Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER Inside SHOWDOWN PROCEED WITH REPLACEMENT RETURN TO SENDER Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida April 12, 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 Letters To the Editor Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Robert S. Hackney General Manager Advertising Sales Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


This issue of the News Leader is a momentous one for all of us: It marks the rst anniversary of our existence. Although we did not premiere the formal digital publication until late September 2012, we started posting stories on our WordPress blog site in mid-April last year. My husband rarely gets sufcient credit for founding the News Lead er I may have been burnt out when I left the Pelican Press a year ago last month, but he knew it would just be a matter of time before I would be itching to cover local government meetings again. After more than 30 years in journalism, I will be one of the rst to admit that it is terribly difcult to get printers ink out of the bloodstream! The great thing for us, of course, is that we no longer have to rely on ink to put out a product a point legendary journalist Tom Brokaw made just this week during his Ringling Town Hall Series lecture in Sarasota. While my rst blog posts last spring may all have been news-related, our issue this week is a great combination of news and features. Yes, the Coun ty Commission kept Cooper Levey-Baker and me busy, but Stan Zimmerman was able to don his historians cap for more than one article and take some great shots of lovingly crafted ships. Giving Tyler Whitson a break, contributor Har riet Cuthbert has a sweet story about the cou ple who created Used Book Heaven on Siesta Key; a new contributor, Rick Wielgorecki, of fers insights about gardening; and Otus has a lot to report about a trip he took by Jaguar, no less to Crowleys Nursery. We appreciate so much all that you, our readers, have done to spread the news your selves about the News Leader It is amaz ing how much we have grown in such a rel atively short space of time. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


SHOWDOWN ITS A GO! NEWS & COMMENTARY SHOWDOWN 8 Future of Warm Mineral Springs the hot topic at joint county-city meeting Cooper Levey-Baker PROCEED WITH REPLACEMENT 12 Amid concerns about bugs in the technology, a split County Commission approves buying new public safety communications equipment Rachel Brown Hackney RETURN TO SENDER 19 The St. Armands Business Improvement District feels the ballots on the future of the BID never reached the right people and will explore a new vote Scott Proftt CITY ELECTIONS 23 Chapman supporters decry Dorfmans remarks Stan Zimmerman ITS A GO! 27 The County Commission votes to allocate tourist development tax revenue to Suncoast Charities for Children so it can host the Suncoast Grand Prix this summer Rachel Brown Hackney A QUANDARY 32 North Port halts discussion sparked by commissioners medical leave Cooper Levey-Baker CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW 34 Tax increase, Chalk Festival, sidewalks on the April 15 agenda Stan Zimmerman MORE ACCOUNTING QUESTIONS 38 The County Commission puts off a decision on continuing extra beach maintenance funding while staff untangles the gures Rachel Brown Hackney A BIG IDEA 43 Tom Brokaw brings his vision for unity to Sarasota Vicki Chatley NEWS BRIEFS 46 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Springtime Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: St. Armands Circle Norman Schimmel


BOOKS TO GO DOWNTON DOWNEROPINION EDITORIAL 57 State Legislature sells out again COMMENTARY 59 My Rosh Chodesh Nisan with Women of the Wall Sue Huntting COMMENTARY 60 The Supreme Court, same-sex marriage and you or maybe a neighbor, relative or friend Rodger SkidmoreSARASOTA LEISURE BOOKS TO GO 65 For readers, this is a heavenly place Harriet Cuthbert A LADY PAYS A VISIT 68 Columbus favorite makes a Palmetto port call Stan Zimmerman ON THE EVE OF INVASION: PART II 72 Ponce de Leon makes a famous discovery in the time of Flowery Easter Stan Zimmerman ASK OTUS 77 On a passage to India, Otus has the opportunity for a close-up observation of peacocks Otus RufousDOWNTON DOWNER 85 A grand palace keeps its natural adornments at a distance Rick Wielgorecki SIESTA SEEN 87 County Commission postpones a vote on lowering the speed limit on part of South Midnight Pass Road; Siesta Fiesta weekend coming up Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 94 RELIGION BRIEFS 100 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 103 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 104 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article


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I never know what to expect when it comes to two governing boards. Linda Yates Mayor City of North Port Doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh, wah-wah-wah Yep, its showdown time for the Sarasota County and North Port commissions, which meet next Wednesday morning, April 17, to discuss and debate the future of Warm Mineral Springs. The last time the city and county held a joint meeting, the two boards agreed unanimously to issue an Invitation to Negotiate to solicit ideas for how to de velop and manage the springs, which was purchased by the two entities for $5.5 million in 2010. Since that har mon ious meeting, held last July, things have not gone so smoothly. In November, after the election of two new commissioners, the North Port board voted to reject the Invitation to Negotiate and to re quest another sit-down with the county. Frus trated, the county scuppered that suggestion a week later. Shortly af ter that, the North Port board moved to rid it self of the issue com pletely, voting to sell its 50 percent share in the springs proper ty. Warm Mineral Springs draws tourists from around the world. Photo by Rachel Levey-Baker FUTURE OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS THE HOT TOPIC AT JOINT COUNTYCITY MEETING SHOWDOWN By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 9 But nobodys buying, at least not yet, and June 30, when the contract with the company now managing the springs runs out, is quickly ap proaching. Thats something the North Port Commission tried to address Monday afternoon, April 8, discussing a variety of backup plans should that deadline come and go. Mayor Linda Yates proposed researching how much it would cost the city to keep the springs open as just a swimming hole, maintaining access to the springs while shuttering the propertys restau rant and other facilities. The commission vot ed down that idea amid concerns about the city and the county managing such a com plex facility. The board also shot down a proposal by Com missioner Cheryl Cook to explore signing a long-ter m leas e with Cypress Lending, the company currently in charge of the springs. So what could the commission agree on? Vice Mayor Jim Blucher eventually moved to have the city manager notify the county about the citys desire to set up a short-term lease, with revenue-sharing, to make sure the springs stay open, even if no long-term deal is in place July 1. With so much back and forth already, is it con ceivable that the two boards might iron out their differences before then? Next week will give us a clue. The agenda for Wednesdays meeting is vague, with just one joint discussion item: Discus sion between the County Commission and the City of North Port Co mmission, pursuant to Both county and North Port commissioners seem leery of having the resort close, even for a short time. Photo via Wikimedia Commons


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 10 Florida Statutes, Section 164.1055, regarding the use, sale and/or purchase of the Warm Min eral Springs Property owned by the County and the City of North Port as Tenants-In-Com mon. Yates told her commission Monday that the current stalemate is a result of the sharp dis agreement about what the future use of the property might look like: public preserve or full-on spa-and-hotel resort? When asked by The Sarasota News Leader if she thinks that can be resolved next week, Yates laughs. I never know what to expect when it comes to two governing boards, she says. I think the hope is that all the issues can be ironed out. I think thats the hope of everybody. One possibility: a 50-50 division of the proper ty. But thats a thorny question. Who would get the actual springs? How do you evaluate how much the assets are worth? Yates says her goal is to ensure that the public can use and benet from the springs forever and ever, regardless of who owns what. We should be able t o come up with an amicable divide of the ownership, she says. The County Commission voted Tuesday to approve discussions between the county administrator and the city manager about a short-term lease. The board also asked staff to prepare recommendations by next Wednes days conference. County Commissioner Christine Robinson called North Ports action on the issue en couraging. She wants to keep the issue out of the courts. My goal is not litigation for this, she said. My goal is to get a resolution to this. The only no vote on the proposal was from Commissioner Joe Barbetta, who said he wouldnt support any new lease, even one as short as six months. Ten months ago we made a deal, he said, and it was a 10-0 vote. Weve lost 10 months. Now we have to go through mediation. He called the short-term lease appeasement. Additional reporting contributed by News Leader Editor Rachel Brown Hackney. % The sign welcomes visitors to Warm Mineral Springs. Photo by Ebaybe via Wikimedia Commons


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I dont want to experience problems that could be avoided as a result of [not] going forward with a rst-generation system. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County O n a 3-2 v ote, the County Commission on April 10 authorized staff to proceed with steps necessary to replace an outdated public safety radio system with modern digital technology at a cost of about $18.5 million. The dissenters Commissioners Chris tine Robinson and Nora Patterson said they felt they need ed more information about alternatives and more details about bugs ot her user s have foun d with the type of system recom mended. I dont want to experience problems that could be avoided as a result of [not] going forward with a rst-generation system, Robinson said. I feel a little bit like weve been getting a sales job on this thing, Patterson added, not ing she would prefer a workshop explaining the technology exten sively before taking a vote. The County Commission sits in session in a recent meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel AMID CONCERNS ABOUT BUGS IN THE TECHNOLOGY, A SPLIT COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES BUYING NEW PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT PROCEED WITH REPLACEMENT By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 13 Were aware of some of the issues with P25 deployments around the country, but thats largely anecdotal information. Bill Hutchison Former Public Safety Director Manatee County She added she also had reservations in spite of reassurances from county nancial staff that the new infrastructure could be paid for through bond revenue. Commissioner Joe Barbetta made the mo tion to move forward with what is called a P25 system, saying the alternative up grading the existing equipment for use through 2017 would lock the county into a sole-source vendor for new equipment in the future. Moreover, he pointed to the countys ability to work with Manatee County ofcials on the new equipment and infrastructure, with the potential for cost savings. Commissioner Charles Hines agreed Rob inson had valid con cerns, but he also was swayed by the advan tages of working with Manatee County and the disadvantage of the single vendor matter. County Commissioner Christine Robinson. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 14 A memo prepared for the County Commission offers the pros and cons of upgrading the 800 MHz radio system. Image courtesy Sarasota County Chairwoman Carolyn Mason cast the swing vote. Mike Tobias, the county re chief and emer gency services director, reminded the board members they are holding a joint session with the Manatee commissioners on April 16. The radio system upgrade is on that agenda. The County Commission voted 3-2 on Sept. 12, 2012 to give the Emergency Services Depart ment the go-ahead to advertise a request for proposals for a consultant to help staff work out specications for the new public safety radio system to replace 16-year-old equipment for which parts no longer are manufactured. (Barbetta and Robinson were in the minority that time.) However, when the County Com mission met on March 8 in a joint session with the Charlotte County Commission, members of the latter board pointed to concerns about


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 15 potential bugs in the new technology and talk ed of plans to proceed with an upgrade for their radio equipment. Tobias made a presentation to the Sarasota County Commission during its regular meeting on April 10 in Sarasota to discuss the advan tages and disadvantages of proceeding with the purchase of new equipment compared to upgrading the existing system. THE SYSTEM The Motorola SmartZone 800 MHz Digital Trunked Radio system Sarasota County began using in 1996 was the rst of its kind in the na tion, Tobias explained. It provides radio com munications to all the re and EMS depart ments in the county except the Longboat Key Fire Department as well as to all the law enforcement agencies except for those on Longboat Key. It also serves non-public safety agencies such as the Sarasota County School Board, Sarasota County Area Transit and pub lic works agencies throughout the county. Altogether, the system has 5,000 eld radios, he noted. We are way ahead of the curve when it comes to interdependability, Tobias pointed out, re ferring to the fact that all those people can communicate with each other through the same system. During 9/11, New York City Police Department and Fire Department personnel were unable to communicate with each other, he noted, exacerbating the tragedies of that day. County surtax revenue originally was pro grammed to pay for replacing the system, he poin ted out. However, that revenue has come in at a lower rate over the past several years because of the Great Recession. As a result of the age of the 800 MHz system, Tobias said, replacement parts are available only on the market for used equipment. The county has been acquiring a supply of replace ment parts to keep on hand. A memo he provided to the commission says, We have had 2 major component failures since November 2012. We used parts from our stock to make the repairs. Chief Mike Tobias/Photo courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 16 The memo adds Each time we have a fail ure and have to restart [the master site con troller], we run the risk of it not restarting. That would be a catastrophic failure and po tentially lead to a communications blackout throughout Sarasota County. THE NEW AND THE OLD Tobias explained that the new system, as planned, would include two extra antennas to eliminate current coverage problems on St. Armands and north Longboat Key as well as an area east of North Port. Additionally, ber optic cable would be laid between the countys new Emergency Oper ations/911 Center on Porter Way and the an tenna sites. The present system utilizes leased telephone lines that cost the county about $52,000 a year, he added. It also would have a microwave network for redundancy purposes. One other component would be GPS track ing capability for all the radios, which could save lives by enabling public safety ofcials to locate a rst responder who stopped com municating for an unexplained reason. If the person were immobile for a period of time, the radio would alert the dispatch center, To bias noted. It would take a full 18 months to implement the new system, he pointed out. Means to p ay for the new radios themselves has not been identied except for those re quired by the county Fire Department, Tobi as told the commission; that expense will be $3.9 million. Another $1. 6 million will have to come out of the countys general fund for the non-public safety ofcer radios, for example, he said. Replacing the Sheriffs Ofce radios will cost about $6.9 million. Alternatively, a system upgrade would cost about $5.3 million, Tobias noted, and it could be implemented in about six months. Howev er, if the county pursued that option, it would have no choice but to keep using Motorolas equipment when it went ahead with the P25 system. That would end up making the total project cost between $19.1 million and $19.3 million, he said. THE DISCUSSION When Patterson asked whether Sarasota County public safety personnel can commu nicate with their counterparts in Manatee County now, Tobias replied, We have limited capabilities because of coverage problems. Dispatch personnel have to manually place Sarasota County reghters learn early on how critical a piece of equipment their radi os are, Chief Mike Tobias says. Photo courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 17 calls through th e 9 11 centers in the two coun ties to make communication possible. With the new system, he said, We would have mutual channels on our radios Robinson told Tobias she had spent about 15 minutes on the Internet researching the P25 equipment and had found complaints in vari ous major metropolitan areas. Any time you install a complex system across a wide network, theres bound to be, as you call them, bugs, he told her. Howev er, the vendor typically works with the local government to make sure issues are resolved, he pointed out. When Robinson continued that she had found some information about the federal govern ment looking into creating a compatibility certication process for P25 systems to en sure interdependability, Tobias said he was unaware of that. Referring to Charlotte County ofcials, Rob inson added, They had done much more re search on this issue and the bugs involved in it, and Im concerned that we havent. I want to know what the problems are ahead of time and make sure that were making a good choice to go with this now She continued, If the second generation [of P25 equipment] is right around the corner I might be willing to pay that money to take [it] over the rst [generation]. One reason his of c e had sought approval for hiring the consulta nt, Tobia s replied, was to help guide county staff through the pitfalls that you have just described He added, If the consultant couldnt allay all of our concerns then we would be out very little money by hiring the consultant and not buying the rst-generation equipment. Robinson said she felt county staff should be researching the issues before hiring the con sultant. (Tobias earlier had said the request for proposal to be advertised for the position was nearly complete.) Tobias also asked Bill Hutchison, the former Manatee County public safety director, to ad dress the commission. Hutchison recently retired, he said, but he is still working as a consultant to Manatee County. Were aware of some of the issues with P25 deployments around the country, he said, but thats largely anecdotal information. Numerous P25 systems have been installed in Florida, he pointed out, indicating they are working well. He cautioned the commission that because technology is evolving rapidly, You should not expect to get 20 years of life out of the radio system that youre contemplating putting in The advantages of both Sarasota and Manatee counties installing the same new system are of high importance, he added. Thats why were pushing forward as hard as we can on this regional concept. %


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The City Clerks Office made a critical error and provided us with mailing labels addressed to the property, not to the owner of the property. Marty Rappaport Chairman St. Armands Business Improvement District The chairman of the St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) said this week he believes the correct people did not re ceive ballots to enable them to vote on the districts continuation and that was why the vote failed last week. The BID members plan to work with City of Sarasota staff to hold a new vote, they an nounced during their April 8 meeting. The Sarasota News Leader reported last week on the demise of the BID, based on the ballot count at Sarasota City Hall on April 3. The BID, a separate taxing district, was created on St. Ar mands 10 years ago and is considered a success by a majority of stakeholders. The BID was steered into existence by, among others, current Chair St. Armands shows little signs this week of season having ended. Photo by Scott Proftt THE ST. ARMANDS BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT FEELS THE BALLOTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE BID NEVER REACHED THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND WILL EXPLORE A NEW VOTE RETURN TO SENDER By Scott Proftt Staff Writer


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 20 The assessment revenue for the St. Armands Business Improvement District has made a number of new and better features possible to draw shoppers and diners. Photo by Scott Proftt man Mar ty Rappaport. The assessment was voted upon by the commercial property own ers, but the taxes have been paid by their ten ants. On Monday, April 8, when the members of the BID which is set to expire on Sept. 30 met at City Hall with City Manager Tom Barwin and other staff, Rappaport dropped his bomb shell: We had sent out an informational pack et to property owners. Fifty percent of them were returned as undeliverable mail. These packets went out several weeks prior to the city staffs mailing ballots on the future of the district, Rapport added. After looking into the matter, he said, it appeared the mailing list was for tenants, not for the property owners. In other words, city staff used the wrong mail ing list, he said. The City Clerks Ofce made a critical error and provided us with mailing labels addressed to the property, not to the owner of the prop erty, said Rappaport.


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 21 Were t hose the same addresses to which the actual ballots were mailed? This is a question we will never have an an swer to because [the ballots were not] sent out certied mail, return receipt requested, Rappaport continued. In response to questions from the News Lead er following the BID meeting, City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini wrote in an email, Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of what was provided to the St. Armands Business Im provement District for its informational pam phlet mailing. The employee who produced that list is no longer employed with my ofce as of November 2012. She added, I do know that the actual ballots were mailed to a list of property owners as provided by the attorney for the District. The BID directors were well aware that over the last 10 years there has been a substantial turnover of landlords, Rappaport pointed out at the BID meeting. The majority of the land lords do not reside in Florida and arent aware of the capital improvements that have been implemented these past 10 years. Why would the landlords not vote in favor of a referendum ... when it did not cost them additional money? ... It is passed on to the ten ants as terms of the lease, Rappaport contin ued. The Merchants Association members in the district support the tax, which has brought up dated seating areas, lighting, music and public space to the Circle over the last decade, he pointed out. The merchants are in a state of shock, said Diana Corrigan, director of the St. Armands Circle Ass ociation. Our businesses have sup ported this 100 percent. That is true for the St. Armands Residents As sociation as well. The residents support your efforts, and we want to see this work out successfully, said Vice President Jim Grace, who expressed the same level of surprise about the failed vote as all the other organization representatives did at the meeting. A lot of the improvements you have done have ramications for the residents, he add ed. Our interests dovetail with yours. Several people asked whether the BID and the city could nullify the vote and have the prop erty owners cast ballots again. We are the rst commercial BID in Florida of this type, Rappaport noted. This is a special circumstance and I think we have a legal rea son to request [a new vote]. The BID made plans to have its attorney meet with City Attorney Robert Fournier to explore the legality of sending out another ballot, along with the informational pamphlet, but sending them by certied mail this time, with return receipts requested. In response to a question from the News Lead er Fournier said in an email, To the best of my knowledge, without having spent time to verify, there is no required waiting period in the controlling statute (Sec. 163.511 F.S.) that would prohibit a second vote until a specied period of time has expired. Of course, if the City is asked to proceed with a second elec tion, that is a question I would want to fully research to be sure. %


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


At a press co nference held Wednesday, April 10, nine former Sarasota mayors endorsed Su san Chapman in the race to ll two at-large city commission seats. One of them upstaged the rest. During the speech ifying, former Mayor Kelly Kirschner said, Shame on all of us as former elected of cials if we arent here standing up for you and speaking out to say you are most qual ied to be on the City Commission and a fu ture mayor. He then noted, The rhetoric is heating up in terms of sexism di rected at Susan Chap man, in terms of age ism directed at Susan Chapman and those white-haired women who support her. Its really abhorrent. He was stopped there by cheers and jeers from Chapman supporters. Susan Chapman addresses supporters at the Federal Building on April 10. Photo by Stan Zimmerman CHAPMAN SUPPORTERS DECRY DORFMANS REMARKS CITY ELECTIONS Shame on all of us as former elected ofcials if we arent here standing up for you and speaking out to say you are most qualified to be on the City Commission and a future mayor. Kelly Kirschner Former Mayor City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 24 What we are now hearing is the electioneer ing-communication organizations afliated with the gentleman who was arrested that are now looking to funnel thousands of dollars to coordinate with the campaigns to go after and attack Susan Chapman, Kirschner continued. Its really despicable. We should have learned from what took place this last fall. Kirschners gentleman who was arrested is a reference to former Republican Party chair man Bob Waechter, who was charged in De cember 2012 with a felony for his election eering tactics. Waechter stepped back from his positions on two local boards following his arrest. O N THE RADIO On Saturday, April 6, City Commission Candi date Richard Dorfman appeared on the radio talk show of Phil Grande. About 17 minutes into the program, Dorfman said, You cant just listen to the white-haired ladies that come down to the [City] Commission meetings ev ery day and argue, No, no, no, you cant do anything. Youve got to listen to everybody. He continued, You cant depend on people who are in the twilight of their years to hold back the city. They want things to stay the way they absolutely are. They ar e the past. Susan Chapman supporters crowd around the Federal Building in downtown Sarasota. At left is former Mayor Kelly Kirschner. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 25 They are not the future. Unfortunately, the big mouths are the people who want the status quo. Unfortunately for Dorfman, these people in the twilight of their years represent the dominant voting block in the city. This is dou bly true of the white-haired ladies. Neither group is accustomed to being dismissed with scorn by a political candidate needing their votes to win. Dorfman has been a full-time resident in Sara sota for four years. Two years ago he ran un successfully for the City Commission seat in District One, missing the runoff by a handful of votes. This year he came in third in the March 12 six-person primary, but that showing was good enough to put him in the nal election on May 14. The third candidate is incumbent Suzanne Atwell, who scored second in the primary. MEANWHILE BACK AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE Twelve former Sarasota mayors endorsed Chapman, and nine showed up in person for the press conference at the Federal Building at Ringling Boulevard and Orange Avenue. In attendance were Fredd Atkins, Elmer Berkel, Mollie Cardamone, Dick Clapp, the Rev. Je rome Dupree, Kirschner, Bill Kline, Richard Martin and David Merrill. They all made short remarks supporting Chapmans candidacy. Also there to support Chapman was the sitting vice mayor, Willie Shaw. Jack Gurney, Nora Patterson and Lou Ann Palmer were not there but have lent their en dorsements as well. (From left) Sarasota City Commission candidates Suzanne Atwell, Susan Chapman and Richard Dorf man listen to remarks by CONA debate moderator Ka Benz on April 8. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 26 Cardamone, who was the emcee for the event, noted the support of so many former mayors was unprecedented. Atkins said, I cant remember a more import ant election in the city. Clapp said Chapman stands out head and shoulders over the other candidates. The Wednesday event was a counterpoint to another press conference held by Atwell and Dorfman on March 26. They received the en dorsement at that time of two non-prevailing candidates in the race. Both Linda Holland and Kelvin Lumpkin said they were backing Atwell and Dorfman, after failing to make it into the nal election. The sixth candidate in the primary, Pete Theisen, has not endorsed any other candidate. However, Theisen reacted strongly to the ra dio program during which Grande belittled several people. Calling Commissioner [Shan non] Snyder a conehead. Referring to Com missioner Shaw as having a brain the size of a thimble. Saying Susan Chapman is a dead rock, wrote Theisen in a posting to the Sara sota Voices blog. Dorfman let it all be said and did not object or disagree. Theisen posted a link to the April 6 program CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTS GROW ANEW Dorfman spent just about every dime he raised to get into the nal election. Round ing up the number through March 22, he had raised $40,000 and spent $39,000. During the reporting period for March 6-22, he raised just $600 of the total. By the March 12 primary, Dorfman had brought in more money than the rest of t h e candidates combined; now he must raise more as the race enters its nal month. Atwell has raised a total of $20,000 and spent about $17,000 so far. That leaves her a $3,000 war chest for the nal election. Her accounts include a $7,000 loan to her campaign. Chapman has raised $18,000, including $2,400 in new donations after the primary. She has spent about $15,000, leaving her, too, with a $3,000 balance. The three nalists nished in an inverse re lationship to the funds they have raised, an oddity in American politics. Chapman nished rst in the primary, but she has raised only $18,000. Atwell was second, raising $20,000. Dorfman was third after raising $40,000. Editors note: April 15 is the last day to reg ister to vote in the upcoming May 14 city election. % Susan Chapman addresses the CONA audi ence on April 8. Photo by Norman Schimmel


This is not a precedent for any other festival to come to us out of the budget cycle This is going to be a special exception. This will certainly not be the rule for this commissioner. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County Ho urs after the Sarasota County Commis sion approved a grant to cover the sanction ing fee for the 2013 Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix, Lucy Ni candri, vice president of Suncoast Charities for Children, told The Sarasota News Lead er Im feeling much better You have no idea! She added, Now Ive got to ramp up all the events. Three weeks after the County Commission voted 3-2 to award Suncoast Charities $10,000 to replace state funding it had lost for its annual Grand Prix Festival plus $3,500 in in-kind expenses the com The Tilted Kilt moves past the downtown Sarasota crowd during the Festival Parade of Boats in June 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COUNTY COMMISSION VOTES TO ALLOCATE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX REVENUE TO SUNCOAST CHARITIES FOR CHILDREN SO IT CAN HOST THE SUNCOAST GRAND PRIX THIS SUMMER ITS A GO! By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 28 mission on April 9 unanimously voted to give Suncoast Charities $79,200 out of a fund des ignated for tourism promotion, so the orga nization could afford to hold the Grand Prix. That fund is made up of county tourist devel opment tax (TDT) revenue. The commission rescinded a March 19 grant of $10,000 out of its general fund. However, it also indicated a willingness to cover the sanc tioning fee in future budget years. In a press release sent out April 9, Nicandri wrote, This Festival and Race have been a tradition in this community for 28 years, and we are extremely grateful to both the County and City Commission for their support in our efforts to sustain it as an annual event The Cit y Commission on March 4 approved $36,582 in in-kind services for the events this summer, a $5,175 increase over 2012, the release added. The press release noted the Sarasota County Sports Commission also had given Suncoast Charities $15,000 as a sports marketing grant. Commissioner Charles Hines raised the issue of the Grand Prix funding during the Com mission Reports part of the boards regular meeting on April 9 in Venice. He asked rst whether staff could make a presentation at an upcoming meeting on money being allocated out of TDT revenue for the race, adding that that revenue has been coming in higher than projected so far th is scal ye ar. The public is able to get a close-up look at the Grand Prix boats each year at Centennial Park in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 29 Commissione r Joe Barbetta whose March 19 motion to allocate the sanctioning fee for Suncoast Charities out of the countys gener al fund failed pointed out to Hines, The problem with that [request] is they have a deadline. The Suncoast Charities board originally set an April 5 deadline to see whether enough com munity donations would come in to enable it to hold the festival for the 29 th year. The board later pushed back the date to April 11. Barbetta then made a motion for the sanction ing fee to be allocated out of Fund 189 of the TDT revenue. Hines seconded the motion, but he asked whether Barbetta intended for the County Commission to reverse itself on the $10,000 it had approved out of general fund revenue on March 19. I would rather you substitute the $79,000 for the $10,000, Commissioner Nora Patterson said. Thats ne, Barbetta responded. Hines made an amendment to the motion to formally strike that $10,000 grant from the general fund. It passed unanimously. Then Commissioner Christine Robinson pointed out she had spoken with Nicandri and Suncoast board President Jack Cox after the March 19 meeting, explaining to them that her concern about approving their request had been we would see a bleed that wouldnt stop, with their returning for more funding every subsequent year. They told her, Robinson continued, that if the board approved the sanctioning fee on a regular basis, they would not seek any other county grant funds except for those available to nonprot organizations, for which all inter ested groups apply on a competitive annual basis. Therefore, Robinson made another amend ment to the motion to include the sanctioning fee in future county budgets and to approve a contract with Suncoast Charities stipulating it would not seek any other revenue except competitive grant funds. Hines seconded that motion as well. However, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh cautioned against including the language in the amendment relative to a multi-year con tract. In response to a question from Barbetta, Rob inson also claried that she was not seeking to eliminate the in-kind funding. She added, The reason for this is that last year, they did come and ask us for money and Sarasota Countys 2012 Annual Report in cludes a photo from a Super Boat Grand Prix in Sarasota Bay under the heading, Economic Development. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 30 said they would not come back to us again, and they did come back to us with a sig nicantly higher amount this year. On March 19, there seemed to be no end in sight for such action, Robinson pointed out. The request for the 2013 sanctioning fee should have come to the commission last year during preparation of its current scal year budget, she noted. I dont want to be put into a position where we got our backs pressed to the wall because of the timing in which they come to us, she said. Moreover, This is not a precedent for any other festival to come to us out of the budget cycle, Robinson pointed out. This is going to be a special exception. This will certainly not be the rule for this commissioner. Hi nes concurred with her, adding, This is an important event for our community. On March 19, Nicandri presented the board with an economic impact study, commis sioned by Suncoast Charities, showing the 2012 festival brought $14,306,173 into the county, up 12.1 percent from the 2011 amount of $12.7 million. Nonetheless, Patterson told her fellow board members, We are going to get other requests based on this. These dollars are coming out of promotional dollars that were leftover from last year, according to information she had received from Steve Botelho, the countys chief nancial planning ofcer, and Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, the countys tourism ofce. Its not totally clear that [Visit Sarasota Coun ty is] going to have additional reserves in future years beyond the reserve amount it is required by state law to maintain, Patterson pointed out. I think in our heads were going to have to gure out some way to draw a clear distinction between this event and many other pretty neat events that take place in the com munity, she continued, especially those that are produced in order to produce a charitable end. The prot from the Suncoast Grand Prix Fes tival is used to cover expenses for maintain ing facilities Suncoast Charities has built over the decades for special needs children in the county, its website says. Patterson added that she would support Bar bettas motion, because I did feel kind of bad ly for leaving [Suncoast Charities board and Lucy Nicandri of Suncoast Charities for Children addresses the County Commission on March 19. File photo


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 31 staff] in a si tuation where they were seriously considering abandoning the event. Still, she said, I didnt much like the way the request was handled, out of the budget cycle and without a full explanation of the organi zations budgeting for the event. SPORTS PROMOTION Patterson also told her fellow board mem bers, If were going to support sports events more greatly than we are, we need to develop a budget where we have a larger amount [for them]. Im all for that, Barbetta said, adding that the current sports promotion budget is set at $150,000. Sports tourism, he noted, brings in tens of millions of dollars into the county. He pointed out that the budget for tourism promotion from TDT funds has grown from $3.2 million in the 2010 scal year to $5 mil lion this year. Theres no reason why we cant take another look at that and put more money into sports tourism because sports tour ism has carried us through these past several years. Every time he has a speaking engagement, he added, he elds questions about the impact of sports tourism on the countys economy. Additionally, he poi nted out, people who at tend sporting events in the area prove to be walking billboards about Sarasota County when they return home. Barbetta continued, If we can get an event, that can be much better than a TV ad. Patterson c ountered that while $5 million sounds like a lot, he should look at how much other Florida counties are spending on tour ism promotion. During the March 21 Sarasota County Tour ism Development Council meeting, Bill Geist, a consultant to Visit Sarasota County, pointed out that Palm Beach has an annual promotion budget of about $9 million, while Fort Lauder dales budget is $18 million and Miamis is $22 million. Barbetta responded to Patterson, In 2013, ad vertising is different. Its not about TV. Its not about magazines and newspapers. Its about YouTube. Its about events. The person who leaves [Sarasota County after an event] is your advertising. He added, This day and age, a lot of us skip right by commercials [on TV]. GRAND PRIX FESTIVAL According to the website the Suncoast Su per Boat Grand Prix Festival this year will run from June 29 through July 7. The boat race will be on the nal day. Among the events, the popular Festival Parade of Boats is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, July 5, on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. The website also shows the July Fourth re works continuing on the Sarasota bayfront near Island Park. Nica ndri pointed out on March 19 that Suncoast Charities receives no direct fi nancing from the City of Sarasota for the rewo rks show. %


The commission delaying the conversation doesnt take the conversation out of the public. Linda Yates Mayor City of North Port The North Port City Commission this week blocked discussion of how the city should handle extended absences by city ofcials, a charter question made pertinent by the on going recovery of Commissioner Tom Jones, who suffered a stroke in January. The commission was scheduled to discuss the issue Monday afternoon, April 8, per an agenda request made by Mayor Linda Yates, but a 3-1 vote at the beginning of the meeting took it off the table. Vice Mayor Jim Blucher made the motion, saying he felt the item should never have been on the agen da in the rst place. A memo from City Attorney Robert Rob inson lays out the background. In early Janu ary, Commissioner Tom Jones suffered a stroke, Robinson wrote to the commission in late March. Since then he has been unable to fulll the duties of a Commis sioner including attending Commission meet ings and workshops. At the February 25 Com mission meeting, Mayor Linda Yates raised the issue and requested the City Attorney report back to Commission on the matter. According to the memo, Robinson met with Jones, Jones wife and attorney Adam Tebrug ge, representing Jones. Commissioner Jones looked well, Robin son wrote. We talk ed about his ongoing medical recovery. He stated to me his plans to return to the Com North Port Commissioner Tom Jones. Photo courtesy City of North Port NORTH PORT HALTS DISCUSSION SPARKED BY COMMISSIONERS MEDICAL LEAVE A QUANDARY By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 33 mission as soo n as released by his doctor. The only difculty I noticed was his speech which was slow and careful. When might Jones be able to return to the board? No one can say for sure. The consensus is that he needs to focus on his recovery right now, Tebrugge tells The Sarasota News Leader The only other thing I would add is that Im very encouraged by his progress. Ive had a fair amount of contact with Tom over the last month, and Im very encouraged. Tebrugge adds Jones will return as soon as his doctors give him the O.K. In the meantime, Yates says, she gets asked all the time about the ve-person commis sion having only four members, and what the plan is should Jones seat remain vacant. She tells the News Leader she asked Robinson to research the charter to reassure the public, not to oat the pos sibility of replacing Jones. I think the im pression was that this particular item was about remov ing Commissioner Jones, she says. That impression was wrong. The situation with Com missioner Jones brought to the sur face these things that are kind of rare. And that situation actually brought up a very valid question of the citizens: Well, what do we do? According to Robin sons research, the city cant do much. Vacancy in ofce occurs with the death or resignation of a Commissioner, he concluded. Commissioners can be removed by the governor or the state ethics commis sion, or they can be recalled by the public. A City Commission has no authority to remove a City Commissioner, Robinson wrote. Yates says she wishes the commission had addressed the memo Monday, so the public could be informed about the situation. Im doing my job as far as being a commissioner being responsive to the community, she adds. And Im putting it on an agenda to discuss it with my commission because I cant talk about it outside of a meeting. Right after the meeting began Monday, Bluch er asked the commission to remove Yates item, along with one other task on the agenda. He didnt discuss the issue much, and he did not respond to a News Leader call for com ment. I just dont even feel they should be on the agenda, he said Monday of the items. Commissioner Rhonda DiFranco agreed about the discussion on Jones: It shouldnt even be up there. She, Blucher and Com missioner Cheryl Cook quickly voted to block the item. Yates tells the News Leader the pub lic wont be satis ed with that: The commission delay ing the conversa tion doesnt take the conversation out of the public. %


The Sarasota Cit y Commissioners meet on Tax Day, Monday, April 15, to consider a full agenda. Up for discussion is an increase in the business tax, switching to mobility fees from road impact fees and a long list of changes in zoning text amendments. Panhandlers in the medians face a ban, and the item numbers junkies have been wait ing for the annual audit of city nances shows only a tiny glitch. SOLICITATION BONANZA OVER SOON The commissioners will try to unscramble an almost certain recipe for disaster when they open a public hearing on a new ordinance to ban solicitation along public roads. Last Janu ary the commi ssion repealed its old ordinance banning solicitation from people travelling in vehicles because of a possible constitutional challenge. The change brought homeless panhandlers with cardboard signs to the medians of the citys busiest and fastest intersections. Only inches separate them from speeding tons of chrome and steel. City Attorney Bob Fournier has drafted a more narrowly tailored ordinance to skirt the free speech problem, but it would still get panhan dlers out of the medians. The ordinance also bans panhandling at a va riety of locations, including bus stops, side The organizer of the annual Chalk Festival in downtown Sarasota will be seeking city support again this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel TAX INCREASE, CHALK FESTIVAL, SIDEWALKS ON THE APRIL 15 AGENDA CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 35 walk cafs, public beaches, sporting facilities or within 20 feet of an ATM or entrance to a bank. BUSINESS TAX JUMP PONDERED With property tax revenue plummeting over the past ve years, cities and counties have turned to other revenue sources. For the City of Sarasota, the old occupational licensing fee has represented one pool. In 2006 the Flori da Legislature changed the fees name to the Local Business Tax, and it approved a bill to allow cities to hike their rates 5 percent every two years. So at the April 15 meeting, the city commis sioners are poised to make the rates jump an other 5 percent for the next two years. In the evening session, they will hold a public hear ing on the hike. The amounts vary wildly for each type of busi ness. A golf instructor would pay $38.80 an nually, while a dog track would pay $77.58 per day. A single newsstand on private property would pay $51.20, while carnivals, circuses and ro deos would pay $127.22. Nonprot, charita ble and educational organizations are exempt from payments. ZTA IS NOT AN ACNE MEDICATION A host of zoning text amendments is the sub ject of a public hearing in the evening. They have been under development and study for more than a year. The City Commission on April 15 will address a new ordinance dealing with panhandling. Photo from


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 36 These ZT As govern the rules and the pro cedures needed to operate the citys zoning codes, future land-use map and other planning tools. What is the difference between provi sional use and conditional use? Consult the ZTAs. In other words, these provisions set the stage for What goes where? and What does it take? The amendments to the zoning text will add some permitted activities to the land-use categories, for example, allowing daycares in the institutional use category. Another change would allow bed-and-breakfast estab lishments in the downtown zoning district. The Planning Board last month approved the changes unanimously. MOVING TOWARDS TRUE MOBILITY The city engineer Monday will ask the com mission to change the concept of road impact fee to multi-modal fee within the city limits. The road impact fee funds can be spent only on roads, intersections and other vehicular needs. The multi-modal fee would broaden the appli cation to sidewalks, bicycle paths and mass transit. Alexandrea DavisShaw, the city engi neer, led several public meetings to discuss the idea. Frequently the community does not want the road to be extended or widened, but does want improvements to sidewalks, bike lanes or tran sit stops, she wrote in the backup memo for the agenda item. One tool that would allow the city to better accommodate multi-modal improvements would be to have a multi-modal fee instead of roadway impact fees. The switch would require approval of the Sarasota County Commission as well. City staff is asking permission to ask the county for the exibility to make the change. CHALKFEST SEEKS WAIVERS Denise Kowal is on the agenda, too, coming forward to ask the city to be a sponsor of the annual Chalk Festival in Burns Square. She will be asking the city to waive between $7,000 and $13,000 in fees and services, including po lice and parking charges. The festival is set for Nov. 13-18 this year. It has been growing in attendance as it enters its fth year. It does not charge admission, and it attracts thousands of people and artists from all over the world. Each year Kowal seeks funding from the city and from the countys Tourist Development Council. CITY AUDIT IS CLEAN For most people there is no better way to get to sleep than to read the audit of a citys nances the jargon, the endless columns of numbers and then dreamland. However, nance makes the world go round, and audit ing is one way to detect inefciencies and sometimes even waste or fraud. The City Commission Monday will receive the audit for the 2011-12 scal year ending Sept. 30, 2012. Audits can follow fashionable is sues, and this one is no exception, paying particular attention to the citys pension lia bilities. The 200-page repor t ranges widely over all city departments and services, including some semi-autonomous b odies such as the St. Ar


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 37 mands Business Improvement District, which can raise and spend property tax revenue in dependent of the central city government. This particular district is of interest because it was voted out of existence earlier this month. But it still may owe a substantial debt equal to about one-years worth of tax revenue. Under Note 7, the auditors wrote, The St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) obtained an unsecured bank line of credit from Northern Trust Bank of Florida to be used for capital improvements and pro motional expenses. As of September 30, 2011, the BID owed $300,000 on this line of credit. The initial interest rate was 3.25 percent and is based on changes in the lenders prime rate. On November 17, 2011, the BID repaid prin cipal of $150,000. Principal of $150,000 and unpaid interest is due on October 18, 2013. The BIDs status at present is uncertain, be cause its chairman thinks the ballots went to the wrong addresses. (See the related story in this issue.) The city auditor and clerk dis agrees. If the district is dissolved, that would occur on Sept. 30 or about two weeks be fore the note comes due. The audit identied issues with the citys un funded pension liabilities as well. For the general employee dened benet plan, the shortfall between current assets and actu arial liability was $55,265,825. The figure for the reghters dened benet pension plan was $53,807,717. And for the police of cers dened benet pension plan, the g ure was $63,945,033 in unfunded actuarial accrued liabilit y. % Tourists stroll past a St. Armands Circle restaurant in late March. The latest city audit points to funds the St. Armands Business Improvement District still owes the City of Sarasota. Photo by Ra chel Hackney


The Tourist Development Council may have given its approval with no pause, but the Sara sota County Commission this week backed away from continuing an extra inux of funds for beach maintenance for two more years until staff can provide extra details about chargebacks for county departments. The commissioners did vote unanimously to proceed with hold ing an April 24 public hearing on a change in the county ordinance to allow biennial re view of the continued funding, which has be en allocated since the 2010 scal year. That change would eliminate future public hearings on the allocation. However, as Commissioner Christine Robin son put it, Im looking forward to some of that information that Commissioner [Nora] Patterson requested before renewing ap proval of the funding stream itself. As she had during the Jan. 17 Tourist De velopment Council (TDC) meeting, Do reen Bu onpastore of Garbage receptacles are generally available at the ends of the pathways from Siesta Public Beach to the beach access parking lots. Photo courtesy Peter van Roekens THE COUNTY COMMISSION PUTS OFF A DECISION ON CONTINUING EXTRA BEACH MAINTENANCE FUNDING WHILE STAFF UNTANGLES THE FIGURES MORE ACCOUNTING QUESTIONS It seems like its grown about a million dollars in the last four or ve years. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 39 the countys Ofce of Financial Planning Ser vices explained to the County Commission on April 9 that since FY 2010, 20 percent of the revenue from one penny of the tourist devel opment tax (TDT) has been allocated to pro vide additional beach maintenance services. A PowerPoint presentation to the board shows $523,000 has been projected in proceeds for the current scal year. Ed Exner, manager of horticultural services for the county whose department has the authority for beach maintenance explained that the extra funds have paid for more staff hours at all the countys beaches, including those in south county and Lido and Siesta public beaches. For example, he noted, more staff is available on weekends and a swing staff works on Siesta between the evening and early-morning shifts to cover the high volumes of needs. George Tatge, Parks and Recreation Depart ment manager, added that the funds also help pay for signage directing people to beach ac cesses, restoration of habitat, three program coordinators who manage special events on the beaches and educational efforts. Further, Tatge said, the money has made it possible to pursue annual certication for four of the countys beaches, with an initiative for a fth planned this year. He explained that the certification brings national awareness about the quality of the beaches and their upkeep. For example, Tatge said, the certicatio n for Siesta helped it earn the No. 1 ranking by Dr. Stephen P. Leather man aka Dr. Beach in May 2011. A presentation to the County Commission on April 9 shows the impacts of losing extra funding for beach maintenance. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 40 THE FIGURES A s Buonpastor e showed the commissioners the gures for beach maintenance over the past several scal years, Patterson pointed to how much the numbers had grown. Is that because of the year we just went through, with red tide and everything? she asked. Buonpastore replied by indicating how the maintenance funds had been apportioned, in cluding about $1,638,000 going to the Oper ations & Maintenance Department this year. The total allocated to Parks and Recreation staff for the 2013 scal year is $1,087,000. It seems like its grown about a million dol lars in the last four or ve years, Patterson pointed out. According to a chart provided by staff, the to tal cost of beach maintenance budgeted for the 2012 scal year was $2,456,315, a 13 per cent increase over the previous scal year. The increase from the 2010 scal year to the 2011 scal year was 4 percent, Buonpastore noted. Exner explained that prior to the 2009 scal year, Parks and Recreation shouldered all the beach maintenance costs. When Patterson asked whether he meant the classications for some of the expenses had changed, he told her, Yes, maam. Labor and overhead jumped consider ably from 2010 to 2012, Commissioner Joe Barbetta said. Additional beach maintenance funds over the past couple of years have helped pay for more staff time to keep the beaches clean. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 41 Exner noted that par t of the increase had gone to Operations & Maintenance as a chargeback for staff services. His ofce had been careful to budget everything with TDT revenue that those funds could cover, he added. Are any of these phantom charges in there that weve seen [with other projects]? Bar betta asked, referencing a discussion several weeks ago about chargebacks for staff work included in the overall cost of the new South Lido Beach restrooms. Im sure part of that is for our chargebacks, Exner said. Thats my concern, Barbetta told him. Thats not a true expense. It isnt a phantom cost, Patterson interject ed. It just comes from another pocket. For example, she said, if Chief Financial Plan ning Ofcer Steve Botelho and his staff spend time on beach maintenance issues, money al located for beach maintenance would cover their time. Either you pay it out of your gen eral fund or you try to attribute it to your dif ferent departments, she said. Nonetheless, Patterson continued, If [ac counts are] padded, I agree with [Barbetta], but if its simply allocation of time spent, youre going to pay for it one way or another. She pointed out that the County Commission several years ago discussed such apportioning funding for staff t ime on various projects and did decide that it was fair to do that. Still, Barbetta pointed to how the chargeback to Operations & Maintenance had increased about $300,000 from FY 2010 to FY 2012. Exner resp onded that small percentages were going out of the beach maintenance funds to a number of ofces, including those for the countys eet and administration. In my opinion, Barbetta said, it inates costs, adding he suspected more staff mem bers from various departments were sitting in on meetings just to make sure funds were charged back to their departments. I guess I d like to assume thats not the case, Patterson said. What has changed over the past years to make that number [for Operations & Mainte nance] jump like that? he reiterated. Were still maintaining the beaches the same. Well get a report on that specic item, Coun ty Administrato r Randall Reid told him. Commissioner Nora Patterson/File photo


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 42 This has got to come back to us, Patterson nally concurred with Barbetta. Pointing to the increasing TDT revenue over the past few years, Barbetta continued, I guess I dont want the money being spent just because its coming in. There should be some earmark where we say, This is your budget. We need some better control over that in crease thats coming in. Our budget was directed to be at for this year, Exner said. CLEANER BEACH ACCESSES With Tatge still at the podium, Patterson took the opportunity to raise a related issue. On Sunday, April 7, she said, she went to Beach Access 5 on Siesta Key between 5 and 6 p.m. All the garbage receptacles were over owin g she pointed out. Theyre pretty small trash cans, and therere probably eight of them down there. Bags were on the ground, she added, and plas tic bottles were blowing about. Either the county needed to purchase bigger receptacles or the cans needed to be emptied more often, she said. I was not proud [of the beach] and usually I am, she added. It is a logistical issue this time of year, Tat ge told her. The frequency of garbage pickups had been increased, he said, adding that staff was experimenting with a trash-compacting receptacle at Turtle Beach on Siesta Key. The county also has been looking at types of wildlife-proof receptacles, he noted, to keep out raccoons, for example, which will pull gar bage out of cans. % 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


Tom Brokaw addresses the news media during an April 8 brieng at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Photo by Vicki Chatley A BIG IDEA A big idea. That is Tom Brokaws prescrip tion for bringing Americans together and ending the deep divisions that have marked the recent national and legislative land scapes. Speaking April 8 at the nal lecture of the Ringling College Library Associations Town Hall 2013 series, Brokaw, well-known as a longtime NBC news correspondent and an chor, suggested he would have a conversa tion with the audience, a conversation in which, he readily admitted, he would do the talking. It was, perhaps, that conversational ap proach that made him a favorite among the viewing public and gained him interviews with such noted gures of their times as Madeline Albright; Margaret Thatcher, the rst female prime minister of Great Britain (whose death he announced upon taking the TOM BROKAW BRINGS HIS VISION FOR UNITY TO SARASOTA By Vicki Chatley Contributing Writer


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 44 V an Wezel stage); and former Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom he remains in contact. The genius of this country has been when we do nd common cause, he said. Were at our best when were united by big ideas and not divided by small ones. He mentioned a number of big ideas that not only gained widespread popular support, but also resulted in positive gains for our country. Amon g them: the GI Bill of Rights that gave recognition to the sacrices made by service men while also giving generations of veterans the opportunity to attend college and provide the country with a well-educated work force. John F. Kennedys big idea was to go to the moon, a venture that led to advances in sci ence and technology. In the Silicon Valley, Brokaw added, They were transforming the world and its not ov er yet. Tom Brokaw speaks to the Van Wezel audience on April 8. Photo courtesy of Robert Pope Photography


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 45 Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and pro moted it to reality in a non-violent manner. The s, Brokaw noted, was a decade of bringing about equality, both racial and gen der. Other big ideas included the Marshall Plan, devised to aid in the rebuilding of European countries devastated by World War II; Richard M. Nixon opening relations with China; and Ronald Reagans formation of a partnership with Gorbachev that brought the Cold War to an end without a shot being red. The mantra, he said, is to be disruptive [and] challenge convention to nd better ways to connect us. His idea is to form a new model for private/public service through the estab lishment of academies at six land-grant col leges. He envisions, for example, a section for agriculture that, with support from the busi ness community, would offer public service fellowships in the search for new ideas. Brokaw commented that community colleges are currently lling the need for the real de nable skill set required in todays workplace. Several times he commented on the chang ing role of women, noting that when he began his career only white male reporters would be present at a press conference. At a media brieng prior to the lecture, female reporters far outnumbered their male counterparts. He also noted a lot of key players around the world are women, including many U.S. mili tary and civilian personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brokaws long, di stinguished journalism ca reer began in 1966 at the Los Angeles bureau of NB C News. From that perspective he read ily answered questions related to the changes on the news/information front. He identied access as the greatest improve ment. However, he cautioned the consumer must personally be more diligent about gath ering news with so many sources available. He noted the world is much smaller and more connected. As a result there is no longer a blockbuster item on the 6 p.m. news. By that time everyone already knows the story; view ers want to know what it means. The focus shifts to interpretation. Brokaw expects print [journalism] will go away; online is already in play. Personally, he hopes print survives in some form; he likes the feel of holding a newspaper in his hands. He does think broadcast journalism, including cable and news channels, will be around for some time. Watergate was his toughest assignment in terms of getting it right. At the end of the day youve got to get it right. Although retired from NBC Nightly News, Bro kaw remains active in the journalistic world. Currently he is working on a documentary about Kennedy. His essays are published in The New York Times Rolling Stone and other periodicals and newspapers. He has written six books, including 1998s The Greatest Generation wherein he describes Americans who grew up during the Depression, fought in war because it was the right thing to do and built America into a superpower. %


With a una nimous vote on April 9, the Sara sota County Commission approved the 11 members already given the nod by the Sara sota City Commission to serve on a committee to determine whether the two local govern ments Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will be extended for downtown Sara sota. The CRA is set to expire in 2016. According to recent gures, $3.1 million from city taxes and $3.5 million from county taxes are going toward improvements in the dened area of the CRA. Of the citys share, $2.6 million is going back into the general fund for necessary services. The committee members are Andy Dorr, Chris Gallagher, Mark Huey, Katie Leonard, Michael Beaumier, Frank Carol, David Merrill, B ill Russell, Joel Freedman, Casey Colburn and Ernie DuBose. In related action, County Commissioner Chris tine Robinson made a motion, which also was approved on a 5-0 vote, to direct the commit tee members to provide a historical report on how the CRA funds have been spent and the effectiveness of those expenditures, to eval uate the current structure of the CRA and to recommend how the CRA could be structured in the future if the two local governments de cide to keep it in place. Robinson pointed out, I am completely non-committal at this point about wheth er the CRA should be extended. I think thats a great idea, Chairwoman Car olyn Mason said of the motion. I know [the A committee approved by the City and County commissions will weigh whether a special taxing district should continue for downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES CRA COMMITTEE MEMBERS NEWS BRIEFS


informatio n] certainly would help me to make a decision. Im ne with that, Commissioner Joe Bar betta concurred. I think theres always been a concern as to what the moneys been spent on He added that the City and County commis sions should get the information about the CRAs history of expenditures at the same time it is provided to the committee. Robinson said she expected the committee members to make a judgment call on how the money was utilized. After the vote, Commissioner Nora Patterson updated the other commissioners on remarks City Commissioner Terry Turner made at the April 1 City Commission meeting regarding gures staff had provided him about the ex penditures. According to Turner, she said, the majority of the money had been spent on enhanced landscaping in the downtown, enhanced maintenance in the downtown and added police in the downtown. Those expenditures, he indicated, normally would be expected to come out of the citys general fund, Patterson noted. Nonetheless, Turner noted the city could not afford to lose that CRA revenue for such expenses because of its other pressing budget needs. I thought that was interesting and some thing I wasnt really expecting to hear, Patterson added. Rachel Br own Hackney The Bobby Jone s Go lf Club, Sarasotas munic ipal golf course, will host the 42 nd Mens City Championship the weekends of April 27 and May 4, the city has announced. The tournament is open to any amateur male golfer. The eld is limited to the rst 144 paid entries, a news release notes. The deadline to register is Monday, April 22, at 5 p.m. The registration fee is $185; it includes a golf cart, green fees, prizes, an awards banquet and refreshments, the release adds. To down load a registration form click here Completed forms should be dropped off at the course or mailed to Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34232. The Mens City Championship, a 72-hole tour nament, will be played on the British course The Bobby Jones Golf Club is located on Cir cus Boulevard in Sarasota, near the inter section of Beneva and Fruitville roads. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota BOBBY JONES GOLF CLUB TO HOST MENS CITY CHAMPIONSHIP with tee t ime s starting at 7:30 a.m. each day, the release adds. The Bobby Jones Golf Club is owned and op erated by the City of Sarasota; it offers three courses with a to tal of 45 holes. Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 47


During a ve-week operation designed to pro tect youth who might experiment with drugs and alcohol, Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce deputies made 141 arrests for alcohol pos session by a person under 21, the ofce an nounced April 11. After conducting 75 business checks, deputies cited 11 people for selling alcohol to minors during Operation Dry Spring, a news release says. Marijuana was seized in three cases, and one adult was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the release adds. The goal of Operation Dry Spring, a statewide initiative of the Florida Sheriffs Task Force, was to prevent underage teens from purchasing and using alcohol, tobacco and synthetic drugs to protect them from the potentially harmful effects of these substances, the release says. The safety of Sarasota Countys children, and those visiting our community, is paramount, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. What was sobering for us was the age of some of the minors cited, including one as young as 14. We hope the encounter with law enforcement em phasizes to parents that some kids are making poor decisions and need help understanding the potential health and legal consequences of their actions. Nearly 190,000 people under 21 visited an emergency room for injuries or conditions connected to underage drinking in 2010, the release notes. In addition, more than 7,000 ad verse incidents from use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and spice were reported nationwide in 2011, the release adds. Sun worshippers of all ages enjoy Siesta Public Beach during the height of spring break activities in March. Photo by Rachel Hackney OPERATION DRY SPRING RESULTS RELEASED Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 48


Sarasota County has been named one of 20 nalists for the All-America City Awards, a na tionwide contest established by the Nation al Civic League that recognizes communities demonstrating innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration. Sarasota County won the award in 2006. This years All-America City nalists were se lected on the basis of initiatives that honor and benet military veterans and their families, a county news release says. Sarasota Countys submission focused on the rst-of-a-kind part nership between The Patterson Foundation and the National Cemetery Administration, which resulted in the following: Patriot Plaza, a ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. Legacy of Valor, a community-connecting campaign to honor veterans and their fam ilies. Sarasota County also highlighted its collabo rative community work at the North Sarasota Library to foster intelligence, integrity and inspiration in the neighborhoods youth; and a community-driven effort to establish the Insti tute for the Ages as a global test-bed for aging innovation, the release adds. One of the most i mportant roles local gov ernment can play is as a facilitator, to create opportunities where individuals and organiza tions can bring reality to vision, said Sarasota County Administrator Randall H. Reid in the release. As a society, we owe a place of honor to those who have made the greatest sacric es, and support for their families. Our society will not ourish if we do not meet the needs of our youth, and a project like the Institute for the Ages could revolutionize how we age as a society. Community partners like The Patter son Foundation are crucial to the success of such ambitious projects, he added. Since its establishment in 2010, The Patter son Foundation has focused on supporting collaboration locally and beyond, according to Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, in the release. From the rst-ever partnership with the Na tional Cemetery Administration to construct Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery, to the inspiring community partnerships that are forming to honor veterans and their fam ilies, were proud of how our community comes together to create new realities, said Jacobs in the release. Once described by pollster George Gallup as a Nobel Prize for civic accomplishment, the All America City Awards have been given to more than 600 communities since their incep tion in 1949, the release notes. Cities, neigh borhoods, towns, counties and metropolitan regions are all eligible to apply. Sarasota Coun ty joins Miami Lakes and Fort Lauderdale as nalists this year. The National Civic League will name the winners June 14-16. For more inform ation, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY: 7-1-1), or visit www.scgo SARASOTA COUNTY NAMED 2013 ALL-AMERICA CITY AWARD FINALIST Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 49


The Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC) received a perfect score during the most recent food service inspection conduct ed by the State of Florida, the City of Sarasota has announced. Just 40 other food service establishments throughout the state received a similar ex cellent rating out of the 108,731 facilities that were inspected, according to a city news re lease. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation conducted the inspections during the last scal year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012) looking for safety and sanitation viola tions, the release adds. RLTCC did not have any violations, it points out. The RLTCC management received a letter from Gov. Rick Scott applauding the achieve ment. Im proud of this recognition, said Jerry Fogle, RLTCC manager, in the release. The states inspection process is comprehensive to ensure that there arent any safety or san itation concerns. With zero violations, were in the top echelon in the entire state. Thats outstanding. And, its a testament to our dedi cated staff members who make sure the food concession area is always safe and clean, he added in the release. State of Florida food service inspections in clude checking the conditions of electrical wiring, appliance installation, grease removal, food storage, food preparation surfaces, re extinguishers, exits and restrooms, the re lease continues. Food service establishments are dened as seated and non-seated eating places, ho t dog carts, vehicles (such as food trucks) and vending machines, it notes. Hot dogs, hamburgers and other food items are prepared and served in the RLTCC kitchen in the evenings and on weekends during youth and adult athletic league events, the release adds. An average of 160 hamburgers and 120 hot dogs are grilled and gobbled each month, it says. RLTCC is located at 1845 34 th St. and is open to the public. The 44,000-square-foot facility features a tness center, gymnasium, audito rium, aquatic center, teen room, dance room, computer l ab and commercial kitchen. A worker at the Robert Taylor Community Complex dishes up a hot dog. Contributed photo TAYLOR CENTER RECEIVES PERFECT INSPECTION MARKS Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 50


A collective g asp of excitement spread through the capacity audience at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on April 8 as it realized, spurred by clues from Jay Logan, chairman of the Ringling College Library As sociations Town Hall 2014 Committee, that the rst speaker is scheduled to be George W. Bush, 43 rd president of the United States. It will be a family affair as his daughter, Jen na Bush Hager, will be the Platinum Dinner speaker on Jan. 13, 2014, the evening before Bushs address. Hager is the chairwoman of UNICEFs Next Generation steering commit tee, among other accomplishments. The guest speakers for Town Hall 2014 will include the following: Platon, well-known photographer Jan. 28. Lara Logan, South African journalist and war correspondent Feb. 10. Wes Moore, host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network March 6. Leon Panetta, former director of the CIA and former secretary of defense March 20. The Town Hall Lecture Series benets The Ringling College Library Association. For more information call 925-1343, email rclassocia or visit Vicki Chatley GEORGE W. BUSH TO SPEAK AT TOWN HALL 2014 President George W. Bush in 2003. Photo by Eric Draper, courtesy of the White House via Wikimedia Commons The Better Go vernment Association of Sara sota is inviting members of the public to a free, non-partisan forum at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the Waldemere Fire Station, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota. The topic will be Sarasota 2050 Growth Man agement Plan What Now? The panelists will be Dan Lobeck, president of Control Growth Now, and Steve Queior, pres BETTER GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION TO HOST NON-PARTISAN FORUM ident and CEO of the Greater Sarasota Cham ber of Commerce. Ayse Somersan, president of the Better Government Association, will be the moderator. The forum will be held in the second oor meeting room. The event has been planned to last about 90 minutes. For more information, call 343-0423. Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 51


Financial prof essionals in banking, invest ments, retirement planning and more will host a series of presentations during Money Smart Week @ Your Library April 19-27 at Sarasota County Libraries, the county has announced. Experts from nancial institutions, govern ment agencies, not-for-prot organizations and community groups will offer a full week of free events to help people of all ages better manage their nances, a county news release says. Among the topics covered will be bud geting properly; investing wisely; Medicare; how to set up wills, trusts and estates; navi FINANCIAL PLANNING BASICS OFFERED DURING MONEY SMART PROGRAM gating landlord/ tenant issues; and preventing identity theft. All programs are free and open the public. Money Smart Week @ Your Library is a part nership of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chi cago and the American Library Association. Visit the library website at brary to nd a complete listing of programs and presenters. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. Downtown Sarasotas newest dining and spe cial events venues, Louies Modern and The Francis, ofcially opened their doors to the public on Wednesday, April 3. LOUIES MODERN & THE FRANCIS OPEN DOWNTOWN Louies offers nightly dinner service starting at 4 p.m., while the adjoining Louies Modern Barista Bar is open at 7 a.m., offering coffee drinks and light breakfast snacks. Daily lunch Servers are ready to assist customers at Louies Modern Barista Bar. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 52


Palm Av enue garage complex, providing 700 covered parking spaces free of charge to din ers and guests. Louies Modern and The Francis are owned and operated by the Libbys Caf + Bar part ners Steve, Joe and Pat Seidensticker and Jeff Greco. Louies Modern pays tribute to Steves father, Louie, a self-taught culinary master who held a shared passion for good food and drink, the release adds. The interior design of the facilities was cre ated by Daroff Design in Philadelphia, while Fishman & Associates of Venice handled the kitchen design. The local architect was Jona than Parks Architect of Sarasota. Diners enjoy lunch in Louies Modern on the rst oor of the Palm Avenue parking garage in Sara sota. Photo by Norman Schimmel service starts at 11:30 a.m., a news release notes. The Francis, Sarasotas newest special events venue, is available year-round for groups and bridal parties ranging from 10 to 250 people. This stylish multi-function space offers cre ative and innovative cuisine from a top-notch culinary team that artfully blends inspiring food and ambiance with professional and attentive service, the release adds. The fa cility includes state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a private dining room and com plimentary covered parking. Located at 1280 N. Palm Avenue, Louies Mod ern and The Francis are adjacent to each oth er on the street level of the award-winning Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 53


Sarasota Cou nty Superintendent of Schools Lori White announced April 1 that she has recommended Phoenix Academy Program Director Edwina Oliver as the new principal at Oak Park School, one of two district facili ties dedicated entirely to exceptional student education. Oliver will succeed Ron Dipillo in the posi tion. Dipillo was appointed assistant direc tor for career and technical education at the Sarasota County Technical Institute, a news release says. Oliver, 41, is a Sarasota native and a gradu ate of Booker High School. She holds a bach elors degree in specic learning disabilities and a masters degree in educational leader ship from the University of South Florida, the release adds. She began her career in 1993 as a special edu cation teacher in Palm Beach County and was named Boca Raton Rotary Teacher of the Year in 1999. That same year she returned to Sarasota to teach at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, the release notes. She was named Teacher of the Year at Booker Elementary in 2000. In 2002 she joined the Booker Middle School faculty, serving as a resource reading teacher for students with disabilities, an exceptional student education liaison and the coordinator of the after-school program. She was appointed assistant principal at Book er High School in 2007 then appointed pro gram director of Phoenix Academy in 2012, the release continues. Former Booker High Principal Constance White-Davis, who supervised Oliver for sev eral years, said in the release, Ms. Oliver is an exceptional and gifted instructional leader. Her unique ability and personality to connect with students and their well-being is inspir ing. Ms. Olivers impact is also felt outside of the school by the way she communicates with parents and the community. I am elated to be able to continue my pursuit of working with students with disabilities on a larger scale, Oliver said in the release. I do believe that every step on my journey has led me to Oak Park, where I can continue to learn and grow as an instructional leader. Olivers appointment is expected to be sub mitted for School Board approval this month. PHOENIX ACADEMY DIRECTOR NAMED OAK PARK SCHOOL PRINCIPAL Edwina Oliver/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 54


The 2013 Vet erans Stand Down event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, Sarasota County has announced. Registration for the event and most of the services for veterans will be available at the Sarasota County Health and Human Services (Health Department) building, 2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Other services will be offered at the Payne Park Auditorium, a short walk away, a news release says. There is no cost to those who attend. Event organizers say the Stand Down is a way for veterans not connected to the system to read ily access available services in a one-stop set ting, the release adds. Veterans who attend the Stand Down will be able to get help in accessing VA benets and services. Housing assistance also will be avail able for homeless veterans, the release notes. Additionally, local organizations will have rep resentatives on hand to provide referrals for mental health and substance abuse treatment; and legal services and employment assistance services will be available, along with free health screenings, at mobile medical units ac cessible in the nearby parking lot, the release continues. The latter will include the Sarasota County Health Departments Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit and the Hedges Health Mart Pharmacys Community Awareness Re sources & Education Services Mobile Unit. Veterans should bring their ID (VA card or DD214 form), if available. Because of the signicant interest in hair cuts last year, there will be a team of barbers, hair stylists and nail technicians from Mana tee Technical Institute on hand, the release notes. Non-perishable food items, personal care items and VA surplus items such as blan kets also will be provided. The Salvation Army will offer food and refreshments. Veterans are an essential part of our com munity. Unfortunately, the transition from active duty to everyday civilian life can be overwhelming, said Chip Taylor, director of the Operation Military Assistance Program (OMAP), a federally funded program initiat ed by Jewish Family & Childrens Service of Sarasota-Manatee Inc. to assist veterans with obtaining or maintaining permanent housing, in the release. The City of Sarasota will be a partnering organization this year, meaning that we will have participation from all levels of government federal, state, county and city as well as the nonprot sector, he add ed in the release. This will help ensure that homeless veterans know about all the benets and services they may be qualied to receive. For more information, visit or call 366-2224. % 2013 VETERANS STAND DOWN EVENT PLANNED FOR APRIL 20 The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 55


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STATE LEGISLATURE SELLS OUT ... AGAIN EDITORIAL EDITORIAL ( Hack!) (Cough!) (Wheeze!) There will be a lot more of that happening on Siesta Beach in the coming year, and it will have nothing to do with an outbreak of red tide. Instead, innocent beachgoers will be gagging on the lthy efuent emanating from the puru lent pleura of tobacco addicts. Thanks to the Florida Legislature, these diseased nicotine junkies may burn dried leaves in their mouths to their hearts content, with nary a concern for the choking hordes surrounding them. You see, the Legislature, in its customary in eptitude, passed a law several years ago ban ning smoking in most public places, but it did not give local governments any authority to extend the healthful effects of that ban on their own property. This detail was not prom inent at the time. Instead, it was discovered in December when a 12 th Judicial C ircuit Court judge in Sa rasota ruled the City of Sarasota could not restrict smoking in public parks because the state statute did not confer that authority. And with a single stroke of the ju dicial pen, public smoking bans in cities and counties around the state were struck down. The Legislature, which was about to convene its annual session, was urgently requested to remedy this oversight by amending the law to allow local governments the ability to con tinue regulating smoking in other public loca tions. The bill actually made some progress in the Senate, but the House of Representatives, that great bastion of term-limited opportun ists seeking to enrich themselves during their short tenure at big business teat, deemed that extending such authority to local governments would be overreaching. It simply would not


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 58 do to allow ci ties and counties to trample on the rights of those poor nicotine ends as they spew their efuvium onto their hapless vic tims otherwise known as the vast majori ty of Florida residents and our free-spending tourism visitors, who collectively, at least in the eyes of the Legislature, apparently have no rights to take a deep breath without gagging. In a particularly galling display of callous tim ing, the House let the bill die last week, just in time for the statewide observance of Tobacco Free Florida Week, April 6-13. Tobacco Free Florida was created as a result of the overwhelming passage in November 2006 of a constitutional amendment that man dated the reinstatement of a statewide tobac co education and use prevention program. This is the fth year of Tobacco Free Florida Week, which seeks to raise awareness of the risks of smoking and secondhand smoke. State ofcials report that about 72,000 Florid ians have managed to kick the noxious hab it directly as a result of Tobacco Free Flori da interventions. All told, more than 500,000 adult smokers in Florida have kicked the habit in the past ve years, along with more than 70,000 youths. As a result of these important lifestyle changes, the states healthcare system has saved more than $4 billion. Regardless of the hard work of Tobacco Free Florida, 28,000 Floridians still die each year from smoking and tobacco-related diseas es. The state shoulders almost $20 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity as a re sult of smoking. In a perfect world, the Legislature would be doing all in its power to encourage and nur ture the important work of Tobacco Free Flor ida, given the tremendous benets of healthier citizens and a healthier economy. But there is nothing perfect about the cloistered world of the state capitol. Legislators are unconcerned about the child who will never grow to adulthood because his asthma is so uncontrolled each breath is a torment. They are unconcerned about the lung cancer patient wasting away to a sliver of her former self. They are unconcerned about the emphysema sufferer slowly drowning as his lungs ll up with uid. They are uncon cerned about colds, us and allergies made signicantly worse for millions in the state because nonsmokers cannot escape those whose rights are protected and who contin ue polluting the air around them. In prostituting themselves with the powerful tobacco lobby, state legislators, especially House members, have sold, if not their souls, certainly their integrity and credibility. Their smarmy platitudes about overreaching and personal freedom are as abominable as the grim instruments of death and despair that Tobacco Free Florida seeks to banish. Their callous disregard for the health and welfare of Floridians is a tacit breach of their commit ment to the people they were elected to serve. Perhaps each countys elections supervisor henceforth should encourage smoking at the entrance of every polling place. And perhaps voters, as they navigated a putrid haze of smoke and toxic chemicals, would reect on the Tallahassee malefactors who made such a gauntlet possible ... and vote accordingly.


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 59 COMMENTARY Th ree things will never be the same for me: Rosh Chodesh (the rst day of a Jewish month); my associations with the Kotel (the Western Wall) in Jerusalem; and my choice to wear a tallit for Jewish prayer. These all came together on Tuesday, March 12, as my husband, Rabbi Geoff Huntting, and I along with Elana and Mark Margolis joined several hundred women and men to pray on the morning of the rst day of the Jew ish month of Nisan, clearly in deance of the laws governing womens prayer at the Kotel. We were prepared. Israeli law protects holy places from desecration, including religious ceremonies not according to local custom, which may hurt the feelings of the worshipers toward the place. For almost 25 years, wom en have been gathering to pray at the Kotel, or ganized by the association Women of the Wall under the leadership of Anat Hoffman to challenge the religious authorities discrimina tion against women praying at the Kotel and wearing tallitot. It was an intense morning: We felt relief at moving smoothly through security entering the Kotel plaza ourselves, yet anxiety over whether Anat Hoffman and the three women Knesset members accompanying her, wearing tallitot, would also be allowed through; being approached by a police ofcer and informed that wearing my tallit was illegal; straining to follow a morning service over the rowdy sing ing and shofar blasts coming from the mens side; and the constant ranting of several Hare di women amongst us, all intended to disrupt our kavannah (intention). We watched the security ofcers careful ef forts to keep raised voices and physical con frontations to a minimum. Knowing that cover age by the media was important, we were yet resentful of their intrusion during a worship experience. We also felt the wonderful support of the many men standing behind us in solidarity. Unlike in previous months, no one was arrest ed or detained, most likely because of the par ticipation of the brave and principled Knes set members. I was so honored to participate in this act of civil disobedience in support of equal religious access and expression for Jew ish women, and I am in awe of the women who stand up for these rights every month. Mark your calendar: Rosh Chodesh Sivan is on May 10, 2013. Sue Huntting is the Religious School director at Temple Si nai in Sar asota. % By Sue Huntting Contributing Writer MY ROSH CHODESH NISAN WITH WOMEN OF THE WALL Rabbi Geoff and Sue Huntting and Elana and Mark Margolis in Jerusalem after visiting the Western Wall in March. Contributed photo COMMENTARY


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 60 COMMENTARY Editors note: Because of the length of this article, we are providing the rst segment in print and inviting you to read the entire commentary in a PDF for mat, as indicated. Whether you are for or against same-sex mar riage, it is a really hot button for both this season and the next. It is a button that was pushed on March 26 and 27 but we will not hear the resulting screams of joy or despair until June. Same-sex marriage and a number of connect ed issues have now been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The rst was Californias Proposition 8, which is referenced as Prop. 8. That states supreme court had previously ruled that same-sex marriages were, under the states constitution, legal. Prop. 8, passed by California voters in 2008, added a clause to the Constitution stating, Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Note: More than $20 million was contribut ed by Mormons members of The Church of Latter-Day Saints in support of Prop. 8, with additional funding by the Union of Or thodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Eastern Orthodox Church and a myriad of evangelical Christian organizations along with many words of support from the Roman Catholic Church. All of this religious organi zation money was donated to ensure the out come of a religious law in our country where church and state are supposed to be separate. In August 2010, a U.S. District Court volleyed back a ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional, specically relative to due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The courts reasoning went along the lines that the Constitution says all people in the U.S. should be treated equally under the law; gays and lesbians are people; therefore, they should be treated equally sort of like, what part of YES dont you understand? Apparently that ruling did not satisfy those against same-sex marriage, and the controver sy was bumped up to the U.S. Supreme Court for a nal judicial decision. The other issue up for review is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): a federal law den ing marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and interstate purposes. Now we know why Congress has not been passing meaningful legislation since 1996 (when DOMA was passed): It must be busy drafting laws dening the other 170,000plus words in the Oxfor d English dictionary. THE SUPREME COURT, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND YOU OR MAYBE A NEIGHBOR, RELATIVE OR FRIEND By Rodger Skidmore Contributing Writer COMMENTARY


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 61 It should not hav e taken 17 years for DOMA to be challenged, and it might have been chal lenged earlier if the mayor of San Francisco had continued ofciating at the marriages of same-sex partners which were not illegal acts. Prop. 8 was only one sentence-long. It indi cated that marriage between two men or two women would not be valid or recognized in California. It did not state that such marriag es could not be performed and thus be rec ognized in other states. This would have set up a situation where a marriage performed in California would not have been recognized there but would have been recognized in Mas sachusetts, for example. Allowing that situation to go forward might have brought the states rights advocates into the mix (perhaps against their will), and DOMA might have been challenged back in 2008, right after Prop. 8 was passed. MOVING FROM THEN TO NOW Support of same-sex marriage has been grow ing over the years, state by state, partly be cause there does not seem to be any con crete evidence that marriages of gays and lesbians have harmed heterosexual couples. Just talking about the subject in a reasonable way has helped as well. One such discussion took place on TV back in 2010 when, on Bill Moyers Journal Moyers spoke with lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies about their legal challenge to Prop. 8. They had opposed each other as the attorneys in Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court when it heard that case following th e disputed election of 2000, but they had joined forces on this new issue. Their points, in line with their thinking on the due process and equal protection under the law clauses in the Constitution, all seem val id. People in committed relationships should have the right to visit their partners when those partners are in the hospital, but many current laws and regulations state that only relatives and spouses may do so. Similar re strictions are written in the form of thousands of laws across the country relative to the IRS, etc. However, all Olson and Boies arguments were based upon their understanding of the law and their views of morality and of those who agreed with them all very goody-goody and well meaning, but would these be strong enough to convenience Justices Samuel Ali to, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas? Coming in sec ond in the Boston marathon is commendable but not quite so great in a case before the Su preme Court. Instead of looking at the Constitution and the issue of right versus wrong, perhaps a more direct approach would be to look at the very basis of both Prop. 8 and DOMA: the denition of marriage the key word being denition and, of course, what is being dened; not mar riage, but who is being married the man and the woman. Once the words Man and Woman are dened, all else falls into place. Certainly the Constitu tion and morality are to be the building blocks


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 62 for an argum e nt before the Supreme Court, but the cement between them should be in keeping with the laws being challenged. Using this approach, I have developed the following points. One can call this straight-line logic in a curvilinear world taking a simple point and then extending it as far as one can while still remaining in context. One could also call it wordsmithing but then, when one is dening things before the Supreme Court, that is what one does if one wishes to win. DEFINITIONAL ASPECTS OF PROP. 8 AND THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT For the state or any other governmental body to permit marriage between only one type of person and another is, simply put, to ban mar riages between people with the denition of people being arbitrarily chosen by the decid ing body. The initial question one might ask, therefore, is: How does this permitting and not permitting relate to the equal protection clause in the 14 th Amendment to the U.S. Con stitution? If the state is to permit marriage only between one type of person and another, one must be able to accurately and denitively describe the types of persons that are being permitted to marry and those not being permitted to do so, in a fashion similar to dening interstate commerce Words conn ected with marriage that come to mind are male man husband female wom an and wife If men are to only marry women, and women are to only marry men, one must dene ex actly what a man is and what a women is and how one is to tell them apart in order for the law to be enforced effectively. The laws under review and any law crafted in the future on this subject must be workable. To that end one must create a workable set of denitions. The framework for those denitions as out lined below is not meant to be disrespectful to the court or to any party attempting to resolve this controversy. It is structured in a way that illustrates the enormity of the problem. Tak ing a simple premise and extending that prem ise to its logical, or illogical, conclusion may show the validity of that premise or the lack thereof sort of a let the chips fall where they may way of viewing the law. Other ways of challenging a law, such as whether it is covered in the Constitution as that document originally was written or wheth er it is moral or fair may also be used, but, when push comes to shove, for any law to be enforced, one must know against whom it is being enforced and how to differentiate those people from the ones being protected. % DOWNLOAD THE PDF Read the full article




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 |


Remember the good old days (about two years ago), when almost all of our reading material was only available in its original format? I am referring to the timeless method of hold ing a book/magazine in our hands, turning the actual pages and reading them as is. There is still hope for us bookies. I am recommend ing a marvelous, old-fashioned used-book store, located in Siesta Village, and called, appropriately, Used Book Heaven. The store is located in The Arches, behind the Bonjour French Cafe. (The actual address is 5216D Ocean Blvd.) Looking at Used Book Heaven from the out side, you have no idea what to expect. The windows are almost completely blocked with books piled high, almost daring you to enter this fabulous little nook. As you open the door, t he chim es ring cheerfully and welcome you inside. There is almost always music from an AM station playing in the background, usually recognizable tunes that we used to call oldies but goodies. And suddenly, without at rst having realized it, you see you are surrounded by at least a zillion books: hardcovers, paper backs, kids books, ction, nonction ev erything from the latest best-seller to an art book you just cannot live without. The inside of this heavenly hangout is huge. Every shelf is lled, with many shelves ap pearing almost overloaded. Pat Orlando, who owns the store with her hus band, Bob, is usually sitting behind the count er, either reading or helping a customer. The Orlandos are originally from New Jersey; they have owned the store s ince they opened it in Bob and Pat Orlando. Photos by Rachel Hackney FOR READERS, THIS IS A HEAVENLY PLACE BOOKS TO GO


Pat Orlando is surrounded by volumes of paperbacks at the front desk of Used Book Heaven. Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 66


Decemb er 1994. Bob says it was always Pats dream to have her own used-book shop. Back in New Jersey, she worked and volun teered as a librarian in an elementary school. In college, she was a library science major, and she never lost her love for books. Pat has instituted her own method of payment for purchases. Regular customers, such as myself, usually come in with some books from home to trade toward new purchases. Pat prices the books and records the amounts on an index card with the customers name. (Her index le is enormous, and it is her only da tabase). When I am ready to buy more books, she looks up my name in the le box and then completes the transaction. If this all seems like the 1950s to you, I could not agree more with that observation. Pat says owning a computer to keep records is very ex pensive, and her method works perfectly for her. She keeps track of her inventory because (a) she has a phenomenal memory; and (b) she puts the books on the shelves, so she can remember exactly where they are. A visiting tourist who has no books to trade can just pay cash and get a free in-store book mark with the books to go. Bob says he and Pat agreed on plans for oper ating the bookstore from the start. Their jobs are well dened: Bob does the bookkeeping and Pat sells the books. She has truly followed her dream, and her husband of 50 years would never have done anything to keep that from happening. % Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 67


Vic Bickel, rst mate, knows every line and spar aboard the pair of 500-year-old designs. Photos by Stan Zimmerman A LADY PAYS A VISIT


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 69 They come from a time when people were smaller, when adventure meant putting your life on the line, when the smallest mistake could send ship and crew to a watery grave from a time when courage was a given. Replicas of two of Columbus three-ship eet are berthed at the Regatta Point Marina in Palmetto through this weekend. The Nia and Pinta are like time machines warped 500 years into the future. You are invited aboard. If you were Juan Ponce de Leon or Anton de Alamenos, you would feel at home aboard the Nia (Spanish: the girl). She is as close a replica as can be made of the 1492 vessel that sailed on all three of Columbus voyages of discovery. It was upon similar ships that The ships were built in Brazil with the same type of hand-hewn tools and techniques used 500 years ago. There were no plans, only these models. COLUMBUS FAVORITE MAKES A PALMETTO PORT CALL By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 70 de Leon and Alamenos found Florida in the spring of 1513. When the Santa Maria foundered on Christ mas Eve 1492 off Cape Haitien, Haiti, it was the Nia that sailed Columbus home. And af ter a hurricane in 1495, Nia was the sole sur vivor. Columbus (and 120 passengers) went home to Spain aboard the (extremely crowd ed) 65-foot caravel. She was built with no power tools, said First Mate Vic Bickel. He came aboard ve years ago as a volunteer. The retired aerospace en gineer worked on the Space Shuttles and now is second in command of a time machine. She is authentic as could be made, added Bickel. There are modern materials used, for sure. Safety is important. But this is as close [to authentic] as we know how to make it. The sails are no longer linen, which is so easy to tear and hard to repair. The lines are no lon ger hemp, prone to rot and decay. And down below is a Perkins six-cylinder diesel engine you could eat off of. Considering the degree of maintenance required on any wooden sea-go The Pinta: Every line and block has a purpose only a sailor could understand.


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 71 ing vessel, the Nia would pass any motherin-laws white-glove test from masthead to bilge. The ships are regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard because they carry passengers. And carefully concealed so as to not spoil the mysterio are all the modern electronics needed by a captain. A radio, global position ing system, depth sounder and radar all are handy to the helm. And what a helm it is. As the original was launched 200 years before sailors discovered the steering wheel, the Nia uses a massive 10-foot tiller to operate an equally massive, barn-door rudder. In heavy weather, said Bick el, the tiller can knock a grown man down. Nia is not for day sailors. Regarding notes for naval architects: Nia carries 2,000 square feet of sail on four masts; two masts are single-spar square-rigged; the aft masts are lateen. She carries 20 tons of stone ballast set like a paved surface above the keel; such stones were later called Bel gian blocks and used to pave some streets of Washington, New York City and Richmond, VA, among others. Nia displace s 76 tons, giving her roughly a 25 percent ballast-to-displacement ratio. And that accounts for her motion at sea. She rolls, said Bickel. Today each ship is crewed by four to seven people; in the 1490s, crews were around 25 in number because the voyag es were longer. In all weathers, the crew slept, ate and lived on deck. Today the storage hold has been converted to berths and a galley for the much smaller crew. The Pinta and N ia are U.S.-agged vessels owned by the Columbus Foundation, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. They have passed repeatedly through the Panama Canal on their educational and recreational voyages along the U.S. East and West Coasts and around Central America and the Caribbe an islands. The ships are among the rarest of maritime relics, functional and operational replicas of technology 500 years old kept running on ticket sales, donations, grants and sheer guts. In Amsterdam and London and even Adelaide, Australia, you will nd tall ships at museums. All are berthed ashore or oating outside the facilities. None of them is working the sea. There is a stillness to a museum ship. To walk the deck of HMS Victory or the Cutty Sark is a thrill, but absent is the tug of the ocean on the deck of a live vessel. A boat is as incom plete without the sea as a dog is without a master or a vicar without a soul. As we celebrate Floridas 500 th anniversary of discovery by Europeans, the Nia is some thing we can wrap our imagination around. It is not some fake artifact like a fountain of youth. On the Nia we can imagine the end less voyage west, hear in our mind the look out cry, Land ho and see anew the feast of owers that would become Florida. Your time machine awaits. The ships will be available at Regatta Point Marina in Palmetto through April 16. Ad mission is $8 for adult s. %


Editors note: T o celebrate Floridas 500th an niversary, The Sarasota News Leader is hap py to serialize portions of the second chapter of City Editor Stan Zimmermans forthcom ing Maritime History of Florida. Here he looks at the historical, religious, nancial and psychological motives 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 Florid a. The man who discovered Florida and named it was born in 1460 at the town of San Servas in Len, Spain. Juan Ponce de Len, a nobleman of royal descent, accompanied Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. Ponce was a soldier, and in 1506-1507, he led the peaceful conquest of Puerto Rico. He was appointed governor of that large island in 1509 by the Spanish crown, and he man aged the early colonization efforts. For his This is 500 years of naval architecture in one frame. What will airplanes look like 500 years from now, or cars? Who knows? But here 1513 meets 2013. Photo by Stan Zimmerman PONCE DE LEON MAKES A FAMOUS DISCOVERY IN THE TIME OF FLOWERY EASTER ON THE EVE OF INVASION: PART II By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 73 ef forts, Ponce received a commendation from the king. During his time in Puerto Rico, Ponce heard rumors of a land north of Cuba. The Span ish called it Bimini. In 1511, he sought from Charles V the king who so recently had commended him a royal license to search for Bimini. A map published in 1511 also shows a landmass north of Cuba, labeled Isla de beimeni parte It was drawn by Pietro Mar tire dAnghiera, a priest in the court of Fernan do II of Aragon. No images remain of Ponce de Leon no por traits; no statues; no engravings; nothing. Every thing is made up. So let this U.S. postage stamp sufce. Image courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service Aboard caravels like this one, Juan Ponce de Leon sailed north from Puerto Rico, past the Bahamas, to nd Florida and then conduct a awless investigation of the lower Florida peninsula. Photo by Stan Zimmerman


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 74 Ponce and dAn ghiera suspected a land ex isted north of Cuba, based on rumors and reports from Spanish sailors searching for slaves and other treasure. It is highly likely the rst Europeans to set foot on Florida soil were slavers and smugglers, because slavery was not legalized in the Spanish-claimed lands of the New World until 1508. But since Ponce was the rst to record his claim to Florida, he gets credit for the discovery. When Ponce nally arrived in Southwest Flor ida, he found a native who understood Span ish and many more who practiced an art the Spanish understood very well war. Prior predation by slavers explains why Ponce was greeted with hostility at every turn. The Spanish crown approved Ponces request for the expedition on Feb. 23, 1512 and pro claimed him Adelantado of Bimini. The title bore heavy responsibilities for both Ponce and the Crown. After court battles with Colum bus, the King of Spain demanded his explorers sign an extensive legal document outlining the rights and responsibilities of all parties. Ponce would be the supreme governor with jurisdic tion for life over all the lands he could discov er and possess. In return, Ponce would pay for all settlements out of his own purse, while the Crown would fund fortications. Ponce would be Floridas rst Adelantado, but not its last. A central gure in the discovery and explora tion of Florida waters now appears Anton de Alaminos de Palos. A navigator who ac companied Columbus, he probably met Ponce on the second voyage. Ala minos remained be hind in the New World as the earliest colonies were founded, and he embarked on a long and colorful career as navigator for several expe ditions. Ponce asked Alaminos to be his nav igator for the Bimini expedition. Because the exploration went awlessly, it is likely Alami nos had visited Florida earlier, perhaps on one of the suspected slaving expeditions. On March 3,1513, Ponce and Alaminos left Aasco Bay in western Puerto Rico with two caravels and a much smaller bergantina. At the time, Alaminos was 38 years old, and Ponce was 53. On March 27, after skirting the eastern shore of the Lucayans and passing south of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama, the eet sighted land: Florida had been discovered. In one of the most famous passages in early Floridas record, historian Antonio de Herre ra 100 years later described what fol lowed: And thinking that this land was an island, they called it La Florida, because it was very pretty to behold with many and re freshing trees, and it was at, and even: and also because they discovered it in the time of Flowery Easter [Pascua Florida], Juan Ponce wanted to agree in the name, with these two reasons. Thus the peninsula was christened. Ponce and Aliminos sailed south, where they encountered the powerful, northbound Gulf Stream near Lake Worth Inlet (which he called Cabo de las Corrientes Cape of the Cur rents). There the ships were swept backwards despite favorable winds. Alimi nos discovered,


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 75 by sailing extremely close to shore, that the current could be avoided. This was a coun terintuitive strategy for fragile wooden boats and thus one indication Aliminos knew what he was doing. On April 2, Ponce anchored and went ashore at an undetermined point, probably in search of rewood and fresh water and to satisfy his curiosity about this new land. In landing, Ponce became the rst European to set foot ofcially on North American soil. Ponces arrival was met with an attack of ar rows tipped with sh bone. Two Spaniards were wounded. They captured one assailant and sailed away. This was the rst of many skirmishes between the Spanish and the orig inal Floridians. Ponces eet continued to hug the shoreline to avoid the current, sailing south along the coast and into Biscayne Bay (where a large native town was noted), then further south and westward around the Florida Keys. Go ing beyond the Marquesas (the islands west of Key West) while staying clear of the treach erous reefs the little eet then turned north. It was as if Aliminos had a chart, so exact was his navigation. Ponces expedition is believed to have made landfall on San Carlos Bay at the mouth the Caloosahatchee River; the eet anchored off the southeastern tip of Sanibel Island. Calu sas attacked the ships from canoes and cata marans, killing one European. Ponce named the islan d Matanzas, the Spanish word for slaughter. After nine days in the area, Ponce decided to return home. On the way, he came upon Las Tortugas (now called the Dry Tortugas, islands west of the Marquesses), which he named for the turtles he found there. After a brief passage due south, Ponce hugged the Cuban coastline and made for Puerto Rico. Aliminos made several very important dis coveries on this journey. He sketched a rough outline of the peninsula from Cape Canaveral to Sanibel; he found the furious Gulf Stream and escaped its grip by sailing extremely close to shore; and he conrmed the Florida Keys were not part of the mainland and avoided (and probably noted) the treacherous reefs. Additionally, he used the wide channel be tween the Marquessas and Tortugas to make a passage from the Straits of Florida to the west ern coast of the peninsula, then discovered a good anchorage at San Carlos Bay. Heading home, he located the Dry Tortugas (and the shallow banks which surround them). After six months of exploration, the eet re turned to Puerto Rico. No ships were lost, and there is no record of anybody running aground. This is a stark contrast to other Span ish voyages of exploration during the same period, when ships commonly ran aground or were lost. %


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 Readers, This is what happened. One roseate dawn during High Season, I re alized that despite a few good rains I had not quite found the number of creepy crawlies, as people often refer to them, necessary to supplement my high-protein, low-fat diet. The yard crew had just put down the lawn pes ticides and pickins were slim. An important Member of the Condo Bored a nd head of the volunteer lan ds caping committee was walking to his car when a neighbor called out, Hey, Bored VIP, where are you off to so early? Crowleys Nursery, he replied. Ive got to get a start on the trafc ahead of all those won derful tourists and swell, brainy college kids on spring break, those whose annual pilgrim age during high season to the pristine sands of Siesta Beach voted the No. 1 Beach in the USA enrich our county coffers and con tribute to our knowledge of cultural diversity ON A PASSAGE TO INDIA, OTUS HAS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A CLOSEUP OBSERVATION OF PEACOCKS 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.


and gr ace Siesta Keys south bridge with their marvelous and multitudinous presence. Of course, that is not what he said! But I do not want to scare off the tourists by repeating what he actually said. As any hungry owl might reasonably do, I mis heard Crowleys Nursery as Crawlies Nurs ery, and with visions of plump centipedes and Giant Water Bugs dancing in my head, I made a quick swoop through his car grille and set tled in to enjoy the long but free ride to break fast. Just a few days earlier, a Great Horned Owl made national news by hitching a ride in a Florida womans SUV When he was nally discovered, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conser vation Commission ofcers removed him, un hurt, and probably cited him for hitchhiking. I was not about to make the same mistake. I was ensconced in a sleek Jaguar, invisible to all sheriffs deputies whose eyes might have been on the trafc rather than their 7-Eleven donuts and hot dogs. It was one long, hot, noisy, dusty, miserable trip; I do not recommend this means of trans portation to anyone. At rst, I tried to distract myself by playing that favorite travel game Name That Road Kill! but Mr. Bored was driv ing way too fast for that. So, I passed the time by contemplating the history of wordplay in English literature. I began with the delightful homophonic pun, when two words that sound alike have different meanings. But considering that is what got me into this dreadful situa tion, I quickly moved on to the double enten dre. That is a word or phrase having a double meaning whose second meaning is risqu. When used by Chaucer or Shakespeare it is downright bawdy fun. A true master of the double entendre and its tongue-in-cheek ribaldry was James Bonds creator, Ian Fleming. He could turn any char acters name into a sexual innuendo. And he did! However, while imprisoned behind a cars grille, I recalled more subtle examples of his wordplay from Live and Let Die, in which Fleming set a more sinister tone for James Bonds mission to save the U.S. from interna tional narcotics trafckers. Go ahead, said Bond, who was riding safely in the passenger seat. He was glad to keep silent and gaze out at his rst sight of Ameri ca since the war, with the exotic pungency of the road signs: SOFT SHOULDERS; SHARP CURVES; SQUEEZE AHEAD; SLIPPERY WHEN WET. However, none of the above fatalistic mus ings had been necessary. As Mr. Bored drove into Crowleys parking lot, I immediately saw butteries, dragonies and all sorts of y ing insects enjoying the warmth of that ear ly morning. A Gossamer-Winged Damsely even greeted me personally inside my com partment. It was quite tasty, and the treat did much to restore my spirits. Crowley Nursery & Gardens uses only natural pest controls, so its fruit plants are natural ly pollinated, berries of the Miracle Fruit are safe to eat and butteries can utter and nec tar. And they did! The staff actually ensures the nursery will have succeeding generations of Lepidoptera by hand-removing caterpillars from host plants available for sale to the ones on permanent display. Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 78


After Mr. Bored parked and walked to the cit rus grove in search of a Meyer lemon tree, I hopped out of my compartment and into the woods. Early in the morning, it is not unusual to see an Eastern Screech Owl (thats me!) hopping on the ground, hunting for insects. I heard a rustling in a pile of dead leaves and rotting wood and as I honed in on it, I saw that it was an immature Skink, tiny to people but just the right size for me. The Five-Lined Skink is a benecial Florida native insectivorous lizard. On Siesta Key, because of predation by the invasive Cuban brown anoles, iguanas and tegus, skinks have become so rare that when people do spot one, they assume it is a baby iguana or tegu. In deed, the skink is an unusual looking crea ture, particularly the male whe n he sports a red head during mating season. When threat ened, skinks tails turn a shade of blue. Skinks are fast-moving creatures, but so am I. I hopped in full pursuit of the skink, deeper into the woods. That is when I was magically transported to India. I saw my rst feral pea cock in full breeding plumage. The unexpect ed sight of his beauty took my breath away. He stood atop a dirt mound, serenely survey ing his lek, that domain a peacock establishes during mating and brooding season. Behind him, I spotted four peahens, a part of his ha rem, scurrying into the thick undergrowth. A group of peafowl is most commonly called a pride or ostentation. Both of these very ap propriate terms reminded me of the account in Herodotus Histories of Croesus and So lon. Croesus was the Lydian king of ancient A Five-Lined Skink. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 79


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 80


Greec e made vain by his vast riches. When the wise Solon of Athens visited the kingdom, Croesus led him through his treasure rooms and asked Solon if he had ever seen greater opulence. Solon answered that he had. Gold and gemstones, he said, pale before the in comparable beauty of birds like peacocks. Later, the gods punished Croesus for his van ity, but that is another story! As Solon noted, other birds possess incompa rable beauty. For example, take the iridescent Velvet-Purple Coronet, a species of humming bird native to Ecuador. In this case, we are so amazed and impressed by his small size, i.e., the exquisite delicacy of his makeup. From his tiny feet to his miniscule enameled breast feathers, he is a hovering bijou, glittering in the sunlight. In the case of the peacock, size really matters. When in full mating regalia, the male Pavo a member of the pheasant ( Phasianidae ) fami ly, is one of the worlds largest ying birds, up to six feet in length. You will probably never see a pea cock in full ight. They are ground dwellers, and around here they only y sev eral yards to perch on a fence or the roof of a porch; and at night they y up to roost safely in trees or elevated cotes people have con structed for them. I have provided you a spec tacular photo of a peacock in his native India, which enables readers to see what he looks like in full ight. A Velvet-Purple Coronet. Photo courtesy Rick Greenspun A ying peacock. Photo by Servophbabu via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 81


Back at Crowleys: From the perspective of an owl, hopping through the grass and looking way up at this breathtaking opulence, it was his magnicent gams that really wowed me! In virtually all the medieval descriptions of a peacock, attention is drawn to his ugly feet. Many accounts claim he grows his tail feath ers simply to detract attention from his feet. Powerful and boasting a sharp, hard spur, his legs and their enormous taloned feet are de signed for foraging, digging, defending his lek and harem and attacking rivals. In his native country, his rival is another pea cock seeking to woo away one of his peahens. But that is India and this is Sarasota. Around here, the principal rival to a peacock is his reection in a shiny just-washed, black lux ury car. Well, that is the myth promulgated by the wealthy Croesuses on Longboat Key, where feral peacocks rule the roost and quite often the streets. Truth is, the color of the car and its price tag are of no importance to the peacock. Any shiny car with sparkling clean hubcaps will do! And when a peacock does at tack his reection, perceiving it to be his rival, he whooshes up with legs extended and tal ons splayed and mightily crashes into that arrogant intruder, slashing him with his spur. Well, just picture soccer great Pel performing a bicycle kick while wearing ice-skates and you will get an idea of how much damage a peacock can do to a car. I felt relieved that Mr. Boreds lovely Jaguar was dust-coated and mud-spattered after the trip. As you know, the peacocks tail is not a true tail. It is simply covert (meaning covering) A peacocks leg spurs are easily visible. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 82


tail feathers grown over his brown, foot-long, real tail feathers, which provide support for his train when he displays it and elevate it a bit above the ground when he struts about. He sports his train for only about ve months of the year. After the mating and brooding sea son, he sheds these 150-200 magnicent feath ers, which are eagerly collected by people and used for decorative purposes. Beginning in late fall, he starts to molt. This brings me to his mate, the peahen. The peahen is consistently described as drab with dull brown and gray feathers. Not true! And I will explain why by asking you to take a look at a photo of a peahen and peacock taken at the end of September, just as they are molting and slowly dressing themselves into their nery in time for the spring mating game. What is cool about the photo is seeing them in this state of dishabille, with crown A peacock growing new feathers. File photo A peahen and cock. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 83


feathers m issing and jutting every which way, while train feathers are just beginning to poke out, like crocuses through the melting snows. At this stage, neither raggedy bird will make the cover of WWD or GQ! No, the peahen is beautiful in her own way. Mother Nature designed her to blend in with the ground and bushes while she nests and incubates her eggs, endowing her with an iri descent green crown and neck feathers inter mingling with rich pearl-gray and earth tones. I found a good video illustrating this. It was lmed outside the gift shop at the Los Ange les County Arboretum. In it, a mama peahens seven precocial chicks hatch. It gives one an appreciation of how beautiful and caring a mother she is and demonstrates to perfection the term precocial. Yes, that is the term I keep using to describe how some chicks just pop out of that egg all feathered, open-eyed, able to hold up their heads and walk and peck at food! They are so amazingly different from us altricial birds. Warning! This video is 14 minutes long. I think 2 1/2 minutes of viewing time will convey the points I have made. It was time to break the enchantment and leave India to return home. Mr. Bored was closing his car trunk on a handsome Meyer lemon tree and, of all things, a Miracle Fruit bush. The Meyer will ourish on our key, but the air is probably too saline for the Miracle. But it is an unusually intriguing plant and worth the try. I slept the return trip until we reached the turnoff to Siesta Keys south bridge. Despite his well-laid plans, Mr. Boreds timing was off. We sat in trafc for a while, a great while. A grou p of th ose nice, brainy college kids on spring break occupied the van in front of us. The Maine license plate read, Vacationland. I thought it was awfully sweet of these kids to give up their vacation and drive all the way to Siesta Key to enrich our countys coffers. The vans engine was turned off, but the van gently rocked from the blare of the rap mu sic emanating from it. The lyrics had a lot to do with killing a pig. I assumed the kids were planning to do a big luau at the grills by our keys beautiful No. 1 beach in the USA. Mr. Bored and a lot of other drivers were wildly supportive of this idea and expressed their en thusiasm by loudly honking and occasionally yelling something I could not hear over the music and honking. Now, safely perched on my old oak limb and quietly reecting on this wonderfully adven turous and educational day, I took great pride in two accomplishments. First, I not only sur vived my passage to India but also immensely enjoyed it and all its exotic beauty. Second, I never once pruriently speculated on how Ian Fleming might have toyed with the word pea cock. And, as long as I am not thinking about that ... Did you know that one of the most famous examples of the naughty double entendre in English literature occurs in Chapter Nine of Oliver Twist ? That is the chapter in which Fagin begins training Oliver to become a pick pocket. It involves handkerchiefs and a lad named Charley Bates. I think you have to be a 14-year-old schoolboy to truly appreciate it. Otus % Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 84


As I was enjoyin g the most recent installment of the PBS nighttime soap opera Downton Ab bey I was startled by the contrast between the interior and the exterior of the mansion. The real-life Highclere Castle was one of the inspirations of author Julian Fellows. Inside, no expense was spared in decorating the walls with rich wood paneling and exquisite artwork. The castles cavernous chambers are lled with elaborately upholstered furniture and stately accessories. Wooden columns tow er in the library; gilt balustrades surround the upper oors; and grand arches beckon one to stroll the plush carpeted oors and wander from room to fantastically appointed room. Immediately outside, by contrast, the founda tion is completely devoid of a single tree, a solitary leaf or an isolated ower. The choice for enhancing the perimet er of this grand cha teau is a surface of gloomy gray gravel. The immediate environs around the Abbey seem to my taste to be strange, stark and sterile. Once the camera pans away from the palace proper, there are spectacular gardens and wooded areas out on the back 40, as it were. That is perhaps the prerogative of the spectacularly wealthy to keep untidy living things at a distance. Trees drop messy leaves in the autumn and go bare in the winter, and many plants turn brown or go into dormancy when temperatures plummet. This is the prov ince of hired gardeners, to deal with the land scape through all seasons, whether cultivars are at the zenith or at the nadir of beauty. Here in the Colonies, we commoners gen erally abide in more modest structures. How ever, the foundation of almost any home will be decorated with smal l trees, shrubs, oc Highclere Castle by garybembridge via Flickr and Wikimedia Commons A GRAND PALACE KEEPS ITS NATURAL ADORNMENTS AT A DISTANCE DOWNTON DOWNER By Rick Wielgorecki Contributing Writer


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 86 casion ally a h edge and maybe even a bed of colorful annuals. These soften the geometric lines of our humble habitats. They give us a view of something soothing and green, and they delight us with a splash or two of color. They also allow us to commune with nature to some degree. So, vive la diffrence PLANT OF THE MONTH I am focusing on a plant that is controversial at this time because of a persistent pest that must be dealt with if you are to grow it in your yard. I am talking about Cycas revoluta the King Sago. Its nemesis is the Southeast Asian cycad scale. Only the most resolute gardener will want to take up the challenge of growing this cultivar, because keeping it healthy will r equire con stant vigilance and determined action in the face of the scales attack. Where clients require that we maintain these beautiful trees, I have been able to preserve them in a state of good health for many years at some considerable expense. Why grow such a plant? These venerable spe cies have been around for hundreds of mil lions of years; they were literally the food of dinosaurs. Japanese natives, they provide a handsome and, some believe, essential com ponent of Japanese formal gardens an im pact that cannot be duplicated. So if you, like others, love the look of the King Sago, proceed with caution and be prepared for a ght. Rick Wielgorecki provides landscape consul tations, installations and maintenance. He may be contacted at 362-0600 or by email at % Cycas revoluta. Contributed photo


SIESTA SEEN Peop le interested in a lower speed limit on a portion of South Midnight Pass Road will have to wait until May 8 for the County Commis sion to decide on the request. That was the unanimous vote on April 10, when the commissioners asked a lot of ques tions about the real purpose behind the re quest for the stretch of Midnight Pass from Vista Hermosa Circle to Sanderling Road. That real reason? Folks want to be able to drive golf carts on the road, Commissioner Nora Patterson said. The petition for lowering the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph was submitted to the coun ty on Nov. 12, 2012 by William Cooper, the se curity chairman for the Sanderling Club Board of Directors, according to a memo provided to the County Commission by Paula R. Wiggins, transportation planning manager, and Coun ty Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr., dated April 10. During its Dec. 10, 2012 meeting, the Sarasota County Trafc Advisory Council (TAC) heard the petition and voted to recommend the re duced speed limit, the m emo notes. In her presentati on to the commission during its regular meeting on April 10 in Sarasota, Wiggins pointed out that Midnight Pass Road has 11-foot-wide travel lanes with 4-foot-wide bicycle lanes and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side. Four crashes were recorded on the selected segment of road from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2012, Wiggins added. The average daily trafc count is 6,700 ve hicles, with a speed of 49 mph recorded for those in the 85 th percentile of the count. Coopers petition, provided to the County Commission, says the lower speed limit was being requested in order for the 100 residents of the 100 homes in Sanderling Club, and the commercial interests that serve that commu nity, to be able to safely enter Midnight Pass Road, from what is their only access point to the road. At times of heavy trafc (especially during the winter season) it can be extreme ly hazardous to pull out and [onto] Midnight Pass, due to speeding cars. Visibility is also limited, which means exiting from Sanderling Club requires pulling out, very close to the road, in order to see the onco ming trafc. COUNTY COMMISSION POSTPONES A VOTE ON LOWERING THE SPEED LIMIT ON PART OF SOUTH MIDNIGHT PASS ROAD; SIESTA FIESTA WEEKEND COMING UP By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 88 Ive actually re ceived three different phone calls over the last year from individuals who live in the area who would very much like to see the speed limit on all roads on Siesta Key lowered to 35 mph, Patterson who lives on the island told her fellow board members. She added that the petition was started by one person who recently moved into The Sander ling Club who wants to be able to take a golf cart into [Siesta] Village. Patterson pointed out that she already sees plenty of golf carts on Ocean Boulevard in the Village, where the speed limit is 20 mph. After asking a number of questions, she con tinued, she had learned that a state law al lows people to drive golf carts on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, if the carts are equipped with headlights. However, she said, a golf carts maximum speed is 25 mph. Referring to the keys trans portation infrastructure, she added, These are narrow roads, and I guess part of my con cern is there are a lot of people who will not only be irritated on a main road when they are confronted with a golf cart going 25 mph, but a number of these folks will pass these golf carts, and these arent the safest roads to pass people. A graphic shows the area where petitioners want the speed limit lowered from 40 mph to 35 mph. Image courtesy Sarasota County


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 89 Wiggins told the bo ard her understanding is that Patterson is correct that golf carts may be allowed on a road with a speed limit of 35 mph or less if they are street legal, equipped with headlights and other safety features. Moreover, Wiggins said, the county would have to approve use of golf carts on a county road with the appropriate level of speed limit before anyone legally could drive a golf cart on the road. When Patterson asked whether the County Commission ever had given its approval for use of golf carts on Ocean Boulevard, Wiggins response was, Not to my knowledge. OK, Patterson said, but there are golf carts on Ocean Boulevard quite often. So thats weird. They may be operating illegally, Wiggins re plied. Im not aware of anything coming to the board designating that [street] as a golf cart use. To which Commissioner Joe Barbetta said sot to voce into his microphone, Scary. Im not trying to stop the golf carts in the Vil lage, Patterson continued. I do have a little bit of a problem were we to extend this all the way down the county portion of Midnight Pass and then deal with the state roads as well. She added, Siesta Key isnt just a resort area. Some residents drive to work, for example, she pointed out, and others as well as tour ists drive all over, including down to Turtle Beach on the south end. That trafc on Sie sta Keys extremely heavy, Barbetta said, and the odds are pretty good the golf carts are going to get way over to the right [of the road], meaning the pedestrians are going to get hit by the golf carts So I think we open a can of worms up if we let that happen. Barbetta added, Id be more worried about somebody being hit by a car [if the person is operating a golf cart] or a golf cart hitting a pedestrian. So we need to give this, really, an awful lot of thought and at what point on the Key do we cut it off? Commissioner Christine Robinson pointed out that speed limit reductions usually are re quested to improve safety on a road, but it appeared this petition had been propelled by a different desire. Before lowering the speed limit, she said, the commission should make sure Siesta resi dents have a chance to weigh in on the matter during community meetings. Wiggins concurred that the staff member who originally handled the request who left county employment had learned the petition was founded in a desire for golf cart usage on the road. When a petition is grounded in a safety con cern, Commissioner Charles Hines said, There are many, many people that will show up for the public hearing on the issue at the TAC meeting. With this agenda item, he pointed out, only the petitioner came to the TAC meeting


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 90 Moreove r, Hin es said, a situation where lit tle segments of road with a lower speed limit are interspersed with segments having higher speed limits poses a dangerous situation. Its going to be a law enforcement problem. I would be concerned about those golf carts on the Key as well, Chairwoman Carolyn Ma son added. Just a few weeks ago, when she last was on Siesta, she said, It took me 45 minutes to get to the Stickney Poin t bridge from the Village Caf. In the stop-and-go process, she contin ued, one driver used the co ntinuous turn lane on Midnight Pass Road to get in front of other vehicles, which is crazy, but we all know its done. She told the other board members, Safety is a real concern for me. As Barbetta had pointed out, she added, Pedestrians and golf carts it just seems like a recipe for trouble. Patterson made a motion to deny the request for the lower speed limit. It died for lack of a second. County commissioners are wary of opening up Siesta Key roads to golf cart transportation, regard less of how the vehicles may look. Photo by Sfoskett via Wikimedia Commons


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 91 Barbetta said he felt the 40 mph speed lim it was too high on the segment of Midnight Pass Road under consideration, but he need ed more assurances about how the golf cart situation would be handled. Besides, Barbetta said, if the speed limit goes down to 35 mph, [Drivers are] going to go 44. This particular segment of Midnight Pass is straight as string, Patterson said, and its actually not as dangerous as some of the fur ther-south areas that are twisty and turny and fairly narrow. Hines suggested the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce be asked to weigh in on the matter be fore the board takes it up again. When Robinson asked whether the Sheriffs Ofce representative on the TAC voted in fa vor of the request, the response was that he did. Barbetta made the motion to continue the dis cussion to the commissions morning session on Wednesday, May 8, adding a request that Wiggins check with the Florida Department of Transportation beforehand about the state statute regarding golf cart usage on roads. Patterson also asked that the countys engi neers as well as the Sheriffs Ofce weigh in. Referencing Barbettas earlier comment, she added that if most vehicles already are travel ing at 49 mph when the speed limit is 40 mph, lowering the limit to 35 is going to pose more enforcement issues. Wiggins co ncurred with the latter part of the remark, noting more drivers would be break ing the law. More tickets, Barbetta said. Theyll give em tickets, Wiggins added, re ferring to deputies. Ultimately, that will lower the speed theyre going, Patterson said with a chuckle. THE STATUTE After listening to the County Commission discussion, I contacted FDOT about the state statute regarding golf cart use on roads. Robin Stublen, communications specialist with the department, directed me to the stat ute The very rst part reads as follows: A golf c art may be operated only upon a coun ty road that has been designated by a county, or a municipal street that has been designated by a municipality, for use by golf carts. Prior to making such a designation, the responsible local governmental entity must rst determine that golf carts may safely travel on or cross the public road or street, considering factors including the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle trafc using the road or street. Upon a determination that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the responsible governmental entity shall post appropriate signs to indicate that such opera tion is allowed. It will be up to the County Commission, then, to make those determin ations.


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 92 FIESTA TIME This week end April 13-14 the Siesta Key Village Association will host the 35 th annual Siesta Fiesta ne arts show along Ocean Bou levard. Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Sat urday and Sunday. Ocean Boulevard will be closed between Ca nal and Beach roads for the event, to allow arts and crafts vendors to set up their booths, the SKVAs newsletter, Boulevard Buzz points out this month. About 250 artists and other vendors are ex pected, offering collecti bles ranging from p aintings to sculpture to jewelry to photogra phy to unique crafts. A Green Market will fea ture orchids, dips and soup mixes, according to the Buzz Members of both the SKVA and the Siesta Key Association will be selling Siesta Fies ta T-shirts as well. Repeat customers have been a tradition, SKVA President Russell Mat thes pointed out during that organizations April 2 meeting. Peter van Roekens, the SKA secretary, not ed that a total of 288 T-shirts will be avail able at a price of $15 each. The booth will be close to the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar at 5254 Ocean Blvd. Ocean Boulevard will be lined with booths Saturday and Sunday for Siesta Fiesta. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 93 Siesta Fiesta i s put on by Howard Alan Pro ductions and American Craft Endeavors in conjunction with the SKVA. Volleyball, too Along with Siesta Fiesta, The Fiesta on Siesta Key, one of the largest collegiate sand volley ball competitions ever held, according to a news release, will return for its fth year April 12-14 at Siesta Public Beach. The format for the Fiesta on Siesta Key will differ from that of past years, the news re lease says. With Florida State University, Tu lane and other institutions hav ing added sand volleyba ll programs, the schedule had to be expanded. Among the other participants will be Stetson University, the University of Alabama-Birming ham, Ava Maria, Florida Gulf Coast University, Georgia State, St. Petersburg College, Miami, South Carolina, South Florida and Webber In ternational University. The NCAA Sand Dual matches will begin at noon on Friday, April 12. The Championship tournament is set to start at 9 a.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.estaonsies % Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers


The abstract seascapes of Holmes Beach art ist Maro Lorimer are featured in Meditations a one-woman show at Art Uptown, 1367 Main St., Sarasota. An artists reception is scheduled for Friday, April 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery. The public is invited. Originally from a waterfront village on eastern Long Island, the artist is a graduate of Brown University. She lived in the Colorado moun tains for many years before moving to Anna Maria Island 14 years ago, a press release says. She also has spent considerable time in New Zealand. I have spent much of my life staring at the wa ter, Lorimer says in the release, and, when I lived inland, I spent my time dreaming of it. I call these paintings meditations because they come from staring and dreaming. I paint spontaneously, exclusively from my memories and my imagination. The Florida landscape rst inspired her to express the intimate beauty of natural beach paths, always with just a glimpse of the water at the end of the path, the release notes. This series of beach path collages was presented in a solo exhibit at the Studio at Gulf and Pine in Anna Maria three years ago, the release adds. From the beach paths, the artists viewpoint emerged onto the wide-open beach, and, even tually, out onto the water, the release contin ues. In recent years, Lorimers work has been pre sented in solo exhibits at Sarasota Orchestras Harmony Gallery and the Palmetto Art Center as well as at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, the Tapestry by Maro Lorimer. Contributed photo ART UPTOWN FEATURING MEDITATIVE PAINTINGS OF MARO LORIMER A&E BRIEFS


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 95 releas e adds. She was the rst-place award winner at Art Uptowns Dog Days show last summer. (In the previous two years, she had won second and third place.) This is her rst season as a member of Art Uptown, the release notes. Farewell Point by Maro Lorimer. Contributed photo Meditations will run through April 26. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the monthly First Friday Gal lery Walks on Palm and Main streets, evening hours are 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 955-5409 or visit


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 96 Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) opens its fourth show of the 2012-13 main sea son, It Aint Nothin But The Blues on Friday, April 12. The show will run until Sunday, May 12. This show is guaranteed to cure the blues, not give them to you, says Founding Artistic Director Nate Jacobs in a news release. For starters, the Broadway production was nom inated for four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards. Add to that the talented cast and director we have pulled together for our version and we know its going to be a real crowd pleaser, he adds. It Aint Nothin But the Blues takes a jour ney through time, tracing the evolution of the blues from African chants through Southern spirituals to the electrifying songs of postwar Chicago nightclubs, the re lease adds. The show captures the heart and soul of this musical genre. In celebrating the his tory of the Blues, it also pays homage to the many artists who have contributed to the musics evo lution, including Ethel Waters, Jel ly Roll Morton, B.B. King and Koko Taylor, the release notes. Directing the sh ow is WBTT veteran Harry Bryce, his seventh production with the com pany. Bryce has been developing visionary works as a director, choreographer, writer and arts educator for more than 30 years, the release says. In 1997, he founded the Mem phis Black Repertory Theatre and served as producing artistic director for ve seasons, during which time he garnered 17 theater awards, the release adds. The cast members are a combination of Troupe members and new talent. Audiences will recognize Tsadok Porter, Ariel Blue and Earley Dean, all Troupe members, the release notes. Donald Frison, previously in Five Guys Named Moe returns to the WBTT stage, as does Horace Smith, seen in Jitney earlier this season. Whitney Mignon Reed, JL Cash Sr. and Greg Burke are new to WBTT productions. Tickets, which are $29.50, may be pur chas ed online at or by call ing the box office at 366-1505. Perfor mances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The WBTT the ater is located at 1646 10 th Way in Sarasota. The cast of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupes It Aint Nothing But the Blues includes (from left) Ari el Blue, Horace Smith, Tsadok Porter, Whitney Mi gnon Reed and Earley Dean Wilson. IT AINT NOTHIN BUT THE BLUES OPENS APRIL 12


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 97 Since 2004 Embracing Our Differences an nual juried art exhibit has graced downtown Sarasotas bayfront with billboard-sized im ages created by artists, writers and students from around the world reecting their inter pretation of the message, enriching lives through diversity, a news release notes. This year, a grant from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation enabled the organi zation to mark its 10th anniversary with an expansion of the exhibit to Bradenton. The Embracing Our Differences artwork will be showcased in Sarasotas Island Park through June 2; at the Anthony T. Rossi Waterfront Park in downtown Bradenton through April 29; and at North Port High School, May 1 to June 2, the release adds. According to Michael Shelton, executive di rector of Emb racing Our Differences, nearly 250,000 pe ople visited the exhibit in Island Park in 2012. By creating simultaneous ex hibits in Bradenton and Sarasota, we expect to increase audiences by 25,000 for this year alone, Shelton adds in the release. We look forward to providing even more opportunities for our community to deepen its awareness that respecting the views of others and stand ing up against hatred and prejudice will lead to a better world for everyone. Shelton notes the organization received more than 4,000 pieces of art and statements from people in 52 countries, including Kenya, Ma laysia, Israel, Iran, the Philippines, Singapore and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. Students from 128 elementary, junior and high schools comprised 60 percent of the individuals submitting art and quotes, the re lease points ou t. 10TH ANNUAL EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES EXHIBIT OPEN The artwork is displayed throughout much of Island Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 98 Area residents, especially students, fared well in the competition, the release continues. Art work and quotes from students in 43 schools in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties were chosen for the exhibit, including artwork created by an entire kindergarten class from Phillippi Shores Elementary and works by two Ringling College of Art and Design students, the release adds. In all, entries from 22 area artists and 28 area quote writers were chosen, with 19 of the art works and 20 of the quotes created by local students, the release points out. Two more local student artists also received honorable mentions. For more information about the exhibit or Embracing Our Differences, call 323-1010 or visit A sign welcomes visitors to the Embracing Our Differences exhibit in Island Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel Students in a Phillippi Shores Elementary School kindergarten class show off artwork they created for Embracing Our Differences. Contributed photo Take a Chance by Faith Marie Sullivan of Sarasota. Contributed photo


Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 99 The 2013/2014 National Tour of the new mu sical The Addams Family, based on the bi zarre and beloved family of characters creat ed by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, will make its Sarasota premiere April 22 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the hall has announced. The Addams Family which began perfor mances in March 2010 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and ran through December 2011, im mediately became one of Broadways biggest hits, a news release notes. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune described the production as classic, full-tilt, fast paced, old-fashioned mu sical comedy! and John Simon of Bloomberg News called it uproarious! A glitzy-gloomy musical entirely worthy of the macabre draw ings by Charles Addams, the release adds. The Addams Family features a book by Mar shall Brickman and Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. The production features an original story, and its every fathers nightmare, the release n otes. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate prin cess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a re spectable family. A man her parents have nev er met. And if that werent upsetting enough, she condes in her father and begs him not to tell her mother, the release continues. Now, Gomez Addams must do something hes never done before keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesdays normal boyfriend and his parents, it adds. In a prolic career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were published in The New Yorker But it was his creation of characters that came to be known as The Addams Family that brought Addams his greatest acclaim, the release points out. Tickets are priced from $30 to $75. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit % BELOVED, BIZARRE ADDAMS FAMILY COMING TO SARASOTA The creepy, kooky Addams Family will make an appearance on the Van Wezel stage this month. Pho to by Carol Rosegg

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Soprano Re becca Price and trumpeter Daniel Mendelow will perform as part of the Church of the Redeemers penultimate Solemn Even song of the 2012-2013 season, at 5:15 p.m. Sun day, April 21, the church has announced. Price is known for singing in the altissimo so prano range, a full octave above high C. She debuted at Lincoln Center in 1997 and is rec ognized for performing works by Handel, Viv aldi, Bellini and Donizetti, a news release says. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her singing and performs worldwide, the release adds. Mendelow is the former principal trumpet for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, where he played for 34 years. He is trumpeter in resi dence at Redeemer, and he takes part in many cham ber music performances and recitals in the area, the release continues. He participat ed as a soloist and panel judge at the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Conference and recently held Bach clinics at Vandercook and Northwestern Universities, it notes. The April Evensong anthems will be The Sol dier Tird from Artaxerxes by Thomas Au gustine Arne, Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson by Handel and Service in C by C.V. Stanford. Evensongs are free; donations are accepted. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota. For more information, visit or call 955-4263. The Church of the Redeemer is in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel. Inset: Daniel Mendelow/Contributed photo RENOWNED SOPRANO AND TRUMPETER TO PERFORM IN EVENSONG RELIGION BRIEFS

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Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 101 The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) will celebrate Israel Independence Day with student speakers Haven Miller, Jesse Schein and Janae Newmark during a program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19. The event is free and open to the public. Following a rigorous selection process, a news release says, these students were named recipients of a trip to Israel through the Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors Teen Leadership Mission program. Young Ambassadors attend In honor of the upcoming wedding of Chazzan Cliff Abramson and Jamie Avery, a celebratory reception will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, April 19, at Temple Sinai, the Temple has an nounced. During the 6 p.m. service that will follow the reception, the couple will be given an Aufruf a special blessing, before they are showered with candy, a news release says. A Spring Supper will top off the evening with a tasty meal created by Chef Alyson Zildjian, the release adds. Call the Temple (924-1802) for reservations. Temple Sinai welcomes guests to share in all the festivities, the release notes. The Temple is located at 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. (Enter off Proctor Road between Beneva and Swift roads.) For more information, call 924-1802 or visit STUDENT SPEAKERS TO MARK ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY at least ve pre-mission training sessions to bond and to learn about Israels history and culture, the release notes. Once back in Sarasota, they are expected to become community leaders and volunteers and share their experiences in Israel, the re lease adds. CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. For more information call 929-7771 or visit Chazzan Cliff Abramson of Temple Sinai and Jamie Avery. Contributed photo TEMPLE SINAI TO HOST RECEPTION FOR ABRAMSON, AVERY

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Sarasota News Leader April 12, 2013 Page 102 Sarasota O rchestra principal cellist Abraham Feder will perform Ravels Kaddish during Shabbat services at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m., the Temple has announced This Sarasota debut of Kaddish is free and open to members of the community, a news release says. In addition to being an acclaimed cellist who also performs with the Sarasota String Quar tet and Chroma Quarter, Feder is a member of Temple Emanu-El who lends his musical talents to the congregation, the release adds. His performance of Kaddish will be preced ed by a brief talk by Rabbi Brenner J. Glick man, who will introduce the piece and explain the signicance of the Kaddish the Jewish prayer for the dead in Jewish ritual. For more information, call 371-2788. % SARASOTA ORCHESTRA PRINCIPAL CELLIST FEDER TO DEBUT KADDISH Abe Feder/Contributed photo 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.

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12+ APRIL La Musica International Chamber Music Festival rehearsals Through April 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 rehearsals or $10 for a daily pass. Click here for a complete rehearsal schedule. 12+ 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 12+ APRIL Venus in Fur (for mature audiences) Through April 28, 8 p.m. and some matinees; Historic Asolo Theater, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $25-$40; purchase at 351-8000 or 13+ APRIL 35th annual Siesta Fiesta April 13-14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Siesta Village on Siesta Key, along Ocean Boulevard and part of Beach Road, featuring about 250 arts and crafts vendors and a Green Market. For more info, visit 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 14 APRIL Stuart Woods will sign his new book April 14, 3 p.m., author Stuart Woods returns to Bookstore1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., to greet fans and sign his latest Stone Barrington mystery, Unintended Consequences More info at or 365-7900. Only books purchased through Bookstore1 will be eligible for signing. Pre-order in person at Bookstore1 or by phone at 365-7900. 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:

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Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS OH, THE TALES IT COULD TELL SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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