Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER Inside WORKING ON A PLAN NO DEAL WAECHTER AND THE FEC Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 51 September 6, 2013




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 The Sarasota News Leader and The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida are registered trademarks of New Sheriff Publishing, Inc., which publishes The Sarasota News Leader. 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 Post Ofce Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277 941-227-1080


I am sure C ounty Editor Roger Drouin will be happy to see Stan Zimmerman return from sabbatical, because Roger has been very busy this week on the City of Sarasota beat. Although the City Commission did not pack as much into its Sept. 3 meeting as the County Commission did in two days last week, let us just say Roger did not have to scrounge around for news. Still, local government topics are not the only ones making head lines this week. Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker has an update on the 2012 campaign contributions saga involving former Sarasota GOP Chairman Bob Waechter, and I learned some surprising news re garding the case of the allegedly drunken driver who struck and killed a Siesta Key runner on Jan. 7, 2012. Of course, I would be most remiss if I did not mention the big coup for Nathan Benderson Park. Call it old news at this point if you will, but I expect many folks would argue this is one of the most exciting stories for this community in some time. Although I had every hope the park would land the 2017 World Rowing Cham pionships, hearing the news was one of those pinch me to be sure it is true moments. On a different but also compelling note: Coo per has provided us with a preview of local plans to mark the 50th anniversary of anoth er major event in this nations Civil Rights Movement. This incident was as tragic as the 1963 March on Washington was inspir ing. I think it is safe to say we have anoth er smorgasbord of stories for you this week. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


WORKING ON A PLAN WAECHTER AND THE FEC NEWS & COMMENTARY WORKING ON A PLAN 8 Dr. Robert Marbuts approach is really a balance between two extremes, and he stresses smart love Roger Drouin NO DEAL 14 After the driver in a 2012 vehicle crash that killed a Siesta Key runner decides not to accept a plea offer from the state, his trial is scheduled for November Rachel Brown Hackney WAECHTER AND THE FEC 19 State authorities ne former Sarasota GOP chief Cooper Levey-Baker CARAGIULO EKES OUT A VICTORY 22 In a 3-2 vote, the City Commission sets aside $500,000 for homelessness including a community development grant and $211,000 in additional money Roger Drouin PAID PARKING AGAIN 27 The City of Sarasota will start charging people who use the Palm Avenue garage Roger Drouin CAT AND MOUSE 30 The noise discussion turns to enforcement after the city commissioners learn about a game at several Main Street bars that seem to be evading the citys sound ordinance Roger Drouin A GRISLY ANNIVERSARY 35 A Sept. 10 Sarasota program will reect on the Birmingham, AL, bombing that killed four black girls 50 years ago Cooper Levey-Baker BRINGING HOME THE BID 39 Benderson Park scores the 2017 World Rowing Championships; now the fundraising begins in earnest Rachel Brown Hackney A CLEARER POLICY REQUESTED 47 A County Commission motion to bill a resident retroactively for a public records request fails on a 2-3 vote, but the board calls for new guidelines for future charges Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Morning Moon Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Verdant Promontory Norman Schimmel No. 51 September 6, 2013


SIESTA SEEN A&E BRIEFS TOO HI GH A PRICE 53 The County Commission has agreed to new one-year mowing contracts in four zones but it also will pursue a re-examination of the scope of work within the next 12 months Rachel Brown Hackney A HAZARDOUS SITUATION CONFIRMED 59 The County Commission asks staff to work on striping parking spots on portions of Avenida de Mayo, with signage to alert drivers to no-parking zones Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 63 CRIME BLOTTER 72 OPINION EDITORIAL 81 A dark cloud over Government in the Sunshine SARASOTA LEISURE SIESTA SEEN 86 The Siesta Village recycling effort takes another step forward; with the bollards in, the focus switches to the Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare crosswalk lights; SKVA to host a social; and the beach saw a very busy Labor Day weekend Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 93 RELIGION BRIEFS 98 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 100 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 101 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080 No. 51 September 6, 2013


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As he sits outside Pastry Art in downtown Sarasota, Dr. Robert Marbut nibbles an oat meal raisin cookie and sips iced tea. This is his lunch. During this second ofcial visit to Sarasota, the homeless-issues consultant has been going all day, as the saying goes head ing out early each morning and return ing to his hotel room just before 10 p.m. He usually grabs some thing quick, such as a pastry or a protein bar, for lunch. Labor Day was no different. Ive had more meetings in 10 days here than Ive had overall in almost any other communi ty, said Marbut, who lives in San Antonio and has worked on home l ess issues for more than three decades. As he formulates his suggestions to help the area deal with issues related to a growing homeless population, he has met with non Robert Marbut takes a quick lunch break in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Roger Drouin DR. ROBERT MARBUTS APPROACH IS REALLY A BALANCE BETWEEN TWO EXTREMES, AND HE STRESSES SMART LOVE WORKING ON A PLAN By Roger Drouin County Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY There are families living in cars behind malls, and no one knows what to do. Its horrible. Dr. Robert Marbut Consultant Homelessness Issues


prot organization directors, homeless service providers, church leaders and just about every elected ofcial in the county. He also has spent time with people who are homeless, including some families living in their cars in parking lots. Marbuts goal is to write a report to turn in to Sarasota city and county ofcials. The faster I get that report, the better, he said. Then the real work begins, Marbut pointed out. But having traveled to about 600 com munities in 22 states for his work, he already can offer observations after just a short time in Sarasota. During an interview Monday, Sept. 2, with The Sarasota News Leader Marbut shared some of those initial thoughts. He thinks some good work is under way, in many cases by nonprof its working on shoestring budgets. But Sara sota County government ofcials and other leaders need to take bold action, he points out or the homeless population here will increase 20 to 30 percent in a few years. BUILDING SOLUTIONS Marbut does not call facilities that house homeless people shelters. A shelter is somewhere you put people and lock the key, he noted. Homeless people gather along Central Avenue in downtown Sarasota in February. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 9


Marbut says two types of facilities are needed in Sarasota County if local ofcials want to address homelessness. The rst is a portal for families and children who nd themselves living on the street, like some of the families Marbut has met here in Sarasota. There are families living in cars behind malls, and no one knows what to do, Marbut told the News Leader Its horrible. The good news is that Marbut has been talking to representatives of two nonprot organiza tions who he said are willing to take the ini tiative on setting up two portals, one in North County and one in South County. There is some alignment with what [the orga nizations] are doing right now, and they would repurpose some of their operations, Marbut noted of those nonprots. The portals would be safe places where fam ilies could go immediately when a crisis oc curred. Community leaders would be able to refer families to those facilities. A police ofcer or a city commissioner or church deacon will know where the portal is, Marbut said. It appears the community is poised to put the portals in place ahead of the second type of facility he recommends, which he calls a transformational center. The latter is the kind of place most consider when they discuss shelters. Pinellas Safe Harbor in Clearwater, which Marbut helped open, has been the model Homeless people gather in the parking lot of City Hall in downtown Sarasota on Sept. 3. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 10


during recent discussions at the County Com mission and City Commission daises. Marbuts vision for a transformational center combines beds with services such as job train ing, medical and mental health assistance and substance-abuse programs. Such a facility can be built from the ground up, or an existing building can be transformed into the type of space needed. A third option is to bring in portable buildings, similar to what the U.S. military does at its overseas bases. No matter the setup, establishing and operat ing the center comes at a cost. On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the City Commission vot ed 3-2 to set aside $500,000, including $289,000 from an already allocated Community Devel opment Block Grant (CDBG), for a shelter. (See the related article in this issue.) The C ounty Commission voted unanimously on Aug. 20 to set aside $500,000 to deal with the issue of homelessness in the area. City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo has led the effort to allocate city funding for a public homelessness center. It has not been an easy task. He put the item on the agenda last month to build support from his fellow commissioners, but at that meeting, commissioners were not in a hurry to act on his request. Before that session, Caragiulo toured Pinellas Safe Harbor. Marbut said Caragiulo contacted him after at tending a workshop Marbut had conducted. [Caragiulo] called me up that night and said he wants to work with me, Marbut said. Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota has been a common gathering place for the homeless. Photo by Norman Schimme Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 11


Marbut was shocked, he added, but impressed by Caragiulos changed course. Six or seven weeks ago, he wasnt for what I was saying. The county and city, along with nonprots and faith-based organizations, would all have to team up to build and operate the center. As an example, Marbut points to Pinellas Safe Harbor where the Pinellas County Sheriffs Ofce is the facility manager while nonprot groups support its work, and faith-based or ganizations provide all of the food. It is up to Sarasota leaders to determine which organizations will play specic roles, if a cen ter is built here. But one is clear for Marbut: The overa l l goal of both the portals and trans formational center should be to create path ways for homeless people, to help them nd work and a home and the assistance they need to get off the street. In addition to building facilities in Sarasota County, Marbut said, area nonprots need to collaborate with each other. Meeting once a month is not working togeth er, Marbut pointed out. A 91-PERCENT REDUCTION Marbut said he has seen communities that follow thr ough on his recommendations re Pinellas Safe Harbor has been called a model facility for helping the homeless. Photo courtesy of Pi nellas Safe Harbor Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 12


port an 80-percent decrease in the number of homeless people staying in parks, on beaches and in public areas. We can get a really good reduction, Marbut noted. In Pinellas County, after Pinellas Safe Harbor opened, the county recorded a 91-percent de cline in the number of homeless people living on the streets. Those communities where Marbut has devised a plan also have seen a 50-percent increase in the long-term success rate for people who graduate from programs aimed at getting them into secure homes. Ending homelessness, however, is not his ob jective. I dont come in saying I will end [it]. We en gage homelessness, he said. Marbuts approach is really a balance between two extremes that communities often use to battle the issue. On one end, people to the left of the politi cal spectrum sometimes will want to feed the homeless in parks and allow them to sleep in public spaces, he pointed out. The other extreme wants to arrest a way out of homelessness or create ordinances to make homelessness illegal. The solutio n is not in jail, and its not in parks, Marbut said. He does not want to see homeless people constantly incarcerated, nor does he want to coddle them. I will do everything I can to ensure people get into a program, Marbut said. That is how you get people of f the street. If Sarasota does not do anything, he predicts a continued increase in the homeless popula tion, due in large part to the high number of veterans leaving the military with post-trau matic stress disorder. Another factor is a job market showing no signs of recovery for em ployees without four-year college degrees. If Sarasota doesnt do anything, I can almost guarantee a 20to 30-percent increase, Mar but pointed out. SMART LOVE Marbuts advice to Sarasota residents who hand out money to panhandlers is to redi rect that money to one of the organizations in town such as Family Promise Harvest House The Salvation Army or Resurrection House He notes that a newspaper headline once la beled him Dr. Tough Love, but he dislikes that title. The approach he advocates is more like smart love, he contends. If people want to do something to be gener ous, help those organizations that have a high success rate, Marbut said. He has been surprised at how many nonprots are doing good work with shoestring funding, such as Family Promise, which operates on an annual budget of $85,000. Goodwill which employees 800 people, about two-thirds of whom are disabled is another organization he regards highly, he pointed out, especially with its job training and employment efforts. Still, Marbut said, Family Promise and the Harvest House are two of the best programs Ive seen. And they are doing all this good work right under ou r noses. % Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 13


The man arre sted on Jan. 7, 2012 for hitting and killing a Siesta Key runner while he al legedly was driving drunk turned down a plea deal this week that would have sent him to prison for 15 years, The Sarasota News Lead er has learned. Instead, Blake Talman, 24, of Bradenton is ex pected to go on trial in mid-November in con nection with the death of 53-year-old Donna Chen of Sarasota. Talman was scheduled to appear in 12th Judi cial Circuit Co urt on Sept. 4 to accept the plea deal on the vehicular homicide charge and multiple counts of DUI damage to property, Assistant State Attorney Amanda M. Gambert told the News Leader in an interview. However, Gambert said she received notica tion the morning of Sept. 4 that Talman would be rejecting the plea deal after all. She was surprised by the decision, she added. We were looking to nd a resolution today, Gambert told the News Leader just because we would like to see the family have some closure. The Judge Lynn Silvertooth Judicial Center in downtown Sarasota is the setting for county criminal proceedings. Photo by Rachel Hackney AFTER THE DRIVER IN A 2012 VEHICLE CRASH THAT KILLED A SIESTA KEY RUNNER DECIDES NOT TO ACCEPT A PLEA OFFER FROM THE STATE, HIS TRIAL IS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER NO DEAL By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


The News Leader was unsuccessful in reach ing Talmans attorney, Public Defender Patri cia Edwards, for a comment. Additionally, with the case going to trial, Gam bert said, the state has amended one charge against Talman. A count of DUI Property Damage has been changed to DUI and Serious Bodily Injury in regard to the 2012 incidents effects on Talmans passenger, David J. Brew er of Sarasota. Evidence in the case indicated that was the appropriate charge, Gambert noted. As for the actual trial date: Because the dock et for the week of Nov. 12 will be a full one the courts are closed for Veterans Day, Nov. 11 Gambert anticipates the Talman case will not begin until Nov. 18. Blake Talman was treated for injuries at the hospital before he was booked into the Saraso ta County Jail in January 2012. Photo courte sy of the Sheriffs Ofce Residents who live near the curve on Midnight Pass Road where Donna Chen was killed in January 2012 have called that a dangerous stretch of road. File photo Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 15


Talman previously had been scheduled to go on trial the week of Sept. 9 or 16; however, the plea deal that was structured last month pre-empted that. In the meantime, he remains free on the same bond conditions he was placed under upon his release from the Sarasota County Jail on June 20, 2012. According to those terms, Talman must remain under house arrest with a GPS system allowing law enforcement ofcers to track his location at all times. He also was ordered not to consume alcohol or use drugs. Additionally, he has been required to wear a SCRAM device, which measures the amount of alcohol in a persons respiration, according to law enforcement ofcials. The tamper-re sistant equipment ts around a defendants ankle. After Talman was arrested at the scene of the January 2012 incident on Siesta Keys Mid night Pass Road, he was transported to Sara sota Memorial Hospital for treatment of in juries and then placed in jail under $118,000 bond. Chen was running northbound on the side walk at a curve near St. Michael the Archangel Church when Talman driving a 2000 Nissan Altima struck her about 1:10 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2012, according to the Florida Highway Patrol report. At the time, the report said, Talman was eeing from another vehicle crash that resulted in property damage. His vehicle failed to negotiate the left curve in the roadway near the church, the report adds. Then the Altima swerved onto the east ern shoulder of the road, struck a metal pole and continued northbound, hitting Chen, who died at the scene. The Sarasota County Justice Center, on Ring ling Boulevard in Sarasota, is home to the State Attorneys Ofce. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 16


THE CIVIL CASE Along with the criminal case, a civil lawsuit led against the Sarasota County Sheriffs Of ce in December 2012 remains active. It seeks $15,000 in damages. In that case, Chens husband, Wellington C. Chen, says Talman was clearly intoxicated and had an open bottle of liquor in one hand and his car keys in his other hand when dep uties stopped him on Siesta Public Beach ear lier on the day Donna Chen died. At the time of the detention and/or question ing of [driver] Blake C. Talman [the deputies] instructed Mr. Talman that he must leave [the beach] or he would be arrested, the com plaint continues. By instructing Mr. Talman to leave while [he was] clearly intoxicated and with his car keys in his hand, it says, depu ties knew, or through the exercise of reason able care, should have known that Mr. Talman would proceed to his car in the nearby park ing lot and drive away from the beach. The complaint adds, In fact, after being in structed to leave the beach or be arrested, Mr. Talman walked to the parking lot, got into his car and drove away from the beach traveling on Midnight Pass Road. Deputies who encountered Talman, Brewer who was 24 at the time and a third man, Michael E. Blakey of North Port, then 26 at the beach found no outstanding warrants for the men, the Sheriffs Ofce reported in Jan uary 2012. Research undertaken after Chens dea th determin ed Talman had a record of six felony and 23 misdemeanor charges, Wendy Rose, community affairs manager for the de partment, told this reporter at the time. The deputies who talked with Talman and his two companions at the beach had no knowledge of that information, she pointed out. Deputies had been alerted by a lifeguard that the trio of young men was bothering teenage girls at the beach, according to the report. Deputies did end up arresting Blakey on a charge of Disorderly Intoxication, because he was being rude, Rose said. However, because neither Talman nor Brewer displayed any rude behavior and neither was observed break ing any laws deputies had no grounds to arrest them, Rose pointed out. After a third encounter the deputies had with Talman and Brewer, Rose said, the deputies watched the two men walk toward the beach. Depositions have continued in the civil case over the past months, with more scheduled, according to Sarasota County Clerk of Court records. On Sept. 20, the Mallard Law Firm of Sarasota has scheduled a deposition with War ren LaBonte, co-owner of the concession at Siesta Public Beach. According to the Sheriffs Ofce report, LaBonte at one point on Jan. 7, 2012 informed deputies that Blakey had re turned to the concession stand after the dep uties had talked with the three men earlier. A case management hearing originally set for July 17 in the civil case was moved to Dec. 18, the Clerk of C our t records show. % FOR ADVERTISING INFO (941) 227-1080 Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 17


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Former Republican Party of Sarasota County Chairman Bob Waechters criminal trial wont start till next month, but in the meantime, the Florida Elections Commission has found probable cause of an election law violation and ned him $750. Prosecutors charged Waechter late last year with Criminal Use of Personal Identication Information a third-degree felony, for al legedly making donations to two 2012 Dem ocratic candidates, Keith Fitzgerald and Liz Alpert, in the name of Sarasota County Coun cil of Neighborhood Associations President Lourdes Ramirez. A Republican, Ramirez is a likely 2014 County Commission candidate. Waechters trial isnt scheduled to begin till Oct. 21 (with a docket sounding planned for Oct. 7), but the state Elections Commis sion, responding to a complaint lodged by Ramirez, ha s already weighed in on one of the fake donations. According to a four-page document given to The Sarasota News Lead er by Ramirez, the Elections Commission has reached a consent nal order agreement with Waechter in the case of the Alpert dona tion and ned him for his role. The $35 Alpert donation was made online in Ramirezs name on Oct. 2, 2012 with a prepaid VISA credit card. According to the Elections Commission, a card loaded with $500 was pur chased that same day at a Sarasota Sweetbay by an individual resembling Waechter. Elections Commission staff and Waechter reached an agreement in May to settle the is sue, with Waechter accepting the $750 ne. The commission itself ratied the order just last month. Bob Waechter (far left, second row) watches the swearing in of county commissioners in November 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel STATE AUTHORITIES FINE FORMER SARASOTA GOP CHIEF WAECHTER AND THE FEC By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Waechter tells the News Leader hes not com menting on the issue, but says hes not con cerned that the agreement might affect his criminal trial. He points out that the settle ment stipulates that it does not constitute an admission against interest or acknowledge ment of guilt as to any criminal charge. He says settling was cheaper than ghting the allegations. Ramirez also lodged a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about the fake donation to Fitzgeralds campaign. That body oversees presidential and congressional elec tions. All FEC matters remain condential till theyre resolved. Waechter served as head of the local GOP from 2004 to 2006, and he has long been inu ential in conservative politics. He co-chaired the countys Bush-Cheney reelection cam paign and last year supported the campaigns of County Commissioners Carolyn Mason, Christine Robinson and Charles Hines, each of them victors. After being arrested, Waechter left positions on the countys Tourism Devel op ment Council, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. Waechters attorney in the Elections Com mission settlement, Emmett Mitchell IV, has a long, controversial history in Florida politics and elections. The Palm Beach Post reported last fall that Mitchell wrote the rst draft of the 2011 state bill that cut early voting days from 14 to eight and cracked down on voter registration drives, among other restrictive measures. The Post a lso called Mitchell the architect of then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris 2000 felon voter purge, which misidentied thousands of Floridians a disproportion ately high number of them black as fel ons, preventing them from voting. According to the article, the Tallahassee law rm Mitch ell works for, Coates, currently represents the state Republi c an Party. % Bob Waechter appears in a mug shot. Photo courtesy of the Sheriffs Ofce Liz Alpert has her own law rm in Sarasota. Image from Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 20


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Following a County Commission pledge last month to set aside $500,000 to deal with homelessness issues in the area, a split 3-2 City Commission voted Tuesday, Sept. 3, to match that. The div ided city board took the action after a discussion about funding for a home less shelter, which has also been called a transitional center by consultant Dr. Rob ert Mar but. Commissioners Paul Caragiulo and Suzanne Atwell and Mayor Shannon Snyder voted to dedicate the money to initiatives for the homeless. Commissioners Willie Shaw and Susan Chap man said they could not support the effort. Although Snyder and Atwell voted for the funding, they did voice concerns about the overall cost of building and operating a new facility. City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo listens to discussion during the Sept. 3 meeting. Photo by Nor man Schimmel IN A 3-2 VOTE, THE CITY COMMISSION SETS ASIDE $500,000 FOR HOMELESSNESS INCLUDING A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANT AND $211,000 IN ADDITIONAL MONEY CARAGIULO EKES OUT A VICTORY I know the difficulty in setting aside a blank check for something you havent seen. But what I am asking is that you set it aside. Paul Sutton Chairman Community Alliance Committee on Homelessness By Roger Drouin County Editor


The $500,000 includes $289,000 in the form of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that had already been allocated for a homeless center. Thus, the City Commission effectively put up another $211,000 for the proposal. During Tuesdays meeting, the commissioners did not determine a budget source for that ex tra money. I know the difculty in setting aside a blank check for something you havent seen, Paul Sutton, retired Sarasota police captain and chairman of the Community Alliance of Sara sota Countys committee on homelessness, said to the commissioners before the vote. But what I am asking is that you set it aside. Sutto n noted there is a lot of energy right now behind efforts to nd solutions for the is sue of homelessness in the community; there fore, the funding vote would come at a key time. Valerie Guillory, executive director of Trinity Without Borders her own initiative to help the homeless pointed out that Caragiulo has achieved superhero status among the homeless for what he has been trying to do. Caragiulo has been the driving force behind the effort to set aside city funding. But Cara giulo faced some opposition at the City Com mission dais. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw said he could not sup port allocating money unless it was clear a shelter would not be built in North Sarasota. Valerie Guillory has created her own small homeless shelter in the north part of Sarasota. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 23


It is a problem for me in District One, when the most-deprived district in this community is being selected for the site of the homeless [facility], Shaw pointed out. District One includes Newtown. Caragiulo has told his fellow commission ers they do not need to commit to a shelter location or other spe cics yet, but getting some initial funding in place was necessary. Chapman added that she could not support setting aside the $211,000 in addition to the Community Development Block Grant. We already have a major commitment, she noted. Chapman added that in Pinellas County, cit ies contributed $250,000 towards the Pinellas Safe Harbor shelter, with the county funding the majority of the project. According to its website Pinellas Safe Har bor is a homeless shelter designed to be a safe haven for those currently homeless and who require services to get back on their feet. I w onder why we are required to match half, Chapman said, referencing the Coun ty Commission vote on Aug. 20. Chapman raised the issue o f dual taxation. She said city residents already pay county taxes and city taxes, and the city should not take on half of the cost of a regional issue. Although Snyder voted for the funding, he also expressed concerns about the city having to shoulder so much of the total cost for building and operating a shelter. This is a regional issue, Snyder pointed out. We cant pay for half of all of it. Atwell had some concerns as well about the overall cost of a project. The City Commission sits in session on Sept. 3. Photo by Norman Schimmel I wonder why we are required to match half. Susan Chapman Commissioner City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 24


I want to look at this very carefully, she said. I think we have done a lot, given a lot. Atwell also asked, Where would this come from? about the $211,000. Staff would have to come back with some options, Caragiulo replied. I would like to see a number of options. City Manager Tom Barwin said the CDBG money has to be spent by August 2014. He agreed with Snyder that the city should not be matching the county dollar for dollar on the project. Im afraid this will cost more than we can ante up, Barwin said. Eil een Reid, a homeless person who spends nights at The Salvation Army shelter, told the commissioners that more public space is needed for homeless people. Reid added that The Salvation Army is doing some good things, such as charging only $1 a night for women to stay at its 10th Street fa cility. But the sleeping quarters there are not enough to hold all the homeless. Reid asked the commissioners to set aside the funding Caragiulo was proposing. I invited four other [homeless] people to come, and they backed out, Reid said. They didnt think it would make a difference. % Paul Sutton addresses a community meeting about homeless issues this summer. Photo by Roger Drouin Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 25


This may take a while. Some things are just hard to resist. Like The Sarasota News Leader Its a feast of in-depth local news, delightful and entertaining features, and a community calendar that highlights the best upcoming events in the area. 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


Free parking in the Palm Avenue garage is about to end. The Sarasota C ity Commission voted 3-2 Tues day, Sept. 3, to implement paid parking in the garage, a move expected to bring in $285,000 in revenue and reduce a growing Parking De partment decit. The c ommissioners also approved a busi ness employee park ing program that will set aside spaces for downtown emplo yees who pay $10 a month. W orkers will be able to use the program as an alternative to timed onstreet parking, which requires them to move their vehicles every two hours This is an employee parking permit for a very low rate of $10, said City Manager Tom Bar win. That program is antic ipated to net an esti mated $41,400 in reve nue for the city coff er s. The Palm Avenue garage is a distinctive structure in downtown Sarasota thanks to the architects sails design. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY OF SARASOTA WILL START CHARGING PEOPLE WHO USE THE PALM AVENUE GARAGE PAID PARKING AGAIN We need to cut this subsidy. I think we should start in the garage. Suzanne Atwell Commissioner City of Sarasota By Roger Drouin County Editor


A chart shows anticipated revenue from charging people to park in the Palm garage. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 28


Comb ined, the two programs will reduce the city budget subsidy of the Parking Depart ment from $475,000 to $250,450, according to city staff. The impetus for charging at the 740-space pub lic garage was to decrease the departments decit, Barwin said. City staff needed to lower it without being able to count on revenue from parking meters downtown, which an earlier City Commission voted to remove. We need to cut this subsidy, said Commis sioner Suzanne Atwell. I think we should start in the garage. Mayor Shannon Snyder and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo voted against the parking pro grams. We dont have a parking problem, Snyder said. We have an over-management problem. Snyder added that the city should have privat ized the garage when it had a chance to do so. Caragiulo said he would have preferred that the citys Parking Advisory Committee review the plan for paid garage parking before the agenda item came to the City Commission for a vote. My comfort level is not where it should be, Caragiulo added. The rst 90 minutes in the garage will remain free, but fees will apply after that. Motorists will be charged $1 for the rst two hours and $3 for three hours, with the fees graduating to a $16 maximum daily rate. The garage, which opened in 2010, has always been set up for paid parking. Since the pay-inlane equipment is in place, city staff just has to turn it on. Sarasota Parking Manager Mark Lyons said about 26 percent of the garages users leave vehicles there for less than 90 minutes and thus will be able to take advantage of the com plimentary parking. For those going to the theater or a longer din ner date, get ready to pay. At least motorists will not need to fumble for their change be cause all of the fees will be at dollar intervals. Pay with coins is cumbersome, Lyons said. The employee parking program will set aside 125 spaces in the Palm Avenue garage, another 75 in the State Street lot (while it is available for use; a garage proposed on that site, too); 75 spaces on Second Street; 10 on Cocoanut Avenue; 50 on First Street; and 10 on Orange Avenue. % Sarasota Parking Manager Mark Lyons (left) and Chris Gallagher, chairman of the Parking Advisory Board, discuss the parking revenue situation with the City Commission in June. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 29


City commissioners said this week that they want the city attorney to tighten the current noise regulations, combining two ordinanc es into one. They also directed Police Chief Bernadette DiPino to meet with several bar owners about continu ing problems. Then in November, the City Commission will once again take up the issue of downtown sound. In the meantime Mayor Shannon Snyder had a direct message for DiPino and police of cers to send to several Main Street bar own ers including those at Tequila Cantina and Smoki n Joes who are evading the citys no ise laws. Snyder called them problem children. We ha ve a problem with two or three businesses th at dont want to comply, Sny Smokin Joes has been the source of numerous noise complaints downtown. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE NOISE DISCUSSION TURNS TO ENFORCEMENT AFTER THE CITY COMMISSIONERS LEARN ABOUT A GAME AT SEVERAL MAIN STREET BARS THAT SEEM TO BE EVADING THE CITYS SOUND ORDINANCE CAT AND MOUSE They will understand: Turn the volume down. Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota By Roger Drouin County Editor


der said. Its time for these folks to get the hint. During the Tuesday, Sept. 10, regular City Commission meeting, the mayor talked about limiting the hours liquor can be sold down town to 11 p.m. to underscore his message. If these guys cant get on the right page and cant get cooperating, I have no problem cut ting them off at 11, Snyder said. They will understand: Turn the volume down. The m ayors comments came after DiPino and Sarasota Police Sgt. Dimitris Konstantopoulos made a presentation about their latest efforts to deal with city noise issues. At the direction of DiPino, on May 18, Kon stantopoulos and two undercover ofcers conducted a clandestine operation. That uncovered what City Commissioner Su san Chapman called a cat and mouse game. Tequila Cantina is located on Main Street in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 31


According t o a Sound Enforcement report that Konstantopoulos and DiPino summarized at Tuesdays meeting, on May 18, at 12:35 a.m., the two undercover ofcers waited outside Smokin Joes and Tequila Cantina. Both bars were playing music at a level that made them potential sound ordinance viola tors, according to the report. As Konstantopoulos, in uniform and driving a marked police car, arrived and walked up to the bar, the bouncer at Smokin Joes immedi ately closed the front door and pulled down a partition. By doing so, the bouncer silenced all noise coming from the interior. The music volume at Tequila Cantina also appeared to decrease at the same time. After speaking with management at both bars, Konstantopo ulos left. Within seconds, the bouncer of Smokin Joes opened both the front door and the partition, the report reads. The music volume at the Tequila Cantina increased. The ofcers con ducted a reading that measured 80 decibels. Konstantopoulos agreed with Chapmans as sessment: There is a little cat and mouse game sometimes. A PROBLEM DiPino said the Police Department will contin ue to carry out very strict and proactive and standardized enforcement. In addition to Tequila Cantina and Smokin Joes, noise issues have been reported at Club Ivory. A total of 11 different bars or restaurants throughout the city have been issued warn ings, she told the commission, while two oth ers received notices to appear in court. Mattisons City Grille has a special exception that allows it to present music later into the night. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 32


But DiPino noted that the majority of bar and restaurant owners are in compliance or will ing to work with ofcers to make sure they abide by the ordinance in the future. She asked the commissioners if they wanted to consider stiffer penalties for noise scoff laws. One option is to revoke liquor licenses after bar owners receive one noise citation. Some people know if there is a $100 or $200 ne, that may not impact them very much, DiPino said. They may make that much in cover charge [fees] in the rst hour. Snyder is not the only commissioner frustrat ed with those bar owners who seem to be ig noring the noise ordinance. Chapman said the problem is more than just two or three businesses. I agree our nes are not enough, Chapman told her colleagues. Its clear some folks are not taking our ordi nance seriously, Commissioner Paul Caragi ulo added. I would think that is a problem. Its very discouraging if people are openly thumbing their nose at the ordinance, Cara giulo added. Commissioner Suzanne Atwell said stiffer penalties should be on the books. There has to be consequences here, Atwell pointed out. We keep coming back here talking about the same things. Then the commissioners directed city staff to combine two different ordinances that regu late noise violations Further changes could be forthcoming. I think we need to have a comprehensive re view of where we fall down, Chapman said about problems related to the citys sound reg ulations. She noted that big cities such as New York and Chicago have specic policies that do not allow any outdoor amplied sound. As far as policies and decibel levels, that is a decision the commission needs to make, DiPino told the board members. We will enforce anything you tell us to, DiP ino added, but the city has to be careful not to put into place rules that are overly broad. A lot of cities have been sued over freedom of speech issues with noise, DiPino noted. Chapman also mentioned Mattisons City Grille, on Lemon Avenue, which has a special allowance to play music an hour later during Mayor Shannon Snyder. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 33


the week until 11 p.m., and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. If Mattisons is the exception that is allowing everyone else to keep music on, I think maybe we should look at that exception, she added. WEIGHING IN During a City Commission meeting in March, nearly 20 residents spoke about the sound lev els downtown, with half supporting less-re strictive regulations and the other half want ing more. About half a dozen downtown residents came to express views about noise Tuesday, with several telling the city commissioners the re cent police report conrms what they have been saying all along about bars skirting the rules. I tha nk Chief DiPino and the Police Depart ment for their efforts, said Dennis Adams. Its obvious many late night clubs and bars continue to be an issue downtown. Faye Beloff, who lives in a condo above Club Ivory, added, There are still problems. Cheryl Walker, a resident at 100 Central Ave., pointed out she has long noted the custom of bars leaving doors open to entice more drink ers with sound. This has to stop, Walker said. We, who live downtown, pay our taxes and patronize the business establishments, ask that you do something about the sound ordinance. Walker suggested the city add personnel to the Police Department to help with noise en forceme nt. % 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 September 6, 2013 Page 34


Two week s ago, thousands of Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., to commemo rate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the oc casion of Martin Luther King, Jr.s epochal I Have a Dream speech. Next Tuesday, Sept. 10, dozens of Sarasota residents will gather at the North Sarasota Li brary to remember the 50th anniversary of a much grislier event in the civil rights strug gle: the bombing of the 16th Street Bapt ist Church in Birmingham, AL, that killed four black girls preparing for Sunday school. Next weeks event, dubbed 50 Years and Then Some, will begin with freedom song singalongs, led by the librarys Arlen Bensen, one of the co-designers of the program. Bensen will play his guitar and lead the audience in classics of the Civil Rights Movement: We Shall Overcome We Shall Not Be Moved and more. The pro Members of the Congress of Racial Equality and All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., marched Sept. 22, 1963 in memory of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victims. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons A SEPT. 10 SARASOTA PROGRAM WILL REFLECT ON THE BIRMINGHAM, AL, BOMBING THAT KILLED FOUR BLACK GIRLS 50 YEARS AGO A GRISLY ANNIVERSARY Four innocent little girls in Sunday school of all places. In Sunday school. Carolyn Mason Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


gram will conti nue with four young library patrons, who will introduce each of the four girls killed in 1963: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair. There will be poetry, more music and a read ing from Kings eulogy for the victims, pre sented by Newtown minister Kelvin Lumpkin. The following section of the program, Rever berations will highlight the original poetry of none other than Sarasota County Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason. Isnt that some thing? asks North Sarasota Library Artist in Residence Lonnetta Gaines, one of the orga nizers of the event. She didnt learn that Ma son wrote poetry till she traveled to Denver with the commissioner to represent Sarasota in this years All-America City competition. The aftermath of the Sept. 15, 1963, bombing. Photo courtesy Flickr Commissioner Carolyn Mason. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 36


Mason tells The Sarasota News Leader shes been composing verse for years. She began writing poetry as a single mother as a way to relieve stress, and shes even considered trying to have her work published. I thought about maybe publishing one day to share my poetry with the world because I write based on experiences Ive had, she says, and so I want to share it in the hopes of helping some body somewhere. Thats why I write. Masons favorite poet is Maya Angelou, per haps most famous for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The work Mason will be reading Tuesday includes a piece about the murder of the four Birming ham girls, as well as other works that touch on violenc e. She was too young at the time of the Alabama bombing to be fully aware of its signicance and meaning. She only recently dug deep into the event. I did some research and read about where it happened, how it happened, and it was just so moving, she says. Four innocent little girls in Sunday school of all places. In Sunday school. After the Reverberations portion of Tuesdays program, participants will issue a challenge to all of us to remember the power of the Civ il Rights Movement and to courageously act out against injustice, notes Gaines. The event will then o pen up to the audience members, The 16th Street Baptist Church in 2005. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 37


who will be encouraged to offer meaningful sharing by telling their stories. Gaines says the response from the community has been ecstatic. The re code means only 99 people can attend the event, and every spot is booked. The library has created a waiting list for those interested in attending should some one bail, but theres no guarantee everyone who shows up will nd a seat. Mason says shes happy to be part of the event. Ive been involved in the community for a long time and part of that involvement has in cluded working on ways to eradicate racism, she points out. The Civil Rights Movement, when you think about it, was about eradicat ing discrimination and so this is something thats near and dear to my heart. 50 Years and Then Some: The freedom song sing-along begins at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, with the full program following at 6. The event will be held at the North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota. Call 861-1363 or email Arlen Bensen at to reserve a spot on the waiting list. % (Clockwise from top left) The four girls killed in the bombing: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair. Photo courtesy Wikipedia Find a place inside where theres joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell 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 September 6, 2013 Page 38


Twelve and a half months ago, Paul Blackket ter at that time, executive director of plan ning for Benderson Development Co. Inc. drove the chairwoman of the Sarasota County Commission and a trio of tagalong journalists all over Benderson Park. As he stopped at various points, Blackket ter referenced artists renderings on his iPad, showing where various structures would be located when both the rowing and running fa cilities were completed. Reporters, a photographer and a cameraman earlier had swarmed all over a 150-foot-long dredge owned by a Kansas City, MO, firm hired by Benderson Development to scoop out the 2,000-meter area of the parks borrow pit transformed into a lake. The project was necessary to achieve the 3.5-meter depth re quired for international rowing competitions. That same day Aug. 10, 2012 Blackket ter said he hoped that in about ve years he would see the park host the rst World Row ing Championships in the United States since the 1990s. After all, since March 2009 following Bend erson Parks rst rowing regatta Blackket ter had been traveling the world, visiting all the nest rowing venues to learn what worked The sign welcomes visitors to the world-class rowing venue at Benderson Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel BENDERSON PARK SCORES THE 2017 WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS; NOW THE FUNDRAISING BEGINS IN EARNEST BRINGING HOME THE BID By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


and what did not, to continue rening plans for the park when he returned home. Benderson Development representatives even were working with Svetla Otzetova, the chief architect for the Fdration Internationale des Socits dAviron the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA), Blackketter pointed out. She designs all the rowing courses used in the Olympics, he said. FISA ofcials actually designed this lake to meet all their specs, he added as then County Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson and news media reps surveyed the lake from the bridge of the dredge. Flash forward to Sept. 2, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea: With a Sarasota/Manatee delegation be hind him, Blackketter stood before members of the FISA Congress to accept the bid award for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. On Sept. 1 at 9:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the rst email popped up in the countys pub lic folder with the subject line, We got it ... telling world media! At 11:04 p.m. on Sept. 1 Eastern Daylight Time County Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason was the rst board member back home to respond: AWESOME! On Sept. 4, Benderson Park hosted a celebra tion and show of thanks to government lead ers, sponsors and supporters who have strived to help the facility achieve the goal. Paul Blackketter of SANCA and Commissioner Joe Barbetta give a thumbs up in front of a World Rowing sign at Benderson Park on Sept. 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 40


Benderson Park bustles with boats and people on the overcast morning of Aug. 17 during the US Rowing Masters National Championships. Photo by Rachel Hackney Rowers square off in a competition on Aug. 17 during the USRowing Masters National Champi onships at Benderson Park. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 41


The heat and humidity caused beads of perspi ration to roll down some faces, but the party spirit was not dampened. This is an exciting time for Sarasota County and the whole Suncoast area, Sarasota Coun ty Commissioner Christine Robinson told The Sarasota News Leader afterward. I was in awe just looking around the tent and seeing all of the people who had a role in making this happen. She added, From the volunteers to the state legislators, this was a true community win and would not have happened without the support and work of the entire community. Everyone had a role in making this happen. THE C ONCERTED EFFORT On Jan. 17, Blackketter appeared before the Sarasota County Tourism Development Coun cil to report that USRowing, the national gov erning body for the sport, and FISA want to bring international rowing back to the United States. He added, We are referred to, when we travel, as the United States delegation, the United States course. That meeting also marked the rst public air ing of the statistics Sarasota County touted in its press release this week about winning the bid: more than 1,500 Olympic-caliber ath letes from more than 70 countries are expect ed to participate in the World Championships (From left) Paul Blackketter, president of SunCoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates; Manatee Coun ty Administrator Ed Hunzeker; Don Langford, USRowing board president; Dave Gustafson, executive director of the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority; Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sara sota County; Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta; Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development; Dan Schlandt, assistant Manatee County administrator; Sarasota County Administra tor Randall Reid; Manatee County Commissioner Larry Bustle; and Elliott Falcione, executive direc tor of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Contributed photo by Igor Meijer of FISA Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 42


a precursor to the Olympics that year. The competition will be broadcast to a worldwide television audience of 130 million people. An estimated 40,000 spectators are expected to attend the event, the release adds. Even more important, tourism ofcials have pointed to what Blackketter told the TDC on Jan. 17 was a very conservative number for the potential economic impact on the region: $24 million. Although the exact date for the World Cham pionships has not been set, Blackketter wrote in an Aug. 6 email to the Sarasota County Commission, We originally proposed the rst week of October We provided all the data to FISA demonstrating that in later September our rain drops off, temperatures are cooler, [fewer] hurricanes and less humidity. Most likely FI SA may settle on the last week of Sep tember, but we will still [push] October. The bottom line, FISA has all the facts regarding our weather and they will make a very [intel ligent] decision on this. He added, [W]e are sending FISA weekly weather updates from now to end of October down to the hour so an educated decision is made. GOING FORWARD When the 136-member FISA Congress made its formal announcement of the bid award on Sept. 2, the delegation present to represent Benderson Park included local government representatives from Sarasota and Manatee counties, Visit Sarasota County, the SunCoast Aquatic Nat u re Center Associates (SANCA) The meeting of the FISA Congress gets under way in Korea. Photo courtesy of Randall Reid/Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 43


the nonprot organization that manages events at the park and USRowing. The commitment by Sarasota and Manatee coun ties, SANCA and the support of USRowing convinced FISAs world congress that return ing to the United States for the World Champi onship was the correct vote, the county news release said. More than $40 million in public and private sector funds have been committed to help transform a former borrow pit into Nathan Benderson Park, the release adds. Sarasota Countys investment of $19.5 million comes from Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue. Those funds have paid for Phase I (dredge and ll) and Phase II (installation of park ameni ties, hardscaping and landscaping). Phase III of the project construction of a state-of-theart boat house, timing towers, grandstands and other amenities will be funded by SANCA and corporate support, the release points out. In a Sept. 3 email to Reid and her colleagues on the Sarasota County Commission, Com missioner Nora Patterson wrote, I too offer congratulations and huge thanks to all who have worked so very hard on this. The list is long. In addition we need to say thank you to the taxpayers who have supported the ven ture knowing that local dollars as well as state money have [created] this great opportunity. The Legislature has committed $10 million to the rowing venue over the past several years. Gov. Rick Scott was a guest at the facility during the USRowing Masters National Cham pionships last month. Commissioner Nora Patterson and Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, celebrate at the reception on Sept. 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 44


THE DOLLARS On Aug. 27, just days before the local delega tion ew to Korea, the Sarasota County Com mission approved a revised reimbursement agreement with Manatee County and SANCA that species The participation in the reim bursement funding of the planning, hosting and staging of the [World Rowing Champion ships] by [each of the counties] shall not exceed $2,782,000 Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Low ery explained to the commission that both Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, and the Manatee County Com mission had signed off on the agreement. The Sarasota board passed it unanimously. An amendment to the agreement says, It is anticipated that the Counties cash contribu tion of $5.564 million together with the reve nues raised by or raised in conjunction with the Event are adequate to deliver the Event consistent with the Project Budget If ad ditional funds are needed [not including money necessary for in-kind services not in the budget, such as those for security, main tenance, trafc control and emergency ser vices], Benderson Development Company LLC will make those funds available through its participation in SANCA by way of sponsor ships, obligations or combination of commit ments necessary. The total expenses for the event $7,671,320.03 are balanced by revenue ex pected to be generated by the championships, according to the documents provided to the County Commission. Ticket sales are pegged at $80 for VIP seats; $40 for other seats; and $20 for general ad mission. Use of the Presidents Grandstand, for example, is estimated to bring in $18,400 in U.S. dollars, while se ats in the FISA Family What is a party without a cake? Guests at the Benderson Park reception on Sept. 4 were treated to one with appropriate decorations. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 45


Grandstand are expected to generate $217,000. Add to that the income from reserved seats of $644,250 and general admission ticket sales of $114,500. Among the expenses, local transportation utilizing up to 34 buses is anticipated to cost $654,500. The opening ceremony expense is expected to be $74,350 for 2,000 to 3,000 guests (with non-alcoholic drinks, the budget notes). The FISA estimate for the cost of interpret ers is $23,277.47, with the expense of transla tion equipment rental pegged at $6,000 (four rental booths with 300 headsets, the line item says). The bottled water cost in the budget is $10,000 (100 cases for ve days or alternate-rell sta tions for environmental sustainability if ac ceptable, the line item notes). Among the biggest expenses, though, are those for the new facilities among them, the following: Start area structures, including a tower and intermediate timing huts: $27,600. Finish area, including a tower and a public address system: $101,825.62. Technology, including a scoreboard, tele phone lines, walkie-talkies and an intercom system: $337,828.95. Boats and fuel: $128,340. Boathouse, with team facilities and ser vices: $309,520. Television production: $977,845.63. The big gest portion of this expense $808,245.63 is estimated for broadcasting the events. THEY S A ID IT Sarasota Countys Communications Depart ment staff gathered a number of quotes from the delegation members after the Sept. 2 an nouncement in South Korea. Among them were the following: Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast region have a long tradition of providing some of the best venues for amateur and profession al athletes to train and compete in. We are proud to have been chosen to host such a high-prole international event and look forward to showing the world why we are one of the premiere destinations for ath letes from around the globe. Joe Bar betta, Sarasota County Commissioner USRowing would like to recognize and thank the State of Florida, Sarasota and Manatee Counties and the cities of Bra denton and Sarasota for their support of this project and the impact it will have on the growth of rowing. I also would like to personally recognize Randy Benderson and Benderson Development for their innova tive vision that has created a truly unique American rowing venue. Glenn Merry, USRowing chief executive ofcer. Its great to see the World Rowing Cham pionships returning to U.S. soil for the rst time in 25 years. I am even more excit ed that it will be taking place in my home state of Florida. Regardless of where my rowing career takes me, I am sure to be in attendance in Sarasota in 2017. Ste phen Young, Tampa native, 2013 U.S. na tional rowing team member and world champion. % Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 46


Sarasota Cou nty Commissioner Joe Barbetta failed last week in an attempt to bill Siesta Key resident Lourdes Ramirez retroactively for a public records request that necessitated a county employee sit with her for about nine hours while Ramirez reviewed the docu ments. Ramirez, president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighbor hood Associations has been researching the history of the countys 2050 Plan for development east of Interstate 75. Barbetta has argued over the past several months for changes in the plan, saying its pa rameters are too restrictive to make develop ment possible. During almost exact ly 45 minutes of dis cussion on Aug. 28, the five commission ers did agree that all county departments should bill people in the future for staff time in situation s simi Lourdes Ramirez addresses the County Commission in April. Photo by Norman Schimmel A COUNTY COMMISSION MOTION TO BILL A RESIDENT RETROACTIVELY FOR A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST FAILS ON A 2-3 VOTE, BUT THE BOARD CALLS FOR NEW GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE CHARGES A CLEARER POLICY REQUESTED I think weve been taken advantage of, but going forward, I want us to rigorously enforce this. Its not fair to the staff or the taxpayers. Carolyn Mason Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


lar to the one in volving Ramirez. Furthermore, County Administrator Randall Reid said he would make certain a revised public records policy indicates a deposit will have to be put down for any request that appears to neces sitate staff spend a considerable amount of time on it. While Vice Chairman Charles Hines agreed with Barbetta that current policy would per mit sending a retroactive bill to Ramirez, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason joined Commis sioners Nora Patterson and Christine Robin son in opposing such action. Patterson called the retroactive charges un fair, but Robinson told her colleagues, We need to fess up to what really happened We just didnt do what we were supposed to do in requiring payment from Ramirez at the records review. In an interview with The Sarasota News Lead er this week, Ramirez said she was not watch ing the board meeting when the discussion began. She received a call about it afterward, she said. I was shocked, she added. It was just bizarre. Having purchased her own portable scanner, she continued, her intent was to save staff time by not having to ask for copies of docu ments after she nished going through all the boxes of material. Then, she said, to turn around and to try to charge me retroactively During the board discussion, Barbetta called for equitable handling of all public records requests the county receives. Nonetheless, it is common knowledge he is supporting a candidate Ramirez may challenge in 2014 for the commission seat Patterson will have to vacate because of term limits. That candidate, Alan Maio, is a vice president in the Saraso ta ofce of the design rm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson consider public comments during a meeting earlier this year. File photo Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 48


None of the board members or any staff mem ber present used Ramirez name while the dis cussion ensued. SEEKING GUIDANCE During his routine report to the commission on Aug. 28, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh referenced the completion of an assignment Barbetta requested before the commission took its summer break. That effort was to research charges regarding public records requests. In its summary, DeMarshs memo said, We have deter mined that the County may charge for staff time spent monitoring members of the pub lic reviewing pub lic records to make sure that the integrity of the records is main tained. The memo notes that Section 119.07(4)(d) of the Florida Statutes authorizes several types of charges for providing or copying public re cords, including billing for employee time. Reid pointed out that staff usually likes to let people know what the charges will be ahead of time for public records requests. Well be happy to update the [county] policy, he said, but we would like some guidance. When Barbetta asked for clarication about whether staff already is charging the public for public records requests, DeMarsh told him people pay for copies of documents or discs on which material has been u ploaded. When Bar betta pointed to provisions of the state law as outlined in the memo, DeMarsh said the board could make clear in the county policy that people would be charged for staff time as well. We should have been doing [the billing], Bar betta replied. DeMarsh explained the county has been charging for staff time to gather materials for public records requests. However, he said, As far as I know, w ere not consistently charging to ha ve someone sit in a room with a bunch of boxes when some ones looking at [the material]. Thats just not fair, Barbetta replied. A staff member re cently spent an entire day, from 9 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m.] with a certain constituen t who brought her own copier or scanner, and t hat person should be charged for that time, Barbetta said, referring to Ramirez. And I think it would be advisable to tell peo ple in advance, DeMarsh continued, if youre going to charge them for something and not bill them after the fact. In other words, Barbetta said, theyre get ting around the system by bringing their own copier Thats just uncalled for, so I want that person billed. Barbetta added, That person is making a ton of public reco rds requests lately, referring That person is making a ton of public records requests lately. I want to see all payments received from her for the past six months. Im hearing that there arent payments being made. We lost an assistant for an entire day. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 49


aga in to Ramirez. I want to see all payments received from her for the past six months. Im hearing that there arent payments being made. We lost an assistant for an entire day. Mason said that any time a staff member had to sit with someone going through materials in a public records request, the person who sought the documents should be charged for that [employees time] accordingly. I dont disagree with that, Patterson said. Nonetheless, she continued, she did not be lieve it would be fair to charge a person retro actively, as Barbetta had suggested. Further, she noted, the charge should be an appropri ate one, not $100 an hour, for example. People need to be told in advance if they will be required to pay for staff time, she also pointed out. That is the common local government prac tice around the state, Reid said. Robinson did not understand why the coun ty had been charging to gather materials but not for an employee to stay with a person re viewing the records, she told her colleagues. To me, its the same thing, Robinson pointed out. Youre expending staff time for a public records request. Reid no ted that some departments had not been charging in situations such as those when people review documents at the front counter. However, he agreed that a person should be charged for the time an employee has to stay in a room for a public records re view. Reid also pointed out that he inherited the policy from his predecessor, Jim Ley, who re signed in May 2011. Staff is in the process of updating it. OTHER FACTORS In the situation involving Ramirez, Commu nications Department staff member Crystal Pruitt told the board, staff did not anticipate in advance the amount of time that would be involved. Had we known, Pruitt said, we would have given [her] an estimate of the number of boxes and tried to allow for the amount of time. But [policy] has not been con sistent over the years. Pruitt asked the commission to provide policy direction, reiterating that the Ramirez incident is unusual. Weve never had a citizen come in for an entire day, reviewing les. I myself was surprised that it took as long as it did. Had staff had any idea about the staff time that would be invested, Pruitt added, Ramirez would have been asked to pay upfront. Vice Chairman Charles Hines listens to a pre sentation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 50


Reid advised the commissioners that he could send a bill retroactively to Ramirez if they wished, even though he understood she was not notied in advance that she would be charged for the staff time. Pruitt conrmed the latter assertion. So if we have 10 people walk in at the same time, weve got to give each of them a con ference room and put an employee in with them and do exactly what [Ramirez] did that day, Barbetta said. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. That person needs to be billed. Mason told her colleagues, I think that we need to establish a policy to address [such sit uations]. Were not trying to prohibit peo ple from accessing public records. But what we want to do is make sure we have some compensation for the amount of time staff has to spend on just that When Hines asked DeMarsh whether he felt the board should follow the Alachua County policy and charge for any request that takes more than 30 minutes of staff time, DeMarsh responded, I dont think you need to be very detailed. Reid would revise the county policy and bring it back to the commission for review and ap proval, DeMarsh noted. Its very clear that this commission as a whole is saying that this type of charge needs to be added as a matter of policy, Hines responded, referring to staff time to stay with someone reviewing records. Charges could be posted on the county website, he said, and the policy could make it clear that if a specic expense would be high, the county could require a de posit. If the staff time was less than antici pated, Hines said, the member of the public would have the extra money returned. Barbetta also reiterated that he wanted to see a copy of the bills given to Ramirez and re ceipts for payments she had made for public records requests over the past six months. Because Im hearing from other people in the community who have made public records re quests, and theyve had to pay from day one, he pointed out. So theyre talking to me about selective enforcement. In response to a question from Reid, Pruitt said she could provide the board with the exact amount of time Ramirez spent review ing the records. She also could provide the documentation of charges and receipts from the past public records requests Ramirez had made, she added. When Barbetta asked whether Ramirez had any outstanding charges, Pruitt replied, No. County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh advises the board on a matter. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 51


Additionally, Pruitt pointed out, Ramirez had put in a new request for about 17 boxes of ma terial to review; Pruitt had provided Ramirez with an estimate of the cost for that. THE VOTE If were going to bill retroactively [for the day-long incident Barbetta cited], Patterson said, that needs to be a commission vote. Robinson said she believed the county policy already in place necessitated a payment from Ramirez for staff time, but Ramirez was not charged. Therefore, Robinson pointed out, the board should not bill Ramirez retroactively. Barbetta pointed out again that the relevant state statute allows a county to bill in situa tions like the one involving Ramirez. He made a motion to send Ramirez a bill retroactively. Hines seconded it. Hines added that he would like the revised county policy to require a deposit for requests that would appear to take a lo t of staff time. Patter son argued once more that Ramirez should have been notied ahead of time that she would be charged. This is going to be a several-hundred-dollar bill, Patterson pointed out. However, she said, I think [the revised policy] should be applied rigorously in the fu ture. Im very upset that we lost money that day, Robinson said. We lost productivity that day. This is taxpayer money that we lost. Other people paid for this. Nonetheless, she continued, while she under stood Barbettas and Hines points, I just cant support billing [Ramirez] because we screwed up. When Mason called for the vote, it failed 2-3, with only Barbetta and Hines approving it. Afterward, Mason pointed out that she was very unhappy about having to cast a No vote. She told her colleagues, I think weve been taken advantage of, but going forward, I want us to rigorously enforce this. Its not fair to the staff or the taxpayers. % An Aug. 13 memo from County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh to the commission includes a section of the state law regarding charges for public records. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 52


Yes, they want the county to look good. No, they do not want to see the price continue to escalate. Those were the pri mary sentiments ex pressed by Sarasota County commission ers last week as they voted 4-1 to approve four new one-year contracts with firms taking over in areas where companies had decided to abandon the work. However, with the extra cost of $1,484,700.59 a slight decrease from the earlier estimate of $1,514,000 the commissioners agreed t hat changes probably will be necessary in the scope of work. The most likely target will be residential mowing, a subject about which Commissioner Nora Patterson asked nu merous questions on Aug. 27 and 28, before the nal vote came. Two employees of Mega Mowers work in a Sarasota County neighborhood in late August. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAS AGREED TO NEW ONE-YEAR MOWING CONTRACTS IN FOUR ZONES BUT IT ALSO WILL PURSUE A REEXAMINATION OF THE SCOPE OF WORK WITHIN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS TOO HIGH A PRICE We come in and save you guys. This is our second or third time coming in after a failed contract. We get everything done on time; our work passes, and we never get a full contract. Brigitte Campeld Mega Mowers By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


The standard for residential mowing that county staff included in the current scope of work for its contractors costs about $1 million more per year, Spencer Anderson, director of eld services, told the board. Commissioner Joe Barbetta was in the minori ty on the board action, not only reiterating his frustrations with the history of abandoned mowing contracts but also his allegations that some county staff members have exacerbated the situation. Although he did not mention any names, Barbetta has pointed in the past to the county Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr., who heads up the Public Works Department. Im not proceeding with anything, Barbetta told his colleagues when Spencer Anderson, director of eld services including mow ing initially appeared before the board on Aug. 27. Citing a nine-page email the commis sioners received Aug. 25 from an owner of the mowing rm Storm Tech, Barbetta said he was not going to approve any new action until the allegations in the email were addressed. Tom Giddens, co-owner of Storm Tech, opened his email with the following com ments: The reasons for Sarasota Countys past mowing asco [have] been attributed to many things. The REAL problem is that the true costs for roadside mowing services in the past have always been suppressed by staff. The County is nally beginning to realize the price of having its grass cut to the specica tions written in its own mowing contracts ... contracts that have gone largely unenforced by managers assisting vendors because [the vendors] cannot not fail. County photos show a steep ditch bank (left) compared to a atter residential right of way that con tracted workers have been mowing. Image courtesy of Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 54


Mowing in the county [has] been a mess since 2008, Barbetta said. Noting that Storm Tech is going out of business, he added that he felt county staff actions had been a factor in the owners decision. Spencer, its not your fault, Barbetta con tinued, speaking directly to Anderson. But the same people are here that put us in this position, and, unfortunately, because of our charter, I cant do anything about it. The county charter species that County Ad ministrator Randall Reid and County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh are the only employees of the County Commission. Reid is ultimately responsible for all other hiring and ring de cisions. Officially, the motion the board approved on Aug. 28 calls for one-year contracts to be awarded to rms that were the next-low bid ders to mow the zones where the other com panies had ceased working. DeMarsh concurred with Anderson that the board had no obligation to renew for anoth er year the contracts it approved on Aug. 28, even though renewal options were included in the documents. A chart lists county mowing requirements. Image courtesy of Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 55


The motio n also called for a re-examination of the scope of work and the re-solicitation of bids for lower-cost alternatives in the mowing program. Without that reduced scope, Steve Botelho, the countys chief nancial planning ofcer, told the commissioners, the county would run out of its economic uncertainty reserve fund in the 2015 scal year instead of FY 2016. The ex tra expense would leave a shortfall in the FY 2015 budget of $1,846,600, he noted. If the contracts were renewed at the lev els approved on Aug. 28, he continued, the board would be look ing at a budget hole of $27,054,092 in FY 2016 and a short fall of $ 22,492,264 in FY 2017 barring any changes in revenue and other expenses. When Commissioner Christine Robinson asked whether it would be feasible for coun ty staff to take over the zones abandoned this summer, Anderson responded that it would not. The day before, Patterson voiced her reluc tance to approve the contracts. Nonetheless, she said, If youre not a well-kept county and a well-kept area, I dont know why anybody would invest here for a home or business. RESIDENTIAL RIGHTS OF WAY AND DITCHES Have we changed our standards in the last few years to ma ke them require more frequent cuts? Patterson asked Anderson at one point during the discussions. Mowing had become more frequent in the res idential zones, Anderson told her. Previously, he said, contracts called for quarterly mowing in those areas; now it is done monthly. What led to the change, he explained, was that the county began logging more calls from residents complaining about grass growing too tall in yards. The situa tion made it difcult for county Code Enforce ment staff to cite peo ple in neighborhoods for letting their lawn grass grow higher than 12 inches, as provided in the county code. People pointed to county rights of way where grass was taller than that, Anderson said. When Patterson then asked whether such resi dential service is provided in all unincorporat ed areas of the county, Anderson responded, As it is required. A lot of people mow that [county right of way] themselves, Patterson pointed out. Yes, maam, Anderson replied. Most municipalities require in their codes that homeowners mow city rights of way, Patter son added. I brought that up years ago, she continued, and nobody [on the County Commission at that time] really wanted to change [the county code]. We do our best to evaluate their resources as far as staff and equipment and their ability to produce a schedule that shows us they can get the job done. But in the end, we cannot run the business for them. Spencer Anderson Director Field Services Department Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 56


Reid ad vised the board it would be better to announce a change in policy during season, so snowbirds would understand they had to take on the responsibility of right of way mowing. Its just a fairly small strip theyd have to add, Patterson noted. The following day, Anderson showed the board two photos one was of a steep ditch bank to illustrate the types of residential areas the county has covered in its mowing contracts. Referring to the ditch photo, Vice Chairman Charles Hines said, With that steep a slope, that would be difcult for just your average homeowner with a lawn mower to deal with. T his throws a little curve ball in it to say to that homeowner, Youre able to handle that. But I think it could be done, Patterson said, especially [since] most counties dont deliver this service. OTHER DETAILS In response to questions from Robinson, An derson said Sarasota County maintains ap proximately 2,200 acres, while Manatee Coun ty, for example, has about 400 acres. So theres a signicant difference in level of service, Anderson pointed out. I havent found many counties that maintain even close to the num ber of acres that we maintain. Commissioner Nora Patterson reviews budget materials during a workshop this spring. File photo Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 57


Robinson told h er colleagues that when she returned in August from a vacation out of state, she deliberately chose to detour through a number of Florida counties so she could look at their mowing situations. We denitely have a higher standard than any other county I drove through once I entered Florida, she noted. Im not saying we shouldnt have those stan dards, she added. You pay for that, Patterson responded. During his initial presentation to the board on Aug. 27, Anderson said of the contract issues, I believe they are the result of our low-bid process. We do our best to evaluate their resources as far as staff and equipment and their ability to produce a schedule that shows us they can get the job done, he continued, referring to vendors. But in the end, we cannot run the business for them. Other Florida counties comparable to Sara sota are experiencing similar problems, he pointed out. So this is somewhat of a sys tematic-type process with the low bidders During the public comments portion of the Aug. 28 meeting, Brigitte Campeld of JLC Hauling Inc. which does business with the county as Mega Mowers told the board, We did not nd the contractor specs [for mowing] to be hard to read at all. You mow; you edge; you weed-eat; you pick up garbage; and you blow. As long as youre accounting for all your costs in that, we had no problem with the contract. However, she said, We just kind of feel like were always getting shorted on all of these contracts. We are never the lowest bidder, because we feel we bid appropriately for the work We come in and save you guys. This is our second or third time coming in after a failed contract. We get everything done on time; our work passes, and we never get a full contract. Campeld added, We work very hard for you guys, and we do not feel the loyalty in return. Finally, Patterson made the motion to ac cept Andersons recommendation to award the four new contracts. However, she said, Its my intent that somewhere during [the next 12 months], we figure out a way to low er the costs. % Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 58


Sarasota Countys re chief has agreed with residents of Siesta Keys Avenida de Mayo that parking on both sides of the street creates a potential safety hazard. As a result of Chief Mike Tobias asser tions in an Aug. 16 memo, Sarasota Coun ty Commissioner Nora Patterson has won consensus from her fellow board members for county transporta tion staff to work with Tobias and his employ ees in striping parking spaces and erecting sig nage to remedy the situation. The decision came late during the commis s ions Aug. 28 regular meeting in Sarasota. Any costs there should be very mini mal, Patterson noted of her request. Chairwoman Carolyn Maso n and Commis Vehicles are parked on the grass right of way on the south side of Avenida de Mayo in March. Photo courtesy of Marlene Merkle THE COUNTY COMMISSION ASKS STAFF TO WORK ON STRIPING PARKING SPOTS ON PORTIONS OF AVENIDA DE MAYO, WITH SIGNAGE TO ALERT DRIVERS TO NO-PARKING ZONES A HAZARDOUS SITUATION CONFIRMED I think the biggest issue here is [Avenida de Mayos] proximity to the Village, and it gets the overow parking. Michael Shay Vice President Siesta Key Association By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


sioner Joe Barbetta voiced agreement. No other board members offered a comment. Marlene Merkle, the Avenida de Mayo resi dent who petitioned the countys Trafc Ad visory Committee (TAC) last year to address the parking problem, told The Sarasota News Leader this week she was pleased with the action. No one representing the county had notied her of it, she added. Oh, that would be wonderful, she said when the News Leader relayed the board decision to her on Sept. 3. Asked if the parking problems had persisted since she appeared before the County Com mission in May as a follow-up to the TAC meeting, Merkle said, Sometimes its not as bad, but [Labor Day weekend] was a mess. The municipal lot in Siesta Village which has an entry/exit onto Avenida de Mayo was full by 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, she continued, and cars again were parked all along Merkles street. A MONTHS-LONG PROCESS On March 11, Merkle appeared before just four members of the eight-person TAC who were present to hear her request a parking ban at least on one side of Avenida de Mayo. Because the advisory board had so few mem bers in attendance, TAC Chairman Frank Do mingo recommended forwarding the matter to the County Commission after a 2-2 vote on the request. On May 21, Merkle told the commissioners she was seeking a ban on parking on the south side of Avenida de Mayo, which connects Ca nal Road to Avenida del Norte just outside Si esta Village. Merkle expla ined that residents on the street where she has lived for 25 years occasionally had experienced problems with parking, but the situation has grown worse over the past few years because of the streets close prox imity to Siesta Village and beach accesses. I dont know if [re trucks and rescue squads would] be able to get down our street if there were a true emergency, Merkle added. She provided photos showing vehicles dou ble-parked, parked next to a re hydrant and blocking the line of sight of drivers trying to turn onto Avenida de Mayo from side streets. The commissioners split 3-2 on a vote to deny Merkles request. However, the motion Patter son put forth that day called for county trans portation staff to work with Tobias ofce and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce on a rec ommendation regarding routine parking vio lations along the street that might hamper the passage of emergency vehicles. Cars are double-parked on Avenida de Mayo near the Canal Road intersection. Photo cour tesy of Marlene Merkle Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 60


Patterson was joined by Mason and Commis sioner Christine Robinson in approving the motion. In his Aug. 16 memo to the County Commis sion, Tobias wrote, Surveys by Fire Depart ment staff over the past several months have identied that several streets in this area be come congested with overow parking on weekends and impassable to Emergency Vehi cles during special events. Avenida de Mayo is the worst example with Calle Minorga, Calle Menorca and Avenida Madera also affected to a lesser degree. The memo goes on to explain that the Nation al Fire Protection Association Code requires access roads to have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 feet and clear vertical clear ance of 13 feet 6 inches, because emergency vehicle s are substantially wider and taller than passenger vehicles The width of the travel area is designed to enable one emergen cy vehicle to move around another one that is parked, as would be the case if an Ambu lance needed to move past a Fire Engine to access a patient, the memo continues. If we could make parking spots in some way, Patterson told her colleagues, it might be possible to do some parking on either side or both sides of the street, just not as much as there is today. However, Tobias wrote, Recognizing that Fire/EMS, residential and business activities must coe xist and that the roads [in that area An aerial view shows the location of Avenida de Mayo just outside Siesta Village. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 61


of Siesta Key] have a history of challenges, he offered the following recommendations: Regardless of the parking conguration al lowed, the Fire Department requires a min imum clear width of 12 feet 6 inches for a rescue squad or re truck. Parking should not be allowed on both sides of public roads and rights of way un less staggered parking is implemented. If staggered parking is provided on both sides of the road, a transition zone that is clear of parked vehicles must be provided. Parking spots must be clearly designated. Areas where parking is prohibited must also be clearly marked, especially areas in front of re hydrants; by law, a vehicle must be no closer than 7 feet 6 inches in either direction of a hydrant. The restrictions must be enforced. Michael Shay, vice president of the Siesta Key Association, brought the Avenida de Mayo is sue to the attention of that organization this spring. Patterson had sent the SKA a copy of Tobias memo, he told the News Leader on Sept. 3, which backs up our feeling that something has to be done on de Mayo about the parking situation. What the SKA board had sought, he continued, was a prohibition of parking on the north side of Avenida de Mayo, because the re hydrants are located there. However, the south side of the street has a sidewalk that abuts a grass right of way, he noted. The SKA recommended parking be allowed on the south side of the street, where cars could park on the grass. However, he said, the organization suggested no parking be allowed on the south side of the street from the entrance/exit of the municipal parking lot to the Canal Road intersection. I think the biggest issue here is [Avenida de Mayos] proximity to the Village, and it gets the overow parking, Shay added. Ill be real curious to see what happens next, Merkle told the News Leader I guess those [county government] wheels turn a little slow ly, but thats cool. % Residents report that the municipal parking lot in Siesta Village between Avenida de Mayo and Avenida Madera stays full more frequently. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 62


Siesta Public Beachs lifeguard towers are easy to spot, with their bright colors. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY LIFEGUARD HOURS MODIFIED AFTER LABOR DAY Sarasota County s beach lifeguard operational hours changed as of Sept. 3, coincident with the end of summer and the close of Labor Day weekend, the county has announced. Lifeguards are on duty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily on Sarasot a Countys guarded beaches, which are Lido, Siesta, Nokomis, North Jet ty, Venice and Manasota beaches, a news re lease says. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call C enter at 861-5000. NEWS BRIEFS


The Sarasota Co unty Commission will hold a special budget workshop at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 6, at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. The commissioners will review recent expen ditures included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget and consider potential cost-sav ing measures. Commissioner Christine Robinson asked for the meeting near the end of the boards Aug. 28 regular session, winning her colleagues consensus. Ro binson has been among the The county commissioners listen to department head budget presentations in June. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION TO HOLD SPECIAL BUDGET WORKSHOP SEPT. 6 comm i ssioners arguing for a need to reduce decit spending in the county. The rst public hearing on the FY 2014 budget will be held at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9, at the Sarasota County Administration Center in Sarasota; the second will be held at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, at the Robert L. Anderson Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000, or visit www. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 64


Last year the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations Inc. (CONA) presented Foreclosure Mess 101 a stand ing-room-only event featuring April Charney and Matt Weidner, two attorneys at the fore front of the foreclosure mess, a CONA news release says. On Sept. 9, CONA will present Foreclosure Mess 101: an update by April Charney cov ering the following topics: Nothing-backed securities and the failure of loan ownership. Risk of municipal bankruptcy presented by unfunded pension obligations. The urgent need for Florida counties and cities to ramp up efforts to convert the fail ure of loans. An update on home loan defaults of 30 and 90 days and bank walkaways. Avoiding the unlicensed practice of law while coping with foreclosure. Systemic ongoing fraud in residential fore closure litigation in Sarasota County. Problems and potential of properties under water in debt-to-value ratios. Ne w Florida foreclosure laws. Charney is a consumer protection attorney whose foreclosure defense work became a specialty for which she has garnered acclaim, the release points out. From 2004 until early last year, Charney worked as a senior staff at torney in the consumer law unit at Jackson ville Area Legal Aid. She is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Association of Consumer Bank ruptcy Attorneys and a graduate of Max Gard ners bankruptcy boot camp, the news release notes. A 1980 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Charney practiced law in Sara sota between 1991 and 2003 as a managing and staff attorney with Gulfcoast Legal Ser vices. CONA meetings are free and open to the public as well as members of the 72 associ ations and the individuals the organization represents. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Sara sota Garden Club, located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, at the intersection of Tamiami Trail (south of the Municipal Audito rium). Parking is reach ed from Van Wezel Way. CONA TO PRESENT FORECLOSURE MESS UPDATE ON SEPT. 9 SALVATION ARMY REOPENS EMERGENCY FAMILY DORM The Salvation Army of Sarasota has an nounced that it reopened its Emergency Fam ily Dorm on Aug. 30 at its Tenth Street com plex, providing ve safe, secure rooms for families experiencing homeless episodes. Additionally, Maj. Ethan Frizzell reported that through an expanded partnership with the YMCA, The Salvation Armys social service staff will work with a network of social work ers throughout the Sarasota County School District to help identify school-age children whose families may be at risk for homeless ness, a news release says. The most cost-effective homeless service we can provide is helping families stay in their homes, Frizzell pointed out in the release. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 65


We wi ll have the added benet of a view into the family situation through the student per spective. The initial goal is to raise $150,000 to pay for secure housing and enable families to main tain social connections in the community, the release continues. Additionally, The Salvation Army will launch the Emerge Program in October in combina tion with its traditional Christmas programs, the release notes. Capt. Ji m Spencer, an ofcer at the 1701 S. Tuttle Ave. Center for Worship and Service, describes this initiative as a way to provide families with more than toys and clothes. It allows us to develop relationships and serve the entire family year-round not just chil dren during the Christmas holiday, he said in the release. The Emerge Program will provide free mem berships for entire families at The Salvation Armys Tuttle Avenue community center, which will include supervised gymnasium activities, a game room and computer lab, af ter-school programs and many child-centered activities, according to the release. It also will allow families to participate in special events for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other holidays, again at no cost. Further, the release says, the program will feature incentives for students throughout the year to earn good grades and perfect attendance records. Plans also are in the preliminary stage to offer eligible children a week of summer activities at Camp Keystone in Starke. Watch the website, www.salvationarmysara and The Salvation Army Facebook page for more details on the program, the news release notes. Registration is open for the Sheriffs Activi ties League Half Marathon on Palmer Ranch, which will be held Sunday, Dec. 1, organizers have announced. This will mark the fourth year of the event, with all proceeds benetting the Sheriffs Ac tivities League of Sarasota County (formerly PAL), a news release says. The 13.1-mile race will take runners on a USA Track & Field-Certied course through the scenic communities of Palmer Ranch and along the Legacy Trail, the release points out. Runners who do not want to tackle the full distance may opt for a relay option, with each runner covering 6.55 miles, the release continues. REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SAL HALF MARATHON IN DECEMBER The post-race party will include great mu sic, prize drawings, vendors, fabulous food by Carrabbas Italian Grill and the awards ceremony, it adds. To register, visit or go to Local running club members and high school track team mem bers may register for $55; the fee for non-club members is $60. Club member relay teams may register for $110; the cost is $120 for non-club members. Schools, clubs and organizations that want to offer volunteer assistance for the event may contact SAL through the above web site or by calling Bo Keusch at 809-8979, the release notes. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 66


A 9/11 memorial stands in the lobby of the Sarasota Police Department on Adams Lane in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel 9/11 CEREMONY TO BE HELD AT SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT The Sarasota Police Department will join the City of Sarasota, the Sarasota Coun ty Sheriffs Ofce and the Sarasota Coun ty Fire Department to remember Sept. 11, 2001, the Police Department has an nounced. A ceremony will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 8:30 a.m. at the front entrance of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. This event is free and open to the public. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 67


Members of the public are invited to attend the annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Patri ots Park in Venice from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Organizers say more than 3,000 American ags will be placed around the park grounds for the event, a news release says. Additionally, the Wave Grill in the Ramada Venice Resort at 425 U.S. 41 Bypass North in Venice will hold a luncheon for interested per sons and guest speakers from the ceremony. It will begin shortly after noon. The cost is $7.95 plus tax, the release adds. For more informa tion or to make reservations, call 308-7700. The reservations are being accepted on a rstcome, rst-serve basis, the news release n otes. The American ag is draped between re trucks during the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Patriots Park in Venice in 2012. Photo by Nor man Schimmel PATRIOTS PARK TO HOST ANNUAL 9/11 MEMORIAL CEREMONY Recognizing his outstanding achievements in demonstrating the power of the mind and human spirit against the forces of nature and fear, the Sarasota County Commission on Aug. 27 presented a proclamation and plaque to Sarasotan Nik Wallenda. Youve proven that a persons destiny is lim ited only by his or her imagination, Chair woman Carolyn Mason read from the procla mation. With a chuckle, Mason referenced residents thrills in watching Wallendas June walk across the Grand Canyon. Mason added that the board members had de liberated over a number of photos taken by Sarasota resident Norman Schimmel to nd the best one to frame and present to Wallen da. I would be remiss if I didnt say Thank you to Norman Schimmel for his outstanding photography, Mason continued. To Wallenda, she said, Thank you so much for what you do for Sarasota County and the whole state of Florida. Wallenda thanked the commissioners for their support, including granting him permission to train at Nathan Benderson Park in preparation for the canyon walk. He added that it always is a pleasure to turn the worlds spotlight on this beautiful city I live in and that it truly is an honor to call this place home. This is a worldwide destination. Rachel Brown Hackney COUNTY COMMISSION MAKES PRESENTATION TO WALLENDA Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 68


The Sarasota County commissioners and Sarasota resident Norman Schimmel (far right) listen to remarks by internationally known aerialist Nik Wallenda. Contributed photo by Kelly French (From left) County Commission Vice Chairman Charles Hines holds the plaque as Commission er Nora Patterson and Chairwoman Carolyn Mason watch Nik Wallendas reaction. Contributed photo by Kelly French Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 69


Local nonprot executive John Annis, who serves as vice president for community in vestment for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, has been selected to join the 32nd class of Leadership Florida the Founda tion has announced. He is one of just 55 leaders in Florida chosen to participate in a stimulating and thought-pro voking eight-month educational program that consists of a series of ve sessions held in cities throughout the state, a news release says. The culmination of the program will be the equivalent of a sixth session, where par ticipants will join fellow Leadership Florida members at the organizations annual meeting, the release notes. I am excited about the opportunity to learn and share with such an amazing group of lead ers, Annis said in the release. Ive been for tunate to work with many Leadership Florida alumni and know how committed they are to our great state. And Im grateful to the lead ership of the Community Foundation for its support of my participation in this venture. In Annis current role at the Community Foun dation, he leads the team responsible for grants, scholarships and nonprot services, including The Giving Partner, an online re source that helps to connect donors to non prots and causes they care about, the release continues. His leadership has been crucial to engaging the Community Foundation in part nerships including Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which aims to ensure that all area school children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade, and the summer en richment and career training program at Alta Vista Elementary School, to benet students and their parents, t he release notes. The Alta Vista program is inspired by Ascend at the Aspen Institute, a proponent of the two-generational approach to lifting families out of poverty, the release points out. I congratulate my colleague John Annis on being selected from a very competitive pro cess for the Leadership Florida program, said Community Foundation President and CEO Roxie Jerde, a member of the Executive Lead ership Florida class of 2012, in the release. He is compassionate and cares deeply about this community he will be a wonderful rep resentative for Sarasota County and our orga nization in Leadership Florida. Create d in 1982 by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Florida builds a sense of statewide community by identifying and training individuals with the passion and com mitment to help make great things happen, the release n otes COMMUNITY FOUNDATION VP SELECTED FOR LEADERSHIP FLORIDA John Annis/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 70


Community Youth Development of Sarasota County (CYD) will honor attorney Dan Bailey and Chef Paul Mattison at its Eighth Annual Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, the nonprot organization has announced. Each year, CYD recognizes people who have demonstrated a commitment to empowering youth as leaders in our community, a news release says. Registration and breakfast service will begin at 7:30 a.m. Tickets, which are $30 per person, may be purchased at Masters of ceremony will be Lisa Carlton, former Florida state senator and past CYD Leadership Breakfast honoree, and Carlton Robinson, a senior at Cardinal Mooney and a STAR Leadership Training graduate, the re lease continues. Bailey, who is an attorney at Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen in Sarasota, serves as general counsel to the Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority and practices in the area of land use planning and zoning, the news re lease notes. He also is on the boards of The Patterson Foundation, the Community Lead ership Council of the University of South Flor ida Sarasota-Manatee and the Community Board of the Sarasota Regional Campus of the Florida State University College of Medicine. Mattison, executive chef and proprietor of Mat tisons, operates a successful culinary group on Floridas Gulf Coast, the release adds. He also serves on the advisory boards for Kaiser College, Sarasota County Technical Institutes Culinary Arts Program and Sarasotas Down town Farmers Market. Additionally, Mattison is on the boards of All Faiths Food Bank and Florida Winefest & Auction, the release says. CYD TO HONOR BAILEY AND MATTISON AT LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST The News Leader included incorrect informa tion in two recent articles involving the Sara sota County Commissions vacation of a right of way on Calle de Costa Rica on Siesta Key. In response to a News Leader request for clar ication regarding the articles, Trumping the comp plan (May 31, 2013) and Siesta Seen on Aug. 30, Diane C. Kennedy, the Sarasota Coun ty real property title examiner and research er who made the staff presentation about the Calle de Costa Rica request during the boards May 21 regular meeting, explained that when the County Commission vacates a right of way, the title normally is vested equally with the abutting property owners. Petitioners are not required to ask the county to vacate the entire width of a right of way, she pointed out in an email. In the case of the Calle de Costa Rica petition, William and Katherine Baumann of 601 Avenida de Mayo did choose to ask the board to vacate the entire 60 feet of right of way, Kennedy added. This simply means that they worked jointly with their neighbor and owner of the property that abuts the wester ly right-of-way line of Calle de Costa Rica, Kennedy continued. As a result, the vacated right-of-way is divided into two equal parts and title is vested in the appropriate abutting property owner. The owner of the property on the west side is DCA Fidu Inc. Trust Estate, represented by Michael J. Silvers. % CORRECTION Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 71


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested two Lehigh Acres men for allegedly attempting to commit fraud at several Sara sota area stores with dozens of cloned credit cards, the ofce reported on Sept. 3. Deputies located Alfredo Torrella, 35, and Orlando Rodriguez, 39, on the night of Aug. 30 after they tried to purchase Home Depot gift cards with several credit cards that were declined, the report says. During a search of their rental vehicle, deputies found 120 coun terfeit credit cards, personal information for 29 different victims and a fake drivers license, the report adds. The suspects admitted pur chasing the cards and information from some one in the Miami area for about $4,500 and were frustrated because many of the cards didnt work, a news release notes. While the suspects made purchases in two stores, it appears deputies stopped their crime spree shortly after it began, the release adds. A deputy initiated the trafc stop because Ro driguez the passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. The men already were suspects in the credit card case, the report points out. Evidence recovered in the cloned credit card case is spread out on a table in the Sheriffs Ofce. Con tributed photo Orlando Rodriguez/Contributed photo TWO ARRESTED IN CLONED CREDIT CARD SCHEME CASE CRIME BLOTTER


After he wal ked up to the car, the report says, the deputy noticed Rodriguez making erratic hand movements in the area of the center con sole. Once Torrella had given verbal consent for deputies to search the vehicle, the report continues, a deputy found multiple cut-up credit cards in the area where he had seen Rodriguez making the hand movements. Torrella is charged with 29 counts of Posses sion of Personal Identication with Intent to Use, two counts of Criminal Use of Personal Identication and one count of Trafcking in Fraudulent Credit Cards. Rodriguez is charged with three counts of Criminal Use of Person al Identication, one count of Trafcking in Fraudulent Credit Cards, Possession of a Counterfeit Drivers License, Tampering with Evidence and Obstruction. Alfredo Torrella/Contributed photo The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce is launch ing a new initiative to notify residents more publicly of sex offenders and predators who register a local address for the rst time the ofce announced Sept. 5. When a sex offender or predator is released from jail or prison, or moves to a new address, the person must register with the Sarasota County Jail, a news release points out. When an offender registers in Sarasota County for the rst time, the Sheriffs Ofce will issue a press release, publish it on its website and post a notication to the agencys Facebook page which will include the persons mug shot in a distinctive graphic that should become recog nizable to residents, the release says. We want citizens to know when someone who has been labeled a sex offender or pred ator moves into this county and where they plan to live, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. We do this to keep people informed of potential dangers and to provide them with the information they need to accurately un derstand the situation. In addition to including residential informa tion, the release will state when the persons crime occurred, provide context about the case, note the sentence the person received, explain whether the person has been declared a sex offender or predator and list whatever restrictions the person has been accorded by the judicial system. The Sheriffs Ofce still recommends that peo ple sign up for sex offender alerts from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or by clicking here NEW INITIATIVE NOTIFIES THE PUBLIC OF SEX OFFENDERS/PREDATORS Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 73


During the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofces arrest of two people during a retail theft inves tigation, detectives learned the male suspect was a fugitive from justice, the ofce has re ported. Detectives investigating two incidents in which laptops were stolen from the Venice Walmart circulated photos of the suspects to deputies, a news release says. Deputy Dave Clark recognized them from his routine pa trols of South Venice and located the woman Sept. 3 on U.S. 41 near Sunset Beach Drive, the release notes. She was identied as Sara King, 29, of 5543 Kenwood Drive, North Port. King told deputies they could nd her boy friend at work, the release adds. John Seals, 35, of the same address as King, had a felony warrant for an escape in South Carolina, the release points out. A judge had ordered Seals to wear a GPS electronic mon itor in July following his arrest on multiple drug charges, but Seals cut it off and left the state, the release continues. Regarding the retail theft case: The report says a loss prevention ofcer from Walmart came to the Sheriffs Ofce on Sept. 2 to re port that three laptop computers valued at approximately $1,481 were stolen from the store the previous day. The Walmart represen tative said that during a review of surveillance video, a couple was seen about 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 1, pushing a baby stroller as they en tered the stores tool department. The video subsequently showed the man selecting a pair of pliers and a hat from the shelf, and then proceeding to the electronics department, where he cut the security wires off the three computers on a shelf, according to the report. The man placed the laptops in the stroller, and the couple proceeded to the store exit without stopping at any of the checkout counters, the report says. The couple left through the gar den center, the report adds. Seals is charged with two counts of Grand Theft. He will be held without bond on the Fugitive from Justice charge. King is charged with two counts of Grand Theft. Sara King/Contributed photo John Seals/Contributed photo FUGITIVE CAPTURED DURING RETAIL THEFT INVESTIGATION Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 74


The Sara sota County Sheriffs Ofce is advis ing the public that William Huff, 49, has regis tered as a sexual predator living in Sarasota County. Huff was just released from prison after serv ing 17 years of a 20-year sentence for Sex ual Battery on a Child under 12, which was amended to Attempted when he agreed to plead guilty, a news release says. It is his only known arrest, the release adds. Huff is liv ing at 9055 S. Tamiami Trail, Apt. 66, Venice. Mandatory neighborhood notications have been made, the release notes. Huff was designated a Sexual Predator by the court and is under Florida Department of Cor rections supervision until Aug. 25, 2023, the release continues. He cannot have unsuper vised contact with children and is not allowed to work or volunteer in a setting that involves children. REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER LIVING AT VENICE ADDRESS William Huff/Contributed photo This information is also being posted on the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce website and on the agencys Facebook page as part of a new initiative to more publicly notify citizens of sex offenders and predators who register a local address for the rst time. TWO BRADENTON MEN ARRESTED ON DRUG, WEAPONS CHARGES Two convicted felons were taken into custo dy after ofcers with the Sarasota Police De partments Street Crime Unit stopped their car about 4:50 p.m. on Aug. 29 at 1025 Putnam Drive, in Sarasota, the Police Department re ported. The men were found in possession of several rearms and drugs after running from ofcers, a news release says. The Street Crime Unit stopped the mens vehi cle because it was believed to have illegally tinted windows, the release notes. After the vehicle halted, several subjects ran from of cers, but they were caught after a short foot chase, the release continues. Ofcers recov ered three guns, crack cocaine and marijuana, the release adds. Jalen J. Bellamy, 21, of 6516 Third Avenue Northeast, Bradenton, was charged with Fel ony Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Fel on, Felony Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon, Felony Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Sell within 1,000 feet of a Church and misdemeanor counts of Resist ing Without Violence and Obstruction. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 75


Guns, ammunition and drugs were recovered from a vehicle after a Police Department trafc stop on Aug. 29, the department reported. Contributed photo Jalen Bellamy/Contributed photo Terry McDonald/Contributed photo Terry L. McDonald, Jr., 21, of 908 Sixth Court East, Bradenton, was charged with Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, a misdemeanor count of Resisting an Ofcer without Violence and a misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana Less than 20 Grams, the report noted. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 76


An armed rob bery suspect seen on surveil lance video from an incident this week at the North Washington Boulevard 7-Eleven in Sara sota has turned himself in, the Sarasota Police Department announced on Sept. 5. The video showed a black male entering the 7-Eleven on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at approx imately 5:30 a.m., a news release notes. A male store employee told ofcers the suspect approached the counter and said to the em ployee, Bro, I got something to tell you, the report says. The man then began to walk be hind the counter, at which point the employee saw the man had a 2to 3-foot-long stick in his possession. The man told the employee, Give me all you got, the report continues. The em ployee opened the cash register and gave the man cash, the report adds, though it does not provide the amount of money. The man approached the counter again and told the employee, Dont call the cops. Ill pay you back later, bro, according to the report. On Sept. 4, at 11:30 p.m., Fabian L. Morrison, 22, of Ocala, showed up at the front desk of the Polic e D epartment after seeing himself on the su rveillance video that was played on the news that night, the release adds. Morri sons mother was with him when he came to the front desk, the release notes. When he was interviewed by detectives, Mor rison admitted he was the person on the vid eo, the release continues. He was charged with Armed Robbery and transported to the Sarasota County Jail. ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT TURNS HIMSELF IN AT POLICE DEPARTMENT Fabian Latrell Morrison/Contributed photo The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has re ceived a number of complaints concerning people receiving telephone calls that attempt to convince them to wire money to free from jail or otherwise assist a relative in distress, the ofce has reported. All of the complaints received so far have a common telephone number originating in Massachusetts, according to a news release. Anyone receiving a similar call is advised im mediately to contact the person supposedly needing aid to make certain the facts are true. Do not just wire money without conrmation that the call is legitimate and not a scam, the news release urges. A person who receives such a call is asked to phone the Sheriffs Ofce non-emergency number 316-1201 and ask to be connect ed to a desk ofcer who will take a report, the release notes. Anyone with information about this investi gation can contact the Sheriffs Ofce Crimi nal Investigations Section Ofce at 861-4900; Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477); or send a text message by texting TIP109 plus a mes sage to CRIMES (274637). RESIDENTS WARNED ABOUT A TELEPHONE SCAM Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 77


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce is asking the public to help stop whoever is shooting at a number of Sarasota area businesses during the overnight hours. Since Aug. 19, four different businesses have suffered damage from what appears to be a pellet or BB gun, a Sheriffs Ofce news re lease explains. Windows have been shot out at Hot Diggity Dog, 5666 Swift Road; Deme trios Pizzeria, 4410 S. Tamiami Trail; David son Drugs, 5125 Ocean Blvd.; and twice at Stragglers Bar, 5580 Swift Road, the release adds. The latest case happened early on the morning of Aug. 29, the release notes. A window was found shot out at Hot Diggity Dog on Swift Road, the Sheriffs Ofce reports. Photo courtesy of the Sheriffs Ofce INFORMATION SOUGHT ABOUT CRIMINAL MISCHIEF INCIDENTS With fe w investigative leads and no suspect descriptions, the release adds, detectives need members of the public to provide what ever tips they may have to help stop this crime trend. The suspect or suspects are facing mul tiple charges of Criminal Mischief and Shoot ing a Deadly Missile into a Building both felonies, the release points out. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 861-4952; leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by call ing 366-TIPS (8477) or going online at www. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 78


Thanks to an assist from social media, a Lakewood Ranch man who was wanted by de tectives with the Sarasota Police Department has been captured in Blueeld, VA, the Police Department reported on Aug. 30. A family member of Christopher Schenks saw the mans photo on the Police Departments social media sites, where Schenks was listed as wanted, and called Sarasota detectives, a news release says. Schenks was arrested and charged with local counts as well as counts in Blueeld, VA, the release adds. Detectives had been looking for Schenks since June 2012, the release notes. He is suspected of stealing computer equipment from a girl friend and selling it to a pawn store in Saraso ta, the release adds. Schenks is facing charges of Dealing in Stolen Property and Fraud, as well as a charge related to making a false statement to a pawnbroker. SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANCE LEADS TO ARREST OF SUSPECT Christopher Schenks/Contributed photo Members of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Of ce Tactical Anti-Crime (TAC) Unit arrested three burglars last week after being contacted about suspicious activity and then watching the men commit several crimes, the ofce has announced. A resident notied the Sheriffs Ofce about three young men possibly going through mail boxes near Wilkinson Road in Sarasota, a news release says. After patrol deputies were not able to conrm a crime had occurred, the re lease continues, members of TAC conducted surveillance and saw the subjects enter a vehi cle inside an open garage, then go behind an other house and come out with a jar of coins. THREE BURGLARS CAUGHT IN THE ACT NEAR WILKINSON ROAD According to the report, an ofcer observed a man coming out of one Nelson Avenue house and walking to the end of the driveway, then look up and down the street. The ofcer talk ed with the man, who said he was working in his garage when his wife asked for help with something on their computer. He had been in side the house only a short time, the man said, when someone he later identied as Molnar knocked on the door, the report says. When the man went to the door, Molnar asked for some water and a ride. The man told the of cer he and his wife gave Molnar water but declined to give him a ride, so Molnar left, the report continues. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 79


When the man went back into his garage, the man said, he found the GPS missing from his SUV. A second vehicle in the garage a truck also had been entered, the man reported, and the contents of the center console had been strewn around the cab. After all three suspects had met up again, officers converged on them and detained them, the report adds. The trio admitted to two crimes on Nelson Avenue as well as to removing the screen from a window on a Pas adena Avenue home, the news release says. They told ofcers they left when they could not gain access to the Pasadena Avenue resi dence, according to the report. Michael Molnar, 19, of 3933 Nelson Ave., is fac ing three felony charges for Burglary. His ac complices Alexander Mohr, 19, and Charles Nigh, 18, (neither has a permanent address) are both facing two felony Burglary charges, the release notes. % Charles Nigh/Contributed photo Alexander Mohr/Contributed photo Michael Molnar/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 80


EDITORIAL OPINION A DARK CLOUD OVER GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE EDITORIAL On Aug. 28, Commis sioner Joe Barbetta led his fellow commissioners in a 45-minute con demnation of Lourdes Ramirez, president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations and an expected candidate to re place Commissioner Nora Patterson on the County Commission. What did Ramirez do to earn such invective? She was exercising her rights as a citizen, un der the Florida constitution, to inspect and copy public documents. Barbettas pique ostensibly was due to the as signment of a county staff person to monitor Ramirez inspection of those documents 17 boxes of them without the county charging Ramirez for the cost of that staff persons time. The staff person was with Ramirez for almost nine hours. While the state constitution was amended in 1992 to allow for broad access to public re cords, the Legislature provided that govern ment entities could charge the public for the cost of making copies and the staff time re quired to provide the requested documents, especially if the volume of the request in curred extensive involvement of personnel. The county has routinely been charging for the costs of providing copies of public re cords, but apparently it has had no explicit policy for charging for staff time. It is for that reason that Ramirez was not asked to pay. She brought her own portable scanner to free staff from the need to make copies of documents she reviewed, so only the monitors time was expended. No one with the county gave Ramirez any in dication that she would be expected to pay


for her monitor. She spent the day inspecting records, scanning copies as needed, and then left. Yet, to hear Barbettas account, Ramirez was guilty of some grand subterfuge, a scofaw a grantly eecing county taxpayers. He even refused to ut ter her name refer ring to her always as that person as if saying her name three times in succession would result in her automatically being made a member of the commission. Even after county staff members explained that they had no consistent policy on charging for staff time, and it was their failure that ac counted for Ramirez not paying for her mon itor, Barbetta continued to fume. He insisted that Ramirez be billed retroactively for the monitors time, despite the county attorney pointing out that Ramirez had never been ad vised there could be a charge for such moni toring. To their discredit, the rest of the commis sioners did not shut down this petty tirade. Instead, they generally agreed with the notion that individuals requesting access to public re cords, as guaranteed by the state constitution, could be taking advantage of the county and costing taxpayers huge amounts of money. But to their credit, three commissioners Nora Patterson, Christine Robinson and Chair woman Carolyn Mason refused to side with Barbetta in his pecuniary offensive, as his mo tion to retroactively bill Ramirez failed 2-3. This entire episode is deeply troubling on sev eral levels. First, the allowance by the Legislature for the charging of fees for access to public records was a loop hole to frustrate the will of the people, just as the Legislatures al lowance for faux can didates to close what otherwise should be open primaries vitiates the constitutional amendment providing for open primaries. But even ignoring that fact, the right to charge citizens for public records does not automat ically equate to need or obligation to assess those charges. Barbettas tirade was uttered in 2013, not 1963. In the last half century, technology with regard to the handling, storage and retrieval of documents has exploded. The question should not be, Why was a person not charged for staff time? The question should be, Why are we, in the second decade of the 21st century, still generating so many paper documents? If the County Commission wants to adopt a meaningful policy, it should start with the edict that no record generation will begin on paper. All documents created for county busi ness should be recorded rst in digital form, The question should not be, Why was a person not charged for staff time? The question should be, Why are we, in the second decade of the 21st century, still generating so many paper documents? Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 82


then printe d as needed (and only as needed). Any documents provided to the county by outsiders would immediately be scanned and converted to digital form for storage and easy retrieval. If the county had begun this policy a decade ago, Ramirez could potentially have spent her day at a public-access terminal, locating docu ments that she needed and downloading them to a ash drive she brought with her for por table data storage. It is the countys antediluvian attachment to 19th century records storage that is costing taxpayers money unnecessarily, not the free exercise by citizens of their right to inspect government records. But there is another, sinister subtext to Bar bettas vitriol. Public ofcials who gain elec tion with a preset, personal agenda are among those term limits were intended to eliminate. That intent is diminished when such a public ofcial, when unable to realize said agenda, seeks a like-minded person to succeed him in ofce for the purpose of continuing his initiatives. Most courthouse observers expect Ramirez to run for Commissioner Pattersons seat in 2014. And just as many likely know Barbetta has endorsed Alan Maio, an individual whose professional experience might lead one to be lieve he will be as cozy with developers as Barbetta has been. Ramirez has openly challenged Barbettas plans to e viscerate the countys 2050 Plan, which imposes more control over develop ment east of Interstate 75. Barbetta obviously would be happier with Maio, who could not reasonably have received Barbettas endorse ment without similarly wanting drastic chang es in the 2050 Plan. Barbetta uses the unequal application of fees for public records access as cover for his more likely intent: to publicly criticize a po tential opponent for his handpicked candidate to succeed Patterson. This sort of back room machination is a far more egregious affront to the county taxpay ers than a few dollars in staff time. It is an attempt to fray the very fabric of democracy in our county. Let us hope the voters do not buy it. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Lead er welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Let ters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 83




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SIESTA SEEN The recycling initiative for Siesta Village moved ahead a bit on Sept. 3, as members of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) agreed to seek informal proposals from com panies that provide garbage collection and re cycling services in Sarasota County. Michael Shay, vice president of the Siesta Key Association (SKA), reported at the outset of the meeting that Larry Alexander, the coun ty s manager of solid waste collections, had sent him the list of those rms. Alexander addressed SKVA members last month about recycling. Where do we go from here? Shay asked. Dollars, replied SKVA Vice President Kay Kouvatsos, co-owner of Village Caf. We need to nd out how much. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor THE SIESTA VILLAGE RECYCLING EFFORT TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD; WITH THE BOLLARDS IN, THE FOCUS SWITCHES TO THE BEACH WAY AND AVENIDA DEL MARE CROSSWALK LIGHTS; SKVA TO HOST A SOCIAL; AND THE BEACH SAW A VERY BUSY LABOR DAY WEEKEND Some business owners on Siesta Key have suggested that recycling bins in the Village should resemble the garbage cans placed along Ocean Boulevard. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Or how much theyll pay us, Shay respond ed, referring to the rms. Do you want me to look into that? he asked. Yes, SKVA President Cheryl Gaddie told him. Some rms might be willing to provide the bins and pick up the recycling at no charge, Shay said, because of the value of the mate rials collected. Let me nd out from them what theyre willing to offer. When Dave Magee, owner of The UPS Store on Beach Road, asked how many locations the SKVA was considering for recycling bins, Shay said he had put together a list of about a dozen spots on Ocean Boulevard in Sies ta V illage. However, Shay was quick to add, Theres nothing etched in stone there. He based the locations on the volume of recy clables he had observed in garbage cans, he pointed out. In response to a question from Rami Nehme, owner of Blas Caf, Shay said he would be happy to provide a copy of that list to inter ested people. Shay also told the approximately 20 people present that he was not certain the SKVA should pursue the recycling of paper. He did note, however, that when new local newspa pers are delivered each week, he nds piles of Vice President Kay Kouvatsos (left) takes the minutes of the August Siesta Key Village Association meeting as President Cheryl Gaddie watches. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 87


the previous editions dumped in garbage cans on Ocean Boulevard. For the most part, he continued, the recy clable materials he has found are cans and bottles, especially water bottles. Moreover, he pointed out, Those items have the most revenue attached to them. LIGHTING UPDATE With the long-awaited bollards installed at sev en crosswalks along Ocean Boulevard, coun ty attention is shifting to residents request for new warning lights for the crosswalks at Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare on Beach Road. During the Feb. 5 SKVA meeting, SKA Secre tary Peter van Roekens brought up the con stantly ashing lights at those intersections, s aying drivers had become inured to them a dangerous situation. Further discussion at the subsequent SKA meeting led to talks with residents of Siesta Isles including SKA board member Deet Jonker about the desire for the same type of wig-wag lights at the Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare crosswalks that the Florida Department of Transportation put up last fall on Midnight Pass Road between Beach and Stickney Point roads. As part of his Aug. 19 Public Works Depart ment project update for the County Com mission, Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. reported that staff had received all three quotes it had sought for the strobe ashing crosswalk signs at those two intersections on Beach Roa d. New pedestrian crosswalk lights may be installed as early as mid-November at the intersection of Avenida Del Mare and Beach Road. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 88


The low qu ote is $2,212.50 per sign, Harri ott added. Four signs will be installed at the two crosswalks. Staff will proceed with the purchase on Oct. 1, he continued, which is the rst day of the new scal year. Harriott also noted that staff is reviewing sim ilar signs for installation on Midnight Pass Road at the Stickney Point Road intersection. Ryan Montague in the countys Trafc/Mobil ity Ofce has estimated it will take four to six weeks to get the new lights for Beach Way and Avenida Del Mare, indicating they could be installed by mid-November. As for the bollards: Shay told me after the SKVA meeting, I think theyre classy. They give off a good amount of light. Van Roekens, who spurred the effort to get those bollards in place with LED illumina tion to put more light on Village pedestrians at night, was not present at the Sept. 3 SKVA meeting. CORRECTION I normally put news of goofs at the end of this column or in the News Leaders News Briefs section, but I am hopeful regular readers will see this, because I made a big mistake in my reporting last week on plans for the fourth Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpt ing Competition planned for Nov. 15-18. Founder Brian Wigelsworth a master sand sculptor himself who lives on Siesta Key will not be in Kuwait when the Classic takes place; he will be on Siesta Public Beach. During the August SKVA meeting, I misunder stood a report Wigelsworth gave about a big event in Kuwait taking place at the same time as the Crystal Classic. He had to replace mem bers of some of the teams originally commit ted to the Crystal Classic, because they are going to Kuwait instead. LABOR DAY ON THE KEY Sgt. Steve Leavitt, a new representative of the Sheriffs Ofce on the island, provided the lat est law enforcement update to SKVA members on Sept. 3. The beach was very packed over the week end, he said. Yesterday, not as bad, he added of Labor Day itself. A few trafc problems occurred in the beach parking lot, Leavitt said, but they were typical, given the demand for spots. Things were pret ty quiet on the beach itself, he noted. Then Michael Shay asked him about an acci dent on Ocean Boulevard at the Sand Dollar Lane intersection (the entry to the Banyan Club enclave of homes on the Gulf of Mexico). No one was injured, Leavitt said. The driver was 30-year-old Jason Allen Robey of 2029 Peppertree Way, Sarasota, according to the Sheriffs Ofce arrest report. The in cident, which was reported on the afternoon of Sept. 2 (Robey was arrested at 3:30 p.m.), involved Robey crashing a vehicle into a wall on Sand Dollar Lane, Leavitt said. Robey was inside the vehicle when a deputy arrived and called for backup after determining the vehi cle had been reported stolen. Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 89


Robey, who was identied in the arrest re port as a server at Caf Gabbiano in David son Plaza in Siesta Village, was charged with a third-degree count of Vehicle Grand Theft as well as Resist Ofcer/Obstruct without vi olence. He was placed under a total bond of $2,000. CRIME AT SKOB Speaking of Sheriffs Ofce reports from Si esta Key: A person hired as a handyman this spring at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) was arrested in August and charged with a count of Fraud-Swindle: Obtain Property Un der $20,000. According to the Sheriffs Ofce report, Josh ua T. Linehan, 31, of 42 W. Oak St., Lot A15, in Osprey, was hired on May 13 at SKOB and given per mission to make purchases utilizing the restaurants business account, because, as a contractor, he could receive such discounts. The report says Linehan was able to obtain blank checks from SKOB to make purchas es, but SKOB management learned later that Linehan allegedly was using the checks to buy gift cards at Walmart, Lowes and Home De pot. From June 8 through June 17, Linehan obtained cards with a total value of approxi mately $1,200, the report continues. After a detective obtained video surveillance from the stores, along with copies of receipts, the detective was able to conrm Linehan was the one who had made the purchases, the re port adds. Linehan was pla ced in jail under $1,500 bond. Jason Allen Robey/Contributed photo The Banyan Club homes are located on Sand Dollar Lane off Ocean Boulevard on north Si esta Key. Image courtesy of Google Maps Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 90


MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS The Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar in Siesta Village will host the Siesta Key Vil lage Association Social planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19. The event will feature free drinks and hors doeuvres for all SKVA members and their guests, SKVA President Gaddie said during the Sept. 3 meeting. I hope that you can all come and bring a neigh bor or a friend so that everyone can get to know each other and know what we do, she added. Past SKVA President Russell Matthes, a co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar, Gaddie and the board members see the event as one op portunity for people to learn more about the organizations activities, but in a fun setting. The SKVA always welcomes new members, Gaddie and Matthes have point ed out. % Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 91


I like to take my time. Sure, its a temptation to rush. Each issue of The Sarasota News Leader is brimfull of indepth coverage of all the news and goings-on in Sarasota County. And it has delightful and informative feature stories. Thanks to its community calendar, 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


Ve nice Theatres Generations Series will pres ent Schoolhouse Rock Live! the musical version of the Emmy Award-winning Satur day morning series, Schoolhouse Rock from Thursday, Sept. 12, through Sunday, Sept. 29, the theater has announced. Schoolhouse Rock Live! like the television show many parents of todays youngsters grew up watching in the s and 80s teaches English ( Conjunction, Junction, Whats Your Function? ), math ( Zero, My Hero ), social studies ( Just A Bill ) and science ( A Victim of Gravity ) through upbeat pop songs and imagi native lyrics, a news release says. The original Schoolhouse Rock was the brainchild of an ad vertising executive who noticed his son could remember all the words to popular songs on the radio, but the son could not memorize the multiplication tables, the release points out. Schoolhouse Rock was born and quickly ad opted by ABC-TV, which broadcast the series from 1973 to 1 985, the release continues. The cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live! has fun at a photo shoot: (standing from left) Ava Podewitz, Katie Dunn-Rankin, Patty McGuire, Moriah Haley, Reese Balliet, Samantha Crawford, (from left on oor) Leah Henry, Taylor Reister, Nathan Oss, Jillian Alexander, Jake Cooper and Sarah Beth Johnson. Contributed photo by Renee McVety VENICE THEATRE TO PRESENT SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! A&E BRIEFS


Schoolhouse Rock Live! adds a storyline to help unify the songs. It introduces audienc es to Terry (played by Pine View High School student Katie Dunn-Rankin), a nerve-wracked teacher who is nervous about her rst day in a classroom. As she tries to relax by watching TV, various characters representing facets of her personality emerge from the set and show her how to win over her students. The stage show, conceived by writer/director Scott Ferguson, opened in Chicago in 1993. It played for eight months to sold-out houses in the basement theater of an eclectic vegetari an restaurant, the release adds. It then moved to larger venues in Chicago and won several awards as well as critical acclaim. The Chi cago Sun-Times gave the production an A+ calling it sheer joy. Schoolh ouse Rock Live! moved to New York City in 1995, where it enjoyed an 11-month off-Broadway run, receiving positive notices from CNN, MTV News and Entertainment To night the release points out. Performances will take place on the Pinkerton Stage at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tick ets are $10 for students and $17 for adults. They may be purchased online at www.venic or by calling the box ofce at 4881115. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more, as well as for educators and families who attend the Saturday matinees. Box ofce hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before show time. The theater is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. in Venice. FLORIDA WATERCOLOR SOCIETYS ANNUAL EXHIBITION PLANNED The Florida Wa tercolor Societys 42nd Annual Exhibition will be held Sept. 16 through Oct. 25 at Art Center Sarasota, the Society has an nounced. The show will present of the best works by artists from Florida and around the coun try, a news release says. Among them are 40 works of west central Florida artists, includ ing Kris Parins, Helen Burkett, Elaine Charney and Diane Schmidt of Sarasota; Roger Parent of Osprey; Gary Morgan of Nokomis; Mar ilyn Priem and Deb Wicks of Venice; Roger Rockefeller of Longboat Key; Pauline Boston of Parrish; Anne Abgott and Susanna Spann of Cortez; and Kathy Simon-McDonald and Linda Lucas of Bradenton, the release notes. The opening reception will be held Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamia mi Trail, Sarasota. The event is free and open to the public. Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Sept. 21 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The exhibition is one of the highlights of the Florida Watercolor Societys (FWS) an nual conference, which is scheduled Sept. 19-22 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, the re lease continues. The convention will feature demonstrations by 20 artists, critiques from award-winning artists and an extensive trade show with vendors from across the United States offering products at exclusive prices, the release adds. Internationally renowned watercolorist Linda Baker has b een named the judge for the exhi Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 94


Seatcovers by Pauline Boston. Image courtesy of the Florida Watercolor Society Crystal and Pears by Roger Rockefeller. Image courtesy of the Florida Watercolor Society Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 95


bition, the release points out. Baker selected the shows entries from among 596 submis sions from 492 artists, the release says. With more than 1,000 members, FWS is one of the largest state-based watercolor societies in the United States, the release notes. Membership is open to all artists re siding in the st ate of Florida. For more in fo rmation about the exhibit or convention, visit Registration for all events will be available on the FWS website. For more information about the annual ex hibition, call 365-2032 or visit www.artsara City Lights by Kris Parins. Image courtesy of the Florida Watercolor Society Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 96


DE WARREN TO OFFER DANCE APPRECIATION CLASSES AT SCTI Pre-professional dancer Francisco Serrano was featured in the Festival of Stars performance last month. Image courtesy of the Carreo Dance Festival and the International Ballet Competition The Sarasota International Dance Festival, the presenting organization for the Carreo Dance Festival, will continue its program this fall with classes at the Sarasota County Tech nical Institute (SCTI), festival organizers have announced. Robert de Warren, president of the festival, will offer two dance appreciation cours es through the Adult Community Enrich ment (ACE) curriculum at SCTI, a news release notes. The Carreo Dance Festival recently complet ed its third season of Summer Master Class Intensive classes for pre-professional dance students with an impressive Festival of Stars performance at the Sarasota Opera House, the release adds. The prestigious international faculty was led by Jos Carreo, ar tistic director of Ballet San Jose and the festival which bears his name. The release notes de War rens enthusiasm about di recting the rst dance courses to be prese nt ed by ACE: Our classes at SCTI are a new feature of bringing appreciation for dance in all its forms to our community. The rst of the two courses is called From Crinolines and Heels to Tutus on Pointe the release notes. It will be an in-depth look at the origins of ballet and dances development over the past 300 years. Its sessions will be held on Oct. 3, 10, 17 and 24 and will include demonstrations by several young pre-profes sional dancers, the release points out. The second class will be offered on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, 14 and 21, providing an overview of modern and contemporary dance. It will feature a guest speaker. The sessions of each course will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the new SCTI complex at 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota (at the corner of Be neva and Proctor roads) in the dance studio of Building 3-114. Registration information may be obtained by calling 361-6590. The cost for each cours e is $76, the release adds. % Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 97


Did you know 25 percent of Israelis live below the poverty line? Did you know nearly one million Israeli chil dren have food insecurity? Did you know over 30 percent of food in Israel is wasted? These were among the sobering facts shared by Lauren Yoked, executive director of Amer ican Friends of Leket Israel, during her vis it with Temple Emanu-El on Aug. 30, a news release says. Speaking at a Mediterranean luncheon hosted by Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Brenner Glickman, and during the synagogues Shabbat services that evening, Yoked brought news of the tremendous problem of hunger in Israel and how Leket Israel is ghting it, the release adds. Only a decade old, Leket is Israels national food bank, working with 180 nonprot agen cies to provide food to more than a million Israelis in need, the release points out. With 50,000 volunteers, about 12 refrigerated trucks and a staff of paid employees including Arab and Druze women enjoying dignied employment for the rst time in their lives, American Friends of Leket Israel Executive Director Lauren Yoked (center) was joined for lunch by Temple Emanu-El members Sally Yanowitz, Sybil Broh, Irv Broh, Sandy Schneiderman, and Allan Schneiderman. Contributed photo LEKET DIRECTOR EDUCATES TEMPLE MEMBERS ABOUT HUNGER RELIEF RELIGION BRIEFS


Yoke d said Leket partners with hundreds of farmers across Israel to glean crops that would otherwise go unharvested; rescues un used food from restaurants, hotels, corporate cafeterias and event halls; prepares a million sandwiches each year for hungry schoolchil dren; and manages several orchards that pro duce crops exclusively for those Leket serves. The relationship between Temple Emanu-El and Leket began in 2012, when participants in the Temples Israel trip volunteered to pick tomatoes in Lekets elds, the release notes. Yokeds visit enabled Temple Emanu-El mem bers to learn more about Leket and to deepen understanding of hunger in Israel and ways to help, the release adds. For more information about Leket Israel, please visit First United Methodist Church at 104 S. Pine apple Ave. in downtown Sarasota invites women to join a 10-week group study on the topic of Esther: Its Tough Being a Woman prepared by Beth Moore. The in-depth and personal examination of this story of threat and deliverance has been scheduled for Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. beginning S ept. 10, a news release says. The Rabbi Brenner Glickman (left) and Temple Ema nu-El member Mitch Leon display their Leket Is rael information packets. Contributed photo materials and discussions will show how contemporary and applicable Esther is to the hurried, harried and pressured lives of todays women, the release adds. The class includes a DVD presentation and fa cilitated group discussions. The donation for materials is $15. Call the church ofce (955-0935) for addition al information or to register. % I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 99 FIRST CHURCH TO OFFER 10-WEEK COURSE ON ESTHER

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 06 SEPTEMBER Too Hott Too Fast featuring DJ Saint & Veronica Pastore (beneting Designing Daughters and Designing Women Boutique) Sept. 6, 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Prana Restaurant & Lounge, 1118 N. Washington Blvd. Admission: $20 ($40 for a VIP ticket). Information: Too Hott Too Fast event page 06 SEPTEMBER WSLR presents Jonathan Byrd in concert Sept. 6, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at door. Information: 894-6469 or 06+ SEPTEMBER Dabbert Gallery presents Summer Showcase Through Sept. 30, 76 S. Palm Ave. Admission: free. Information: 955-1315 or 06+ SEPTEMBER Allyn Gallup Gallery presents Some Wonderful Abstractions Through Oct. 5, 1288 N. Palm Ave. Free admission. Information: 366-2454 or 12 SEPTEMBER 4th Annual Hair of the Dog Charity Fundraiser (beneting Gimme Shelter Pet Adoption) Sept. 12, 7 to 11 p.m., The Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. Admission: $25. Information/tickets: 12 SEPTEMBER WSLR presents Grandpas Cough Medicine Sept. 12, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Tickets: $8 in advance; $10 at the door. Information: 894-6469 or 14 SEPTEMBER Venice Theatre presents Yesterdayze in concert Sept. 14, 8 p.m., 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice. Tickets: $20. Information: 488-1115 or 20 SEPTEMBER Rocking through the Ages Gatsby Soire (beneting Make-A-Wish Central & Northern Florida) Sept. 20, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Michaels On East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $75 in advance; $100 at the door. Information: 952-WISH or RockingThroughTheAges page Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 100

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Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 9/11: NEVER FORGET SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGSNew York City