Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
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Sarasota, FL


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

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University of Florida
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COVER Inside A NEW STRATEGY FOR THE HOMELESS TRUMPING THE COMP PLAN BELTWAY RIVALRY IN SARASOTA? Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 37 May 31, 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 Norman Schimmel Staff Photographer Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer Scott Proftt Contributing Writer 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


A slow week following a holiday weekend? Not for us! As promised, we have quite a few stories from the County Commissions meetings last week that deserve an airing including a thought-pro voking proposal about how to handle the communitys homeless issues. Additionally, the story of a split County Commission vote over a right of way on north Siesta Key is one you can nd noteworthy regardless of where you live. Nonetheless, you need have no fear it is all county, all the way through the news section this week. City Editor Stan Zimmerman attended the special City Commission meeting about creating a form-based code for Sarasota. (If you do not know what that is, Stan does an excellent job of explaining it.) He also takes a look at cit y election data provided by one of our fellow media or ganizations, and he has an update on the Downtown Improvement Districts months-long ordeal involving the color-changing lights in Five Points Park. Beyond the news pages, I highly recommend Stans commentary on Memorial Day. It is a powerful essay. Thanks to Fran Palmeri, Otus and our own copy editor, Vicki Chatley, the Sarasota Leisure section once again offers plenty of variety and more excellent wildlife photos. (How does Otus manage to handle a camera so well???) Fran has been generous with her lovely essays and photos since the old days of the Pelican Press It is always a gift to see her name pop up in my inbox. And while Vicki is a superb copy editor, she is equally deft not to mention delightful with her writing, as you will see in her article about Savor Sarasota. Summer may be ofcially upon us, but the news never seems to slow down. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


A NEW STRATEGY FOR THE HOMELESS BELTWAY RIVALRY IN SARASOTA? NEWS & COMMENTARY A NEW STRATEGY FOR THE HOMELESS 8 A retired 30-year veteran of the Police Department proposes a program to help the homeless modeled on a successful seven-year-old initiative to help publicly impaired people Rachel Brown Hackney TRUMPING THE COMP PLAN 14 The County Commission splits 3-2 in approving the vacation of a right of way on Siesta Key that has canal access Rachel Brown Hackney BELTWAY RIVALRY IN SARASOTA? 22 Sarasota County is exploring whether it can lure the Washington Nationals to town for shared Spring Training with the Orioles Rachel Brown Hackney POLISH YOUR CRYSTAL BALL 26 The City Commission embarks on a visionary zoning exercise Stan Zimmerman CITY ELECTION ANALYSIS 31 The Year of the Youth Vote succumbs to Geezer Power Stan Zimmerman MORE TOURISTS, MORE DOLLARS 34 Building on the increases recorded in the 2012 scal year, tourism in Sarasota County remained strong through the height of the 2013 season Rachel Brown Hackney WELCOMING NEW OPPORTUNITIES 39 Hosting the 2013 Pan-American Masters Swimming Championship could bring up to $5 million into Sarasota Countys economy and lure new residents Rachel Brown Hackney LOVELY LOUSY LIGHTS 43 The Downtown Improvement District chooses to seek bids for the best way to get the light show working properly again in Five Points Park Stan Zimmerman NO GREATER GIFTS 46 Memorial Day parade offers a time to remember Staff Reports NEWS BRIEFS 53 CRIME BLOTTER 57 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Time Marches On Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Shady Selby Sanctuary Robert Hackney No. 37 May 31, 2013


MMMM, MMMM, GOOD! REVERIE OPINION EDITORIAL 61 County Commission plays Santa Claus to rich Michigan snowbirds COMMENTARY 64 If the dead could talk Stan Zimmerman COMMENTARY 67 My friend, Brian Harriet Cuthbert SARASOTA LEISURE MMMM, MMMM, GOOD! 70 Delicious dining awaits at Savor Sarasota restaurants Vicki Chatley REVERIE 73 Learn to let nature come to you Fran Palmeri ASK OTUS 75 Talk of a mystery bird on Siesta leads to some sleuthing Otus Rufous SIESTA SEEN 86 The Highway Patrol is seeking the vehicle that struck a pedicab and injured three people before eeing the scene; hurricane season advice issued; Napolis to be transformed Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 92 RELIGION BRIEFS 98 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 102 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 103 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For The Best Reading Experience Try Reading The Sarasota News Leader On Your Tablet No. 37 May 31, 2013


Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 7 Gene Burgess and Melonie Burgess, licensed acupuncture physicians Serving Sarasota since 2008 Treatment rates are on a sliding scale, from $15-$35; new patients pay a onetime additional fee of $10 AFFORDABLE ACUPUNCTURE FOR EVERYONE 3615 Webber St Sarasota, FL 34232 (941) 922-4611 Open Tuesday through Saturday Our Mission To provide our community with high quality and affordable acupuncture and herbal medicine and to create a treatment space that connects people and builds community. Click for larger map and driving directions Click To Schedule An Appointment Online MENTION THIS AD TO RECEIVE $5 OFF THE NEW PATIENT FEE Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services


A 30-year veteran of the Sarasota Police De partment believes an effective initiative to help the communitys homeless could be mod eled on a county program that has aided drugand alcohol-addicted people since 2006. That county program the CART Initiative has led to a 75 per cent reduction in the number of such peo ple on the citys streets since it went into ef fect, Paul Sutton, who recently retired from the P olice Department, said during the Sara sota County Commissions regular meeting on May 22. Sutton was part of a three-person presentation about the work of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County. He is its second vice chairman. The Alliance is an or ganization compris ing about 62 nonprot entities to advance communication, col laboration and advo A homeless person sleeps in Five Points Park. Photo by Norman Schimmel A RETIRED 30-YEAR VETERAN OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT PROPOSES A PROGRAM TO HELP THE HOMELESS MODELED ON A SUCCESSFUL SEVEN-YEAR-OLD INITIATIVE TO HELP PUBLICLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE A NEW STRATEGY FOR THE HOMELESS There are miracles occurring in Sarasota, and its got to be one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Paul Sutton Second Vice Chairman Community Alliance of Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


cacy of t he health and human services needs of all citizens in Sarasota County through ... integrated, effective and efcient delivery sys tems, its mission statement says. County Administrator Randall Reid has asked it to assist his staff and City of Sarasota staff in developing an effective approach to han dling the countys homelessness issues. In 2004, Sutton pointed out, city police found about 1,000 people a year who were so im paired in public that they couldnt care for themselves. Although public impairment is not a crime, he continued, the only place ofcers could take such people at the time was the Sarasota County Jail, which became a revolving door. Fou r to six hours after they had sobered up, Sutton said, the people were back on the streets. They were still addicted to alcohol and drugs, he added. They often became vic tims of crimes and they themselves commit ted petty crimes to support their addictions. Then, on Aug. 1, 2006, the CART Initiative began. According to an overview on the Uni versity of South Florida College of Behavioral and Community Sciences website the Saraso ta County Community Alternatives Residen tial Treatment Initiative includes three phases: Medically supervised detoxication and substance abuse evaluation as an alter native to jail, provided by First Step of Sarasota Homeless people gathered under the shade of oaks in Five Points Park earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 9


A VIP-ER (Volu ntary Interim Placement-En hanced Recovery) program supervised by the Salvation Army in Sarasota, which in volves substance abuse treatment, job training, family counseling and psychiat ric intervention for those unable to pay for treatment. Transitional housing to allow graduates of the rst and second phases to live in a sup portive atmosphere for up to two years to assist with long-term recovery. As a res ult of the CART Initiative, Sutton told the commissioners, statistics collected in re cent years showed police ofcers are nding only about 250 impaired people a year on the streets. Between Aug. 1, 2006 and March 31 of this year, Sutton continued, 6,829 people had been voluntarily admitted to the First Step program. The completion rate for the VIP-ER program is 73 percent, he added. Now, thats an amaz ing thing, when you talk about people whove A chart shows the coordination of organizations under the umbrella of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County. Image courtesty Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 10


been addicted to alcoh ol or drugs on a longterm basis, he pointed out. Of all those graduates of the VIP-ER program who could be located 12 months later, he said, 67 percent remained sober. The national aver age for similar programs is about 10 percent, he noted. There are miracles occurring in Sarasota, and its got to be one of the bestkept secrets in the world. He offered more statistics from the VIP-ER program: 71 percent of graduates who needed to get a GED had been able to do so; 69 per cent remained in stable housing; and 66 per cent were employed, in training or in school. A CITY-COUNTY APPROACH Commissioner Nora Patterson brought up the homelessness discussion City Manager Tom Barwin had broached when the City and County commissions held a joint meeting on Feb. 5 to consider numerous topics. Barwin sought county collaboration on the hiring of a couple of caseworkers to try to help people nd the services they needed from community agencies, she noted. I have a feeling there are a lot of caseworkers out there that are work ing for the various agencies and, I thought, coordinating, Patterson added. Is this some thing you guys are discussing? Benny Weaver, senior vice president for de velopment at The Loveland Center and chair man of the Community Alliance, responded, Theres never been a truly collaborative ef fort of all parties to see exactly what are the situations that we can have an impact on. Discussions began last week after city and county staff asked the Alliance for its help about how to resolve that, Weaver added. With about 1,200 homeless in Sarasota County, he continued, We also know that theres a cer tain percentage of those I dont care what you do, what services you provide theyre as happy as a tick on a dog: Dont bother me; leave me alone. So youve got to set that seg The Sarasota County Commission sits in session earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 11


ment aside and gure out how were going to address those Pauls very familiar with. Referring to the CART Initiative, Sutton added that before it was launched, each of the agen cies involved had its own programs. When we put them together, we got results that we never saw individually. Sutton also pointed out that the type of posi tion Barwin had proposed was one that would be pointing people in the correct direction. We dont have a lot more in the way of re sources to assist with that, Patterson replied, which was why, she added, she was hoping the existing agencies already were working together. And they are, Sutton told her. Still, he con tinued, I think we need to take a more all-en compassing approach. Police ofcers routinely meet people with mental health issues who do not qualify for commitment under the states Baker Act, be cause they do not appear suicidal or homi cidal, Sutton pointed out. For the ofcers to have the ability to call someone who can help them direct the person to the proper agency for assistance would be very helpful, he said. As an e xample, Sutton talked about a woman he had found on the street who was clothed in garbage bags and sitting in a wheelchair. She would defecate in a bag and attach it to the wheelchair, he continued. Although he felt she did not qualify for involuntary psychiatric commitment under the Baker Act, he used it to get her off the street, he added. When she was released a couple of days later, she went back to living on the street, he noted, which prompted calls from residents about her sit ting in front o f their homes. Were not helping that individual as much as we could right now, Sutton said, and the neighborhood is suffering as a result of that. He added, Because the problem is so wide and so varied, you have to have a multi-agen cy, coordinated response, and thats what the Community Alliance has proven that they could do with the CART Initiative. And given the same chance, I think they may be able to do something with the homeless initiative as well. BEST PRACTICES Commissioner Christine Robinson said she wanted to make certain such an initiative would look for efciencies. Sutton told her the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness already has a Homeless Management Information System. That helps track services as well as resources, he added. The Partnership would be one of many vital Capt. Paul Sutton attends a reception prior to his retirement from the Sarasota Police De partment. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 12


members of the new homelessness initiative, he pointed out. Each one of us knows some group thats do ing something, but were not really sure ex actly what they do, Weaver said. Part of the vision for the county and city, he continued, is having someone totally independent who can learn what services are available and what are really the unmet needs. Robinson said she had been upset because Barwin did not seem to understand the coun ty already spends about $4.8 million a year on contracts with human services agencies. Pauline Tracy, the countys human services manager, had provided the commissioners documentation showing research she had un dertaken regarding such spending by counties with population levels comparable to Sarasota Countys. Only Palm Beach County provided more funding to its health department in the 2012 scal year $3,447,244 than Sarasota County did $3,313,368. Additionally, the only other county besides Sarasota that funded non-mandated sub stance abuse services was St. Lucie, which spent $44,757 compared to Sarasota Countys $1,428,844. I think [the homeless issues are not] going to be solved overnight, but understanding what everybody has available to them, getting ev erybody to start connecting the dots together is a great way to go, Robinson told Weaver. However, Im not convinced we need to hire people to do that. I compare it to a family, Weaver replied. If youve got a problem in a family, nobody else in the family wants to deal with it. A lot of the times you have to go outside the family and bring in a totally independent person to come to some resolution He added that he did not foresee hiring any one for a long commitment to the new initia tive. When Robinson asked whether he felt a shortterm consultant could provide the necessary help, he said that was correct somebody independent who could say, Heres what I would recommend. Kathryn Shea, CEO and president of The Flor ida Center and rst vice chairwoman of the Alliance, said she also felt the Alliance needs to seek out best practices for handling home lessness issues across the nation. Sarasota is not unique, she added. Were just not used to it here. Shea also said the Alliance had agreed to make the response to homeless issues a top priority. Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason then asked whether the communitys StepUp plan, a 10-year initiative to end homelessness in Sarasota County, would be part of the pro cess. Sutton told her, StepUp has to be part of the plan He added, There are a lot of people out there that are making tremendous efforts to help the homeless. Those are partners that you bring into the collaboration to try to search for solutions. % Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 13


In 19 24, according to Sarasota County re cords, a 1.88-acre, 60-foot wide piece of land was dedicated as county right of way for a road later named Calle de Costa Rica in the Sarasota Beach subdivision of north Siesta Key. In 1957, Calle de Costa Rica was connected to Higel Avenue, but by 1969, that link had dis appeared, according to county maps. With the land speci cally having been ded icated for right of way and n o county plans in site for a new extension of the road to Higel the County Commission voted 3-2 on May 21 to vacate the right of way and turn over the land to William and Katherine Baumann of 601 Avenida de Mayo. The Baumanns own a house to the east of the right of way. Chairwoman Carolyn Mason joined Commis sioners Joe Barbetta and Charles Hines in making the decision. Honestly, in my wild est dreams, I never thought the com mis A map shows the Calle de Costa Rica right of way in red. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION SPLITS 3-2 IN APPROVING THE VACATION OF A RIGHT OF WAY ON SIESTA KEY THAT HAS CANAL ACCESS TRUMPING THE COMP PLAN Were giving up a public right today. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


sion w ould approve this, Commissioner Nora Patterson said in joining Commissioner Christine Robinson on the losing side of the vote. I am really star tled. Robinson cited county Parks Policy 1.1.13 in her opposition to the action, because the property in question pro vides access to a Siesta canal. That policy sec tion of the countys Comprehensive Plan says, The County shall not vacate road segments on waterfronts along any creek, river, lake, bay, or gulf access point and shall encourage right-of-way use of these areas for coastal beach a nd bay access. Hine s pointed to the documentation provid ed by the Baumanns representatives during a presentation to the commission. I think it was meant to be a road, clearly, and its not going to be used as a road, and, therefore, we should vacate it. Mr. Hines is spot on, Barbetta said. The right of way provided no access to the canal until the 1950s, he added. Our comp plan was [ap proved] in the s. So we dont apply [the Comprehensive Plan] to any of the plats that were done before the comp plan? Robinson queri ed Barbetta. A photo shows the top of the bank of the canal at the access area on the right of way, looking north. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Weve had it. I dont know that theres a need to hear additional public input Charles Hines Vice Chairman County Commission Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 15


A boundary survey shows the Calle de Costa Rica right of way. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 16


A map shows the 12 area waterways with paddling trails. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 17


Depends on the dedication, he responded. Were giving up a public right today, Robin son told him. What were giving up is right of way for pub lic road, Barbetta said. THE REQUEST Diane Kennedy, a title agent in the Real Prop erty Division of the countys Public Works Department, explained to the board that the Baumanns led the street vacation petition in 2012. According to the petitioners and to the best of anyones knowledge, this right-of-way has never been maintained by Sarasota Coun ty and this is the primary reason for ling the petition, says a May 21 memo from Kennedy to the County Commission. County records show the Baumanns bought their 7,110-square-foot parcel in November 2011. To the west, the propert y is owned by DCA Fidu Inc. Trust Estate, represented by Michael J. Silvers, who sold it to the trust in March 2009 after purchasing it in June 1995, according to county tax records. Ke nnedys memo says Silvers was notied of the Baumanns petition and has not raised an objection. He did tell the County Commission during the May 21 public hearing that he uses the right of way as a driveway; that use has been in effect since the house was built, he added. (A Sarasota News Leader search of county prop erty tax records could not determine when the house was constructed on the parcel.) Referring to the Calle de Costa Rica right of way, Kennedy said a county staff inspection showed someone appeared to be using it to access the canal, as mangroves have been trimmed in one ar ea on the bank. A PowerPoint slide shows the work that has to be done regarding utility easements on the Calle de Costa Rica right of way. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 18


When Patterson asked whether that was le gal access, Kennedy responded, Yes. Yes, though several people made the point later that it is illegal to trim mangroves. Kennedy noted the canal gives canoeists and kayakers access to the Roberts Bay Paddling Trail, which is identied as a blueway, or pad dling route, in the countys master trail plan. Both Brian Lichterman, the agent working on behalf of the Baumanns, and the couples at torney, David Levin of Icard Merrill in Sara sota, later disputed that fact. They provided a county map showing the distance of that canal access from the Roberts Bay Paddling Trail, which the map indicates is in the vicinity of Venice. Its a future improvement in connectivity, Kennedy said of the Calle de Costa Rica site. A public canoe or kayak access to the canal is available about a quarter of a mile east of the site, Lichterman said. When Hines asked for conrmation of that, Matt Osterhoudt, manager of the Natural Re sources Department, responded that that al ternate site is a stormwater spillway. Such ar eas are commonly used [for water access], he added, but they are not appropriate for that usage. Kennedy also pointed out that the right of way provides easements to Comcast Cablevision, Verizon and Florida Power & Light Co. If the commission chose to vacate the property, she said, staff would need additional time to han dle the paperwork regarding those easements. Staff memos and testimony on May 21 indi cate both the Baumanns and Silvers are will ing to grant new easements, as required with the right of way vacation. Nonetheless, the staff recommendation was for the commission not to approve the peti tion, Kennedy said, citing the Parks Policy Robinson later referenced as well as the ex istence of a county water main in the right of way. Lichterman, president of Vision Planning & Design of Sarasota, told the commission, The original intent of the right of way by the coun ty is no longer needed. If the county vacated the right of way, he con tinued, the property could be put on the tax rolls, where it would generate income. Furthermore, Lichterman said, the property has become almost a littering site, with dis carded bottles, foam cups and even car bat Commissioner Christine Robinson. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 19


teries. The Baumanns had to call the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce on Feb. 16, he added, because they spotted a suspicious vehicle parked on the site. This area has been long neglected and is essentially a garbage dump in the neighbor hood, he said, even though the Baumanns have tried to keep it clean. Kennedy told the commissioners county staff recently had been maintaining the property. If the county vacated the right of way, Lichter man continued, the Baumanns and DCA Fidu Trust Estate would plant mangrove seedlings along the shoreline to stabilize it, and the Bau manns have proposed a bio-swale to cleanse water that sheets off Avenida de Mayo during heavy rain events. Those actions would lead to improved water quality in the canal, he not ed. DIGGING INTO THE FACTS Patterson pointed out that much of the water access on Siesta Key where, she empha sized, she has lived for more than 40 years is available at the butt ends of roads. Levin insisted, This is a unique situation. There are many subdivisions where the roads are dedicated to end at the water, he said. In this case, Calle de Costa Rica was intended to be a north-south travel way and there was no canal when the subdivision was platted. Patterson replied that with several similar situations on the key, she had assumed one day li ttle bridges could be constructed to connect some of them to the roads. When Robinson asked County Attorney Ste phen DeMarsh to weigh in on the Parks Policy in the Comprehensive Plan, DeMarsh told the board, You, as the commission, would have the prerogative, if you choose, to decline to vacate this right of way consistent with state law and, I believe, the Comprehensive Plan policy. Robinson made a motion to deny the Bau manns request for the county to vacate the right of way. Patterson seconded it. Im glad these comp plan policies are in place, to tell the truth, Patterson said. I think water access, for people who cant afford to live on the water, is extremely important. However, Hines said he could not support the motion. I think to encourage the public to use this [property] makes us have the responsibili ty to maintain that, which the county had not been doing until after the Baumanns submit ted their petition, he pointed out. After the motion failed on a 3-2 vote, Hines made a new motion to approve the vacation of the right of way and allow staff about 60 days to handle the utilities easements. When DeMarsh asked whether he wanted to continue the public hearing, Hines said, No. Weve had it. I dont know that theres a need to hear additional public input No member of the public other than Silvers had spoken during the hearing. % Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 20


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If the Los Ang eles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox do it at Camelback Ranch in Arizo na, can the Baltimore Orioles and the Wash ington Nationals do it in Sarasota? It is a possibility the sharing of Major League Baseball Spring Training facilities that Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Bar betta wants to explore. One thing is clear: The Nationals have in formed Brevard County ofcials they will not be returning to Space Coast Stadium once their facility lease ends in 2017. That was the report in on May 16. Barbetta already had talked with County Ad ministrator Randall Reid a few weeks before that news appeared, having read rumors that Members of the Washington Nationals stand outside their dugout for the opening ceremonies of a game with the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in March 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA COUNTY IS EXPLORING WHETHER IT CAN LURE THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS TO TOWN FOR SHARED SPRING TRAINING WITH THE ORIOLES BELTWAY RIVALRY IN SARASOTA? By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


the Na tionals were shopping for a new Spring Training home. After reading the May 16 article, Barbetta emailed Reid: If there is an opportunity here for possible shared use or something along that line, coupled with some additional alternatives, should we be pursuing this op portunity? Id be happy to help in any way. As you know, Fort Myers has two teams and was also a consideration for the Nationals. Obvi ously the Os would have to participate in any discussion along these lines, along with the County Attorn ey. It may be a pie in the sky idea, Barbet ta told The Sarasota News Leader None theless, he said he felt it was worth pursuing. Manatee County has practice fields avail able, Barbetta pointed out, that would make the scenario possible. As he had in the email, he emphasized to the News Leader that the Orioles would have to give their consent to sharing the use of Ed Smith Stadium for games. At no time has he considered the prospect of the countys trying to build a new stadium, he add ed. The Orioles mascot, Bird, stands beneath the chandelier in Ed Smith Stadium. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 23 Were interested in increasing the economic impact from sports tourism here Randall Reid Administrator Sarasota County


The News Leader tried twice this week to ob tain a comment from the Orioles home ofce in Baltimore with no results. Reid told the News Leader Were interested in increasing the economic impact from sports tourism here and a second [Major League Baseball] team would be an outstanding way of doing that. The Nationals present a particularly alluring option, thanks to their well-known Beltway Rivalry with the Orioles. Brief discussion at the May 16 meeting of the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council (TDC) pointed to the prospects of creating an even greater ow of visitors from the Wash ington, D.C./Baltimore metropolitan area if Sarasota hosted both teams for Spring Train ing. Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, has noted in past presentations to the TDC that her staffs marketing in the Balti more area part of the countys agreement with the Orioles when the team relocated to Sarasota has brought in a signicant num ber of visitors. This year, the Orioles set a franchise record by drawing 120,455 fans for their 17 home games, th e team announced after its final Spring Training game on March 29. That gure also represented a new Spring Training season attendance record for Sara sota, which has hosted such games since 1924. We would not want to do anything to upset that longstanding relationship with the Ori oles, Reid told the News Leader Referring to his mid-May email to Reid, Bar betta said, I just didnt want [the potential for landing the Nationals] to fall between the crac ks. % County Administrator Randall Reid. Photo by Norman Schimmel 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. | Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 24


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


The Saraso ta city commissioners Wednes day afternoon, May 29, set off on a three-year voyage into planning the future of the city. While a formal decision will be made next month, they agreed by consensus to open up a design studio where planners can work with stakeholders to create a form-based zoning code for the city. Huh? REMEMBER EUCLID? Euclid was the Greek who invented geometry and caused problems for countless teenagers. His name was also applied to a cut-and-dried system of dividing up a city into never-shallthey-mingle districts. Euclidian zoning meant residential areas of the city would never be bothered by an industry building a plant next door or even a coffee shop. Residential meant residential. Industrial meant industrial. Commercial you get the idea. Outside of the down town area, Sarasota uses Euclidian zoning, which causes some prob lems, because various types of land use are not distinctly Euclidian. When Ron Burks wanted to rezone 9 acres on School Avenue to build residential towers with commercial use mixed into the development, you might say Euclid was aghast; so were the neighbors. Laurel Park homeowners in downtown Sarasota have been especially wary of neighboring develop ment. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION EMBARKS ON A VISIONARY ZONING EXERCISE POLISH YOUR CRYSTAL BALL By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


One of Sarasotas big gest neighbor-ver sus-development con flicts ensued. And while Burks emerged victorious in the zon ing battle, the econo my turned against fur ther development and he shelved his plans. The property still a row of one-story ware houses retains Burks desired downtown edge zoning, but it reects a milestone in Sarasota battles regarding how to change land-use designations. LEGACY DEFECTS Sarasotas current zoning code was estab lished in 1974, and it is showing its age. Its never been overhauled, said Tim Litchet, the director of the Neigh borhood and Develop ment Services ofce. And there are internal conicts. Nowh ere was this more visible than with the recent decision to deny Walmart the abil ity to build a 24-hour supercenter on the site of the former Ring ling Shopping Center. Only a stones throw from Burks proposed project, the proposal received the blessing of the citys zoning staff and won in a 3-2 vote taken by the Planning Board. Neighbors launched an appeal, and by a 3-2 vote, the City Commission decided to deny Walmarts proposal. Numerous Alta Vista neighborhood residents attended City Commission meetings to oppose the con struction of a Walmart on the site of the former Ringling Shopping Center. Photo by Norman Schimmel We are seeing increased polarization, increased incompatibilities, longer and longer meetings, an increasing number of variances. Karin Murphy President Karin Murphy Planning & Consulting Inc. Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 27


We are see ing increased polarization, in creased incompatibilities, longer and longer meetings, an increasing number of varianc es, said Karin Murphy. She is a professional planner who worked for years in Sarasotas Planning Department; she also has been an independent consultant assisting in the City of Bradentons conversion to a form-based code. FORM-BASED CODES Form-based codes emphasize the physical character of development and de-emphasize land development regulations, said Litchet. [This] places a greater emphasis on design. And it can be customized to the community. To use an extreme example, if a developer wanted to build a steel mill in the center of a residential neighborhood, Euclid would say, Over m y dead body. A form-based coder would ask, Whats in it for the neighbors? Will it be pretty, and quiet and create some jobs? In other words, form-based codes abandon the old and comfortable world of Euclid in favor of one whose focus is, How will this t in? Because this transition is in its earliest, most primordial stage, nobody knows what procedures will be required or what regula tions will be enforced in Sarasota. In many respects, this is like a leap off the diving board before looking for water in the pool ex cept other communities have done it and have seemed to survive. Litchet proposes Murphy and University of Miami Architecture Professor Andrew Geor giadis create an on-site design studio to work through the my riad of details to craft a formbased code for the City of Sarasota. It could take three years. The new City Commission has agreed informally to proceed with an initiative that could result in the creation of a new zoning code for Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 28


AND NO W? How is this going to work? That is unclear. It may take a path similar to Bradentons re-coding experience, during which people were asked to step forward and write their own codes. They were then sent out to take physical measurements of their city at critical areas. Why does a certain stretch of sidewalk feel so comfortable? asked Georgiadis. In other words, the beginning seems a bottom-up ex ercise. The rst step, said Murphy, is to synthesize Sarasotas existing codes and other materi als to produce what she called base maps. Then she and Georgiadis and city planning and zoning staffers will begin to create what she called a studio environment. Where, when and how all this will occur re main undecided. The city commissioners were me eting in a workshop session Wednesday, meaning no ofcial decision could be taken. They agreed by unanimous consensus to pro ceed with the studio environment instead of making a call for consultants nationwide with a request for proposals. It was the solution promoted by staff, but it will cost an estimated $750,000 over the next three years for Murphy, Georgiadis and city staffers to see it through to conclusion. Along the way will be any number of public meet ings. Murphy wants to include virtually all of the citys advisory boards; organized neighbor hoods will be players, too, as will all of the citys departments from utilities to police. Murphy also said, Its important to talk to the development community. Well have a commu nity discussion on what we want [the city] to look like to t into their vision. Its best to be proactive. % Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 29


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


All the political omens in early 2013 pointed to an upsurge in participation by younger voters in the city election for two at-large commis sioners. The young are the most underrepre sented of all the citys demographic groups. There was a resonating issue the noise or dinance that drew the attention of 20and 30-year-olds. There was a concerted effort to use so cial media for the rst time, skipping the despised deadtree and top-40 me dia. There was mon ey from off-the-books electioneering organi zations and one public employee u nion. And there was a candidate Richard Dorfman ready, willing and able to use it all. It was a gamble, because historically young people do not vote in Sarasota city elections. But if they could be induced to vote, they would provide an untapped and substantial fraction of the totals. However, the effort this year was a total fail ure. In both the primary election in March and the final election in May, more people 90 and older voted than people in their 20s and 30s. In March, 202 peo ple 90 and older voted, while 154 people be Jacob Ogles, an editor with SRQ Magazine, conducts an after-action analysis of the 2013 voting in the City of Sarasota. Photo by Stan Zimmerman THE YEAR OF THE YOUTH VOTE SUCCUMBS TO GEEZER POWER CITY ELECTION ANALYSIS There was momentum for Dorfman at the end, but it didnt catch up with Chapmans absentee lead. He won on Election Day, and tied in early voting, but lost big on the absentees. Jacob Ogles Editor SRQ Magazine By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


tween 18 and 29 ca st a ballot. The older voters were eight times more likely to vote (with a 21 percent turnout) than the younger ones (2.7 percent) in the March election, and six times more likely in the May balloting. The numbers are compelling. A total of 5,824 registered voters were 29 or younger, com pared to the 235 voters older than 90. But when the results were counted, the oldsters whom Dorfman derided in the campaign as white-haired old ladies led the charge that resulted in his defeat. Of the 7,085 people who voted in May, 5,040 were 60 or older. These were just a few of the findings dis cussed by SRQ Editor Jacob Ogles at his bi e nnial, belated morning-after election analysis on May 30. CONSENSUS, CONSENSUS One striking result of the May runoff election was the popularity of so-called bullet voting. While Sarasotas system allows voters to pick two candidates from among the three nalists to ll the two seats up for election, the two votes are not mandatory. People can vote for just one candidate. In May, they did so by the thousands. Of the 7,085 who voted on May 14, a total of 2,321 voted only with a bullet, casting their ballots for a sin gle candidate. It took a team of A graphic shows the election results precinct by precinct. The big sticker in each reects the big win ner, and the smaller one indicates who was No. 2 in each of the 18 precincts. Susan Chapman won in ve of the north and east precincts. Suzanne Atwell led in the rest. Richard Dorfman placed sec ond in ve. Graphic courtesy of SRQ Magazine Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 32


interns at SRQ Magazine several days to wade through the election returns to separate the bullets from persons casting two votes for rst and second choices. Ogles said the bullet votes representing the wishes of about one-third of all voters turned out to be statistically insignicant be cause they split equally between third-place nisher Dorfman and the second-place candi date Susan Chapman. She received 990 bullet votes; he received 963. However, had the 2,321 bullet voters also marked their ballots for a second choice, that could have changed the outcome of the elec tion. Fewer than 300 votes separated Chap man and Dorfman at the end. Chapmans real strength was in the absentee votes. She picked up 1,918 of those, while Dorfman garnered 1,435. Although Dorfman out-polled Chapman on Election Day (1,425 to Chapmans 1,387), that was not enough to offset the nearly 500-vote margin for Chapman from the absentees. There was momentum for Dorfman at the end, but it didnt catch up with Chapmans ab sentee lead. He won on Election Day, and tied in early voting, but lost big on the absentees, said Ogles. Virtually across the board, Atwell was the top vote getter. In all 18 precincts, she was either No. 1 or No. 2. And she was on top in Districts Two and Three, where most of the citys bal lots are cast. Chapman took District One on the north side of town. Between them, they captured the two at-large seats. Dorfman was the odd man out. Atwell broke a hex o n incumbent re-election in the city. During the past three election cy cles, no incumbent had been re-elected until Atwell scored her victory. She campaigned as a centrist and consensus builder, and Ogles said that was a winning combination. The way this election [system] works, it rewards consensus builders, he said. Ogles noted a pattern in the May voting that might have some signicance in 2015 when city voters go back to the polls to elect (or reelect) district commissioners. Dorfman did well downtown, and the south trail showed a preference for Dorfman, said Ogles. The neighborhoods showed strong support for Chapman. One candidate has already announced for the 2015 race to represent District One. Danny Preston pre-qualied as a candidate on April 3. % Richard Dorfman. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 33


Just how good was tourism in Sarasota Coun ty for the 2012 scal year? Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue sur passed $13 million for the rst time, according to the annual report prepared by the Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce. TDT revenue totaled $13,923,125 for the 2012 scal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the re port says. The gure was a 21 percent increase over the FY 2011 amount, though the tax rate did increase from 4.5 percent to 5 percent on May 1, 2011, the report notes. With that hike factored out, the amount still was up 13 percent, the report notes. Addition ally, collections were higher for every month compared to the previous scal years totals except for April 2012, when the revenue was virtually at compared to the April 2011 gure. For the fourth year in a row, Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates told the Sarasota Coun ty Tourist Development Council (TDC) on May 16, condos generated more TDT revenue than hotels and motels combined. Condos account ed for 46.72 percent of the funds, while hotel and motel room rentals brought in 43.5 percent. Children play in the surf at Siesta Public Beach in late March. Photo by Rachel Hackney BUILDING ON THE INCREASES RECORDED IN THE 2012 FISCAL YEAR, TOURISM IN SARASOTA COUNTY REMAINED STRONG THROUGH THE HEIGHT OF THE 2013 SEASON MORE TOURISTS, MORE DOLLARS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


According to the latest statistics from Visit Sarasota County provided to the TDC and the County Commission earlier this month the community also saw tourism growth during the height of the 2013 season. TDT collections were up 5 percent in January over the same month in 2012 and 2 percent in February over the same month a year ago. The number of visitors from January through March increased 5.1 percent and the tourists direct spending for those months was up 9.9 percent. In April, Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sara sota County, told the County Commission on May 21, the number of visitors was up 1.9 per cent even though Easter fell in late March. Moreover, she said, Our European business remains strong. Sarasota County is seeing more visitors from the United Kingdom, she pointed out, than the state as a whole is re porting. For the scal year to date which began Oct. 1, 2012 11,941 United Kingdom residents have visited the website Visit Sarasota County established for them: according to statistics Haley provided in her second quarter FY 2013 report to the TDC. The goal was 3,000 visits for the year. A chart from the North Carolina tourism ofce shows how marketing strategies for visitors have changed through the years. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 35


Am ong other statistics: The hotel/motel/condo occupancy rate was higher by 5.6 percent in January compared to the same month in 2012, while it notched a 2 percent increase in February. Howev er, the March occupancy rate was down 0.8 percent compared to the gure for March 2012. Still, the March 2012 rate was 94.7 percent, with the March 2013 gure at 93.9 percent. Daily room rates increased in a range from 3.7 percent in January to 6.9 percent in March, compared to the sa me months in 2 012. The average room cost per day in January 2012 was $142.34; it was $147.61 in January this year. For March, the rate was $198.15, compared to $185.38 in March 2012. The Midwest continued to be the leader as it has in the past among points of or igin for visitors to Sarasota County for the rst three months of this year. According to the Visit Sarasota County report, 29.7 percent of tourists said they were from the Midwest, with 29.1 percent from the Northeast. A chart compares Tourist Development Tax collections over the past three scal years. Image courte sy Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 36


The pe rcentage of rst-time visitors was 36.9 percent for January through March of this year, compared to 33.9 percent in the same period of 2012. In her remarks to the County Commission on May 21, Haley noted the huge changes in the media used to promote the area over recent years. Instead of the past reliance on televi sion and radio, she pointed out, the trend is toward great diversity among social media outlets. Haley said research undertaken by Visit Sara sota County showed one-third of visitors used social media as part of the decision-making process. A pie chart shows the sources for Tourist Development Tax collections in the 2012 scal year. Image courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce Tourist Development Council Vice Chairman John Ryan addresses the County Commis sion on May 21. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 37


In his annual report to the County Commis sion, Jim Shirley, executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, pointed out the arts also had a spectacular season. His report showed that 1,248,906 people at tended local arts programs during the 2012 s cal year that were supported by county grants. The portion of that attendance made up by tourists was 42 percent, he added. MAKING THE MOST OF THE VISITS Following the annual reports, Commissioner Joe Barbetta asked that the TDC and the Arts and Cultural Alliance nd a way to track the number of visitors to the county who even tually buy local homes or relocate their busi nesses to the area. I think were missing that connectivity of things that were not measur ing, he said. He suggested the groups work through the Sarasota Association of Realtors to collect the information. Realtors could ask a simple question of buyers, he continued: How did you hear about Sarasota? I think the Realtors would be amenable to it, Barbetta added. Excellent suggestion, responded John Ryan, vice chairman of the TDC. Ryan is president and CEO of the Venice Area Chamber of Com merce. Commissioner Nora Patterson said the TDC, which she chairs, would send a letter to the Association of Realtors to ask that its mem bers compile the statistics. % A Sarasota Ballet production was among the arts and cultural programs that received funding from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County in the 2012 scal year. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 38


With thousa nds of participants coming in from all over North America, the 2013 Pan-Ameri can Masters Swimming Championship is ex pected to have a $5 million economic impact on Sarasota County, the chairman of the organizing committee told the countys Tour ist Development Coun cil (TDC) this month. The event will be held June 1-13, primarily at the Sarasota Family YMCA Selby Aquatic Center, located at 8301 Potter P ark Drive (just south of Westeld Sarasota Square Mall). One open swim event will be held at Siesta Public Beach. And because 49 per cent of the partici pants are from outside the United States, its an opportunity for us to showcase Sarasota to a whole new group of people, Carl Wein rich pointed out to the TDC membe rs at their Permanent shade structures have been installed over three new seating sections at the YMCAs Selby Aquatic Center. Photo courtesy of Sarasota County HOSTING THE 2013 PAN-AMERICAN MASTERS SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP COULD BRING UP TO $5 MILLION INTO SARASOTA COUNTYS ECONOMY AND LURE NEW RESIDENTS WELCOMING NEW OPPORTUNITIES These are the kind of people you want to have coming in here looking at real estate because theyre in a position to buy. Carl Weinrich Chairman Pan-American Masters Championship Organizing Committee By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


regular meet in g on May 16. The events ofcial program says many competitors are coming from South and Central America, the Carib bean and Canada. Weinrich is the former president and CEO of the Sarasota Family YMCA. U.S. Masters Swimming, based in Sarasota, has collaborated with the YMCA and other area organizations to host the competition for the rst time in the United States. Referring to the scheduling of the Champion ship, Weinrich added, It is a great time of year to have something like that, with high season ofcially over and fewer tourists traditionally in the community. Altogether, Weinrich pointed out, 1,697 par ticipants are expected from 24 countries; 145 of those will be competing in synchronized swimming. Most of the Masters are not only adults but also professional people in their careers, Weinrich noted; many are doctors and law yers. These are the kind of people you want to have coming in here looking at real estate because theyre in a position to buy, he added. When he addressed the TDC this month, Wein rich said 1,648 hotel rooms and condomini ums had been reserved. Those gures do not include room rentals on Siesta Key, he noted. The committee will collect those numbers af ter the event is over, he said, adding that he understood many people on Siesta are renting facilities for periods from two to four weeks. A number of participants are extending their stays to enjoy some vacation time after the competition, Wei nrich pointed out. Eight Olympic-style starting blocks have been added at the pool. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 40


A map shows the sites of the events for the Pan-Am competitions. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 41


BETTER F ACILITIES To prepare for the Pan-Am competition, he continued, the organizing committee made use of a $350,000 grant from the Sarasota County Commission and the $370,000 it raised to match those funds to undertake a number of improvements at the YMCAs aquatic center. Among those, he continued, are 850 addition al seats in four new sections, three of which are covered by permanent shade structures. Previously, the facility had seating for 650, he said. The pool, which is 15 years old, was refur bished, he added, and Olympic-style starting blocks the newest, hottest thing going were installed; they are just like those used during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The eight blocks cost $3,500 apiece, he noted. A plate on the back of each block allows a swimmer to come off it just like sprinters do, he pointed out. Moreover, Weinrich said, the lanes were re striped and stainless steel dividers have been purchased to enable crews to divide the pool into three areas, which allows us to run meets much faster. That new feature also gives us a big advantage in bidding [for] those meets, he added. We are now doing about 10 events a year, he said of U.S. Masters Swimming. Those are having an annual economic impact on the county of about $3 million, Weinrich told the TDC. Workers gutted the interior of the locker rooms, he continued, tripling the number of showers and installing new ooring, tile and LED lighting. We really tore it apart and put it back togeth er, Weinrich said of that part of the complex. Thanks to the improvements at the Selby Aquatic Center, he continued, the national head of the YMCA was expected to come to Sarasota the following week to talk about the possibility of his organizations holding its Masters competition in Sarasota for the next two years. % U.S. Masters Swimming has announced the complete schedule for the 2013 Pan-Ameri can Masters Championship. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 42


One by o ne, they have gone dark. Vandal ism and theft are among the reasons, but the true blame rests on the growing trees at Five Points Park. In early Ja nuary 2011, variable-color lights were i nstalled in 28 trees in the park at a cost of $81,000. The Selby Foundation chipped in $31,000, the city added $25,000 and the Downtown Improvement District (DID) chipped in an other $25,000. For a while the ever-changing lights were lovely, but as the tree limbs grew, the wires snapped. Squirrels found the wires handy to gnaw on as well. With the warranty running out in nine months and the repair bills skyrocketing, the DID governing board Tuesday, May 28, struggle d to nd a way The lights were mostly working in part of the oaks in Five Points Park in late April. Photo by Nor man Schimmel THE DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT CHOOSES TO SEEK BIDS FOR THE BEST WAY TO GET THE LIGHT SHOW WORKING PROPERLY AGAIN IN FIVE POINTS PARK LOVELY LOUSY LIGHTS We have a legal obligation to do this, so lets get the bids. Dr. Mark Kauffman Board Member Downtown Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


forward. I think we should pause and not do anything, said DID Chairman Ernie Ritz. I cannot see the DID paying $100,000 over the next three years. This is a lot of money. While the DID selected a winner for the orig inal light project from among ve bidders, the contract with Synergy Lighting was solesource, because only Bradenton-based Syn ergy held the rights to sell and maintain the patented system developed by the Dutch elec tronics giant Phillips. Unlike Christmas tree lights, each strand of the Phillips system uses a specialized con troller box that can be adjusted to vary the operations. For a special reception at the Sarasota Opera House across the street, for example, the DID reprogrammed the lights to show the colors of the Italian ag. Two weeks ago, the DID board instructed its operations manager, John Moran, to come back with options to keep the lights working after the warranty runs out. On Tuesday, Mo ran presented his list. The rst three, with ris ing levels of cost, carried no guarantee, and they required the DID to pay for any parts needing replacement. Prices for the no guarantee proposals ranged from $22,000 to $44,000. A photo shows a broken wire in one of light strands adorning an oak in Five Points Park. Photo courtesy of the Downtown Improvement District Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 44


The na l and most ex pensive option from Synergy included guaranteed replacement of parts at no additional charge, with a cost of $55,000 per year. But before any maintenance contract can be put into effect, the system must be made ful ly operational again at an expense ranging between $22,000 and $28,000. In other words, it will cost more to keep the lights running after the warranty expires than it cost to buy and install the lights initially. Synergy President Matt Gregg was in the DID audience Tuesday. My advice would be to re move the color system while it still has some asset value. You could put in something static, non-growing, and replace it with white lights, he said. But youll still have to maintain the white lights. Gregg added that his annual maintenance con tract offer with guarantees covered the total failure of the colored light system. If Hurri cane Zelda blew through and destroyed all the lights, I would have to replace them out of my own pocket. So I have to build my bid accord ingly, he said. DID board member Dr. Mark Kauffman said he would prefer a contract with guarantees, but he wanted other bids as well. We have a legal obligation to do this, so lets get the bids, he said. Kauffmans motion to that effect passed 3-1, with William Pettey and Eileen Hampshire joining him in the majority. Ritz was in the minority. Board member Tom Mannausa was absent. Moran will consult with the citys Purchasing Department to determine how the bid process should be conducted. % A light strand is unplugged in this Five Points Park oak. Photo courtesy of the Down town Improvement District Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 45


Hundreds lined the streets in downtown Sara sota on Monday, May 27, waving American ags and waving to the marchers in the tradi tional Memorial Day Parade. The theme of the parade and the ceremony that followed it was Never Forget From military vehicles with veterans to groups of law enforcement ofcers to JROTC units to high school bands, the parade participants provided those in the crowd with an oppor tunity to reect on all the men and women who had made the ultimate sacrice for their nation. All photos are by Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel. % MEMORIAL DAY PARADE OFFERS A TIME TO REMEMBER NO GREATER GIFTS Staff Reports Fast Facts Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. On May 26, 1966 President Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Me morial Day since 1911. Source: Wikipedia


Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 47


The Riverview High School JROTC group organizes itself for the parade. School Board member Caroline Zucker (far left) accompanies the Mighty Sailor Band of Sarasota High School on the parade route. Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 48


Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 49


Sarasota Military Academy cadets salute as an SMA representative plays Taps. (From left) City Commissioners Susan Chapman and Willie Shaw, Mayor Shannon Snyder and City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo join with County Commissioner Joe Barbetta, county Chairwoman Carolyn Mason and City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell to prepare for marching in the parade. Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 50


Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 51


Chief Mike Tobias (second from right, front row) marches with members of the Sarasota County Fire Department. Members of the Sarasota Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce including Sheriff Tom Knight and Police Chief Bernadette DiPino join forces for the festivities. Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 52


Sarasota Countys Beach Lifeguard operation al hours have been extended on all guarded beaches from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily, the county has announced. Those hours will run through Labor Day week end, a county news release notes. (Above) The brightly colored lifeguard stations on Siesta Key Public Beach are easy to spot. File photo LIFEGUARD HOURS EXTENDED FOR COUNTY BEACHES NEWS BRIEFS Sarasota Cou ntys guarded beaches are Lido, Siesta, Nokomis, North Jetty, Venice and Manasota. For more information contact the Sarasota County Call C enter at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1).


The Sarasota County Commission will hear a presentation on the morning of June 5 regard ing a proposal for the creation of a county wide domestic partnership registry. Ken Shelin, a former Sarasota city commis sioner and an advocate of such registries, told The Sarasota News Leader he expects the presentation to follow approval of the boards consent agenda. [It] will likely occur around 10 AM, he ad vised supporters in a May 23 email. We have had notable success getting regis tries created in the City of Sarasota and the City of Venice, he pointed out in the email. Progress has also been made in North Port, but more needs to be done there. Although a bill introduced in the Florida Sen ate to create a statewide domestic partnership registry received one favorable vote in com mittee this year, [the bill] never got to the oor of the Senate and was never discussed in a House committee, Shelin continued. Since the state legislative session is already over, nothing further can be accomplished this year. It took ve years for a bill to get a positive reaction in committee, he added. The bill was introduced again this year by Sen. Eleanor So bel of Hollywood, a Democrat. The committee that heard it was one she chaired, the Chil dren, Families and Elder Affairs Committee. Shelin is encouraging fellow advocates of a countywide registry to wear red shirts to the County Commission meeting as a sign of their support. We lled the City of Sarasota Commission chambers a year ago on May 21st and kicked off a powerful start to the successful effort in the City of Sarasota, he pointed out. The County Commission meeting will be held in the Administration Center located at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in downtown Sarasota. Rachel Brown Hackne y Ken Shelin/Contributed photo COUNTY COMMISSION TO CONSIDER A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 54


The largest graduating class in the history of New College of Florida 197 students received Bachelor of Arts degrees in a sun set ceremony Friday evening, May 24, on the great lawn along the colleges scenic bayfront, New College has announced. With this years commencement, New Col lege also reached a milestone of 5,000 gradu ates since its founding, a news release notes. The rst graduating class, in 1967, comprised just 47 students, the release adds. This was the colleges 47th commencement. This years graduates received not only diplo mas, but also a challenge to advance fairness and diversity, from keynote speaker Charles E. Williams, Circuit Court judge of the 12 th Cir cuit of Florida. We must look around at every gathering including this one and constantly ask our selves the question, does this gathering truly represent the diversity of the community, the state, the nation, or the world that we live in? Williams said. Are we doing all we can to be inclusive to all who may seem different? To welcome new ideas, and a new way of looking at the world? The graduating class the rst under Presi dent Donal OShea also heard from biology Professor Leo Demski, who is retiring from teaching, and from student Brittani Brie Mc Lemore, selected by her classmates to provide the student address. This years class included six Fulbright schol ars, who will travel to Germany, Sweden, Tai wan and the Czech Republic to teach or con tinue their studies, as well as six students who will serve as teaching assistants in France un der awards from the French Embassy, and a State Department Critical Language scholar who will study in Morocco, the release points out. More than half of the graduating class is expected to enter programs for a masters de gree or doctorate within a year. New College of Florida is located on Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. Image courtesy of New College The Bayfront Campus is home to the two his toric Charles Ringling mansions, Cook and College halls. Image courtesy of New College NEW COLLEGE GRADUATES LARGEST CLASS IN ITS HISTORY Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 55


Community Fo undation of Sarasota County President and CEO Roxie Jerde was recently elected chairwoman of Florida Philanthropic Networks Community Foundations of Flor ida group by members of FPNs Community Foundations of Florida Leadership Team, the Community Foundation has announced. Community Foundations of Florida is an or ganization of Florida Philanthropic Networks 25 community foundation members, a news release says. They work together to promote philanthropy throughout the state. These foundations hold more than $1.54 bil lion in charitable assets and give $115 million each year to support the vital work of non prots in our communities, the release adds. Each Florida community foundation is a non profit, tax-exempt charitable organization created by and for the people of a particular area, it adds. The chair can be elected for two, one-year terms, the release notes. The Community Foundations of Florida Leadership Team pro vides overall direction and guidance on the programs and other services that FPN pro vides to its community foundation members. Were pleased to welcome Roxie Jerde as chair of Florida Philanthropic Networks Com munity Foundations of Florida network, said David Biemesderfer, President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network, in the release. She has been a well-known community foun dation leader nationally for many years, and in her two years at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County she has quickly earned the respect and admiration of her communi ty foundation colleagues statewide. We look fo rw ard to the thoughtful and innovative lead ership she will bring to our community foun dation network, he added in the release. In March 2011, Jerde moved to Sarasota from Kansas City, where she served as senior vice president for donor relations and educa tion at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the nation and widely regard ed as a thought leader in philanthropy, the release notes. % COMMUNITY FOUNDATION CEO ELECTED HEAD OF STATE ORGANIZATION Roxie Jerde is president and CEO of the Com munity Foundation of Sarasota County. Pho to courtesy of the Community Foundation Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 56


The Sarasota Police Department is working with the United States Postal Service in a case involving the theft of up to 800 pieces of mail from an external mail drop in front of the Si esta Drive (Southgate) post ofce, the depart ment announced this week. The drop box was pried open over the Memo rial Day Weekend, a news release says. A ny one who placed mail in the that box out side the post ofce in the 2000 block of Si esta Drive and anyone who has information regarding this crime is asked to contact Postal Inspector Doug Smith by calling 813-281-5256. The investigation is ongoing in this case, the release a dds. Up to 800 pieces of mail were reported stolen over Memorial Day weekend from the post ofce drop box on Siesta Drive. Photo by Rachel Hackney MAIL STOLEN FROM SIESTA DRIVE POST OFFICE CRIME BLOTTER


The Sarasota C ounty S heriffs Ofce is re minding residents to help crack down on ve hicle burglaries a crime of opportunity that can be stopped in a few simple steps. It takes less than a minute for a thief to break a car window and snatch a purse or valuable electronics that are left in plain view, a news release notes. It takes even less time to reach into a vehicle that has been left unlocked and steal the cash in the console or other belong ings. The top ve common sense tips to prevent vehicle burglaries follow: 1. Keep windows closed and doors locked. The majority of local vehicle burglaries in volve unlocked cars, and the crime would not happen if the door did not open. 2. Hide your valuables. Stash your things out of sight, preferably in a locked tr unk. Even crim in als kno w to check the glove box, un der a towel or beneath the seat. 3. If you have an SUV or another model with an open cargo area, get a retractable tted cover to keep items hidden. 4. Stow your items before you park. Expe rienced thieves stake out parking lots to watch for people putting items in their trunks. 5. Trust your instincts. Avoid parking in unlit or overly concealed areas. If you see some one suspicious, tell security or contact local law enforcement. The best defense is to not have valuables in your vehicle, so plan ahead, the release points out. Think about where you are going, what items you absolutely need and what you could leave at the ofce or at home. REMINDERS OFFERED FOR PREVENTING VEHICLE BURGLARIES Deputies advise people parking at Siesta Public Beach to be especially cautious about locking their vehicles and stowing any valuables in the trunks. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 58


On May 21, four people were arrested during a warrant sweep and four more were arrest ed during a subsequent undercover operation in the area of Shenandoah Park, the Sarasota Police Department has announced. The Sarasota Police Tactical Narcotics Unit was assisted by the Strategic Unit, Street Crimes Unit and members of the Patrol Divi sion during the operation, according to a news release. Shenandoah Park area is located east of North Washington Boulevard, between Seventh and Ninth streets in the city of Sarasota. With the help of community partners, the Narcotics Unit was able to target criminal ac tivity, make arrests and create a safer neigh borhood for the Shenandoah Park area resi dents, the release says. We urge the public to call the Sarasota Police Department to report suspicious incidents and criminal activity, the release adds. The non-emergency number is 316-1201. The following is a list of persons arrested during the May 21 operation: Roxanne Callahan, 34, of 632 N. East Ave., Sarasota, was charged with Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 Feet of a Park. Vaugn Herrera, 19, of 2105 Fifth St., Saraso ta, was charged with Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 Feet of a Park. Gabriel Galvin, 24, of 2054 Fourth St., Sara sota, was charged with Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 Feet of a Park. Alan Placencia, 16, of 2174 Buffalo St., Sara sota, was charged with Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 Feet of a Park; Possession of Cocaine; and Smuggling Contraband. Pedro Milo, 64, of 1777 18th St., Sarasota, was charged with Solicitation of Prostitution. Jovany Ortiz, 18, of 912 N. East Ave., Saraso ta, was charged with Obstruction of Justice. Stephen Moy, 37, of 2448 Wood St., Sarasota, was charged with the Purchase of Cocaine. ARRESTS MADE DURING NARCOTICS OPERATION An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Buddha 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 31, 2013 Page 59


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COUNTY COMMISSION PLAYS SANTA CLAUS TO RICH MICHIGAN SNOWBIRDS EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Most of us have had the experience of a friend or relative who, because of procrastination or lack of funds, could not offer a gift for a sig nificant occasion. And we, being helpful, would add the persons name to the card that accompanied our gift. Only later would we discover that the addon had represented himself as the princi pal gift giver, and that we were the supple mental givers a most irritating devel opment. That must be how the taxpayers of Sarasota County now feel. The Sarasota County Commission gave a gener ous gift to the owners of a luxurious home on Siesta Key, only the givers actually were the taxpayers. But the taxpayers will not receive so much as a thank-you note from the obvi ously pleased property owners for their gift of free land. The gift in question was the abandonment by the county of a public right of way at the terminus of Calle de Costa Rica, where it remained undevel oped north of Avenida de Mayo on Siesta Key. The landowners to the east William and As pointed out by Commissioner Christine Robinson, the countys comprehensive plan stipulates that the County shall not vacate road segments on waterfronts along any creek, river, lake, bay or gulf access point and shall encourage right-of-way use of these areas for coastal beach and bay access. OPINION


Katherine Bau man n of Lake Orion, MI pe titioned the County Commission to vacate the right of way, since the county was not main taining it. The request made a lot of sense. The Bau manns house, at 601 Avenida de Mayo, has more than 5,600 square feet of building area shoehorned into a postage stamp-sized lot of only 7,110 square feet. Their view to the north was their tiny portion of a canal. To the east, only a few feet away, was the wall of their neighbors house. But to the west was an expansive swath of undeveloped land 60 feet wide 20 percent wider than their own lot. If only that property were theirs, their lot would more than double in size. So they hired an agent and an attorney to petition the coun ty for the abandonment of the right of way to them an innocuous way of asking the land be given as a gift. During a meeting of the County Commission on May 21, Commissioners Charles Hines and Joe Barbetta, joined one hopes reluctantly by Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason, vot ed to give the right of way to the Baumanns. The only concession by the Baumanns was the preservation of existing easements for utilities. With a simple voice vote, the County Commission increased the Baumanns tiny lot from 7,110 square feet to more than 15,000 square feet for free. This was an abysmal stewardship by the County Commission of the peoples assets for several reasons. First, as pointed out by Commissioner Chris tine Robinson, the countys comprehensive plan stipulates that the County shall not va cate road segments on waterfronts along any creek, river, lake, bay or gulf access point and shall encourage right-of-way use of these ar eas for coastal beach and bay access. Regardless of the countys neglect of this par cel, it represented a signicant water access point for the public. Once identied, it should have been developed to a minimum standard to serve that purpose. Particularly on Siesta Key, with its miles and miles of waterfront, public access points are proportionately scarce. Barbetta used the rather fatuous argument that the platting of the right of way preceded the comprehensive plan; therefore, the com prehensive plan did not apply. We feel certain there are many other landowners who found themselves bound by the enactment of the comprehensive plan back in the 1970s who would have been delighted to exempt them selves because the land was there before the plan. Of course, that is not the way land-use planning works: The preparation and passage of a comprehensive plan is a means to bring order out of chaos, to protect all landowners from the deleterious effects of pell-mell over Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 62


developmen t. But Barbetta is an attorney, so he should already have known that. In fact, Barbetta and fellow attorney Hines re sorted to arcane legal rationalizations to jus tify handing over a plum piece of real estate to a Michigan couple without considering the publics access needs or the countys purse. Which brings us to our second concern the loss of the peoples asset without compensa tion. Before the Great Recession, the property bought by the Baumanns in 2011 for $820,000 was appraised by the county property apprais er at $1.23 million. Thanks to the collapse of the Sarasota real estate market, the Baumanns have been the recipients of a generous reduc tion in taxable value of their property; it is down more than 44 percent from its peak val ue in 2006. If the abandoned right of way had been of fered for sale in 2006, it would have been list ed at approximately $800,000, based on the asking price of other vacant waterfront lots on Avenida de Mayo at the time. As it was, the value of the land based on the property appraisers assessment would have been more than $575,000. After the reductions following the decline in real estate values, the proper ty would be appraised at only about $280,000 today. Hines argued that this land now would be on the tax books and would provide tax revenue. He glibly overlooked the loss of an opportu nity to convert a p ublic ass et worth at least $280,000 into cash for the strapped county nances. Also never mentioned during deliberations would have been how much the county might expect to pay for such a parcel if it was at tempting to acquire land for waterfront access by the public. When the county is a land buyer, the sky is the limit among sellers. It would not be difcult to imagine that a similar 60-foot by 135-foot parcel with waterfront access would cost the county half a million dollars or more. We cannot say we are surprised by the actions of either Hines or Barbetta. They have shown themselves consistently to be advocates of the haves in Sarasota County and neglec tors of the have nots. Instead, our surprise is that Mason chose to support their blatant giveaway, rather than side with Robinson and Commissioner Nora Patterson, who rightly objected to the loss of public waterfront ac cess. This gift from the Sarasota County taxpay ers has cost the public dearly. The people have lost a valuable potential access point for ca noeists and kayakers and other similar wa terfront activities. The people have had their property purloined by their elected represen tatives to further enrich a wealthy landowner who resides in another state, and whose Sies ta Key vacation home is worth several times the value of the average Sarasota County house. The people have been injured by this breach of the public trust, and their indigna tion would be justied. % Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 63


COMMENTARY Mond ay, May 27, was a celebra tion of the dead for the living, the dead who died in military uniforms sometimes in combat; sometimes in training; sometimes in sickness; sometimes by accident. All were sons and daughters taken too soon. If you visit a military cemetery in the United States and you should; one is nearby you will mostly see the graves of veterans; the sur vivors: We do not celebrate them on Memorial Day. We have another holiday in November for them. To visit the graves of those we celebrate on Memorial Day, you must go abroad to France or Belgium, the Philippines or Italy or Tunisia to nd their graves close by where they fell. Only one place holds naval graves of similar import: Pearl Harbor. Fighting sailors too often sleep in the abysmal, anonymous deep. Mondays Sarasota parade was a grand display of patriotism, an hour-long pageant of music and marching, revolutionary poseurs and liv ing veterans on their last legs, old machinery and new convertibles with many people uncovering as Old Glory paraded in review before them time and again, and more than a few who had no idea what to do with their baseball caps when our ag passed by. We were all there for what? To share the shattering loss of a s on? To embrace mothers who sacriced their offspring to presidential ambition? To soothe the endless ache of a teen deprived of a noble dad? To wish a classmate had not fallen on a grenade to save his mates? Do the dead care? Do they look down from some American Valhalla and say, Thank you, Sarasota, for recognizing our sacrice, our mistakes, our blunders, our sickness, our her oism. Is this a day for celebration? THE UNKNOWN GRAVES More than a century ago, the United States mo bilized to ght Spain to liberate Cuba. It was a popular war, and thousands of men enlisted. A large number would die in the swamps of Louisiana, producing the majority of deaths in the Spanish-American War: deaths by disease. Far fewer would deploy to Cuba, but more than a thousand would die to conquer Santia go de Cuba. And suddenly the war was over. Spain gave up, and the United States became an imperial power, taking over Puerto Rico and the Philippine archipelago, plus Guam. Thus came the rst of the unknown graves. There is no American national cemetery in Cuba, and in the Philippines the graves are more recent, from World War II. As we look at Americas subsequent wars, we nd the black MIA (missing in action) ag still ying over the Vietnam conict. And we can only hope that all the subsequen t military activities By Stan Zimmerman City Editor IF THE DEAD COULD TALK COMMENTARY Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 64


with their very, ver y long list of American uniformed personnel who died saw all the bodies recovered. We are not creating cemeteries overseas any more, because we dare not. The graves of our warriors are safe in Normandy, row by row. Bloody sand in Fallujah and Kandahar marks the passing of American veterans in those places. Their bodies came back to Dover, DE, and then went home. A SPORT FOR THE YOUNG For the high school or college graduates today, the economy is a total mess. When nearly half of college graduates cannot get a job, even the rigor of the military look s attractive. As Sara sotas high school ROTC corps trooped front and center in the parade, from squad leader to company commander, the thought was clear: I know where theyre hiring. The U.S. Government has signed them up through the ages. If you walk the crosses and do the math in Normandy, the Philippines or Italy, the dates of death minus the dates of birth equal teen agers the same cohort that trooped down Sarasotas Main Street. War is a young mans game. Is this a parade to show us those we may never see again? With the end of the draft, the number of fami lies with a son or daughter serving in the mil The next generation of military leaders stands at attention: Hotel Company, Naval Ofcer Candi date School, Newport, RI. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 65


itary is a tiny p ercentage of the population. The burden increasingly falls on the poor. To days enlisted ranks are sprinkled with immi grants who hope to earn their citizenship with an honorable discharge, or even earn it while staying a professional soldier, sailor, Marine or airman. The all-volunteer Army has become the job of last resort for many, but not for all. I come from a family of survivors. My dad was a combat engineer in the Battle of the Bulge; my maternal grandfather was a doughboy in the trenches of World War I. I was a paratroop er in Cold War Germany. And our son tonight is an ofcer candidate in Newport, RI. Yes, I have an uncle who went down as a sail or in the Pacic and a high-school amigo who fell on a grenade, whom we buried in the prai rie one Christmas long ago. Were all of you waving ags for them on the parade route? Celebrating their deaths? Memorial Day in Sarasota has become a pre quel to the Fourth of July. If you videotaped the parades, who could tell them apart? Of course there is the somber ceremony at J.D. Hamel Park on the bayfront; I, too, spoke there once and read a poem about the poppies in Flanders. But this is starting to look a lot like Christ mas, a holiday divorced from its roots. Just as the Magis gifts became a multi-billion-dol lar excuse for excess, so has Memorial Day become just a day off from work, along with Lets take the kids to see a parade. Never mind the stark white crosses and subdued bronze plaques over the bodies of Americas nest who gave their lives for their fellows. Raise your hand if you knew a veteran who died in the service. Once upon a time, no matter where you were, hands would go up at that remark. But today, nobody knows, and I wonder if any body cares. % Dead at 20, he was the high-school class clown. He died a hero, with medals to prove that. Photo by Mike OBrien Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 66


COMMENTARY Wh at is a friend? T his is a ques tion that can never be answered with one de nition. To call someone your friend is to offer a personal interpretation of what you value in another person. Brian Trench was my dear friend. I only interacted with him in his position at the post ofce at Davidsons Drugs in Siesta Vil lage, but the little physical distance between us as he stood behind his counter, did not mat ter at all. Brian had a phenomenal memory and enjoyed connecting with people and chat ting about whatever stories they shared with him. He had the art of listening down pat. My friendship with Brian blossomed in the same way as many others did. It began with the usual small talk, grew to cover family stories, and nally evolved into the sharing of personal information between two good friends. I could not go into the drugstore without run ning down to say a quick hello to him. I ab solutely had to tell him what little gifts we were mailing off to my granddaughter, and I waited for his smile and good wishes. He en joyed looking at our family photos and always wished me well in my writing and travels. I miss Brian so much. In his own quiet way, with his warm smile and dry sense of humor, Brian was a unique and wonderful friend. He ne ver asked for anything in return just a friendly greeting and a little small talk were all he ever needed. Editors note: Brian Trench passed away on May 17 after a long career as the Siesta Vil lage postmaster. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238 or to Sarasota Or chestra, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 Attn: Development Ofce. % By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer MY FRIEND, BRIAN 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. COMMENTARY Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 67




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Longing for something different to spice up mealtime? Then you are in luck! From June 1-14 you can explore the tasty delights being served by Savor Sarasota. More than 40 local restaurants have partnered with Visit Sarasota County to offer specially priced three-course meals. This is the perfect time to treat your taste buds to grilled gin ger-Teriyaki shrimp at Ziti, the Nuevo Latino cuisine featured by Selva Grill or perhaps the French menu at 62 Bistrot. Looking for some thing a little less adventuresome? Then you might want to head to one of the participating culinary establishments offering seafood or American menus. Many inte resti ng dishes also appear among the rst course and dessert selections. Crispy Maine Lobster Tail with chipotle dipping sauce at Roesslers Restaurant is one. Or you may be tempted by the red velvet cheesecake at Libbys Caf & Bar. No matter what avor you prefer, this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the excellent cuisine served by acclaimed local restaurants at an affordable price, $15 person for a threecourse lunch and $29 per person for a threecourse dinner. According to the Savor Sarasota website, Sarasota has one of the highest concentra tions of Zagat-rated rest a urants in Florida, Libbys Bar + Grill, located in Southside Village, is one of the Savor Sarasota participants. Photo courtesy of Libbys DELICIOUS DINING AWAITS AT SAVOR SARASOTA RESTAURANTS MMMM, MMMM, GOOD! By Vicki Chatley Contributing Writer


an d many of those that received high marks from satised patrons are among the partic ipants in Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week. They include Roys Hawaiian Fusion, Caf LEurope, Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Michaels On East, Mozaic and Hyde Park Prime Steak House, to name just a few. Lynn Hobeck Bates, communications man ager for Visit Sarasota, provided background information during a telephone call with The Sarasota News Leader Now in its eighth year, Savor Sarasota began as a one-week venture in June that provided a great opportunity to get people in the door during the slow sea son, Hobeck Bates commented. It was suc cessful and garnered lots of attention, and has expanded to two weeks. Sarasota is not the only community offering this program, she noted. Its a trend in culi nary promotion. Every restaurant serves dinner, but not all have lunch, Hobeck Bates explained. And ev ery restaurant must be a dining partner with Visit Sarasota. The restaurants are located from Lakewood Ranch to Venice, in downtown Sarasota and on the waterfront, as well as on Siesta and Longboat keys and St. Armands Circle. My sister lucky woman! had an oppor tunity to attend a preview tasting for Savor Sarasota. After sampling the delicious offer ings from th e various restaurants, she imme Flemings and Roys are located at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Siesta Drive. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 71


diately made re servations for a family birth day dinner. Reservations are suggested; not only will local residents be taking advantage of this opportunity, but there are more than 1,600 visitors in Sarasota for the Pan-Amer ican Masters swimming championship who will be dining out. (See the related article in this issue.) The Savor Sarasota website has a complete list of participating restaurants (and chefs) with their phone numbers and additional in formation. On Wednesday, May 29, the spe cial menus had been posted by many, but not all establishments. Hobeck Bates expects the remainder will be online by the beginning of Savor Sarasota on June 1. Bon appetit % Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, and Jeff Maultsby, the countys di rector of business and economic development, greeted participants in a Savor Sarasota pre view on May 16. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 72


(Above) A Limpkin appears on the path. LEARN TO LET NATURE COME TO YOU REVERIE Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer I am on a nature walk. The others go ahead and cross the creek. I take a breather and stay behind a bit. The scene unfolds. A Little Blue Heron sh es at my feet, hardly noticing me. Mottled Ducks cruise by, setting up shock waves of greens and golds and reds. Off in the distance, a Limpkin appears, a shy creature not given to human company. Too soon the group returns. The reverie is broken. The actors disappear. %


A Florida Mottled Duck swims serenely. A Little Blue Heron is looking for food. Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 74


ASK OTUS Dear Readers, As you know, there is nothing I enjoy more than a ne mystery or a good game. Guessing games are among my favorites, although I do wish it were Two Hundred Questions rather than a mere 20. Even with a photo, bird identications can be a bit tricky; without a photo, quite challenging. Over the past few weeks, while dozing on my bowered oak branch, I have overheard de scriptions of yet another never-before-seen bird species on Siesta Key. It all began with two women walking back from the picnic and BBQ area by the bays in let saying, Have you ever seen such a beau tiful bird? Well, attery gets me every time and everywhere, particularly in my feathers, which all uff up to the point where I could be mistaken for a Great-horned Owl! Then, I heard, Ive never seen a bird with a blue beak before. I quickly checked my reection in a nearby window and intently as I peered at it, sadly, I could nd no traces of blue. This is a scene that is still playing itself out: sherfolk and picnic-goers both adults and children all wondering aloud what bluebeaked bird seen in the inlets at the bay, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and at frog ponds could possibly be more beautiful than an Eastern Screech-owl (Thats me!). I shall beg in my research with the blue beak. A couple of weeks ago, I nearly made a feath ered onager of myself in mistaking our Flor ida Wood Stork for the roc, that fabled bird of the Arabian Nights. I am not making that mistake again! I have narrowed this one down to the fabulous phoenix. In Greek mythology a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclical ly regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun (meaning this bird is diurnal), a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor (probably a species of grilled chicken, as in poulet rti, genus Purdue). If you look carefully at the photo of the Phoe nix I have included, so precisely detailed and beautifully illustrated by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch (1747-1822) for Bilderbuch fr Kinder the rst thing that leaps out at you is its blue beak. The second is the ground on which it stands, i.e., a shoreline, or possibly Siesta Keys Point of Rocks. Third, you can see the ames rising from the gas BBQ grills behind the bird. QED, a Phoenix! I ran this well-researched identication past the Saraso ta Audubon Society and received the follow ing response: Dear Otus, Guess again! Well, it is back to the drawing board, and once again I would like to give readers a few tips on how to proceed in identifying a bird so I do not have to. Essentially, quoting Sherlock Homes, Eliminate the impossible and deter TALK OF A MYSTERY BIRD ON SIESTA LEADS TO SOME SLEUTHING 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.


mine the truth from what remains, however improbable. Habitat, behavior, size, shape, color and sea son (i.e., breeding or non-breeding): These are the criteria you need to consider. You cannot go by blue beak alone or you will end up with the fabled phoenix and make a feather less fool of yourself; but keep the blue beak in mind as a nal identication clue. By the way, the correct term for a birds beak is bill. I know people are not very fond of bills, but I assure you that this is a bill of a different color! Now, let us sequentially lter the little infor mation we have: 1) Habitat (and time of day). The bird wades on the shores of the bay, Gulf and ponds while shing in shallow waters. This eliminates wa terfowl who dabble and dive for sh in deeper waters, such as the male Ruddy Duck, whose bill is a lovely blue during breeding season, as well as the Common Loon, whose beak has A phoenix drawn by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch, completed for Bilderbuch fr Kinder. Photo from Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 76


a grayblue tinge. All passerines (small song birds) and all seabirds Gulls, Terns, Pel icans, Cormorants and Anhingas are out of the picture. This is obviously a shore bird and a diurnal one, as it is mostly spotted in the morning, late afternoon and early evening. That eliminates nocturnal shore birds such as the Black-crowned Night Heron. (Yes, they are quite common on Siesta Key, yet rarely seen!) So, we are down to an Egret or another spe cies of Heron. 2) Behavior This bird is comfortable enough around people to continue shing and dining without being scared. Obviously, it is a bird we are used to seeing around here; one indif ferent or inured to peoples presence. Howev er, it does not intrude upon peoples activities. That fact most likely eliminates the Great Blue Heron and the Great Egret, as they do not hes itate to hang around sherfolk or people at the grills while putting on their forlorn, but high ly effective, Ive never been fed in my whole life act. 3) Size The bird is large enough to be noticed while it is wading and shing, and it allows itself to be seen. This eliminates the small shy, difcult-to-spot Green Heron. 4) Shape No clue, but the beak must be large enough for people to notice it; so we are still down to Egrets and Herons. Now we turn to another clue, Beautiful. That eliminates the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, often seen mornings and evenings fishing our shores and a bird sporting a pale blu ish-gray bill. But people would not exclaim, The dragonys presence is helpful in understanding the size of the Tricolored Heron. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 77


Ive just seen the most beautiful bird! Rath er, they would comment that they had seen an odd bird, somewhat stocky; and perhaps they would go as far as to elaborate and say it had a yellow head and a feather in its cap. 5) Color Blue beak. And it simply has to be a blue that jumps out at you! It cannot be dark navy or pale Alice blue. Hmmm ... There is no such thing! Ibis have red bills. The Great Egret and Great Blue Heron have bills of black to yellow to orange; the Snowy Egrets is black. The Tricolored Herons bill is yellow and black and the Little Blue Herons is a pale slate with black. In breeding season, the rare Reddish Egret, (which actually does grace our Siesta shores) displays a pink and black-tipped bill. It is a pink so shockingly vibrant that you would think this bird had broken into a manicurists polish supplies and liberally painted itself! OMG! Eureka! Mystery bird solved! Why is a bird beautiful, but not outstandingly so, in November and beautiful and vividly blue(or pink-) billed by April and May? 6 ) Season We are now near the end of the mating, breeding and brooding season for shorebirds, when all birds are still arrayed in their spectacular displays. Bills and legs gradually displayed vibrant colors; graceful airy aigrettes sprouted from birds backs; and distinctive head plumes emerged any thing to make the birds more pleasing to a potential mate. A Reddish Egret hunts for a snack. Photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 78


The Lady of the Waters. File photo And for tips on how to attract the Reddish Egret of your dreams, here are some excellent ones on pink nail polish, trs chic and au courant Well, they must be hot if all three are currently out of stock! Thus, we are now left with only two possibilities the Tricolored Heron ( Egretta tricolor ) or the Lit tle Blue Heron ( Egretta caerulea ). In breeding season, both birds bills are a lovely Maya blue, close to an azure blue. This Maya blue pigment was used extensively in the artwork of pre-Columbian Me soamerica. Maya blue is highly re sistant to degradation. Works cre ated with this color remain bright after 500 years of exposure to sun light and rain. This is not true of these herons blue bills. That striking blue will fade and change after breeding season which means that by mid-autumn you might not be able to recognize them again! My guess is the Tricolored Heron. John James Audubon was very taken by this birds beauty and grace. Now, many of you readers are not going to plunk yourselves down with a copy of his Ornitho logical Biography so I shall take a snippet from it so you can see how, through his poetic prose, he manages to pack in a wallop-full of information from the birds Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 79


diet and hunt ing methods to its napping and roosting habits while also conveying to us its airy gracefulness: I never see this interesting Heron, without calling it the Lady of the Waters. Watch its motions, as it leisurely walks over the pure sand beaches of the coast of Florida, arrayed in the full beauty of its spring plumage. Its pendent crest exhibits its glossy tints, its train falls gracefully over a well dened tail, and the tempered hues of its back and wings contrast with those of its lower parts. Its measured steps are so light that they leave no impres sion on the sand ... See, it has spied a small y lurking on a blade of grass, it silently runs a few steps, and with the sharp point of its bill it has already secured the prey. The minnow just escaped from the pursuit of some larger sh has almost rushed upon the beach for safety; but the quick eye of the Heron has observed its motions, and in an instant it is swallowed alive. Among the herbage yet dripping with dew the beautiful bird picks its steps. Not a snail can escape its keen search, and as it moves around the muddy pool, it secures each water lizard that occurs. Now the suns rays have dried up the dews, the owers begin to droop, the woodland choristers have ended their morning concert, and like them, the Her on, fatigued with its exertions, seeks a place of repose under the boughs of the nearest bush, where it may in safety await the cool ness of the evening. Then for a short while it again searches for food. Little difculty does it experience in this; and at length, with the last glimpse of day, it opens its wings, and ies off towards its well-known roosting-place, where it spends the night contented and happy. How do yo u distinguish between two Herons which at rst glance appear so similar? It is sooo simple! I am presenting you with photos of the adult herons, taken during breeding and non-breeding season, so you can see for your selves how to tell them apart. A Tricolored Heron looks for lunch. File photo A Tricolored Heron in ight. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 80


A Little Blue Heron in ight. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 81


A Little Blue Heron. File photo The Tricolored Herons belly and under wings are always white, and in breeding season it sprouts a distinctive, white head plume. Search as hard as you can and you will nev er spot a single white feather in these Little Blue Heron photos! See how easy that was? Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 82


The Mystery Bird. File photo Well, now that you know everything you need to know about identifying birds, kindly name todays mystery bird! Uh oh! I notice that our mystery bird is laughing at you. Perhaps I should present a helpful clue: It is NOT a Great Egret! Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 83


File photo Our beloved Ardea Alba (alba means white in Latin) has black legs, and these black legs stay black; they never change from black, whatever the season. Otus % Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 84


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


SIESTA SEEN After a hit-and-run incident in the early morn ing hours of May 18 sent a Sun Ride Pedicab driver and two female passengers to the hos pital, the Florida Highway Patrol has been asking the publics help in locating the vehicle involved. On May 24, the FHP issued a statement saying it had identied the vehicle as a 2004 or 2005 midnight blue Scion TC. An email I received from Glen Cappetta, own er of Sun Ride Pedicab, said FHP staff told him, This vehicle has extensive damage from THE HIGHWAY PATROL IS SEEKING THE VEHICLE THAT STRUCK A PEDICAB AND INJURED THREE PEOPLE BEFORE FLEEING THE SCENE; HURRICANE SEASON ADVICE ISSUED; NAPOLIS TO BE TRANSFORMED By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A Sun Ride Pedicab driver chats with a man alongside one of the free golf cart taxis on Siesta Key. Photo by Norman Schimmel


the center of the hood around the right front fender (quarter panel) and door area along with a missing mirror assembly and front air dam. Cappetta added, My driver Randy and his two (2) passengers were all transported to Sarasota Memorial hospital with minor lac erations, serious road rash, and bumps and bruises. Fortunately, no serious injuries were sustained by the 3 victims, but the medical bills are starting to add up. Another email I received on May 28 said the driver is still unable to return to work because of injuries. The incident happened about 2:15 a.m. on May 18 in the 6300 block of Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. Although I tried calling the FHP both on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I had no luck getting a copy of the accident report; a staff person told me a supervisor had not cleared it for release yet. I was the second person who had called on Wednesday morn ing, she added. Anyone with information about a vehicle that matches the description released by the High way Patrol should contact FHP at 492-5850 or Cappetta at 343-3400. You also can leave a message on the Sun Ride Facebook page HURRICANE SEASON Avid weather watchers especially those of us on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts know only too well the signicance of June 1: Hur ricane season of cially begins. If you never h ave had the pleasure of watch ing the countys emergency management chief, Ed McCrane, talk about preparations for storm season, you should make a point of doing so. Although I have seen his programs over the past several years, I never cease to enjoy them. He had another rapt audience on May 2 when he addressed about 20 Siesta Key Association members. The man has an excellent sense of humor, which helps keep everyones attention for the serious points. The Sarasota County Hurricane Guide is free. Image courtesy of Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 87


I hope th e Indian spirit thing is real, he said at the outset of his May 2 remarks. He was referring to one theory about why Sarasota County mostly has been spared. Seminole Indians reportedly used to travel to our part of the coast in ages past to bury their dead, and those spirits ward away hurricanes. I imagine that story won even more believers when Hurricane Charley took its sudden hard right turn into Port Charlotte in 2004, after forecasters had been certain it would come ashore at Sarasota or Tampa. Charley was the closest call in recent memo ry, McCrane pointed out, though he had slides in his PowerPoint presentation to show hurri cane damage Sarasota suffered in the 20 th cen tury, including 1921,when a storm that struck Tarpon Springs wreaked havoc on Sarasotas bayfront. Since record keeping began in 1851, he added, about 150 storms have come through Hurri cane Alley, which includes Florida. McCrane also showed the damage Hurricane Andrew did to Homestead in 1992. You would have thought a bomb had gone off, he said. In the aftermath of Andrew, state building code changes dramatically improved the in tegrity of structures and their ability to with stand high winds, he continued. However especially for those who live on or near the water storm surge remains a major concern. Using a county graphic, he illustrat ed how much of Sarasota County would be underwater if a Category 5 hurricane struck. God forbid we ever have this, McCrane said, because this is the worst-case scenario. He cautioned, though, that even minor storms could create problems with storm sur ge. A graphic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the general location of hurricane alley. Image courtesy of NOAA Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 88


People on Si esta Key last summer saw that even a tropical storm off the coast could pro duce ill effects, as Debby ooded some neigh borhoods. Mc Crane emphasized that 1 cubic yard of wa ter weighs 1,700 pounds, which is another rea son storm surge is such a concern. Everyones TRIM or county tax notice has the evacuation zone printed on it for each specic property, he noted. Run from the wa ter; hide from the wind is what emergency management ofcials advise, he added. Although Siesta has some high-ground areas, McCrane noted, bridges do not always survive storms. That is why people should evacuate low-lying areas when such an order is issued, he pointed out, adding that people who stay behind and live through a major storm almost always say, Ill never do that again. He advised everyone, Make sure you know where your safe room is but we ask people not to take that chance. A hurricane is just a bunch of tornadoes twisting around. Moreover, McCrane stressed that when winds reach the 45-50 mph level and someone calls 911, asking to be rescued, Nobodys com ing. Winds that high are too serious a threat to emergency responders safety, he said. Although he has worked in emergency op erations centers when rst responders have chafed at the restraint with call after call for help stacking up standing regulations do not permit them to take the risk. McCrane also asked that when people evac uate an area, they let someone in their family know what their plans are. When news reports mention people unaccounted for after a nat ural disaster, he noted, many of the missing are simply folks who ed an area but never bothered to notify anyone. Therefore, emer gency response teams have no way of know ing whether they have been killed. McCrane also drew some chuckles when he talked of people who had ridden out storms in their homes and then refused to open their doors to rst responders checking for sur vivors. In such cases, he said, the emergen FREE IPHONE AND IPAD APPS FOR HURRICANE SEASON WeatherCaster American Red Cross The Weather Channel (webapp) Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 89


cy crews have no choice but to break down doors and enter those homes, to be certain all inside are OK. Each year, Sarasota County issues its Hurri cane Guide McCrane encouraged anyone with questions about preparations he should make including the recommended assembling of storm kits to check the guide. Information also is available on the countys website A NEW ST ORE It has been no secret for a while now that Nap olis restaurant, located at 5242 Ocean Blvd., is slated to be transformed into new retail space with apartments/condos on three upper oors. Mark Smith, of Smith Architects on the key, is the architect of record for the project. According to the Sarasota County Building Department, Smith is working for Jim Syprett and M. Jay Lancer, who jo intly own the 5,147-squa re-foot parcel. Smith has applied for a special exception to permit three tran sient accommodation units in the Commercial General/[Siesta Key Overlay District] district. The owners have proposed remodeling the restaurant/bar and building a Federal Emer gency Management Agency-compliant, oodproof structure with the less intensive use of retail on the ground oor, the permit docu mentation adds. The op en area on the front of the building also would be enclosed. The owners of Napolis restaurant in Siesta Village plan to turn it into retail space with apartments or condos on three upper oors. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 90


No word yet o n the timeline for the project or when the special exception request will be heard. Stay tuned. HOPE FOR MORE STAFF In perusing the County Commission email re cently, I found a note from Tom Polk, direc tor of planning and development services, to Commissioner Nora Patterson who lives on Siesta r egarding some code enforcement issues. One special item of interest: Polk wrote, As part of the upcoming 2014 budget discussions in June, Planning and Development Services will be requesting the [commissions] consid eration of additional stafng levels for the Code Enforcement division. We look forward to working with the community to enhance our codes and processes. More Code Enforcement staff is what Sies ta organizations have been seeking since last year. The islands primary Code Enforcement ofcer, John Lally, has pointed out on many an occasion that violations of the noise ordi nance are not the only problems he handles. Illegal home rentals, parking issues, signs that do not conform to the zoning code the list goes on. AND SPEAKING OF NOISE Regular readers will remember that when Code Enforcement Ofcer Kevin Burns ad dressed the Siesta Key Association in early March during a discussion of noise prob lem s he mentioned that the positioning of speakers in Blas Caf and the design of the Terrace East condominium complex across the street had contributed to signicant noise problems for the Terrace East residents. As a result of research he had undertaken, Burns said he was working with Blas Caf owner Rami Nehme to adjust the location of the speakers. Polks M ay 7 email to Patterson included the following news: As part of multiple inspec tions of [Blas Caf] during the month of April, the speakers were found to be facing the correct direction and the ofcer also made inspections to ensure that entertainment was completed by 10 p.m. Violations were not found on inspections by Code Enforcement or the Sh e riffs Ofce. % The design of the exterior of the Terrace East condominium complex in Siesta Village has boosted the level of sound coming from Blas Caf across the street, research shows. File photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 91


The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner, the Florida Alliance for Arts Edu cation (FAAE), has announced the winners of the 2013 State Teachers Artist Residency (STAR) program. Rocky Bridges, a Polk County visual artist; Ramiro Malagon, a Broward County compos er; Kristen Rodriguez, a Broward County writ er; Melanie Webb, a Duval County writer; and Beverly Williams, a Polk County visual artist, are all Florida arts educators who will spend four weeks of their summer vacations as art ists-in-residence at the Hermitage, a news re lease says. This is our third summer hosting Florida art ists who work during the year as arts educa tors, Br uce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, noted in the release. These are our only residencies that have an appli cation process, administered by FAAE. Its open to all Florida arts teachers and we are very proud to say its been a very successful program, which has brought us some very tal ented Florida artists who also happen to be teaching our children. Rocky Bridges teaches sculpture, painting, drawing and art history to 12 th -graders at Har rison School for the Arts in Polk County. He discovered the world of visual art at an ear ly age, stimulated by being able to combine art categories such as painting and drawing, sculpture and photography, even sometimes including poetry, the release adds. The Hermitage Artist Retreat is located in Englewood. Photo courtesy of The Hermitage NEW STARS RECEIVE HERMITAGE SUMMER RESIDENCIES A&E BRIEFS


Rocky Bridges/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 93


Ramiro Malagon teaches music in grades K-5 at Discovery Elementary in Broward Coun ty. His artistic passion includes guitar, both contemporary and classical, along with com position, the release says. He began playing at age 12, and continued with formal training at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. Kristen Rodriguez is a media specialist for grades K-5 at West Hollywood Elementary School in Broward County. More than a teach er and librarian, Rodriguez sees herself as an orator, writer, lmmaker, editor and role mod el who can help inspire life-long learning, the release continues. Her specic area of interest is historic ction, it adds; she has already had one play presented by the Renaissance reen actment group, the Adrian Empire. Her goal over the summer is to complete a full-length play. At Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Duval County, Melanie Webb teaches creative writing to ninth-graders and junior ction and critical theory to students in grades 9, 11 and 12, the release continues. She believes, and tries to compel her students to see, writing is a force that inspires one to look more closely, think more clearly, elaborate more fully and consider more openly, the release adds. She is looking forward to her time at the Hermit age to use her artistic energy to develop sev eral short stories and at least one poem, the release notes. Beverly William s teaches visual arts in grades 6, 7 and 8 at Union Academy Magnet Middle School in Polk County. She considers herself a pastel artist but would like to explore a new body of work this summer called Vignettes of Life the release says. The collection she en visions incorporates found objects with sym bolic meanings; the setting is a circus stage, the release notes. The STARs will be at the Hermitage from Mon day, July 15, until Sunday, Aug. 11, Rodgers continued. All have expressed interest in networking with other artists and some have even mentioned the opportunity to collabo rate with their peers, he added. A free public program has already been sched uled for Friday, Aug. 9. Beverly Williams/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 94


FST Improv will return for another summer season kicking off on Saturday, June 8, at 8:30 p.m. in the John C. Court Cabaret, Florida Stu dio Theatre has announced. It will continue through Aug. 24. Come help the FST Improv troupe create characters and sketches on the spot, a news release says. Not even the performers know what to expect until it happens! Florida Studio Theatre has been home to the improv troupe for over a decade, the release notes. This season brings back some oldies, but still goodies, the release adds: founding members Christine Alexander, Tim Beasley and director Rebecca Hopkins. Improv is my life, said Alexander in the release. I love switching up our shows and becoming one with the funny forces of Sara sota. We are constantly learning from our au dience and I think that they also learn a little about us. FST Improv ha s two new members, Patrick A. Jackson and Jake Mills, ready to send you home in stitches, the release continues. The troupes veterans were so welcoming and warm like a big hug from your grandmother after she had been out in the sun too long, Mills remarked in the release. They are all so inspiring and I always try to land a funny joke the way they do. Every few minutes there is an opportunity for the audience to participate by giving us the subject of the scene, Hopkins noted in the release. Its the only show in town where you get to decide what happens next again, and again and again all from the comfort and safety of your seat (unless we pick you to come up on stage). Tickets, which are $12 per person, may be pur chased from the FST box ofce in person, by phone at 366-9000 or online at www.Florida FST is located in historic downtown Sarasot a at 1241 N. Palm Ave. BACK FOR THE SUMMER: FST IMPROV The FST Improv Troupe will be performing in June. Photo by Maria Lyle, courtesy of Florida Studio Theatre Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 95


The Gulf Coast Community Foundation re cently awarded the Jazz Club of Sarasota a $3,000 grant to fund the organizations free Joy of Jazz series held four times a year in Centennial Park in downtown Venice, the Jazz Club has announced. The series has been a popular xture of the area arts and cultural scene for six years, at tracting hundreds of area music fans for each concert, a news release notes. W ere honored to be awarded this grant, says Bill Beckman, a Jazz Club of Sarasota board member and producer of the series, in the release. These funds help us support local musicians and also offer family-friendly, free entertainment to residents and visitors. Its a perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon, enjoying the great melodies, rich harmonies an d soulful rhythms of jazz, he adds in the relea se. Kitt and Mike Moran were among the performers in Joy of Jazz concerts in the past season. Con tributed photo GRANT AWARDED FOR FREE JAZZ CONCERTS IN VENICE Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 96


The Sarasota Chorus of the Keys, the citys oldest continuous arts organization, has awarded to two local high school students the Sheridan E. Brown Memorial Barbershop Scholarships, totaling $3,000, the organization has announced. The scholarship program was started in the late 1970s to help graduating seniors with their college expenses in the eld of music, a news release points out. Winners of this years scholarships are as fol lows: Andrew Pluta, who attended Pine View School and is planning on attending the State College of Florida (SCF), the release says. He has been in many vocal and instru mental groups at Pine View and in the com munity, and he plans to join several vocal groups at SCF. His scholarship was in the amount of $1,000. The w inner of a $2,000 scholarship was Jor dan Sanders, who is graduating from Bra den River High in Manatee County. Jordan was in many school and community music activities as both a vocalist and an instru mentalist, the release continues. He will at tend Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he plans to major in songwriting and minor in music management. We are delighted to give this award to these two outstanding local students, said John Hegener, chairman of the Chorus Scholarship Committee, in the release. This is just anoth er example of how the Chorus gives back to this community in meaningful ways and fur thers the art of singing. These two boys have very bright futures and we look forward to seeing all they accomplish. For more information please visit www.Cho % SARASOTA CHORUS OF THE KEYS AWARDS TWO SCHOLARSHIPS The 2012 Joy of Jazz s eri es featured Ron Krae mer & the Hurricanes, David Pruyn and The Paramount Swing 6, the Venice High School Jazz Lab and Kitt and Mike Moran. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has consistently shown its commitment to sup porting our regions wealth of great jazz art ists though the Joy of Jaz z series, notes Beck man in the release. The Jazz Club of Sarasota shares that commitment by keeping jazz thriv ing in our area and adding to our reputation as a leading jazz destination. For more information about the Jazz Club of Sarasota call 941-366-1552, or visit www.jazz The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 97


Temple Sinai ha s been named one of eight winners of the 2013 Union for Reform Juda ism Belin Outreach and Membership Awards The awards have been designed to encourage and honor Reform synagogues with outstand ing outreach and membership programs that actively welcome and integrate those new to Judaism, a news release says. The eight winners were awarded $1,000 each through the generosity of David Belin, the rst chairman of the Joint Commission on Outreach and Membership for the Union for Reform Judiasm (URJ), the release adds. Nine other congregations received honorable men tions for their exceptional programs. All win ners and honorable mention honorees will be recognized at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in S an Diego in December, the re lease notes. Temple Sinai received the award for its Gift Membership Program, the release continues. This initiative targets families with schoolage children and leverages a one-year compli mentary temple membership with social con nections and involvement in Jewish learning to engage both the children and the parents, the release points out. Each Gift Member family is hosted by a tem ple family for the year, and special events are held for the families as well as just the par ents. Fifteen families accepted Gift Memberships this year, the release says. As a result of this outreach programs success, the temples board of trustees has decided that all Jewish Chazzan Cliff Abramson and Rabbi Geoff Huntting attend a dinner for new members. Contributed photo TEMPLE SINAI HONORED FOR OUTSTANDING OUTREACH PROGRAM RELIGION BRIEFS


families enrolled in The Gan, the temples pre school, will be offered complimentary temple memberships, the release adds. We realize that the earlier a family gets in volved in the congregational life of a temple, the sooner they begin to build lasting rela tionships, said Marc Rosen, vice president of membership, in the release. Our Gift Mem bership program is the little nudge that many young families need to help them make the decision to become valued members of our Temple Sinai family. For the past 18 years, the Belin Awards have encouraged Reform congregations to nd innovative ways to welcome and engage those who might nd a home in our congrega tions, bringing new life to our communities, said URJ Senior Vice President Rabbi Jonah Pesner in the release. The winners exemplify the Jewish mitzvot of ahavat ger loving the stranger and keruv drawing near those who are far. For more information, visit outreach/belin/ Temple mem bers and community guests brought their beloved pets to Temple Ema nu-El for the synagogues fth annual Blessing of the Animals on May 18. The only event of its kind in the Sarasota-Man atee Jewish community, Temple Emanu-Els Blessing of the Animals welcomed 38 dogs and three hamsters for a morning of thank ing God for the gift of animal companionship, a news release says. Pets and humans alike enjoyed water, snacks and socializing before listening to a talk given by Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman about animals in Jewish tradition. Each pet then re ceived an individual blessing from Glickman and had a family pet portrait taken by photographer Alice Cotman. It was a wonderful event and will long be re membered, commented Joy Finnimore, who brought her dog, Lady, for a blessing, the re lease notes. Blessing of the Animals was co-chaired by Al ice Cotman, Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman and Kim Sheintal. For more information about Temple Emanu-El programs, call 379-1997. % TEMPLE EMANU-ELS BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS CELEBRATES PETS Rabbis Brenner and Elaine Glickman, Alice Cotman, and Kim Sheintal led Temple Ema nu-Els Blessing of the Animals. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 99

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Brenda Sax brought Boomer to be blessed by Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman at Temple Emanu-El on May 18. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 100

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Joy Finnimores dog Lady received a blessing from Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman at Temple Ema nu-Els Blessing of the Animals on May 18. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader May 31, 2013 Page 101

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31 MAY WSLR presents David Smash CD Release Party May 31, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Ad mission: $5. Information: 894-6469 or 31+ MAY Noah Raceys Pulse Through June 16 (times vary), FSU Performing Arts Center, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Tick ets: $20 to $72 Information: 351-8000 or 31+ MAY Florida Studio Theatre presents The World Goes Round Through June 23 (times vary), Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $18 to $42 Information: 366-9000 or 31+ MAY Landscapes, Mindscapes and Dreamscapes Through July 20, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N. Palm Ave. Free admis sion. Information: 366-2454 or 07+ JUNE Dabbert Gallery presents Summer Showcase June 7 through Sept. 30, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Admission: free. Information: 955-1315 or 08 JUNE Double Author Event for Young Teens June 8, 11 a.m., Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children and Tahereh Ma, author of Shatter Me and her new book, Unravel Me will be at Book store1Sarasota, 1359 Main St., for a dual signing. Only books purchased from Bookstore1 are eligible for signing. For more info: or 365-7900. ComMunity CALendar The best of upcoming EVENTS To get all the details on these and other great ac tivities food, nightlife, music, art, theater, chil drens events, learning opportunities and more go to Sarasotas No. 1 source for local events, hot spots, fun activities and hidden gems:

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Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS LETS SEE ... WAS IT LEFT AT THE BIG ROCK, OR RIGHT? SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS