Sarasota News Leader


Material Information

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


newspaper   ( sobekcm )
newspaper   ( marcgt )


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

Record Information

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

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EPP8TNF3B_BJ0H37 INGEST_TIME 2013-04-24T16:48:56Z PACKAGE AA00013179_00028


COVER Inside A GENUINE THREAT A NEW CODE FORMING THE ABC CLUB Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida March 29, 2013




Copyright 2013 Sarasota News Leader All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Member National Digital Press Association The Sarasota News Leader is a publication of: New Sheriff Publishing, Inc. Post Ofce Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277-5099 Rachel Brown Hackney Editor and Publisher Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Stan Zimmerman City Editor David Staats Columnist Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer Scott Proftt Staff Writer Tyler Whitson Staff Writer TWhitson John Riley Editorial Cartoonist Vicki Chatley Copy Editor Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Robert S. Hackney General Manager Advertising Sales Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


Some weeks the news stories just seem to multiply like, well, Easter bunnies. And it seems it is all our staff can do to get them written in time to meet deadline. When the pace does slow down just a tad, I consider that a good time to review matters that might have been overlooked or relegated to a lower level of importance. You will see some of those kinds of stories this week. One example is the 2012 annual crime report Sheriff Tom Knights ofce released in January. It contains very positive information, but it was not until after a couple of comments were aired about it pub licly last week that we managed to corral it for coverage. Another example regards the overhaul of the countys Procurement Code. It has been a long process, and even though it came to fruition last week, more pressing news relegated this last chapter I hope to our March 29 issue. Do not worry, though, that this edition of the News Leader is focused on old news. Thanks to Cooper Levey-Baker and Stan Zimmerman, we have plenty of timely topics for you to peruse. I also want to take this opportunity to apolo gize for my recent negligence in touting our features. This week you will nd not only two wonderful articles with different takes on the upcoming Sarasota Film Festival, but a lovely feature from contributor Fran Palmeri. I highly encourage you to read Otus column this week, too if it is not already on your must see list. He has provided us with one of the most fascinating tales I have read in a long time. And on that note, I will wish all of you a pleasant Passover, a Happy Easter and a fun April Fools Day. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


DRAWING THE BEST FROM DISASTER LET THE RACES GO ON NEWS & COMMENTARY A GENUINE THREAT 8 Nobel laureates warn Sarasota about rising seas Cooper Levey-Baker A NEW CODE 12 The County Commission approves a revised Procurement Code almost two years after a scandal sullied the local governments reputation Rachel Brown Hackney FORMING THE ABC CLUB 16 Analysis: Unusual endorsements add spice to city race Stan Zimmerman A DESIRABLE DECLINE 21 Sarasota County has seen the highest decrease in crime of all Florida counties with populations above 100,000 since Tom Knight became sheriff Rachel Brown Hackney DRAWING THE BEST FROM DISASTER 24 Sarasota County RESTORE Act projects fare quite well in regional ranking Cooper Levey-Baker MORE PROMOTION 28 A Visit Sarasota County consultant recommends a bigger investment from the private sector to draw tourists to the county Rachel Brown Hackney AGENDA PREVIEW 32 Uncommon questions for the city commissioners Stan Zimmerman LET THE RACES GO ON 35 Suncoast Charities for Children makes a public plea for support so its Super Boat Grand Prix Festival can continue this summer Stan Zimmerman A GO SLOW APPROACH 38 Residential parking permit plan inches forward Stan Zimmerman CAREFUL PLANNING URGED 41 County commissioner talks of the need to safeguard the countys natural assets for the future Rachel Brown Hackney WHEN WILL THERE BE LIGHT? 46 County staff reports the latest estimate on providing illumination for seven Siesta Village crosswalks and addresses another lighting matter on the key Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Sandy Path Robert Hackney Sarasota Leisure: Siesta Beach Fun Rachel Brown Hackney


15 YEARS OF FILM DRIVING NORTH WITH SPRING EYE-CATCHER 50 New city art joins the outdoor gallery Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 52 OPINION EDITORIAL 63 Will the county sink the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival? SARASOTA LEISURE 15 YEARS OF FILM 67 The Sarasota Film Festival will celebrate its 15th anniversary with local showcases, lms and artists from around the world Tyler Whitson THE A-LIST 72 How the Sarasota Film Festival is making a name for itself in the national independent lm community Cooper Levey-Baker DRIVING NORTH WITH SPRING 75 The many-hued signs of the season delighted this driver on a long journey Fran Palmeri ASK OTUS 81 Rare bird lays its egg on north Siesta Key bridge Otus Rufous SIESTA SEEN 89 Old Stickney Point Road businesses seeking a brighter future literally; county ordinance change would see people ned for trying to hold parking spaces Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 94 RELIGION BRIEFS 102 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 107 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 108 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For The Best Reading Experience Try Reading The Sarasota News Leader On Your Tablet


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 Rehearsal performances ursday thru Saturday, Dec. 20th thru May 4th (ur. & Fri. at 3pm; Sat. at 10am; Call to reserve groups of 15 or more) 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


At one point in the Wednesday, March 27, New Topics New College lecture, climate change professor Pier Vellinga showed a green map of the globe, with all the regions most at risk from rising sea levels marked in red. And there was the Gulf Coast bright crimson. The talk, which Vellinga delivered in conjunc tion with the University of Michigans Henry Pollack, was titled, Sea Level Rise in Florida: Is it Time to Start Building the Ark? Wednes days answer to that question: Perhaps not yet. But we do need to take action, because one thing is certain: The Gulf is rising. Pollack spoke rst, laying out the science behind sea level rise. Throughout the 20th century, he s howed, oceans climbed up our shorelines, but that rise is accelerating and is expected to accelerate more in the years to come. The cause of that acceleration is cli mate change, which is fundamentally altering our atmosphere and warming our oceans. The sea level rises in three major ways, Pol lack said. The rst is simple thermal expan sion: As water gets warmer it expands. On top of that, Were adding new water to the ocean basins by the melting of mountain glaciers. Pollack showed photographs of Switzerlands Rhne Glacier taken across the decades. Each of them showed a major retreat in glacial ice, ice that is now water in our oceans. Much of Bayfront Park could be inundated by the rising sea level, Nobel laureates told a Sarasota audience this week. Photo by Norman Schimmel NOBEL LAUREATES WARN SARASOTA ABOUT RISING SEAS A GENUINE THREAT By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 9 The third factor causing water to rise is the delivery of ice directly into the ocean, Pol lack said. Large chunks of Greenland and Ant arctica breaking away bring the ocean level up like ice cubes in a glass of water. Pollack showed a map of the Eastern Sea board, with two lines drawn. One, way out in the Atlantic, showed where the coast would be if a new ice age occurred. Another, which cut off New York City, half of New Jersey and all of Delaware, showed where the coast might be in a world without ice, the title of a 2010 Pollack book Scary stuff. But how much will the oceans rise? Pollack showed a variety of projections, with what he called the most probable estimates ranging between 2 0 a nd 48 inches by the year 2100. He called the numbers put out by the Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change (for which both Pollack and Vellinga have written) a lowest-common-denominator assessment because of the bureaucracy involved, but even that organizations conservative estimates range upward to almost 1 meter. Pollack brought the discussion home with a series of slides prepared by Sarasotas Shafer Consulting, one of the two major sponsors of the talk. They showed how sea level rise might affect Sarasota. At 1 meter, St. Armands would be inundated, and the bay would reach all the way to the very lip of the fountain at Island Park. T he 150 or so attendees gasped. The City of Venice, Italy, is building expensive panels that could be raised to keep the water in its canals from rising too high. Image courtesy Nino Barbieri via Wikimedia Commons


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 10 Velli nga then took the stage, discussing the wide variety of ways in which cities and coun tries around the globe have tried to deal with rising oceans. One example of an aggressive approach comes from Vellingas home coun try, The Netherlands. There, the government has launc hed an aggressive program that in cludes beach nourishment, the construction of broad super dikes and even, in one area, new key islands built up with sediment. Theyve taken a different approach in Venice, Italy, a city that regularly rings out with sirens signaling the arrival of aqua alta (high water). Because Venice is located in a lagoon, the res idents are in the process of building a series of expensive panels sunk into the bottom of the channels that connect the city to the Adri atic. Invisible most of the time, they will rise as exible gates when the water level gets too high, keeping the lagoon le vel manageable. Vellinga, who shared in a Nobel Peace Prize with Pollack because of their work with the IPCC, has consulted with the city in its ap proach. Were not close to a robust solution like those here in Sarasota. Thats something event M.C. Julie Morris, assistant vice president for ac ademic affairs at New College, hopes will change. Many different local groups are ex amining the issue and reaching out to city and county governments, she says, but the prob lem is so big it demands a broader approach. She wants the conversation begun by Vellinga and Pollack to continue, and to grow louder, and she thinks New College can play a major role by bringing in experts and hosting events. Vellinga half-jokingly addressed the New Col lege stud ents in the audience Wednesday, say ing t hat as bad as things look, the problems of today are the employment opportunities of the future. He pointed out that Europes No. 1 economy (Germany) is also its biggest user of renewable energy, and he suggested that fol lowing The Netherlands model wouldnt cost affected Floridians much more than theyre already paying for ood insurance. But does Sarasota, or Florida, or the United States, have the political will to address un comfortable political realities and nd solu tions? Vellingas nal slide asked, Sarasota after a 3 ft rise in sea level, will it still be the place to be? The inevitable answer: De pend s. % The Rhne Glacier/Photo by Celesta via Wiki media Commons


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 11 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 Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers


When Sarasota County Procurement Ofcial Ted Coyman stood before the County Com mission on March 19, he was seeking nal approval for a revised Procurement Code a process that began in June 2011 after the countys purchasing department was wracked by scandal. Coyma n briey ran down a list of some of the recommended changes in the countys Pro curement Code, but the County Commis sion had been working with h im since Janu ary 2012 to modify the document. There were no surprises at this point. C hairwoman Carolyn Mason then opened a public hearing, but after months of county staff discussions with vendors and represen tatives of building rms as well, no one had signed up to speak. Commissioner Christine Robinson referred to the text on the boards agenda in moving ap proval of the repeal of the existing ordinanc es and putting the new one into effect. Commissioner Charles Hines seconded the motion. The action also estab lished new thresholds for expenses County A matrix provided to the County Commission notes changes in the guidelines for vendors to receive local preference in bidding on contracts. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES A REVISED PROCUREMENT CODE ALMOST TWO YEARS AFTER A SCANDAL SULLIED THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS REPUTATION A NEW CODE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor I want to raise your condence level that this document has really been scrubbed and vetted. Ted Coyman Procurement Ofcial Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 13 Ad ministrator Randall Reid or his designees can authorize. Mr. Coyman, its been a long time in the mak ing, Robinson told him. Thank you for your work on this. Weve put you through a lot. She added, We took our time with [revising the code] to try to get it right. Thank you for your diligence. Thank you, Coyman responded. With no other comments, Mason called for the vote, which was unanimous. Later that day, during the boards evaluation of Reids rst year on the job, Robinson said, I am really relieved to see that Procurement has made the leaps and bounds [in] improvements Its been a good chapter to close. During the commissions Feb. 26 regular meet ing when the board approved holding the public hearing on the revised code Coyman pointed out that after he was named the new procurement ofcial in August 2012, he un dertook a comparison of the Sarasota County code with those of 11 peer counties, and he sought legal review of recommended chang es through the County Attorneys Ofce. He noted that the National Institute of Govern mental Purchasing had audited new county practices in November, and he utilized a num ber of subject matter experts to revise the ordinance. Their input was vital, he added. I want to raise your condence level that this document has really been scrubbed and vetted, Coyman told the commission. The new code also encompasses a number of best practices recommended by the American Bar Association. Weve thorou ghly embraced all the elements of this that can be applied, Coyman told the commission on Feb. 26, referring to the ABA standards. Among the proposed changes the commission already had reviewed, he pointed out, was the inclusion of an Ethical Standards section something the existing code lacked. THRESHOLDS Regarding the new levels of purchasing au thority, Coyman noted that anything less than $5,000 can be bought by an employee with a county purchase card if the price is general ly the same at any place the item or service could be bought. Anything costing between $5,000 and $24,999.99 would require three verbal quotes. An item or service valued between $25,000 and $99,999.99 would necessitate three writ ten quotes. Procurement Ofcial Ted Coyman addresses the County Commission on March 19. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 14 Anything at the $100,000 level or higher would require a bid or proposal process.Additionally, the county administrator and county attorney can approve the purchase of something costing up to $100,000, Coyman said.Im assuming that were going to know about it, Commissioner Nora Patterson said of the latter types of purchases when the board ad -dressed the matter on Feb. 26.Coyman told her that the NIGP audit in No -vember had pointed out that the delegation of purchasing authority and threshold levels in the current code were not clear. So this structure claries that greatly.Reid pointed out that he had worked under similar guidelines in Alachua County, where he was county manager before taking the Sarasota County job. In a monthly report to his commis sion there, he added, he provided de tails about any purchas -es he had au -thorized. He also empha sized to Pat terson that three written quotes would be needed before he could spend any funds.I just want to make sure the board nds out about it, Patterson reiterated.As the current code was written, Coyman pointed out, the procurement ofcial could obtain many millions of dollars of commod -ities without anyones permission.Any purchase above $100,000 will come to the commission for approval under the new code, he said.However, if the commissioners want details about any purchases made by the county ad -ministrator under $100,000, that information could be provided to them, Coyman added.In response to another question from Pat -terson, Reid told her the purchase authority would apply only to funds already allocated in the county budget. Referencing a comment she had made earlier about how it seemed he would be able to ll up rooms with owers, for example, as a result of the new authori ty, Reid said, Youll see no $100,000 owers.Reid suggest -ed that the af -ter-the-fact re -porting could be generated without a stipulation for it in the new code.Coyman con -curred. % A slide in a March 19 presentation to the County Commission shows the timeline for revising the Procurement Code. Image courtesy Sarasota County


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


While most peo p le can follow the elaborate schemes used in sports to reveal the cham pion team, the City of Sarasotas rather sim ple election cycle seems to defy the under standing of newcomers. And that is not helped when the players start using novel tactics. On March 12 city voters narrowed a eld of six candidates to three. Those three are now running towards a May 14 el ection to decide the next two a t-large city commissioners. Think of it as the heat and then the nals. But in politics unlike sports the losers can boost the chances of winners by endors ing them. The losers urge their supporters to switch allegiance to one of the winners. On Tuesday, March 26, two of the three can didates who did not prevail in the March 12 primary endorsed two of the three candidates Linda Holland/Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: UNUSUAL ENDORSEMENTS ADD SPICE TO CITY RACE FORMING THE ABC CLUB By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 17 who did. At a hastily convened press confer ence, Democrat Linda Holland and Republican Kelvin Lumpkin endorsed Democrat Suzanne Atwell and Republican Richard Dorfman. Keep in mind the citys elections are nonparti san; candidates do not run on a party platform, and they are supposed to stay aloof from party politics. And while there are breaches in the nonpartisan rewall, the spirit remains intact. This was not the citys rst across-party-lines endorsement. But it was the rst crisscross party lines endorsement, which will confuse partisan voters. Why would a Democrat en dorse a Republican and a Democrat? Ditto with the Republican endorsement. Were the endorsees trying to create a slate of common interests ? In response to a question, Richard Dorfman and Suzanne Atwell ank Linda Holland and Kelvin Lumpkin at a press confer ence where the latter two endorsed the former two. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Kelvin Lumpkin/Photo by Robert Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 18 it appeared Lumpkin and Holland were saying they supported the same goals and objectives as Dorfman and Atwell. We are in harmony on how the city should grow, said Lumpkin at the outset of the press conference. Were here to offer our support to do whatever we can to help get them elected. ELECTORAL MATH It did not take long for the word of the unique crisscross endorsement to get out. The ar rangement was cooked up over the weekend, but the media did not get ofcial wind of the 12:30 p.m. press conference until an 11 a.m. email arrived. B y lat e afternoon the rumor mill was in full swing. People were calling me, said Atwell after a 6 p.m. ceremony. Are we running as a slate or a bloc? Well, of course not. We re ceived a couple of endorsements, thats all. One political insider said it looked like a re play of the District One race of 2011. Only one seat was at stake, so the four-person primary boiled down to a two-person nal election. The two non-prevailing candidates Repub lican Richard Dorfman and Democrat Fred erick Douglas Williams both endorsed Democrat Linda Holland against Willie Shaw, another Democrat. Prior to the March 12 primary, the six candidates address a neighborhood organization: (from left) Susan Chapman, Linda Holland, Pete Theisen, Richard Dorfman, Suzanne Atwell and Kelvin Lumpkin. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 19 Only 99 6 vot es were cast in the four-person race on March 8, 2011. Shaw received 414; Holland, 218. Dorfman was a close third with 202, and Williams trailed with 162. Thus, the two losers got 364 votes between them. Where did these Dorfman and Williams votes go in the nal election? In the May 10, 2011 runoff, more votes were cast than in the primary 1,234 compared to 996, because 238 new voters showed up. Add them to the 364 votes for Dorfman and Williams, and there were 601 new votes up for grabs between Holland and Shaw. Of them, Shaw captured 321 (for a total of 735 votes) while Holland got 281 more (for a total of 499). Therefore, Shaws margin of victory in the second election was 236 votes; in the rst election, it was 196 over Holland. In other words, the Dorfman and Williams supporters plus the new voters split almost evenly despite the endorsements. If anything, the vote tilted further toward Shaw. There is no evidence the 2011 endorsements did any harm, but it is clear they were in no way decisive. At best the endorsements were neutral; at worst, they gave Shaw an extra margin of victory. The crisscross endorse ments of 2013 may work differently, but re cent city electoral history argues otherwise. THE ABC CLUB One overtone in the room concerned the third victorious candidate in the ra ce, Susan Chapman. What is the motivation? was a question from the local press corps. Is it to keep Susan Chapman off the [City] Commission? It was not my question, but it was in my mind. Was this the formation of an Anybody But Chap man Club? Lumpkin was ready for the question. Some may see this as a move against somebody else. We cant worry about that when it comes to our loyalty to the city. We both knew the risk of doing it this way, he said. Looking at his new allies, Lumpkin added, Susan Chapman went to every church [in Newtown]. I encourage you to do the same. Atwell was uncharacteristically quiet at the event. In a post-conference chat, Dorfman tried to pull her a little closer. Kelvin and I were very much on the same page, and Linda and I were equally close. The four of us [in cluding Atwell] were pretty close, he said. Dorfman, Holland and Lumpkin all live north of Fruitville Road. Dorfman added, I need to take advantage of these endorsements knocking on doors; talking to church groups; engaging the neighborhoods. I need to spend time where Kelvin was strong, north Sarasota and Newtown. He continued, We have to engage harder, north of Fruitville, to maximize these endorse ments, and also maintain our support in other areas. Chapman said the endorsements dened ev erybody a lot better. It makes it clear Suzanne Atwell is not a middle-of-the-road candidate. %


This may take a while. Some things are just hard to resist. Like The Sarasota News Leader Its a feast of indepth local news, delightful and entertaining features, and thanks to its partnership with This Week In Sarasota access to the best community calendar available. The rst impulse is just to gobble it all up. But its better to take it slow and relish every news morsel. Theres no rush. You have a whole week. Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida


The focus was on future facilities for the Sara sota County Sheriffs Ofce last week as Sher iff Tom Knight and members of his staff met with the Sarasota County Commission for a planning workshop. However, Bill Spitler, director of research and planning for the Sheriffs Ofce, made the point d uring his presentation that since Knight took ofce in Ja nuary 2009, the county has seen the largest reduction in crime of any Florida coun ty with a population higher than 100,000. According to 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 34 of Floridas 67 counties have pop ulations exceeding 100,000. The historic Sarasota County Courthouse. Photo by Scott Proftt SARASOTA COUNTY HAS SEEN THE HIGHEST DECREASE IN CRIME OF ALL FLORIDA COUNTIES WITH POPULATIONS ABOVE 100,000 SINCE TOM KNIGHT BECAME SHERIFF A DESIRABLE DECLINE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 22 The Sheriffs Ofces annual report for 2012 showed crime dropped more than 16 percent that year compared to 2011. Major crimes, known as Part 1 Offenses in the FBIs Uniform Crime Reporting Index, decreased nearly 18 percent. The number of violent crimes such as mur der, robbery and aggravated assault, which account for part of the Total Index Offenses, was down nearly 16 percent. Burglary inci dents were down more than 26 percent, and fraud cases dropped nearly 28 percent. Calls for service declined nearly 5 percent, and total arrests were down almost 4 per cent. The number of trafc citations issued remained the same. Sheriff Tom Knight/Contributed photo A slide from a November 2012 Sheriffs Ofce presentation to the County Commission explains the intelligence-led policing concept. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 23 P roac tive policing driven by our agency-wide Intelligence 2 Action program is having a ma jor impact on crime, said Knight in a news release. Consistent information sharing helps us develop quality intelligence, which allows us to target the biggest problems in our com munity and focus our energy on those who repeatedly commit these crimes. Since Knight took ofce in January 2009, over all crime is down 21 percent, Part 1 crime is down 26 percent and DUI arrests are up 32 percent, according to Sheriffs Ofce statis tics. During his presentation to the County Com mission on March 20, Spitler noted that the intelligence-led policing staff has an ofce away from the main campus the Sheriffs Of ce occupies on Ringling Boulevard in down town Sarasota. He added that while he could not reveal its location, he could say that seven sworn employees and six crime analysts are on that staff. When Knight addressed the County Com mission about facilities needs on Jan. 8, he pointed out that the jail in downtown Sarasota is designed for 2,000 people, but the popula tion had been hovering around 900 in recent weeks. He attributed that at least in part to the intel ligence-led policing efforts. Knight was re-elected last year to his second term. Among other statistics in the 2012 report are the following: Aggravated assaults were down 15.4 per cent, from 448 in 2011 to 379 in 2012. Simple assaults were down 5.97 percent, from 1,925 to 1,810. Motor vehicle thefts declined 8.96 percent, from 279 to 254. Among the specic types of crime that did rise year-over-year was murder. The Sheriffs Of ce recorded nine cases in 2012, compared to seven in 2011. The overall lower trends are continuing so far this year. The Sheriffs Ofces February report shows Total Violent Crimes (includ ing murder, robbery and aggravated assault) down 15.84 percent, while Total Nonviolent Crimes (burglary, larceny and motor vehicle thefts) are down 12.86 percent. Total arrests so far have declined 12.32 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Burglary cases have decreased 21.09 per cent and larceny reports are down 7.53 per cent compared to the gures for the rst two months of 2012. However, the number of fraud cases is up 4.23 percent from a total of 71 in January and February 2012 to 74 thus far this year. To see the full 2012 report, visit www.Sara Under the Public Interest heading at the top of the page, click on Crime & Accident Statistics, then Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, December 2012. %


Quit e well. Thats the phrase Sarasota County Coastal Re sources Manager Laird Wreford uses to de scribe how county projects fared in competi tion with other ecosystem restoration plans submitted to a coali tion of area estuary programs. The com petition was created to determine funding pri orities for future mon ey paid out by BP in compensation for the 2010 Deepwater Hori zon oil spill, the worst en vironmental disaster in American history. Late last year, the county commissioners tweaked and approved a list of 28 projects they would like to see funded through the RE STORE Act, the feder al legislation dictating how penalties paid by BP and other compa nies will be distribut ed. The countys wish list had an estimated price tag of $145 mil lion, with individual project costs ranging The cover of the Southwest Florida Regional Ecosystem Plan. Contributed image SARASOTA COUNTY RESTORE ACT PROJECTS FARE QUITE WELL IN REGIONAL RANKING DRAWING THE BEST FROM DISASTER By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor It was interesting to see that what came out of the governors ofce was very similar to what the [estuary programs] had already moved forward with. Laird Wreford Coastal Resources Manager Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 25 from $20,000 to $60 million. Wreford tells The Sarasota News Leader the projects had been on the drawing board for some time; they included everything from beach restoration to the countys Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program. That list was then submitted to the Joint Flor ida Gulf National Estuary Programs made up of organizations that oversee Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor for a rig orous evaluation and ranking process. Out of the countys 28 projects, 15 ended up in total in the highest-ranked group, Wreford says proudly. The idea was to then submit that list of proj ects to the U.S. government to win money from the RESTORE Acts so-called pot of federal money, but Gov. Rick Scotts ofce has The Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Petty Ofcer 3 rd Class Patrick Kelly, via Flickr Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 26 now indi cated it wants a unied compilation of statewide projects to submit for a chance at those dollars. It was interesting to see that what came out of the governors ofce was very similar to what the [estuary programs] had already moved forward with, Wreford says, adding that the programs have been in solid com munication with the governors ofce about how to move forward. Of course, no one knows how much money may eventually come our way. Estimates for BPs total liability have ranged from $5 billion to $20 billion, but those numbers were predi cated on BP settling a lawsuit brought by the federal government. Instead, the company chose to go to trial, a process that began one month ago. When asked for his thoughts on whats next for the county and the RESTORE Act, Com missioner Charles Hines jokes, Whats the status of the trial? He says everyone believed that BP was going to settle, but instead, the company is rolling the dice. All of a sudden, you might get more, you might get less, Hines adds. Hines, who represents the county on the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program policy board, participated in the estuary coalitions rank ing process. He thinks the groups organized, disciplined approach will increase the odds of county projects winning funding, whenever BP pays up and however much it is forced to dole out. We kind of bonded together, he says. I think it will make a big difference. It wasnt just a free-for-all. % I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Full Service Salon 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota


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


Wh ile he stressed he was not making a pitch for more public money, Bill Geist, president of Zeitgeist Inc. and a consultant to Visit Sara sota County, urged members of the Sarasota County Tourism Development Council (TDC) to work with other county ofcials to in crease private invest ment in promotion of the county to tourists. Sarasota County its not at the complete shallow end of the pool when it comes to marketing itself, Geist said during the advisory boards March 21 meeting, but youre getting outgunned by a lot of destinations in this state and the S outheast. Palm Beach, for exam ple which also con siders itself an arts and cultural capital, just as Sarasota County does, he noted has an an nual promotion bud get of about $9 mil lion. Fort Lauderdales budget is $18 million, Geist added; Miamis, $22 million. Jim Shirley, executive director of the Sarasota County Arts and Cultural Alliance (far right) ad dresses a joint Tourism Development Council/County Commission meeting last fall. Photo by Nor man Schimmel A VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY CONSULTANT RECOMMENDS A BIGGER INVESTMENT FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO DRAW TOURISTS TO THE COUNTY MORE PROMOTION By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County its not at the complete shallow end of the pool when it comes to marketing itself, but youre getting outgunned by a lot of destinations in this state and the Southeast. Bill Geist President Zeitgeist Inc.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 29 Myrtle Beach, SC, which has transformed it self from a beach resort 30 years ago into a major destination, with a wide variety of mu sic and theater venues, spends $36 million an nually on promotions, he pointed out. And were spending about 4 [million dollars]. His recommendation, Geist continued, is for Visit Sarasota County (VSC) to increase its budget to something closer to $10 million a year. On the positive side, Geist noted, the state of Florida has proven its dedication to invest ing in tourism promotion, though he added a number of states have some very, very ag gressive destination development marketing. Can Florida become just as aggressive in des tination development, he asked. During the TDC meeting, Geist presented a proposal for a new strategic plan for VSC, the countys tourism ofce, that would serve it for the next ve to seven years. The TDC mem bers voted unanimously to recommend that the County Commission approve the plan. That recom me ndation tentatively is scheduled to come before the commission on June 4, Anna Madden, the boards liaison to the TDC, told The Sarasota News Leader this week. The proposed strategic plan encompasses three other goals along with increasing invest ment in tourism promotion and development: Continue to develop and communicate the destinations brand essence. By 2020, Geist said, the anticipated result of that effort is to achieve 1 million visitors per year who pay for overnight lodging. In response to a question, Stephanie Gross kreutz, the VSC managing director, said the county sees slightly more than 4 million visi tors annually, but not all of them stay in paid lodging. Geist told the TDC members that the number paying for room stays is about 900,000 a year. For an example of what he meant about build ing the countys brand, Geist explained that research has shown approximatel y 60 percent A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for May 24 to mark the completion of North Cattlemen Road, a major access to Nathan Benderson Parks rowing facility. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 30 of people factor the variety of culinary choic es available into their decisions about where to go on vacation. Of those, 17 percent say dining choices are the most important factor in settling on a destination. Therefore, Sara sota County can do a better job of promoting its local restaurants, Geist pointed out. For example, it can build on its Eat Local Week Advocate for destination enhancing devel opment. Sports is one of the fastest growing attrac tions for group travel business in the United States, Geist noted. For example, Nathan Benderson Parks international rowing venue will draw many more visitors to the county, he added. Additionally, VSC can work with the Sarasota County Arts and Cultural Alliance to be more active in promoting the countys arts and cul tural offerings, which are one of the primary parts of your brand, Geist said. The VSC also will work with area colleges and universities in marketing their facilities and attractions, the plan says. There are actually Students in Sarasota Youth Opera which premiered Little Nemo in Slumberland last fall will participate in YouthArts Fest on April 6. Photo by Rod Millington


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 31 a f air number of really unique meeting spaces on these campuses, Geist pointed out. Additionally, the plan also calls for the VSC to work with the county and its municipalities on better signage, including a more attractive gateway to the community from Sarasota-Bra denton International Airport. Elevate the visitor experience through en hanced visitor services. In almost every meeting conducted with coun ty residents to help develop the strategic plan, Geist said, he and VSC staff heard people say they wanted to be more involved in inviting and welcoming visitors to the area. We didnt hear it at all three years ago, he added, noting a signicant uptick in community pride. Geist also told the TDC, We need one central monster of a calendar of events [on the VSC website ] that becomes the go-to for people in this community as well as tourists. THE ARTS Following Geists remarks, Jim Shirley, execu tive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance, offered an update on some of his organiza tions activities. Pointing to the variety of international festi vals the county has hosted featuring inter nationally known performers such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Itzhak Perlman and Jose Carre no, for example Shirley said, I can virtually guarantee you that maybe outside New York, no other community in this nation has done that sort of thing and does it every year. Those festivals draw performers from all over the world, and their families and members of their communities learn about Sarasota through their participation, Shirley added. Shirley als o reported that his staff had under taken an informal survey of the countys arts and cultural organizations to determine the number of tickets sold to visitors so far this year. Eight groups responded to the survey, he said, with the following results thus far in the scal year that began Oct. 1, 2012: 119,000 patrons had come from outside Sarasota County but from within the state, about a 4.5 percent increase over the same period in 2012. Slightly fewer than 200,000 patrons had come from outside Florida but from anoth er state, compared to about 193,000 for the same period of 2012, a 3.4 percent increase. Slightly more than 10,000 patrons had come from other countries, about a 4.7 percent increase. He also pointed out that he had been at the Florida Legislature the previous day, when members of Sarasotas delegation had talked of their pride in the arts in the Sarasota Coun ty Schools. Shirley noted that the school dis trict plans to seek a renewal in 2014 of its spe cial 1 mill tax that helps fund those programs. Finally, Shirley invited all the TDC members to the YouthArts Fest on April 6, which the Arts and Cultural Alliance will sponsor in Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Students from almost every district school will be performing, he said, along with youngsters in youth programs associated with arts orga nizations such as Sarasota Ballet and Sarasota Opera. About 10,000 people attended the event in 2012, he added. %


The Sarasot a City Commissioners confront an April Fools Day agenda with something blue, something hopeful and something far-reach ing. The blue is a done deal of city volunteerism; the hopeful is bedeviled by details and the far-reaching is a stab in the dark. This is not your average City Commission agenda. SOMETHING BLUE A Sarasota delight is the Ringling Bridge by night: Arches leaping across the water, sub tly lit. Drivers never see it, but for boaters and bayside residents it remains a jewel on the bay. On Monday, t he Sarasota city commissioners will be asked to tinker with that jewel at the request of Katherine Klauber Moulton. She rst proposed swapping out the white lights under the bridge for blue ones in the month of April to bring attention to Child Abuse Pre vention Month. Blue is the symbolic color for the effort, similar to pink for breast cancer awareness. Moultons plan has gone beyond a swap to a permanent change. She has enlisted volun teers from the local LED lighting rm Evolu cia and the local lighting contractor Roadrun ner to t 72 new and blue lights as permanent replacements o n the bridge. A proposal coming before the City Commission calls for blue lights to illuminate the Ringling Bridge at night. Photo by Norman Schimmel UNCOMMON QUESTIONS FOR THE CITY COMMISSIONERS AGENDA PREVIEW By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 33 Moulton wr ote in a memo that investigation of the existing 10-year-old xtures shows ex tensive corrosion and their life is limited. She proposes at no cost to the city to install 72 seaworthy, marine-grade light xtures with energy-efcient LED blue bulbs. She es timates the energy savings will be $7,944 per year and the donation by Roadrunner and Evolucia volunteers would amount to $86,120. The Florida Department of Transportation regional manager has enthusiastically em braced the concept of the changing of the lighting, Moulton wrote. What started as a single-purpose project has metamorphosed into something that can make Sarasota and its iconic Ringling Causeway even more sym bolic of our community. The commission vote on the blue-bulb issue will come late in the evening session under new business. SOMETHING HOPEFUL The sole public hearing in the evening could prove to be lengthy. Regular readers will rec ognize the topic NTOD. The North Trail Overlay District goes before the City Com mission for approval after two visits to the Planning Board. The Planning Board approved the NTOD with a 3-2 vote; Vald Svekis and Chris Gallagher were in the minority. The overlay district is the product of three years of collaboration among business owners in the area, ve nearby neighborhoods, prop erty owners, the city and outside interests. The dist rict would eliminate site plan review by the Planning board and City Commission, substituting administrative review by city staffers. This is seen as expediting develop ment proposals. A builder, however, would be required to hold a community workshop before asking for staff approval. The overlay would tweak maximum heights in certain areas, set urban frontage standards and provide some exibility for parking. The eventual compromises were many, and most of the parties walked away believing them workable. The public debate has been spirited. Not one of the ve recognized and organized neighbor hoods under the NTOD umbrella has formally endorsed it. And as the split Planning Board vote displays, even after hours of study, ques tions and deliberation, the ve members could not reach a consensus on forwarding it to the City Commission. Expect more public comment at the public hearing Monday evening. The North Trail Overlay District, which of fers exibility to developers in regard to a number of design features, will come before the City Commission April 1. Image courtesy City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 34 THE STAB IN THE DARK A topic coming up early in the day is appoint ment of an 11-member panel jointly proposed by Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin and Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid. The body would ponder the future of the Com munity Redevelopment Agency. The CRA skims county property taxes paid in a dened area and devotes them to ghting slum and blight. The amount of money is substantial. This year the CRA has about $3 million to spend. The deal was established 27 years ago to pre serve a failing downtown corridor. In three years the deal expires. The county is already using the $3 million in its out-year budget pro jections, and county commissioners have of ten eyed the money as a way to balance future budgets. In a show of magnanimity at a joint city-coun ty meeting on Feb. 5, the two boards agreed to examine the idea of extending the term of the CRA beyond 2016. The 11-member body would report back to Reid and Barwin by Sep tember. Barwin nominated six people for the commit tee: Andy Dorr, Chris Gallagher, Mark Huey, Katie Leonard, Michael Beaumier and Frank Carol. Reid nominated seven people: Chris Gallagh er, Michael Beaumier, David Merrill, Bill Rus sell, Joel Freedman, Casey Colburn and Ernie DuBose. Because two names appear on both lists Gallagher and Beaumier the nominations total 11. Both administrators believe that eleven is a manageable number and recom mends that they all be appointed to the com mittee, Barwin wrote. The stakes are high. The city now uses $700,000 in CRA money to defray the cost of downtown policing. Both governments are running on unbalanced budgets, dipping into reserves to match ends and means. Will the county be willing to extend the CRAs term and relinquish the money? And what would the city do without the funds? These will be questions in the back of the minds of the 11 committee members, should the City Commission approve their nomination. % City Manager Tom Barwin (left) and Dep uty City Manager Marlon Brown attend the dedication of Complexus by the bayfront on March 27. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Hard ti me s have caught up with the Suncoast Charities for Children, now reduced to beg ging to keep its signature fundraiser alive. On Wednesday, March 27, the organizations vice president, Lucy Nicandri, delivered an ultimatum. It was a posh setting for an ultimatum, in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Sarasota downtown, and it was attended by more than one local world champion boat racer. But an ultimatum it was. If the organization does not raise $75,000 by April 11, the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix is history. Nicandri has asked, even begged, the City and County commissions for support. The Saraso ta City Commission agreed to waive $36,000 in fees, permits and police help but offered no cash. Nicandri went to the Sarasota County Commis sion last week to seek $100,000 to make the event happen. She walked away with $13,500. We still have a long way to go, she said. The Boat Parade during the Suncoast Grand Prix Festival always draws a crowd to Main Street. Photo by Norman Schimmel SUNCOAST CHARITIES FOR CHILDREN MAKES A PUBLIC PLEA FOR SUPPORT SO ITS SUPER BOAT GRAND PRIX FESTIVAL CAN CONTINUE THIS SUMMER LET THE RACES GO ON By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 36 Twelve world-class racers line up to urge support to keep the Grand Prix alive. Photo by Stan Zim merman


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 37 The boat race is actually one of 19 different events over 10 days, but most of them are free and open to the public. In other words, they bring in zero income. That includes the annual Boat Parade down Main Street in Sarasota and the Independence Day reworks. And the festival is not all the organization does for the community. The Holiday Boat Parade is another one of its events, as is Thunder by the Bay for bikers. But the money to fund the activities is not what it used to be. The construction industry used to support us heavily, Nicandri said. But we know whats happened there. Same with the boat-building industry. The race if it happens will mark the 30 th annual running of the super boats. Over those three decades, the Suncoast Charities for Chil dren has built six facilities to help local kids with special needs, using the proceeds from the races and other activities. But the well has run dry. We need $79,200 to pay the race sanction fee, Nicandri said. And were looking at increased vendor costs, a decline in in-kind services [and] increased helicopter and boa t ren tal to keep the boats and marine mam mals safe. As money tightened in the Great Recession, the charitys staff and board stopped dreaming about new facilities and used the proceeds to maintain the six existing buildings. Nicandri says a number of other communities would be delighted to see Sarasota bow out of the festival. Other cities want this race on the Fourth of July, she said. If they get it, it wont come back. She called up 12 local and out-of-area boat racers to testify. Sarasotas Steve Kildahl has been in every race since 1985. To see this race go away would be a shame, he said. He is a hands-on mechanic who runs a small marine business in the city. Kildahl was not the only old-timer to speak out. Bob Long, the former CEO of Wellcraft, said, This race brought us business all year long. It promoted boating and fun. One member of the audience said sotto voce We can spend millions to help the Bender sons and rowing, but we can t help this? %


Parking on Capitol Hill is impossible, unless you live there. A little sticker on the wind shield is proof against all tickets, but only if you live there. Sarasota is inching its way toward using the same type of system for the same reason. Locals and their visitors need parking spac es even in high-demand areas. One street is now serving as a test model, and if the plan is successful, other streets may be proposed for permit parking. At the Wednesday, March 27, meeting of the City of Sarasotas Parking Advisory Board, those next steps were revealed. But do not worry: The proposal encompasses a miniscule number of spaces and even those will need approval from highest authority the Sarasota City Commission. Unlike the Washington, D.C., version, the Sara sota stickers would require cars to be moved every 24 hours. Right now only 12 spaces in the entire city are affected; they are along Monroe Street near St. Armands Circle. The beneciaries are the Kingston Arms Apart ments, which has only one space per unit. Any visitor would face the vicissitudes of parking enforcement. Parking Manager Mark Lyons says the reac tion has been very positive. He is making this a pilot project. If it does prove successful, Residential permit parking could be enforced in the future for a block near the Rivo at Ringling con dominiums in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel RESIDENTIAL PARKING PERMIT PLAN INCHES FORWARD A GO SLOW APPROACH By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 39 Limited parking for some residents in Burns Court could be improved by permits as well, city of cials say. Photo by Scott Proftt


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 40 there are se veral other areas in the city that could be eligible for privileged parking. STREETS YOU NEVER HEARD OF One situation similar to the needs of Kings ton residents could put the Hotel Ranola in the limelight. Never heard of it? How about Indian Place or Bamboo Lane? They are all downtown and you have cruised by them a thousand times or more. Think of the block between the Rivo at Ring ling condominium complex and the U.S. Post Ofce. The north border is Bamboo Lane, where the Star Keeper Caf is located. Indian Place is the north-south street on the eastern side of the block. The streets are narrow but do allow parking on one side. Residents of the Ranola actually an apart ment building have less than one parking spot per unit, so enforcement of restricted parking with permits would give them some civic mobility with guaranteed parking on Bamboo Lane and Indian Place. Burns Court is another area with tight parking. Two small streets in that section of the city are on Lyons list for possible use of permits. They are Selby Lane, the single-block, eastwest strip south of Owens Fish Camp; and a single-block stretch of Oak Street, which is one block south. Both of these stretches are on Lyons map. Two more proposed sites are not so obscure. Both the Palm Avenue parking garage and the parking structure at Whole Foods are in con sideration. They could serve at certain times of the year to meet the needs of visitors, he said. None of this is happening soon. Lyons and the Parking Advisory Board are simply exploring ways to satisfy residential and commercial needs for parking. We are not giving away prime spots, said Lyons. There is not a stan dard way to set this up. The board urged a cautious approach. Youll have to work with the neighborhoods and the businesses to get a consensus on this, said member Marty Rappaport, chairman of the St. Armands Business Improvement District. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Pres ident Steve Queior added, This is a go slow [issue]. We will not be making this decision in a vac uum, said Lyons. This would have to go to the City Commission. % Map courtesy of Google


Saraso ta County Commissioner Nora Patter son urged members of the Siesta Key Asso ciation on March 23 to strive to make sure their elected ofcials do not trade the countys valuable natural re sources for short-term economic gains. In her State of the Key address during the SKAs annual breakfast meeting, Patterson who has lived on Siesta since 1970 told the audi ence, Please make sure that we dont change from a long-term practice in Sarasota [County] of careful land-use planning to planning for to morrow only because were bringing jobs in. Pointing out that it was the 14th time she had attended the organizations annu al meeting, Patter son also referenced the impact term lim its will have on the County Commission in the future. (From left) Joyce Kouba, chairwoman of the Nominating Committee, joins the Siesta Key Associ ation directors for 2013-14: Catherine Luckner, Peter van Roekens, Joe Volpe, Beverly Arias, Deet Jonker, Helen Clifford and Michael Shay. Photo by Rachel Hackney COUNTY COMMISSIONER TALKS OF THE NEED TO SAFEGUARD THE COUNTYS NATURAL ASSETS FOR THE FUTURE CAREFUL PLANNING URGED By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor To thrive, [Sarasota County is] going to have to stay an attractive place with good jobs but physically wellplanned and well-maintained. Please make sure as citizens that your elected leaders do not kill the golden goose. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 42 Four out of ve commissioners are now lame ducks, she said. In four years, Commissioner Charles Hines who was elected to his rst term during the 2012 General Election will be your senior commissioner, she added. Hes great! Patterson told the audience of about 100 people. Nonetheless, because of term limits, she con tinued, an awful lot of people without expe rience will be winning seats on the board. You will have to work even harder than you have to make sure the county maintains a good reputation, she added. Although the countys unemployment rate had risen as high as 13.3 percent during the Great Recession, Patterson pointed out, it had de creased to 7.8 percent in December before climbing again to 8.2 percent in January. (In releasing its most recent gures, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity revised that December rate to 7.7 percent.) One impact of the recession, she said, is something that will have a more permanent effect on this community: The County Com mission and, frankly, the community, is now more permissive in land use issues than it used to be. While she agreed about the need to build up the countys tax base and put people back to work, Patterson continued, we need to watch that we do not destroy neighborhoods or the functionality of the county with these decisions. Russell Matthes (standing), president of the Siesta Key Village Association, talks with Sheriff Tom Knight (right) during the Siesta Key Association Annual Meeting on March 23. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 43 She pointed out, The most politically sensi tive issue on the table right now is called the 2050 Plan, which was designed to regulate development east of Interstate 75. I am very protective of its basic principles, she said, because I am the only commissioner who was on the commission at the time that this plan was developed and I may not entirely agree with the rest of my commission, at least so far, on these [land-use] issues. Sarasota County staff has held meetings with developers who have complained that the plan is too stringent for them to be able to construct developments in the eastern part of the county. Therefore, at the behest of the County Commission, staff has held open house-style meetings and is gathering public comm ents about the 2050 Plan. The commis sion is scheduled to address the plans param eters at a meeting later this year. To thrive, Patterson said, [Sarasota County is] going to have to stay an attractive place with good jobs but physically well-planned and well-maintained. Please make sure as citizens that your elected leaders do not kill the golden goose. Lets see we dont injure the beauty of Sarasota that brought us here and, most importantly, weaken efforts to plan for the long term and not just what will be good for tomorrow. She added, Lets be sure we dont let slip from our hands the very things that cause us to love Sarasota and her islands. Siesta Key Association President Catherine Luckner. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 44 County Admin istrator Randall Reid, who also addressed the audience, talked of the many visits he has made to local companies, hear ing ofcers or owners say they had decided to locate their businesses in the county after vacationing in the area since they were chil dren or because their wives loved the area, for examples. Reid said that as a government ofcial, he feels the need not only to protect the quality of life in the county but to try to make it bet ter. He urged the SKA members to maintain alli ances with other neighborhood organizations to work on initiatives they feel are important to the community. In 1972, Reid continued, the County Commis sion adopted the rst long-range plan for de velopment of areas east of I-75. He added that the county has received numerous awards through the years for its land-use planning. Referring to the 2050 Plan, Reid said, Dont assume development east of I-75 has no im pact on you. In a comment similar to the one Patterson had made, he told the audience, I urge you to pay attention to who you put in public ofce and what their values are. PROJECT UPDATES Patterson also offered comments about major projects under way or coming up on Siesta Key. Peter van Roekens is trading the duties of vice president for those of secretary. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 45 The planned impr ovem ents to Siesta Public Beach park are still pegged at $21.5 million, she said, with 130 new parking spaces to be created as part of that work. I personally am appalled at the price, Pat terson said. Its more than double what we expected it to be. She noted that Siesta architect Mark Smith past chairman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce has been helpful in pointing out issues where he thought things were over priced in the beach project. With the support of commissioners, Smith reviewed the plans with representatives of the countys consult ing rm for the design work, Kimley-Horn and Associates, and reported his ndings to the commission last year. Patterson continued, The worst thing we could possibly do is to [undertake the work] in phases and keep the beach basically in tur moil for numerous years. Moreover, Patterson pointed out, the Siesta facilities are the only ones at a county beach park that have not been renovated over the past several years. [This] just happens to be the most expensive [project], she added. Regarding a trolle y for the island: Patterson said it is set to go into service within about 18 months, and a federal grant will cover half the cost at the outset. If it works out well, she said, and helps reduce the parking situa tion, I am sure the county will take it over and run it at full price, about three-quarters of a million dollars a year But it should be worth it if its w ell used. If you like it and want it to stay, use it, she admonished the audience, noting that ridership would determine wheth er it continued. The county also plans to invest in new facili ties for Turtle Beach, Patterson noted, includ ing a gazebo, walkways and a kayak launch. Additionally, she said, the county is under a state mandate to close the sewer plant on Si esta Key, because storms could cause prob lems with it that would result in environmen tal damage. At the end of this year, Patterson said, a con tractor will begin constructing a new sewer force main under much of Lockwood Ridge Road. A directional bore will be used to run a pipeline under the Intracoastal Waterway and Phillippi Estate Park, she added, and basical ly service [Siesta residents] through mainland sewer plants, which will make [the sewer sys tem] safer and better and ultimately cheaper as well. NEW DIRECTORS During the meeting, which was held in the Community Room at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, Joyce Kouba, head of the Nominating Committee, reported that all the directors of the past year would be returning to the SKA board. Additionally, Catherine Luckner will remain as president and Helen Clifford will continue to be the treasurer. However, Kou ba said, Michael Shay had been elected vice president, with past Vice President Peter van Roekens taking over as secretary. The other directors are Beverly Arias, Ron Flynn, Deet Jonker and Joe Volpe. %


Sarasota County staff has determined it can purchase and install bollards to illuminate seven Siesta Key Village crosswalks for about $55,000, but it was awaiting a second vendor quote this week before making a recommen dation to the County Commission about how to proceed. That was the news in a March 21 memo from Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. to the County Commission regarding an initiative that began in January 2012 to provide better lighting of pedestrians walking across Ocean Boulevard at night. Harriott reported that staff had found it could buy the bollards for $12,000 from a manu facturer under an ex isting county contract. For more than a year, Siesta Village residents and business owners have sought improved lighting for seven crosswalks on Ocean Boulevard. File photo COUNTY STAFF REPORTS THE LATEST ESTIMATE ON PROVIDING ILLUMINATION FOR SEVEN SIESTA VILLAGE CROSSWALKS AND ADDRESSES ANOTHER LIGHTING MATTER ON THE KEY WHEN WILL THERE BE LIGHT? By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Theres been some concern about the length of time thats being taken on this. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 47 One vendor had responded to a request for a quote on the installation, he continued; that estimate was $40,000. That quote is consistent with staffs estimate of the project, Harriott noted in a March 24 email to county ofcials with an update on capital asset projects. However, he included in that later email a note that the estimate for the purchase and installation of the bollards is about $55,000. The Board requested staff not proceed with installation until a report of the cost [was] provided and approved, he added in the sec ond email. Last year, staff members estimated the cost of the project at $31,500. However, they had cautioned that dealing with electrical connec tions in the Village could create a higher total. A second vendor was scheduled to visit Siesta Village on March 26 in preparation for provid ing an estimate, Harriott noted in the March 24 report. In a telephone interview with The Sarasota News Leader on March 26, Commissioner Nora Patterson a Siesta Key resident who has championed the crosswalk lighting pro posal on the board said, I think we should just do it if we can do it for that, referring to the original $52,000 estimate. During the County Commissions regular meeting on March 19, Patterson told her fel low commissioners she knew staff was work ing on a resolution of the matter. Theres been some concern about the length of time thats being taken on this, she said. Then Siesta Key Association Vice President Peter van Roekens originally broached the need for the crosswalk lighting during the Jan uary 2012 meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association. Contacted on March 25, van Roekens said it appeared the lighting would not go in until after season. Still, he said, I think its going to happen. Its long overdue. In the interview this week with the News Leader Patterson added, Its pretty startling that [the project] would cost over $100,000, referring to vendor responses when the coun ty sought bids earlier thi s year. Sarasota County staff last year sought vendor quotes for providing bollards at Siesta Village crosswalks. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 48 As Harriott poin ted out in the March 21 re port, the Procurement Department advertised an Invitation for Quotes (IFQ) for the project on Dec. 7, 2012, with responses due on Jan. 9. The time period set to receive quotes expired without any results, he wrote. About 300 notications went out, Harriott continued, and approximately 12 addition al email notications were sent to vendors. Companies offered several reasons for their lack of response, he pointed out: The quote would exceed the IFQ limit of $50,000. Time constraints. The project was not within vendors eld. Lack of licensed electricians on vendors staffs. The IFQ had specied that a licensed electrician had to do the work, either as a vendor employee or subcontractor. On Jan. 18, Harriott reported, an Invitation for Bids (IFB) went out, with quotes due on Feb. The Siesta Isles Condominium Association is seeking lights at crosswalks near the public beach similar to those installed at six new crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 49 13. That time, the Procurement Department received only one bid; it was for $118,500. According to vendors, reasons for their lack of response then were as follows, Harriott continued: Confusion about the power source in Siesta Village. Lack of minimum qualications, including an electrical contractors license, Advanced Maintenance of Trafc Certication and brick paver experience. Harriott pointed out that electrical plans were provided to prospective bidders and all were encouraged to schedule a site visit. The only vendor to submit a bid was also the only ven dor to schedule a site visit, he wrote. It seemed to me like nobody really wanted to do [the project], Patterson told the News Leader Mark Smith, past chairman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, spoke with the News Leader on March 26 after reviewing Harriotts March 21 memo. It still seems high to me, he said of Harriotts $52,000 estimate. Quite hon estly, Smith added, I just dont understand. Given the fact that the county had received several higher estimates than expected for projects in recent months, Smith said, Again, it must be a sign of a healthy economy. Nonetheless, he pointed out, as a taxpayer, he found it outrageous, frankly. Private in dustry would have gotten [the project done] for probably half of Harriotts estimate, he added. Im all for people making a living but we need to be reasonable. I guess were fortunate it came dow n from $110,000 AN OTHER CROSSWALK ISSUE In his March 21 memo to the County Commis sion, Harriott also reported staff ndings on a more recent lighting issue that had arisen on Siesta Key. In response to a request from the Siesta Isles Condominium Association Harriott wrote, staff had investigated replacing or upgrading the ashing crosswalk signs at the main ac cess to Siesta Key Public Beach. Van Roekens also had broached that topic at a Siesta Key Village Association meeting this time, in February. He pointed out that drivers have become inured to the constant ashing of those lights and ignore them. Harriott wrote in his memo that the crossing signs, which have eight ashing LED lights on their outside edges, can be programmed to blink all the time as they do now or only when a button on a sign is pressed by a pedestrian wishing to cross Beach Road. The Siesta Isles Condominium Association has requested that these be replaced with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon signs, similar to signs installed by [the Florida De partment of Transportation] on Midnight Pass [Road], Harriott added. The latter solar-powered, pedestrian advisory signs ash when a person presses a button to activate them, he noted. The cost of replacing the existing signs by the beach entrance with the type used by FDOT is about $8,000, Harriott continued. The next opportunity the County Commission would have to discuss Harriotts memo would be April 9, when it holds a regular meeting in Venice. %


People gather for the March 26 dedication of Complexus. Photo by Stan Zimmerman EYE-CATCHER NEW CITY ART JOINS THE OUTDOOR GALLERY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The crea tive tension across the U.S. 41 inter section with the Ringling Causeway reached almost electric proportions on Tuesday af ternoon, March 26. T he scarlet modernist sculptu re Complexus formally became part of the citys public art program. Across the highway, the newly rebuilt and reinstalled Unconditional Surrender main


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 51 tained its embr ace of realistic depiction. On that windy afternoon, the artistic capacitance almost created sparks. John Henry, the sculptor of the unique Com plexus did not mention the derivative piece across the street, but his remarks seemed to embrace both types of art. Overlooking the Gulf, this is a sentinel pro tecting the cultural life of this city, he said. It will be here forever. And so will the sailor and the nurse and the other myriad of original (and not-so-original) pieces of art the City of Sarasota is collect ing. Public art is starting to show up in many different places. Some are as in-your-face as Complexus while others are surprises in un usual places. There was the usual razzmatazz at the cere mony thanks to the generous donors who made it possible, words of welcome and praise by the mayor: You ge t the idea. Larry Thompson, president of the Ringling College of Art and Design, hit the high note, saying, This is the physical manifestation of the value of arts to the City of Sarasota. We need to get more and more of it. % Sculptor John Henry addresses the group. Photo by Norman Schimmel Mayor Suzanne Atwell speaks with artist John Henry at the Complexus dedication. Photo by Norman Schimmel Larry Thompson, president of the Ringling College of Art and Design, offers remarks. Photo by Norman Schimmel


The Sara sota County Commission and the North Port City Commission are tentatively scheduled to meet with a facilitator on April 17 to resolve differences over the ownership of Warm Mineral Springs. County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh report ed to the County Commission on March 19 that both he and County Administrator Ran dall Reid had had conict assessment meet ings with their North Port counterparts, as required by state statute, to try to reach an agreement over the future of the springs. We did not reach a resolution we could bring to you, DeMarsh reported. After the City of North Port rebuffed an of fer from the County Commission to purchase Warm Mineral Springs, the County Commis sion sent a letter on Feb. 27 to Jonathan R. Lewis, the North Port city manager, saying the county board had adopted a Feb. 26 resolu tion initiating the procedures of the Florida Governmental Conict Resolution Act. The letter points out that the city and county purchased the resort property together in De cember 2010. It also noted the two local gov ernment bodies had exchanged several piec es of correspondence since November 2012 with respect to an Invitation to Negotiate for proposals to operate, develop, or utilize the property, and the Citys desire to sell its interest in Warm Mineral Springs. The letter adds, It is clear that Sarasota Coun ty and the City of North Port have a conict over the future use of the jointly-owned property as well as the Citys expressed desire to sell its interest in the property. DeMarsh pointed out on March 19 that the county had 50 days from the date it sent that letter to hold a meeting of the two boards, since his and Reids discussions were not fruitful, and we will meet that timeline. He also had tentatively engaged a facilitator for the April meeting, he said, adding that Reid and he would coordinate with the facilitator to make sure the person had all the necessary background material and facts that will lead to a more clear discussion. Rachel Brown Hackney Warm Mineral Springs will be the topic of a conict resolution meeting tentatively set for April 17. Photo courtesy State of Florida via Wikipedia Commons WARM MINERAL SPRINGS MEDIATION DATE SET NEWS BRIEFS


During its re gular meeting on March 26, the Venice City Council voted unanimously to ap prove, on nal reading, an ordinance creating a domestic partnership registry for that city. Interested persons probably will be able to register with the City Clerks Ofce as ear ly as next week, Assistant City Clerk Lydia Magnotti told The Sarasota News Leader on March 27. City Clerk Lori Stelzer said she felt potential registrants would be able to pick up packets of information, including registration forms, at Venice City Hall by the end of this week, former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken Shelin reported to the News Leader Shelin had advocated for establishment of the Venice registry, just as he had for the City of Sarasota registry. The packets are just about ready, Magnotti told the News Leader on March 27. Magnotti was also working with the citys IT Department on a hyperlink that would allow interested persons to download the registra tion form from the city website she added. Im pretty condent that next week will be a go, Magnotti said. In the meantime, Florida Senate Bill 196, which would create a domestic partnership registry for the state, remains stalled. No ac tion has taken place since the sponsor, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, chose to postpone a vote on that bill on March 18, according to the Florida Legislatures website. Rachel Brown Hackney VENICE CITY COUNCIL APPROVES DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 53


Registration for Sarasota County Parks and Recreation summer camps begins Monday, April 1, the county has announced. Summer camp programs are offered over 11 weeks for children entering grades 1 through 10, a coun ty news release says. Program and registra tion information is available online at www. or in the 2013 Summer Camp Guide available online or at any Sarasota County recreation center, library or county building. Traditional Day Camp will be held June 10 to July 5 and July 8 to Aug. 2, the release says. Children entering grades 1 through 5 will en joy three eld trips every week and on-site activities. Children may attend from as early as 7:30 a.m. to as late as 5:45 p.m. Adventure Camp will be held June 10 to July 5 and July 8 to Aug. 2. Youth entering grades 6 through 8 will enjoy four weekly eld trips and activities at Colonial Oaks Park and Sun coast School for Innovative Studies in Saraso ta, the release notes. Leadership/C.I.T. Camp will be held June 10 to July 5 and July 8 to Aug. 2 at Suncoast School for Innovative Studies in Sarasota. Youths entering grades 9 and 10 will get instruction in job and life skills and resume-building, en gage in volunteer opportunities and enjoy two weekly eld trips, the release says. Therapeutic Camp for children with special needs will be held June 10 to Aug. 2 in con junction with the summer school schedule at Oak Park School. More than 35 specialty camps are scheduled throughout the summer, allowing youth the opportunity to focus on a favorite activity or to try something different, the release points out. New sp ecialty camps offered this year are Archery Camp, Beach Soccer i9 Sports Camp, Bricks 4 Kidz Camps, Indoor Sports Net Camp, SUP Snorkel Beach Adventure Camp, Skim Surf Paddle Camp, Superstars Mini Sports Camp, Water Sports Camp-Englewood and Water Sports Extreme-ly Fun Variety Camp. Additionally, volunteer opportunities are avail able for youths entering grade 10 or higher, so they can complete service hours needed for school while assisting counselors and enjoy ing camp activities, the release says. Financial assistance is available to qualifying Sarasota County residents. All summer camp staff members are fully screened, including an FBI ngerprint and background check. For more information, call the camp ofce at 861-9870 or visit reation PARKS AND RECREATION SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION TO BEGIN Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 54


Click to view the Summer Camp Guide online The countys Summer Camp Guide features a map with each camps location. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 55


The Sarasota County Library System, through a partnership with The John and Mable Ring ling Museum of Art, will offer several cultural and education programs in April. The partnership enables the library system to expand its community education and outreach efforts while providing the museum with a series of venues to promote one of Sarasota Countys most treasured historic attractions, a county news release says. We began focusing on an increased presence for art and culture a couple of years ago and we are thrilled to collaborate with the Ring ling Museum in hosting their presentations, says Sarabeth Kalajian, director of the Sara sota County Library System, in the release. In addition to providing programming to the libraries, Ringling will also make their publi cations and calendars of events available to library patrons, she adds. April programs follow: Tuesday, April 2, 3 p.m., Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota: Art of Our Time Dr. Matthew McLendon, curator of modern and contemporary art, will talk about the muse ums ongoing presentation of its permanent contemporary art collection, a rotation of special exhibitions and the largest skyspace created by internationally renowned artist James Turrell. Friday, April 12, 2 p.m., Venice Library, 300 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice: Museum Assistant Librarians Megan Oliver and Arwen Spinosa will talk about the museums library, one of the largest public art museum libraries in the Southeast. This state-of-the-art re search center also offers a variety of free programs, a lecture series, book club and a childrens summer reading program. Friday, April 19, 2 p.m., Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota: Head Librarian Linda McKee will talk about the museums library, one of the largest public art museum librar ies in the Southeast. Monday, April 22, 10:30 a.m., Venice Library, 300 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice; and Tuesday, April 23, 10:30 a.m., Selby Library, 1331 First St.: Sarasotas Cultural Treasure: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will be offered by Karen Kopp, a museum docent. Patrons will learn about Ringlings vast art collection and the museums recent acqui sitions. Kopp will also share highlights of the current and upcoming special exhibi tion schedule. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY: 711) or visit the county website at LIBRARIES SHARE TREASURES FROM RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 56


Federal sequestration will handicap state and local governments still ghting for stabil ity after years of recession, some economics experts say. Headlines warn of pension prob lems, bankruptcies and defaults. What impact will the cutbacks have, and what is the nan cial state of affairs, for state and local govern ments? Renowned experts from national nancial rms, academia and local governments will discuss those points at New College of Florida on April 2. New College and the Global Interdependence Center are sponsoring The Condition of State and Local Governments: Municipal Bonds, New Taxes and Pension Obligations from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at the Suda koff Conference Center, 5845 General Dough er Place on the Colleges Pei Campus. Among the panelists will be John Mousseau, executive vice president and director of xed incom e for Cumberland Advisors Inc.; Natalie Cohen, managing director and head of munic ipal research for Wells Fargo; Robert Kurtter, managing director for U.S., state and regional ratings for Moodys Investors Service; Daniel Bergstresser, associate professor of nance at the Brandeis International Business School; Karen Rushing, Sarasota County clerk of the circuit court and county comptroller; and Rick Piccolo, president of Sarasota-Bradenton In ternational Airport. A wine and cheese reception will follow the event. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by visiting or by calling 487-4888. The Global Interdependence Center ( inter ) encourages the expansion of global dialogue and free trade to improve cooperation and understanding among na tions, with the goal of reducing international conicts and improving worldwide living stan dards, the news release says. FISCAL EXPERTS TO DISCUSS IMPACTS OF SEQUESTRATION In recognition of the importance of seagrass habitats to Floridas environment and econo my, Gov. Rick Scott proclaimed March Flori da Seagrass Awareness Month, state ofcials announced. Seagrass habitat provides a variety of func tions that contribute to a healthy and viable marine ecosystem, said Kevin Claridge, the coastal and aquatic managed areas director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in a news release. These valuable underwater grasses are one of the many natu ral resources that Floridians and visitors can MARCH HAS BEEN FLORIDA SEAGRASS AWARENESS MONTH work together to protect and preserve now and for future generations, he added in the release. Most of the commercially and recreationally important estuarine and marine animals de pend on seagrass beds as refuge or habitat for some part of their life, said Amanda Domin guez, environmental specialist for Sarasota County Environmental Utilities, in the release. That makes them directly responsible for bringing in millions of dollars annually from out-of-state and resident recreational and commercial shermen, she noted. Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 57


The beds serve as nurseries for juvenile sh, scallops, crabs and shrimp, Dominguez point ed out. Manatees, turtles, sharks and rays feed on the plants themselves or on the smaller crea tures that live there, the release noted. Many birds also feed in the grass ats. Seagrass helps maintain water quality by ltering and anchoring sediments. Without it, most of the regions they inhabit would be a seascape of unstable shifting sand and mud, it says. Twice a year, Sarasota County staff and vol unteers have been surveying seagrass in every bay in Sarasota County to better understand local habitats and identify trends that can help manage these systems, the release continues. During this winters seagrass survey, they have seen an unusual amount of owering Syringodium liforme also known as Man atee grass, along the east side of Sarasota Bay. County scientists have reached out to several leading s ta te experts to share these observa tions, the release adds. Existing research indicates that time of year, water temperature, salinity and tides, as well the age of seagrass, can all inuence the ow ering of Manatee grass, the release points out. Generally, healthier bays equal healthier sea grass habitats, it adds. In Sarasota County, there have been sub stantial efforts to reduce pollutants in water bodies, the release says. As a result, water quality has improved and the abundance of seagrass has increased through the years. The current amount of seagrass in Sarasota County is close to historic levels of acreages, the release points out. To learn more about Sarasota Countys seagrass mapping program or for information about how to volunteer, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY: 711) or visit the Sara sota County website at www Research has shown that health of seagrass in area waters has improved signicantly over the past several years. Photo courtesy of NOAA Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 58


The Nation Magazine discussion group of Sarasota will host environmental law expert Joel Fedder of Longboat Key in a program on Thursday, April 4, at 10 a.m. in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune auditorium. Fedders topic will be Climate Change: Hell & High-Water, Solutions & Choices Fedder is known both nationally and interna tionally for his work with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, a news release says. He also established the Fedder Environ mental Fund at the University of Maryland Law School, which encourages young lawyers to enter the environmental eld, according to the law schools website. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW EXPERT TO DISCUSS CLIMATE CHANGE Fedde r will bring great insights into the de struction of the globe and of the fast-approach ing tipping point, including what that will mean for Florida, with its relatively low ele vation above sea level, the news release says. All members of the community are welcome to participate in this free interactive presen tation. Refreshments will be served after the pro gram. The Herald-Tribune auditorium is located on the rst oor of the newspapers ofces, 1741 Main St., Sarasota. Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 59


Experts with differing views on tax reform will take part in a March 29 panel discussion at New College hosted by U.S. Rep. Vern Bu chanan, a Republican, of Longboat Key. The event will begin at 11 a.m. in Sainer Pa vilion on the Caples Campus, 5313 Bay Shore Road, the college has announced. The panelists follow: Neal Boortz is the former host of a national ly syndicated radio talk show and co-author (with former U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-GA) of The FairTax Book which calls for re placing income tax with a consumption tax on purchases. Dan Mitchell is an economist and senior fel low with the libertarian Cato Institute and an advocate of a at tax and international tax competition. Susan Nilon is the owner and general man ager of Sarasota talk radio station WSRQ 106.9 FM and 1220 AM and an advocate of a progressive tax that assesses a higher rate on wealthy individuals. Jerry Pierce is chairman of the Leader ship Council of the Florida chapter of the National Federation of Independent Busi nesses, which advocates for tax relief and clarity in tax policies for small businesses. He owns Restaurant Equipment World in Orlando. Buchanan will provide the opening remarks, a news release says. The forums moderator will be John McQuiston, news anchor for Saraso tas WWSB ABC 7. The event is free and open to the public. Call 951-6643 for reservations. BUCHANAN TO HOST TAX REFORM PANEL DISCUSSION AT NEW COLLEGE The Bobby Jon es Golf Club, Sarasotas mu nicipal golf course, will host the 18th Annual Senior City Championship Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, the club has announced. The tournament is open to any amateur male golfer who will be at least 50 years of age by April 6. Just the rst 200 paid entries will be accepted into the tournament, a news release says. The deadline to register is Monday, April 1, at 5 p.m. The registration fee is $135; it includes a golf cart, green fees, prizes, an awards dinner and BOBBY JONES GOLF CLUB TO HOST SENIOR CITY CHAMPIONSHIP refreshments, the release notes. To download a registration form click here Completed forms should be dropped off or mailed to Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34232. The Senior City Championship will be played on the British course with tee times starting at 9 a.m. each day, the release says. The golf club is owned and operated by the City of Sarasota. For more information, vis it or contact Christian Martin, assistant course manager, at 365-2000, Ext. 5803. Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 60


The Sarasot a County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested a 27-year-old woman after discovering numerous incidents of child abuse and neglect with additional charges for other crimes still pending, the ofce has announced. Investigators with the Pharmaceutical Diver sion Unit rst became concerned while listen ing to calls between Jacqueline Moore and her boyfriend, who is in the Sarasota County Jail, a Sheriffs Ofce report says. It was evident that her 7and 3-year-old boys were constant ly exposed to verbal and physical abuse, it adds. Moore also admits in conversation to leaving the children alone in the car on several occasions, the report continues. Further investigation by the Special Victims Unit revealed neighbors had reported con stant screaming and crying and that Moore had threatened to punch one of the boys in the face, the report said. A separate case under investigation shows Moore using the children as a distraction while she takes stolen items to a store ser vice counter to receive cash for the fraudu lent returns, the report continues. In addi tion, school ofcials say the older child has been late for school 34 times this year, absent more than 11 days and often goes without his medication, the report adds. Moore is cha rged with two counts each of Child Neglect and Contributing to the Delin quency or Dependency of a Child. This is her ninth arrest for crimes, including petit theft, DUI and prescription fraud, the re port notes. Additional charges are pending in relation to the fraud case, as well as a scam in which she obtained money from an adoption agency with whom she claimed she would place her unborn child, even though she was not pregnant, the report says. % MOTHER ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN CHILD NEGLECT CASE` Jacqueline Moore/Contributed photo The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 61


Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida941-953-4060


EDITORIAL WILL THE COUNTY SINK THE SUNCOAST SUPER BOAT GRAND PRIX FESTIVAL? EDITORIAL After 28 years, the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival is, according to organiz ers, one of the longest continuously running race venues in the country. It brings thou sands of fans to the area and millions of dol lars into the local economy, at one of the slow er times of the year. It raises money for Suncoast Charities for Children, which provides facilities and fund ing for organizations serving special needs children and their families. It all sounds wonderful, right? Not according to all the Sarasota County com missioners. Channeling their inner Simon Leg ree, the commissioners voted to provide only about 10 percent of the amount requested by the charity hosting the festival. Their parsi mony threatens the event, the charity that benets from it and, by extension, the spe cial needs children who depend on Suncoast Charities. Not every commissioner was so sanguine about blowing off a long-standing event that brought more than 100,000 visitors to the wa terfront last year and pumped more than $14 million into the local economy. Commissioner Joe Barbetta argued valiantly for increasing the funding for the festival this year, and he and Chairwoman Carolyn Mason tried in vain to gain at least a compromise appropriation that would cover the organizations entry fee to the sanctioning body. But the other com missioners Nora Patterson, Charles Hines and Christine Robinson were having none of it. The nal appropriation granted only $10,000 to Suncoast Charities, with another $3,500 of in-kind services for the actual event. The


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 64 c ash grant barely covers 6 percent of the fes tivals total expenses. It was distressing to hear Patterson justify denying the request because the event was making a prot. That an elected ofcial, who deals regularly with government agencies and nonprots, would use such an inappropriate term to describe the proceeds every cent of which goes to the childrens charities boggles the mind. Equally fatuous was Pattersons argument that the county already had committed funds for the hoped-for World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in 2017. That is like a farmer electing not to buy his normal supply of seed corn in the spring because the Legislature might legalize hemp growing four years hence. The countys expenditures for the rowing event will be negligible, unless the organizers are successful in landing the World Championships. And if they were successful, it would be such a huge boon for the region that it should be quite easy to justify addition al expenditures at that time. But to guratively toss out all of our eggs be cause the county might have a much bigger chicken in four years beggars belief. Suncoast Charities ofcials have since ap pealed to the community for help in picking up the slack created by the shortsightedness of the County Commission. But, as they point ed out to the commissioners, Sarasota does not have the large corporate base to help fund this sort of event. The only realistic hope to save the festival in Sarasota County is for the commissioners to reconsider their ill-advised scrimping and make a larger grant to the or ganization. The county commissioners have paid a great deal of lip service to the need to create jobs and grow the local economy. When that growth comes at the behest of rich land devel opers who would plunder our fragile environ ment, apparently that is something seriously to be considered. But when it comes time for commissioners to nurture an existing event that generously benets the local economy and a charity for special needs children, their words ring hollow. The Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festi val has been a signicant event for Sarasota County for almost three decades. The charity that hosts it provides invaluable services for children in need in our midst. That the Coun ty Commission would turn its back on both tradition and the needs of those children is deplorable and a stain on every citizen of Sarasota County. May the commissioners see the error of their ways and soon. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Lead er welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Let ters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.




Find us onFacebook PHOTO BY FRANK ATURA Sir Frederick Ashtons { The Wayward Daughter}This spectacular full-length ballet will be accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra and is perfect for all ages!1 8 -1 9 April 2 01 3Van Wezel Performing Arts HallB o x Off i ce: 359-0099 x101 |


On Wednes day, March 13, the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) staff and board of directors an nounced the ofcial lineup for the 15th annual program to an enthusiastic crowd of sponsors and members of the press at the SFF Sponsor and Press Kick Off Party, a special sunset re ception held on the bayfront grounds of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. As attendees sipped glasses of Francis Ford Coppola wine and other classy beverages, SFF Board President Mark Famiglio proudly took to the mic to declare his excitement for what he referred to as the 1.5 decade anniver sary of the program. He also thanked those involved in making that happen. Next, Director Tom Hall made the much-an ticipated statements. This year, we are proud to announce that well be showing 223 lms at the Sarasota Film Festival over the course of our 10 days, he said. Were going to be bringing in at least 100 artists to the festival this year, ying them in from all over to pres ent their lms to our community. Of those lms which come from more than 30 different countries Hall explained that 102 are features, with their numbers split closely between fictional stories and doc umentaries. The remainder, he noted, are shorts divided into 15 programs for screening throughout the festival. Attendees at the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) Sponsor and Press Kick Off Party on the bayfront grounds of Selby Botanical Gardens on March 13 pose with SFF 2013 sunglasses at the request of festival board President Mark Famiglio. All photos by Arielle Scherr THE SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL WILL CELEBRATE ITS 15TH ANNIVERSARY WITH LOCAL SHOWCASES, FILMS AND ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD 15 YEARS OF FILM By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 68 As is usual ly the case, the SFF lms and events will take place at various locations throughout Sarasota, though the majority of the feature lms will be screened at Regal Cinemas Hol lywood 20 on Main Street in downtown Sara sota, where the SFF box ofce will be located. BEHIND THE SCENES In an interview with The Sarasota News Leader, Hall commented on what he thinks will attract audiences most this year. I think its the diversity of lms, he said. We have something for everyones interests, and our job is really to provide a program thats di verse enough that it helps people feel they can connect with and have ownership over the festival, he continued. We do this not for ourselves, but for people to come and enjoy the lms, connect with lmmak ers and lms Sarasota Film Festival board President Mark Famiglio addresses the crowd at the SFF Sponsor and Press Kick Off. He told attendees that the SFF plans to show some controversial lms this year. (From left) Brad Bryan, KT Curran and Chris Curran gather at the Sarasota Film Fes tival Sponsor and Press Kick Off Party. Bryan produced and KT Curran directed and wrote the short lm Boost, which will be showcased as part of the SRQ Shorts program.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 69 and have a co nversation about the art of cin ema, which I think is important. Asked about his favorite aspect of organizing the festival, Hall explained it is the connec tion the SFF helps to nurture among audienc es, lms and lmmakers. Its when you go into the theater and walk a lmmaker in and theres an audience there that is engaged in the lm and wants to talk about it and have a dialogue a real conversation about what the movies about and really get into the meat and potatoes of the story and the pro cess, Hall replied. Every time lmmakers come here they leave with an appreciation for the audience, and I think thats what keeps us able to bring back the lms that we want to bring, Hall contin ued. Weve built a reputation over the years that our festival is an audience-driven festival and that lmmakers have a real h ome here. THE FILMS This years opening night lm, Blacksh di rected by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and lmed partially in Florida, is an American documen tary about orcas, or killer whales, that live in captivity in parks such as Sea World in the United States and other countries. The lm examines the dissonance between the lives of the captive whales and those they are meant to live as social, intelligent beings at the top of the food chain in their natural habitats. It investigates the problems that can arise from this incompatibility. The lm will be screened on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, with a red carpet ceremony preceding the lm at 6 p.m. and a party following the lm at 9 p.m. at the same location. The festivals closing night lm, Frances Ha directed by Noah Baumbach, is an American Attendees indulge in catered hors doeuvre and beverages at the Sarasota Film Festival Sponsor and Press Kick Off Party on the bayfront grounds of Selby Botanical Gardens on March 13.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 70 comedy, lmed i n black and white, about an aspiring dancer living in a small apartment in Brooklyn with her best friend, struggling with her professional identity and romantic frustra tions, yet remaining hopeful about what the future has in store. It will be screened follow ing this years Filmmaker Tribute Awards cer emony, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Sat urday, April 13, at the Sarasota Opera House. In addition to these bookend movies, the SFF is paying special attention to a set of lms dubbed the centerpiece and spotlight, which are shown toward the end of the festi val as a lead-up to the closing ceremony and screening. This years centerpiece selections are Running from Crazy directed by Barbara Kopple, and The Spectacular Now directed by James Ponsoldt. The 2013 spotlight lms are Burma directed by Carlos Puga; The Discov erers directed by Justin Schwarz; and Pasa dena directed by Will Slocombe. All of this years selections were produced in the United States. The shorts programs reect universal catego ries Narrative, Documentary, World and Animated as well as more specic categories, such as SRQ Shorts, which are productions by area lmmakers; Through Womens Eyes, films directed by women that tell stories about women; and Youthfest Shorts, which are movies that follow the ups and downs of the lives of their young protag onists. Present at the event on March 13 was KT Cur ran, the director and writer of the short lm Boost Included in the SRQ Shorts program, it will be aired on Saturday, April 6, at 11:30 a.m. as well as on Wednesday, April 10, at 9 p.m. at the Hollywood 20. Curran told the News Leader in an interview at the event how very excited she is about the Sarasota Film Festival Director Tom Hall has the sunset as his backdrop at the Sponsor and Press Kick Off Party.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 71 premiere of th e lm, which was made to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses; it follows the life of a young man named Jake Peterson. His feeling is that you can just get a little boost in life, whether it be in the gym or with the ladies, either through steroids or maybe slipping something into a girls drink, Curran explained. He has the idea that there are no consequences for his actions. Curran who is also the director of Source Productions, a live theater company associat ed with Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida went on to explain what she would like to see audiences take away from the lm. First of all, we hope that theyll be compelled by this story and also how real this is, how prevalent this is, she said. Some statistics say one in eight young women on American college campuses are sexually as saulted and so we really wanted to look at one particular story and how thats affected both by the male and the female and the repercus sions of that. COMPETITIONS AND EVENTS In addition to lm screenings, the SFF will hold its usual Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Independent Visions lm compe titions, though this year the number of lms competing in each category has increased from seven to eight because of the large vol ume of submissions. The prize for the popular Independent Visions competition this year is a coveted distribution deal through a company called Factory 25, which includes theatrical releases in New York City, Los Angeles, Chi cago and other major cities around the coun try, as we ll as a DVD release and distribution through certain online streaming platforms. The SFF also engages with the community in ways not directly related to lm screenings. For example, all of the proceeds from the Through Womens Eyes program at the SFF will go to support the work of the U.S. Na tional Committee for UN Women. UN Women, which will be holding a reception on Saturday, April 6, at Art Center Sarasota, is an organi zation established by the United Nations in 1976 that works to support gender equality throughout the world, at all hierarchical lev els. Additionally, the SFF encourages young peo ple to be lmmakers with its SFF Education program, which connects with more than 5,000 students of various ages through 12 free lmmaking, lm review, screenwriting and movie screening programs. The festival also includes screenings of lms made by young people from across Florida between the ages of 10 and 18 and a reading of screenplays writ ten by high school students in the area. Of course, the SFF will feature a number of parties as well including the signature Cin ema Tropicale event at the Sarasota Yacht Club along with ceremonies for and lec tures by lmmakers, actors and actresses. Among the me mbers of the lmmaking com munity who will be present to receive awards or give lectures will be Mariel Hemingway, Lili Taylor, Grifn Dune, Barbara Kopple, Suzanne Clment and Peter Bogdanovich. Ticket prices for lms and events, schedules and additional information about the SFF can be found at www.saraso ta %


Alicia Van Couv ering compares watching a lm shes produced with an audience for the rst time to dropping off your kid at daycare. I love him, she says. I think hes wonderful. Hes a little weird. I hope people like him. I hope he doesnt get beat up. That thrill, of nally sharing a labor of love with a smart audience, is one reason Van Couvering keeps coming back to the Saraso ta Film Festival now in its 15th season. Van Couvering calls Sarasota audiences so ready to see good lms. She rst came to Sarasota in 2008, when a shoot in St. Pete went bust and she was looking for investors. Instead, she found a community. I could see that this was a really fun world, she says. Its profound. All these other people like the same stuff I do and were all here at 11 a.m. after partying the night before to see the same movie. Van Couverings story is a common one one you hear again and again during conversations with indie lm professionals, most of them based in New York. Van Couvering mentions a recent Hollywood Reporter story document ing The Rise of New Yorks Next Big Film makers. Nearly all of the names named have appeared in Sarasota at some point: from new ly crowned Girls star Lena Dunham (whose A still from Noah Baumbachs Frances Ha, this years Sarasota Film Festival Closing Night Film. Image courtesy Kathryn Kennedy HOW THE SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL IS MAKING A NAME FOR ITSELF IN THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM COMMUNITY THE A-LIST By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 73 Tiny Furniture Van Couvering produced) to Alex Karpovsky (with 2005s The Hole Story ) and Alex Ross Perry (whose debut, The Color Wheel had a world premiere here in 2011). Festival Director Tom Hall says that commu nity building is very much on purpose. When he came on board nine years ago, the festival was already supporting indie lmmakers, but it launched the annual Independent Visions Competition to do even more. Today, the eight lms screened as part of the Independent Vi sions series are one of the festivals core at tractions. But a calendar switch also helped build the festivals rep. Early on, the festival occurred in January, right around another festival you The Sarasota Film Festival website is sure to be busy over the next several weeks. Image courtesy of the Film Festival


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 74 may hav e heard of: Sundance. Establishing the Sarasota fest in late spring gives lm pro fessionals a breather after the marathon of Sundance and South By Southwest. Hall also credits the Sarasota crowds for the attention the festival has gotten. We have an audience that is willing to take chances and give people their feedback, Hall says. The theater isnt full of fellow lm pros. Its a real lm audience. Theyre smart. Theyre savvy. Those audiences certainly impressed Josh Braun, who runs Submarine Entertainment, a sales and production company, with his broth er. I was surprised by how robust the audi ences were and how much they engage with the lms, he says. Theres a very solid tradi tion of respect and appreciation for the arts in that region that just doesnt exist everywhere. Braun rst came to the festival in 2005; hes come back almost every year since. The lm Page One: Inside the New York Times which he produced, served as the 2011 opening night feature. Of course, theres another reason Braun comes almost every year, and his name is Tom Hall. Hes incredibly open to new, challenging work, says Van Couvering, so he identies a lot of lmmakers early that other people dont latch onto. Whatever project hes spearheading is some thing that I jump on board, says Maureen Masters, the director of regional publicity and lm festival bookings for Magnolia Pictures, a lm distributor. Hes a fantastic programmer. He goes after really ambitious titles. She say s the programming here is on par with some of the best regional lm festivals in the U.S. That word regional doesnt bother Hall. There are maybe four or ve genuine national event festivals, he says. To be near the top of that next tier is still awfully damn impressive. The industry doesnt invade Sarasota and turn it into a press frenzy, Hall says. Were not going to be that. Masters only came to the Sarasota festival for the rst time last year, but she was oored. The detailed organization, the ease of navi gating the festival, the feedback from crowds all of it impressed her. Filmmakers on the whole really look forward to Sarasota, she says. But that doesnt mean Hall is satised. He wants the festival to develop a fuller yearround presence, keeping audiences engaged in filmmaking outside of the confines of April. Another imperative: how to connect to the transition from theatrical distribution to on-demand and online screenings and help lmmakers navigate that new world. Hall says there are no real models for a festival doing that successfully, but that doesnt bother him. He wants Sarasota to lead the way. I dont know how people like Tom stay pas sionate about new work forever, says Van Couvering. At a certain point you think youd get burnt out. He seems so terminally open. The Sarasota Film Festival runs April 5-14. Visit for a compre hensive guide to everything g oing on. %


When friend s heard I was going north, they offered words of condolence. Why would any one trade Florida on the brink of spring for the northern winter? I had reservations. I could almost hear the bellowing of alligators that means spring up and down the peninsula. Iris was starting to bloom. That alone was enough to keep me at home. I found a dozen reasons to delay de parture: urgent emails; cameras out of juice; lunch to make. Finally worn down by minu tia, I was out the door and into the van before something else tugged at me. Usually on long trips I count the rivers Bra den, Manatee, Alaa Crossing the Altamaha on I-95 in Georgia, I think of William and John Bartram discovering the Franklinia along its banks, a tree which disappeared from the wild soon after. The one they planted at their Phil adelphia nursery and named after their friend, Benjamin Franklin, spawned all future Franklin ias, including the one in my yard in Annapolis. Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer THE MANY-HUED SIGNS OF THE SEASON DELIGHTED THIS DRIVER ON A LONG JOURNEY DRIVING NORTH WITH SPRING


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 76


On this trip it was red maples. Ranging from crimson to burgundy, like torches they lit the way. Yellow jessamine in long streamers from the tops of trees added a colorful accent against blue sky crisscrossed with contrails. I could almost track the airports I was passing. At rest stops there was a lot to see and hear: a red mist of maples just beginning to bloom in a swamp; tiny wildowers in the grasses; red-winged blackbirds; the plaintive call of a meadowlark. A chorus of spring peepers greeted me from a swamp in South Carolina. All along the route robins also on their way north took a time out much like their human counterparts. I was bringing spring along with me. In North Carolina, there were fewer maples in bloom, but I was compensated by beautiful trees laid bare by winter with balls of mistle toe nesting in their branches. Dogwoods cling ing to last years leaves oated in the woods, a foil to the pines. In a thrift shop in Chapel Hill, I picked up a book by the naturalist John Burroughs, who wrote in the 1800s: He who marvels at the Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 77


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 78


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 79


beaut y of the world in summer will nd equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter. On the way home I got to experience spring all over again, this time in fast forward: an occasional red maple in North Carolina, then dozens further south; rambunctious yellow jessamine everywhere; in South Carolina the pale green of sweet gum, oaks and willows. Floridas spring was well along. The maples had leafed out and stepped back into the can opy, but in my yard the iris had waited for my return. % Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 80


ASK OTUS Dear Readers, I a m shelvin g my epoch-making dissertation on the dire consequences of humans cele brating their Easter holiday by hiding eggs all over their properties because my editor has just rushed me the following reader question. I was just about to call it a day, but this letter was marked with enough red ags to make me believe this was 1968 and I was back in the USSR with the Beatles. So, here goes Dear Otus, We watched with great interest this morn ings 6 a.m. all-too-brief news segment on the closing of Siesta Keys north bridge this weekend because of some rare and highly en dangered bird found nesting in the bridges grid work. They showed a photo of its beauti ful green egg but not of the bird. Can you tell us about this unusual bird and do you think we might ever see one in Bradenton, or are they only in zoos? And how did it happen to come to nest on a drawbridge here and when will the egg hatch? And how is the chick able to edge within minutes of hatching? I thought it took several days for a bird to edge. We were hoping to drive down to Siesta Key and catch a glimpse of it but are also con cern e d about the miles-long trafc backup on the south bridge due to the north one being closed. We used to live on Siesta Key and know what trafc congestion can be like. Can we get onto the island to see the bird and could you please tell us more about it? The egg is so beautiful. I hope this gets to you in time, as we would really appreciate your answers to our ques tions before we miss out on this great bird ing opportunity. Thank you! April Narr and family in Bradenton Dear April, My feathers all uffed up when I received your last-minute questions because nothing makes me happier and prouder than to know there are people like you out there who have a passion for nature and the curiosity to ac company it. I hope to encourage the former and satisfy the latter for you by answering your jumbled, garbled questions in some semblance of order. THE EGG First, let me start with the egg, from which birds often begin. The egg is an amazing shade of deep jadeite green mingled with nephrite shadings, varying from pale sea green to shadow-gray. The best-preserved example of this egg is in t he Muse des Faux RARE BIRD LAYS ITS EGG ON NORTH SIESTA KEY BRIDGE Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of natures secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to Thank you.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 82 Arts in Paris. It was a gift from the last Af rican emperor of Xianduu to to Desire, Na poleon Bonapartes ance. When Napoleon unceremoniously dumped her to wed Jose phine, the egg left France with Desire, who married Crown Prince and Regent Bernad otte and thus became queen of Sweden. During the brief but bloody Twelfth Hour War between France and Sweden on 31 March 1816, (we are just three years and two days shy of its bicentennial commemo ration!), the egg was stolen by the occupying Ottoman troops, led by Nisan Eek Pasha, and it ended up in the Nisan Eein Olu Sen Museum in Constantinople, unseen and forgotten for some 150 years. In 1966, during the Cypress Conict, the mu seum was burned down. In 1968, two truant schoolboys, s neaking cigaret tes, uncovered t he egg in the rubble. The government of France paid Turkey the phenomenal sum of 4.1 Turkish kuru for its return. At rst, the Faux Arts museum displayed it on a white satin pillow, but when naturalism and an understanding of our natural world became more au courant curators placed it on a humble nest of pine needles. That display is totally incorrect because, as you will soon learn, this bird does not construct a nest. A correct display of it is in the Yrn ji Museum in Beijing, China. Now, lets meet Mama bird! THE BIRD The contrast between this exquisite egg, one t to be on display at Tiffanys at Easter, and its soon-to-be extirpated parents is so vast that one would think Mother Nature was playing some kind of a joke. I would like to The egg in the Muse des Faux Arts. Photo courtesy APRF Wire Services


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 83 An Easter greeting to Otus. File photo No ugly ducklings here. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 84 write that it is a reverse of the ugly duckling into swan story, but I nd baby ducklings simply adorable and almost as cute as owl ets, so that is not an appropriate analogy. The Twig-Nosed (or Stick-Nosed) Fisherking ( Rhinencephalus alcyon rasus nasus rega lus ), is a species of insect larvae-devouring, dry-river bed birds that makes its home in Africas Sahel, a transitional coastline area delimiting the sands of the Saharan deserts. This arid belt stretches from Chad to Goa. The birds diet consists solely of mosquito and sand ea larvae, making them a valuable natural pest controller. The few ornithologists who have been able to study it or preserved specimens of it have declared Twig-Nosed Fis herking the closest living relative to the extinct Velociraptor. As a result of climate change i.e., global warm ing, civil wars and mans predation this bird is on the verge of being extirpated. Ac cording to the last National Autobahn Easter Bird Count (AEBC), held in China in 1897, only 4,113 Twig-Nosed Fisherking eggs were documented. The Chinese consider them a rare culinary delicacy, which might explain why China closed its doors to the AEBC. Or, on a less sinister note, closed-door policy could have nothing to do with cuisine but relate to the protection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and relics that ll the caves along Turpans historical Silk Road Many of these caves treasures have been looted. Note also the photo of a Buddhist thang ka depicting the months of the year w ith a celebration animal, which I have included this week. I have marked the months from On a Manichean thangka, the Fisherking represents April. File photo


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 85 January through April. The April animal de piction is of the Fisherking. This bird was sacred to the Manicheans as its arrival in April signied the end of winter and the be ginning of spring, much like our Capistrano swallows. But it also t into the Manichean gnostic elaborate cosmology beliefs describ ing a material world of evil, i.e., darkness (the Fisherkings egg) and light (the Fisher king). This valuable piece of historical art was loot ed from the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas during the Russo-China War, and it now hangs in the Dyen Durakov Muzey in Mos cow (Russia, not Texas!) Again, thanks to Rick Greenspun, I am able to show r eaders a photo of a female Fisher k ing, which was taken during his last birding expedition to Xianduu. The really cool thing about his photo, other than the fact that it is incredibly difcult to get a photo of this shy bird, is that she (yes, this bird species displays sexual dimorphism) is perched on a twig, and when you compare her bifurcat ed, bumpy twig beak to her rather smooth perch twig, you will appreciate her highly specialized olfactory senses. One nostril is for smelling out the sand ea larvae and the other for mosquito larvae. It is unbelievable! BACK TO THE EGG In spring, during the Sahels rainy season, the female Fisherking abandons her mate for a period of two months and migrates to the Turpan Oasis, an area edging the Tak lamakan Desert in the Xinjiang Uyghur Au ton omous Regio n in t he Peoples Republic of China. There, she lovingly and carefully This egg is on display in the Yrn ji Museum in Beijing. Photo courtesy APRF Wire Services


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 86 deposits h er single fertilized egg of exqui site jadeite and nephrite colors in a rocky crevasse or within the shadowed recesses of a yurt roofs metal eaves. After a days rest, she makes the daunting and exhaust ing return trip home. She does not incubate her egg. In the shady crevice of the rocky cliff or deep pocket of the yurts metal roof eaves, the egg is protected from the days blistering heat. At night, it is kept warm by the heat absorbed by the rock or metal during the day. Essentially, Mother Nature (along with humans modern engineering) incubates the egg. This is what we are witnessing on Siesta Keys north brid ge metal grid. Within 76 h ours, the chick emerges at a Lev el 1 a precocial and is able to y away minutes after hatching. This species is simi lar to the Australian Malleefowl or our own native American Turkey, who are also born precocial but cannot y until a few days af ter hatching. It is also important to note that this chick is not related to the genus Mega pode : It is genus Megaceryle Yes! It is absolutely incredible! Now, to answer your questions: 1. No. You will not see a Mama Fisherking bird here or in Bradenton because she is already migrating back to the Sahel in Africa. But, if you subscribe to The Sarasota News Leader you will see a gorgeous photo of this rara avis A Fisherking. Photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 87 2. No. You wil l not see a Fisherking in zoos. The specialized dietary restrictions of this bird are such that no zoo can afford to maintain one. 3. Yes! You can see the beautiful egg if you subscribe to the News Leader with its links to the APRF Wire Services photos. 4. No! You will not see the edgling because it hatches during the night and immedi ately ies away. 5. Yes and No! to your Siesta Key north bridge question. This is where it gets a bit squirrely and terribly confusing and com pletely unbelievable. Yo u see, Siesta Keys north bridge is actually closed, i.e., open, (and will be this weekend), but closed really means open to trafc. Kindly see the le photo of the open, yet closed to trafc, Siesta Key north bridge with the location of the fabulous egg. When the bridge is closed (i.e., lowered), it will then be open to trafc. According to the Sarasota Autobahn Soci ety, the bridge will be open to trafc, i.e., closed or lowered at 00:00 (zero hun dred hours) on April 1 or at 12:00 a.m. April Fools Day whichever comes rst. Otus % The X marks the eggs location on the north Siesta Key bridge. File photo


I like to take my time. Sure, its a temptation to rush. Each issue of The Sarasota News Leader is brimfull of in-depth coverage of all the news and goings-on in Sarasota County. And it has delightful and informative feature stories. Thanks to its partnership with This Week In Sarasota I always know what the most exciting happenings are each week. Plus, it is simply so beautiful, with photography that takes my breath away. There is so much there, I dont know where to begin. So it is hard to resist the urge to read it all at once. But I know better. Take your time and indulge in all that it has to offer. You have a whole week. Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida


SIESTA SEEN While Commissioner Nora Patterson has been stymied so far in her effort to get the cross walks illuminated in Siesta Village (see the related story in this issue), she also is mak ing slow progress in an attempt to improve the lighting situation along Old Stickney Point Road. For the second time in recent months, she brought up the issue on March 19, during h er report a t the commissions regular meeting in Sarasota. And, for the second time, her fellow board members had no objections to her de sire for staff to continue working on the mat ter. She is hoping, she said, for staff to report back to the people who had raised the lighting concerns with her. Patterson exchanged email in early February with James K. Harriott Jr., the c ountys chief In between the recent cold spells, beach-goers have managed to enjoy warm days at Siesta Public Beach and the Gulf of Mexico has not been too brisk for some of them. Photo by Rachel Hackney OLD STICKNEY POINT ROAD BUSINESSES SEEKING A BRIGHTER FUTURE LITERALLY; COUNTY ORDINANCE CHANGE WOULD SEE PEOPLE FINED FOR TRYING TO HOLD PARKING SPACES By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 90 engineer, and other staff members about the lack of illumination on Old Stickney Point Road. Dave Stewart, one of the owners of Captain Curts Crab & Oyster Bar, and Aledia Tush, co-owner of CBs Saltwater Outtters, had approached Patterson for help. They feel [Old Stickney Point Road] is very dark and dangerous at night and a deterrent to the folks visiting businesses and restaurants, Patterson wrote Harriott in a Feb. 1 email. Their preference would be decorative light ing as was originally planned when the area was improved with sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks [about 10 years ago]. They believe the little park at the end would benet as well and apparently the condo down at that end is supportive of that also. She added that Stewart and Tush thought wir ing already was in place. However, she point ed out that Harriott had told her on the phone the previous day that conduits and electrical boxes had been installed, but not the wiring itself. [Florida Power & Light] has looked at this in response to [business owners] inquiry a few years back, Patterson continued, and they were told that the equipment [present] was not compatible with [FPLs] equipment. If it is impossible to work out a mechanism to put in decorative lighting they would at least like the type that goes on the existing telephone poles to light the area, Patterson added. The lighting was not pursued at the time of the other improvements, she noted, because there was no identied mechanism to pay for the cost of the electricity and maintenance of the xtures. In order to draw the necessary support from business owners to pay for an assessment these folks need some estimate of costs per member of the district, she wrote Harriott. Harriott responded on Feb. 2, saying he had been unable to reach Stewart, but he had spo ken with Tush. He had explained to Tush, he added, that Old Stickney Point Road is within the Siesta Key Lighting District, and several poles on the street are available for overhead lights, which FPL can provide at no upfront cost and a negligible increase in annual ener gy costs (less than 2% impact to the districts annual budget). Ms. Tush is amenable to hav ing that type o f lighting installed. A Google Map shows the location of Captain Curts Crab & Oyster Bar, CBs Saltwater Outtters and condominium complexes in the vicinity of Old Stickney Point Road on Si esta Key. Image courtesy Google Maps


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 91 Duri ng the March 19 County Commission meeting, Patterson summarized the situation again, saying she just wanted to make sure staff was still working with Tush and Stewart. Additionally, she said, business owners would like for staff to consider a way to better illu minate the crosswalks on Midnight Pass Road in that vicinity. When Patterson asked for commission con currence, Commissioner Christine Robinson replied, Didnt we give that once already? Yeah, but Im just not hearing anything, Pat terson replied. When Robinson asked for clarication, Pat terson said she had been told staff still was working on the matter, but Im not hearing that from re sidents. Patterson added, Its a question of putting some rough numbers together even though we dont have a great history right now of ac curate numbers. But lets try. HOLD THAT HOLD! With no comment, the county commissioners on March 19 unanimously approved holding a public hearing on the morning of April 24 re garding a proposed ordinance that would pro hibit The blocking of or obstructing access to or from vacant designated parking spaces except when moving a motor vehicle into and out of such designated parking space or when conducted by or with the permission of Coun ty ofcials. A memo in the March 19 agenda material from Carolyn Brown, general manager of parks and recreation for the county, and Wayne Apple A proposed new county ordinance would prohibit people from saving parking spaces in county parks. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 92 bee, the co untys criminal justice policy coor dinator, spells out the reasoning for the pro posed change: The Sheriffs Ofce reports they have expe rienced numerous calls for service over indi viduals blocking parking spaces in order to prohibit another motorist from utilizing the parking space. These incidents in some cas es have escalated into physical altercations. While the Sheriffs ofce reports the location of most concern is Siesta Beach, additional incidents have been reported at other county parks. During his report to the Siesta Key Associa tion on March 7, Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sheriffs Community Policing Station on Siesta Key, talked about exactly what Brown and Applebee had referenced. Osborne has told me many times over the years about deputies having to break up nas ty altercations when parking spaces are at a premium at the beach. Brown and Applebees memo adds that they consulted with the County Attorneys Ofce after receiving the Sheriffs Ofce request. The memo also notes, Passage of the pro posed ordinance would subject a violator to a civil ne in the amount of $97.00. If [the ordinance is] passed, the Sheriffs Of ce would be provided an additional tool and authority to curtail the behavior by monitoring the parking lots and granted the authority to order individuals blocking the space to cease. In these situations, the potential for further escalation of violence can be avoided. TIME FOR GOLF The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce will hold its 14 th annual golf tournament at The Founders Club on Monday, May 6. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m.; a shotgun start is set for 1 p.m. A Chamber news release says, we are able to offer members and guests a hugely discounted rate to play on the private course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and enjoy dinner after the event. A silent auction will accompany the awards presentation. The cost f or single players is $150; for a team of four, $600; and for the dinner only, $35. Commissioner Nora Patterson/Photo by Nor man Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 93 The Found ers Club is located at 3800 Golf Hall Drive in the eastern part of the county. The Chamber hosts a number of events throughout the year to raise funds for its July Fourth reworks. For more information, call 349-3800; email or visit www. EASTER BUNNY TIME Saturday, March 30, is the day the Easter Bun ny will visit Siesta Village for the Siesta Key Village Associations annual Egg Hunt. All associated events will take place in the vicinity of Beach Access 5, near the Terrace condominium complex. The e g g hunt is just part of the fun. Young sters ages 1 to 6 accompanied by siblings, parents and/or grandparents will be able to enjoy games and face painting, and they will get to explore a county re truck and rescue unit as well as meet members of the Sheriffs Mounted Patrol. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Children must be pre-registered. The cost is $10 per child. Forms may be downloaded from and dropped off at the Siesta Key Chamber in Davidson Plaza, Beach Bazaar, The UPS Store, Village Caf or SunTrust Bank. % SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Full Service Salon 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota


Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has announced that a new play, In the Book Of by John Walch, will open on Friday, March 29, at 8 p.m. in the Gompertz Theatre. In the Book Of presents the story of an im migration debate which forces a community to examine the true meaning of family, friend ship and the American way, a news release notes. Two women Naomi, an army lieutenant, and Anisah, her Afghan translator lose their husbands in the war, the release says. Once discharged, Naomi brings Anisah home with her to Mississippi, where things begin to unravel, it adds. Using the Old Testaments Book of Ruth as a loose framework for his s tor y, Walch weaves together both womens stories in a humorous and captivating man ner, the release continues. Friendships are thrown into turmoil, families are fractured and a city-wide political debate ensues. With the threat of deportation looming, everyone must examine the personal and political costs of their beliefs. FSTs production will be the Florida premiere, the release points out; it is only the second production of Walchs comedic drama, which appeared at the Alabama Shakespeare Festi val in January 2012. In the Book Of was previously presented at FST during the 2012 Burdick Reading Series, the release adds. Libya Pugh and Farah Bala star in In the Book Of at Florida Studio Theatre. Photo by Brian Braun. IN THE BOOK OF BRINGS IMMIGRATION DEBATE TO THE STAGE AT FST A&E BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 95 FST Associate Director Kate Alexander, who directs the production, says, I love this play. It is funny, charming and meaningful. It has been called an immigrant play, but I believe that is far too narrow in scope for all that it encompasses, she says in the release. This play reects America and all that this coun try promises. It explores the resilience of the nation the ability of our national psyche to confront ourselves and the changing face of America. FSTs production features returning compa ny members Rita Rehn, Graham Stewart Al len and David Perez-Ribada, along with new company members Farah Bala, Libya Pugh and Andy Prosky, the release notes. Rehn ap peared in FSTs production of Sylvia, Allen returns to the Gompertz after last summers Perfect Wedding and Perez-Ribada previously performed in The Miamians and Boleros for the Disenchanted Tickets for In the Book Of will be on sale through May 19. They may be purchased by phone at 366-9000, online at FloridaStudio or by visiting the box ofce at 1241 N. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. Ally n Gallup Contemporary Art gallery will present More Things in Heaven and Earth: Paintings by Peter Stephens through May 4. The exhibit, which opened March 28, features 10 paintings from Stephens The Standard Model series, a news release says Peter Stephens abstract paintings in this show are precise, otherworldly and fas cinating, says Allyn Gallup, director of the gallery, in the release. Peters imagination accepts no boundaries. His work invites the viewer through an amazing itinerary of many possible worlds, and, so far, he hasnt hit the outer limits yet. The Standard Model refers to the theory of the fundamental interactions in particle phys ics an experimentally validated model that most contemporary physicists share, the release notes. According to Stephens, this theorys im plications are both microcosmic and macro cosmic. It affects both our understand ing of PETER STEPHENS PAINTINGS FEATURED IN GALLUP SHOW More Things in Heaven and Earth by Peter Stephens/Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 96 subatomic particles and the cosmos as a whole system, he says in the release. I nd nature to be most sublime at these extremities of scale. To paraphrase J.B. Haldane, The uni verse is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. Referring to the paintings in this series as, layered systems that form analogs to the biological, chemical and even psychological components that construct our world view, Stephens paints incessantly, using multiple, transparent layers of ink and acrylic and oil paints and shellac resulting in rich saturat ed colors and astounding dimensionality, the release points out. Constellation by Peter Stephens/Contributed photo A res ident of Buffalo, NY, Stephens gradu ated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and attended the University of Siena in Italy, the release continues. His works are featured in major collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Mu seum and Burcheld-Penney Art Center, the release adds. For more information about Pe ter Stephens, visit A reception with the artist is set for April 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, call 366-2454 or visit www.allyn The gallery is located at 1288 N. Palm Ave. in Sarasota.


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 97 Hermitage a rtists will present an open discus sion on their processes and work at the next beach reading on Friday, March 29, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 6660 Manasota Key Road in En glewood, The Hermitage has announced. The program will begin with open house tours of the historic Hermitage House and open stu dios with painter Michael Eade, and assem blage artist John Zaklikowski, a news release says. Art will be available for sale, with a por tion of the proceeds donated to the Hermit age. At 6:30 p.m., the program will move to the beach, where poet Sandra Alcosser will read from her work. Afterward, playwright Dare Clubb will lead a discussion about work and process with all of the Hermitage artists. Mother Natures sunset ends the evenings festivities, the release notes. Another interesting mix of artists are in res idency and we are looking forward to our beach show and tell, Hermitage Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers says in the release. Each one of these talented artists travels a different road to reach their destination. It will be interesting to have them all together, shar ing how they get to where they want to go. Alcossers poetry is about ecology and nature, the release continues. She is the author of Ex cept By Nature, which received the Academys 1998 James Laughlin Award and was select ed by Eamon Grennan for the 1997 National Poetry Series; Sleeping Inside the Glacier a collaboration with artist Michele Burgess; and A Fish to Feed All Hunger selected by James Tate to be the Associated Writing Pro grams Award Series winner. Her poems have appeared in Ame rican Poetry Review, New Yorker, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry and Yale Review the release points out. Eade has received many honors, including a studio membership at the Elizabeth Foun dation for the Arts and fellowships from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, the National Academy Museum and School of the Fine Arts, Artists Fellowship Inc. and Aljira, the release adds. Eade is a nalist to create public art designs in New York City for the MTA Arts for Transit and for Metro Taipei in Taiwan, it notes. Zaklikowski is a multi-faceted artist (writer, photographer, musician, painter and assem blage), the release says. At the Hermitage he is devoting his time to assemblage art, giving new meaning to the term repurposed, the release adds. He uses pieces from computers Michael Eade/Contributed photo HERMITAGE ARTISTS TO PRESENT ART ON THE BEACH


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 98 and oth er high-tech devices, as well as hand tools, kitchen implements, lab equipment, optical apparatus, vacuum tubes and surgi cal supplies, to create large and imaginative works of art. Clubb is an award-winning playwright and associate professor of playwriting, dramatic literature and theory at the University of Iowa. He is also co-head of Iowa Playwrights Work shop, the release continues. He has taught playwriting at Princeton, Barnard College and the Bread Loaf Graduate School of English at Middlebury College, as well as dramatic liter ature and theory at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Clubbs plays have been performed at Yale Rep, Juilliard and the ONeill National Playwrights Conference, the release adds. His original play Oedipus was produced by the Blue Light Theater Co. at the CSC Theater in New York City; it received an Obie award in 1999. For more information about the beach read ing or The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941475-2098 or visit the website at www.Hermit The Hermitage will present readings on the beach on the evening of March 29. Contribut ed photo Visitors to The Hermitage on March 29 will be able to see John Zaklikowskis works in the studio. Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 99 J oni and Jane: Two Artists; Two Visions will be on display from April 4 through June 27 at The Womens Resource Center, 340 S. Tuttle Ave, Sarasota. The show features the work of two friends/ neighbors who express their artistic vision in very different ways using different mediums, a news release notes: Di Pirros work is done in oil; McClintocks, in watercolor. Di Pirros wide variety of paintings includes still lifes, portraits, pet portraits, murals and landscapes. She studied at the Academy of Florence in Italy, where, from 1968-1972, she was a protge of contemporary Florentine master, Piet ro Annigoni, the release says. She lat er studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her work has been ex hibited in It aly, England and France as well as in New York, California and Florida in the United States. Among the owners of her paintings are princes, bar o nesses, am bassadors and former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the release adds. McClintocks precise and colorful watercol ors capture the reections of light on urban streets and buildings, the release continues. Often, her images are more abstract than rep resentational, resulting in paintings that are graceful, intimate, lively and colorful. Each piece begins as a photograph that is then cropped, enlarged, cropped again and execut ed as a smaller study, the release points out. McClintocks works have been exhibited in New York, Brazil, Canada and Colorado. They can be found in collections of major corpo rations, such as Pepsico, McKinsey and Co. and the University of Virginia Art Museum, the release adds. The opening and an art ists recep tion will be held Thurs day, April 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. The pub lic is invit ed; refresh ments will be served. For more information, call the center at 366-1700. TWO ARTISTS; TWO VISIONS TO OPEN AT WOMENS RESOURCE CENTER Artists Jane McClintock and Joni Di Pirro. Contributed photo

PAGE 100

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 100 The must-see hit of t he recent Broadway sea son, Venus in Fur written by David Ives, opens in the Historic Asolo Theater Friday, April 5, and runs through April 28, the theater has announced. Tea Alagi, an exciting new talent originally from the Czech Republic, directs this wicked ly entertaining comedy that explores the com plex relationship between an aspiring stage actress and her playwright/director, a news release says. Venus in Fur is a hot ticket in every sense, the release continues. This alluring tale of love, lust and literature illuminates the ulti mate battle of the sexes, it adds. The plot focuses on Vanda, the far-from-typi cal young actress who arrives to audition for the lead in playwright Thomas adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masochs 1870 erotic nov el, Venus in Furs the release notes. As her audition proceeds, Vandas continually shift ing personas, accents, moods, expressions and apparent (and not-so-apparent) intentions engage Thomas in an emoti onally charged game of ca t and mouse, the release contin ues. Is art imitating life? Or is it the other way around? The Broadway production made an instant star of its leading actress, Nina Arianda, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in 2012, the release points out. The play also received nominations for the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play and the Tony Award for Best Play. Critics hailed Venus in Fur as Best of the Year in The New York Times the Associat ed Press, Wall Street Journal, Newsday The New Yorker New York Magazine and Time Out New York the release notes. Ticket prices for Venus in Fur in the Histor ic Asolo Theater range from $25 to $40. They may be purchased at the box ofce in person at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by calling 351-8000 or by going online at The Asolo Repertory Theatre and box ofce are located in The Florida State University Per forming Arts Center adjacent to the Ringling Museum of Art. BROADWAY HIT VENUS IN FUR COMING TO ASOLO THEATER Venus in Fur will run April 5-28 in the Historic Asolo Theater. Contributed photo

PAGE 101

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 101 C hicago: The Musical has elected to resched ule its 2013 touring route, the Van Wezel Per forming Arts Hall has announced. The April 9-10 dates at the hall have been rescheduled for March 4-5, 2014. The Van Wezel will be sending out tickets for the new date within the month, with patrons retaining their seating locations, a news re CHICAGO: THE MUSICAL RESCHEDULES DATES AT THE VAN WEZEL leas e says. If a patron is unable to attend on the new date, he must return the tickets to the box ofce for an online credit or a full refund, the release notes. Contact the Van Wezel box ofce at 953-3368 for more details regarding ticketing, the re lease adds. al achieve ments, the release continues. This year is the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon in La Florida in 1513, the re lease points out. During the April 7 event, Sarasota County His torical Resources Manager Lorrie Muldowney will facilitate a dialogue among the artists. What I can bring to the conversation is an architectural/historic preservation/urban planning perspective, Muldowney said in the release. I will engage each artist and en courage questions and participation from the audience. The Sarasota County Visitor Information Cen ter and History Center Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. There is no admis sion charge. A portion of the proceeds from photography sales will go to the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1). % An exhibit of ne art photography titled, Flor ida in Context will feature the artists talking about their work at a wrap-up event from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, at the Sarasota County Visitor Information Center and His tory Center Museum, 701 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, the center has announced. The public is invited to the free event. Participants in the event, A Deeper Look: Flor ida in Context will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk to the featured artists about their work, a news release says. The ex hibit captures images of old Florida buildings and abandoned factories, as well as still lifes and vistas, including relics of boom-and-bust development, the release notes. It features the work of ne art photographers Virginia Hoff man, Matt Allison, Salvatore Brancifort, Brian Braun, Dale Ann Clancy and Richard Porter. The exhibit, which is open through April 10, is part of the countys participation in the state wide Viva Florida 500 celebration to promote Floridas history: its people, places and cultur WRAP-UP EVENT TO BE HELD APRIL 7 FOR PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT

PAGE 102

Alaya and Hana picked strawberries at Temple Emanu-Els Strawberry Shabbat. Contributed photo RELIGION BRIEFS Stra wberry Shabbat is one of Temple Ema nu-Els Shabbat Playdate events for young families, as well as part of the synagogues outreach to Jewish and interfaith families in the Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton area, the release points out. Fully funded by an Incu bator Grant from the Union for Reform Juda ism, Strawberry Shabbat and other family programs at the synagogue are offered free of charge, the release notes. For more information, call 379-1997. Temple Emanu-Els young families headed to Hunsader Farms on March 16 for the syna gogues rst Strawberry Shabbat. Grandpar ents, parents and children spent the Sabbath morning thanking God for the natural world and celebrating the blessings of nature togeth er, a news release says. After a bagel break fast and an outdoor Shabbat service conduct ed by Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, families enjoyed feeding the farm animals, frolicking on the playground and in the sandbox, taking a hayride and picking plenty of strawberries, the release adds. TEMPLE EMANU-EL FAMILIES ENJOY STRAWBERRY SHABBAT

PAGE 103

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 103 Temple Emanu-El member David Lowell brought son Mark to Strawberry Shabbat. Contributed photo

PAGE 104

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 104 Leo Glickman fed the barnyard animals at Temple Emanu-Els Strawberry Shabbat. Contributed photo

PAGE 105

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 105 The BackPack Kids sounds like a good mov ie title to attract a family audience. However, it has a special meaning for Temple Sinais So cial Action Committee, along with other area groups working under the auspices of the All Faiths Food Bank. The committee members have guratively wrapped their arms around a program that provides nutritional support to children from low-income families and chil dren who are homeless. Introduced to the All Faiths Food Bank pro gram in 2011, Betty Liner, Temple Sinai So cial Action Committee chairwoman, brought information about this important initiative to the Temples board of trustees. From then on, donations from members, as well as contri A corps of volunteers from Temple Sinai pack food for low-income and homeless children. Contrib uted photo TEMPLE SINAI WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR ITS BACKPACK KIDS butions during fundraisers for the BackPack Kids program, have poured in. The Oak Park School, a special facility de signed to accommodate the most intellectu ally, emotionally and physically challenged K-12 students in the Sarasota County Schools, was selected as Temple Sinais recipient. Re alizing these children face obstacles daily that most people could not comprehend, let alone handle, Temple members believed that wor rying over food on the weekend should not be part of the youngsters lives. Temple vol unteers pack lunch bags with 3 to 5 pounds of healthful, kid-friendly, nonperishable and easy-to-prepare food, including fresh produce, and send them home with the children weekly.

PAGE 106

Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 Page 106 A donation of $43 will feed one hungry or homeless child for one semester of school; $86 will feed that child for the entire school year. In addition, nutritional bags are provided for siblings. Any donation is welcome; it may be sent as a check, made payable to All Faiths Food Bank/ BackPack Kids, to Temple Sinai, Attention: Betty Liner, Coordinator, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231 These child recipients do not know who has packed their bags, and the volunteers do not know to whom the bags go. But the students teachers have said the children express grati tude and delight in receiving the bags, feeling someone cares about them. Their families are equally grateful, the teachers say. Robe rta Gerlach % Altho ugh a large number of Sarasota Countys students receive free or reduced-cost meals at school, many may see few foods of good nutritional value on the weekends. Temple Sinai, in joining with this All Faiths Food Bank initiative, has committed to mak ing a difference in repairing our communi ty and alleviating the hunger of some of its neediest. For one example in the past year, the Tem ple Sinai Mens Club joined with Temple Beth Sholom Mens Club in a Bowling for the Kids Night fundraiser, with all proceeds going to the BackPack Kids program. In fact, 100 per cent of all donations from such events go to the purchase of food. Bags are donated, and all those who gather to pack the bags are vol unteers. For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP

PAGE 107

29+ MAR A Tribal Collection: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica Through April 19, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. Exhibit free with regular admission. Free to members and to children under age 6. Admis sion for non-member adults, $17; for children 6-11, $6. Information: 366-5731 or 30 MAR Childrens Easter Party March 30, 9 a.m. to noon, Beach Access 5, Siesta Key (by the Terrace condominiums). Children ages 1 to 6 welcome to enjoy the hunt, games with prizes, face painting and the Sheriffs Ofces Mounted Patrol. Fee: $10 per child. Register at www.siestakeyvillage. org For information, call 349-2770, Ext. 227. 04 APRIL Jazz Club of Sarasota presents vocalist Rebecca Kilgore in Some Like it Hot: The Music of Marilyn Monroe April 4, 7:30 p.m., Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $25 for members; $35 non-members; $5 students (as available). Information: 366-1552 or 05 APRIL WSLR presents Rita Hosking April 5, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Tick ets: $10 advance; $12 at the door; purchase them at 05+ APRIL Venus in Fur (for mature audiences) April 5-28, 8 p.m. and some matinees; Historic Asolo Theater, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $25-$40; purchase at 351-8000 or 14 APRIL The Best of Chroma Quartet April 14, 2:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road. Tickets: $15, including wine and cheese reception with artists. Information at UU Sarasota Concerts ComMunity CALendar The best of upcoming EVENTS To get all the details on these and other great ac tivities food, nightlife, music, art, theater, chil drens events, learning opportunities and more go to Sarasotas No. 1 source for local events, hot spots, fun activities and hidden gems:

PAGE 108

Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS SCHIMMEL WAITS FOR HIS SIGN SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS Photo by Craig S. Landefeld