Sarasota News Leader


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

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University of Florida
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COVER Inside IN PURSUIT OF MAJOR CHANGE A DISTINCT DISPLEASURE SHOWN JUST A COINCIDENCE? Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida April 5, 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


Easter may mark the traditional end of high season in these parts, but fortunately for us plenty of interesting things continue to happen. For example, this week, Cooper Levey-Baker reports on an initia tive gaining momentum that would see the county charter amend ed to create non-partisan County Commission races. That surely will spark a lot of discussion. Stan Zimmerman had his hands full not only with a regular City Commission meeting but with vandalism at the Ringling Shopping Center where Walmart wants to build a Supercenter excit ing news for Tube Dude creator Scott Gerber and a vote on the future of the St. Armands Business Improvement District. Additionally, Stan took off his City Editors cap to begin a series this week on Floridas early histo ry, based on a chapter in his latest book. Scott Proftt took time to delve into the world of media specialists in the Sarasota County Schools. Budget constraints have those peo ples jobs on the line, but they make a very good case that they are far more than librarians. A Sarasota County staff report on new im pact fees provided some good fodder for me to tackle this week. The County Commission will be tackling them in-depth, too, in about a month. And as usual, plenty was happening on Sies ta Key from vandalism in a beach-nesting bird buffer area to more talk of code en forcement in the Village. On the lighter side, Tyler Whitsons article on Eat Local Week should have you check ing out the farmers markets if you do not do so already, and Otus lets us into the intriguing world of Toe-Biters. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


A DISTINCT DISPLEASURE SHOWN HARNESSING A POT OF GOLD NEWS & COMMENTARY IN PURSUIT OF MAJOR CHANGE 8 Is the future of county politics nonpartisan? Cooper Levey-Baker A DISTINCT DISPLEASURE SHOWN 12 Fence goes up at Ringling Shopping Center only to be vandalized Stan Zimmerman JUST A COINCIDENCE? 17 Sarasota Audubon volunteers report vandalism at a buffer for beach-nesting birds on Siesta Key just days before a re erupts nearby Rachel Brown Hackney PAYING FOR ROADS 21 With new data available, the County Commission has options about how to proceed with charging impact fees in the future Rachel Brown Hackney MISSING A PART 27 City Commission approves the North Trail Overlay District Stan Zimmerman BETWEEN A ROCK AND A GREAT PLACE 30 While leaders of the Sarasota County Schools say they do not want to lose district media specialists, they also point out the district has been dipping far into its rainy day funds Scott Proftt HARNESSING A POT OF GOLD 33 Analysis: For the CRA, the future will be here before you know it Stan Zimmerman A BLOSSOMING BUSINESS 38 Tube Dudes: Fine art, public art, signature art, yard art or obstacle? Stan Zimmerman DREDGING THE PASSES 42 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers soon will be scheduling presentations to the City and County commissions on plans to renourish Lido Beach and build groins on that key Rachel Brown Hackney GOING, GOING, GONE 46 Election kills St. Armands district Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 49 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Settling in for the night Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Selby Gardens fountain Robert Hackney


SLOWING DOWN AND CHIPPING IN THE GREATEST LITTLE SHOW OPINION EDITORIAL 58 Dont Bogart that bill, legislators! SARASOTA LEISURE SLOWING DOWN AND CHIPPING IN 62 Third annual Eat Local Week encourages community members to buy local food, invest in local farms and businesses Tyler Whitson ON THE EVE OF INVASION 67 Wealth and fame beckon the Iberians Stan Zimmerman ASK OTUS 71 Giant water bugs prove to have a fascinating story Otus Rufous THE GREATEST LITTLE SHOW 76 Students keep the circus traditions alive Staff Reports SIESTA SEEN 84 County zoning staff hopes to hold meeting for Siesta Village business owners late this month; new ofcer slate proposed for Village Association Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 88 RELIGION BRIEFS 94 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 97 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 98 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 7 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 SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota Located Upstairs In the Green Ginger Salon 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.


Take party politics out of county politics? Thats what one activist group would like to do, and its members are organizing now to bring the issue to voters before the 2014 cycle. Last year, community activists in the Public Interest Coalition, made up of representatives from groups such as the Council of Neigh borhood Associations, the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, came together to discuss the state of county elections. Bill Zoller, the president of Citizens for Sensible Growth in Saraso ta County, says there was real outrage about tactics and loop holes that were pre venting large segments of the population from participat ing. One example: the use of fake write-in candi dates to close primary elections that would otherwise be open to members of all parties. During last years Republican supervisor of elections primary, Longboat Keys Victoria Brill led paperwork to run as a write-in for supervisor of elections, although she intended to have no genuine role in the race. The move blocked more than 150,000 Democrats and In dependents from being able to vote in the Re publican primary between Jon Thaxton and Kathy Dent, depriving a majority of county residents from having a say in who their su pervisor of elections is. Only 7.8 percent of county voters cast a The Sarasota County Commission sits in session in March. File photo IS THE FUTURE OF COUNTY POLITICS NONPARTISAN? IN PURSUIT OF MAJOR CHANGE By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Were all victimized by the way things are going. Gayle Reynolds Member Public Interest Coalition


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 9 ballo t fo r Dent, yet the supervisor kept her seat. Zoller says stories like that got the Public Interest Coalition members thinking: What could we do to bring a better sense of balance? The group started researching different county charters around the state. According to Zoller, there are 20 charter counties in Florida, ve of which have nonpartisan coun ty elections: Columbia, Leon, Orange, Volusia and Mi ami-Dade. Nonpartisan races stop candidates from identi fying themselves as repre sentatives of particular par ties, and they would also close the loophole exploited by Brill last year. With no partisan primaries, everyone would be able to vote in every contest, regardless of party afliation. But making that shift means changing the county charter, a proposal the Public Inter est Coalition is preparing to bring to voters, hopefully before the 2014 elections. Gayle Reynolds, a Public Interest Coalition member and the former conservation chair woman of the local Sierra Club, says the change would empower independent vot ers and foster more competition. I think its important for all county races, she adds, but the County Commission in particular has been fraught with corruption the last couple years. Reynolds argues that more vigorous elec tions would open up the process and allow for new viewpoints. The GOP has had a lock on the County Commission for decades. No non-Republican has served on the board since 1970, and only three non-Republicans have sat on the commission since 1956. That GOP supremacy re mains intact today, even though only 43.6 percent of registered voters are Republicans. Reynolds says the situation consol idates power in the hands of a few and lets a handful of campaign donors control elec tions: Were all victimized by the way things are going. But would nonpartisan elec tions really limit the inuence of parties? Re publican Party of Sarasota County Chairman Joe Gruters scoffs at the idea. Just look at the current City of Sarasota elections, he says. While the races are technically nonpartisan, both major parties are endorsing candidates and working to turn out voters. Nonpartisan elections would do nothing to prevent parties from inserting themselves into elections. Gruters argues that removing party labels does a disservice to the voters by depriv ing them of a crucial bit of information. Par ty afliation is the easiest way to identify people for those who do not have time to research the candidates, he says. I think all races should be partisan, because right now all races are partisan. The Sarasota County Seal. Pho to by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 10 But what about closing loopholes that limit the votes of independents? My advice to voters is: Dont register as In dependent. We live in a closed primary state, he says. Gruters own father is a registered Indepen dent, but those who register with neither ma jor party take themselves out of the primary, he adds. And theyre stuck with the results. The process is open and were always look ing for new members, Gruters says. Wed be happy to register people over, and Im sure we and the Democrats feel the same way. Does he think the nonpartisan charter change has a shot? Anybody that votes for nonpar tisan races is a fool, because theyre trying to trick everybody else, he responds. Why have the parties do everything in secret and behind closed doors? Reynolds acknowledges that nonpartisan elections would hardly eliminate party inu ence over the process, but she says that real ity is trumped by how the change would give a voice to voters who are now shut out. There are four ways to get a charter change on the ballot: the state Legislature or the County Commission can support it, the Charter Re view Board can recommend it or citizens can gather signatures from 5 percent of the pop ulation. The legislative and review board routes would take too long, Zoller says, but the Public Inter est Coalition would like to bring the proposal to the County Commission to have the board add it to the ballot. Given the all-Republican makeup of the board, he doesnt feel condent that th e commissioners will endorse the idea, but he thinks its worth a shot. If the commission says, No, that leaves the petition-gathering option. According to the Supervisor of Elections Ofce, any petition would need 13,869 signatures to make it onto a countywide ballot. Zoller says the Public Interest Coalition is prepared to mount that campaign and to then convince voters that the change is needed. Theres quite a lot of en thusiasm among civic groups for the idea, he adds, and he thinks the proposal is a winner. There are those that think its time to level the playing eld. Zoller himself a Republican, dismisses Gruters charge that nonpartisan elections would only further cloud the process. After the Brill mess, the write-in candidacy that closed last years election of County Commissioner Charles Hines and the felony charge against former Sarasota County GOP Chairman Bob Waechter, How much worse can it get? he asks. T hats about as low as you can go. % Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Tonya Herschberger & Linda Keefe Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406 Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Tonya was the nurse who prepped Linda for surgery after she was hit by a drunk driver while walking with her husband and their dog. In spite of her pain and the anxiety that precedes any surgical procedure, Linda gazed up at the nurse and immediately felt at ease. You have a beautiful smile, she said. Thats when Tonya shared with Linda the person responsible for her beautiful smile, Dr. Christine Koval. For over 25 years, Dr. Koval has been one of the areas most trusted experts in creating beautiful, natural smiles using the latest advances in restorative, cosmetic, laser and general dentistry. Most new patients come to her based on referrals from people who just cant stop smiling. Linda turned to Dr. Koval to repair her smile and jaw which was so misaligned she couldnt chew her food properly. Tonyas comforting smile and advice gave me hope and direction, she says. Im so grateful to her, and of course to Dr. Koval. Now I have a smile that I love to share with everyone I meet.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 or for a more extensive smile gallery viewing visit ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.


The ab sentee owner of the Ringling Plaza Shopping Center tried to put up a chain-link fence separating his property from the Ter race Gardens neighborhood this week after neighbors testied they regularly cut across the property to walk their dogs and go to Payne Park. Reaction was swift. The day after workers started to build the fence, somebody knocked down several of the poles in the night. Some one also spray-painted the fencers truck with F**K-WAL-MART. City police were called to investigate the van dalism. Damage could be more than $1,000. The local agent of property owner Louis Doyle said she could not answer questions, and she asked they be submitted in writing. At press time there was no response as to why the fence was being erected. The site was proposed for a Walmart Super center. Last month the Sarasota City Commis sion, by 3-2 vote, upheld an appeal of a favor able decision by the Planning Board to allow the new facility, effectively stopping the proj ect. Walmart may take the City Commission decision to Circuit Court this month. The Walmart Corp. had the property under contract with the Doyle family, which holds A fencing company truck was defaced at the Ringling Shopping Center this week. Contributed photo FENCE GOES UP AT RINGLING SHOPPING CENTER ONLY TO BE VANDALIZED A DISTINCT DISPLEASURE SHOWN By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


the nine-acre parcel in a family trust. Accord ing to the permit, the fence cost the Doyles about $8,000. The appeal of the Walmart decision was launched by the nearby Alta Vista neighbor hood, which does not directly abut the Doyle property. Some neighbors in Terrace Gardens blamed Alta Vista for the fence. One woman said it was the owners retribution for losing the land sale to Walmart. However, others suggest the Terrace Gardens residents may have triggered the erecting of the fence by testifying under oath at the Plan ning Board and City Commission public hear ings about cutting across the shopping center site to reach Payne Park to the west. Habitual and unenforced trespass raises liability issues with owners. Technically speaking, the nearby neighbor hood association is called The Gardens of Ringling Park, but it has not had a meeting or held elections in many months. The area adjacent to the shopping center traditionally was called Terrace Gardens before it was in cluded in a merger with other dormant neigh borhoods to form the Gardens. Residents on both sides of the Walmart issue are furious about the fence. One woman who opposes the Supercenter said her son broke out in tears when he saw the structure. How are we going to get to the park? he cried. Myron Nichols, the last elected president of the Gardens of Ringing Park, laid the respon sibility for the fence on the gurative shoul ders of the Alta Vista neighborhood. They dont live here, and this is what we get, he said. This property is going to be vacant for 10 years if Walmart doesnt move in here. % The fencing started on Tuesday, April 2. In the background is the site of the old Ringling Publix. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 13


The posts are set in cement just inside the property line of the Ringling Shopping Center. Neighbor hood residents used the area as a type of mini-park for decades. Photo by Stan Zimmerman By Wednesday, workers were beginning to string the chain-link mesh. This span blocked the histor ical (and paved) path between the Terrace Gardens neighborhood and the shopping center. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 14


At the dead-end circle of Lemon Avenue, the fencing has been destroyed. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 15


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Sarasota Audubon volunteers are wondering whether it is more than just a coincidence that stakes and plastic tape were removed from a known nesting area for endangered birds on Siesta Key and a re erupted in the same gen eral area three days later. Siesta resident Catherine Luckner told The Sarasota News Leader that while no snowy plover nests had been discovered in a con servation easement area just north of Siesta Public Beach, [someone] actually had to go to a lot of trouble to remove an entire buffer for the birds late last week. The incident occurred either the night of March 28 or very early in the morning on March 29, she added, because an Audubon volunteer dis covered the damage on the 29 th when he was making his rounds on the beach, searching for any signs of nests. The plovers nesting season generally is from March through September, according to Audu bon representatives. Some of the stakes had been broken in the buffer area, Luckner said, indicating the inci dent was not the result of a dog running loose, for example. Then about 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, the Sarasota County Fire Department received a call about a brush and grass re between Beach Accesses 8 and 10, part of the same area where the snowy plovers have been known to nest over the past several years. The general area where a brush re was reported before dawn Sunday off Siesta Public Beach showed no apparent damage just a couple of days later. Photo by Rachel Hackney SARASOTA AUDUBON VOLUNTEERS REPORT VANDALISM AT A BUFFER FOR BEACH-NESTING BIRDS ON SIESTA KEY JUST DAYS BEFORE A FIRE ERUPTS NEARBY JUST A COINCIDENCE? By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 18 Dawn Wright, a ssistant to Capt. Susan Pear son the public information ofcer in the Fire Department told the News Leader on April 2 that the report indicated the re was put out in about 10 minutes. She added that it had covered an area of about 100 feet. Asked whether the reghters had been able to determine anything about the cause of the blaze, Wright said, Not that were aware of, based on the report. The report does note that it was difficult reaching the area with a re hose, with the crew having to use 950 feet of hose plus a 100foot rapid deploy kit. It adds that the reghters were able to begin spraying water on the area at 5:02 a.m. Luckner was especially concerned about the re, because, as she pointed out, It wouldnt take much with those old wooden cottages out there to go up in ames if the re had spread fast. The buffer area that was destroyed, Luckner continued, is on a private piece of property owned by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. As a result, she pointed out, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also had posted No Trespassing signs in the area. They are still missing, she said of those signs, adding, Its A Share the Shore sign posted by Sarasota County at Beach Access 8 on Siesta Key seeks to educate visitors about beach-nesting birds. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 19 very distres sing to think anybody would be so mean-spirited. Sgt. Scott Osborne, who leads the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Community Policing Station on Siesta Key, told the News Leader on April 2 that he had stipulated special patrols in the rebuilt buffer area since the incident occurred last week. March 30 was the rst day for those patrols, he said. Ofcers have been making a point of checking the area early in the morning, Osborne added. Additionally, he contacted the FWC ofcer re sponsible for matters on Siesta, Osborne said, and FWC has directed its game wardens to keep an eye on the area. It could be anyone, Osborne added of the perpetrator, even a resident. Weve had some issues in the past in the areas marked off for the plover nests, he pointed out. Theres no telling. A couple of years ago, Audubon volunteers reported extensive damage from people and dogs in some of the nesting areas. I dont know if they get mad that [the Audu bon volunteers are] closing off part of the beach, Osborne said. However, Luckner emphasized that the buf fer area damaged last week was not beside a public pathway. Moreover, a county ordinance forbids dogs on the Siesta beach, but Audubon volunteers also have cited numerous incidents over the past several years of dog owners ignoring the law. Last summer, the Sheriffs Ofce stepped up patrols in the evenings during the height of nesting season, with ofcers issuing citations for violations. Dogs will scare nesting plovers away from the nests, even if the birds are trying to hatch eggs, Audubon members have pointed out. Many times, the birds will not return to the nests after such an incident. % A snowy plover on the beach. Photo by Fran Palmeri


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Although the Sarasota County Commission voted on Jan. 16 to maintain impact fees at a lower level for another two years, the release of updated data could prompt reconsideration of the action. In a report to the commission dated March 4, Interim Transportation Planning Director Jonathan Paul provides what he refers to as several apples-to-apples comparative anal yses Based upon updated travel characteristics and construction cost estimates, he writes, the 2013 rates are [about] 35% lower than 2007 rates. The county has been using 2007 rates until new data became available. The commissioners in 2007 adopted rates that were 68 percent of the full fees. In 2011, the board slashed those adopted fees by another 50 percent, calling the move a way to stimu late the economy in the wake of the real es tate collapse. Although the board had expected to have new data before its January vote, a spreadsheet error by then Transportation Director Clarke Davis in December forced a delay. Davis resigned shortly after he revealed the mistake to County Administrator Randall Reid and the commission. Reid told The Sarasota News Leader this week that two hours have been set aside on the County Commissions morning agenda for May 8 to discuss the ndings. One of the most recent road projects set for completion in Sarasota County is the extension of North Cat tlemen Road, which will help with trafc ow at Nathan Benderson Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel WITH NEW DATA AVAILABLE, THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAS OPTIONS ABOUT HOW TO PROCEED WITH CHARGING IMPACT FEES IN THE FUTURE PAYING FOR ROADS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 22 A chart shows the list of county road projects as of Feb. 1. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 23 Paul pointed out in his report, Several 2013 rates had differences that [were] substan tially different than the [approximately] 35% average. These changes in rates are princi pally due to either changes in trip generation rate, pass-by trips or average travel length characteristics. (A pass-by trip, the report notes, is one when a person already is on a particular route for a different purpose and simply stops at another place; for example, someone driving home from work could stop at a convenience store.) Commissioner Nora Patterson told the News Leader on April 3 that she found the travel reference noteworthy: People are putting less strain on the capacity of the road system. Thats denitely been the case, Commission er Joe Barbetta concurred in an interview with the News Leader this week. The reduction was no surprise, Patterson pointed out, with the cost of gas having risen over the past months. Paul offered three options for the County Commission in regard to the new rates. One calls for the commission to phase in the full 2013 rate by June 1, 2015. Commissioner Christine Robinson told the News Leader that in her review of the new data, It looks like we were somewhat accu rate in maintaining the rates adopted in 2011. For example, in Pauls apples to apples comparison, the current adopted road im pact fee for construction of a single-family or multi-family unit is $1,276. At the full 2007 rate, the amount would be $3,762. The full 2013 rate would be $2,434. In his chart, Paul showed the biggest decrease in applying the full rates of 2007 and 2013 would be 65 percent for the construction of a hospital $14,196 at the full 2007 rate com pared to $4,995 at the full 2013 rate. The smallest difference would apply to con struction of a recreational or community cen Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson listen to a presentation during a regular County Commission meeting. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 24 ter: $11,1 12 at t he full 2007 rate compared to $8,947 at the full 2013 rate, a decrease of ap proximately 19 percent. Patterson indicated she was not in favor of the commission applying the same percentage decrease to the 2013 rates that it had applied to those from 2007. The current impact fees are pretty low, she said. Personally, she added, my goal on this has been to keep [the impact fees] low for anoth er year, then phase in the full 2013 rates over the next two or three years. During the boards January discussion, she said she could not supp ort the two-year exten sion of the current impact fees, noting that the problem with continuing such a reduction is that no one ever wants the fees to go back up. REVENUE In a separate March 20 report on the coun tys impact fee collections for the 2012 scal year, Tom Polk, director of Planning and De velopment Services, and Mark Loveridge in Planning Services noted the road impact fees totaled $3,459,382, while staff had budgeted $2,759,706. The City of North Port fees showed the big gest increase over budget almost 161 percent. A chart compares the 2007 road impact fees with those updated for 2013. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 25 The colle ct ions for the City of Sarasota were up about 158 percent over projections $128,897 compared to the budgeted amount of $50,000. Conversely, the road impact fees for north county came in below expectations $402,006 compared to the budgeted amount of $684,000. Among the other impact fee collections, the report shows the following data: Park impact fees totaled $1,390,754, com pared to the budgeted amount of $654,915, almost 53 percent higher. Library impact fees came in at $390,258, while the budget projection was $187,481. EMS impact fees totaled $134,871, com pared to the budget amount of $68,307. Fire/rescue impact fee revenues came in at $167,453, while $132,922 was budgeted. Things denitely have picked up, Barbetta told the News Leader referring to construc tion. Patterson said, The construction industrys coming back a little bit, but the impact fee revenue falls short of what the county had ex pected by this point. She also noted that even at their full level, the impact fees cover only a portion of the countys expense for new roads. STATE ACTION Barbetta and Patterson this week also pointed to action in the Florida Legislature that would suspend for three years the road impact fees and concurrency charges for commercial de velopments smaller than 6 ,000 square feet. Supporters have cited the bill as a means of encouraging inll development in cities. House Bill 321, sponsored by Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, was on the schedule for an April 3 hearing in the Finance & Tax Sub committee. A companion bill in the Senate, SB 1716, won unanimous approval on April 2 in the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Barbetta sees merit in the legislation, though he said he had not had the opportunity to check with staff to learn how the bills in the Legislature might affect Sarasota County. Nonetheless, he said, I think we need to start looking at zones for construction where no future road development would be possible. For example, the new restaurant on the ground oor of the Palm Avenue parking ga rage in downtown Sarasota Louies Mod ern, which formally opened April 3 had to pay $95,000 in impact fees, he said. However, he pointed out, no changes would ever be ex pected for Palm Avenue. People walk to that restaurant, and the ga rage is already there, he added. Likewise, a new business opening on Bee Ridge Road would have to pay a road impact fee when it would be relying on current trafc for custom ers, with no expansion for that road on the horizon, he continued. The county still will benet from property and sales taxes from those businesses, he added. In the meantime, Robinson and Barbetta both say they are looking forward to a presentation on the new impact fee data. Robinson praised Paul, saying, Hell tell you how it is. He seems to give you factual infor mation as opposed to opinion. %


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


In a vo te sure to enrage pro-development forc es in the on-going Sarasota elections, the city commissioners voted 3-2 to emasculate the North Trail Overlay District (NTOD) on Mon day, April 1. The overall NTOD plan was approved by the same 3-2 margin, but without the administra tive site plan approval considered key to en couraging developers interest. In the words of Deputy City Manag er Marlon Brown, It doesnt have a carrot anymore. The vote capped a three-year policy mar athon propelle d by interests along the North Tamiami Trail from the city limits south to 10 th Street that tired of the neglect and crime along the corridor. Similar plans to improve the citys gateway have foundered for more than two decades. North Trail property owner and business op erator Jay Patel urged commission approval of the whole package. Please pass this as its presented. Its just a tool. The economics are right, right now, Patel said. Adminis trative site plan review is a very important aspect. Business owners along the North Tamiami Trail have advocated for new development options to bol ster the area. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION APPROVES THE NORTH TRAIL OVERLAY DISTRICT MISSING A PART It doesnt have a carrot anymore. Marlon Brown Deputy City Manager Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 28 After a lengthy public hearing, Commissioner Paul Caragiulo moved to approve the NTOD with an expiration date in 2020. Mayor Su zanne Atwell seconded the motion. Commis sioner Terry Turner then proposed an amend ment. THE CRITICAL AMENDMENT It is not a friendly amendment, said Turner. Under the citys rules of procedure, an amend ment is friendly if the maker of the motion agrees with the intent and language of the amendment. I move to delete the administrative site plan approval, said Turner. He further indicated the entire idea was fundamen tally awed. He told supporters, Your vision is not bold enough. Neighbors in gen eral were consis tently excluded from the devel opment of this. Administrative approval is prob lematic. The community gets nothing, and it is unclear what the developer gets, said Turn er. This needs to start over with a bigger vision. The comments were expanded upon by Com missioner Shannon Snyder. The developers and the neighbors both want the same thing certainty, said Snyder. The neighbors are as frustrated as everybody else. Builders and developers have long complained about confusion and delay at City Hall. They are even more caustic about watching their plans undergo the scrutiny of public bodies such as the Planning Board and City Com mission. Administrative approval would have stopped that, allowing staffers to give the goor-no-go decision. Commissioner Willie Shaw noted that none of the ve neighborhoods in the NTOD area en dors ed the idea. Without our in put as neighbor hoods, we dont get anything, he said. The motion to yank administra tive site plan ap proval from the NTOD passed with Atwell and Caragiulo in the minority. Another amend ment made it into the plan as well. Instead of setting up the NTOD in perpe tuity, commis sioners agreed to include a sunset Urban frontage features of the North Trail Overlay Dis trict remained in the nal document. Image courtesy City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 29 provision, demanding the City Commission revisit the plan in ve years. The NTOD would die a natural death unless a future commis sion decided to extend it. Still in the plan is an increase in allowable height to 45 feet, providing one additional sto ry for any new building the NTOD covers. Re vised parking requirements and incentives to push the frontage closer to the highway also remained. The plan contains no increases in residential density. In some areas along the Tamiami Trail, the ad ditional height could allow for a rooftop view of the bay. A water view from a at and accessible roof could mimic Caribbean and Middle-Eastern architecture, where families often use roofs as living and sleeping spaces in the summer. Even though the NTOD is now on the books, without administrative site plan approval, it may prove problematic if a developer wants to be the rst on the block to attempt im plementation of the 131-page document in the face of public hearings before the Planning Board and possibly the City Commission. The city planner who shepherded the NTOD through endless meetings and iterations Ryan Chapdelain mentioned a previous planning effort for the North Trail more than a decade ago. Speaking before the motions and voting, he said, Gateway 2000 was men tioned, and nothing really came of it. That unused plan now sits on a shelf at City Hall. Only time will tell if the NTOD suffers a similar fate. % The draft North Trail Overlay District plan envisions a new look for businesses. Image courtesy City of Sarasota


Helen Harvey has a room full of students on computers in her media center, which is a doublewide portable on the edge of campus. The media specialist for Booker High School handles the comings and goings, the ques tions from the youth and the interrup tions with a calm that comes from being a seasoned profession al. On April 3, when The Sarasota News Leader visited the campus, Harvey was also leading a class discussion of Macbeth These kids are getting college credit for this class, she pointed out. While there are books in the center, the focus is on computers, and the person in charge whether an aide or spe cialist has a job de scription quite different from that of a school li brarian in the past. Booker Middle Schools media center still boasts a lot of books, even in a modern electronic age. Pho to by Scott Proftt WHILE LEADERS OF THE SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOLS SAY THEY DO NOT WANT TO LOSE DISTRICT MEDIA SPECIALISTS, THEY ALSO POINT OUT THE DISTRICT HAS BEEN DIPPING FAR INTO ITS RAINY DAY FUNDS BETWEEN A ROCK AND A GREAT PLACE By Scott Proftt Staff Writer Our library is an oasis for our students. Libraries are lled at lunch, before school and after. This will affect over 18,000 students in our district. Donna Heath Media Specialist Sarasota County Schools


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 31 We a rent just librarians. We are guidance counselors, teachers, college advisors. I had two kids come in today who asked for private time to talk with me, Harvey continued. But her position may disappear. Next year an aide a category of employee with substan tially less training may be in charge of the new media center under construction. That fact was the major topic of discussion both by the public and by School Board members during the April 2 Sarasota County School Board meeting. I dont think theyre seeing how much this is going to cost them in the long run, Har vey told the News Leader I have three col lege-level classes I teach. We are spending a A new media center will be part of the rebuilt Booker High School campus in Sarasota. Photo by Scott Proftt While construction of the new facility is un der way, Booker High students are making the best of a media center in a doublewide porta ble unit on campus. Photo by Scott Proftt


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 32 whole l ot of money on technology and com puters. You are going to have a group of aides who historically have a high turnover. She added, Look at all of the computers we have. Every period of the day we have kids who are taking virtual school class [through the Internet], so we have a lot of equipment that needs highly trained staff. We can barely keep up with the needed training now. The School Board earlier had agreed to elimi nate the media special ists as part of a large bucket of cuts aimed at balancing its bud get for the next scal year. This measure is planned for every mid dle school and high school in the district. The cut in media spe cialists was done at the elementary school level three years ago, said Gary Leatherman, the director of communications and commu nity relations. The people in charge of the media no longer have certication as media specialists, he added. They are aides instead, he said. Media Specialist Donna Heath addressed the School Board Tuesday night: Our library is an oasis for our students. Libraries are lled at lunch, before school and after. This [action] will affect over 18,000 students in our district. She pointed out, Elementary school has sur vived [the cuts] because the kids are led in each week or so and check out another few books. This is not what would happen in the middle and high sc hools, where we teach kids how to do research [and] cite references and teach the teachers how to use the systems. [We] have a budget and I dont want us to cherry-pick, said board member Carol Todd. Board member Shirley Brown added, If we want to change [this decision], I dont know where else to cut at this time. But board member Caroline Zucker took a rm stand against the plan to eliminate media specialists: I will not vote for this. I just can not vote for this bud get, she said, adding it would be the rst time in her many years on the board that she had voted down the pro posed spending plan. District administrative staff point out that the schools have suffered as a result of the Great Recession, given the combination of decreased money from local property taxes since 2007 and state cutbacks. The Florida Legislature also has had to wres tle with budget shortfalls over the same peri od, though its members may be said to feel the inuence of political forces prompting them to choose where to spend the dollars they have. Since 2007, over 680 positions are gone, and weve reduced the budget by 30 percent, said Lori White, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools, at Tuesday nights board meeting. We are limited to what we can do to meet the gap, she added. I feel responsible to live within the revenues we get from the state. Weve been dipping into savings savings that are disappearing. % I feel responsible to live within the revenues we get from the state. Weve been dipping into savings savings that are disappearing. Lori White Superintendent Sarasota County Schools


Combine a lame-duck city commissioner with a pot-of-gold tax scheme, failing budgets, un met capital needs and a county unsure of the direction of its future and you get an 11-member committee. Let us take em one at a time. Lame duck? City Com missioner Terry Turn er announced months ago he was not inter ested in a second term. And he will be missed greatly for his nancial acumen. A former eco nomics professor, en trepreneur and budget wizard, there is no one either a sitting commissioner or candidate, city or county who can take his place. Pot of gold? Could you stand $3.5 million in your pocket every year, no strings attached? It is called a Community Redevelopment Agen cy, a complicated property tax scheme to attack slum-andblight. But the pot o gold for the city dis appears in 2016. Then what? Failing budgets? Sara sota city and coun Downtown Sarasota has beneted from the expenditure of CRA funds. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: FOR THE CRA, THE FUTURE WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT HARNESSING A POT OF GOLD By Stan Zimmerman City Editor We have over-invested in downtown to good effect but its time to stop because there are so many other areas in the city that need attention. Terry Turner Commissioner City of Sarasota


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 34 ty cannot balance their budgets. They have been tapping into reserves to make ends meet. But the real end of the road is in sight. For the city, the coming scal year may drain the savings account. For the county, the timing is not much further away. Unmet capital needs? For decades the City of Sarasota poured resources into downtown and Newtown. Call it the two-towns strate gy. Every other area of the city has starved. A St. Armands parking garage to serve the citys toniest shopping district? Sorry. Sidewalks, curbs and gutters for the southern half of the city? Sorry. A Lido Beach pavilion to serve the citys primo beach? Sorry. Lido Pool? Sorry. Anything outside the two towns is off the capital-improvement charts. County unsure? Will the county stick with the 2050 plan or let developer interests gut it? Do the county commissioners believe the urban core of the City of Sarasota has any impor tance to the countys future? Can they, will they devote any resources to keeping the core alive? That 11-member committee? Stay with me. ALL IN THE NUMBERS At this point, 95 percent of readers will go elsewhere, even though the future of the downtown, Newtown and the remainder of the city teeter in the balance, because num bers are hard to understand. Thought is re quired. But if you are willing to put your brain to work, follow along. The Sarasota City Commission in session. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 35 In 1986, the c ity and county embarked on an experiment called the Community Redevel opment Agency (CRA). The two governments agreed for a prescribed area downtown for 30 years the 1986 tax roll would become a oor. Any subsequent improvement in city and county property tax collections would accrue to the CRA. In other words, if proper ty values rose, the increased city and county property tax revenue would go to the CRA to help the dened area. Much later a CRA was established for New town, but property assessments kept dropping and the agency is effectively underwater. City commissioners are syphoning off down town CRA dollars to keep the Newtown CRA alive. Today the difference between the oor and current assessments in the downtown CRA is $6.6 million. That is $3.1 million from the city taxes, and $3.5 from county property tax es (because county tax rates are a bit higher than those in the city). Over the years the city acting as the CRA spent the money in the dened area to make downtown Sarasota viable. While other Florida downtowns became wastelands, Sarasotas became a destination, thanks to the CRA (to say nothing of volun teers, partnerships, etc.). Bond issues were used to make major improvements, paid for by CRA money. All this increased property val ues, and a virtuous spiral was formed. The CRA will expire in 2016. But when the curtain comes down and the bond issues are paid, where will the city lie? For Newtown, the syphon will run dry. The answer to the question about the future of the city and the CRA is the crux of Commis sioner Turners proposal. KILL THE CRA? OR TAME IT? The CRA numbers today are easy to under stand, if a bit unsettling. The city gets $3.1 million, and it immediately kicks back $2.6 million into the general fund for necessary services. That includes $539,457 for landscape maintenance in the CRA area, $1 million for police in the area, $263,000 for street and high way maintenance in the area and more than $700,000 to staff redevelopment ofces. These are costs the city would normally bear, but they are conveniently covered by the CRA convenient, but these are the citys tax dollars anyway. County Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 36 If the CRA w ere to go away in 2016, the city would have to start paying the above expens es out of regular tax money which it could, because the city would receive $3.1 million in regular and unrestricted property tax revenue when the CRA has expired. But today the $3.1 million from the base-ver sus-current taxes formula generates only about $500,000 in new money for the city ($3.1 minus the $2.6 million). Everything else cov ers existing services. The $3.5 million in county taxes kicked back to the CRA? Almost all of it ($3.4 million) covers debt service for prior bond issues. In other words, this CRA scheme made possible a series of bond issues to build capital proj ects, and it funded ongoing city services. What is left from the $6.6 million total is a mere $500,000 for anything new. If this is hard to read, it is also hard to write. I am neither a nancial genius nor a brilliant business correspondent. But the crux of this is the nances of our city, its future and ours. ON BASE? OFF BASE? When the CRA ends in 2016, the city would collect the same $3.1 million, but it could spend the money anywhere. No longer would the money be tied to downtown and New town. The county is already factoring its $3.5 mil lion share into proposed out-year budgeting, lling a gap between expected revenues and anticipated expenses in 2016 and beyond. But at least one and maybe more county com missioners are willing to consider extending the CRA. During a February joint City-County commis sion meeting, city commissioners pressed the county to extend the CRA, but none suggested for how much longer or whether it would be a true extension using the same 1986 baseline, or if the CRA should be re-estab lished using a baseline from another year. County Commissioner Joe Barbetta favored the extension but said he wants to change the administration of the CRA. Other county com missioners were lukewarm to the extension, but all agreed to establish a study committee to look at an extension or a re-establishment and what kind of governing structure should be used. At their April 1 City Commission meeting, 11 people were appointed to sit on the commit tee to study the future o f the CRA; the County City Commissioner Terry Turner. File photo


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 37 Commiss ion is expected to vote its approval of the group as well. CAN CITY AFFORD IT? At rst sight, this seems like a no-brainer. The county forgoes $3.5 million per year in taxes and lets the city determine how best to spend the money. So far the funds have been used to support bond issues for infrastructure proj ects. However, the county does not pay to oper ate or maintain those projects. The cleaning, painting, landscaping, stafng and other costs are borne by city taxpayers. A good example is the construction with CRA money of com mercial space on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way at the Janie Poe complex just west of the railroad tracks. The ofces and retail space sit empty, with no takers even at $6 per square foot. Meanwhile, the CRA must pay to maintain and secure the property. While new empty storefronts are better than old empty storefronts, what they share is a dearth of entrepreneurial activity. Turner used an analogy to explain how the CRA funding works: If I give you $1,000 to spend as you want, youd like that, he said. If I give you $1,000 but said you can only spend it on ice cream, its not quite the same. There are other problems with restricting your monies, Turner added. Weve started on the North [Tamiami] Trail. St. Armands needs a parking garage. We need some kind of park ing facility in Southsi de Village [aka Hillview Street], and theres the Lido Pavilion. We have over-invested in downtown to good effect but its time to stop because there are so many other areas in the city that need atten tion. Meanwhile, soaring pension and health bene ts for city employees and retirees create un sustainable pressures on the budget. The city is looking at a $4.8 million shortfall for the coming scal year, and it is planning to cut seven police ofcer positions and ve other employees. But the $4.8 million is a fraction of the $20 million shortfall projected in 2022 as benet costs swell from $22.7 million today to $41.7 million. CAN THE COUNTY AFFORD IT? Turner offered a solution: There is a histo ry of the county wanting to partner with the cities. There should be a CRA in each of the cities with county money only, to be spent in any way the county wants, he said. Its time for the county to get a new mindset, and that is, Were going to do good things in the cities to help them prosper. Commissioner Shannon Snyder added a warn ing: Theyre either going to help or theyre go ing to inherit us. Were on a short leash here. All of this gets dropped in the lap of the 11 vol unteers who will be asked to polish their crys tal balls, dust off their calculators and unseal their political tarot cards. Should there be a CRA in the future? How many? What baseline? And the most important question of all is who decides where the money goes? %


The Sara sota Downtown Improvement Dis trict this week called on two senior city staff ers to answer questions about the increasing number of Tube Dudes in the city. Mean while, the dudes themselves are soon to ex pand nationwide. The rst time we saw it, it had a sign in its hand, said Gretch en Schneider, general manager of Neighbor hood and Develop ment Services. Is it a sign? Or is it art? That is what the DID members wanted to know. They also wanted to know if and how the city could regulate the dudes. We drew the line if they were holding a commercial message, Schneider said. Without a sign, we allow it as yard art like a pink amingo. However, downtown does not have yards, or even private property outside storefronts. It is public right of way along sidewalks, and the city can regulate that area. Our city code talks about obstruction of pedestrians, said City Engineer Alexandrea The TubeDude gift shop is on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel TUBE DUDES: FINE ART, PUBLIC ART, SIGNATURE ART, YARD ART OR OBSTACLE? A BLOSSOMING BUSINESS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor When its on public property, there is a case for the Public Art Committee to put it to the test. Elizabeth van Ripper Chairwoman Sarasota Public Art Committee


A TubeDude stands outside a Main Street barbershop. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 39


DavisShaw. If [ the inspector] sees anything in the walking area, he will notify the proper ty owners. A sandwich board or a Tube Dude and its not in the walking area, he has not cited them. TUBE DUDES SETTING OFF Scott Gerber is the creator (Inventor? Sculp tor?) of the smiling gurines made of extruded aluminum tubes and then powder-coated in bright colors. They can be shaped to represent anyone from a hairstylist with a blow drier to a sherman with a catch. Each one has a smile. Every city has its dening art. Chicago has its bulls. Bradenton has its geckos on the wall. Sarasota has the Tube Dude, said Gerber. When people buy one and take it home, they say it reminds them of their visit [to Saraso ta]. Gerber added that his creation has attracted private investors, and he is planning on open ing nine showrooms across the United States in the next 18 months. He said four of his cre ations were at the arena for the recent NCAA Mens Basketball Championship games, and four giant Tube Dudes are going into New Yorks linear High Line Park over the lower west side of Manhattan. Another two giant dudes are being installed in Atlanta. Everybody we deal with considers this art, he said. Next up? We are in negotiations with the Ringling [College] of Art and Design for a commercial venture, Gerber announced. And we are negotiating production of a Tube Dude toy. As for proliferation downtown, Gerber said there are only ve. The last one was installed 14 months ago. HOMETOWN RESPONSE HEATS UP Not everybody is wild about Gerbers colorful gang. The Main Street Merchants Association began a straw poll, asking members and a few downtown residents about sandwich boards, clothing racks, Tube Dudes and other imped imenta along the sidewalks. Better than one-third [of respondents] are of fended by the sandwich boards, and a smaller percentage by the clothing racks on display ev ery day. This is not a scientic poll, said Ron Campion. I personally like the Tube Dudes, but about one-third of the people dont. But even those people who said [the Tube Dudes] were tacky did not ask for any restrictions. Nonetheless, one local group may be thinking about a hunting license for the dudes. Eliz abeth van Ripper is the chairwoman of the citys Public Art Committee. She told the DID at the outset that she was speaking strictly for herself, adding that the Tube Dudes are on the groups next meeting agenda, in May. We have a heritage of ne art and authentici ty. Many coastal communities have whimsical do-dads, she said. We have to be differenti ated. Asked if the committee has its sights on Ger bers statues, she replied, When its on pub lic property, there is a case for the Public Art Committee to put it to the test. % Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 40


A lady TubeDude welcomes customers to Aries Salon. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 41


The U.S. A rmy Corp s of Engineers has indi cated insufcient sand of the quality needed is available offshore for the renourishment of Lido Beach, making the shoals in Big Pass and New Pass the likely sources for the proj ect, Laird Wreford, Sarasota Countys coastal resources manager, told The Sarasota News Leader this week. The Corps project manager for the renour ishment initiative, Milan Mora, met last week with City of Sarasota ofcials and represen ta tives of the Lido Key Residents Association, Wreford reported in a March 27 email to Coun ty Administrator Randall Reid. Because of his position with the county, Wreford was invited to attend the session, he noted. The citys plans include not only seeking state permission for the use of sand from Big Pass ebb shoal and channel, Wreford added in the email, but also for the placement of three groins at the southern end of Lido Key. City of Sarasota ofcials are considering a plan to put three adjustable groins on the south end of Lido Key. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SOON WILL BE SCHEDULING PRESENTATIONS TO THE CITY AND COUNTY COMMISSIONS ON PLANS TO RENOURISH LIDO BEACH AND BUILD GROINS ON THAT KEY DREDGING THE PASSES By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 43 Because of con ce rns about adverse effects on the passes themselves and other areas including Siesta Key Mora suggested the sand might be removed in alternating intervals from the passes, Wreford told the News Lead er That way, he added, the natural systems would have time to replenish their deposits. [The Corps of Engineers does not] want to do any kind of work that would have an impact [on the passes navigability], he pointed out. The Corps has been working on modeling for the sand removal process as well as for the construction of the groins, Wreford continued. That modeling will have to show no detrimen tal impact on Big Pass or Siesta Key before the Corps will allow the initiative to proceed, he noted. The groins have been proposed to help sta bilize that one corner on the southern tip of Lido, he added. The Corps would have to de termine through a cost-benet analysis that future Lido renourishment projects would be extended out much longer before approving the construction of the groins, which are sim ilar to small jetties, Wreford said. The dredging of New Pass is likely to supply sand for the upcoming Lido Beach renourishment. Pho to by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 44 During the meeting last week, he added, Milan suggested that removing the groins from the proposal wont necessarily show that much of a cost benet Theyve indicated that theyve pretty much completed the modeling, Wreford added. The next step in the process, he said, is for the Corps to schedule meetings with both the county and city commissioners, to apprise them of the ndings, as well as with commu nity groups. They want to make sure that the best pos sible factual information is available to the local government boards and residents, he noted. I dont know of any specic dates yet for the public presentations, Wreford said, adding that Mora indicated he was eager to move this forward. Sarasota City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw said in an April 2 interview with the News Leader that Corps representatives would be bringing City Manager Tom Barwin and Reid up to speed on the project before scheduling those other meetings. She pointed out that both men are relatively new in their positions: Reid became adminis trator in late January 2012, while Barwin took over as city manager in September 2012. LIDOS NEEDS DavisShaw emphasized the importance of the renourishment on Lido. The beach was des ignated critically eroded around 1990, she added. Although the planting of dunes has helped, there have been some signicant in frastructure issues, including concerns about the road. Asked ab out the timeline for the latest effort, she replied, Thats really hard to pin down at this point Its been very difcult to get funding, even though the project has federal authorization. The last time the beach was renourished was in 2009, under the aegis of the Federal Emer gency Management Agency, DavisShaw said. Although a renourishment had been complet ed in 2003, erosion resulting from subsequent hurricane seasons necessitated the work be done again earlier than originally anticipated, she noted. A map shows Big Pass between Lido and Si esta keys. Map courtesy Google Maps


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 45 SIESTA WORRIES Siesta Key Association Secretary Peter van Roekens has been trying to make sure Sies ta residents and area boaters receive detailed information about the renourishment as soon as possible. During the Feb. 7 SKA meeting, van Roekens told members the groin proposal was still on the horizon, adding that any mention of such structures makes me nervous because of the effects he has seen them have on the move ment of sand. However, DavisShaw told the News Leader I think theres a lot of improvement in technol ogy regarding the design of groins, so they are better able to address the needs of the areas where they are placed. Permeable adjustable groins on Longboat Key, for example, have been working well, Davis Shaw pointed out. I do think they have come a long way She added that the Corps and city ofcials would not want to construct any structure that would cause future problems. Regarding the possible dredging of Big Pass, van Roekens said during the Feb. 7 SKA meet ing, I am extremely leery of that. I am very concerned about Siesta Beach and also about navigation. SKA President Catherine Luckner pointed out that Big Pass was among the few on the Gulf Coast that never has been dredged. County Commissioner Nora Patterson, who was a guest at the meeting, pointed out that the shoal in Big Pass has grown hugely over the past 15 years. Part of the conversation [about] Big Pass is that it is being altered, she explained, be cause sand on the west coast of Florida drifts south. Although an effort to dredge Big Pass was halted years ago, Patterson noted, modern science has shown that removing sand off the tail end of the shoal would make Big Pass more navigable. As she had in a January presentation to the Siesta Key Condominium Association, Patter son added that the Corps of Engineers would make the nal decision on whether the dredg ing should be allowed: The County Commis sion can participate in the discussion, but the county is no longer in charge. DavisShaw told the News Leader the Corps has guidelines it must follow for any project, but it is working with the city and the county on the Lido renourishment. For example, she said, Corps ofcials are utilizing the countys Inlet Management Plan in its modeling. They denitely are trying to do this in coop eration and conjunction with the two local governments, she added. They are trying to be very responsive and respectful. This week, van Roekens told the News Lead er he is continuing to work on scheduling presentations about the project for an up coming SKA meeting as well as for members of the Sarasota Yacht Club and the Boaters Coalition. %


Shoppers and diners enjoy a sunny morning on St. Armands. Photo by Rachel Hackney GOING, GOING, GONE Ten years of good deeds came to an end Wednesday, April 3. By a substantial 65 per cent to 35 percent margin, the property own ers of St. Armands Circle voted to discontinue their Business Improvement District (BID). The district levied a two-mill tax on proper ty, raising about $220,000 per year. The mon ey was used to beautify the shopping mec ca, promote it as a destination and leverage partnerships with other entities. ELECTION KILLS ST. ARMANDS DISTRICT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 47 On March 4, a total of 65 ballots were mailed to the property owners, who had until April 2 to get them back to Sarasota City Hall. Only 34 ballots were returned, and one was dis qualied because its signature had not been witnessed. Thus, the turnout was roughly 50 percent. However, this election was different. Only property owners were entitled to vote, and their votes were based on the assessed value of their property. The vote of the owner of a $5 million property was worth 10 times the vote of the owner of a $500,000 property. As the ballots were opened, a pattern began to emerge. Of the 33 valid votes, 28 were in favor of continuing the business improvement district. But each of the ve voting No was in the million-dollar-plus category. Another wrinkle tilted the vote. All ballots not returned reecting owners deciding not to have their say were counted as No votes. Since half the ballots were not returned, half of the unweighted votes counted against con tinuation. When all was tallied, 35.29 percent of the property voted to continue the improve ment district. The other 64.71 percent pre vailed, thus ending a decade-old experiment of self-taxing for self-improvement. City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini slits open an absentee ballot while Lori Rivers prepares to tally the votes as a percentage of assessed value. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 48 The St. A rm a nds experim ent provoked others to try the same approach. Golden Gate Point and downtown Sarasota approved similar self-taxing districts (without the cumbersome property share aspect), leading to signicant civic capital improvements in both areas. After the votes were tallied this week, BID Chairman Marty Rappaport said, Well, weve got to gure out a new way of doing it. Of equal im portance is the elimination of the BID governing boards ability working under Floridas Government in the Sunshine law to cooperate with senior city staff to solve prob lems. In effect, the vote terminates the voice of St. Armands at City Hall. The St. Armands BID will expire on Sept. 30, the last day of the scal year. The city then must shoulder the burden for any improvements and maintenance, such as landscaping. % The big pile is outweighed by the smaller pile. The big pile represents little properties voting Yes. The little pile reects big properties voting No. The little pile won. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Seldom does an idea get to the Sarasota City Commission backed by acclamation. But Ka tie Klauber Moultons concept of changing the color of lights under the Ringling Bridge to blue tickled a lot of ofcial fancies. The Florida Department of Transportation, a normally stuffy bureaucracy, is very much in favor of the project, Moulton told the com mission April 1. The U.S. Coast Guard regulates all naviga tion lights, and it, too, supports the blue. It is the predominant color used in under-bridge lighting, she said. Barry Dragon with [Coast Guard] District Seven endorses the idea. And the man considered the godfather of the 65-foot-tall bridge Gil Waters is on board as well. Moulton read an email from Waters saying, I hope the bridge will shine in a new, blue light. All this group-think was too much for longtime civic activist Ka Benz, who was in the April 1 commission audience for another is sue. She stepped forward to be the only con trary voice. The bridge is elegant, and color ing it could add a honkey-tonk tone, she said. That did not scare the commissioners, who voted unanimously to endorse the change. The effort began as a way to publicize Child Abuse Prevention Month, which uses the color blue as a marketing technique. But the idea took off when a local manufacturer of light-emitting diode lighting offered to supply the hardware. Then another local company of fered to provide the labor and engineering. Between Evolucias LED lights and Roadrun ners construction staff, the project is ready to get under way. With Moulton having cleared the bureaucratic decks, the causeway could be blue by May. Stan Zimmerman Shortly, the Ringling Bridge will be bathed in blue after the sun sets. Photo by Norman Schimmel A BLUE RINGLING: COMING SOON NEWS BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 50 With Ea ster marking the traditional end of high season, Siesta Key may enjoy a longer burst of tourism thanks to Trip Advisor nam ing it the No. 2 beach in the United States. The Internet travel site based its rankings on feedback from millions of Trip Advisor trav elers, a news release notes. The spotlight on Siesta calls it Paradise, not ing the best time to go is Year-round. Trip Advisor added that visitors could choose among 13 hotels, two bed and breakfast/inn facilities and 205 beach rentals. No. 1 on the list is Kaanapali Beach in La haina, HI. Two other Florida beaches made the Top 10: No. 3, Gulf Islands National Seashore at Pen sa cola Beach; and No. 4, Fort Desoto Park in Tierra Verde. Hawaii led the way with a total of four beach es. The others were Lanikai Beach in Kailua at No. 5, Wailea Beach in Wailea at No. 6 and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu at No. 10. Rounding out the Top 10 were Assateague Beach in Virginia at No. 7; La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, CA, at No. 8; and Laguna Beach in Cali fornia at No. 9. Through January, Siesta Key had collected 26.97 percent of all the tourist development tax revenue in Sarasota County, according to the latest gures from the Tax Collectors Of ce. The total for the key was $433,191.46. The amount is about a 10 percent increase over the $389,348.72 collected in January 2012. Rachel Brown Hackney SIESTA WINS ANOTHER HIGH BEACH RATING Sun worshippers make themselves at home on Siesta Public Beach in late March. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 51 The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce is warn ing residents about distraction burglaries, a common but preventable crime this time of year, a news release says. A distraction burglary occurs when one sus pect contacts the homeowner and identies himself as a utility worker, salesperson or laborer, the release notes. Once inside the house, the person distracts residents and steers them away from the door so another suspect can sneak inside and steal valuables, or the person will say he has to go to a spe cic room to look at something, the release continues. Others take residents outside under the guise of showing them needed repairs while some one undetected enters the home, it adds To protect yourself, never open the door for someone who arrives unannounced and never allo w the person into your home, the release points out. If a person claims to be from a business, ask him to leave a card in the door. Never allow someone to perform home re pairs on the spot, and after a person leaves, check his reputation with the Better Business Bureau or county government, the release says. If someone claims he needs assistance, tell him you will contact the Sheriffs Ofce to provide that help. If you are concerned, try to get a tag num ber and description of the vehicle the person is driving, the release continues. Notify law enforcement so deputies can determine the real reason the person or persons are in your neighborhood, the release notes. Call either 911 or the non-emergency number: 316-1201. RESIDENTS CAUTIONED ABOUT DISTRACTION BURGLARIES The Sarasota Police Department has cau tioned residents that between January and April, numerous scooter thefts have been re ported in the neighborhoods east of North Tamiami Trail between 18 th Street and Mecca Drive. Most of the thefts have occurred during the morning hours, when the scooters or mopeds have been parked in front of residences, some locked with cables or chains, the notice says. The suspects are breaking the locks, taking the locks with them and pushing the scooters away, it adds. This leaves no evidence at the scene. The police believe it is better to lock a scoot er/moped/small motorcycle to a non-movable object with a thick, strong chain or cable, the notice says. The weaker the cable or chain, the easier it is to cut and remove, it points out. Parking the scooter inside a garage or keep ing it locked under a carport is preferred, the notice adds. It is recommended that you use the steering column lock if one is provided on the scooter. An alarm, which deters the thief once the scooter is touched or moved, can be pur chased as well as disc brake locks and grip locks, the notice points out. The more layers of theft protection on a scooter, the less likely it will be stolen, the notice says. Remember to keep alert for suspicious activ ity in your area, the notice continues. If you see it, report it. The Sarasota Police Department non-emer gency number is 316-1201. In an emergency, dial 911. SARASOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT WARNS SCOOTER OWNERS OF THEFTS


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 52 Eleven l ocal convenience store clerks were cited for selling alcohol to minors during an undercover operation conducted by the Sara sota County Sheriffs Ofce Juvenile Alcohol Task Force on March 11 and March 29, the ofce has reported. The following businesses were found to be in violation of selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21; each clerk was given a misde meanor Notice to Appear citation: Save-on, 2522 Stickney Point Road, Sara sota. 7-11, 3156 Clark Road, Sarasota. 7-11, 4400 Clark Road, Sarasota. RaceTrac 5 600 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. ELEVEN STORES CITED FOR UNDERAGE ALCOHOL SALES 7-11, 3090 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. G&S Discount Beverage, 2316 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. Stop N Shop, 4201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sara sota. Sunoco, 4131 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Mobil 7-11, 1698 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. Hess, 350 Commercial Court, Venice. Mobil Circle K, 1050 Bobcat Trail, North Port. Another 64 businesses were found to be in compliance and were sent a letter to commend owners and employees for helping reduce the sale of alcohol to minors, the ofce reported. Sarasota County r esidents can benet from the countys sustainability expertise with a free 30-minute Energy Upgrade workshop that will provide information, tips and materials to help people identify opportunities to save money, energy and water, the county has an nounced. The home efciency strategy workshops are open to civic groups, clubs, faith organizations and nonprot associations, as well as busi nesses that would like to offer the program to their employees, a news release notes. Most homes waste a surprising amount of energy and we want to help homeowners put those energy dollars back in their pock ets, said Lee Hayes Byron, Sarasota County sustainability manager, in the release. This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn where to start saving energy and what works best for them. In addition to getting the expert advice, work shop participants will receive a free Do It Yourself Energy Saving Kit with products val ued at more than $30 to help them start saving energy (limit one per household), the release notes. Reducing a homes energy usage can lower utility bills and provide a more comfortable living environment, the release notes. En ergy-efcient homes also have a competitive nancial advantage in a tough real estate mar ket and contribute to a more sustainable Sara sota County, it adds. Sarasota County developed the Energy Up grade program to help residents understand the many benets of improving a homes en ergy efciency. The program received funding from the U.S. Department of Energys Energy Efciency and Conservation Block Program, the release notes. To schedule a free Energy Upgrade workshop, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 and ask about Energy Upgrade work shops or email COUNTY OFFERING FREE WORKSHOPS ON SAVING ENERGY, MONEY


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 53 Libraries in the Sarasota County Library Sys tem will celebrate National Library Week April 14-20, encouraging residents and visitors to stop in and experience why libraries are a vital part of the community, the county has announced. The theme for the 2013 National Library Week is Communities Matter @ Your Library. Sarasota County libraries offer a wide range of services and activities designed to assist and empower people, a news release says, in cluding diverse programs that mirror the in terests of Sarasota County. From job seekers looking for resources, to parents looking for free activities for children, to students search ing for help with homework, libraries provide r esources that can help people achieve those goals, the release adds. Sarasota County libraries help level the play ing eld by making print and digital informa tion affordable, available and accessible to all people, it notes. Something is always going on at one of our nine libraries, says Sarabeth Kalajian, gen eral manager of the Sarasota County Library System, in the release. Our libraries offer ser vices, programs and a wealth of information, so this years theme is very appropriate and I encourage residents and visitors to stop in to a library today, she adds. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 or visit www. Selby Public Library is on First Street in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY LIBRARIES TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 54 With the Ma rch 3 0 crowd of 7,642 for their 2013 Grapefruit League nale against the New York Mets at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles set a franchise record by drawing 120,455 fans for their 17 home games, the team announced. The gure also represents a new spring train ing season attendance record for Sarasota, a community which has hosted spring training since 1924, a news release notes. The previous record for both the Orioles and Sarasota, set in 2011, was 115,506 in 16 home dates, the release notes. On March 14, the Orioles drew an Ed Smith Sta dium record 8,797 fans for a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, one of n ine sellouts this spring. The Baltimore Orioles are proud to shat ter our spring training attendance record in 2013 at the beautifully remodeled Ed Smith Stadium, said David Rovine, vice president for Orioles-Sarasota, in the release. We are grateful for the fans from the Sarasota re gion, the Mid-Atlantic states and beyond who came out to enjoy the ballpark and support the local charitable causes we spotlighted on game days. This new record not only demon strates the powerful attraction of professional baseball in Sarasota, but also underscores the positive relationship that continues to grow between the Orioles and the Sarasota County community, he added. ORIOLES SET FRANCHISE SPRING TRAINING ATTENDANCE RECORD Orioles center elder Adam Jones bats against the Minnesota Twins. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 55 Sarasotas reputation as a vibrant city with performing arts amenities of a much larger metropolis did not happen overnight or with out concentrated effort by both visionary pro fessionals and talented volunteers, a Histor ical Society of Sarasota County news release says. Learn how Sarasota became a performing arts destination when a panel of experts led by di rector Howard Millman takes the stage at The Crocker Memorial Church on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. for a conversation among colleagues that reveals how and why Sarasota celebrates the performing arts, a society news release says. The church is located at 1260 12th St., just off the Tamiami Trail in Pioneer Park. This history-oriented event is the seventh in a series of yearlong panel discussions orga nized and produced by the Historical Soci ety with support from SARASOTA Magazine. Conversations at The Crocker events high light specic aspects of Sarasotas past and examine pivotal events and people who have inuenced Sarasota today, the release adds. Conversations are free to Historical Society members; guests pay $10. Appearing with Millman (the theater) will be Jean Weidner Goldstein (ballet), Trevor Cra mer (music) and Richard Russell (opera). Audience members can expect lots of reveal ing backstage stories as these experts chart the turbulent course of the performing arts in our community, the release notes. They also will give their perspectives on the state of the performing arts today and observations for the future of Sarasota, it adds. Audience members will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer session after the panel discussion. For more information, visit www.hsosc. com or contact Site Manager Linda Garcia at 364-9076. PANEL TO DISCUSS HOW CITY BECAME A PERFORMING ARTS DESTINATION The Sarasota Opera House. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 56 food Families will be invited to adopt various fruit trees such as pomegranate and lychee trees, among others. Extension staff will also provide classes and instruction on proper care and maintenance of the trees. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit Staff from Sarasota Cou nty Parks and Recre ation and Sarasota County Extension will host the installation of the Community Orchard Project fence and plots at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 11, at Colonial Oaks Park, 5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota. The project, which is a partnership between Sarasota County and Home Depot, is intend ed to teach families ab out growing their own COMMUNITY ORCHARD CEREMONY SET AT COLONIAL OAKS PARK The City of Sarasota Finance Department recently was honored by the Government Finance Ofcers Association of the United States and Canada with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2012-2013 scal year, the city has announced. Receiving this award means the City of Sara sotas budget met or exceeded guidelines in four categories: policy document, nancial plan, operations guide and communications device, a news release notes. Budget Manager Michelle Valentich was pre sented with the award, the release adds. This is the 23 rd consecutive year the city has re ceived the award. CITY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS PRESTIGIOUS BUDGET AWARD To b e honored 23 years in a row with this award underscores the quality staff we have in the vitally important Finance Department, said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. As we continue to face challenging times with the budget, it is reassuring we have high-qual ity professionals watching over the citys nances. More than 17,500 government nance profes sionals are served by the Government Finance Ofcers Association, the release notes. Ap proximately 1,000 received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, it adds. The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State will meet on April 11 at 2 p.m. in the Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota. PUBLIC WELCOME AT AUSCS CHAPTER MEETING The meeting is open to the public. For more information contact chapter Presi dent Rich Cannarelli at 735-0266. % The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting


Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida941-953-4060


DONT BOGART THAT BILL, LEGISLATORS! EDITORIAL We were gratied at the recent decision by the State Attorneys Ofce not to pursue charges against Rob ert Jordan, the Parrish man who was cultivating mari juana plants in his backyard to benet his wife, Cathy, who has suffered for years with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrigs Disease. Cathy Jordan is one of the 5 percent of ALS patients who survive 10 years or more with the disease. Most die within three to ve years. She and her husband attribute her longevity to the use of marijuana. For years, the couple has had a dual mission: cultivat ing the marijuana she needs to survive and lobbying the Legislature to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. So far, they have been successful only with the former. Their current legal difculties began when a building inspector next door spotted the plants through their fence and notied law enforcement. Sheriffs depu ties who responded discovered the plants and cons cated them. However, after being informed by Jordan that the plants were for his wifes medical treatment, deputies did n ot arrest either of the Jordans, leaving it to the state attorney to decide whether charges should be led. In early negotiations between Jordans attorney and the State Attorneys Ofce, he was offered a plea deal that would have required him to stop cultivating the plant. He turned down that deal. While the State Attorneys Ofce could have charged him with cultivating the illegal plant, it would have faced a vigorous defense at trial. Despite there being no law that allows the use of mar ijuana for medicinal purposes, medical necessity has been employed successfully as a defense in some court cases. The rst such case was 25 years ago, when a Broward County judge acquitted a woman who was using marijuana to prevent glaucoma from robbing her of all sight, deeming it a medical neces sity. Other cases over the years have been decided in fa vor of defendants in similar circumstances, when the courts have allowed common se nse and compassion


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 59 to trump laws that were unsympathetic to human suf fering. The Jordans have been tireless advocates for the le galization of medical marijuana. In fact, a bill current ly before the Legislature is titled, The Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act. It is the third year in a row that a bill to legalize medical marijuana has been led. And although 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, no bill has ever even been heard in committee in Florida. The Republican-controlled Legislature, especially the House, is loath to allow any legalization of marijuana, despite the signicant medical benets for those with glaucoma, cancer, ALS and a host of other conditions. What is most difcult to understand about the issue is the apparent hysteria that persists among those opposed to the drugs use, especially for medicinal purposes. By the mid-1930s, marijuana was illegal in every state, considered a dangerous drug. Severe criminal penalties were assessed in most states against those charged with even simple possession. In the 35 years that medical use of marijuana has been part of the national dialogue on illegal drugs, the empirical evidence of its benets has been mounting steadily. But controlled clinical trials have not been possible because the federal government has taken a very aggressive stance with regard to enforcement of anti-drug laws, and many medical researchers have not wanted the scrutiny that attempting to con duct medical marijuana research might have brought them. In Florida, a state with the largest percentage nation ally of citizens 65 and older, the need to utilize the drug for curative, maintenance and palliative purpos es is great. Yet, the Legislature will not even allow a hearing on a medical marijuana bill. That leaves only one option for the people: a refer endum on a constitutional amendment legalizing the drug for medical purposes. While it is a long shot for the 2014 ballot, it is not out of the question. Earlier this year, People United for Medical Marijua na, a PAC advocating for a ballot initiative, published a poll that showed 70 percent of Floridians favored the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. After Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for medical use, they discovered the attendant evils predicted since the 1930s did not materialize. So they allowed their citizens to vote on a referendum to le galize marijuana in small quantities for recreational use. Both initiatives passed. It is difcult to believe that marijuana was universally criminalized in the United States only a few years af ter women were rst given the right to vote. It would be another two decades before racial segregation was struck down, almost four before a man walked on the moon and more than ve before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet well into the 21st century, there still are entrenched forces determined to resist a more enlightened approach on marijuana use, even for hu manitarian purposes. Let us hope, for the sake of Cathy Jordan and many more like her, that People United for Medical Mari juana and other advocacy groups are successful in getting the question on the ballot in 2014. Should such a referendum pass in the state, Floridas inrm citizens might nally earn some respite from debili tating disease. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone num ber of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Letters ac tually printed will be selected based on space avail able, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted be come the property of The Sarasota News Leader.




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 |


For the past three years, greater Sarasotas Eat Local Week has been a celebration of fresh food and community and local business es in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Desoto counties. Beyond that, it has challenged consumers to really consider where their food comes from and to make purchasing decisions that support the local food economy. The obser vance does that through festivities, farmers markets, tours, tastings, workshops, lectures, discussions and more that highlight what the area has to offer. Transition Sarasota, the principal organizer of Eat Local Week, does not want the effort to stop there, however. The sustainability advo cacy organization would like to see the partic ipants take the principles espoused during the festivities which lasted from Friday, March 22, to Friday, March 29, this year and apply Children and families learn about beekeeping at one of the Crowley Folk School booths at the Eat Lo cal Week Festival of Reskilling at Phillippi Estate Park on March 12. All photos by Arielle Scherr THIRD ANNUAL EAT LOCAL WEEK ENCOURAGES COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO BUY LOCAL FOOD, INVEST IN LOCAL FARMS AND BUSINESSES SLOWING DOWN AND CHIPPING IN By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 63 them to their daily lives in ways that add up year-long. Specifically, Transition Sarasota has been asking community members since 2011 to pledge that they will begin to grow or locally purchase at least 10 percent of their food on a consistent basis. ADDING UP THE NUMBERS In an interview with The Sarasota News Lead er during an Eat Local Week farmers market and skills workshop on March 27, Transition Sarasota founder and Executive Director Don Hall explained that, though 10 percent may seem like a small number, it is likely far great er than the status quo. Right now, we prob ably produce less than 1 percent of the food that we consume in Sarasota County, he said. Hall was referring to a 2006 study by Ken Me ter of the Minnesota nonprot community advocacy organization Crossroads Resource Center, which found that only 0.7 percent of food products are sold by farmers directly to consumers in Sarasota County Transition Sarasota founder and Executive Director Don Hall commented on how eating local ly functions for the community: I think its something that brings a lot of people together from all sides of the political spectrum, he said. People from all walks of life get interested in getting to know their farmers and creating a direct relationship with the person that grows their food.


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 64 Hall went on to cite a different result of the same study, which found that every 5 percent increase in the amount of Sarasotas food budget spent to purchase food directly from a local farmer would add $40 million in farm income to the local economy. That means, he said, there would be an enormous combined effect on the local economy were enough peo ple to meet the 10 percent challenge. This transition, Hall joked, has been referred to by some as moving towa rd a relationship econom y, rather than a one-night-stand economy. There have even been discussions during Eat Local Week about what an eventual 25 percent local food boost would accomplish. That could be potentially an added $200 million in farm income, Hall pointed out. Theres no proposal on the table for economic renew al in this community thats on that scale, he continued. And were just talking about 25 percent; were not talking about being like Lareina DePalma and other instructors from the Crowley Folk School organized booths and presented new skills to attendees at the Eat Local Week Festival of Reskilling at Phillippi Estate Park on March 12. Among those skills were vegetable gardening, beekeeping, composting and mushroom cultivation.


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 65 Barbara Kingso lver and trying to eat entirely local minus chocolate or coffee, he added, referring to the American novelist and non ction writer who documented this person al challenge in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Moving up to 25 percent, Hall explained, would not prove to be an enormous challenge for many people. Its a beautiful thing, he said, gesturing to ward the attendees wandering around a farm ers market on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. You come out on a beautiful day like this to your market, hang out and you can do your 25 percent just doing that, he continued. Its not that hard. However, Hall went on to explain, that is only the rst part of the localization process. Peo ple are going to need to step up and not only think about going to the famers market and buying their weekly vegetables there, he said, but also taking a small amount out of their investments in Wall Street and putting them to work on Main Street in these small food businesses. Locally grown produce, owers, plants, prepared foods, beauty products and more were available for sale at the Eat Local Week Festival of Reskilling at Phillippi Estate Park on March 12. Crowley Folk School instructor Lareina DePalma noted that the produce sold in supermarkets often travels hun dreds of miles from where it is grown to where it is sold.


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 66 SLOWING DOWN THE MONEY Although the idea of redirecting investments has been touted for years in communities in the United States, it has begun to pick up steam in the past four years or so as part of what some view as a national movement. Re ecting this, Eat Local Week organizers invit ed Colorado entrepreneur and author Woody Tasch to present the programs keynote speech on March 22 and explain to attendees how they can expand local food economy in vestments in Sarasota. One of the most high-prole advocates of this movement in the United States, Tasch is the founder and chairman of the national nonprof it organization Slow Money, which describes itself on its website, as a network of experienced investors, leading food entrepreneurs, social investment pio neers, organic farmers and just plain old reg ular folks who are worried about where their investments are going or who want to chip in small donations. In a follow-up phone interview with the News Leader on March 28, Tasch explained some of the core concepts behind the Slow Money organization, which are laid out in detail in his 2008 book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered. Going beyond how they spend their dol lars, Tasch said, community members must be proactive about nurturing the local food economy. If you have the gumption and the wherewithal, he said, just roll your sleeves up and start collaborating with your friends and neighbors to put your investment dollars to wo rk, looking for small food businesses to invest in. Slow Money, he added, already has a group of investors in Sarasota that is in its nascent stages; he hopes to see progress quickly. Growing momentum in the local food move ment in Sarasota, Tasch said, would have many benets for consumers aside from lo cal economic stimulation. Youll have more healthy food, he pointed out, along with more farmers, more fertility in the soil, more water in the aquifer, less carbon in the atmo sphere and, long-term, just greater health for most of the people as individuals and for the community as a whole. REINFORCING THE CYCLE Tasch went on to explain that, although in vesting is an essential element in localizing an areas food economy, raising awareness of the efforts of local farmers, businesses and investors through programs such as Eat Lo cal Week is extremely important to the move ments foundation. They get people to start thinking about where their food comes from, he said; start think ing about where the restaurants we eat at get their food; start thinking about how much lo cal food is in the supermarket. Those who missed Eat Local Week this year but are interested in local farmers markets, local food discussions, investment club meet ings and more events that take place yearround can visit for a comprehensive guide to eating locally in Sarasota. %


Jacque le Moyne was a French artist in Florida in 1565. Although the authenticity of this drawing is questionable, it still gives viewers an idea of the sh and shing techniques practiced by indige nous Floridians at the time of the Spanish entrada. Image from The New World: the rst pictures of America in the Library of Congress ON THE EVE OF INVASION Editors note: To celebrate Floridas 500th anniversary, The Sarasota News Leader is happy to serialize portions of the sec ond chapter of City Editor Stan Zimmer mans forthcoming Maritime History of Florida. Here he looks at the historical, religious, nancial and psychological mo tives of the Spanish as they are about to explode into the New World. Next week, we will continue with the story of one of them Juan Ponce de Len, the man who named Florida.


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 68 The path leading t o the European invasion of the Americas begins, ironically, with the closing of another path the ancient trad ing route between Europe and China called the Silk Road. In 1453, the Suljuk Turks un der Mehmed II captured Constantinople and changed its name to Istanbul. The Turks quickly commandeered the protable luxury trade with China and placed an embargo on Christian Europe. Suddenly, Europe had no access to the riches of the East. The struggle between the Christians of Eu rope and the Muslims of the Near East was not conned to the eastern Levant. In Spain, Christians were rising up against their Moor ish conquerors and pushing them back cityby-city. This religious, political and economic contest would result in the European explo sion into the Western Hemisphere, Florida in cluded. With caravan trade with the East halted, one European leader decided to try to establish another route by sea. Prince Henry of Portu gal gath ered sea captains and mapmakers to his court and established a school of naviga tion to systematize exploration by sea. He de manded his captains keep regular logbooks, in which they noted the weather, landmarks, currents and other useful navigational infor mation. These books, called roteiros, were prized and protected. They were trade se crets, because without a rotiero, you could not navigate to a trading d estination. Henrys shi ps slowly worked their way down the west coast of Africa, with the crews erect ing stone columns at various headlands so future captains would know not only where along the coast they were, but to serve as re minders to later crews that their ships were in known territory. In 1485, a Genoa-born sailor named Christo pher Columbus presented a proposal to the Portuguese to sail west instead of south to reach the riches of the Far East, but his plan was rejected. A portrait of Henry the Navigator from the 15 th century book Cronicas dos Feitos de Guine via Wikimedia Commons WEALTH AND FAME BECKON THE IBERIANS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 69 Two years later, in 1487, Bartolomeu Dais reached the southern tip of Africa and aptly named it The Cape of Storms (later renamed The Cape of Good Hope). And in 1499, Vas co da Gama succeeded in reaching India and returning. Henrys navigators had not only re opened trade with the Far East, but they also had pioneered the naval architecture and nav igational techniques necessary to conduct ex ploration over the open ocean. The Portuguese success in sailing south around Africa did not deter Columbus. He took his proposal to Spain, where he was placed on a stipend to keep him from seeking support elsewhere. The Christian-Muslim war in Spain ended on Jan. 2, 1492, with the fall of the last Moorish city the mountaintop stronghold of Grena da. Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdi nand II of Aragon capped 700 years of conict to unify Spain as a Catholic nation. Columbus was present at the fall of Grenada, and he re newed his proposal. Isabella rejected it, but Ferdinand agreed at the last minute. Italian investors (mostly Genoese) already had put up half the cost of Columbus expedition. The Spanish king and queen would supply the rest, although contrary to popular legend, Isabel la did not pawn her jewelry to pay the royal share. This context is important, because it illumi nates the reasons behind the Spanish explo sion into the New World. One was mercan tile a desire to renew the rich trade with the Far East, as their Portuguese neighbors had done. A second reason was religious to spread Christianity, by the evangelical sword if necessary. A third reason was political: Hav ing defeated the Moors, the now-unemployed members of S panish nobility needed a new outlet for glory and personal gain, or they might set their sights on replacing Ferdinand and Isabella. The men who followed in Columbus wake were hard. Their leaders were soldiers, cruel and resourceful. They were devout, strength ened by an unshakable belief in their God. They were also proud of an aristocratic her itage and a superior culture. They thought themselves unconquerable. And they shared another, often-overlooked trait. They were the product of romantic chiv alry. Raised on tales such as Tristan and Isol de and El Cid they believed fame and rich es were within their grasp, if they practiced knightly virtues and professed piety. As these men and their followers swept into the New World, only one area would expose their weaknesses and des tr oy them Florida. % In small and awkward ships, the Spanish sailed west into the unknown. This photo shows a replica of Columbus Santa Maria made for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Photo by Edward H. Hart in the Library of Congress


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


ASK OTUS Dear Otus, My family is visiting us from Germany and my grandson, Franz, loves photographing the myriad bugs we have around Sarasota. I am sending you one of his beautiful photos. A couple of weeks ago we came home and there was this huge bug lying dead on our con dos walkway right by our front door. Weve never seen anything bigger. Franz really want ed to take it back to Munich and show it off to his schoolmates, but as he started to pick it up it started moving and he didnt want to hurt it. He took a ruler and measured it. It was almost 3 inches long. I sent the photo to Whats That Bug? but hav ent heard back from them and thought maybe you might know what it is. Proud Grandmother in Sa rasota A Giant Water Bug. Photo courtesy of Franz from Munich GIANT WATER BUGS PROVE TO HAVE A FASCINATING STORY 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 April 5, 2013 Page 72 Dear Having Every Reason to Be Proud, By the time I have eaten a Giant Water Bug ( Lethocerus americanus ) and regurgitated its indigestible parts (wings, proboscis, mandi bles, etc.), it is not in the proper condition for hemipteran insect taxonomy or identication, so I greatly appreciate the chance Franzs su perb photo provides me to research this erce, but highly benecial, Florida native predator and divulge its mysterious ways. This utterly fascinating bug, which I am nick naming Letho, from its Latin name, is also known as the toe biter and electric light bug. Letho actually plays possum when it feels threatened by people. Playing possum is a clever defense mechanism based on the the ory that a possible predator a cat, dog or even a human eventually will grow bored by this lifeless creature and walk away. And they usuall y do walk away. But Franz did not! When he came upon it, even though it was probably dying, it instinctively played dead until Franz came too close to it with the ruler. Had Franz picked it up, Letho would have vi ciously defended itself by seizing Franzs n ger in its hook-tipped forelimbs and injecting Franzs digit with a powerful toxin through its semi-retractable proboscis. What a close call! Well, it is not as though I have not warned readers before not to willy-nilly pick up sn akes or oth e r creatures until they seriously consid er the consequences. Wiki states that Lethos bite is considered one of the most painful that can be inicted by any insect ... excruciatingly painful. Why? Because its injected toxin dissolves esh and liquees body tissues so that after 10 to 15 minutes, Letho can suck them up, much like guzzling an extra-large protein milkshake. Letho is a water denizen, thus the nickname toe biter, bec ause peop le are sometimes bit ten by it when they are wading in a pond or even in a swimming pool. Lethos diet consists of aquatic insects, from miniscule larvae (including millions of mos quito larvae!) and crustaceans, to small sh, adult frogs, baby turtles and snakes. One source claims that Letho is capable of catch ing and eating an animal 50 times its size. That seems unlikely, but it is a fun (and painful) thought on which to reect as well as one that allows the imagination to run wild! Letho is 3 inches long. Multiply that by 50 and you end up with a prey that is about 12 feet long. A snake meal now sounds feasible, does it not? Do you know how much money is generated by the recreational snorkeling tourism indus try? Neither do I, but I do know that Letho does not contribute a penny to it because Letho is born with its own pair of snorkels! It is an aquatic insect which cannot breathe underwater. Attached to Lethos rear end are two breathing tubes that extend to the waters surface, drawing in air. The air is trapped un der its wings and enters the bugs abdomen through little holes, basically tracheal open ings. Now, t his is where I am anxious to describe another unusual characteristic of genus Letho As is common in the animal kingdom, the fe male chooses a mate. In the Letho world, rath


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 73 er than waiting to be c ourted, the female ac tively seeks out her mate, and in four of the six Florida species, the female then lays her eggs up to 150 of them on the males back, and he carries and protects them until they hatch. That is paternal c are to an almost un imaginable extreme. I have provided a superb photo of Mr. Mom with those eggs on his back. In the other two species, the eggs are depos ited on a plant le af and guarded by Mr. Mom. As lon g as we are on the topic of sex and re production, let me get to the electric light bug nickname. Letho grows rather lethar gic during our cooler winter days and hangs around the water. Come spring, when love is in the air, Letho begins its nocturnal search for a mate. While it is ying around displaying its size and powerful physique and emitting pheromones (a male sexual scent), it will be drawn to ligh t bul bs, much as the proverbial Mr. Mom carries the eggs on his back until they hatch. Photo by noisecollusion via Flickr and Wiki media Commons


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 74 moth to a ame. That is why you discovered your bug on your condos walkway, rather than near a pond. Here is a fascinating description from Flor idas Fabulous Insects It is a fun book with gorgeous photos and interesting reading for the layman, as are all in that series of Flori das Fabulous sold at Davidsons Drugs, local bookstores and tourist shops: .... the hemipterist William Blatchley wrote in l926: When electric street lights were rst installed our larger species [Lethocerus a.] were attracted to them by the hundreds, and for the rst time the average human learned that such bugs were denizens of the earth ... and their uncouth shape and sprawling mo tions, when on the ground beneath the lights, usually cause him to regard them with a holy terror. Imagine c oming home and nding hundreds of them crawling about the stoop under your porch light Yummy! Yes! Lethos famil y members are considered a scrumptious delicacy in almost every country outside of North America and Europe, where entomophagy is pretty much taboo, except for the occasional y in ones soup. They are eat en deep-fried, sauted or steamed. Besides that, in Vietnam and Thailand, for example, the essence extract from the male Letho pheromones is added to various dipping sauces for rice noodle rolls or it is added to a chili sauce used as a condiment. Readers, please do not worry that you will encounter this extract at Sarasotas ethnic restaurants! Its cost is so prohibitive that most of the es sence on the market is imitation, rather like the vanilla extract one buys at supermarkets. The true insect extract is saved for true gour mets, who will pay dearly for it. Wiki also states, Lethocerous makes a fas cinating aquarium pet, creating little waste and preferring inherently to feed on small crustaceans and feeder shrimp rather than more valuable aquarium fare. However, when choosing to care for a Lethocerous/Lethoceri one must be sure that the aquarium lid is com pletely secure with no room for the insect to escape (as Lethocerous has the ability to y). Well, duh, of course we knew it could y! Heres a fun link to a blog site about a family that actually did take it in as a pet. The photos and descriptions, particularly those of Letho injecting its venom into a goldsh, bring to mind the phrase, A picture is worth a thou sand words. So, see for yourself what Letho is all about and then decide if you really want to keep one in your home! Not that anyon e asked, but my overall thought on this pet idea is that it would be cruel to keep this specimen and deprive me and every insect-eating ( entomophagic) bird and animal of the chance to savor its avor and benet from its nutrients, as well deprive Letho of the chance to be a parent and spawn hundreds more mosquito larvae-eating wee ones. But, it is your call of the wild! Thank you for Franzs superb photo and the opportunity to discuss this truly unusual Flori da-friendly native bug. As for your submission to Whats That Bug? let me say that you will probably hear back from it at some point. The website is staffed by exceedingly knowledge able volunteers who dedicate so much of their free time to helping people I D bugs. It is sim


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 75 ply th at there ar e millions of bug species, and all, just like O. Henrys The Four Million are worth knowing! Please be patient! I leave my readers with a provocative thought and my own mystery bug. Why are insects attracted to electric light? Well, some entomologists are thinking that the insects are not at all attracted to it, but while ying too close to a human-made light source, the bug becomes disoriented dis combobulated by this articial light environ ment and then, whe n nally exhausted by trying to recover its original ight path, it ends up defeated and dying on the ground, where people nd it and wonder, What is that bug? Well, its something to think about! My mystery photo is of one of the prettiest water bugs I ever ate. It is a Predacious Div ing Beetle family member and from Whats That Bug? I think I have narrowed it down to possibly Cybister mbriolatus. Any reader who knows exactly what it is, please just tell Otus! Otus % Can you identify this beetle? File photo


THE GREATEST LITTLE SHOW Photo by Peter van Roekens For decades, the students in Sailor Circus have been wowing crowds with their athleticism and artistry. From March 28 through April 4, 120 youth in grades 4 through 12 from throughout the county kept that tra dition alive. With the theme, Let The Music Move You the students shone in acts on the ground and in the air under their own big top on Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota. For more information visit the Sailor Circus website %


Photo by Peter van Roekens Photo by Peter van Roekens Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 77


Photo by Peter van Roekens Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 78


Photo by Peter van Roekens Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 79


Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 80


Photo by Peter van Roekens Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 81


Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 82


Photo by Peter van Roekens Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 83


SIESTA SEEN The Sarasota County Zo ning Administration staff is hoping to hold a meeting with Siesta Key business owners on Tuesday, April 23, or Thursday, April 25, to discuss the rules that apply to the Overlay District for Siesta Village, Siesta Key Village Association board member and Village Caf co-owner Kay Kouvatsos told members dur ing the SKVAs regular meeting on April 2. Kouvatsos added that she and SKVA director Cheryl Gaddie had met about a week earlier with Donna Thompson, the countys assistant zoning administrator, to follow up on a dis cussion Thompson and other county repre Siesta Public Beach is popular with all kinds of people, including the Amish and Mennonites. Photo courtesy of Chambliss Skidmore COUNTY ZONING STAFF HOPES TO HOLD MEETING FOR SIESTA VILLAGE BUSINESS OWNERS LATE THIS MONTH; NEW OFFICER SLATE PROPOSED FOR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 85 sentatives had had with the SKVA board of directors in February. That earlier discussion focused on noise com plaints and signage violations in the Village. SKVA President Russell Matthes reminded the approximately 20 members present on April 2 that the objective is to open up better lines of communications among the county zoning ofce, Code Enforcement and Village businesses about what is and is not allowed in the Overlay District, including how [rules are] interpreted and how theyre enforced. We wanted to get everybody on the same page, he added. Kouvatsos pointed out that after she and Gad die talked with Thompson, Thompson prom ised to clarify some issues regarding signage with other county staff members, including those in the County Attorneys Ofce, before holding the session for business owners. Thompson did point out, Kouvatsos noted, that sandwich boards are not allowed at all. Additionally, Kouvatsos reported that John Lally, the Code Enforcement ofcer who has worked on Siesta Key for a number of years, is back on the job. Lally had been out on medical leave since late last year. SKVA member Glenn Cappetta, owner of Sun Ride Pedicabs, reminded the members that Kevin Burns, the Code Enforcement ofcer who works part-time in the Village, had con scated illegal signs a few weeks ago. Since then, Cappetta heard from some business owners that other people have just basically thumbed their noses [at the ordinance] and have sandwich boards up again on a regular basis. Its going to be up to John Lally, Kouvatsos told him. Its all enforcement. Matthes also pointed out that some organiza tions had contacted the County Commission to ask for more Code Enforcement overtime than the 15 hours Kevin Burns is allowed per week. The Siesta Key Association sent a letter on March 15 to the County Commission, saying Burns hours are not adequate given the va riety and volume of code enforcement issues reported. The letter added, Our community needs con sistency in oversight, responsiveness and en forcement. Without Code Enforcement Staff availability, there isnt a reliable means to de velop compliance to [the] ordinance. Matthes pointed out that, with Lally having been out sick for months, In reality, we went from a 40-plus-hour employee to a 15-hour employee, so theres no way [the ordinance] could have been enforced aggressively or properly. With Lally back on the job, Matthes added, This will be the rst time well get to see if its actually going to work with Burns helping out in the evenings and on weekends.


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 86 Gaddie also tol d the group that Thompson had explained to her and Kouvatsos that when a person applies for a county business license, the person receives material with bullet points about what is and is not allowed under the zoning code. After Thompson completes that clarification process Kouvatsos had refer enced, Gaddie said, Thompson had suggested such material could be provided to every per son seeking to open a new business in Siesta Village. AS FOR THE NOISE Given the cooler weather during March, noise issues had not seemed to be much of a prob lem in Siesta Village, in spite of the number o f s pring break visitors, Matthes noted during his report on April 2. However, he said, I gured this last weekend would be pretty rough, with a big crowd on the key for Easter. When he asked Peter van Roekens, a Terrace East representative to the SKVA meetings and the secretary of the Siesta Key Association, for any comments on that issue, van Roek ens replied that Friday night around midnight, noise did become a problem. Therefore, he said, he called Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Commu nity Policing Station in Siesta Village. As a result, Saturday was perfect, van Roek ens rep orted. Terrace East residents in Siesta Village have contended with noise issues more than some condo owners because of their proximity to live musical performances. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 87 NE W D IRECTORS During the SKVAs regular meeting on May 7, members will have the opportunity to vote on new ofcers and board members. Secretary Helene Hyland announced the fol lowing nominations for ofcers: president Cheryl Gaddie; vice president Kay Kouvat sos; secretary Hyland; and treasurer Roz Hyman. Hyman and Hyland both have been holding those posts for a number of years. The directors nominated are Wendall Jacobs of Beach Bazaar, Mark Smith of Smith Archi tects, Matthes, Anne Johnson of fresh. PR and Marketing, Bob Kirscher of The Broken Egg, Keith Cipielewski of Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Dave Magee of The UPS Store, Glenn Cap petta of Sun Ride Pedicabs, Rami Nehme of Blas Caf and Jeff Madden of Beach Bites. Hyland noted that nominations also would be accepted from the oor during the May meet ing. Additionally, Kouvatsos pointed out that she and Gaddie had set as one of their goals get ting more new businesses involved in the SKVA. The last three years, Kouvatsos add ed, attendance at these meetings has gone way up. We would love to get some of the new businesses in, and some of us would gladly step back from holding ofce and directors seats. She pointed out th at some of the directors had held their posts for 15 years. If new people are interested in seats on the board, Kouvatsos said, I promise you some body will step down NEW BANNERS During the SKVA meeting, Matthes also made note of the fact that new banners will be going up in the Village. Sun Graphic Technologies of Sarasota had been able to produce them for $2,293, he said. Installation probably will cost between $300 and $500. They look good, he told the members. Theyll be fresh going into summer. % New banners with the same design soon will be going up on the light poles in Siesta Vil lage. Photo by Norman Schimmel


T he Florida State University/Asolo Conser vatory for Actor Training will present Candi da by George Bernard Shaw April 9-28 in the Cook Theatre in the FSU Center for the Per forming Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. In Candida a ministers wife must choose between a passionate young poet who is smit ten with her and her older but far more reli able husband, a news release notes. Shaw, who wrote this sparkling comedy about love, passion and the liberated woman, was one of the 20th centurys most vibrant playwrights, the release adds. Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Con servatory, explains in the release that he al ways includes plays from classical dramatic literature when choosing the seasons four productions. Our second -year students get to stretch their muscles, push themselves creatively and ex plore a stimulating mix of roles and situations in both classic and modern masterpieces, he points out in the release. Simultaneously, our audiences get the rare opportunity to see works that arent often performed. Candida is a terric ensemble piece. Our students will breathe new life into it and make it complete ly appealing to contemporary audiences, he adds. Director Andrei Malaev-Babel approaches Shaws text with respect. This is going to be George Bernard Shaws Candida not a piece of conceptual theater, he says in the release. Shaw was very specic about his stage di rections, and we are going to honor his in tentions. We are not going to put our own contemporary spin on the play, or set it in a (From left) Benjamin Williamson, Amanda Lynn Mullen and Brian Nemiroff in the FSU/Asolo Con servatorys production of Candida by George Bernard Shaw. Photo by Frank Atura FSU/ASOLO CONSERVATORY TO PERFORM CANDIDA A&E BRIEFS


different time peri od. Shaw is a true genius, and when a true genius tells you how the ma terial should be performed, you honor that suggestion. Audiences are going to be coming for Shaw, and Shaw is what theyre going to get, he continues. Tickets are $29 for evening shows; $28, for matinees. Students receive 50 percent off with advance ticket purchase. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Asolo Repertory C ompa nys box ofce at the FSU Center for Performing Arts. For more information, call 351-8000. On Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m., audience members are invited to attend a production of Candida and pay whatever they can afford for their tickets. These special tickets are avail able on that day of performance only, the re lease notes. The Waitress by Jeff Cornell. Contributed photo DABBERT GALLERY PRESENTS LASTING IMPRESSIONS The Dabbert Gallery, located at 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, will present Lasting Impres sions featuring the works of ve artists, April 5-29. The artists are Jeff Cornell, James Grifn, Wil liam Jerdon, Beatrice del Perugia and Nancy Turner. An opening reception will be held Friday, April 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The artists will be present to greet members of the public. The reception is free. For more information, visit www.dabbertgal or call 955-1315. In Excelsis by James Grifn. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 89


Siesta Gold by Beatrice del Perugia. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 90


Theatre Odyssey has announced the winner of this years Ten-Minute Play Festival is A Little Help written by Bernie Yanelli and directed by Catherine Randazzo. An Honorable Mention went to Theyre Gonna Kill Gertie, written by Connie Schindewolf. New this year was an Audience Favorite Award, which was presented to Connie Schin dewolf for her comedy, Leaving Nic starring Ross Boehringer as Nic and Mary Jo Johnson as Sue. The actors and directors did a terric job, said Tom Aposporos, vice president of Theatre Odyssey, in a news release. Telling a story on stage in 10 minutes can be a challenge. Its al ways exciting to see what the actors and direc tors do with the playwrights work. This years nalist selections were half comedy and half drama, so we had a good mix and an excellent group of professionals to present the work. Theatre Odyssey was founded in 2006 to en courage and promote the efforts of local play wrights and actors, the release notes. Over the years, the group has premiered almost 70 plays written, directed and performed by Gulf Coast playwrights, actors and directors, the release adds. For more information about The atre Odyssey visit (From left) The cast of A Little Help: Bernie Yanelli, Tami Vaughn, Jenny Aldrich and Don Walker. Contributed photo THEATRE ODYSSEY ANNOUNCES THE 2013 FESTIVAL WINNERS Smokey Robinson will return to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on April 11 at 8 p.m., the hall has announced. A true legend of musical artistry in every sense of the word, [Robinson] has been writ ing, producing and performing for almost 60 years, a news release says. [He] has pro pelled himself to the top of the Billboard charts with numerous hit songs, including Being With You Youve Really Got a Hold on Me Just to See Her Tracks of My Tears and Cruisin Tickets are priced from $30 to $95. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit The Van Wezel is located at 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Smokey Robinson/Contributed photo VAN WEZEL TO WELCOME SMOKEY ROBINSON Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 91


Celebra ting the triumph of young love over the plotting of others, The Sarasota Ballet presents La Fille mal Garde (The Wayward Daughter), April 18-19 on stage at the Van We zel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. A romantic comedy, this heartwarming sto ry ballet will make young and old laugh out loud, a news re lease says. With a clear narra tive and engaging characters, the ballet follows the story of a young girl, Lise, who is in love with a young man named Colas, the release contin ues. Unfortunately, Lises mother, Wid ow Simone, intends for her daughter to marry the son of a wealthy vineyard owner, the release notes. Opening to a pastoral panoramic set, this ballet hap pily embraces clas sical ballet along with el ements of folk dance, pantomime and ro mantic ballet, the release points out. In his original choreogra phy, Sir Fred erick Ashton let his gifts for comedy and portraying char acter through dance and mime be among the highlights of the work, the release adds. Everyone will enjoy this ballet, says Iain Webb, director of The Sarasota Ballet, in the release. Its humorous and a perfect experi ence for the whole family. Staged by Webb and Margaret Bar bieri, the assistant director of The Sarasota Ballet, this popu lar production will be performed by the company for the first time, the release says. With sets and costumes from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the bal lets colorful backdrop and attire will stir the imagination of all those in attendance, it adds. John Lanchberys arrangement of Ferdinand Hrolds score will be performed by the Sarasota Orchestra, the release notes. I wont say exactly how [the ballet] ends, adds Webb in the release. But I will say this, when the curtain falls, the audience will be smiling. Tickets may be purchased online 24 hours a day, seven days a week with Visa, Mas terCard, American Express or Discover. The box office can be contacted by calling 359-0099, Ext. 101. For more information, visit www. SARASOTA BALLET BRINGS TWO-ACT PRODUCTION TO THE VAN WEZEL Kate Honea and Ricardo Graziano in the Sarasota Ballet production of La Fille mal Garde. Photo by Frank Atura Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 92


Fifteen-year old soprano Maria Wirries, a sophomore and honor student at Manatee School for the Arts, will perform in a concert to benet Haiti, on Sunday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Sarasota. All proceeds from the concert will go directly to support Faith Lutherans mission in Haiti, the church has announced. Born in Haiti and reared in the United States, Wirries is a talented and sought-after per former; she will be accompanied by Alan Jay Corey on piano, a news release notes. The duo will perform Broadway tunes and con temporary songs in a 75-minute concert fol lowed by a meet-the-artist reception. Faith Lutheran has a longstanding relation ship with Haiti, and over the years has pro vided nancial and medical support, as well as provided computers and sports equipment for young children, the release points out. In addition to its efforts through The Lazarus Project, the church works in ministry to sup port the Little Church of Jesus, an orphanage in Haiti for physically challenged young chil dren, the release adds. The concert will include a short video presen tation about Faiths work in Haiti. In 2012, Wirries performed with Gloria Musi cae in Italy at the Amal Coast Music and Arts Festival, where her singing was greeted with great enthusiasm from audiences, the release says. The young singer has performed locally with the Sarasota Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra Jazz Ensemble; she also sings with the Schola Cantorum at St. Boniface Episco pal Church. As an acco mpanist, Corey has performed with international ballet companies, the Chicago White Sox and the Florida Theater Confer ence, the release points out. He also is a mu sical director and has directed more than 100 productions throughout Southwest Florida, including musicals at the Van Wezel Perform ing Arts Hall and the Sarasota Opera where he was artistic director of the Sarasota Youth Opera. He sings at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, as well, and is the pianist for Gloria Musicae. Tickets are $15; they may be purchased on line at at the church during business hours or at the door the day of the event, pending availability of tickets. Faith Lutheran Church is located at 7750 Be neva Road in Sarasota. For more information, visit the website or call 92 4-4664. % Maria Wirries and Alan Jay Corey. Contrib uted photo MARIA WIRRIES CONCERT TO BENEFIT HAITI Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 93


THE RISEN SON RELIGION BRIEFS The Church of the Pines welcomed resi dents and visitors alike to the nondenomi national Easter Sunrise Service at 6 a.m. on Lido Beach on March 31. A light illuminated the cross as the partic ipants gathered in the dark by the Gulf of Mexico. Photos by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 95 The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) will present a program by Sonia Press man Fuentes at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, titled, A Journey of Discovery Few people know what Germany has and is doing for the Jews in that country today and it is a revelation, a news release says. People also do not know that most of the Jews in Germany are of Russian origin and that many Israelis live there as well, the re lease adds. Fuentes presentation, accompa nied by slides, will present a broad picture of Jewish life in Germany, the release notes. CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. Services and programs are open to the public at no charge. For more information, call 929-7771 or visit SONIA FUENTES TO SPEAK ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY Sonia Pressman Fuentes/Contributed photo TEMPLE EMANU-EL SISTERHOOD TO HONOR ELAINE ROSE GLICKMAN On Sunday, April 14, Temple Emanu-Els Sis terhood will honor Rabbi Elaine Rose Glick man during its annual Honors Luncheon. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club (7650 Lega cy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch), the Temple has announced. Proceeds will benet the Temple Emanu-El Religious School. We are honoring Elaine because she is a pow erhouse at Temple Emanu-El, for Sisterhood and the community at large, says event chair woman Cindy Gilburne in a news release. Her endless mitzvot (good deeds), wit, charm and constant efforts continue to inspire all of the women in Sisterhood and we want her to know how much she is appreciated, loved and admired! In the six years since Glickman and her fam ily arrived in Sarasota her husband, Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, began his service at that time as the spiritual leader of the congregation she has been an incredibly active part of the temple family, the release says. She has built the annual Mitzvah Day, or day of com munity service, program into a 200+ volunteer effort; led countless educational sessions for participants of all ages; headed up the con gregations social committee efforts to offer fun programs to engage and connect temple


Sarasota News Leader April 5, 2013 Page 96 members; and successfully submitted enough publicity about the congregation to local news outlets to make any area media professional green with envy, the release points out. A rabbi, writer, teacher, wife and mother of three children, Glickman received her Mas ter of Arts in Hebrew Letters and her ordina tion from Hebrew Union College-Jewish In stitute of Religion, the release continues. Her book, Sacred Parenting: Jewish Wisdom and Practical Guidance for Your Familys Ear ly Years was a nalist for the 2009 National Jewish Book Award. She is also the author of Haman and the Jews: A Portrait from Rab binic Literature and The Messiah and the Jews with a novel, My Golem in the works, the release adds. Her articles and letters to the editor have appeared in The New York Times Newsweek Jewish News Mommy Magazine the Pelican Press the Sarasota Herald-Tri bune the Temple Emanu-El Bulletin The Sarasota News Leader and Tufts Magazine She also serves as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Reform Judaism, as a member of the Sarasota-Manatee Rabbin ical Association and as an executive board member of All Faiths Food Bank. She was a longtime instructor in the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatees Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and remains active in many social and service committees, the release points out. Admission to the luncheon is $45 per person. For further information, call Cindy Gilburne at 812-4858 or email Yom Ha Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day will be marked at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, with a screen ing of the lm Journey to Justice on Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. This event is free of charge and open to the entire community. Hailed by FOX-TV as moving, powerful, reve latory, Journey to Justice tells the searing story of Howard Triest, who at 16 ed Nazi Germany, then returned as an American sol dier and as a Nuremberg Trials interpreter, a n ews release says. His sister, Margot Coville, was rescued from a detention camp and later escaped to Switzerland saving 10 other chil dren with her, the release adds. Howard and Margots parents were killed at Auschwitz. Ms. Coville will attend the lm screening, and a question-and-answer session with her will follow it, the release notes Journey to Justice is presented in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Man atee. For more information, call 371-4546. % TEMPLE TO MARK HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY WITH FILM Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman/Contributed photo


05 APRIL Sarasota appearance by author Wendy Wax April 5, 6 p.m., the author of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey will be at Book store1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., for a book signing and to lead participants in a challenging game of Downton Abbey Trivia. More info at or 365-7900. 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 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 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 06+ APRIL La Musica International Chamber Music Festival rehearsals April 6-19, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily, Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Free for series subscribers and New College faculty, staff and students. All others pay $50 for a festival pass to all re hearsals or $10 for a daily pass. Click here for a complete rehearsal schedule. 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:


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 HOW PROUDLY THEY WAVE SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS