Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER Inside LESS INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC CITY ELECTION LAW VIOLATION ANOTHER BUMP ON THE PATH Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 34 May 10, 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


It was another very busy week for our local government boards, as evidenced by our news stories in this issue. Although I have been in this business since I was in college, it still never ceases to amaze me that topics totally unexpected can pop up to create as much if not more interest than those I anticipated during a meeting. The primary news this week focused on the expected City and Coun ty commission discussions the 2050 Plan, sound enforcement in downtown Sarasota and road impact fees among them. However, outgoing City Commissioner Terry Turner gave City Editor Stan Zim merman some unplanned good copy, with parting remarks about the state of the citys nances. The county commissioners also had the opportunity to weigh in again on the Warm Mineral Springs debate with a twist they obviously did not expect. For our readers on Siesta Key, you can call this a Bonanza Week, with news varying from the broaching of the idea of building a multi-level park ing deck with a restaurant on top overlooking the Gulf of Mexico to the speed reduction petition on part of Midnight Pass Road to the next step in the process of improving the facilities at the public beach. On the much-needed lighter side, Cooper Levey-Baker offers a preview of the upcoming Community Baby Shower, Tyler Whitson gives us a glimpse into the accomplishments of illus tration majors at Ringling College of Art and Design, Scott Proftt puts students in the spot light for their achievements and Otus provides us not only an update on Charlie the Great Blue Heron but tells us how we can try to identify the varieties of hawks that make their home in this area. I think it is safe to say we have something in this issue for almost every reader imaginable. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


LESS INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC THE HOMELESS NE WS & COMMENTARY LESS INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC 7 County fast-tracks 2050 Plan overhaul Cooper Levey-Baker CITY ELECTION LAW VIOLATION 12 Police union gives commission candidate Richard Dorfman a campaign donation that is too high Stan Zimmerman ANOTHER BUMP ON THE PATH 16 A North Port city commissioners unexpected request leads to County Commission confusion over the next steps in the boards efforts to resolve Warm Mineral Springs issues Rachel Brown Hackney THE HOMELESS 21 Analysis: How can so few cause so much trouble? Stan Zimmerman THE STATUS QUO 27 The County Commission votes 4-1 to maintain its current road impact fees indenitely and agrees to work with the City of Sarasota on a multimodality agreement for city fees Rachel Brown Hackney TURNERS SCARY SWAN SONG 33 Analysis: Will there still be a Sarasota in 20 years? Stan Zimmerman MEETING MORSELS 37 City commissioners deal with pets at Payne Park, more sound enforcement issues, the Benderson property deal and some points of order Stan Zimmerman A CHANCE TO WEIGH IN 42 Oversight Committee suggests upping Transfer of Development Rights prices Cooper LeveyBaker AN EVENT REBUFFED 46 Chalk Festival gets only half the amount of waived city fees it sought Stan Zimmerman YOURE INVITED! 48 The Community Baby Shower offers fun and serious services to expectant families Cooper Levey-Baker TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Whitecaps Rachel Brown Hackney Sarasota Leisure: Soaring Over Siesta Norman Schimmel No. 34 May 10, 2013


ARTISTS ON THE MOVE THE STUFF OF DANCERS DREAMS MULT IPLE HONORS 51 The School Board recognizes winning students on a robotics team and those with works in the Embracing Our Differences exhibit Scott Proftt A MATTER OF SAFETY 54 The County Commission again debates a lower speed limit on part of Siesta Key but frets about the low-speed vehicle factor Rachel Brown Hackney A LONG TIME COMING 59 The County Commission approves an estimated expense of $72,000 to get seven Siesta Village crosswalks illuminated Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 63 OPINION EDITORIAL 72 Texting-while-driving ban too little, too late LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 75 SARASOTA LEISURE ARTISTS ON THE MOVE 78 Graduating Ringling College of Art and Design illustration seniors discuss post-graduation plans at 2013 Senior Showcase Tyler Whitson ASK OTUS 84 Charlie continues a good recovery; identifying Hawks can be a fascinating but time-consuming process Otus Rufous THE STUFF OF DANCERS DREAMS 94 Sarasota Ballets nale presents an uneven mix of company choreography Elinor Rogosin SIESTA SEEN 98 A Gulf-side parking deck proposal sparks discussion; worries aired about the latest County Commission comments on the Siesta Beach Park improvements Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 105 RELIGION BRIEFS 113 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 117 SCHIMMEL SIG HTINGS 118 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article No. 34 May 10, 2013


Perhaps it wasnt a surprise this week that the Sarasota County Commission voted to start overhauling Sarasota 2050, but the move to fast-track that process caught more than one observer off-guard. Intended to encour age the construction of walkable, mixeduse communities and to limit urban sprawl, Sarasota 2050 has been a hot topic of discussion since last year, when the com mission directed staff to ask developers how they would like to see the plan changed. On Wednesday, May 8, staff summarized those de veloper suggestions, as well as feedback from environmental and neighborhood organiza tions, asking whether the commission wanted to begin the thorny process of altering 2050s detail ed land-use regu lations. The answer: Yes, and lets get on with it, al ready. County Long-Range Planning Manager Al len Parsons delivered an inform a tive pre The Sarasota County 2050 Plan was designed to provide guidelines for managed growth in the ru ral areas east of Interstate 75. Photo by Rachel Hackney COUNTY FAST-TRACKS 2050 PLAN OVERHAUL LESS INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC Just to clarify, because I must not have been clear enough, what I said was that the one-eighth of 1 percent shows that there was not a groundswell of the public coming out. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


sentation on the history of 2050, touching on its goals of preserving open space and requiring new neighborhoods to adhere to New Urbanist design principles. According to Parsons slideshow, 8,020 units have been entitled under 2050 guidelines since 2008, but only 103 have gotten all the way to the permitting stage. A persistent 2050 critic, Commissioner Joe Barbetta seized on those numbers as proof the rules are unworkable. Thats the real issue before us today, said Bar betta. Whats preventing column one to get ting to column two to getting to column three? That s what we need to talk about today. Lourdes Ramirez, president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, has been a critic of the move to revise the 2050 Plan. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 8


Critics of 2050 say that gap is due to excessive regulations, while defenders blame the global recession and the regions housing crisis. In their meetings with county staff held last fall, developers suggested changes such as reden ing open space and removing scal neutrality monitoring. Fiscal neutrality is the principle that any new development should generate enough impact fees, sales taxes and property taxes so it does not cost the county to extend services to the new neighborhood. Builders are now required to submit scal neutrality reports at e ach phase of construction a rule developers would like to see axed. Those opposed to the developer proposals argue its too soon to monkey with a plan in tended to manage growth for the next four de cades, and that the changes would reduce en vironmental protections. Parsons summarized the objections raised to the process during a pair of public town halls held earlier this year, as well as comments received online and via snail mail. Ba rbetta seemed dismissive. A graphic in the countys Comprehensive Plan shows areas where villages and hamlets could be lo cated under the aegis of the 2050 Plan. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 9


I calcula ted 140 lets round it up to 150 people showed up at these meetings, he said. And then another 300 written comments we received. So thats 450 comments. If all 450 were against revisions to 2050, I come up with one-eighth of a percent, based on our popu lation. ... These comments that were gutting it and the publics against all this and every thing, I think, are unfounded. Barbetta later suggested staff should be ex pediting the process as much as possible, and he moved to eliminate a round of neighbor hood workshops and Planning Commission consultation in the review process. Commis sioner Charles Hines said citizens could reg ister their thoughts at any public hearings, meaning there was no need for neighborhood input in the short term. Commissioner Nora Patterson was the only board member to object. The motion passed 4-1. According to Parsons presentation, staff will now put together a Scope of Work that will Dene issues & how to accomplish, as well as detail a public engagement plan and bring that back to the commission within two months. No neighborhood workshops will be sched uled till the nal phase of the overhaul. That prompted sharp words from some in the audience. Former commissio n candidate Jono Miller took issue with Barbettas one-eighth of a percent remark, arguing the commission should clearly communicate with the public about what level of participation meets their threshold for being signicant. The day after, on his blog, Miller wrote that the commission had chosen to abort its tra ditional process for revising the Comprehen sive Plan. Control Growth Now President Dan Lobeck registered severe disappointment with the process, saying Barbettas one-eighth re mark demonstrated contempt for the public. Lobeck was appalled, while Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations Presi dent Lourdes Ramirez was disgusted. At the very end of the meeting, Barbetta walked back on his one-eighth comment. Just to clarify, because I must not have been clear enough, what I said was that the oneeighth of 1 percent shows that there was not a groundswell of the public coming out, he said. I did not dismiss that. I wish more peo ple came out. Barbetta added that he was always open to public input and that his words had been to tally misinterpreted; typical, but thats ne. % Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 10


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If any organization in a city knows local rules and regulations, it should be the police. So when Sarasota City Commission candidate Richard Dorfman led his nal campaign trea surers report on Wednesday, May 8, one do nation stood out. It was a $500 contribution from the local Police Benevolent Association. Voters six years ago approved a change to the city charter that put a $200 cap on campaign donations. Since then the amount column on many treasurers reports is a string of $200 donations. But Dorfmans most recent report shows a $500 gure for the donation on April 30 by the SW FL PBA Inc. That is the South west Florida Police Benevolent Association, w hich apparently broke city regulations by donating too much. Normally a campaign treasurer would ag the large donation and do the paperwork to return it. But Dorfmans treasurer is John Dowd, a Venice accountant who may not be familiar with Sarasotas city-specic election laws. A call to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ofce directed us to City Attorney Bob Fournier, who said it was the rst time he had heard of the situation. The question put to voters in 2007 was Amendment to limit campaign contributions to candidates for the City Commission to a Richard Dorfman. Photo by Norman Schimmel POLICE UNION GIVES COMMISSION CANDIDATE RICHARD DORFMAN A CAMPAIGN DONATION THAT IS TOO HIGH CITY ELECTION LAW VIOLATION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


maximu m of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per contributor, per election. A second question on the ballot was also ap proved, and it also applies to the PBA dona tion: Amendment to provide that campaign contributions to candidates for the ofce of City Commissioner shall be limited to contri butions from individuals or natural persons only, to the exclusion of corporations and oth er business entities. Since the SW FL PBA is a corporation or oth er business entity, it is not allowed to contrib ute anything to City Commission candidates under the voter-approved charter change. At least one other candidate Linda Holland also received a $500 donation from the SW FL PBA before her elimination from contention in the March primary. A call to the SW FL PBA was not returned before deadline. STACKING UP THE DOLLARS The 2013 race for two at-large seats on the Sarasota City Commission may be the most expensive one in city history. Six candidates started on the campaign trail last winter; three failed to make the cut during the March 12 pri mary. Among them, they raised approximately $19,500 with one candidate Kelvin Lumpkin pulling in just shy of $12,000 of the total. After the three survivors emerged from the rst round of balloting, they were eligi ble for another round of fundraising. By the time the nal treasurers reports were led on May 8, the six candidates had raised a total of $144,255 (including the $1,000 in questionable SW FL PBA donations). Of the $144,255 total, Dorfmans war chest of $62,316 represents almost h alf the amount Suzanne Atwell. Photo by Norman Schimmel Susan Chapman. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 13


raised and sets a new highwater mark for candidate nances. Forces outside the candidates campaigns were also at work inuencing voters. Sara sota entrepreneur Jessie Biter in mid-April formed a political committee and raised $35,100. Called Biter ECO, the organization spent $19,146, including $14,160 on polling. Biter is backing Dorfman in the race. Another and more familiar PAC is also help ing candidates. Citizens for a Better Florida Inc., the electioneering arm of the real estate industry, s ent out multiple mailers supporting Suzanne Atwell and Richard Dorfman. Dorfman and Atwell have used out-of-town political consultants to help their election chances. Atwell employed Angle Mastagni Matthews Political Strategies of Fort Worth, TX, at a cost of $1,666. Dorfman used Political Ink of Washington, D.C., paying $7,500. Susan Chapman used no out-of-town strate gists, nor did she benet from the efforts of outside pol itical action committees. % The runoff on May 14 will decide who Sarasotas two at-large commissioners will be for the next four years. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 14


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If they were confused, they had every right to be. That essentially is what Sarasota County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh told the County Commission on May 7 regarding the latest news about Warm Mineral Springs. During the Commission Reports part of their regular meeting in Venice, Commissioner Joe Barbetta brought up an email all the board members had received from County Adminis trator Randall Reid at 8:58 a.m. that day. Reid notied the board he had received an email from Jonatha n Lewis, manager of the City of Nort h Port, saying one of the North Port commissioners had requested copies of the draft interlocal agreement and short-term lease proposal for Warm Mineral Springs be ing circulated among Reid, DeMarsh, North Port City Attorney Robert K. Robinson and Lewis. The documents were prepared by De Marsh and his staff to memorialize the ac tion the two commissions took in a facilitated meeting on April 17 about the future of the 81-acre resort the commissions jointly own. The North Port commissioner who requested the documents, The Sarasota News Leader learned in a public records request, was Cher yl Cook. (From left) North Port City Commissioner Rhonda DiFranco, Vice Mayor Jim Blucher, Mayor Linda Yates, Commissioner Cheryl Cook and Commissioner Tom Jones. Photo courtesy City of North Port A NORTH PORT CITY COMMISSIONERS UNEXPECTED REQUEST LEADS TO COUNTY COMMISSION CONFUSION OVER THE NEXT STEPS IN THE BOARDS EFFORTS TO RESOLVE WARM MINERAL SPRINGS ISSUES ANOTHER BUMP ON THE PATH By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


In a 3-2 vote on D ec. 18, 2012, Cook, North Port Mayor Linda Yates and North Port Com missioner Rhonda DiFranco agreed to sell Warm Mineral Springs, which the city and the county jointly purchased in 2010. In January, a subsequent vote specied they wanted to sell the citys share of the resort instead of pursuing the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) on the future management of the springs that the North Port and County Commissions had set tled on in July 2012. Cook and DiFranco were elected to the North Port Commission in November 2012. In an email she sent to Lewis at 5:46 a.m. on May 6, Cook wrote, I would like a copy, please, of the draft Interlocal that you re ceived Friday from the county regarding the [Warm Mineral Springs] discussed in the con ict resolution meeting. Thank you. In an email he subsequently sent to all the North Port commissioners on May 6, Lewis reported that he had received a request for the draft as well as my response. Please nd them attached. He added, Please remember that the County was doing [a] version [of the agreements] to get the ball rolling between staff so a docu ment could be provided to both Commissions. Also please be aware that these documents have been redrafted multiple times since these were created and both the County staff and the City staff are still working to develop documents that reect the intent of the Com missions at the joint meeting [on April 17], Lewis added. A class exercises in the water at Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 17


M oreover, Lewis noted he would be asking the City Commission to allow him to schedule a special meeting on Monday, May 20, so the members could consider the interlocal agree ment between the boards that is still under development. The lease for the company operating Warm Mineral Springs ends on June 30. If the North Port commissioners had access to those draft documents, Reid wrote in his May 7 email to the county commissioners, then they should have equal access to the ma terials. THE CHAIN OF EVENTS Because of the continuing conict over the future of the Warm Mineral Springs, the eighthour facilitated meeting on April 17 was held in accordance with the Florida State Statutes, so the boards could iron out their differences. At the end of that session, the commissions agreed on the idea of a short-term lease fol lowed by a process similar to an ITN for pro posals on the long-term management of the resort. Early on the morning of April 18, North Port Commissioner Rhonda DiFranco sent an email to Lewis saying she had changed her mind and no longer supported the action agreed upon during that facilitated meeting. However, when the North Port Commission discussed the next steps in the process during its regular meeting on April 22, DiFranco made no men tion of her email as Lewis and City At torney Robinson talked about the need for the inter local agreement. Therefore, on April 23, County Commissioner Christine Robinson won support for a motion directing DeMarsh to proceed with drafting that agreement. During that same meeting, DeMarsh told the board he also would draft an agreement regarding a short-term lease; he would provide it to the North Port Commis sion at the same time he sent the draft inter local agreement, he added. As he had explained on April 23, DeMarsh re iterated on May 7 that the North Port Com mission still would need to take an initial vote on the documents before the County Commis sion addresses them formally. In response to a question from Commissioner Robinson, DeMarsh pointed out that the doc uments were not ready for either commission to consider. Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid (left) and County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 18


DRAFTS The following are examples of the document language proposed by the county and the city in the interlocal agreement: The county version: Equal Partners. The Parties afrm that they are fully equal part ners in the ownership and operation of Warm Mineral Springs and agree that any use or operation of the property shall be made only with the mutual approval of both parties. Furthermore, the Parties agree to share equally in the expenses incurred and revenues generated from the operation of Warm Mineral Springs. The North Port version of the same sec tion: Expenses and Revenues. The Par ties agree to share equally in the expenses incurred and revenues generated from the operation of Warm Mineral Springs. Within thirty days of entering into this Agreement, the parties will reconcile their expenses so that expenses to the date of execution have been shared equally as was required by the Memorandum of Understanding dated De cember 12, 2010 and subsequently amended on July 23, 2012. T he county version of another section: Short Term Operation The Parties agree to seek proposals for the operation of Warm Mineral Springs for a 10-month period ex pected to run from July 1, 2013 until April 30, 2013, in an advertised competitive pro cess in satisfaction of Section 125.35, Flor ida Statutes, and in a form substantially similar with the operator license attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A. The Parties agree to use their best efforts North Port Manager Jonathan Lewis. Photo courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 19


to achieve the selection as so on as possible to avoid the closure of the Warm Mineral Springs. The North Port version: Short Term Oper ation The Parties agree to advertise a com petitive solicitation in satisfaction of the ap plicable Florida Statutes including, Section 125.35, Florida Statutes for the operation of Warm Mineral Springs. The terms of the solicitation shall include the items dened in Exhibit A. The Parties agree to use their best efforts to achieve the selection as soon as possible to avoid the closure of the Warm Mineral Springs. CLARIFICATIONS This is ongoing between the attorneys and the manager and the [county] administrator? Commissioner Robinson asked DeMarsh on May 7, seeking clarication about the status of the documents. DeMarsh conrmed that. Then Robinson pointed out that the North Port Commission has a regular meeting sched uled for May 13. DeMarsh told her, It is like ly the city will not take action on this next week, adding that Lewis was attempting to schedule the special meeting. Do they want to wait till its the day before [the lease ends]? Commissioner Nora Patter son asked. I dont want our attorney to waste any more time on this, Barbetta said. This is outra geous. As far as Im concerned, we stick with our original agreement. To do what? Patterson asked. So theyre going to wait until the end of the month to hear this? Robinson asked. That s their prerogative, Barbetta replied. While DeMarsh said he could not speak for the North Port Commission, he afrmed Lew is efforts to set up the special meeting on May 20. DeMarsh reiterated that the reason the coun ty commissioners were discussing the matter was because Reid wanted them to have the same drafts the North Port commissioners had. So a commissioner in North Port was inter vening in the process between the administra tors and the attorneys, Robinson said. Thats whats happening? Then, chuckling, she told DeMarsh, Dont answer that! I wasnt about to, DeMarsh replied. We authorized the attorneys and managers to come up with a memorandum of understand ing, and now we have a commissioner whos getting involved to obstruct the process, because they dont like the end result of what happened at the [facilitated meeting], Robin son continued. I dont want to wait till really close to the potential closing of [Warm Mineral Springs] for the County Commission to weigh in, Pat terson said. Addressing DeMarsh, she contin ued, You said its really up to them, but if they wait, I think weve got a problem. DeMa rsh said again that the County Commis sion had nothing to discuss until the North Port Commission acted on the interlocal agreement and the document regarding ad vertisement of the proposed short-term lease. When DeMarsh asked whether they wished to discuss the matter further on May 8, the commissioner s decided against that. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 20


Sarasotas game of homeless Whac-a-Mole has taken a couple of twists in the past 10 days. On Wednesday, May 1, the bulk of the grassy area at Five Points Park downtown was draped with orange construction screen ing to give the grass a respite. The shady park screening and all is a popular staging area for Sarasotas homeless. The following Monday, May 6, a rumor swept the ranks of Saraso tas homeless that a gift of $2 million and land for a tent city was being offered. Home less men and women walked to City Hall to tell the city commissioners not to get in the way of that plan. The commissioners then took counter-re from downtown merchants with stories of how vagrants are driving away business with vulgarity and lth. On Tuesday, May 7, the homeless camp on Florida Avenue was demolished, following a warning three days earlier for the people staying there to remove their belongings or lose them. If history is any guide, the Florida Avenue Gang has already found another shady place to squat. A man seeks handouts from drivers along Bee Ridge Road in late April. Photo by Norman Schimmel ANALYSIS: HOW CAN SO FEW CAUSE SO MUCH TROUBLE? THE HOMELESS We need your help. We need a safe place to be. Robin Cousino By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


THE MILLI ON-DOLLAR RUMOR During the open to the public period Monday afternoon, the city commissioners appeared surprised to hear of a $2 million donation to help the homeless. Vallerie Guillory, executive director of Trinity Without Borders, said the owner of 1003 N. Washington Blvd. was offer ing the property as the site of a tent city for the homeless. The parcel is immediately north and east of the railroad tracks north of 10 th Street. It was formerly the location of an auto repair shop, with a wide swath of property to the rear look ing west. Devoid of trees and covered with a concrete slab, it is about 400 feet due south of the southeast corner of the citys sewer plant on 12 th Street. In other words, it is a treeless concrete hard stand often bathed in the perfume of a sew er treatment plant. And it would necessitate city approval of a major conditional use to switch from auto repair shop to tent city. Con sidering the attendant staff review and public hearings, making a homeless encampment le gal there would require months of red-tape satisfaction. But Guillory was not deterred. With the gen erous donation of land and $2 million, we are ready to assist homeless housing, she told the commissioners. We need your help to know whether we have an invitation to assist with the problem. That $2 million is pledged to us, said Robin Cousino. We need your help. We need a safe place to be. Homeless people sit on the sidewalk adjacent to Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 22


This place Va llerie is talking about will offer training, said Amanda Bartholomew. I lost my job as a mechanic; I lost my home and ev erything. Im homeless, but I want to get back on my feet again. The commissioners and staff are now trying to nd out more. We have 400 people on the streets at any one time, City Manager Tom Barwin said later in the commission meeting. I will look into the $2 million pledge to see if its real. BARWINS SCARY BACKGROUND STORY During the Saturday, May 4, Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations (CCNA) meeting, Barwin relayed what he had found out about Sarasotas homeless issue. Part of it spilled into Mondays meeting, including his peo ple on the streets comment. Barwin said that based on national averages by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, given the citys population of 60,000, Sarasota should have 132 street peo ple. But on any given night, the Salvation Army will host up to 250 people, and there will be 150 more on the streets, he told the neighborhood representatives. He called the 400 street people, a term the street people rejected on Monday evening. Deborah Hines said, Were not all street peo ple. Were just homeless. Whatever you call them they are here in a concentration more than twice the national average, Barwin told the CCNA. Exacerbat ing the problem is their d ensity. Barwin said they are c oncentrated in a one-square-mile area, and they are responsible for a number of crimes far out of proportion to their frac tion in society. Assuming a population of 60,000, the 400 street people comprise a mere 0.6 percent of the people in the city, a gure not in Barwins presentation. Barwin asked the Police Department to cross-index robberies, burglaries and aggra vated assaults in 2012 and the rst quarter of 2013 with transient status. The department staff told him that 13.3 percent of the robber ies were cleared with the arrest of a transient. For burglaries, the gure was 23 percent; for aggravated assault/battery, the fraction was 16.7 percent. For all arrests felony and misdemeanor transients accounted for 23.7 percent. In other words, the 400 have been a source of trouble far beyond their numbers. Another gure not in Barwins presentation, but derived from his numbers: Transients in Sarasota are nearly 40 times more likely to be arrested for a crime than the rest of the population. MERCHANTS GET MAD W hile street people/homeless/vagrants/tran sients ruled the afternoon City Commissions open-to-the-public session, downtown mer chants stole the show in the evening. Since I was here last complaining about the criminal element, I have called the police multiple times, inc luding today, said Johnna Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 23


White. I have been threatened and cursed. I have drug deals in front of my shop. Its enough. These are people that have chosen this life style. Theyre really begging and making a mess, said Wendy Getchel. Customers dont feel safe. Last Friday, I had to close at 4 [p.m.] instead of 5 because a big ght broke out. Theyre al most inside my store, and intimidate my cus tomers, said Melanie Denicourt. I feel bad for those people, but were at a point we cant afford it. It needs to stop. Ernie Ritz with the Gator Bar and Stacy Holler with Patricks restaurant ngered one individ ual named Ian. He glares at my customers and frightens them, said Hollar. I call police, but they say hes not breaking any laws. Hes mentally deranged and very frightening. Ritz sees Ian every day. Hes not a character to us. Hes detrimental to our business. We dont like him there. But the ugliest story came from across the street from City Hall itself. Nancy McElmeil bought a building on Second Street in 2004 and has been working on it ever since. We realized very quickly the side of our building was a toilet. Weve been cleaning it up since then, she said. Its been bad, but not as bad as last year. Human feces and urine have become a daily part of her life. We have to clean it up be The City of Sarasota has removed a homeless encampment on Florida Avenue. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 24


cause of the Health De partment, she said. The Police Department says they are not sup posed to be hassling homeless people. One guy urinated in front of us and two ofcers; then we had a smashed window. The smell of urine and human excrement is gagging in the summer all across the street from City Hall. THE BIG STALL Barwin arrived to take the city manager job as the street people/homeless/vagrant popula tion climbed to its annual peak at the height of the tourist season. His attempt to put together an ad hoc committee to tackle the issues was greeted with a carrot and a stick. The Commu nity Foundation of Sarasota County offered $60,000 to get the initiative started; but a law yer led suit because the ad hoc committee did not advertise its meetings under the states sunshine law. The committee has not met since the legal challenge arrived. And the grant has been withdrawn because the lawyer dragged the Community Foundation into court, too, de manding its records. While Barwins strategy is stuck in neutral, that did not stop him from making observations about the overall situa tion to the CCNA. Why are things they way they are? Barwin cit ed a lack of caseworkers to coordinate the search for diagnosis, treatment, employment and housing. He cited the lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities for indigents. He further noted the reticence of local judges to commit people against their will for treatment beyond three days. And he cited a lack of cheap housing for low-income people. Add itionally, he bemoaned the fact the City of Sarasota is carrying the whole burden, that there is no regional approach to low-in come housing or mental health needs. A proposal to look at St. Petersburgs ordi nances regulating panhandling, sleeping in rights of way, trespassing and public urination was deferred on Monday. City Attorney Bob Fournier was not ready for that route. In other words, for the past six months, as pressures have grown, there has been no ac tion. While there has been no lack of words from the homeless, the bureaucrats, the poli ticians, the police, the merchants and the pub lic, nothing has been done but the playing of Whac-a-Mole. From Five Points to Gillespie Park to Florida Avenue, the question is, what is next? % City Manager Tom Barwin discusses home lessness issues with the County Commission during a joint city/county meeting in early February. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 25


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


After review ing updated road impact fee data, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 on May 8 to direct staff to maintain the existing rate schedule indenitely. However, the motion called for the implemen tation of an ination index as of Jan. 1, 2015, and it also directed staff to begin working immediately with representatives of the City of Sarasota on utilizing road impact fees col lected within that municipality in multimodal projects the addition of bike lanes and side walks not associated with new road projects. Furth er, the motion includes a provision call ing for the County Commission to revisit the road impact fee schedule six months prior to Feb. 1, 2015. A chart compares road impact fees for Sarasota County. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION VOTES 4-1 TO MAINTAIN ITS CURRENT ROAD IMPACT FEES INDEFINITELY AND AGREES TO WORK WITH THE CITY OF SARASOTA ON A MULTIMODALITY AGREEMENT FOR CITY FEES THE STATUS QUO By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Jonath an B. Paul, the countys i nterim trans portation planning director, pointed out that the full rates based on the 2013 data would go into effect on Feb. 1, 2015 unless the board took new action. On Jan. 16, the board voted to retain its adopted 2011 rates through Jan. 31, 2015 while it awaited the latest data. The existing rates, based on 2007 information, were reduced 50 percent on Jan. 26, 2011 to help developers deal with the eco nomic downturn. However, when the board adopted the fee schedule in March 2007, that was 68 percent of the full rate. As a result of the May 8 vote, staff will pre pare an ordinance that will be advertised for a public hearing. Commissioner Nora Pa tt erson cast the lone No vote on the motion by Commissioner Joe Barbetta, saying, Personally, I think we should hold [the fees] steady for another year and then may be take a couple of adjustments to bring them up to what they should be. She pointed out that the 2013 rates are lower than the board had expected. Barbetta noted he and Patterson would be go ing off the board after the elections in Novem ber 2014, as a result of term limits. A different commission, he said, would be able to consid er whether to keep the current fee structure or raise fees. A chart shows the cost per lane-mile for Sarasota County road projects in the current scal year. Im age courtesy Sarasota County Its a little difcult in May of 2013 to be making decisions for May of 2015. Im not sure where the economy will be Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 28


Commissioner Christine Robinson seconded the motion, noting, I think that we didnt see the boom before it came and we didnt see the bust before it came, adding she was optimistic the action would allow sufcient time for the construction industry to recover. Im hoping in the future we wont have these grim discussions anymore. Patterson pointed out that construction in dustry representatives always are opposed to raising the impact fees, regardless of what the rates are. That occurred in the middle of the boom, she added. Its a little difcult in May of 2013 to be mak ing decisions for May of 2015, Barbetta said. Im not sure where the economy will be, [but] Im optimistic the economys coming back. The cou nty is collecting about $3 million to $4 million in road fees that would have been $8 million, and your road program would have been a lot healthier, Patterson said, if the board had not reduced the fees by 50 percent in 2011. Patterson alluded to the budget workshop the board held on April 30, when it heard it would need to spend about $10 million a year for its road resurfacing program to maintain the sta tus quo. For the commission not to announce an intent to raise the fees in a couple of years is a real mistake, Patterson added. Robinson responded, You dont know one way or the other whether [the road impact fee A 2011 graphic shows how the extension of North Cattlemen Road will ease access to Nathan Bend erson Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 29


revenue] would have been doubled Theres no data either way. Nonetheless, Robinson said she had concerns about tying the hands of future commissions. Still, by the same token, she continued, I agree with the stability argument for the con struction industry. THE 2013 RATES In March, as previously reported in The Sara sota News Leader Paul provided to the com missioners a report with the full 2013 road im pact fees along with comparisons to the full 2007 fees and the rates currently in effect. For example, the road impact fee for a house with living area between 1,500 square feet and 1,999 square feet would be $7,623 at the full 2007 rate and $4,935 at the full 2013 rate. At 68 percent of the full 2007 rate, the fee would be $5,171 (the rate implemented in 2007). The current adop ted rate for such a house, with the 50 percent reduction implemented in 2011, would be $2,585. The full 2013 rates are about 35 percent of the full 2007 rates, Paul pointed out. In examining county road improvement proj ects for the current scal year, Paul noted, the four most expensive projects have an aver age cost of $9.7 million per lane-mile. The four least expensive have an average expense of $2.3 million per lane-mile. For example, he explained, the Cattlemen, McIntosh and Bee Ridge road projects are extremely expensive on a per-lane-mile cost to actually widen. That is because they are in urban areas where the county has to deal with businesses in rights of way, stormwater systems, utilities and curb cuts. Right of way acquisition is much easier in less urban areas of the county, he pointed out. Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 30


DRIVING TRENDS During public comments at the opening of the May 8 County Commission meeting, Saraso ta attorney Dan Lobeck, who is president of Control Growth Now, criticized the staff for using driving research undertaken during the recession, when people were traveling less. He called the new road impact fee data fun damentally awed. However, Paul explained that while the U.S. Department of Transportation did undertake the studies in 2008 and 2009 on which the data relied, It is recognized as the best data avail able for evaluating travel lengths. Paul conti nued, It is the primary source of travel length data used in this community [and] used in most communities throughout Florida and the United States. He added, I stand by the data provided I dont believe it needs to be updated locally, though the County Commission could pursue such an option. Among newer research, Paul said data col lected in 2012 showed the overall number of trips to banks had dropped 60 percent. The move to online banking is a major factor in that change, he added. Moreover, freestanding banks are not as c ommon, Barbetta pointed Commissioner Nora Patterson/File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 31


out; many ar e in mixed-use developments to which people travel for a multitude of reasons. Paul said that also was a valid point. After the boards vote on May 8, Lobeck is sued a statement saying, What all of this is telling us is that Commissioners Barbetta, Robinson, [Charles] Hines and [Chairwoman Carolyn] Mason do not care about protecting us from trafc congestion or about making developers pay for their trafc impacts rather than taxpayers. Lobeck added, All they care about is paying back the development interests who bankroll their campaigns and who evidently pull their strings in return. THE CITYS REQUEST Regarding the City of Sarasotas request for the change allowing it to use road impact fees for multimodal projects, Barbetta said, That makes a lot of sense. Because the city essentially has no capacity to build new roads, it therefore is constrained from adding sidewalks and bike lanes, Paul pointed out. The county ordinance could be revised to al low the city to use road impact fees for those features as well as transit lanes and even the purchase of buses, Paul said. Barbetta noted that the owners of the new Louies Modern restaurant on the lower level of the Palm Avenue parking garage in Saraso ta had to pay $ 95,000 in impact fees, but no changes wou ld be forthcoming to the street itself. The change in the ordinance, Barbetta added, could really make a super, vibrant multimod al city. Paul recommended that if the County Com mission proceeded with allowing the change, the ordinance could specify the exibility was accorded only to use of road impact fees the county collects and distributes in the city. Therefore, if a court challenge comes, Paul said, the case would have no impact on the countys impact fee usage. MAKING IT SIMPLER After the vote, Hines referenced comments Paul had made in regard to the complexity of the countys impact fee schedule. Can we simplify it? Hines asked. Although the schedule is technically sound, Paul responded, the commission will have an opportunity on July 9 to consider modifying the rate structure. On that date, Paul said, a public hearing will be held on concurrency payments developers make to the county in conjunction with the creation of new projects, so the developers cover the cost of additional services. The County Commission may want to con sider mobility, multimodal and concurren cy all in one simple pay-and-go fee, Paul said, adding that is the direction in which the Florida Legislature is encouraging local governments to go. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 32


(Above) City Commissioner Terry Turner says the city needs more density. Already, downtown has a number of condominium towers, such as the one at 1350 Main St. Photo by Norman Schimmel TURNERS SCARY SWAN SONG Terry Turner de clined to run for a second term on the Sarasota City Commission. For the past four years, the former entrepreneur and eco nomics professor consistently has egged his colleagues to look at and learn about the scal realities for which they are responsible. He forced unpopular decisions on the citys pension administrators, endearing himself to not a single current or retired city employee. His eye was not so much on the current bud get as the out-year implications of current decisions. He often played Cassandra to the Pollyannas, stripping off their rose-colored glasses to look at the cold, hard numbers. Monday, May 6, in all likelihood saw Turners nal appearance as a ci ty commissioner, bar ring some emergency meeting. His nal mes sage as the clock ticked towards 11 p.m. was perhaps the most alarming of all. His solution would require reconsideration of long-held judgments. THE FISCAL TRAP The combined city-county tax rate in Sarasota is among the lowest in the State of Florida. While the Legislature puts a 10-mill cap on cities as well as counties, Sarasota city and county are not even close to that level. Both the City and County of Sarasota levy about 3 mills each, giving them enormous headroom to raise rates. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor ANALYSIS: WILL THERE STILL BE A SARASOTA IN 20 YEARS?


But thanks to the Florida Legislature, the maximum cannot happen. There is a 3 percent cap on increases in the tax rates that provide a large fraction of city and county revenue. Ad valorem taxes are not going to skyrock et, said Turner. They cant by law. In other words, both the city and county are stuck in a legacy property tax trap. Put anoth er way: Although commissioners could legally triple the tax rate from 3 to 10 mils it would take almost a century to for them to get there at 3 percent per year. Thus, prior scal prudence keeping property tax mill age rates low now means a major source of government revenue is barely able to keep up with inations inuence on expenses. If all other costs were held in check in a simi lar fashion, the situation would be nancially stable. Unfortunately, nearly everywhere you Outgoing City Commissioner Terry Turner says the costs for the Police Department, whose head quarters (above) is on Adams Lane, are too high. Photo by Norman Schimmel City Commissioner Terry Turner. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 34


look in th e city and county budget propos als, costs are rising. You can do a modest increase in the mill age rate, said Turner. But too much and it will drive people from Lido to Siesta. Lido is a barrier island inside the city limits; Siesta Key is mostly outside the city limits. THE CULPRIT IS BUILT IN From 2007 to 2013, the city and county reeled from collapsing property values, which meant collapsing property tax receipts. Turner not ed the citys ad valorem receipts dropped 26 percent during that period, with total revenue down 6 percent. City staff was cut by almost one-quarter. In the same period, salaries declined 6 percent (in line with total revenues, but not staff reductions). And the cost of benets to current and retired employees jumped up 31 percent in the period between 2007 and 2013. As a fraction of the total budget, Turner said personnel costs went from 74 percent in 2007 to 80 percent of the total city budget in 2013. How could reducing staff by a quarter mean an increase to benets by almost one-third? And how could a jump from three-quarters to four-fths of the entire budget be devoted (From left) City Commissioners Shannon Snyder, Willie Shaw, Terry Turner and Paul Caragiulo listen to a presentation earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel One way or another, we need more density. I suggest the Rosemary [District] or around our big parks. Terry Turner Commissioner City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 35


to personnel cos ts despite a big reduction in personnel? We have built into the contracts with our la bor step and longevity increases and pension costs, and all of these things are rising, said Turner. Salaries and wages will grow 37 per cent from 2013 to 2022 with no general pay increases. Only step increases and longevi ty. The problem comes from the legacy cost structures. THE LEGACY PROBLEM Turner said Sarasota County has adopted a failed strategy to get out of the scal trap. People propose well solve this problem by growing business, said Turner. Business now supports about 25 percent of the ad valorem [taxes]. Even if we grew business by 100 per cent, that wont solve the problem. Revenue growth and business growth are not going to solve this problem. Revenue growth might solve a quarter or even half of the problem, but not the whole problem, he added. The only way to get there is to solve the legacy problem. The cost of the Police Department is going to ultimately bankrupt our city if we dont man age it differently, said Turner. If he were an optician or a real estate agent or a retired engineer, there might be room to doubt his analysis. Although he does not aunt them, his doctorate in economics and a professorial chair at the University of Califor nia-Berkley are not trivial accomplishments. I think the [police] union contract is a big problem. Theres featherbedding; training, for example, is to be done on overtime, he said. Theres union interference in hiring, ring, promotions and training. And it takes three years to change the contract. This will be the single biggest issue for the next four city commissions. We need to man age better. We have 3.3 ofcers per 1,000 popu lation. Bradenton has 2.2 per thousand. North port has 1.9, and the [Sarasota County] sheriff runs with 1.3, said Turner. Police costs are too much. We need to negotiate back man agement exibility. Chief [Bernadette] DiPino may be that person, but until she has exibili ty, theres no way to judge. THE TURNER SOLUTION If more business does not come into the area to provide the revenue, and a higher tax rate takes decades to achieve, what is left? One way or another, we need more density, said Turner. The way you get more population is to focus on making this a place people want to live, he said. Theres no other way to go. All of your policy decisions need to keep that in mind. Commissioner Paul Caragiulo gave his sup port to that proposal. I agree with your goal of getting a higher population, of increased density at the urban core. Right now, 1350 [a Main Street condominium tower] has more taxable value than all of Laurel Park, he said. And the cost to deliver services goes down exponentially. One way or another we need more density, Turner responded. I suggest in the Rosemary District or around our big parks. Turner had opened his 30-minute tutorial by saying, This stuff is hard enough to deal with when youre awake. Because of the way the agenda was structured and the meeting was conducted, it was nearly 11 p.m. when he n ished. The mayor and vice mayor had nothing to say. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 36


The Monday, May 6, meeting of the Saraso ta City Commission was lengthy but pro duced a number of ac tions that will impact the community. Payne Park uses, North Trail redevelopment, the Benderson Develop ment deal at the Fruit ville/Beneva roads inter sect ion and the Chalk Festival were just a few of the topics get ting attention. PETS IN PAYNE The commissioners acted on two recom mendations from their Parks and Recr eation The circus playground area at Payne Park is off limits to pets. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSIONERS DEAL WITH PETS AT PAYNE PARK, MORE SOUND ENFORCEMENT ISSUES, THE BENDERSON PROPERTY DEAL AND SOME POINTS OF ORDER MEETING MORSELS We need to be in charge of our agenda. Were the ones setting policy. Im having trouble with this. Shannon Snyder Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Adviso ry Board regarding the popular down town Payne Park. They decided the new cir cus-themed playground at the northern en trance to the park will be off limits to pets. Dogs are now banned from romping inside the fenced area of the playground. The commissioners also put Payne Park under the regular leash law ordinance, meaning a dog must remain on a leash while in the park. Under an experiment allowing dogs to be un der voice control of their masters, owners were not deemed to be sufciently responsi ble. To repeat: Henceforth, people must use leash es on their dogs. NTOD GE TS NOD At the second reading of the North Trail Over lay District ordinance, the commissioners ap proved the proposal without any administra tive site plan review. They also pulled out the section calling for a mandatory public meeting between neighbors and developers at the start of the planning process. Without administra tive review, all plans will undergo the existing public hearing process. However, the vote did not prohibit an early meeting between a developer and nearby resi dents. We dont have a community workshop requirement for site plans anywhere else in the city, said Chief Planner Ryan Chapdelain. The North Trail Overlay District proposal envisions a more bustling area thanks to redevelopment. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 38


Twenty peopl e came up to address the com mission on the NTOD plan, pro and con. Sev eral spoke in favor of the effort but said it was a stopgap measure at best. The overlay is a patch, said Johanes Werner. Im in favor of form-based codes one set of rules for a developer. The NTOD provides a small incentive for ex tra density, but it demands tighter controls on other issues such as setbacks and sidewalks. The city commissioners agreed the NTOD was only one step forward. This is just the beginning. I hope we do this pretty quickly and start looking at form-based codes, said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. TWEAKING T HE RULES Under New Business as the hour turned late, Commissioner Shannon Snyder complained about how the board was conducting its busi ness. The Chalk Festival should never have come before us like this. It should have been a pre sentation only, he said. (See the related story in this issue.) And Mr. [Deputy City Manager Marlon] Brown asked to set up a workshop. But under our rules only the mayor or two commissioners can do that. At some point we need to take control of this, said Snyder. We n eed to be in charge Issues remain unresolved in regard to the citys plan to sell property on the northwest corner of Fruitville and Beneva roads to Benderson Development Co. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 39


of our agenda. Wer e the ones setting policy. Im having trouble with this. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw said if Snyder saw a problem, he could call a point of order. It would have been appropriate once you recog nized a problem, Shaw added. We may get too comfortable, moving from a discussion during Commissioner Comments to address an issue. Commissioner Terry Turner reminded his colleagues, Members can kick items off the agenda. THE BENDERSON AT FRUITVILLE DEAL The indefatigable Millie Small was the rst person to address the city commissioners during the afternoon open-to-the-public part of the session. She stepped up to once again challenge the citys plan to sell slightly more than 10 acres on the northwest corner of Fruitville and Beneva roads to Benderson De velopment Co. The land is currently a passive and mostly undeveloped park, and it is the site of some local government uses (including a seldom-used helipad). A recent trafc study found the intersection failed normal standards and that at least $17.6 million would have to be spent to bring it up to a passing grade. Of that sum, Bender sons share would be $2 million. Why waste more time talking about this proj ect? Small asked. You dont have the money. Lets keep the open parkland space. The commissions rules do not allow board members to respond during the open-to-thepublic portion of their meeting. But when time came for individual comments l ater in the ses sion, Com missioner Paul Caragiulo asked City Attorney Bob Fournier about Smalls claim. The purchase and sale agreement is still in effect, Fournier said. It obligates the city to initiate a comprehensive plan amendment and rezone process. But you are under no obliga tion to approve those applications. Under a voter-approved charter change, the comprehensive plan change will require a su permajority of four votes on the commission. Deputy City Manager Brown said the trafc study was sent to Benderson for review earlier in the day. Were waiting for their response, he said. DOWNTOWN SOUND For more than two months, the city commis sioners have asked the Police Department for consistent enforcement of the citys sound or dinance downtown to cut through public opin ion and get to the facts about complaints. Monday afternoon, Chief Bernadette DiPino reported, We started directed enforcement two weeks ago. And over the next several weekends well continue this directed en forcement. The department has put extra ofcers on the street under the command of Sgt. Demetrio Konstantopoulos. Its been a crash course in the measurement of sound, he said. Last weekend, all the businesses were in compli ance. The heightened enforcement has convinced two bars Smokin Joes and the Tequila Can tina to close their front doors to prevent the emission of no ise into the street. Thats Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 40


been problematic in the past, Konstantopou los noted. Most businesses are cooperating with us, said DiPino. And were beeng up our Main Street patrols. NEW SPD PIO In addition to the cop assigned as the sound enforcement ofcer and beefed up patrols downtown, another change is coming in re gard to the Sarasota Police Department. The new chief is looking for a civilian public infor mation ofcer. Twenty years ago, ex-radio reporter Jay Frank was the PIO for the SPD. In recent years Capt. Paul Sutton handled the press and public in formation duties in additio n to his job as the unofcial deputy chief of police to Chief Mikel Hollaway. Today the duties appear to be split between a former detective and an adminis trative lieutenant. Barwin told the commissioners Monday, The chief and I are moving to civilianize the media relationship position in the SPD in alignment with community policing. Well use the saving from other vacant positions, so there will be no addition to the budget. Nor will the civil ian enjoy any police pension benets, he was quick to point out. Snyder wanted more information. I would like to see the budget breakout, he said. In the next ve years, half the department will retire. We dont have a cost on that. To hire a media person a spin doctor thats very unfortuna te. % Tequila Cantina plans to keep its doors closed on Main Street to avoid being cited for noise ordi nance violations. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 41


Asked by the Sarasota County Commission to weigh in on a proposed formula for pricing Transfer of Development Rights, the countys Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC) this week made modest adjustments intended to generate higher rev enues. Transfer of Development Rights commonly known as TDRs allow a landowner to sell the right to build new dwellings on his or her property. The buyer can then apply those de velopment rights to other areas. The goal is to offer incentives to preserve undeveloped land while pushing higher density to areas better suited for it. The County Commission last year asked staff to gure out a method for pricing the TDRs associated with publicly held lands. After for mer member Jono Miller complained that the Oversight Committee never got the chance A graphic prepared for the County Commission in October 2012 shows county-owned lands that could be used for Transfer of Development Rights. Image courtesy Sarasota County OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUGGESTS UPPING TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS PRICES A CHANCE TO WEIGH IN By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


to revie w all the data behind the staff pro posals, the board sent discussion of the issue back to the group and postponed its debate to June 5. The Planning and De velopment Services department originally proposed setting the price at percent of the median sales price of a single-family resi dential unit or residential condominium unit. Using sales from June 2012, staff estimated that a single-family TDR would cost $17,850 and a multi-fami ly TDR would cost $19,500. But Oversight Committee members criticized that method ology during a special meeting held Monday, May 6. Oversight Committee member Julie Byrne said it didnt make sense to calculate the TDR price using such a wide range of sales, arguing that when you lump those $70,000 single-fam ily foreclosures in with sales of new homes, it drags down the TDR price. Th e apples to A Sarasota County graphic helps explain the concept of Transfer of Development Rights. Image courtesy Sarasota County The apples to apples have to be new houses, new condominiums. Julie Byrne Member Sarasota County Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 43


apples have to b e new houses, new condo miniums, she stressed. Jennifer Shafer, another Oversight Committee member, agreed, saying calculating the TDR based on the price of new home sales would provide a more accurate number. She also recommended using a 12-month rolling aver age of those home prices, rather than relying on sales from a particular month, which was staffs original plan. Both recommendations were unanimously ap proved; the Oversight Committee declined to comment on other staff proposals, including the location of a TDR test site and the specic wording of the comprehensive plan amend ment needed to imp lement the change. Byrne w as em phatic in her belief that the pri vate market should be the ultimate arbiter of TDR worth. They want to build; they want to do this let them come to us, she said. Were not in the real estate business for heav ens sake. You put them up for sale and you see what they offer. County Planner Bill Spaeth said the purpose of the test site program, which includes 635 TDRs in the Deer Prairie Creek area, is to test the market before selling the countys entire stock of around 7,500 TDRs. Any offer that comes in still must go before the board, he cautioned, assuring the Oversight Committee there will be no re sale. % To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day. Sir Winston Churchill I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 44


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


In a nigh t of hot-button issues, the Sarasota city commissioners on May 6 asked if public money should support downtown festivals. While the agenda item pertained to the more than 100 festivals held in the city each year, the ele phant in the room was the Chalk Festival. The city has no grant pro gram to help fund special events, but it does waive certain fees normally paid to city depart ments for services such a s parking, trash pickup, utilities and police. The departments funds are made whole by special allocations in their regular budgets. City departments, in other words, pad their annual budgets to cover festival costs. In effect, these are indirect subsidies. Several people testied during the City Commis sion meeting, and a cou ple suggested the Chalk Festival relocate to a city park instead of blocking The 2012 Chalk Festival had a circus theme. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens CHALK FESTIVAL GETS ONLY HALF THE AMOUNT OF WAIVED CITY FEES IT SOUGHT AN EVENT REBUFFED The question for today is, do we want to provide a subsidy to the Chalk Festival. I think it is warranted. Terry Turner Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


the streets in the Burns Square area. William Full er, who has an ofce in Burns Court, cited the loss of parking, the impact of re-routed trafc and the effects on neighbors. The Chalk Festival is unique because it lasts more than a weekend. In 2012, it went on for 10 days; this year it is scheduled for six days. Previously, it was held in October, a selling point because it drew peo ple to town during one of the slowest months for tourism. This year it is sliding into mid-November. City Manager Tom Barwin suggested a change in normal procedure. He said any festival requesting a street closure for three or more days should require the approval of the City Commission after a public hearing. Commissioner Terry Turner recommend ed pushing back the approval deadline to 180 days befo re the event, allowing for time to iron out any kinks. The overall policy changes were deferred to another time, but the discussion segued immediately into the Chalk Festivals request for more than $10,000 in fee waivers. The question for today is, do we want to provide a subsidy to the Chalk Festival, asked Turner. I think it is warranted. However, a motion to approve the festivals request died for lack of a second. Commissioner Shannon Snyder then proposed waiving $5,000 in fees, but not fees for police pro tection. His motion was seconded and approved unan imously. % A sign on Pineapple Avenue advertises Chalk Festival parking spaces in 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 47


There will be food, games and tons of preg nant women and babies, but odds are this baby shower wont be like any other youve ever attended. The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota Coun ty and the Sarasota Kiwanis Club are teaming up this Saturday for their 19th Community Baby Shower a fun, free event with a seri ous purpose: educating pregnant women and new families. The program is aimed largely at helping Healthy Start moms and babies, but anyone can go, emphasizes Healthy Start Ex ecutive Director Jennifer Highland. Repres e ntatives of several local health orga nizations will be on hand, promoting support and services in areas such as breastfeeding, positive parenting and nutrition. Participating moms will browse each booth, receive some piece of information and then get a punch in a ticket, says Highland. That ticket, once punched all the way around, will be entered in a rafe, with prizes such as Pack n Plays, baby bathtubs and books up for grabs. Former Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner will emcee, presiding over what will surely be a compet itive diaper derby, while Whole Foods will serve up he althy snacks. Family fun is the order of the day at the Community Baby Shower, as evidenced at a previous event. Photos courtesy of Ciera Coleman THE COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER OFFERS FUN AND SERIOUS SERVICES TO EXPECTANT FAMILIES YOURE INVITED! By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 49


About 200 people participated last year, ac cording to Highland, and she expects the numbers to be strong again this Saturday. It doesnt seem to be a problem getting people there, she says. Highlands organization, dedicated to sup porting new mothers and infants, served ap proximately 1,500 women last scal year a decline from previous years. But that doesnt mean need has decreased. According to High land, the lower number is likely a result of people moving away during the economic im plosion, and the women the nonprot does see have been struggling more than in previ ous years. The women we do see tend to have more problems and more issues, more stress in their lives, and stress is the rst domino of a wh ole lot of things happening, says Highland. Weve lost a small number of women, but the women we have served have more needs. Healthy Start state funding has been tenuous, too. The Legislature last year restored cuts from previous years, and this year it moved Healthy Start money to the states recurring fund, an encouraging sign, according to High land. Were happy that we didnt get a cut, she says. We were just so thin already. Anoth er cut would have been devastating. The Sarasota Community Baby Shower runs from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18, at the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Call 373-7070 or visit for more in for mation. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 50


It may be the first year eighth-graders at Brookside Middle School in Sarasota have organized teams for the Technology Student Association (TSA) robotics competition, but that rst time has proven charmed: The teams took rst-place honors at the state level and are headed to Nationals. Joel Kaplan, technology education teacher at Brookside, was just hoping his students could manage to build a robot and get it to the state competition, he told the Sarasota County School Board during its May 7 meeting. I get to school an hour early, Kaplan said. If I need to stop for gas or something, I start to worry, because these kids are at my classroom door, waiting to get in. He added that his students worked on their robots before school, during their lunch peri od and on weekends. For u s to have both teams place rst, in our opening year, went way beyond my expecta tions, Kaplan continued. It is truly unheard of. The teams are now headed for the National TSA Competition, which will be held June 28 to July 2 in Orlando. Of the three Florida teams, two are from Brookside. The students on the teams are as follows: Team 6105B Kevin Ewing, Alexander Kane and Ian Lee. Team 6105C Nicholas Greb, Jonathan Fulkert, Cole Foley and Austen Greenwell. The robotics team members were not the only students earning recognition at the May 7 meeting. Members of Brookside Middle Schools robotics teams are headed to the national competition. Photo by Scott Proftt THE SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNIZES WINNING STUDENTS ON A ROBOTICS TEAM AND THOSE WITH WORKS IN THE EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES EXHIBIT MULTIPLE HONORS By Scott Proftt Staff Writer


The School Board also praised area residents and youngsters who submitted winning art work and quotations for Embracing Our Dif ferences, a juried art exhibition in its 10th year. Embracing Our Differences promotes inclusion, tolerance, acceptance and respect. The pieces on exhibit are the size of billboards 12 feet by 16 feet. They can be seen through June 2 at Island Park in Sarasota and at North Port High School. The locals were up against stiff worldwide competition. This year, the competition net ted more than 4,000 entries from 52 countries and 44 states, said Michael Shelton, executive director of Embracing Our Differences. What you have done, to make us think twice, embraces your goal of 10 years ago, of chang ing the world, School Board Vice Chairwom Students who won honors in the 2013 Embracing Our Differences competition are recognized at the School Board meeting this week. Photo by Scott Proftt Daphne English-Bazenas of Sarasota wrote this quote for Embracing Our Differences. Photo by Scott Proftt Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 52


an Shirley Brown told the honorees. We are so proud of this. The Best in Show student winner was Cy ber Bullying by Steven Staub, Bobby Alvarez and Gennadity Kazimirov, who attend Heron Creek Middle School in North Port. Twenty-ve local residents, including an en tire class of kindergartners at Phillippi Shores Elementary School, had their artwork or quo tations selected for display in this years show. Works by several Ringling College of Art and Design students also were selected. A list of the winners and their artwork may be found at % A quote by Joanna Fox of Sarasota also is featured in the Embracing Our Differences exhibit. Photo by Scott Proftt Cyber Bullying, by Heron Creek Middle School students in North Port, won Best-in-Show in the 2013 Embracing Our Differences competition. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 53


The Saras ota County Commission this week unanimously indicated a willingness to lower the speed limit on a portion of South Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key to 35 mph but, at the same time, to prohibit low-speed vehicles on that stretch. (A low-speed vehicle is dened as one that can travel between 20 mph and 25 m ph, Pau la Wiggins, the coun tys transportation plan ning manager, explained.) However, on a 4-1 vote, the commission also approved the holding of public meetings to gain comments about the use of golf carts and low-speed vehi cles on the island and to provide education about state law gov erning such vehicles. A graphic shows the area where a lower speed limit has been requested on Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. Image courtesy of Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION AGAIN DEBATES A LOWER SPEED LIMIT ON PART OF SIESTA KEY BUT FRETS ABOUT THE LOW-SPEED VEHICLE FACTOR A MATTER OF SAFETY There are strong feelings about this issue both ways. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Commissoner N ora Patterson, who lives on the north end of the island, cast the No vote on that proposal by Commissioner Christine Robinson. Patterson said she felt people would nd it difcult to keep straight which Siesta roads are under state control and which are under county control. Moreover, she said, she feared that people would be amenable to golf carts and low-speed vehicles traveling in some ar eas of the key without considering the fact that many residents drive to and from the is land to go to work. Chairwoman Carolyn Mason said the public outreach efforts would clarify the issues. Im talking about an overall policy discus sion, Robinson explai ned. I think just giving the public the opportunity to weigh in on the issue is an important one, Mason added. THE BACKGROUND On April 10, the board originally addressed the request to lower the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph on Midnight Pass Road from Vista Hermosa Circle to Sanderling Road. The countys Trafc Advisory Council had recom mended the change, but Patterson pointed out that she understood the petition from a resident in The Sanderling Club was designed to enable residents to use golf carts on that segment of the road. As a result of her comments, the commission ers asked staff to research the Florida State Statutes regarding use of golf carts and lowWith a 20 mph speed limit in Siesta Village, golf carts and low-speed vehicles are being operated along Ocean Boulevard, according to County Commission reports. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 55


speed vehicles on roads and to gain comments about the Siesta proposal from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce. During her presentation to the board on May 8, Wiggins explained that Florida State Statute 320.01(22) denes golf carts as vehicles that cannot exceed a speed of 20 mph; they are designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course. A golf cart may be operated on a county road if the local government allows such use and the golf cart is equipped with efcient brakes, a rearview mirror, red reective warning de vices on the front and rear and safe tires. A person has to be 14 years of age or older to operate a golf cart, but no drivers license is required. Additionally, a golf cart may be oper ated on a designated road only between sun rise and sunset, unless the local government body authorizes use beyond that time frame. Wiggins pointed out that low-speed vehicles may operate on any road with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, whether the state or a county governs it. However, a low-speed ve hicle has to be registered with the state and it must have a windshield, tail and front lights and efcient brakes. Moreover, Wiggins said, a county commission could prohibit the use of low-speed vehicles on any road in the interest of safety. When she spoke with a Sarasota County dep uty about the petition for the lower speed lim A slide presented to the County Commission on May 8 denotes distinctions between golf carts and low-speed vehicles, according to state law. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 56


it on the segment of Midnight Pass Road in question, Wiggins continued, the deputy said the Sheriffs Ofce had no issues with lowspeed vehicles on this particular roadway if the speed limit is reduced to 35 mph. The Sheriffs Ofce would oppose the use of golf carts on that road, she added. WORRIES ABOUT SAFETY Patterson re ferenced data Wiggins presented last month, showing the average speed of ve hicles on that part of Midnight Pass Road is 49 mph. People are just as likely to pass a vehi cle that cant go over 25 as they are a vehicle that cant go over 20, Patterson pointed out. Wiggins agreed: There are folks that will probably pass. Commissioner Joe Barbetta brought up the concern ab out public confusion over where golf carts can travel on the island. Wiggins responded that golf carts are not al lowed on any portion of Midnight Pass Road. People think if golf cart s are approved [for the segment in question], people are going to go right down Midnight Pass Road and go to Captain Curts [Crab & Oyster Bar] and any of the condos along there, Barbetta said. Captain Curts is located near the intersection of Midnight Pass Road and Stickney Point Road. The County Commission would have to des ignate any streets for golf cart use, Wiggins replied. Were going to run into a major problem on Midnight Pass Road, I think, Barbetta said. Appropriate si gnage would have to be erected, Wiggins told the board, to indicate where golf carts and low-speed vehicles could operate. Barbetta also pointed out that if such vehicles tended to stay close to the edge of the ro ad, they could interfere with pedestrians and bi cyclists. That is the possibility, that they can create a safety issue, Wiggins agreed. And if somebody passes, you run into an even greater problem, Barbetta added. When Com missioner Charles Hines asked whether the members of the Trafc Advisory Council had had as in-depth a discussion of the request as the County Commission was having, Wiggins said they did not. A map shows the location of Capt. Curts Crab & Oyster Bar on Siesta Key. Map cour tesy Google Maps Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 57


Hines concurred with Barbettas concerns about the danger of people passing low-speed vehicles. Patterson noted that, until recently, she had heavily supported and lobbied [the Florida Department of Transportation] for reducing speed limits to 35 mph on a number of por tions of the main arteries [on Siesta Key]. However, she added, that was before she re alized that that could pave the way for golf cart usage on those roads. I think most people think its kind of cool in the [Siesta] Village area and along Beach Road for people to operate low-speed vehicles and golf carts, Patterson said. I dont think people have a problem [because] the conges tion is such there anyway that people arent going to be wanting to pass. In the areas of the island with more residenc es, she pointed out, where people do drive back and forth to work, the use of those vehi cles is going to create frustration. Patterson said she could not support lowering the speed limit if that meant expanding the use of low-speed vehicles on Siesta Key. Barb etta added that he would support the lower speed limit but he also had concerns about allowing golf carts on the roads. Wh en Patterson asked County Attorney Ste phen DeMarsh for a recommendation on how to proceed, DeMarsh explained that the board could direct staff to come back during a future meeting with a resolution that would allow for the reduced speed but ban low-speed vehicles on that portion of Midnight Pass Road. Robinson then called for the public meetings, saying the boards action would literally af fect every single person who lives or works on the key. There are strong feelings about this issue both ways. Patterson said that during those meetings, she expected staff would hear from a lot of people who rent low-speed vehicles and want to see them allowed all over the island. And I think thatd be a huge mistake. DeMarsh claried the amended motion before the vote, making sure the commissioners un derstood they were asking staff to come back with a resolution that would lower the speed limit on one section of Midnight Pass Road while banning low-speed vehicles on it, but still calling for public outreach that could indi cate a willingness to change their views when the issue comes back to them. He added that th ey would have the preroga tive of changing their minds about their action when the issue i s be fore them once again. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 58


Almost 16 months to the day after he spoke of the need to illuminate Siesta Villages cross walks, Peter van Roekens watched in person as the Sarasota County Commission unan imously directed staff to purchase lighting equipment directly from a manufacturer and use an existing county contract with a rm to handle the installation. The cost is estimated at $72,000 $46,000 below the only bid the county received for the project earlier this year. The original county estimate for the work was $31,500. I am relieved. I really am, van Roekens told The Sarasota News Leader following the com missions action during its May 7 meeting in Venice. In response to a News Leader question, Ryan Montague in the countys Mobility/Trafc Of ce whose presentation to the commission proceeded the vote said, The goal is to have the project completed by season, add ing that he meant November. However, he was hopeful that timeline could be accelerated. Because the cost of the equipment has been estimated at $12,000, county regulations re Trafc is thick at the four-way stop intersection in Siesta Village on an early March evening this year. Photo by Rachel Hackney THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES AN ESTIMATED EXPENSE OF $72,000 TO GET SEVEN SIESTA VILLAGE CROSSWALKS ILLUMINATED A LONG TIME COMING By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


quire him to get two more quotes, he pointed out. Those can be obtained over the phone, he added. Were making progress, Montague said. Mark Smith, past president of both the Sies ta Key Village Association (SKVA) and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, told the News Leader he also was pleased to hear the news. The lighting is necessary, he pointed out. Weve had a few people hit in the Village, and we believe this is the thing to do to help alleviate the chance of someone getting hit. Smith attributed the higher-than-expected cost to an improved business climate: Its just a sign that the economy is doing just ne. Commissioner Nora Patterson who lives on Siesta Key made the motion to proceed with the project. Pointing out that she had seen someone struck by a vehicle trying to cross Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Village about Evolucia, a Sarasota rm, provided these specs for the type of LED bollard Sarasota County will in stall in Siesta Village. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 60


10 years ago, P atter son added, It was pretty scary. Commissioner Joe Barbetta, who seconded the motion, said he had eaten dinner in Siesta Village on the night of May 3. From a corner restaurant table, he continued, he watched a number of cars run the stop sign or roll through the stop sign as people crossed the street. (Four-way stop signs are at the inter section of Ocean Boulevard, Canal Road and Avenida Messina.) THE MONTHS-LONG PROCESS During the Jan. 3, 2012 SKVA meeting, van Roekens talked about the difculty drivers have spotting pedestrians crossing Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Village after dark. Theres old people like me driving at night, he said, [and] the lighting in the Village isnt that bright. At the time, Van Roekens was vice president of the Siesta Key Association; he also is a Ter race East condominium complex representa tive at the SKVA sessions. Then SKVA President Russell Matthes imme diately agreed with van Roekens proposal for lighting, adding that the two could work together to seek help from the County Com mission. On May 7, Montague explained the process that ensued. After the County Commission directed staff on Jan. 10, 2012 to evaluate the si tuation in Sies Commissioner Nora Patterson (left) talks with Siesta Key Association Secretary Peter van Roekens (right) as SKA board member Ron Flynn looks on. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 61


ta Village, staff ended up working with SKVA representatives to conduct demonstrations in the Village last summer. The goal was to settle on the best options for illumination. After the island representatives settled on bollards with LED lighting, the County Commission on Sept. 25, 2012 asked staff to obtain quotes for such bollards then report back. The quote process through the countys Pro curement Department netted no results, Mon tague reminded the commissioners, with ven dors saying they could not handle the work for less than the $50,000 threshold the board had set. When the Procurement Department subse quently advertised for bids, the only response had the $118,000 gure. Afterward, James K. Harriott Jr., the countys chief engineer, suggested the county could buy the bollards directly from a manufacturer and use a rm already under contract with the county to install them at seven Village cross walks. Montague told the commissioners on May 7 that Doug Clark Electric had provided a verbal estimate of installation costs in the amount of $40,000, while Windemuller Technical Ser vices had offered a written bid of $59,410.71. Both are Sarasota rms. Montague pointed out that the commission could direct staff to rebid the project, proceed with the plan to purchase the equipment and have it installed by a rm already under con tract with the county or seek another invita tion for quotes. When Patterson made her motion, she noted, This is approximately twice what we were hoping to spe nd, but it sure beats four or ve times that quote, with most of the money go ing to the installation. She added, The Village is really a very at tractive place. It attracts a lot of folks and people cross the street a lot at night at those crosswalks. Everyone with whom she had discussed the matter, she noted, had agreed that better light ing was needed. Patterson also thanked the staff members who were involved in the undertaking that led to the May 7 vote. [They] really worked this one to bring the costs down, she pointed out, saying she wished staff had done the same to contain the expense of the planned Siesta stormwater project at the public beach. (The commission awarded that project to a rm two weeks ago at a bid that was almost three times the county estimate.) Additionally, Patterson commended van Roek ens, Matthes and Smith for their efforts. All volunteered their time to quite an extent to come up with the right bollards, she said. Commissioner Charles Hines praised the staff as well. This, to me, is the right process, he said of the effort to bring the cost down. He added that he wished staff would challenge estimates on larger projects, using common sense in deciding when gures were unrea sonably high, rather than just getting the in formation and bringing it to us. Referring again to the bollards project, Hines noted, This is good business application by you all. Thank you, Montag ue re plied. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 62


Internationally kn own aerialist Nik Wallenda was honored on May 9 as the 2013 Voice of Sarasota. The presentation by Visit Sarasota County, the communitys tourism ofce, came during a celebration of National Tourism Week, held at Westeld Southgate Mall. More than 50 members of the hospitality industry were nominated for a number of awards. The Voice of Sarasota honor, which is voted by the Visit Sarasota County Board of Direc tors, goes to a member of the Sarasota Coun ty community who has succeeded in putting Sarasota County on a national stage, a Vis it Sarasota County news release points out. Wallenda made international headlines in the summer of 2012 for being the rst person to successfully cross a high wire over Niagara Falls. ABC telecast the event as he walked from the U.S. to the Canadian side of the tour ist attraction. This summer, he will attempt a walk across the Grand Canyon. In February, Wallenda walked on a cable stretched from a crane on the bayfront in downtown Sarasota to the roof of the Marina One condominium tower in an effort to gain national attention for the community. He de signed that event, he told the City Commis sion, to make certain the photogenic water front was the backdrop for photos and TV cameras. Staff Reports Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, listens as Nik Wallenda addresses the audience after being named the 2013 Voice of Sarasota on May 9. Photo by Norman Schimmel WALLENDA HONORED FOR PROMOTING SARASOTA NEWS BRIEFS


By consensus on May 7, the Sarasota County Commission agreed to place an item on an upcoming agenda to discuss whether it should create a domestic partnership registry for the county. Leigh Sprimont, operations manager for the commission, told The Sarasota News Leader the discussion tentatively has been set for the morning of June 5, when the board will meet in regular session at the Administration Cen ter in downtown Sarasota. Chairwoman Carolyn Mason brought up the topic during the boards May 7 regular meeting in Venice, noting that all the commissioners had received copies of an April 23 memo from County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh on the is sue of domestic partnership registries in the state. When she rst asked, Can we schedule it for a discussion item, no one responded. Then Commissioner Christine Robinson replied, Im ne with that. I hear myse lf and Commissioner Robinson, Mason said after another pause as she looked at the other board members. Then Commis sioner Joe Barbetta concurred: Sure. County Administrator Randall Reid told Ma son staff would schedule the discussion. Former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken She lin, who has championed domestic partner ship registries in Sarasota, Venice and North Port with the rst two of those having set up registries in the past months sent an email to the commissioners on May 2, asking them to allow him to address them on the top ic of registries, he told the News Leader There is a public eagerly awaiting the cre ation of a county ordinance, just as there were in the Cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port, he wrote. I look forward to your fa vorable action to move this concept forward. Rachel Brown Hackney Ken Shelin/Contributed photo County Commissioner Carolyn Mason. Photo by Norman Schimmel COMMISSION TO DISCUSS DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 64


On May 7, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a contract with Jon F. Swift Inc. of Sarasota to serve as the con struction manager at risk for the Siesta Public Beach Park improvements. The contract amount is not to exceed $103,899, according to a May 7 memo provid ed to the commission. The board put a cap of $16.7 million on the building costs of the proj ect. It will be the Swift rms responsibility to handle design coordination and constructa bility reviews, renement of the schedule and preparation of a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) agreement for all of the work, accord ing to the memo. The memo notes that the County Commission will be asked to consider the GMP at a later date. The commission agreed in December 2012 to hire a company to serve as construction manager at risk with the hope of paring the projects costs. The estimated expense of the improvements has sparked controversy as a result of its escalation over the past couple of years. During the commissions most recent budget workshop, on April 30, three commis sioners Nora Patterson, Charles Hines and Christine Robinson continued to voice wor ries about paying for the improvements. Nine rms put in bids to serve as construc tion manager at risk, the memo notes. Swift, which is located in Sarasota, won top ranking from the countys Procurement Department, the memo adds. All four top rms in the scoring process are located in Sarasota. In order after Swift they were Tandem Construction, Gilbane Build ing Co. and Halfacre Construction Co., the memo notes. Rachel Brown Hackney This week the County Commission approved the next step in the plan to improve the facilities at Siesta Public Beach. Photo by Rachel Hackney SWIFT AWARDED CONTRACT FOR SIESTA BEACH PROJECT OVERSIGHT Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 65


The Bradenton-Saras ota Rose Society and the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department will host the Third Annual Rose Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Phillippi Estate Park, located at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail. Among the scheduled events are a tour of the Old Rose Garden on the estate; rose displays ROSE FESTIVAL TO BE HELD SATURDAY AT PHILLIPPI ESTATE PARK by Society members; classes on rose selection, culture and care at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; and sales of roses both bushes and cut owers for Mothers Day. For more information, call Vincent Celeste, president of the Society, at 358-6991, or visit As part of its ye arlong outreach campaign to protect the public from unlicensed contrac tors, Sarasota County has created a website that will identify unlicensed contractors who have been cited for unlicensed activity, the county has announced. The purpose of the initiative is to provide law enforcement ofcials with information on re peat offenders, a news release says. With its centralized database, the website will be open to other government jurisdictions, such as cities, towns and other counties, that want to participate. Each government entity will be provided with a password and instruc tion on how to use the website, the release notes, and each must assign a staff member to enter and maintain the information on adjudi cated cases involving unlicensed contractors. Sarasota County Planning and Development Services and its proposed Unlicensed Activity Division will be responsible for future mainte nance and improvements to the website, the release notes. The website is for internal use only; it will not be accessible fr om the countys website, www. without a password, the re lease adds. This website with the names of unlicensed contractors who have been cited will provide authorities with the necessary information on repeat offenders who often cross juris dictional lines, said Building Ofcial Greg Yantorno in the release. This will help in the prosecution of unlicensed contractors who are putting families and businesses at risk, he pointed out. We have worked with the Sheriffs Ofce, the Manatee-Sarasota Home Builders Association and other partners in the community in the development of the website, he added. Under Florida Statute 489.127, the rst of fense for unlicensed activity is a rst-degree misdemeanor with a civil penalty of $250; a second offense is a third-degree felony with a civil penalty of $500, the release points out. For more information on the dangers of using unlicensed contractors, or to nd contractors who are licensed, contact the Sarasota Coun ty Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY: 711) or visit using the keyword Building for your search. INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE ON UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 66


The Sarasota Sheriffs Ofce is seeking assis tance in identifying three white males who were involved in an aggravated battery of a teenager at the Siesta Key Beach near the pa vilion/picnic area, the ofce has announced. The incident, which occurred at approximate ly 12:45 a.m. on May 6, resulted in the vic tim, Chance Thomas Prater, 17, of 4975 Reno Drive, Sarasota, sustaining serious injuries, a report says. The victim was transported to Blake Medical Center via Bayight, the report adds. Deputy Jason Mruczeck told members of the Siesta Key Village Association on May 7 that the victim had a broken jaw and facial swell ing. The three suspects are described as follows, according to the report: Suspect No. 1: white male, 15 to 18 years old with short, light-colored hair, approx imately 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall with a slender build; he was wearing khaki shorts. Suspect No. 2: similar in description to Sus pect No. 1 but estimated to be 16 to 20 years old; he was wearing jean shorts. Suspect No. 3: described as being in his mid-20s, big-boned, with ear-length dark curly hair; he was wearing a tank top and shorts. The three suspects reportedly frequent the Payne Park area, the report notes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Kim McGath at 861-4928 or by email at kmc Persons also may contact Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477) or online at SHERIFFS OFFICE SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT ASSAULT AT BEACH The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce is seeking information about the death of a man whose body was found oating in a water retention area at the rear of the Publix complex in the 8400 block of Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, on May 6, the Sheriffs Ofce has reported. At approximately 6:36 p.m. on May 6, depu ties responded to a report about a body in the water. Upon their arrival, they found an un responsive male in his 50s, the report adds. Sarasota County Fire Department paramedics treated him after deputies removed him from the water, but they ultimately declared him dead at the scene, the report notes. MANS BODY FOUND FLOATING IN POND BEHIND PUBLIX There were no obvious signs of death while deputies were on scene, the report continues. However, Sarasota County Sheriffs detectives have been working with the Medical Examin ers Ofce to determine the cause, the report says. The victim was identied, but his name has been withheld pending notication of the next of kin. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Section at 8611719 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 366-TIPS (8477) or going online at Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 67


Sarasota Police ofcers on Monday, May 6, announced the arrests of two mid-level mar ijuana dealers and the seizure of ve pounds of vacuum-packed grow-house pot. The action capped a six-month investigation by city detectives, who received an anon ymous tip in September about deals going down in local nightclubs, according to a re port. Detective Greg Grodoski was assigned the case, which quickly ballooned into a seri ous investigation involving surveillance and a wiretap. Grodoski determined Anthony Snead was re ceiving weekly shipments at his rental resi dence, 635 Audubon Place, in the Park East neighborhood. A department news release said, Detectives were able to determine that Snead has been receiving ve-pound mari juana deliveries approximately once a week for the past couple of years. They said each pound cost Snead $5,000, equal to $300 per ounce in bulk. Using the departments estimates, Snead pur chased more than one-quarter of a ton of mar ijuana over the past 104 weeks, and he paid $2.6 million for the deliveries. Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said the arrests would send a message to local dealers: Look out; were coming after you. Detective Lieu tenant Pat Ledwith added that Snead was a mid-level distributor who sold to retailers who then repackaged the drug and put it on the street. Snead is 67 years old. Also arrested was his alleged accomplice, 40-year-old Andy C harlton. Ledwith and DiPino said the investigation continues to follow up the leads developed over the six months of detective work. Washington State and Colorado recently legal ized recreational use of marijuana. Stan Zi mmerman The ve pounds of conscated marijuana sit on a table at the Sarasota Police Department. Photo by Stan Zimmerman POT BUST YIELDS FIVE HIGH-GRADE POUNDS Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 68


More than 330 guests attended the Fifth An nual Gems of Philanthropy Luncheon at Mi chaels On East on April 30, presented by Giv ing Matters, a committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southwest Florida Chapter (AFP). Giving Matters is dedicated to inspiring and educating women of all ages about their power to transform communi ties and the world through volunteerism and philanthropy, a news release notes. The luncheon launched AFPs Giving Circles Initiative a community-wide effort to form groups of like-minded women who give to gether to support charities of their choice. Encouraging the effort was Anne Mosle, vice president of The Aspen Institute and execu tive director of Ascend, the keynote speaker. Mosle created a robust giving circles initia tive while she was president of the Washing ton, D.C., Area Womens Foundation, the re lease adds. Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Com munity Foundation of Sarasota County, an nounc ed that her organization will provide back ofce support services for giving cir cles, including handling the set-up, charitable (From left) Young Woman Philanthropist Award winner Laura Alston, Giving Matters Chairwoman Sue Seiter, guest speaker Anne Mosle, and luncheon Chairwoman Linda de Mello. Contributed photo GIVING CIRCLES INITIATIVE LAUNCHED WITH FOUNDATION Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 69


changed her mind, prompting Patterson to put forward a motion on May 27, 2008, with drawing the authorization for the request for proposals. That motion passed unanimously. In a photo in the May 3 A&E Briefs Ricardo Rhodes was misidentied in the early edition of the News Leader in a photo from Sympho ny of Sorrows That ballet was performed by Sarasota Balle t company members in 2012. % The editorial in the May 3 issue incorrectly said that Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson always had opposed proposals for paid beach parking. Patterson was one of three commissioners who voted on May 14, 2008 to advertise for a request for proposal for a parking management rm to implement a proposed Beach Paid Parking Pilot Program at all county beaches. However, one of that majority Commissioner Shannon Staub CORRECTIONS tax receipts and management and disburse ments of giving circle funds. Jerde also an nounced $1,000 in 10 matching grants to the rst 10 circles of 10 women or more who at tended the luncheon and register their circle with the Community Foundation before June 30. During the luncheon, Giving Matters honored Laura Alston, a senior at Booker High School, with its 2013 Young Woman Philanthropist Award. Alston will attend Columbia Univer sity in the fall to study art and business, the release notes. She received a $1,000 college scholarship as well as $1,000 to give to the charity of her choice. She selected the College for Every Student Program at Booker High, the release continues. For additional information on giving circles, contact Sue Seiter, Giving Matters chairwom an, at sueseite or 932-3536. (From left) Community Foundation of Sara sota County President and CEO Roxie Jerde with Dottie Baer Garner and CFSC Board member Audrey Coleman. Contributed photo The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 70


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OPINION EDITORIAL TEXTING-WHILE-DRIVING BAN TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE EDITORIAL For ve long years, pro ponents of a ban on texting while driving including Sen. Nancy Detert and Reps. Ray Pilon and Doug Holder of Sarasota County have endured indiffer ence and outright hostility from their fellow Florida lawmakers, who refused to allow bills that would ban the practice to advance in the Legislature. It was an infringement on the personal liberties of drivers, the opponents would intone gravely. Never mind that to operate a vehicle in the state of Florida an individual first must complete a course of study that includes class room instruction and hands-on training, then pass a written exam and a road test. The vehicle in which this newly authorized driver might endeavor to venture forth also must be registered with the state and insured according to minimum state standards. Finally, the driver must fas ten himself securely into the drivers seat with the three-point seat belt, because failure to do so is illegal and subjects the driver to being ticketed. Appar ently, none of these impositions is consid ered an infringement on the personal liber ties of drivers. One cannot focus adequate attention on the complex task of navigating a piece of machinery weighing thousands of pounds and propelled by hundreds of horsepower when one is preoccupied with something occurring on a tiny handheld electronic box.


After ve years, the guardians of drivers lib erties in the Legislature consented to passing a bill that would slightly curtail the practice of texting while driving, but it was defanged by making texting while driving a secondary offense. This means a driver could not be stopped for that violation alone but could be ticketed for texting if pulled over for another offense (perhaps not wearing ones seat belt). However, unless the trafc ofcer could peer into the drivers window and actually see tex ting being carried out, the ticket would not stand up in court. Only by obtaining the of fenders phone records could it be proven that texting was being committed. The bill was weakened further by prohibiting a search of phone records except in the event of an acci dent resulting in death or serious injury. If an ofcer accuses a driver of texting, all the driver really has to do is say he was playing solitaire or checking the weather on his cell phone. Under Senate Bill 52, both of these ac tivities are legal to engage in while driving. It is communicating by use of written text that is forbidden. And since the ofcer has no way to obtain the phone records, absent blood on the pavement, there really is nothing that can be done to refute a drivers plea of innocence. Frankly, however, we are not disappointed in the result, because banning texting while driv ing is the proverbial band-aid on an arterial wound. In North Carolina, texting was banned, so drivers no longer balanced their phones on the steering wheel w hile keying in their mes sages. They held the phones in their laps, so an ofcer passing by could not see they were texting. Guess how much of an impact the ban had on texting-related accidents? No, the problem is not to identify one aspect of hazardous behavior and believe that out lawing it will eliminate the total hazard. The real problem is the amount of attention de manded by mobile phones, whether someone is talking, texting, Tweeting, gaming or what ever. One cannot focus adequate attention on the complex task of navigating a piece of machinery weighing thousands of pounds and propelled by hundreds of horsepower when one is preoccupied with something occurring on a tiny handheld electronic box. The National Highway Transportation Safe ty Board, the National Safety Council, the American Automobile Association and other organizations identify the larger problem as distracted driving. Texting is only one com ponent of distracted driving, albeit the one that is getting the lions share of media atten tion. Studies have shown that distracted driving is even more incapacitating than being drunk. Put an inebriated driver and a texting driver on a crowded highway, and the texting driver is more likely to cause an accident, too often with tragic results. It is for this reason that we believe the only practical solution is to ban the use of hand held phones while driving. It really does not matter what the phone is being used for. Its very presence compromises the abilities of the driver and makes accid ents more likely. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 73


Technology already exists to ameliorate the problem. Wireless phones can link to the cars sound system, and voice-activated dialing al lows a person to make calls. Conversations can be heard over the same sound system unless a wireless headset is employed al lowing the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Even texting can be done with the aid of voiceto-text software that is showing up in more and more wireless phones. Incoming text messages would be read aloud by the same system, which also would render any dictated message into written form for transmission. There simply is no reason why banning the use of handheld phones while driving would be the same as a ban on communication. Hands-free technology would allow that com munication to be conducted in the safest way possible. Admittedly, there are those who believe no electronic devices should be operated at all while driving. But for such a proscription to make sense, other dangerous activities that have long been done while driving eating, drinking, applying makeup, working cross word puzzles would have to be made illegal as well. Doing so would not be an infringement on the liberties of drivers, but laws must make sense to the governed or they will be ignored. One needs only to travel on a freeway with a 50 mph speed limit to learn the truth of that 85 percent of drivers will be travelling between 60 and 70 mph. A ban on al l electronic devices would not be viewed as reasonable, and, therefore, it almost certainly would be universally ignored by the driving public. But the public already views a ban on handheld phones as reasonable. Polls show that, despite engaging in distracting ac tivities, a majority of drivers admit the danger and realize something must be done. In Florida, nothing was done this session oth er than the passage of a memorial to the futile struggle to regulate behavior that is a menace to others. There always is next year, though. Let us hope that, until then, the body count resulting from our Legislatures failure to act appropriately will not prove to be extraordi narily high. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Lead er welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Let ters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 74


Dear SN L Editor, Your publication is relatively fair-minded, but this nonpartisan claptrap is nothing but Dem ocratic sour grapes (April 26). Sarasota Democrats are annoyed that Repub licans can hold practically all of the county ofces and the Dems only seem to have the city. Didnt Tip ONeil, a former Democratic U.S. House Speaker, once say all politics are partisan? So why do es the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations leadership com plain when the Republican Party of Sarasota County is part of the city election? We live here, too, and we want to support our candi date in the open. Deal with it. All elections must be partisan. Paul A. Cajka Sr. RPOS Chairman Precinct 115 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a weekly notication when the latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 75




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On Satu rday, April 27, the Ringling College of Art and Design welcomed members of the public to its Smith, Basch and Christ-Janer galleries for the opening of its 2013 Illustra tion Senior Showcase. This exhibition featured works by students who would, within a week, be donning caps and gowns and proudly strutting across the commencement stage. The week-long show was an opportunity not only for patrons to take in new original piec es by d evelo ping artists but for 97 graduating illustration seniors to demonstrate they have far more to show for the past few years of effort than the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees they would soon grasp. Many of the artists exhibiting pieces in the showcase were present on opening night, min gling with patrons, selling items and handing out promotional material. The Sarasota News Leader had the opportunity to interview a few of them about their in uences and inspi rations, their g oals as ar tists and, of course, (Above) Kieran Collen talked with The Sarasota News Leader about the technological themes in some of his pieces. Technology, for me, is kind of a double-edged blade, he explained. There is a benet in understanding that technology has a certain positivity to bring to the table, but at the same time, I think that if it is placed in the wrong hands or misused, it can be very detrimental to humanity as a whole. All photos by Arielle Scherr GRADUATING RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN ILLUSTRATION SENIORS DISCUSS POST-GRADUATION PLANS AT 2013 SENIOR SHOWCASE ARTISTS ON THE MOVE By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer


what they plan ned to do after the graduation exercises on May 3 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto. KIERAN COLLEN Kieran Collen, a political asylee from land locked Zimbabwe, told the News Leader that, after graduation, he plans to attend the San Francisco Institute of Art, where he will be working towards a masters degree. Ultimate ly, he said, he hopes to work in Portland, OR, at the ofce of Laika Inc., a stop-motion an imation studio specializing in feature lms, music videos, short lms and other varieties of commercial content. Collen went on to explain that his work is of ten informed by his childhood in Zimbabwe, the human rights atrocities that he witnessed there and the decision his family made in 2007 to leave the country and seek asylum in the United States out of fear of persecution by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, his homelands leading political party. A lot of my work has to do with sociopolit ical commentary and subject matter, Collen pointed out. Its obviously a very important topic to me, because human rights where Im from have been taken away left, right and cen ter, he continued. I would like to see people have those rights instilled and re-instilled, and A sculpture by Jimmy Brennick is among the works on display. Although the showcase was for grad uates of the illustration program, many of the pieces incorporated sculpture and other mediums. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 79


Id like to try and enlighten people as to whats going on in the world around them. Collen added that, in spite of getting his BFA in illustration, his greatest goal as an artist is to eventually prod uce large-scale public sculptures. Obviously, I cant afford it at a students level right now, he said, but as soon as the day comes, I would love to be able to make public works so that people can be exposed to them on a larger scale. VALERIE MOJICA Valerie Mojica is an illustrator who has fo cused on producing pieces that depict events from myths, legends and fairy tales passed on in cultures all over the world. She told the News Leader however, that she wants to devote much of her post-graduation time to writing, illustrating and publishing her own stories. I want to pursue my career right now, she said. Im planning on trying to nish writing a story that Im focusing on and I want to col or a fe w pages of my childrens book that Im working on. Mojica discussed long-term career goals as well. I want to try to get more into being an author and illustrator for my own works and work on book covers and design, she said. Its what I like to do, she continued, so Im Valerie Mojica poses with some of her work for sale. In her artists statement, Mojica wrote: What I strive to reach with my illustrations is a visual eloquence, where viewers can surmise their own feelings from the mixed emotions I have illustrated within these tales. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 80


trying to go for m ore publishing-based jobs after graduation. When asked what inspires her work, Mojica replied that she is inuenced by a variety of genres and styles. I usually take from Art Deco and Art Nouveau as well as fashion, fan tasy and whimsical themes and kind of create my own worlds, she said. Mojica went on to explain that as an artist, she aspires to pr oduce works that evoke an emo tional response in the viewer. Mostly, when I work on my pieces, I consider what mood I want to convey, how I want my audience to feel, she said. So Im trying to combine the emotional and visual aspects of my art and sort of meld the two together. TIM PE ACOCK Peacock is an illustrator who focuses on tell ing stories with drawings that often incorpo rate humor. He told the News Leader he plans to move to New York City in the fall to pur sue a freelance career and to work a day job for primary income, with hopes of eventually supporting himself with his artistic endeav ors. New York City, he said, is kind of where illustration is going on, at least for editorial and institutional-based illustration. Peacock a dded that he has been strongly in uenced by comic artists from Europe and Japan, independent contemporary comic art ists and sometimes classic superhero comics from past eras. In addition, he said, he ap Illustrations by Brandon Bakus are part of the showcase. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 81


Paintings by Mary Elizabeth Holland are among the works on display. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 82


preciates illus t rators who produce editorial commentary. Asked what he hopes to achieve as an artist, Peacock responded that he wants to be able to publish his own work and have patrons rec ognize it as unique. Id like to consider that my voice is very apparent in my work, he said. I guess my aspiration as an artist is to be a part of the [comic artist] community and be able to put out my work independently and have people who ar e interested in it. WREN MCDONALD Wren McDonald is an illustrator who shares a penchant for comic and editorial art similar to what Peacock described. In an interview with the News Leader McDonald specical ly mentioned the names of acclaimed French comic artists Jean Giraud also known as Moebius and Christophe Blain. Also like Peacock, McDonald plans to head to New York City within a year, with the goal of successfully joining the independent artist community up there and sustaining himself with his creative work. In the meantime, McDonald plans to publicize his pieces as much as possible in Florida while saving up funds for the move. Im trying to do freelance, and its hard to break right into and have enough clients, he said. So the plan is to just promote myself on the Internet, send out postcards stuff like that. Asked what his ultimate goals are as an art ist, McDonald responded modestly. Im not trying to change the world or anything. Basi cally, I just want to tell stories the way that I see them and express my voice of interpreta tion, he continued, like Im interpreting as opposed to creating, if that makes sense. THE NEXT STEPS Regardless of whether they plan to return to school or pursue careers as artists, this years Ringling Illustration graduates are taking the next steps on their artistic paths. And though many of them will likely be leaving the area soon if they have not done so already the 2013 Illustration Senior Showcase of fered them one nal opportunity to let Sara sotans see what they have been working on throughout their undergraduate education at Ringling. % Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 83


ASK OTUS Dear Readers, Many of you have requested an update on Charlie, the Great Blue Heron, rescued by Wildlife Center of Venice and released back onto south Siesta Key April 21. The next morn ing, she was seen shing with her mate on Turtle Beach. She then ew straight across the island to a bayside pier, where she is known as Fred, and resumed a favorite pastime of hers chasing Ralphie, an immature Brown Pelican, off her dock. If you look closely at a eeing Ralphie, you will notice a nice little dent in the back of his head made by her beak thrust. But, please, do not worry about Ralphie! Quite unlike his parents, and sibling, he is an obstinate hardy bully, and if he wants to grow up and breed lots of obstinate bully pelicans just like him, he must rst learn Charlie (in front) and Charley (behind her) in a pond. Photo by Tatiana Staats CHARLIE CONTINUES A GOOD RECOVERY; IDENTIFYING HAWKS CAN BE A FASCINATING BUT TIME-CONSUMING PROCESS 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.


the proper d o ckside pecking-order rules, even if this is part of the school of hard knocks. You may have noted that although the Great Blue Heron does not display sexual dimor phism, I still refer to Charlie as a she. If you look at the photo of Charlie and Charley to gether, you will clearly see the subtle differ ences between male and female. In breeding season, the males beak is more colorfully marked. The male is also larger than the fe male. In the case of raptors osprey, eagles and owls (thats me!) the female is larger than the male. Charlie has also been reported taking her af ternoon nap on another bayside dock where she is called Charlotte. In other words, she is back to her old routine, and except for reports that she still favors her left foot, she is doing quite well and thank you all for asking! And thank you, Tatiana and Rick and John, for keeping an eye on her and reporting in! Otus Dear Readers, A couple of weeks ago, I ew across the road to my favorite frog pond for an early breakfast (actually, a late supper for me). I have been making this trip with impunity on a regular basis ever since our neighborhood Red-shoul dered Hawk died in an auto accident. Ironical ly, that happened this Jan. 5, the same day as An immature Brown Pelican, Ralphie, who has a hole in his head, escapes off the dock. Photo by Rick Wulterkens Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 85


the Audubon 2012 Christmas Bird Count on Siesta Key. And, yes, Wildlife Center of Venice tried to save its life but the head injuries were too traumatic. Ave atque vale ... I was about to y home and almost ventured out from the protective heavy foliage of the oak when I heard the Fish Crows raucously cawing out the alarm, Hawk! Hawk! Hawk! I quickly made myself very small and I froze. Now, intelligent as all members of the Cor vid family are, Fish Crows do not speak En glish. It is merely an uncanny coincidence that their warning cry seemingly mimics the word, Hawk, whether there is actually a Hawk, an Eagle or the neighbors Abyssinian pussy tat. At the same time the Crows were cawing, the ea-infested tree rats (i.e., Eastern Gray Squir Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 86


rels) started in. In time of danger, they stay in place in a tree-hugging, heads-down mode and loudly chitter-chatter gibberish that could warn one of anything from Beware the Jubjub Bird to Shun the frumious Bandersnatch. A fat lot of help they are when trouble is nigh. Finally, the Blue Jays shrieked and began dive-bombing a shadowy presence perched in a palm branch right across the pond from me. I now knew for certain that a Hawk or large Owl was present. I opened one eye and care fully peered across the pond at the object. It was an immature hawk claiming the previous ones territory. He did this by loudly crying to anyone in or out of earshot, thus proclaiming his rights to his new kingdom. It was growin g quite noisy and rowdy around the placid pond. I, however, remained quiet and still because a deathly fear had gripped me. I can only describe that fear by borrowing Ed gar Allan Poes words in The Pit and the Pen dulum : I had but escaped death in one form of agony, to be delivered unto worse than death in some other. You see, once again, I was forced to identify an immature Hawk to satisfy my readers insatiable curiosity about our wondrous Florida creatures. Correctly identifying an immature Hawk is a form of torture invented by the Spanish In quisition, and the only reason Poes unnamed Otus tries to hide as he peeks at the hawk. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 87


protagonist was sp ared that torment was be cause the French army rescued him just in the nick of time. I anxiously scanned the horizons of both Gulf and Bay and with no French warships an chored anywhere near Siesta Key, I realized there was no rescue of me in sight. I accepted my fate but also decided to share it with my readers. Todays column will instruct you how to iden tify a Hawk in your neighborhood so that I do not have to. 1) Begin by narrowing your search to just a few species common to our area, i.e., the Red-shouldered (Florida subspecies, which is paler than the Northern and more likely to be found in coastal areas); the Red-tailed (large, ex cept when small; prefers woodlands and meadows); Coopers; and Sharp-shinned Hawks (they are everywhere!). 2) Go to any birds-of-Florida book and study Hawk photos. I particularly enjoy starting with Floridas Fabulous Birds Land Birds: Their Stories It is part of a nature series writ ten to inspire readers to learn about our wild life and then to explore it further. The large photos and text are outstanding. They draw in the amateurs interest and keep it by highlight ing the serious, as well as oftentimes charm ingly ridiculous nature of the subjects. The series is sold at Davidsons Drugs and at local bookstores. And when you have failed to ID your Hawk, you can turn to the Screech-Owl (thats me!) pages and see how adorable our owlets are! 3) Aha! Now you have decided you saw a Redtailed Hawk and the reason you could not ID it right off the bat was because this bird does not have a red tail until it is mature. On the other hand, the immature Coopers also has the same dark head. So, it is a Coopers until you read that a Coopers is almost identical to the Sharp-shinned Hawk. It is larger and its tail is rounded rather than square, but it may be impossible to tell the difference by ca sual observation. Now, it is a Sharp-shinned Hawk until you remember we are in the merry month of May and the Sharp-shinned Hawk is a seasonal winter resident. Nevertheless, by reading Stan Tekielas Birds of Florida: Field Guide you have learned one vitally important fact about the Sharp-shinned (other than the fact it is an accipiter, NOT a buteo ). Its Common name comes from the sharp kee l on the leading edge of its shin, though it is actually below rather than above the birds ankle on the tarsus bone of foot. The tarsus in most birds is round. But you already knew that, didnt you? OK. Despite the fact that the bird does not sport a red shoulder until maturity, your de cision is now down to the Red-shouldered Hawk. It is time to conrm your conclusion by visiting a very informative and a more indepth source. 4) Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Oops! This website describes the Eastern Red-shoul dered Hawk, not our paler Florida morph. However, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will nd beautiful, slide-show photos of the adult and immature Red-shoul dered as well as those of Similar Species. Similar Sp ecies includes the Broad-shoul dered Hawk. Had you fo rgotten t hat possibil Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 88


ity? I certa inly had. So, let us just ignore that helpful information! Again, you are back to a choice between the Red-shouldered or Coopers, and there is only one way to truly nd out which it is ... 5) Ask Otus! Otus then asks a Sarasota Audu bon Society member and emails that person a photo of Hawk sitting on a branch. It is a lovel y photo. There is just one problem with it: Th e branch c uts off the view of its tail and a photo of an immature hawks tail is a very important clue to identication. So it is back to the frog pond to get a pic of Hawks tail. Success at last! The identication was arrived at after the following analyses: The tail al though it appears longish, doesnt seem to be as long as Coopers. The distance between the end of th e wings a nd the tail is relatively short. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 89


Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 90


I have to say though that the stripes are quite broad indicating a Coopers: Looking at Sib leys (Sibleys is a very important bird book, not a hawk!), the breast streaks on a young Coopers appear more regular these are all over the place. And one more conrmation: As you said, the tail extension is not that of a Coopers and I can see t he barring of the secondaries, which means it is 100% a Red-shouldered Hawk. See how easy that was? So, please welcome Buteo lineatus to our key! Hawk will establish a territory of some 10 square miles, so I think everyone around here will have a chance to meet and greet Hawk. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 91


My housewarming gift to Hawk is a map of Anna Maria Island with an X marking the lo cation of every single chicken coop, real or imagined, on the island. As for these last photos, in one it certainly does look as though Hawk has spotted me and is headed straight for the breakfast buffet! Ac tually, the Blue Jays had chased him off the palm branch and into the pine tree, and he was desperately seeking shelter. Both birds ar e excellent dive-bombers with split-nano second reaction times. If you check out the photo of Hawk diving for cover, in the upper right corner there is a urry of blue jay wings. The birds barely grazed each other in that encounter. Wow! I am also including two mystery hawk photos for you to enjoy and identify. Now that you know how! Otus % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 92


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


The now seasonal Theatre of Dreams program offers the Sarasota Ballet dancers a unique opportunity to ex their choreographic mus cles; at the same time, it offers audiences the excitement of discovering new, young chore ographers. However, I am not sure there is enough talent to warrant a yearly program; and I hope that there will be exacting criteria when selecting the choreographers in the future especially for next seasons Theatre of Dreams which will be the companys opening program. Logan Learneds ballet in the past weekends Theatre of Dreams Scene de Ballet set to Charles August de Beriots music (with the accompaniment of Chung-Yon Hong on violin and Jonathan Sp ivey on piano) reected an amusing, supercial visit to a ballet class. It is a world he knows well, but the characteri zations of the dude (Ricki Bertoni), the diva (Rita Duclos), the show-off (Elizabeth Sykes) and the exhibitionist (Kate Honea) were types rather than individuals. On the plus side, it was a sensible choice for a rst attempt at choreography, and the underlying humor re ected Learneds own sprightly personality. Artistic Director Ian Webb wanted live music to accompany each of the ballets, so he set the dancers searching for pieces that could be played by a small group of performers. Ricki Bertonis ballet, Ragtop set to the foot-tap ping music of Scott Joplins Ragtop with The members of Sarasota Ballet for the 2012-13 season pose with (front row, from left) Managing Director Mary Anne Servian, Director Iain Webb and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri. Con tributed photo SARASOTA BALLETS FINALE PRESENTS AN UNEVEN MIX OF COMPANY CHOREOGRAPHY THE STUFF OF DANCERS DREAMS By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer


Kristen Kemp a t the piano was an inspired, entertaining choice. The opening shoulder rolls, the nonchalant at titude, the black bowler hats and white gloves were obviously Bertonis nod to Bob Fosses hip-swirling, fast-moving, detailed choreogra phy but only a nod. Though there was a cast of 12 dancers, there was not much indi viduality in the ballet until the ve boys com peted in a traditional dance-off with a series of acrobatic turns, each of them adding another twist and another turn in an attempt to outdo the others. Overall, kudos to Bertoni, who has a light touch and a sense of humor (playing with the hats, for example) and is interested in exploring the possibility of blending two dance vocabularies: classical ballet and jazz. However, Ragtop needed editing and more fo cus to be entirely successful. Kate Honeas Baroque and Blues set to Claude Bollings music of the same name and played on stage by Betsy Traba on ute, Kirsten Kemp on piano, John Miller on bass and Tihda Vonghoth on drums irted with Kate Honea/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 95


using academ ic ballet and jazz. More speci cally, the same academic variation was danced by different groups then repeated with differ ent music, varying and interchanging dancers and music like a game of checkers. The duet between Jamie Carter and Rita Du clos was the highlight of the ballet for me. Carter not only was an attentive partner, but he also danced with a rare abandonment in a series of solo leaps that crisscrossed the stage, while Duclos authority added a dash of sophistication. H onea used many younger and newer mem bers of the company in the full cast of 14 danc ers, and they responded with energy and easy smiles in a ballet that was clearly an explora tion of movement that did not rely on a narra tive story. This was a new direction for Honea in her development as a choreographer. The most ambitious ballet, Jamie Carters Consortium used 24 dancers in four move ments; it was an audience favorite, but not mine. Set to a challenging quartet George Rochberts String Quartet No. 5 and per formed by Sean ONeil on violin, Anne Chadra on violin, Nathan Frantz o n viola and Nadine Jamie Carter/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 96


Trudel on cello the strong, spare, percus sive score overpowered Carters choreogra phy, which was almost frantic in its busyness. Against a backdrop of changing colors from purple to deep red to yellow which indicat ed the mood of each section, Carter set the four movements, alternating pas de deux and pas de trois with dancing by a large corps. In the rst section, Ryoko Sadoshima and Ricki Bertoni were the lead dancers, emerg ing from the group of 16, while in the second, sunny section, Logan Learned led Kate Honea, Sara Scherer and Anais Blake through a se ries of spoke-wheel variations that brought to mind the muses in Balanchines Apollo. Chris tine Peixoto, a gurative long drink of water in a black and red unitard partnered by Da vid Tlaiye in the nal duet merged into the scores dramatic rhythms; instead of ghting the music, she relaxed, letting her extensions melt into the air. Carter has a painters eye for moving groups of dancers around the stage and an overall un derstanding of structure, but I thought there was little or no connection to the music. It was as if the choreography had been set to a different score, and while that sometimes works, as in the ballets of Merce Cunningham, it can be disconcerting. Carters second balle t, Dances for Cello and Piano set to Ned Rorems composition of the same name, was added to the program to present young dancers. The choreography was repetitious and the costumes were fussy, and I felt that it unnecessarily extended the evening to include a school performa nce. The students could have been presented in a short variation with the same purpose: introducing a new educational program. As there was a short intermission afterward, some people left, missing Ricardo Grazianos Valsinhas the most intriguing ballet of the evening. In Valsinhas set to Franz Schuberts 34 Valses Sentimentales (accompanied by pianist Jona than Spivey), Graziano interpreted the waltzes with totally unexpected, inventive choreog raphy that had little to do with the traditional idea of a waltz. Instead, the ballet opened with the entrance of a group of ve men (Learned, Ricardo Rhodes, Bertoni, Sam OBrien and Juan Gil) in red velvet shorts, bare legs and gauze tops, their backs to the audience as they scurried like beach birds onto the stage. The dancers then wandered on and off in a series of short solos, duets and group movements. There were hints of acrobatic tumbling in a bodybuilding duet. Then, in each one-min ute waltz, there were less specic situations while the dancers simply explored their own exibility bending into an odd rolling ball, straightening an arm as if exploring space, exing a hand as if pushing through a wall and testing the ability of each joint in the human body to see the limits and possibility inherent in their heads, necks, arms, legs, hands and torsos. There was enough variety of movement to keep the ballet interesting. Perhaps, most importantly, Graziano knew that he did not need to use all 34 waltzes. The ballet ended as it began, with the dancers tiptoeing off the stage like a bevy of sandpipers gently edging through th e sand. % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 97


SIESTA SEEN A four -story parking garage near the Gulf of Mexico with a restaurant on top: That was the recommendation last week from beloved Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally, who made his rst appearance at a Siesta Key Association meeting since 2012. (He was out of work for three months because of health problems.) During the May 2 SKA meeting, Lally said he had had a good conversation recently with John Davidson, owner of Davidson Drugs and a considerable amount of property on Siesta Key. In the past, Lally pointed out, whenever he had broached the idea of an island parking garage with Davidson, the latter had respond ed with adamant disapproval. Sandals left alongside a path to Siesta Public Beach suggest an impromptu walk in the sand. Photo by Rachel Hackney A GULF-SIDE PARKING DECK PROPOSAL SPARKS DISCUSSION; WORRIES AIRED ABOUT THE LATEST COUNTY COMMISSION COMMENTS ON THE SIESTA BEACH PARK IMPROVEMENTS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


During this latest d iscussion, Davidson began to warm to the idea, Lally continued, adding that the idea is to erect the facility near the Sarasota County Fire Station adjacent to Si esta Public Beach. Lally pointed out that no restaurant on the is land overlooks the Gulf. Because the county has no money to construct such a parking deck, Lally noted, the project could be one for private enterprise. Bender son [Development Co.] has lots of money, for example, he said. John Davidsons got lots of money. Lets get them to build it. The parking deck would alleviate some of the perpetual parking dilemmas on the island, Lal ly pointed out. Lally said he had sent SKA President Cather ine Luckner photos he had taken of some ar eas on the key to document parking violations since he had returned to work, along with Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally addresses the Siesta Key Association Board of Directors and audience on May 2. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 99

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some pictures he had taken for old cases related to parking complaints. The situation out here its not getting any better, he noted. And every season, its going to get worse. Every holiday, its going to get worse. The fact of the matter is that more and more people are coming to the island every year, he added. We either need to quit spending millions of dollars getting people to come out here or we need to get some [additional] parking. Lally also talked about what he described as controlled parking, with residents selling spaces in their driveways and yards; and un controlled parking, such as the situation that has become the norm on Avenida de Mayo just on the outskirts of Siesta Village. Is it right that [homeowners are] charging for parking? No, Lally said. Its not right. Its against the [county] ordinance. However, he pointed out, on a recent day, with people having parked on both sides of Aveni da de Mayo, it would have been impossible to navigate a re truck along that residential street. It never would have happened, he stressed, reiterating a concern that Avenida de Mayo residents made during an appearance at the April 4 SKA meeting. That type of parking is uncontrolled, Lally added. Id rather have [vehicles] up in the yards, because ambulances and re trucks need to be able to get down those streets. Island resident Katherine Zimmerman ob jected to Lallys parking garage suggestion. Theres enough problems out here with drink ing and driving, she said. What we dont need is a big restaurant with a view to entice more people onto the island, she added. Another audience member suggested a shuttle to the key from the mainland would amelio rate the parking situation. A reliable shuttle, the woman pointed out. The main focus is how to solve the parking problem, Luckner responded. Why dont people pay to park here? Zimmer man asked. Commissioner Nora Patterson who arrived after the discussion reminded me the next day that she was one of three county commis sioners in May 2008 who voted for a pilot paid parking program at all the countys beaches. Then Commissioners Paul Mercier and Shan non Staub joined Patterson in supporting the measure, but Staub ultimately changed her mind. That resulted in a subsequent board vote to withdraw authorization for county staff to seek a request for proposals for the program. Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Jon Thaxton had voiced adamant opposition to the sugges tion that people p ay to park at the beaches. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 100

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Luckner told Zi mmerman during the May 2 SKA meeting that the SKA board is collecting information about peoples personal perspec tives on the parking situation. Write to us, Luckner added. The parking is important, Zimmerman re sponded. I know that, and I know people are really frustrated [as to] where to park their cars. But theres limits [to what] you can do on an island, Zimmerman added. All your comments are going to be in our minutes for today, Luckner responded. MORE PARKING WOES Avenida de Mayo is not the only residential street on Siesta Key where residents are ex periencing problems. During his SKA remarks on May 2, John Lally mentioned Avenida del Mare as well. In early April, I found the following email, which went to Commissioner Patterson. It in cluded a photo to illustrate the situation it dis cussed. (That is provided with this column.): Easter Sunday, after I took this picture the neighbor came over and rudely told my hus A resident on Avenida del Mare sent this photo to county ofcials in April when complaining about a neighbor charging people to park in the yard. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 101

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band that we shou ldnt be taking pictures be cause they are just having an Easter party However, the writer pointed out, when she and her husband left their house the follow ing morning, they saw the same neighbor had a sign posted, offering to sell parking spaces for $20 each. Several other neighbors dont like [this situa tion] either, the email correspondent contin ued. Trafc on my street is ridiculous. May be you can have a police ofcer monitor the parking lot situation and these neighbors can pay for it. Im being harassed and infringed upon and I am doing nothing wrong and ac cording to the codes am in the right. Some thing is wrong with this picture. Assistant County Administrator Mark Cun ningham responded to the writer on April 5, at Pattersons request: Our Code Enforcement Ofcers have been monitoring the situation of illegally selling parking on Avenida del Mare, and on the entire Siesta Key. Our ofcers (John Lally during nor mal working hours, and Kevin Burns during the evenings and weekends) have achieved good results maintaining a visible presence. They have made contact with property own ers, explaining that charging for parking is a violation of our codes. The ofcers will con tinue to enforce the ordinance. As the tourist season subsides, we expect the problem to lessen in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, we will continue to monitor for violations during the off-season, and when the season starts again in the Fall we will step up our efforts. THE BEACH PROJECT News that three of the county commissioners last week raised concerns again about the cost of the planned improvements to Siesta Public Beach raised worries this week among mem bers of the Siesta Key Village Association. During the SKVAs regular meeting on May 7, board member Mark Smith mentioned the dis cussion the commissioners had during their April 30 budget workshop. Commissioner Joe Barbetta had told him about the remarks, Smith continued. He made it sound like the project could be stalled and in jeopardy again, Smith added of Bar betta. Commissioner Christine Robinsons motion after the budget discussion was clear about the board not reversing its Dec. 11, 2012 vote to use bond revenue to pay for the $16.7 mil lion project. However, she, Patterson and Commissioner Charles Hines all voiced con cerns about the price of the improvements. Personally, I dont get it, Smith told his fel low SKVA members. They should be excited about any project out here, outgoing SKVA President Russell Mat thes said, adding his suggestion that the mat Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 102

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ter be addressed during the next meeting of the Presidents Council, which comprises the top ofcers of the SKVA, the Siesta Key Asso ciation, the Siesta Key Condominium Council and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. When SKVA board member Rami Nehme asked what the organizations members could do, Smith replied, Most likely another letter of support to emphasize that any money invested on Siesta Key is an investment in Sarasota County. Smith pointed out that the island contributes about one-third of the annual Tourist Develop ment Tax (TDT) revenue to the county. (The latest gures, through February, show 26.9 percent of the approximately $6 million col lected in TDT revenue so far this scal year came from Siesta Key.) The beach facility is an embarrassment, Smith added. It has been for years. We need to do something about it, and I thought we were. I felt good about it. Matthes said members of the Presidents Council would talk with Patterson about their concerns and, if necessary afterward, would create some pressure on the commission to make sure the project goes forward. NO BLOCKING Warning! No more saving of parking spaces will be allowed at Siesta Public Beach. That was the unanimous decision of the Coun ty Commission on April 24, though it came through the f ormal adoption of a change to a county ordinance. In the future, if someone stands in a spot at Siesta Public Beach where the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce says the greatest num ber of incidents have occurred and tries to prevent a vehicle from entering that space while saving it for someone else, the person can expect to be slapped with a $97 ne. Kim Lance in the countys Parks and Recre ation Department appeared before the County Commission on April 24 to explain that the Sheriffs Ofce had asked county staff last fall to work on amending the ordinance relating to the use of parks, beaches and public lands. What had happened, Lance said, was some of the incidents of altercations [over spaces] ended up being physical, so the Sheriffs Of ce wanted a legal means for handling these space-saving incidents. Sheriffs Office personnel believe that by [having the ordinance modied], Lance con tinued, they will be able to decrease the [number of] altercations. The new ordinance language ofcially says, The blocking or obstructing access to or from vacant designated parking spots except when moving a motor vehicle into and out of such designated parking space or when conducted by or with the permission of County ofcials is a prohibited activit y. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 103

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No one asked to sp eak during the public hear ing, which was adv ertised following a County Commission vote on March 19. NEW OFFICERS During their May 7 meeting, members of the Village Association formally elected their of cers and board members for the coming year. The ofcers are President Cheryl Gaddie of CG Designs, Vice President Kay Kouvatsos of Village Caf, Secretary Helene Hyland of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and Treasurer Roz Hyma n of Siesta Center. You re all in big trouble, Hyland told the members with a chuckle: A slate of four women as the ofcers. The remark drew a good bit of laughter. The board members are Wendall Jacobs of Beach Bazaar, Smith of Smith Architects, Mat thes of the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar, Anne John son of fresh. PR and Marketing, Bob Kirscher of The Broken Egg, Keith Cipielewski of Si esta Key Oyster Bar, Dave Magee of The UPS Store, Glenn Cappetta of Sun Ride Pedicabs, Rami Nehme of Blas Caf and Jeff Madden of Bea ch Bites. % (From left) The new ofcers of the Siesta Key Village Association are Helene Hyland, secretary; Roz Hy man, treasurer; Kay Kouvatsos, vice president; and Cheryl Gaddie, president. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 104

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Echoes of Spring which will run through May 31, features the works of 10 artists at Dabbert Gallery in downtown Sarasota. As spring makes the transition to summer, the featured artists in this months exhib it capture this energy [and] the exhilarating drama with canvases of rich color and sculp ture in bronze, marble and wood, a news release notes. Evening Calm Siesta Beach by William Suys. Contributed photo ECHOES OF SPRING FEATURES DABBERT GALLERY ARTISTS A&E BRIEFS The artists are Candace Knapp, Kathrin Long hurst, Moe Mitchell, Gert Olsen, William Suys, Tom Swimm, Thyra Davidson Wexler, Pamela duLong Williams, Russell Woody and Susan Zukowsky. Dabbert Gallery is located at 76 S. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues day through Saturday. For more information, visit

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Chubby Cello by Candace Knapp. Contributed photo Zinnias on Blue by Pamela duLong Williams. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 106

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Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery is pre senting Landscapes, Mindscapes and Dream scapes through July 20, featuring paintings by Michele Harvey, Heidi Edwards, Bill Nich ols, Bruce Marsh, Jean Blackburn, Deborah Brown and Jackie Batteneld along with pho tography-based art by Nancy Hellebrand and Pablo Soria. Harvey has been hailed as one of the great new painters of the American landscape, a news release says. Her work has been fea tured in Architectural Digest and it has been chosen for some of the most import ant corporate collections in the nation, the release says. The artist, who is from upper New York state, paints the tree-filled landscapes she has known from childhood, imbuing them with a nostalgic, dreamlike quality that renders them extraordinary, the release adds. From his Ruskin studio overlooking Little Manatee River, Marsh creates both large-scale photorealistic oil paintings and more loosely rendered watercolor studies, the release con tinues. His works hang in museums and cor porate collections around the state, including Sarasotas Ringling Museum; the National Gal lery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg; Tampa Museum of Art; and the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland. The Floridita by Pablo Soria. Contributed photo GALLUP PRESENTS LANDSCAPES, MINDSCAPES AND DREAMSCAPES Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 107

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In the release, Ma rsh says his work is an ex tension of my lifelong interest in the process es of perception and representation. The plac es involve large expanses of space, a clarity of light and a chaos of surface incident that serves to measure the expanse of the places. Color is of critical importance, as I seek to invent means to invoke atmosphere, space, and shifting sources of light. Edwards works reveal a preoccupation with the profusion of color and form within the vastness of Floridas at topography, the re lease notes. She says that in the 40 years she has been painting landscapes, she never tires of the inspiration they provide. I strive to por First Light by Bill Nichols. Contributed photo tray the essen ce of these places through color and convey a mood that elevates the spirit of my viewers, much the same as these sustain and inspire me, she notes in the release. Nichols says in the release that as a young painter, he saw the landscape for its poten tial as both a conveyor of visual beauty and a messenger of meaningful experience. The difculty was dening what was special about it for me and then nding a way of orchestrat ing the visual vocabulary to meet what I was seeing and feeling. He adds that for more than 40 years I have been working with the landscape as a subject Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 108

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capable of acting as a mirror to so many ex periential qualities. Born in Argentina, the photographer Soria lives in Miami. His works are part of major private and public collections, including those at the Museo de Arte Moderno and the Mu seo Nacional de Bellas Artes, both in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale; the Museo del Barrio Collection in New York City; and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the release notes. Hellebrands nature photographs have been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries since 1973. Nature i s full and rich without my t aking pictures of it, she says in the release. Yet, Ive come to see trees, rocks, clouds and streams as raw material with which to see something new. Hellebrands photographs are in public collec tions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum of the City of London, Princeton University Art Museum, Yale Uni versity Art Gallery and Philadelphia Museum of Art, the release points out. The gallery is located at 1288 N. Palm Ave. in Sarasota. For more information, call 366-2454 or visit Council by Michelle Harvey. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 109

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At 3:30 p.m. on May 15, a lecture at Jacaran da Trace in Venice will focus on The Armory Show The International Exhibition of Modern Art, which opened in New York City on Feb. 17, 1913 and became known as The Armory Show was the rst large exhibition of modern art in the United States, a news release notes. For the rst time, Americans saw examples of avant-garde European art: Fauvism, Cub ism, and Futurism. The public sensation and the polemical, critical responses to the show represented a watershed in the history of art, the release adds. FIRST MAJOR MODERN ART EXHIBIT IN THE U.S. TO BE FOCUS OF LECTURE The 1913 Armory Show will be the subject of a lecture at Jacaranda Trace. Contributed photo The sho w was an enormous success, the re lease notes. More importantly, it was a cata lyst for American artists, who were seeking a way to dene their own voice. This lecture is being presented in conjunction with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art exhibit, 100 Years of American Art which will open in June. Jacaranda Trace is located on the second oor of the Cadbury Commons Building, 3600 Wil liam Penn Way in Venice. Admission is $10 at the door. For reservations, call 416-4362. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 110

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Students in the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Booker Middle School will show case their talents at events this month to which the public will be welcomed, the Sara sota County Schools has announced. At 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 15, in the schools cafeteria, students in the VPA TV/Film Pro gram will present the Booker Middle Film Fes tival. Admission is free. The festival is an exciting showing of select ed lms produced by our students this year, said Booker Middle VPA Coordinator Melanie Heggs in a news release. BOOKER MIDDLE TO SHOWCASE STUDENT CREATIVITY At 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 28, in Booker Middle Room 407 (also known as the Black Box The ater), VPA Musical Theatre students will pres ent a Cabaret that will spotlight a variety of performances: singing, acting in small groups and monologues, the release notes. Admission to the Cabaret is $3. Teachers and children under age 5 will be admitted free. Our students really get a chance to shine in this Cabaret, said Mills in the release. Booker Middle School is located at 2250 Myr tle St., Sarasota. Florida St udio Theatre will present the musi cal revue The World Goes Round the comedy The Underpants and a witty new play, South Beach Babylon during its summer season, which will open May 31 and continue through Sept. 1, the theatre has announced. Artistic Director Richard Hopkins said in a news release, This summer will be a time of rejoicing at FST. From Kander and Ebbs musical revue The World Goes Round to Steve Martins fresh adaptation of the wacky come dy The Underpants to life in Miamis fast lane with Michael McKeevers South Beach Baby lon the summer promises to be fun, classy, stylish and fun-loving. The 2013 summer season kicks off in the Gompertz Theatre with The World Goes Round Filled with humor, romance, drama and nonstop melody, this is a thrilling cele FST ANNOUNCES THREE SHOWS FOR ITS SUMMER SEASON bration of life and the ghting spirit that keeps us all going, the release says. It features such songs as Mr. Cellophane Maybe This Time Cabaret and New York, New York It will run until June 21. Opening next in the Keating Theatre will be The Underpants by Carl Sternheim, adapted by Steve Martin. Chicago Theatre Beat has called it Extraordinarily entertaining, ac cording to the news release. Some lives are shaped by tragedy, some by art and others by underpants falling down in public, the release adds. This play spins the farcical tale of ve lives reborn from one accidental act of indecency. Its satirical chal lenge to our obsession with sex and celebrity will be sure to have you howling with Martins peculiar brand of inn uendos and ribaldry, the Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 111

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release notes. The Underpants will play from June 28 to July 28. Closing out the summer season in the Gompertz Theatre will be South Beach Bab ylon which The Miami Herald called A crackling comedy, the release adds. Com mercialism and artistic integrity battle it out as a group of South Beach artists prepares for the celebrated Art Basel event. Is it possible to create art without selling ones soul? the release continues. South Beach Babylon will p lay in the Gompertz Theatre from July 26 to Sept. 1. Single tickets range from $18 to $36 for pre views and $18 to $42 for regular performanc es. A subscription for all three ranges from $39 to $49. Both subscription tickets and sin gle tickets may be purchased from the FST box ofce in person at 1241 N. Palm Ave., by calling 366-9000 or by going online at www. % How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. George Washington Carver 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. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 112

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The late we llknown Sarasota-area conductor and composer, Dr. Daniel T. Moe, will be hon ored on Sunday, May 19, during the Church of the Redeemers 5:15 p.m. Evensong the nale of the churchs Great Music Series for the 2012-13 season. The Evensong will mark the anniversary of Moes passing on May 24, 2012 at the age of 85, a news release notes. It will feature Moes composition Adoramus te Christe, Lux aeterna whose translation is We adore you, O Lord Christ, Light Eter nal. Adoramus was composed as a Requiem for Moes mentor, the highly regarded Amer ican choral conductor and composer Paul J. Christiansen, who was also the director of the famed Concordia College choir, in Moorhead, MN, the relea se adds. Christiansen died in 1997. Moe composed Adoramus that same year in collaboration with Drew Collins, the release notes. Moe was Redeemers longtime compos er-in-residence and the husband of Redeemers choirmaster/organist, Ann Stephenson-Moe. Hailed by New Yorker music critic Andrew Porter as the dean of choral conductors, Moe was a major educational force in con ducting and choral literature, having devel oped distinguished graduate programs in these specialties at the University of Iowa, the release notes. He served as professor of music at Oberlin Conservatory of Music for 20 years, until 1992. Along with his position at Redeemer, Moe for 21 years was the much-beloved music director (he retired in 200 6) of Key Chorale the of The Church of the Redeemer is located in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel EVENSONG TO HONOR SARASOTA COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR MOE RELIGION BRIEFS

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cial chorus of the Florida West Coast Sympho ny in Sarasota, the release adds. He also was adjunct professor of music at New College in Sarasota, where he conducted the choirs. In more than 40 years of choral conducting, Moe brought nearly every landmark cho ral-orchestral work in the repertoire to perfor mance, ranging from Bachs Passion Accord ing to St. John to the Britten War Requiem the release continues. His work drew him into the nations great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Kennedy Cen ter and Lincoln Center, where he twice served as consulting conductor for the International University Choral Festival, it adds. Evensong is a free offering for the community; all are welcome. Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota. For more information, visit or call 955-4263. Daniel Moe/Contributed photo The fth a nnual B lessing of the Animals will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. at Tem ple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. This event is the only pet blessing in Saraso tas Jewish community, and all are warmly in vited, the Temple has announced. A celebration of the gift of animal compan ionship and the special role pets play in our lives, Blessing of the Animals will begin with casual socializing as well as light refresh ments for both humans and animals, a news release says. Following a brief and inspira tional message about the importance of ani mals in Jewish tradition, each pet will receive Adam Gersh brought his dog to last years Blessing of the Animals at Temple Emanu-El. Contributed photo TEMPLE EMANU-EL TO HOLD FIFTH ANNUAL BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 114

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A donat ion of $10 with advance reservation is requested, or $18 at the door. For more information or to RSVP, contact Margie Rosenthal at or 966 -4009. Rabbis Brenner and Elaine Rose Glickman taught study sessions at Temple Emanu-Els 2012 Night of Jewish Learning and will teach at this years event May 14. Contribut ed photo WRESTLING WITH BELIEF TO BE TOPIC OF NIGHT OF JEWISH LEARNING Essential quest ions regarding religious belief, doubt and faith will be explored at Temple Emanu-Els Night of Jewish Learning an annual study event held in honor of the Jew ish holiday of Shavuot on Tuesday, May 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Temple, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. This years study topic is Wrestling with Be lief: Faith and the Modern Jew a news re lease says. Temple Emanu-Els Night of Jewish Learning hearkens back to a Jewish mystical tradition called the Tikkun Leil Shavuot wherein Jews gathered to celebrate the evening of Shavuot the anniversary of Gods revelation of To rah at Mount Sinai with Bible study, the release points out. Rabbis Brenner and Elaine Glickman will each teach one study session; in between those gatherings, homemade dairy desserts traditionally eaten on Shavuot will be served, the release continues. The ses sions will explore questions and issues of faith in the Torah, the Bible, rabbinic literature and modern thought. There will be time for inter active discussions among the participants as well as questions, the release notes. Members of the community are warmly invit ed to this event, which is sponsored by Tem ple Emanu-Els Adult Education Committee. an individual blessing from Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, it adds. Family pet portraits will also be taken. Pets of all types are welcome; past attendees include dogs, cats, large lizards, miniature horses, rabbits, chickens and a donkey, the re lease notes. All animals should be leashed or otherwise contained, the release says. There will be plenty of room for active pets to be walked around and exercised, it continues. Blessing of the Animals is free. For more in formation, call 379-1997. Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 115

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On Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m., the Congre gation for Humanistic Judaism will present a program with Roberta MacDonald, whose top ic will be The Astounding Inuence of Jews in the Entertainment Industry The favorite leading lady of the Golden Ap ple, MacDonald also appeared on Broadway, co-anchored The Today Show and was a Dra ma Award winner at New York Citys famed Roberta MacDonald/Contributed photo JEWS INFLUENCE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO BE DISCUSSED High School of Performing Arts, a news re lease notes. Now on the board of the Plato Performing Arts Academy and surrounded by family members involved in presenting as well as performing in the theater, MacDonald continues to pro vide the community with entertainment op po rtunities, the release adds. The program is open to the public, no charge. The Congregation for Hu manistic Judaism meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. For more information call 929-7771 or visit % Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 116

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10+ MAY Landscapes, Mindscapes and Dreamscapes May 10 through July 20, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N. Palm Ave. Free admission. Information: 366-2454 or 11 MAY Third Annual Rose Festival May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Phillippi Estate Mansion and Rose Gardens, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, featuring rose displays by the Bradenton-Sarasota Rose Society, classes and sales of roses. For info: 358-6991 or 11 MAY WSLR presents the Whitney James Jazz Quintet May 11, 7:30 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Tickets: $12 in advance; $15 at the door; 894-6469 or 12 MAY Selby Spring Music Series presents Jennifer Leigh and Her New Digs May 12, 1 to 3 p.m., Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave. Free with gardens admission. Members & children under 12 admitted free; members guests: $5; all others pay $17. Information at 23+ MAY Noah Raceys Pulse May 23, 8 p.m. (and various times through June 16), FSU Performing Arts Center, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets: $20 to $72. Information: 351-8000 or 29+ MAY Florida Studio Theatre presents The World Goes Round May 29 to June 23 (times vary), Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $18 to $42 Information: 366-9000 or 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 THE SALLY RAND OF TREES SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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