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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COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 31 April 18, 2014 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside ASSESSING THE SHELTER SITES DISCRIMINATION CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ABOUT A NEW NIGHTCLUB




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 is a registered trademark of New Sheriff Publishing, Inc., which publishes The Sarasota News Leader Copyright 2014 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 P.O. Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277 (941) 227-1080


Last weekend, we marked our second anniversary. Those of you who have been readers from the beginning remem ber that we started out with a blog site, publishing stories as we completed them. It was not until Sept. 21, 2012 that we launched the digital version of the News Leader Of course, we celebrate that September anniversary as well, but April always will always be an extra special month for us. One of my closest friends recently sent me an article from The Washington Post about the demise of the Manassas News & Mes senger in Prince William County, VA. One paragraph immediately caught my eye: Its not that people arent interested in their com munities local news usually ranks as the top priority in surveys its that the economics of the digital age work strongly against reporting about schools, cops and the folks down the street. People in Sarasota County are keenly interest ed in their local news. Reporting those stories remains our mission, and doing it digitally en ables us to provide far more comprehensive coverage than you will nd in any print publi cation. Sadly, in this modern era dominated by the Internet, about the only time a newspaper devotes a lot of ink to a story is when its reporters have undertaken a major investiga tive series. For us, there is no column-inch limit dictated by a page layout. I would be truly remiss at this point if I did not offer a heartfelt thanks to all of you, our readers. Your support is what makes it a pleasure to create the News Leader each week. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


ASSESSING THE SHELTER SITES DISCRIMINATION CONVERSATION NEWS & COMMENTARY ASSESSING THE SHELTER SITES 9 On April 22, the City and County commissions will discuss costs and potential challenges of two proposed locations, with a key report having been released this week Roger Drouin DISCRIMINATION CONVERSATION 19 Do federal rules really prevent anti-gay housing discrimination in Sarasota County? Cooper Levey-Baker QUESTIONS ABOUT A NEW NIGHTCLUB 23 Duvals wants patrons to have more alcoholic beverage options, but it is wary of the designation it needs to proceed Stan Zimmerman STUDYING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE 27 The U.S. Geological Survey soon will embark on a yearlong study of data collected about Warm Mineral Springs, from water temperature to water sources Rachel Brown Hackney Q&A: ALAN MAIO 34 GOP Sarasota County Commission candidate speaks! Cooper Levey-Baker PLEA FOR THE PASS 40 Videos release underscores preservationists goal to keep dredges out of Big Sarasota Pass Rachel Brown Hackney OFFERING REFUGE 46 Dangerous stretch of Bee Ridge getting a makeover Cooper Levey-Baker DESIGN DRAMA 48 Hudson Bayou sewer station plans continue to evolve Stan Zimmerman TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Mystic Figure Robert Hackney Sarasota Leisure: Waterfront Leisure Norman Schimmel


NEWS BRIEFS OPINION MAYOR OPPOSES ACCEPTING AUDIT 53 Next city budget starting $3 million in the hole Stan Zimmerman REALITY TV CON MAS 57 Homelessness, legal and downtown trafc issues join project cost overruns in making up most of the April 21 City Commission agenda Stan Zimmerman BUILDING BEYOND THE SETBACK LINE 63 An Osprey couple will try once again to get County Commission approval to construct a house on Siesta Key land that has a history of ooding Rachel Brown Hackney WAITING ON STATE MONEY 70 Fast-track plan for a diverging diamond interchange hinges on Senate and House negotiations Roger Drouin SIDEWALK CLEANING AND TRANSPORTATION 76 The Downtown Improvement District Board learns a rm has been chosen for sidewalk cleaning, and it tests another electric circulator Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 80 CRIME BLOTTER 95 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION


BORN TO PERFORM SIESTA SEEN OPINION EDITORIAL 101 Two county employees rings raise questions about the new administrators priorities SARASOTA LEISURE BORN TO PERFORM 105 Chuck Sidlow lets his heart of gold shine through Barbara Dondero SIESTA SEEN 111 The islands Code Enforcement ofcer is expected back on duty April 21; Gidgets is open and very busy; Siesta leads the way again with Tourist Development Tax collections; and the Tarpon Tournament will be starting soon Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 120 RELIGION BRIEFS 126 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 128 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 129 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Neal Schafers ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit My interest in photography reminded me about how my smile made me unhappy. A childhood accident caused my permanent teeth to come in askew. I had seen how Dr. Koval restored the smile of a friends father. With Dr. Koval, we discovered I also had cracked fillings and a shifted jaw all which she corrected. I am 100% satisfied with Dr. Kovals meticulous work and sincere care to make my smile look natural and picture-perfect.Christine Koval, D.M.D.Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.


Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Neal Schafers My interest in photography reminded me about how my former smile made me uncomfortable to have my own picture taken. A childhood accident resulted in lost teeth. When my permanent teeth came in they were askew and very small in proportion to my smile. I had seen how Dr. Koval perfectly restored the smile of my friends father. Upon my own exam with Dr. Koval, we discovered that I also had worn and cracked fillings, and a shifted jaw all which she corrected. Dr. Koval sincerely cares about her patients and their smiles. I am 100% satisfied with her meticulous work to make my smile look natural and picture-perfect.ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406


The preliminary environmental analyses of two potential homeless shelter sites in the City of Sarasota show both with problems indicating further testing is needed, accord ing to the draft report released on April 17 by a Clearwater rm hired to perform the work. The ndings of that report are expected to be the primary focus of a joint m eeting of the Sarasota County and City commis sions on April 22. The draft document sum marizes not only the environmental analysis but also due diligence regarding the two prospective sites. All of these joint meetings we are having with the city on the shelter are becoming really instrumental in making sure we are staying on track especially this one, County Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson told The Sarasota N ews Leader this week about the upcoming session. The report released Thursday is expected to guide the elected The Cardno report shows a concept for a shelter on the 1330 N. Osprey Ave. site. Image courtesy Sarasota County ON APRIL 22, THE CITY AND COUNTY COMMISSIONS WILL DISCUSS COSTS AND POTENTIAL CHALLENGES OF TWO PROPOSED LOCATIONS, WITH A KEY REPORT HAVING BEEN RELEASED THIS WEEK ASSESSING THE SHELTER SITES Im out-voted, and I accept I am out-voted. Susan Chapman Sarasota City Commissioner By Roger Drouin County Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


ofcials in their next steps regarding the pri mary two sites considered for the shelter 1330 N. Osprey Ave. and 1800 N. East Ave. It provides information relative to the boards potential financial investment in the facil ity and should enable the commissioners to focus on timelines, county staff has told the News Leader The draft report will be thoroughly discussed Tuesday, said Wayne Applebee, the countys homelessness issues coordinator. County staff also made it clear to the News Leader that the documents in the report have not been finalized. They will most likely change as the process moves forward, Jamie Carson, a county spokeswoman, pointed out in an email to the News Leader Prepared by environmental engineering rm Cardno ENTRIX Inc. the draft report says of the East Avenue property, benzo(a)pyrene, a hydrocarbon often found close to asphalt parking lots, and arsenic exceeded residential limits in soil samples taken close to portions of that site paved with asphalt. According to the Phase II environmental assessment in the draft report: Based on the ndings of the investigation, additional assessment appears to be warranted if the cli ent wishes to determine the extent of on-site arsenic and PAH impacts to soil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PAHs such as benzo(a)anthracene, are created when products such as coal, oil, gas and garbage are burned but the burning process is not complete. Cardno recommends resampling two moni tor wells to conrm the presence of the low level benzo(a)anthracene concentrations. The Cardno report shows a concept for the shelter site plan on the 1800 N. East Ave. property. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 10


The Cardno report compares zoning and land use facts regarding the two sites. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 11


On the Osp rey site, pollutants common to urban settings were discovered, as well as elevated levels of lead. The draft reports section on the Osprey land says, Based on the ndings of the investi gation, additional assessment appears to be warranted if the client wishes to determine the extent of on-site arsenic, lead [and] PAH impacts to soil. Additionally, the installation of at least one additional well, located down gradient of [another well], would be required to dene the extent of lead concentrations in groundwater above GCTLs [Groundwater Cleanup Target Levels]. If the commissioners do not choose to pro ceed with one of the two sites, they will have to draw on back-up parcels from homelessness co nsultant Robert Marbuts second tier list of possible shelter locations. Were at a stage where we have to keep all options open, Applebee said. We dont know how these sites will end up at the end of the day. CONCEPTUAL PLANS The Cardno report includes conceptual plans showing how an approximately 35,000-squarefoot shelter, parking, outdoor patio areas and storage could t onto both sites. It also indi cates possible fencing and vegetative buffers along the borders of the parcels. In addition to the environmental analyses, likely topics Tuesday are legal research related to site boundaries and related challenges; the The City of Sarasota owns the site at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. Photo by Norman Schimmel Were at a stage where we have to keep all options open. We dont know how these sites will end up at the end of the day. Wayne Applebee Homelessness Issues Coordinator Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 12


zoning and permi tting process necessary for use of either site; a timeline for construction; and cost estimates for the facilities. Both par cels, for example, will require rezoning that could take up to 10 months under the citys development guidelines. Applebee said staff will also address concerns raised by residents about sexual offenders staying at the proposed shelter. My goal is to give the boards the best infor mation about the sites and allow them to make the best decision for the community as a whole, Applebee t old the News Leader CONFUSION BEFORE THE RELEASE City and county staff met Thursday, April 17, at 10 a.m. to talk about the ndings in the 60-plus-page report, the News Leader learned. While the draft, which is considered a public document, was released to the News Leader later in the day, that came after some confu sion was cleared up. While the report was presented to county and city staff during the Thursday morning meeting, it was not initially made available to the News Leader in spite of the News Leader having made a request earlier in the week A graphic prepared by Cardno shows the plan for borings that were part of the environmental analysis. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 13


for a copy of the doc ument after it had been released to the city and county. Early Thursday, county Project Manager Brad Gaubatz told the News Leader the document likely would not be made public until the April 22 meeting. Gaubatz, the countys point of contact with C ardno, called the report an in-progress doc ument, noting it could change daily until that April 22 meeting. The soup is still cooking, Gaubatz said Thursday in response to a News Leader inquiry about the status of the reports release. An aerial view shows the site at 1800 N. East Ave. in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 14


Both city and co unty staffers would need time to look over the report before it was offered to the news media, Gaubatz added. This is staffs rst look at a report we commissioned, and we are trying to make sure the assump tions the consultant had when they went in are accurate some of that has to do with zoning and that issues raised in the draft are accurate It is fairly complicated stuff. He continued, I am hesitant to get any of this out there until we can get as many eyes on it as we can. Some information still needed to be added to the draft, Ga ubatz pointed out. The previous day, April 16, county staff told the News Leader the report would be avail able to the public at some point on Thursday. Finally, the News Leader received the draft report by email early Thursday afternoon. OTHER POSSIBLE SITE ISSUES On another front, the property at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. looked a little more feasible as a shelter site after city staffers recently pro posed a city lease of nearby land on Osprey Avenue across from 12th Street. That property could be used as a staging area for construc tion of a shelter at 1330 N. Osprey. The lease A For Sale sign stands at the corner of the 1800 N. East Ave. property. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 15


to use the other land as a staging area for the construction will cost $1,075 per month, and the city proposes to pay for it from homeless project funds, according to communications among city and county staff. On Monday, April 21, the city commissioners will discuss whether to agree to the proposed lease. (See the related story in this issue.) At the East Avenue site, issues involving a con dominium association would have to be worked out before a shelter could be built there. Early signs also indicate that the environ mental concerns regarding both sites could prevent the use of federal funds to build a homeless shelter on either of them. WHERE TO BUILD Those who want to see the shelter constructed in the community say the county and city are already behind on dealing with the pressing issue of chronic homelessness and that time is of the essence. [Pinellas] Safe Harbor [proponents] had theirs up and working in three to four months, for the whole project, Robinson said, referring to the homeless shelter in Clearwater with which consultant Marbut was associated. The Pinellas Safe Harbor shelter in Clearwater has been proposed as a model for the Sarasota facility. Image courtesy Pinellas Safe Harbor Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 16


We need deadlines to get this done, Robinson added of the Sarasota initiative. Robinson pointed out earlier this week that the Osprey Avenue site, which is city-owned, and the East Avenue site are the most ideal, according to criteria used by Marbut. But any votes on them would depend on the information contained in the Cardno report, Robinson cautioned the day before the report was slated to be released. City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo told the News Leader that while no site will be popu lar for a shelter, a positive aspect of the 1330 Osprey Ave. parcel is that it is surrounded to a degree by industrial uses and therefore buffered from homes. That property has been Marbuts top recom mendation for a come-as-you-are shelter for the chronic homeless. By [Marbuts] parameters, that site makes the most sense, Caragiulo said. The city-owned property is zoned Governmental, which could make its tran sition to a shelter smoother if the facility is operated by the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce, as intended, Caragiulo added. Although the county commissioners have been unanimous in their support of a shelter in the city, they have said a lack of political will at City Hall, especially a lack of urgency on the part of some administrative ofcials, has hindered the process. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and City Commissioner Susan Chapman have reiterated their oppositi on t o a city shelter project on numer ous occasions. Shaw did vote in favor of considering a third potential site on North Lime Avenue, but city staff discovered soon afterward that the parcel was not available for sale or lease for a shelter. A growing number of residents and some downtown business owners have voiced concerns about a homeless shelter in north Sarasota close to Sarasota Military Academy, the Pines of Sarasota retirement home and planned redevelopment that has been slow to happen. Chapman told the News Leader that the Osprey Avenue site, which will be home to a deep-injection well, is a city utility loca tion and should maintain that status only. She would prefer other sites outside the city limits be considered, perhaps in mid-county something that has not been done, she pointed out. I dont think the two sites they are looking at are appropriate, Chapman said. But she added that she realizes she is in the minority. Im out-voted, Chapman said, and I accept I am out-voted. The joint meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers, located at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in downtown Sarasota. City Editor Stan Zimmerman contributed to this report. % Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 17


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A new memo from the Sarasota County Attorneys Ofce suggests that federal regula tions pr otect gays and lesbians from housing discrimination. Not true, says one local attorney who special izes in employment discrimination law. County Attorney Steve DeMarsh sent the new memo to the County Commission on April 7; its a n update to a memo he sent to the board in March detailing his ofces research into how the county might imp lement a so-called human rights ordi nance. Such laws, which have been approved in several Florida municipalities, including the City of Sarasota, protect gays and lesbians from being discriminated against in housing and emp loyment. Advocates of a Sarasota County human rights ordinance still are awaiting County Commission action. Photo by Benson Kua, via Fotopedia DO FEDERAL RULES REALLY PREVENT ANTI-GAY HOUSING DISCRIMINATION IN SARASOTA COUNTY? DISCRIMINATION CONVERSATION The point of having a county ordinance is to make sure people are protected, not to leave it [to] chance (on the possibility that some court in the future may go against all the prior case law to decide that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination after all). Kendra Presswood Attorney Shankman Leone Tampa By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


The original March memo includes a para graph dealing with the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which outlawed discrimination based on a variety of categories, but not sexual orientation. There is no protection against discrimination based on sexual orien tation in federal or state housing laws, reads the memo. But the April follow-up from DeMarsh com plicates that picture. While the [Fair Housing] Act does not explic itly include the term sexual orientation, sex discrimination includes non-confor mity with gender stereotypes according to agency guidelines, the new memo reads. [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] Regulations also provide some protection from discrimination under some circumstances based upon familial status. According to county spokesperson Curt Preisser, DeMarshs office continued its research on the topic on its own. The new memo was not requested by the commission or staff. Attached to the memo is an explanation from the Housing and Urban Development website, with a few examples of how gays and lesbians may already be protected, if not explicitly. In one example, a gay man is evicted because the landlord believes he will infect other tenants with HIV/AIDS. He would be protected because the man is per ceived to have a disability. Another example involves a potential transgender applicant, The Sarasota County Commission prepares for the start of a meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 20


who cannot be dis criminated against because the agency covers non-conformity with gen der stereotypes. The Fair Housing Act does not specically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases, the Housing and Urban Development fact sheet states. However, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) persons experience with sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination may still be covered by the Fair Housing Act. According to attorney Kendra Presswood of Holmes Beach, the key word there is may. As the departments examples suggest, the federal government can only offer LGBT folks protection if a case involves other categories e.g. disability or non-conformity with gender stereotypes. The courts for years have been saying that sexual orientation is not sex discrimination, so I dont agree with the county attorney that the gender stereotype case law cov ers you, says Presswood, an attorney with Tampas Shankman Leone who has worked on employment discrimination cases for more than 15 years. An effeminate gay man may be able to show he was discriminated against because of non-conformity with gender ste reotypes, but that doesnt account for all the gay guys that are not effeminate at all, Presswood explains. The po int of having a county ordinance is to make sure people are protected, not to leave it [to] chance (on the possibility that some court in the future may go against all the prior case law to decide that sexual orientation dis crimination is sex discrimination after all), Presswood later writes in an email. The rst Memo had it right, there is no fed eral or state protection against discrimination based upon sexual orientation, she adds. Thats why LGBT rights groups have pushed Congress to pass the Employment NonDiscrimination Act approved by the Senate last year and still sitting idle in the Republicancontrolled House and it is also why LGBT organizations try to get local ordinances like this passed, so that there IS protection. County Commissioner Carolyn Mason was the primary motivator for the original memo from DeMarsh. Last fall, she asked him to research human rights ordinances approved by other local governments. She has so far declined to respond to Sarasota News Leader voicemails, but spokesman Preisser says she plans to bring up the matter during the April 22 board meeting. April is Fair Housing Month, and the Sarasota County Commission this month issued a proc lamation celebrating the 46th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act: Fair Housing laws provide the opportunity for all citizens to reside in decent and safe housing, free from discriminat ion. % The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 21


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The Wednesday morning, April 16, meeting of the City of Sarasota Development Review Committee was an uncharacteristically swift one. Two pro posals were aired, and one was approved in less than two minutes. The committee had previously considered a six-unit develop ment at 1343 Fourth St. called Aegis Court. The project was approved to proceed in the Downtown Edge zoning category, and the sign-off sheet was circulated to depart ment representatives. Becau se the com mittees previous concerns were sat isfied, the approval required one minute and 45 seconds. The seco nd proposal was not nearly as straightfo rwa rd. The Duvals New World Caf wants to expand its alcoholic beverage options for patrons. Image from the website DUVALS WANTS PATRONS TO HAVE MORE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE OPTIONS, BUT IT IS WARY OF THE DESIGNATION IT NEEDS TO PROCEED QUESTIONS ABOUT A NEW NIGHTCLUB This is not desirable to the continued development of the district for retail uses. There is also concern that an additional nightclub will further encourage this block of Main Street to continue development as an entertainment block. Norm Gollub Economic Development Coordinator City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


City staff is wary of granting another nightclub designation in the aftermath of controversy over the Ivory Lounge in the Plaza at Five Points. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 24


owners of Duvals New World Cafe at 1435 Main St. want to upgrade their alcohol service from beer and wine to cocktails and other hard liquor. Because of the way the zoning code works, that requires the restaurant to request a nightclub designation. The restaurant owners and operators do not want a nightclub, just the ability to provide additional drink options. Thus, they have tried to mute any opposition by making a variety of promises, including limits on the hours of operation and foreswearing live music except on three nights of the year. The restaurant opened in 2011 with 76 seats. To meet state and local regulations, it must ask for a zoning adjustment because of its prox imity to the First United Methodist Church on Pineapple Avenue. And it needs approval for a conditional use because the facilitys footprint is 300 square feet less than the minimum required for a full liquor license. Staff also needs to review and approve a site plan for the new use. The owners say they will offer live music on only three evenings per year. One would be New Years Eve, to complement the big party downtown. The second would be Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and part of the pre-Lenten celebration. And the third date would be Nov. 14, the anniversary of the restaurants opening in 2011. City staff is leery of approving any new night club, after a similar request was granted to allow a jazz club and wine bar that eventually turned into a full-blown, late-night club called the Ivory Lounge in downtown Sarasota on Central Avenue. Joel Freedman, representing Duvals owners, said the business would offer an additional proffer: that it would continue serving its full menu until closing and that any piped-in background music would be of low volume. Gretchen Schneider, a senior building and zoning ofcial, reminded Freedman and his clients that all these proffers and promises would go with the land, so if the property were sold, the same conditions would be imposed on any new owners. The citys downtown economic develop ment coordinator had written a letter to the Development Review Committee (DRC) to object to the restaurants proposal. Having reviewed the requested approval for a night club use, I find that I cannot support this application, wrote Norm Gollub. This is not desirable to the continued development of the district for retail uses. There is also concern that an additional nightclub will fur ther encourage this block of Main Street to continue development as an entertainment block. Freedman will be back at the May DRC meet ing to present the restaurants case again. The matter is scheduled to show up on the Planning Boar d agenda in June. % Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 25


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The senior hydrologist for Sarasota County is hopeful that a contract with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for a study of Warm Mineral Springs can be executed by the start of May, so the project envisioned almost two years ago can move forward. The p rimary goal of the undertaking is to provide a professional scientic analysis and a clear understanding of existing hydrolog ical data, sett ing the stage for future decisions regarding what additional information may be required to better guide proper and responsible future resource management at Warm Mineral Springs, says a March 19 staff memo to the County Commission. Clif f Harrison told The Sarasota News Leader on April 15 that since both the North Port City Commission and the County Commission approve d the study A collection of photos from Sarasota County and the City of North Port reect the past and present of Warm Mineral Springs. Images courtesy Sarasota County THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SOON WILL EMBARK ON A YEARLONG STUDY OF DATA COLLECTED ABOUT WARM MINERAL SPRINGS, FROM WATER TEMPERATURE TO WATER SOURCES STUDYING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE The story we want to tell is the story of the true health and the vitality of Warm Mineral Springs based on solid scientic evidence and reasoning. Cliff Harrison Senior Hydrologist Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


during votes in March, staff members of the two local governments have been working on the most efcient way to get the contract exe cuted and pay the $30,000 split between the city and county for the $50,000 project. The U.S. Department of the Interior will pick up the remaining portion of the expense, Harrison explained last month. Once the contract is executed, he added, it will take about a year for the USGS to com plete the study. The County Commission voted unanimously on March 19 to proceed with the project; the North Port board also voted unanimously to su pport it after a brief discussion with Harrison on March 24. During the county meeting, Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson pointed out that the boards originally agreed to the USGS study in July 2012. That was the same meeting during which the commissioners also voted unani mously to pursue an Invitation to Negotiate regarding the long-term future of Warm Mineral Springs. Subsequent changes on the North Port Commission led to a months-long standoff over the 81-acre resort the city and county purchased together for $5.5 million in December 2010. Then, following an April 2013 facili tated meeting held under the guidelines A graph shows temperatures recorded in the Warm Mineral Springs discharge creek from 2012 through March 2014. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 28


The rst page of the original November 2012 U.S. Geological Survey study proposal explains background on Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 29


of a state statute governing conict resolution among local governments, the boards began working together again. The Springs reopened under a short-term management contract on April 12; it was the rst time since June 30, 2013 that people have been able to swim there. It was always our intention to look at this, Robinson said of the USGS study during her boards March 19 meeting. I think that its important to note that were getting this back on track. Were beginning to see things h appen again. Were really starting to see some intergovernmental cooperation on Warm Mineral Springs The North Port commissioners engaged in little discussion before their vote, with Commissioner Cheryl Cook making the motion to proceed. Im glad to see this nally get off the ground, Commissioner Linda Yates said. Its the rst step in the bigger study that I think we de nitely are going to need. A graphic indicates questions about the water ow into and out of the springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 30


CLARIFICATIONS Before the County Commission vote, Robinson sought to clarify a section of backup agenda material indicating that public outreach ses sions would be held during the project. Harrison explained that if people in the com munity have issues they feel should be part of the work, staff will make certain they have the opportunity to convey those ideas to the USGS. When Robinson asked whether any pub lic meeting would be conducted, Harrison replied, We can certainly schedule some thing like that if we need to. Robinson also sought Harrisons view of whether the potential for data collection on the site could have an impact on either the sho rt-term operation or any initiatives of the rm the boards plan to have in place by Sept. 1 to handle the long-range vision for the Springs. For this study, no, he told her. Staff will just continue to use the monitoring station in the creek at Warm Mineral Springs between the rock dam and the culvert, he explained. The results of the USGS study will indicate what steps should be taken next. Then the city and county could work with the long-term vendor in regard to any potential impacts on opera tions, he added. In 2012, the USGS developed a proposal that included a broad array of activities regarding research at the Springs, Harrison said. The budget w as exceedingly high and exceedingly A chart shows temperatures that have been recorded in Warm Mineral Springs since 1956. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 31


long-ter m, he pointed out about $1 million over ve years. It was almost a fantasy projects proposal, Harrison noted. After subsequent discussions with staff, he continued, USGS representatives suggested a yearlong study of data that already has been collected, which would guide the city and county on how to proceed in the future. ANOMALIES IN THE DATA During his March 19 presentation to the County Commission, Harrison pointed out that a separate effort had begun to develop scopes of services and cost estimates for a broader study of the history, archaeology and geology of Warm Mineral Springs. He also noted that no new data collection or monitoring will be conducted as part of the USGS study. At the conclusion of the study, the USGS will issue a Fact Sheet incorpo rating its findings, the county staff memo explained. The document will aid in focusing limited public funds towards answering ques tions about the spring system with real-world implications instead of potentially expending great effort and cost towards collecting addi tional data that may have little relevance to the management and protection of the spring resource, the memo notes. The USGS study, Harrison explained, will focus on data collected at the Springs over the past decades. The three primary questions are as follows: Has the water been getting colder? Has the water been getting less mineralized? Has the ow of water diminished? If we dont properly understand these issues, he said, then any resource protection or manageme nt plan that we developed would be a wobbly stool at best. At worst, he told the board, misinformation or misconceptions could lead to uninten tionally contributing to the degradation of the Springs. Without a scientic analysis of the data col lected, he pointed out, the city and county would be left with what Mark Twain char acterized as lies, dang lies and statistics, drawing laughter from commissioners. The story we want to tell is the story of the true health and the vitality of Warm Mineral Springs based on solid scientic evidence and reasoning, Harrison added. For example, data collected since 1956 indi cates the water temperature has declined. One reading in December 2001 was 64 degrees, he noted. I dont think that anyone believes that Warm Mineral Springs put out water one day at 64 degrees, he said. A quick analysis of weather conditions on the same day showed a 35-degree reading in the City of North Port, he told the board, indicat ing the water temperature could be inuenced by external factors. Among the data most interesting to him, Harrison continued, were observations over the years showing the ow from the main hot water vent appeared to greatly exceed the amount of water thats coming from the spring discharge creek. If that is tr ue, he said, it suggests a signif icant volume of water may be exiting the basin through the basin walls directly into the immediate aquifer. Robinson complimented Harrison on his pre sentation, noting that while his day job is senior hydrologist for the county, Your night job may be on MythBusters % Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 32


...two days early! My Sunday Paper... One of my favorite things to do is spend all day Sunday relaxing with the Sunday newspaper, reading it from cover to cover. Unfortunately, my old Sunday paper is mostly classied ads, real estate ads, ad inserts and very little in the way of real, informative news. Thats why I love the award-winning Sarasota News Leader It is so full of news and features that relate to Sarasota County that I need a whole day to read it all ... perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. And reading it on my iPad means no trip to the recycling bin. The Sarasota News Leader access e-mail is delivered to my inbox every Friday morning. Of course, Im tempted to read some of it right away. Who could resist? But I know I have all day Sunday in fact, all week to read the No. 1 digital news weekly in Sarasota County. The Sarasota News Leader Your New Sunday Treat Old school journalism. 21st century delivery.


Alan Maio is a candidate for the Sarasota County Commission. Contributed photo by Barbara Banks Q&A: ALAN MAIO


After months o f persistent (read: annoy ing) emails and phone messages from The Sarasota News Leader, Republican Sarasota County Commission candidate Alan Maio this week agreed to sit down with us in his Nokomis home over coffee and cake to dis cuss his candidacy and the issues currently gripping the county, as well as what the future might hold in store. A longtime local businessman, Maio, 64, has most recently worked as an executive with the engineering rm Kimley-Horn and Associates, a position from which he just stepped down. In the August Republican primary, he will face off against Lourdes Ramirez; and hes already socked away some serious cash nearly $95,000 as of early April and has lined up some inu ential supporters: developer Pat Neal, former state Sen. Mike Bennett and Commissioners Joe Barbetta, Charles Hines and Christine Robinson, among many others Heres what he had to say. The Sarasota News Leader : Why run now? Alan Maio : I started working full-time in September of 1963, which as I say it to you seems far-fetched, but I came out of a real city environment, the northeastern corner of New Jersey. I was the rst person in my family big old Italian family to graduate from high school, rst one to go to college. If we were to classify people, we were the working poor. I went to work i n a factory that made air-conditi oning lters in my senior year of high school, quite frankly by exaggerating Im going to use that word, exaggerating my age. Im very proud of that. Ive been working fulltime or full-time and going to school for 51 years, so now I get to do something Ive always wanted to do. Ive helped a lot of my friends with their campaigns, locally here and in the county, and got involved in state campaigns, so its my time to do that, and hopefully I will convince at least 50 percent plus one that it is my time. Youll get a calm, capable, full-time commis sioner whos very technically competent and who is not the least bit intimidated by the numbers. I got my degree in accounting; Ive been an accountant running an engineering rm, so numbers are something I live with on a daily basis. SNL : What do you think will be the biggest issues the commission will have to deal with after the election? AM : Some big issues will have been resolved by then. The change in county administrator has already occurred and [Sarasota] 2050 has one more series of big meetings that should happen before Im elected. There are probably a dozen things that none of us are even thinking about that will become big issues. A balanced budget, the amount of taxes coming in from new growth GOP SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE SPEAKS! By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 35


those wi ll be the issues, and I think my backgrounds perfectly suited. When some one gives us a contract to build a road, I can look at it and know what should be charged to build that road. I took my businesses through this economic tsunami. What you get out of that, in addition to a lot of extra work, is you learn how to face adversity; you learn how to tighten your belt; you learn how to move forward not fright ened to death. SNL : Do you think the commission has han dled the process of rewriting 2050 well? AM : When the community decided they were going to start talking about 2050, there were only three paths that they could go down: One was to throw the whole thing out I was opposed to that; do nothing I was opposed to that; or start making some changes that make it more workable. Thats just my calm, reasoned technical background coming into play. Alan Maio is running for the District 4 seat on the County Commission. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 36


There are so me people who think it has gone too far, but I dont think staff believes that. The [nal] issue that will move forward is scal neutrality. I suspect theyll make some changes. They need a denitive model and rules with some certainty and predictability and a formula that people can look at. You know what disturbs me the most? I dont think its productive; I dont think its well mannered. I think its frankly exactly what we shouldnt be doing: When you stand there and call county commissioners liars, thieves, cheats and crooks, thats not the way citizens are supposed to treat each other. Lost in all the volume and intensity is that a lot of stuff these developers do pay a lot of impact fees. You hear a lot of people saying, Well, you know, the people who are already living here bear the burden of bringing that here. Not so. These impact fees on water and wastewater and the user fees are what pay all the bonds that build the sewer plants and water plants. SNL : What would you like to see happen at Warm Mineral Springs? AM : I had a client that owns a big chunk of land, I think 18 acres in total, to the west of it and across the street to the south, and I thought his plan was a good one. What we put forward was: Were not going to touch the [81] acres of the Springs. Were going to take your historic building, clean it up, update it to historical standards. Well put in a new park ing lot, just generally upgrade the site. The difculty was tha t there are ve city commis sioners and ve county commissioners. I was pretty sad when they ended up closing it. My former client is no longer involved. I think they need to keep the [81] acres because it provides a trailhead to the giant county ownership to the north. I never was a fan of building more on the [81] acres. SNL : Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates has been in the news because it briey lost its ability to solicit donations. Do you still have faith that the organization can effectively manage the new rowing facility? AM : I dont know that much about it, but I know [Suncoast Aquatic President] Paul Blackketter and thats a very, very honorable guy. I think theyre absolutely up to managing it, and quite frankly, this whole dust-up about the forms not being led was an accounting Oops. It fell through the cracks of getting everything built and up and running. SNL : As someone whos actually worked with the county, how do you respond to complaints that Sarasota County is hostile to new busi nesses when compared to other counties? AM : I started pulling permits for my restau rants 30 years ago I have never come across someone who absolutely had some ideological bent that they did not want what I was doing to go through. It was a process. You need to be ready for the process. Youll never see me be anything but cordial to cou nty employees. Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 37


Ive d one giant projects and Im pretty sure theres no county employee that will say to you, Al was impossible to deal with. He was rude. Hes a barbarian. Plus Im kind of jaded: My wife retired from the school district. My son is a deputy. I think this current administration, under [Administrator] Tom Harmer, theyre now approaching it not as regulators. Theyre approaching it as, OK, tell me what you want to do. When people want to do some thing that doesnt t in the tight little box, the county employees are not saying, Nope, not doing it. They say, All right, I see what you want to do. Not a bad idea. Its not going to work if you do it that way, but lets think about this. Thats all you ask. You dont ask for an automatic yes. SNL : How do you think Harmers been doing since taking over? AM : I think he gets an A. Hes a good guy with a heck of a background three quarters of it in the public sphere and a quarter of it in private practice. Hes got the right personality at the right time in the right place. SNL : Was it right to let [former Administrator] Randy Reid go? AM : I have no comment on that. I like the out come. Harmers wonderful. SNL : One thing commission critics harp on is a lack of transparency. Do you think the com mission does enough to involve the public? AM : Ive never been an elected ofcial, so Im not sure, but I do know that its awfully trans parent. If you send me an email and I respond to it, the whole world gets it. SNL : Should the county charge for access to public records? AM : I think when its a nominal question, no. But when you sit people down and give them a big, big project to do, where boxes of les are brought in, I think they should be charged. Im told the charges are modest. Im sure Ive sent checks in with my businesses where I wanted to know certain things. When you tie up county employees for a big period of time on a major project, it needs to be charged. The charge also cant be overwhelming so the charge precludes people from asking. SNL : Would you support a human rights ordi nance that would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination? AM : In private life, Ive hired hundreds of people and never even think about their gen der, sexual orientation, their religious beliefs, their ethnic backgrounds. I just dont think about it. Im as ethnic as they come and a couple of my cousins are gay, so it would be preposterous to think of somebody not letting them live or work where they want. Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 38


SNL : But is the county doing enough to make sure other businesses are following that? AM : I just dont know that much about it. SNL : I need to ask you about your relation ship with Bob Waechter, who pled guilty to illegally impersonating the woman youre running against. At the sentencing, the prose cutor specically said Waechter did what he did to help your campaign, which I know your attorney, Morgan Bentley, has disputed. What was your relationship with Waechter like? AM : I only met Bob two-and-a-half years ago. He did that for his own reasons [the legal case involving Ramirez], but not to help me. Thats just the case, but, unfortunately, the incorrect version makes for a great story. SNL : How would you describe your rela tionship with Waechter before his arrest? Advisor? Consultant? AM : Not at all. Acquaintance. SNL : Has the campaign been civil so far? Do you expect it to stay that way? AM : I dont know. Politics is a rough game. Ill say only this: My opponent has been extremely civil to me, and I guess at the end of the day, thats all that matters. SNL : You were sued in 2010 for $9.8 million. Can you tell me about that case? AM : Nobody showed up in court. It got dis missed and were done with it. SNL : Was it a frivolous lawsuit? AM : Youd have to ask Morgan [Bentley]. I dont know the legal denition of frivolous, but they never showed up in court. SNL : On most of the things weve talked about, it sounds like youre pretty satised with how the commissioners have tackled things in recent years. Is there anything you think they did wrong? Anything you would have done differently? AM : I would not categorize anything as being mistakes. I look back on an all-Republican commission all of them my friends and I might have done some things a little differ ently from an intensity perspective. Ive got a big group of friends that are all over me about doing more for people with bikes. Im a big proponent of expanding the Legacy Trail The county doesnt have money to do everything, but I probably would have given them all the money for the due diligence. Theres times that [the commissioners] pull their hair out, and Im sure Ill pull my hair out, but everyones got the right to have their say, and you do your best to accommodate a lot of opinions but stay true to your own per sonal, moral and ethical compass. % Enjoy The Sarasota News Leader Anytime Day Or Night Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 39


With the melody of Let It Be and the soothing sound of lapping waves in the background, the video opens with a black screen and the statement, Big Pass in Sarasota is one of the last unspoiled inlets left in Florida and its sand nourishes Siesta Key. Within moments, hands appear on the keys of an organ and then the camera pulls back to show the lovely young woman seated at the musical instrument, her turquoise earrings a slightly lighter shade than the waves owing behind her. As Sarasota native Maria Lane sings that last, haunting balla d of The Beatles, the scene shifts again to show the viewer that she is surrounded by water. Thus opens Big Pass Piano the video whose primary shooting was the focus of a March 1 production team in Big Sarasota Pass. Big Pass Piano is the latest salvo launched by the nonprot organization Save Our Siesta Sand 2 (SOSS2) in an effort to halt the U.S. Maria Lane performs Let It Be in the middle of Big Pass. Image from Big Pass Piano VIDEOS RELEASE UNDERSCORES PRESERVATIONISTS GOAL TO KEEP DREDGES OUT OF BIG SARASOTA PASS PLEA FOR THE PASS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor WATCH THE VIDEO Click here to watch the full video


A drone lms Maria Lane as she sings at the organ in Big Pass on March 1. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 41


Army Corp s of Engineers and the City of Sarasotas plans to dredge Big Pass to renour ish a critically eroded section of Lido Key. Released on April 11, the video urges view ers to recognize the need to preserve Big Pass and to donate funds in support of that cause. A news release about the videos launch ref erences the risk to Siesta Keys public beach and the islands businesses and residences if the Corps is allowed to remove more than 1 million cubic yards of sand from the inlet in an initial renourishment and millions more cubic yards of sand in later years to build up the endangered section of Lido Key. The project has been planned for a 50-year span with renourishments to take place every ve years, alternating between Big Pass and New Pass, the Army Corps project engineer, Milan A. Mora, told groups in multiple public meet ings last year. The Army Corps has been working on models and analysis about the effects the dredging of Big Pass would have on Siesta Key. The most recent information from the federal agency has conrmed the release of those materials by the end of this month. Mora has pointed out that the project is not funded. The Army Corps is committed to covering about 62.4 percent of the approxi mately $22 million cost, with the rest covered by a state grant and Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenue set aside for beach renourishments, City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw ha s explained. Rich Schineller, on the paddleboards with the organ, gets a tow from Mike Hagan (in yellow jacket) as Sarah Fulton and John Lichtenstein assist. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 42


Lanes so ulful rendition of the Beatles clas sic and the videos stunning imagery of the pass encourage viewers to learn more about the project at the SOSS2 website the news release points out. Big Pass Piano was cre ated to heighten awareness of the risks in fundamentally altering a natural inlet that has been open to navigation and untouched since it rst appeared on charts in the 1800s, the release adds. The news release quotes Siesta Key resident Peter van Roekens, who is also chairman of the Boaters Coalition: This video captures the essence of the pristine beauty that is Big Pass. If Big Pass had a voice, this would be it. Lane a professional singer and voice instruc tor in New York City, is the niece of the videos director and producer, Rich Schineller of Siesta Key. S chineller told The Sarasota Maria Bankemper is immediate past chairwoman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. File photo The water is calm in Big Sarasota Pass on March 1, with Lido Key in the background. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 43


News Leader last month that after hearing her recording of Let It Be he began thinking about how to use it in the effort to preserve Big Pass. Jimmy Scott Jr. was in charge of the vid eos cinematography and editing, and Ryan Perrone was the ight camera operator for the aerial visuals. Becca Dahmen was the post-production supervisor, and Sarah Fulton and John Lichtenstein served as production assistants. Mike Hagan and Gary McDermott captained the support vessels for the shoot ing, while Diane Schineller Sulimirski shot production stills and SUP Sarasota provided logistics support. The news release points out that Big Pass, Big Sarasota Shoal and the North Siesta Key Beaches and Crescent Beach comprise the An aerial view shows Big Sarasota Pass as the inlet between Lido Key to the north and Siesta Key. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 44


Siesta Key Littoral Cell (SKCLC), which stretches from the entrance of Big Sarasota Pass to Point of Rocks. This complex closed natural system has for centuries transferred sand down the shoal, continuously circu lating sand onto Crescent Beach as well as protecting the beaches it nourishes from wave impact, the release adds. It is a deli cately balanced system and coastal geologists do not quite understand the exact mechanism of its operation. SOSS2 Save Our Siesta Sand 2 was organized to raise funds to nance an independent coastal engineering study of the SKCLC to determine the potential for damage to the system from dredging, the release notes. SOSS2 filed its papers with the state of Floridas Division of Corporations in midMarch. Its registered agent is M&M Lodgings LLC, whose directors are Maria Bankemper, co-owner and general manager of the Best Western Plus-Siesta Key, located at 6600 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota; her husband, Edward Bankemper; and Mike Lepore, Maria Bankempers father. On April 4, Lepore sent an email to the Sarasota County commissioners, noting his position with SOSS2 and with the hotel. We moved our family to Sarasota in 1976 and raised our children on Siesta Key, he continued. We harken back to the days of Commissioners John Saba and Jim Neville, who worked very diligently to preserve this wonderful Paradise. So it is with a love for all of Sarasota that has brought us to this posi tion of wanting great caution to be taken with an important eco-system that maintains the equilibrium that has made Siesta Keys beach the envy of the nation. He stressed, [T]hat does not mean that we are against Lidos need for re-nourishment, adding, in fact, we support it, as Lido, St. Armands, and Longboat are extremely import ant aspects of the beauty that is Sarasota. However, in regard to the Army Corps/City of Sarasota plan for dredging Big Pass, Lepore wrote, They can do damage with impunity. As you well know, Big Pass, unlike others, has never been dredged, and naturally contin ues to allow for comfortable boating access (boating does not need dredging in fact it is harmful to the natural channel). Secondly, he pointed out, As you may also know, Siesta Key beach is natural and one of the few areas on [Floridas west coast] that has remained stable while both Lido and Longboat have continuously needed re-nourishing. When a similar plan to dredge Big Pass was pursued for a period in 1994-95, he continued, environmental engineers who addressed the [Sarasota County] commission explained there will never to be a sure way to predict how dredging Big Pass will affect Siesta Keys Beach and its north shore due to the balance that is currently in place there. Most importantly, Lepore added, the dredging of Big Pass is unnecessary for this project. According to well informed sources, he wrote, there is enough sand available at New Pass and offshore to ll the current need to re-nourish [Lido Beach] without going fur ther. Lido has been re-nourished many times and will continue to need that assistance. % Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 45


A dangerous stretch of Bee Ridge Road will soon be getting a makeover, thanks to the Florida Department of Transportation, which is planning to install a dozen pedestrian refuge islands in the middle of the busy eastwest thoroughfare. Just how hazardous is Bee Ridge? Between 2008 and 2012, there were 61 crashes involv ing pedestrians and bicyclists between U.S. 41 and Dunn Drive (near McIntosh Road), a g ure provided by Department of Transportation Communications Specialist Robin Stublen. Of those crashes, 59 resulted in injuries and two resulted in fatalities. And in one particularly dangerous 1.25-mile section of Bee Ridge, between 2010 and 2012, there w er e 32 bicycle and pedestrian crashes, 23 of which happened in daylight. That sends up a red ag to us almost imme diately, Stublen says. To combat the problem, the department has mapped the crashes and developed a plan to strategically install 12 so-called pedestrian ref uge islands. Stublen says islands are typically up to 60 feet long and 5 feet wide, with open ings for turn lanes in and out of businesses. The islands which cost $11,000 each wont be distributed evenly along the road; they will be concentrated around hot spots. For example, bus stops encourage pedestri ans to cro ss the s even-lane road in dangerous A pedestrian refuge island under construction in Chicago. Photo by Josh K, via Flickr DANGEROUS STRETCH OF BEE RIDGE GETTING A MAKEOVER OFFERING REFUGE By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


areas; those areas should be targeted for islands. According to Stublen, the Bee Ridge/ Beneva Road intersection is particularly haz ardous, a high-trafc area that will only get busier with the new Walmart scheduled to go in on the southwest corner. The islands arent the only x in the works. The department is also going to resurface some of the road, replace a drainage pipe, repair some cracked sidewalks, upgrade pedestrian sig nals and improve pavement marking as well. But the plans arent set in stone. The Department of Transportation is seeking public input on its map. Beginning April 15, Sarasota residents can see for themselves what the state department has in store: The plans will be on display at the Fruitville Public Library for a month. A public hearing on the topic will also be held, on May 1, at Trinity United Methodist Church. State representa tives will be on hand with blown-up images of the plan and a slideshow, and the public can offer oral comments. The library is located at 100 Coburn Road in Sarasota. The church is at 4150 S. Shade Ave. in Sarasota. With so many lanes and so much suburban trafc, the Department of Transportation is never going to entirely eliminate the danger of crossing Bee Ridge, but Stublen says the department is doing what it can: How can you reduce the problem? % A map shows one segment of Bee Ridge Road where pedestrian refuge islands are planned. Dunn Drive, the eastern termination point for the project, is marked with a ag. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 47


City utility staffers and engineering con sultants are on the verge of abandoning an existing structure at the new Lift Station 87 and recommending digging a new and deeper hole. For the past two months, they have danced around the decision, knowing the abandonment of one facility to build another could be time-consum ing and controversial. Durin g the monthly meeting of senior city utility staffers and consulting engineers on Monday, April 14, more deficiencies in the origina l design surfaced. Robert Garland, project manager with the consulting rm of McKim & Creed said, Weve made some design changes for emergency power. The existing system uses engine-driven pumps when the power goes out to transport the flow. From the time power is lost to when the pumps kick in is about an hour delay and causes overows into the system. The ow he is talking about is roughly onethird of all the sewage produced in the City of Sarasota. Garland rec ommend ed scrapping An image from a section of the city website dedicated to the Lift Station 87 project shows work under way. Image courtesy City of Sarasota HUDSON BAYOU SEWER STATION PLANS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE DESIGN DRAMA We should evaluate the existing structure and decide if we can rehabilitate it or replace it. It might be faster and cheaper to build a new one. Robert Garland Project Manager McKim & Creed By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


the diesel-engine-driven emergency pumps, adding two additional electrical pumps (iden tical to the four already planned) and using diesel generators for backup power. It means increasing the size of the wet well and adding additional pumps, noted Steve Topovski, the citys project manager. It further means that if power is lost, the emergency generators can get the pumping restarted in a matter of minutes at most. Garland and Topovski are wrestling with the engineering mess left when representa tives of a previous rm walked off the job at the Mound Street and Osprey Avenue site. The aftermath has turned up a series of hor rors, including a system designed to operate in a semi-permanent state of backup, and a planned boring under Hudson Bayou that would have drilled through the base of the Os prey Avenue bridge. Needless to say, there is a lawsuit over all this. The project began after Lift Station 7, which is three blocks away from the new Lift Station 87 site, repeatedly failed and sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into Hudson Bayou and hence into Sarasota Bay. The city is operating under a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) consent order until the new station is functional. Mondays meeting saw the first slip in the work schedule. Garland said the switch from diesel-powered emergency pumps to diesel generator-powered pumps would take three weeks to design. That would push the com pletion date into January 2016, if the decision were made to go with the switch. A second decision will determine the resil ience of the facility to hurricanes. The state A November 2013 presentation to the City Commission shows the design of the pump station for the lift station. Image courtesy McKim & Creed Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 49


requires functionality in a 100-year storm. As Topovski noted, Sarasota in the past two years had two rain events that were close to 100-year storms. Garland is asking if the city wants to use a higher standard survivabil ity in a Category 2 hurricane storm surge. We now can withstand a Category 2 if we raise the grade about 3.5 feet around the structures, he said. Because Lift Station 87 is being built in the middle of a public park, neighbors in the nearby Central Park condo miniums are increasingly concerned about all the construction activity and what will remain when the project is nished. A third decision is the most momentous. Should the existing submersible pump sta tion be abandoned? We should evaluate the existing structure and decide if we can rehabilitate it or replace it, Garland told The Sarasota News Leader. It might be faster and cheaper to build a new one. A change is necessary because the previous gravity-ow design was too shallow to pre vent a permanent backup condition called surcharge. That means the existing deep well must be lowered to meet the submerged elevation of the 36-inch diameter pipe that will carry all the sewage from the southern half of the city. And that means the foundation for all the pumps must be lowered, too. They require at least a foot of reinforced concrete. We need to lower the existing submersible pump structure 11 feet, said Topovski, mean ing the overall depth of the well must go down 13 feet further and maybe more. How much will this cost? We are still devel oping a conceptual cost estimate, said Garland. We inherited a design that was already installed. But until we have a prelimi nary design, we cannot determine a cost. PUBLIC SCRUTINY The monthly progress meetings are open to the public, but they were sparsely attended until Monday, when a contingent from the Central Park condos showed up. Mike Taylor, retired chief planner for the city, asked a The previous rm that worked on the lift station project was using plans that could have signicantly damaged the Osprey Avenue bridge over Hudson Bayou. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 50


A map shows the proximity of the Central Park condominium complex to Luke Wood Park, where Lift Station 87 is being built. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 51


financial que stion. This was budgeted at $9.6 million. Weve now spent $8 million. How are we going to do the rest of this project? Wheres the rest of the money coming from? And reliability? Should we be looking at a dif ferent site? Topovski said the proceeds from the sale of the city-owned spray elds at the Hi Hat Ranch east of Interstate 75 will be used to nish the job. As for reliability: We are re-looking at the functionality of the system, he replied. Pauline Kingsbury stepped up to cross-ex amine the engineers, peppering them with questions. So whats the completion date now? she asked. Jan. 13, 2016 is the nal conclusion date, when [Lift Station] 7 is closed down and we make the park good, said Garland. Odor control xed? she asked. The system is sized properly, but we are look ing at additional guards upstream to minimize those risks, too, Garland told her. How long can you stay on schedule as the scope gets bigger and bigger? asked Ellen Miller. In Phase One, we did a fairly detailed design of the sewer system, said Garland. In Phase Two, were designing the lift station. The depth does not impact our design schedule. The consent order [with the FDEP] goes to May 2016, noted Miller. I think youre working to that schedule. Im worried about the construction schedule. I dont think its realistic. Of all the people in the city, Miller has the greatest reason to worry. She lives directly next to the failed and failing Lift Station 7 that is still handling one-third of the citys sewage. % The site of Lift Station 87 in Luke Wood Park showed little sign of progress in October 2013. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 52


This week, the S arasota city commissioners received their rst peek at next years budget, which will kick in Oct. 1. Between now and that date, they will hold more workshops and public hearings. But at the starting gate, they are about $3 million in the red. On April 14, in a break from past presentations, Finance Director John Lege rst conducted a tour of last years budget, the one that ended Sept. 30, 2013. When auditors completed their work, they returned a clean report, making no recommendations for changes or modi cations. The city was able to keep its rainy day money the revenue stabilization fund intact and untouched. Lege then went on to look at the current scal year, now about halfway nished. The com mission tapped into the rainy day money for $1.1 million to avoid raising taxes during last years budget-setting exercise. But it looks as though the city will need $1.8 million to keep the budget intact for the current year. This is due to revenues falling about $2 million short of original estimates. Using the $1.8 million to plug the current hole leaves about $1.1 million in the rainy day fund for the coming scal year. This years reduced revenues are attributed to falling redlight camera nes, nearly nothing earned on investments and a communications service tax revenue decli ne. The State Street parking garage is expected to cost about $4 million more than its original estimate. Image courtesy City of Sarasota NEXT CITY BUDGET STARTING $3 MILLION IN THE HOLE MAYOR OPPOSES ACCEPTING AUDIT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


While the economy may be climbing out of the recession, the citys property tax reve nues lag well behind because of government procedures. Property assessments for tax pur poses are always at least two years behind the market, for example. The citys property tax revenues for the just completed (and audited) scal year 2013 period were $16.2 million, a mere $100,000 above the gure at the bottom of the recession. Meanwhile, the city is projected to use up all but $1.1 million in its rainy day fund, the revenue stabilization money. But the budget estimates for the coming scal period show a $3 million shortfall. Several ongoing city projects have provided the city with nancial headaches, too. The State Street parking garage is about $4 mil lion over the original estimate; Lift Station 87 is certain to demand more money as the proj ect redesign continues (see the related story in this issue); and the elimination of parking meters now necessitates a subsidy for the Parking Department to function. In preparing the 2015 scal year spending plan, Lege asked all city department heads to come back with at budgets. Anything over that, he said, would be what we call a bud get issue. He noted the need for $193,000 to subsidize the operations of the Municipal More money for the Sarasota Police Department is reected in the citys 2015 scal year budget. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 54


Parking meter stumps now symbolize the City Commissions need to plug the hole in the citys Parking Department budget. Photo by Norman Schimmel Auditorium and $544,000 for the parking subsidy, and he said that when the State Street garage is nished in February 2015, it will require city maintenance and util ities expenses, which are not yet in the proposed budget. Additionally, Sarasota County will cut funding for the upkeep of parks by $200,000 in the coming scal year. Other adjustments in the proposed budget include increased funding for the Police Department and the Fire Department and general employee pension funds, plus higher medical and dental expenses for retirees. Overall, $13 million of the $60 million in the general fund is reected in pensions and retiree costs. Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 55


Lege previously pointed out that while other Florida cities raised property taxes to offset the drop in property values, Sarasota main tained its tax rate and, instead, cut services and employees. The city preferred to let go more than a quarter of its staff than to raise taxes. While the property tax roll is expected to rise again this year, as it did last year, Lege does not anticipate the increased revenue will cope with the subsidies needed for the Municipal Auditorium or the Parking Department to say nothing of what a homeless shelter will cost the city, either directly or in policing efforts The head-scratching moment came at the end of the meeting. The budget presentation was over, and a team from the citys auditing rm of Purvis, Gre y and Co. came forward to explain its review of the scal year nances ending Sept. 30, 2013. Auditor Joe Welch said his team had no ndings; it was a clean report. While not unprecedented, it is uncommon for independent auditors of city or county nances to come back without a quibble. Any student receiving an A+/100 percent grade on a tough test knows how rare it is. But when it came time for the City Commission to accept the glowing report from the inde pendent auditors, one member took the tack of No. Mayor Shannon Snyder, without any explanation, voted against accepting the audi tors report. He then adjourned the meeting. As he left the City Commission Chambers, The Sarasota News Leader asked Snyder why he voted against accepting the audit. He said, No comment. % 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 April 18, 2014 Page 56


Big construction overruns, four separate issues on vagrancy, untangling trafc issues and mediating a lawyerly cat ght are on the playbill for the Monday, April 21, Sarasota City Commission meeting. Two major city building projects are escalat ing in cost well beyond the original estimates, and on Monday, the commissioners will be asked to approve ways to scrape up the cash to fund one of them. The State Street parking garage is anticipated to cost a minimum of $4 million above its 2008 estimate. Staff will ask the City Commission to approve a $10.6 million co ntract with A.D. Morgan Corp. to build the garage. To pay f or it, the city will be borrowing money internally from its Fleet Liability Fund and the Workers Compensation Fund. The com mission also will be considering a budget amendment necessary to formally reallocate the money to cover the $4.1 million shortfall. Later, in the evening session, the commission ers will get an update on Lift Station 87 (see the related story in this issue). In January, city Ut ilit y Director Mitt Tidwell estimated With permit nally in hand, the rm that will undertake the rehabilitation of Dolphin Tower can begin its work. Photo by Norman Schimmel HOMELESSNESS, LEGAL AND DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC ISSUES JOIN PROJECT COST OVERRUNS IN MAKING UP MOST OF THE APRIL 21 CITY COMMISSION AGENDA REALITY TV CON MAS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The groundbreaking for The Jewel in downtown Sarasota is set for April 22. Image from the website Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 58


the project eventually might cost $9 million more than anticipated. With lawsuits and con tract renegotiations under way, the additional money is not needed immediately, but the commissioners will hear a status report on the project and all its mechanical, legal and scien tic problems. It is not a trivial endeavor. The lift station handles all the sewage from the southern half of the city, including Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Speaking of construction, city staff members are going to look for commission direction about downtown special events and street clo sures. Downtown construction is starting to create trafc turmoil, with approved projects coming out of the ground. The rehab project at Dolphin Tower now has a structural reno vation permit, so work can begin in earnest to repair the broken building. Groundbreaking for The Jewel condominium complex at 1301 City staff has worked out a lease agreement to use nearby property for a staging area if a homeless shelter is built at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 59


Main St. is set for T uesday, April 22, and foun dation work is proceeding for the Aloft Hotel at Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard. Plus, the city will be doing a variety of utility proj ects downtown. Meanwhile, city staffers are looking at a cal endar for the next 12 months that is jammed with street closures for 37 civic events. The agenda item simply says, Direct staff on how to proceed. VAGRANCY ISSUES PROLIFERATE When City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell complained on TV news last year that she was afraid to walk downtown because of all the vagrants, little did she realize her remarks would create a flashpoint of controversy that continues to burn. Four separate issues linked to vagrancy show up on the April 21 City Commission agenda. The rst will appear in the afternoon after the commission nishes work on the consent agenda. Mayor Shannon Snyder has asked the city manager to provide a homelessness status update at every meeting. This will be City Manager Tom Barwins debut report. There may be a lot to report. The environ mental assessments of the two proposed shelter sites will be public by that time. (See the related story in this issue.) The following agenda item will help clear one of the two proposed sites in case it is selected to house the shelter. City staffers propose leasing property to provide staging and parking for the citys deep-well injection project on Osprey Avenue across 12th Street (From left) County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh and City Attorney Robert Fournier are at odds over the citys plan to reset the base year for the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 60


from the citys sewage treatment plant. The parcel at 1330 N. Osprey Ave., which is the highest ranked of those identied for a shel ter location by homelessness and vagrancy consultant Robert Marbut, was to have been used for that staging area. With the other property under lease, the 1330 N. Osprey site would be clear for shelter construction. The lease to use the additional land as a stag ing area for the well work will cost $1,075 per month, and the city proposes to pay for it from homeless project funds. Putting the supplies, machinery and parking elsewhere will allow shelter construction. In the evening session, the commissioners will conduct two public hearings on ordinances involving vagrancy. One would ban people from sitting, standing or placing objects in roadway medians and roundabouts. This springs from an individual who regu larly inhabits the center of the roundabout at Charles Ringling Boulevard and South Pineapple Avenue. His encampment is on the apron of the center of the roundabout, where he displays his paintings. A second public hearing on another ordinance is designed to streamline the citys lodging out-of-doors law, bringing it into line with the countys regulations. Consultant Marbut recommended the city and county harmonize their ordinances aimed at behavior demon strated by homeless and vagrant people. REAL POLICY ISSUES After untangling the issue of downtown parades versus concrete trucks, scraping the barrel to pay for construction overruns and stamping out the homeless res, the com missioners can turn their attention to other issues of l asting importance. The rst public hearing of the evening could be a showdown between two hired guns the city and county attorneys. The issue is a reset of the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agencys benchmark year for collection of tax-increment nancing money. The county attorney says the city cannot do that by itself. The city attorney has stuffed his proposed ordinance with multiple references to reasons why the city can do what it wants. This is not a tri vial question, because over the coming decades, it will mean the difference between nothing and something for Newtown redevelopment. It is doubtful the City and County commissions want a showdown over this issue, because the implications are vast. The political gods will be watching closely. The skids also are well greased for an after noon issue involv ing the city and county. The City Manager Tom Barwin. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 61


city now collect s impact fees for transporta tion from developers of new construction; the money can be used only to increase the capacity of roadways. The city wants more discretion, and it wants out of the transportation impact fee regime and into the multi-modal mobility fee busi ness; same concept but different uses. New development imposes additional strains, but instead of making developers pay to widen the roads, the money can be used for better bike lanes, mass transit, downtown shuttles and other alternatives to more cars on the streets. The city and county staffs have worked together on this for months, and there are no surprises here. The switch, however, would put the city on a different path to moving res idents, if the measure is approved. There is more work needed, but th is afternoon item will be a watershed. The nal public hearing of the evening will be another kind of confrontation. Earlier this month, the city was threatened by a Sunshine lawsuit if it did not repudiate all the work of the past three years by its Independent Police Advisory Panel. A lawyer charged that the ordinance establishing the board included ex ofcio members and claimed they, too, were obliged to abide by the Sunshine law based on a Florida Attorney General Ofces opinion. Two weeks ago, the City Commission decided to ignore the threat of a suit and simply amend the ordinance to clarify that the ex ofcio members were simply staffers supporting the work of the committee. Mayor Snyder proposed the city offer to settle the suit for $2,500, but he was outvoted 4-1 % 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 one-time 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 April 18, 2014 Page 62


On Feb. 19, the agent for a couple who wish to build a house on Siesta Key land that has been underwater in past decades asked for a postponement of a public hearing on their request. They need a variance for construction seaward of the countys Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL) to make their project a reality. William M errill of the Icard Merrill firm in Sarasota told the com missioners, My client and a couple of neigh bor property owners had disc ussions [as recently as the previous weekend] about some alternatives to what is being proposed today, and they would like additio nal time to be able to discuss that to see if that is a fruitful discussion As it turns out, Me rrill will be coming back to the County Commission next week with the ve ry same peti tion that was on the Feb. 19 board agenda. Reached by The Sarasota News Leader this week, he said of the effort to A county photo shows the lot at 162 Beach Road in 1948. Image courtesy Sarasota County AN OSPREY COUPLE WILL TRY ONCE AGAIN TO GET COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVAL TO CONSTRUCT A HOUSE ON SIESTA KEY LAND THAT HAS A HISTORY OF FLOODING BUILDING BEYOND THE SETBACK LINE All of us know that the Gulf Beach Setback Line is a last line of defense. Catherine Luckner Vice President Siesta Key Association By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


work out something different with the neigh bors of the property at 162 Beach Road, That hasnt come to fruition at this time. Were going to be proceeding with the same plans led with the c ounty. Those plans call for a house and paver drive way with construction a maximum of 176.5 feet seaward of the GBSL, according to a PowerPoint presentation prepared for the Feb. 19 meeting. The house would have two oors above ground level, each with 1,922 square feet of space, on the 7,652-square-foot lot. The design for the ground level calls for a footprint of 1,305 square feet. During the Feb. 19 meeting, to the dismay of several audience members, the commission ers agreed, after discussion with the county attorney, to reschedule the hearing for April 23. The y wanted to give Merrill a chance to try to work out something different. However, two Siesta residents who took the opportunity to address the commission expressed their displeasure. Bruce Appleton, who owns a condominium in The Terrace on Beach Road, pointed out that a lot of sea sonal residents who might like to speak on the request would be gone by late April. Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson and Commissioner Carolyn Mason urged those who could not be present on April 23 to email or write the board to make their views about the petition clear. THE BACKGROUND In January 2013, the County Commission unani mously turned down a request for a An aerial view shows the 162 Beach Road parcel in 2008. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 64


variance on the same parcel that called for construction 200.16 feet seaward of the GBSL. During that public hearing, the owners of the property, Ronald and Sania Allen, also sought a variance to build a second house of the same design on the parcel they own at 168 Beach Road. During that Jan. 9, 2013 meeting, Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta Key, pointed out that she had abso lutely seen that whole area [under water] Because of the history of those lots and that entire section of Siesta Key, Patterson said, Its really rough for me to even envision some body wanting to build on those properties. A News Leader search of county property records shows the 7,429-square-foot parcel at 162 Beach Road was purchased by the Allens on May 29, 2009 for $5.4 million. The seller was Brent R. Cooper, trustee. The lot sold in September 2007 for $500,000. In 2013, the Sarasota County Property Appraisers Ofce put a value of $1,047,500 on the land. A year earlier, the value was $1,161,200. The vacant lot at 162 Beach Road is underwater in a January 1980 photo that appeared in the Siesta Key Pelican; the same property is shown in a January 2012 photo. Images courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 65


OPPOSITI ON The Siesta Key Association (SKA) has announced its opposition to the Allens latest plan just as it opposed the 2013 vari ance petitions. In a Feb. 7 letter the organization sent to the County Commission, then-President Catherine Luckner wrote that the parcel at 162 Beach Road exists within a State of Florida dened area of Critical Beach Erosion While an accreted shoreline c urrently is noted, there is repeated history of rapid ooding and storm surge. The vegetated dune, described in the Variance Petition, is a defense against storm surge for residential and business prop erties landward of the GBSL. The Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL) and Barrier Island Pass 20 year High Hazard Line (PHL) provide gov ernance for development to enhance property owner safety, protect our natural environ ment and secure property value. Luckner added, Our organization supports residential interests on civic issues which A graphic shows the site plan for 162 Beach Road that the County Commission is expected to consider on April 23. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 66


may impact pro perty values and the environ ment of Siesta Key. We support the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD) and all ordinances that protect the barrier island environment. We support the rights of private land use by owners [when plans] are within ordinance and when [the] use has no adverse impact to other property owners or the barrier island environment. During the April 3 SKA meeting, Luckner, now the SKAs second vice president, reported that the variance petition is scheduled to be heard by the County Commission on April 23. Rec ently retired SKA Director Peter van Roekens, who was in the audience, said he had heard some discussion regarding an effort by the owners to modify the plan to include a proposal for a conservation easement. Howard Berna, environmental supervisor in the countys Natural Resources Department, told the News Leader on April 15, I have had an indication that [the Allens] wanted to do a conservation easement, but I havent seen a plan for that. A page of the staff report on the variance request for the 162 Beach Road parcel shows points of consistency and inconsistency with approval criteria for such construction. MHWL stands for Mean High Water Line. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 67


That interview took place a day prior to the News Leader interview with Merrill. During the SKA meeting, Luckner empha sized the organization opposes any request to build beyond the GBSL. All of us know that the Gulf Beach Setback Line is a last line of defense, she said. Prior to the County Commission hearing in January 2013 regarding the petitions for variances regarding the parcel at 162 Beach Road and 168 Beach Road, the commission ers received a plethora of email pleading for them to deny the requests. Before the commissioners addressed the lat est petition on Feb. 19, they had received nine pro tests by email, which were included in their agenda packet for that meeting. A property owner at 5300 Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Village, who works in New York City, wrote that the GBSL is the only thing protecting our beach from further erosion please this is common sense. If approved, he added, the variance would set a precedent that would lead to even more development and loss of our dunes, grasses and wildlife. An owner of multiple parcels on Siesta Key wrote, The Gulf Beach Setback Line was established for a reason as a society, we cannot afford to continue to build stuff in harms way. A January 2013 aerial view shows Beach Road and The Terrace condominium complex (left) in proximity to the land at 162 Beach Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 68


As recen tly a s A pril 7, a 91-year-old resident of the Terrace East condominium complex at 5300 Ocean Blvd., who has owned that unit since 1973, sent an email to the commission ers pleading with them to deny the request. During the time I have lived at Terrace East, I have personally witnessed a number of weather incidents that have caused erosion and serious ooding to Beach Road and the lot involved in the above variance request, she wrote. Signicant damage could be done to the surrounding properties as well as the natural beachfront as a result of construction on this lot. The changes made in this variance request when compared to the variance request for the same property in 2013 are minimal and should result in denial of variance petition for all the same reasons it was denied in 2013. STAFF REPORT The staff review of the Allens latest request notes that while facts do demonstrate con sistency with the approval criteria for the variance, those are outweighed by the aspects of the plan that are inconsistent with the criteria. For example, the construction of a threestory residence over a parking area, with 3,088 square feet of habitable area, and a paver driveway of 1,421 square feet may not be viewed as the minimum necessary for rea sonable use of the property. The report does point out that the modied petition removed the pool, pool deck and landscape retaining wall that were part of the Jan. 9, 2013 request. Other positive factors are that about ,114 square feet of the 7,652-square-foot lot will remain as unaltered dune habitat and native vegetation, and the Allens have proffered planting 1,350 square feet of dune vegeta tion in areas where non-native plants are to be removed. However, the review also points out, The site is located in a high hazard coastal area that has exhibited dynamic shoreline changes over the past 60 years, and The project would result in direct impacts to more than 3,538 square feet of existing shoreline stabi lizing dune habitat and native vegetation. It adds that the countys comprehensive plan says, Dune systems and their native vegeta tion shall be preserved % For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 69


While elected ofcials of Sarasota and Manatee counties have been working with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) rep resentatives to move a diverging diamond interchange project into the fast lane, they are hopeful the project will not hit the brakes in the Legislature this session. Last month, both County Commissions approved re so lutions formally supporting the new plan at Interstate 75 and University Parkway and pledged to proceed wit h their own s eparate future roadway improvements in the area. Meanwhile, FDOT ofcials are making the diverging diamond a priority and seeking state transportation dollars for it, saying the project will improve trafc ow in a highly congested part of Southwest Florida. This diverging diamond would be the rst such design in t he state. The fate of the plan rests with state leg islators, when the Senate and House will head into the last two weeks of the legisla tive session after the A mid-March aerial photo of Nathan Benderson Park (top) and the Mall at University Town Center (lower right) shows Interstate 75 (at left) and University Parkway (bottom of photo). Image courtesy Sarasota County FAST-TRACK PLAN FOR A DIVERGING DIAMOND INTERCHANGE HINGES ON SENATE AND HOUSE NEGOTIATIONS WAITING ON STATE MONEY Next week, hopefully, this gets hammered out. Charles Hines Chairman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor


Easter break. There is a gulf between the two chambers budget proposals. In their version of the annual budget, House representatives have appropriated $115 mil lion in supplemental transportation funding that could be appropriated for construction projects throughout the state, including the Sarasota interchange, said Sarasota County Commission Chairman Charles Hines. But the Senate budget does not include any discre tionary funding for transportation proposals. Next week, hopefully, this gets hammered out, Hines told The Sarasota News Leader on Tuesday, April 15. Part of the problem is that the project was not on state legislators radar a year ago, said Hines, who has traveled to Tallahassee twice recently to meet with FDOT ofcials about the project. Funding has to be secured this year if construction is to start soon, a timeline local leaders are pushing. After speaking with the countys legisla tive lobbyist this week, Hines told the News Leader he is optimistic the Senate and House will compromise on a budget agreement that includes funding for the interchange between Sarasota and Manatee counties. So far, local and state ofcials have been collaborating well on the proposal, especially given the sense of urgency to get the project under way well before the 2017 World Rowing Championships are held at Nathan Benderson Park off University Parkway. There is momentum, Hines said: The project is in the design phase already; the state does A graphic shows how a diverging diamond interchange would be constructed at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 71


Sarasota County Commission Chairman Charles Hines sent this letter to both state Sen. Nancy Detert and state Sen. Bill Galvano. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 72


not need to purchas e any extra right of way (a process that usually takes years); and the diverging diamond plan is being showcased as a new kind of interchange model for the state. Everything has aligned like last nights red moon, Hines pointed out on Tuesday, refer ring to the eclipse that produced the blood moon. But the funding details have to be worked out. Hines expects there will be a little bit of horse trading going on when the House and Senate negotiate over the budget. The new project, which includes the drainage and interstate bridge improvements, could cost about $50 million, sources say. The Sarasota County Commission sent identical letters on April 9 to state Sens. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, and Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, requesting their backing for the necessary nancial resources for the diverg ing diamond. We urge your support during the upcoming legislative budget conference process for the additional $115 million in the House bud get, but not currently in the Senate, which would provide the Florida Department of Transportations (FDOT) supplemental fund ing for transportation projects such as the University/I-75 Interchange, the letter says. A BIG PROJECT If funding is secured this year, construction is slated to start in the fall of 2015. The work Drivers navigate through a diverging diamond interchange in Springeld, MO. Photo by Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 73


could take t wo to four years, said Jim Harriott Jr., the countys chief engineer. Its a big project, Harriott told the News Leader this week. There is a lot of bridge work to the interstate and nearby drainage in addi tion to the interchange improvement itself. That timeline would necessitate a plan for handling construction around the World Rowing Championships. A NEW PLAN AND A NEW PUSH The diverging diamond project has been on FDOTs project list. However, the initial pro posal, pitched in 2013, called for construction to begin in 2018. The earlier plan did not have much support from local ofcials. That all changed in January, when state Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, met with FDOT District One Secretary Billy Hattaway. After their discussion, Steube was able to organize a meeting in Tallahassee with FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad and local leaders, including Hines. State officials said they wanted to put the project in the fast lane and utilize it as a key piece in solving the transportation puzzle at one of the regions fastest grow ing intersections. The design for the i nterchange was also rened. The new proposal is smaller, and it would be funded entirely by the state, two modications that won the support of Sarasota County Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson. She had expressed res ervations about the 2013 proposal. Robinson said that because of the size of the initial project, the state wanted the county to chip in for construction costs. It has been dramatically scaled back, Robinson pointed out of the project. Robinson has also seen videos and other examples of diverging diamonds in the United States. I am much more comfortable with it, Robinson told the News Leader this week. She added that state funding is now the big gest piece of the puzzle. State ofcials have explained that a diverg ing diamond would work best at University Parkway/I-75 because it can handle more trafc than a standard cloverleaf design. Even though this type of intersection is new the rst was built in Missouri in 2009 it has been proven to function well. Along with those in Missouri, diverging diamond inter changes are located in Kentucky and Utah. Ananth Prasad is the secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation. Image courtesy FDOT Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 74


By the end of 2015, as many as 70 could be in place throughout the country, transportation ofcials say. THE OTHER IMPROVEMENTS Even if the state sets aside funding for the interchange, the onus will be on the two counties to complete roadway improvements around it. They will have the help of Schroeder Manatee Ranch Inc., developer of Lakewood Ranch, and Benderson, developer of the new Mall at University Town Center; both rms are obligated to provide area infrastructure improvements through development agree ments and impact fee guidelines. In the April 9 letter to Detert and Galvano, the Sarasota Co unty Commission wrote that both counties are working diligently on the regions trafc capacity improvements. In Sarasota County, that work could include Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Lorraine Road extensions, as well as a proposed over pass connection between University Parkway and Fruitville Road, according to a March 6 update to the Sarasota county commissioners and staff. Steube said his understanding is that the pre liminary plan calls for Sarasota County and Schroeder Manatee to split the cost of the overpass. That would become one of the alter native routes for residents and commuters heading into Lakewood Ranch. Those other accesses are needed badly, as was evidenced by a January accident that closed a section of Unive rsity Parkway, Steube pointed out. % 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 April 18, 2014 Page 75


Anybody who has lived in Germany knows households are responsible for their side walks. It is not uncommon to see people with scrub brushes and hoses on a weekend morn ing, cleaning their sidewalk. It is a habit many wish was shared by downtown S aras ota merchants and property owner s. The buildup of lth is especially noticeable near establishments with outdoor food and beverage services. In stead of the businesses handling the work, it has been left to the city to see that the side walks are cleaned. For the past three years, that upkeep has not happened. But clean is coming back. The city recently issued a Request for Prop osals, and after a clean-off, Sunshi ne Clea ning emerged the victor. The rm will be cov ering four separate areas: downtown, Newtown, Hillview The classy chassis of Lectric Limos low-speed electric people mover has more in common with a modern sports car than a traditional golf cart. Image courtesy Lectric Limo THE DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BOARD LEARNS A FIRM HAS BEEN CHOSEN FOR SIDEWALK CLEANING, AND IT TESTS ANOTHER ELECTRIC CIRCULATOR SIDEWALK CLEANING AND TRANSPORTATION This is going to be our salvation downtown. Dr. Mark Kauffman Board Member Downtown Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Street and St. Armands Circle. The Downtown Improvement District (DID) board has been pushing for years to see the city work out a deal for the commercial cleaning of the side walks. Thanks to the selection of Sunshine, the board members believe the downtown sidewalks can be scoured and transformed again into pleasant pathways. DID Operations Manager John Moran said Sunshine would charge $795 per cleaning. The city will pay for two per year, and Moran suggested the DID could nd $7,950 to pay for 10 more. Id say we start with the dirtiest sid ewalk in Sarasota, along Main from Orange to Gulfstream, he suggested. This eliminates the need for restaurants to do it themselves? asked DID member Mark Kauffman. That is correct, replied Moran. The next piece of downtown beautication the DID proposes is the re-sodding of Five Points Park. Heavy foot trafc, sandy soil and deep shade all contribute to heavy wear on the grass. Moran proposed the park be re-sodded every two years, and it is time now to get that schedu le started. It is a colla borative venture Five passengers plus the driver makes for a full load. Photo courtesy Lectric Limo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 77


with [the citys] Public Works [Department], he said. We pay and they install. NEW DOWNTOWN CRUISER TESTED By the time you read this, the DID will have conducted a test of another vehicle proposed to serve as a circulator to take people from hotels and parking garages to downtown destinations. On Thursday, April 17, a six-seat low-speed electric vehicle was scheduled to be tried out on a 5.2-mile r oute. It was to simulate a trip with regular stops at a variety of locations, and it was expected to require about one hour to nish the loop. Last month, the DID tested a six-seat electric vehicle made by Cruise Cars of Sarasota, a well-established company that produces golf carts and low-speed elec tric vehicles based on golf carts. Howeve r, testing found the lead-acid batter ies in the Cruise Cars needed recharging after about ve hours of service. To maintain a reli able system, the ve-hour battery life meant two vehicles would be necessary to work a 10-hour day, pushing up capital and mainte nance costs. Aprils test vehicle is made by Lectric Limos of Largo. It uses lithium -ion batteries, and it is designed and built as a low-speed electric vehicle. The modern batteries do not need recharging in the middle of a daily schedule. Moran hopes the test will be a proof-of-con cept that a eet of 10 electric vehicles can travel a circuit with wait times as short as ve minutes for a ride. The route would include existing and planned hotels, plus a run up and down Main Street. Downtown Improvement District board members have complained that restaurateurs do not keep sidewalks clean where outdoor dining is provided. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 78


During the A pril 15 DID meeting, Moran pre sented a spreadsheet examining how such a system might work nancially. Using a veyear lease to acquire 10 vehicles, along with paying for the insurance and maintenance, would require approximately $113,000. However, to buffer the cost, Moran suggested a private rm might want to operate the sys tem and raise funds by selling advertising and renting the vehicles to operators who would drive for tips. Additional funds might come from the hotels themselves, while local foundations could be yet another option for assistance. The Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency, the DID and perhaps even the citys Parking Department might w ant to support the idea. Each p arking space in the new State Street garage will cost roughly $30,000, so elimi nating a single cars need for a downtown parking space potentially is worth that onetime amount. Kauffman did a little mental math to assess the size of the ridership. You have four down town hotels with 814 rooms. With 70 percent occupancy [on an annual basis] and a fourday stay of 1.8 people per room, times 365. Thats 100,000 visitors per year, he said. This is going to be our salvation downtown. Moran was quick to point out his spreadsheet contained a lot of estimates. But the $113,000 annually is an amount that is affordable, he said. It is not a back-breaking amount to consider. % Outdoor dining is a common feature on both ends of Main Street, east and west of Five Points. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 79


In recognition of Earth Day, members of Sarasota Countys Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) chapter will travel to Siesta Key Beach to pick up litter from cigarettes and other tobacco products, the county has announced. Earth Day is Saturday, April 26. The students plan to be on the beach from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a news release notes. People dont always realize that smoking is not only bad for their health, it is bad for the environment, said Riverview High SWAT student Faye Ramos in the release. This is the second year SWAT has organized a beach cleanup; we hope that more people will be aware of the negative impact tobacco is hav ing on our community. Cigarettes make up the majority of litter in the world, the release points out. Their rem nants comprise more than 4.5 trillion pieces of litter each year, the release says. Such statistics tell only one part of the story, the release notes. Cigarette butts and the remnants of tobacco leaves resulting after a cigarette is extinguished contain hun dreds of toxic chemicals that can leach into waterways or be ingested by wildlife, the release adds. Before state law stopped Sarasota County from banning tobacco products on Siesta Public Beach, visitors often lauded the absence of cigarette butts in the sand. Photo by Rachel Hackney SWAT CHAPTER TO RID SIESTA PUBLIC BEACH OF TOBACCO LITTER NEWS BRIEFS


Tobacco use remains the No. 1 prevent able cause of death in the United States, and we know that the effect does not stop there, said Jeanette Robinson, Tobacco Prevention Program manager for the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, in the release. Tobacco use negatively impacts the health of a smoker; secondhand smoke negatively impacts the health of non-smok ers; and tobacco litter negatively impacts our environment. For more information about resources to quit smoking, visit or call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach, the release continues. For details about the local SWAT chapter, visit or call 8612997. Image courtesy Sarasota County The Sarasota Police Department has a new member: K9 Andro, the department has announced. The 21-month-old German Shepherd was brought to Sarasota from Germany last week end, a news release says. He will serve as the K9 partner for Ofcer Nick Dominis, replac ing K9 Kuda, the release notes. Kuda, who was handled by Officer Trip Schwenk, retired after nearly eight years with the Police Department, the release continues. Dominis and Andro will spend the next two weeks bonding and socializing, it points out. Afterward, they will attend a 480-hour K9 school mandated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Training, the release explains. Upon comple tion of that training, both Dominis and K9 Andro will be required to pass a state certi cation test before they begin working the streets of the City of Sarasota. Historically, the handler is given the oppor tunity to name the K9 partner when the two are bonding, the release notes. Andros given name at his kennel in Germany was Roby, which Dominis decided to change, the release says. In honor of my heritage and, specically, my father, who is Croatian, I chose the name Andro, Dominis points out in the release. Andro is a recognized warrior name by the citize ns of Croatia. K9 ANDRO JOINS THE SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 81


K9 Andro has become the newest canine member of the Sarasota Police Department. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 82


Sarasota County will host its 18th annual Big Truck Day on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park, located at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota, the county has announced. The free event will feature vehicles of all sizes from Sarasota County Fleet and Emergency Services along with those of private busi nesses, a news release says. Big Truck Day gives children a chance to explore the big vehicles they see on the streets as well as provide parents an opportunity to meet and talk with the people who operate them, said J amal Edwards, Sarasota County Park s and Recreation program coordinator, in the release. Youngsters of all ages will be able to climb inside the cabs, pull the levers, push the ped als and honk the horns of dump trucks, re trucks, pay loaders, buses and more, the release adds. Beyond that, eggs will be hidden on the grounds and in vehicles throughout the day for children to nd, the release notes. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras to snap photos of their youngsters with the Easter Bunny. Childrens games and food vendors will be part of the fun as well, the release says. BIG TRUCK DAY TO ROLL INTO TWIN LAKES PARK ON SATURDAY Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 83


In celebration of Wo rld Environment Day the Sarasota Bay Estuary Programs Bay Guardians will team up with Oscar Scherer State Park, Scheda Ecological Associates and Around the Bend Nature Tours for a volun teer planting on Earth Day, April 27, the Bay Guardians have announced. Nine thousand wetland plants will be placed in shallow water in the park that day, a news release says. The event will begin at 11 a.m., with lunch to be provided at noon by Friends of Oscar Scherer Park. An RSVP is required. This event is suitable for ages 6 and up, the release points out. Participants are encouraged to wear hats, sunscreen, close-toed shoes (old tennis shoes work great, the release notes), clothes that can get dirty and work gloves. Bring a trowel if you have one, the release adds, and please bring a reusable water bottle if you have one to reduce our plastic pollution. Oscar Scherer State Park is located at 1843 S. Tamiami Trail in Osprey. Anyone with ques tions may contact Camille Boffa at info@ or 955-8085. BAY GUARDIANS TO TEAM WITH PARTNERS FOR EARTH DAY PLANTING Oscar Scherer State Park will be the site of an Earth Day event on April 27. Photo courtesy of Fran Palmeri Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 84


Sarasota Count y Area Transit (SCAT) will hold its annual Try Transit Day Friday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Payne Park in down town Sarasota to promote the use of SCAT buses and share information about other alter native forms of transportation, the county has announced. The event, which will feature prizes, give aways, a food truck and exhibits, will be free and open to the public, a news release says. As part of the celebration, SCAT will waive all fares for its xed-route service on April 25. Every rider, including those on Express routes, will be able to take the buses for free, the news release poin ts out. Durin g the Payne Park event, staff from the Florida Department of Transportations Commuter Services Division will be on hand to register new members and promote its EZtrack program, which allows members to log their trips and track their savings, the release continues. Users can enter commute trips daily, weekly or monthly for up to 30 calendar days, it notes. Participants become eligible for prize drawings from Commuter Services. To learn more about the EZtrack program, visit For more information about Try Transit Day, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1), or visit COUNTY TO HOLD ITS ANNUAL TRANSIT DAY ON APRIL 25 All riders on Sarasota County Area Transit xed routes will be able to take buses for free on April 25. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 85


The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, whose mission is to improve the health and well being of Sarasotas pregnant women, infants and young children, has announced it will hold its rst spring luncheon fundraiser, Giving Sarasota a Healthy Start The event will take place in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Friday, April 25, at 11:30 a.m., a news release says. Guests will be treated to food including desserts and wine catered by Mattisons; a performance by Stage Door Preschool of the Arts; a city proclamation presented by City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, a Healthy Start board member who also will serve as mistress of ceremonies; and a keynote address by Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute Im a supporter of the excellent services for maternal, infant and childhood health pro vided by Healthy Start Coalitions in every county of Florida and know that Sarasotas successful program services are reaching thousands of your communitys families, said Levine in the release. The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County served 1,356 pregnant women and 903 infants last year, the release points out. Among its free services are child-care coordination; classes on caring for babies, parenting and childbirth; programs to help people stop smoking, to help women maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and to reduce stress; postpartum depression counseling; and breastfeeding support, the release notes. Ticke ts to Giving Sarasota a Healthy Start are $75. Sponsorship tickets begin at $150 and include a VIP reception presented by Vin Cella Wine Cellar to welcome new Healthy Start Executive Director Shon Ewens. For registration or more information, visit For more information about the Healthy Start Coalition, call 373-7070 or visit healthysta FIRST GIVING SARASOTA A HEALTHY START LUNCHEON PLANNED Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 86


The Kentuck y Military Institute (KMI) will forever have its mark in Sarasota County fol lowing a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at 3 p.m. at Centennial Park in Venice, Sarasota County has announced. All members of the community are invited to the event, hosted by the Sarasota County Historical Commission, during which an his torical marker honoring KMI will be unveiled. The institutes connection to the state of Florida dates back to 1906, when a winter campus was established near Melbourne, a news release explains. The winter campus was seen as a location where cadets could escape Kentucky winters, making it easier for them to improve their health and aca demic performance by reducing sick leave, the release notes. In 1932, the campus was relocated to Venice after a re at the Melbourne site. KMI ini tially rented and then later purchased the San Marco Hotel (now the site of the Venice Centre Mall), the Hotel Venice (now Park Place, a retirement center) and the annex between the two, which provided housing for faculty and cadets, classrooms, kitchens, ofces, an inrmary and a dining hall, the release points out. The contingent of KMI students, staff and faculty, totaling 1,500, arrived in Venice in January 1933. According to the Sarasota County Historical Commission, the school breathed new life into the city, the release says. Centennial Park and the nearby municipal parking lot served as parade grounds for KMI, it notes. During those days, KMI held formal parades, attracting residents a nd tourists to watch the cadets demonstrating marching skills along with the Kentucky Ries, a precision drill pla toon, and the cadet band. Although the KMI campus closed in the early 1970s, the Venice community has never for gotten the cadets and their importance in the citys history, according to the Sarasota County Historical Commission. For more information about this event and other Sarasota County historical markers, call the Sarasota Call Center at 861-5000 or visit MILITARY INSTITUTE HISTORICAL MARKER TO BE UNVEILED IN VENICE The Kentucky Military Institutes Venice campus was an important part of the community for decades, county historians say. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 87


During an April 29 program presented by Americans United for Separation of Church & State and The Peace Education & Action Center, an awarding-winning documentary, The Revisionaries will be shown at Sarasotas Fogartyville, located at 525 Kumquat Court in Sarasota, organizers have announced. The free event will be co-sponsored by the Sarasota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Religious Tolerance and the Humanists of Sarasota Bay, a news releas e says. The Revisionaries showcases how public education has become the latest battleground amid a new wave of cultural, religious and ideological class warfare, the release adds. It highlights how tactics used in that ght have led to the rewriting [of] key tenets of U.S. democracy and are affecting educational pol icy at the national level for generations to come, the release notes. The documentary won the Special Jury Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. The show ing wil l begin at 6 p.m. on April 29. REVISIONARIES TO BE SHOWN AT FREE GATHERING ON APRIL 29 Image from the website Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 88


On the evening of April 10, an audience of more than 300 honored the areas most promising young scientists, engineers and inventors with monetary awards [and] other prizes during the 25th annual Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair Awards presentations, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County has announced. Superintendent Lori White, school board members, district leaders and fair sponsors congratulated the 56 students from grades 3 through 12 whose projects scored highest in 21 research categories this year, a news release explains. Susan Scott, executive director of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, presented rst-place awards in each category to elementary (grades 3 to 5), middle (grades 6 to 8) and high school (grades 9 to 12) stu dents. The recipients took home more than $12,500 in cash gifts and additional prizes for exceptional achievement, the release says. The two overall winners, Cardinal Mooneys Courtney Astore and Sarasota Highs Rebecca Elsishans, will represent Sarasota County next month at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, with all expenses paid by the Education Foundation, the release says. The Dart Foundation Award for Medicine & Health and a check for $1,000 went to Natalie Olson. The Sarasota High student took rst place in the category of Medicine and Health Sciences for her project, The Effect of Aromatase Inhibitor Aminoglutethimide REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR AWARD WINNERS NAMED Mote Marines Dr. Carl Luer, Rebecca Elsishans, Courtney Astore and Science Fair Director Brad Porinchak at the closing of the 2014 Science Fair Awards on April 10. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 89


on Ni tric Oxide Production of Human Endothelial Cells The Dart Foundation Inspiration Award of $1,000 went to Courtney Astore, a top prize winner for the second year in a row, the release points out. The Cardinal Mooney juniors project was Linking the Severity of Ones Autism Diagnosis with Symptoms and Causations The $1,000 Faulhaber Foundation Prizes for the Scientic Exploration of Nature went to Jerry Allen DeBusk of Suncoast Polytechnical High for his project in the space sciences, Correlation of Coronal Mass Ejections and to North Port Highs Kaitlyn West for How Sweet is This, one of three winners in the eld of botany, the release adds. For the sixth consecutive year, two Omar Y. Cooper Student Achi evement Awards were presented. Both offer $2,000 and a 12-month mentorship with an adult professional in the students chosen eld. Pine View School junior James Niffenegger received his award for an environmental science project, Mud Treatment: Clean Energy and Cleaner Water Using Biological Fuel Cells Sarasota High junior Rebecca Elsishans won for her environ mental science project, Optimization of CO2 calcination reaction using a nickel catalyst and varying concentrations of calcium Brad Porinchak, Regional Science Fair direc tor, said in the release that 822 Sarasota County students from 49 public, private and home schools submitted 657 individual and team projects to the competition. More than 160 volunteer judges evaluated the entries and interviewed students, the release notes. The judges scores determined the overall winners as well as the champions i n each category. Jerry Allen DeBusk from Suncoast Polytechnical High and Kaitlyn West from North Port High with Regional Science Fair sponsors Ping and Dr. Fritz Faulhaber. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 90


In accordance wit h Sarasota and Manatee counties urban fertilizer ordinances, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is reminding residents to use fertilizers with a minimum of 50-percent slow-release nitro gen if they fertilize their lawns or owerbeds during the spring. Slow-release products (also called con trolled release or timed release) feed lawns and plants gradually and for a longer period of time, an SBEP news release points out. They are more easi ly absorbed by the plants and les s likely to become stormwater runoff after heavy rains. The SBEP also is reminding residents that local ordinances prohibit fertilizer application in the summer months, from June 1 through Sept. 30, the release notes. Using too much fertilizer has an adverse impact on water quality and aquatic life because of the high amount of nitrogen and phosphorus. Learn more by visiting or the SBEP website at SBEP REMINDS RESIDENTS TO USE SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZER The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is reminding area residents to help protect the water quality in the bay. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 91


The Flori da High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has awarded the Venice High School Lady Indians basketball team the FHSAA 6A Academic Team Champion Award for win ter 2013-14, the Sarasota County Schools has announced. Team members had a cumulative 3.6 grade point average, the best academic record in their category in Class 6A, a news release points out. The Riverview High School Lady Rams soc cer team also received an Academic Team Champion Award for having the best academic record in its 5A category for winter 2013-14, the news release continues. The team had a cumulative 3.56 grade point average. This is the 11th Academic Team Champion Award for a Venice High Athletic team since 2007, the release points out. The awards are displayed in the schools Championship Hall under a heading that says, Athletics in the Classroom The following are the other years and Venice teams that have won this award: 2007 boys basketball and boys baseball. 2008 boys basketball, girls track and eld and girls volleyball. 2009 girls volleyball. 2010 boys basketball. 2011 boys weightlifting. 2013 girls weightlifting and boys basketball. VENICE HIGH AND RIVERVIEW GIRLS TEAMS HONORED FOR ACADEMICS Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, will be the keynote speaker for the April 24 meeting of the Sarasota Republican Club, the organization has announced. Buchanan will provide an update on the latest issues in the nations capital and discuss his campaign, a news release says. He has a very exciting opportunity as a member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the release adds, because the current chairman of that committee will be retiring at the end of this year. The club will meet at 6 p.m. on April 24 at Marina Jack, located at 2 Marina Plaza on Sarasotas bayfront. Dinner reservations are required, the release points out. To make reservations, visit the club website or call 888-325-3212. BUCHANAN TO BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT APRIL 24 MEETING Vern Buchanan is Sarasotas congressman. Photo from the U.S. Congress via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 92


The Venice High School Lady Indians basketball team for 2013-14: (front row, from left) Ashley Ceglia, Ashlyn Weed, Lucy Whitney, Karlee Ream, Hannah Whitney, Koree Resm; (back row, from left) Assistant Coach Dan Wolfe, Maggie Flynn, Mariah Miller, Emma Hanewinckel, Gabby Perez, Brooke Bezdek, Taira Ward, Kaylee McCutchion, Taylor Angelo, Sara Hanewinckel, Assistant Coach Georgia Miller and Head Coach Jim Davis. Not pictured is team member Talee Howard. Photo courtesy Shannon Weed of Artistic Avenues Photography The Riverview High School girls soccer team for 2013-14: (front and center) Katy Mixon; (front row, from left) Natalie Hullinger, Lauren Noblit, Ansley Saba, Paige Reichenberger, Danielle Allen, Abigal Donnelly, Madison Buscemi, Gabrielle Levy; (back row, from left) Morgan Johnson, Rachel Roberts, Claire Mobley, Dana Berkowitz, Bagrielle Abello, Gabrielle Falco, Allison Jones, Allison Gollnick, Victoria Gowan and Leah West. Head Coach Jamie Brester is not pictured. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 93


Sarasota Countys University of Florida/ Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension staff and volunteers will participate in this years Florida Agriculture in the Classrooms (FAITC) Literacy Day on Tuesday, April 29, the county has announced. During this annual event, in elementary class rooms across the state, volunteers read an agriculture-related book to inform students about the importance of farming in Florida, a news release explains. This year, Extension staff is pairing volunteers with interested teachers to reach an antici pated 375 children in classrooms throughout Sarasota County, the release points out. Each year, FAITC provides books and supple mental materials to participating volunteers, the release continues. The current book selec tion, targeted to elementary-age children, is titled Florida Farms at School, written by Arlette Roberge. This book provides an overview of farmers and uses of their products, the release adds. Extension is a partnership among Sarasota County, UF/IFAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), designed to translate research into community initiatives, classes and volunteer opportunities, the release says. For mor e information about Florida Agriculture Literacy Day, contact Stacy Spriggs, community and school gar dens coordinator, at 861-9815, or visit sarasota.ifas.u.ed u % AGRICULTURE LITERACY DAY TO BE OBSERVED IN COUNTY Floridas Farm History has been read to students on past observances of Agriculture Literacy Day. Image courtesy Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 94


(Above) A truck has visible damage after its driver allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian in Sarasota on April 16. Photo courtesy Police Department CRIME BLOTTER Mark Stei nberg, 66, of 2219 Sunnyside Place in Sarasota, has been charged with DUI Manslaughter (a felony), DUI with Property Damage (a misdemeanor), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death (a felony) and Leaving the Scene with Property Damage (a misdemeanor) following a crash on the morning of April 16 in which a pedestrian was killed, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. A police sergeant reported that he and another ofcer were driving southbound on U.S. 41, in the area of Irving Street and South Tamiami Trail, when they passed a man walking on the sidewalk. Shortly after ward, according to the report, the sergeant said he heard a very loud noise like an explo sion and saw a black Ford with extensive damage go by the ofcers vehicle. SARASOTA MOTORIST CHARGED AFTER PEDESTRIANS DEATH


About 1 2:45 a.m., the ofcers stopped the truck and saw the driver, Steinberg, was the sole occupant, a news release notes. They placed him in the back of a patrol vehicle, it adds. During their investigation, the ofcers con cluded that Steinberg was driving south on U.S. 41 in the outside lane. Just past the Hudson Bayou bridge, the report says, the truck appeared to have swerved up onto the curb and the sidewalk. The victim was struck by the right side of the truck, which contin ued south and hit a light pole before ofcers stopped it, the release continues. The victim in the original crash was identied as Gerald Blalock, 44, of Sarasota, the release says. He appeared to have broken bones and a head laceration, the report notes. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:41 a.m. Steinberg was arrested and transported to the Sarasota County Jail. Mark Steinberg/Contributed photo A 65-year-old Sarasota man has been charged with Armed Robbery in connection with an incident on Sunday at the CVS located at 2773 Fruitville Road, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. About 1:20 p.m. on April 13, ofcers with the Sarasota Police Department responded to a report about an armed robbery at the store, a news release explains. The suspect walked into the CVS with a ban danna over his face and threatened the clerk at the front of the store, the release says. He then walked to the pharmacy, at the rear of the store, and demanded all of the Oxycodone and Hydromo rphone pills, which are prescrip tion drugs, the release points out. The suspect had his hand in his pocket and implied he had a gun, the release continues. Pharmacy staff placed the pills on the counter for him, and then he demanded a bag. That was when he was taken down by Jaanus Jurisoo, a witness inside the store at the time of the incident, the release explains. Jurisoo held the defendant down until the ofcers arrived, it adds. Further investigation showed the suspect was not armed, the release notes. Freddie F. Johnson, 65, of 704 Rellim Lane, Sarasota, is also facing one count of Armed Robbery in connection with the Hedges Pharmacy robbery that occurred on Feb. 27, the release notes. CUSTOMER INSIDE CVS TACKLES WOULD-BE ROBBER Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 96


Althou gh we applaud the actions of Mr. Jurisoo in bringing this suspect into custody, we do not encourage or recommend that mem bers of the public take matters into their own hands when they observe a crime, said Capt. Patrick Robinson of the Police Departments Bureau of Patrol Operations in the release. We recommend that individuals who observe criminal activity not put themselves into harms way or place themselves into a posi tion to become a victim. We would ask that if you see a crime in progress to call 911 imme diately and provide information to the responding police ofcers, he added. Freddie Johnson/Contributed photo Surveillance video taken inside the CVS shows a customer tackling a man who attempted to rob the store. Video courtesy Sarasota Police Department WATCH THE VIDEO Click here to watch the full video Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 97


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested a 38-year-old man for murder, the ofce has announced. At 4:25 p.m. on April 14, a woman called the office to report that a man named Ed Rutherford had phoned her, claiming he had found her husband dead at their home, 2144 Oak Terrace in Sarasota, a news release says. The woman, who was parked just up the street when she received the call, saw Rutherford speed away from the house, the release continues. Deputies found the door locked but also rec ognized signs of forced entry, the release notes. Upon searching the home, they found 45-year-old David Alessandrini dead of hom icidal trauma, the release says. Detectives issued a bulletin to all lo cal law enforcement 38-YEAR-OLD MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN OAK TERRACE INCIDENT A map shows the house at 2144 Oak Terrace in Sarasota, where a murder was reported on April 14. Photo from Google Maps Edward Rutherford/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 98


ofces, asking for help in locating Rutherford and providing a description of his vehicle. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Police quickly responded that its ofcers had spoken with Rutherford when he picked up a relative who had own in for a family gather ing at Sun-N-Fun the release continues. Rutherford appeared to have blood on his clothing, the report notes, but he told wit nesses that he had just found his friend dead. Deputies located Rutherford at his parents home at the RV park and recovered evidence of the crime, the release adds. The w ife of David Alessandrini told detectives that Rutherford and her husband had been in an ongoing dispute over unpaid debts, according to the report. She also said that earlier on April 14, she received a call from Rutherford asking if she would be leaving the residence soon and if she would take all [her] children with her, the report adds. Rutherford, whose address is listed as 4438 Cocoa Ridge Circle, Sarasota, is charged with Homicide without Premeditation. He is being held without bond in the Sarasota County Jail. Dayle Thompson, 37, of Sarasota pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine on Monday, April 14, for Trafcking Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in connection with a 2013 case in the City of Sarasota, the Police Department has announced. The sentence dictates that he serve a min imum of three years, according to the Police Department. When ofcers stopped a vehicle in the 1500 block of 24th Street in Sarasota on Oct. 25, 2013, a news release says, Thompson was one of the four occupants. There was an extremely strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the car, the release adds. The four people in the vehicle admitted to smok ing marijuana earlier, it notes. During a search, ofcers located two golf ballsize baggies of white powder in the left pocket of Thompsons shorts, the release continues. The powder was tested and came back posi tive for the presence of cocaine, it notes. The cocaine weig hed 53.8 grams, the release says. SARASOTA MAN SENTENCED FOR TRAFFICKING COCAINE Dayle Thompson/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 99

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On April 11 U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced the unsealing of an indict ment charging Michael Allen Babiarz, 42, of Sarasota and Aaron Edwin Remaley, 39, of Riverview with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilo grams or more of marijuana, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce reported. The case is in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, which is in Tampa. According to the indictment, from at least August 2012 to this month, Babiarz and Remaley conspired with each other, and with others, to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana in Sarasota, Hillsborough and Polk counties, a news release says. Detec tives with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Special Investigations Section began the investigation, which grew to involve the Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough County Sheriffs Ofce and Polk County Sheriffs Ofce, the release adds. If convicted, Babiarz and Remaley face a max imum penalty of 40 years in federal prison, it notes. There is no parole in the federal sys tem, it points out. In addition to signicant prison time, federal prosecution results in more rigorous supervision by federal proba tion ofcers when felons are released to the community, it says. The current indictment brings to 12 the number of federal drug and weapons cases initiated by a Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce investigation since 2011. PAIR INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTING HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF POT As of April 1 6, consu mers who wish to make bail payments of up to $750 for inmates at the Sarasota County Jail can do so using major credit cards via GovPayNet, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has announced. GovPayNet accepts major credit, debit and prepaid debit card brands for bail 24 hours a day, seven days a week, onsite, online or by phone, a news release explains. Cardholders can make payments for themselves or on behalf of friends or family members who are incarcerated, the release adds. Users will need to provide basic information about the arrestee and the bail amount, it says. There is no cost to the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office for providing this service and convenience, but GovPayNet charges cardholders a fee for the transac tion, the rele ase points out. More information about this service is on under the Operations tab; click Corrections and Jail Booking. This will help keep people who have been granted bail from spending a night or week end in jail when banks are closed or they dont have access to enough cash, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. That will save taxpay ers money and improve overall service. According to GovPayNet, more than 650 corrections systems nationally rely on the company to process bail and other crimi nal justice payments, the release notes. In addition, GovPayNet has dedicated bilingual criminal justice payment specialists available for assistance. % SHERIFFS OFFICE OFFERS NEW PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR BAIL Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 100

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TWO COUNTY EMPLOYEES FIRINGS RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW ADMINISTRATORS PRIORITIES FOR THE FUTURE EDITORIAL OPINION EDITORIAL It is a given that a new CEO will make changes in an organization, and the manner in which they occur offers insight into how that CEO operates. What has raised alarm bells for us is how new Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer has launched his plans for a major county reorganization. If he has red people to appease disgruntled commissioners, he may be making his bosses happy, but he also may be leading the county onto a path that bodes ill for its future. The recent public announcement about Harmers plans to reorganize departments simply indicated his goal to make them more efcient and responsive to the public. However, an email he sent to the commis sioners on the same subject announced two significant staff changes omitted from the public release. Not only did Harmer re Steve Uebelacker, the ethics and compliance ofcer hired in October 2011 by former Interim County Administrator Terry Lewis after a purchas ing scandal, Harmer also red Amy Meese, a 13-year employee who had been the chief of the Natural Resources Department since June 2006. Harmer replaced Uebelacker with Steve Olmstead, a Human Resources Department employee who has been with the county more than 12 years, and noted Olmstead will be

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assisting in the re-evaluation of this position. That rang more alarm bells in our heads. As for Natural Resources: Matt Osterhoudt was named the acting director, and Harmer made it clear the department itself will be undergoing major changes. Its regulatory functions will become part of Planning and Development Services home to the countys building and permitting staff and its man agement of Environmentally Sensitive Lands will be handled by the Parks and Recreation Department. Our rst thought after reading about those changes was obvious: What did Uebelacker and Meese do to lose their jobs? Harmer did not return The Sarasota News Leader s requests for even a brief telephone interview on the subject. Were Uebelacker and Meese paying for actions that irritated county commissioners? As Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker reported last year, Uebelacker had a nasty series of exchanges with Commissioner Joe Barbetta. An unnamed county employee had alleged that Barbetta had behaved unethi cally in two situations. No ethical impropriety ever was proven a point Levey-Baker made clear. Yet, what also became very clear in that story was Barbettas disdain for how Uebelacker handled the investigati on. The very fact that Uebelacker was hired by Terry Lewis is a critical show of faith in the mans abilities as far as we are concerned. We have the utmost respect for Lewis and have yet to encounter anyone who does not. Before Uebelacker accepted Lewis job offer, he served as a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; prior to that, he was with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and a detective with the Charlotte County Sheriffs Office. Those are not the types of jobs that would lead us to believe him unqualied to deal with delicate situations. Indications that could be linked to Meeses dis missal are far murkier. Back in 2012, she was highly visible in County Commission meet ings regarding use of revenue from transfers of development rights (TDRs) under the aegis of the Sarasota 2050 plan. Then other staff in her department including Osterhoudt began appearing on the front. Then last summer, Meese seemed to rouse anger among commissioners when she addressed them during a budget workshop, explaining the need for another position in her department. She pointed to the increased workload of her staff as a result of meetings regarding the RESTORE funds, which com munities eventually will receive from BP in compensation for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the need to refo cus attention on the countys Post Disaster Respo nse Plan. Did Steve Uebelacker and Amy Meese pay for actions that irritated county commissioners? Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 102

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Mees e was not alone in being the target of board exasperation that day, though she is the only one among them given the heave-ho so far. Beyond those stafng questions, one other telling aspect of the Harmer reorganization that will go into effect Oct. 1 is his decision to take on oversight of economic development efforts. Development in the county obviously has been a very high priority for a majority of the current commission. His other areas of responsibility are com munications, community/intergovernmental relations and ethics. Everything else is being divvied up among his assistant county administrators. As Chai rman Charles Hines and Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson pointed out to the News Leader Harmer had a lot of time as deputy county administrator to judge how Sarasota County government worked who and what functioned well and who and what did not. Yet, one big reason County Administrator Randall Reid lost his job was because he would not cave to commissioners wishes if he felt they were not in the best interest of Sarasota County. We most certainly hope Harmer is not so keen on keeping his job that he would work to keep the few happy only to harm the majority. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sar asota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone num ber of the writer. Letters should be emailed to Lett with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other fac tors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Search for text in stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and entering a search term. Search the current edition or all editions. QUICK TIP Search Only The Issue You Are Viewing Search All Issues Your search term here Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 103

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Chuck Sidlow, funny fellow, in the circus ring. Contributed photo BORN TO PERFORM Real Clowning should always be in full gallop. Bill Ballantine

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If you wante d to call Chuck Sidlow names, you could say, What a mirth-raiser he is; what a mischief-maker; what a funny fellow! His friends call him the consummate per former with a heart of gold. Sidlow is in a long line of legendary clowns. I go back to the Stone Age, he says. You can see my ancestors painted on cave walls. If you want to see him perform, you need to be well everywhere in Sarasota: at the Ringling Circus Museum, starring in a video showing how he applies his clown makeup; at Circus Sarasotas month-long Inter national Big Top Show; on St. Armands Circle, where he plays King of Mardi Gras; at Road Scholar events, talking about the history of the circus; and at Circus Sarasotas community outreach programs, where he personifies Laughter Unlimited for those most in need. Sidlow thrives on his whirling-dervish schedule. BORN TO MERRIMENT In school, near Philadelphia, he took his title of class clown seriously. He practiced his timing in the hallways between classes. After the event for United Cerebral Palsy: Thank you and goodbye until next time. Photo by Barbara Dondero CHUCK SIDLOW LETS HIS HEART OF GOLD SHINE THROUGH By Barbara Dondero Contributing Writer Chuck has a magical way of unlocking memories and feelings for our participants.. Debbie Morrill Activities Director Senior Friendship Centers Living Room Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 106

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I staged two-and -a-half-minute brawls, he said, so that we wouldnt be late for class. At Atlantic Citys Steel Pier, he idolized pro fessional wrestlers Mr. Fuji, Lonnie Moon Dog Mayne and Dean Ho, who taught him arena entertainment and body control. Thanks to them, Sidlow told me, I was dubbed one of the best fall men in the busi ness. These wrestlers may have been villains in the ring but were very kind to young peo ple on the way up. On graduation day, his teachers urged him to audition for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He did and won a coveted place at Clown College, in Venice, FL. There, he studied with famed clown/writer/artist Bill Ballantine, who considered Sidlow my most diligent student. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus hired Sidlow after he completed the pro gram, and he soon became the youngest boss clown ever, he says, in charge of 28 clowns, 16 crates and 33 trunks (crammed with orange wigs, unicycles and other come dic accessories). They visited 52 cities in 11-and-a-half months. I learned to adapt to different situations, nationalities, personali ties and animals, Sidlow pointed out. The Associated Press reported that in addi tion to originating good gags and being a natural comic, Chuck Sidlow has a air for keeping things organized. BORN TO ROAM THE WORLD In early circuses, clowns were generally skilled performers who brought outrageous ness (and costumes) to genuine acrobatic, juggling and equestrian feats. Then they began to speak, sing and even play musi cal instruments. Slapstick clowning became prominent later to suit the size of American circuses Noel Daniel Sidlow in Charlie Chaplin mode. Contributed photo from Chuck Sidlows website, Chuck Sidlow as Groucho Marx. Contributed photo from Chuck Sidlows website, Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 107

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The world be ckoned. In Japan, with Ringling Bros., he played the role of acclaimed All American Clown, bespangled in red, white and blue. A major Japanese restaurant chain noticed and hired him to be its live cartoon image character. During his 11 years in that country, he mas tered the language and studied Japans ancient theatre traditions. Noh and Kabuki impressed Sidlow, but, Honestly, he said, I was strongly attracted to Kyougen Japans version of slapstick. One of my high-wire co mic acts featured a cable car. I staged it 50 feet in the air. Then came the time when Noriko Takayamas production company was desper ate for a last-minute replacement act. A New Orleans jazz band was already booked, and she needed another foreigner to complete her corporate package. With an English dic tionary in front of her, she made a phone call to Sidlow, who by then was producing shows of his own. She did not need the dictionary. They agreed on a deal in Japanese, and the rest is history. Chuck Sidlow and friends prepare for a nal run-through before a presentation at the United Cerebral Palsy facility in Bradenton: (from left) Billy Bob Steinberg, Chucko with his bag of gags, a video representative from Circus Sarasota, Noriko Sidlow who will be the accompanist and Karen Snow. Photo by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 108

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BORN TO P ARTNER KYORYOKU-SHA Chuck was a big shot in my country, notes Takayama, now his wife. Multi-talented herself, she is a trained classi cal pianist, a teacher of classes on Japanese culture at State College of Florida SarasotaManatee, a ne artist and an international chef. Husband and wife bring to this area a dou ble dose of talent and joy in putting their gifts to work. BORN TO SERVE What we do with our talents is up to each of us. Passion is something else. Passion comes from within and can transform a person with mere talent into a virtuoso. Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs Co-Founders of Circus Sarasota Outside the circus ring, Sidlow uses every talent in his repertoire to enrich the lives of those in need. His friend Karen Snow recalls the formation of Laughter Unlimi ted when she was with the Chuck Sidlow: always on call. Photo by Fran Palmeri Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 109

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Pines of Sarasota Foundation It was envi sioned as a community outreach program of Circus Sarasota. Oddly enough, Snow remembered, our association began when we needed a per former in a hurry for a humor show one evening. The scheduled act didnt show up. Joe Barney, a famous clown visiting the area, and Chuck were in the audience. Youre on I told them. Chuck became Elvis Presley in an instant, and Joe belted out a zany med ley of Broadway tunes. They brought the house down. Lets have them here on a regular basis, Pines of Sarasota CEO John Overton said between ts of laughter, as Snow tells it. Snow, the Selby Foundation and the Pines Foundation made it happen. That was 15 years ago. Chucko is a grand master at bringing people together, Snow points out. From his bag of gags, he takes jokes, music, dancing, hugs and hand-holding to create a safe environment. An art teacher for the Pines Memory Unit remembers the time Sidlow recognized Carmen, a former circus colleague. He stopped in to admire her painting. Non-verbal skills had become her form of expression, even though she was once a glamorous performer. Sidlow began to draw a cartoon of a lady rid ing Jumbo the elephant, Carmens role in the 1952 movie The Greatest Show on Earth At rst she stared. Then she shrieked. Me? Yes! he replied. They hugged and laughed together as onlook ers applauded. We concentrate on the healthy part of people, not the sick part, Sidlow told me recently. Sometimes the box is a little damaged on the outside, but the inside is pure gold. Debbie Morrill, the activities director at the Senior Friendship Centers Living Room agrees. Chuck has a magical way of unlocking memories and feelings for our participants. For Chuck Sidlow, virtuoso it is all in a days work. For more, visit Sidlows website, or visit Norikos Facebook page: Moshi Moshi Bonjour. % Image courtesy Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 110

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THE ISLANDS CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IS EXPECTED BACK ON DUTY APRIL 21; GIDGETS IS OPEN AND VERY BUSY; SIESTA LEADS THE WAY AGAIN WITH TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX COLLECTIONS; AND THE TARPON TOURNAMENT WILL BE STARTING SOON SIESTA SEEN Comments have been aire d this month at Siesta Key organization meetings and at a County Commission session about Code Enforcement activities on Siesta Key because John Lally, the long-time officer on the isl and, has b een out on family medical leave since February. Lally is due back on the job April 21, I learned from the C ode Enforcement Ofce this week. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A couple checks out the posted menu at the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village as visitors crowd the sidewalks on an early April evening. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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In his absence, o ne of the other 10 regular staff members has been doing double duty to cover the island. Code Enforcement staff also pointed out that Kevin Burns, the night and weekend ofcer, has taken on more hours to help. Still, given how incredibly busy season has been, I think it is safe to say two full-time peo ple probably would have had their hands full, given the talk of illegal rentals and people illegally charging visitors to park in neighbor hoods near the beach, for two examples. By the way, if anyone else is thinking the same thing I was thinking, I should note that according to the U.S. Census, Sarasota County had an estimated population of 390,429 as of July 1, 2013. Of course, the municipalities in the county do have their own staffs to deal with issues. I might also note that the county com missioners voted 4-1 last summer with Commissioner Christine Robinson dissenting to hire two new Code Enforcement of cers at an estimated cost of $264,842 for this scal year. The amount included the expense of salaries, two trucks, two computers and operating funds. Fees were expected to cover about 80 percent of the cost, according to administrative staff. John Lally addresses the Siesta Key Association in May 2013. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 112

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The subsequent annual estimated expense for the two positions was put at $204,302 with fees again covering 80 percent of the total. One reason the board majority did vote for the extra personnel was the rise in reports of problems related to activities of unli censed contractors. As part of the budget process in August 2012, the County Commission agreed to an extra $21,060 in the 2013 fiscal year budget to enable a Code Enforcement ofcer to work an additional 10 to 15 hours a week to handle weekend and nighttime noise complaints. Burns was ready to accept that assignment when it was approved. At the time, then-Administrator Randall Reid said he did not believe well have someone out every weekend. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta, called the decision a reasonable com promise, adding, Its like speeding, where every once in a while you have to rattle some ones cage to let people know you really do want some cooperation. Kevin Burns handles weekend and nighttime Code Enforcement calls for Sarasota County. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 113

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Gidgets Coastal Provisions opened in Siesta Village on March 24. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 114

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CONGRATS TO GIDGETS It may have taken Brian and Trudy Wigelsworth a bit longer than they had hoped to open Gidgets Coastal Provisions in Siesta Village, but business has been going gangbusters, Brian told me this week. The doors swung open to the public on March 24. Weve had such wonderful comments from the visitors and the locals, he said. It really makes us happy that the locals are lov ing it. The store and upstairs transient apart ments took the spot Napolis Restaurant occupied for years, right between the Siesta Key Oyster Bar and the Daiquiri Deck. It sells Margaritaville Apparel and more upscale gift items. Were seeing locals and visitors coming in multiple days, Brian added on April 14. Its hard for us to keep up on reordering the stock. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Brian said he and Trudy typically are there until 11:30 or midnight each night so they can restock, but he made it clear he was not com plaining about the demand. The latest chart showing Tourist Development Tax revenue collections has Siesta Key in the lead once again. Image courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 115

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The couple originally envisioned opening the store before the Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition began on Siesta Public Beach last November. (Margaritaville Apparel was a big sponsor of the event.) Still, with Easter marking the ofcial end of sea son, and Easter coming later this year, the Wigelsworths obviously have been able to make the most of the last part of the 2014 tourist season. As for the next Crystal Classic: Brian also told me this week that he had just held the rst meeting to start planning for the fth compe tition. More deta ils will be coming later. SPEAKING OF TOURIST SEASON The county Tax Collectors Ofce has posted the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) numbers for February, and no surprise revenue is up $177,165.65 in comparison to the same month for 2013. As staff in the Tax Collectors Ofce has noted, these gures often are updated in subsequent months, as some reporting agencies nalize numbers after the ofces deadline for each accounting period. The total TDT revenue for February so far is $2,133,317.52. This scal year, TDT revenue is The existing tennis courts at Siesta Public Beach will be removed and new ones will be constructed to the east, next to Beach Road. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 116

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A graphic shows the area of Phase I work at Siesta Public Beach. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 117

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already up $695,232.54 over the same period in FY 2013. As for location: Siesta Key edged the City of Sarasota in February with 29.22 percent of the pie, compared to the citys 29.07 percent. Siesta entities reported collecting $739,706.85, while those in the city brought in $554,463.42. SPEAKING OF TOURIST DESTINATIONS Isaac Brownman, director of public works for the county, told the County Commission during the March 25 capital project work shop that Phase I of the Siesta Public Beach improve ments is expected to be complete by the July 4 weekend. That work includes the construction of the new tennis courts and the maintenance facility. Most important, though, are the 260 additional parking spaces that should be avail able before the holiday weekend. According to the plan, the east restrooms, the picnic area and the playground will remain intact during Phase I. Commissioner Nora Patterson took the opportunity of that update to point out that the general m anager of the Gulf & Bay Club Picnic tables stand outside the construction area at Siesta Public Beach on April 1. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 118

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condom iniums, adjacent to the new stormwa ter site and the beach park, had asked that the shape of a piece of county property it uses for its recycling initiative be modied. Brownman told her of staffs concern that reconguring the shape at this stage of the construction would have an impact on the planned landscaping buffer between the stormwater site and the condo complex. We werent looking to change it at this time because we didnt want to slow down the project, he added. When she then asked if staff had conveyed that news to Gulf & Bay management, Brownman replie d, We will conrm [that] I thought we had TARPON TIME CBs Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key is reminding the public that the 84th Annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament will kick off at the Sarasota Hyatt on May 7. Fishing will take place May 10 through June 15, and the awards banquet will be at the Hyatt on July 19. The updated website for the tournament has all the details. A section of the website allows people to RSVP for the kickoff party. Event information is on Facebook, too, under Sarasota Tarpon Tournament 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 one-time 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 April 18, 2014 Page 119

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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota will present baritone Jason Stearns and pianist Lee Dougherty Ross in Leading Men and their Music on Sunday, April 20, at 2 p.m., and Monday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Weisenborne/Fischer residence, the orga nization has announced. The program will feature the Toreador Song from Bizets Carmen; The Desert Song from Rombergs operetta; and Broadway favorites, including selections from Carousel and Kiss Me, Kate a news release says. Tick ets, which include refreshments, are $45. They may be purchased online at artistseri or by calling 306-1202, the release adds. (The address of the program also may be obtained by calling 306-1202.) Stearns has steadily built a reputation as a distinguished interpreter of unique and challenging roles in the dramatic baritone repertoire, the release notes. He has made impressive appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, where he has performed dramatic roles in Tosca T he Flying Dutchman Simon Jason Stearns/Contributed photo STEARNS AND ROSS TO COLLABORATE ON LEADING MEN AND MUSIC A&E BRIEFS

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Lee Dougherty Ross/Contributed photo Boccanegra La Gioconda and Rigoletto the release says. Ross debuted at age 12 as a piano soloist with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra. During her singing career, the release notes, she performed at Carnegie Hall, at Alice Tully Hall, on Broadway, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and at the White House when John F. Kennedy was president. She and her husband, Jerry Ross, founded the Artist Series Concerts, now in its 18th season, the release points out. Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 121

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The Asol o Repertory Theatre has continued its celebration of the American family with Amy Herzogs soulful intergenerational play 4000 Miles a 2013 Pulitzer Prize nalist and 2012 Obie Award winner for Best New Play, the theatre has announced. The play will run through April 27 in the Historic Asolo Theater. Leo, a 21-year-old laid-back hippie, and his 91-year-old Jewish old-school liberal grandma, Vera, are 70 years apart in age, but they nd common ground in this com edy/drama, a news release explains. After a 4,000-mile cross-country bicycling trip, Leo unexpectedly shows up at his grandmas rent-controlled Greenwich Village apart ment in the middle of the night with his bike, a backpack and no plan for his future, the release continues. While he plans to crash for t he night, he stays for weeks and, as roommates, Leo and Vera share their polar izing views on love, government, technology, life and family, the release notes. As a parent, there is a particular structure that one must follow, but as a grandpar ent, there is this wonderfully freeing gap, said Tea Alagi, director of 4000 Miles in the release. The play premiered at the Duke on 42nd Street in New York City as part of the Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 Steinberg New Works Program, the release notes. Tickets for 4000 Miles start at $15, the release continues. To purchase them, call 351-8000, go online at or visit the box ofce in the lobby of the theatre at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in the Florida State University Center for t he Performing Arts in Sarasota. 4000 MILES CONTINUING AT ASOLO THEATER THROUGH APRIL 27 Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 122

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Florida Studio Theatres Keating Theatre will be the scene of two events during PoetryLife Weekend. Photo courtesy Florida Studio Theatre Florida Studio Theatre has announced tickets are on sale for PoetryLife Weekend on May 2 and 3. All proceeds will benet The PoetryLife Fund, which supports educators teaching poetry in the community, a news release says. Tickets for the events may be purchased through the Florida Studio Theatre (FST) box office at 366-9000, online at or in person at 1241 N. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. Made possible with the support of BookStore1Sarasota, FST and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the events of this creative weekend will bring together the poets and readers of our community as they share their passion for poetry as well as their original poetry, the release adds. Event organizer Georgia Court, proprietor of Bookstore1Sarasota, said in the release, PoetryLife brings the nations and the worlds nest poets to Sarasota each year. Im delighted to be part of a project that serves to enhance this citys already thriving arts community. Theater, opera, symphony, ballet, ne art, jazz its a joy to help bring poetry to the mix. The schedule follows: Friday, May 2, The Craft of Poetry a panel discussion 10 a.m., Bownes Lab; $15. Friday, May 2, Mark Doty and Kevin Young Live Onstage 7:30 p.m., Goldstein Cabaret; $15. Saturday, May 3, Young Voices Poetry Reading 10 a.m., Keating Theatre; $15. Saturday, May 3, Above and Beyond Luncheon noon, John C. Court Cabaret; $35. Saturday, May 3, Community Favorite Poem Reading 3 p.m., Keating Theatre; $15. POETRYLIFE WEEKEND TO BE HELD AT FST MAY 2-3 Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 123

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On April 28, th e 2014 International Day of Holocaust Remembrance, Gloria Musicae will present the Florida premiere of Voices of the Holocaust a dramatic cantata based on 22 songs sung in ghettos and concentra tion camps during World War II, composed by Sheridan Seyfried, the musical group has announced. The Gloria Musicae Singers will be joined by the Sarasota-Manatee Dance Alliance (SMDA), the Chroma Quartet, Sarasota Young Voices, the Sarasota Jewish Chorale, the Booker High School Concert Choir and the Sarasota Choral Society, the release points out. This multimedia event, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, Gloria Musicaes artistic director, will feature original chore ography by Elizabeth Weil Bergmann, retired Harvard director of dance, the re lease adds. Charlayne Hunter-Gault, civil rights activist and award-winning author and correspon dent for such media outlets as The New York Times PBS, NPR and CNN, will offer open ing remarks for the program, the release continues. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 28 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, located at 777 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Tickets are $25 to $70. To purchase them, call the Van Wezel box ofce at 953-3368 or visit Dramatic and poignant, Voices of the Holocaust celebrates the proud deance of the human spirit in the face of adversity, the release says. Singers and dancers join together in this musical piece that under scores the tenet that any injustice towards a single human being is an injustice against GLORIA MUSICAE TO PRESENT VOICES OF THE HOLOCAUST ON APRIL 28 Gloria Musicae/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 124

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us all, it adds. According to the composer, Sheridan Seyfried, the heartfelt goal is giving voice to the millions rendered voiceless, the release explains. Holt, the Gloria Musicae artistic director, says in the release, Through music, multimedia and dance, the audience will be enriched by an understanding of how the arts played an important role in helping families cope with the horric conditions imposed during their imprisonment. According to Holt, extensive research was undertaken to select the most poignant visual representation of life during the time of the Holocaust, including input from The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg and The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatees Education Department. Dancers from Sarasota-Manatee Dance Alliance who will be featured in the program are (left) Topaz von Wood, Matthew Grifn, Pedro Batista, Hannah Jordan, Carson Sandiford and Adriana Baez-Hitchcock. Contributed photo by Carol Pettengill. On Thursday, Ap ril 24, Ringling College of Art and Design and Bookstore1Sarasota will host poet Tess Gallagher at 6 p.m. at the college, located at 2700 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, the bookstore has announced. Gallagher has published numerous collec tions of poetry, a news release says. Among them are Instructions for a Double (1976), which won the Elliston Book Award; Willingly (1984); Amplitude: New and Selected Poems (1987); and Moon Crossing Bridge (1992), a series of 60 poems that centers on the theme of loss and grieving, th e release notes. Moon C rossing Bridge followed the death of her husband, Raymond Carver, in 1988, the release adds. Her most recent poetry collections are My Black Horse (1995) and Dear Ghosts (2006). The latter is a series of moving, highly per sonal elegies for family, friends and lovers, the release says. The event will be free, and valet parking will be provided. More event information is available at book store1saraso or by calling 365-7900. % POET TESS GALLAGHER TO APPEAR AT RINGLING COLLEGE Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 125

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Temple Emanu-El is pleased to announce that Rabbi Bob Alper known as the worlds only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy (intentionally!) will perform on Thursday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. Hilarious, Gentile-friendly and 100 percent clean, Rabbi Alper performs sold-out comedy shows all over North America, is featured daily on Sirius/XM satellite radio and has appeared on The Today Show ABC Evening News Good Morning America Comedy Central, Showtime, and CNN, a news release points out. Alpers comedy performance at Temple Emanu-El four years ago was a sold-out sen sation, and event organizers are delighted to welcome him (and his new material!) back again, the release adds. The Te m ple is located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. General admission tickets for the show are $20 if purchased by April 25; they will be $25 at the door. The performance will be preceded by a dessert reception with the comedian at 7 p.m.; tickets for that event are $36 and include reserved seating for the show, the release notes. Adults and children age 11 and older are welcome. Paid reservations may be mailed to Temple Emanu-El Comedy Show, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, Florida 34232. The names of people attending and the types of tickets being pur chased ($36 dessert reception tickets or $20 general admission tickets) should be included. For more informati on, call 379-1997. Rabbi Bob Alper will perform again at Temple Emanu-El on May 1. Contributed photo STAND-UP COMIC RABBI ALPER TO PERFORM AT TEMPLE EMANU-EL RELIGION BRIEFS

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During a May 5 gathering of the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ), Ted Merwin, writer, journalist, noted public speaker and just plain fun, will present an interactive multimedia program on the changing place of the Jewish deli in American life, a news release says. The topic ofcially is An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli or You Dont Have to be Jewish to Enjoy This the release notes. Everyone can relate, laugh and applaud, and some will get hungry, the release notes. For the latter, box lunches from TooJays will be available following the lecture, the release adds. Folks can stay, sit around and remem ber their own experiences, it says. The lecture will begin at 11 a.m. The CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. The cost is $10 in advance or $12 at the door. The registration deadline is April 27, the release points out. Forms for tickets and order ing lunch, if you wish ($13), are available at or by calling 377-1003. % MERWIN TO SPEAK ON OVERSTUFFED HISTORY OF THE JEWISH DELI Ted Merwin/Contributed photo 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 April 18, 2014 Page 127

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 18+ APRIL Asolo Repertory Theatre presents The Grapes of Wrath Through April 19; times vary. Mertz Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $23 to $76. Information: 351-8000 or 18+ APRIL Dabbert Gallery presents Barbara Krupp and Allan Teger Through April 28; times vary. 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 955-1315 or 18+ APRIL Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents Bubbling Brown Sugar Through May 11; times vary. 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $29.50. Information: 3661505 or 18+ APRIL Florida Studio Theatre presents Tom Jones Through June 1; times vary. Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $19 to $42. Information: 366-9000 or 19 APRIL Annual Siesta Village Easter Egg Hunt April 19, 9 to 11:30 a.m. For children ages 1 to 6. Preregistration required at siestakeyvillage. org Fee: $10. Each child receives a goodie bag with a stuffed animal, toys and coupons for Siesta Village businesses. Along with the egg hunt, organizers host games, face painting, a re truck display and a visit by the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Mounted Patrol. 26+ APRIL 36th Annual Siesta Fiesta April 26-27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road in Siesta Key Village. Event to feature ne arts and crafts created by 250 artists from around the country, presented by the Siesta Key Village Association and Howard Alan Events Ltd. For more information, visit the website 28 APRIL Gloria Musicae presents Voices of the Holocaust April 28, 7:30 p.m. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tick ets: $25 to $70. Information: 953-3368 or Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 128

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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 SAFE HARBOR AT LAST SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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