of credit, which eliminated the bonding problem. But the general contractor issue still loomed. If this was a private concern, would they need a general contractor? asked Mayor Shannon Snyder. Do they need a general contractor? he repeated. The lease says any work requires a general contractor, replied Commissioner Paul Cara giulo. This is a building code issue. As required by the state building code, said the mayor. It appeared the orchestra was stymied until McKenna told the commissioners, Well, one of our contractors is a general contractor. Tada. Big nish. Lights dawned. If McKenna could get his gen eral contractor to sign the building permit ap plication, the nal hurdle would be removed along with the entire reason for the special meeting of the City Commission. Thus came the coda to the confusion. And all was well. % Joseph McKenna. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Orchestra The Sarasota Orchestra will not put itself or the city in an awkward position. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 61


Ninety percent of the Sarasota County School District elementary and middle schools grad ed received an A or B for the 2012-13 school year, according to the school grades released July 26 by the Florida Department of Educa tion. The percentage includes traditional and char ter schools, a district news release notes. Educators had predicted grades would decline this year compared to last year because the performance levels required by both students and schools to achieve the same grade have increased substantially, the release points out. State education ofcials have said the decline is a necessary part of a transition plan to raise expectations for achievement and better pre pare students for work and college, it adds. Twenty-one of the 39 Sarasota County Schools graded received an A for the 2012-2013 school year, compared to 34 last year. Fourteen schools received a B, and four schools re ceived a C. The district had no D or F schools. With 54 percent of its schools receiving an A, Sarasota County had nearly twice as many A schools as the state average, the release notes. Statewide, the number of A schools declined from 48 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2013, the release says. In addition, the statewide number of C, D and F schools increased sub stantially, the release continues. School grades for most high schools and combination schools that have a ninth grade will not be released until a new high school accountability component is calculated, the release adds. Fifty percent of a high school grade for 2012-2013 will be based on FCAT perform ance and 50 percent will be based on new components, including graduation rate, participation and performance in ad vanced courses, and college readiness, the release says. High school grades are scheduled to be re leased later this year. Once again, Southside Elementary School has received an A rating from the state. Photo by Norman Schimmel MOST SARASOTA ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS GRADED A OR B NEWS BRIEFS


Sarasota County schools grades are shown from 1999 to 2013. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools School No. School Name 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 0021 Pine View COMBO PENDING A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0293 Oak Park School COMBO NG F NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 1211 Laurel Nokomis School COMBO A A A A A A A A A A A A B C B 1281 Phoenix Academy COMBO NG NG NG D C C C C F NA NA NA NA NA NA 1311 Oak Park South COMBO NG NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0012 Alta Vista Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A B C C C D 0301 Ashton Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A A A B A 1241 Atwater Elementary E B A A C NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0071 Bay Haven Basics Plus E A A A A A A A A A A A A A B A 0101 Brentwood Elementary E B A B A A A A A A A A A C A A 1271 Cranberry Elementary E B A A A A A A B A A NA NA NA NA NA 0501 Emma E. Booker Elementary E C C C C B C B B C B B C C D D 0121 Englewood Elementary E A A B A A A A A A A A A B B B 0131 Fruitville Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A B C A B 0381 Garden Elementary E B A B B A A A B A A A A A A B 0461 Glenallen Elementary E B A A B A A A B B B A A C A C 0261 Gocio Elementary E C B A A A A A B B B C C B A C 0271 Gulf Gate Elementary E B A A A A A A A A A A A B A A 0471 Lakeview Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A A A A B 1341 Lamarque Elementary E B A B A A A A NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0171 Phillippi Shores Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A B C C B 0191 Southside Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A B A B A B 1282 Tatum Ridge Elementary E A A A A A A A A NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0491 Taylor Ranch Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A A A C B 1231 Toledo Blade Elementary E B A A B A A A A B A A A C A C 0201 Tuttle Elementary E A A* A A A A A B B A A A C C C 0211 Venice Elementary E A A A A A A A A A A A A B B B 0291 Wilkinson Elementary E B A A A A A A B A A A A A C C 0085 Booker High H PENDING B B A D C D C C C C C C C C 1251 North Port High School H PENDING A B B C B C C C C C NA NA NA NA 0181 Riverview High H PENDING A B B B A B A B A A A A C C 1391 Suncoast Polytechnical H PENDING A A B A 0051 Sarasota High H PENDING A B B C C B B B C B B A C C 0221 Venice High H PENDING B B A C A B A C B B A C C C 0084 Booker Middle M C C B C C C C B C C C B C C C 0111 Brookside Middle M A B A A A A A A C A A A B C B 1261 Heron Creek Middle M B A A A A A A A C B NA NA NA NA NA 0141 McIntosh Middle M B A A A A A A A B B A A A C B 0031 Sarasota Middle M A A A A A A A A A A A A A C A 0451 Venice Middle M B A A A A A A A B A A A C C B 1291 Woodland Middle M A A A A A Charter Schools 0074 Sarasota Military Academy H PENDING A B A C B B B B C NA NA NA NA NA 0110 Sky Academy M B A NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0081 Suncoast School for Innovative Studies COMBO C B A C A B B C B C NA NA NA NA NA 0083 Sarasota School for Arts and Sci ences M A A A A A A A A B B A A B NA NA 0090 Island Village Montessori COMBO A A A A B A A A A NA NA NA NA NA NA 0100 Sarasota Suncoast Academy E A A A A A A NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0102 Student Leadership Academy M A A A A B A A A C NA NA NA NA NA NA 0103 Imagine at North Port COMBO B A A A C NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 0106 Imagine at Palmer Ranch COMBO A A B B NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 63


Goodwill Manasota will kick off its summer food drive this month to benefit the Food Bank of Manatee and All Faiths Food Bank. From Aug. 4-10, the public is encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to any Goodwill location in Sarasota, Manatee, Hard ee and DeSoto counties, a news release says. Donations to food banks typically slow down in the summer months, despite the increased need tied to school vacation, noted Bob Ros insky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota, in the release. These two local food compa nies are committed to our neighbors, and we will do whatever we can to help support them. Together, we can make a difference to reduce hunger in our community. The Food Bank of Manatee and All Faiths Food Bank serve approximately 150,000 peo ple each week, the release points out. Donat ed food will help both food banks combat summertime hunger. Our 15-year partnership with Goodwill is in valuable to us, said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths F ood Bank, in the release. Last year alone, they helped collect close to 40,000 pounds of food, allowing us to provide more than 33,000 meals to Sarasota and DeSoto county residents in need. Maribeth Phillips, CEO of Food Bank of Man atee, added in the release, We are so for tunate to have great partners like Goodwill Manasota, who continue to nd ways to assist the Manatee and Sarasota communities in our mission to prevent hunger. Many families and children are counting on us to help them get through the summer, and we cannot let them down. We understand the need for action and are proud to be helping the food banks with this donation drive, noted Rosinsky in the release. It is important to help our local community during such extraordinary times. We hope this gift will make a difference. Food don ations may be made at any Goodwill Manasota location. Visit www.Experience for a list. Goodwill Manasota has numerous locations where people can donate non-perishable foods. Image courtesy of Goodwill Manasota GOODWILL TO LAUNCH ITS SUMMER FOOD DRIVE AUG. 4 Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 64


Sarasota Co unty Neighborhood Services is accepting applications for the fall session of its popular Civics 101 program, the ofce has announced. Civics 101 offers residents a behind-thescenes look at the everyday operations of their local government, a news release says. Participants will have an opportunity to see county government operations rsthand, in cluding the Sarasota County Commission, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Librar ies, Emergency Management, Communica tions and more, the release adds. Civics 101 is one of our most popular pro grams and frequently has a waiting list, said Community Outreach Specialist Kaitlyn John ston in the release. Without fail, people who graduate from the program say two things: They had no idea the county offered so many different services and theyve never had so much fun. Staff members from county departments pro vide presentations, conduct tours of facilities and answer questions from the participants, the release notes. Among the new activities this fall will be a guided tour of the Sarasota County jail and a mock hurricane drill, during which the Civics 101 students will have to make key decisions under pressure while sit ting in the Sarasota County Emergency Oper ations Center, the release adds. Civics 101 has been offered by Sarasota Coun ty government since 2000; sessions are con ducted twice each year. The most recent graduating class members be came so involved that they adopted Ibis Road as part of the Keep Sarasota County Beautiful program, the release says. Some graduates have continued their education by volunteer ing, including serving on advisory boards. The fall session of Civics 101 will begin on Sept. 3, with classes taking place in various locations around the county every Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Participation is free. New residents, retirees, business profession als and teens are encouraged to apply for the 10-week program. Twenty-ve applicants are accepted on a rst-come, rst-served basis. The deadline to submit applications is Aug. 16. Applications are available on the countys website at For mor e i nformation, contact the Coun tys Call Center at 861-5000 or e-mail kjohnsto@s t SARASOTA COUNTY CIVICS 101 PROGRAM ACCEPTING FALL APPLICATIONS Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane (right) addresses staff members in the Emergency Operations Center in preparation for a possible strike by Trop ical Storm Isaac last summer. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 65


The Sarasota A rchitectural Foundation (SAF) will host a tour of the Cooney House on St. Armands on Aug. 4, the organization has an nounced. The Cooney House is an outstanding exam ple of the Sarasota School of Architecture, designed by Seibert Architects in 1966 and winner of the 2001 Test of Time award from the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a news release says. The award honors works that, by the timelessness of their design, have inuenced a particular building variety. Seibert Architects clear concept, meticu lous detail and workmanship, using ordinary materials, distinguish the house, which was built on a 50-foot lot on St. Armands Key, the release adds. The pavilion living area, with its 10-foot ceiling and full-height glass walls, offers a visual extension to the outdoors. The remainder of the house turns inward, provid ing more intimate spaces. This modernist, re gional architecture is about the enclosure of space and capture of light, adapting to Flori das landscape and climate. The featured speaker for the tour will be Sam Holladay, a principal of Seibert Architects, the oldest continuing architectural practice in Sarasota, the release notes. A special guest will be Edward J. Tim Seibert, who founded Seibert Architects in 1955; he began his ca reer working for renowned architects Paul Rudolph and Philip Hiss in Sarasota, the re lease continues. Tours will be conducted between 2 and 4 p.m. on Aug. 4. Holliday will offer remarks at 3 p.m., the release says. Complimentary re freshments will be served. The house is located at 44 S. Washington Drive. Admission is $10 for SAF members; $15 for non-members; and $5 for students with IDs. Click here to RSVP and pay online. Admission also may be paid at the door by cash, check or credit card. Free public parking is avail able off St. Armands Circle, about two blocks from the Cooney House, at Madison Drive and North Adams Drive and at South Adams Drive and Monroe Drive. For more information, call 364-2199 or email SAF WELCOMES THE PUBLIC TO A TOUR OF THE COONEY HOUSE When: Sunday, August 4, 2013 2:00 PM 4:00 PM Location: 44 South Washington Dr. Sarasota, FL 34236 Public: $15.00 (USD) SAF Member: $10.00 (USD) Student with ID: $5.00 (USD) Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 66


It was standing room only as 20 local high school students graduated in late July from the STAR Leadership Training program Family members and community leaders gath ered at the ofces of the Community Founda tion of Sarasota County to celebrate the event, a news release says. Among the 20 graduates was Sam Winegar, a sophomore at Pine View School in Osprey. He was elected by his classmates to be the leader of the STAR class service project, which they design and implement themselves, a news re lease notes. I learned that anything you can do makes a difference and sometimes a bigger difference than you thought youd make, said Sam in the release regarding efforts to raise funds and awareness for First Step of Sarasota We are really honored that the students se lected to work with us, added Kelly French of First Step in the release. The class collected almost $900 for the organi zation. The students said they raised a little money. Its a nice surprise, French noted in the release. Sam and the other STAR graduates will go on to serve on nonprot and county boards, the release continues. Im really looking forward to help i ng serve my community, said Sam. I cant think of a single thing that the skills I learned in STAR wouldnt help me with. The STAR Leadership Training Program is an intensive 75-hour leadership program designed for high school students. STAR students learn skills such as team building, communication, problem solving and civic engagement. The STAR Leadership class is offered three times a year in the spring, summer and fall the release adds. The graduates of the latest class are as fol lows: Carter Akins, Sarasota Military Acade my; Skylar Bartolotta, Imagine School; David Bracciano, Cardinal Mooney High School; Em ily Brown, Cardinal Mooney; Christian Cole, Booker High School; Larry Destine, Suncoast Polytechnical High School; Maya Green, North Port High School; Maria Hidalgo, Pine View; Daniel Kemp, Pine View; Paige Levanti, River view High School; Andrew Marquette, a home school student; Roberto Mercado, Pine View; Laina Moran, Cardinal Mooney; Jonson Ocean, Booker; Jean Marc Regnier, Cardinal Mooney; Ethan Schmucker, Venice High School; Greg Short, Cardinal Mooney; Alex Sobczak, Car dinal Mooney; Marina Walter, Riverview; and Samuel Winegar, Pine View The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has its ofces on Fruitville Road in Sarasota. Image courtesy Community Foundation 20 GRADUATE FROM STAR LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 67


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Aviation Unit won third-place honors in the FLIR Vi sion Awards presented at the 2013 Airborne Law Enforcement Association annual confer ence in Orlando, the ofce has announced. The FLIR Vision Awards are given annually to airborne law enforcement teams with the best videos of rescue, apprehension or surveillance missions, a news release says. The Sheriffs Ofce video was chosen from more than 40 entries; it showed the pursuit and capture of ve suspects in a jewelry store robbery on Nov. 6, 2012, the release notes. In the video, the suspects can be seen scattering near the PGT Industries headquarters and In terstate 75 after they bailed from their vehi cle, the release adds. The Air-1 c rew safely guided deputies toward the suspects, who were hiding in a lake, and warned ofcers of potential hazards, including alligators, the release points out. The crew that night was Deputy/Pilot Dave Bouffard and Deputy/Pilot Brent Wineka. The Aviation Unit includes a total of four pilots and seven tactical ight ofcers, the release says. As part of the award, a $1,000 donation is made on behalf of the aviation unit to the charitable organization of its choice. In the Sheriffs Ofce units case, that is the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. To view the award-winning video visit the Sher iffs Ofces YouTu be channel or click here SHERIFFS OFFICE AVIATION UNIT HONORED AT CONFERENCE Deputy/Pilot David Bouffard (left) and Deputy/Pilot Brent Wineka display their awards. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 68


Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight has an nounced that Lt. Brian Meinberg has gradu ated from the 67th Command Ofcers Devel opment Course sponsored by the Southern Police Institutes Department of Justice Ad ministration at the University of Louisville. Meinberg attended the 400-hour training pro gram at the Broward Public Safety Institute in Fort Lauderdale in ve, two-week segments over a ve-month period, a news release says. Participants learn to develop solutions to specic problems; plan, implement and eval uate managem ent strategies; and understand federal requirements for personnel issues, the release notes. Continuing education programs are a vital part of our agencys succession planning, said Knight in the release. Future leaders must un derstand and initiate management best prac tices as they progress in their careers. Meinberg, who has worked for the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce since 2004, is assigned to the Corrections Operat ions Bureau. (From left) Col. Steve Burns, Lt. Brian Meinberg and Maj. Jim Lilly. Contributed photo SHERIFFS LIEUTENANT GRADUATES FROM COMMAND OFFICERS COURSE Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 69


Sarasota Police Department Lt. James Reis er and Sgt. Bryan Graham recently graduated from the 67 th Command Ofcers Development Course held by the Southern Police Institute, the department has announced. The ceremony was held in Fort Lauderdale. The Southern Police Institute is a division of the Department of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville, a news release says. Reiser and Graham will use their training to enhance their leadership skills, the release notes. Additionally, they made lifelong law enforcement contacts with whom to net work, the rele ase adds. Being able to reach out to their fellow SPI alumni will be invalu able as they seek innovative community polic ing practices to apply in the city, the release points out. Support Service Bureau Capt. Corinne Stan nish said in the release, I attended the course last year and can attest the curriculum is tough and being away from work and family for so long was a challenge, but it was worth it in the end. Since the creation of the Southern Police Institute in 1951, its program of instruction has been grounded in the belief that law en forcement is a demanding activity requiring the highest level of professional preparation, the release points out. TWO CITY OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM SOUTHERN POLICE INSTITUTE (From left) Lt. Pat Ledwith, Lt. James Reiser, Sgt. Bryan Graham and Capt. Corinne Stannish. Con tributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 70


The Salvation Army of S arasota is inviting lo cal residents, community leaders and media representatives to participate in a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. to discuss how best to serve those who are strug gling in the area. As a result of a quarterly analysis, a news re lease says, the Salvation Army is working to identify ways to increase the effectiveness of compassion. The release adds, These sug gestions will help the Salvation A rmy formu SALVATION ARMY SCHEDULES TOWN HALL MEETING ON AUG. 7 late new options so we may move forward with strategic planning and implementation of these plans. Nonetheless, Maj. Ethan Frizzell, the area commander, points out in the release, The only thing changing at the Salvation Army is how we change. For more information or to submit a question in advance of the Aug. 7 meeting, call 3648845, Ext. 221. The Florida Departm ent of Transportation is alerting the public that pedestrian cross walk improvements at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Waldemere Street in Sarasota will mean daytime lane closures. Motorists should expect to see those clo sures for the next four to six weeks, FDOT CONSTRUCTION UNDER WAY ON U.S. 41 AT WALDEMERE announced last week in its regular trans portation update. Motorists and pedestrians are reminded to use caution and watch for construction workers at the intersection, the news re lease says. The temperature ma y be hot outside, but the deals on some of the areas nest arts and crafts will be pretty cool at the Summer Arts and Crafts Show, set for Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Venice Community Center (VCC), 326 S. Nokomis Ave. in Venice, Sarasota County has announced. The show hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors from across the region will offer a variety of arts and crafts in more than 10,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, a news release says. Shoppers will nd unique hand crafted jewelry, quilts, paintings, handbags and many other items, the release adds. Park ing and admission are free. VENICE SUMMER ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW TO BE HELD AUG. 10 Its a very p opular event every year because of the quality of the merchandise, the unique ness of the items and people being able to shop in such a comfortable environment, said Dorian Mattox, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation specialist, in the release. You get great deals, great food from The Venice Community Center partners and one of the largest selections of premium arts and crafts in the region. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1) or visit % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 71


Guns and drugs from recent arrests are shown on a table in the Sarasota Police Department. Contrib uted photo POLICE DEPARTMENT MAKES TWO WEAPONS ARRESTS The Saras ota Police Department arrested two men on concealed weapons charges last week, the department has announced. One of the suspects also had illegal drugs in his possession, a news release notes. About 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, ofcers stopped a vehicle in the area of Dr. Martin Lu ther King Jr. Way and Maple Avenue in Saraso ta because the windows appeared to be tinted a darker shade than allowed by law and a rear tag light was not working, making it difcult to read the license pl ate, the report says. It was the only vehicle on the road at the time, the report continues, and the ofcers noted they could detect a strong and constant odor of marijuana that seemed to be emanating from the vehicle. The driver, Lloyd Eldridge, 19, of 1158 44 th St., Sarasota, told ofcers he had just smoked a marijuana cigarette inside the car and that he had thrown it out the window before they stopped him, the report says. Because of that, the ofcers advised Eldridge they were going to search the vehicle, the report notes. He told them he understood, but there was nothing CRIME BLOTTER


for them t o see. [Eldridges hands were] also shaking very badly, the report says. During the search, ofcers discovered two handguns (a Glock 9mm with an extended 30-round magazine and a .22 revolver), 77.6 grams of marijuana, 4.2 grams of crystal meth and $279, the report adds. Eldridge was arrested and charged with two counts of Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Pos session of Marijuana with the Intent to Deliv er, Possession of Methamphetamine and Per sons Engaged in Criminal Offenses Possessing a Firearm all felony counts. In the second incident, ofcers reported ob serving two vehicles driving east in a reck less manner on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. They said that as they attempted to catch up to the vehicles, they saw both swerve between the westbound and eastbound lanes, the re Lloyd Eldridge/Contributed photo Michael Grifn/Contributed photo port no tes. Then the vehicles passed Central Avenue (where a large apartment community is, along with heavy pedestrian trafc ) at high rates of speed, the report adds. After the driver of one vehicle, Michael R. Grifn Jr., 21, of 30506 14 th St. West in Braden ton, stopped, ofcers asked him and a passen ger, Isiah White, to exit the vehicle, the report continues. During a search, ofcers found a fully loaded .380 caliber pistol in Grifns right sweater pocket, the report adds. Grifn was arrested and charged with Carry ing a Concealed Firearm, a felony. He was also charged with Reckless Driving and Driving with a Suspended License, both misdemean or counts. White was released to his 25-year-old sister at the scene, the report adds. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 73


Detectives with the Sarasota Police Depart ment are looking for two suspects caught on camera burglarizing a Sarasota salon. The incident occurred on Thursday, July 25, at approximately 1:24 a.m. at the Roots Cou ture Salon, located at 527 S. Pineapple Ave., according to a news release. On video, one suspect is seen walking up to a door at the salon, wearing a type of fedora and a jacket, the release notes. The suspect peers in the door, looks around, lights a cigarette and then walks away, the release adds. The second suspect walks up to the same door; he is wearing a light-colored hoodie. This suspect appears to pick the lock; then, he enters the business, the release continues. In the video, he appears to use his sleeves to cover his hands as he goes into the salon, the police report says. A short time later, the rst suspect is seen walking back into camera view, not wearing a jacket. Then he walks into the business as well. About 2:13 a.m., both suspects are seen walk ing out the door, with their heads lowered. The suspect in the hoodie appears to be car rying liquor bottles, the release notes. The suspects close the door behind them as they leave. The salon owner reported the theft of assort ed makeup eye shadow, powder, lip cream and foundation plus two bottles of cherry vodka, cigarettes and an iPod with a charger, the release notes. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Darrell Nixon at 954-7078, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by call ing 366-TIPS (8477), go online at http://www. or send a text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637). HELP SOUGHT IN IDENTIFYING SUSPECTS IN SALON BURGLARY Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 74


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has an nounced that its deputies made 14 DUI arrests and issued 174 citations for trafc offenses during saturation patrols on ve nights in July. Other DUI arrests were recorded for the month, a news release points out. The ofce conducts monthly saturation pa trols to remove dangerous, uninsured or im paired drivers from local roadways to keep motorists safe, the release says. Because of our commitment to keep the pub lic aware of these ongoing education and en forcement efforts, results are provided at the SHERIFFS OFFICE REPORTS RESULTS OF JULY SATURATION PATROLS end of ea ch month and dates for the following months activity are announced, the release adds. This month, saturation patrols will be con ducted on Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. As Sheriffs Ofce staff previously has ex plained, saturation patrols are conducted in stead of what people refer to as DUI Check points, the release says. The patrols include a number of Patrol and Trafc unit deputies working targeted zones at the same time to monitor driving activity. Those patrols take place in different parts of the county, the re lease adds. Sarasota Police Department detectives have charged Ramon Colon-Estrada, 27, of 3587 Chinaberry Lane, Sarasota, with Felony Grand Theft after he allegedly stole items worth about $10,000 from an Ohio woman. Colon-Estrada was working at the Lido Beach Resort in Sarasota at the time of the incident, a news release says. On July 13, Brenda Myers checked into the resort, the report says. At noon that day, she noticed one of her bags was missing, the re port adds; she thought another member of her party had left it at the front desk, but it was not there, the report notes. The bag contained a camera, an iPad and miscellaneous jewelry. Myers reported the incident to hotel manage ment and an ofcer took a report, according to the news release. On July 18, the hotel manager and Myers re viewed video from the parking garage, where Myers had left her car upon arrival at the re sort, the report says. LIDO BEACH RESORT EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH THEFT FROM GUEST Ramon Colon-Estrada/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 75


The video shows Colon-Estrada parking near Myers vehicle about 7:15 a.m., the report notes. He was arriving for his 8 a.m. shift. The video also shows Colon-Estrada walking past Myers vehicle before walking back to his own. Colon-Estrada then backtracked and walked between Myers vehicle and another one, the r eport sa ys. Colon-Estrada moved out of view of the camera before heading back to his ve hicle, the report adds. Colon-Estrada next was seen moving his ve hicle and stopping it near Myers vehicle again out of camera view for approximately 40 seconds. He then drove to the top of the parking garage and parked his vehicle before reporting for his 8 a.m. shift, the report notes. Detectives contacted Colon-Estrada, who agreed to come to the Sarasota Police Depart ment to be in terview ed, the report says. % Simply put, Crime Stoppers relies upon the cooperation between the police the media and the community to provide a ow of information about crime and criminals. Call: (941) 366-TIPS (8477) Click: Text: Text TIP109 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) All submitted tips are secure and anonymous For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a weekly notication when the latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 76


WHEN GREED BECOMES A THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Early on the morning of Oct. 28, 2007, re broke out in a beach cottage at Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina. Sleeping in the house were 13 college students 12 from the University of South Carolina and one from Clemson Univer sity. Seven of those students died that morn ing. Several of the six who escaped were hos pitalized. It is the nightmare of every parent, naturally the concern that ones child could perish in such a senseless way. But it also is a con cern magnied in beach communities, where owner-investors seek to cram as many beds into a property as possible, so it can be rented by large, extended families who are willing to pay mega fees that run into the thousands of dollars a week. Sadly, Siesta Key, as one of the premier beach destinations in the country, is no exception. A perusal of t he popular website (for Vacation Rentals By Owner) lists a number of properties that boast ve or more bedrooms. And the granddaddy of them all is a massive 12-bedroom house that claims to accommo date up to 40 occupants. That property located at 6537 Sabal Drive on Siesta Key is at the center of a protract ed battle between Sarasota County Code En forcement and the owner (or owners), who refuse to engage in any dialogue with coun ty ofcials. As a result, the county led suit in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court on July 17, seeking injunctive relief and the payment of nes incurred by the many violations of zon ing rules and Federal Emergency Management Agency regulatio ns on that property.


Apparent ly, the cur rent dwelling re placed a n older home sometime after 2010. Because of federal regulations for new construction in a ood zone, the house had to be built on pilings to raise it above the ex pected surge level for a 100-year storm. Ground-le vel areas must have walls made of a breakaway material as well as ow-through panels that allow high water to pass in and out without damaging the support structure of the dwelling. In addition, no use of the ground lev el is allowed other than as a garage or storage facility. No occupiable space is permitted on that level. The house in question came to the attention of county Code Enforcement ofcials when a renter from out of state found the proper ty too dangerous for her family members to occupy upon their arrival in November 2012. Once she had arranged alternative lodging for them, she notied Code Enforcement and re ofcials and gave them access to the property. Those ofcials found the entire ground lev el enclosed with solid masonry walls, with the required ow-through vents bricked over. There were no windows at all on the rst lev el, and only one door to the outside at the far end of the house. The complete down stairs area was divided into bedrooms and a bathroom. About half of the claimed 40 occu pants would b e billeted in a bricked enclosure with only one point of exit in the event of an emergency. No required building permits had been ob tained for the con struction work, so the county had no way of knowing i f the work had been done by unlicensed contractors, an other potential violation. I n November 2012, Code Enforcement Of cer John Lally issued a Notice of Violation/ Notice to Obtain Permits, which was served on The Daniels Law Firm of Sarasota, the reg istered agent of Siesta Resorts LLC, the com pany county records showed to be the owner of the property. During subsequent hearings before a Sarasota County Special Magistrate, no one from The Daniels Law Firm or Siesta Resorts appeared to answer the charges. Several orders were then entered by the special magistrate, with timelines for bringing the property into com pliance with local, state and federal regula tions, and threatening nes if compliance was not forthcoming. However, by May of this year, no word had been heard from either the Daniels rm or Si esta Resorts, so the magistrate began entering orders levying nes that would continue until the appropriate corrections to the property were made. As of the end of July, those nes had exceeded $26,000. Despite the convenience and obvious conviviality that can result from assembling a party of dozens of friends or family under one roof, the risks of cramming so many people into a single space outweighs those benets. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 78


Although the o wner, or owners, of the prop erty would not communicate with the county about the violations, they continued to rent the property, accommodating at least seven parties since the rst Notice of Violation was served. Perhaps with rental rates of $4,500 per week, they gured they still were coming out ahead on the countys cumulative nes of $3,500 per week. When it appeared nothing would coax the owners or their attorneys to even acknowl edge the propertys shortcomings, the county led a lawsuit to force compliance with the codes. However, despite taking that action on July 17, the county was unable to properly serve the defendants until July 25. The defendants have 20 days from that date of service to le their answer to the countys complaint. This entire situation concerns us greatly. First, despite the convenience and obvious conviv iality that can result from assembling a party of dozens of friends or family under one roof, the risk of cramming so many people into a single space outweighs those benets. Were the house subject to the same standards as ho tels required to have re alarms, sprinkler systems, adequate exits and an emergency es cape plan there would be less concern. But this house does not even comply with the minimum requirements of the county for safe ingress and egress. The entire ground level of the structure is an illegal accommodation, vi olating FEMA rules against occupancy in that area. Even on the upper oor there is only one exit, which could be blocked in the event of re, trapping the occupants. Worse, the malingering intransigence of the owners is potentially putting innocent lives at risk. While this matter drags through the courts and one can only assume by the deft elusion so far of the propertys owners and their erstwhile pettifogs that the case will test the cunctative limits of our judicial system the specter of tragic conagration grows near er. No one would deny a property owner the right to maximize the honest return on his or her investment. What no one wants, howev er, is for the nations television cameras to be trained on Siesta Beach as 40 charred bodies are brought out of the smoldering ruins. It is far past time for the owners of the house at 6537 Sabal Drive whoever they might be to do the right thing and put their house in order. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and in clude the name, street address and telephone 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 August 2, 2013 Page 79


Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida941-953-4060




SIESTA SEEN Altho ugh I reported a couple of weeks ago that Sarasota County staff planned to start in stalling the bollards with LED illumination at seven Siesta Village crosswalks this week, one never knows whether something will interfere with a tentative timetable. I am very pleased to say that Peter van Roek ens the Siesta Key Association ofcer who started the initiative in January 2012 to pro vide better lighting in the Village called me on July 30 to say the installation is proceeding. Im very happy now, van Roekens told me. Along with Siesta Village Association repre sentatives Russell M atthes and Mark Smith BOLLARD INSTALLATION IS UNDER WAY; MORE BEACH-NESTING BIRD HATCHLINGS HAVE BEEN REPORTED, IN SPITE OF BUFFER VANDALISM; A PUBLIC MEETING IS SCHEDULED ON LOW-SPEED VEHICLES ON THE KEY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A pelican skims the Gulf of Mexico on Siesta Key. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens County tourism gures show plenty of visitors are enjoying Siesta Public Beach this sum mer, including this youngster. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens


as well as co unty staff van Roekens partici pated in a couple of lighting demonstrations last summer in an effort to determine what equip ment would work best to make pedestrians more visible to drivers on Ocean Boulevard. All 14 bollards should be in by late August, according to the countys timetable. THE BLINKING LIGHTS Yet another one of van Roekens projects is clos er to seeing fruition, too, I learned this week. Ryan Montague, the Sarasota County staff member in the Trafc/Mobility Ofce who also handled the bollards project, said he is hope ful the County Commission will approve the installation of four new pedestrian crosswalk lights and signs at the Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare intersections on Beach Road. Tom Maroney, general manager of business operations in the Public Works Department, explained in a July 3 email to Commission er Nora Patterson that the rectangular rapid ashing beacon pedestrian sign (RRFB), like those the Florida Department of Transporta tion installed last year at pedestrian cross walks on Midnight Pass Road, has become very popular. Alternating, or wig-wag, ash ing lights are mounted below each sign. Those are the types of signs and lights Siesta Isles residents have sought at the Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare crosswalks, to replace constantly blinking lights that drivers have been ignoring for a long time, endangering pedestrians. The County Commission will be asked late this summer to approve the installation of new crosswalk lights to replace constantly blinking ones at the Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare intersections on Beach Road. File photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 83


Montague said on July 30 that the County Commission will have to approve the pur chase and installation of the signs when it returns in August from its summer recess. Once the board votes, it should take about two weeks to order the materials and about another week to get everything put in place call it a month, he added. They know its a pretty important issue to those folks on Siesta Key, he pointed out of the commissioners. Montague did not have a cost estimate handy when I spoke with him, but he thought it would be in the vicinity of $13,000. I will not hold him to that. By the way, as I was nishing up this column, I found a July 30 email exchange between Mon tagues boss, Chief County Engineer James K. Harriott, and Patterson regarding those wigwag lights. When Patterson asked what he meant by wigwag, Harriott explained that it is a type of strobe light, adding, I learned today that the term wig wag is common in law enforcement and describes the alternating ashing lights seen on emergency vehicles. He further pointed out, [The lights] will ash on demand when activated by a pedestrian at the crosswalk. The ashing is brighter and more noticeable, and with the lights being on activation, they receive more attention from drivers. Van Roekens also let me know that county staff is working on lighting for the pedestrian crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road south of the Stickney Point Road intersection. MORE HELP FOR BABY BIRDS Although information about Siestas beach-nesting birds was pretty grim a couple of weeks ago, Sarasota Audubon volunteers Bob and Catherine Luckner sent me an update this week with some cheering news. After major destruction was reported in the area of Least Tern and Snowy Plover nests near Beach Accesses 3 and 4 last month, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce, state of cials, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWC] staff and new volunteers all have joined forces to provide more protec tion, Catherine wrote in a July 30 email. Snowy plover chicks are so tiny, many visi tors to Siesta Public Beach nd them difcult to see. Photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun and Sarasota Audubon Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 84


Add itionally, Sarasota County Natural Re sources Department staff has been working hard with owners of Beach Road property near a conservation easement to clear up another matter I reported on recently the illegal widening of a path to the beach near Access 10. She wrote, We had a [recent] meeting with a large contingent of these [state and county] folks and have new impetus for reporting ALL violations directly to the State by phone and email to well document the need for enhanced monitoring and intervention well ahead [of] and during a nesting period. Luckner added, We are now directed from FWC to report daily any and all violations of these buffered areas to [the] state FWC re porting line. This will begin to build a base of support for intervention and management of the Siesta Key areas for nesting imperiled species. Regarding the status of nesting season: As of July 30, Luckner continued, volunteers in the previous 10 days had found four Least Tern chicks alive and being fed by adult Least Terns near the vegetated dune areas of Accesses 3 and 4. After wanton destruction of the nesting sites in that area in late July, Audubon volun teers had mourned the loss of a number of Least Tern chicks as well as a Snowy Plover nest with eggs close to hatching. Additionally, Luckner noted, two Snowy Plo ver chicks are alive and thriving at that point, about 14 days old. Further, the other two chicks I had report ed on which are about five weeks old are almost ready to edge! Luckner wrote. That means they will be able to y on their own, the point at which volunteers can breathe a sigh of relief, because the baby birds will have much better odds of survival. They enjoy active feeding and the protec tion of the Conservation Foundation proper ty, Luckner noted, referring to the property owned by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. We have volunteers dawn to dusk! As for that destruction at Accesses 3 and 4: Luckner pointed out that volunteers still are waiting on FWC ofcials to send a formal let ter to the man witnesses identied as the one who dragged lawn chairs through the buffered nesting areas. Luckner added that they have not been able to learn why FWC has failed to take formal action, as we have virtually everything doc umented [to support] a violation of the buffer, which is illegal (with or without loss of live chicks). [The man] evaded the FWC Ofcer who went twice to see him. He nally was reached by phone by the FWC Ofcer and nev er would admit to what hed done; however, he said he knew the buffers were important. The Siesta beach-nesting bird team members are requesting, at minimum, a formal letter documenting the event, the evidence collected and the intervention effort of the FWC ofcer to reach this individual, she continue d. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 85


Luckners husba nd, Bob, is the coordinator of the Audubon volunteers on the island. We know now ANY footprint [in] the buffer constitutes a legal violation and also criminal mischief if the physical property of the buffer is damaged, she pointed out. In addition to that extensive destruction, she reported, a person continues to walk a large dog daily on a long lead in the area of Ac cesses 3 and 4. A Sarasota County ordinance makes it il legal to have a dog on the beach, because beach-nesting birds will abandon nests even eggs about to hatch if they feel threat ened by dogs. THE CONSERVATION EASEMENT PATH MATTER On a related matter, Luckner told me her hus band had to be very rm with the new own er of the condominium complex at 612 Beach Road, on the land side of the conservation easement area near Access 10. As I reported earlier in the News Leader county staff advised the owner and his legal representative that the path to the beach can be no wider than 4 feet. A News Leader staff The path through the conservation easement near Beach Accesses 9 and 10 is required to be no more than 4 feet wide. News Leader measurements found it to be as much as 9 feet wide in places. Photo by Robert Hackney Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 86


member measured the path several weeks ago at 9 feet in width in a number of places. After investigating Audubon volunteers re ports of the pathways condition in mid-June, Matt Osterhoudt, manager of conservation and environmental permitting in the Sarasota County Natural Resources Department, told the News Leader county staff members had conrmed the violation. They had requested a meeting with the property owner and his at torney, Osterhoudt noted, to discuss how best to resolve the situation. Osterhoudt said the path would have to be re-vegetated to restore it to the 4-foot width. On July 17, Osterhoudt told me he had met with the property owners, and they certainly appear willing to work with us. He added that they were preparing a resto ration plan, which he expected to receive be fore the end of July. However, Luckner said the Audubon group was continuing to have some difculty with the property owner and planned to register a complaint with the Flor A three-story condominium complex is under construction at 610-612 Beach Road. Photo by Robert Hackney Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 87


ida Depar tment of Environmental Protection regarding the owners hiring of a person with a tractor to mow in the dunes and sea oats, to widen the path illegally, as that demonstrates a lack of his compliance [with] DEP regula tions for the coastal environments. Bob Luckner had reiterated in a July 17 email to the property owner that the latter had asked to be informed when we discovered a nest and to have a point contact to nd out the status of Beach Nesting birds on [his] prop erty. It is our policy to contact homeowners before buffering private property and now that we know how to reach you we commit to do that. I should be your contact if you have questions. Bob Luckner added in his email, I would ask you to consider the buffers as a way to warn you, your guests and others of the presence of Beach Nesting Birds and the fact that there is a signicant penalty for disturbing Beach Nesting Birds. Further, Bob Luckner advised the man to watch the video of the April 2011 County Com mission meeting when the board approved the construction variance for the property: Your attorney, William Merrill, committed to the [County Commission] as a condition of your permit, that all buffering for Beach Nesting birds was henceforth pre-approved and that you would not use a tractor to rake, remove vegetation or grade the sand [hand raking is permitted] in the [conservation easement] or along the existing path. YOUR T HOUGHTS ON GOLF CARTS During an early May County Commission discussion of a petition to allow golf carts to travel regularly on a portion of South Midnight Pass Road, the board members asked Paula Wiggins, the countys transportation planning manager, to organize public meetings on Si esta Key to determine the prevailing opinion about the use on the island of those vehicles and others that move at low speeds. The board is expected to address the issue again after receiving that public feedback. Wiggins told me on July 30 that she has sched uled a public meeting at Siesta Key Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, to hear residents views. She expects county staff to start distributing yers about the meeting by Aug. 5, she said. Additionally, Wiggins told me, the countys In formation Technology and Communications staffs are preparing an online survey that peo ple may take on the matter. Wiggins is also working with the Siesta Key Association to help get out the word about the meeting and the survey, she added. Further, staff will determine whether the County Commission would like to see a second meeting scheduled after seasonal people begin to return to the key this fall, Wiggins said. % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 88


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


The Hermitage Arti st Retreat is inviting the public to a free open house and beach perfor mances on Friday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m. The event will begin with tours of the historic Hermit age House and open studios featuring visual artists Rocky Bridges and Beverly Williams, a news release says. At 7 p.m., beach readings will commence with writers Kristen Rodri guez and Melanie Webb. Composer and acous tic guitarist Ramiro Malagon will perform his music as well. These artists in residence are the 2013 STARs: Each won a State Teacher Artist Residency (STAR) thr ough a partnership between the Hermitage and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE), headquartered in Orlan do, the release notes. The competition is open to all public school arts teachers in the state. Their prize is time and space during their summer break to live and work as artists on the beachfront campus of the Hermitage Art ist Retreat, the release adds. The Hermitage campus is located at 6660 Manasota Key Road, on Manasota Key in En glewood. Attendees should bring their beach chairs and refresh ments to enjoy during the performances, the release notes Hermitage artists will participate in an open house and performances for the public on Aug. 9. Con tributed photo 2013 STARS TO SHINE AT HERMITAGE BEACH READING, OPEN HOUSE A&E BRIEFS


This will be our la st beach event of the sum mer, said Bruce E. Rodgers, executive direc tor of the Hermitage, in the release. As al ways our STARs are a talented group of artists who happen to have day jobs educating our children. Youll be impressed by their tal ents and thankful that such a devoted group is sharing their talents with the children that pass through their classrooms, he added in the release. The Hermitage is very proud of this program that supports Florida arts educators, Rodgers continued. As in the past, this years STARs teach chil dren from the kindergarten level through high school in various counties around the state. Rocky Bridges teaches sculpture, painting, drawing and art history to 12 th -graders at Har rison School for the Arts in Lakeland; Beverly Williams teaches visual arts for grades 6, 7 and 8 at Union Academy Magnet Middle School in Bartow, the release notes. Both schools are in Polk County. From Broward County, STAR Ramiro Malag on teaches music in grades K-5 at Discovery El ementary in Sunrise, while STAR Kristen Rodriguez is a media specialist for grades K-5 at West Hollywood Elementary School in Hol lywood. Duval County had a winner with Mela nie Webb, who teaches creative writing to ninth-graders as well as junior ction and critical theory to students in grades 9, 11 and 12 at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville. One incentive in creating this program was to recharge the creative energy of artist/teach ers in our state who will return to their class rooms with a renewed sense of their artistry to give back to their students, the release points out. Malagon conrmed the goal: The Hermitage has provided me with an inspira tional beautiful environment, where I have deeply connected to my musical and spiritual side by creating compositions, practicing and performing as an instrumentalist. I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful experience with my students and colleagues. For more information about the STARs pro gram or the Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 475-2098 or visit the website at www.Hermit WEBBERS HIT NEARING END OF ITS RUN ON VENICE STAGE Venic e Theatres Summer Stock performances of Andrew Lloyd Webbers hit musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 4, on the Main Stage, the theater is reminding potential pa trons. Presented by the theaters Summer Stock troupe which is in its seventh year the show is directed by Brad Wages and choreographed by Michelle Kasanofsky, a release notes. Summer Stock is a theatre boot camp for se nior-high and college-age performers interest ed in pursuing professional careers in theater, the release points out. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a contemporary retelling of the familiar biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, the release explains. Joseph, Jacobs favorite son, is a boy blessed with pro phetic dreams. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph experiences a series of ad Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 91


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will continue through Aug. 4 at Venice Theatre. Contributed photo ventures during whic h his spirit and humanity are challenged, the release continues. After thwarting the advances of his owners wife, he nds himself misrepresented and thrown into prison. However, due to his ability to interpret dreams, Joseph becomes second in command to Pharaoh and ultimately is reunited with his family. Wages says in the release, All of this action is portrayed in an entertaining, fast-paced and nontraditional style. Set to a cornucopia of musical arrangement styles from Broadway to country, Calypso to rock n roll, this Old Testament tale has become a favorite of school, community and professional theatres around the world, the release notes. Webber and Tim Rice originally wrote the musical as a 20-minute pop canta ta for St. Pauls Junior School in England in 1968, the release explains. After many ama teur and professional productions, with new material being added over the years, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opened on Broadway in 1982 and ran for 747 performances, the release continues. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards. In London, the musical has won four Laurence Olivier Awards. Venice Theatre is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Summer box of ce hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before perfor mances. Tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Techni color Dreamcoat are $25 for adults, $15 for college students and $10 for children. They are on sale at the box ofce at 140 W. Tampa Ave., by phone at 488-1115 or online at www. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 92


Venice Theatres inaugural Summer Cabaret Festival will continue through Aug. 25, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Sat urdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the 90-seat Pinkerton Theatre (coined Pinkys Cabaret for this event). Altogether, 12 different acts have been signed to perform during the festival. Venice Theatres producing director, Allan Kollar, says he is excited to present the art of cabaret in its purest form. He explains in a news release, Were going back to the basics with a variety of music and comedy in a night club setting. I put out a call for proposals and am very pleased with the response. The areas hottest talent is going to participate. Kollar anticipates making the festival an an nual event, he adds in the release. Single tickets for each show are $15. Mon ey-saving passes are available to encourage patrons to enjoy as much of the festival as possible, the release notes. The Pick 4 Pass is $56, and the Pick 8 Pass is $100. More in formation is available by visiting www.venic by calling 488-1115 or stopping at the box ofce at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Summer box ofce hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before show time. The following performances are among those remaining on the schedule: Saturday, Aug. 3: Melissa Cripps, An Eve ning of Class(ics) songs from Ella, Judy, Rosemary, Barbra, Bette, Liza and more Sunday, Aug. 4: Bill Schustik, A Trouba dours Cabaret a musical venture into the soul of America Thursday, Aug. 8: Dorian & The Furniture mellow rock from Venice Theatres res ident sound designer Friday, Aug. 9: Kim Kollar, Bobbi Eschen bach & Michelle Kasanofsky, Mercer Magic Johnny Mercer tunes, including Come Rain or Come Shine, Moon River and Ac centuate the Positive. Saturday, Aug. 10: Diana Vytell, Live, Laugh, Love songs by Webber, Sondheim, Rodg ers & Hart, LeGrand and more. VENICE THEATRES SUMMER CABARET FESTIVAL CONTINUES Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 93


Art Center Sarasota will offer programs in August focusing on modern American art, the center has announced. The following topics will be addressed, a news release says: Aug. 8: The Armory Show: American Mod erns and European Fauvists, Cubists, & Futurists. Aug. 15: Women and The Armory Show: The Gender of Modernism Aug. 21: From Bauhaus to Our House: The Relentlessly Rational Intellectuals and the International Style The 1913 Armory Show, held at the 69 th Reg iment Armory at Lexington Avenue and 25 th Street in New York City, was the rst large PROGRAMS OFFERED ON MODERN ART AND ART NOUVEAU An upcoming program at Jacaranda Trace will focus on Art Nouveau, including its distinctive style of furniture. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 94


exhibition of modern art in the United States, the news release notes. For the rst time, Americans saw examples of avant-garde Euro pean art: Fauvism, Cubism and Futurism. The public sensation and the polemical critical re sponses to the show represented a watershed in the history of art. An enormous success, the show led to the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Mod ern Art and the Whitney Museum, the release points out. Two decades later, America not only became the capital of the art world, but also the home of the International Style of Architecture, it adds. The lectures will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Admis sion is $10 at the door. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tami ami Trail in Sarasota. For more information, call 365-2032 or visit A related program, Art Nouveau will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Jac aranda Trace in Venice. Art Nouveau was an international style of art, interior design and architecture that peaked in popularity around 1880-1914, the release adds. It was characterized by highly stylized, curvilinear nature motifs, the release notes. Admission for that program also will be $10 at the door. Jacaranda Trace is on the second oor of the Cadbury Commons Building, located at 3600 William Penn Way in Venice. A sign outside the Armory in New York City advertises the 1913 modern art show. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 95


Allyn Gallup Cont emporary Art gallery will present Some Wonderful Abstractions Aug. 15 through Oct. 5, featuring paintings and works on paper by Luisa Basnuevo, Michael Kessler, Juri Morioka, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Yolanda Sanchez, Richard Schemm, Mike Solomon and Valerie Stuart, the gallery has announced. The exhibit also will feature a survey of paint ings by Bianca Pratorius, with selections from three bodies of work created over 15 years, and sculpture by Mary-Ann Prack, a news re lease says. Basnuevo, of Miami, was born in Cuba, the release continues. Her paintings have been ex hibited in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art in Winston-Sa lem, NC, and the Muse de Luxembourg in Paris. Her work is in public and corporate col lections throughout Florida, including those of the Miami Art Museum, the Ringling Muse um, and the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, the release continues. Kessler, of Santa Fe, makes nature-based paintings that merge geometric elements with biomorphism, the release adds. Inuenced by the paintings of Brice Marden and Eliza beth Murray, as well as by the music of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, his works are charac terized by large elds of diaphanous color that are activated by organic linear structures that have been visually and physically woven into a grid structure, which consists of thick slabs of paint, the release notes. Kesslers work is shown and collected around the country. Morioka, of New York City, was born in Tokyo; she came to the United S tates as a high school exchange stude nt and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Parsons School of De sign in 1990. She says of her work, I always approach the canvas directly, without any preceding sketches or studies. I paint in the manner of Zen, moving my brushes along with my minds rhythm, relying solely on instinct and intuition. Outside of conscious thought, I search for harmony and form in the play of color and shapes, and a composition gradually emerges. Ramos Rivera, of San Francisco, is an ab stract painter whose work is celebrated for its intense emotional content and its unique, personal symbology, the release points out. Riveras paintings combine the palette and iconography of the indigenous cultural her itage of his native Mexico with classic tech niques of post-war American abstraction. In his paintings, Rivera constructs layers of in GALLUP GALLERY TO PRESENT SOME WONDERFUL ABSTRACTIONS A Frank OHara Summer by Mike Solomon. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 96


What Makes You Think You Can Say That by Bianca Pratorius. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 97


Val11 by Valerie Stuart. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 98


tense translu cent color elds upon which he lays simple hieroglyphic markings of rich im pasto, which seem at once archaic and con temporary, the release adds. Snchez, also of Miami, was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States in 1960. She obtained a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1979 and has practiced and taught psychology at the graduate level for more than 30 years, the release notes. Prompted by a personal crisis in her mid-30s, Snchez decided to give voice to her creativity and returned to school. She is a Fulbright scholar, having completed her fellowship as a painter in Spain. Snchez conducts research in the natural landscape largely inuenced by color, texture and light and paints in her studio, the release continues. Her work is never a direct trans lation of what she sees, but rather is an ex pression of a felt experience, a memory of or desire for the experience. Schemm, of Traverse City, MI, took an early interest in cabinetmaking and came to focus on beautiful wood nishes and beautiful paintings, the release says. His work has been praised for its attention to detail and keen use of color. His work has been exhib ited widely over the past 30 years. Solomon, of East Hampton, NY, makes sculp ture and paintings that combine the concep tual with the abstract, the release continues. In an essay, the release adds, art critic Hel en Harrison wrote, His art embodies funda mental qualities that he perceives in nature, for which he creates aesthetic analogies. With out imitating those qualities he captures their essence, pins it down and offers it as a gift to those who take the time to receive it. Through the use of color, brush strokes and fresco applications Stuart, of Sun Valley, ID, creates haunting atmospheric imagery from natural sources such as landscapes, sea scapes, skyscapes, owers and plants, the release notes. She plays with color and form to create a dream-like experience that invites the viewers to bring their personal interpreta tions into the piece. Pratorius, also of Miami, was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1969. She completed a three-year program at the Holzfachschule Koeln, focus ing on furniture building and design. Her work is featured internationally in many pri vate and corporate collections, including the Neiman Marcus Collection (in a number of stores) and the Millenium Partners Collec tion, permanently displayed in the Four Sea sons Hotel in Miami, the release points out. The unifying thread through my work has been pattern and repetition, which I explore through simple yet labor-intensive process es, she says in the release. During the 1980s, Prack, of Jefferson, NC, concentrated on developing hand-built ce ramics as a sculpture medium, exhibiting her work in a broad range of indoor and outdoor venues, the release continues. Though she uses ceramics as a material, the release adds, she does not follow the potters vessel concept but blazes her own path with clay as a pure sculpture medium; hand-building each piece using stoneware clay slabs; carved line work/ textures; and glazes, colors, or stains with a painters approach to surface treatments. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. For more information, call 366-2454 or visit % Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 99

PAGE 100

Anu by Mary-Ann Prack. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 100

PAGE 101

Temple Emanu-El is located on McIntosh Road in Sarasota. File photo Temple Emanu-E ls summer learning program, Your Monthly Jewish Moment will conclude on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, the Temple has announced. Focusing on current events and subjects of Jewish interest, these monthly discussions are facilitated by Peter Wells, retired executive di rector of the Jewish Federation of Dayton and a former consultant to Moment Magazine a news release says. Your Monthly Jewish Mo YOUR MONTHLY JEWISH MOMENT CONCLUDES ON AUG. 6 ment is an opportunity to explore hot topics, learn and share views in an intellectual, en riching atmosphere, the release adds. All are welcome. Your Monthly Jewish Moment is free of charge to Temple Emanu-El members, with an $18 donation requested from guests. The pro gram is sponsored by the synagogues Adult Education Committee. For more information, contact Peter Wells at 359-8235 or RELIGION BRIEFS

PAGE 102

The Congregatio n for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) recently recognized its dedicated group of BackPack Kids Program volunteers, who make sure students at Booker Middle School in Sarasota have sufcient food every week end of the school year. This is the fourth year of CHJs involvement in the effort, a news release says. The mission of the All Faiths Food Bank program is to help alleviate child hunger in Sarasota and DeSo to counties, a food bank report s ays; it pro vid es nut ritional support for youngsters who receive free or reduced-price meals at school. CHJ has raised enough money to see students through the 2013-14 school year, the release adds. Renee Crames is the volunteer coordi nator. CHJ members not only fund the Booker Mid dle project, they also show up at All Faiths Food Bank to pack the items and make sure they ar e delivered on time, the release notes. (From left) Barney Sack, Jo Arora, Fred Raymes, Susan Friedman (Congregation for Humanistic Judaism president) and Len Rosen (CHJ vice president). Contributed photo CONGREGATION SUPPORTS BOOKER MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 102

PAGE 103

Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, will conclude its popular summer lm series with a screening of The Lemon Tree on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m., the Temple has announced. An Israeli lm about a lush 50-year-old grove of lemon trees that was the life and livelihood of an Arab woman and that now stands across from the home of Israels defense min ister and his family The Lemon Tree will be screened on the Temples state-of-the-art projection system, the release adds. The cost is $5. Popcorn and lemonade will be served, the release notes. For more information, contact Eunice Cohen at % SCREENING OF THE LEMON TREE OFFERED ON AUG. 11 Image courtesy Wikipedia SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota Located Upstairs In the Green Ginger Salon John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 103

PAGE 104

02+ AUGUST Banyan Theater presents Heroes Through Aug. 4 (times vary), Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $28.50. Information: 351-2808 or 02+ AUGUST Florida Studio Theatre presents The Underpants Through Aug. 11 (times vary), Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $18 to $42. Information: 366-9000 or 02+ AUGUST FST Summer Improv Through Aug. 24, 8:30 p.m., John C. Court Cabaret, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $12. Infor mation: 366-9000 or 02+ AUGUST Dabbert Gallery presents Summer Showcase Through Sept. 30, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Admission: free. Information: 955-1315 or 08+ AUGUST Banyan Theater presents Time Stands Still Aug. 8-25 (times vary), Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $28.50. Information: 351-2808 or 11 AUGUST WSLR presents the fth annual Very Merry Jerry Day, featuring Flori da Mountain Boys, Ship of Fools, Kettle of Fish and Schmitz Bros. Band Aug. 11, 3:30 to 9 p.m., 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Tickets: $10. Information: 894-6469 or 16 AUGUST Friday Fest at the Van Wezel, featuring Impulse Aug. 16, 5 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail. Admission: Free. Information: 953-3368 or V Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS This Week In Sarasota recently was sold to The Observer Group. This sale ends our collaboration with TWIS Sarasota News Leader August 2, 2013 Page 104

PAGE 105

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 SKY DANCERS SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS