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 TESTING THE WATERS INCHING FORWARD NO DEAL Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 38 June 7, 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


Publication days like June 6, when tropical storm force winds were gusting and the rain occasionally was coming down in sheets, make us all the happier we can put together The Sarasota News Leader without having to go anywhere. Of course, those gusting winds can wreak havoc with power lines, creating Internet connection problems, but as I write this, I am crossing my ngers to ward them away. Even though we have been working online since September, when we launched the full digital publication, we sometimes do have to pause and reect on how amazing it is that we do not actually have to see each other to put the News Leader together every week. Of course, occasions arise when we realize it might be helpful to talk in person to weigh an idea or suggest changes in a layout, but it is hard to fault the ease of email as long as the Internet service is working (n gers still crossed, making typing a tad difcult). While Tropical Storm Andrea was much on our minds as we nished up this weeks issue, we did not give her any of the spotlight. Storms play havoc with any publication these days, be cause anyone can learn up-to-the-minute de tails by checking the Web. In fact, we are hop ing Andrea is a thing of the past for Sarasotans as you read this. Instead of tropical storm news, you can learn about the latest on the countys plans to sell Transfer of Development Rights, the Warm Mineral Springs saga, the County Commis sions plans regarding a domestic partner ship registry and what city commissioners think about parking downtown. And that is just a sample! On the Sarasota Leisure side, Otus has some news you must not miss this week, and, once again, plenty is happening on Siesta Key. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


INCHING FORWARD SUSTAINABLE FREE PARKING? NEWS & COMMENTARY TESTING THE WATERS 7 County offers low teaser price for rst Transfer of Development Rights Cooper Levey-Baker INCHING FORWARD 11 The County Commission has directed the County Attorneys Ofce to prepare drafts of a domestic partnership registry so it can narrow down the details before holding a public hearing Rachel Brown Hackney NO DEAL 18 The County Commission rejects North Ports offer to buy out its share of Warm Mineral Springs and objects to the citys unilateral move to negotiate a short-term lease for the management of the resort Rachel Brown Hackney SUSTAINABLE FREE PARKING? 25 The City Commission wrestles with whether it can afford to keep meters out of the picture Stan Zimmerman NEW LOOK FOR A SAD CENTER 29 The County Commission gives unanimous approval to a redevelopment plan for a South Trail shopping complex Cooper Levey-Baker CRANES COMING BACK 33 One Palm development proposal for downtown Sarasota headed to the Sarasota Planning Board for discussion Stan Zimmerman ANOTHER ROWING BID CHECKMARK 35 After receiving assurances that the action would not hinder sponsorship opportunities, the County Commission approves a letter guaranteeing it will help cover any World Rowing Championships cost overruns Rachel Brown Hackney GIVING DAUGHTERS NEW LIFE 41 New College to offer 10 scholarships to young Middle Eastern women Stan Zimmerman BUSINESS VERSUS THE RULES 43 Siesta Village business owners agree to work together on modifying county regulations to allow them greater marketing options on the key Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 49 CRIME BLOTTER 57 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Anatidae cygnus-golfus Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: High and Dry Rachel Brown Hackney No. 38 June 7, 2013


ASK OTUS SIESTA SEEN OPINION EDITORIAL 63 Double, double toil and trouble COMMENTARY 66 If clothes make the person Harriet Cuthbert LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 67 SARASOTA LEISURE ASK OTUS 69 With the Mystery Bird identied, an exciting summer lies ahead for a certain well-known owl Otus Rufous SIESTA SEEN 80 Report reveals the real story about the deputy and the man on the beach with the parrots; 2013 Crystal Classic dates set; another snag develops in the bollards saga Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 87 RELIGION BRIEFS 93 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 96 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 97 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080 No. 38 June 7, 2013


It wasnt quit e as dramatic as a mattress sales man chain-sawing a bed in half to advertise his Labor Day half-off sale, but the Saraso ta County Commission did move this week to slash the proposed price for the rst 100 Transfer of Develop ment Rights associat ed with county-owned environmentally sensi tive lands. Transfer of Develop ment Rights (referred to as TDRs in planning lingo) are part of a sys tem that allows a property owner to sell the right to develop his or her property, which in turn allows the purchaser to apply those rights to build on his or her own land. The intent is to encourage the pres ervation of open space while also pushing de velopment into the most desirable areas. But in Sarasota Coun ty, nobody knows how much a TDR should A graphic shows areas in green that would be sending zones for Transfer of Development Rights; they are parcels that would remain undeveloped. Areas in red would be receiving zones, where denser development would be allowed. Image courtesy Sarasota County COUNTY OFFERS LOW TEASER PRICE FOR FIRST TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS TESTING THE WATERS The public needs to know there is no right answer here. Charles Hines Commissioner Sarasota County By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


Jono Miller, former chairman of the countys Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Commit tee, addresses the County Commission on May 14. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 8


co s t a major problem as the commission looks to sell TDRs associated with properties acquired through the countys Environmental ly Sensitive Lands Program. Two months ago, county staffers came be fore the commission to propose setting the price at 10 percent of the median sale price of homes, but the discussion was kicked back to the countys Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee amid complaints the committee had not had a chance to review the proposal in full. The Oversight Committee later recommended altering the staff proposal by suggesting the TDRs should be priced at 10 percent of the median sale price of new homes. Since the TDRs would be used to build new units, the thinking went, the price shouldnt be weighed down by sales gures for foreclosures and other distressed properties. But the County Commission went in the op posite direction Wednesday, June 5, moving to offer the countys rst 100 TDRs at a signif icant discount. We need to get it going, argued Commis sioner Joe Barbetta, who eventually suggest ed selling the rst 100 TDRs at a quarter of staffs recommended price of $17,850. He said discussion of the issue has dragged out for years and that the only way to determine a fair price is to sell the TDRs at a low gure and start debating offers. But in real estate, you dont set your price low and get higher offers, Commissioner Nora Patterson countered. You set your price high and get lower offers. Looking for com promise, she pushed to set the price for the rst 100 TDRs at half the value recommended by staff. No one backed up her proposal. Theres no perfect number here, said Com missioner Charles Hines. If Barbettas 25 per cent price is too low, the commission can eas ily adjust it going forward, Hines argued. The public needs to know there is no right answer here, he added. This is the teaser. Im trying to gure out the market demand, and the only way to do that is to test it, said Barbetta. His motion passed unanimously. Im going to vote for it because its time we got off the dime on this subject, said Patter son. She doesnt mind it as a teaser, she said. However, if developers want to purchase the other 500-plus TDRs in the countys pilot pro gram for that same price, she added, Im not going to be there. % A chart shows TDR price examples from Palm Beach County. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 9


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It took the better part of an hour of discus sion, but the Sarasota County Commission unanimously voted on June 5 to direct the County Attorneys Ofce to draft two versions of a domestic partnership registry for the un incorporated areas of the county. The commissioners agreed they will dis cuss those drafts and settle on what they want the final docu ment to include before they advertise it for a public hearing. Comm issioner Christine Robinson specied in her motion that the drafts offer options on reciprocity one draft would leave out that provision altogether while the second would make it clear that people coming into th e county who have registered as domestic partners in another ju risdiction would have only the rights accord ed to Sarasota County domestic partnership registrants. A Sarasota County resident told the County Commission during the Public Comments portion of its June 5 meeting that many older couples, for a variety of reasons, do not want to marry but want the rights a domestic partnership registry can confer. Photo by Steve Hillebrand of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAS DIRECTED THE COUNTY ATTORNEYS OFFICE TO PREPARE DRAFTS OF A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY SO IT CAN NARROW DOWN THE DETAILS BEFORE HOLDING A PUBLIC HEARING INCHING FORWARD This is a device to give partners in a domestic relationship some basic rights so that their relationship can function the way that any relationship ought to function. Ken Shelin Resident City of Sarasota By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Commissioners also instructed County At torney Stephen DeMarsh to leave out any en forcement provision. Former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken Shelin, who appeared be fore the board on June 5 to advocate for cre ation of a county registry, pointed out that the City of Sarasota Domestic Partnership Reg istry allows the city some wiggle room to pursue legal action in the event of egregious serious noncompliance with provisions of the ordinance that created the registry. However, DeMarsh cautioned the County Commission against allowing the county to become involved in enforcement matters. The county really doesnt have [the neces sary information] and really should not get involved in trying to compare legal documents to afdavits signed when partners register, he pointed out. Robinson also told DeMarsh to leave out any language in the drafts relative to dependents of domestic partners. Having worked as a fam ily law attorney, she pointed out, she felt there was too much potential for problems if stipu lations regarding dependents were included. DeMarsh indicated he would include in his drafts an exp ansive disclaimer that people A graphic presented to the County Commission included information about domestic partners from U.S. Census and Florida local government data. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 12


should not use this [registry] as a substitute for estate planning and similar legal agree ments. Of the ve commissioners, only Chairwoman Carolyn Mason did not take the opportunity during the discussion to criticize state legisla tors for refusing to create a registry. Although Commissioner Charles Hines said he felt the board had no choice but to follow through with county action at this point, he added, The states ignored this issue. So what do you do? You create chaos across the state, with different jurisdictions implementing do mestic partnership registries with conicting provisions. I really think the state should cover this, so when you travel throughout the state, your rights are the same, he said. Referring to the proposed county registry, Hines continued, From what Im hearing [from fellow board members], it would almost just have to be a paper tiger I think the State of Florida has done every body an injustice by not addressing this issue, Robinson said. I really, truly do. Its creating a bureaucratic mess for everybody. Weve been trying for ve years to get a state registry created, Shelin pointed out. He tes tied in March bef ore the Children, Families Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 13


and Elder Affairs Com mittee when it took up the bill introduced again this year by Sen. Eleanor Sobel of Hol lywood, he added. That bill never got out of the committee, She lin continued, and a companion bill never was heard in the House. [The creation of a statewide domestic part nership registry is] not going to happen in the state Legislature, he said. But it is a practical matter, Shelin point ed out. How do you help these people if you keep saying its the states responsibility, when, in fact, the states demonstrated an un willingness to do it. Commissioner Nora Patterson responded that much of what he was proposing in a county registry could be handled by partners signing healthcare surrogate forms and other legal papers. How ever, Robinson said she felt confer ring healthcare and funeral/burial rights to individuals are val id things we can do through creation of a registry. Patterson told Shelin, I guess I feel like what youre trying to ac complish is a good thing, but the only way she could support a county registry was if it had no enforcement or reciprocity provisions. Otherwise, she said, I think were kind of mis leading people on this, that were giving them some rights that we really dont have the abil ity to give. THE BACKGROUND During his presentation to the board on June 5 in Sarasota, Shelin noted that half of the states population lives within a jurisdiction that has a domestic partnership registry. Among those local government e ntities are The County Commission considers a matter earlier in the year. Photo by Norman Schimmel The states ignored this issue. So what do you do? You create chaos across the state. Charles Hines Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 14


Leon, Pal m Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties and the cities of Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach and Gainesville. Along with the City of Sarasota in Sarasota County, the City of Venice has a registry, he added, and he believes North Port will have one soon. Sarasota has had 153 people register since its ordinance went into effect in November 2012, he said. According to the City of Venice web site on June 5, 10 people had registered. Such registries are useful in the state, he pointed out, because power of attorney doc uments obtained by domestic partners are often ineffectual and disregarded. Among the provisions of the county ordinance that Shelin proposed are the following: It would require that the registering adults be at least 18 years old and competent to create a contract; that partners not be married un der Florida law or in another domestic part nership or civil union with anyone other than their co-applicant for the registry; that the reg istry would be gender-neutral; that each per son would consider himself to be a member of the immediate family of the other partner; and that the partnership could be terminated in writing to the Clerk of Courts Ofce. Shelin noted that the City of Sarasota charges $30 for a couple to register; $20 goes to the city to cover its costs and the remainder goes to the Clerk of Courts Ofce, since the part n ership is registered there. He had suggested the latter provision with the registries in Venice and Sarasota, Shelin noted, to give the documents the appropri ate status. QUE STIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS Among th e questions the commissioners posed, a number focused on healthcare rami cations. Hines pointed out that Shelins county proposal modeled after the City of Sarasota ordinance would nullify a domestic part nership in the county if one member of the couple chose later to register as a domestic partner with someone else in a different juris diction. Hines talked about the confusion that could ensue in a medical care situation after the change in partners. The hospital doesnt check your marriage li cense when you claim that you are married, Shelin responded. They have to accept at face value what you tell them and what docu mentation you provide them. County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh reads a document at the dais. File photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 15


Robinson pointed to the fact that the City of Sarasota ordinance is not specic about the residence the partners shared. Is this a way to skirt homestead? she asked, referring to the property tax break couples get on their primary residence under state law. No, Shelin told her with a chuckle. This isnt an ordinance to regulate [home] ownership, he added. The key phrase in the proposed or dinance is mutual residence, he said. Robinson also noted the proposed ordinance had no provision for one party to notify the other if one terminated the domestic partner ship. I think a notication requirement would be important, she said, to protect the other domestic partner. Robinson further pointed out that it had been brought to her attention that some older cou ples ch oose not to marry to make it possible for them to keep Social Security and other benets, such as pensions of deceased spous es. However, they would be able to register as domestic partners and maintain those bene ts, she added. Oh, I think its outrageous to say something like that, Shelin told her. This would only apply to heterosexual cou ples, Robinson replied. Its been asked of me. This is not a sneaky device! Shelin said. This is a device to give partners in a domes tic relationship some basic rights so that their relationship can function the way that any re lationship ought to function. % 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 Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 16


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No, the Sarasota County Commission does not want to sell its share of Warm Mineral Springs to the City of North Port. And, yes, it does object to the North Port City Commissions May 28 vote to proceed on its own with negotiating a short-term agreement to keep the resort open past the June 30 termination of the cur rent lease. However, the County Com mission steered clear of including in its formal response to the North Port board any language about pursu ing the next step on a path to litigation over the springs. Instead, on a unani mous vote, the Coun ty Commissions letter asks the North Port board to consider ap proving the interlocal agreement Count y At (From left) North Port City Commissioner Rhonda DiFranco, Vice Mayor Jim Blucher, Mayor Linda Yates, Commissioner Cheryl Cook and Commissioner Tom Jones. Photo courtesy City of North Port THE COUNTY COMMISSION REJECTS NORTH PORTS OFFER TO BUY OUT ITS SHARE OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS AND OBJECTS TO THE CITYS UNILATERAL MOVE TO NEGOTIATE A SHORT-TERM LEASE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE RESORT NO DEAL There are three [North Port] commissioners who are hell-bent on running [Warm Mineral Springs] and not the way that a majority of the parties involved want to run it. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


torney Stephen DeMarsh and his staff pre pared subsequent to a joint meeting of the two boards on April 17 regarding the future of the springs. At the end of that facilitated session, the commissions agreed on the idea of a shortterm lease followed by a process similar to an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) for proposals on the long-term management of the resort. However, if the North Port Commission does not accept that interlocal agreement when it votes on the document during a June 10 meet ing, county commissioners indicated they felt the nex t step in the legal process outlined in the states Conict Resolution Statute me diation among the county administrator, city manager and the attorneys for both boards would be a waste of time. There are three commissioners who are hellbent on running [Warm Mineral Springs] and not the way that a majority of the parties in volved want to run it, County Commissioner Joe Barbetta said during his boards regular meeting in Venice on June 4. An aerial map shows the location of Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 19


He was refer ring to North Port Mayor Linda Yates and her fellow board members Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco. I dont think theyre fairly representing their community or the county, Barbetta added. During the North Port boards May 28 meet ing, Yates reiterated the womens position: Three of us want preservation and pro tection, ensuring that the public gets to use [the springs] for their place, not [have] a pri vate developer just come in and use this as a resort. However, Vice Mayor James Bucher pointed out that since Cook and DiFranco were elected in November 2012, this commission has not been able to decide the usage [of the springs]. We have not been able to come up wi th a consensus Blucher add ed, The county has asked us a number of times to try to give them some thing that they could work with as far as the future of the springs and we never have. Cook said she wanted to preserve the prop erty and preserve the over 40 jobs and the 122,000 ticket-holders who are currently en joying the springs The county commis sioners have been in tent on an ITN pro cess, Cook added, by which they can find somebody to build on the property. There doesnt seem to be any neutral territory. Development is no t a friend of preservation, period, DiFranco said. Three of us want preservation and protection, ensuring that the public gets to use [the springs] for their place, not [have] a private developer just come in and use this as a resort. Linda Yates Mayor City of North Port An inlaid sign welcomes visitors to Warm Mineral Springs. Photo by Ebaybe via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 20


PAST AND PRE SENT North Port City At torney Rob Robinson and City Manager Jonathan Lewis appeared before the County Commission on June 4 to present the proposals from the North Port Commis sion. Rob Robinson outlined the points in a May 30 letter Lewis sent to County Administrator Randall Reid. The letter said the City Commission rescinded its previous motion to sell the citys interest in Warm Mineral Springs (WMS), and it sought the countys support for the city to enter into a 12-month lease with Cypress Lending, which has been managing the resort. This would allow the City and County time to negotiate the sale of the property without the closure of WMS, the le tter continued. The City would share all revenues equally, after expenses, with the County. Robinson added, Were hoping today that you would be receptive to allowing Lewis to dis cuss the details of the purchase with Reid. Im n ot in the mood for entertaining a sale, Barbetta responded. The County and City commissions voted 9-1 to purchase the springs jointly in 2010 for $5.5 million, he pointed out, and in July 2010, the boards voted 10-0 to seek an ITN that would allow for the proper reha bilitation and development of the springs. Now its 7-3, and we cant get anything done, and I have no faith whatsoever in the springs being taken care of if the county sells its share to North Port. County Commission Vice Chairman Charles Hines concurred with Barbetta about Yates, Cook and DiFranco controlling the decisions on this [for the North Port board], and of the three theres not even consensus and agree ments as to the future of [the resort]. Barbetta added that the looming closing date for the springs is on the backs of the North Port Commission. Thats not on our backs. Weve always been ready, willing and able to perform to keep the resort open. County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson consider an agenda item during a meeting earlier this year. File photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 21


Commissioner Christine Robinson said, Im not 100 percent positive that the City of Nort h Port will guide this asset where it needs to go. She pointed out that Reid just moments ear lier had informed the County Commission of the University of Miamis interest in selling Little Salt Spring to the county. Also located in North Port, the site is an underwater ar chaeological and ecological preserve ; it has produced the second-oldest dated artifact ever found in the southeast United States a sharpened wooden stake some 12,000 years old, according to the website of the Univer sity of Miamis Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Weve got to make sure that we keep these in local, public ownership, Commissioner Rob inson added of Little Salt Spring and Warm Mineral Springs, and create in North Port an educational, environmental, archaeological and, in the case of Warm Mineral Springs, a tourist destination for the future of the city and the county. Commissioner Nora Patterson interjected, I think in the end we all want the same thing, but the path looks pretty twisted and difcult to follow Patterson added that when the boards bought Warm Mineral Springs, county commission ers had concerns about damage to the prop erty that could result from overdevelopment. Now the roles seem to be totally reversed and the majority of the North Port City Com mission seems to want no economic develop ment on-site, and somehow there seems to be a suspicion that we want to overdevelop it. I think this is truly ironic. The video clip above is from the North Port Commissions May 28 meeting. Click to watch the video Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 22


She would support se lling WMS, however, Pat terson said, if we were made whole entirely with a check from the City of North Port and the contract included a provision that the na ture of the property would be protected. Patterson ended up voting No on a motion by Robinson to decline to sell the countys share of the springs. I just dont reject that as some future possibility if we cant reach an agreement [with the City of North Port], Patterson said. I certainly dont want to see the springs closed, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason told her colleagues. Nonetheless, she added, Im just dumbfounded that several members of the current North Port City Commission have cho sen to go in a different direction than the pre vious commission that agreed with us initially in purchasing it Its a huge asset for both the City of North Port and Sarasota County. THE LEGAL DETAILS Before making the motion regarding the letter protesting the City of North Ports unilateral move on the short-term lease with Cypress Lending, Commissioner Robinson asked De Marsh for clarication about how the county should proceed on that point. Because of the state law, DeMarsh said, Sara sota County could not agree to awarding a new lease agreement for WMS without going through a competitive bid process. Robinson then pointed out that the County Commission could have sought to pursue sim ilar action on its own. But it wouldnt have even entered into my frame of mind to do that to a partner, so Im a little perplexed as to how they think th is could be helping, she said of the North Port Commission. DeMarsh noted that the County Commission could say in the letter that it did not agree with the City Commissions unilateral action on the lease and leave for another day what enforcement action would be taken. If the city proceeded with a lease agreement, he continued, the County Commission could decide then what legal action it wished to pur sue. DeMarsh also reminded the County Commis sion that it had gone through the rst two steps set forth in the states Conict Resolu tion Statute. The third step would be media tion among the city and county administrators and attorneys. Even without mediation, he added, he be lieved a supermajority of the County Commis sion could vote to le a lawsuit to slow down any city action it felt was in violation of its interests as co-owner of the property. I think we all know whats going to happen there, Barbetta said of mediation. It would be a waste of a lot of time and money, he added. Patterson agreed with him. I implore [Yates, Cook and DiFranco] to think about the county and to think about their con stituency when they take their vote on Mon day, Barbetta said, referring to the interlocal agreement. Eventually, economic development is going to happen at Warm Mineral Springs, Patterson added, because people will see the potential and push for that. % Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 23


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


A fre shly scabbed-over wound was briey re opened Monday, June 3, when the city com mittee advising Parking Division Manager Mark Lyons presented to the Sarasota City Commission a set of five guiding princi ples and an overall mission statement. After the presenta tion, city commis sioners quizzed Lyons about nances. Is your ofce protable? asked Mayor Shan non Snyder. If we cannot be protable, are we going to subsidize this forever? This is an eco nomic question, not so much a parking question. Lyons said his staff could not issue enough tickets to put his depart ment in the black. Rev enue through enhanced enforcement is not sus tainable, he added. A parking meter is bagged in front of City Hall in May 2011, before the city removed all the meters from downtown. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY COMMISSION WRESTLES WITH WHETHER IT CAN AFFORD TO KEEP METERS OUT OF THE PICTURE SUSTAINABLE FREE PARKING? If we cannot be protable, are we going to subsidize this forever? Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The parking meter as co of two years ago put em in, take em out put Lyons in a bind. Were trying to develop a strategic plan, he said. Newly elected and hence unscarred from the parking meter wars Commissioner Susan Chapman asked, Are there other best practices for revenue besides parking me ters? Lyons replied that he would start to ex amine that over the next couple of months. The scarred but re-elected proponent of park ing meters, Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, ob served, Parking management funds suffered greatly after we took out the meters. Chapman noted the money to run the citys parking program building and operating parking garages, enforcing hourly limits, boot ing and towing scofaws must come from somewhere. Free parking for customers and staff is a public subsidy, she said. It is a city subsidy. Meanwhile, it is back to usual downtown, with merchants and their employees playing a game they are very familiar with the park ing shufe: moving their vehicles from one Main Street space to another every two hours to avoid tickets. Customers regularly nd it is easier to locate open parking spaces at the malls. STATE STREET GARAGE PASSES MILESTONE In the meantime, the city is preparing to build another parking garage downtown. It is com pelled to have it nished by the end of Decem ber next year according to a contract with the developer of Pineapple Square, a downtown project. The garage wil l have a minimum of 300 public spaces. The project will be one of mixed use, with retail on the ground oor of the struc ture and possibly condominiums on the higher levels. The commissioners received an update on the plans following Lyons presen tation of the guiding principles. City Planner Steve Stancel said $7.2 million has been set aside to build the structure, which could include up to 14,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Commission ers expressed a desire to have tenants or own ers in the space when the building is nished. They are still smarting from the extra year of delay it took to ge t somebody into the ground Mark Lyons (left), the citys parking division manager, and Chris Gallagher, chairman of the Parking Advisory Board, speak with the City Commission on June 3. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 26


oor space at the P alm Avenue garage. Lou ies Modern and The Francis, a restaurant and banquet space, respectively, opened in early April. The State Street project is using a softer approach to design than normal. City com missioners demanded the public and other stakeholders have a voice in the design and orientation of the building. A public meeting in March led the designers to believe a 20-footwide sidewalk is preferable to a 12-foot walk way around the structure, for example. The architectural team then asked the commis sioners their preferences for the mix of uses for the nal design. Should private develop ers take over the upper stories to build con dominiums? How tall should the building be? Where should the el evator be? How can the The red balloon on the map shows the general area where the Sarasota Farmers Market is set up on Saturdays. Image from Google Maps Mayor Shannon Snyder. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 27


structure facilitate the weekly Farmers Mar ket? We dont want to talk about the architecture yet, said Rebecca Smith, president of AD Morgan Construction. Her rm was selected to design and build the project. Were holding the reins back so each element is deliberative. That will maximize exibility into the process as long as possible, she added. Pineapple Square developers also plan to build condominiums downtown. Therefore, Chapman asked, How does this interface with Pineapple Squares plans? We will be competing with the project that requires us to build this. Stancel replied, I dont know. SURFACE LOT UNDER THE HAMMER Meanwhile, at the same City Commission meeting, the board agreed to push forward with an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) over land in the Rosemary District that includes a surface parking lot. Part of the property includes the old commu nity garden on Sixth Street by the former box ing club. T he city kicked the gardeners out, thinking it would build affordable housing on the spot. But the Great Recession intervened, and the gardeners were never asked back. The other part of the property lies across the alley, facing Fifth Street; it is an odd-shaped lot used for parking. Commissioners want to see the two proper ties developed to spark activity in the Rose mary area. The ITN would allow private rms to weigh what would be economically feasible on the property and then present their propos als to the city. Folks would get 90 days to prepare their plans, said city Purchasing Manager Mary Tucker. Theyd send them to a selection committee, and short-listed folks would get to make a pitch [to the committee]. The nal ist would appear before the City Commission to seek formal approval of a purchase and sales contract. Allan Friedman, a representative of the Rose mary District Association, said he supported the plan, and he believed it would serve as a catalyst and gateway to the district. It will add a great incentive fo r other development. % They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 28


The Sarasota County Commission this week gave a unanimous thumbs-up to a proposal to redevelop a mostly abandoned shopping center right across South Tamiami Trail from Westeld Sarasota Square mall. The property in question sits to the southwest of U.S. 41 and to the east of Vamo Road; the triangular parcel adds up to just over 13 acres of land. Most passers by probably know it from the Dennys situ ated in the parking lot, or from the Linens n Things that dominated the plaza before being shuttered years ago. The proposed redevelopment wont change the footprint of the L-shaped building itself. Todd Mathes the director of development for Benderson Development, the company steering the project tells The Sarasota News Leader the com pany intends to reuse a bunch of that exist ing building, while making a big invest ment in upgrading the structures aesthetics. An engineers drawings show the plan for the new Pelican Plaza. Image courtesy of Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION GIVES UNANIMOUS APPROVAL TO A REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR A SOUTH TRAIL SHOPPING COMPLEX NEW LOOK FOR A SAD CENTER After the Linens n Things left its almost a blight on that corner. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


A zoning map shows the location of Pelican Plaza (in pale blue) and the surrounding area, which has considerable residential multi-family housing (RMF). Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 30


An aerial image shows the location of the Pelican Plaza shopping center. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 31


Its still not clear exactly what types of busi nesses will eventually call the shopping cen ter home. Mathes says a number of existing retail tenants in Bendersons other shopping centers are very excited about the prospect of opening up in the redesigned building, but the companys still working to identify the best options. Were trying to make the right decision about what would be the right t for that community, he says. One major change included in Bendersons Binding Development Concept Plan, present ed to the County Commission Wednesday, June 5, would be the construction of a storm water vault to replace the pond dug into the propertys northern corner. Large concrete underground chambers is how Mathes de scribes such vaults, which he says have been used in several other Benderson projects. The vaults create an empty space on top of which you would build. Mathes told the commission that Bendersons work on the plan began 50 weeks ago, and it has already included a round of neighborhood meetings with residents of Pelican Cove, the 75-acre gated community just across Vamo Road from the shopping center. The Pelican Cove Condominium Association supports the project, crediting Benderson for listening to residents concerns about buffers along Vamo and the changes to the stormwater pond. Questions from the commissioners mostly re volved around the con struction of that storm water vault, as well as a requested variance that would allow Benderson to skip a require ment to build a sidewalk along U.S. 41 and another variance to allow the shopping center structure to rise 5 feet higher than the zoning code normally would allow. Mathes told the commission that the height change is need ed to upgrade the aesthetics of the building. Benderson wants to build a screen wall to hide eyesores such as air conditioning units. Commissioner Christine Robinson, who drives by the empty center twice a day, said the prop erty had deteriorated and that she supported the Benderson proposal. After the Linens n Things left its almost a blight on that corner, she said, and Im hoping it improves the com munity as a whole. Her friends, she added, hate driving by it as much as I do. She recalled hearing concerns about the ugly vacant space from Pelican Cove neighbors. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who asked the most pointed questions about the storm water plans as well as the sidewalk variance, eventually voiced support for the project, too. This site right now is a sad one, she said. It doesnt speak well of the Pelican Cove com munity. My hope is that the job you do with the drain age modications will not prove negative to Clower Creek, she said. I am putting a lot of trust with Benderson and our staff in that regard. % Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 32


The cranes are coming back. Tom Mannausas The Jewel is approved and going up 18 stories. And John Meshads One Palm is head ed for a nal round of adjustments by the Sarasota City Planning Board on June 12. Meshad wants to build a 10-story tower on the northeast corner at the intersection of Palm Ave nue and Charles Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. Preliminary plans indicate the structure will house a 148-room hotel, 147 condominium units and 6,000 feet o f retail space slated to become a restaurant on the ground oor. The building wo uld face the Church of the Redeem er across Palm Avenue. The property is currently open space. The street address is 240 S. Pineapple. Almo st all authorizations for construction down town require only administrative approval by the City of Sarasota staff. However, adjustments, spe cial exceptions and variances from the building codes do r equire ex amination and specic approval The Jewel will be built at the corner of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel ONE PALM DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR DOWNTOWN SARASOTA HEADED TO THE SARASOTA PLANNING BOARD FOR DISCUSSION CRANES COMING BACK By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


by the Planning Board, or in certain cases the City Commission. One Palm needs three adjustments to the zoning codes, two for the use of drainage easements and one to save a grand Live Oak tree. The Planning Board has just four members following the election last month of former member Susan Chapman to the Sarasota City Commission. The building design cannot be completed until the adjustments are approved. The provision to save the tree, for example, would call for the buildings higher stories to cantilever over the oak. The actual story at which the building cantilevers over the tree canopy may also change (or be elimi nated) prior to nal approval, the staff evaluation says. Any cantilever over the tree canopy will re quire certication by [a] city-approved certied ar borist or Florida registered landscape architect that it will not negatively impact the health or growth of the tree. The building would complete the development of the block, which is bound by Palm Avenue, Ringling Bou levard, Pineapple Avenue and McAnsh Square. % John Meshads One Palm complex is planned as a 10-story tower at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy City of Sarasota A sign advertises The Jewel on the property where it will be built in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 34


To mix sports m etaphors: It was not a slam dunk, but the Sarasota County Commission did finally vote unanimously on June 4 to approve a funding guarantee letter required as part of the effort to land the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park. The letter says simply that the county will support the organiza tion of the [champion ships] up to the level of $2,782,000. Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Low ery pointed out that the Manatee County Com mission unanimously approved the same type of letter at its meeting earlier in the day. What the letters mean is that Sarasota County and Manatee County together guarantee that if th e region lands the 2017 World Rowing Championships bid, the county governments will cover any cost over runs up to the specied monetary level. County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Carolyn Mason present the top trophy to Sarasota Crew at the conclusion of a rowing regatta at Benderson Park in 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel AFTER RECEIVING ASSURANCES THAT THE ACTION WOULD NOT HINDER SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES A LETTER GUARANTEEING IT WILL HELP COVER ANY WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS COST OVERRUNS ANOTHER ROWING BID CHECKMARK Isnt that going to be a problem in getting sponsors? Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


The countys Touris m Development Council, which Commissioner Nora Patterson chairs, was caught by surprise by the request for the letter when it learned of it during a May 16 meeting. At that time, both Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, and Paul Blackketter, president of Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) which manages events at Benderson Park ex plained that FISA, the international rowing federation, is used to governments, not pri vate entities, hosting major events. Therefore, FISA representatives had requested that Sara sota and Manatee counties make it clear they will cover any remaining expenses associated with the World Rowing Championships if rev enue from the event does not pay for every thing. A June memo from Lowery to the County Commission says that Visit Sarasota County conservatively estimates the economic im pact of hosting the rowing event would be $12,970,000 in todays market given the expected direct spending by participants and attendees. The tourism ofces conservative estimate for the total regional economic im pact is $24,615,000, the memo adds. Those figures do not include the value of marketing the championships to more than 130 million international television viewers (the last four days of competition are tele vised worldwide, the memo notes); the value of marketing Benderson Park and Sarasota County at all FISA events between 2013 and the 2017 World Championships; the economic impact of Benderson Park hosting the 2016 World Cup Games, which typically is included in the award of the championships; and the economic impact of teams from around the Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery addresses the County Commission in Venice on June 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel Paul Blackketter addresses the crowd celebrat ing the completion of the North Cattlemen Road extension during a ceremony on May 24 at Benderson Park. The extension provides motorists with a new north-south alternative to Interstate 75 from University Parkway to Fruitville Road and complements other im provements at the park. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 36


United States and other parts of the world coming to Benderson Park for general train ing, including those preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. However, Patterson raised a new concern during the County Commission discussion. According to the documentation provided with the agenda item, she said, part of what were signing will cause us to have to remove or cover any commercial signage during the Championship meets. Isnt that going to be a problem in getting sponsors? Patterson added that she had been told an other $10 million to $20 million is needed to complete all the planned facilities at Bender son Park, so isnt this going to put a big im pediment in our path? Black ketter explained that the names of cor porate sponsors on buildings or other facili ties would have to be covered only if those sponsors were not also supporting the World Championships. The intent, he pointed out, is to create a clean site. The FISA stipulation motivates corpo rate sponsors to support the World Champi onships, he added. It is standard operating procedure for FISA, he noted. Moreover, part of the documentation the local entities would receive from FISA if the region wins the bid for the championships would al low Benderson Park to sign four major corpo rate sponsors for the event, he said. The crowd spills out of a tent at Benderson Park during the May 24 celebration of the extension of North Cattlemen Road. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 37


A letter to the County Commission from the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates offers de tails of funding plans for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 38


SANCAs attorn eys did review the language in the other agreements that will be part of the package for the championships, Blackketter added. When Patterson asked whether the County Attorneys Ofce also had reviewed the mate rials, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh said, I dont think weve been involved in that issue at the same level. As I understand it, SAN CA will be executing those instruments with FISA. DeMarsh then sought to clarify Pattersons concern: The question is, do you get to ne gotiate any of the terms? The answer is, prob ably not, he added with a chuckle. Lowery said she had claried with FISA rep resentatives that the hosts would get specic commercial rights if they were awarded the bid. The host for the 2017 World Championships will be named in early September in South Ko rea. All right, Im counting on you, Patterson told Lowery. At that point, Sarasota County Clerk of Court Karen Rushing poin ted out, Theres a lot of activity going on now. As you struggle with this discussion about something as fairly simple as signage, you can imagine what Im thinking, in terms of who will pay for what and how Clerk of Courts staff will be able to audit the funding-related materials. Rushing added, I would just encourage the board to be real specic as you move forward with this documentation to make sure every thing is done correctly. Lowery sought to reassure Rushing: We will be sure to include your ofce in all discus sions about budgets and auditing require ments laid out by FISA. As Patterson continued to raise concerns, Blackketter told her, We had a lot of discus sion with FISA representatives regarding the sponsorships. SANCA ofcials spent almost an entire day with FISA staff, he pointed out, going over all the budget details and who will be responsible for what. We feel very condent that we are able to execute this and meet our goals and obliga tions, Blackketter added. Commissioner Joe Barbetta made the motion to approve the letter to FISA. Commissioner Christine Robinson seconded it. % For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Tonya Herschberger & Linda KeefeAfter a terrible accident I required surgery. Tonya shared with me that Dr. Koval was responsible for her beautiful smile. She gave me hope and direction. Im so grateful to Dr, Koval. Now I have a smile that I love to share with everyone. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 39


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


Partnering with the Toronto-based foundation Daughters for Life, New College of Florida plans to offer up to 10 full-ride scholarships to young Middle Eastern women from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon starting in 2014. The foundation was created by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who lost three daughters to an Israeli tank attack during the Intifada resistance in 2009. His response was a book: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctors Jour ney New College becomes the third organization of higher e ducation to participate in the sc holarship plan. Trent University in Toronto and Tufts University in Boston have been joined by New College. Abeulaish attended a press conference this week, via Skype, with New College President Donal OShea and Longboat Key philanthro pist Dan Boxer. Boxer invited Abeulaish to Sarasota earli er this year as a speaker for the Embracing our Differences celebration. I came to Sara sota and didnt expect much, said Abeulaish. But good will pre vailed to help make a difference in this w orld. (From left) 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Williams, New College President Donal OShea and Longboat philanthropist Dan Boxer announce the Daughters for Life scholarship pro gram. Photo by Stan Zimmerman NEW COLLEGE TO OFFER 10 SCHOLARSHIPS TO YOUNG MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN GIVING DAUGHTERS NEW LIFE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Education is the strongest and most effective weapon to face injustice. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish Daughters for Life Foundation


Officially th e local program will be called New College Daughters for Life Commu nity Initiative. It will provide for the tuition, fees, room, board and expenses of up to 10 qualied women. The rst group, known as Daughters for Life Scholars, will be admitted in the fall of 2014. They will meet all the aca demic requirements of other incoming fresh men, including grades and test scores; plus, they must demonstrate a prociency in En glish. The college has pledged to continue the effort as a pilot program for at least three years. The plan was ofcially announced by 12 th Judicial Circuit Judge Charles Williams on May 24 at the New College commencement. Peace means listening and learning about both sides and each others cultures and dif ferences, and we hope that everyone will change and grow in their understanding, Wil liams said. Williams an d Box will serve on a steering com mittee to organize community support for the program, including identication of host fam ilies and fundraising. Abuelaish told those attending the press con ference held at New College, Education is the strongest and most effective weapon to face injustice. We need to strengthen the women and recognize their suffering and recognize the suffering of others. We should not turn a deaf ear or blind eyes. He hopes the Daughters for Life scholars will return to their homelands and work in their communities. Abeulaish was born in Gaza; he became the only Palestinian physician granted privileges to work in an Israeli hospital, where he served as an obstetrician-gynecologist. His book has been translated into 17 languages. Moreover, he has been nominated three times including this year for the Nobel Peace Prize. % Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Photo by Jacob Ste vens via Wikimedia Commons Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish speaks from his ofce in Toronto, Canada, via Skype. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 42


Martha Smit h saw sales at her Siesta Village shop, Le Grand Bisou Caribbean Boutique drop from $1,600 a day to $195 a day in one week after a Sarasota County Code Enforce ment ofcer told her it was a violation of the local zoning code to display clothes on racks outside the shop. I spent a lot of mon ey on the mannequins and certainly my in ventory, Smith told about 30 people Tues day morning, June 4, at the regular m eeting o f the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA). And right now [my store] looks like a sardine can. James Ritter of Siesta Village Outtters add ed that he saw his sales drop 90 percent the day after a Code Enforcement ofcer said he had to stop displaying his sports rental equip ment outside. For us, having some thing that just shows the customer that were open is crucial, he told the SKVA mem bers. Le Grand Bisou is located in Siesta Center, at 5129 Ocean Blvd. Photos by Rachel Hackney SIESTA VILLAGE BUSINESS OWNERS AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER ON MODIFYING COUNTY REGULATIONS TO ALLOW THEM GREATER MARKETING OPTIONS ON THE KEY BUSINESS VERSUS THE RULES We need a majority. We are a democracy. Cheryl Gaddie President Siesta Key Village Association By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


As a res ult of Smiths, Ritters and others concerns about the stipulations in the Sies ta Key Overlay District the county zoning code that governs businesses on Siesta Key a group of Siesta Village business owners has begun an initiative they hope will lead to changes in that code and result in improved marketing options. Alon g with Smith and Ritters complaints, Jeff Madden, owner of Beach Bites at 217 Avenida Madera and an SKVA board mem ber took the opportunity during the SKVA meeting to criticize a county regulation that prevents businesses from soliciting at Siesta Public Beac h. Siesta Village Outtters is at 5200 Ocean Blvd., close to The Broken Egg. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 44


SKVA ofcers said that while they are not in volved at all in enforcement of the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD), they would work with the business owners to help them deter mine whether changes can be made in it. The SKOD was enacted to ensure Siesta Vil lage remains attractive to tourists, said Rus sell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck and Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar and past president of the SKVA. Additionally, the goal is to have all businesses on the same playing eld, he noted. Any modications of the SKOD would have to be approved by the Sarasota County Commis sion, Matthes pointed out. By mid-afternoon on June 4, Smith told The Sarasota News Leader she already had about six pe ople willing to serve on an SKVA com mittee with her to try to change portions of the SKOD. By early next week, she said, her goal is to set a date for the committees rst meeting. RAISING AWARENESS On May 21, at the SKVAs request, Sarasota County Zoning and Code Enforcement staff held a meeting with Siesta Village business owners to educate them about the many fac ets of the SKOD. Kay Kouvatsos, vice president of the SKVA, pointed out during that organizations June 4 meeting that she had opened that information al session by telling everyone, None of this is new. The SKOD was imple mented in 2001, Beach Bites opened in September 2012 in the space formerly occupied by Annas Deli in Siesta Village. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 45


she added, and its b een out there consistent ly. However, many of the newer business owners in Siesta Village were unaware of its provi sions, added Kouvatsos, who is co-owner of Village Caf on Ocean Boulevard. Smith was one of those people caught un aware of the prohibition against having mer chandise outside a shop. When she opened her business on Nov. 24, 2012 in Siesta Center, Smith told The Sarasota News Leader a person she declined to iden tify but someone who I thought would be absolutely 100 percent sure of the answer said she could put racks with clothing in the area covered by the roof overhang above her shop as long as no one comp lains. Duri ng the SKVA meeting, she pointed out that she had just been made aware of the SKOD prohibition on such action. County Code Enforcement Ofcer John Lally told the SKVA members he had spent all of June 3 writing citations for businesses with merchandise outside their doors. The only vi olator he knew of he had not cited was one he had not discovered until late that day. Ritter protested that prior to the 8:30 a.m. start of the SKVA meeting, he already had spotted shop owners with items outside again. We cant stop them from doing it, responded SKVA President Cheryl Gaddie, owner of CG Designs. On a different point, Madden said he thought he unders tood during the May 21 session that Visitors bike and walk in Siesta Village on a cloudy morning earlier this week. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 46


waving signs to draw people to specic busi nesses is legal anywhere in the county. I g ured maybe the beach might be in the county, he continued, so I sent my sign waver out to [Siesta Public Beach], and my phone lit up and I had a great day, probably the best day Ive ever had. He opened Beach Bites in late September 2012. Then, on the third day of the promotion, when he was waving the sign on the beach, a deputy informed him that it was not legal, Madden said that he could be arrested for soliciting. My question is, if its not soliciting over here [in the Village], how can it be soliciting [at the beach]? he added. I would have never gone out there if I wasnt told at the [May 21] meeting that it was acceptable anywhere in the county. Then the deputy explained to him that the beach has its own rules, Madden continued. Chris McGregor, a Sheriffs Ofce deputy at tending the meeting, responded that County Ordinance 90-33 prohibits solicitation of busi ness in county parks and at county beaches. Code Enforcement staff deals with situations on private property, McGregor added, while deputies enforce the county ordinances at the beach. Lally said the County Attorneys Office is working on straightening out language in the zoning code to make it clear where sign wav ing for businesses is allowed. The current county zoning chief has been interpreting the code to restrict sign waving to the business property or to the shopping center site where a business is located, he pointed out. You can not ban sign wavers, Lally added, but you can regulate them. Im not an attorney, Madden responded, but Im going to have to get one. I think, if I re member the First Amendment, you cant reg ulate free speech. Madden added, Now does the county want to go through a legal battle, an expensive legal battle, to ght over free speech? Lally replied that the Florida Supreme Court had upheld a City of Lakeland ordinance that regulates where sign waving is allowed. He suggested Madden check with Donna Thomp son, the countys assistant zoning administra tor, to clarify what is and is not allowed in Sarasota County. Maura Thompson, a representative of Jon nys Beach Rides, pointed out that drivers for the service used to pass out their cards at the public beach, but deputies told them to stop. Likewise, she said, I was sitting out there one day, waiting for customers, and I got told [by a deputy] to leave because that was soliciting. McGregor pointed out that deputies allow the drivers to drop off and pick up customers who are using the service; however, the driv ers cannot randomly drive through the beach parking lot as a means of advertising the busi ness. Regarding cards prom oting the business: Mc Gregor suggested Thompson check with the beach concessionaire, who rents space from the county. He had seen the rm allow busi nesses to put out cards just in the space the rm rents from the cou nty, Mc Gregor add ed. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 47


PAST EXPERIENCE As an e xample of how the SKOD can be changed, Matthes explained that he had worked with county zoning ofcials and the County Commission a couple of years ago on the inclusion of a new measure in the code to regulate the placement of newspapers in modules on the island. That initiative was de signed to beautify the key. If a committee working to change the SKODs provisions about outdoor merchandise dis plays can win over the business owners as well as the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and the Siesta Key Association which rep resents island residents then the County Commission would change the ordinance, Matthes pointed out. We need a majority, Gaddie added. We are a democracy Thats great, Smith said. In the meantime, its severely impacted my business cause people think Im closed now. Mark Smith of Smith Architects, a past Cham ber chairman and SKVA president, suggested Smith look into pulling temporary use permits (TUPs); the county Zoning Ofce can issue those to a business owner four times a year, and they can be used for outdoor displays. Matthes noted each TUP is good for nine con secutive days. Lally added that he thought the cost was $30 to $40 per TUP. If Im not allowed to put anything outside, Ritter replied, I might as well shut my busi ness down, and I dont believe thats fair. We understand that, Gaddie told him. We will do what we can to help you. % 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 June 7, 2013 Page 48


Sarasota Coun tys property tax values have risen 3.4 percent from 2012, with the City of North Port showing the highest increase in values since last year, at 5.34 percent, accord ing to preliminary taxable values released by the Sarasota County Property Appraisers Of ce. The total estimated taxable value of county property is $40,459,591,691, according to the gures. County property values declined almost 40 percent over the period following the start of the recession in 2007. Last year, the nal gure for Sarasota County was down 1.1 percent from 2011. The Proper ty Appraisers Ofce by law must release the nal gure no later than July 1 every year. As of early February, state budget staff had estimated Sarasota County would see an in crease of 2.5 percent for 2013. In December 2012, the state projection was for a 0.7 percent rise in pro perty values for this year; for Fiscal Year 2015, the estimate was for a 3.1 percent increase; and by FY 2018, the December pro jections showed, the county should see a 5.1 percent hike. According to a memo sent to the County Com mission on June 4 by Karen Fratangelo, a s cal consultant in the countys Ofce of Fi nancial Management, the county will have an additional $4.2 million in revenue, assuming the commissioners maintain at millage rates. During the boards last budget workshop on May 14 the commissioners made it clear they did not intend to raise millage rates for the 2014 scal year, which begins Oct. 1. Fratange lo told the commissioners in her memo that the higher property values will mean an increase of $3.5 million for the countys general fund; (we originally esti mated a $1.1 [million] increase using state projections) Overall Sarasota County property tax values are up 3.4 percent over last year. Photo by Norman Schimmel PROPERTY TAX VALUES UP 3.4 PERCENT IN THE COUNTY NEWS BRIEFS


The commissio n will hold its next budget workshop on June 12, when it will discuss the operating budget for FY 2014. The other preliminary taxable values for Sara sota County are as follows: Sarasota Coun ty School Board: up 4.48 per cent over the 2012 gure, with a total value of $43,601,207,507. City of S ara sota: up 3.74 percent, with a to tal value of $7,131,631,602. City of Venice: up 2.84 percent, with a total value of $2,775,761,673. Town of Longboat Key: up 2.28 percent, with a total value of $3,379,484,986. The preliminary taxable value of property in North Port is $2,387,070,645. Rachel Brown Hackney As of May 31, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight began serving on the Board of Direc tors of The Florida Prescription Drug Monitor ing Program (PDMP) Foundation, the Sheriffs Ofce has announced. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprot group that operates as a direct support organization for the Florida Department of Health, a news release says. The foundations goal is to raise private funding to operate the PDMP, which requires $500,000 annually, the release adds. In a letter announcing Knights appointment, Florida Surgeon General and Secretary John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS, states, We need people like you to donate time, energy, and experience to aid in reducing the scope of pre scription drug abuse and diversion in Florida. Since 2009, Knight has worked to crack down on the prescription drug problem, launching a special investigative unit to address these crimes and forming a community partnership with medical professionals to combat this cri sis, the release points out. Those activities include promoting the creation of Floridas PDMP and advocating its widespread use, the release adds. Sheriff Tom Knight/Contributed photo SHERIFF KNIGHT APPOINTED TO PDMP FOUNDATION BOARD The foun dation consists of a board of direc tors appointed by the Florida state surgeon general, plus community and business lead ers working to save lives by fundraising for the PMDP to combat the deadly consequences of drug abuse and diversion, the release says. For more on the foundation, visit www.pd Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 50


Sarasota Count y residents and visitors are invited the World Oceans Day Family Festi val from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Park way, Sarasota, the county has announced. This years event will feature games and crafts focused on green sustainable practices, ma rine science and conservation by Mote and other local organizations, a county news re lease says. During the festival, Sarasota County environ mental ofcials, along with members of the Science and Environmental Council (SEC), will promote their Be Floridian campaign, which encourages the protection of the areas waterways, bays and beaches, the release notes. Visitors also can learn best practic es for lawn c are during the summer to help protect some of our most precious natural re sources, it says. World Oceans Day was created in 1992 at the Earth Summit and declared a holiday by the United Nations in 2009. Ofcial sponsors of World Oceans Day are the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, The Ocean Project, Dr. Seuss and Random House Childrens Books, the re lease continues. The event is free with admission to Mote Aquarium. Admission is $19 for adults; $18 for seniors over 65; $14 for children ages 4-12; and free for youngsters ages 3 and younger. Mote members also will be admitted free. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1). PUBLIC INVITED TO WORLD OCEANS DAY FAMILY FESTIVAL JUNE 8 Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 51


Nine local organizations have received grants to pursue projects designed to improve water quality in Sarasota Bay. Photo by Norman Schimmel The Sarasota Ba y Estuary Program (SBEP) has awarded grants to nine local organizations as part of the 2013 Bay Partners Grant Pro gram, the organization has announced. The fully funded projects include those from Anna Maria Elementary School, Ballard Glob al Studies Magnet School, New College of Florida, Plymouth Harbor and Save Our Sea birds, a news release says. The partially fund ed projects include those of Keep Manatee SBEP ANNOUNCES 2013 BAY PARTNERS GRANT RECIPIENTS Beautiful, Mote Marine Laboratory, Natures Academy and Sarasota Audubon Society. Since 2003, the SBEP has awarded nearly $232,000 in Bay Partners Grants to support 113 organizations, the release adds. A sub committee with the SBEP Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) selects the recipients. The next deadline for submitting grant applica tions is March 1, 2014. Visit to learn more about the Bay Partners Grant Program. The May 31 story City embarks on vision ary zoning exercise contained an error. Euclidian zoning was not named after the Greek mathematician. It was named for the city of Euclid, OH, following a 1926 U.S. Supreme Court decision which laid the foundation for legal land-use controls in the United States. CORRECTION Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 52


In recogn ition of World Elder Abuse Aware ness Day, the Community Alliance of Sarasota Stakeholders in Aging Consortium will host its second annual free educational forum on elder fraud and exploitation prevention on Friday, June 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Salvation Army Fellowship Hall, 1701 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. This years event will focus on educating community members and professionals who work with older adults about the reality of el der fraud and exploitation, a news release says. Among the topics to be presented are the fol lowing: how to identify potential abuse; what to do when nancial abuse is suspected; avail able resources; the legal process of handling fraud and exploitation cases; key elements in exploitation cases; and tips from community organizations dedicated to elder abuse and ex ploitation. Speakers will include community experts from law enforcement, the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services Program, the State Attor neys Ofce, law rms specializing in seniors issues and several local organizations that ad vocate for the safety and well being of older adults, the release adds. Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, the release points out. That is only part of the picture. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect re ported, as many as ve cases go unreported, it adds. The MetLi fe Mature Market Institute esti mates the cost of nancial abuse of the elder ly is at least $2.9 billion a year, a number that may be gr o ssly underestimated, the release continues. Additionally, it is believed that se niors lose an average of $145,000 each year from fraud committed by family, friends, care givers and others. Remember, elder abuse can happen to any one and can occur anywhere in a persons own home, in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, even in hospitals, said Anne Rid ings, director of the Guardianship Services in Sarasota at Lutheran Services Florida, in the release. It affects elders across all socioeconomic groups, cultures and races. Based on available information, women, elders who are home bound or isolated and individuals ages 80 and older are most at risk, Ridings added in the release. Perhaps most surprising is that the mistreat ment is usually perpetrated by the individuals own family members, the release points out. If you suspect elder abuse, report it, Ridings said in the release. Act to protect seniors by bringing suspected abuse to the attention of the appropriate authorities. You do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate your concerns and suspicions. Even if it is determined no crime has been committed, counseling or other services may be suggested. To report suspected abuse, contact the 24-hour toll-free hotline: 1-800-96ABUSE. A continen tal breakfast and a boxed lunch will be provided for registered attendees at the forum. Space is limited. To register, vis it www.elderexploitationsrq2013.eventbrite. com contact Raquel Sikes at Raquel_sikes@ doh.state. .us or call 861-2575. FREE EDUCATIONAL EVENT SET ON ELDER FRAUD AND EXPLOITATION Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 53


Three local gr oups the ACLU of Saraso ta, Florida Veterans for Common Sense and the Sarasota Chalk Festival will host their second Flag Day celebration on June 14 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Five Points Park in down town Sarasota. The goal is simply to celebrate our ag and the values for which it stands, a news release says. It is strictly non-political, non-partisan and a way to bring our community together each year. Five Points Park is located in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel FLAG DAY CELEBRATION PLANNED IN FIVE POINTS PARK The observance w ill feature live music, honor guards from the Sarasota Police Department and Vietnam Veterans Group, proclamations from the City of Sarasota and Sarasota Coun ty, a childrens chalk drawing contest (for the best American ag), the distribution of free ags, Tom Paine (in Colonial attire) walking around chatting with the attendees, a couple of brief speeches, face painting and perfor mances by a youth chorus and local magicians. Everyone is invited to join us, the release says. The event is free. Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 54


In conjunction with numerous community partners, the City of Sarasota has launched a teen self-awareness and improvement pro gram known as the Honorable Alliance for Reclaiming Destiny: North Sarasota Origi nal Chapter (HARD:NOC), the city has an nounced. A small group of young men and women, ages 13-15, were selected to participate in a year long pilot program; it will focus on exposing them to various opportunities as well as on self-improvement, including character build ing, a news release says. An orientation ceremony was held May 30 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC) on 34 th Street to ofcially induct the participants into the program. Lonnetta M. Gaines, a local writer, dancer, artist and mo tivational speaker, addressed the group, the release notes. This is a comprehensive program, Jerry Fo gle, RLTCC manager, said in the release. We want our kids to reach their full potential. Through HARD:NOC, we want to broaden their view and let them know theres no limit to what they can do or become. The 16 participants will meet twice a week for approximately two hours, with the boys and girls in separate groups, the release continues. The curriculum will cover an array of topics, with the help of community partners, and it will include round-table discussions and eld trips. We will begin with classroom expectations, rules and code of conduct. Then, we will move through sessions in avoiding conict, inter personal co mmunication, health and person al safety, Brunie Neira, the recreational spe cialist coordinating the program, said in the release. Well go over healthy relationships, self esteem, character building, etiquette, ta ble manners, being a good citizen, volunteer ism, responsibility and well wrap up with art appreciation, Neira added. Many aspects of the HARD:NOC curriculum are already taught by various nonprot orga nizations throughout the Sarasota communi ty, the release points out. Each week a dif ferent community partner will participate in HARD:NOC by providing a lecture, roundta ble discussion or eld trip. For example, the Sheriffs Activity League of Sarasota will take the students to an obstacle course to teach them about team building, the Sarasota Liter acy Council will discuss interpersonal com munication and We R 4 Kids will present an anti-bullying lesson, the release continues. Plans also are in the works for a ne dining excursion in downtown Sarasota to take the students out of their comfort zone, expose them to a new experience and build their self condence, it adds. A l ot of agencies and organizations in the area already have impressive teen programs that are specic to one topic, City Manag er Tom Barwin said in the release. With HARD:NOC, were compiling these assets in a comprehensive manner. This is something new for the city and the community. Im opti mistic well enrich some young lives and make them realize they have choices available and then become mentors themselves, he added in the release. CITY LAUNCHES TEEN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 55


The participa nts were required to write essays about why they wanted to be in the program and what they would like to change about their lives, the release notes. A panel compris ing representatives of the citys community partners reviewed the applications, it adds. The children selected are excited to be a part of this pilot program, Vice Mayor Willie Shaw said in the release. Our goal is for them to graduate from the program and pass their new knowledge and experiences to other teenag ers in the North Sarasota community. HARD:N OC is based on a similar program in High Point, NC, which City of Sarasota lead ers visited last year to learn about a success ful community policing program that helped residents take back their neighborhoods, the release points out. The Citys partners with HARD:NOC are Brotherhood of Men; Brothers & Sisters Doing the Right Thing Inc.; CARES Outreach Service Inc.; First Step; Planned Parenthood (with SPARCC and The Source); Sheriffs Activity League of Sarasota; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; and We R 4 Kids. Sarasota Co unty Sheriff Tom Knight has an nounced that Maj. Kurt Hoffman, Administra tive Division Commander, has been selected to attend The Federal Bureau of Investiga tions National Academy. Participation in The FBI Academy is by in vitation only, a Sheriffs Ofce news release points out. The professional course of study serves to improve the administration of law enforcement agencies worldwide, the release adds. Its mission is to enhance the personal and professional development of leaders. Among the subjects are behavioral science, fo rensic science, understanding terrorist mind sets and communication, which are designed to prepare the ofcers for complex, dynamic and contemporary challenges, the release notes. Hoffman has a Bachelor of Arts in criminal jus tice from Saint Leo College, a Master of Science in criminal justice from International College and a Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeast ern University, the release says. A former state prosecutor, he is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Police Legal Maj. Kurt Hoffman/Contributed photo HOFFMAN SELECTED TO ATTEND FBI NATIONAL ACADEMY Advis ors Training Program and a member of the Florida Bars Labor and Employment Law, and City, County and Local Government Law sections, the release continues. In 2011 he completed the FBIs Florida Exec utive Development Seminar. Participatio n in The FBI Academy and other re spected leadership training programs is import ant to developing the professional workforce that we are committed to providing and is part of our strategy to plan for the future of the sheriffs o fce, said Knight in the release. % Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 56


The Sarasota Police De partment has arrested Sheri L. Tolbert, 32, a transient, in connection with a stabbing that occurred just after 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, near the intersection of Ninth Street and Central Avenue in Saraso ta, the Police Department has reported. Ofcers said Tolbert and another transient fe male, with a history of ghting, began arguing at approximately 6:22 p.m. at the intersection, which is across the street from the Salvation Army, according to the report. Officer Ron Dixon, the Rosemary District foot patrol ofcer, drove up on the incident in progress while he was patrolling his assigned area, the report adds. He saw the two women in the dirt alongside a fence, the report contin ues. The victim was trying to cover her face, the report says, and Dixon noted he never saw the victim t ry to ght back or throw any punches. Dixon was able to pull Tolbert off the victim without incident, the report notes. At that time, Tolbert still had the knife (a folding box-cutter) in her right hand, the report says. The victim suffered three wounds: one mi nor laceration to the head; one under the jaw, which was minor; and a deep wound about an inch long on her left bicep, the report says. She also had a very bloody and swollen left eye, according to the report. The victim was transported to Sarasota Me morial Hospital, the report adds. Tolbert has been charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadl y Weapon. The scene of a stabbing in downtown Sarasota on June 5 is marked off by police tape. Photo courte sy of the Sarasota Police Department. Inset photo: Sheri Tolbert/Contributed photo WOMAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH DOWNTOWN STABBING CRIME BLOTTER


During the Click It or Ticket campaign, which ran from May 20 to June 2, Sarasota County Sheriffs deputies wrote 441 citations to mo torists who were not wearing seat belts, the ofce has announced. The effort was part of a nationwide push to save lives by intensifying efforts to educate the public about seat belt laws and enforce them with all motorists around the clock, a press release says. Nighttime drivers and passengers continue to be among those least likely to wear seat belts, said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. 441 MOTORISTS CITED FOR NOT WEARING SEAT BELTS Consequently, they are also among those most likely to die in motor vehicle crashes and we want to prevent that. In Florida, all motorists are required to buckle up when they are riding in the front seat, and passengers under the age of 18 must use prop er seat restraints regardless of where they are seated in a vehicle. Because of high-visibility enforcement and awareness campaigns such as this, the Na tional Highway Trafc Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seat belt use reached 86 percent in 2012, the news release notes. A man w ith no known address has been ar rested by the Sarasota Police Department af ter allegedly attempting to rob three different people, the department has reported. Reggie Randall, 38, was arrested after the vic tims positively identied him in a police line up, a report says. On Thursday, May 30, at approximately 9:11 p.m., Police Department patrol ofcers re sponded to the Shell Gas Station at 1801 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, where they spoke with the three people two men and a woman who said Randall had approached them, the report continues. The victims told the ofcers that Randall started yelling and threatening them, the report adds. The victims also said Randall grabbed a gas pump hose, aimed it at them and threatened to spray gas on them, the report notes. MAN CHARGED WITH THREE COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED ROBBERY Reggie Randall/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 58


Victims told ofc er s Randall yelled, Give me everything you have, according to the report. Then he allegedly added, I dont give a f--about anything and Ill f--you up. The report notes that Randall was known as Red to one of the victims, adding that one of the victims also owed him $20 from a while ago and that perhaps the offense stemmed from that. The report says Randall continued to make verbal threats as he held the gas pump hose. The victims did not give Randall anything of value, it notes. When a Sarasota Memorial Hospital public safety ofcer pulled i nto the parking lot in her marked ve hicle, Randall allegedly said he did not care about the police and began to walk away, the report continues. Witnesses said they watched Randall head in the direction of apartments in the 2000 block of Arlington Street, the report adds. Randall was arrested after the police line up. The victim who said he owed money to Randall was able to provide police with a cell phone number for the defendant, according to the report. After ofcers located Randall, the report continues, they charged him with three counts of attempted robber y. On May 28, the Sarasota Police Tactical Nar cotics Unit, with the assistance of the Stra tegic Narcotics and Street Crimes units, ar rested Dove Giles, 39, and charged him with Armed Trafcking in Cocaine with a quantity between 28 and 200 grams, the Police Depart ment has reported. Detectives executed a search warrant at 1124 32 nd St. in Sarasota, where they seized 52.3 grams of rock cocaine, 3.8 grams of marijua na, a handgun, ammunition, drug parapher nalia and $6,259.00 in U.S. currency, a police report says. Giles is a convicted felon with a history of narcotics arrests, th e report adds. Dove Giles/Contributed photo CONVICTED FELON ARRESTED WITH COCAINE AND FIREARM Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 59


The Sarasota Co unty Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested Leslie Williams, 45, in connection with the death of her husband in the driveway of their home on Oakford Road in Sarasota on March 17, the ofce has reported. Just after midnight that day, the couples son called 911, requesting an ambulance for his father, who was lying in the driveway and not breathing, the report says. Deputies who responded along with EMS personnel found 48-year-old Christopher Williams dead at the scene, the report adds. According to witnesses, Leslie and Christo pher Williams were arguing inside the home and then went outside, the report continues. During the confrontation Leslie climbed into her 2006 GMC Yukon Denali, and Christo pher walke d towards the gate at the end of the driveway, according to the report. Inves tigators learned that Leslie put the Yukon in drive and struck the victim with the front of the vehicle, knocking him into the gate, ac cording to the report. Leslie continued driv ing, running over Christopher as she ed the scene. Deputies found Leslie and the vehicle at her mothers home shortly after the crime, the report notes. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Les lie Williams, and she turned herself in on the morning of June 5. She is charged with Ve hicular Homicide and Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Death. Williams was booked into the Sarasota County Jail, where she is being held without bond. Leslie Williams/Contributed photo A map shows the location of Oakford Road, east of Fruitville Road. Image from Google Maps WIFE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH DEATH OF HER HUSBAND Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 60


Three people were arrested on Thursday, May 30, after detectives with the Sarasota Police Departments Strategic Narcotics Unit as sisted by the Tactical and Street Crimes units conducted an undercover buy/bust opera tion in the 1000 block of North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, involving MDMA, the department has reported. The drug is commonly referred to as Ecstasy or Molly, a news release says. An undercover police detective negotiated the purchase of 1 ounce of crystalline MDMA from a female juvenile suspect, the report says, noting the drug has a street value of ap proximately $3,000. Other suspects met with an undercover detec tive in the 1000 block of North Tamiami Trail, where another subject was also involved in the transaction, the report continues. Follow ing the transaction, the subjects were arrest ed without incident, it adds. Another suspect on the scene was also arrested on an unrelat ed warrant, the report notes. The crystalline form of MDMA is part of a new trend of designer or club drug popular with teenagers and young adults, the news release points out. Some forms of this drug can b e pu rc hased from other countries on line, it notes. Other, similar types of substances include Methylone, or M1, and can be found in bath salts, the report says. Abuse and overdose could lead to serious health issues, the news release points out. Parents are urged to mon itor their childrens online activities. Those arrested follow: Devon M. Ellis, 23, of 7217 Alderwood Drive, Sarasota, who was charged with Conspiracy to Trafc in MDMA. Travis J. Pipes, 24, of Bradenton, who was charged with Conspiracy to Trafc in MDMA. Kirk A. Leach, 21, of 704 64 th Ave. East, Bra denton, who had an outstanding warrant for Driving W hile License Suspended. % A bag with MDMA. Contributed photo Travis Pipes/Contributed photo Devon Ellis/Contributed photo Kirk Leach/Contributed photo THREE ARRESTED IN SARASOTA POLICE MDMA BUST Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 61


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EDITORIAL OPINION DOUBLE, DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE EDITORIAL Europeans understand ably are somewhat dis dainful of American get-out-the-vote efforts, which normally employ a slogan along the lines of, It doesnt matter who you vote for. Just vote. In European countries, the lunatic fringe of both the Left and Right extremes of the politi cal spectrum, espousing views that range from obstructive to nihilistic, frequently elds can didates for elections. So it matters a great deal in those countries for whom a voter casts his or her ballot. While we do not have fringe groups espous ing anarchy or the destruction of our capitalist system, we do have candidates who for vari ous reasons an ax to grind, slavish devotion to incompatible ideologies, intellectual de ciency or a struggle to maintain a rm grasp of reality simply do not present good alter natives for voters seeking to ll public ofc es. And often candidates are not known well enough by voters, their idiosyncrasies not re vealed until after those candidates have taken ofce. One might argue such was the case with the recent additions to the North Port City Com mission. Two new Joined by North Port Mayor Linda Yates, who was elected in November 2010, Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco have turned their citys government on end.


commissione rs Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco were elected in the general elec tion last November. Their mien throughout the campaign could not have given an impar tial observer any expectation of their behavior after they took ofce in December. Joined by North Port Mayor Linda Yates, who was elected in November 2010, the three wom en have turned their citys government on end. No act better illustrates this fundamental shift in rational governance than the new majoritys handling of North Ports joint ownership of Warm Mineral Springs with Sarasota County. The county and North Port decided in 2010 to jointly purchase Warm Mineral Springs for $5.5 million, and in July 2010, the two commis sions agreed unanimously to pursue efforts to secure permanent management of the springs and proceed with its development. The sale of the springs to the county and city was nal ized in December 2010, around the time that Yates joined the North Port Commission. Fast-forward two years, and Yates, now joined by Cook and DiFranco, put the brakes on any effort to secure permanent management or to develop the springs as a tourism destination. In December 2012, the three voted instead to sell the citys share of the springs, effectively ending the partnership with Sarasota County. The county responded by making a good-faith offer to purchase North Ports share for $2 million, prov ided that the city de-annexed the property so the county could proceed with planning without interference from the city. The city rejected that offer out of hand, and it declined to even make a counteroffer. The North Port Commission also rebuffed efforts by the county to move forward with negotiating a new contract for an operator for the springs; the contract with the current operator, Cypress Lending, expires at the end of June. Finally, the city and county came to the ne gotiating table, in compliance with state law that spells out the steps needed to be taken in conict resolution. In an all-day session on April 17, guided by a facilitator, the two local government bodies at last agreed that they needed to proceed with negotiations for a new operator of the springs. This decision was reached because DiFranco nally sided with Vice Mayor Jim Blucher and Commis sioner Tom Jones, leaving Yates and Cook in the minority. The county was tasked with the responsibility of drafting an interlocal agree ment that would memorialize the agreements between the two commissions. Unfortunately, about 5:30 the next morning, DiFranco sent an email to the North Port city manager announcing her decision to reverse her vote. That email was never brought up in the next meeting of th e North Port Commis Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 64


sion, so the C ounty Commission voted to pro ceed with the drafting of the interlocal agree ment. Yet the North Port Commission has not yet formally reviewed or acted upon that agree ment. That discussion is set for June 10. None theless, based on previous actions, it appears the city and county are at an impasse that ul timately will have to be resolved in court. On May 28, the North Port Commission sur prisingly voted to rescind its December 2012 motion to sell its half of the property. The commission also voted to proceed unilater ally with negotiating a one-year extension of Cypress Lendings contract, and it offered to buy the countys share of the springs. Understandably taken aback, the County Commission voted in its meeting on June 3 not to sell its share of the springs. Moreover, it formally objected to North Ports intent to negotiate unilaterally with Cypress Lending, in violation of both the ownership agreement and the countys purchasing standards, which require competitive bidding. So now we see the harm that can come when voters care less about whom they vote for and just vote. Three commissioners stopped dead in its track the cooperative effort by the city and county to secure long-term management and development of the springs. For six mon ths the two governments have wasted many hours and untold dollars in an effort to nd a solution to the impasse. In a move that dees credulity, the three North Port commissioners effectively proclaimed, Never mind! Make no mistake, however: The intransi gence of these three commissioners is not at an end. Yates, Cook and DiFranco appear ready to negotiate a solution to the conict between the city and the county as long as the county agrees wholeheartedly with their dictates. As County Commissioner Joe Barbetta point ed out in the June 3 meeting, the two gov erning bodies agreed 10-0 in 2010 to proceed with preserving and developing the springs. Three years later, the two bodies still agree 7-3. A minority of the two commissions but, sadly, a majority of the North Port Com mission holds hostage the effective utili zation of an asset owned by the taxpayers of North Port and Sarasota County. Their ham-handed mismanagement of this en tire process has cost those taxpayers greatly, and possibly imperiled the future of a vital re source in Warm Mineral Springs. Their intran sigence and, yes, ineptitude, further provide a cautionary tale: It does matter for whom you vote! % Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 65


COMMENTARY My 5-year-old granddaughter and I wear the exact same type of play clothes sandals, shorts and T-shirts deco rated with pretty drawings and some clever words. Hers might be about Hello Kitty and mine might be from a recent exotic trip, but the concept is exactly the same: Our wardrobe is not indicative of our age. Mind you, I am not complaining. I love pre tending that picking out the right T-shirt to match my shorts is a major decision. But when did casual clothes for all ages start to reect a similar look? My mother liked to wear something on her legs called pedal pushers. These well tai lored, cotton pants came right below the knees and were usually accompanied by a colorful cotton blouse, probably covering her upper arms and coordinating perfectly with her pants. And let us not forget the platform sandals that matched and made her outt complete. A ccording to the thinking of that day, my mothers children and potential grandchil dren would not have worn an outt similar to hers for play or beach wear. Lifestyle was more structured, and the clothing styles were in sync with the times. When, and why, did clothes become more casual and more ho mogenized? I am guessing it was in the s, when many girls put aside traditional lifestyles and wanted to assert themselves and prove they were independent thinkers. T-shirts with a variety of sayings and prints became popu lar. Rock groups even began authorizing the production of T-shirts with their names and images of their album covers. Thus began the whole phenomenon. Everybody, including younger kids, began seeking out T-shirts expressing their own thoughts and/or preferences. And even though my mother was very com fortable wearing her casual attire, she prob ably would have laughed out loud to imagine herself dress ed exactly like a 5-year-old. % By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer IF CLOTHES MAKE THE PERSON ... COMMENTARY Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 66


To the editor: The slacker landlocked lot owners in a Siesta Key subdivision just gave away their access to a public canal by not showing up for a public hearing and telling the County Commission where to get off ( Trumping the comp plan May 31). How much is water access worth in regard to the value of their land? Where was the vaunt ed Siesta Key Association during this hearing? The three commissioners (Charles Hines, Joe Barbetta, Carolyn Mason) who approved this need to be raked over the coals for giving up public right of way for nothing. So much for the comp plan. This hearing needs be reopened. Rich ard C. Thomas Sara sota LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PUBLIC HEARING ON SIESTA RIGHT OF WAY NEEDS TO BE REOPENED LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone 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. 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 June 7, 2013 Page 67




ASK OTUS Dear Readers, Yes! The answer is the Little Blue Heron ( Egretta caerulea ) in its juvenile form. Many of you were puzzled by last weeks mystery bird because I had written, Search as hard as you can and you will never spot a single white feather in these Little Blue Heron photos! What I had also written was that I was presenting you with photos of the adult Little Blue Heron. You overlooked that part, didnt you? Tricky of me? No, just simply wicked! It is a bit of a mystery to ornithologists that the Little Blue Heron ... is the only heron spe cies in which rst-year birds and adults show dramatically different coloration. First-year birds are pure white, while adults are blue. Cornell Lab of Ornithology further expands on this subject under the delightful heading of COOL FACTS: An immature Little Blue Heron. File photo WITH THE MYSTERY BIRD IDENTIFIED, AN EXCITING SUMMER LIES AHEAD FOR A CERTAIN WELL-KNOWN OWL Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of natures secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to Thank you.


The Snowy Eg ret tolerates the close prox imity of white Little Blue Herons more than that of dark Little Blue Herons. A white Little Blue Heron catches more sh in the company of Snowy Egrets than when alone. This rela tionship may be one reason why young Little Blue Herons stay white for a year. Another advantage of white plumage is that young Little Blue Herons are more readily able to integrate into mixed-species ocks of white herons, thus gaining a measure of protection against predators. To show you how this lovely bird slowly morphs into its adult stage, I have gathered together the accompanying, revealing photo graphs. Whatever shade of white or blue the Little Blue comes in, nothing seems to dimin ish its appetite for frogs! I am particularly fond of the frog and wakame salad photo even though it did make me a bit hungry! Thank you for participating in the mystery bird guessing game! Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 70


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HOO RAY FOR HOLLYWOOD! Many of you may remember that my earli er identication in these pages of a mystery bird as a roc, that fabled, terrifying bird of the Tales of the Arabian Nights met with some skepticism, if not outright derision, by both journals of the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, birdings highest authorities in the country. After I submitted my manuscript, the editors actually suggested I had rocs in my head. Imagine my chagrin! My spirits having hit roc bottom, I determined to resign from the column, mothball my iPad (after feasting on as many moths as I could stuff into my craw), abandon the study of cryptozoology and devote myself to noctur nal mousi ng. Then, and to my complete surprise, there came an email from 21st Century Fox. Nor mally, I avoid foxes (as well as Bobcats, Great Horned Owls, Unidentified Flying Hawks, Snakes, Blue Jays, Monarch Butteries, Cuban Tree Frogs imagine a phobic Adrian Monk sprouting Owl feathers!), but curiosity got the better of me. I opened the email. A famous producer, whom I cannot name until our contract is roc solid, asked to option my roc article as a soon-to-be-made TV sitcom on which I would be the principal scriptwriter. Well, all my feathers uffed up to the point where I could be mistaken for the fabulous fuzzy phoenix, or even a roc! Anyway, we agreed to take a meeting (thats Hollywood parlance for talk) and that his girl would call my girl to arrange details. I guess Ne Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 75


bougepas! is my girl. Nebougepas! is French for Dont move! and she does not; nor does she speak! I actually had to answer the phone myself. I know, it comes across as a bit gauche and rube-like when you are dealing with a famous Hollywood mover and shaker like Swifty Lazar, but, hopefully, my royalties will soon pay for elocution lessons for my girl. Then Mr. Hollywoods girl sent me a box of Cuban Montecristo No. 2 cigars (Arnolds fa vorites!). I sampled several of them and was disappointed not to nd a single Lasioderma serricorne commonly known as Cigar Beetle, in the lot. I concluded that Cuba is a coun try whose population has exquisite epicurean tastes because the cigar rollers eat these bee tles rather than export them with the cigars. Nevertheless, Hollywood protocol demands an exchange of gifts. So I scoured under my A Luna Moth wing. File photo Charlies sheepshead on the dock. File photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 76


oak tree limb through my neat, little piles of regurgitated indigestible meal parts for an appropriate one. I found a lovely Luna Moth wing and a lovely sheepshead that Charlie, the Great Blue Heron, had left on the dock. I carefully wrapped both in Spanish moss and boxed them in palm bark. I then ew the pack age to the post ofce at Davidsons Drugs in Siesta Village, as Nebougepas! was not about to move. After Tammy affixed the correct postage, she leaned over the counter and whispered to me, Good luck, Otus! But be careful. Its an owl-eat-owl world out there. Tammy is a kind and wise woman! My rst encounter with Mr. Hollywood was highly successful. As a result of that initial brainstorming (the term sounds a bit brutal, but that is how they formulate all those bril liant ideas in Hol lywood), it was decided that I would author a TV sitcom along the lines of the Rock Hudson/Doris Day bedroom com edy classics, except this would be an action thriller set in Alcatraz against the backdrop of a prison and called, The Roc Sean Connery might even reprise his earlier role. Now, I do not want you to think that 3rd Roc from the Sun Moon (Im nocturnal!) will be just another lightweight, mindless show that will make you roc with laughter. My produc er suggested introducing a mlange of reality TV and cinma vrit with lm noirs subtle overtones a veritable rocy horror picture show! So there will be some really heavy stuff in the series as it explores the darker side of relationships by introducing charac ters straight out of Sartres No Exit those doomed, lost souls who are stuck between a roc and a hard place. It is kinda like they can never nd closure. The director decided they all will be overshadowed by a Eugene ONeill matriarchal prototyp e the autocrat who, a fter a few too many bourbons on the rocs, shines as the sinister grande dame. She will sport dazzling bling rocs (the size of skat ing rinks!) on her ngers, glaringly noticeable when the cameras all pan in on the hand that rocs the cradle. The sets la Norman Rocwell, of course! The musical score? Roc n Roll variations on a theme by Roc Maninoff. 3rd Roc from the Moon sure sounds like an other big winner in Hollywoods new fall sea son lineup, doesnt it? All this is by way of saying that I will be in LaLa Land this summer working on the script. My next appearance in these pages will be in September. Until then, dear readers, thanks for sharing throughout this past year. YOU ROC! Ta-ta! Ciao! Kiss, kiss! (Thats au revoir in Hollywoodese!) Otus Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 77


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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 Any regular attendee of Siesta Key Associa tion or Siesta Key Village Association meet ings through the years probably has seen Dep uty Chris McGregor of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce. And if you h ave had the chance to get to know him as I have you understand he is a good-hearted person with a ne sense of hu mor. He is about as far removed from the im age of a bad cop as any law enforcement of REPORT REVEALS THE REAL STORY ABOUT THE DEPUTY AND THE MAN ON THE BEACH WITH THE PARROTS; 2013 CRYSTAL CLASSIC DATES SET; ANOTHER SNAG DEVELOPS IN THE BOLLARDS SAGA By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A county sign at Beach Access 8 on Siesta Key advises people that pets are not allowed. Similar sig nage is at every beach access on the island. File photo


cer I have met. An d believe me, I have met a few of them through the years! That was why I was especially distressed last week to see McGregors name in a very un attering light in regard to a Siesta Beach in cident over Memorial Day weekend. Once I read the actual Sheriffs Ofce report about what happened, I realized many of the facts had been, shall we say, misrepresented. Just before 11:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 27, McGregor was on patrol near Beach Ac cess 7 on Siesta Key when he saw a man lat er identied as Wade N. Pitzer, 54, of Land OLakes with a parrot perched on one shoul der and another Pitzer was showing to some one at the beach, the ofcial report says. McGregor advised Pitzer that animals are not allowed on the beach. [Pitzer] stated that they were birds, and that it was a ridiculous law, the report continues. Then McGregor asked Pitzer to remove the birds from the beach. This was just a verbal warning, the report says. [Pitzer] continued to argue the fact that the birds should be al lowed to stay, the report adds. After Pitzer kept d isagreeing with McGre gor over the law, McGregor said he needed Pitzers name so he could give him a written warning, the report goes on. The defendant [Pitzer] stated that he did not need to give me his name, the report says. I then advised the defendant that at this time I would be issuing him a civil citation for the birds on the county beach and that if he r efused again to give me his name he [risked] the chance of going to jail for obstruction, McGregor wrote. At that point, the report notes, Pitzer said the birds belonged to his young daughter and that he would give McGregor her name and date of birth. I told him that he was in pos session of the birds and that he would be the one who gets the citation, McGregor added in the report. Once again, Pitzer told McGregor he would give the deputy his daughters infor mation since the parrots were hers. And, once more, McGregor advised that Pitzer would be subject to arrest unless he complied with the deputys request. He once again refused, the report says. At that point, McGregor called for Sgt. Scott Osborne leader of the Sheriffs Ofces Community Policing Station on Siesta Key and Deputy Jason Strom as back-up, the report notes. When they arrived, the report continues, they observed the defendant not giving [McGregor] his name and attempting to walk away several times saying that he was getting his things and leaving. McGregor told Pitzer not to leave because he was conducting an investigation. When Pitzer yet again began to walk away, Osborne and Strom put him in handcuffs. Then Pitzer said he would give McGregor the information so the deputy could write him the citation. I [ad vised Pitzer] it may be too late at his point, McGregor notes in the report. When Pitzers wife and daughter realized Pitzer might go to jail, they became upset, the report adds. Therefore, McGregor talked to Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 81


the daughter a nd told both her and her moth er that I would do everything I could to not take [Pitzer] to jail. The daughter then began pleading with her dad to give McGregor the information for which the deputy had asked at the outset. After such pleading from the defendants daughter he nally gave me his information, McGregor noted in the report, so he could is sue the civil citation. McGregor added the last line: Writer felt that it was in the best interest of the child and the defendants wife to release him and not press criminal charges. Section 90-33 of the Sarasota County Zoning Code, approved on Dec. 11, 2007, lists pro hibited conditions, activities or uses for the beaches. Under (a)(2) of that section, it says, Dogs, cats, and other pets outside of areas specically designated for activities involving such animals, except for dogs trained to as sist or aid disabled or handicapped persons when such dogs are actually being used to as sist or aid such persons. Any dog, cat or other pet found in violation of this section may be impounded and held in accordance with pro visions of the Sarasota County Code of Ordi nances. The ne for violating any part of that ordi nance is $97. I think the average reader will draw very clear conclusions about Pitzers level of coopera tion and McGregors leniency, especially given the circumstances. BOLLARDS SAGA GOES ON When the esti mate is for $72,000, another $400 really does not make that much difference, does it. Apparently that was the conclusion of county staff regarding the latest chapter in what is now a 17-month-old saga to illuminate seven Siesta Village crosswalks at night. When the Sarasota County Commission voted on May 7 to have staff proceed with vendors already under contract for the purchase of 14 bollards with LED lighting for the Village, that $72,000 estimate was $46,000 below the only formal bid the county received for the project. Now make that $72,400. In his weekly written report for the County Commission dated May 20, James K. Harriott Jr., the countys c hief engineer, wrote, Staff Easily visible in the daytime, crosswalks in Siesta Village and the people using them can be hard to spot at night. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 82


is in the pro cess of procuring the lighting x tures/bollards for the project. Stonelight the lowest bidder, cannot provide the appropriate product liability insurance. Evolucia the next lowest bidder can provide the appropriate in surance. The total cost difference is $400.00. No specic date has been provided for the in stallation. Staff told me after the May 7 vote that the goal is to have the bollards in before season begins again. Ryan Montague in the countys Mobility/Trafc Ofce said he hoped the work would be done no later than November. CRYST AL CLASSIC DATES SET The organizers of Siestas signature master sand sculpting competition, the Crystal Clas sic, announced this week that 10 teams from the United States and abroad will compete Nov. 15-18 during the fourth annual event. One big new feature this year will be off-site shuttle service from Riverview High School, located at 1 Ram Way off Proctor Road, on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16 and 17. Each year, the organizers have worked especially Fossil Fuel won top honors in the 2012 Crystal Classic. Contributed photo by Peter Acker Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 83


A close-up shows one detail of the multi-faceted second-place winner of the Crystal Classic in 2012, Fine Print. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 84


hard to come u p with an easier transportation system for people attending the event. The last two years, parking was offered at Phillippi Estate Park on South Tamiami Trail for those who wanted to take buses to the beach. Yet another new feature this year will be sculp ture viewing with a special Mobi-Mat on the sand for people who have difculty walking on the beach to see all the works in progress. The Mobi-Mat will be available on Monday, Nov. 18. According to the website of the French com pany Deschamps, the Mobi-Mat Beach-Ac cess Mat (BAM) is a medium grade polyes ter roll-out mat system designed to facilitate movements over sand, gravel or pebble beach es. Not surprisingly, it has quite a few military uses. A news release notes, The Crystal Classic has become a favorite of many of the professional sand sculptors who have competed here. Cit ing the beauty and cleanliness of the pristine white sand, sculptors have remarked that their sculptures look almost as if they are carved in marble. The four-day art event will include all-day viewing Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday as the sculptors work; the presence of more than 50 vendors on the beach; live entertain ment; and an amateur sand sculpting contest on Saturday. Sponsorships and vendor spaces are avail able. For more information visit www.Sies call the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce at 349-3800 or email Chamber Executive Director Kevin Cooper at VIP parking packages with multi-day passes starting at $49 will be available for purchase online in the next few weeks, the release adds. Proceeds of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic benet Mote Marine Laboratorys sea turtle research and conservation programs. COUNTY OFFERS CAMPGROUND SPECIAL Turtle Beach Campground on south Siesta Key is one of only a handful of spots in Florida where campers can pitch their tents or park their recreational vehicles (RVs) only a few short steps away from the Gulf of Mexico, says a county news release issued on May 31. And now through Aug. 12, Sarasota County residents can stay two consecutive nights for the price of one at the campground, that re lease says. To be eligible for the buy one, get one free (BOGO) special, guests must show proof of residency and stay two consecutive nights on the same site. Turtle Beach Campground is incredibly pop ular with visitors and frequently s old out, Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 85


Tricia Wisner of Sarasota County Parks and Recreation said in the release. We wanted to offer Sarasota County residents a special incentive so they can experience this hidden jewel of our parks system. Turtle Beach Campground can accommodate RVs with full hookups and tent campers, and it offers such amenities as Wi-Fi and laundry and shower facilities, the news release points out. For more information and reservations, con tact the Turtle Beach Campground at 349-3839 or visit website at campground % Sarasota County is offering a special two-nights-for-one package at Turtle Beach Campground this summer. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 86


Through Sept. 30, Dabbert Gallery in down town Sarasota will present Summer Show case an exhibit featuring works by ve sculp tors, one printmaker, 18 painters, one pastel artist and one photographer, the gallery has announced. The artists are a diverse, award-winning group hailing from Southern California to Sydney, Australia, to Prince Edward Island and Que bec in Canada to Vero Beach, a news release says. Eleven of them are among Sarasotas best, the news release adds. Dabbert Gallery is located at 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more details, visit www.dabbert Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Newport Shore by Tom Swimm. Contributed photo SUMMER SHOWCASE ON VIEW AT DABBERT GALLERY A&E BRIEFS After the Bath by Thyra Davidson-Wexler


Saint Armands by Robert Baxter Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 88


For many Saras otans, summer brings back a not-so-secret sunset hot spot, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which hosts Friday Fest. From June through September on the third Friday of the month, the Van Wezel opens up its waterfront terrace to beach chairs, local vendors and the nest local entertainment, a news release says. This summers lineup is sure to keep you dancing until the sun goes down. Kicking off the Friday Fest Series on June 21 will be Yesterdayze, a s throwback band with enough ower power to put a smile on anyones face, the release notes. July 19 will feature the bluesy classic rock sounds of Ket tle of Fish, which has toured all over the coun try, opening for some of the biggest acts in the business, the release adds. On Aug. 16, the island vibes of Impulse will have you on your feet with its danceable mix of reggae, zouk and calypso, the release continues. Final ly, closing out the season on Sept. 20 will be the Sarasota group One Night Rodeo, playing a high-energy brand of contemporary country. Those who plan to attend the concerts are en couraged to bring blankets or chairs and their sunglasses and to enjoy a beautiful sunset over Sarasota Bay whilst listening to some great tunes, surrounded by great people and great food, the release notes. No outside beverages, food or coolers are al lowed. Friday Fest is a free event. For more infor mation, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit FRIDAY FEST RETURNS TO THE VAN WEZEL ON JUNE 21 The crowd enjoys the music with a dramatic sunset backdrop during a past Friday Fest. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 89


Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will produce two musical revues this summer, one world premiere and one repeat of a previously sold-out run, the Troupe has announced. Best of Stevie Wonder, a new musical revue adapted and written by Nate Jacobs, will run July 17-28. Sammy Tonight! with the multi-talented Dezhon Fields as Sammy Da vis Jr., will be back Aug. 21 through Sept. 1, a news release notes. Part of the 2012 season, Sammy Tonight! vir tually sold out every performance for its lim ited run, the release adds. Thi s wi ll be another summer when WBTT showcases great music by legendary Afri can-American artists, Founding Artistic Di rector Nate Jacobs said in the release. Who doesnt love Stevie Wonder? He is truly a per former that is loved and admired by music fans of all ages. Sammy Davis Jr. is another legend who needs very little introduction. His music and personality were bigger than life and Dezhons interpretation of him will make you feel like you are in a Vegas club with the master himself. The Best of Stevie Wonder features an ensem ble of eight singers from the Troupe four WBTT ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 SUMMER SEASON Dezhon Fields will reprise his role as Sammy Davis Jr. for Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe perfor mances this summer. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 90


women and four m en. No one plays Stevie Wonder, the release notes, but the cast will re call parts of his life as it focuses on a dynam ic presentation of his music, the release adds. Wonder has recorded more than 30 U.S. Top 10 hits and has received 22 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, the release points out. Sammy Tonight! features all the hits Davis made famous, incl uding Ive Gotta Be Me Mr. Bojangles and Candy Man the release con tinues. For the past 10 years, Fields has trav eled worldwide, showcasing his homage to the superstar known as Mr. Entertainment, the release adds. Times for all shows are Tuesday through Sat urday at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets to each show, which are $29.50, may be reserved online at or by calling the box ofce at 366-1505. HERMITAGE WRITERS, PERFORMER TO PRESENT STORIES ON THE BEACH The Hermit age A rtist Retreat will host a beach reading on Friday, June 7, featuring novelists Josh Barkan and Richard Currey along with Ivan Talijancic, a performance artist who will tell stories of his international work, the Her mitage has announced. The campus will open at 6:30 p.m. for historic home tours. At 7:30 p.m., Stories on the Beach will begin, followed by Mother Natures sun set at 8:24 p.m., a news release says. The Hermitage is located at 6660 Manasota Beach Road, Englewood. The event is free and open to the public. Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring beach chairs and re freshments, the release adds We are thrilled at the popularity of our beach programming, said Bruce E. Rodgers, execu tive director of the Hermitage, in the release. Barkan, who grew up in a variety of places from California to Iowa, Tanzania to Paris, Nairobi to New Delhi developed an interest in politics, history and literature, the focus of his writing, the release notes. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale and received his Richard Currey/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 91


Master of Fine Arts at the Iowa Writers Work shop. His rst published work was the no vella, Before Hiroshima which Saul Bellow published in his literary magazine, News from the Republic of Letters the release points out Barkans next book, the novel Blind Speed, was published by Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books and was named a nalist for the 2009 Paterson Fiction Prize. Currey is a writer of exceptional range and versatility, publishing short ction, poetry, es says and investigative journalism, the release says. His Crossing Over: The Vietnam Stories be came a cult hit, and was named a Best Title of the Year by the Library Journal, the release adds. His novel Fatal Light established Cur reys international reputation, with wide spread critical acclaim and 20 different edi tions published in 11 languages, the release notes. The book was nominated for the PEN/ Hemingway Award, and it won the Vietnam Veterans of Americas Excellence in the Arts Award as well as a Special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. Talijancic is a director, choreographer, vi sual and graphic designer, video-/lmmak er and curator, the release notes. He is also Ivan Talijancic/Contributed photo co-foun der and artistic co-director of Wax Factory, a New York-based multidisciplinary performance group dedicated to exploring a multiplicity of theatrical visions, the re lease adds. Talijancics work has been seen throughout the world, and he has taught and been artist-in-residence at many universities in the United States and abroad, the release continues. For more information about the Hermit age Artist Retreat, call 475-2098 or visit the website % Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 92


A hot summer day was the perfect setting for the nal session of Temple Emanu-Els month ly Tot Shabbat program, as young children and their families enjoyed Splash Shabbat on May 25. From a wading pool stocked with shing nets, balls and toys to bottles of bubbles to sticks of colorful chalk to a sprinkler set up in the shade of the sandbox, youngsters had every thing they needed to beat the heat and enjoy a special Shabbat morning, a Temple news re lease says. After playtime and a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, juice and slices of fresh water melon, familie s dried off for Shabbat prayers, blessings, songs, movement and a story with Rabbi Brenner Glickman, the release notes. An oneg or reception of popsicles and more free play concluded the fun, and every child received a colorful lei as a souvenir of the Shabbat morning, the release adds. In partnership with the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Temple Emanu-El will launch a new season this fall of Tot Shabbat programs for young Jewish and interfaith families. For more information, please email New Temple Emanu-El Preschool student Simone Velez donned sunglasses and hit the wading pool at Splash Shabbat. Contributed photo TEMPLE EMANU-EL KIDS RELISH THE WATER DURING SPLASH SHABBAT RELIGION BRIEFS


Kim Sheintal kept Molly Gersh dry while Mollys big sister enjoyed water play at Temple Emanu-Els Splash Shabbat. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 94


On June 18, the Co ngregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) will present a program titled, Food-Fun and Fond Memories featuring the laugh-out-loud classic Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz lm, The Long, Long Trailer the Congrega tion has announced. The movie will begin at 4 p.m. Pizza and soda will be served following the presentation; beer and wine also will be available, a news release says. Trivia games will add to the fun and memo ries, the release adds. The event will take place at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road, Sarasota. The deadline for reservations is June 11. The cost is $10 for CHJ members and $15 for non-members. Make checks payable to The popular summer lm series at Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, will begin on Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. with a screening of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg This award-winning documentary, lled with interviews and archival footage of the rst CHJ TO HOST FOOD-FUN AND FOND MEMORIES PROGRAM TEMPLE EMANU-EL LAUNCHES FILM SERIES WITH HANK GREENBERG Jewish ba seball star, will be shown on the Temples state-of-the-art lm projection sys tem, a news release says. Admission is $5, and all community residents will be warmly welcomed, the release adds. For more information, call 349-4367. % B. Sack (note CHJ in the memo line) and mail to B. Sack, 4903 Waterbridge Down, Sarasota, FL 34235. 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 June 7, 2013 Page 95


07+ JUNE 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 07+ JUNE 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 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. 08 JUNE WSLR presents the Wholetones, plus Justin Layman June 8, 8:30 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. Admission: $8 in advance or $10 at door. Information: 894-6469 or 14 JUNE Club Scene for Teens in Grades 6-8 June 14, 7-11 p.m., teens will be able to dance to a DJ, play in the game room or just hang out with their friends at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Refreshments will be served. Event presented by Community Youth Develop ment and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. For more information, call 366-7940. ComMunity CALendar The best of upcoming EVENTS To get all the details on these and other great ac tivities food, nightlife, music, art, theater, chil drens events, learning opportunities and more go to Sarasotas No. 1 source for local events, hot spots, fun activities and hidden gems:


Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS EMBRACING MANY FORMS OF ART SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS