Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
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Sarasota, FL


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

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COVER Inside THE FIGHT GOES ON EVEN BETTER FINAL NUMBERS ANOTHER UNFUNDED MANDATE Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. THE SARASOTA News Leader The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida No. 42 July 4, 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 Roger Drouin County Editor Roger Norman Schimmel Staff Photographer Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer John Riley Editorial Cartoonist Vicki Chatley Copy Editor Letters To the Editor Cleve Posey Production Manager / Graphic Designer Robert S. Hackney Opinion Editor / General Manager Advertising Sales Subscription Services Press Releases & News Tips MASTHEAD


Because In dependence Day falls on our normal deadline day, we decided to follow the lead of other weekly publications and move up our latest issues release by one day. That also gives you ex tra time to spend perusing our latest offerings before the July 12 News Leader arrives in your inboxes. And while we have plenty of city and county news as usual this week, I especially want to encourage you to check out the News Briefs. In that compilation, you will see the announcement about the newest member of our staff: Roger Drouin has signed on to become county editor. After long stints of getting to know all the inner workings of City Hall, Roger is eager to take on this new challenge, and we are doubly eager to welcome him. Both Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker and I will continue to handle some of the county is sues we have been following while Roger set tles in, but having Roger take over the county beat will enable Cooper to focus again on the types of in-depth stories and political reporting he does so well, and I can spend more time delving into the many activities taking place on Siesta Key. We do wish all of you a very safe July Fourth. Kevin Cooper, executive director of the Si esta Key Chamber of Commerce, reassured members of an island organization this week that the weather forecast looks good for In dependence Day reworks. We have our n gers crossed for everyone anticipating the annual spectaculars that brilliantly illumi nate the sky up and down our coastline. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


THE FIGHT GOES ON EYEGLASSES MAY BREAK THE CYCLE NEWS & COMMENTARY THE FI GHT GOES ON 8 The City Commission wants a deeper probe of Save Our Seabirds Cooper Levey-Baker EVEN BETTER FINAL NUMBERS 12 Across the county, property values have increased even more than preliminary gures indicated in June Rachel Brown Hackney ANOTHER UNFUNDED MANDATE 14 The Tax Collectors Ofce is estimating it will cost $4.5 million in facilities expenses for it to take over all drivers license services by June 2015, as required by the Legislature Rachel Brown Hackney EYEGLASSES MAY BREAK THE CYCLE 20 A chaplain at the county jail wants to reduce the recidivism rate by enabling and encouraging inmates to read Stan Zimmerman DEFINITIONS SKEWER DREDGE DREAM 24 The City Commission denies the request of the owner of the second-largest residence in the city to reopen a channel into his yacht basin Stan Zimmerman CITY BRIEFS 28 The City Commission approves leashes for pets in all of Payne Park; the Iwo Jima bayfront plaza plan dies; and taxicab license renewals once again become a Police Department responsibility Stan Zimmerman QUESTIONING AUTOMATIC RENEWALS 32 The Sarasota County commissioners ask a lot of questions before agreeing to keep a contract with Charlotte County Ford for cars and light trucks Rachel Brown Hackney MORE THAN CARETAKING 37 With the County Call Center elding lots of questions about the future of Warm Mineral Springs, county and city staff members are at work on details that need to be handled before a short-term manager is hired Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 43 BUSINESS BRIEFS 50 CRIME BLOTTER 54 TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Fireworks Festival Robert Hackney Sarasota Leisure: At play in the surf Robert Hackney No. 42 July 4, 2013


SIESTA SEEN A&E BRIEFS OPINION EDITORIAL 61 There is no independence without equality COMMENTARY 64 The new Colonists search for a homeSARASOTA LEISURE SIESTA SEEN 69 The Village Association discusses keeping dumpsters compliant and getting a solid start on recycling; July Fourth VIP picnic package ticket sales are down, but the reworks show they pay for will go on Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 77 RELIGION BRIEFS 83 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 84 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 85 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article No. 42 July 4, 2013 Happy Fourth Of July From All Of Us At e Sarasota News Leader


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After listening to wildly conicting claims about the quality of care offered to injured birds at Save Our Seabirds, the Sarasota City Com mission voted unanimously Monday, July 1, to deepen its probe of the City Island nonprot. For weeks, former volunteer Greg Para has been leve ling serious charges against SOS, describing a facility where rats are killing caged birds and where injured birds are be ing euthanized more quickly than neces sary. Para alleges that the standard of care at SOS has taken a nose-dive since the ring of founder Lee Fox this spring, and that the or ganization is violating the terms of its lease with the city. After hearing Paras allegations, the City Com missio n requested a status report on the operation, which was delivered Monday by city Purchasing Man ager Mary Tucker. On June 20, she and an other sta ff member Former volunteer Greg Para discusses the Save Our Seabirds situation at Saturdays rally. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker. THE CITY COMMISSION WANTS A DEEPER PROBE OF SAVE OUR SEABIRDS THE FIGHT GOES ON I can say that Im very uncomfortable with what Ive heard so far. Paul Caragiulo Commissioner City of Sarasota By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


conducted an unann ounced inspection of the facility; Tucker told the commission they found no reason to be concerned. There were no dead birds, no visible rats and the bird hos pital was full of patients. She said that, over all, the facility was in the best condition we have seen it. SOS CEO David Pilston also took part in the presentation, laying out the organizations long-term vision, which includes greater school outreach and an emphasis on gener ating revenue in addition to the n onprots traditional focus on the three Rs: rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured seabirds. That rosy picture came under swift attack. Cally Lajeunesse, who began working as an SOS admissions attendant in August 2012, described a very different facility. She testi ed that she had seen rats brutally killing birds and stealing their food and that one ceil ing was covered with a noxious black mold. The birds are actually breathing in this black mold, she said. A bird perches on a wooden railing in its cage at Save Our Seabirds. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 9


Im an animal lover, and I couldnt stand to see that mistreatment, Lajeunesse told The Sarasota News Leader after the meeting. She said she tried to get the attention of SOS su periors, but they wouldnt listen. They didnt see it as a priority. She also disagreed with the new SOS euthanization policy, which she said led to black garbage bags full of dead birds, and by May she had become so fed up that she quit. Its just not OK, Lajeunesse told the commis sion. She said she had heard stories from visitors who were shocked by the conditions. I dont understand why something hasnt been done. When questioned by Commissioner Susan Chapman, Tucker said she had seen no blac k mol d at the fa cility. Her PowerPoint presenta tion included several pictures of the property, none of which showed any mold, but Lajeu nesse offered commissioners a photo of the mold she had taken with her phone. This is a storage room that is not used, noted Pilston, dismissing the image. This is a room that has been in disrepair for many years, and its not used for anything. I can say that Im very uncomfortable with what Ive heard so far, Commissioner Paul Caragiulo said after seeing the mold photo. Mayor Shannon Snyder asked Tucker if she had copies of any inspections performed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation The buildings and walkways have a rustic appearance at Save Our Seabirds. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 10


Commission (FWC) or the U.S. Fish and Wild life Service, the two entities responsible for managing animal rehab permits. Tucker had not asked for those. Did she obtain copies of any complaints lodged against SOS with those agencies? No, she had not. Snyder later made a motion to ask staff to gather copies of any inspections or com plaints and to have regulators conduct new inspections. He also called for a code inspec tor to visit SOS to evaluate the mold situation. Caragiulo quickly seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Tucker said she would return with the necessary information in the next couple of months. Para has also alleged that since Foxs depar ture, SOS has been operating without the proper permits. Pilston told the News Leader last week that regulators allow for a grace period when a permit-holding individual (in this case, Fox) leaves an organization. He said FWC had recommended a new permit applica tion for approval, and that it was just a matter of time before the permits would be in order. Tucker testified Monday that SOS had ap plied for its new permits May 3 and that she had contacted the state and federal agencies to ask if they had any pending plans to shut down SOS. Their response was that they had no intention of closing down the facilities. Para beg an volunteering at SOS last July, after returning from a military deployment in Af ghanistan. Eventually, he started spending six days a week at the facility. He told the News Leader the experience was part of his heal ing process. But that all changed when Fox was let g o. I would n ot even be here if the 27-year legacy of Lee Fox was not being tarnished, he told the commission. I would not be here if I was not being treated poorly as a veteran. He said city staff lacked the qualications needed to evaluate the condition of the birds at SOS, but he also emphasized that he does not want to see the facility shut down. SUPPORTING FOX AND PARA Paras comments were echoed at a rally held outside SOS Saturday morning, two days be fore the commission meeting. A few dozen former volunteers, staffers and bird lovers gathered with signs bearing slogans such as Bring back founder Lee Fox, SOS is oper ating without permits and Stop killing birds! Save them. Activists with Florida Veterans for Common Sense were also on hand, supporting Para. President Gene Jones told the News Leader the organization felt Para was perhaps treat ed a little shoddily and that animal issues are important to veterans because of how effec tive animal therapy can be for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Volun teers from the Cat Depot, the no-kill cat res cue organization, also showed up. Asked Tuesday for his reaction to the City Commissions decision, Para told the News Leader he was pleased. The birds are going to win, he said. Its a win that the city took it seriously enough to make sure that the birds are going to get the proper care. That doesnt mean hes going to rest on his laurels till the next commission action: Were not going to stop. % Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 11


Higher property values all across Sarasota County will mean more operating funds for local govern ment boards. Photo by Norman Schimmel EVEN BETTER FINAL NUMBERS ACROSS THE COUNTY, PROPERTY VALUES HAVE INCREASED EVEN MORE THAN PRELIMINARY FIGURES INDICATED IN JUNE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst provided a sneak peak of the good news at the end of his June 21 budget presentation to the County Commission, but his staff made it ofcial on July 1: County property values are up for 2013 ranging from a 4.22 percent increase for Sarasota County to about 6.74 percent for the city of North Port. For the county, that means an extra $4.4 million in general fund revenue for the County Commission to consider spend ing when it meets again on July 10 to set the tentative millage rates for the 2014 scal year, according to Steve Botelho, the countys chief nancial planning ofcer. The preliminary countywide values, released in early June, showed an increase of 3.37 percent for the county, Botelho pointed out in a July 1 email to The Sarasota News Leader The latest news from Fursts ofce means an extra $931,000 above what was indicated by the June gure, Botelho added. In Sarasota County, the total value of taxable property is $40,791,927,760, compared to $39,129,815,981 in 2012. As of early February, state budget staff had estimated Sara sota County would see an increase of 2.5 percent for 2013. In December 2012, the state projection was for a 0.7 percent rise in property values for this year.


This is the r st increase in property value for the county since the start of the Great Reces sion. The total value plummeted ap proximately 40 percent because of the economys struggles, county commissioners have pointed out. The increases for the other taxing entities in the county for 2013 are as follow: City of Sarasota: up 4.8 percent, with a total taxable value of $7,205,951,871. City of Venice: up 3.87 percent, with a total taxable value of $2,803,751,805. Town of Longboat Key: up 2.9 percent, with a total taxable value of $3,400,203,897. Sarasota County School Board; up 4.65 percent, with a total taxable value of $43,671,190,496. Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board: up 4.22 percent, with a total taxable val ue of $40,812,665,951. The city of North Ports to tal taxable value for 2013 is $2,418,931,525, compared to $2,266,049,616 in 2012. For Sarasota County in 2013, the just value of all real property in c luding a gricultural and conservation par cels and those classied as historic but used for commercial purposes is $52,353,764,300. The total for all personal property is $2,098,157,896. The County Commission is scheduled to meet again at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, to discuss the budget, with a number of issues left outstanding from its last workshop on June 21. Among those are whether the board will ap prove County Administrator Randall Reids proposed 3 per cent merit pay increase for nonunion employees and how to allocate about $8 million freed up by the reduction of its operating reserve fund from a 90-day value to a 75-day value. The commissioners have made it clear in workshops over the past couple of months that they do not intend to raise the total millage rate of 3.3912 it set for the 2013 scal year. One nal budget workshop is set for Aug. 20. The board will hold formal public hearings on the 2014 scal year budget on Sept. 9 in Sarasota and on Sept. 23 in Venice. Both sessions are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The new fiscal year will begin Oc t. 1. % Sarasota County Chief Financial Operating Ofcer Steve Botelho. File photo Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 13


Renovations of the Tax Collectors Ofce will be necessary in the Terrace Building in downtown Sara sota. Photo by Scott Proftt ANOTHER UNFUNDED MANDATE The big issue is the 5,000 [annual] road tests that we will have to handle. Barbara Ford-Coates Tax Collector Sarasota County


Because the Florida Legislature approved a 2011 bill mandating that county tax collec tors take over all driver license services no later than June 2015, the Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce will need about $1 million to renovate existing facilities and probably a maximum of $3.5 million for a new, central location to serve customers, Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates has told the Sarasota County Commission. In two years, she explained, the Florida De partment of Highway Safety and Motor Vehi cles no longer will provide those services at any other location, including its facility at 601 S. Pompano Ave. off Fruitville Road or the AAA ofce at 3844 Bee Ridge Road. In presenting her budget for the 2014 scal year, Ford-Coates said she also has planned for four new employees next year and anoth er eight for the 2015 scal year to make the transition possible. With her ofce taking over all the drivers li cense services, she told the Count y Commis THE TAX COLLECTORS OFFICE IS ESTIMATING IT WILL COST $4.5 MILLION IN FACILITIES EXPENSES FOR IT TO TAKE OVER ALL DRIVER LICENSE SERVICES BY JUNE 2015, AS REQUIRED BY THE LEGISLATURE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates (right) chats with county Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent during a break in the June 21 budget workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 15


sion on June 21, she is anticipating an extra 45,000 walk-in customers at her ofces, re sulting in a 30 percent increase in transaction time. Already, Ford-Coates continued, she and her staff have been working with Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst about remodel ing her ofces in the Terrace Building in down town Sarasota with Furst moving employ ees out of the rst-oor space they have been occupying. Remodeling will be necessary as well at the R.L. Anderson Administration Cen ter in Venice. The changes in those two buildings will cost about $1 million, Ford-Coates said. Another challenge downtown will be parking, she pointed out. Her employees and county staff, she added, also are working to deter mine the best solution to that. However, she noted, The big issue is the 5,000 [annual] road tests that we will have to handle. Among the possibilities for a central ofce, she continued, are pinpointing a site the coun ty already owns, leasi ng a facility or purchas Gulf Gate Library opened in its temporary space in Westeld Sarasota Square Mall in late February. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 16


ing property n ear Interstate 75 and construct ing a building. Her goal, she said, is to settle on the best, most cost-effective way to pro vide the tests. Already, she noted, it is appar ent a person needing to take a road test will have to make an appointment for that. Because of the changes in stafng, she contin ued, her budget probably will have to go up a little over a million dollars in each scal year beginning in FY 2016, depending upon wheth er the county decides to pay for the capital expenses outright or bond them. The unfortunate piece of this, Ford-Coates pointed out, is that the fees her ofce collects are projected to increase only $400,000 a year. This is an unfunded mandate, unquestion ably, she told the commissioners. Along with driver licenses, the Tax Collectors Ofce sells hunting and shing licenses and handles business taxes and motor vehicle reg istrations. How ever, the Florida Tax Collectors Associ ation has made its No. 1 legislative priority a change in how driver license fees are col lected, Ford-Coates pointed out. Right now, county tax collectors impose an extra $6.25 fee to serve customers seeking new licenses or renewals. The rest of the money goes to the state. Thats not fair, she added. The state needs to provide the funding to fully cover the cost of our operations. Otherwise, Ford-Coates told the board, I do have to say that it makes total sense to me to move drivers licenses to the local level. It is the right place to provide these services to our citizens. Nonetheless, she added, Its painful to get there. When Commiss ioner Christine Robinson asked whether the states tax collectors are working with the Florida Association of Coun ties (FAC) on the fee change at the legislative level, Ford-Coates responded that she had asked the County Commission in the past to include that as one of its top legislative prior ities. Robinson asked County Administrator Ran dall Reid to make sure the county staff mem bers who oversee the commissions legisla tive priorities provide the board an update on those efforts relative to the driver license fees. Both Robinson and Commissioner Nora Pat terson who are active in the FAC said they would work with that association, too, to try to rectify the situation. CENTRAL SITE OPTIONS Regarding a new central location for drivers license tests Commissioner Charles Hines sug gested Ford-Coates and her staff look at the A map shows the location of the countys R.L. Anderson Administration Center in Venice. Image courtesy Google Maps Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 17


possibility of utilizing a facility near a com mercial center, which would make it conve nient for people to do errands or some shop ping as well. That also would be a boon to the commercial enterprises, he noted. The Gulf Gate Librarys temporary location at Westeld Sarasota Square Mall, for example, Hines said, has been benecial to both library patrons and the businesses in the shopping center. Then Patterson suggested the possibili ty of the Tax Collectors Ofce leasing the 18,000-square-foot storefront in the mall af ter the new Gulf Gate library is completed in late 2014. You might just take a look at that space, she told Ford-Coates. Well look at it, Ford-Coates responded, not ing, though, that the goal will be convenience, enabling people to complete their driving tests in as little time as possible. However, Robinson pointed out that, because that is a commercial space, the cost would be high. I thought we got a super deal, Patterson re plied, referring to the library lease. Robinson said that, as an attorney, she had handled commercial leases in the past. Such long-term leases have escalators, she noted. The library lease was outside the normal be cause it was a temporary lease. I gured they also sort of looked at us as a magnet and were really quite anxious to have [the library], Patterson said of the deal with Westeld. The lease calls for the county to pay $5,441.58 per month, plus $80 a month for water/sew er and re de tection services. The lease went into effect as of Dec. 15, 2012, and it ends Jan. 31, 2015, according to a memo provided to the County Commission in November 2012. The Westeld Sarasota Square Mall offered the county a cost per square foot that was $7 less than other sites staff investigated, according to a staff report. Reid told the commissioners that Ed Gable, the countys director of general services, would be looking at all the possibilities for a central location for the drivers license center Ford-Coates needs. We will get the best deal we can, he added. GENERAL BUDGET DETAILS In her presentation to the County Commis sion, Ford-Coates pointed out that the coun tys general fund does not cover her ofces expenses. That funding comes from the $15 million in fees her staff takes in for various services, she said. Moreover, Ford-Coates noted, Our costs per capita continue to be signicantly lower than all other tax collectors on the west coast of Florida. Last year, she said, her ofce returned about $8.5 million to the county. Her pr ojected budget for FY 2014 shows oper ating costs up 6.3 percent from FY 2013, FordCoates said, with 4.8 percent of that related to rising healthcare expenses and the 3 percent merit pay raise Reid has proposed for county employees. The remainder is for the two new employees she is proposing to add in both her Sarasota and Venice ofces as her staff prepares to take over all the driver license re sponsibilities. % Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 18


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


Re search f rom a decade ago indicates jail and prison inmates who read well have a signi cantly greater chance of never coming back into the system. In fact, states use the liter acy rates of fth-grade students to predict the number of prison cells they will need in the future. If a prisoner is literate, he has a 16 percent chance of recidivism. If the prisoner is func tionally illiterate, that number skyrockets to 70 percent. Reading ability i s a major, if not the major factor in the revolving door syn drome, in which people oscillate in a cycle from the street to the emergency room to the jail. Dave Norris, a chaplain at the Sarasota Coun ty Jail, is developing a promising effort to stop the revolving door with one simple tool eyeglasses. We provide about 300 pairs of reading glasses per month, he said. With rough ly 1,000 people i n jail, The Judge Lynn Silvertooth Judicial Center (right) is close to the Sarasota Police Department (left) and the Sarasota County Jail. Photo by Norman Schimmel A CHAPLAIN AT THE COUNTY JAIL WANTS TO REDUCE THE RECIDIVISM RATE BY ENABLING AND ENCOURAGING INMATES TO READ EYEGLASSES MAY BREAK THE CYCLE You cant take up a selfimprovement program, work on the GED or read the Bible if you cant see the words. Dave Norris Chaplain Sarasota County Jail By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


that means 30 percent dont have the ability to read because they need glasses. For some of the inmates, getting a pair of glasses is a life-changing event. You cant take up a self-improvement program, work on the GED or read the Bible if you cant see the words, Norris noted. It has taken a couple of years for Norris to recognize the problem and then work out the kinks. This began about four years ago in church, during Lent, when the priest suggest ed doing something positive, he explained. I looked at a variety of ministries and then the jail ministry. Norris began counseling prisoners and learn ing the rules. When a prisoner asked for a pair of reading glasses, Norris returned with a pair but wa s told only plastic lenses and frames were permitted. The results were so positive, he formed a nonprot foundation in March of this year to broaden the initiative. It is called the Inmate Ministry Foundation. Were applying for grants and working on fundraising, he said. Norris found a vendor willing to sell seven pairs of glasses for $2.50. He needs to build an inventory because non-prescription glasses come in strengths ranging from 1 to 350. By this time next year, Norris would like to provide the service to 10 county jails in South west Florida. Most [inmates] can read at some level. I know very few are totally illiterate, he said. But the level generally stops [depending on] when they left the education system. A chaplain has started a program to provide glasses to jail inmates. Photo from Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 21


MAKING USE OF LITERACY Being able to see the page does not do an in mate much good if there are no pages to read. Norris also is working with Goodwill Indus tries and the Sarasota County Library System to stock the jail library. So far, he has been able to put 7,000 new books at the inmates disposal. Not all of them are of the self-help or detec tive ction variety. There are childrens books in the mix to help start another of Norris ini tiatives Read to Me. Children younger than 12 are not allowed to visit the jail. So Norris wants to make a video of an inmate reading a book to his or her child and even get a bus pass so the child can visit the library and use the computer to view the DVD. Weve got Goo dnight Moon Is Your Mama a Llama Runaway Bunny Alphabet Rescue he said. All of this ties together the glass es, the library, the Read to Me. Sarasota County Jail personnel do not screen inmates for literacy, but they do ask all prison ers if they have children under the age of 10. Theres a few hundred, said Norris. And this may be the only way for those kids to see their dad. All of this work is in a formative stage right now. Norris is developing a funding plan, buying a computer to make the DVDs, acquiring an in ventory of eyeglasses and keeping about 400 books per month going into the jail library. He can be reached at 888-985-3619 (a toll-free num ber) or at inmateministr yfound % 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. 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 July 4, 2013 Page 22


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


The guy who owns the largest private house in Sarasota received an unexpected setback Monday, July 1, when the City Commission re fused to approve his plan to re-dredge a chan nel into his yacht basin. James Armour owns the home at 4449 Bay Shore Road, a 39,000-square-foot domicile pat terned after the casino in Monte Carlo. The only residence larger in Sarasota County is about a mile up the road at John Ringlings old place, the C dZan. Armour, like John Ringling, wanted to dock his yacht outside his house. But unlike Ring ling, Armour has to cross a seagrass at to get there. His attorney, Deborah Getzoff, showed the City Commission photographs of an old channel and asked for a maintenance dredge permit back in May. But how old must a channel become before it is not a simple matter of maintenance to make it function? There was testimony and video evidence given by Jono Miller head An engineers drawing shows a partial site plan for the dredging of a channel associated with prop erty on Bay Shore Road. Image courtesy City of Sarasota THE CITY COMMISSION DENIES THE REQUEST OF THE OWNER OF THE SECOND-LARGEST RESIDENCE IN THE CITY TO REOPEN A CHANNEL INTO HIS YACHT BASIN DEFINITIONS SKEWER DREDGE DREAM By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


of environme ntal studies at New College that you can walk straight across the chan nel at low tide and not get your ankles wet. Whatever was there is now totally lled in and covered with ourishing seagrass. Armour would like to cut a trench 400 feet down to a level 4 feet below mean lower low water (the sounding used on charts). The re quest was delivered last May. A stir erupted in City Hall over the denition of the word maintenance and a second stir resulted when city and county staff disagreed over who actually has the power to issue or deny a permit. The citys zoning code, while brief, is explicit: There shall be no dredging operations sea ward beyond established mean highwater [sic] lines, except for those dredging opera tions necessary to maintain boat channels and basins. Armour rst tried to get permission from the county, but he was turned down 5-0 by the County Commission. It is my understanding that the County Commission ruled that the channel is no longer there, wrote Deputy City Attorney Mike Connolly. Consequently there is no channel to maintain with the dredge. REPLACING A BURNED-DOWN HOUSE Even if no channel exists today, does that mean new owners cannot reopen an old chan nel? At what point does maintenance end and restoration begin? Tim Litchet, director of neighborhood and development services for the city, said the existing zoning code for the City of Sarasota does not dene mainte nance. A dictionary says it is an activity to keep some thing in working order. If it is not in working order, then it must be restored. Litchet used the example of a house that burned down to its slab. Under existing zoning interpretation we would view the reconstruction as new con struction, and not maintenance, he wrote in a memo. When the channel is gone, there is nothing there to maintain, he told the city commis sioners on July 1. A map shows the location of the house at 4449 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 25 In my 25 years with the city, I cannot recall any citizen ever requesting a 400 foot maintenance dredge to get to the inter -coastal waterway [sic], in a channel that has nearly completely silted in and now has sea grass growing in the area where the channel was located. Tim Litchet Director of Neighborhood and Development Services City of Sarasota


Lawyer Ge tzoff disagreed. She showed the commission a series of pictures and said the channel was visible as recently as 2005. And in 2009, there was a remnant channel leading to the boat basin at 4449 Bay Shore. The state says if the channel was legally done originally it can be maintained, she added. Its a ri parian right; it was originally legally done. And we have an easement from the trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund In my 25 years with the city, I cannot recall any citizen ever requesting a 400 foot main tenance dredge to get to the inter-coastal wa terway [sic], in a channel that has nearly com pletely silted in and now has sea grass growing in the area where the channel was located, Li tchet wrote in a June 19 memo to City Manager Tom Barwin. Environmental regulations have been designed to help seagrass ourish, because of its importance in the cycle of sea life. Image courtesy of NOAA New College Professor Jono Miller addresses the County Commission earlier this year. File photo Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 26


CUTTING TO TH E QUICK OF IT In May, staff requested commission guidance about whether the city should adopt the coun tys standards or retain its sovereign right over dredging in the bay. In July, staff members re turned to the City Commission to ask for more guidance about what constitutes maintenance as they rene a new ordinance. Mayor Shannon Snyder was not having any of it. We are trying to write an ordinance while were holding these folks up, he said. Were holding these folks up, and were going to court. They came in under easier rules, and now were trying to change the rules. Commissioner Susan Chapman did not buy that. Im not at all worried about the term maintenance, she said. Its clear mainte nance does not cover where a channel does not e xist. Even Ms. Getzoff talked about the remnant of a channel. Commissioners asked for more information before making any decisions. Did the state advertise the lease of sovereign submerged land to Armour? Is the state rubber-stamp ing everything, asked Commissioner Suzanne Atwell. Chapman moved that the staff use the county ordinances approach to maintenance dredg ing, and for the Armour application, staff should use the plain and simple denition of maintenance. Atwell seconded it, and the motion passed 3-2, with Snyder and Commis sioner Paul Caragiulo in the minority. For now, James Armour will have to park his $3.5 million Viking 74 sport sherman yacht someplace els e. % 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 July 4, 2013 Page 27


Taxicabs get a new master, dogs get leashes for Payne Park and a Marine Corps memorial on the bayfront goes up in political smoke: These were a few of the issues that were re solved at the July 1 meeting of the Sarasota City Commission. HACKS GET NEW REGULATOR The annual renewal of licenses for taxicabs creates a madhouse in the Sarasota City Clerk and Auditors Ofce as a great convergence occurs annually just before the Oct. 1 start of the new scal year. The ren ewals were a police function, but when the old police station proved too small for the convergence, the function was trans ferred to City hall. Now it is going back to the Police Department. We have a brand new police station with lots of parking out front and lots of volunteers, said Mayor Shannon Snyder. Its a good idea for them to have an idea whos out there at night. Snyder cited several reasons for the relo cation. One involved security of the clerks As a result of City Commission action this week, Unconditional Surrender will remain solitary in its bayfront eye-catching site. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY COMMISSION APPROVES LEASHES FOR PETS IN ALL OF PAYNE PARK; THE IWO JIMA BAYFRONT PLAZA PLAN DIES; AND TAXICAB LICENSE RENEWALS ONCE AGAIN BECOME A POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor CITY BRIEFS


em ployees. Another was the fact the city ap proval of the licenses is accepted without res ervation by local and regional authorities. Currently were being used as a catch-all. The airport, Longboat Key, the county, all depend on us for doing background checks and every thing, he said. Staff was told to prepare for the transition to the Police Department from the Auditor and Clerks Ofce and to make the move before Sept. 30, the end of the current scal year. Staff was also told to look at a new fee sched ule to possibly raise more money. Right now a cab license costs $50 to renew while the fee for a pedicab license is $100. NEW PARK FOR LEASHES On July 1, Payne Park was added to the list of city parks requiring owners to keep their dogs on leashes. It joins Gillespie, Arlington and Bayfront parks, which also require leash es on dogs. Only one member of the public came forward to speak on the proposed ordinance, and she was supportive of it. No pet owners spoke. IWO JIMA MEMORIAL PEARL HARBORED Plans by an art patron to put a sculpture of the U.S. Marines Iwo Jima ag raising on the bayfront were assailed Monday night, with Dog owners long have had to keep their pets on leashes at Bayfront Park. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 29


two com missioners deriding a scheduled special meeting of the Public Art Committee to fast track the deci sion. There are a lot of red flags here, said City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell. The process has bee n hijacked by a small number of people. Tom Savage was instrumental in raising funds for two bayfront sculptures, Unconditional Surrender and Complexus But his third at tempt bombed. Commissioner Susan Chapman raised the is sue, asking why there was a special meeting of the committee set on the day before a long national holiday. This is a very con troversial issue, and I dont think this gives enough opportunity for public testimony, she said. The re also was concern expressed in public comment that the statue was made of con crete with rebar reinforcement, similar to one erected in Cape C oral as a marketing gimmick. The twin of th is monument is in Cape Coral, City Commissioners Susan Chapman (left) and Suzanne Atwell. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 30 Mr. Savage has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for this community. I have never seen such treatment of an individual who has brought so much to this community. Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota


said Public Art Committee Chairwoman Eliz abeth van Riper. Chapman moved to slow the process down. Mayor Snyder did not support the motion. Mr. Savage has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for this community. I have never seen such treatment of an individual who has brought so much to this community, Snyder added. This hasnt been to the Arts Commit tee yet, and were already trying to kill it. The motion passed 3-2, with Snyder and Com missioner Paul Caragiulo in the minority. The next day Savage said he was giving up, and the special meeting was cancelled. ROADWORK AHEAD It is summer, and that means it is time for roadwork. The citys regular repaving pro gram will cover about 12 miles of streets in the next th r ee months. On the Monday after the Fourth of July, Main Street will start see ing improvements, too; work there should be done by Thanksgiving. Perhaps the biggest change will come on Old Bradenton Road between 27 th Street and Uni versity Parkway. The city will use the project to demonstrate several new techniques to cre ate a complete street. While the road will continue as a two-lane thoroughfare, it will see the addition of a 5-foot-wide median separating the lanes. It also will get two roundabouts: one at Myrtle; the other, at 47 th Street. And bike lanes will be added to both sides, painted green. The recongured Old Bradenton Road is certain to become an alternative for students on bicy cles going up and down the university corridor. The project shoul d be nished in January. % City Hall no longer will be the place for taxicab license renewals. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 31


It was n ot the rst time Sarasota County Com missioner Joe Barbetta pulled an item from a consent agenda to probe for more details. This time, Barbetta re mained in sufficiently satised with staff an swers that he cast the lone No vote on a mo tion to continue a deal dating to 2010 the third automatic renewal allowed under the origi nal contracts terms. An d while Vice Chairman Charles Hines sup ported the renewal with Charlotte County Ford he cautioned staff that the questions it prompted showed the current commission ers want far more de tails in these types of situations especial ly when out-of-county rms are involved. Dont assume [these re newals] are autom atic, Although Sarasota Ford offered the lowest bid for a county eet contract in 2010, it did not provide all the required information at the time. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS BEFORE AGREEING TO KEEP A CONTRACT WITH CHARLOTTE COUNTY FORD FOR CARS AND LIGHT TRUCKS QUESTIONING AUTOMATIC RENEWALS What this really comes down to is why have an annual renewal that we have to approve if were not going to have any information to justify why we should or shouldnt approve it. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Hines told county Procurement Official Ted Coyman. The June 18 consent agenda item called for renewal of the 2010 contract with Charlotte County Ford to provide Sarasota County with Ford cars and light trucks for one year in an amount not to exceed $4.5 million. A June 18 staff memo said, There have been no changes in the bid terms with the excep tion of a County request for a 3 rd set of keys and the resulting cost. Charlotte Fords markup fee remained at 1.25 percent, the memo noted, adding that, under the terms of the bid, the county receives any Government Price Concession, Commercial, or Fleet discounts available at the time of pur chase. Further, Ford Motor Co. sets the pricing for all the vehicles at a specic index for Ford dealers in Florida. The memo also said that staff in the countys Fleet Management Ofce has found Char lotte County Ford to be extremely [credible], reliable, and efcient when handling quote requests and processing the resulting orders. This vendor also provides excellent after de livery support. Barbetta asked whether county staff had checked with the two Sarasota County Ford dealers Sarasota Ford and Matthews Currie Ford in Nokomis to compare their prices for the same types of vehicles. We do keep an eye on what the prices are [at other dealers], responded Ed Gable, director of the countys General Services Department. Charlotte County Fords prices are still pretty good, he added. Ive got nothing to go on that [these prices are] still competitive going into 2014, Barbet ta told Gable. Did we even check with the other two Ford dealers here? Without pricing from those dealers, he added, he could not support the contract renewal. We did not do any kind of informal bid, Ga ble replied. Thats the problem with these renewals, Bar betta said. Its kind of an automatic, and I dont look at it as an automatic because its a lot of money. Id think, in this economy in four years, prices have changed, become more competitive. Then Norm West, the countys eet replace ment coordinator, stepped to the podium. The Charlotte County Ford bid, he stressed, is 1.25 percent over net invoice; that had not changed since the contract rst was awarded in 2010. Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 33


We shop all of these bids see who has the best t for the job and the best price for the taxpayer, West continued. Moreover, West said, county employees can take the vehicles to any dealer for service. Fleet vehicles in North County go to Sarasota Ford, he added, and those in South County go to Matthews Currie Ford. DELVING INTO THE BIDS When Commissioner Nora Patterson began asking for more details about the original bids for the contract, Ted Coyman, the countys procurement ofcial, stepped to the podium next, explaining that in 2010, the Procurement Department received two other bids from Sarasota Ford and Don Reid Ford in Maitland. Sarasota Fords markup was 0.5 percent, Coy man added, while Don Reids was 1.4 percent. Why was the Sarasota Ford bid not recom mended in 2010, she asked. Coyman told her the company was deemed non-responsive at that time, meaning it had not provided all the documentation requested to accompany the bid. The Sarasota Ford quote, Patterson pointed out, was three-quarters of a percent below the Charlotte Ford bid, which is quite a bit of money. When she then asked how much trouble it would be for staff to seek new quotes on the bid, Coyman said staff would be happy to do that if it was the commissions wish. However, Coyman noted, because of the amount of money involved, the Procurement Department would be obligated to pursue the normal competitive bid process. If it saves us $100,000, thats real money, Pat terson replied. But if it costs us that in staff [time], maybe not. What this really comes down to, Barbetta said, is why have an annual renewal that we have to approve if were not going to have any information to justify why we should or shouldnt approve it. Patterson won consensus for staff to come back the following day with answers to the questions she and Barbetta had raised. She emphasized that she wanted details about the non-responsive bid from Sarasota Ford. Then, if it appeared seeking new bids might result in better pricing, I personally will support [put ting the bid] back out. THE NEW DOCUMENTATION When Gable appeared before the County Com mission again the following day, he reported that staff had done some pricing comparisons for two of the most p opular Ford vehicles. Commissioner Nora Patterson. Photo by Nor man Schimmel Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 34


Using gures from the Florida Sheriffs Associ ation a nonprot organization that supports the needs of the states law-enforcement com munity, according to its website the price of a new Ford Explorer would be $25,465, or 2.4 percent higher than the price from Char lotte Ford if the contract were extended, he continued. For a Ford F-150 pickup truck, Ga ble said, the price would be 4.9 percent higher from the Sheriffs Association: $22,001. Gable added that the county does not typically buy those types of vehicles from the Florida Sheriffs Association. In researching comparable contracts in other counties, he said, the best deal staff found was the agreement Mike Davidson Ford of Jack sonville has with the Cities of North Port and Boca Raton as well as Hillsborough County. That dealership provides a 2 percent mark up for vehicles, compared to the 1.25 percent markup Charlotte Ford gives Sarasota County. Barbetta said he still was upset that staff had not checked with Sa rasota Ford and Matthews Currie F ord to determine whether either or both could offer lower prices. When Commissioner Christine Robinson asked for a reminder about which counties Sarasota County considers for local prefer ence in vendor contracts, Gable replied that Charlotte and Manatee are the only two. Therefore, Robinson said, the Sarasota Coun ty Procurement Department treats rms from those counties as if the rms are based in Sarasota County. They would have been given the local vendor preference, yes, Gable told her. Robinson said she understood Barbettas points, but this was the rst time she could recall a board discussion pitting Sarasota County businesses versus Charlotte or Mana tee county companies. We do an awful lot of business with Manatee County, she added. I want to take a step back and wonder what kind of effect this is going to have on discus sions in the f uture. From left) Ed Gable, director of general services; Glenn Zimmerman, information technology direc tor; and Deputy County Administrator Tom Harmer listen to county budget discussions in June. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 35


When she then asked how far Charlotte Coun ty Ford is from the Sarasota County line, West told her the dealership is closer to the coun tys vehicle delivery site in Venice than the two Sarasota County Ford businesses. Whats going through my head, Patterson said, is whether weve got the cheapest price. But the real question is we couldnt take advantage of [the Sarasota Ford bid] because of the rules. When she asked whether Gable had any reason to be lieve the coun ty could get a lower bid now than it did in 2010, Gable said he did not. Regarding the Sarasota Ford bid, he add ed, That was almost unrea sonably low. The 1.25 per cent [markup from Charlotte Ford] is an out standing deal. Moreover, Ga ble said, staff had doubts that Sarasota Ford would have been able to comply with the contract at such a low mark up and they had some major omissions in the bid, particularly in regard to a requested list ing of concessions it provided to government agencies. Of course, we dont know if that was deliber ate or accidental, Patterson said of the Sara sota Ford bid action. She continued, Its easy in your heart to say wed like the most local of all local peo ple to get our business, but, I guess once again, Im put ting my faith in our staffs efforts and as suming theyve done due dili gence on this one. She made a motion to ap prove the con tract renewal with Charlotte Ford. Robinson seconded the motion, which passed 4-1 with Barbetta re maining rm in not supporting the decision. % The County Commission last month renewed an annual contract with Charlotte County Ford. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 36


Although a $4,500 fence w as not expected to be erected around the swimming area of Warm Mineral Springs until July 5, so far, no problems have been reported on the proper ty, Sarasota County spokesman Curt Preisser told The Sarasota News Leader this week. Were working as quickly as we can [to get the fence up], he added on July 2. The cost of that fence, by the way, will be split evenly between the county and the City of North Port, Preisser pointed out per a Mem ora ndum of Understanding between the two local government bodies. In the meantime, a few tourists have shown up, unaware that the 81-acre resort closed temporarily, effective at 5 p.m. June 30. Around-the-clock security guards who have been patrolling the grounds since that after noon told the visitors Warm Mineral Springs is expected to open again by late summer or ear ly fall probably Septemb er, Preisser noted. Lawn chairs have been secured at Warm Mineral Springs until the resort reopens. Photo courtesy City of North Port WITH THE COUNTY CALL CENTER FIELDING LOTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS, COUNTY AND CITY STAFF MEMBERS ARE AT WORK ON DETAILS THAT NEED TO BE HANDLED BEFORE A SHORT-TERM MANAGER IS HIRED MORE THAN CARETAKING By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


With a unanimous vote on June 24, the North Port City Commission approved a revised in terlocal agreement with Sarasota County that calls for the city to undertake a competitive bid process to secure a manager for a period no longer than 12 months, although that con tract could be renewed if the City and Coun ty commissions choose to do so while they gure out long-term plans for the resort. The latter process is what ultimately led to the closure. Three North Port city commission ers two of whom were elected in Novem ber 2012 had been intent on keeping Warm Mineral Springs more like a park while the County Commission continued to point to a joint city-county a greement inked in July 2012 An aerial map shows the location of Warm Mineral Springs. Image courtesy Sarasota County A county marker at Warm Mineral Springs points to the history of the site. Photo by Eby abe via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 38


that called for the parties to seek an Invitation to Negotiate for potential new development on the site. Although North Port City Manager Jonathan Lewis informally notied County Adminis trator Randall Reid last week that city staff would be working on the advertisement of bids for a short-term lease, Lewis made that news formal in a June 26 letter. Lewis wrote, City staff has immediately be gun work to comply with the short term com petitive selection process identied in the interlocal. It would be useful if you could iden tify the appropriate personnel to consult with City procurement staff to ensure the cooper ative nature of the process and compliance with any required laws impacting the County which may not apply to the City. County commissioners over the past several months have pointed out that state law neces sitates a competitive process regarding con tracts for any new management of the Springs. The interlocal agreement calls for the city to make a good faith effort to secure a man agement rm no later than 60 days after the City Commissions June 24 vote. The County Commission then will have 30 days to act on North Ports recommendation. IN THE MEANTIME While the City of North Port works through the bid process, county staff this week was dealing with multiple issues from people contacting the countys Call Center about Warm Mineral Springs to how best to handle refunds to those who had bought annual re sort passes to making sure there are no un identied environmental concerns within the existing chain link fence in regards to mowing and pesticide application, as Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Manager Carolyn Brown put it in a memo to Assistant County Adminis trator Lee Ann Lowery on July 1. Regarding the Call Center, Brown noted in her memo that staff is working hard to calm WMS customers. Preisser told the News Leader early on the afternoon of July 3 that the Call Center had elded about 100 calls from people, with most interested in knowing when the resort will reopen. The Call Center staff is letting them know we are doing our best to expedite the process, he added. As for the annual passes, Brown told Lowery in the email that staff had received an initial list from Cypress Lending, which had held the management lease on the site through June 30. Cypress has concerns about the sales tax es paid and how they could document the tax es were refunded back to the customer if we were providing the refunds, Brown added. They asked if they could issue the refunds. North Port and Sarasota County commission ers hope Warm Mineral Springs will reopen by late summer. Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 39


Her s taff is working with the County Attor neys Ofce on an answer, Brown noted. Regarding holders of 10-day passes: Brown wrote that the County Attorneys Ofce had conrmed the county is not obligated to pro vide refunds on those, especially since Cy press Lending does not have any accounting or funds to support refund requests. However, Brown continued, This may cause some very angry customers, because Cypress Lending was selling 10-day passes as recently as two days prior to the closing of the resort. Customers are already calling to complain, Brown pointed out. The countys Frequently Asked Questions document regarding Warm Mineral Springs was being updated with the 10-day pass information, Brown wrote. Additionally, an Interstate 75 billboard ad vertising Warm Mineral Springs has been re moved, Brown reported, and the website has been taken down replaced by a very brief message that the facility is closed. Among other points in her email, Brown noted the following: City of North Port staff was stacking any remaining chairs and relocating all external garbage cans, etc., for security and mowing purposes. Brown and other Parks and Recreation De partment staff members conducted a walkthrough on July 1, with a nal one scheduled no later than July 3 with representatives of Cypress Lending. Further discussions with the City of North Port are needed regarding the facility and property, Brown added. On May 2, Lo wery had sent an email to Reid, saying staff members from the City of North Port and Sarasota County had conducted a reassessment of Warm Mineral Springs in an ticipation of the June 30 termination of the agreement with Cypress Lending. She noted, The original assessment occurred in December 2010 [when the city and the coun ty jointly purchased Warm Mineral Springs from Cypress Lending] and identied issues with the buildings and presented questions re garding wells and septic tanks that could not be determined at the time. The 2013 report is in the process of being nalized at which time a copy will be provided to Administration and [County Commission]. However, Lowery continued, as we are in the budget process, it is noteworthy that ma jor repairs are anticipated to be needed. In fact, staff from both jurisdictions will likely be recommending that a rm specializing in building and system evaluations be hired for a more thorough review. [Cypress Lending] appears to have made a number of cosmetic improvements but some of the electrical and plumbing repairs may not have been made in accordance with the Building Code. We know the septic system is in need of major repairs and the site should be connected to the public sewer system. THE LEGAL COMPLAINT In her July 1 email, Brown also noted that a meeting had been scheduled on July 18 with representatives of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to address the complaint that was led by the Friends of Warm Mineral Springs. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 40


A portion of the legal petition led against Cypress Lending and the City of North Port in June lays out facts in the case. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 41


On June 10, representatives of the Friends of Warm Mineral Springs Neighborhood Alli ance identied in legal papers as a group of property owners /taxpayers and/or resi dents of the City of North Port and/or Sara sota County led a legal complaint asking the 12 th Judicial Circuit Court to compel the City of North Port and Cypress Lending to pro duce public documents the group had sought through a public records request on May 13. Among the information the group seeks is the following: A list of repairs and maintenance actions that have occurred on the property since Dec. 2, 2010, following the city/county pur chase of the resort. A copy of all cleaning supplies used on the premises since Dec. 2, 2010. (A May 16 email response from city staff, included in the complaint, says, The City is in posses sion of no such documents. What has been done to comply with require ments regarding remediation of the hazard ous waste on the property. Specically, the May 13 public records request said, the parties desire disclosure of the steps that have been taken to comply with the recom mendations of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection [FDEP)] issued in correspondence dated 18 Nov 2010 The May 16 email from North Port staff says, The City is not in possession of the referenced FDEP document. However, Bill Delp, one of the plaintiffs, re sponded to that email, saying he personally had hand-delivered the FDEP documents to each city commissioner, the city manager and the city attorney at a regular commis sion meeting. An accounting of the funds received by Cypress Lending for operating the prem ises, including the number of visitors and a breakdown of the admission fees paid, along with an accounting of all expenses. In a July 1 email to County Administrator Reid, Delp wrote, Bioluminescence Institute, Inc. (aka Dive Back In Time) has had a continuous presence on the WMS property since 1999 pro ducing and providing breathing gases (AIR, NITROX, TRIMIX and USP grade Oxygen) as well as dive safety support personnel. These products and services have been provided at no charge to properly authorized and certied dive teams that were and are required to con duct underwater reconnaissance and photo documentation of the conditions existing in WMS. He added that the Springs is considered a high exposure/technical diving environment, primarily because of its depth, overhead ge ology and the water temperature, which is about 87 degrees. The email says the rm has approximately $100,000 of breathing gas production and stor age equipment on the property in a secured structure affectionately known as the Col. Royal Dive Shack. Finally, Delp pointed out, I would like to remind you that there are sites within the [300-foot] protected boundary that are likely human burial locations so you can incor porate this fact into your planning. % Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 42


New Pass wil l be closed to public boat trafc from 10 a.m. until the conclusion of the Sun coast Offshore Grand Prix (approximately 3 p.m.) on Sunday, July 7, the City of Sarasota has announced. The navigable channel of New Pass intercedes the Grand Prix racecour se, a city news release notes. Big Pass, Longboat Pass and Venice Inlet will be open and unaffected by the annual event, the release continues. Local law enforcement officers will be present west of New Pass bridge to notify vessels of the closure during the affected time on Sunday, the release adds. For a detailed schedule of all the events as sociated with the Grand Prix, visit www.sun New Pass will be closed to vessel trafc for the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix on July 7. Photo by Nor man Schimmel NEW PASS TO BE CLOSED MOST OF SUNDAY FOR GRAND PRIX NEWS BRIEFS


Vete ran Sarasota reporter Roger Drouin has been named the new county editor for The Sarasota News Leader Editor and Publisher Rachel Hackney has announced. Especially given Rogers impressive track re cord as a reporter over the past several years for the Sarasota Observer and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune it is a genuine pleasure to add him to our staff, Hackney said. Drouin reported on City Hall, public safety and downtown development for the Saraso ta Herald-Tribune and the Sarasota Observ er During a two-year period, he wrote more than 90 articles alone on the saga behind the attempt to fund a new spring training stadium in Sarasota. His reporting and essays have also appeared in journals such as EarthSpeak Magazine, The Explica tor and Sugar Mule Literary Maga zine His novel, No Other Way was published in May 2012 by Moonshine Cove Publishing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rollins Col lege and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writ ing from Florida Atlantic University. In his free time, Drouin enjoys hiking or bik ing Sarasotas natural areas, getting almost lost way out in the woods, he says. Some of his nature photography and environmental writing m ay be found on his blog, www.rog Adding Roger to our staff will enable us to broaden our coverage of Sarasota County gov ernment and provide more in-depth analysis of critical issues, Hackney said. We feel very fortunate to welcome him aboard. DROUIN NAMED NEW COUNTY EDITOR FOR THE NEWS LEADER Roger Drouin/Contributed photo The Sarasota News Leader No Nonsense Reporting Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 44


In an effort to re spond to the high demand of new and popular titles, as well as an increase in requests for items to be reserved for pick up, the Sarasota County libraries have adjust ed the period that reserved items will be held to seven business days (Monday through Sat urday), the county has announced. The ability to place a reserve online and se lect a pickup location is among the most pop ular services provided by the Sarasota Coun ty Library System, a news release says. The number of reserve requests has increased Selby Library is a landmark in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY LIBRARIES ADJUST POPULAR RESERVE AND HOLD POLICY ste ad ily, from 163,000 in 2009 to 186,000 in 2012, the release adds. Once they make requests, library patrons have the option of being notied by phone, email or letter when their items arrive, the release notes. After seven business days, the item will be removed from the shelf and notica tion for pickup will be sent to the next person who placed it on reserve, or it will be placed back into circulation, the release points out. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000, or visit www. raries Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 45


The C ity of Sarasotas annual street paving project will begin Monday, July 8, and con tinue through November, with approximately 12-13 miles of streets to be resurfaced, the city has announced. In July, 20 streets are scheduled to be repaved, weather permitting, a city news release says. Prior to work commencing, signs will be post ed in neighborhoods providing specic dates SARASOTA STREET-PAVING PROGRAM TO GET UNDER WAY whe n crews will be in the area. Click here to see a detailed map for July. Streets are slated for repaving based on cri teria established by an asset management team within the Public Works Department, the news release notes. Throughout the year, crews use a scale of 1-100 to rate roads as they drive around the city, the release adds. Staff also takes residents recommendations into consideration, it says. Sarasota County libraries and the countys Sustainability Ofce are teaming up with the creator of the Easy Going Green Flash Cards to help families learn how to become more sustainable in their everyday lives, the county has announced. Julie Radlauer-Doerer will be a guest speaker at two events on Friday, July 12, to discuss the initiative: 10 a.m. at North Port Library, 13800 S. Tamiami Trail, North Port; and 2 p.m. at Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota. Radlauer-Doerer will talk about how she created the Easy Going Green Flash Cards and ways parents can begin discussions with children about conservation and sustainability efforts, as well as simple ways everybody can work together, a county news release says. By teaching children at an early age the dif ferent ways they can lead a more sustainable lifestyle, we are giving the next generation the knowledge and tools to help preserve a better tomorrow, said Sustainability Director Lee Hayes Byron in the release. Following the presentation, children will be invited to take part in craft activities, includ ing creating their own Sustainability Flash Card. The Family Sustainability Kits may be checked out from libraries throughout the county. They are designed as a fun, interactive family activity to help children understand the con cepts of conservation, stewardship and sus tainability, the release points out. Each kit includes books, a compact disc of songs and ash cards that get returned to the library. In addition, the kits provide a reusable bag of Do It Yourself (DIY) energyand water-saving ma terials that families can use to begin making a difference in their homes right away, the release adds. Each DIY kit includes an ENERGY STAR com pact uorescent light bulb, WaterSense faucet aerator, wall switch and outlet insulating gas kets. Among the items for children are stick ers, temporary tattoos and water cycle wrist bands, the release continues. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 (TTY 7-1-1) or visit COUNTY LIBRARIES INTRODUCE FAMILY SUSTAINABILITY KITS Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 46


On Friday, June 2 1, more than 30 incoming seventh-graders graduated from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Junior Law Academy (JLA), the Sheriffs Ofce announced. The two-week program introduces students to the legal system by teaching them about law enforcement, courts and corrections, a news release notes. They also learned about crime scene investigations, polygraph techniques and defensive tactics and saw demonstrations by the K-9, Mounted Patrol and Bomb Squad units, the release adds. The Sheriffs Ofce Youth Services Section held the rst JLA in June 2001 at the Sara sota Criminal Justice Academy, the release says. The JLA basic academy is held for two weeks each summer with 30 to 40 mid dle-school stu dents who will be entering the seventh grade. The students, who are select ed by school administrators and school re source deputies, must be good citizens and cannot have any arrests or disciplinary refer rals, the release points out. In addition to exposing the students to a vari ety of law enforcement activities and career paths, school resource deputies facilitate team building and leadership development initiatives throughout the two-week period, the release continues. The JLA has received national recognition for its innovative approach in promoting relation ships between community residents and law enforcement ofcers, the releas e adds. JUNIOR LAW ACADEMY GRADUATES ITS LATEST CLASS Sheriff Tom Knight and other representatives of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce gather with the most recent graduates of the Junior Law Enforcement Academy. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 47


The Sallie Adams was on display at the inaugural Sarasota Bay Water Festival in 2012. Contributed photo by Pia Cormier WATER FESTIVAL SEEKING VINTAGE AND UNIQUE BOATS Among ot her water festival highlights in No vember will be Dragon Boat Races, ne art ex hibitors selling gift items, a display of the win ning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest local groups promoting conser vation and wildlife protection, panel discus sions with area experts focused on bay-friend ly living, and exhibits and activities promoting boating, shing, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding and other fun activities associ ated with Sarasota Bay, the release says. Boat enthusiasts and collectors interested in participating should contact Bryan Moore at Moore is the festival site manager The festival website at sarasotabaywaterfesti provides online applications for spon sors and helpful information, the release notes. Organize rs of the Sarasota Bay Water Festival (SBWF) which is set for Saturday, Nov. 2, at Ken Thompson Park on City Island are seeking vintage and unique watercraft from private collectors and boat clubs that bring attention to the history and continued allure of boating and shing on Sarasota Bay, the festival has announced. The event celebrates the importance of Sara sota Bay to the regions environment, econo my and quality of life, a news release points out. Last year, the Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association displayed three boats: the Sallie Adams a 21-foot Cortez mullet boat from the 1890s; the Esperanza a 15-foot Cu ban refugee boat; and a 14-foot Cortez poling skiff used for shing. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 48


Sarasota Cou nty Sheriff Tom Knight recently announced that two crime analysts on his staff have received state certication giving them each status as Law Enforcement Analyst. Anne Marie Bowser, a 20-year employee of the Sheriffs Ofce, graduated as a member of the 20th class of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Florida Law En forcement Analyst Academy. Her colleague, Natalie Johnson-Mayer, received state certi cation last year, a news release says. The academy, which began in 2003, is the rst of its kind in the nation. During the six-week course which met one week a month over the past six months analysts learned crim inal and intelligence analysis skills that are used by law enforcement personnel to suc cessfully prevent crime and conduct complex investigations, the release adds. I a m committed to providing Sarasota County with a well-educated workforce that possess es a progressive skill set, said Knight in the release. Advanced training through respected certication programs enhances the develop ment and growth of personnel. Robust information sharing and data analy sis is the essence of the intelligence-led polic ing (ILP) philosophy that the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce follows, the release points out. The overall goal of this concept is to enhance proactive policing efforts and further the pos itive outcomes of law enforcement actions to protect the community. Consistent, quality information shared agency-wide is analyzed and made actionable for the operators in the eld, resulting in crime reduction, disruption or prevention, the release points out. % Cutline: Anne Marie Bowser/Contributed photo Natalie Johnson-Mayer/Contributed photo CRIME ANALYSTS RECEIVE STATE CERTIFICATION Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 49


With taste a nd di ning value in mind, the Lib bys Bar + Grill team has created a compre hensive and creative update for its new sum mer menus, the restaurant has announced. Diners will nd new ways to enjoy grains, greens and entrees from the land and sea, including new crispy taco plates lled with Crispy Gulf Grouper, Chicken Fried Chicken, Cheesesteak or Cheddar Farro-Mushroom and Rainbow Chard, among others, a news release says. On the small plate side, Tong Dak Chicken Drummettes with Slaw & Korean BBQ Glaze, Lamb Gyro Meatballs, Crispy Feta with Mint ed Watermelon and Tuscan Grilled Eggplant Cakes bring new meanin g to summer food, the release sa ys. A new Heirloom Beet Sal ad with Candied Pistachio and Goat Cheese Greek Yogurt Dressing and Handmade Mozza rella Bocconcini add new avor combinations for diners seeking some lighter fare options, the release continues. On the heartier side, Entre Salads offer choices such as the Crack er Jack Crispy Pork Cutlet, Three-Cheese Prime Burger, Chilled Miso Poached Salmon and Crispy Calamari Arugula Caesar. Among the seafood fare for dinner are Grilled Center Cut Scottish Salmon with Roasted Heirloom Beets and Cauliower Puree, Cajun Roasted Gulf Grouper Filet with Bar Americ ain Shrimp and Heirloom Grits and Roasted Atlantic Cod Fillet with Crawsh-Black Eyed Pea Succotash, the release notes. Tong Dak Chicken Drummettes are among the new summer menu items at Libbys. Contributed photo SUMMER TAKES ON A SAVORY TWIST WITH LIBBYS NEW MENU BUSINESS BRIEFS


Meat and poultry f ans can indulge in Honey Balsamic Roasted Pork Filet Mignon, Bris ket-Shortrib Chopped Steak or the new Filet Mignon and Asparagus Negimaki. Libbys is continuing its early dining Prix Fixe, available daily from 4 to 6 p.m., the release adds. This summer, diners have new threecourse menu options as well, including six rst courses, 10 second courses and three des sert choices, plus a glass of hou se wine, beer Libbys summer menu also features a Spinach and Mushroom Philly. Contributed photo or nonalcoholic beverage, for $15 per person for dinner. Libbys is located at 1917 Osprey Ave. in South side Village; reservations are recommended. Parking is always free and ample in the pri vate Mortons/Libbys lot across the street. For more information on specials and to pre view menus, visit or call 487-7300. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 51


Attorney F. Scott Westheimer, a managing partner of the Sarasota-based law rm Syprett Meshad, has been named to Florida Trend magazines 2013 Legal Elite list. This years list of 1,348 Legal Elite attorneys represents approximately 2 percent of the more than 67,000 Florida Bar members active ly practicing in Florida, a news release says. In March, Westheimer was elected to the Flor ida Bar Board of Governors as a Twelfth Cir cuit Representative, representing more than 1,800 attorneys of the 12 th Judicial Circuit, which includes Sarasota, DeSoto, and Man atee counties, the release adds. He won the ofce in a contested race against Timothy A. Knowles of Bradenton, the release notes. Westheimers practice area involves primarily the representation of plaintiffs in personal in jury matters and various aspects of commer cial litigation, the release continues. He is rec ognized as an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell the release notes. An ex officio member of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Westheimer is also a past president of both the Sarasota County Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Division, and he has served on the board of directors of the Humane Society of Sarasota For more information about Syprett Meshad, visit SARASOTA ATTORNEY NAMED AMONG FLORIDAS LEGAL ELITE F. Scott Westheimer/Contributed photo Waste Manage ment (WM) recently celebrat ed the opening of its new compressed nat ural gas (CNG) fueling station in Venice to serve the companys eet of 43 CNG vehicles on Sarasota County routes, the company has announced. COMPANY OPENS COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS FUELING STATION Waste Management has 141 CNG vehicles op erating throughout Florida, representing the largest CNG eet in the waste industry in the state, a news release says. The company will add 70 more CNG vehicles in 2014 for a total of 211, the release adds. By 2019, WM will Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 52


have more than 500 CNG vehicles serving its residential and business customers through out Florida, the release notes. The Venice CNG Fueling Station is one of 40 such company facilities nationwide, the re lease points out. In Florida, WM has three; besides Venice, they are in Fort Walton Beach and Pompano Beach, the release says. A fourth is planned for Tampa later this year. The Pompano Beach CNG Clean N Green Fu eling Station is open to commercial and mu nicipal eets as well, the release notes. In Venice, a public station option will be deter mined in phase three of the project, it adds. To date, Waste Management has invested more than $50 million in CNG trucks and fu eling stations in Florida alone, the release points out. Since natural gas-powered collection trucks run cleaner and quieter, weve made the com mitment to use more in our local operations, said WM Florida Area Vice President Tim Hawkins in the release. We are dedicated to providing our customers with outstanding ser vice while doing business in the most sustain able manner possible. Among its sustainability goals, Waste Manage ment has committed to increasing its eets fuel efciency by 15 percent and reducing its eets emissions by 15 percent by 2020, the release adds. Every truck we replace with natural gas re duces diesel use by an average of 8,000 gal lons per year and cuts annual greenhouse gas emissions by 22 metric tons, added Hawkins in the relea se. % 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 July 4, 2013 Page 53


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce conduct ed 23 vessel inspections; issued three Uniform Boating Citations and seven written Boating Safety warnings; and made one Boating Un der the Inuence arrest during Operation Dry Water, a national Boating Under the Inuence awareness and enforcement campaign held June 28-30, the ofce has announced. Additionally, two teens were arrested Satur day, June 29, for underage alcohol possession, according to a news release. Over the course of the operations three days, activities included increased patrols, life jack et checks and boater education, the release notes. Alcohol limits are the same on the water as on the road, it points out. Anyone caught boating with .08 blood alcohol content or above can be arrested. According to the United States Coast Guard, alcohol use was the leading contributing fac tor in fatal boating accidents in 2012, the news release continues, and it was listed as the sole leading factor in 17 percent of fatalities from recreational boating accidents. While this operation has ended, Marine Pa trol deputies continue to be vigilant and will increase patrols again throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the release adds. A wide variety of vessels are berthed at the docks in Bayfront Park in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel ARRESTS MADE, CITATIONS ISSUED DURING OPERATION DRY WATER CRIME BLOTTER


The Sara sota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested a man for failing to care for his animals after nding two dead and two sick calves on his property, the ofce has announced. Deputies encountered David Damschroder, 63, of 16419 Winburn Place, Sarasota, around 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 1, after receiving a re port of a suspicious person in Damschroders neighborhood, according to the report. After a third ofcer arrived on the scene, the report continues, Damschroder appeared to be very agitated and argumentative. The report says he even challenged one of the other deputies to a ght. After it began raining, Damschroder agreed to let the ofcers transport him to his home, the report note s. Rescued calves huddle together in a pen. Photo courtesy of the Sheriffs Ofce David Damschroder/Contributed photo ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE LEVELED AFTER DEAD AND SICK CALVES FOUND Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 55


A veterinary clinic staff member feeds one of the rescued calves. Photo contributed by the Sheriffs Ofce Once they reach ed his residence, Damschro der said he had dairy calves in the back pas ture. When deputies went to check on the animals, they found two dead calves and two that were weak and sickly, the report continues. One calf was lying down and did not get up as a deputy approached it. That calf had visible ribs showing, as well as its backbone, the report says. One deputy noticed several bowls near the calves, but none contained water. Finally, another deputy lo cated a large blue barrel that had about 6 inches of water in it, the report adds. Unfortunately the height of the barrel did not allow the calves to easily access the wa ter, the report notes. One deputy then lled two of the small bowls with water and let the calves drink it, which they did eagerly, the report adds. Damschroder told the deputies he did not know any of the calves were dead, according to the report. During the course of the investigation, the re port also notes, Damschroder started wander ing around the property and gradually became argumentative and aggressive toward the of cers. The defendant would start cursing at the other deputies and me, one ofcer wrote in the report. At one point, ac cording to the report, Dam schroder approached a deputy and used his left hand to push the depu ty in the chest, as if to push [him] back. The two sick calves are be ing treated at West Coast Veterinary Center/Braden River Equine on State Road 72 in Sarasota, where they were doing well on July 2. [They] are still in need of medical care, a news re lease notes. Damschroder has been charged with four counts of Connement of Animals with out Sufficient Food and Wa ter, one count of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and one count of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, the report says. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 56


The Saras ota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested a man and a woman who drove to a Sarasota home allegedly to buy drugs with a 2-year-old girl in the car. Just before noon on Thursday, June 27, dep uties spotted a car leaving a home associat ed with a history of drug-related crimes. The report notes that occupants of the residence change nearly weekly, and the majority of ar rests/encounters with persons at the location are drug-related. Deputies stopped the vehicle after recognizing the driver from previous dealings and realiz ing his license was not valid, the report says. The driver, Kameron Orser, 23, of 5190 Island Date St., Sarasota, told ofcers he went to the home to buy drugs and he injected them while at the house. He admitted to knowing his li cense w as suspended, the report says; yet, he still drove the car. The woman in the car, Barbara Valdez, 48, of the same address as Orser, said she knew her boyfriend was buying illegal drugs and that his license was suspended, the report notes. Valdez told deputies, [Orser] was only driving for a minute, the report continues. She added that she was aware of his addiction to pills and his drug habits, according to the report. Orser, who has been arrested 22 times, was charged with Child Abuse, Driving While Li cense Suspended with Knowledge and two counts of Violation of Probation. Valdez was charged with Child Abuse and Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive. The child was released to an adult relative, and deputies notied the Florida Department of Children and Families, the report notes Kameron Orser/Contributed photo Barbara Valdez/Contributed photo SARASOTA COUPLE ARRESTED IN CHILD ABUSE CASE Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 57


A Sarasota woman has been charged with a felony count after biting another womans ear, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. When ofcers responded to Fredd Atkins Park about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, they met with Linda Watkins, 38, of 1857 22 nd St., Sara sota, according to a news release. She was suffering from a severe bite to her left ear, the release adds. Watkins told ofcers that she and Kesha Tay lor, 32, of 2722 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota, had become involved in a dispute over a phone when the altercation turned physical, according to the report. After Taylor bit her, Watkins told ofcers, Tay lor drove away, the report says. Watkins was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for treatment, the report notes. While ofcers were still at the scene, the re port continues, Taylor returned, telling them she knew she could be in more trouble oth erwise, the report continues. Taylor said Wat kins had struck her in the mouth and bitten her nose, the report says. Taylor admitted to losing it when this happened, she told the ofcers, according to the report. No other witnesses could be located, the re port notes. Taylor was charged with Aggravated Battery in that she intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disg urement, the report says. Kesha Taylor/Contributed photo WOMAN CHARGED AFTER BITING ANOTHER WOMANS EAR 19-YEAR-OLD PENSACOLA MAN CHARGED IN ARMED ROBBERIES John Coat e s, 19, described as a homeless man from Pensacola, has been charged by the Sarasota Police Department with two counts of Armed Robbery, along with Resisting Ar rest, Possession of Crack Cocaine and Pos session of Drug Paraphernalia in connection with armed robberies on June 30 and June 14, the department has announced. Coates was charged for the armed robbery of the 7-11 at 511 N. Washington Blvd. re ported at approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 30 and the armed robbery of the Smoke Shop located at 2815 N. Tamiami Trail on June 14, a news release says. Surveillance photos of the June 30 incident were circulated to the Patrol Division of the Police Department on Sunday, according to the release. About 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Ofcer Tammy Featherstone observed the suspect wearing the same shirt and shoes as seen in the photos, the release adds. Coates immediately attempted to conceal himself, then entered the Salvation Army fa cility at 140 0 10th St., the release continues. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 58


Featherstone called for backup and went inside after him, according to the release. When she approached Coates, she was pos itive that it was the same suspect and asked him to place his hands behind his back, the release says. Coates immediately attempted to ee after he picked up a chair from the dining room and threw it at Ofcer Featherstone, the re lease adds. A fter a foot pursuit east on 10th Street to Lemon Avenue, Coates was apprehended with assistance from Ofcer Chris ODon nell, the release notes. At that time, he was found to be in posses sion of a vial with seven pieces of crack co caine, according to the release. Coates confessed to being responsible for the armed robberies of both the 7-11 on June 30 and the Smoke Shop on June 14, the re lease says. Deputies responding to a 911 call placed by the victims found the suspect hiding in the yard of a nearby house, the report adds; the ofcers had arrived about six minutes after the 911 call came in. Rondell Taylor, 25, who has no known perma nent address, was arrested and charged with Home Invasion Robbery With A Firearm. % The Sar asota County Sheriffs Ofce has ar rested a home invasion suspect whom depu ties found hiding in the shadows just minutes after the crime was reported, the ofce has announced. About 11 p.m. on June 26, occupants of a home on Horizon Road in Venice saw an un identied man on a surveillance camera that was positioned with a view of their rear door, according to the report. One of the victims thought the man had left, the report says, so a man in the group went outside to investigate. The man was confronted by the suspect, who pointed a gun at him, the report adds. When those remaining in the house spotted the gun on the surveillance camera, they locked the rear sliding glass door, the report continues. The suspect initially tried to smash the glass door with the gun, it adds. When that did not work, the suspect forced the victim at gunpoint to the front of the home and inside through the open garage; he then ordered the victim to open a safe located in a bedroom, the report says. The victim told the suspect he was not a resident of the home, so he did not know the combination. The suspect then tried unsuccessfully to open the safe himself, the report says. When he failed, he ed on foot, accordi ng to the report. Rondell Taylor/Contributed photo MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH HOME INVASION Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 59


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THERE IS NO INDEPENDENCE WITHOUT EQUALITY EDITORIAL OPINION EDITORIAL This year, the annual commemoration of our nations independence from Great Britain falls only a day after the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. That provides a proper context for us to weigh two important documents on this day: The Decla ration of Independence and Abraham Lin colns eponymous Gettysburg Address. In fact, the Gettys burg Address was yet another expression of Lincolns feelings about the true mean ing of the Declaration of Independence for we owe him for one of the most progressive and meaningful under standings today of that timeless document. During the 1850s, Lincoln sought to deect the interpretation advanced primarily by those sympathetic to slavery that the phrase all men are created equal applied only to white men. In a debate against Stephen Douglas, Lincoln stated: I think the authors of that notable instru ment intended to in clude all men, but they did not mean to de clare all men equal in all respects. They did It becomes obvious that the struggle for equality in this country continues because we have not been good students of history or good stewards of the legacy of those who birthed this nation.


not mean to sa y all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity. They dened with tolerable distinct ness in what they did consider all men created equal equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvi ous untruth that all were then actually enjoy ing that equality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as cir cumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all, constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even, though never perfectly attained, constantly approxi mated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its inuence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, of all colors, everywhere. It is remarkable that, 155 years later, many in this country are reluctant to share that en lightened view of our Founding Fathers intent in wording the Declaration of Independence as they did. Were one to modify Lincolns gender specic language as he doubtless would do if he were making the same statement today it becomes obvious that the struggle for equality in this country continues because we have not been good students o f history or good stew ards of the l egacy of those who birthed this nation. Our Founding Fathers acknowledged a divine gift that conferred equality upon humanity. They further gave to every succeeding gener ation the sacred duty of bringing that stated promise of equality closer and closer to real ity. Eighty-seven years later, when Lincoln stood on ground that was witness to such bloody conict only months earlier, he observed that continuing challenge. In paying tribute to the dead, he said, It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unnished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. Ironically, almost exactly a century later, Mar tin Luther King Jr. would use the same argu ments to advance the cause of equal rights for African-Americans: When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Gods children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiri tual, Free at last, free at last. Thank God Al mighty, we are free at last. And now, a half-century after King uttered those words, this nation still struggles to Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 62


achieve t he vision articulated in a Philadel phia boarding house 237 years ago. With such a clear path for the nation to follow, why has so much time passed and equality remained elusive for many in our country? Perhaps it is because when reading the Decla ration of Independence, too many infer those rights and liberties to be intended for them in dividually, or to their kinfolk, or to their kind. Perhaps men read it and do not grasp the clear implication that women also are gifted with this equality. Perhaps white people read it and do not grasp that those of other races, ethnicities and na tionalities are their equals. Perhaps members of a particular faith read it and do not grasp that those of other faiths and beliefs are equal in the eyes of the Creator. Perhaps those who are heterosexual read it and do not grasp that those who might be gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered are no less equal. Perhaps we are so devoted to our own selsh interests that we fail to see the larger truth embodied in those famous words. We so covet our liberty and our rights that we fail to re alize that those liberties and rights are for all. King observed, An individual has not start ed living until he can rise above the narrow connes of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. What our Founding Fathers declared for us, what Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. claried for us, is that the greatness of America is dependent on its citizens striving for the full realization of that vision of equal ity. When we not only have come to regard all citizens as equals, but have established the means whereby that equality is a continuing reality, preserved by not just the vigilance of government but by the vigilance of each of us, then we can rightfully celebrate the cour age and brilliance of a handful of men who charted our course on this day more than two centuries ago. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Lead er welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Let ters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and oth er factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spell ing, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 63


COMMENTARY If th ere is one da y of the year Americans could agree to resist government oppression, it would be the Fourth of July. And sometimes the feeling gets extended. As Mark Twain said before American troops left Tampa in 1898 to ght for Cuban indepen dence from Spain: It is a worthy thing to ght for ones freedom; it is another sight ner to ght for another mans. Those in government rarely see their acts as oppression. And government acts all the time: regulators, cops, inspectors all in the do it my way business. Most of us know enough to stay on the right side of the law. But for Sarasotas homeless, it is harder to gure out the rules. ON THE RUN Summer is the cruelest season in Sarasota, especially if you are homeless. Think of the rains we have endured this past week. What if you had to sleep outside? The recent rains are atypical. The punishing tropical sun and blinding humidity are our common lot in the summer. Where, if you were homeless, would you escape them? But what the homeless are really eeing is the rich. The wealth y c ondo owners object to observing poverty, said Sarasota attorney Andrea Mogensen. So Sarasota started moving poverty out of sight. In Sarasotas Whac-A-Mole approach, home less congregations have been hustled from Five Points Park to Cocoanut Avenue to Flor ida Avenue. The latest daytime congregation point before the rains came was the City Hall parking lot. Employees were stepping over passed-out/laid-out/knocked-out people to get to work. City Hall has become one of the last bastions of freedom for the homeless, one of the few places where they will not get rousted. Fifty feet from Nobodys Listening and Billy Bow legs you can poll Sarasotas homeless amid the artwork. Downtown merchants have hired a private security force to keep the homeless and va grants out of shady doorways and away from shoppers. The Selby Library retains private se curity to patrol inside and outside to protect patrons. The lack of public toilets in the downtown area coupled with a patrons only policy in local businesses only increases the probability of public urination and defecat ion. THE NEW COLONISTS SEARCH FOR A HOME By Stan Zimmerman City Editor COMMENTARY Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 64


Meanwhile, the meter is running on the cost to local taxpayers. The expense of jail stays and emergency room visits runs into the millions of dollars, the city manager has estimated. He has asked a couple of volunteers to try to as semble a better number. At the same time, city ofcials are keeping a close eye on four acres near 10 th Street that are on the verge of turning into a tent city for the homeless, a place to call their own. PEEKING IN ON THE NON-TENT CITY On Monday morning, I went to visit Valerie Guillory on 10 th Street at her self-proclaimed Sanctuary of Sarasota for the homeless. It was raining lightly. She has created a founda tion called Trinity Without Borders to support her outreach to the homeless. One Good Samaritan leased her nearly 4 acres on the western side of Washington Boulevard, where it crosses the railroad tracks behind an auto service center. She and others were under a shady canopy, sheltering from the weather. Her origina l aim was described by Mr. Quick, as he identied himself: She was trying to create a safe haven for people to sleep. However, city ofcials said the property is not zoned for that, and they have since set Code enforcement ofcers to act as watchdogs on the area. Guillory said, I had to drop the tents for complia nce. Instead she and volunteers homeless and housed are starting to landscape the prop erty, knocking back the weeds while other plans are developed. And she is starting a Fri day morning prayer brunch at 11 a.m. Its all about faith. It starts with faith, she said. Were discussing what wed like to see here. Were trying to hear from the community and the homeless what we want here. Mr. Quick proposed one idea that seemed to resonate within the small group. How do we make the homeless a help to the city? he asked. City staff, in combination with the Salvation Army, is already supporting the Street Team crews of homeless people in their Day-Glogreen T-shirts, picking up trash around town in the mornings. About half of the Street Team members have accepted offers of employment while on the trash detail. MEANWHILE, MORE MEETINGS As we spoke in the sanctuary, the Home less Strike Team was meeting at the Saraso ta County Health Department. And there is a Homeless Focus Group that has met in the community for the past four years. Last mon th, the Community Alliance of Sara sota County established a homeless commit tee chaired by former Sarasota Police Capt. Paul Sutton. City Manager Tom Barwin said that group now recr uiting members, will Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 65


serve a s his advisory body to help guide the development of city policy. All the players are waiting for July 18 and the appearance of Robert Marbut. He has helped establish homeless facilities and create mas ter plans for other Florida communities. A crucial meeting occurred Friday, June 28, when Guillory and her attorney, Andrea Mo gensen of Sarasota, met with city zoning of cials and the city attorney for a face-to-face discussion of what can and cannot happen in the sanctuary. Guillory wanted to know what she could do with the property; the city staff co uld say only what could not be done, noted Mogensen. For example, sleeping in a vehicle is allowed; sleeping in a tent is not. The perception is the city and the church are in opposition, said Mogensen. And this is a church; it just doesnt have a structure, a building. She added that the dialogue will continue on paper, as Guillory and city representatives ask questions and swap ideas. I would ask for a stable and a manger. Maybe by Christmas, they might be approved. % For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 66


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SIESTA SEEN Variations on a theme might be the best way to sum up the primary discussions on Tuesday, July 2, during the monthly meeting of the Sies ta Key Village Association. Not only did dump sters get attention, but focus was renewed on how to handle recyclables in Siesta Village. As noted last week in Siesta Seen Prudie Var ro, the resort manager at Sunsets by the Key located at 5203 Avenida Navarra com plained recently to the Sarasota County com missioners and county staff about overowing and improperly situated garbage dumpsters near the inn. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor THE VILLAGE ASSOCIATION DISCUSSES KEEPING DUMPSTERS COMPLIANT AND GETTING A SOLID START ON RECYCLING; JULY FOURTH VIP PICNIC PACKAGE TICKET SALES ARE DOWN, BUT THE FIREWORKS SHOW THEY PAY FOR WILL GO ON Siesta Key Village Association members added bunting to the gazebo at the Canal Road/Ocean Boule vard intersection to mark the July Fourth holiday. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Michael Shay, vice president of the Siesta Key Association, provided SKVA members with the background on Varros ordeal On June 24, county staff notied the owner of The Arches plaza that he had 10 days to put doors on the enclosure for a dumpster on the Avenida Navarra side of The Arches property, Shay noted. That still had not been taken care of when he checked before the SKVA meeting began, Shay pointed out. Still, the bottom line is the county is work ing on [the situation], Shay added, referring to the need for all the dumpsters in Siesta Village to be compliant with the countys zoning code. He promised to stay on top of the matter. Its no secret that its our dumpsters, Bob Kirscher, co-owner of The Broken Egg in the Key Corners plaza, told the 16 other people present. However, he explained, county staff allowed the owner and ma nager of Key Cor Sunsets on the Key Manager Prudie Varro recently raised the issue of code violations with dumpsters in Siesta Village. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 70


ners to relocate the restaurants dumpster area to make way for equipment Siesta Village Outtters rents kayaks, canoes and bicy cles, for example. The changes left little room for the dumpster. Our landlord should be responsible for [making sure sufcient space is available], Kirscher stressed. Nonetheless, when he learned of the problems related to the dumpster, he said, he acted on them, making sure employees understood the dumpster had to stay in its enclosure. Waste Management which owns the dump sters does not take any responsibility, ei ther, Kirscher added. The company is sup posed to wash out the dumpsters regularly, he noted, but he has no evidence that is being done. The smell permeates the area, Varro added. Another prob lem, Kirscher said, is that renters often throw waste in his dumpster when they are getting ready to leave Siesta Key. We have no control over it. Kirscher pointed out, There has to be ac countability for the property owners as well as Waste Management. Varro conrmed that Kirschers staff did an excellent job of handling the dumpster until it was relocated on the property. It is the re sponsibility of the property owner in these cases, she added. SKVA Vice President Kay Kouvatsos, co-own er of Village Caf, point ed out that when ci tation s are issued for code violations, those ultimately go to the property owners. Kirscher further noted that because other restaurants on Avenida Messina the street where The Broken Egg is located leave gar bage out overnight, a rat infestation problem has arisen. Thats why I have a cat on my property, Var ro told the SKVA members. Hes getting fatter every day. SKVA President Cheryl Gaddie, owner of CG Designs, pointed out that she already planned to invite a representative of Waste Manage ment to the August meeting of the organiza tion to discuss another issue. (See below.) That would be a good time to address con cerns about the dumpsters, she added. When Peter van Roekens treasurer of the SKA and a representative to the SKVA from the Terrace East condominium complex asked whether it might be possible to get some of the Village property owners to attend that meeting as well. His question was met with wry chuckles. Ive never met my landlord, Kirscher said. In six years, Ive never met her. Shay also took the opportunity to inquire about the status of plans to enclose the Village dumpster, located in the municipal parking lot. The county is moving at their usual break neck speed, Mark Smith of Smith Architects, chairman of the Siesta Key Village Mainte nance Corp., responde d. Smith works with Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 71


managem ent of Championship Landscaping LLC to ensure the Village upkeep meets the appropriate standards. (Those who regular ly attend the SKVA meetings are well versed with Smiths sense of humor.) Smith added, My understanding is a fence is in the works that might happen here next month. A POSITIVE APPROACH TO TRASH On what might be viewed as the opposite side of the garbage matter, Shay told the SKVA members he undertook a survey of the gar bage pails in the Village last month and de termined 12 locations where recycling bins would b e most effectively placed, based on the contents of the trash dumped at those spots. Shay rst broached the idea of a recycling ini tiative for Siesta Village about two years ago, he noted, but he focused on it more intently after getting SKVA encouragement during the June meeting. During his survey, Shay continued, he discov ered a lot of water bottles; a lot of cans and glass bottles. However, the majority appeared to be water bottles, he added, noting that a number of stores have signs up asking people not to enter with food or beve rages. As of July 2, the dumpster in the municipal parking lot in Siesta Village still had not been enclosed by a fence. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 72


Believe it or not, he said, the garbage can at The Beach Club had a large number of water bottles. That made him wonder whether the club offers water to patrons at night. Kirscher conrmed that it does. Then Russell Matthes, past SKVA president and co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck and the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar, pointed out that the island of Venice, in the southern part of the county, has solar-powered recycling bins that compact items placed in them. It seems to be working pretty well, he said of that sys tem, and aesthetically, they look pretty cool. Beyond that, he said, they represent clean energy. Shay responded that he is familiar with that type of unit; a company similar to Waste Man agement services the equipment. Im sure its something we can look at, Shay added, though I do recall theyre pretty expensive. Perhaps the SKVA could work on obtaining a grant for such units in the future, Matthes said. When Gaddie asked whether he had investi gated how other communities besides Ven ice handle recycling, Shay said he had not done that yet. Going back to the aesthetics theme: Shay sug gested the Village probably should have simi lar-looking garbage and recycling bins. Smith proposed the SKVA invite a Waste Man agement representative who hand les recycling matt ers to come to a meeting to discuss what options that rm could offer. Awesome! Gaddie said. THE FOURTH Two days before the big reworks show at Siesta Public Beach, Kevin Cooper, executive director of the Siesta Key Chamber of Com merce, said ticket sales for the VIP holiday picnic the Chamber sponsors had not been selling as well this year. Its really strange, Cooper told me, especial ly because the economy has been improving. Part of the problem may be that too few peo ple understand that the income from those sales covers the biggest portion of the ap proximately $35,000 cost of the reworks, he added. The reworks are going to happen, Cooper emphasized, but we cant operate on a loss. The event is break even, he stressed. The VIP package includes a gourmet picnic at the beach; a parking pass; beer, wine and soft drinks; and live entertainment before the reworks light up the sky. Early in the afternoon of July 2, the Cham ber sent out another email blast from July Fourth event Chairwoman Alana Tomasso, saying, [W]e need help raising $5,000 more by July 4th. Please purchase your VIP tickets so we can raise enough money to fund the reworks. Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 73


The email added, If you cant make it to the party, please purchase tickets for your clients, friends, family members or make a donation at the chamber ... we will all benefit from keeping the reworks on [Siesta Key]!!!! The ticket sales will continue until July Fourth, a Chamber volunteer told me Tues day afternoon. Call the ofce at 349-3800 for details; click here for the order form; or email A GIANT PARKING LOT Anyone needing incentive to buy the tickets should focus on the fact that premium parking at the beach is part of the package. By the way, Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofces Communi ty Policing Station on the key, told the SKVA members that last year was the rst time in years that d eputies allowed vehicles to head Two days before July Fourth, plenty of tourists were walking, biking and running through Siesta Vil lage. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 74


north on Beach Road toward Siesta Village after the reworks; they will do that again this Fourth. In his eight years on the island, he added, the Sheriffs Ofce has tried numerous trafc pat terns in the effort to enable vehicles to leave faster. Deputies have yet to nd one that is su perior to the others. For two hours, Osborne summed it up, Its just a giant parking lot no matter what you do. POLES AND TREES Florida Power & Light Co. soon will be replac ing poles on Siesta Key to upgrade its system and provide better reliability to our custom ers, according to an email from James Black, senior vegetation specialist with the company. Tree trimming will be required to install the new poles, his email notes. That work began on July 1. Representatives of Asplundh Tree Expert Co. were scheduled to put door hangers out for all affected residents, the email added, noting that Asplundh Planner Greg Pearson will be available to meet with any residents to dis cuss the required trimming. Pearson may be reached at 219-2343. % Lavender and green dots show the locations where Florida Power & Light Co. poles will be replaced soon on Siesta Key. Image courtesy FPL Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 75


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


The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has been invited to perform its original musical revue Soul Crooners at the 2013 National Black The atre Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, NC, the troupe has announced. The biennial festival will be held this summer from July 29 to Aug. 3, a news release says. Soul Crooners will be performed four times, twice each on Aug. 2 and August 3, the release adds. This is the rst time a WBTT production has been invited to perform, although Artistic Di rector Nate Jacobs has presented Aunt Rudele at the festival, to great acclaim, the release points out. What a great honor and opportunity this is for WBTT, Jacobs said in the release. The NBTF is the most important gathering of Af r ic an-American actors, directors, producers and others interested and involved in the en tertainment industry. To have the opportunity to present one of our original works at NBTF is very exciting and we are thrilled to be a part of the programming. The NBTF was founded in 1989 by Larry Leon Hamlin to unite black theater companies and ensure their survival, the release contin ues. Maya Angelou served as the festivals rst chairwoman, the release adds. That inaugural year, the festival offered 30 performances by 17 companies and attracted national and in ternational media. The New York Times called it one of the most historic and culturally sig nicant events in the history of black theater and American theater in general, the release notes. More than 10,000 people attended the performances, the rel ease adds. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will perform Soul Crooners at the National Black Theatre Festival this summer. Contributed photo WBTT TO PERFORM AT NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL A&E BRIEFS


Cast members of Soul Crooners perform in Sarasota. Contributed photo th e r ele ase says. Consequently, a second ver sion, Soul Crooners 2, was developed as part of the 2013 season. Soul Crooners is a celebration of the mu sic that ushered in a new era of soul during the 1970s, the release notes. The music was known for combining lush orchestrations with great vocalists who could sing unforgettable melodies and harmonies, it adds. The show features more than 40 hits sung by an all-male ensemble. For more information on WBTT, visit the web site at follow it on Face book or call 3 66-1505. Now in its 22 nd year, NBTF attracts more than 65,000 people during its six days, the release points out. WBTT will be among only 35 black theater companies from across the country participating in it. Soul Crooners was rst presented to Saraso ta audiences in the early years of the Troupe, the release continues. In 2011, it opened the summer season in the Troupes ofcial home theater. The musical adaptation ran for only 12 performances, but it was such a hit it was brought back for another week in October of that year, to accommodate all the people who were unable to get tickets during the summer, Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 78


The Saras ota Concert Association (SCA) has announced dates and performers for its 201314 Munchtime Musicale series, a long-running community outreach program designed to showcase the talents of locally based, accom plished musicians who represent a vast array of musical styles, including classical, folk, jazz and pop. The season will feature renowned and char ismatic concert pianist Grigorios Zamparas, performing works by Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Liszt (Nov. 20); Bill Schustik, the Ameri can Troubadour, who is known for his bari tone voice, keen sense of drama, colorful array of folk instruments and deep love of traditional American lore (Dec. 11); the Jerry Eckert Jazz Trio, a perennial favorite among area jazz enthusiasts (Jan. 15, 20 14); Lee Dougher ty Ross and Joe Holt, performing a program of piano duets that will include piec es by Mozart, Schumann, Faure, Grieg, Bizet and Joplin (Feb. 19, 2014); Studio Artists from the Sarasota Opera, Sarasotas ambassadors of opera, who often cover principal roles and bring opera to communities well beyond the walls of the Opera House (March 19, 2014); and the Gloria Musicae Singers, Sarasotas professional vocal ensemble known for stim ulating performances of great choral music (April 16, 2014), a news release notes. All performances will be at noon at the Be atrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The series is free. Seating is open; no reservations are taken. For more information about Munchtime Musi cales call 351-7467 or visit www.sarasotacon certassociation.or g CONCERT ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2013-14 MUSICALE PERFORMERS The Gloria Musicae Singers with Joseph Holt. Contributed photo by Bruce Lehman Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 79


Bill Schustik/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 80


Grigorios Zamparas/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 81


Stephanie Kate Strohm, author of young adult books, will greet fans on Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m. at Bookstore1Sarasota, located at 1359 Main St., the shop has announced. Strohms first novel, Pilgrims Dont Wear Pink was warmly received with reviewers calling it a nearly perfect book for teens (VOYA) and sweet as a piece of seaside taffy (Booklist), a news release says. Now Strohm is back with Confederates Dont Wear Cou ture another fast-paced adventure starring STROHM TO MEET FANS AT BOOKSTORE1SARASOTA Libby Kelting, history buff and fashion fanat ic, which takes [Libby] into the sweltering Alabama heat with her best friend, who is hawking his custom-designed gowns to wives and girlfriends of Civil War re-enactors, the release adds. But, yikes, theres no Starbucks and a vengeful ghost is on the loose, the re lease notes. More event information is available at or by calling 365-7900. % Sarasota News Leader July 4, 2013 Page 82


Temple Emanu-Els new summer program, Your Monthly Jewish Moment will continue on Tuesday, July 9, at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. Facilitated by Peter Wells retired executive director of the Jewish Federation of Dayton and a former consultant to Moment Magazine these monthly discussions center on con temporary issues of Jewish interest, a news re lease says. In an intellectual, enriching atmo sphere, attendees are invited to explore and discuss topics ranging from womens rights in Israel to the implications of Jon Stewarts political satire, it adds. All are welcome. Your Monthly Jewish Moment is free of charge to Temple Emanu-El members, with an $18 donation requested from guests. The pro gram is sponsored by the synagogues Adult Education Committee. For more information, contact Peter Wells at 359-8235 or Temple Emanu-El is located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. File photo TEMPLE EMANU-ELS YOUR MONTHLY JEWISH MOMENT CONTINUES RELIGION BRIEFS TEMPLE EMANU-EL TO SCREEN THE FRONT ON JULY 14 Continuing its popular summer lm series, Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, will screen The Front on Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. A classic movie about blackballed Hollywood screenwriters featuring Woody Allen The Front will be shown on the Temples state-ofthe-art projection system, a news release says. The co st is $5, and popcorn and lemonade will be served. The summer lm series is sponsored by Tem ple Emanu-Els Adult Education Committee, the release adds. For more information, contact Eunice Cohen at %


04 JULY Gloria Musicae Celebrates America (Stay for dinner downtown and reworks on the waterfront.) July 4, 4 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave. Admission: $35. Tickets: 360-7399 or 04 JULY Independence Day reworks July 4, 9 p.m., Sarasota Bayfront Park; 9 p.m., Siesta Key Public Beach. Admission is free to both. For info on the downtown reworks: 365-4232. 04+ JULY Florida Studio Theatre presents The Underpants Through Aug. 3 (times vary), Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $18 to $42. In formation: 366-9000 or 04+ JULY FST Summer Improv Through Aug. 24, 8:30 p.m., John C. Court Cabaret, 1241 N. Palm Ave. Tickets: $12. Infor mation: 366-9000 or 05 JULY Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Parade of Boats July 5, 7 p.m., Main Street (from U.S. 301 to Gulfstream Avenue). Admission: Free. Infor mation: 12 JULY Golden Gates: Traditional Song and Dance of Russia and Ukraine July 12, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave. Admission: Dona tion. Information: 955-0935 or 19 JULY Friday Fest at the Van Wezel, featuring Kettle of Fish July 19, 5 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail. Admission: Free. Information: 953-3368 or ComMunity CALendar The best of upcoming EVENTS


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 AHHH ... A JULY FOURTH SEAFOOD BUFFET! SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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