Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 37 May 30, 2014 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside THE CITY AND ITS NOISE Q&A: RAY PORTER PENALTY HEARING SCHEDULED




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


Coming back to the ofce after a holiday weekend almost always proves a bit challenging whether just in terms of getting back into work mode or, in reporters cases, trying to nd enough fodder for stories. Fortunately, I do not believe dull is a word that ever can be em ployed in describing this community. Noise issues are in the spotlight again, from city and county per spectives. With City Editor Stan Zimmerman having taken some time off, I ended up writing the City Commission preview. I readi ly admit I cannot replicate his style, but at least I have previewed the discussion expected Monday night regarding the citys proposed new noise ordinance. On the county side, the focus once more is mu sic at Bobs Boathouses along with the restau rants months-long effort to obtain its Certicate of Occupancy. Thank goodness for the variety Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker and County Editor Roger Drouin offer in this issue. Cooper conducted one of his thoroughly engaging candidate interviews, this time with Democrat Ray Porter. Roger not only enjoyed learning how a Selby Library staff photo ended up making international news, but he also delved into County Administrator Tom Harmers rst 100 days on the job. Beyond the news stories, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel covered Memorial Day events in Sarasota on Monday, and contributor Barbara Dondero has a charming story about tennis. Her article features local legend Nick Bollettieri and a renowned French player of the past. Yes, this issue does offer a few recurring themes, but you will nd plenty of new news as well. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


THE CITY AND ITS NOISE Q&A: RAY PORTER NEWS THE CITY AND ITS NOISE 7 The City Commission on June 2 will consider the latest proposed sound ordinance and handle an array of other items, from street improvements associated with a new hotel to a potential extension of the Sarasota Keys program Rachel Brown Hackney Q&A: RAY PORTER 14 Democratic County Commission candidate knows hes in a tough battle, but remains condent Cooper Levey-Baker PENALTY HEARING SCHEDULED 20 With 10 punch list items unresolved, representatives of Bobs Boathouse are told to appear again before a Special Code Enforcement Magistrate on July 25 Rachel Brown Hackney THE FIRST 100 DAYS 28 County Administrator Tom Harmer highlights county achievements as he marks a milestone in the top appointed post in county government Roger Drouin SELFIE SUPPORT FOR THE EARTH 36 A Selby Library photo was among those chosen out of more than 50,000 to be part of a NASA video Roger Drouin BIDDING FOR THE SPRINGS FUTURE 39 Four rms have responded to an Invitation to Negotiate over the long-term operation and potential development of Warm Mineral Springs Rachel Brown Hackney POINT/COUNTERPOINT OVER NOISE 42 Bobs Boathouse and Sarasota County trade motions over provisions of the countys revised noise ordinance in misdemeanor cases involving two restaurant managers Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article COVER PHOTO CREDIT Front Cover: Tramonto Infuocato Norman Schimmel


SIESTA SEEN NEWS BRIEFS WHAT ENTICES THEM TO BUY? 48 Visit Sarasota County surveys of realtors offer insights into why people choose to relocate to Sarasota County Rachel Brown Hackney PAYING TRIBUTE 51 Sarasota County honors its longtime historian and pays a fond farewell to its retiring re chief Rachel Brown Hackney A TIME OF REFLECTION 57 Sarasota County residents mark Memorial Day Staff Reports SIESTA SEEN 65 A property management rm will be sought to handle the Village upkeep; Craig Siegel enters no guilty pleas and offers no comments at a Special Magistrate hearing; and the Lido Beach Project will be the focus of the June 5 SKA meeting Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 72 CRIME BLOTTER 78 OPINION EDITORIAL 81 County Code Enforcement needs tougher sanctions ALL THE REST ... TENNIS, ANYONE? 86 Nick Bollettieri earned renown for doing things his way, just as a French female star did decades earlier Barbara Dondero COMMUNITY CALENDAR 93 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 96 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


Residents at the Plaza at Five Points have complained repeatedly about noise from the Ivory Lounge on the ground oor of the complex. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY AND ITS NOISE NEWS


Noise will be at the forefront of Sarasota City Commission discussions again Monday, June 2, as the board considers scheduling a public hearing on revised sound regulations to sim plify and facilitate enforcement, according to the agenda. A May 27 memo to the commission from City Attorney Robert Fournier says that when the board directed him several months ago to bring back proposed amendments to the citys noise ordinance, the three primary objec tives were to make the ordinance easier to understand and enforce, with emphasis on the sections where maximum decibel limita tions were set out; make greater use of the plainly au dible standard in light of a Florida THE CITY COMMISSION ON JUNE 2 WILL CONSIDER THE LATEST PROPOSED SOUND ORDINANCE AND HANDLE AN ARRAY OF OTHER ITEMS, FROM STREET IMPROVEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH A NEW HOTEL TO A POTENTIAL EXTENSION OF THE SARASOTA KEYS PROGRAM By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Smokin Joes also has been a focal point of residents noise complaints in the past in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 8


Suprem e Court ruling; and explore possibili ties for increasing penalties for violation. First, Fournier proposes combining the cur rent ordinances two sections on sound restrictions into one. That part of the revised law would establish separate maximum deci bel levels for sounds emanating from inside sources and outside sources, his memo points out. Further, different levels would apply in the daytime and at night. He also proposes eliminating the current laws distinctions between continuous source sound and impulsive sound, along with the separate regulation of amplied sound at night. Fournier notes that after the previous draft of a proposed new ordinance was released in February, citizen comments were received to the effect that the decibel limitations in [it] were too high and exceed what are in place in other communities. However, Fournier continues, after talking with a consultant who advises the Sarasota Police Department on sound meters, he and his staff learned the citys decibel levels are generally consistent with levels set in other jurisdictions for mixed use areas. He adds, Although the consultant agreed that the Citys current decibel limits are higher than many limits established for exclusively res idential areas, he felt that they were in line The City Commission Monday will be asked to extend the right of way permit for the Sarasota Keys program, which invites the public to play pianos at various outdoor locations. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 9


with limits set by other jurisdictions for com mercial areas. Fournier pointed out, As for which decibel limits are more appropriate, that is a policy question for the City Commission Regarding penalties: Fournier suggests the City Commission, by supermajority vote four of the ve members voting for approval can set much higher nes than those allowed under the current ordinance. Instead of a maximum of $500 per day for a repeat violation, the maximum could be $5,000. Moreover, if the City Commission chooses, it also can act with a supermajor ity vote to allow a ne up to $15,000 per day if a violation is deemed to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, instead of the current maximum of $5,000 for such a nding by a Special Magistrate. Fu rther, Fournier proposes that the new ordinance allow the city to initiate action for temporary or permanent injunctions as rem edies when a substantial amount of nes in a case remains unpaid. He proposes as well that a third or subsequent offense within a 12-month period would sub ject the offender to arrest, which could result in imprisonment in addition to or in lieu of a ne. The noise ordinance discussion will be the next-to-last item in the evening portion of the meeting. Robert Fournier is the Sarasota city attorney. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 10


BESIDES THE NOISE Among lighter items on the June 2 agenda, Jim Shirley, executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, will seek an extension of the right of way use permit for the popular Sarasota Keys program. The 180-day trial period the commission allowed for pianos to be placed outside for leisurely play at various downtown locations is up on June 2, Shirley notes in a May 21 memo to city administrative staff. According to the backup material provided with the item, The program has been work ing very well and staff hasnt received any complaints on the pianos. Other items under New Business Monday night will be the proposed 2015 scal year budget for the citys bayfront mooring eld and a request by Floridays Development Co. to pursue a $3.5 m illion Economic Development Assistance grant in the citys name for pub lic improvements on Cocoanut Avenue from Gulfstream Avenue to Fruitville Road and adjacent public areas. A memo for that item reminds the commis sion that the city has a purchase and sale agreement as well as a redevelopment agree ment with Floridays to purchase land and to construct Hotel Sarasota at the corner of Cocoanut Avenue and Palm Avenue. The land expense is $2.5 million, the memo notes, with $1.2 million credited back to Floridays for public improvements associ ated with the hotel. Those improvements were limited to Cocoanut Avenue between First Street and just south of Palm Avenue, including the construction of a roundabout at Palm and Cocoanut. Some prep work was under way late last summer at the site of the planned Hotel Sarasota next to the Palm Avenue parking garage. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 11


In discussions with city staff, the memo continues, Floridays representatives have determined that the cost of improvements in the public right of way, plus fees it has to pay the City in conjunction with construction of the hotel, will exceed the $1.2 million credit. Therefore, the company has considered pur suing the grant to cover the additional costs. City staff is very interested in that opportunity, the memo indicates, because if it is success ful, the funds will pay for more improvements to Cocoanut. Rounding out t he agenda will be further dis cussion of the communitys homelessness issues, hours of operation for the Payne Park Playground, restricting special events on St. Armands Circle and Lift Station 87 in Luke Wood Park, as well as appointments to a num ber of advisory boards. The meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, located at 1565 First St. in downtown Sarasota. The evening session will start at 6 p.m. % A map shows the area of Cocoanut Avenue, Palm Avenue, First Street and Fruitville Road in downtown Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 12


Witness the beauty and grace of the Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria. See the rare and beautiful Airs Above the Ground, as seen in Walt Disneys Miracle of the White Stallions Although our rehearsal shows have ended for the season, we welcome visitors to our barn through mid-June. For details on our summer schedule, please visit Weddings Events & Clinics Riding Lessons Breeding Herrmann Royal Lipizzan Stallions (941) 322-1501 32755 Singletary Road Myakka City, Florida 34251 Click To Watch The Video Click For Interactive Map


Democratic Sarasota County Commission candidate Ray Porter. Photo courtesy Ray Porter Q&A: RAY PORTER


And then the re were four. What was only a cou ple weeks ago a two-person, all-GOP contest for a Sarasota County Commission seat has morphed into a full-on race, with Democrat Ray Porter and independent John Minder joining Republicans Lourdes Ramirez and Alan Maio in the competition to replace out going County Commissioner Nora Patterson. For starters, that means the August primary elections will be closed, i.e., only Republicans will be able to vote for Maio or Ramirez. If neither Porter nor Minder had led to run, all registered voters in Sarasota County could have participated in the GOP primary. Now, whoever wins that primary will face off against Porter and Minder in the general elec tion this November. Porter, a former journalist and now the director of communications for the Sarasota Association of Realtors, faces tough odds. Republicans hold a signicant voter registra tion advantage over Democrats in the county: 43 to 31 percent, with 26 percent of voters registered with third parties or with no afl iation. Its a situation with which Porter is well familiar. In 2008, he ran for a seat on the Charter Review Board, losing by 4 percentage points to Republican Marie Nisco. Its going to be difcult, Porter acknowl edges. But hes making a run for it anyway. He spoke with The Sarasota News Leader this week about his campaign. The Saraso ta News Leader : What prompted you to run for elected ofce again? Ray Porter : Its been a six-year process. I rst approached the Democratic Party and met Rita Ferrandino [chairwoman of the party] and was talking about running for County Commissioner Jon Thaxtons seat. She looked at me and shook her head and rolled her eyes and said, You really have no chance. I wound up ling to run for the Charter Review Board in District 5, and that experience was interesting, being my rst time trying to run for political ofce, and your opponent doesnt need to really mount a campaign if she has an R next to her name. She didnt show up at any debates. And even after all that, I lost by about 4 percentage points. It wasnt an overall negative experience. I got to meet the future president and celebrated a lot of Democratic victories. And I h ad many years of experience in jour nalism. You kind of see things from the inside out. You hear things and you know things that the public never gets the chance to know. You wind up learning a lot about politics, a lot about government, and it tends to turn people cynical. Finally, a switch came on in my brain and said, Youve got to be someone who takes the bull by the horns and tries to change things. DEMOCRATIC COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE KNOWS HES IN A TOUGH BATTLE, BUT REMAINS CONFIDENT By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 15


SNL : You say exposure to the process turns people cynical. Why do you still have faith in government? RP : It wasnt all negative. I met some very decent people who were involved in gov ernment: Bob Anderson and Mabry Carlton, Gene Matthews, David Mills, especially at the county level people to respect and admire. And even though I didnt agree with every thing they did, I liked the way they treated people. They took their civic duty so seri ously. Its not an easy job, and I know they get pulled by interest groups, but they handled it with such humor and just deected anything that was going to turn into an argument. I briey met [former Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush when he was running against Lawton Chiles in 1994. He came to our ofce, stopped by my d esk briey. He introduced himself and I talked to him for two minutes, and then he went on to talk to the managing editor. Four years later, he was running again. He came in with his team and he remembered my name; he remembered what I did, and I was amazed. Thats the consummate politician. He just doesnt forget, and that always impressed me. There are very good people in politics. SNL : On your website, you say restoring trust in county government after the procure ment scandal is a top priority. How would you go about that? RP : For so many years, I had heard rumors that in order to get things done at the county, you had to know someone, you had to play The Sarasota County Commission will have two new members come November, with Joe Barbetta (far left) and Nora Patterson (far right) term-limited. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 16


the ga me, and peop le accepted that. It never did lter up to the level of the policymakers, which kind of stunned me. It never rose to the level of the elected ofcials, and our elected ofcials are supposed to be the people who manage the store. Well, all of that fell apart in 2011. Even after all that, the voters seemed to not even notice that the people they elected to oversee this process hadnt caught this earlier. It proba bly was a systemic problem for many more years before that. They did nally correct the course and they did nally let the administra tor go, but the board as its set, its ve people who are all Republicans who pretty much come from the same political cloth and the same philosophical cloth. In 2006, if I had heard these rumors, I wouldnt have let it go for ve more years. SNL : How would your journalism background affect your decision-making? RP : People have different ideas of what jour nalism is. A young person turning on the news may not understand traditional journalism. If you go from Fox News to MSNBC, you think, Im getting a whole different story. That to me is more entertainment. Back when I was at the newspapers, commu nity newspapers, normally, if I wrote a story, it would have at least two sides. Wed put out the newspaper and the following Monday Id get calls from the city council, and theyd say, Your story was completely off-base. Then you get a call the next day from someone in the public, saying, Yo ure always siding with the city. Thats what a balanced story is. You let the public decide. As a journalist on a board, you can ask the right questions; you can bring other people in, investigate it, nd out what you need to nd out. If the county administrator says there are no problems in the Procurement department, you dont accept that on face value. The per spective of a journalist is a much different perspective than a businessman. You want to minimize your difculties, your conicts, in business. SNL : Has the county handled the process well of revisiting Sarasota 2050? RP : Theres going to always be pressure from the development community to do what they do. They develop. Any corporation is going to try to get an advantage so they can maximize their prots thats what corporations do. When you talk about major developments of regional impact, you need to have years of planning done and have nancing in place, and in order to do that, they must minimize risk. They must have some sort of predictabil ity. Thats understandable. You have to have some sense that youre not wasting all this time and money. I understand why they want to modify the plan. Im not totally in favor of that. Its just the reality of the way that sys tem works. You can kind of summarize me as, I see a lot of gray areas. I see the benets of develop ment, putting these things in place, bringing jobs here. On the other hand, you have to have the right kind of scrutiny: Is growth paying its fair share? Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 17


From 200 6 to 20 10, people got a very, very clear image in their minds of what hap pens when development virtually freezes. Carpenters and tile people and all the auxil iary services, they just leave town, and people start hurting. Places were closing; storefronts were going empty. We know that were vulner able to those economic problems. We have to diversify the economy, but weve also got to understand that the core of our economy in this area is development and real estate and its just a fact of life. SNL : So you support what the countys done so far? RP : Up to this point, I think so. I dont have a major problem with what theyve done to this point. Theres always going to be a very vocal part of the community thats opposed to growth of any kind, and then theres always going to be the other side, saying, Back off and let us do what we want. The balance is what we need, a person whos just pragmatic and logical. SNL : Is the countys investment in the rowing facility at Nathan Benderson Park wise? RP : Am I a rower? No. Personally, were base ball players. Wed love to see the Little League facilities at Twin Lakes [Park on Clark Road] doubled in size. But rowing is a growing move ment and the park is going to have success. In the short term, its going to have growing pains. Were going to have trafc problems till that [Interstate 75] interch ange is improved. But overall, 10 years from now, well look back on it and say it was a decent investment. SNL : Theres been a lot of debate recently about investing money in promoting the area versus investing it in upgrading tourism infra structure. Do we have the right balance now? RP : Maybe its time now to start looking at the capital investments. Theres this whole other level of baseball; theres travel ball. You want to develop that. Its more competitive and the kids are consid ered the real serious ballplayers. In an area like Sarasota, we dont have as many elds as we need. Its just time to maybe spend less on marketing and a little more on capital, bring ing it to a better balance. SNL : Scientis ts say the sea level will rise between 24 and 48 inches by 2100. Is the county doing enough to prepare for that? RP : Im not sure I could even give you a denitive answer on that. Im not an expert on global warming. There is the tipping point when humans begin to produce more CO2 than they have in history; thats when you start to create the greenhouse effect, and you start to create the problems, and thats when you see sea levels rise. I go to the beach occasionally. I certainly dont see any less beach. If anything, its growing. I just havent seen any physical evidence that we need to start worrying about sea level rise. If it does, I live in Gulf Gate East. I might have waterfront property. Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 18


SNL : Ha ving already lost one countywide race, what makes you think this year will be different? RP : Im really approaching it 180 degrees dif ferently. In 2008, I barely did a thing. I did the minimum public appearances; I didnt go door-to-door. This time, Im working hard on a plan, on a strategy. Its more of a traditional campaign, and it starts with money. I was hoping you could avoid money and still get your message out, but you cant do that. Im setting up fundraisers in the near future and putting together a team of volunteers. I feel condent. I know we wont raise any where near [the amount of funds of] the likely candidate Ill face in November. Its going to be about reaching the voters with a mes sage that makes sens e. Hopefully, moderate Republicans will b e re ceptive t o my message, and if y ou have turnout, the numbers can put you over the top. If Democrats arent ener gized, I have no chance. SNL : Have you been planning this campaign since losing in 2008? RP : Its been in the back of my mind since 2008, but I didnt stay very involved in Democratic politics. I put m y name in to be on the Planning Commission ve or six times. I kept putting in my paperwork. Its not typical for a Republican to appoint a Democrat, but maybe thats part of what needs to change around here. To learn more about Porter and his campaign, visit ray porter2 % 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 May 30, 2014 Page 19


On July 25, representatives of Bobs Boathouse will appear for the third time before a Sarasota County Special Magistrate, that time for a pen alty hearing, Special Magistrate Meg Wittmer ruled on May 23. According to testi mony and evidence presented to Wittmer last week, only two items out of the 12 on a county punch list had been completed since she issued a March 21 compliance order in the case The March order allowed the business 60 days to address everything on the punch list except for landscaping and lighting matters. All the items have to be finished before the business can obtain a Certicate of Occupancy (CO). And you will be able to have an opportu nity to discuss any defens es that may James Aker (left), attorney for Bobs Boathouse, and Assistant Sarasota County Attorney David Pearce prepare for the start of the May 23 Special Magistrate hearing. Photo by Rachel Hackney PENALTY HEARING SCHEDULED WITH 10 PUNCH LIST ITEMS UNRESOLVED, REPRESENTATIVES OF BOBS BOATHOUSE ARE TOLD TO APPEAR AGAIN BEFORE A SPECIAL CODE ENFORCEMENT MAGISTRATE ON JULY 25 I know what needed to be accomplished and the proximate time it takes to do that. I was looking at it from a construction standpoint. Mike Mehan Utilities Department Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


be applica ble, based upon any items you would be out of compliance on at that point, Wittmer told James Aker, the attorney for Bobs Boathouse. Im hoping that theyll actually be in compli ance, Pearce added. Twice during the May 23 hearing, Aker indi cated financial constraints as the reasons items on the punch list had not been com pleted. During questioning of Mike Mehan of the countys Utilities Department, he also appeared to blame Mehans absence from the ofce for several days for the delay in getting one item nished. When Aker asked whether Mehan would concede that there had been delays, Mehan replied, I dont know what you mean by delays. After the last hearing, we were pre pared to move forward, and we did things in a reasonable time frame. We didnt need to wait until Tuesday. You were on vacation for a good part of that time, correct? Aker countered. Mehan said he was out of the ofce for ve days in early April. When Pearce asked Meehan whether he knew of any reason why those four items could not have been accomplished in 60 days, Mehan said, Theres no reason it couldnt have been done. Aker also asked whether Mehan would agree that Michael Seery, who has been represent ing the owners in the matter, has had good faith efforts to get [some of the work] done. Special Magistrate Meg Wittmer reviews material before issuing an order during the May 23 proceedings. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 21


The March 21 compliance order listed the items that had to be completed, according to specic timelines, before the business could obtain a Certicate of Occupancy. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 22


(According to his website Seery is the founder of Michael Seery & Associates Inc., a real estate rm in Sarasota.) I believe so, Mehan responded. Aker then asked, All of the rst four items do require money to have them completed, do they not? I believe so, Mehan replied. And you dont know the financial condi tion of the respondents in this case do you? Aker continued. I do not, Mehan said. And you apparently dont have any knowl edge as to why theres been certain delays? Aker asked. I do not, Mehan told him. So how do you know they could have been done? Aker continued. I know what needed to be accomplished and the proximate time it takes to do that. I was looking at it from a construction standpoint, Mehan responded. Later Jon Mast, the countys manager for land development services, testified that, to date, we have not received drawings from a landscape architect to satisfy one item on the punch list: Landscape must be checked for compliance with the permitted plans and certied complete by a registered Landscape Architect. Aker then entered into evidence drawings from a person he identied as a registered landscape architect. When Aker asked Mast whether he recognized the mans signature, Mast replied that he did not know the man. Condominium complexes are visible across South Tamiami Trail from the Bobs Boathouse site. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 23


Michael Seery represented the owners of Bobs Boathouse during the May 23 hearing. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 24


Mast added of the documents, I have not seen this in my ofce, though testimony indi cated the drawings were dated May 18. Then Aker asked whether it was possible that the engineer of record for the work at Bobs Boathouse may be holding [the documents] either for payment or [completion of other punch list items] to submit this to the county? Anything is possible, Mast said. When Pearce asked whether it was the obliga tion of the respondent in the case Skipper Bobs LLC or the engineer of record to cer tify the landscaping, Mast replied, Ultimately, its the respondents and not the engineers. Aker explained that the landscape architect provided copies of the documents to him and the engineer of record on May 18. Pearce countered that he did not know whether that particular landscape architect was certied. Wittmer pointed out that the documents were not sealed, questioning whether they com plied with her March 21 order. However, Pearce consented to admitting the documents into the record. It goes to the weight of the evidence, Wittmer agreed. That document would be accepted with the inclusion of the signed and sealed drawings, Mast noted. LIGHTING AND LANDSCAPING In further testimony, Brad Bailey, the countys zoning administrator, said he had received a copy of the lighting plan the business had Attorney James Aker (left) asked questions of Brad Bailey, the countys zoning administrator, during the hearing. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 25


to submit within 60 days after the March 21 Special Magistrate hearing. It was provided to his staff on May 21, he told Wittmer. However, Bailey continued, two of the items were decient. He added that he planned to issue a memo that day with comments detail ing his review of the plan. Wittmer noted that she gave Bobs Boathouse 120 days from the March 21 hearing to com plete installation of the lighting according to a plan approved by the county. Regarding the removal of nuisance and inva sive vegetation on the property for which work Wittmer had allowed 45 days from March 21 Jim Dierolf of the Natural Resources Department testied, Substantial progress had been made. In response to a question from Wittmer, Dierolf estimated, Theyre pretty close to 75, 80 percent. Additionally, he told Wittmer, some of the watercourse buffer plants have been installed; that item had a 90-day timeline. They should be able to complete that plant ing within 90 days, he said. SUMMING UP After the testimony ended, Pearce said of the Bobs Boathouse owners, There are instances where they c ertainly could have moved a lot more quickly to bring things into compliance. The countys recommendation, he continued, was to set a penalty hearing after the 120-day period had ended. They are totally out of compliance and in vio lation in regard to 10 of the punch list items, Wittmer responded. We also discussed at great lengths [on March 21] that we felt that the time given to each of these items was reasonable. After considering options, Wittmer concurred with Pearce that the best course was to set the penalty hearing for July 25. Pearce explained to Aker, There will be a penalty associated with missing the deadlines in the [March 21] compliance order. The calculation of the penalty will depend upon when [the business came] into compliance; a daily fee for each. Wittmer also advised Aker that in terms of testimony on July 25, I dont want to bring up issues that have already been raised and discussed and ruled on. Aker agreed that he would offer only reasons why time limits were not met. % For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Tonya Herschberger & Linda KeefeAfter a terrible accident I required surgery. Tonya shared with me that Dr. Koval was responsible for her beautiful smile. She gave me hope and direction. Im so grateful to Dr, Koval. Now I have a smile that I love to share with everyone. Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 26


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With May 22 marking the end of the rst 100 days of Tom Harmers tenure as the new Sarasota County administrator, he sent out a memo thanking county staff for their commit ment and stating why that period of new organizational leader ship is so important. The idea that the rst 100 days denes change originated in 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt took ofce amid the Great Depression, he wrote. Roosevelt called for a special session of Congress that lasted 100 days and passed 15 separate bills, forming the basis of the New Deal. Harmer, who offi cially took the top appointed county post on Feb. 12, fol lowing brief contract discussions, also sent his employees a list of 100 projects under taken during his rst months on the job. He County Administrator Tom Harmer offers remarks during the Jan. 22 groundbreaking for improvements at the Siesta Public Beach Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE FIRST 100 DAYS COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR TOM HARMER HIGHLIGHTS COUNTY ACHIEVEMENTS AS HE MARKS A MILESTONE IN THE TOP APPOINTED POST IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT This budget process has been like night and day. I am very pleased with the way Mr. Harmer is leading this budget process. Christine Robinson Vice Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor


This is a section of the memo County Administrator Tom Harmer sent to staff on May 22 as he reected on his rst 100 days on the job. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 29


forwarded the li st and memo to the County Commission as well. The First 100 Days list highlights achieve ments or milestones from capital projects, such as the groundbreaking for the Siesta Public Beach Park improvements; to collabo rative efforts, such as approving an interlocal agreement with Manatee County involving a new emergency radio communications sys tem; to everyday duties, such as handling 47,107 incoming telephone calls for service through the countys call center. (See the accompanying link to the list.) I wanted to set some mark to look back on especially from one of my big picture goals of minimizing the impact of any transition asso ciated with the leaders hip change, Harmer stated in written response to questions this week from The Sarasota News Leader I didnt start counting the days right away, but as the time went by, it helped me put things in perspective for the staff the old saying, Its a marathon and not a sprint. Harmer added that he wanted county employees to realize everything they have accomplished. I was concerned that it might be hard to identify 100 items for the list, but that wasnt the case at all, Harmer wrote. I purpose fully called the list our rst 100 days, so the employees could see all of the output from their efforts. While the list is impressive, as County Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine County Administrator Tom Harmer (second from left) addresses the County Commission during the April 29 budget workshop. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 30


Robinson no ted, some challenges remain, among them, addressing homelessness. And community activists cite concerns about how recent County Commission policy deci sions will play out, including limited public access to commission emails, how the county will handle ethics inquiries and what the crit ics call the countys failure to protect the public and hold the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA) account able in the Nathan Benderson Park rowing agreement. The overriding problems with the county right now are not related to Mr. Harmer. They are related to the culture and decisions of the commission, said Cathy Antunes, an advo cate for open government who is a supporter of Harmer. Thank goodness for term limits, she added. Asked if he plans more 100-day updates, Harmer replied that he will be focused on quarterly and annual messages instead. [L]IKE NIGHT AND DAY The First 100 Days list is full of ambitious projects and indications of collaboration with other local governments, noted Robinson. Perhaps the most important to her is No. 88: Developed a new budget process. Its so small and buried, Robinson, a staunch advocate for keeping spending under control, told the News Leader But it catches my eye because that is my thing. It affects every other item on the list. Tom Harmer had a big smile on his face in late January after the County Commission asked him to remove the interim from his title as county administrator. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 31


Harmer has m ade the countys budget one of his priorities. Under his oversight, work shops began atypically early this year Feb. 21. Harmer has also been more involved in creating the scal year 2015 budget, pledging to review all department spending plans and calling the document that will be presented this summer for nal approval his County Administrators Budget. Robinson said Harmers earlier workshops, combined with his focus on a scally con servative approach to county operations, are already indications of a better conclusion to the process than she has observed in the past. A projected decit has been reduced and pushed out to a later year, for example, Robinson pointed out. Its a sign of a more stable budget. Robinson said scal difculties remain, but Harmer recognizes those challenges. Harmer has made it clear to staffers, Robinson noted, that they have to be frugal as they approach proje cts. The previous administrator, Randall Reid, did not work closely with county department managers as they pulled their department budgets together, she added. Another prob lem under Reids administration, Robinson said, was a lack of communication, especially when unexpected issues arose. We had a problem with transparency and even the commission understanding what is being put before them, Robinson added. This budget process has been like night and day. I am very pleased with the way Mr. Harmer is leading this budget process. CHALLENGES ALONG WITH PROGRESS Two projects on Harmers list reect as much of a challenge as they do an achievement. No. 10 is embarked on an ambitious plan to combat homelessness, and No. 89 highlights the agreement with SANCA to operate the Nathan Benderson Park rowing venue. Robinson said both of these are cutting-edge projects. With that comes challenges, she pointed out. When you are willing to invest in your community in another way, you get challenges with that. It is better than the alternative, Robinson added, which is saying things are ne just as they are. SANCA, the nonprot that manages the row ing venue, had to face a big setback last month: State lawmakers refused to give it the $2.5 million in funding it sought. Legislators said they wanted to see some of the promised, private nancial donations coming in before contributing more public dollars. I think the challenges are going to be making sure the private sector steps up to the plate and has a stake in this, Robinson said. Progress continues, Harmer told the News Leader We are marching ahead to the 2017 International Rowing Championships with a number of events scheduled leading up to that showcase event. DOWNLOAD THE PDF Read County Administrator Tom Harmers First 100 Days list. Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 32


Tom Harmer offers a few comments to members of the Siesta Key Association during their annual meeting on March 1 after Commissioner Nora Patterson (at right) invited him to take the oor. Photo by Rachel Hackney I was concerned that it might be hard to identify 100 items for the list, but that wasnt the case at all. Tom Harmer County Administrator Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 33


We are ear ly into our formal relationship with SANCA, Harmer added. There has been a lot of interest in this project, and SANCA has been asked for periodic public updates to the Board, he wrote in his comments for the News Leader The planned homeless shelter project has been one of the most complex to come before the County Commission. I dont ever recall having a standing item that is automatically on the agenda every meet ing, Robinson told the News Leader It is important to the County Commission, and we want to work through it. And I am hoping the city will work with us to solve this problem that everyone knows exists. Harmer points out that the county has assigned a full-time manager, Wayne Applebee, to lead the initiative and report on progress. This is a joint effort with many partners, Harmer noted. In addition to regular updates to the board, meetings are held on a routine basis with city staff and local nonprot partners. COUNTY CONCERNS Antunes, president of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government, does give the county administrator good marks for his work thus far. Tom Harmer has accomplished many positive things, Antunes said. He is an able administrator. But Antunes noted persistent concerns about county government [that] are separate and apart from Mr. Harm ers performance. Antunes points to a range of recent pol icy decisions tha t have made headlines and angered some residents. She is frustrated with what she calls the countys failure to protect the public and hold SANCA accountable in the Benderson Park agreement. She also was disappointed by Harmers recent move to re Ethics Ofcer Steve Uebelacker, who was hired in 2011 after a scandal erupted in the countys Procurement Department, fol lowing the commissions dismissal of County Administrator Reid in 2013. The firing of Randy Reid and Steve Uebelacker, instigated by one or more commissioners, puts staff on notice: Fall in line or else, Antunes told the News Leader In addition to questions about how the county will address ethical inquires, open govern ment concerns remain. One item on the First 100 Days list No. 98 seems undeserved to Antunes. In that slot, Harmer highlights the First Amendment Foundations naming of Sarasota Countys website as the No. 1 government website in Florida. The organization did not look closely enough, Antunes said. It is regrettable that the First Amendment chose Sarasota County as the No. 1 website in the state when our County Commission persists in refusing to make all Commission emails available online, Antunes said. Other counties provide full access to their com mission emails online; the First Amendment Foundation got this one wrong. % Enjoy The Sarasota News Leader Anytime Day Or Night Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 34


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The star-studded Oscars sele might be the single most famous in the world, but it has nothing on Selby Librarys recent sele, which was taken for a good cause and has achieved its own place in the global spotlight. Laurie Bates-Weir, web services librarian for Sarasota County, snapped the local photo on Earth Day last month, moments before the library opened. She was surprised that after posting it to NASAs Flickr page, the sele made it into a short video comprising images taken of people at work around the world. The video was created and posted by NASA on May 21. The Selby shot ran alongside photos snapped at Microsoft, Sesame Street s studio, the Weather Channel, a research area on the edge of Antarctica and an ofce in Qatar. Its denitely global, Bates-Weir said of the exposure. The famous shot: Selby Library staff snapped this sele at 9:45 a.m. on Earth Day, just before the library opened. Contributed photo SELFIE SUPPORT FOR THE EARTH A SELBY LIBRARY PHOTO WAS AMONG THOSE CHOSEN OUT OF MORE THAN 50,000 TO BE PART OF A NASA VIDEO I thought this is a great way to commemorate Earth Day, and a neat way to make a connection with staff and our patrons and the whole world too. Laurie Bates-Weir Web Services Librarian Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


While the Selby sele might never get quite as many views as the one Ellen Degeneres took at the Oscars, it was for a worthy cause. NASAs Global Sele project was designed to encourage environmental awareness and rec ognize the agencys ongoing efforts to protect our home planet. After photos were submitted from around the world, NASA created a Global Sele mosaic That mosaic was built with more than 36,000 individual photographs drawn from about 50,000 images tagged #GlobalSele and posted on or close to Earth Day on several social media sites. Bates-Weir organized the Selby sele after seeing a post about NASAs Global Sele proj ect on the agencys Twitter feed. We took the photo real fast so we could be done before the library [opened], she told The Sarasota News Leader The project highlights how social media can draw people together. The r eason anybody is on social media is to try to make a connection with other people, and I thought, especially in the last month or so, Ive been trying to have the librarys Twitter account make more of a connection than we have in the past, Bates-Weir added. I thought this is a great way to commem orate Earth Day and a neat way to make a connection with staff and our patrons and the whole world, too. The Selby Library staff portrait did garner some local attention, as well, with 612 people having seen the image on the county library services Facebook page Bates-Weir also encouraged staff members at six other county libraries to snap and sub mit seles. Those that participated were the North Sarasota, Gulf Gate, Sarasota County Historical Resource Center, Venice and Elsie Quirk public libraries. % NASAs global sele incorporated more than 36,000 images. Image courtesy of NASA Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 37


...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.


The future o f Warm Mineral Springs appears to lie in the proposals of four rms. At 5:01 p.m. on May 23, City of North Port staff opened four bids in response to an Invitation to Negotiate for the long-term management and potential development of Warm Mineral Springs, Sarasota County staff informed the County Commission. The four bidders were as follows: National and State Park Concessions Warm Mineral Springs Inc. of Hobe Sound in Martin County. (Nati onal and State Parks Concessions is handling the shortterm management contract for the resort through August.) Junco Ventures Inc. and Angelshot LLC of Sarasota. Friends of Warm Mineral Springs Inc. of Lake Worth in Palm Beach County. Warm Springs Attractions of North Port. More details about each of them are expected during a joint meeting of the North Port City and Sarasota County commissions on June 10. The session will be held at 1 p.m. in the Warm Mineral Springs is known internationally for the healing nature of its water. Photo courtesy Sarasota County BIDDING FOR THE SPRINGS FUTURE FOUR FIRMS HAVE RESPONDED TO AN INVITATION TO NEGOTIATE OVER THE LONG-TERM OPERATION AND POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


R.L. Anderson Administration Center, located at 4000 Tamiami Trail in Venice. According to an agreement between the two local government bodies a rm is to be hired this summer so it can begin operations by Sept. 1. The County Commission is expected to approve a management contract during a spe cial meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 18; the No rth Port Commission is anticipated to vote on the bid award during a session prior to that date. On March 25, when the County Commission approved the short-term operation bid offered by National and State Parks Concessions Inc. Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson told her colleagues, I actually unknowingly last summer v isited this vendor in Cades Cove up An aerial view shows the property at the focus of the long-term bid. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 40


in Tennessee during a family vacation. She even bought a Christmas ornament in the gift shop, she added, and commented at the time on how nicely run the shop was. Since then, the rm has received accolades from county staff for its operation of the North Port resort. Warm Springs Attractions of Port Charlotte, with a sole proprietor listed at the time as Robert Zabler, also bid on the shortterm operation. Angelshot LLC is identified in the states Division of Corporations lings as BizZoom Real LLC, whose principal address is 505 Orange Ave., Unit 101, in Sarasota. The reg istered agent is Cross Street Corporate Services LLC with an address of 200 S. Orange Ave. in Sarasota. The managing member is James Abrams of 2727 Dick Wilson Drive in Sarasota, according to the companys 2014 annual report. The BizZoom website says Abrams has cre ated national brands in multiple industries, including consumer products and services, contractor services, training and financial services. His rst company, it adds, became publicly traded rst on the NASDAQ and later on the New York Stock Exchange, and that company eventually achieved more than $900 million in revenue. The website adds that Abrams and his long time business associate, Terry Nicholson, formed BizZoom Inc. in 2012 as a small pri vate equity firm that invests in and grows successful consumer products and services. Friends of Warm Mineral Springs Inc. led its incorporation papers with the state in June 2013. Although its principal address is in Lake Worth, its mailing address is 12301 Durango Ave. in North Port. The organizations website says its mission is To Educate the public and provide for Restoration, Preservation and Stewardship of these vital historical and natural resources in perpetuity. The registered agent for the company, as updated on the Division of Corporations website in September 2013, is William Delp of Lake Worth. Mike Ange of North Port is listed as vice president, and Dr. Juliette Jones of 12301 Durango Ave., North Port, is listed as secretary. % Share stories via e-mail, post to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest SHARE Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 41


In the wak e of Bobs Boathouse s continued alleged violations of a revised county Air and Sound Pollution Ordinance that went into effect on March 20, the Sarasota County Sheriff s Office h as issued at least two criminal Notices to Appear to managers at the restaurant, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. Wendy Rose, commu nity affairs ma nage r in th e Sheriffs Ofce, explained that such a notice goes on the books as an arrest. In response to a recent News Leader request for information, Rose reported that as of May 13, depu ties had responded to 23 complaints of noise ordinance violations since the ordinance was revised. However, she pointed out, not all of them have resulted in citations. Bobs Boathouse is at the rear of property that used to be home to a car dealership at 5515 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Photo by Rachel Hackney POINT/COUNTERPOINT OVER NOISE POINT-COUNTERPOINT OVER NOISE BOBS BOATHOUSE AND SARASOTA COUNTY TRADE MOTIONS OVER PROVISIONS OF THE COUNTYS REVISED NOISE ORDINANCE IN MISDEMEANOR CASES INVOLVING TWO RESTAURANT MANAGERS The restrictions under the Ordinance are so severe that it regulates sound in a way that substantially limits more speech than necessary to achieve the goal of protecting citizens from excessive noise. Motion to Dismiss Ryan D. Cussans Case 12th Circuit Court By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


An aerial view shows the proximity of homes to Bobs Boathouse. Image from Google Maps BOBS BOATHOUSE The ordinance goes no further than necessary to protect Sarasota Countys significant governmental interest in protecting residential communities from disruptive noise. Plaintiffs Response To Motion to Dismiss Ryan D. Cussans Case 12th Circuit Court Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 43


In the latest incident for which she had a record, a deputy responded to a complaint logged at 3:11 p.m. on April 20. The deputys report said the reading he took of the ampli ed live music in the complainants back yard on Montclair Drive across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse showed a read ing of 70.7 dbC (referring to the bass level). Afterward, the report continues, the band went on break, so he took a sampling of the ambient noise road sounds from South Tamiami Trail and some faint talking origi nating from a backyard a few houses north of the complainants, and the reading was 63.3. Among the changes in the county noise ordi nance is the requirement that decibel readings in the range most people hear designated as dbA measurements cannot exceed a level of 60 from a residential receiving area between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. or 55 dbA between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The maximum allowed level for bass recordings between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. is 65 dbC. The d eputy then spoke with manager Ryan Cussans at Bobs Boathouse, the report con tinues. Per instructions I have received from my supervisor, the deputy wrote, he issued Cussans a criminal notice to appear for the violation. The Sheriffs Ofce declined comment about the supervisors instructions other than to say that it works to handle new situations as they arise. Cussans took receipt of the citation and advised he would turn the music down, the deputy added in the April 20 report. Bobs Boathouse attorney James E. Aker told the News Leader this was the second case in which the Sheriffs Ofce had served a man ager individually. He led not guilty pleas in both, he pointed out. A pretrial hearing in the Cussans case is scheduled before Judge Maryann Boehm at 9 a.m. on June 10, according to c ourt records. The entrance to Bobs Boathouse is through a boat that has had its interior removed. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 44


The second Notice to Appear case involves manager Mariah Bogert. The motion to dis miss the charges against Bogert was led on April 30, according to court records. A hear ing in that case is set for July 1 before Judge Phyllis R. Galen. The nine noise citations issued to the business are going to be addressed in 12th Circuit Court in Sarasota instead of by a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate hearing, Aker told the News Leader DEFENDING THE CASES The Motions to Dismiss Aker led in both the Cussans and Bogert cases say that since the restaurant opened last fall, primarily two, if not only two, neighbors on the north side of Phillippi Creek, across from Bobs, have complained to Sarasota County Code Enforcement and the Sarasota Sheriffs ofce about the sound of the music emanating from [Bobs]. From Oct. 31, 2013 through approximately March 18, the motion continues, Code Enforcement officers and deputies made numerous sound measurements at the north side of Bobs property, closest to the two complaining neighbors, at the behest of the neighbors, and not once was Bobs found to be in violation of the then existing Sarasota County sound ordinance. County staff has conrmed that statement in past interviews with the News Leader Subsequent to approval of the revised Air and Sound Pollution Ordinance, the motions say, sound level measurements have been taken from the property line of complaining neigh bors on the north side of Phillippi Creek. However, the revised law allows readings to be taken from the receiving site instead of at the generating property line if the clos est real property line to a complainant is not easily accessible or discernible because it is a shoreline. Houses on Montclair Drive sit across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 45


James E. Aker, who has a law rm in Sarasota, is the principal attorney for Bobs Boathouse. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 46


The motion s contend that sound can be safely measured from the top of the embankment on the north side of Bobs property between the source of the music and the neighbors property. Therefore, because the alleged violation was based on a measurement from an invalid loca tion [it] should be dismissed. The motions also argue that restaurant staff is unable to monitor compliance on the north side of the creek because the neighbors have declined Bobs request to enter upon [their] property to measure the sound from where Law Enforcement is taking its measure ments. The motions add that under the new ordinance, persons of common intelligence have to guess at whether the music on Bobs side of the Creek is in violation on the neigh bors side of the Creek. Yet another defense in the motions is that the revised ordinances provisions are so severe that [they leave] the musicians at Bobs with no adequate means of expression of music as is customarily known at Bobs. The motions also say that the ordinance is so restrictive that it regulates sound in a way that substantially limits more speech than is necessary to achieve the goal of protecting citizens from excessive noise and therefore constitutes a violation of the First Amendment. STATE RESPONSE On May 27, Assistant Sarasota County Attorney David Pearce led a notice with the 12th Circuit Court saying he would be serv ing as co-counsel on a limited basis for the Cussans case. Assistant State Attorney Angeline Attila is handling the case for the state. Contacted on May 28, she referred the News Leader to Pearce. Pearce also has been representing the county in Code Enforcement Special Magistrate hear ings as Bobs Boathouse has worked to obtain its Certicate of Occupancy. (See the related story in this issue.) On May 27, Pearce filed a response to the Motion to Dismiss in the Cussans case, writ ing that the revised Air and Sound Pollution Ordinance does not regulate the content of speech, and only places limitations on time, place, and manner of the speech. It achieves its regulation through narrowly tai lored provisions designed to achieve its end of prohibiting unreasonable sound through objective standards. Finally, it properly limits the discretion of the person taking measure ments of decibel levels. On May 16, he led a motion with the same points in the Bogert case. Pearce further asserts in his motions that the ordinance avoids the language problems found in other ordinances struck down by the [Florida] Second District Court of Appeal over the past few decades. He adds, The ordinance goes no further than necessary to protect Sarasota Countys signicant governmental interest in protect ing residential communities from disruptive noise. He further points out that Many local governments use the receiving property boundary as the location where sound mea surements are t aken % Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 47


Last year, during a discussion about tourism, Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta suggested it would be interesting to survey county realtors to learn why their clients decided to buy homes in the area. Some might have seen the community for the rst time as a result of their children partic ipating in a rowing competition at Nathan Benderson Park, for example, he said. On Sept. 25, 2013, Commissioner Nora Patterson reported to her commission col leagues that she had discussed the idea with members of the countys Tourist Development Co uncil (TDC), which she chairs, and they were enthusiastic about doing [the survey]. Virginia Haley, president of the countys tour ism office, Visit Sarasota County, told the commissioners that same day that she had worked with county staff to develop the sur vey. Well work on deploying it with the Venice [Area Board of] Realtors and the Sarasota [Association of Realtors], Haley added. On May 15, Haley shared the results with the TDC members, calling the responses very, very interesting. Venices quaint atmosphere has been cited by new county homeowners as one reason they chose to settle there. Photo by Norman Schimmel WHAT ENTICES THEM TO BUY? VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY SURVEYS OF REALTORS OFFER INSIGHTS INTO WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO RELOCATE TO SARASOTA COUNTY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


A woman on Siesta Public Beach uses her smartphone to take a photo of one of its avian visitors. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 49


The s ur veys specically asked for informa tion about the motives of buyers who moved to the area from outside Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, she explained, and they provided lists of possibilities. Realtors said they rarely found a client to cite just one reason for the move, Haley pointed out. Of the 292 responses provided by the Sarasota Association of Realtors for people offering more than one reason, Haley noted, the top choice was Previous vacation or visit to area (131), followed by Family or friends in the area (114) and Climate/weather (109). Seventy-two of the responses indicated Nature, beaches, outdoor activities, and 66 noted Arts or cultural amenities. The remaining categories had the following number of responses: Recreational Sports 60; Schools 60; Vibrant downtowns 52; Clean, safe environment 51; and Sports training opportunities 49. Twenty-seven responses went into the Other category. The 411 answers from the Venice Board of Realtors, whose clients listed only one reason, showed Climate/weather as the top choice of 41.4 percent followed by Previous visit/ vacation with 24.3 percent; Family/friends in area with 12.1 percent; Nature, beaches, outdoor activities with 9.7 percent; and Clean safe environment with 7.3 percent. Recreational Sports was at the bottom of the rankings w ith 2.4 percent. Both surveys offered open-ended comments, Haley told the TDC members. Among those in the Venice survey, respondents said they wanted to live on the Gulf Coast but preferred a smaller community with all the amenities and less trafc and congestion. They also cited the desire to be near fam ily and friends with the opportunity for arts and culture with proximity to beaches. Further comments indicated that while peo ple chose South County because it was more affordable, they were interested in Sarasota County specifically for fishing and Spring Training baseball. Downtown Venice also was noted for its vibrancy and quaint atmosphere, Haley explained. Regarding the open-ended comments that members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors received, she said, people chose Sarasota because it has everything they wanted; its demographics were unique in Florida; they had friends in Sarasota and enjoyed the num ber of activities available; and they liked the climate and natural environment. Those reasons line up with typical com ments about why visitors come to Sarasota County, Haley added of the Sarasota Realtors responses. Among other noteworthy information, Haley told the TDC, was the mention by a couple of Sarasota Realtors that clients had been turned off by the homeless situation seeing the people on the street corners. That was very helpful, Patterson told Haley at the conclusion of the presentation. % Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 50


For one, it was an event marking state and county recognition for his 25 years of preserv ing and popularizing Sarasota history. For the other, it was a time to accept an outpouring of accolades upon his retirement. On May 20, the Sarasota County Commission honored county History Specialist Jeff LaHurd for receiving the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A day later, each of the commissioners offered heartfelt thanks to Sarasota County Fire Department Chief and Emergency Services Director Mike Tobias, who was leaving after a 35-year career with the Fire Department. On May 20, Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson gla dly took the microphone from Chairman Charles Hines to tell the audi ence, This is a neat moment for me, per sonally, because Im a Jeff L aHurd fan, (From left) Jeff LaHurd, Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson and Lorrie Muldowney listen as Larry Reinebach offers remarks about LaHurd. Photo by Norman Schimmel PAYING TRIBUTE SARASOTA COUNTY HONORS ITS LONGTIME HISTORIAN AND PAYS A FOND FAREWELL TO ITS RETIRING FIRE CHIEF Having lived in the area since 1950, Mr. LaHurd is a walking history book of Sarasota County and an invaluable resource to the community. Christine Robinson Vice Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Jeff LaHurd poses with the framed 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 52


having read a number of his 15 books about the community. Robinson said she was honored to have been asked to write a letter of support for LaHurds nomination for the state award. Nonetheless, she continued, It was a difcult letter to write because how do you encapsulate a career of all things Sarasota County? Robinson read her letter to the audience as the other commissioners joined her at the front of their chambers in the County Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. Having lived in the area since 1950, she began, Mr. LaHurd is a walking history book of Sarasota County and an invaluable resource to the community. (From left) Commissioner Nora Patterson and county History Specialist Jeff LaHurd listen as Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson reads the letter she wrote to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 53


His recounting of th e little-known stories of Sarasota Countys founding fathers as well as his artful ability to share stories of those who didnt get popular credit for their contri butions has helped bring history alive, she pointed out. His most recent book, she noted turning to him and saying with a big smile, This is your plug is The Rise of Sarasota: Ken Thompson and the Birth of Paradise which was published in 2012, Robinson noted. It explains why things are the way they are in Sarasota today, she added, pointing out that it focuses on the longtime city manager of Sarasota and the citys devel opment. It has had a dramatic impact on the way I look at things, Robinson told the audience. When it was his turn to take the mic, LaHurd said, It was very gratifying for me to get this award, not only because it represents state wide recognition but also because he was being recognized by the people that I work for and the people that I work with. Robinsons letter, he continued, meant as much to him as the award. Lorrie Muldowney, Sarasota County historical resources manager, pointed out that LaHurd was nominated for the honor by the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center The Sarasota County Commission Chairman Charles Hines (second from right) and Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson (right) present a canvas of a photograph of retiring Fire Chief Mike Tobias (second from left) to Tobias and wife Sharon on May 21. Photo by Steve Dawson, Sarasota County Communications Department Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 54


vice presiden t of that group, Larry Reinebach, called LaHurd a master storyteller who has preserved the legacy of Florida and Sarasota. BIDDING ADIEU TO THE CHIEF On May 21, the Commission Chambers was lled as board Chairman Charles Hines called Tobias and the chiefs wife of 38 years, Sharon, to the front of the room. We really, really appreciate what youve done, Hines said after noting that Tobias, who has been a county resident since 1965, joined the Fire Department in 1979. Tobias was promoted to chief in August 2011, Hines pointed out, and then promoted to director of emergency services in July 2012. The commissioners presented Tobias with a framed canvas of a photo of Tobias taken by Norman Schimmel, a member of the countys (From left) County Administrator Tom Harmer, Commissioner Joe Barbetta, Commissioner Nora Patterson, Sharon Tobias, Chief Mike Tobias, Commission Chairman Charles Hines, Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson, Commissioner Carolyn Mason and Norman Schimmel mark the occasion of Chief Tobias retirement on May 21. Photo by Steve Dawson, Sarasota County Communications Department Without a doubt, the primary feedback I have received is Mike [Tobias] is going to be missed, but please hire somebody just like Mike. Tom Harmer County Administrator Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 55


Tourist Development Council and Citizen Tax Oversight Committee. After Comm issioner Joe Barbetta gave Tobias what Hines characterized as the classic retirement clock, Hines recognized County Administrator Tom Harmer, who previously served as re chief in Titusville. Once people hold certain positions in their careers, Harmer explained, the titles stay with them for life. Once a re chief, always a re chief, he added, and thats a heck of an honor [for Tobias] to carry with him. Over the past six months, Harmer continued, he has met with more than 200 people, some in large group settings and others individually, as he sought their views on what attributes they want to see in the countys next fire chief. Without a doubt, the primary feedback I have received is Mike is going to be missed, but please hire somebody just like Mike. Then Harmer pointed out, In the re service, leadership is symbolized by a bugle. A reghter promoted out of the ranks to lieu tenant earns his rst lapel pin bugle, Harmer explained; a chief wears ve such pins on his lapel. The bugle represents days long gone by, Harmer noted, when re chiefs had to use speaking trum pets in the streets to direct their teams. I didnt want the chief to leave without a bugle, Harmer added as he presented Tobias a brass bugle on a wooden base and thanked him on behalf of all the county employees. I know that means a lot to you, Hines said to Tobias, referring to the remarks and the bugle. Each of the other commissioners took turns offering thanks to the chief. Commissioner Nora Patterson said she believes the people he has led are unanimous in respect and love for you. The county as a whole feels the same way. Barbetta called Tobias a consum mate professional. When it was finally his turn with the mic, Tobias thanked his wife for encouraging me to follow my dream over 35 years ago to get into the service. He also expressed gratitude to all the men and women in the Fire Department and Emergency Services, adding that the county has a terric team in place. The audience members, who nearly filled the chambers, gave him a rousing standing ovation. % Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 56


Hundreds lined Main Street in downtown Sarasota on Monday, May 26, to offer grati tude to the men and women who have given their lives in service to their country. The annual Memorial Day Parade, with its theme, Legacy of Heroes featured veterans, rst responders, color guards, Junior ROTC groups, marching bands, military equipment and local government ofcials. Following the parade, a ceremony was held at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park, at the intersec tion of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. It featured Brig. Gen. Frank Laudano, com mandant of Sarasota Military Academy, as the guest speaker. Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel cap tured a variety of images from the Memorial Day events. All photos by Norman Schimmel A TIME OF REFLECTION SARASOTA COUNTY RESIDENTS MARK MEMORIAL DAY Staff Reports


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(From left) Mary Kenealy-Barbetta, County Commissioner Joe Barbetta and City Commissioners Suzanne Atwell and Paul Caragiulo are followed by County Commissioner Carolyn Mason (in navy top) and (to the right of Mason) U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 61


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SIESTA SEEN A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM WILL BE SOUGHT TO HANDLE THE VILLAGE UPKEEP; CRAIG SIEGEL ENTERS NOT GUILTY PLEAS AND OFFERS NO COMMENTS AT A SPECIAL MAGISTRATE HEARING; AND THE LIDO BEACH PROJECT WILL BE THE FOCUS OF THE JUNE 5 SKA MEETING By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Red sky on the evening of May 23 portended a good Memorial Day weekend on Siesta Key. Contributed photo by Peter van Roekens It should come as no surprise to Siesta Village business owners that the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp. is seeking a new company to handle the upkeep of the district the county paid to improve in 2008-09. Architect Mark Smith, who serves as the liaison between the Maintenance Corp. and Sarasota County, told me last week that Championship Landscape Maintenance Professionals Inc. of Fort Myers, which won the upkeep contract in 2012 on a bid of $97,417.70, has been notied its contract will not be renewed for a second time in August. Things just werent getting done, he said on May 22. The level of service dropped. When the Vill age maintenance bids were opened in the summer of 2012, county staff reported being impressed with Championships credentials. Among them was the fact that the rm handled the main tenan ce at th e Resort at Longboat Key Club


However, S mith said he heard Championship no longer has that contract, either. I was able to conrm that information this week. Smith added that he had been able to convince county staff that a management company would be a better choice to take over the Siesta Village work. In response to Commissioner Nora Pattersons request for details about the Championship situation, Lisa Cece, special district coordi nator in the countys Transportation and Real Estate Department, sent all the commission ers an email on May 27. Cece explained that on Feb. 25, the Maintenance Corp. met to discuss the needs and level of service in the maintenance district (primarily the Village) under the contract with Championship. She continued, The [Maintenance Corp.] Board voted unanimously to not renew this contract, adding that the current term will expire Aug. 21. The Board also discussed and voted unanimously to hire someone to oversee the current contractual services (pending), she wrote, noting that the board further agreed that a Property Management Company would be better suited to oversee the needs of the District moving forward ... Cece added, The County delivered via cer tied mail a Notice of Non-Renewal Letter to Championship, LLC, May 21, 2014, to pro vide the necessary ninety (90) day notice [that the contract would not be renewed]. Championship LLC, has acknowledged receipt of this letter an d is continuing to provide necessa ry services to the District through August 20, 2014. Cece noted that staff had sent to the countys Procurement Department documents pre pared to seek bids for property management services. This bid is slated to advertise as soon as possible, proposed for May 30, 2014, she wrote. Plans are underway to ensure ser vices are maintained continuously throughout the bid process to contract award. Cece also pointed out that later this week, Chief County Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. will be sending a full report to the com missioners, detailing the maintenance of the Village under the current contract. When I spoke with Cece on May 27, she said she really would prefer not to comment on the situation. She did note that the county is really relying on Championship to handle the upkeep during the summer, until a new rm can take over. She also concurred with Smith about the cur rent upkeep of the Village, adding that that county staff has not been pleased. THE CRAIG SIEGEL CASES The same morning he entered written Not guilty pleas in cases involving alleged bat tery on a county Code Enforcement ofcer and rental fraud Siesta resident Craig Siegel also attended a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate hearing. On May 23, Siegel, wearing shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops, ap peared before Special Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 66


Magistrate Meg Wittmer in Sarasota in con nection with the case that apparently led to his allegedly throwing a bucket of urine on Code Enforcement Ofcer James S. Holderby on April 28. Code Enforcement Officer John Lally the regular inspector on Siesta Key told Wittmer that on April 1, Holderby found furniture, debris and overowing trash cans on the 5174 Sandy Cove Ave. property owned by 5174 Sand Cove Lane, for which Siegel is the trustee. Holderby subsequently issued a Notice of Violation, Lally added. (Lally was out on leave at the time.) Photos taken by Holderby on April 1 were submitted into evidence. According to Lallys Siesta resident Craig Siegel (left) and county Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally await copies of a Special Magistrates order after a May 23 hearing. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 67


testimony, they showed the situation on the grounds that he had described to Wittmer. When Wittmer asked Siegel if he objected to the photos being logged as evidence, he replied, No! On April 21, Lally continued, when Holderby again visited the property, some improvement was visible, but Holderby found the side yard was full of debris. Siegel had no objection to more photos being submitted as evidence. Lally then testified that he inspected the property on May 22 and found all the debris and overflowing trash had been removed, bringing the property into compliance with the county code. However, he requested that Wittmer write a nding of fact to deter future violations. When Wittmer asked Siegel if he wanted to offer any testimony, he declined. Wittmer said her order would contain the nding that the property had been in violation in the past, with accumulations of junk and debris, and that she was requiring the prop erty owner to maintain it in compliance with the county code. ILLEGAL RENTALS Before that Special Magistrate hearing began on May 23, I had time to chat briey with Lally and Holderby. Lally told me he was handling 15 cases of ille gal rentals on Siesta. People still do not understand that, under a county ordinance, they can rent property only once in a 30-day period, he explained a point he has made during numerous appear ances before the Siesta Key Association. People tend to get greedy, he said, adding that he nds multiple websites advertising places to rent on Siesta. Its amazing how many of them arent even registered with the [Sarasota County] tax col lector, Holderby told me. Anyone who rents property is required to register with that ofce and pay the Tourist Development Tax on money collected from lodger s. Craig Siegel sits in the very back row of the County Commission Chambers on May 23, awaiting his case during a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate Hearing. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 68


Siesta Key Village Association members have complained in recent months about the diminished upkeep of the Village. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 69


NATURAL RESOURCES UPDATE Matt Osterhoudt, the acting director of the countys Natural Resources Department, will be the guest speaker at the June 5 meeting of the Siesta Key Association (SKA). SKA Vice President Catherine Luckner told me the board members have asked Osterhoudt to educate them and audience members on his departments involvement in the Lido Beach Renourishment Project A NEW RECYCLING EFFORT? SKA President Michael Shay contacted me late last week to say one of the organizations new direc tors recently had seen a new type of combined garbage/recycling container at Beach Accesses 5 and 7. Needless to say, Shays curiosity was piqued. He has been working with members of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) for more than a year to get a recycling initiative under way in Siesta Village. Shay has contacted George Tatge, a man ager in the county Parks and Recreation Department, for details about the new struc tures. After he receives an answer, he plans to bring up the matter at an SKVA meeting. (That group meets next on June 3; I had no The Siesta stormwater project adjacent to the public beach is expected to be completed by May 30, according to the countys public works director. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 70


update from Shay by the time I was wrapping up this column on May 28.)Shay likes the new bins. Among the ques -tions he has emailed Tatge, he said, is a query about whether the county plans to replace all the separate garbage and recycling bins at the beach accesses with these structures. He also asked about their volume compared to the current bins at most of the accesses.ALL DONE ON THE BRIDGESome confusion initially was raised about recent Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bridge maintenance on the key. Apparently, people thought the north bridge was the focus, but the crews actually were working at night on the Stickney Point Road bridge.Lane closures did occur while repairs were under way to the bridge deck, concrete and machinery room, according to an FDOT memo provided to the county.That work was completed last week, county staff conrmed.STORMWATER PROJECT UPDATEThe latest news on the Siesta stormwater project ofcially, the Beach Road Drainage Project is that the modular pump house has been installed and wiring for the build -ing, the pump and associated equipment was completed on May 20.In a report to the County Commission dated the same day, Isaac Brownman, director of the Public Works Department, wrote that Erickson Engineering, a county consultant on the project, conducted the rst underwa -ter inspection of the offshore diffuser on May 5 and found all was satisfactory.The diffusing is the nal part of the process before treated stormwater can be pumped into the Gulf of Mexico. A test of the ultraviolet equipment that will be used to treat the stormwater was set for May 28, Brownman added.Substantial completion for the Beach Road Drainage Project is still scheduled for May 30, 2014, he added. % 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 May 30, 2014 Page 71


Sarasota Cou ntys operational hours for its lifeguards have been extended on all guarded beaches from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily, the county has announced. The hours will run through Labor Day week end, a county news release says. The Countys guarded beaches are Lido, Manasota, Nokomis, North Jetty, Siesta and Venice beaches, the release points out. Those that are unguarded, where swimmers must enter the water at their own risk, are Brohard Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Caspersen Beach, Palmer Point Park, Service Club Park, Ted Sperling Park and Turtle Beach, the release adds. Sarasota County public safety ofcials encour age all swimmers to ab ide by these rules: Always fo llow the instructions of the life guards on duty. Check with the lifeguards to determine swimming conditions before going in the water. Do not overestimate your swim ming capability. Whenever possible, swim with a buddy. All parking at Sarasota County beaches is free and available 6 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year, the news release notes. For more information about how to stay safe this summer at the beach visit ; the keyword is Lifeguards. Sarasota Countys lifeguards will work longer hours through Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy Sarasota County COUNTYS LIFEGUARD HOURS EXTENDED THROUGH THE SUMMER NEWS BRIEFS


The Sarasota County Historical Resource Center, located at 6062 Porter Way in Sarasota, has been closed temporarily while plumbing repairs are being made, the county has announced. The center is expected to reopen to the public no later than Monday, June 9, a news release says. We appreciate the communitys patience during the repairs, and we want to ensure everyone knows there was no damage to, or loss of, any of the centers historical collec tion due to the plumbing issues, said Lorrie Muldowney, Sarasota County historical resources manager, in the release. For community members with research questions, center staff is available by calling 861-5000 Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the release points out. A person also may submit a History Center inquiry form online on the countys website, COUNTY HISTORY CENTER CLOSED FOR PLUMBING REPAIRS The Sarasota County Historical Resource Center is located at 6062 Porter Way, near Interstate 75, in Sarasota (marked by the red ag). Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 73


The 2014 Florida State League All-Star Game will be held on June 14 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, organizers have announced. A series of events, including the Pirates and Princesses 5K Home Run and the Florida State League All-Star VIP Gala, are planned on June 13, a news release points out. Advance adult tickets for the game are $10 per seat for ineld box, ineld reserve, baseline box and grandstand seats, the release adds. Left eld bleacher seating costs $8 per ticket. Tickets for children age 12 and younger are $8 for ineld box, ineld reserve, baseline box and grandstand sections and $6 per ticket in the left eld bleachers, the release says. Group tic kets for the All-Star Game, which are available to parties of 10 or more, are $7 in all sections, the release continues. Each group member will receive a commemorative All-Star Game tumbler while supplies last, it notes. The McKechnie Field ticket ofce is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday when Bradenton Marauders games are not being played, the release points out. If a game is taking place on a weekday, the ticket ofce is open from noon until the conclusion of the game. The ofce also opens two hours before Saturday, Sunday and morning games, the release adds. For more information about the Florida State League All-Star Gam e, visit the website MCKECHNIE FIELD TO HOST FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME McKechnie Field in Bradenton has undergone signicant renovations in recent years. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 74


All Faiths Food Bank is extending its appre ciation to members of the compassionate and generous community who enabled it to exceed its goals for the Campaign Against Summer Hunger. Together we raised an unprecedented $1.1 million in funds and 766,253 pounds of food to feed children and families this summer! a news release says. Members of the community are welcome to like the food bank on Facebook and keep up-to-date on the new and expanded sum mer food assistance programs they made possible, the release adds. For an incred ibly rewarding hands-on summer hunger experience, join us as a volunteer at food dis tributions, it continues. ALL FAITHS FOOD BANK EXCEEDS CAMPAIGN GOALS Visit the website for more information about All Faiths Food Bank. Image from the website The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) has recognized seven Florida public schools, including Booker Middle School in Sarasota, as Arts Achieve! Model Schools, the organization has announced. The other honorees are Osceola County School for the Arts, Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School, Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, South Miami Middle Community School Center for the Arts, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts. Excellence in Arts Education is still very much a vital goal of the Florida Department of Education, said Caroll Vick, executive director of the FAAE, in the release. Teams of sch ool administrators and teachers from each of the Arts Achieve! Model Schools have been presented with full-conference scholarships to FAAEs annual Leadership Summit in Orlando to further strengthen their engagement with [arts] education best prac tices and help them connect with other arts educa to rs and administrators from around the state, the release points out. Representatives of the winning schools will receive their Arts Achieve! awards at the sum mit during a luncheon in their honor on June 20, the release notes. The spirit of this years conference is to cel ebrate the real potential arts students have for fruitful and fullling arts careers, added Vick in the release. Artists arent starving; theyre nding homes for their creative minds BOOKER MIDDLE NAMED ONE OF THE STATES BEST PUBLIC ART SCHOOLS Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 75


in all sectors of the job market, including sci ence, technology, engineering and math, he pointed out in the release. The Florida Alliance for Arts Education eval uates and approves schools based on criteria the organization developed in cooporation with Fl oridas professional service associa tions for dance, music, theater and visual arts, the release explains. For more information about the Arts Achieve! Model School Program or the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, visit faae.or g After five years as president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Thomas Buchter announced last week that he will retire in October. Buchters decision follows restoration of the organization to nancial stability and the successful completion of construction and opening of the Ann Goldstein Childrens Rainforest Garden in 2013, a news release points out. Selby is an exceptional garden with a national and international reputation for its contribu tion to the study and display of epiphytes, said Buchter in the release. Since 2010, he continued, by focusing on our customers, weve made sure that all guests whether visiting botanists, a gardener from Europe or our local families have a memorable expe rience that exceeded expectations. During Buchters tenure, which began in 2009, Selby Garde ns has marked the follow ing milestones: Achieved a balanced budget of $3.4 million for scal years 2010 through 2013; 2014 is trending very positively, the release says. Established the Development Department, which, in turn, created the Chairmans Circle to promote higher levels of contributions to the general operating fund and the Selby Gardens Legacy So ciety for planned giving. C omp leted a successful $5 million fundrais ing campaign that resulted in completion of the Ann Goldstein Childrens Rainforest Garden, including the vacation of a portion of Palm Avenue by the City of Sarasota. Buchter will return to Ohio and rejoin his wife, Kent Buchter, who works for a legal rm in Kirtland, OH, the release adds. The Gardens board of trustees will immedi ately begin the process of hiring a search rm to ll the C EO position, the release notes. CEO OF SELBY GARDENS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT PLANS Tom Buchter/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 76


Sarasota Countys Development Services and Code Enforcement offices will hold their annual free community cleanup day for residents in the vicinity of Sarasotas Proctor and Wilkinson roads on Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. to noon, the county has announced. Dumpsters will be provided at two locations so residents can dispose of discarded house hold items, yard waste, tree trimmings, junk and other refuse, the release adds. One will be on the northwest corner of the intersec tion of Ashton Road and Pinkney Avenue, just west of the railroad tracks on the north side of Ashton Road. The second will be in Bee Ridge Park at the intersection of Lockwood Ridge and Wilkinson roads, in the softball eld parking lot, the release notes. TVs, computers, other electronic equipment, appliances and tires (no larger than 25/6) will be accepted only at the Ashton Road/ Pinkney Avenue location, the release adds. The county is imposing a limit of ve tires per resident. For more information, visit or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. % FREE COMMUNITY CLEANUP SET FOR PROCTOR AND WILKINSON ROADS The Wilkinson Road/Proctor Road neighborhoods will have free county assistance for a cleanup day on June 7. Image courtesy Sarasota County 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 May 30, 2014 Page 77


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested two Sarasota men on charges of armed robbery after the victim reported the theft of cash when he tried to purchase crack cocaine from the men, the office has announced. After receiving a call about a robbery, deputies responded to the 3100 block of Hawthorne Street in Sarasota shortly after 7 p.m. on May 27, a news release says. They spoke with the victim, who said he had given one suspect $100 in exchange for the crack, according to the report. The victim identied the suspects as Tyrone A. Tyson, 21, of 2315 Spring Oaks Court, Sarasota, and Marcus J. Jackson, 22, of 2050 30th St., Sarasota, the report continues. During the exchange, the victim told deputies, Tyson displayed a handgun in his waistband, at which point the victim ran in fear for his life, the news release adds. While the deputies were still on the scene, the victim spotted the suspects vehicle as it went by, the release says. Deputies stopped the vehicle, enabling the victim to identify both suspects, the release notes. Deputies did not nd a rearm in their search of the vehicle, the report adds. Both Tyson and Jackson are charged with one count of Robbery With Firearm and are being held without bond. (Left) Tyrone Tyson/Contributed photo. (Right) Marcus Jackson/Contributed photo TWO SARASOTA MEN ARRESTED ON ARMED ROBBERY CHARGES CRIME BLOTTER


Curt Lee Rud, 29 of 988 Euclid Ave., Venice, has been charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Death and Driving with a Suspended License with Knowledge in con nection with the collision of his Dodge Avenger and a Yellow Cab taxi about 2 a.m. Saturday, May 24, in Sarasota that resulted in one death, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. Additional charges for Rud are possible based on the outcome of a continuing investigation, a news release says. James M. Elias, 51, of Acushnet, MA, died at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, the release adds. The incident occurred near the inter section of Main Street and Bay front Drive, the An aerial view shows the intersection and immediate vicinity of Main Street and Bayfront Drive in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Curt Rud/Contributed photo VENICE MAN CHARGED AFTER CRASH IN DOWNTOWN SARASOTA Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 79


release says. He and four other people were in a taxi that Rud allegedly struck while driv ing southbound in the northbound lanes, the release continues. Brian Krach, 44, of Sarasota, the taxi driver, was listed as stable on Monday at Sarasota Memorial Hospital; Kimberly Senna of Acushnet, MA, 43, who also was transported to Blake Medical Center, was in the Intensive Care Unit on Monday, the release continues. Lori Elias, 49, of Acushnet, MA, was trans ported to Sarasota Memorial for treatment of minor injuries, and Lisa Alves, 49, also of Acushnet, MA, was treated at Sarasota Memorial for ankle fractures, the release adds. Rud ed the scene on foot but was appre hended at the Gulfstream Avenue/Main Street intersection by law enforcement ofcers who spotted him running away, the release points out. Ofcers evaluated Rud for driving under the inuence but he did not show signs of impair ment, the release continues. During its satu ration patrols from May 23 to May 26, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce made 14 DUI arrests; two arrests for violating probation for a DUI and driving with a revoked license from DUI; and another two arrests for driving without a valid drivers license and for felony driving with a suspended license, the ofce has reported. Deputies also issued 201 uniform trafc cita tions (civil infractions), 75 warnings and one .02 violation (a person under age 21 driving after consuming alcohol but not criminally impaired), a news release says The office conducts saturation patrols to remove dangerous, uninsured or impaired drivers from local roadways and keep all motorists safe, the release explains. Because of the commitment to keep the public aware of these ongoing education and enforcement efforts, results are pro vided monthly or at the conclusion of special events, it adds. The Memorial Day Holiday Weekend numbers do not include DUI arrests made and citations issued by other agency personnel outside of the specic Trafc Unit initiative, the release notes. 14 ARRESTED FOR DUI AND 201 ISSUED UNIFORM TRAFFIC CITATIONS Sarasota County Sheriffs detectives are seeking information about an alleged meth amphetamine operation discovered in a Nokomis residence, the ofce has announced. About 9:40 a.m. on May 24, ofcers arrived at 116 S. Emerald Ave. in Nokomis to execute a search warrant after receiving a report of a suspicious incident, a news release says. After detectives began a search of the resi dence, the release continues, they located items used to make methamphetamine, which can be highly volatile. The release adds, All personnel then exited the residence. Anyone with information about activities at that address is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Ofce at 861-5800, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 366-TIPS (8477) or going online at sarasotacrimestop % INFORMATION SOUGHT ABOUT ALLEGED METH OPERATION Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 80


OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Fo r months, The Sarasota News Leader has been following a pair of Code Enforcement cases that have been well, frustrating for Sarasota County. Frustrating because efforts to bring a home at 6537 Sabal Drive on Siesta Key and Bobs Boathouse, a restaurant on South Tamiami Trail, into continuous compli ance with existing regulations has proven somewhat Sisyphean. Violations at the Sabal Drive home, owned by local chiropractor Craig Siegel as a vaca tion rental property, rst were discovered by Code Enforcement ofcials in November 2012. Siegel had bricked in the open portion underneath the raised home, in violation of local and FEMA regulations, so he might col lect huge weekly rents for a -bedroom house. However, in addition to outing ood control regulations, the illegal modications put occupants at an unacceptable risk in the event of a re, since ingress and egress were sharply limited. County Code Enforcement officers made several visits, tallied a long list of violations and tried often in vain to serve either Siegel or his attorney with notices of those violations and orders to correct all noncon forming structures. Finally, the county took the next step. It went before a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate in the ofce of the Sarasota County Clerk of Court, whose job is to adjudicate dis putes with noncomplying property owners. After reviewing the c ount ys case, the Special COUNTY CODE ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TOUGHER SANCTIONS


Magistra te started ning Siegel more than $500 per day until his house was brought into full compliance with all existing local and federal codes. And nothing happened. Siegel ignored the order of the Special Magistrate as the nes accumulated into tens of thousands of dollars. In the meantime, he was continuing to rent the unsafe dwelling to unsuspecting tourists from out-of-state, col lecting as much as $4,500 for a single week. In conversations between our reporters and county officials, a fatal flaw was revealed in how inadequate the sanctions the county could impose actually were. If a property owner refused to correct code defects involv ing a property and simply allowed the daily fines to accumulate without paying them, the only recourse for the county was to turn over the growing debt to a private collec tion agency. Unfortunately, collection agencies take on these types of debts by pocketing half of any money they collect. And t heir arsenal of collection strategies consists principally of writing harsh, threat ening letters and making h arsh, threat ening phone calls (especially during the dinner hour). Rarely does a collec tion age n cy take a debtor to court, because it has to pay court costs upfront and, even if it wins, the debtor might not be able to pay or the debtor could declare bankruptcy. So the collection agency, after a few months of trying to col lect the debt through letters and phone calls, typically will package up all of the debts that seem uncollectible and then sell that pack age to another collection agency, which will start the same process all over again. It is not unusual for a sizable but difcult-to-collect debt to be passed along to as many as half a dozen collection agencies. Meanwhile, the county does not see a dime of that money, and the recalcitrant property owner blithely continues ignoring the law and thumbing his or her nose at Code Enforcement authorities. The silver lining for the county is its ability to attach a lien for the outstanding penalties and any accrued interest against not only the nonconforming property, but against any other properties owned by the same per son. In the case of Siegel, that proved the lever that broke the proverbial logjam. He had another house he wished t o sell, but he could not do so with out bringing the Sabal Drive house into com pliance. Reluctantly, it appears, he had contractors tear out all of the downstairs accommodations in the house, along with As with the Craig Siegel properties, county Code Enforcement officers have been frustrated by not only the intransigence of Bobs Boathouse with regard to the timely completion of outstanding requirements for continued operation and adherence to the new noise limitations, but by the utter lack of meaningful sanctions at their disposal to compel that compliance Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 82


ma king other changes, to bring the house up to local and federal codes. However, Code Enforcement officers are investigating a new series of violations at his properties, so it looks as though the cycle is beginning again. YET ANOTHER CASE A more recent example began in late 2013 when Bobs Boathouse reopened on the for mer site of Royal Oldsmobile/GMC Trucks along the banks of Phillippi Creek on South Tamiami Trail. Through staff administra tive errors, Bobs Boathouse was given a Temporary Certicate of Occupancy, or TCO, despite its owing tens of thousands of dollars for utility fees. Worse, upon opening, the restaurant offered daily musical entertainment, the volume of which proved disruptive to residents in adja cent neighborhoods. Neighbors have said they pleaded with the management of Bobs Boathouse to lower the sound, as many of them were unable to sleep at night because of the incessant noise. But those pleas fell on deaf ears. In desperation, residents then turned to the County Commission, pointing out that the countys noise ordinance made enforcement difcult and that the noise levels it allowed were much higher than those in neighbor ing counties. After discussion and a public hearing, the County Commission am ended the ordinance to make enforcement parameters clearer, and it lowered maximum allowable noise levels to those already adopted in counties from Hillsborough down to Collier. Confronted with the more restrictive noise ordinance, one would have thought the own ers of Bobs Boathouse would have moved quickly to reduce the volume of live enter tainment and one would have been wrong. Almost immediately, the nightclub was being cited for noise violations. Then the same prob lem seen in the Siegel case reared its head. Bobs Boathouse simply ignored the citations and continued allowing musical entertain ment to exceed sound limits. Because there are almost 40 times more Sarasota County Sheriffs deputies than Code Enforcement officers in Sarasota County (something, incidentally, that the County Commission desperately needs to address), it usually fell to deputies responding to noise complaints to issue citations at Bobs Boathouse when noise readings showed a clear violation of the ordinance. After issuing several citations that were ignored, the deputies took a sterner tack: They arrested the manager on duty, charging that person with a misdemeanor violation of county noise ordinances. To date, two man agers have been charged, and their cases are pending in the courts. Throughout this ordeal, county staff has been ghting a steady battle with Bobs Boathouse to bring the establishment into compliance with existing building and site regulations Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 83


before issuing a permanent Certificate of Occupancy, or CO. The last TCO expired ear lier this year, and the establishment has been in continued violation for its noncompliance ever since. Once again, Code Enforcement ofcials when faced with a recalcitrant property owner ignoring deadlines for compliance had to turn to the Special Magistrate for relief. At a hearing in March, James Aker, the attor ney for Bobs Boathouse, pleaded with the Special Magistrate for more time for his client to complete a county-issued punch list of items that must be nished prior to the issu ance of a CO. The special magistrate relented, granting Bobs Boathouse up to 120 days to complete all remaining items on the punch list, with a status hearing scheduled for May 23 to assess progress. Despite assurances by Aker that substantial progress would be made on this list, it was revealed at that May 23 hearing that 75 per cent of the items remained undone. And if all items are not complete by the end of the 120day period, a hearing in July will determine penalties that will be assessed against Bobs Boathouse for continued noncompliance. Presumably, those penalties could be daily nes, or even an order to cease operations until a permanent CO was in hand. As with the Craig Siegel properties, county Code Enforceme nt officials have been frustrated by not only the intransigence of Bobs Boathouse with regard to the timely completion of outstanding requirements for continued operation and adherence to the new noise limitations, but by the utter lack of meaningful sanctions at their disposal to compel that compliance. The existing enforcement structure for vio lation of any county code works quite well for a law-abiding property owner who inad vertently runs afoul of those regulations. The problem arises with the occasional property owner who ignores those codes as well as efforts by the county to enforce compliance. Given the relative toothlessness of enforce ment sanctions, it is no wonder the county is occasionally confronted by such agrant violations. The problem is aggravated fur ther by a woefully exiguous corps of Code Enforcement ofcers to ensure compliance in a county with almost 400,000 residents. The County Commission must meet this chal lenge head on. First, it must provide many more Code Enforcement officers than the 11 currently available. The Sheriffs Ofce should not be an adjunct enforcement arm for code matters. Second, it must look at adding sterner penalties even criminal sanctions to address the occasional problem of prop erty owners who openly out both the intent and letter of local ordinances that exist to ensure the health, welfare and well being of all Sarasota County residents. Lastly, it should tie unpaid penalties assessed by a Special Magistrate to utilities service, rather than just Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 84


the attachment of a lien against the property. If a property owner fails to pay assessed nes, the water and sewer services to that property should be terminated, along with all electri cal service. Without those essential services, even the most contumacious property owner would soon pay up. The saying One bad apple spoils the bunch really comes into play in this situation. How long will the majority of county residents respect and comply with existing codes and regulations when they observe a few scofaws who out the laws and escape with no real sanctions? % 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. 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 May 30, 2014 Page 85


On a recent morning, my quiet predawn breakfast at a local restaurant was upended by another patron, two tables away, chatting on the phone. Isnt that Nick Bollettieri, whose academy is just around the corner, I wondered. Sorry to call so early! he was saying. When you wake up, come see me. I have something for you. He left abruptly. Without paying? No. Out to his car then back to glad-hand a friend at the breakfast counter. Minutes later, our collision Nick Bollettieri, 82, will be enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 12. Photo courtesy IMG Academy TENNIS, ANYONE? NICK BOLLETTIERI EARNED RENOWN FOR DOING THINGS HIS WAY, JUST AS A FRENCH FEMALE STAR DID DECADES EARLIER By Barbara Dondero Contributing Writer


course at the cash register must have been arranged by the tennis gods. Nick Bollettieri? I asked. Yes! I have some rst edition tennis books that need a good home. Do you have a library at the academy? Tell you what! Ill take them with me to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where I am to be inducted on July 12, he replied. Congratulations, Nick! I said. What an honor! Then Bollettieri sprang into action. Ill auto graph my new book, Changing the Game Do you have $20 on you? I do, I said. (I must be careful with that phrase, I reminded myself. He has been mar ried eight times.) The books are in my car. Out we went. He opened one book and ried through the table of contents. Listed were some of his prodi gies, who had reached world No. 1 status: Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Jim Courier and Monica Seles. I had followed their careers during my own lifelong addiction to the game. He autographed my book, adding a per sonal note. We shook hands. Grazie mille! I said. Prego! Ciao! he waved wildly as he drove away. An artists rendering shows a new facility under way at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. Designed by McKim Mead and White in 1880, the original building, The Casino, is a club for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. It covers 6 acres, and features 13 grass courts and a museum with features honoring the greats of the game. Since 1987, the original structure has been a National Historic Landmark. Image from the website Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 87


Mademoiselle Suzanne Lenglen (1899-1938) was a French tennis champion. Illustration by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 88


This tennis outt for Suzanne Lenglen, shown on a paper doll, was designed by Paris couturier Jean Patou. Illustration by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 89


This illustration shows an elegant off-court ensemble for Suzanne Lenglen. Illustration by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 90


All this befor e sun up. THE INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME Built in 1880, the Newport Casino was a playground for the mega-rich. From their oceanfront summer cottages along Bellevue Avenue, the Astors, Whitneys and Vanderbilts flocked there with their guests. The new game of lawn tennis was all the rage. The U.S. Championships took place at the Casino until 1915, when World War I swept away the Gilded Age. Tennis decamped for larger quarters Forest Hills, NY. Today they are played at New Yorks Flushing Meadows. ON THE WAY UP Bollittieri has hobnobbed with the wellto-do throughout his long career. In his book, he tells about his coaching gig at Puerto Ricos Dorado Beach Resort, owned by Laurance Rockefeller and family. Bollettieri describes how he transformed the golf-heavy resort into a tennis Mecca by using his street smarts. After a stint coaching at the Rockefeller estate in Tarrytown, NY, his career path was set: developing exceptional students. Several are already in the Hall of Fame, with more on the way. TENNIS GUYS AND (NEWSPAPER) DOLLS In Newport, RI, Bollettieri will be enshrined in the Contributor category. Only 39 of the 240 honorees over the years have been acknowl edged for outstanding contributions to the game off-court. The Players category represents star perform ers past and present, including Frenchwoman Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen (1899-1938). She was inducted in 1978. La Divine, the French press called her. Lenglen created a sensation. On the Riviera, tennis fans scrambled to nearby rooftops to watch her ballet-like grace. At Wimbledon the queues stretched for over a mile. In 1922, a new (and current) stadium was built to accommodate her legions of admirers. Her father molded her into a dedicated cham pion. Along with two Olympic Gold medals and one Bronze, Lenglen won 81 singles, 73 doubles and eight mixed championship titles. Papa soothed her nerves between games by throwing her brandy-coated sugar cubes. Suzanne Lenglen won several Olympic medals in tennis for France. Photo from Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 91


Not all spectat ors were impressed with her scandalous designer outfits. In fact, some spectators walked out of her matches. Martina Navratilova (Hall of Fame, 2000) once said, I would give anything to have seen her play. If you watch the TV coverage of the French Open tournament (through June 8), notice that matches are played on Court Suzanne Lenglen and see the womens champion receive the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen Like Lenglen, Bollettieri broke the modern mold. He did so by focusing on a baseline power game. A few days ago, I ordered from Bollettieri a book for a friend. Can you t ell me something special about her before I autograph it? he asked Yes. In the 1960s at the Dorado Resort, Randy showed up for a lesson on your court wearing high heels, to get even with her mother. Bollettieri enjoyed that bit of street smarts! He wrote, Dear Randy, I hope youre not looking for a refund. On July 12, at Newport, Bollettieri will not be shirtless, working on his legendary tan. For this momentous occasion, he told me, My wife wants me to wear a light tan suit. When the festivities are over, he will carry on in Bollettieri mode, soaking up life from sun up to sundown. For further information visit and bollettieritheb % THE SARASOTA News Leader Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The award-winning Sarasota News Leader Sarasota Countys #1 digital news weekly! Read it online today at The most comprehensive, unbiased coverage of local news and government in the Sarasota County area. Read it on your iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook, Android, Laptop, Computer or other Smartphones Available for FREE every Friday Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 92


YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST ALL THE REST... COMMUNITY CALENDAR 30+ MAY Venice Theatre and Loveland Center present The Century of Music Through June 1; times vary. Venice Theatre MainStage, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice. Tick ets: $15. Program features original script for the Loveland Players. More information: 488-1115 or 30+ MAY Artists Series Concerts presents Opera and More! Through June 1, 7:30 p.m. Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $25 to $45. Information: 360-7399 or 30+ MAY Asolo Repertory Theatre presents I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti Through June 15; times vary. Cook Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $25 and up. Information: 351-8000 or 30+ MAY Unconventional Inventions, Vanishing, Black Box Projects: Sum mation and Perspectives Through June 27. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Free. Exhibits include kinetic sculpture created in collaboration with area schools and businesses, cutting-edge works by University of South Florida Master of Fine Arts candidates, a selection of art from the Lemur Conservation Foundation and an all-media juried show. Information: 365-2032 or 30+ MAY Allyn Gallup Gallery presents A Few Great, Big Pictures Through July 28; times vary. 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free. Information: 366-2454 or 01+ JUNE UUCS Presents Jane Shannon: Works in Fabric June 1 through Sept. 4. Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, Lexow Wing Gallery, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Free. Artists reception: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 1. Information: 371-4974 or the church website 03 JUNE Tikkun Liel Shavuot Commemoration June 3, 7:30 p.m. Southgate Community Center, on the Tuttle Avenue trafc circle be tween Bee Ridge Road and Webber Street, Sarasota. Free. Hosted by Congregation Kol HaNeshama. Event to include a service, study session and Yizkor service. Information: 244-2042, email at or Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 93


The best of upcoming EVENTS 04+ JUNE Florida Studio Theatre presents Pump Boys and Dinettes June 4-29; times vary. Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $34 to $44. Information: 366-9000 or 06 JUNE Everything Youve Ever Wanted to Know about Mormonism June 6, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road. Free. Ryan T. Cragun, a sociologist, will discuss his research, hosted by the UUCS Free thinkers. More information: David Ryan at 365-4027 or or visit 06 JUNE Hermitage Artist Retreat presents open studio photography show and beach reading June 6, 6:30 p.m., weather permitting. Hermitage Artist Retreat, Manasota Key. Free. Tours of the historic Hermitage House, studio show featuring works of Sophie Lvoff and beach readings by Trenton Doyle Hancock and Josh Barkan planned. Visitors welcome to bring beach chairs and refreshments and to stay for sunset. More information: 475-2098 or 07 JUNE Faith Lutheran Church presents the U.S. Army Brass Quintet June 7, 7 p.m. Church located at 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Free. Concert to feature patriotic selections, Broadway hits and other popular pieces. More information: 924-4664 or 07+ JUNE Baritones Unbound: Celebrating the Uncommon Voice of the Com mon Man June 7-29; times vary. Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $20 and up. Information: 351-8000 or 07+ JUNE FST Improv: Out of Bounds Match Up June 7 through Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. Brownes Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $15. Information: 366-9000 or www.FloridaStudioTheatre. org 10+ JUNE Black Is the Color of My Voice June 10-22; times vary. Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $21.50. Information: 366-1505 or 10+ JUNE Florida Studio Theatre presents At the Hop June 10 through July 6; times vary. Court Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $32 to $36. Information: 366-9000 or 12+ JUNE Players Theatre presents The Dixie Swim Club June 12-22; times vary. 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $18. Information: 3652494 or YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST Sarasota News Leader May 30, 2014 Page 94


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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. CMON, DINNER! SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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