Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
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Sarasota, FL
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July 12, 2013
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Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

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University of Florida
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COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 4 October 11, 2013 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside YET ANOTHER HOLDUP A RACE TO THE BOTTOM TAKE TWO The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida




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


When we took our children to Disney World many, many years ago, we all enjoyed a feature I am not sure even exists anymore. It was called Mr. Toads Wild Ride. It was a mad crazy exhilarating adventure just what the name implies. Sometimes when I start this letter on Thursdays, I feel as though I have been on that wild ride again. Not only have I been editing the work of my colleagues and reviewing nal page proofs but also I often have had to turn out a story or two myself on deadline. One of the nicest compliments I ever received from a co-worker occurred one afternoon a couple of years ago after I churned out a story from a County Commission meeting within an hour of my return to the ofce. My col league voiced amazement that I had completed it so fast. All of us veterans of the newspaper trade learn to write on deadline. Some days, though, it ad mittedly is much easier than others. You do not have to be a member of the Fourth Estate to recognize the stomach-churning feeling that comes with glancing repeatedly at a clock and knowing you have a certain amount of time to nish your work yet the nal qual ity cannot reect the speed with which the work was done. Now that my adrenaline rush is ebbing, I invite you to take a look this week not just at the late-breaking news, but also at what I consider to be a comprehensive roundup of many, many actions in Sarasota County this week. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


YET ANOTHER HOLDUP THE QUARTER-BILLIONDOLLAR GAME NEWS & COMMENTARY YET ANOTHER HOLDUP 8 The recommended short-term operator for Warm Mineral Springs wants more repairs completed before reopening the resort Rachel Brown Hackney A RACE TO THE BOTTOM 15 Board members of the citys two commercial property districts agree to hire a consultant to help them decide on whether to limit the number of restaurants Stan Zimmerman TAKE TWO 20 Secretary of state presents rebooted plan to purge non-citizens from voter rolls Cooper Levey-Baker ACTION NOT INDICATED 24 A county commissioner says staff research does not seem to show his board can modify the date of a School Board referendum THE QUARTER-BILLION-DOLLAR GAME 29 Analysis: New chairman takes reins of the CRA Extension Committee Stan Zimmerman ON THE HORIZON 35 Countywide domestic partnership registry inches forward Cooper Levey-Baker SHAW SAYS, NO WAY! 39 Will north Sarasota see the establishment of another homeless shelter? Stan Zimmerman GALLERIES TURNED DOWN 44 The City Commission nixes a proposed New Orleans-style redesign for a Five Points building and holds off again on a plan for the State Street parking garage Stan Zimmerman A BIG EFFORT 47 A nonprot group begins planning a Legacy Trail extension north into downtown Sarasota, with funding likely from public and private sources Roger Drouin EXPANDING A STRATEGY 53 The Sarasota Police Department reports initial success on its High Point model for reducing crime Stan Zimmerman IN OTHER BUSINESS 56 The County Commission agrees to a revised roads plan for the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, a loan for the Siesta Beach project and a public hearing on an amended Energy Economic Zone ordinance Roger Drouin and Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Seashore Frolic Rachel Brown Hackney Sarasota Leisure: Serenity Fountain Norman Schimmel Vol. 2, No. 4 October 11, 2013


A BOOK REMEMBERED A BIG DAY TRANSIT TALKS 61 The Sarasota and Manatee county commissioners have to work out several issues regarding the proposed merger of their bus systems starting with the time frame Roger Drouin LET THERE BE NEW LIGHTS 64 The County Commission will hold a public hearing on Oct. 23 regarding funding for a new lighting system needed at Ed Smith Stadium Rachel Brown Hackney A REVIVED MEMORIAL 68 Newtowns history wall once again pays tribute to community pioneers Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 70 CRIME BLOTTER 83 OPINION EDITORIAL 91 Governing by angry mob LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 94 SARASOTA LEISURE A BOOK REMEMBERED 97 One Book One Community resurrects a classic Cooper Levey-Baker A BIG DAY 101 The Sarasota County Fire Department marks its 25th anniversary with Fire Prevention Week Open House Staff Reports SIESTA SEEN 110 County staff hopes the Siesta stormwater drainage project will get under way again this week; SKA draws plenty of International Coastal Cleanup volunteers Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 118 RELIGION BRIEFS 127 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 130 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 131 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Vol. 2, No. 4 October 11, 2013


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The question of short-term management for Warm Mineral Springs will be back on the North Port City Commissions agenda next week, because the rm that won the bid to reopen the resort is demanding more repairs be made rst, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. North Port City Manager Jonathan R. Lewis sent a memo Oct. 9 to his board and to County Administrator Randall Reid saying that as of his writing, WMS Sarasota Management LLC has not provided an executed contract. If we do not receive a signed contract by the end of today, I will be requesting Commission add an agenda item to the Monday meeting, Oct. 14, regular meeting. Lewis added, The purpose of this item would be to consider rejecting the previously awarded bid due to failure on the part of WMS Sarasota Mana gement LLC to provide an executed agreement. The firm one of two that bid on a year-long contract to operate the springs A class works out in the water at Warm Mineral Springs prior to its closing on June 30. Photo courtesy City of North Port THE RECOMMENDED SHORT-TERM OPERATOR FOR WARM MINERAL SPRINGS WANTS MORE REPAIRS COMPLETED BEFORE REOPENING THE RESORT YET ANOTHER HOLDUP NEWS & COMMENTARY Well get it open. Daniel Schult Assistant Manager City of North Port By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


did not provide the necessary documen tation before 5 p.m. on Oct. 9, North Port Assistant Manager Daniel Schult told the News Leader on Oct. 10. Instead, Lewis received an email on the night of Oct. 9 from Dr. Grigory Pogrebinsky, one of the principals of WMS Sarasota Management, saying the rm remained committed to the springs, provided the life/health/safety issues that we have raised with the City adminis tration are adequately addressed, since we cannot in good conscience take upon such serious public obligation as operating such an environmentally sensitive property as the Springs in its current conditions. The other rm that bid on the short-term con tract was Cambridgeshire Investment LLC, based in Port Charlotte. Its principal, Michael Meagher said in his bid that he spent 22 years in the motel and restaurant business before moving to Port Charlotte in 1979. In his Oct. 9 email, Pogrebinsky cited con cerns expressed in letters that he said were sent to administrative staff on Oct. 3 and 6. Among them, he noted, were the state of the septic system, water quality and water pres sure at the site. In an Oct. 3 letter to Kevin Russell, attor ney for WMS Sarasota Management, Schult pointed out that eight new showerheads would be installed in the womens locker room. Water pressure is an AS IS issue and cant be changed, Schult added. In an Oct. 8 letter to Russell, Schult wrote that the septic system was being delivered The solicitation for a short-term operator included an aerial map of Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 9


as is as well. The fact your client believes changes should be made for a different mode of operation is not germane to the execution of the current agreement, he added. Regarding water quality, Schult pointed out that as of Oct. 4, algae has been removed from the Springs. He noted that it was the oper ators responsibility to maintain the springs in accordance with Florida Administrative code for bathing places, adding, There is no evidence WMS Sarasota, LLC has made any attempt to contact or work with the Department of Health to determine water quality. Schult also wrote that, as of Oct. 4, the rm still had not submitted a valid bond, as required. A Sept. 5 memo from North Port Neighborhood Development Services Director Scott E. Williams to Schult and Lewis pointed out that repairs could be made by Oct. 1 to several areas that especially demanded attention. For example, while the water and sanitary waste systems were operational, Williams wrote, they would be monitored and main tained after the Springs reopens. Additionally, North Port staff would take care of what he referenced as inadequate support of fuel gas piping. Unsafe electrical systems (exposed junction boxes and improvised wiring, among them) had been corrected, he continued. Finally, city maintenance staff also would repair three deteriorating interior roof rafters in the womens locker room. In his Oct. 9 email, Pogrebinsky also refer enced a facilities assessment issued by the The Kimley-Horn report pointed out inadequate support for the fuel gas piping. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 10


engineering rm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. of Sarasota that detailed numerous prob lems at Warm Mineral Springs. An independent evaluation of the condition of the resorts structures was requested by the city and county while the process was under way during the summer to hire a new shortterm manager. The lease with the previous operator, Cypress Lending, expired on June 30. The resort, which is owned jointly by the city and county, has been closed since then. CONTINUING CONCERNS In his Oct. 9 email, Pogrebinsky wrote that the Kimley-Horn report identies specic areas that are not merely advisable to repair, but are UNSAFE. He added, Additionally, during our visit the weekend of September 28-29, we had video and stills of the [facilities] taken, which visually demonstrate more overt unsafe and poor conditions. We, of course, did not have an opportunity to examine the September 5 [Kimley-Horn] report before the bid, nor the opportunity to conduct detailed professional examination ourselves, which examination should have been conducted long before expi ration of Cypress Lending contract on June 30 or, at the minimum, immediately thereafter. Nevertheless, Pogrebinsky continued, instead of engaging in a dispute with the city, he pro posed the rms operation of Warm Mineral Springs begin on Nov. 1, so that in the mean time we receive written assurances from The Kimley-Horn report on Warm Mineral Springs included notes about the sanitary waste treatment system. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 11


The engineering rm Kimley-Horn provided North Port city ofcials a report on Warm Mineral Springs this summer. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 12


the [city and county] as to the primarily life/health/safety issues identied ... Just to be clear, we fully recognize that some of these issues would require some time to be xed.He also suggested that the rm manage the resort for the rst four months for free, even though the agreement calls for it to remit to the city and county 24 percent of the gross monthly revenue, plus real estate taxes.He added, This would allow us to open the Springs on a limited basis so that the pub lic would have access to swimming only After [the] 4-month limited start-up period, we suggest having 14 months to operate the Springs to try to recoup our substantial costs to be incurred in the startup period and beyond, on 24% revenue basis. (Please note that the license agreement allows for extension).During the Oct. 10 interview with the News Leader Schult, the North Port assistant city manager, pointed out what he had stressed in his letters to the WMS Sarasota Management attorney that the bid specied the operator would take over the resort as is, where is.The subsequent communications from Russell all came as a surprise, he told the News Leader.While Pogrebinsky feels he has an opportu -nity to negotiate the terms since his rm was awarded the bid, thats not the case, Schult added. You cannot do that.Moreover, Schult pointed out, all rms inter -ested in the short-term management contract had the opportunity to meet with him on the prope rty before the bid deadline, so they could see everything for themselves and ask any questions. He told the News Leader on July 29 that about 55 people showed up for his 1 p.m. tour of the facilities that day, but he was uncertain at that time how many of them represented prospective bidders.After the city initially was contacted by Pogrebinskys attorney, Schult told the News Leader, he met with a representative of WMS Sarasota Management regarding the list of problems the rm wanted the city and county to address. City staff did agree to deal with some of them, he noted, such as trimming shrubs on the property. However, he said, A lot of those things, the doctor was supposed to do.WHERE THINGS STANDAccording to an interlocal agreement between the City of North Port and Sarasota County, both had to approve the award of the bid to WMS Sarasota Management. County Administrator Reid pointed out to the News Leader this week that the agreement also calls for the city to take the lead on the lease. The North Port City Commission meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Monday. Both that board and the County Commission expressed the desire in late summer to see the public return as soon as possible to Warm Mineral Springs.Well get it open, Schult told the News Leader on Oct. 10. % Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 13


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A combined session of the boards of the St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) and the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District (DID) came close to fracturing several state laws until the citys purchasing director reeled them back in this week. The t wo groups, meet ing together for the first time, explored the idea of limiting the number of bars and restau rants in their t wo shopping districts. There is a prolifer ation of restaurants happening all over the county, said BID Chairman Marty Rappaport. Bo th organizations represent commercial landowners willing to pay more property taxes to improve their shopping areas. Last month, the BID was renewed for another decade. The two special dis tricts a re established Customers enjoy dining al fresco at Cest La Vie, catercorner from Barnacle Bills in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel BOARD MEMBERS OF THE CITYS TWO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISTRICTS AGREE TO HIRE A CONSULTANT TO HELP THEM DECIDE ON WHETHER TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF RESTAURANTS A RACE TO THE BOTTOM If you want to pursue this, I suggest you do a planning study with a rational basis for the regulations you want to implement. Michael Connolly Deputy City Attorney City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


by ordinance that sets forth enumerated pow ers and no others, said Deputy City Attorney Michael Connolly. Each can contract for planning services and assistance. One power neither board has is the ability to dictate land use. Only the City Commission has the power and authority to regulate that, and it would require a zoning text amend ment, probably with an overlay district, added Connolly. If either or both boards want to explore how to limit the proliferation of bars and restaurants, he said, they need to start with a professional opinion. Assistant City Attorney Joe Mladinich offered a case study about a city that tried to do what the boards are proposing. They had a restau rant moratorium in 1998. Then Economics 101 kicked in, and restaurant space rents went up. They raised money with drink spe cials. The original purpose of returning to retail was defeated by a race to the bottom for bigger and bigger drink specials, he pointed out. Eventually they came up with good neighbor agreements that allowed more restaurants with additional conditions, and incentives for retail. If you want to pursue this, said Connolly, I suggest you do a planning study with a rational basis for the regulations you want to imple ment. Those regulations, he added, would have to withstand public and City Commission scrutiny or they would be doomed. Among the restaurants on lower Main Street are First Watch, Mozaic and Caf Amici. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 16


FINDING THE PROBLEM People seem to want restaurants, said DID Chairman Ernie Ritz, himself a long-time bar and restaurant owner. Restaurants gross $2 [million] to $4 million a year, he added. A dress shop might show maybe $600,000. Both Ritz and Rappaport kicked around vari ous schemes. There used to be a 500-foot rule between bars, said Ritz. Connolly replied, And that was based on studies to show the adverse economic impact of the proliferation of bars. We could use the permitting process, sug gested Rappaport. Restaurants have a much gre ater density [of patrons] and parking becomes a problem. You could put linear frontage limits [in place]. Rapport recommended a workshop with plan ning and zoning staff, the city attorney and the BID and DID boards to identify problems before we hire a planner. Connolly said that was exactly the focus of the meeting under way. Tim Litchett, city director of development and neighborhood services (which includes plan ning and zoning), told the boards he believed incentives rather than penalties were the key. I heard about f our different communities Until its next-door neighbor, Napolis, was razed this summer, the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village was in a line of several restaurants. It is right across the street from Gilligans Island Bar & Grill and Lelu Coffee Lounge. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 17


talking a bout what they did [in restaurant-lim iting initiatives], and didnt hear anybody say they were successful. I dont think it is the responsibility of the [Sarasota] Planning Department to dene the problem. What is the problem? And how do we look for solutions? Were messing around with the free market. DID board member Dr. Mark Kauffman replied, The two boards should hire an expert to tell us if we have a problem. Look at Siesta Key. Its chaos out there. Ritz responded, Whos complaining? Its like Yogi Berra. Theyre so busy nobody goes there anymore? FLIRTING WITH THE LAW Ownership in each business district is highly concentrated. John Moran, DID operations manager, said there are 120 commercial prop erty owners downtown, but Twenty own more than half the taxable value. St. Armands has a similar situation. We have 67 owners, Rappaport noted. It takes about 20 to make up a majority. Rappaport added that a previous consultant had cautioned St. Armands property owners about restaurants taking up an increasing amount of space on the shopping circle. He warned us eight years ago we were facing a problem. If it continues, it is going to destroy the area. Members of both boards began talking about hiring the same consultant until they were brought back to legal reality by city Purchasing Manager Mary Tucker. You cant just go out and hire somebody, she said. If [the expense is] over $5,000, you are going to need bids. If its over $5 0,000, then you need a proposal we can use for a [Request for Proposals]. That way you can dene what you are looking for, she added. A board openly discussing hiring a specic consultant or contractor at a cost of more than $5,000 irts with violation of the state contracting rules. Kauffman then suggested the city Purchasing Department put out a Request for Proposals to hire a consultant to examine the present mix of bars, restaurants and food-related-con sumption-on-the-premises businesses to determine if it is a proper mix. The motion was seconded by William Pettey, and both boards passed it unani mously. % St. Armands Business Improvement District Chairman Marty Rappaport counts votes in the September referendum on the BIDs future. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 18


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Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner began his roundtable discussion with seven regional supervisors of election Tuesday, Oct. 8, with an apology. Last years attempt to remove non-citizens from the states voter rolls, which prompted reports of false identications, as well as accusations of partisan motives and racial proling, had deciencies, Detzner acknowledged. But the new process for removing non-cit izens, the process Detzner traveled to Sarasota to discuss, rep resents a marked improvement, he said: Weve learned from some of the mistakes that were made, and I accept full responsibil ity for those mistakes. Launched directly by Gov. Rick Scott, last years purge relied on data provided by the Florid a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to d etermine whether registered voters were actually eligible to vote. That process originally generated Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent hosts the Tuesday session. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker SECRETARY OF STATE PRESENTS REBOOTED PLAN TO PURGE NONCITIZENS FROM VOTER ROLLS TAKE TWO Were not throwing darts. Maria Matthews Director Division of Elections By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


2,700 n ames, which Detzners ofce sent to county supervisors of elections, instructing them to contact the voters to ask them to prove their citizenship. But the list swiftly generated controversy. It contained lawful voters, for one thing. And a Miami Herald data analysis found that Latinos and Democrats were disproportionately likely to be targeted. The federal Department of Justice ordered the state to halt the purge, while the state in turn sued the Department of Homeland Security. Florida argued it had the right to access the departments Systematic Alien Verication for Entitlements (SAVE) program, which it said could provide more reliable citizenship data. Homeland Security eventually relented, and the Florida Department of State is now rebooting its effort, which includes accessing the SAVE database to identify potentially inel igible voters on a case-by-case basis. Detzner told the seven supervisors Tuesday that there is no timeline in place for the purge; the rst step is to hold public roundtables, similar to this weeks, around the state. Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews delivered a detailed walkthrough of how the new purge will work. In addition to scan ning for information on any new voters, the state will comb through records for the 12 million voters already registered in Florida, first using the Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles database, then moving on to SAVE if theres reason to believe a voter might be a non-citizen. Matthews emphasized that it will not be a batch process like last years, but will instead consist of individual case management. Were not throwing darts, she said. If Homeland Security indicates a voter is a non-citizen, the state will dig deeper for example, into records such as those for natu ralization ceremonies and then pass along a full case le to the appropriate supervisor of elections. The supervisor will contact the person who has been flagged. Voters will have 30 days to respond, to ght the process. Ultimately, according to Matthews, the super visor will make the nal determination to remove a voter from the rolls. The discussion Tuesday seemed to give attendees condence in the program. Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, who had to leave the meeting early, told Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner listens to comments in Sarasota on Tuesday. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 21


The Sarasota News Leader the new process is degrees different from the one in 2012. Last year, what we were given was a spread sheet with the names and the dates of birth, Dent said. This year theyre planning on giving us case les like they do with the felons, she con tinued. Following that, Sarasota County is going to take a look, and unless were 100 per cent sure, we wont remove anyone. Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett guaranteed that his ofce will ensure the accuracy of anything that comes in from the state or SAVE. We will verify what they send us, he told the News Leader Nancy Goethe, the voter service chairwoman with the local League of Women Voters, told the News Leader the new process is 200 percent better than last years. In a writ ten statement later emailed to reporters, the League argued that the purge needs to be fully transparent and that past attempts at purging of the voter les in Florida have been disastrous. But some questioned whether the purge is even necessary. When Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer asked for a rough estimate of how many non-citi zens might be on the rolls today, Detzner said no one knows. We dont have the data, he answered. Thats what this process is about. Greg Para, an Afghanistan veteran who last week launched a Democratic campaign to unseat Republican state Rep. Ray Pilon of Sarasota, aske d why the sta te was so focused on a p roblem that may not exist. The focus here is not whether there is a problem, Matthews answered. Even if the eventual number of ineligible voters is low, that doesnt obviate our responsibility to make sure the rolls are clean, she said. Para told the News Leader after the meeting that making sure elections are conducted smoothly should be a higher priority than the purge. Im more concerned with hanging chads. Dent said she doesnt expect a huge inux of names. Even last year, Sarasota Countys list only had 13 voters on it. The county did iden tify one Canadian on the list, who fessed up to illegally registering to vote, but thats about it, Dent said. In my mind, I dont think were going to see very many. % Gov. Rick Scott set voter purges in action in 2012. Photo from Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 22


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Research undertaken by the Sarasota County Attorneys Office indicates the County Commission has no authority to dictate when the Sarasota County School Board can hold its next referendum on continuing a special 1 mill tax, Commissioner Joe Barbetta told The Sarasota News Leader this week. During his boards reg ular m eeting on Sept. 24, Barbetta objected to the School Boards pending decision confirmed on Oct. 1 to hold the refer endum on M arch 25 in conjunction with the next election of commis sioners for the Town of Longboat Key. That ballot also will include races for seats on the Holiday Park Park and Recreation District Board He added that he felt voter turnout would be signicantly greater in November, when state and congressional seats would be on the ballot. In response, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh said he would research the School Board member Caroline Zucker (left) and Chairwoman Jane Goodwin prepare for a budget public hearing in July. Photo by Rachel Hackney A COUNTY COMMISSIONER SAYS STAFF RESEARCH DOES NOT SEEM TO SHOW HIS BOARD CAN MODIFY THE DATE OF A SCHOOL BOARD REFERENDUM ACTION NOT INDICATED It didnt say that we could reject the date. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


commissions authority in regard to setting the date. In an Oct. 2 memo to the board, Deputy County Attorney Kathleen F. Schneider wrote that Florida Statute 1011.71(9) provides that a school district may levy, by local refer endum or in a general election, additional millage for school operational purposes She adds that the School Board is authorized to direct the county to call for the election and that it is required to provide the word ing of the measure and ballot title. However, Schneider wrote, [T]he statute does not pro vide that the School Board direct the County Commission as to the date of the special election. She also noted that the previous referenda for the special 1 mill school district tax were held in M arch in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The current millage levy expires on June 30, 2014, which is the end of the School Districts scal year, she added. It didnt say that we could reject the date, Barbetta noted of the memo in an Oct. 8 inter view with the News Leader However, he said he did not feel the memo really answered [the] question about the commissions authority to set the date. He continued to be concerned about two points, he added: the cost of the referen dum about $400,000 to $425,000 in March, according to the estimate Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent provided to the News Leader and fewer people going to the polls in the spring. Sarasota County School Board members are preparing their campaign to win voter renewal of a special 1 mill tax. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 25


He characterized the expected voter total in March compared with November as the difference between night and day, saying, Turnouts are incredibly poor in March. Barbetta added, I know the School Boards upset with me. He referenced a comment School Board member Caroline Zucker made to the News Leader last month, after he raised the issue during the commission meeting. Zucker said that because the School Board budget has to be nalized each July for the next scal year, the district literally could not afford to wait until November to hold the referendum. The special 1 mill tax added about $40 million to the current district budget, she pointed out. I dont think youre going to lose $40 million [with the later vote], Barbetta told the News Leader However, School Board Chairwoman Jane Goodwin stressed Zuckers points in an inter view after the News Leader s deadline for its Sept. 27 article on the discussion. So what would [he] have us do? Goodwin asked. Cut everybodys pay and then, if the referendum wins voter approval in November, restore the salaries to their previous levels? Al Weidner, deputy chief nancial ofcer for the school district, told the News Leader on Sept 25 that the referendum money is paying for 497 positions in the current school year. Instead of supplies, the $40 million in revenue from a special School Board tax enables the district to pay for staff it otherwise could not afford. Photo by Popolon via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 26


Barbetta point ed out to the News Leader this week that the County Commission makes periodic budget adjustments after the start of its scal year, so he saw no reason the School Board could not do the same thing. Goodwin said another reason the School Board preferred the measure be on the March ballot was her fear that it would cost two or three times as much for the district to adver tise the referendum in advance of a November election. Voters in the fall would have many more races to consider and the referendum would be far down on the ballot, she pointed out. It could be overlooked if the district did not work hard to make certain voters were aware of it. ELECTION STATISTICS According to a News Leader review of data on the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections website 27.18 percent of the 254,266 voters then registered in the county turned out for the last referendum on the special 1 mill tax, which was held in March 2010. At that time, the referendum also was combined with the Longboat and Holiday Park elections. In November 2010, when state and congres sional ofces were on the ballot, the turnout was 56.1 percent of the 264,382 registered voters. In March 2006, 24.78 percent of registered voters participated in the special 1 mill refer endum, which, again, was on the ballot with the Longboat and Holiday Park elections. During the rst district referendum, in March 2002, the turnout was 35.4 percent of the 225,918 registered v oters. Although Sarasota County referenda gen erally are placed on November ballots, the County Commission did hold a special elec tion on March 13, 2007. That ballot featured two county charter amendments sponsored by the local group Citizens for Sensible Growth Both measures were approved by voters. One restricts the future annexation of rural lands by the Cities of North Port and Venice; the other requires a supermajority vote of county commissioners to amend the comprehensive plan to increase allowable land use density or intensity. The charter itself includes specic guidelines about when referenda may be held on initia tives to revise it. In 2007, the charter provided that any amendment proposed to it by citizen petition be voted on during a special election to be scheduled within 60 days after the ling of the proposed amendment with the super visor of elections. % Commissioner Joe Barbetta contemplates budget material in June. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 27


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Dav id Merrill resigned Friday, Oct. 4, as the chairman of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area Extension Study Committee. It sounds dry as dust until you realize as much as a quarter of a billion local tax dollars are at stake. Merrill an d nine others were entrusted with crafting a recommen dation on the future of a revenue scheme that has poured mil lions into downtown Sarasota, but which faces exp iration in 2016. B ecause the scheme melds city and county property tax revenue, any radical change would have impacts on the budgets of both local governments. Thu s despite the dreary name of the com mittee, people who f ollow the money were watching closely when Merrill began taking heat from the Sarasota County Commission. His job was to make a recommendation about the future of the Co mmunity With two members having resigned and three absent, ve members of the CRA Extension Study Committee ponder the fate of a quarter of a billion in tax dollars during their Oct. 8 session. Photo by Stan Zimmerman ANALYSIS: NEW CHAIRMAN TAKES REINS OF THE CRA EXTENSION COMMITTEE THE QUARTER-BILLION-DOLLAR GAME We lost one member because we started looking off-topic. I ask us to stay to our charge and keep to that as best we can. I dont want to see more negative conversation that gets in the way of presenting our ideas. Andy Dorr Chairman CRA Extension Study Committee By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Redevelopm ent Agency (CRA) encompassing downtown Sarasota. In 1986, when legendary City Manager Ken Thompson was still at the helm, the city and county cut a deal. For a dened area of down town, the city and county would freeze their property tax collections. Anything above that level, for the next 30 years, would accrue to the CRA under what is called tax-increment nancing, or TIF. Sarasota was an early adopter of a state law empowering the TIF me chanism to fund a CRA And it turned out to be a gold mine. In the early years, the money was plowed back into downtown investment. Businesses that wanted to leave were convinced to stay, and businesses that were snifng at downtown such as the Whole Foods grocery were given an offer they did not refuse. The CRAs mission to ght slum and blight for any number of external and internal reasons succeeded wildly. Downtown in 1986 was a ghost town after dark. Downtown Downtown Sarasota has benetted from millions in tax revenue dedicated to ghting slum and blight. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 30


in 2006 was the envy of virtually every other city in Florida. It was not just nightlife, either, that made it shine. Every day, an estimated 50,000 people came into town to work. New downtown con dominiums created a population boom where virtually no population had existed before. Downtown became the economic hub of Sarasota for business, banking, retail and entertainment. But in slightly less than three years, the CRA will be kaput. MERRILL THE TURBULENT PRIEST In the meantime, other communities in Sarasota County saw this economic miracle in downtown and wanted one of their own. But for a variety of reasons, the Sarasota County Commission declined to create any more CRAs. There was one exception in Englewood which remains miniscule. Merrill is a former Sarasota City mayor who now lives in Nokomis. He knows the virtues of having a CRA and the liabilities of not having one. Nokomis, for example, has begged the County Commission for more than a decade for a library. Merrill wanted his committee to not only make a knowledgeable recommendation about the future of the Downtown Sarasota CRA, but to continue it with a model ordi nance that could be applied elsewhere. That idea, however, drew the ire of at least three county commissioners. One urged Merrill to resign. So he did. During summer budget workshops, county commissioners already were considering revenue projections for future scal years that included tax dollars now going to the downtown CRA. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 31


It all seems redolent of Thomas Becket and Henry II of England. When the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to cede control of his church to the king, Henry cried, Will no one will rid me of this turbulent priest? Four knights took the king at his word and dispatched Becket with their swords during Vespers. Merrill wisely did not resist. He con ceded to the County Commission. THE NEW CHAIRMAN Study Committee Vice Chairman Andy Dorr picked up the gavel on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to replace Merrill. And he set out where Merrill had left off, with one unspoken exception. Only once in the two-hour meeting did the word model come up, and it disappeared quickly. Gone was any consideration of what a CRA could do for other communities. The focus was strictly on Sarasota. In a discussion of boundaries, it was suggested the CRA be expanded to include the North Tamiami Trail. Dorr suggested maintaining the current boundaries. It would keep this conversation simpler. We wont be discussing taking other areas out of the tax base, and for how long, he said. Instead of centering on one solution a model ordinance, perhaps the discussion focused on giving the County Commission a set of options. Extend the CRA? Make a choice among 10, 20 or 30 years for the future. When members began thinking about a CRA supported by a split in sales tax revenue instead of property tax revenue, Dorr chided them. We lost one member because we started looking off-topic. I ask us to stay to our charge and k eep to that as best we can. I dont want to see more negative conversation that gets in the way of presenting our ideas, he said. Dorr is scheduled to make the committees rst progress report on Oct. 22 during a joint meeting of the City and County commissions. Ill recap where we are, he said. Were start ing to get pretty far along. The next topic addressed by the committee was the length of any renewal of the CRA. Compound interest works marvels, and that is no different with the CRA. Each years per centage increase in tax revenue goes atop the previous years funds. Dorr said that if the CRA were extended another decade and it kept the 1986 base year, the income would be about $75 million. If the CRA were extended another 30 years and kept the base year of 1986, it would col lect between $250 million and $300 million. Numbers like that keep city and county com missioners awake at night. A quarter of a billion dollars in the next 30 years could be going into a small area of downtown Sarasota and no place else. Other questions abound. Who would govern this future CRA? Today, the Sarasota City Commission oversees it, sitting as another body. If half the money comes from the county, should the county have a seat at the table? Or three? Should the money be split? Right now north Sarasota has a CRA, but it receives no county funding. Additionally, because its base year was 2007, property values have declined; it produces zero revenue. The city dips into the Downtown C RA pot to fund it. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 32


FROM H ERE ON The big question now is what the committees product will be. Will it provide recommen dations backed by analysis and fact? Or will it offer up a decision-tree spreadsheet, an if-then document with innite options? Merrill was rmly in the nished product camp, looking to produce a model ordinance with the reasons to support a CRA downtown or anywhere else in the county. Dorrs aim cannot be clear after his taking over on short notice. His approach may emerge during his presentation at the joint city-county meeting later this month. The tit-for-tat nature of the committee serv ing two masters continued this week at the City and County commission level. Earlier CRA Extension Co mmittee Member Katie Leonard r esigned because she was leaving town. She was a city appointee to the board, while Merrill was a county appointment. The city was slow to advertise for Leonards replacement, but on Monday, staff agreed to start the search. On Tuesday, the County Commission decided not to seek a replace ment for Merrill. But when informed the city was putting a new member on the commit tee, Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham said, In that case, the county may revisit its position. Merrill, however, should still be careful. A subsequent English king, Henry VIII, had Beckets bones destroyed and all mention of him obliterated from the historical record. After all, in Sarasota County, there is a quar ter of a billio n dollars at stake. % Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 33


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


The Sarasota County Commission took another step, haltingly, toward creating a domestic partnership registry this week. The measure, similar to ones already approved by the Cities of Sarasota and Venice, would grant unmarried couples rights such as emer gency notication, burial decision-making, healthcare visitations and m ore. It has become a major rallying point for loc al LGBT rights activists. County staff presented two possible ordi nances Wednesday morning, Oct. 9, identical except for one section dealing with reciprocity, a measure that would guarantee partners registered in other jurisdictions the same rights as those granted to partners reg istered in Sarasota County. Former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken Shelin, who has become the face of the local registry move ment, pressed the commission to include the reciprocity language. He emphasized the high number of tourists and other visitors who come to the county, sometimes for months at a time. Vice Chairman Charle s Hines wanted Most of the approximately 25 supporters of the countywide registry who attended the County Commission meeting wore red. Photo by Rachel Hackney COUNTYWIDE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY INCHES FORWARD ON THE HORIZON Sometimes I think this commission worries things to death. Ken Shelin Advocate Domestic Partnership Registry By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


a guarantee that the county would not be committing itself to granting rights extended by other jurisdictions that might not be included in the Sarasota ordinance, a con cern Commissioner Nora Patterson echoed. She felt goosy about this whole thing, she said. County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh reassured the commissioners that the ordinance would grant only the rights specically enumerated, even if visitors are entitled to greater rights in their hometowns. The proposed ordi nance containing the reciprocity language in fact states that only rights, privileges and benets outlined by the ordinance may be conferred to those registered elsewhere, and only while such individuals are physically located within the geographical area of Sarasota County. Hines eventually moved to approve the ordi nance with the reciprocity language, and the measure was passed unanimously. But one provision Shelin argued for was left by the wayside. Some jurisdictions give domestic partners the right to educational decisions, and Shelin asked the commission to include language granting that. The City of Sarasota, for exam ple, allows domestic partners the same rights to participate in the education of a Dependent of the register Domestic Partnership as a biological parent, but if a biological parent objects, only the participation of the biolog ical parents shall be allowed. Ken Shelin addresses the County Commission. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 36


I am adamantly against that, said Commissioner Christine Robinson. She called the educational language overreaching. Commissioners Patterson and Joe Barbetta joined her in blocking it. While the ordinance was eventually approved for a public hearing, the commissioners posed several hypotheticals. How do admin istrative staffs of local hospitals feel about such ordinances? Would partners be allowed to claim two homestead exemptions? Would the county be obligated to extend benets to partners? While glad the county chose to include rec iprocity language, Sometimes I think this commission worries things to death, Shelin tells The Sarasota News Leader Local hos pitals dont demand to see a marriage license before allowing a person they believe to be the spouse of a patient to make healthcare decisions, he points out. So why would a domestic partnership registry present addi tional hurdles? If a biological parent objects to a partner having input into a childs edu cation, then the domestic partners input doesnt count, he says. Theyre playing to their constituency, adds Shelin. And I think a couple of them arent too keen on [the registry], but theyre on the wrong side of history, because things are changing. The domestic partnership registry isnt the only LGBT issue residents are asking the com mission to address: Julia Nowak is pressing the board to act on a human rights ordinance. Nowak is the Englewood Realtor who rst Klaus Obermeit asks the County Commission to approve a domestic partnership registry for the county. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 37


called attention to d iscriminatory language in documents approved by residents of Casa Di Amici, a Venice condominium complex. The rules allowed only married couples and indi viduals to buy condos, in effect banning gay and lesbian couples. While the condo complex board this week ofcially voted to eliminate that language, which was added inadvertently, Nowak has spoken repeatedly at County Commission meetings to ask the board to pass a human rights ordinance to prevent such discrimina tion. The Cities of Sarasota and Venice protect residents against discrimination based on age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status, but the county does not offer all those protections. Nowak has now spoken in front of the com mission four times, but she received zero response till Tuesday, when Chairwoman Carolyn Mason nally agreed to meet with Nowak about the human rights proposal. Masons staff reached out to Nowak to set up a meeting next Thursday, Nowak tells the News Leader In August, Nowak vowed to the News Leader that she would speak at every commis sion meeting in South County till the board took action on the human rights ordinance. Whatever happens at next weeks meeting with Mason, Nowak says she wont back down: My intent is to keep pressing until something happens. % Commissioner Christine Robinson directs a question to advocate Ken Shelin while he is at the podium. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 38


Wayne Applebee, the criminal justice policy coordinator for Sarasota County, will be the person charged with putting into effect the plan a consultant is developing for dealing with homelessness issues in the community. That was the announcement Thursday morn ing, Oct. 10, by Paul Sutton, chairman of the Homeless Committee of the Community Allian ce of Sarasota County, during a reg ular meeting of his group. Applebee will be assigned that respon sibility f or two years aft er consultant Robert Marbut releases his proposal, which is expected in November. Marbut is only the planner: I will be the coor dinator and implementer, Applebee told The Sarasota News Leader Having pointing out he will not remain in the comm unity after he completes his proposal, Ma r but had called for a point person on the project, Applebee added. A sugg estion for the site of a new homeless shelter in the commu nity is expected to be part o f Marbuts A homeless man takes shelter at a former service station on Pineapple Avenue. Photo by Norman Schimmel WILL NORTH SARASOTA SEE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ANOTHER HOMELESS SHELTER? SHAW SAYS, NO WAY! We as neighbors will not allow this [new] facility to be established in our neighborhood. We are not powerless. District 1 is no longer a dumping ground. Barbara Langston President Amaryllis Park Neighborhood Association By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


On Oct. 9, the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness released the summary of the latest survey of homeless people in the area. Image courtesy of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 40


propo sal, according t o his consulting agree ment with the City and County of Sarasota. Just days before Suttons announcement, in a bit of orchestrated political theater, Sarasota Vice Mayor Willie Shaw drove home a point at the end of the Monday, Oct. 7, City Commission meeting: He is adamantly opposed to building a shelter for homeless and vagrant people in his north Sarasota district. Meanwhile, a census of individuals in Sarasota County who were living on the streets, in encampments and in temporary or transitional shelter during the week of Sept. 15-21 was released on Oct. 9. For people 18 and over, the local ce nsus reported 1,460 people with 357 of them women. No children were counted in the census, which was con ducted by 29 local agencies. The report says 273 shelter beds are available, meaning there is an unmet need of nearly 1,200 beds. The survey was released by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness. Shaw is concerned about what he is read ing and hearing about Marbuts research into nding a site for a new shelter. A nationally recognized gure in helping cities with home less and vagrancy problems, Marbut recently revealed some of the criteria he is using to develop his recom mendation. Homeless people gather on Central Avenue in downtown Sarasota earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 41


Those include close proximity (walking dis tance) to existing social services and the county jail. With most social service agencies located in the northern half of the city, Shaw wanted to preempt Marbut from making what seemed an obvious decision. In the news weve heard, 10th Street, 12th Street or 18th Street. No one in District 1 has had any input in this, said Shaw during the commission meeting. Things are happening that are not transparent. Shaw was supported by a number of backers. Among the most vocal was Barbara Langston, president of the Amaryllis Park Neighborhood Association. Harvest House! Resurrection House! Salvation Army! [All are facilities in north Sarasota.] We as neighbors will not allow this [new] facility to be established in our neighborhood. We are not powerless. District 1 is no longer a dumping ground. She was preceded by the director of human resources at the Pines of Sarasota on Orange Avenue at 12th Street. There are times when we have had problems hiring people because they didnt think it was a safe area, Dawn Crable said. We only ask the commission to study this carefully. Any transitional housings would compromise our expansion. Another neighborhood president, Marge Sykes of Bayou Oaks, told the commission ers, In about a month, Marbut will come up with decision and recommendations. Were Paul Sutton, chairman of the Homeless Committee of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County, leads a discussion on homeless issues during the summer. Photo by Roger Drouin Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 42


vulnerab le because we work, referencing the inability of many residents of District 1 to participate in community discussions on the plan. The overall theme was taken up by Commissioner Susan Chapman. Why is this now a local issue? Public health, mental health, veterans affairs these were not city issues before. They used to be national and state issues. Why should the city bear the bur dens for the regions chronic homeless? The item was the last on the evenings agenda. Shaw said at the beginning of his remarks, I open this discussion to the entire community, especially north Sarasota. This has nothing to do with our communitys passion for the homeless. % Robert Marbut is working as a consultant on homeless issues in the community. Photo by Roger Drouin 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 October 11, 2013 Page 43


During it s Oct. 7 meeting, the Sarasota City Commission endorsed, rejected or approved several items. In a recap, they stopped a major encroachment proposed at 1400 Main St.; agreed to a St. Armands Circle parking study, a lease to permit the continuation of a homeless way station and a union contract; purchased a sculpture for Five Points Park; approved new construction on Whitaker Bayou; and again made no decision about the design of the State Street parking garage. The item of greatest public interest Monday night was a proposal to wrap the old Kress Building at Five Points with galleries. The structures would provide shade for the side walks and room for up to 78 caf tables on a second-oor covered porch overlooking Main Street. A total of 21 people spoke, most of them downtown residents opposing the plan. This is probably one of the largest major encroachment permits weve had downtown, said city Development and Neighborhood Services Director Tim Litchett. It was also the first application ever for a gallery. By a slim 3-2 margin, the commis sioners turn ed it down, with Mayor Shannon The City Commission turned down the proposed galleries on the Kress Building at 1400 Main St. Image courtesy City of Sarasota THE CITY COMMISSION NIXES A PROPOSED NEW ORLEANS-STYLE REDESIGN FOR A FIVE POINTS BUILDING AND HOLDS OFF AGAIN ON A PLAN FOR THE STATE STREET PARKING GARAGE GALLERIES TURNED DOWN By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Snyder and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo in the minority. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw joined Commissioners Suzanne Atwell and Susan Chapman in opposing the request from busi nessman Chris Brown, who says he has been in discussions with a party that wants to put a high-end restaurant in the building. In deferring a decision again on the design of the State Street garage, the commission this time acted on the advice of City Attorney Bob Fournier. Under a development agreement with Pineapple Square Inc., the city must pro vide 300 more parking spaces downtown by early 2015, so the clock is ticking. Fournier asked for a two-week delay on board direc tion so he could iron out legal issues with Pineapple Squares lawyer. At the urging of the Business Improvement District (BID) and its neighbors on St. Armands Circle, the commission approved a $49,000 study by Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. to look at how to end a parking decit in that area. By one estimate, the commercial district is short 900 spaces. The leading pro posed solution is to build a parking garage (or two) on city-owned lots. The study could val idate that or offer other suggestions. The commissioners Monday also extended the citys lease agreement with The Salvation Army so it can continue to use the site of the former police substation on Central Avenue (across from the Rosemary cemetery) as a way station for homeless and vagrant peo ple. The Salvation Army turns people out The City Commission has agreed to a study to determine how best to handle a parking decit on St. Armands Circle. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 45


of its Tenth S treet facility at 5:30 a.m. each day. The homeless have nowhere to go until Resurrection House opens at 9 a.m. In further business, members of the Citrus, Cannery, Food Processing and Allied Workers, Drivers, Warehouseman and Helpers Local Union No. 173 have a new ratied contract with the city. It extends through 2016 and includes a 3 percent pay raise. The local is afliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. With a 4-1 vote, the commission agreed to purchase Bharata, a sculpture by Claudia Jan e Kline, for $18,000. It will be placed in Five Points Park. Snyder voted against the acquisition. In yet other action, four lots on Sylvan Drive, west of the Tamiami Trail and on the north shore of Whitaker Bayou, were approved for development, thanks to a unanimous vote. With the property zoned multi-family, a small condo project was planned there before the recession. New owners offered a proposal to build single-family homes there instead, with out c hanging the zoning. % One proposal for a parking garage on State Street envisioned a $7.2 million project. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 46


More t han 120,000 bicyclists, runners and walkers use the Legacy Trail every year, according to electronic counters on the route. An e ffort is under way to extend the pop ular multi-use trail, expanding it from south of Clark Road, where it ends, into downtown Sarasota. The 8-mile extension would be a big effort that could take years. Conceivably, its a huge project, said Bruce Dillon, vice president of Friends of the Legacy Trail. However, I think its a community goal. Th e Friends of the Legacy Trail has been making presenta tions to local groups and elected officials including one on Monday, Oct. 7, to the City Commission and an update to County Commissioners on Tues day. Bruce Dillon (left, at the table), vice president of Friends of the Legacy Trail, and Mike Gippert, president of Friends of the Legacy Trail, address the City Commission on Oct. 7. Photo by Norman Schimmel A NONPROFIT GROUP BEGINS PLANNING A LEGACY TRAIL EXTENSION NORTH INTO DOWNTOWN SARASOTA, WITH FUNDING LIKELY FROM PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SOURCES A BIG EFFORT We dont expect that this project will be funded by all public dollars. Public dollars, from all levels of government, will be mighty handy, but we expect private dollars to be a part of that. Bruce Dillon Vice President Friends of the Legacy Trail By Roger Drouin County Editor


The plan wo uld expand the route, which has become the backbone of outdoor recreation in the county, into the more densely popu lated northern neighborhoods and ultimately downtown. For instance, 27 schools are located within one linear mile of the border of the proposed extension, according to a map created by the Friends of the Legacy Trail. Project costs are unknown, but if the origi nal leg of the trail slightly more than 10 miles is any indication, the extension could cost millions. The project, however, could be completed in phases, spreading out the overall expense the same way the original leg of the trail was completed, Dillon told The Sarasota News Leader after Tuesdays County Commission meeting. The first 10-plus miles of the Legacy Trail were completed in three major phases along an abandoned CSX railroad line: from the Venice Train Depot to Roberts Bay; from Roberts Bay to Dona Bay; and nally from Dona Bay north to Culverhouse Park just An 8-mile extension of the Legacy Trail would bring it north to downtown Sarasota. A separate path would connect the trail to Payne Park. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 48


south of Clark Road. The trail cost a total of $31 million, which included construction of two large trestles and an overpass across U.S. 41 in Venice. The expense of the proposed extension, how ever, could be affected by the fact that the terrain is different along the northern rail line, Dillon said. The proposed expansion would start at Sawyer Loop Road at Culverhouse Park, where the Legacy Trail currently ends, and run to a location near the intersection of Fruitville Road and U.S. 301, with a separate pathway connecting Payne Park to the trail (see the accompanying map) The expan sion, combined with the existing Legacy Trail and other pathways in place, would result in nearly 30 miles of continuous non-motorized, paved trail. The need for three roadway overpasses at Clark Road, Bahia Vista and Beneva Road would likely comprise a substantial portion of the cost of the extension into downtown Sarasota. In August, the County Commission autho rized its Public Works Department to spend The Legacy Trail has many fans countywide. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 49


$75,000 on a feasibility study for the exten sion; that study will result in several options and price tags. The total cost of that study is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000. The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Friends of the Legacy Trail and Sarasota entrepreneur Jesse Biter have offered to rally resident and business support to raise funds for the project. One option is for an 8-mile multi-use trail parallel to the existing railway, so legal rever sionary claims and the possibility of federal government payouts to landowners could be avoided, Dillon said. Under that option, the county would lease the land for the trail from Seminole Gulf Railway, which has a multi-decade lease for the rail road right of way from CSX. The U.S. 41 Venice Bypass pedestrian overpass for the Legacy Trail opened in November 2011. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 50


While this option might be less expensive and could avoid legal issues, one negative aspect is that it would map out costly public improve ments on land that was not publicly owned. At Mondays City Commission meeting, Dillon said the idea of constructing the trail adjacent to existing tracks came during a discussion with the CEO of Seminole Gulf Railway. HOW DO WE DO THIS After Tuesdays County Commission meeting, Commissioner Christine Robinson said the feasibility study is the next major step in the project that could link Venice to downtown Sarasota. That will bring out How do we do this? Robinson pointed out. The feasibility study will have several goals, including identifying possible encroachments in the rail corridor; reviewing environmental conditions; assessing infrastructure needs; and coming up with a conceptual plan and a detailed cost estimate for future budgeting and planning. The Legacy Trail extension cannot be accom plished without private funding from residents and local organizations, Dillon said. And a big part of the upcoming focus will be on raising some of that money, both for the cost of the upcoming feasibility study and the expense of construction. We are working diligently to get word out on the extension of the trail, Dillon told the county commissioners Tuesday. He said Legacy Trail users have the option to stop and learn about the history of the area. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 51


advo cates fo r the trail extension were starting to both raise awareness and raise funding. We dont expect that this project will be funded by all public dollars, Dillon added. Public dollars, from all levels of government, will be mighty handy, but we expect private dollars to be a part of that. The group has a catchphrase for its fundrais ing campaign: Become part of the legacy. Dillon said Biter, the downtown entrepre neur, has had discussions about the project already with other members of the Friends of the Legacy Trail. He understands that [the extension] would be a wonderful thing, and it would make peo ple in Sarasota happy and provide customers for businesses downtown, Dillon told the News Leader A MISSED OPPORTUNITY? On Tuesday, the County Commission approved a Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle access as well as safety throughout the county. The plan was developed over the past year, and the process included community input. Sarasota cycling advocate Mike Lasche said one signicant problem with the plan is that while it lists the proposed Legacy Trail exten sion as a deciency, it does not include the project in its recommendations section. Those do have some weight, Lasche said about the recommendations in an interview with the News Leader They direct political will to a specic project and can improve the chances that funding can be secured, he pointed out. Thus, add ing the Legacy Trail extension to that section would have been a positive step for the proj ect, Lasche said. ECONOMIC BENEFITS During the Friends of the Legacy Trails pre sentation at Mondays City Commission, members of the nonprot organization touted the economic benet of local trails, citing the $42 million annual economic impact of such a route in Orange County. The presentation also highlighted how an extended trail in Sarasota would improve the ability of students to walk and bike to school and foster families use of the pathway close to their neighborhoods. The president of the group told the city com missioners Monday that once the feasibility study has been completed, the Friends will present the ndings to city and county govern ment ofcials. We hope you will participate, said Mike Gippert. The city has some unique opportunity for grants that the county does not. The Legacy Trails northward expansion might not be the only extension in the future. Robinson also mentioned the potential for another pathway that would lead from the Legacy Trail to North Port. City Editor Stan Zimmerman contributed to this report. % Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 52


The scared-straight policing strategy pio neered by High Point, NC, and adopted by Sarasota has widened beyond street-level drug dealers to include prostitution. Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino announced at a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 9, that the six individuals who entered the deferred prosecution pro gram in August remain crime-free. Further, a roadside roundup of prostitutes last month netted ve women who have all volunteered to enter the program as well, DiPino said. Sarasota Police call the program DMI, the drug market intervention strategy. Modeled on High Points experience, intelligence is gathered and gleaned to locate crime hot spots. Undercover ofcers then are assigned to gather more intelligence in those areas and begin building cases against violators. On June 11, the Police Departments narcot ics squad made 25 arrests in an area dened as a drug market hot spot. Six of the arrest ees did not have a criminal record for violent crimes or gun offenses, nor had any of them served a lengthy prison sentence. The six were offered deferred prosecution if they would participate in rehabilitation, and all of them accepted the offer. Lt. Pat Ledwith (far left) and Chief Bernadette DiPino (right) listen as Vice Mayor Willie Shaw addresses the audience. Shaw is a strong proponent of the High Point strategy. Photo by Stan Zimmerman THE SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS INITIAL SUCCESS ON ITS HIGH POINT MODEL FOR REDUCING CRIME EXPANDING A STRATEGY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


City police gathered data for months to zero in on a drug market in North Sarasota. This map from the intelligence division shows it was not simply a street-corner market, but spread over a much wider area of the Amaryllis Park neighborhood. Map courtesy of the Sarasota Police Department Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 54


If t he individuals stay out of trouble, it is possi ble and even likely the charges will be dropped against them in the future. But this is not a short-term thing. Lt. Pat Ledwith, commander of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, said the participants will have to stay straight until the statute of limitations expires on their ini tial criminal offenses. Depending on what they were arrested for, it could take years for those limitations to expire. During that period, if any are identied in criminal activity, the deferred prosecution deal will expire, and they will face a judge on their original offenses. Meanwhile, the six participants are the focus of a wide range of services, including job train ing, addiction and mental health counseling, educational opportunities and instruction in parenting skills. Mentors are available as role model s to help the group make better deci sions about their lives. The idea is to make a clean break with the past. Just as a smoker nds it tough to stop if he hangs out with people continuing to smoke, a person who has committed a crime should not keep the company of other criminals. DiPino said the High Point strategy is a phil osophical change for her department, not a one-time deal. Expansion of the program to tackle prostitution, she added, was a result of patrol deputies suggestions regarding that type of criminal activity on the North Tamiami Trail. In the meantime, the Police Intelligence Bureau is looking at the statistics for other hot spots in town. While the program took on the DMI acronym at its start, it already has grown well beyond drugs. % The Sarasota Police Department is on Adams Lane. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 55


The Sarasota County commissioners on Wednesday, Oct. 9, approved a revised trans portation agreement for the proposed Villages of Lakewood Ranch South devel opment, agreed to a bank loan to pay for improvements at Siesta Public Beach and authorized the advertisement of a new ordinance governing the Energy Economic Zone (EEZ). The unanimous Villages vote moves the large housing development one step closer to construction. The agreement requires developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch is committed to building a four-lane segment of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard that would connect the southern boundary of its Villages development to the existing southern terminus of the road. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION AGREES TO A REVISED ROADS PLAN FOR THE VILLAGES OF LAKEWOOD RANCH SOUTH, A LOAN FOR THE SIESTA BEACH PROJECT AND A PUBLIC HEARING ON AN AMENDED ENERGY ECONOMIC ZONE ORDINANCE IN OTHER BUSINESS I like the overpass option there, especially with development coming in to the east [of the interstate]. Charles Hines Vice Chairman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin and Rachel Hackney Staff Editors


Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. (SMR) to con struct certain roadways to serve both the interior of the Villages and the projects trafc. SMR will pay for an east-west connector from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Lorraine Road through what the agreement terms the Development of Regional Impact (DRI). It also is required to construct additional transportation improvements with a value of $7.5 million through a proportionate share clause in the document. The devel oper will fund one of two possible projects. SMR initially had focused on construction of two outer lanes of the future four-lane Iona Road, between Fruitville Road and Palmer Boulevard, but the county could opt instead for an east-west route that would include one overpass of both Interstate 75 and Cattlemen Road. The County Commission ultimately would have to make that decision within the next three years. An alternate proposed project for the Villages initiative calls for an east-west overpass. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 57


I like the overpas s option there, especially with development coming in to the east [of the interstate], said Vice Chairman Charles Hines. We need to move this forward, Commissioner Joe Barbetta said about The Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, which already has been in the approval process for more than three years. BEACH FUNDS The vote on a $12.5 million loan to help pay for the $21.5 million Siesta Public Beach Park improvements was 4-1, with C ommissioner Christine Robinson in the minority. Robinson has protested the countys decit spending, as the board has continued to dip into its eco nomic uncertainty fund to balance its budget. Richard Gleitsman, representing the coun tys Office of Financial Management, told the board the plan originally called for a $14 million loan. However, staff determined $1.5 million could be allocated for it out of Tourist Development Tax revenue. Therefore, the borrow would be about $12.5 million. The exact gure, provided in staff material for the board, is $12,543,000; that includes the issuance cost. Artists renderings show the planned designs of the new Public Safety Building at Siesta Public Beach and the restored historic pavilion. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 58


Gl eitsma n added that six banks responded to the countys solicitation for a loan package. They provided nine funding variations rep resenting both oating and xed rates. The bank chosen is a subsidiary of SunTrust bank; it offered a 2.29 percent xed interest rate for 11 years. That sounds really good. Thank you, Commissioner Nora Patterson told Gleitsman, referring to the rate. Commissioner Joe Barbetta made the motion to approve the deal. I want to get this proj ect moving, he said. Its been delayed long enough. In response to a question from Barbetta, Gleitsman told the board the closing is sched uled for Oct. 10. Brad Gaubatz, the county project manager in charge of the beach improvements, told mem bers of the Siesta Key Village Association last week that the County Commission is scheduled to hear a presentation on Oct. 22 regarding a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the work. If the board approves the GMP, the work can get under way. It is expected to take two years. The start of the work which has been scheduled for November could be delayed, though, Gaubatz said. It was supposed to begin after completion of the adjacent storm water project on Siesta Key, but construction of the new stormwater pond has been on hold because of the rainy w eather in September. EE Z PUBLIC HEARING On the morning of Oct. 23, the County Commission will hold a public hearing at the Administration Center in Sarasota regarding proposed changes to its ordinance governing a pilot Energy Economic Zone (EEZ) in the southern portion of the county. The vote to advertise the public hearing was unanimous. On Sept. 11, the board approved tweaks that would change the geographic boundaries of the EEZ, revise energy usage standards for businesses applying for incentives through the zone and rebrand the EEZ as the Sustainable Energy Economic District (SEED) Incentive Program. Richard Gleitsman addresses the County Commission about the loan for the Siesta Beach Park improvements. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 59


In her Oc t. 10 presentation to the commis sion, Lisa Damschroder of the Office of Business and Economic Development, said the amended ordinance revises the boundar ies to comprise all unincorporated areas west of the countys Urban Service Boundary, as well as the county landll and Urban Service Areas within county municipalities, providing the cities have adopted resolutions or ordi nances authorizing those areas to be in the zone. Additionally, the amended ordinance would give applicants one new energy efficiency standard with which they could comply to be considered for the program. The original EEZ ordinance offered only three, which business representatives found difcult to meet, staff told the board on Sept. 11. Finally, the ordinance calls for the County Commission to receive formal, semi-annual updates on the program. Vice Chairman Hines commended Damschroder and Lee Hayes Byron, man ager of the countys sustainability program, for their work on the amended ordinance. Its a tool we can use to attract business here, he added, [but] it hasnt worked so far. Hopefully, these amendments work [and] it will be an example for the state to follow. The Florida Legislature created the EEZ Pilot Program in 2009 as a model to help commu nities cultivate green economic development, encourage renewable electric energy gener ation, manufacture products that contribute to energy conservation and green jobs, and other activities related to energy efciency and land use planning, says an Oct. 9 memo to the County Commission relating the his tory of the program. In 2011, the Legislature modied the program, necessitating the County Commission to revise the original ordinance in March 2012. Commissioner Christine Robinson pointed out that board members had been criticized because the ordinance did not appear work able. Because we tightened it too much, we lost opportunities, Robinson added. Its a big lesson learned. Commissioner Patterson asked how much progress had been made with the states other pilot program, in the City of Miami Beach. Byron replied that that citys leaders have made their way through the rules process, but they have not im plemented the program. % Lisa Damschroder reviews the proposed changes to the Energy Economic Zone ordinance. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 60


The Sarasota and Manatee county commis sions will meet Oct. 15 to talk about a possible merger of the two countys transit systems into one regional agency. In addition to a possible combination of Sarasota County Area T ransit (SCAT) and Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT), the two boards will discuss whether pri vatizing such a new entity is a viable option But the two boards have to reach an agreement on several issues and wrangle complexities before either option moves ahead. Sarasota county commissioners and staff want to hire an independent firm to con duct a cost analysis before continuing the merger/privatization discussions. Manatee County of cials, however, are proposing a fast er-track approach. It A regular SCAT bus and a bus designed for disabled passengers make a stop at Southgate Mall. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE SARASOTA AND MANATEE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE TO WORK OUT SEVERAL ISSUES REGARDING THE PROPOSED MERGER OF THEIR BUS SYSTEMS STARTING WITH THE TIME FRAME TRANSIT TALKS I think it is an opportunity for us to work out an agreement on this and air some of this stuff out. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


skips over the independent cost analysis and call s for an evaluation committee to select bids from prospective operators interested in running the combined Sarasota-Manatee bus system, according to a Sept. 27 memo from Manatee County Commission Chairman Larry Bustle. Sarasota commissioners voiced some concern this week that Manatee Countys approach was a matter of rushing into the transit changes and grouping together the option for a merger and privatization. I always [thought] ongoing discussions on a possible merger were one thing. The other thing is potential privatization, Commissioner Joe Barbetta said during the Oct. 9 County Commission meeting. I thought it was two different tracks. It appears Manatee wants to lump it all together. Barbetta has a more deliberative approach in mind than Manatee Countys plan, noted County Administrator Randall Reid. During that Oct. 9 meeting, SCAT Director Glama Carter said Sarasota ofcials believe the independent cost analysis is required by the Federal Transit Administration before a transit authority can go through any major changes, such as merging with another organization. We are adhering to federal requirements, Carter pointed out. The analysis will give local ofcials an idea of what other transits have done, Carter said. It could take nearly six months before the County Commission determines whether it wants to move forward with a merger and/or privatization. That time frame includes 30 to 60 days for a consultant to complete the anal ysis, another 30 days to presen t the results to the Sarasota County Commission, then 60 more days to gather public input. The county would then seek bids from prospective ven dors interested in operating the bus systems. Barbetta has cited potential benefits to a merged transit system, ranging from possible decreases in passenger waits for buses to a joint effort to maintain equipment. However, on Oct. 9, he pointed to concerns about how fast Manatee County wanted to move the pro cess along. In an interview last week with The Sarasota News Leader Commissioner Nora Patterson said a merger would lead to a stronger trans portation link between the two counties. There are thousands who live in Sarasota and work in Manatee, or live in Manatee and work in Sarasota, Patterson pointed out. But Patterson said privatization remained an open question. She repeated that seniment at Wednesdays meeting: I think the privatization is less of Signs mark a Sarasota County Area Transit stop on Gulfstream Avenue. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 62


a no-brain er than putting the two systems together.Manatee Countys current plan would use a third-party potential operator as the mecha -nism to put the merger together, Patterson added.Another issue, she noted, is calculating how the regional transit agency would be funded by the two counties.If the bus systems merge, the details have to be worked out on a funding agreement, since Sarasota County spends nearly three times more on its larger system. SCAT had about 3 million unlinked passenger trips in 2011, compared to MCATs 1.6 million.A JOINT MEETINGReid told the commissioners on Oct. 9 that Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker had offered to delay the Oct. 15 joint meeting until the two counties staffs could iron out some of the issues.They want to have time to respond, and we may not be in the same position, Reid said. That would delay the [Oct. 15] meeting.Commissioner Christine Robinson said she wanted to hold to the meeting as planned because it could be an opportunity for the two boards to talk about some of the complexi ties of the process and search for common ground.I think it is an opportunity for us to work out an agreement on this and air some of this stuff out, Robinson said. We may discover we can get past this stuff or that we cant. Barbetta agreed. We can decide at that meet -ing. We can put out an ITN (Invitation to Negotiate) to do both tracks, to explore the merger and explore privatization. Either way, we have to bring in someone independent to take a look at it. The evening of Oct. 10, Reid notied the com -missioners that Hunzeker and Bustle had canceled the meeting until an agreement both sides can support has been crafted.The Sarasota County commissioners also asked Reid if their staff could get an opinion from Federal Transit Administration repre -sentatives on whether a cost analysis would be required as the rst step. Reid said he would ask staff to do so, If they are open.County staff did try to contact the federal agency before Wednesdays meeting but was unable to do so because of the federal gov -ernment shutdown. % The County Commission meets in regular session in May. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 63


To make c ertain Ed Smith Stadium will be ready for the start of Major League Baseball Spring Training on March 1, new lights must be installed at the facility, Sarasota Countys sports development and athletics manager told the Co unty Commission this week. A public hearing on the funding plan has been scheduled for the boards Oct. 23 session, Pat Calhoon told the commission during its regular meeting in Venice on Oc t. 8. After the hearing, the board will be asked to approve a budget amendment for the expense. According to an Oct. 3 memo to County Administrator Randall Reid from Carolyn Brown the countys director of parks and recreation, and Calhoon, the cost of the project will be $1,128,284. With the addition of a 10-percent contin gency fee, the total is $1,241,112. The Baltimore Orioles face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the last Fall Instructional League game for the year at Ed Smith Stadium, held on Oct. 8. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COUNTY COMMISSION WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON OCT. 23 REGARDING FUNDING FOR A NEW LIGHTING SYSTEM NEEDED AT ED SMITH STADIUM LET THERE BE NEW LIGHTS I have dealt with system failures over there myself Pat Calhoon Manager Sports Development and Athletics Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Part of the funds approximately $250,000 will represent advances of the countys and Orioles 2014 payments to the Capital Repair and Improvements Fund (CAPX) for the stadium, Calhoon pointed out, with each providing about $125,000. The memo notes that those payments are routine, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the team and the county. On Oct. 23, the memo continues, the County Commission will be asked to approve a con tract with the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. The balance in the CAPX fund after the advance of the funds from the team and the county will be $700,000, the memo says. Because the total project cost exceeds that amount, the memo adds, the County Commission will need to hold a public hearing to authorize the use of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue dedicated to Ed Smith Stadium operations to cover the remainder of the expense. Per the MOU, the memo says, the County Commission is responsible for the cost of items that exceed the balance in the CAPX fund. Spring training will begin on March 1, Calhoon said, so staff already is working to obtain quotes on the necessary equipment to enable the project to get under way no later than Feb. 1. On Oct. 4, Calhoon told the board, the coun tys Procurement Department advertised a solicitation for quotes on specifications for a tra nsformer (with an estimated cost The Baltimore Orioles play the Boston Red Sox on Feb. 27 in Ed Smith Stadium. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 65


David Rovine is the vice president of Orioles operations in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 66


of $62,500) and custom-made switchgear (expected to cost $15,000), as those pur -chases have very, very long lead [times].According to the Oct. 3 memo, The purpose of this project is to retrot the existing light -ing system at Ed Smith Stadium, which is 25 years old and at the end of its service life I have dealt with system failures over there myself, and I know David has, Calhoon said on Oct. 8, referring to David Rovine, vice pres ident of the Orioles-Sarasota. Brown and Calhoon added in their memo that the equipment had far exceeded the manufac turers expectations.Calhoon explained that spring training night games are very, very important because they put Sarasota in prime time throughout the mid-Atlantic area. The games are carried on a Major League Baseball TV channel.Furthermore, Calhoon pointed out, the new lighting will make the stadium more market -able as a venue for community events when the Orioles are not in town. After the project is complete, he added, the county also would have more exibility in its charges for night -time use of the facility. Right now, Calhoon pointed out, the metering system makes it necessary for the county to charge $6,000 just to turn the lights on, even if they remain on for only a short time.The memo also notes that after the new sys -tem is installed, The operator will have the ability to segregate/adjust use to create the appropriate lighting levels required for different events. None of the board members asked any ques -tions of Calhoon. However, in an email to him on Oct. 7, Reid wrote that he under -stood Commissioner Christine Robinson had requested you provide nancial information on the impact of this [funding] decision on the CAPX agreement and [the] future maintenance [of the stadium].Calhoon responded that he had received Robinsons request but that she had let him know it would be ne for him to provide the information prior to the public hearing on Oct. 23.During the boards Sept. 6 workshop on its 2014 scal year budget, Robinson asked that staff apprise the commissioners of the impact of any funding decisions they make after the start of the new scal year, which began Oct. 1. She cited that measure as a means of try-ing to ensure the county does not continue decit spending drawing money from its economic uncertainty reserve fund. % For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Tonya Herschberger & Linda KeefeAfter a terrible accident I required surgery. Tonya shared with me that Dr. Koval was responsible for her beautiful smile. She gave me hope and direction. Im so grateful to Dr, Koval. Now I have a smile that I love to share with everyone. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 67


Last winter, some residents of Newtown were in a tizzy about the disappearance of a row of historical plaques from Fredd Atkins Park at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Way and Washington Boulevard. The plaques, which were mounted on a wall, commemorated a number of AfricanAmerican pioneers in Sarasota. But around Christmas 2012, residents noticed the memo rials were gone. At the time, metal thieves were stripping ele ments out of air conditioners and grabbing water meters an d anything else they could sell, so ther e were fears the plaques were headed for a literal meltdown. The mystery was solved when Todd Kucharski, general manager of landscape, parks and envi ronment for the City of Sarasota, reported that his crew had taken them down before repair ing the wall. Beige tiles kept falling off the structure, and Kucharski decided to replace them with stucco. That started another community conver sation. Did people want the wall to remain beige or see it transformed with a more vibrant color? The decision ultimately was to go instead with a reddish-orange shade Dan Peck (right) with the City of Sarasota and Jeff Sampsell with Sampsell Stucco, which assisted with repairs, set up the plaques in order before mounting them on the history wall in Fredd Atkins Park. Photo by Stan Zimmerman NEWTOWNS HISTORY WALL ONCE AGAIN PAYS TRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY PIONEERS A REVIVED MEMORIAL By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


to brighten the wall. And on Monday, Oct. 7, Kucharskis crew came back to reinstall the historical plaques. While there was no ofcial re-dedication of the monument, the moment was observed by former Mayor Fredd Atkins, current Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, City Commissioner Susan Chapman and community members Barbara Langston and Valerie Buchand. Years ago, neighborhoods on the north and south sides of the city raised $25,000 as a matching share for a $75,000 grant from the William and Marie Selby Foundation for the memorial initiative. The Newtown Redevelopment Office, the (now-defunct) Front Porch and local banks joined the neighborhoods in making dona tions. Northern Trust, for example, supported creation of a memorial to the areas first teacher. The Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations urged members to participate by buying memorial bricks in the walkway. Now the pioneer plaques are back in the sun. % The wall stood clean of any adornment in mid-January. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 69


Sarasota Co untys BMX track, located at 1590 N. Tuttle Ave. in Sarasota, will host the 2013 Strider World Championships Oct. 11-13 for racers ages 2 to 5 from around the world, the county has announced. The event will kick off on Friday, Oct. 11, with registration, followed by opening ceremonies at 5 p.m., a news release says. Then Strider riders will take a few qualifying practice runs around the track to perfect their skills for Saturdays big race, the release notes. Spectator admission and parking will be free. Participant admission to the practice session is $10, while race registration is $25. After a full day of riding, racing and fun activ ities on Saturday, families and kids will love the low-key day on Sunday as parents and grandparents ge t one more chance to cheer for their toddlers at the Striders in the Surf parade on Lido Beach, the release notes. Strider bikes have no pedals, allowing tod dlers as young as 18 months old to balance and ride on two wheels without the use of tricycles or training wheels, the release explains. When toddlers learn to ride on a Strider bike, the experience opens up a whole new world of balance, self-confidence, motor skills, teamwork and friendly competition, said Ryan McFarland, founder and CEO of Strider Sports International, in the release. These children are having a blast and learning valu able life lessons every step of the way. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 or visit the Strider website at worldchampionship The Strider World Championships will return to Sarasota Oct. 11-13. Photo courtesy of Sarasota County STRIDER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO SARASOTA NEWS BRIEFS


Phillippi Shores Elementary Schools fifth annual 7K Run, celebrating Earths seven continents and the schools status as an International Baccalaureate World School, will start at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the school. Runners of all ages are encouraged to join the festivities, a news release notes. The event is part of the New Balance/Manasota Track Club Racing Series. The 7K racecourse (approximately 4.35 miles) is a scenic route around the Phillippi Shores campus, the release says. Throughout the course, partici pants will explore the world with displays and creative props provided by students and staff. The entry fee is $12 for runners ages 18 and under and $25 for runners 19 and older. The fa mily rate is $60 (for two adults and up to four children living at the same address). The fee includes food, childrens play in bounce houses, games and awards, the release adds. Each of the rst 400 registered adults will receive a race T-shirt. Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners, while age-category awards, including those in a youth division this year, also will be presented, the release continues. All participants in the New Balance 1-mile fun run will receive a ribbon. More information is available at Phillippi Phillippi Shores Elementary is located at 4747 S. Tamiami Trail, at the corner of U.S. 41 and Proctor Road in Sarasota. PHILLIPPI SHORES 7K RUN TO CELEBRATE SEVEN CONTINENTS OCT. 12 People of all ages participated in the Phillippi Shores 7K Run held in October 2012. In the foreground (from left) are Samantha Reisky, an unidentied woman, Jaeden Rae, Kevin Schrock and Tucker Schrock. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 71


The Payne P ark playground and the West John Ringling Causeway Park are open to the public again following temporary closures for improvements, the City of Sarasota has announced. Crews conducted a comprehensive inspec tion of the playground equipment at Payne Park, a news release says. Some items, includ ing the swings, c rawling tunnel and bridge, PAYNE PARK PLAYGROUND AND CAUSEWAY PARK REOPEN were s till under warranty and were replaced, the release notes. A single shade canopy also was installed over the toddler play area. At West John Ringling Causeway Park, a new sidewalk was installed and the seawall under went improvements. Both structures had eroded over the years because of high surf, the relea se adds. The West John Ringling Causeway Park improvements began in August. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 72


Sarasota County Extension Master Gardeners will hold their Ninth Annual Plant Sale and EdFest from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Sarasota County Extension ofces, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, the group has announced. A wide variety of native and non-native plants will be available for sale, including edibles, trees, shrubs, vines, succulents, houseplants and many tropical plants, a news release says. Admission is free. Proceeds from the sale will benet the Master Gardeners Chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks, which supports educational outreach programs and community gardening proj ects in Sarasota County, the release points out. Purchases may be made by cash or check. In addition to the plant sale, the fami ly-friendly fall gardening event will feature presentations on sustainable gardening, land scape problem diagnosis from experts and display s about Extensions educational and volunteer programs in gardening, sustainable living and household money management, among other topics, the release continues. Get expert information from University of Florida (UF) faculty and staff about Floridafriendly landscaping principles, irrigation audits and yard recognitions, the release says. At the onsite Plant Clinic, trained UF Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand for plant identication or problem diagnosis. Visitors are encouraged to bring samples or photos for the experts to review. Master Gardeners will also give demonstra tions on composting, rain barrels, buttery gardening, lawns and turf-grass, and edible gardening, the release continues. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000, or visit www. MASTER GARDENERS ANNUAL PLANT SALE AND EDFEST SET FOR OCT. 12 (Above) Sempervivum is a Florida-friendly succulent. Image courtesy University of Florida Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 73


The Venice Pi er Group, owners of Sharkys, Snook Haven and a new restaurant, Fins, will hold a Job Fair Oct. 14-15 from noon to 6 p.m. as it seeks 100 new employees for Fins, the rm has announced. The event will be held at Sharkys On the Pier both days. The restaurant is located at 1600 Harbor Drive South in Venice. Interested applicants who desire rewarding positions with a world-class restaurant group are invited to apply, a news release says. Line and prep cooks, servers, mixologists, bartenders, retail employees and greeters will be hired, the release adds. As an incentive, all those who join the company between now and Dec. 1 and who are still with Fins on May 31, 2014 will be eligible for a $1,000 drawing, the release notes. The Venice Pier Group is a family-owned busi ness that has operated locally for 25 years, the release points out. New hires will be joining a family of 150 members at Sharkys on the Pier, Fins at Sharkys on the Pier (opening in December) and Snook Haven Smack Dab on the River, the release adds. All employees will be offered benets, includ ing matching 401(k) plans, an interest-bearing savings plan, an emergency fund, a free YMCA membership and affordable health insurance, the release continues. VENICE PIER GROUP TO SEEK 100 EMPLOYEES AT JOB FAIR COUNTY SEEKING SUGGESTIONS FOR PARCELS NAME Sarasota C ounty ofcials are seeking public suggestions for the naming of a natural land parcel adjacent to Oscar Scherer State Park, the county has announced. The temporarily named Oscar Scherer Buffer site is located at 6403 State Road 681 in Nokomis. Sarasota County Natural Resources staff will host a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Nokomis Community Center to solicit com ments from the public, including proposed names, a news release explains. Any resident or group located in Sarasota County may submit proposed names. Each must be accompanied by an explanation and any necessary documentation regarding how the proposed name satisfies the selection criteria, which include geographic location Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 74


historical value and names based on an indi vidual or group who has influenced, been involved with or contributed to the commu nity, the news release points out. The county acquired the 303-acre parcel in 1991. Sarasota County Natural Resources staff has provided land management since then, the release adds. Approximately 16 acres were used for the construction of the Honore Avenue connection to State Route 681 in 2011, resulting in the remaining 287 acres that have been called Oscar Scherer Buffer. The county plans to open the parcel to the public for nature-based recreation and edu cation, the release continues. Among the site habitats are atwoods, wetlands, mesic ham mock and a borrow pit. This natural area provides nesting and foraging for bald eagles, Sarasota County staff is seeking name suggestions for a parcel adjacent to Oscar Scherer State Park that has the same types of wildlife and habitats as seen in the park. Images courtesy State of Florida Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 75


swallow-tailed kites, sandhill cranes, whitetailed deer, bobcats, otters and wading birds, the release says. Among the native plants on the parcel are lopsided Indian, bluestem and wire grasses, along with goldenrod, blackeyed susan and Coreopsis, Floridas state wildower. Naming suggestions also may be sent to Brooke Elias at or by mail to Sarasota County Natural Resources, Oscar Scherer Buffer Name Submission, care of Brooke Elias, 1660 Ringling Blvd. Fifth Floor, Sarasota, FL 34236. The deadline for naming suggestions is Wednesday, Oct. 30. For more information about Oscar Scherer Buffer or Sarasota Countys Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) will hold a series of public meetings as part of its 2013 recreation evalua tion process, the district has announced. The public is invited to take a look at district staffs preliminary ndings from a review and evaluation of recreational opportunities on district-managed lands, a news release says. Public comments will be welcome at sched uled informational meetings, which will feature an open house format, the release continues. The meetings will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following locations: Oct. 17: Sarasota Service Ofce, located at 6750 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Oct. 24: Tampa Service Ofce, located at 7601 U.S. Highway 301 North, Tampa. Nov. 5: Bartow Service Ofce, located at 170 Century Blvd., Bartow. The same information will be presented at each meeting, the release notes. Comment forms and a recreation survey will also be available at the sessions as well as on the dis tricts website, the release adds. Results of the analysis, along with public com ments, will be used to develop preliminary recommendations regarding district-man aged recreational opportunities, the release continues. These recommendations will be presented to the districts Recreation Ad Hoc Committee, comprising four SWFWMD Governing Board members, the release says; the nal recommendations will be forwarded to the full Governing Board for review and approval. The districts recreation program covers approximately 225,000 acres of lands and consists of 472 miles of trails, 204 campsites and 10 public hunting areas, the release points out. Among the recreational uses are hiking, biking, horseback riding, birding, hunting, picnicking, camping, shing and nature study/ wildlife viewing. For more information, visit www.watermat SWFWMD TO HOLD MEETINGS FOR RECREATION EVALUATION Because the News Leader s editor occasion ally is directionally challenged when it comes to nding buildings in downtown Sarasota, a photo with the Oct. 4 article, Refusing to give in incorrectly identied another structure as the Ellis Building in the background of a shot of the Farmers Market. CORRECTION Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 76


A map shows a portion of Southwest Florida Water Management District lands whose recreational opportunities are under review. Image courtesy of SWFWMD Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 77


The west side of the Myrtle Street-Old Bradenton Road intersection will be closed Monday, Oct. 14, through Friday, Oct. 18, while utilities are installed under the road, the City of Sarasota has announced. The eastbound and westbound lanes of Myrtle Street on the west side of Old Bradenton Road will be closed around the clock during that period, a news release says. The intersection temporarily will function as a three-way inter section, the release adds. Drivers will be able to travel northbound and southbound on Old Bradenton Road and east bound and westbound on Myrtle Street only on the east side of the intersection. The closure is necessary while a 12-inch water main is installed under Myrtle Street as part of the ongoing Old Bradenton Road improvements project, the release continues. Although the closure is expected to take ve business days, there is a possibility the con struction work could extend through Sunday, Oct. 20, the release notes. The project includes reconfiguring Old Bradenton Road into a two-lane divided road way and constructing roundabouts at Myrtle Street as well as 47th Street. City staff has coordinated alternative bus routes with Sarasota County Area Transit and the Sarasota County School District during the temporary road closure, the release adds. Register to receive email updates about the ongoing project by visiting Also, follow the prog ress on Twitter @CityofSarasota. PORTION OF MYRTLE STREET-OLD BRADENTON ROAD TO CLOSE OCT. 14-18 Work continues on Old Bradenton Road. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 78


AMPHIBIAN CROSSING COMING? A Sarasota County electronic sign facing trafc on Webber Street in Sarasota, just west of the Beneva Road intersection, may have confused drivers about just what type of project would be starting on Oct. 14. Regular users of the route hope to see a resurfacing project, but if it makes the local toads happy, too, that is just ne. Photo by Robert Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 79


Community Y outh Developments (CYD) SRQVolunteen for eighth-grade students has begun enrollment for the fall session, CYD has announced. SRQVolunteen, which will begin Saturday, Oct. 19, is a nine-week program during which students create and design their own volun teer project in partnership with a community organization, a news release explains. The program allows students to earn commu nity service hours, learn teambuilding and leadership skills, and positively impact their community, the release adds. Spaces are limited and registration is required to attend, the release notes. Anyone who would like to enroll may cont act Suriya Khong at 922-5126. SRQVOLUNTEEN ENROLLING EIGHTH-GRADE STUDENTS FOR FALL SESSION Pine View senior and SRQVolunteen Co-Chairwoman Vanessa Rodriguez-Barrett understands the importance of being intro duced to community service early, the release continues. Youre never too young to get involved in the community. I have been exposed to multiple opportunities to make a difference through being a part of CYD and volunteering, said Vanessa in the release. There is so much that can be done and so much that just one person can do, so take the initiative. Community Youth Development of Sarasota County engages young people in grades six to 12 in programs designed to build skills they will use for a lifetime through activities that benet the com munity, the release notes. Image courtesy of Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 80


The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) has awarded a $1.8 million grant to a consortium of Florida counties including Sarasota to be used to expand outreach to members of the U.S. military who are absent from their voting jurisdictions and civilians living overseas, the program has announced. The Florida project, titled Our Mission: Your Vote was launched simultaneously by 13 counties in time for the November 2012 gen eral election, a news release says. It provided an electronic ballot delivery system to sim plify and expedite the absentee ballot process for those hardest-to-reach voters, the release points out. The recent grant will allow the Florida coalition to expand from 13 to 34 counties, covering more than half of Florida counties and providing greater online access and higher absentee ballot return rates for vot ers covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), the release adds. Our Mission: Your Vote allows an absent military or overseas voter to request and then access online their blank ballot shortly after the request is validated, Sarasota County Superv isor of Elections Kathy Dent explained in the release. The system is available to any absent uniformed services member, family member or overseas civilian who maintains a residence in any one of the participating Florida counties, the release says. The online ballot delivery system is one of many steps being taken by Our Mission: Your Vote to increase voter condence and ease voter concerns about the vote by mail (absentee) ballot process, Dent noted. The original members of the coalition, led by Okaloosa County, included Baker, Bay, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Leon, Nassau, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and Wakulla counties. Joining the coalition as a result of the new grant, are Alachua, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Jackson, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Osceola, St. Johns, Santa Rosa, Sumter, Suwannee, Walton and Washington counties. Eligible Sarasota County voters may request an online ballot by visiting the SOE web site at or by visiting www. SUPERVISORS OF ELECTIONS GROUP AWARDED NEW FEDERAL GRANT On Oct. 4, th e Sarasota Police Department made a $1,500 donation to the Inmate Ministry Foundation, the department has announced. Chief Bernadette DiPino and Capt. Lucius Bonner presented a check to Brenda Zofrea, a volunteer with the foundation, a news release says. The funds will be used to provide copies of the book, Lets B Safe to the children of POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTS CHECK TO FOUNDATION incarcerated parents in the Sarasota County Jail, the release points out. The Inmate Ministry Foundations Read to Me Program, founded earlier this year by Dave and Bobbi Norris, is believed to be the rst of its kind in Florida to promote literacy for inmates in collaboration with local libraries. Zofrea, author of Lets B Safe explained in the release, The program provides a Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 81


mu ch-n eeded c ommunity outreach initiative, because 70 percent of inmates cannot read above a fourth-grade level, and more than 60 percent of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate. With these statistics, its easy to see how illiteracy is generational, and were hop ing that this program can help break the cycle of illiteracy with this demographic. The Sarasota Police Department is looking forward to working with the Inmate Ministry Foundation, said Bonner in the release. This is an outside-the-box approach to improving literacy and protecting our children. This pro gram involving the book, Lets B Safe also helps children learn how to recognize sexual predators and how to respond in a safe man ner, he pointed out. The Inmate Ministry Foundation relies on donations to help purchas e books and to Capt. Lucius Bonner (left) and Chief Bernadette DiPino (right) of the Sarasota Police Department present a $1,500 check to Brenda Zofrea of the Inmate Ministry Foundation. Contributed photo enabl e community volunteers to help record the inmates reading those books aloud at the jail, the release notes. Over the next several weeks, inmates will be making such record ings. Then, on Nov. 16, their children will be able to come to Selby Library in downtown Sarasota to get CDs of those recordings, along with library cards and free copies of the bo ok. That way, they can read along as they listen to their parents recordings, the release explains. Sarasota County Area Transit will provide bus tickets for the children and their guard ians so they can get to the library, the release continues. This is an ongoing program, the release points out, with plans for it to be offered to inmates quarterly. To donate to the program, participate or volunteer, contact Dave Norris at 7042312 or email DLNORRISBLA@AOL.COM % Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 82


The Sarasota Police Department has charged Joseph Serrano, 22, of 4815 Bradenton Road, No. 6, Sarasota, with two counts of ( Armed Robbery with a Firearm, two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm, a news release says. The charges resulted from incidents at area hotels. ( ( At 10:17 p.m. on Sept. 18, ofcers say Serrano walked into the lobby of the Golden Host Hotel at 4675 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, armed with a handgun. He allegedly pointed the handgun at the victims face, demanded money, emptied the victims pockets and punched him in the stomach before eeing, a news release says. On Sept. 25 at 12:52 a.m., ofcers say Serrano entered the Marriott Residence Inn at 1040 University Parkway again armed with a handgun and approached a hotel clerk, demanding money, the release continues. The victim refused and tried to grab the gun, so Serrano hit her in the head with the gun before taking money and eeing, the release says. ( About 2:39 p.m. on Sept. 25, ofcers responded to Hyatt Place Hotel at 950 University Parkway in reference to a suspicious person. Hotel employees told ofcers that a male match -ing the suspect in one of the earlier robberies was sitting in the lobby, and he was not regis -tered as a guest, the release notes. Serranos physical build and clothing matched what was seen on the video surveillance from the Golden Host Hotel, the release adds.When ofcers approached him, according to the report, Serrano told them he was there just to use the Wi-Fi. The ofcers contacted detectives, who arrived on the scene and interviewed Serrano, the report adds. He denied any involvement in the robberies, the report concludes. Video surveillance showing a robbery at the Golden Host Hotel in Sarasota led to an arrest in multiple armed robberies, according to the Police Department. Image from Google Maps. (Inset) Joseph Serrano/ Contributed photoSARASOTA MAN CHARGED IN STRING OF ARMED ROBBERIES AT HOTELS CRIME BLOTTER


The Sarasota P olice Department has arrested two homeless men in connection with a stabbing in Sarasota early on Oct. 9, the ofce has reported. Just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday, a pass erby told Sarasota Police ofcers a man had been stabbed in the chest near 16th Street and North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, a news release says. When ofcers responded, they found Scott Wilson holding his chest, the release adds. Wilson told ofcers that the sus pect who had just stabbed him was a male dressed as a female, the release continues. Wilson explained that he had pulled over at the intersection of 16th Street and North Tamiami Trail to pick up the person, later identied as Ricardo Toro, since he believed her to be another female named Jessica, the release says. Once Toro was in the car, Wilson realized he was not Jessica and asked Toro to get out immediately, the release adds. When Toro did not move, Wilson grabbed the end of a wooden baton and told Toro again to get out of the vehicle, according to the report. Toro took out a knife and stabbed Wilson in the arm and chest, then grabbed the keys to the ignition and threw them from the vehicle, the release continues. Wilson told ofcers that Toro left the truck and started walking southbound on North Tamiami Trail. Wilson climbed out of the vehi cle to confront Toro, since he thought Toro still had the keys, the release notes. At that point, Wilson was confronted by Toros boy friend, Josh Gaudette, outside the vehicle, the report says. Gaudette was unaware of the stabbing but saw Toro and Wilson in an argument and punched Wilson in the side of the head, the release adds. Toro, 35, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery with a deadly weapon. Gaudette, 24, was arrested and charged with Battery. TWO ARRESTED IN STABBING CASE IN NORTH SARASOTA Ricardo Toro/Contributed photo Josh Gaudette/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 84


Two men have been arrested and charged with Armed Robbery after allegedly holding up a man at gunpoint and leading Sarasota police ofcers on a two-county chase, the Police Department has reported. At approximately 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, the victim agged down Sarasota police ofcers in the area of 24th Street and Pershing Avenue in Sarasota, telling them he had been robbed at gunpoint, a news release says. The victim provided the ofcers a description of the suspects and the vehicle in which they ed the scene, the release notes. Ofcers found a vehicle matching the descrip tion and attempted to conduct a trafc stop. The vehicle ed, the release continues, and a pursuit proceeded northbound on U.S. 301 into Manatee County. Aft er briey losing sight of the vehicle, of cers saw it in a ditch on 63rd Avenue East in Manatee County, the release continues. Assisted by the Manatee County Sheriffs Office, the Sarasota Police Department arrested Elroy Johnson, 19, and Jermaine Conaway, 18, according to the report. Both men were later identied by the victim, the release says. They were transported to the Manatee County Jail, it adds. A single-barrel shotgun was recovered at the intersection of 24th Street and Pershing Avenue, the release says. The suspects Acura was reported stolen during a carjacking in Manatee County, it notes. Other charges against the suspects are pending. TWO CHARGED IN ARMED ROBBERY AFTER VEHICLE CHASE A vehicle with armed robbery suspects ended up in a Manatee County ditch on Sunday. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 85


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested a man with a long criminal history in connection with several armed burglaries reported in Nokomis on the morning of Oct. 8, the ofce has announced. Deputies responded to Shore T Road just before 6 a.m., when a resident contacted the Sheriffs Ofce to say that someone had bro ken into his SUV, a news release notes. The man chased the suspect but stopped when the suspect threatened him with a gun, the release adds. The suspect also told the victim, I only took change and Dont call the police; I have kids! according to the report. As deputies set up a perimeter, they learned of another vehicle burglary on the same road. In that case, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun with ve rounds was stolen from the center console of a truck, the report con tinues. During a search of the area, deputies located the suspect on Bayshore Road and took him into custody. The suspect, identified as James Demaio, 30, with no permanent address, told inves tigators he also had burglarized a home in the 400 block of Bayshore Road. Detectives learned that Demaio took a cellphone, cash and jewel ry while the female resident was asleep in that house, the release notes. Demaio is charged with one count of Occupied Residential Burglary with a Weapon, three counts of Armed Burglary, one count of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, two counts of Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Felon and one count of Possession of Burglary Tools. This is Dema ios 19th arrest since 2006, the release points out. He is being held without bond for the Aggravated Assault charge and $76,500 on the remaining charges. MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH NOKOMIS ARMED BURGLARIES James Demaio/Contributed photo The Sarasota Coun ty Sheriffs Office has arrested two men after following them on a retail crime spree that included thefts at six major stores, the ofce has reported. After receiving information about two peo ple stealing tools at Hom e Depot, the Tactical TWO ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH RETAIL CRIME SPREE Unit learned the men also had committed thefts at two Lowes locations, a news release says. TAC ofcers located the suspects vehi cle in Sarasota on Oct. 2 and watched as the men drove to Walgreens and several Walmart stores to steal shing rods and other items, the release continues. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 86


personn el contacted each store after the sus pects left, to gather evidence. Richard continued in the release, Following them allowed us to gauge the full scope of their activity and determine if they had any potential associates. Anthony Henry, 19, of 5550 Rollingwood Drive, Sarasota, is charged with two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property, two counts of Grand Theft, one count of Petit Theft, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving with License Suspended. Michael Rowe, 25, of 5311 Altoona St., Sarasota, is charged with two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property, two counts of Grand Theft, two counts of Petit Theft, and Fraud for providing false information to a Pawn Broker. Additional charges are pending. Both men say they lost their jobs and needed money for drugs, the release notes. Anthony Henry/Contributed photo Michael Rowe/Contributed photo At the Cattlem en Road Walmart in Sarasota, the report notes, one suspect was seen on video surveillance walking toward the gar den center and going past all points of sale without paying for three shing rods he was carrying, which had a value of $309.88. At the Walmart located at 5810 Ranch Lake Blvd. in Bradenton, video surveillance showed the same suspect selecting four shing poles inside the store and then exiting without paying for them. Those also were valued at $309.88, the report adds. After selling rods at Value Pawn, the mens run ended at Americas Super Pawn when deputies took them into custody, the news release says. Both admitted their crimes plus a theft at another Walmart store. It is important that the public understand we were investigating property crimes, said Patrol Capt. Paul Richard in the release. We knew who the susp ects were, and our Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 87


The Saras ota County Sheriffs Office con ducted saturation patrols on eight different days in September, including the Labor Day holiday, resulting in 27 DUI arrests and 383 trafc citations for other offenses, the ofce has reported. Deputies are conducting monthly saturation patrols to remove dangerous, uninsured or impaired drivers from local roadways to keep motorists safe, a news release notes. The above numbers are from the saturation patrols only, the release points out, and do 27 ARRESTED ON DUI CHARGES IN SATURATION PATROLS not include DUI arrests made outside those specic initiatives. Saturation patrols are conducted instead of what is referred to as a DUI checkpoint, the release says. They include a number of dep uties in the Patrol and Trafc units working targeted zones at the same time to monitor driving activity, the release continues. This initiative is conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and supported through a grant from the Florida Department of Transporta tion, the release says. The Sarasot a C ounty Sheriffs Ofce has been invited to join the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) as an afliate member, the ofce has announced. SPI is a collaborative consortium composed of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), CNA a nonprot research organization that operates the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research and more than 30 law enforcement agencies that are testing solutions to serious crime problems in their jurisdictions, a news release points out. The goal of SPI is to identify tactics and strategies that are effective, efcient and eco nomical, as measured by reduced crime and higher case closure rates, which would be of great benet to other law enforcement agen cies, the release continues. BJA requires each applicant to enlist a research partner, demonstrate the ability to collect and analyze data and incorporate real istic and meaningful performance measures to assess the effectiveness of its efforts. The Sheriffs Ofce p artnere d with a core group of crimin o logy professors from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in 2011 to consult with and assist in evaluating its direc tion with Intelligence 2 Action, the agencys intelligence led policing model, the release notes. Joining SPI provides us with a national plat form to share ideas and research on best practices for modern policing, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. The world of law enforcement and criminal justice is dynamic, with tactics and performance adjusting to societal trends as any social service or busi ness must do, he added. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office is committed to being at the leading edge of evi dence-based and data-supported initiatives that keep the community safe and secure and working with other agencies and academics with proactive strategies helps us achieve that goal, Knight said. For more information on SPI, visit www.smartpolicin gi SHERIFFS OFFICE JOINS SMART POLICING INITIATIVE Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 88


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested the owner of Commodity Exchange, located at 1918 Bay Road, Sarasota, after learning he was buying stolen goods and vio lating state laws and county ordinances that regulate secondhand dealers, the ofce has reported. While investigating recent residential burglar ies, detectives learned that multiple suspects were fencing stolen jewelry through Richard Dombro, a news release says. Detectives were told Dombro did not ask for ID or any records of the transactions. They also conrmed that Dombro was not photographing or holding items for 30 days as required for secondhand dealers, the release adds. Further, Dombro paid cash for items valued at more than $100, which is also prohibited, the release continues. After discovering the alleged violations, undercover detectives con ducted two separate operations during which Dombro purchased jewelry and violated the laws, the release notes. At points during the operations, the report says, a detective conveyed to Mr. Dombro more than once that Mr. Dombro needed to get rid of the jewelry quickly and that he should not keep it at the business. Mr. Dombro also told the detective that he sometimes gets rid of his gold the same day or within a short period after taking it in, the report adds. Dombro, 85, of 3225 Pinecrest St., No. 615, Sarasota, is charged with one felony count of Dealing in Stolen Property and two counts each of a Second Hand Dealer Transaction Form Violation, Not Keeping Required Transaction Records and a Second Hand Dealer Method of Payment Violation, all misdemeanors. Dombro surrendered his second hand dealer license at the time of his arrest, the release notes. He has prior arrests for falsifying dealer purchase records, grand theft and exploita tion of the elderly BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED WITH BUYING STOLEN GOODS Richard Dombro/Contributed photo FURTHER CHARGES FILED AGAINST MAN ALREADY IN JAIL The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has led additional charges against a man already behind bars for a burglary, the office has announced. Detectives were able to connect 31-year-old Nicholas Bolduc who has no permanent address to a string of crimes in Camelot East in Sarasota, a news release says. Residents reported six burglaries in that neighborhood between Sept. 2 and 7, the release says; the Investigative Unit aide work ing the case received information that Bolduc Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 89


might be a suspect in the crimes. A nger print comparison to those recovered from one of the scenes conrmed a match, the release notes. Last week, when detectives arrested Bolduc for an unrelated burglary on Field Road, they were given his belongings as abandoned prop erty, the release says. During the inventory of items, they found a large amount of jewelry and notied the detective investigating the Camelot East cases, it adds. He showed the jewelry to the victims and all six identied at least one piece as belonging to them. In addition t o Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling and Grand Theft charges filed against Bolduc on Oct. 1, he was also charged with six counts of Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling for the Camelot East cases. The investigation is continuing, with additional charges pend ing, the release says. % Nicholas Bolduc/Contributed photo Simply put, Crime Stoppers relies upon the cooperation between the police the media and the community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 90


OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Recently, we applauded Sarasota Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioners Susan Chapman and Suzanne Atwell for adding the revisiting of Floridas Stand Your Ground law to the citys list of legislative priorities. There are occasions when such a simple majority can provide positive leadership for the citys residents. However, the City Commission in general and this majority in particular has demonstrated a dismaying propensity to kow tow to every angry mob that shows up in the commissions chambers. For example, only a few years ago the City Commission undertook a study of downtown parking and concluded that charging for street parking woul d increase turnover and provide more spaces for shoppers who needed a spot for only a short while. The board even spent more than $1 million to install sophisticated electronic parking meters for those who wished to park on downtown streets. There was outrage, of course mostly from downtown business owners and employees who no longer could economically park in front of their establishments. They formed the core of an angry mob that stormed City Hall to demand the removal of the parking meters. At some of those appearances, the members of the angry mob even wore paper sacks over their heads, ostensibly to call metaphorically for bagging the meters not, one imagines, to preserve their ano nymity. GOVERNING BY ANGRY MOB


The City Commission, by a 3-2 vote, caved in to their demands and removed all parking meters, forfeiting almost all of the taxpayers dollars spent on those expensive meters. The angry mob carried the day. Then there was the proposal to build a Walmart Supercenter in the derelict Ringling Shopping Center. The store would occupy essentially the same footprint as the pre vious establishments there, would bring much-needed com mercial diversity to that section of down town and provide walking-distance employment for some of the residents in the area. For these and many other reasons, the citys planning staff endorsed the proposal and recommended approval, even nding that the store complied with existing zoning. Later, the citys Planning Commission reviewed the request and agreed with the planning staff, approving Walmarts plans and paving the way for construction to begin. Cue the angry mob. Residents in nearby neighborhoods rallied against the proposal and stormed City Hall, demanding that the City Commission override the Planning Commission and send Walmart packing. Once again, the City Commission caved in to those demands, voting 3-2 to reverse their own planning professionals and the Planning Commission and thumbed their noses at the economic benets Walmart might bring to a blighted portion of downtown (which, incidentally, is even more blighted today). Another victory for the angry mob. The latest example of the City Commissions malleability comes with the request of restaurateur Chris Brown to signicantly modify the exterior of the old Kress Building, which he recently purchased with plans to open an upscale restaurant. His archite ct designed New Orleans-style galleries to create an open-air second oor above the sidewalk. Had the design been approved, it would have created some of the most sought-after seating among downtown dining establishments, affording those lucky enough to sit there an expansive view of Five Points and beyond. It also would have helped Brown create a new restaurant downtown that would have raised everyones game the proverbial rising tide that lifts all boats. Cue the angry mob. This time it was predominantly rich, elderly retirees who live in luxurious downtown condos who objected. Somehow, when they were considering their condo purchases, they seized upon the notion that the center of a city The City Commission in general and this majority in particular has demonstrated a dismaying propensity to kowtow to every angry mob that shows up in the commissions chambers. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 92


w ould be a quie t place to enjo y their twilight years. The shock of actually nding it rather noisy in the center of a bustling downtown has been a source of constant irascibility for them. While most of us might spend our evenings at home watching television or reading books, these downtown denizens like to stand on the balconies of their luxury high rises, iPhones in hand, and hope that some of the ambient noise drifting up to them will trigger their sound-meter apps. Then they can call the police anonymously and complain about the noise. They feared a popular restaurant in the heart of downtown, particularly with a balcony for al fresco dining, would generate too much noise and disturb their early-evening slumber. Of course, they also objected to Browns archi tectural choice, claiming that a Bourbon Street style would look out of place in the downtown area apparently not seeing the irony of how even more out of place huge steel-and-con crete monoliths are in our city center. So the angry mob stormed City Hall and demanded that th e City Commission reject Chris Browns request out of hand. And a cowed majority of the commission dutifully voted, 3-2, to do just that. The Sepulchral Set downtown had scored yet another victory against normal human activity along Main Street. Browns proposal certainly was unusual and unprecedented. However, it marked a freshness of vision that sadly is lacking in downtown. Had it been approved and built, the restaurant would have set a new standard for quality dining in the city. Alas, it ran afoul of the angry mob the true force that governs the City of Sarasota. The nation currently is in the grip of a con stitutional crisis because Congress, which has the approval of only 5 percent of the people, is blithely ignoring the wishes of its constituents. Meanwhile, the Sarasota City Commission seems to bend whenever a strong wind blows through City Hall. Surely, for the sake of progress and good gov ernance, t here must be a happy medium. % The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 93


To the Editor: I cant tell you how much I enjoy The Sarasota News Leader It has been a real breath of fresh air since the Pelican Press was taken over by the Observer Group, which was akin to a monstrous Neanderthal crushing the very life from a vibrant member of the Sarasota Community. We had been subscribers to the Pelican for many years and read it after the takeover in 2011 with growing disappointment and dis dain as our subscription ran out. The News Leader like the Pelican before 2011, is the same fair yet hard-hitting type of publication that provides the Sarasota com munity with great local, regional and when timely and appropriate to the community relevant national coverage. An example of the latter was the editorial (Oct. 4) about the notoriously reckless Tea Party-afliated Congressman Vern Buchanan and his Tea Party colleagues. The repeated lies and misrepresentations of these Republican members of Congress that all they want is to negotiate some com promise is best demonstrated by the fact that the budget provisions in the Continuing Resolution are already a compromise. In fact, the compromises in the Continuing Resolution are those originally suggested by Speaker John Boehner, and they included the budget for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that Republicans are now insisting be removed. Had the ACA funding not been a part of the original compromise, the action would not now be referred to as de-funding, or removal, of ObamaCare. The Tea Party has had its compromise and now it wants a second bite, and it has shut down the government and hurt millions of Americans in pursuing this absurd political selshness. Bernard P. Friel Siesta Key and Mendota Heights, MN OCT. 4 EDITORIAL RIGHT ON THE MARK LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and in clude the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Letters ac tually printed will be selected based on space avail able, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted be come the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 94


Sarasota Leisure SARASOTA LEISURE Your Lifestyle Guide To The Suncoast Inside A BOOK REMEMBERED A BIG DAY SIESTA SEEN


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Patrick Smith and his work are the focus of son Ricks programs. Photo courtesy Rick Smith A BOOK REMEMBERED The reputation of this book is a strange phenomenon. Rick Smith


Rick Sm ith had no clue how popular his fathers novel, A Land Remembered was until the Marco Island Historical Society asked if his dad, Patrick D. Smith, could visit and speak about his work. Rick told the society his father wasnt well and couldnt make it, but he offered to come in his fathers place. Rick, who lives in California, didnt want to travel all the way to Florida for just one talk, so he started lining up other dates. I let a few other places know I was com ing out, and all of a su dden, poof, I had 16, Rick tells The Sarasota News Leader People really want to hear this. A Land Remembered was first published in 1984 by Sarasotas Pineapple Press, and the books popularity has only grown in the decades since. The novel is now in its 41st printing, has attracted a legion of fans and is often required reading for Florida fourthand fifth-graders. It was also the very rst book selected by the Sara sota County Library Systems One Book One Community program 10 years ago. One Book was created to encourage all county residents to read the same book at the same time, while the county library system offered events intended to generate conver sations prompted by the book. The concept has ourished around the country; past pro grams here have featured works as diverse as The Hunger Games and Unbroken a true-life story of survival during World War II. To cel ebrate One Books first decade, the libraries are look ing to the past, and bringing back A Land Remembered They will sponsor two events next week that will feature Rick speaking about the novel and, more broadly, his fathers career. Libraries Outreach Coordinator Barb McDonald says One Book organizers had heard about Ricks A Land Remembered road show and thought putting one on here would be a perfect t. ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY RESURRECTS A CLASSIC By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor The cover of A Land Remembered. Photo courtesy Rick Smith Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 98


Rick Smith will visit Sarasota next week. Photo courtesy Rick Smith Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 99

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Ten years ago, th e rst One Book was imme diately successful, she says. It really did bring people out and it met all of the goals we had in promoting discussion about the same book. At next weeks presentations one Thursday, Oct. 17, in Venice and one Friday, Oct. 18, at New College One Book organizers will also unveil the book selection for 2014. McDonald says the still-unnamed author has already agreed to visit to discuss the work in late January. Sarasota County wont be Ricks only stop. His last tour hit 16 towns; this one will feature 37. Rick says his father, who regularly traveled and discussed his work, paved the way for the presentations. Fans will frequently come up to Rick to tell him memories of hearing Patrick speak. Ricks show is more than just a dry recitation of facts. He dresses up in an 1800s costume to reect the setting of much of the novel, an intergenerational tale of a family that migrates from Georgia to Florida and experiences the struggles and upheaval that have dominated Florida history. A media producer by trade, Rick has also put together an eye candy video component that features his father tell ing stories. One of Ricks goals is to expose A Land Remembered fans to his fathers other books. Patrick in fact had a long career before pen ning A Land Remembered in his 50s. He nished The River Is Home his rst book, while in his 20s, and he published it with industry giant Little, Brown. But Rick understands the appeal of A Land Remembered : its accessible style, its actionpacked plot, its vision of a wild, long-lost Florida most contemporary residents cant even fathom. Rick marvels at the courage of those who moved into the state in the 1800s. To think about people doing that, and the mosquitoes and alligators and snakes, he says. It is astounding that people had the ability to make a home then, but they did. Through his talks, Rick hopes to keep the book alive in the public mind. In the short term, at least, the intense interest isnt fading. Rick already has even more dates lined up in Florida next February. The reputation of this book is a strange phenomenon, he says. Rick Smith speaks at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice; and at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Sudakoff Center, New College of Florida, 5845 Gen. Dougher Place, Sarasota. Both events are free. For more information, call 861-5000 or visit % to benet Planned Parenthoods sexual health and prevention education programsFriday, October 25Michaels on East 9pm 1am TICKETS ON SALE NOW! by phone: 941.365.3913 x1124 THANK YOUto our generous sponsors! Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 100

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All photos by Norman Schimmel A BIG DAY

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The Sarasota County Fire Department marked 25 years of service to the community as it held its annual Fire Prevention Week Open House on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Fire Station No. 5, located at 400 N. Beneva Road in Sarasota. This years theme, Prevent Kitchen Fires was chosen by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) because two of every ve home res begin in the kitchen when cooking activities are under way, a news release notes. THE SARASOTA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT MARKS ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH FIRE PREVENTION WEEK OPEN HOUSE Staff Reports Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 102

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The Sarasota County Fire Departments World Trade Center Memorial was part of the 9/11 exhibit. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 103

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The Sarasota County Fire Department was ofcially established on Oct. 1, 1988, when the Sarasota County Commission approved Ordinance 88-56, the release says. Prior to that, the county Fire Department had 10 re-rescue stations with paid employees to provide services to residents. It also had just four EMS-only stations and two volunteer sta tions. The EMS-only stations served residents in Nokomis, the City of Venice, South Venice and the Englewood area. In 1996, the release continues, the City of Sarasota Fire Department ofcially became part of the Sarasota County Fire Department. The new department operated with 409 paid personnel and about 100 volunteers stafng Fire Chief Mike Tobias makes remarks to the audience in an area normally used for training. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 104

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Volunteers stand ready to serve attendees complimentary snacks. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 107

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19 empl oyee stations and two volunteer stations. Today, the department has 28 re stations staffed by 499 dedicated rst responders, the news release points out. Admission to the Sarasota County Fire Department Open House was free, with com plimentary refreshments available. Numerous activities were offered for chil dren, and a 9/11 memorial was available for everyone to see, reminding participants of the ultimate sacrice rst responders have made to save others. Sarasota News Leader Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel offers his visual reec tions on the O pen House. % Demonstrations of reghter skills were among the numerous activities during the event. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 108

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I like to take my time. Sure, its a temptation to rush. Each issue of The Sarasota News Leader is brimfull of 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

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COUNTY STAFF HOPES THE SIESTA STORMWATER DRAINAGE PROJECT WILL GET UNDER WAY AGAIN THIS WEEK; SKA DRAWS PLENTY OF INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP VOLUNTEERS SIESTA SEEN If the weather cooperates, the contractor for the stormwater project adjacent to Siesta Public Beach should be able to start pumping water off the site by late this week or early next week, the Sarasota County engineer in charge of the project told members of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) on Oct. 3. Alex Boudreau also claried one point about the nature of the project that was the focus of some debate last week: It will not alleviate ooding on Beach Road. Brad Gaubatz, the project manager assigned to the i mprovements at Siesta Beach Park, By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County Project Manager Alex Boudreau explains aspects of the stormwater project to Siesta Key Association members on Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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sent me an email on Oct. 4 saying he was incorrect in telling members of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) on Oct. 1 that the completion of the work would lead to less water standing on Beach Road during torren tial downpours. The Beach Road Drainage project is not a ood control project, but a water quality project, he wrote in the email. As of Oct. 4, the stormwater work had been on hold for three weeks, Boudreau told SKA members at their monthly meeting. Theres no place to put this water [standing on the site] until we can get the turbidity out of it and the bacteria out of it, he added. A series of ponds have been constructed, he pointed out, so the contractor Forsberg Construction Inc. of Punta Gorda can pump the water from one to the next. That will allow the sediment to settle out and enable the ultraviolet light from the sun to lower the unhealthful levels of bacteria before the water can be directed into the Gulf of Mexico through the new 3,000-foot pipeline that is part of the project, he added. Any bacteria of a harmful nature that might be left in the water would be diffused once it combined with saltwater in the gulf, Boudreau said. Heavy equipment sits idle under cloudy skies at the stormwater site next to the Siesta Fire Station. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 111

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This plan also seems to be the cheapest rem edy for the situation, Boudreau indicated, as well as the most effective one. Dewatering to this extent was not in the original contract, he pointed out to the approximately 20 people present for the SKA meeting. However, Boudreau noted, no one had anticipated how rainy September would be. Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson, who was a guest at the meeting, added that in one 24-hour period, 3 inches of rain fell. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data recorded at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, 6.9 inches of rain fell from Sept. 23 through the late afternoon of Sept. 25. Patterson told me after the meeting she was not sure whether measures taken at the site in response to the heavy rainfall would end up making the project more expensive. The contract the County Commission awarded Forsberg on April 23 was for $4,550,683.28 about three times the $1.5 million estimate the consulting rms that designed it had g ured on before the project went out for bid. Patterson was hopeful no additional county funds would be required. Smaller ponds constructed to allow the dewatering of the stormwater retention pond are brimming with rainwater on Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 112

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During his presentation, Boudreau pointed out that the main purpose of this project is to clean the stormwater that drains onto the site from about 40 acres upstream. We can clear out the contaminants in that water before they go into our [gulf] and before they shut down the No. 1 beach in America, he added. The new stormwater retention pond on the site, which will be about 1 acre in size, will be about 15 feet deep, he said. It was designed to handle a 25-year storm event. Any overflow of water from the pond will go to a pump house, where it will be treated with ultraviolet light, he continued. Then it will be directed into that 3,000-foot pipeline and through a diffuser before it ows into the gulf. When the contractor is ready to connect the diffuser with the pipeline, he continued, a barge will bring the equipment offshore, and two or three divers will handle the work. Water standing in the pond routinely will l ter naturally into the ground, he noted. While construction of the stormwater pond has been at a standstill, Boudreau pointed out, work has been going on behind the scenes to The Gulf & Bay Club condominiums loom in the background of the stormwater project site. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 113

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order the pumps and UV lighting equipment, and the diffuser is being assembled on prop erty Forsberg owns offsite. In response to a question about the 14-inch PVC pipeline that extends into the Gulf of Mexico, Boudreau explained that 1,000 feet of it is underground while the remaining two-thirds is offshore. Getting the pipeline installed, he said, actually went very, very smoothly. It went off without a hitch. That part of the project was innovative, according to staff memos sent to the County Commission over the past year. That part of t he projects expense was the most under-es timated of all the facets of the work. When SKA Vice President Michael Shay asked whether the pumps on site would automati cally begin working if the stormwater pond begins to overow, Boudreau replied that the project had been designed that way. In response to a question about whether a backup generator would be installed on the site for use when the power went off and the pumps needed to run, Boudreau said such an element was not part of the plan. A roseate spoonbill and ducks share one of the stormwater site ponds on Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 114

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However, in a follow-up email to Shay, he reported, The system is to be equipped with an auxiliary/emergency power connection to enable the use of a portable generator, if needed. During the discussion, SKA Director Deet Jonker indicated a back-up system seems to make perfect sense since we get a lot of electricity outages on the key. In response to another question raised at the meeting, Boudreau also noted in his email to Shay, The new stormwater system is designed to adequately treat stormwater with out the need for articial aeration. Aerators can always be installed later, if needed. When discussion zeroed in on whether the project would help eliminate flooding on Beach Road during periods of heavy rain or storm surge events, Patterson explained the history of the initiative. Several years ago, she said, the county Health Department, which operates under the aegis of the state Health Department, began more stringent testing of the water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. High levels of fecal coliform bacteria, emanating from wildlife such as seagulls and raccoons, led to several instances of no swimming advisories at Siesta Public Beach, she said. We get a beach closure; then, you have signs up and down the beach saying, Health Department warns, Dont Swim; Swim at Your Peril It is the worst possible message you could give to your visitors, to your residents. The pr oject was conceived to minimize those No Swimming advisories, she pointed out. While she originally thought it would be a boon to drainage issues on Beach Road, she added, that would have proven to be a much more expensive undertaking. Before those pollution incidents in the Gulf of Mexico became a problem, Jonker concurred, There was talk that the stormwater project would improve the drainage. It is what it is, Patterson said. It appar ently would cost a great deal more if the project dealt with that, the ooding, as well, she reiterated. I actually think [the pollution issue] is more urgent than occasionally having a flooded Beach Road, she added, noting that the road is close to the gulf on an island with a high water table. I would say you are absolutely right, Jonker told her. Nonetheless, he pointed out, seg ments of Beach Road were closed almost daily in September because of all the rain and that was not a 20-year or a 100-year storm. Patterson replied, My computer was full of messages about flooded roads all over Sarasota County for three weeks. To say [the county has] the nancial means to go out and x all that is just unrealistic. In response to a question about whether a fence would surround the new stormwater pond to discourage people from swimming in it, Boudreau said no fencing is planned. Why Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 115

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would we put up barriers and barricades, more things to maintain? However, he added that he expected signs would be erected to make it clear swimming in that body of water would not be permitted. COASTAL CLEANUP With SKA President Catherine Luckner out of town on vacation, Shay conducted the meeting in her stead. He drew some chuckles with his electric-green T-shirt, but it actually gured into his report on the International Coastal Cleanup, with which SKA members assisted on Sept. 28. About 33 people joined the SKA effort to pick up trash between Beach Access 3 and Point of Rocks, Shay explained. Most of them came out that Saturday, but some came back on Sunday to assist, he added. The volunteers received T-shirts just like his. The beach is amazingly clean from the pub lic park area to Point of Rocks, Shay added. The most prevalent items the volunteers found, he said, were cigarette butts and plas tic straws. Since a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge in Sarasota ruled in December 2012 that local Even on the rst day of October, Siesta Beach had plenty of visitors. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 116

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governmen ts have no legal authority from the state to outlaw smoking on property they own, deputies no longer have been able to enforce an anti-smoking ordinance the county approved in 2007 for the beaches and county parks. From the historic beach pavilion north to Beach Access 3, Shay noted, volunteers found lots of water and beer bottles and cans. During their cleanup, he said, the volunteers were delighted to see schools of stingrays in the gulf. Last year, he added, mating mana tees were a big attraction. NEW GREEN PARTNERS ON SIESTA In its most recent welcome to new members in its Green Business Partnership, Sarasota County has recognized a few Siesta Key busi nesses: CaliFlorida Surf and Skate Shop, The Lobster Pot and Sub Zero Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt in the Village, along with the Stickney Point Road location of Earth Origins Market. The new members joined a community that has pledged to be green in their business practices and programs and foster a healthy environment for employees and the commu nity at large, said Tom Franklin, Sarasota County Green Business Partnership (GBP) program coordinator, in a recent county news release. Core components of the partner ship certication include waste reduction, increased recycling and energy and water conservation. Businesses and organizations easily can implement a number of practices that will have a positive impact on the environment, Danielle Troiano, GBP community outreach specialist, added in the news release. Turning off lights and equipment when theyre not in use is a simple but effective environmentally conscious practice. Among other green practices are using motion sensors for lighting and digitally programma ble air-conditioning thermostats, as well as reusing cups and mugs instead of single-use bottles, the release notes. 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 October 11, 2013 Page 117

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Art Center Sarasota will present The Burma Project a multimedia presentation about art, culture and travel with artist and writer Amy DApice, on Monday, Oct. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., the gallery has announced. DApice has been an instructor of media arts and animation at the Seattle Art Institute for the past 13 years, a news release says. In her presentation at Art Center Sarasota, she will share her recent experience in Myanmar, a country largely hidden from the eyes of the world, the release adds. DApice has been liv ing and working in Thailand, the release notes. To begin to understand and relate to the peo ple and places in [the] fascinating, rich, and often misunderstood culture [of Myanmar], DApice made it her mission to create one drawing per day for 27 days, the release continues. In addition to the presentation, DApice will conduct a three-day drawing workshop, combining traditional and con temporary techniques to get students of all levels sketching out in the world, the release says. Her beautiful renderings of life in Myanmar are simple, yet lively, and will inspire the Couple at Noodle Shop by Amy DApice. Contributed photo THE BURMA PROJECT TO BE FEATURED AT ART CENTER SARASOTA A&E BRIEFS

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students in her workshop to create quick sketches for their own travel diaries, Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasotas executive direc tor, notes in the release. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Tickets at the door will be $10 for ACS members and $12 for non-members. In addition to the presen tation, DApice will offer a three-day gesture drawing workshop, Oct. 22 to 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. Students of all levels will be accepted, the release notes. The workshop fee is $150 for ACS members and $180 for non-members. To register for the workshop or for more information, call 365-2032 or visit www.artsara Amy DApice/Contributed photo The students at Booker Middle School in Sarasota will showcase their many artistic talents during the month of October. The public is welcome at the following events, most of which have a $3 admission charge, the school has announced. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15: The Fall Band Concert will feature all the schools bands, including Beginners Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. Eighty students will perform in the cafeteria. Admission is $3. In this concert, the students will demon strate their musical knowledge, techniques and styles, said Band Director Greg Nielsen in a news release. 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17: Fifty students in the Booker Middle School Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Chorus will pe rform in the cafeteria to show what they have learned so far this school year and preview upcoming programs. Special guests will be the Booker High School VPA Chorus. Admission is $3. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22: Eighty-six students in the Booker Middle School orchestras and guitar classes will perform their rst concert of the school year in the cafeteria. The program will fea ture a variety of music by the Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Beginning Orchestra, First Period Guitar and Second Period Guitar students. The students are eager to show off their musical prowess! said Orchestra Conductor Carlos Silva in the release. Admission is $3. Booker Middle is located at 2250 Myrtle St. in Sarasot a. BOOKER MIDDLE SCHOOL TO SHOWCASE ARTISTIC TALENTS OF STUDENTS Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 119

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Florid a Studio Thea tre has announced the kickoff event for a venture focused on aging, Older than Dirt, A Conversation for the Ages A town hall panel discussion will be held in the Keating Theatre at FST on Oct. 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to identify specic issues of aging and decide on the appropriate commu nity members to interview in the creation of a play that will explore what aging is really all about from cradle to Botox, a news release says. Culled from real-life interviews, the play will tell the peoples stories in their own words, the release adds. This will be a play for the community, by the community. Admission to the town hall event is free, but an RSVP is requested by phone at 366-9000 or by visiting the box ofce at 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. FST has commissioned playwright KJ Sanchez and her Washington, D.C.-based theatre com pany, American Records, to collaborate with Artistic Dir ector Richard Hopkins in produc ing Older than Dirt the release continues. The town hall panel discussion will include representatives from organizations such as Embracing Our Differences, the Senior Friendship Centers and the Institute for the Ages. Hopkins will serve as the moderator, the release notes. Older than Dirt has been on my back burner for over a decade, Hopkins says in the release. Sarasota is the perfect place to explore the dramatic and comedic possibilities of aging: from ecstasy to agony, the release adds. A study by the Institute for the Ages shows that Sarasotas senior demographic (32 per cent of its population is over 65) will be matched in most developed cities around the world by 2050, the release notes. Sarasota is the perfect place to gather information from a booming, but under-represented, population to show people who they will become and what the make-up of the country might be in 25 years, the release continues. FST REVEALS NEW VENTURE: OLDER THAN DIRT Florida Studio Theatre is located on Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 120

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The Jazz C lub of Sarasota will present the Sarasota Jazz Project in concert with guest vocalists June Garber and Joe Ephraim on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Holly Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Tickets are $20 for Jazz Club members and $25 for non-members. With her sizzling voice and megawatt smile, June Garber has lit up concert halls, theaters and jazz festivals throughout the course of her rich and lauded stage career, a news release says. A native of South Africa, Garber moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1976, where she embarked on a career that included theater, singing, television and lm, the release notes. She also for med her own eight-piece band, AN EVENING OF SWINGING BIG BAND JAZZ SET FOR OCT. 25 The Sarasota Jazz Project will perform during an Evening of Swinging Big Band Jazz on Oct. 25. Contributed photo Joe Ephraim/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 121

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the Sarasota J azz Project also emphasizes the work of such great modern composers and arrangers as Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Quincy Jones and Gil Evans, the release continues. For information and tickets, call 366-1552 or visit www.jazzclubsar which toured the U.S. and Canada. After a 15-year hiatus, the release continues, Garber returned to performing in 2004, this time with an emphasis on jazz. Fellow Canadian crooner Ori Dagen has hailed Garber for her ability to perform with a smile that can melt melancholy and a sin cerity that makes every lyric sparkle, the release adds. Her CD, Heres to You was one the Top 5 Jazz picks on CBC and was named one of the Top 15 Jazz Albums for Canadian airplay. In 2012, Garber moved to Sarasota. Another relative newcomer to the area, singer and vocal stylist Joseph Ephraim has toured extensively throughout the U.S., the release continues, performing alongside such notable comedians as Henny Youngman, Don Adams and Andy Kaufman. After years of nationwide touring, he makes his home in Plant City. With his condence and infectious style, Ephraim has quickly become a favorite of area jazz enthusiasts, the release notes. Founded in 2010, the 17-piece Sarasota Jazz Project features some of the areas best musicians, including professionals who have performed with top bands and jazz musicians around the world, the release says. These talented all-stars play both standards and original compositions, creatively arranged in a uniquely contemporary big band style. What makes the Sarasota Jazz Project unique is how we play standard tunes with a modern jazz air, says George McLean, the groups manager and vice president of the Jazz Club of Sarasota, in the release. While perpetuating the beloved big band sound of such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Glen Miller, June Garber/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 122

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The Herm itage Artist Retreat has announced the lineup of artists who will be presenting their community programs this year at The Ringling as part of the Hermitages Art of Our Time initiative. This is the third year the artist retreat and museum have partnered to bring these renowned artists in front of the public to talk about their work, a news release says. The programs take place in the Historic Asolo Theater, located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota, on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. The cost is $5. Reservations may be made by call ing 360-7399. This years dates and lineup follow: Oct. 24: Song and Story of Annie Morrison Winner of the Theatre World Award, a Drama-Logue Award and the United Solo Festival Best Actress Award, Sarasotas own Annie Morrison has performed on Broadway and in theaters across the United States, the release notes. She will tell the stories and perform excerpts from her own one-woman shows. For more information about Morrison, visit Nov. 14: A Glorious Cacophony of Classical, Rock and Experimental Music on Violin, Voice and Percussion. Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi solder together the archaic and avant-garde, the release notes. Classically trained, Kihlstedt sings and plays violin, sometimes at the same time. A composer, instrumentalist, actor and racon teur, Matthias adds an evocative sound to the amalgamation of punk/indie, classic and rock-u-drama. For more details, visit www.carlakihlst and www.rabbitrabbi HERMITAGE ANNOUNCES ARTIST SERIES AT THE RINGLING Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Boss will perform on Nov. 14. Contributed photo by Elizabeth Friari Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 123

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Dec. 12: The Borderless Music of Composer Lera Auerbach. Russian-born composer and virtuoso pianist Auerbach will show lm excerpts and speak about her recent work, the release continues. Among the lm clips will be pieces from Auerbachs ballets, operas and orchestral and choral pieces performed by the Stanislavsky Theater Moscow, San Francisco Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Dresden Staatskapelle, Nederlands Danse Theater and the Estonian Radio Philharmonic. For more information, visit www. Feb. 13: Inside the Artist Mind of Fay Ku. Kus works on paper are narrative, gura tive and psychological, the release notes. She has had solo exhibits at the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut and The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, HI, as well as at many galleries. Her artwork also has appeared in the New York Times magazine, the release adds. For details on her work, visit March 13: Bill Morrisons Unbearably Beautiful Decomposition of Film Variety Magazine has called Morrison one of the Lera Auerbach/Contributed photo Ann Morrison/Contributed photo most adventurous American lmmakers, the release points out. Over the past 20 years, he has built a lmography of more than 30 projects that have been presented in theaters, museums, galleries and concert halls worldwide, it notes. His work often makes use of rare archival footage in which forgotten lm imagery is reframed as part of our collective mythology, the release says. For more information, visit www.bill Once again, the Hermitage will host some of the best artists working today, said Bruce E. Rodgers, Hermitage executive director, in the release. Partnering with the museum as a part of their Art of Our Time initiative is another afrmation of the quality of these art ists and the work they are creating. We look forward to another great series of events. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat or any of its programs, call 475-2098 or visit the website at Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 124

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SANCTUARY CONCERTS SEASON TO OPEN WITH BRYN AND LISCHETTI Don Bryn and Robert Lischetti will perform on Oct. 27 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sarasota. Contributed photo The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota will open its 2013-2014 Sanctuary Concerts season with The Great American Songbook a program of masterpieces from the golden age of American song, as interpreted by pia nist Don Bryn and tenor Robert Lischetti, the church has announced. The concert will be conducted on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 3975 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. The program will feature works by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and others, including Ive Got You Under My Skin The Nearness of You Foolish Heart Misty and All The Things You Are a news release says. Tickets are $15. The performances give audi ences an opportunity to experience concert music in an old European style, performed in a church sanctuary, followed by a com plimentary reception with the artists in the courtyard, the release notes. Described by critics as a resonant bel canto tenor with a voice that can move and con quer the hearts of his audiences, Lischetti learned his craft during the years he spent per forming in the great concert halls of Europe, the release says. He began his operatic career as an apprentice artist with the Lake George Opera and performed leading roles with TriCities Opera in Binghamton, NY, it adds. Later he was engaged with the Syracuse Opera, the Virginia Opera and other regional opera com panies throughout the U.S. Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 125

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Lisc hetti also spent 10 years singing as a guest artist in opera houses throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the release adds. Locally, he has sung with the Sarasota Opera, the Venice Symphony [and] the Southwest Florida Symphony in Fort Myers, it contin ues. Lischetti serves as music director for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. Bryn, a pianist, composer and arranger, moved to Sarasota from Hawaii after 15 years of tour ing the world, the release says. He performed with and conducted shows for such musicians and singers as Burt Bacharach, Lorna Luft, Nestor Torres, John Raitt, Jim Neighbors and Charro, the release points out. Bryn also per formed with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and he gave a very special performance for the Pittsburgh Symphony, playing the piano in full costume as Mozart, the release points out. Br yn plays classical and jazz piano up and down the east coast of Florida, works with State College of Florida and the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training and teaches privately, the release adds. The Sanctuary Concert series will con tinue with Intimate Fantasies: The Works of Chopin and Liszt performed by pianist Eleonora Lvov (Jan. 19, 4 p.m.); The New Orleans Sound featuring New Orleans-style Dixieland, blues and jazz (Feb. 16, 4 p.m.); and an Early St. Patricks Day featuring folk songs, sea chanties and jigs of the Irish with Paul Duffy and his trio of musicians (March 9, 4 p.m.). For more information, call 371-4974 or visit w % THANK YOU to our generous sponsors! Friday, October 25 Michaels on East 9pm 1amopen bar DJ imminent live entertainment late nite bites costume contest shocking surprises and more!Mike & Yen Reed Mark Steinwachs & Jarred Wilson Rae & Mark Mulligan Carlson Studios Ludwig-Walpole Company, Inc. by phone: 941.365.3913 x1124 $85 in advance $100 at the door BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW! Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 126

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Temple Emanu -El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, will host the fall installment of its popular Shabbat Alive! worship service on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Entering its fifth year, Temple Emanu-Els Shabbat Alive! services are all-musical celebra tions of Shabbat, featuring arrangements of the traditional prayers that range from serene and contemplative to stirring and inspiring to wild and exultant, a news relea se says. A ful l band of professional and volunteer musicians and vocalists join Rabbi Brenner Glickman on the pulpit to bring this worship experience to life, the release adds. Among the composers whose works will be per formed are Debbie Friedman, Cantor Lisa Levine, Louis Lewandowski, Rick Recht and Craig Taubman. For more information, call 371-2788. Temple Emanu-Els Shabbat Alive! leaders are (back row, from left) Rabbi Brenner Glickman, Sam Silverberg, Deborah Cameron, Dawn Dill, (front row, from left) Dan Cartlidge, Stuart Miller, Cynthia Roberts-Greene and Joe Bruno. Contributed photo SHABBAT ALIVE! RETURNS TO TEMPLE EMANU-EL OCT. 11 RELIGION BRIEFS

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On Sunday, O ct. 20, at 5:15 p.m., the Church of the Redeemer, located at 222 S. Palm Ave., invites members of the community to Solemn Evensong complemented by the sounds of the French horn played by Joe Assi, co-principal horn for the Sarasota Orchestra. Ann Stephenson-Moe, Redeemers organist and choirmaster, will perform on the churchs massive Nichols & Simpson organ, and Redeemers choir will sing, a news release says. The anthem will be James Mulhollands If Love Should Count Me Worthy and the Service will be Herb ert How ells Service in b Evensong performances are always compli mentary and open to the public, the release adds. A reception in Gillespie Hall will follow the performance. Assi, a New Jersey native, has performed with the Sarasota Orchestra since 2008. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Philadelphias Curtis Institute of Music before beginning a Master of Music program at The Juilliard School in Manhattan, the release notes. In 2012, Assi, who is of Lebanese and Irish-American descent, performed with the Palestine National Orchestra in Jordan. For more information, visit redeemersara or call 955-4263. Joe Assi will accompany the Solemn Evensong at the Church of the Redeemer on Oct. 20. Photo courtesy of REDEEMERS OCTOBER EVENSONG INFUSED WITH FRENCH HORN Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 128

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New Yor k City, Rodgers began to see com monalities and connections that were part of a larger science story, the release adds. Well-known for making science understand able for non-scientic minds, he teaches at numerous local adult education facilities, the release notes. The program is free for CHJ members. For non-members, the suggested donation is $5. CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. For more information call 929-7771 or visit % At 7:30 p.m. on Fri day, Oct. 18, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) will pres ent guest speaker Jeff Rodgers, director of education at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, on the topic, Becoming Human: An Evolutionary Story the Congregation has announced. During his remarks, Rodgers will address how homo sapiens come to be and ask, Are we the result of a process leading from slime to consciousness? a news release says. When he was working across disciplines at the American Mu seum of Natural History in BECOMING HUMAN: AN EVOLUTIONARY STORY TO BE TOPIC OF TALK Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faith fulness the best relationship. Buddha 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 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 October 11, 2013 Page 129

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 11 OCTOBER Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Jazz at Two featuring the Ken Loomer Quartet Oct. 11, 2 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $7 ($12 for non-members). Information: 366-1552 or 11+ OCTOBER Dabbert Gallery presents Season of Color Oct. 11 to Nov. 29, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 955-1315 or 17 OCTOBER Because of You a Sarasota in Defense of Animals benet Oct. 17, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Daiquiri Deck, 5254 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, with hors doeu vres, family-style dinner, entertainment, open bar and live and silent auctions. Tickets: $100 per person. For info, call Russell Matthes at 915-0302 or visit 18 OCTOBER Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Jazz at Two, featuring the Haferhouse Jazz Quartet Oct. 18, 2 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $7 ($12 for non-members). Information: 366-1552 or 18 OCTOBER WSLR presents Eric Andersen in concert Oct. 18, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Admission: $20 advance or $25 at the door. Information: 894-6469 or 25 OCTOBER Planned Parenthoods Safe Sex Halloween Bash Oct. 25, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Michaels on East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. Admission: $85 advance; $100 at the door. Information and tickets: 26 OCTOBER Herrmanns Royal Lipizzan Stallions Halloween Show Oct. 26: Gates open at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. Kids costumes welcome; candy stations provided. Admission: $10. Information: 322-1501 or Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader October 11, 2013 Page 130

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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 FOR CARVING AND COOKING SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS