Sarasota News Leader


Material Information

Sarasota News Leader
Physical Description:
Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, FL
Creation Date:
July 12, 2013
Publication Date:


newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )


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

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 5 October 18, 2013 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside UNCERTAIN FUTURE A VICIOUS DISPUTE EMPLOYEES AT RISK The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida




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 The Sarasota News Leader and The Progressive Voice of Southwest Florida are registered trademarks of New Sheriff Publishing, Inc., which publishes The Sarasota News Leader. 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 Post Ofce Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277 941-227-1080


S ometimes i t is not the events that just happened but those com ing up that spark the most interest in a community. That is as suredly the case this week, thanks to the wildre spread of com ments about the latest set of County Commission evaluations of County Administrator Randall Reid. County Editor Roger Drouin pored through both sets of evalu ations the commissioners have completed this year and the county charter to set the stage for the Oct. 23 board meeting. That is the day we expect to get a much clearer picture of Reids future in this community. City Editor Stan Zimmerman long has been providing previews of upcoming City Commission meetings, an effort for which he deserves far more commendation than he receives. Good govern ment demands public participation. If you know an item that is important to you is coming up on a meeting agenda, you can plan accordingly. Not only has Stan previewed the Oct. 21 City Commission meeting in this issue, but he also has offered a snapshot of issues on the agenda for the joint City/County commissions meeting on Oct. 22. Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker this week tackled a slightly different but very compelling local government topic. His re port on ethics allegations lodged against a county commissioner is not your typical he said/he said article. Fortunately, as an antidote to all that hard news, contributor Harriet Cuthbert has served up a splendid review of a a menco performance during the Ringling In ternational Arts Festival. You will feel as though you were there when you read her descriptions. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


UNCERTAIN FUTURE EMPLOYEES AT RISK NE WS & COMMENTARY UNCERTAIN FUTURE 8 County Administrator Randall Reid will face a big test next week as the commissioners discuss his latest evaluation with three having expressed signicant concerns Roger Drouin A VICIOUS DISPUTE 16 Brutal words exchanged in ght over County Commission ethics allegations Cooper Levey-Baker EMPLOYEES AT RISK 22 Sarasota County Schools administrative staff is working on ways to keep health insurance costs from rising a projected 60 percent over the next two years Rachel Brown Hackney DJ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 29 The North Port Commission asks that its city manager, the county manager and their staffs come up with options for a short-term reopening of Warm Mineral Springs Rachel Brown Hackney POINT PERSON 36 If homelessness consultant Robert Marbuts strategic plan includes a permanent shelter, Wayne Applebee will be the man charged with seeing it built Roger Drouin MAKING THEIR CASE 41 Lawmakers urged to support health and human services programs in 2014 Cooper Levey-Baker HVAC SYSTEMS AND SCHOOL SAFETY 44 School Board members say keeping their facilities in top shape remains their highest priority with their capital budget, but school security is high on the list Rachel Brown Hackney NO DIVERGING DIAMOND, PLEASE 50 Sarasota Countys interim transportation planning director hopes to talk state ofcials out of a complex interchange proposal for I-75 and University Parkway Rachel Brown Hackney CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW 55 The future of the G.WIZ building, the State Street garage design and a Community Development Block Grant shufe are on the Oct. 21 agenda Stan Zimmerman FINEBERG TO DID: ADIEU 60 Members of the Downtown Improvement District are working to hold on a building that represents one of their largest sources of revenue Stan Zimmerman TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Fifteen Knots Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Evening Fire Norman Schimmel Vol. 2, No. 5 October 18, 2013


FANTASTICO FLAMENCO SIESTA SEEN A FA C EOFF OF BOARDS 63 The Sarasota City and County commissions will meet on Oct. 22 to talk about the Lido Beach renourishment and the Community Redevelopment Agency Stan Zimmerman PREP WORK CONTINUES 67 Borings are being taken in the effort to make sure the revived Lift Station 87 project succeeds Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 70 CRIME BLOTTER 83 OPINION EDITORIAL 88 Double double toil and trouble Part Two SLIGHTLY HACKNEYED 91 Only the wacky still approve of Congress SARASOTA LEISURE FANTASTICO FLAMENCO 95 A renowned dancer thrills her audience at the Ringling International Arts Festival Harriet Cuthbert SIESTA SEEN 99 County staff is evaluating expenses of alternatives for dewatering the stormwater site; Avenida de Mayos parking situation will be back before the County Commission this month Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 107 RELIGION BRIEFS 116 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 118 SCHIMMEL SIG HTINGS 119 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Vol. 2, No. 5 October 18, 2013 FOR ADVERTISING INFO (941) 227-1080


Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Neal Schafers My interest in photography reminded me about how my former smile made me uncomfortable to have my own picture taken. A childhood accident resulted in lost teeth. When my permanent teeth came in they were askew and very small in proportion to my smile. I had seen how Dr. Koval perfectly restored the smile of my friends father. Upon my own exam with Dr. Koval, we discovered that I also had worn and cracked fillings, and a shifted jaw all which she corrected. Dr. Koval sincerely cares about her patients and their smiles. I am 100% satisfied with her meticulous work to make my smile look natural and picture-perfect.ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit Christine Koval, D.M.D. Restorative, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry General Dentistry 2477 Stickney Point Road, Suite 216A Sarasota, FL 941.923.5406


With th re e county commissioners questioning County Administrator Randall Reids job per formance, Reid nds himself in a precipitous position heading into the Wednesday, Oct. 23, County Commission meeting. In evaluations made public this week, Chairwoman Carolyn Mason and Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson gave the countys CEO a below-av erage rating for his overall job performance from April to September of this year. An item about the evaluations is on the agenda for Wednesdays meeting. Mr. Re id should have an opportunity to review all ve evalua tions, and we should have a healthy dis cussion ab out it, said Barbett a, who gave Reid an overall below average/satisfactory rating. In fairness to Mr. Reid, he is entitled to review [the evaluations] and see what approach he wants to take, Barbetta told The Sarasota News Leader whether he wants to address all of the issues. The three commissioners who gave Reid those below average marks noted problems ranging from low employee morale to miscommuni cation with the board on key developments or issues. Reid took over as administrator in late January 2012 in the wake of a scandal in the countys Procurement Department. Former County Administrator Jim Ley resigned in County Administrator Randall Reid and the commissioners prepare for the start of a meeting in Venice. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR RANDALL REID WILL FACE A BIG TEST NEXT WEEK AS THE COMMISSIONERS DISCUSS HIS LATEST EVALUATION WITH THREE HAVING EXPRESSED SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS UNCERTAIN FUTURE I have concerns that [Randall Reid is] no longer a good t for Sarasota County Government. Carolyn Mason Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


County Administrator Randall Reid looks over agenda material at a meeting. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 9


May 2 011 after the improper purchasing procedures became public. Mason, Bar betta and Robinson listed per ceived problems that would make it difcult for any local govern ment admini strator to work with elected ofcials. In th eir evaluations, Robinson wrote that Reid was not taking appropriate respon sibility for problems, and Mason concluded he had undermined the trust of commissioners. Board members also cited specic examples of faltering projects. Among those, Barbetta wrote of his frustration with delays in key economic efforts, including the Fruitville Initiative while Robinson expressed concern about the lack o f a plan to deal with continued deficit spending a point she made numerous times during budget workshops this year. She has voiced her opposition to contin ued use of the countys economic uncertainty fund to balance the budget, with projections showing that pot of money will run dry as early as the 2016 scal year. Mason wrote that Reid does not always fully understand concerns the board members raise. The commissioners were split on their per spective of how well Reid was doing overall, with two giving him at least a satisfactory Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Christine Robinson review budget material. File photo I believe there are some longstanding concerns especially about communication, and that was expressed at the last evaluation. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 10


rating. Comm issioners Nora Patterson and Charles Hines characterized Reids perfor mance as above average and satisfactory/ above average, respectively. When I interact with the new staff that Mr. Reid has brought on to ll several top level vacancies that he inherited when he took over from [Interim County Administrator Terry] Lewis, I am impressed with the quality of Mr. Reids choices and recruitment, Patterson wrote in her review. But the combined evaluation results cast an uncertain light on Reids future with the county. It takes three commission votes at two ofcial meetings, a minimum of three weeks apart, to re the county administrator, or four commission votes at one meeting, according to the countys charter. THE PROBLEMS At various points in their evaluations, Mason, Barbetta and Robinson referenced the same examples when citing displeasure with Reids job performance over the past six months. Barbetta and Robinson wrote that they felt county staff members did not communicate with commissioners because they were afraid of being reprimanded. Problems with the countys adherence to its public records policy was another issue. Mason wrote that the board experienced some difculty with [Reid] during the public records request discussion due to a lack of clarity on implementing county policy, i.e., how/when we charge for such requests. She was alluding to almost 45 minutes of discussion on Aug. 28, w hen commissioners ask ed for details about why a member of the public was not charged for either the length of time it took staff to compile the records the person wanted or for the hours a county employee stayed with the person during the review of those les. Robinson wrote that she was frustrated that the countys public records policy was not being enforced uniformly even though a clear policy had been in place for a number of years. Mason, Robinson and Barbetta all also men tioned the mishandling of information about the July resignation of former Strategic and Financial Planning Director Suzanne Gable. Gable resigned after Financial Planning Ofce staff discovered she did not have a valid CPA license; yet, those commissioners pointed out, Reid did not mention the CPA license Commissioner Carolyn Mason ponders a matter during a budget workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 11


The rst page of Commissioner Christine Robinsons evaluation of County Administrator Randall Reid shows a number of Unsatisfactory marks. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 12


issu e when he alert ed them to her decision to leave her job. The circumstances surrounding Gables res ignation have seriously undermined and eroded the trust I had in you as the County Administrator, to the point that I have con cerns that you are no longer a good t for Sarasota County Government, Mason wrote. A DOWNWARD SLIDE At the end of Barbettas initial evaluation of Reid in January the commissioner con cluded, Overall things are improving. Still, in th eir earlier evaluations of Reid, both Mason and Robinson expressed concerns about inadequate communication from Reid on key issues. In Masons January evaluation, she noted she had learned about a Sarasota County Area Transit bus accident involving a cyclist by watching a local news program, for one example. Much of the criticism in the latest round of evaluations, however, was new, and marks were signicantly lower. Masons overall evaluation of Reid in January was satisfactory. S he awarded him 22 Bs Chairwoman Carolyn Mason added a separate page of comments with her evaluation of County Administrator Randall Reid. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 13


the high est mark she gave him in 41 cat egories, along with 19 Cs. The rating standards are A for Excellent, B for Above Average, C for Satisfactory, D for Below Average and U for Unsatisfactory. During this latest round of evaluations, Masons highest mark was again a B, but Reid earned only four of them. She gave him 25 Cs and 12 Ds. Mason wrote on the latest form: In my rst evaluation I ended my written comments acknowledging that you were building a good foundation at Sarasota County Government, and I encouraged you not to allow any part of that foundation to be undermined. Those comments were due to several miscommuni cations by you to the [County Commission]. Robinsons marks for Reid were also higher in January, when she gave Reid an overall above-average rating. I believe there are some longstanding con cerns especially about communication, and that was expressed at the last evaluation, Robinson said in an interview with the News Leader this week. Robinson added that some of the issues she spoke with Reid about earlier this year have not been addressed. I did have several concerns in January, which I voiced privately to the county administra tor, Robinson said. But I did not put them in my evaluation [in January]. Those areas have not improved. AN ALLY At Wednesdays meeting, Reid could have two allies in Patterson and Hines, who gave him higher marks than he received from their colleagues. In her evaluation, Patterson drew attention to the list of achievements Reid had submitted to the board: These achievements must be taken into account when evaluating Mr. Reid, who obviously can take some credit for the performance and dedication of the staff who have been hands on in realizing these goals. Patterson noted a lot of positive things that have happened in the past year. Reids list sent as part of his self-evalua tion included the following projects: the successful effort to win the bid for the 2017 World Rowing Championships; focusing on the coordinated development of Nathan Benderson Park and the adjacent University Town Center Mall; $45 million in completed capital projects; and an adopted 2014 budget with no millage rate increase. Among other achievements to which he pointed were efforts under way to address the homeless ness issue countywide and a review of the Utilities Department to address continuing problems. Reid also listed four steps he has taken recently to improve communication, includ ing striving to let the commissioners know when employees are contacted by the media or when a major accident happens involving county employees or equipment. Patterson wrote that Reid was not the sole source to blame for communication breakdowns, noting sometimes uncivil com mission discussions. There may be faults on both sides of the issue, Patterson wrote. The ch allenge ahead for Reid will be to work on his relationship with the three other commissioners. Mr. Reid needs to help cure these problems, whether the fault lies in his court or not, Patters on wrote. % Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 14


REGISTER NOW FOR PSAS RENOWNED LIFELONG LEARNING COURSES Fall Term begins October 21st at 4 convenient Sarasota/Manatee locations Join us for FREE Fall Public Lectures Tuesdays @ 2:30 p.m. at Plymouth Harbor, 700 John Ringling Blvd. For detailed lecture and course information visit: or Call (941) 374-0561 PSA is a 501(c)(3) non-prot organization whose reasonable course fees are supplemented by contributions exciting ways to wake up your mind Sam Gross Pierian Spring Academy adventures in lifelong learning Oct. 29th Bob Carlson & Kym Elder: Are American Schools in Trouble and Are Charter Schools an Answer? Nov. 5th Jim Brown: A Preview of the History of African American Life Nov. 12th Baila Miller: The 1913 Armory (Art) Show Nov. 19th Owen Comora: The Celery Fields: A Birders Hot Spot Dec. 3rd Betsy Hudson Traba: Is That Your REAL Job? The Multi-faceted, VERY Busy Lives of Orchestra Musicians


A VICIOUS DISPUTE When this stuff happens its incumbent on [County Administrator Randall] Reid and [Ethics and Compliance Ofcer Steve] Uebelacker to stop it, and Uebelacker instead just said, Youre overblowing it. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County The historic courthouse tower is often used to symbolize Sarasota County government. Photo by Norman Schimmel


Retaliation, intimidation, reckless allega tions, unethical behavior just some of the barbed words being thrown around in a very public dispute involving Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta, Ethics and Compliance Ofcer Steve Uebelacker and the countys long-contested mowing contracts. The argument, which burst into view late last week through the countys public email server, began when an unknown county employee alerted Uebelacker to two points the employee thought might suggest Barbetta had behaved unethically. One: That Barbetta is close personal friends with Cynthia Peterson, who is spearheading a Center for Architecture Sarasota partnership with the county that involves taking over a coun ty-owned building for just $1 per year. And two: That Barbetta had been spotted on a boat with the heads of two county mowing vendors, Storm Techs Tom Giddens and Rick Richards Inc.s Rick Richards. (The quotes above come from an Oct. 9 email sent by Uebelacker to Barbetta.) Barbetta has repeatedly championed the Center for Architecture project, which will BRUTAL WORDS EXCHANGED IN FIGHT OVER COUNTY COMMISSION ETHICS ALLEGATIONS By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor A series of failed county mowing contracts led to overgrown right of ways and medians in the summer of 2012. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 17


allow University of Florida graduate students to study architecture at a 1960 Sarasota School of Architecture build ing located on Orange Avenue. Press releases and news reports have quoted Barbetta calling the program a tremendous mile stone for Sarasota a great connection with the University of Florida and big for the community When Uebelacker later met with Barbetta to discuss the employees claims, Barbetta vol unteered that he is indeed very good friends with Peterson and her husband, architect Guy Peterson, according to Uebelackers Oct. 9 email. But Barbetta tells The Sarasota News Leader its shocking that someone would suggest he might prot from the arrangement. Th e Center for Architecture is taking over a county print shop and restoring it at no cost to the tax payers, he points out. Cynthia Peterson later emailed Uebelacker, requesti ng a meet ing, at which Uebelacker told her he had no intention of pursuing the matter. I thought the issue was over, he wrote to Barbetta. (Peterson did not respond to a News Leader message.) The second allegation is the thornier one. Tom Giddens and his wife, Toni, have long protested the validity of the countys mowing contracts, and in a 5,000-word email sent this August, Tom charged that county employees had steered bids to favored companies and retaliated against Storm Tech for speaking out. A South Orange Avenue building designed in the style of the Sarasota School of Architecture will be the future home of a University of Florida graduate architecture program. Photo by Norman Schimmel Most problems and issues are uncovered when people come forward, and people are only going to do that when they feel comfortable. Steve Uebelacker Ethics and Compliance Ofcer Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 18


Barbetta cited the email during a subsequent County Commission meeting, saying he would not vote to proceed with any mowing contracts till the allegations had been fully addressed. The same people are here that put us in this position, he said, and, unfor tunately, because of our charter, I cant do anything about it. Only the county admin istrator may dismiss employees, per the charter. Toni Giddens tells the News Leader the alleged boat get-together absolutely never happened. Tom met with Barbetta once in 2012, Toni says, and she later met with each commissioner individually, but that has been the extent of their personal contact with the board. She says she was astounded when she rst read the public emails. Richards, who has complained about mowing contracts as well, also denies the boat inci dent happened and says retaliation against him and Storm Tech is the only plausible motive for the accusations. Why else would you throw the three of us in a boat together? Thats a no-brainer, he tells the News Leader Giddens agrees. We have nothing in common except the mowing contracts, she says. Its almost intimidation. Barbetta calls the suggestion of impropriety vicious. I dont understand how someone could make that statement, he says. But it was Uebelackers handling of the situation that really irked Barbetta. Uebelacker eventually brought up the allega tions in a one-on-one meeting with Barbetta. According to an email sent by Barbetta on Oct. 9, that conversation began with Uebelacker telling him, Im here to talk to you abou t two ethics complaints that have been lodged against you, and it quickly turned into a heated discussion. He wrote that Uebelacker had promised to speak with the employee who had made the allegation to ask for proof, something Uebelacker strenu ously denied. Barbetta also wrote that Uebelacker told him that if the employee had indeed invented the charges, Uebelacker would notify County Administrator Randy Reid and there would be consequences for the employees who lied. Barbetta says he believes the employee should be red. Uebelacker declined to provide the name of the employee, writing that to do so would violate the promise of condentiality made to whistleblowers. You have previously and routinely publicly called for the termination Commissioner Joe Barbetta watches a presentation during a budget workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 19


of county employees and insisted that the employees that provided the information to me should be fired, Uebelacker wrote to Barbetta. I do not believe that it would be good practice to discuss the names of the individuals with anyone, as there is clearly a fear of retaliation within this organization. The ethics portion of the county website spe cically promises that employees shall not be subject to retaliation for reports made in good faith alleging fraud, waste, abuse, or misconduct. Its that good faith section Barbetta questions. Using your theory, youre saying that there are no consequences for reckless accusations by County employees??!!! Barbetta shot back in his email to Uebelacker. Thats ludicrous. Uebelacker did not respond directly to requests for comment, but county spokesper son Jamie Carson tells the News Leader he stands by the content of his emails. She says Uebelackers meeting with Barbetta was not part of any formal ethics investigation, but an informal heads-up, as a courtesy. At no time during that process did he think that that information warranted an investi gation or formal inquiry, Carson says. In his email Uebelacker acknowledged that even if the allegations were true, they would not qualify as ethics violations. But Carson says Uebelacker believed it was important, even if the allegations were false, that Barbetta be made aware of perceptions in the community. Most problems and issues are uncovered when people come forward, and people are only going to do that when they feel comfort able, Uebelacker said in a statement provided by Carson. My job is to make people feel safe. It would be unfortunate if this current situa tion negatively impacts that atmosphere. Its imperative to me that employees know they can come to me in condence. Richards says Uebelacker should have either investigated the matter further or just let it drop. Even if the allegations are unfounded, he says, theres now a stigma attached to him, Storm Tech and Barbetta. When this stuff happens its incumbent on Reid and Uebelacker to stop it, Barbetta says, and Uebelacker instead just said, Youre overblowing it. In his email, Barbetta wrote that several peo ple in the community told him Uebelacker was mentioning the incident in public. That didnt sit well with him, he says. Thats when I went nuts about it. % Steve Uebelacker is the countys ethics and compliance ofcer. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 20


Witness the beauty and grace of the Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria. Join us for the 2013 Halloween Show featuring Snow White and e Hunstman, candy for trick or treaters, and photos with Snow White. Costumes are welcome. October 26, 2013. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. Minimum $10 donation requested. Children 10 and under are free. Weddings Events & Clinics Riding Lessons Breeding (941) 322-1501 32755 Singletary Road Myakka City, Florida 34251 Click To Watch The Video Click For Interactive Map


Image courtesy of EMPLOYEES AT RISK With the Sarasota County Schools health insurance costs predicted to rise 60 percent over the next couple of years, Superintendent Lori White has asked the districts chief nancial ofcer, its wellness coordinator and other staff members to work as a task force to nd ways to improve employee health, the School Board members learned during their Oct. 15 wo rkshop. Suz anne DuBose, the districts wellness coordinator, said during the annual update on her area of responsibility that the group held its rst meeting last week. One big goal is to nd funding for employee incentives to encourage them to take better care of them selves, DuBose pointed out. The district is quickly approaching the level at wh ich 70 percent of its employees will be SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF IS WORKING ON WAYS TO KEEP HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS FROM RISING A PROJECTED 60 PERCENT OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


classied as overweight, she noted. According to the September economic report prepared by Sarasota County nance staff, the school system has more than 5,500 employees. The numbers keep going up, DuBose said in regard to overweight staff. However, two School Board members voiced concerns about how intrusive they should be in the lives of employees. Im really struggling with the role of this dis trict with regard to the behaviors of adults, Carol Todd said. Im well aware of our insur ance costs, she added, but I think its a larger [philosophical] discussion I think Im hear ing more than what I feel comfortable with in our role, because we are a [kindergarten through 12th grade] school district. I agree with you, Chairwoman Jane Goodwin said. There is a ne line as to what we can do or say. White responded that the district could not afford to continue to do nothing about Wellness Coordinator Suzanne DuBose talks with School Board members on Oct. 15. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 23


Graphs in the summary of a Florida Blue personal health assessment administered to 1,090 Sarasota County School District employees between Sept. 19, 2012, and June 30 of this year show the overall results. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 24


employees he alth concerns. We have to act in a way that will help us change that bottom line, she added, referring to insurance costs. We do care about the health of our staff and their productivity But we also care about how much were devoting to healthcare bene ts, because that takes money away from the classroom. DISTRICT SUCCESSES During her presentation, DuBose did note positive news for the districts wellness pro gram during the previous school year. One thousand ninety staff members underwent a health risk appraisal, up from 546 in the 201112 school year, she said. Thats actually very good, she pointed out, based on general sta tistics for such participation. Noting that diabetes is a high cost driver, she added that about 23 percent of the districts 600 diabetic employees engaged in a program to help them deal with that condition. The goal was to increase that participation 10 percent over the previous years rate, she pointed out. When Goodwin asked for clarication that the district has 600 people w ho have be en diagnosed with diabetes, DuBose responded, Thats the latest number. The program for which those employees are eligible is run by Florida Blue, she added; it is not run by the district, and, therefore, she has no access to the names of those employees. The most we can do is market and commu nicate the program, DuBose told the School Board. During staff meetings, she added, she offers encouragement for participation. Additionally, DuBose said, she has been working over the past several weeks with representatives of Florida Blue and the South County YMCA with the hope that pre-diabetic district employees can participate in a pro gram the Y offers to help them reduce their risk level. Superintendent Lori White listens to remarks during the Oct. 15 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney We do care about the health of our staff and their productivity But we also care about how much were devoting to healthcare benets, because that takes money away from the classroom. Lori White Superintendent Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 25


Those scho ol staff members with two or more risk factors for diabetes such as being over weight and handling a lot of stress would be eligible for that program, she explained. She will meet again with the Florida Blue and Y representatives during the first week of November to see about bringing that to our staff. DuBose also pointed out that preventive health exams are free as long as staff employees go to providers in their insurance plan network. The refore, she also is encouraging employees to take advantage of that opportunity. ROLE OF THE BOARD Because of her concern about being too intru sive in employee affairs, Goodwin said she would prefer seeing the district reach the point of being able to open its own healthcare clinic, noting the Charlotte County Schools have ta ken that approach. A graph in the Florida Blue summary of a Sarasota County School District employee health assessment provides details about the ndings regarding body mass index for the 1,090 participants. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 26


Exams an d medication are easily available to [staff members] and their families through a clinic, Goodwin pointed out. I think [that idea] has more merit. Todd referenced a remark board member Shirley Brown has made in the past: All of our campuses are smoke-free environments. Thats setting a model for our students. And I feel comfortable being the food police and saying, You know what? We dont need 12-inch cookies [made available to students]; a 2-inch cookie is ne. But thats about our children. Todd added, I just dont know where the line is for being the health police for the adults. Brown noted that the City and County of Sarasota offer incentives to employees for participation in wellness activities. You can get your co-pay or your [health insur ance cost] down to zero by participating in them, she added. Maybe that is a different way of getting around [Todds and Goodwins concerns]. DuBose said the task force members are looking at carrots versus sticks. Value-based incentives seem to be a good thing. She added that eight risks or behaviors are responsible for 15 chronic health conditions, driving 80 percent of healthcare costs. By targeting one, two or three of those behav iors, she continued, you can save $700 an employee per year, just by keeping them on track with wellness efforts. DuBose reiterated that making people aware of factors that contribute to poor health and letting them know about opportunities they can take advantage of to improve their well being are major factors in a successful pro gram. Awareness is huge. You have to live in a cave not to know some of these things, Todd said, such as the risk factors for diabetes. However, board member Caroline Zucker pointed out that some people grow up in cultures that do not emphasize the value of regular physicals and healthful eating. White said she favored an incentive approach in helping employees. I am not one for the stick approach. People often need to be nudged to do what is best for them, White added. Were talking really minimal, she said, such as just encour aging people to have regular checkups. She told the board, If we can just take those mini steps, I think that might make the differ ence to that person thats aware but has not yet found the incentive to take action. % School Board member Shirley Brown makes a point during a July meeting. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 27


to benet Planned Parenthoods sexual health and prevention education programs Friday, October 25 Michaels on East 9pm 1am$85 in advance $100 at the door TICKETS ON SALE NOW! by phone: 941.365.3913 x1124open bar DJ imminent live entertainment late nite bites costume contest shocking surprises and more! THANK YOUto our generous sponsors! Mike & Yen Reed Mark Steinwachs & Jarred Wilson Rae & Mark Mulligan Carlson Studios Ludwig-Walpole Company, Inc.


On a 3-1 vote, the North Port City Commission on Monday, Oct. 14, voted to direct City Manager Jonathan Lewis and his staff to wo rk with Sarasota Count y Administrator Randall Reid and his staff to come up with options for reopening Warm Mineral Springs for swimming only. While they pursue those discussions, the motion stipulated, staffs o f both local governments also can work on a long-range plan for management of the 81-acre resort that has been closed since June 30. Com missioner Tom Jones cast the No vote, saying he felt the action was pre mature. It followed a unanimous vote to rescind the award of a bid to WMS Sarasota Management LLC for the short-term opera tion of the springs. In late June, swimmers enjoyed the ambiance of Warm Mineral Springs. Photo by Stan Zimmerman THE NORTH PORT COMMISSION ASKS THAT ITS CITY MANAGER, THE COUNTY MANAGER AND THEIR STAFFS COME UP WITH OPTIONS FOR A SHORT-TERM REOPENING OF WARM MINERAL SPRINGS DJ VU ALL OVER AGAIN Its just going to be dj vu, a perpetual problem to get a third-party to come in and lease this property Were just going to be spinning our wheels over and over and over again. Linda Yates Mayor City of North Port By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Commissioner Cheryl Cook was suffering ill health and unable to stay for the Warm Mineral Springs discussion, which was added to the Oct. 14 regular meeting agenda at Lewis request. The board also voted 3-1 with Jones dissenting not to award the contract to the other com pany that submitted a bid during the sum mer, Cambridgeshire Investment LLC, based in Port Charlotte. In yet another motion, the board voted 3-1 with Mayor Linda Yates in the minority to allow Lewis and Reid the option of pursuing another short-term management bid process. I cant support that, Yates said, because of the time frames She pointed out that it probably would take at least another 90 days for the two local government boards to agree to a new contract award. Moreover, Yates told her colleagues, Its just going to be dj vu a perpetual problem to get a thirdparty to come in and lease this property Were just going to be spinning our wheels over and over and over again. According to email Reid sent to the county commissioners on the morning of Oct. 15, he plans to bring up the North Port actions during Members of the North Port City Commission are (from left) Rhonda DiFranco, Vice Mayor James Blucher, Mayor Linda Yates, Cheryl Cook and Tom Jones. Photo courtesy City of North Port Im really against that process, but Ill be exible. James Blucher Vice Mayor City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 30


his report when the County Commission meets on Oct. 22 in Sarasota. On Oct. 14, Lewis initiated about an hour of discussion including public comments from three speakers because, as he put it, At some point in the process we had to come to the conclusion of whether [WMS Sarasota Managements principals] were going to sign the contract or not. During a unanimous vote on Sept. 10, the County Commission concurred with a 3-1 decision of the North Port board a day ear lier to award a 12-month contract to WMS Sarasota Management to operate Warm Mineral Springs while the boards tried to iron ou t differences on the long-term future of the resort. Cook cast the No vote on her board. Conicting views of the resorts future began to brew after Cook and Rhonda DiFranco were elected to the North Port Commission in November 2012. They sided with Yates in wanting to keep the springs in a natural state, while the previous North Port Commission had voted with the County Commission in July 2012 to seek an Invitation to Negotiate for potential development proposals for the property. The two boards bought Warm Mineral Springs for $5.5 million in December 2010. The disagreement ultimately led to a facil itated meeting of the commissions in April, under the guidelines of a state statute regard ing conict resolution. In June, the boards nally approved a new interlocal agreement that spelled out the process for hiring a shortterm manager while efforts continued to resolve the long-range vision. Before Warm Mineral Springs closed at the end of June, visitors were greeted by this welcome sign. Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons Jonathan Lewis is the North Port city manager. Photo courtesy City of North Port Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 31


Howev er, af ter the bid award went to WMS Sarasota Management, the rm began to balk at health and safety as well as structural prob lems its attorney said needed to be resolved at the resort before it took over. The rm also sought an extended lease. THE PROBLEMS Lewis told his board on Oct. 14, I think staff did a very good job of working with this However, as late as that morning, he contin ued, he had talked with the personal attorney for Dr. Grigory Pogrebinsky one of the principals of WMS Sarasota Management to reiterate the points staff already had made: The bid terms were non-negotiable. The attorney Alexander Berkovich of Brooklyn, NY most recently had asked an extension of the lease period from 12 months to 24. Berkovich wrote, [M]y client does not see a realistic opportunity for at least recoup ing in 12 months substantial costs (including marketing and 24% revenue fee to the City and the County) of the operation that would start from the standstill position since the Springs facilities are empty and the Springs has been closed for months. I still maintain it would be inappropriate to change the terms of a bid document, Lewis said during the commission meeting, even though I fully believe what Mr. Berkovich said. I dont have any reason to doubt his statement. Lewis also advised the commissioners of his blanket statement for their discussion: Because of the terms of the interlocal agree ment, the County Commission would have to concur with the City Commissions actions, or another stalemate would ensue. Yates also questioned Lewis about the fact that WMS Sarasota Management had not provided the bond as required under the bid terms. The bond would be due 10 days after the execution of the contract, which has not occurred, Lewis pointed out. Nonetheless, he concurred that WMS Sarasota Management had indicated some disagreement with the stipulations for the bond laid out by the County Attorneys Ofce, which were seen as extra security for the two local government boards. You wanted that protection, Lewis added. THE NEXT STEP In making the rst motion that afternoon to negate the bid award Vice Mayor James Blucher told his colleagues, I dont think we have any choice. Weve given them every Randall Reid is the county administrator. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 32


A section of the Warm Mineral Springs interlocal agreement approved earlier this year spells out details of the bid process for a short-term operator. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 33


oppo rtunity. [Pogrebinsky] wants to negoti ate something thats non-negotiable, in my opinion. The primary reason he originally wanted the city and county to stay focused on a long-term agreement, he said, was to avoid just the type of back-and-forth action necessary to get a short-term operator in place, he noted if we havent already chased those large inves tors away with the conicts. As much as it pains me, Jones agreed, we have to start again. Yates said she was greatly surprised and disappointed over the situation [because] everything has been so public with regard to every issue, really, thats been brought up. After that unanimous vote, Yates gave the gavel to Blucher. Weve got to keep the longterm planning going, she pointed out. We are right now in limbo. That was when she proposed Lewis, Reid and their staffs work together. Put aside the busi ness part of [the resort], she added, [and let] the public have the therapeutic aspect of the spring itself. Its costing us $16,000 a month to keep [Warm Mineral Springs] closed. I would support that as long as we make it clear that we want to continue the discus sions of the long-term [plans], DiFranco told the board. Jones argued that it would be premature to take that approach when the boards could pursue another short-term management rm. However, Lewis said, I think youre giving us a little bit more exibility with this particular idea than what we have been given in the past. We have good, high-quality staff in our Parks and Recreation Division. I think they have some ideas they would like to explore. Youre not going to charge $20 for the swim ming, Blucher cautioned Yates, referring to the daily cost of a pass for a visitor. County residents would pay $15 per day. Yates was adamant that she did not want to see the restaurant or spa or any other facility on the grounds reopened until the city and county had settled on a long-term manage ment plan. Having some income, she replied, [is] better than zero. She added that with the resort under local government operation, We can make that transition very smooth to a long-term operator. Well said, DiFranco told her. Im really against that process, Blucher said of limiting the opening to swimmers only, but Ill be exible. He told his colleagues he felt that when they saw the costs involved, they would realize that was not a good option. In Jun e, county Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown told the County Commission that just to keep the swimming area open with lifeguard and janitorial services provided would necessitate 16 employees working seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. That expense would be about $17,000 per week, she added. % Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 34


Pulled Pork Ribs Chicken Beef Brisket Sides Made Fresh From Scratch Big salad Chilled Salmon Beer & Wine Homemade Desserts Kid Friendly 301 S Pineapple Ave Sarasota, FL Open: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 9:00pm Catering Across The Suncoast Since 2005 Click For Driving Directions Click To View Our Video Online 941-366-2271 (BBQ1)


Starting next month, Wayne Applebee could face some steep challenges. If City and County of Sarasota consultant Robert Marbuts stra tegic plan calls for a permanent shelter for the homeless, and community leaders agree, Applebee will be the point person in making sure that goal is achieved. Applebee has been tapped to put Marbuts proposal into action after the consultant leaves Sarasota. Appleb ees resume shows 25 years of experience in law enforcement and criminal justice and human services plan ning. But it is his specific experience several years ago in Maine that has proba bly best prepared him Before working for Sarasota County, Wayne Applebee led the effort to fund, plan and build a regional jail in Maine. Photo by Norman Schimmel IF HOMELESSNESS CONSULTANT ROBERT MARBUTS STRATEGIC PLAN INCLUDES A PERMANENT SHELTER, WAYNE APPLEBEE WILL BE THE MAN CHARGED WITH SEEING IT BUILT POINT PERSON We need to let [homelessness consultant Robert Marbut] do his work, uninterrupted. Let him deliver his report, and then we should be asking all the questions that we have to ask as a community. Then lets work together to solve this issue as best as we can. Wayne Applebee Human Services Policy Coordinator Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


for the possi bility of overseeing the creation of a homeless shelter in Sarasota County. In 2005, as chief sheriffs deputy in Wiscasset, ME, Applebee was chosen to lead the effort to fund, plan and construct the new Two Bridges Regional Jail. The $24.6-million center became the rst of its kind in New England, merging two old facilities into one high-tech jail focus ing on programs designed to stem recidivism. The project came with its share of obstacles, ranging from legislative hurdles to funding. Both counties [involved] had to pass a refer endum or the project was dead, Applebee said in an interview this week with The Sarasota News Leader Applebee was at the center of the action, working very long hours. Over the past ve years, Applebee has been the criminal justice policy and human ser vices coordinator for Sarasota County, working on complex issues such as child welfare, inmate mentoring and homeless pre vention. Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery recently gave him the two-year assignment to put Marbuts strategic plan into action. That proposal is expected to include a perma nent shelter. In a September interview with the News Leader Marbut called such a facil ity a transformational center. Marbut is scheduled to present his plan to elected ofcials and members of the commu nity on Nov. 25. Applebee will take over his new role sometime the same month. A homeless person sleeps in Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 37


FIRST OF ITS KIND In 20 05 in Wiscasset, ME, Applebee acted as a negotiator between two county commissions during discussions on jail nancing and gov ernance. During the transition to the new Two Bridges Regional Jail, he was directly involved in the hiring and training of 68 employees and the development of more than 350 policies, procedures and moving plans. As part of that process, Applebee imple mented the closing of the two old jails and the opening of the new state-of-the-art facility. In addition to presenting the plans to groups and convincing voters to approve separate referenda in the two counties to fund the project, Applebee was charged with nalizing a list of recommended sites for the facility. Th at was no easy task, he told the News Leader The new center is run by the Two Bridges Jail Authority, a body similar to the SarasotaBradenton International Airport Authority, Applebee explained. Applebee also rallied for a legislative change that allowed the nascent regional authority to operate the jail. Previously, only sheriffs ofces had run correctional facilities in Maine. When the regional jail opened, it had stateof-the-art equipment, Applebee said. For example, correctional ofcers had to learn to use handheld computers instead of manual logs. If Sarasota city and county officials move forward on the establishment of a homeless The Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless facility in Clearwater has been considered a model for a potential Sarasota center. Image courtesy Pinellas Safe Harbor Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 38


facility Applebee could see a repeat of many of the challenges he encountered in Maine. Funding will become a big issue, for example. Resources are not endless, Applebee said. Even though the City Commission and County Commission each have pledged $500,000 to the project, it is likely more will be needed, especially for continuing operations. A transformational center for the home less should provide a continuum of care, Applebee pointed out. The ultimate goal, he said, is moving people to affordable housing and jobs. But for the time being, Applebee is urging patience until Marbut releases his report on Nov. 25. We need to let him do his work, unin terrupted, Applebee said. Let him deliver his report, and then we should be asking all the questions that we have to ask as a com munity. Then lets work together to solve this issue as best as we can. ON THE PULSE Two years after the Two Bridges Regional Jail opened, Applebee moved to Sarasota, joining Sarasota County government as the criminal justice policy coordinator. In that role, acting also as the countys crim inal justice planner, he has tried to identify ways to keep inmates from re-entering the jail system from family reunication efforts to inmate mentoring and a work crew program. His goal has been to divert folks from lling up the jails when they can appropriately be managed in society. Applebee also ensured the county won federal dollars for local criminal justice programs. In his current position as human services policy coordinator for the county, Applebee works on such issues as behavioral health, child welfare, aging, homeless prevention and poverty as well as criminal justice sys tems matters. His resume says his role is to conduct policy analysis leading to identi cation of deciencies in the human services system and develop, coordinate and imple ment improvements. Throughout his tenure in Sarasota County, Applebee has worked closely with judges, law enforcement officials and county commissioners. He has his nger on the pulse of what is going on in the community, said Curt Preisser, pub lic information ofcer for Sarasota County. Marbut has said we need to have someone who is going to wake up in the morning and be focused on homelessness, Preisser added. County ofcials concluded Applebee was the man for t he job. % A man holds a sign, asking motorists for help, as he stands alongside Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 39


This may take a while. Some things are just hard to resist. Like The Sarasota News Leader Its a feast of in-depth local news, delightful and entertaining features, and a community calendar that highlights the best upcoming events in the area. 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


Stefan C ampagnas portion of the agenda was described as the story of a personal journey, but the young attorney emphasized that per sonal does not mean individual. Arrested at age 16, Campagna was origi nally charged with 27 felonies. I dont think I need to convey the gravity of that, he told attendees of the Community Alliance of Sarasota Countys Legislative Breakfast of Champ ions on Oct. 17. But teen court turned Campagnas life around, helping him complete 150 hours of community service and graduate from high school, college and, eventually, law school. Witho ut certain com munity agencies and support, my story would not even have occurred, he said. I have nothing but thanks for you. Campagnas tale demonstrated the positive impact of State Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, speaks at Thursdays legislative breakfast. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker LAWMAKERS URGED TO SUPPORT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAMS IN 2014 MAKING THEIR CASE Weve had a really, really good run in being able to get the funds to be able to provide the services that you guys, as the unsung heroes of our community, advocate. Doug Holder Member Florida House of Representatives By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


the countys various health and human ser vices agencies, a message the breakfasts organizers hope resonates in Tallahassee during next springs legislative session. State Reps. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, and Doug Holder, R-Venice, were both on hand for the event, while staffers for both Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, and Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, also showed up. Members of the Community Alliance, a coali tion of local health nonprots, gathered last month to compile their list of the most import ant issues they want state lawmakers to address in 2014, breaking the items down into categories such as homelessness, behavioral health and more. Thursday, they presented those priorities directly to legislators. The event was a blizzard of alarming statis tics. Floridas homeless rate is 45 percent higher than the national rate. State funding for home and community-based elderly ser vices has declined 20 percent since 2006 while the number of those on a waiting list for such services has increased 25 percent. Sarasota Memorial Hospital could lose out on $200 million over the next decade if the Legislature continues to refuse to expand Medicaid through ObamaCare. Kathyrn Shea, the chairwoman of the Alliances legislative advocacy committee, highlighted the importance of Medicaid expansion, point ing out that the issue is a major priority for several Alliance organizations. And while the state has projected a $845 million budget State Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice, addresses the Legislature in Tallahassee. Photo courtesy Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 42


surplus, that doesnt mean its time to put money in reserves and cut taxes, she argued. Gov. Rick Scott, for example, has proposed cutting taxes and fees by $500 million. The Legislature should instead concentrate on reversing horrendous budget cuts inicted on agencies around the state, Shea argued. If theyre not thriving, were not driving eco nomic development, she said. Theres an absolute correlation there. Ruth Brandwein, the legislative chair woman of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, echoed that in making the case for Medicaid expansion. The measure would give 35,000 county resi dents access to health care, she said, and it would generate 120,000 new jobs around the state, including 10,000 in the Sarasota area. I ts both the morally and scally responsible thing to do, she argued, and I hope that it will pass this year. Both Holder and Steube praised the Community Alliances process and credited members for acting as a resource during this years legislative session. Steube emphasized his role on the Florida Houses Appropriations Committee, encouraging nonprot leaders to meet with him in person before the end of the year. This years partnership was really success ful, Holder said. Weve had a really, really good run in being able to get the funds to be able to provide the services that you guys, as the unsung heroes of our community, advoca te. % State Sen. Nancy Detert of Venice is the dean of the Sarasota County legislative delegation. Photo courtesy Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 43


While they voiced support for doubling the yearly allocation to safety and security mea sures, the majority of the Sarasota County School Board members this week said their top priority in capital budget preparation remains asset preservation. T he latter includes a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system for Pine View School in Osprey. During an Oct. 15 workshop, Scott Lempe, the school districts chief operating ofcer, pro vided the board an overview of the districts capital improvement plan (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2014-18. He pointed out that while dis trict staff puts together a list of priorities for a five-year cycle, the board traditionally plans only one year of specific funding allocations. Lempe said he would come back before the Al Weidner (far left) and Scott Lempe (next to Weidner) address the School Board during an Oct. 15 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS SAY KEEPING THEIR FACILITIES IN TOP SHAPE REMAINS THEIR HIGHEST PRIORITY WITH THEIR CAPITAL BUDGET, BUT SCHOOL SECURITY IS HIGH ON THE LIST HVAC SYSTEMS AND SCHOOL SAFETY Our buildings have never been in better shape. Shirley Brown Member Sarasota County School Board By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


board sometim e during the winter to offer a more detailed proposal for the CIP, based on the guidance they provided him and other staff members on Oct. 15. Among those, Lempe noted, would be a dou bling of the $1 million the district has been spending on safety and security measures, based on needs presented by Darrell Reyka, who is in charge of school safety and security and emergency management issues for the Sarasota County Schools. Nonetheless, in a brief recap of speakers pre sentations to the board, Lempe pointed out, Asset preservation remains at the top of our list. When Lempe asked the board members their priorities for the FY 2014 Capital Improvement Plan, Chairwoman Jan e Goodwin and board member Caroline Zucker concurred with him that asset preservation was their top choice, though Zucker also characterized the Pine View equipment problems as a school safety issue. Goodwin said safety and security issues were her No. 2 priority. Board member Shirley Brown commended Lempe and the staff for their work, saying, I think you guys have done a great job all along. Ill follow your direction. Board member Frank Kovach told Lempe, I would like to see us do everything we can on the safety and security side of it. Kovach added, I think that we stack up extremely well in the condition of buildings, compared to other districts across the state. School Board member Carol Todd (in foreground) prepares for the start of the Oct. 15 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 45


However, he said, Given the world that we live in now, more money should be spent to protect students and staff. Board member Carol Todd pointed out that while Lempe had asked for generalities in ranking priorities, she could not help but offer specics. To that end, she continued, Gocio Elementary in northern Sarasota County is a school that has a sea of portables [and even] new boardwalks for the portables. She will have been on the board for 15 years come November, she added, and the need to build a new classroom wing at Gocio has remained an unfunded priority. I think 29 portables for a decade and a half is too many. Nonetheless, Lempe told her he probably would recommend the replacement of por tables at Fruitville Elementary ahead of the project at Gocio, because Fruitvilles program for autistic students utilizes portables. The factors that remained to be weighed in the latter scenario, he explained, were whether a new classroom wing should be designed just for the autistic students and needs directly related to their curriculum, such as space for work on dexterity skills. Referring to Gocio and Fruitville, Todd replied, I see them as equal. While Pine View also has 38 portables, she added, it is a school of choice, and Gocio is a Title I school. As of Oct. 14, Gocios total enrollment was 700 six more than the districts projection for the current school year. Fruitville has 19 portables. As of Oct. 14, its enrollment was 773 eight higher than projected. Even though enrollment is capped at Pine View, demand remains high, Superintendent Lori White pointed out. Photos compare a school with restricted visitor access to one with uncontrolled access. Images courtesy Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 46


Its the size of a small college campus, Todd added, noting that at some point, the district might be forced to build another school of choice for gifted students. We are managing it, Zucker said of the Pine View student count. The main concern at Pine View, White said, is the need for the new HVAC system. She did not want any of the districts students or staff to have to contend with the failure of that type of equipment, she pointed out. That needs to be addressed at Pine View. Th at makes me very nervous, Zucker added of that situation. If her choice was between asset preservation and a new classroom wing, she continued, I will choose asset preserva tion and especially safety and security, which is what I think is happening at Pine View right now. BETTER FINANCIAL OUTLOOK During his presentation to the board at the out set of the discussion, Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Al Weidner explained that with prop erty values up and state sales tax revenue having increased 6 percent in the county during the past scal year, the capital bud get is in good shape. Additionally, he noted, in the 2014-15 scal year, the district will pay off one of its Certicates of Participation, which it has used to nance major construc tion projects. That one paid for the rebuilding of Phillippi Shores, Venice and Wilkinson ele mentary schools, he said. Tha t will free up about $6 million, Weidner pointed out. His projections showed the district would receive about $86.2 million in revenue for capita l projects in t he 2014-15 scal year and Some Sarasota County school campuses still do not have security gates at all access points. Images courtesy Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 47


as much as $95.8 million in the 2016-17 scal year. With our facilities being in as excellent shape as they are, he said, this is going to be a good position to be in. I know when I sat in with the new teachers this year, Brown added, they were comment ing on how great our facilities look. Our buildings have never been in better shape. So all in all were managing our money very, very well, Zucker pointed out. Through the recession, through the hard times that weve had, weve done a really good job managing our money. Is that a fair assumption? she asked Weidner. Yes, he responded. SAFETY AND SECURITY During his presentation to the board, Reyka focused on four aspects of campus safety that are the districts top priorities: security camera s, two-way radios for campus use, access control systems within schools and fencing. The latter two need the most attention in terms of capital budget planning, Reyka told the board. While each school requires visitors to check in at a central location, he told the board, electronic locking systems are not in place on every campus to prevent unauthorized entry beyond that point. Goodwin conrmed that: You can go any where you want to at some schools. About 10 schools have that type of situation, Reyka told the board. Moreover, some campuses have 4-foot fences around them, which was the norm 10 to 12 years ago, Reyka noted. Those need to be replaced with 6-foot fences, he said. His rec ommendation, he continued, was to accelerate Photos show two types of fencing situations in the school district. Images courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 48


the rep lacement o f the shorter fences and put in electronic locking systems at those school without them. That way, no one can walk into student areas from the central access point unless a staff member authorizes that entry, he said. Its incredibly cumbersome and problematic because of the types of schools that were pre viously built, Todd added of the situation. Very problematic, Reyka concurred. A couple of weeks ago, Todd said, as part of her work, she visited other Florida schools for the purpose of observing classes. At one school, she said, she was given complete access to the campus just by showing her university ID. I was shocked, she told her colleagues. Yet another situation that needs attention, Reyka explained, is the lack of electronic gates in service areas. Some schools have gates that must be locked after an employee has opened them and driven onto part of the campus. That creates the potential for the employee to forget to lock the gate. Regarding cameras, he pointed out that the district has built up an inventory of about 3,500 digital cameras that are on a regular replacement cycle. We take it real seriously, he said of making sure the equipment is in good condition, adding that each camera is checked on a daily basis. When Goodwin asked how many are replaced each year, he told her the number was less than 200. Theres really not a lot that goes wrong with them. Lightning strikes and pressure-washing are the two primary sources of damage to them, he added. The d istrict also has about 800 UHF radios that staff utilizes on a daily basis, he noted, as well as 350 800MHz radios on its school buses and in many support vehicles. Those can communicate with the countys 911 call center and with the Emergency Management Division staff for the county. All of those already are compliant with a new national standard called P25, he noted the type of system the County Commission has been discussing purchasing to replace its outdated emergency communications radios. % to benet Planned Parenthoods sexual health and prevention education programsFriday, October 25Michaels on East 9pm 1am TICKETS ON SALE NOW! by phone: 941.365.3913 x1124 THANK YOUto our generous sponsors! Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 49


Improved connectivity can be created with out a radically new interchange design at University Parkway and more lanes on Fruitville Road: That is the argument Sarasota County staff members plan to make when they meet at the end of this month with the District One secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). During an Oct. 9 discussion of a revised road proposal for the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) Villages of Lakewood Ranch South Jonathan B. Paul, the countys interim trans portation planning director, said he hopes to convince FDOT ofcials that a new overpass across Interstate 75 and Cattlemen Road would be preferable to the diverging dia mond interchange plan FDOT is espousing for I-75 and University Parkway. During an April 16 presentation to both the Sarasota and Manatee county commissions, FDOT consultants discussed the interchange proposal. A memo from Sarasota County Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. to the board explained that it would encompass two spe cial-use lanes that would run both northbound and southbound, along with three general-use lanes in each direction, a 64-foot-wide median and auxiliary lanes in both directions. An illustration shows how a diverging diamond interchange could be created at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. Image courtesy Sarasota County SARASOTA COUNTYS INTERIM TRANSPORTATION PLANNING DIRECTOR HOPES TO TALK STATE OFFICIALS OUT OF A COMPLEX INTERCHANGE PROPOSAL FOR I-75 AND UNIVERSITY PARKWAY NO DIVERGING DIAMOND, PLEASE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


The basic concept of the diverging diamond interchange is to switch the eastbound and westbound lanes so that turns on and off the ramps become right turns, thereby sav ing signal green time and increasing capacity through the signals at the interchange, Harriott added. During the Oct. 9 County Commission meet ing, Paul said discussions already are under way with FDOT regarding the future align ment of Fruitville Road and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to handle the expected heavier volume of trafc when the countys Fruitville Initiative and the new University Town Center mall are complete. Future events at Nathan Benderson Park including the 2017 World Rowing Championships also will lead to higher trafc counts in that area, he noted. Dev elopment at Lakewood Ranch, including the corporate park, gures into the mix as well, Paul explained. Instead of continually widening the lanes of I-75, he added, Why not consider an additional overpass? That would be preferable to a piecemeal approach, he pointed out, with new inter section projects followed by road widening work. It makes more sense from a regional transportation perspective. SMR was willing to work with the county on the long-range planning process, he contin ued, adding that Benderson Development Co. consultants and those handling the Fruitville Initiative also are collaborating with county staff on its proposals. Traffic maneuvers through a diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 44 and Route 13 in Springeld, MO, in 2011. Photo by Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 51


COSTS AND OTHER FACTORS Based on his work with a private client in Gainesville, Paul said, he anticipated the fourlane overpass of I-75 and Cattlemen Road would cost between $11 million and $13 mil lion $15 at most. In comparison, FDOT has suggested Sarasota Countys expense would be $25 million to upgrade roads necessary to handle the diverging diamond design. When Commissioner Nora Patterson asked how the new overpass would tie back into existing highway infrastructure, Paul replied that a determination remains to be made about how best to handle that. If were going to have to pony up some money, Paul told the board, Id much rather us explore an opportunity to add connectivity Construction continues on University Town Center off University Parkway. Photo by Norman Schimmel Jonathan Paul addresses the County Commission on Oct. 9. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 52


to our transportation network via a new over pass as opposed to converting University Parkway into a freeway. Further, during his meeting late this month with FDOT District One Secretary Billy Hattaway, Paul noted, he hoped to make the case to not eight-lane or 10-lane [Fruitville Road] but to look at something different and unique that establishes a walkable envi ronment as envisioned in the countys comprehensive plan. Requesting that meeting with the Fruitville Initiative as a focus, he pointed out, gets us a seat with the district secretary and makes Sarasota County transportation planning staff will pitch to state transportation ofcials on a proposed east-west overpass of Interstate 75 and Cattlemen Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 53


it possible fo r staff to bring up the new over pass proposal, too. Commissioner Christine Robinson told Paul that during a recent meeting of the Sarasota/ Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization almost all the county representatives voiced concern about the diverging diamond pro posal, and in no uncertain terms, [FDOT ofcials] told us, Were going forward; we dont really care. As FDOT pushes forward with its proposal, Paul said, staff would provide regular updates to the County Commission. I dont think theyre pushing, Robinson replied. Theyre driving a Mack truck. They have no funding for it, Paul told her. One revenue source FDOT is considering is making part of I-75 a toll road, he added. It is up to Sarasota and Manatee counties to tell FDOT, We dont want our community looking like [what the department envisions], Paul continued. Jonathan, it is refreshing to hear your concern about the University Parkway interchange, Commissioner Joe Barbetta said. But I can tell you right now, [based on the discussion at the last MPO meeting], the trains left the station. Barbetta added that the diverging diamond proposal was especially troubling to him because the closest one is in Atlanta. Its a dream for them, he said of FDOT engi neers. But the answers [they provided during presentations] didnt make you feel condent about it, he pointed out. Were the guinea pig. If were not going to do this, we better stop it right away. Patte rson agreed with Barbetta: I also get the impression this will be a very difcult project to stop. According to Hattaway, Patterson said, trafc backs up routinely at the University Parkway interchange off I-75, and thats without the development thats coming. Your experience in Gainesville is very good, Vice Chairman Charles Hines told Paul, given the fact that 90,000 to 100,000 people come into that city almost every other Saturday during the fall for University of Florida foot ball games. Once Benderson Park begins hosting major national and international rowing events, Hines continued, one highway accident could create signicant problems in that area because of the existing conguration of the roads. We have to have multiple options for people. Hines added, Our board and staff really need to let DOT know our feelings. When Paul then suggested he could plan a for mal discussion about the subject for the next set of commission meetings, so the board could draft a letter to FDOT, Robinson made that a motion. Barbetta seconded it. The motion passed unanimously. The County Commission will meet on Oct. 22 and 23 at the Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota. The Sarasota News Leader was unable to ascer tain for certain, prior to deadline, whether an agenda item had been scheduled for one of those days. % Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 54


The Sarasota c ity commissioners should not be up late Monday, Oct. 21. But their heads might hurt from the decisions they will be asked to make. New software, money shuf ing and homework for the following days meeting with the County Commission will occupy their thoughts in the afternoon and evening. But their major decisions Monday will concern two buildings. BUILDINGS OLD The departure of the Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone (G.WIZ) from the site of the citys former bayfront library is a piece of old business that remains a headache. While the buildings architecture is striking, so is its operating cost. Electricity alone averages $4,500 per month. And the structure needs repairs including another round of roof work estimated to cost a minimum of $150,000. The 33,000-square-foot building sits on 16 acres along the bayfront. The property was conveyed by the State of Florida to Sarasota on the condition it never be sold or leased for any private use or purpose. The City Commission will have to decide on the future of the former home of the G.WIZ museum in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE FUTURE OF THE G.WIZ BUILDING, THE STATE STREET GARAGE DESIGN AND A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT SHUFFLE ARE ON THE OCT. 21 AGENDA CITY COMMISSION PREVIEW By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


With G.WIZ gone, the building stands vacant and leaking. The city has turned the electric ity back on, so it again is air conditioned. But what should the city do with it? That will be the question on Monday, as staff seeks com mission guidance. The city has been approached by many inter ested parties to lease the building, said city Purchasing Manager Mary Tucker in a memo. [S]taff needs to discuss guidelines for the future use of the leasehold. The citys Cultural District Master Plan offers several options, including making the prop erty the site of a contemporary art museum; a modern art museum; an expanded Art Center Sarasota; an expanded Sarasota County History Center; a maritime mu seum; a lm center; or maritime, educational or cultural institution. Not only the next use but also lease terms and rent structures need to be part of the new solicitation for proposals, Tucker said. BUILDINGS NEW Considering the long stall on similar issues with the State Street parking garage project, Tucker could be in for a long wait on G.WIZ. The commission has dithered for at least four months on what it wants to see built at a cityowned parking lot on State Street. The city is under contract with Pineapple Square to provide a 300-space parking garage by February 2015. The city would like some form of retail activity on the rst oor of the Pineapple Square developers say the city must adhere to an agreement for a 300-space garage downtown. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 56


structure with parking above. The long and narrow surface lot at the site contains 139 parking spaces.The city hired Realtor Ian Black to see if there was interest in expanding the project skyward, perhaps with ofces or condomini -ums on higher oors. Black did receive ve offers and eventually had a deal ready with Jebco Ventures Inc. for a mixed-use project. But with no final design decision, it went nowhere.The zoning allows 10 stories.For months, the commission has deferred making a decision, with Mayor Shannon Snyder saying he did not think the deadline was rm. But Pineapple Squares attorney sent a letter to Snyder, the commission and City Manager Tom Barwin saying the dead -line was real. Monday, the commissioners will get a brieng from their city attorney and review four con ceptual designs that range in height from ve to 10 stories, with parking from 300 to 500 spaces. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.NEW SOFTWAREBy now it is common knowledge that the installation of new software, while necessary, can be a painful and unexpectedly expensive experience. On the commissions consent agenda in the afternoon is consideration of two new software packages. One is for the Police Department; the other is for social ser vice agencies helping the homeless.The police want to spend $850,000 for integrated records management and mobile com puting software. It is needed The City Commission on Monday will consider a proposal to purchase new playground equipment for Gillespie Park. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 57


to coordi na te with the county-operated Conso lidated C ommunication Center. The police say the system is in use by agencies throughout the country. The system to be replaced was set up in 1988, and it is not compatible with the new county equipment. Once the software is up and run ning, the annual expense for the license will run $79,000. At the other end of the spectrum, the city will be authorizing a new software system to track the services provided to the homeless. The federal government requires that any agency receiving federal money for the home less be linked into the Homeless Management Information Services (HMIS) database. The H MIS gives an identifying number to each person whose name is entered into it, allowing the software to track the services the person receives. However, the success of that tracking depends on all agencies using the system. In Sarasota County, less than half of the social service agencies are tied into HMIS. Sarasota would provide $25,000 to the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, part of a $175,000 annual cost, to use the soft ware. The balance of the funding is to come from Manatee County, various federal grants and service providers. The Partnership is required to hold at least 24 training sessions on the software, so nonprof its can join the network and learn how to use A chart in a presentation on the countys 2050 Plan explains tenets of the New Urbanism approach to development. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 58


the database. Otherwise, the federal funding will disappear. MON EY SHUFFLE Almost every city agenda has at least one item moving funds from one account to another to keep the books straight. On Monday, the city will be asked to move (or lose) $408,000 in Community Development Block Grant money. The sum was to be used for a new athletic eld west of the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in north Sarasota. However, the ground was found to be environmentally contaminated. So the city will be asked to spread the money around. Staff suggests $200,000 be spent for new playground equipment in Gillespie Park. Neighbors say the current equipment is bro ken and unsafe. More than $100,000 would be spent on drain age improvements to Goodrich Avenue, and $108,000 would be devoted to street improve ments to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way and adjacent streets. PONDERING 2050 The commissioners always hope for an early end to the evening session. But their nal item could go until dawn and beyond, depend ing on how deeply they want to understand Sarasota Countys 2050 Plan A day after their regular me eting, Oct. 22, the city commissioners will sit down at 2 p.m. with the county commissioners for a joint meet ing. (See the related story in this issue.) On the agenda is 2050. The city has twice asked the county to send a planner to brief the com missioners on it. The county has refused. So on Monda y evening, a senior city planner will attempt to lead the city com missioners through years o f history and thousands of pages of red tape in the search for understanding. Not only is the current plan complex, but county commissioners want to revise it. They have had strong pressure from developers and campaign contributors to amend the plan to make it less stringent. The city commissioners will have the opportu nity to read 174 pages of backup material full of strikeouts and additions. For example, the old plan called for creation of villages with distinct centers of commerce surrounded by neighborhoods. Developers do not like that model. It can be argued that they would pre fer a strip mall on the edge of a suburb. What follows is an example of the tweaking that has been proposed: Eliminate this sentence: A village center shall be separated from the edge of the devel oped area by at least one neighborhood and by no less than 1,000 feet from the edge of the developed area. Replace it with this: A vil lage center is intended to serve the daily and weekly retail, ofce, civic and government use and services needs of village residents, and shall be located and designed so as to be easily accessible by all village residents. While the city commissioners will never vote on the 2050 Plan, it could have a dramatic impact on the citys future. If developers are allowed to return to their suburban-sprawlover-cow-pastures model, with strip malls dotting major roadways, the city would lack any economic impetus for inll and urban improve ment. % Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 59


The o wner s of one of the largest buildings and hence one of the biggest sources of tax revenue in the Downtown Improvement District (DID) want out. The hig h-rise building on the northeast cor ner of Main Street and Orange Avenue (formerly the main Sarasota home of Bank of America) is owned by Benderson Development Co. Larry Fineberg, who manages the building for Ben derson, sent a n e mail on Oct. 14 to DID Operations Manager John Moran. As the past ve years have shown, the needs of the area east of Orange are different than the areas we st of Orange, and the DID should rec ognize that its not fair that we are included solely as a funding source. If the DID will not initiate the request for the creation of the ordinance [to remove the building from the The Ellis building looms in the background as drivers head east on Main Street at Lemon Avenue. Photo by Norman Schimmel MEMBERS OF THE DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ARE WORKING TO HOLD ONTO A BUILDING THAT REPRESENTS ONE OF THEIR LARGEST SOURCES OF REVENUE FINEBERG TO DID: ADIEU This is a unique situation. To my knowledge, no property owner within a special district of the city has ever requested removal from the district. Mike Connolly Deputy City Attorney By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


district], we will take the actions ourselves. Thanks, wrote Fineberg. While the email talks about the past five years, it was Oct. 1 when Fineberg came to the DID board and asked for a last-minute $8,500 change in plans regarding new land scaping around the building. He was told he had been furnished with the landscaping plan in June, and it would take time to get a change order for the project. Chief City Planner Steve Stancel said during that meeting, If Larry fronts the money, the commission could refund it at a later date. Feinberg replied, I dont trust the commission. After this exchange, Fineberg said he had another meeting to attend and stormed out of the room. Benderson pays $15,435.40 every year to the DID as its portion of the districts property surtax. Feinberg served on the DID board as a founding member. After the Oct. 1 discussion, Fineberg sent Moran an email that afternoon saying, [T]his will formalize our conversation whereby Sarasota Ellis Associates, LLC as owner of properties located at 1605 Main Street and 1670 Second Street request that these properties be removed from the Downtown Improvement District. Moran forwarded Feinbergs email to the City Attorneys Ofce. A week later, Deputy City Attorney Mike Connolly responded, This is a unique situation. To my knowledge, no prop erty owner within a special district of the city has ever requested removal from the district. He said it would take an ordinance to amend the districts boundaries to exclude the Benderson subsidiarys property, called Sarasota Ellis Associates LLC. The item came up as the last thing on the DIDs Oct. 15 agenda, when members were furnished with copies of the email exchanges among Feinberg, Moran and Connolly. After the meeting, DID member Dr. Mark Kauffman called his former colleague Feinberg to work out a quid pro quo The details could be ironed out at a meeting sched uled for Friday, Oct. 18, with Stancel, Moran and Feinberg. In effect, it is the deal Stancel outlined on Oct. 1. Benderson would pay $5,700 for the change to the landscaping (basically for a concrete pour in stead o f new plantings). A Benderson Development Co. subsidiary owns the building at 1605 Main St. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 61


Next year when work begins on the round about at Orange and Main, Benderson would receive some compensation in return for the payment. No details were offered. If an agreement is reached, Feinberg would withdraw his request to pull the high-rise building from the DID. OUTSIDE DINING AND DRINKING The DID also heard an appeal this week by the manager of the Gator Bar, located at Lemon Avenue and Main Street, to change the citys sidewalk dining ordinance. Right now estab lishments can serve alcohol at a sidewalk table only if they offer food. The Gator one of the citys oldest bars would like to serve just alcohol. The manager of Parkers Books next door also would like a sidewalk table or two, for people to play chess or backgammon. To make those actions legal, a change of the sidewalk dining ordinance would be neces sary, said City Engineer Alex DavisShaw. If we open it up to a bookstore, what other uses will come out of the woodwork for a permit? asked DID member Kauffman. The request will be discussed further at the boards next meeting. % Construction of widened sidewalks and bulb-outs was under way in front of the Gator Club in downtown Sarasota in July. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 62


Sports and politics have a lot in common. Sometimes there is a script, akin to a downpat stump speech or a well-practiced pass play in football. But sometimes the action can get heated and chaotic, and it always takes place live, in real time. One of the more interesting matches is coming up Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 22, when a local rivalry resumes between the City and County commissions of Sarasota. Two members of the latter board County Commissioners Carolyn Mason and Nora Patterson are former city commissioners. And City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo is run ning for a County Commission seat. How they iron out their differences will be a good test of their basic political skills because despite their differences, they need each other badly. BEACH RENOURISHMENT The city has a well-advanced plan to use county sand to repair the erosion and storm damage on city-owned Lido Beach. And this is not a one-time deal. The city has worked on a plan with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Among other topics, the city and county commissioners on Oct. 22 will share their thoughts about a trip to observe best practices in the city of Nashville, TN. Photo by kaldari via Wikimedia Commons THE SARASOTA CITY AND COUNTY COMMISSIONS WILL MEET ON OCT. 22 TO TALK ABOUT THE LIDO BEACH RENOURISHMENT AND THE COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY A FACEOFF OF BOARDS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


for a half-century pro posal to use soft white sand from Big Pass. On the west coast of Florida, a current called the littoral drift pushes sand ever south ward, day after day. It is the reason all passes hook to the south as the steady current exerts its pressure. Occasionally, the passes are dredged to maintain navigation. However, the county residents who live on Siesta Key know Big Pass is totally natural. It has never been dredged. Its ebbs and ows have not been massaged by the machines of man. While the Army Corps swears taking sand from the northern side of the ebb shoal will not make one grains difference at the coun tys most famous and popular Siesta Beach, residents are extremely wary. And they vote. A signicant part of the funding for the Lido Beach renourishme nt will come from a revenue pot accumulated through the coun ty-administered Tourist Development Tax. The city annually provides a least one-quarter of the total tax revenue. One stated purpose of the tax is to pay for beach repair and renourishment, an increasingly expensive proposition. Nothing could better demonstrate how the city and county can cooperate, using the tourist tax revenue to keep the citys beach attrac tive and thus continue to attract more visitors to the area. But will the county blithely give away that Siesta-bound sand? THE QUARTER-BILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION Next up on the afternoon agenda is an update from a committee looking at the possible extension of the citys downtown Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA. It is a Boaters and Siesta Key residents are worried about the effects on Big Pass and Siesta itself if the pass is dredged. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 64


nancial device to ght slum and blight. In 1986, those terms could have described much of downtown. Today, few would describe the downtown area in such a manner. The CRA will expire in 2016. If the nancial scheme is extended another 30 years, it could result in the shift of possibly $250 million from the city and county budgets. A little more than half of that amount would come from Sarasota County coffers over the three decades, and it would contribute to what many now call the economic heart of the county. But other parts of the county are looking for help, too. Some would like their own CRA. But when the extension committee members started thinking of creating a model CRA ordinance, the County Commission fell into an uproar. One commissioner called for the committee chairman to resign, so he did. The new chairman does not use the word model anymore, and he will be brieng the two commissions on where his committee is headed at this point. To say th e results are of interest to city com missioners is a great understatement. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT This agenda item specically says efforts by the City of Sarasota, but city commissioners might want to ask some questions about the countys efforts in light of recent revelations about significant economic development grants that guratively turned to dust. City property owners pay county taxes; there fore, improving city property values is in both commissions interest. Earlier this year, the County Commission demanded some changes in city zoning, especially along the North Tamiami Trail. The county commissioners wanted those changes to increase density to support a bus rapid transit system they were proposing. The city polished off a three-year effort to establish an overlay district in the area, but it did not increase the density. Thereafter, the county dropped its plans for a bus rapid tran sit system. We re the two actions related? The County Commission sits in session in March. File photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 65


The Tuesday agenda could be called a stealthy one, as it did not show up by The Sarasota News Leader s deadline on the usual city or county website pages for future agendas. Thus, there is no backup material for any of the items; neither reporters nor citizens can tell exactly what is up for discussion. We know at one point the agenda included a discussion about homelessness, but that hot potato has been dropped. THE OL 2050 PLAN Critics say the County Commission is knuck ling under to developer (and campaign contributor) demands to loosen up the plan ning and zoning rules east of the interstate. After years of haggling in the past, the 2050 Plan abolished the old pasture-to-suburb model of development. In its place, the 2050 Plan called for creation of communities instead of more tract hous ing. But the plan is up for signicant revision. When the city commissioners asked for a brieng on the proposal to amend the 2050 Plan, th e y were repeatedly rebuffed by their county colleagues. The day before the joint meeting, the city commissioners will receive a brieng from a city planner about the county proposals with 176 pages of documents for them to read. The city has a dog in this ght, because if development returns to the cheaper pas tureland-to-Levittown model, redevelopment and inll initiatives in the city limits could be starved for capital. JUNKET DEBRIEF The nal agenda item is a presentation on the takeaways from the City-to-City Nashville visit. Will the boards compare new tattoos? Share memories of the Grand Ole Opry? No, this was a serious visit, with a number of governmental and non-governmental visitors looking at best practices and good ideas. We will see and hear what they learned. The Oct. 22 meeting will begin at 2 p.m. in the countys Think Tan k on the third oor of the Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota. % The City Commission conducts a meeting in September. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 66


Explorato ry drilling is under way in the Avondale neighborhood of Sarasota to nd out what is underground that stopped a pre vious attempt to build a micro-tunnel under Hudson Bayou. The city has spent $8 million so far on its Lift Station 87 project. The previous contractor gur atively threw up his hands and walked off the job. The heart of the plan is the cre ation of this structure to move about onethird of the citys total sewage towards the treatment plant on 12th Street. The new contractor, McKim & Creed, is tak ing a two-fold approach to discovering what went wrong the rst time. It is conducting geological tests and working up a series of technical memos with city staff to form the basis of the revived projec t. The aim is to tunnel underground instead of digging up huge swaths of terri tory to put in gigantic pipes. The work site for new Lift Station 87 was mostly bare on Oct. 4. Photo by Norman Schimmel BORINGS ARE BEING TAKEN IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE SURE THE REVIVED LIFT STATION 87 PROJECT SUCCEEDS PREP WORK CONTINUES Weve saturated the city with requests for information. Robert Garland Project Manager McKim & Creed By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Weve saturated the city with requests for information, said Robert Garland, project manager for the contractor. Work began Oct. 7 and continued this week. A subcontractor Staheli Trenchless Consultants is supervising the borings nec essary to study the underground geology. Staheli Engineering Geologist Laura Wetter said going back to 2009, 36 borings had been taken in the area. Of all [of them], it was only the last set that was done thats appro priate, she added. [The] others dont have all the information wed look for to design a micro-tunnel project. The new borings will continue into next week. None is planned in the bayou itself. She noted the u se of ground-penetrating radar is sty mied by the saltwater in the bayou. We might look at seismic refraction, she said. That is a sonar-like system that injects sound waves into the ground and then evaluates the echo. Borings are planned at the corner of Mound Street (U.S. 41) and Osprey Avenue as well as in Luke Wood Park. And last, we are look ing at two borings closer to Lift Station 897 in case we need to deepen the gravity sewer, Wetter pointed out. Before they drill, the workers are using a hand auger to penetrate down 4 feet, just in case there are utility pipes or lines that are not on the drawings at City Hall. The land under the city of Sarasota is riddled with water and gas Some pipes are stacked at the lift station site off Mound Street, across from Sarasota Ford. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 68


lines, electric and cable lines and other bur ied utilities. One fact of note emerged during a Monday, Oct. 14, public meeting about the project. A key specication relative to the design and construction of the lift station is its capacity. The facility will be in operation for decades, and it must be able to accommodate future growth. Garland said he had checked with the city planning staff, and no growth is pro jected for the south side of town in the coming decades. The Sarasota News Leader subsequently checked with David Smith, the keeper of the citys comprehensive plan. He agreed with Garland, saying the future land use category remains primarily single-family housing in the area that will be served by the new lift station. Its built out, he said. Any condominium com plex or other higher-density development would require a change in the plan. The design of the new lift station has built-in excess capacity already, because when the city experiences heavy rainfalls, the storm water inltrates the citys old sewer pipes and adds to the ow. A week of rainstorms in late September dumped millions of gallons of water into the sewer system via inltration. The citys Utilities Department has an ongoing sewer pipe upgrade project, replacing the old pipes with new ones. The city is building the new lift station because the old one fails spectacularly. It has dumped sewage into Hudson Bayou and then into the bay. The city is under a state order to stop that dumping. % 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 October 18, 2013 Page 69


The public is invited to a fall festival celebrat ing the grand opening of Sarasota Countys newest community garden, Sarasota County has announced. The festival will be held at Bee Ridge Park, located at 4430 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. The free, family-friendly event will feature such activities as carnival games, face painting, a karate demonstration and a composting workshop taught by experts from Sarasota County Extension, a news release says. The plans for the community garden, which is located near the intersection of Lockwood Ridge and Wilkinson roads, began in early 2012 when neighborhood members came together to design the garden and apply for grant funding for necessary supplies, Stacy Spriggs, community and school gardens coordinator for Sarasota County Extension, explained in the news release. This grassroots project took a little over a year to implement as volunteers obtained donations and constructed the various Bee Ridge Park will host a fall festival on Oct. 19. Image courtesy Sarasota County COMMUNITY INVITED TO GRAND OPENING OF BEE RIDGE GARDEN NEWS BRIEFS


features of the g arden, Spriggs pointed out. It took a lot of dedication and hard work for the group involved with the project to reach their goal. Twenty-five members are now actively planting their plots and enjoying the fruits of their labor. She added, The community garden features individual raised-bed garden plots where members can tend vegetables alongside their neighbors. During the summer, there will be bright sunowers stretched skyward along the gardens borde r, greeting passersby. Com munity gardens have been sprouting up in Sarasota since 1995 and are thriving thanks to the hard work of dedicated par ticipants, Spriggs continued. Many of them have received support through the Sarasota County Neighborhood Grants program, the release notes. Sarasota County Extension provides administrative support and educa tional assistance, teaching gardeners how to grow vegetables, manage pests and even pre pare harvests, it adds. For more information and locations of community parks, call 861-9900 or visit http://sarasota Sarasota County has adjusted its sched ule of mowing cycles for specific areas of county-owned roadways, medians and other properties as of Oct. 1, the county has announced. The County Commission recently approved the adjusted mowing schedule in an effort to reduce expenditures. We examined our mowing schedules during peak and off-peak growing seasons, locations of our service areas, common management practices of other communities and overall expenditures when developing the proposed plan that the County Commission approved in September, said Spencer Anderson, direc tor of the countys Field Services Department, in a news release. The more heavily traveled urban rights of way will see the most atten tion, while the less traveled rights of way will see an extended mowing schedule during offpeak growing seasons. The extended schedule is anticipated to result in minimal changes to the appearance of all county-maintained rights of way. Ad justing the mowing schedules is expected to save about $550,000 each year and allow county staff and mowing contractors to bet ter manage highly visible areas, the release adds. Urban Maintenance Zones will see three mowing cycles per month in June, July, August, September and October; two cycles per month in November, March, April and May; and one cycle per month in December, January and February, the release adds. Such areas are generally those considered to be longer county roads and adjacent stormwater facilities, with wide rights of way, that serve as north-south and east-west connectors. Residential Maintenance Zones will see one mowing cycle per month in May, June, July and August, but only one cycle every two months in September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April, the release continues. Those areas gen erally include undeveloped county-owned residential lots, shorter roa d sections and SARASOTA COUNTY SET TO BEGIN EXTENDED MOWING CYCLES Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 71


A Mega Mowers employee trims county right of way, a service that will be offered less often in coming months. File photo stormwater facilities typically located within res idential single-family-home neighbor hoods, the release notes. Rural Maintenance Zones will see two mow ing cycles per month in June, July, August and September; one cycle per month in April and May; and one cycle every two months in October, November, December, January February and March, the release says. Those areas are generally considered to be the lon ger roads and adjacent stormwater facilities, with wide rights of way, that serve eastern portions of Sarasota County. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 72


Landscape enhancements are under way along U.S. 301 stretching from Mound Street to Myrtle Street, the City of Sarasota has announced. A portion of Mound Street, north of the U.S. 301 split, also will be landscaped, a news release says. The improvements will include new trees, ground cover and shrubbery, the release adds. Irrigation systems also will be installed and brick pavers will be placed along select medians, the release notes. U.S. 301 LANDSCAPE ENHANCEMENTS UNDER WAY IN CITY An aerial map shows U.S. 301s split at Mound Street just south of downtown Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Periodic la ne closures will be necessary during the project, which is scheduled to be com pleted in December, the release continues. Designated trees will be transplanted. Additionally, trees identied by a certied arborist as diseased or unhealthy will be mit igated, the release says. The $842,000 project is being funded through the Local Option Sales Tax II, which was approved by voters throughout Sarasota County in 199 7, the release points out. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 73


During its re gular meeting on Oct. 15, the School Board of Sarasota County approved contracts with the Sarasota Classified/ Teachers Association that includes a 3.25-per cent salary increase for the 2013-14 scal year. The contracts and raises, which were ratied by instructional employees and classified (support) staff, are retroactive to the start of the districts scal year on July 1, a dis trict news release says. Ninety-seven percent of the approximately 3,100 employees who voted approved ratication of the contracts, the release notes. As it traditionally does, the School Board extended the raise to schoolbased and district administrators. It is the rst across-the-board increase in the salary sched ules for district employees in ve years, the release adds. The incre ase will be funded primarily by $6.3 million from the state, which the Florida Legislature mandated for that specic pur pose, the release points out. The School Board will add $1.5 million to that amount to allow all employees to receive a 3.25-percent raise. In the event the Legislature does not continue the special salary appropriation, the salary schedules will be reduced by 3.25 percent in the future, the release says. The parties also agreed to restore the amount of life insurance for employees to $50,000. It had been reduced to $25,000. The increase was negotiated with a new insurance provider at no additional cost to the School Board the release notes. SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES 3.25-PERCENT RAISE FOR TEACHERS, STAFF Crews from the Sarasota County Fire Department and municipal re departments around the county have won this years annual Boots and Badges Blood Drive to aid Shriners Hospital. The winning team claims the Boots and Badges trophy until the following year, along with bragging rights and the heartfelt thanks from the thousands of people needing blood, a county news release says. This year, the win ning team also received 20 tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays basebal l game. The Boots donated BOOTS TOP BADGES IN ANNUAL COUNTY BLOOD DRIVE those tickets to Sarasota Sahib Shrine for its rafe to benet the Shriners Children Burn Unit, the release adds. The Shriners Children Hospital burn unit in Galveston, TX, received $290 from the pro ceeds of the tickets. The Boots and Badges Drive not only gen erated good will and much needed blood for the community, but also provided additional assistance by the donation of these tickets, said Capt. Susan Pearson of the Sarasota County Fire Departme nt in the release. Take Your Time You Have All Week Enjoy The News Leader Anytime Day or Night Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 74


David Ste inbach of Vertex Inc. and Ari Weinstein of I-net Consulting will be the guest speakers for a Technology Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Temple Emanu-El in Sarasota, the Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood has announced. All members of the community are welcome. Steinbach and Weinstein will discuss tech nology that we use every day, a news release says, including th e following topics: GET YOUR TECH QUESTIONS ANSWERED AT TECHNOLOGY BREAKFAST Wh at is t he Cloud? How to use and understand storage devices. How computers have changed in the past 10 years. The differences among Windows XP, 7 and 8. Mac versus IBM. The $5 admission fee includes a bagel break fast. Temple Emanu-El is located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. Sarasota Co u nty has received a Disaster Recovery Grant in the amount of $156,000 to aid eligible City of North Port homeowners with the installation of hurricane shutters or impact windows, the county has announced. The Sarasota County Ofce of Housing and Community Development will administer the program of monetary assistance for home owners, a news release says. Registration, which is under way, will continue Oct. 19. To register, a homeowner must complete a form and place it in a receptacle located at one of the following addresses: North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd. North Port Social Services, 6919 Outreach Way. North Port Senior Center, 4940 Pan American Blvd. Homeowners over the age of 62 and home owners with disabilities will have priority in the program, said Donald Hadsell, director of housing and community development, in the release. Registration does not guarantee participation in the program. A homeowner must use the funds to either cover all of his hous e s windows with hurri cane shutters or impact-resistant win dows, the release points out. The maximum assistance is $10,000. If the cost for the installation exceeds that amount, the release continues, a homeowner in the program may be eligible for a zero percent interest-deferred mortgage with Sarasota County. Grant program eligibility requirements follow: The home must be located in the City of North Port. If the home is located in a ood zone, the homeowner must have ood insurance for the property. Homes must be single-family, owner-oc cupied residences with a maximum value of $136,000 as determined by a Sarasota County property appraiser. Total household income must be at or below 50 percent of median income adjusted by household size. For a one-person house hold, that is $21,000; for two people, $24,000; for three people, $27,000; and for four people, $29,950. For more information about the program, call 951-3640. GRANT OFFERS CITY OF NORTH PORT HOMEOWNERS ASSISTANCE Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 75


With city ofcials eye on sustainability and low impact development, an alley in down town Sarasota has become a test case for an innovative way to improve stormwater qual ity, the City of Sarasota has announced. A new stormwater filtration system was installed underground when scheduled improvements were made to the alley behind Main Street from Lemon Avenue to Central Avenue, a news release says. Urban stormwater runoff is the third larg est water pollution source, explained Alison Albee, City of Sarasota environmental special ist, in the release. That runoff is untreated and includes grease, oil, chemicals, debris and nutrients. And, it ows untreated into our waterways and ultimately into Sarasota Bay. The goal of this pilot ltration system is to clean that runoff before it reaches the storm drain. The system is designed to capture the rst one-half inch of rainfall, and the pollutants, which wash down the alley. The runoff will go through a 4-foot by 40-foot area of per meable block pavers (PaveDrain) and then lter through a system of rocks and sand, the release explains. The water will ow through a perforated pipe encased with a lter sock before being deposited as ltered water into the storm drain, the release notes. Many pollutants, including oil and grease, spill into alleys from businesses and ow into ALLEY BECOMES TEST CASE FOR LOW-IMPACT STORMWATER PROJECT A crew works on a pilot project for an innovative stormwater program in downtown Sarasota. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 76


storm drain s untreated, the release contin ues. It is hoped this pilot program will reduce many of those pollutants. City staff also met with nearby business owners and explained how their disposal of materials can impact the communitys storm water system, the release notes. This demonstration project is the latest example of our communitys leadership and commitment to restoring the Sarasota Bay estuary to its pristine condition, said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. Titan Block, the distributor of PaveDrain in Florida, donated the paver blocks for the pilot program, the release adds. Over the next year, tests will be conducted to determine the efficacy of the program. Already, representatives of other jurisdictions have expressed an interest in visiting the alley and learning more about the stormwater ltration system, the release concludes. Permeable pavers cover a rock and sand ltration system. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 77


The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) in Sarasota welcomes the public to its second, four-part series, Extraordinary Holocaust Films The series will begin on Oct. 28 and continue on Mondays through Nov. 25. Post-lm dis cussion will be facilitated by Irene Mirkovic, Florida Holocaust Museum docent and Lifelong Learning Academy instructor for Holocaust Film Studies, a news release says. The lms will be presented as follows: Oct. 28: O Porraimos about Europes Gypsies in the Holocaust (documentary, 2001; 57 minutes). O Porraimos is the first American-made film to blend postwar interviews of Roma survivors with actual photographs and lms taken during the Holocaust era by the German Reich Department of Racial Hygiene. Nov. 4: Korczak (docudrama, 1990; 1 hour and 58 minutes). This Polish-made film, directed by Andrzej Wajda and Agnieszka Holland, tells the real story of Janusz PUBLIC INVITED TO VIEW EXTRAORDINARY HOLOCAUST FILMS Physician Janusz Korczaks orphanage is still in operation in Poland. Photo by Simon Cygielski for Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 78


Korc zak, an author, physician and orphan age director, who refused to abandon his charges and did not inch in the face of the Nazi menace. Nov. 18: The Music Box (narrative, 1989; 2 hours and 5 minutes). This American movie was directed by celebrated filmmaker Costa-Gavras, famous for his political suspense releases. It tells the story of a Chicago attorney who agrees to defend her Hungarian-immigrant father against indict ments for war crimes he committed 50 years earlier. Nov. 25: Hiding and Seeking (documen tary, 2004; 1 hour and 25 minutes). This American production is a shining example of post-Holocaust faith and tolerance, relat ing the true story of a Jewish father who takes his two adult sons back to Poland to try to nd the Christian family who hid their grandfather from the Nazis during the Holocaust. He also wants to make good on a promise made by the grandfather to his saviors 50 years earlier. All lms will be shown on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. Th e lms are free to CHJ members; admis sion for non-members will be $5 for individual lms or $15 for all four, the release says. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 929-7771 or visit Please note there will be no lm presentation on Monday, Nov. 11, because of the Veterans Day holiday. Irene Mirkovic/Contributed photo CLARIFICATION The early version of the Transit Talks article in the Oct. 11 issue did not include the infor mation that the joint meeting of the Sarasota and Manatee county commissions, which was scheduled for Oct. 15, was cancelled. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 79


Walgreens District 53 recently announced it had raised $10,772 for Suncoast Charities for Children through donation scannables at cashier checkout stations. Combined with other in-store fundraising promotional efforts held in support of the 29th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival in June and July, the total presented to the charity was $32,000, a news release notes. We are proud to support Suncoast Charities for Children, said District Manager Mark Burdzinski in the release. The Super Boat Grand Prix Festival is one of the biggest fes tivals for our community and enables our employee s to be directly involved with so many of the events. The top three store managers who sold dona tion scannables at checkouts were Sandra Carver, Leo Hoover and Laura Walker, the release adds. Suncoast Charities for Children supports chil dren, teens and adults with special needs, as well as their families, in the Sarasota, Venice and North Port communities, the release points out. The 30th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival is scheduled for June 28 to July 6, 2014. For d etails visit WALGREENS STORES RAISE $10,000 FOR SUNCOAST CHARITIES (From left) Brittany Parker, Lucy Nicandri, Leo Hoover, Laura Walker and Mark Burdzinski gather for the Walgreens presentation. Contributed photo by James Corwin Johnson Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 80


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce grad uated 22 people from the 40th class of the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) during a ceremony on the night of Oct. 10, the ofce has announced. CLEA, which is held one night a week for 11 weeks, gives citizens an inside look at Sheriffs Ofce operations, a news release explains. The course includes sessions on jail operations, courthouse security, criminal investigations and the SWAT and Forensics units. There are demonstrations by K9 and 22 GRADUATE FROM CITIZENS LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY The members of the 40th Citizens Law Enforcement Academy celebrate their graduation with representatives of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce. Contributed photo Mounted Patrol ofcers and activities such as how to conduct felony trafc stops, training in rearms and a ride-along with a deputy on patrol, the release adds. The Sheriffs Ofce has conducted CLEA twice a year for the past 20 years, with some 800 cit izens graduating. The next class, scheduled for spring 2014, is full, but applications are being accepted for the fall session, which will begin in August. Visit Under the Crime Prevention tab, click Get Involved. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 81


Thanks to outstanding community support, Sheriff Tom Knights fourth annual Corporate SWAT Challenge raised $25,000 for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has announced. On Saturday, Oct. 12, 10 teams from area busi nesses spent the day at Knight Trail Park in Nokomis competing in ve tactical events of skill, endurance and strategy, a news release explains. The Corporate SWAT Challenge was designed so participants would have fun in a challenging but team-building atmosphere while raising money for a great cause. Sarasota Dental Group took rst place for the second year in a row, followed by Constant Motions Protection & Fitness in second place and Honest Air of Venice in third, the release notes. The other competing teams were the Daiquiri Deck, Mosaic, Suncoast Motorsports, BMW of Sarasota, Macys, First Step of Sarasota and SNN Local News. The event was sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Macys, with addi tional support from Sarasota Trophy, Publix Supermarkets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mi Pueblo, Caragiulos, Nancys Bar-B-Q, Owens Fish Camp, New Balance, Fleet Feet Sarasota, Mollys Boutique, Beads and Dangles, Trader Joes, Chick-l-A, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Jackson & Associates, Flat Branch Associates and Ellijay Associates, the release adds. Since its inception in 2010, Sheriff Tom Knights Corporate SWAT Challenge has pro vided $100,000 to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch. For information on the ranchs pro grams, visit % SWAT CHALLENGE RAISES $25,000 FOR FLORIDA SHERIFFS YOUTH RANCH Sheriff Tom Knight presents a check to Craig Morrison of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 82


The Sarasota C ounty Sheriffs Ofce has dis -mantled a grow house operation in Sarasota and arrested the man responsible for it, the ofce announced on Oct. 17. After detectives with the Special Investigations Section obtained a search warrant for the house at 4548 Gallup Ave., they found a grow operation in two rooms, a news release says. They seized 31 marijuana plants that weighed nearly 38 pounds, it adds.The grow house operator, Yunesquis Gomez Torres, 32, of 3527 G ladstone St., Sarasota, Marijuana plants grow in a house in North Port. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH GROW HOUSE IN SARASOTA CRIME BLOTTER Deputies seized 31 marijuana plants that were growing in the house at 4548 Gallup Ave. in North Port. Photo courtesy Sheriffs Ofce


drove in to the neighborhood but fled the scene when he spotted the law enforcement activity, the release continues. When depu ties tried to pull him over, at one point, Torres swerved to try to hit a deputys vehicle, the release adds. Torres was stopped and taken into custody on Cattlemen Road just south of Bee Ridge Road. Torres is charged with Trafcking in Cannabis, Cultivation of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He is also charged with Reckless Fleeing to Elude and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Ofcer. Yunesquis Gomez Torres/Contributed photo Bro ck is being held in the Sarasota County Jail without bond, charged with Failing to Register as a Sexual Offender. Oregon ofcials are determining whether to extra dite him to face charges in that state, the relea se says. The Saras ota County Sheriffs Office has arrested a convicted sex offender who absconded from Oregon more than 16 years ago and moved around the country before settling in Florida, never registering in any state, the ofce has reported. Deputy Judy Williams responded to an alarm call on Oct. 15 on Lords Avenue in Sarasota, a news release says. There she found Sam Brice Brock, 64, who had been living at the address and caring for the residents children, the release adds. Call it a gut feeling, but Williams requested a warrant check, which came back nega tive, the release continues. However, further research showed he was a Sexual Offender. It was determined that Brock, who has many aliases, was convicted in 1995 of Sexual Abuse and being a Felon in Possession of a Weapon and sentenced to 26 months in prison, the release notes. After his release in 1997 Brock was ordered not to have contact with minors. He left Oregon that year, the release adds. SEX OFFENDER WHO FLED OREGON ARRESTED IN SARASOTA Sammy Brock/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 84


entered her garage through an unlocked side door and stolen her purse from the front seat of a vehicle in the garage, according to the report. The purse contained multiple credit cards, the report adds. Bank records showed the victims VISA debit card was used to purchase two cartons of cig arettes and a soft drink at the CVS in Nokomis just after 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, the report adds. Irwin was charged with Fraudulent Use of Credit Card and placed under $1,500 bond after he was arrested on Oct. 11 in downtown Sarasota, the report says. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested Jeffrey Paul Irwin, 49, of Lafayette, AL, after a member of the public saw a press release seeking help in identifying a person who allegedly used a stolen credit card at a Nokomis store, the ofce has reported. The Sheriffs Ofce had released video sur veillance photos of a man making purchases at the CVS located at 1111 N. Tamiami Trail in Nokomis on Sept. 19, the same night the credit card was reported to have been stolen, the report says. A resident at 128 Bayview Drive in Nokomis alerted the Sheriffs Ofce that someone had MAN CHARGED IN BURGLARY AS A RESULT OF THE PUBLICS HELP The public assisted the Sheriffs Office in identifying Jeffrey Irwin as the suspect in this surveillance photo. Contributed image Jeffrey Irwin/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 85


Toma s M arley Joseph, 30, has been charged with Home Invasion Robbery with a Firearm, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon and Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon after rushing into a home armed with a handgun in each hand and demanding money from the residents early on the morning of Oct. 12, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. The incident occurred at approximately 12:40 a.m. Saturday at 1231 38th St., Sarasota, according to a news release. The victims had just returned home when they heard a noise outside, it says. Ofcers were told the suspect rushed up to the door and then came inside, pointing two weapons at the victims. When he demanded money, the release continues, one victim gave Joseph his wallet. Then Joseph hit that victim in the face with one handgun, knocking the victim to the ground, the release adds. The suspect red two rounds out the open door, one from each handgun, and then ed, the report says. Ofcers spotted Joseph walking in the 3200 block of Lemon Avenue in Sarasota about 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 13, the report notes. He was wearing dark clothing, and he matched the description of the suspect provided by the victims in the home invasion armed robbery, the report adds. Joseph ed from the ofcers, but when they caught him, he was in possession of two hand guns, the release notes. SHOOTING AND HOME INVASION UNDER INVESTIGATION Tomas Joseph/Contributed photo Simply put, Crime Stoppers relies upon the cooperation between the police the media and the community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals. Call: (941) 366-TIPS (8477) Click: Text: Text TIP109 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) All submitted tips are secure and anonymous Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 86


The Saraso ta County Sheriffs Ofce Fugitive Apprehension Unit, working in conjunc tion with the U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, has captured Brian Lacy, the convicted sex offender who ed the area last week after learning he was facing new charges, the Sheriffs Ofce has announced. Deputies tracked 32-year-old Lacy to Hillsborough County on the night of Oct. 15 and took him into custody in a vehicle on Gulf Stream Circle in Brandon around 9 p.m., a news release says. Lacy, who has been convicted of similar crimes twice before, is charged with Lewd or Lascivious Battery on a 14-year-old girl and Failing to Register his Address. He is being held without bond in the Sarasota County Jail. % CONVICTED LOCAL SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Brian Lacy/Contributed photo 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 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 October 18, 2013 Page 87


OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Voting for ones elected representatives often is a game of regrets. One tries to listen atten tively to each candidates pitch and make a reasonably informed decision. Sadly, after the election comes reality the candidate is not who he or she seemed. And the constituents are left to suffer the consequences of their poor choices. Certainly there is plenty of regret to go around in the City of North Port, where the few vot ers who bothered to vote in the last municipal election cast their ballots for two candidates Cheryl Cook and Rhonda DiFranco who, along with Mayor Linda Yates, have formed a tragic coalition of recalcitrant know-noth ings on the City Commission that has brought North Port to a virtual standstill. For the rest of Sarasota County, North Ports regrettable misjudgments might be of little concern. Unfortunately, the residents of the county are inextricably linked to those of North Port by their joint ownership of Warm Mineral Springs. In fairness to the Sarasota County commis sioners, they surely could have had no idea that, after concluding an agreement with North Port to jointly purchase Warm Mineral Springs, their partners later would turn into the proverbial albatross around the county commissioners necks. First it was the abject obstinacy of the North Port Commissions unholy trinity that stymied efforts to select a new long-term operator for Warm Mineral Sp rings, to replace DOUBLE DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE PART TWO


Cypress Lending when its contract expired in June 2013. For six months, the North Port Commission almost always by the same 3-2 majority harried and hindered the process of selecting a new contractor, rst by declaring it wanted to sell its half of the springs, then by offer ing to buy the countys share. During this civic soap opera, the North Port Commission would not consider any candidates for a long-term operator. Finally, with mediation undertaken and some semblance of reason restored to the North Port Commission, an agreement was finalized on how to proceed: A short-term operator would be contracted to manage the springs for a year, while a more in-depth search continued for a long-term operator. At the outset of the saga, Dr. Grigory Pogrebinsky a local physician who wanted to create a medical spa at the springs that would attract an international clientele expressed interest in long-term manage ment of the facility. Much of the North Port Commission majoritys objections to such a proposal was the desire to prevent such development. Yet, after all the wrangling between com missions was at an end and bids entertained for the short-term contract, the success ful bidder was WMS Sarasota Management, a new company with Pogrebinsky as one of the prin cipals. The selected operator also indicated it planned to seek the long-term management contract. Problems arose after county and North Port staff members examined the facilities and discovered just how rundown most of the buildings and equipment were in the wake of Cypress Lendings departure. WMS Sarasota Management balked at signing the short-term contract unless some of the more obvious necessary repairs were undertaken by the owners. The com pany also asked that the short-term agreement be extended to two years, so it w ould have time to recoup the expense of leasehold improvements it made. Certainly, asking to change the terms of an agreement after a competitive bidding pro cess closes creates difculties for all parties. But the normal response should be to nego tiate a mutually agreeable revision, based on the special circumstances brought on by the springs woeful state of disrepair. For the scorched-earth majority on the North Port Commission, however, such rationality just would not do. Led by Mayor Yates, the In fairness to the Sarasota County commissioners, they surely could have had no idea that, after concluding an agreement with North Port to jointly purchase Warm Mineral Springs, their partners later would turn into the proverbial albatross around the county commissioners necks. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 89


entire com mission voted to rescind the con tract offered to WMS Sarasota Management. By a 3-1 vote, the commission also rejected extending the contract to the other bidder, Cambridgeshire Investment LLC of Port Charlotte. Then, in another 3-1 vote, the commission voted to direct city and county staff to work on a plan to reopen only part of the springs with out a private operator. Such a plan already had been considered and rejected by the county as unworkable, even in the short-term. At least, in a nal vote, the commission voted 3-1 to allow the North Port city manager and Sarasota County administrator to, at their option, pursue another bidding process for a short-term operator. However, in the best of circumstances, that will lead to months of additional delays in reopening the springs. Blame for WMS Sarasota Managements cold feet rests with both commissions, since any prudent person should have realized that no one in his right mind would undertake the manageme nt of such a derelict facility with only a year to sort things out. The take it or leave it ultimatum delivered to the bidder was virtually guaranteed to come back to haunt the commissions, as it now has. Still, it has been almost a year since the North Port Commission, led by its trio of obstruction ists, hijacked the reasonable consideration of the future of Warm Mineral Springs. And after all of these months, the county and North Port are no closer to securing proper management of the facility than they were last December. The blame for this sorry state of affairs rests most squarely on the shoulders of the North Port Commission, especially Yates and Commissioners Cook and DiFranco. Their oash bumbling has cost the taxpayers of Sarasota County dearly. The voters of North Port might regret their poor choices in their last municipal election, but it is the taxpayers of Sarasota County who are footing the bill. % 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 October 18, 2013 Page 90


COMMENTARY My late U ncle Bill (my late fathers brother) was truly a newpapermans newspa perman. After graduating with an AB in Journalism from the University of North Carolina, he held a number of posts in the fourth estate, including sports editor and Sunday editor for the High Point, NC Enterprise He eventually returned to his hometown and took a position in the family business, but the proverbial printers ink beneath his ngernails proved too irresistible. He moved his family to Florida and returned to publishing a newspaper rst in Winter Park, and then to Arcadia, where he owned and published The Arcadian He had a weekly column called Slightly Hackneyed (cleverly playing on the alterna tive meaning of that word, which is to make commonplace by too frequent use), wherein he had all manner of great stories, jokes, gen eral observations and other bons mots The 29th of this month marks the 43rd anniver sary of his passing, so to honor him and the great standar d h e set for future generations of Hackney jo urnalists I am titling this occa sional column, Slightly Hackneyed. I hope you enjoy it. And now, without further ado, my rst submission: The revelation last week that, according to an Associated Press/GfK poll the approval rating for Congress had plummeted to only 5 per cent, really should not have surprised most of us, disgusted as we are by the dysfunction in that body. But to put into perspective just how terrible that low approval rating really is, let us con sider how it compares with the percentage of Americans who, by virtue of their beliefs, might arguably be less than completely in control of their mental faculties. Earlier this year, Public Policy Polling did a comprehensive survey of conspiracy theory beliefs held by certain Americans, including the percentages who held what diplomatically would be termed unconventional beliefs: ONLY THE WACKY STILL APPROVE OF CONGRESS SLIGHTLY HACKNEYED By Robert Hackney Opinion Editor Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 91


13 perce nt of Americans believe that President Bara ck Obama is the Anti-Christ. That mean s that 8 percent of Americans who believe our president is the spawn of Beelzebub also disapprove of Congress. 6 percent believe that Osama bin Laden still is alive. 14 percent believe that the introduction of crack cocaine into the inner cities of America in the 1980s was carried out by the CIA. 11 percent believe the US government knew of the planned attacks on 9/11 and allowed them to happen. 15 percent believe that the government and/ or the media add secret mind-controlling signals to television broadcasts. 4 percent believe that reptilian humanoids from another planetary system have taken over the bodies of various world lead ers, including George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, in order to gain control of the planet. 20 percent believe there is a causal link between childhood vaccines and autism. 28 percent believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks on 9/11. 7 percent believe the moon landings were a hoax. 21 percent b elieve that a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947, and that the govern ment covere d up that fact. 28 percent believe that there is a secret cabal of powerful leaders with a globalist agenda, conspiring to establish authori tarian world rule through a New World Order. 37 percent believe that climate change, also known as global warming, is a hoax. 14 percent believe that Bigfoot is real. 5 percent believe that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966, so that the person acting in his stead for the past 47 years is an imposter. Since a reasonable person would consider these beliefs to be somewhat wacky, it would appear that only the hard-core wacky those believing that the president is the Anti-Christ, that Bigfoot is real, that aliens have taken over the bodies o f world leaders, that TV signals are a mind-control mechanism, that the moon landings were faked, and Paul McCartney has been dead for nearly a half century still approve of the job Congress is doing. I hope the folks on Capitol Hill will be guided by this sober ing r ealization. % 13 percent of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. That means that 8% of Americans who believe our president is the spawn of Beelzebub also disapprove of Congress. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 92




Find us onFacebookrfnttbnr bffrnf ttb


We st ood in the lobby of the Asolo Theatre, waiting to be admitted into the Mertz Theatre to see Rocio Molina, the world-famous a menco dancer, who hails from Malaga, Spain. As I made my way to my seat in the second row, I took a moment to observe my sur roundings. The magnicent Mertz, with its old-world dcor; opaque, tulip-shaped glass lamps; and burgundy velvet valances setting apart the loges seemed like the perfect set ting for what we were about to see. Onstage was a woman dressed all in black, with her back to the audience. She was per forming a type of ritual to the background sounds of atonal music. S he almost could have been praying. Those of us in the soldout audience were in our seats, awaiting our star performer. And then it began. The woman I had been staring at with broad curiosity for the past 15 minutes suddenly turned around and became Rocio Molina. Her body seemed perfectly made for dancing: slender arms, long waist, beautiful back and her excellent posture gave her a very proud bearing. She began her routine slowly, as her three male partners started to move forward. One sat down and began to play the guitar while the other two clapped in rhythm to her dancing, almost like stereo speakers designed to enhance her movements Rocio Molina has a worldwide following. Image from The Ringling A RENOWNED DANCER THRILLS HER AUDIENCE AT THE RINGLING INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL FANTASTICO FLAMENCO By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer


It was an exquisite b eginning to what proved to be fantastico amenco. Rocio choreographs all her dances; she says each tells a story. In this case, the wine glass she held became an integral character in many of the dances. The next routine began with Eduardo Trassiera, her guitarist, playing softly while the two other men, Jose Carmona and Jose Ramos, increased the intensity of their clap ping as Rocio danced around them faster and faster, louder and lo uder, building to a ery The Mertz Theatre was the setting for the Molina performance last week. Image courtesy of the Asolo Repertory Theatre Rocio Molina performs at the Flamenco Festival, Barcelona, May 21, 2010. Image courtesy of Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 96


and p assionate crescendo. Rocio appeared impossibly exible and demonstrated impec cable timing. Their performance ended in perfect sync, followed by silence. Carmona then sang a traditional amenco lament in full volume, expressing all his emo tions to the accompaniment of Trassieras amenco guitar. Even though I did not under stand a word, I felt all the raw emotion Carmona expressed through his voice. Rocio appeared again, this time in a light and airy white dress with beautiful red roses on the skirt. She presented another magnicent dance and connected again with her part ners. Sitting down in front, so close to the stage, was denitely an advantage for me. I could feel every step she took as her green shoes pounded the wooden oor at seemingly superhuman speed. Rocios clapping hands told their own story. And I honestly never saw her perspire. The audience members, transxed and almost breathless, were unsure whether to applaud at the end of each ro utine. But they wanted Rocio to know how much they appreciated her genius level of performance, so many times they did applaud. Again, the guitarist played a stunning solo. The music always seemed very melancholy, evoking lost loves and other sadness. Rocio reappeared, this time in a somber black dress. She faced her two partners, and as they played a phenomenal drum song, she danced to them, increasing her speed as their vol ume rose while she circled the wine glass on the oor. She nished with a roaring smash, breaking the glass into smithereens. This time the audience members did not hold back in their show of enthusiasm. As I watched the final dance, I could not believe this magical performance had lasted almost an hour and a half, because the time went by so fast. As noted previously, even though I did not understand the language, I was totally transported to Spain and the pas sion of the fantastico amenco. Rocio Molina and her partners gave us their all, and they truly deserved the six-minute standing ovati on the audience gave them. % Rocio Molina was one of the headliners for the 2013 Ringling International Arts Festival. Image from The Ringling Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 97


I like to take my time. Sure, its a temptation to rush. Each issue of The Sarasota News Leader is brimfull of indepth coverage of all the news and goings-on in Sarasota County. And it has delightful and informative feature stories. Thanks to its community calendar, 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


COUNTY STAFF IS EVALUATING EXPENSES OF ALTERNATIVES FOR DEWATERING THE STORMWATER SITE; AVENIDA DE MAYOS PARKING SITUATION WILL BE BACK BEFORE THE COUNTY COMMISSION THIS MONTH By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor SIESTA SEEN Pumping still has not begun in the effort to dewater the site of the stormwater project next to Siesta Public Beach, Project Manager Alex Boudreau told me on Monday, Oct. 14. The main reason? Financial, he said. Staff is having a hard time trying to gure the most cost-effective means of getting the water off the site so construction of the new 1-acre stormwater pond can begin, he pointed out. Regular readers will recall that the proj ect has been stalled for more than a month because of heavy rainfall on Siesta, espe cially in September. A series of smaller ponds was built on the site to allow the contractor, Cloudy skies remained the rule over the Siesta stormwater site on Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Hackney

PAGE 100

Forsberg Construction Inc. of Punta Gorda, to pump the water from one to the next. However, Boudreau said this week, staff had learned that it would cost $170,000 to use a diesel pump for that process for three months. We dont have enough money in the contract to do that, Boudreau pointed out. Even Forsbergs estimate for one month of pumping exceeded the amount in the proj ects contingency fund, he added. Then staff looked into whether electric pumps could be used, he told me. Florida Power & Light representatives said they could erect a temporary pole to provide power on the site for electric pumps, Boudreau said. That would cost about $200 to $300. However, because the electricity usage would be limited, pumps with a capacity of about 20 horsepower would have to be utilized. When I spoke with him Monday, Boudreau was waiting to hear back from Forsberg about the electric pump option. He also pointed out that those pumps are not common. Therefore, it could be costly to locate and bring them in for the effort another factor to consider in the cost analysis. Were trying to think outside the box, he pointed out, in the effort to control the addi tional expense. Boudreau is well awar e of the consternation of county commissioners when they voted in April to award the contract to Forsberg. Although the project estimate was about $1.5 million, Forsbergs bid the lowest the coun ty Procurement Department received was $4,550,683.28. The difference primarily was attributed to a much higher expense for the pipeline into the gulf. Its got that cloud over it, Boudreau noted of the project as a result of the cost factor. If we dont have to spend [money in the contin gency fund], we wont spend it, he said. One way or the other, he added, he hoped the pumping would begin no later than Oct. 21. During a presentation to members of the Siesta Key Association on Oct. 3, Boudreau explained that the pumping would allow sed iment to settle out of the water and enable the ultraviolet light from the sun to lower the unhealthful levels of bacteria before the water could be directed into the Gulf of Mexico through the new 3,000-foot pipeline that is part of the project. Sarasota County Project Manager Alex Boudreau was a guest at the Oct. 3 Siesta Key Association meeting. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 100

PAGE 101

During an Oct. 9 email to the County Commission, Isaac Brownman, capital proj ects director in the countys Public Works Department, wrote that Forsberg had started the site work necessary to recongure the settlement ponds. Additionally, Brownman noted, a permit had been obtained from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for the dewatering once it could get under way. Boudreau pointed out to me that while he truly enjoys working with construction proj ects, Very seldom do we get beautiful days and dry dirt to enable them to proceed with out problems. This project, especially, he added, ha s been characterized by so many unknowns. I want to get it done, he said. AND IN A DIFFERENT AREA OF SIESTA Yet another ongoing county project on Siesta Key regards the regulation of parking along Avenida de Mayo, near Siesta Village. On Aug. 28, Commissioner Nora Patterson who lives on Siesta Key won consen sus from her fellow board members to have county transportation staff work with Fire Chief Mike Tobias and his employees to gure A graphic shows Avenida de Mayo, which runs between Canal Road and Avenida del Norte on Siesta Key. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 101

PAGE 102

out where parking spaces could be striped and signage erected to make certain overow Village parking on the street would not pre vent the passage of emergency vehicles. The County Commission voted 3-2 on May 21 to turn down a petition by residents to ban parking on at least one side of the street. Instead, the board asked that staff work with Tobias ofce and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce on a recommendation regard ing routine parking violations that might hamper responses to emergencies. In an Oct. 7 memo to the County Commission, county Chief Engineer James K. Harriott Jr. responded to Pattersons Aug. 28 request by asking for formal board direction to establish staggered no-parking zones along Avenida de Mayo to prohibit parking on both sides of the street from Canal Road to Avenida de Cortez and from Avenida de Cortez to Avenida Del Norte in 500-foot sections. When I contacted her on Oct. 11, Patterson said she planned to bring up the matter at the commissions next regular meeting, which will be on Oct. 22 in Sarasota. I was hoping [staff] would just do it, Patterson said of the striping. However, it is clear she will have to seek her boards approval for the expense of the work, she added. It shouldnt be much. Patterson said she had not received any emails or phone calls about the road situa tion since she last brought up the matter in August. That was no surprise, she pointed out, because September is one of the lightest times of the year for tourism on the island. HELP FOR CONSTITUENTS Commissioner Patterson found an easier res olution last week for a complaint regarding use of a vacant lot on Beach Road. A Calle Del Otono resident emailed Patterson on Oct. 9 to relate that the vacant lot at 645 Beach Road seemed to have been used earlier in the year for employee parking and storage of equipment by all of the contractors with projects in the immediate area. The writer added that her single-family home abutted the lot, so I complained to the county about permitting issues. The bottom line was, the contractors emptied the lot, no longer parked there, and a NO TRESPASSING sign was placed on a chain link fence. I recently return from up north only to nd the lot now being used as a parking lot for all of the additional and ongoing construction companies. The woman added that she had learned from Code Enforcement staff that because no per mit application was in the works for future use of the property, the decision was made to allow parking to alleviate the perpetual prob lem with a shortage of spaces in the area. Needless to say, the lot is a true eyesore, the writer continued, adding that she would appreciate any help Patterson could provide. After Patterson forwarded the email to admin istrative staff, Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham asked Tom Po lk, director Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 102

PAGE 103

A group nds shade in the morning shadow cast by the red lifeguard stand before the Siesta lifeguards arrive. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 103

PAGE 104

of the Planning and Development Services ofce, to look into the matter. On the afternoon of Oct. 10, Polk responded to the resident who had contacted Patterson, copying the commissioners and zoning staff on his answer: Sarasota County Zoning and Code Enforcement staffs had further discussion on this matter and were able to contact the General Contractor, Dan Gerdes, whose employees are parking their vehicles on the residential lot behind the complainant. Mr. Gerdes ha s agreed to voluntarily comply by having his employees remove their vehicles and cease the parking/storage thereof. Code Enforcement staff will continue to monitor the situation. NEW TV STAR No doubt some visitors to Siesta Public Beach on Oct. 10 wondered what was going on with the lm crew. Deputy Jason Strom will be featured in an upcoming Travel Channel show about things An aerial view shows the vacant lot at 645 Beach Road. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 104

PAGE 105

that sho w up out of nowhere, as Sheriff Tom Knight put it on the ofces Facebook page last week. Any guesses? Knight added. It turns out that Sgt. Scott Osborne, leader of the ofces Community Policing Station on Siesta Key, spilled the beans a few months ago. Strom is the person who handled the case of the 8-foot-tall Legoman that appeared on the beach early on the morning of Oct. 25, 2011. As it turned out, the 100-pound fiberglass creation was a publicity stunt related to the Sarasota Chalk Festival. It was linked to Dutch artist Leon Keer, whose team cre ated an image in B urns Court depicting the Deputy Jason Strom is the center of attention for a Travel Channel lm crew on Siesta Public Beach on Oct. 10. Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Dutch artist Leon Keers Legomen army appeared during the 2011 Chalk Festival in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 105

PAGE 106

Terracotta Army, a collection of sculptures representing the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the rst emperor of China, in the 3rd century. In Keers version, each of the images bore a dis tinct resemblance to Legoman. Last I heard, Legoman was somewhere in California. A few months after he arrived on the beach, the Sheriffs Ofce released him into the custody of Denise Kowal, the founder and organizer of the Chalk Festival. His final appear ance on Siesta Key, to my knowledge, was outside the Community Center at St. Boniface Episcopal Church in March 2012, when Dr. Stephen Leatherman Dr. Beach was the guest speaker for the annual meet ing of the Siesta Key Association. According to the Sheriffs Ofce last week, the Travel Channel has not released a sched ule for its segment with Strom. GET YOUR SANDFEST TICKETS The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is reminding the public that its 23rd Annual SandFest is set for Friday, Nov. 1, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Siesta Beach Pavilion at the public beach. With the theme Gilligans Island, the event will feature music, dancing, a cash bar, a silent auction and rafes. Tickets for members are $25; for guests, $3 0. Tables for 10 may be res erved at a cost of $250. SandFest is a major fundraiser for the Chambers annual July Fourth reworks spectac ular, but it also is traditionally a lot of fun. Click here for a ticket order form, then return it to the Chamber by mail at 5114 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34242; by email to chastanna@sies takeychamber. com ; or by phone at 349-3800. % SandFest is set for Nov. 1. Image courtesy Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 106

PAGE 107

The ne art photography of Tampa photog rapher Richard Stewart will be featured in a month-long exhibit titled Photography as Art? at Art Uptown, located at 1367 Main St. in Sarasota. The exhibit will open on Saturday, Oct. 26, and run through Nov. 30, the gallery has announced. An artists reception for the pub lic and friends of the gallery will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will include recent photographs from Mexico, Costa Rica and Italy, plus others dating to 1968, when he lived in Turkey and traveled t hroughout Europe, a news release says. Stewart is best known locally for Girl With Wine a black and white photo he took 44 years ago of a young woman drinking wine from a bottle atop an ancient Roman amphi theater in southern Turkey, the release points out. Also in the show will be a large, four-panel pho tograph on canvas of Young Toro along with another of a workboat on Claude Monets lily pond in Giverny, France one of the most successful works of the photographer, who has been an artist member of Art Uptown for more than ve years, th e release adds. The photo of this young bull against a distressed steel barn door was taken by Stewart in a suburb of San Jose, Costa Rica. It is printed on canvas on four panels. Contributed image PHOTOGRAPHY AS ART? EXHIBIT TO OPEN OCT. 26 AT ART UPTOWN A&E BRIEFS

PAGE 108

Stewart took this photograph of a young woman letting her hair down in 1968 in southern Turkey. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 108

PAGE 109

A professional photographer for more than 30 years, Stewart received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of California at Berkeley. He also works as an independent business writer and PR/marketing consultant with ofces and a studio in Tampa. All of his photographs are offered in limited editions, the release notes. Well experienced in traditional photography and darkroom processing and printing, he has embraced digital technology in recent years, the release continues. He feels that digital photography and printmaking offer greater creative control than film and darkroom processing, without the strong darkroom chemi cals going down the drain into the environment. Stewart regularly exhibits his photographs in juried art shows throughout Florida as well as at Art Uptown. The works of the gallerys 27 other member artists will also be on dis play during Stewarts featured exhibit. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. During the monthly First Friday Gallery Walks on Palm and Main streets, evening hours are 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 955-5409 or visit Workboat on Monets Lily Pond was taken on the painters lily pond in Giverny, France. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 109

PAGE 110

FSU/ASOLO CONSERVATORY TO PRESENT THE SCHOOL FOR LIES (From left) Brian Owen, Andrea Adnoff and Matthew Olsen will star in The School for Lies. Contributed photo by Frank Atura The Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training will pres ent the regional premiere of The School for Lies David Ives freewheeling adaptation of Molieres The Misanthrope from Oct. 29 to Nov. 17 in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, located at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, the Conservatory has announced. Molieres The Misanthrope is a brilliant com edy of manners that concerns a bitter social critic who falls in love with the one woman who exemplies everything he despises in modern life, a news release says. According to Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory a nd of this production, the source material brims with love, sex, hypoc risy and verbal fencing matches, the release adds. David Ives took Molieres basic plot and characters as his starting point. But, like a skilled jazz musician, he bends the notes, Leaming notes in the release. Yes, Ives reinvented characters speak in rhyming couplets, but their language is stuffed with contemporary street slang and delivered in the rat-a-tat stac cato of screwball comedy. He continues, Beneath the verbal gymnas tics, this is a beautiful character study of people caught in a culture that values surface over substance. It was true in 1666, and it is certainly true today! Its perfect material for our second-year Conservatory students to sink their teeth into. Tickets are $29 for evening shows and $28 for matinees. Students receive 50 percent off with advance ticket purchase at the Asolo Rep box ofce at the FSU Center for Performing Arts or by phone at 351-8000. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m., theater goers are invited to attend a production of The School for Lies and pay what they can afford for their tickets, the release points out. These special tickets are available only on the day of that perfor mance; they may be purchased at the Asolo Rep box ofce beginning at 1 0 a.m. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 110

PAGE 111

On Thursday, Oct, 24, at 5:30 p.m., Florida Studio Theatres Kate Alexander and Ringling College of Art and Designs Karen Sullivan will celebrate the Sarasota launch of the second edition of their popular college text, Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories. Then, on Monday, Oct. 28, Kathryn Livingston will sign Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend a news release says. Livingston, former staff writer at Harpers Bazaar and editor at Town & Country has BOOKSTORE1SARASOTA IN DOWNTOWN SARASOTA HAS ANNOUNCED TWO UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS written the rst biography of Lilly Pulitzer, the fashion icon who was born into a legendary family surrounded by wealth and privilege, the release adds. Lilly Pulitzers colorful shift dresses have defined high-society casual chic since the 1960s, the release adds. Books must be purchased at Bookstore1 to be eligible for signing, the release notes. Bookstore1Sarasota is located at 1359 Main St. For more information, visit or call 365-7900. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 111

PAGE 112

ARTIST SERIES CONCERTS OF SARASOTA PRESENTS ITS 18TH SEASON The Rastrelli Cello Quartet will perform works by Saint Sans and Tchaikovsky, Dave Brubeck, Hoagy Carmichael, Antnio Carlos Jobim, Astor Piazzolla and Leroy Anderson Nov. 16 and 17, 7:30 p.m. Contributed photo Classical, pops and cabaret concerts, cham ber soires, a Lunch, Look and Listen series and two special performances are all part of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasotas 201314 season. Among the performers will be the acclaimed Rastrelli Cello Quartet, superstar pianist Joyce Yang, renowned pianist Alexander Schimpf [and] the riveting cabaret singer Jennifer Sheehan, a news release says. Most of the Artist Series presentations take place at the Historic Asolo Theater in Sarasota, the release notes. The latest season includes nearly 50 performances in a wide variety of productions. The unifying factor? Strong support for innovative, emerging artists who appeal to the next generation of audiences, the release points out. Among the rising young stars this season is Joyce Yang, who has been called one of the gifted young pianists of her gen eration. Yang will perform in January with violinist Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 112

PAGE 113

Sassy, an award-winning barbershop quartet will perform songs of romance and relationships on Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. during a luncheon at Michaels On East, 1212 East Ave. South in Sarasota. Contributed photo The Tempest Trio will perform works by Beethoven, Bernstein and Dvorak March 1 and 2 at the Historic Asolo Theater. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 113

PAGE 114

Augustin Hadelich, on violin, and Joyce Yang (above), on piano, will perform works by Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Janacek and Previn Jan. 11 and 12. Augustin Hadelich, who has conrmed his place in the top echelon of young violinists, the release says. The Ritz Chamber Players, appearing in February, has been hailed by The Baltimore Sun as one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years. Additionally, Alexander Schimpf, winner of the Mixon First Prize, the Audience Prize at the 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition and the Vienna Beethoven Piano Competition, has been lauded as a future hero of classical music with all the earmarks of becoming a major force in the decades to come, the release notes. Were very excited about our 2013-14 sea son, says John Fischer, executive director of The Artist Series, in the release. Offering inspired performances by outstanding artists is a given. But we go beyond that by selecting preeminent performers, both emerging and renowned, who will appeal to younger audi ences, as well as to seasoned concert-goers. The 2013-2014 season includes six concerts in the Classical Recital Series, four in the Pop Series and two special concerts, the release continues. Three Lunch, Look and Listen events are also scheduled. For more informa tion, visit or call 306-1202. The Historic Asolo Theater is located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 114

PAGE 115

TOASTING THE COAST Kathleen Pacheco of Sarasota has won the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) Toast the Coast Photo Contest with an image of a sunset at Stump Pass in Englewood, the SBEP has announced. The recent contest helped acknowledge National Estuaries Day, which was Sept. 28, a news release notes. She won four tickets for a boat tour of Sarasota Bay with the Sarasota Bay Explorers An artist who enjoys painting and charcoal drawing, Pacheco is a graduate of The Art Institute of Chicago. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 115

PAGE 116

Celebrated songwriter and performer Beth Schafer will appear in concert at Temple Sinai on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m., the Temple has announced. The two-hour program will include a Seudah Shlishit (third Shabbat meal) nosh, the con cert and Havdalah (the symbolic ending to Shabbat), a news release says. Celebrated songwriter and performer Beth Schafer will perform in concert at Temple Sinai on Oct. 27. Contributed photo BETH SCHAFER TO PERFORM IN CONCERT AT TEMPLE SINAI RELIGION BRIEFS Schaf er has blazed a trail in contemporary Jewish music for more than 14 years by blending her masterful songwriting with a sensitivity to Jewish liturgy and contemporary spirituality, the release adds. She regularly is a featured performer before audiences of thousands at Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) biennial conventions and at Camps Kutz and Coleman, the release points out.

PAGE 117

Additional ly, she has served on the faculty at the URJ Scheidt Leadership Seminars for temple presidents and as guest artist at con gregations across the country. Schafer and her band have performed at music festivals, at halftime during an Orlando Magic game and on stage for Barack Obama during his campaign in 2008. Her seven CDs of original music reect the heart and soul she puts into her live perfor mances, the release continues. Rabbi Geoff Huntting says he is looking for ward to welcoming Schafer back to Temple Sinai. Beth is a real musical talent and inspirational leader, he adds in the release. She develops a On Sunday, Oct. 20, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., Temple Emanu-El will host a health and wellness gathering called Temple Emanu-El Cares the Temple has announced. The event will feature presentations by many local organizations providing physical, men tal and emotional health services, as well as groups serving the elderly and those in need, a news release says. Conrmed presenters include representatives from Jewish Family and Childrens Services, ITN Sarasota, Meals on Wheels Sarasota, The Center for Building wond erful rapport with her audience and has remarkable ability for getting to the essence of Jewish life. Beth Schafer is awesome! says seasoned Coleman camper Marisa Freedman in the release. Everyone loves her music, and shes lots of fun. Thanks to generous underwriting from the Temple, children under 18 will be admitted free, the news release points out. Adult tickets, which are $5, may be purchased in advance or at the door. Temple Sinai is located at 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota. For more information, contact Sue Huntting at 924-1802. TEMPLE EMANU-EL CARES HEALTH EVENT SET FOR OCT. 20 Hop e, Elder Care Life Planning Law Firm, Senior Friendship Centers, Arts for Health Sarasota-Manatee and The Sarasota YMCA, the release adds. A light lunch and refreshments will be served. Temple Emanu-El Cares is coordinated by the synagogues Caring Committee. It is free and open to all members of the community. For more information, call 224-2650. Temple Emanu-El is located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. % Neal Schafers ENHANCE YOUR SMILE. ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.For a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 To view our extensive smile gallery, visit My interest in photography reminded me about how my smile made me unhappy. A childhood accident caused my permanent teeth to come in askew. I had seen how Dr. Koval restored the smile of a friends father. With Dr. Koval, we discovered I also had cracked fillings and a shifted jaw all which she corrected. I am 100% satisfied with Dr. Kovals meticulous work and sincere care to make my smile look natural and picture-perfect.Christine Koval, D.M.D.Awarded 20 Gold Medals for Smile Makeovers by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 117

PAGE 118

YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 18 OCTOBER Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Jazz at Two featuring the Haferhouse Jazz Quartet Oct. 18, 2 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $7 ($12 for non-members). Information: 366-1552 or 18 OCTOBER WSLR presents Eric Andersen in concert Oct. 18, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Admission: $20 advance; $25 at the door. Information: 894-6469 or 18+ OCTOBER Dabbert Gallery presents Season of Color Oct. 18 to Nov. 29, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 955-1315 or 25 OCTOBER Planned Parenthoods Safe Sex Halloween Bash Oct. 25, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Michaels on East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. Admission: $85 advance; $100 at the door. Information and tickets: 26 OCTOBER Herrmanns Royal Lipizzan Stallions Halloween Show Oct. 26, Gates open at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. Kids costumes welcome; candy stations provided. Admission: $10. Information: 322-1501 or 29+ OCTOBER FSU/Asolo Conservatory presents The School for Lies Oct. 29 to Nov. 17; times vary. FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Admission: $27-29. Information: 351-8000 or Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 Page 118

PAGE 119

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 YOU TALKIN TO ME? SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EA5CGTTW3_1J49PK INGEST_TIME 2013-11-16T00:15:26Z PACKAGE AA00013179_00056