Sarasota News Leader


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

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COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 11 November 29, 2013 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. The Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida Inside TURNER WINS HIS SUNSHINE SUIT THE POLITICAL WILL A MEANS TO MORE MONEY




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


By the time I begin to compose this letter most weeks, I am just thankful I have nished writing all my stories. This time, my em phasis deservedly needs to be on other, far more important rea sons for gratitude. And it is very easy to come up with a quick list, when I look at all we have managed to accomplish with the News Leader Above all every week, I am extraordinarily thankful for the individuals with whom I work. You will not nd a more industrious group anywhere else. And while they are my colleagues, they also are people with whom I truly enjoy spending time. I should emphasize that I am not just talking about our core staff but our contributors as well. You cannot help but recognize their bylines: Harriet Cuthbert, Fran Palmeri and Eli nor Rogosin. In fact, Elinor has a review this week of the latest Sarasota Ballet performances, and Fran already has sent in an article for next week. Harriet always has ideas cooking. They are every bit as important in the creation of the News Leader as Cooper, Stan and Roger. While I have been better lately, I think, about giving credit to Production Manager Cleve Posey and Copy Editor Vicki Chatley, I do not mention John Riley often enough. The News Leader seems to be one of a dwindling num ber of publications that still has its own po litical cartoonist on staff, and he is brilliant. Finally, and most important, I am thankful for all of you, our readers. Without your support, there would be no Ne ws Leader Editor and Publisher WELCOME


TURNER WINS HIS SUNSHINE SUIT THE POLITICAL WILL NEWS & COMMENTARY TURNER WINS HIS SUNSHINE SUIT 9 Chapman goes on the attack in her legal case involving the states open meetings law Stan Zimmerman THE POLITICAL WILL 13 The Sarasota City and County commissioners move ahead with implementing consultant Robert Marbuts 12 strategic steps including planning for a 24/7 permanent shelter in Sarasota Roger Drouin A MEANS TO MORE MONEY 22 The president of the organization that manages Benderson Park events says a foundation will be established to raise money for necessary rowing facilities Rachel Brown Hackney HOW DID WE GET HERE? 30 The Sarasota News Leader reconstructs, via email, what led to the countys much-criticized contract with Laffer Associates Cooper Levey-Baker OPTING FOR A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY 36 The County Commission splits on a decision to allow Benderson Development to create a light industrial/warehouse project on 42 acres off Fruitville Road Rachel Brown Hackney LAYING OUT PRIORITIES 44 Downtown Improvement District board members consider the areas future, with expansion getting the top ranking among proposals Stan Zimmerman HELPING THE HUNGRY 49 With assistance from the Orioles, the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program beats its 2012 mark in the tons of food collected during its annual pre-Thanksgiving initiative Rachel Brown Hackney TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: A City Awakens Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: A Delight For All Ages Norman Schimmel


OPINION NEWS BRIEFS A GRE ATER TUNNEL DEPTH, PERHAPS 53 Discussions continue about the best way to achieve the desired results for the citys troubled new lift station Stan Zimmerman HURRICANE SEASON 2013 56 The Atlantic season proves extraordinarily uneventful while the Pacic sees terrible destruction Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 70 CRIME BLOTTER 79 OPINION EDITORIAL 84 Sharing a special holiday by sharing COMMENTARY 86 Attorney in Sunshine lawsuit disputes Chapman statements to the City Commission Andrea Mogensen Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080


THE SUMPTUOUS AND THE WHIMSICAL SIESTA SEEN SARASOTA LEISURE THE SUMPTUOUS AND THE WHIMSICAL 89 Hulland and Brown stand out in Sarasota Ballets second performance of the season Elinor Rogosin SIESTA SEEN 94 A dispute over a beach path seems to be resolved; a county variance petition is proceeding; the Siesta Chamber bids adieu to its executive director; and Chamber award nominees are sought Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 102 RELIGION BRIEFS 113 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 118 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 119 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article All Of Us At The Sarasota News Leader Wish You A Safe And Happy Thanksgiving! Drawing by Norah Posey, Kindergarten


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Late last we ek, after The Sarasota News Leader s deadline, Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman switched attorneys in her defense against a lawsuit led by the group Citizens for Sunshine, which claimed she broke the states open meetings law in October. Chapmans new attorney, Bill Fuller, wasted no time ling a motion to dismiss the suit, as well as a counterclaim against Citizens for Sunshine. Citizens for Sunshine attorney Andrea Mogensen filed the suit Oct. 18 following an Oct. 10 breakfast meeting attended by Chapman, City Manager Tom Barwin, City Commissi oner Suzanne Atwell, two police ofcers and downtown merchants. The topic was homelessness. Fullers motion to dismiss says, There is no allegation that defendant Susan Chapman discussed anything with defendant Suzanne Atwell at the meeting described in the complaint. Chapman adamantly refuses to admit she broke the Florida Sunshine Laws. City Attorney Bob Fournier signed a settlement agreement on Nov. 14, admitting the citys failure to provide notice and to take min utes was a violation of the Sunshine Law The City Commission sits in session earlier this year. Photo by Norman Schimmel CHAPMAN GOES ON THE ATTACK IN HER LEGAL CASE INVOLVING THE STATES OPEN MEETINGS LAW TURNER WINS HIS SUNSHINE SUIT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


Atwell signed her settlement with Mogensen on Nov. 7. In a press release the next day, Atwell said, I am firmly convinced that I did not violate the sunshine law Atwells legal fees were covered by the city, but start ing next week, Chapmans may not be. At the City Commission meeting on Nov. 18, Fournier asked the board members how to handle Chapmans fees after the city and Atwell had settled. He was told to keep paying them until the next meeting, on Dec. 2, when the issue would come up again for discussion. Meanwhile, the Ofce of the City Auditor and Clerk is giving notice to a variety of meetings that may include two or more city commis sioners, no matter what the agenda topics or settings are. For example, a Chamber of Commerce meeting has been noticed, as has the upcoming Tiger Bay Club gathering. The News Leader quoted Chapman at the Nov. 18 City Commission meeting saying she never received the same settlement offer that Atwell had from Citizens for Sunshine. Mogensen dis puted that statement in an email to the News Leader This is flatly untrue, Mogensen wrote. On Nov. 1, 2013 I extended the very same offer to both Atwell and Chapman (emphasis in the original). (See the guest col umn in todays issue.) Both women rejected the Nov. 1 offer. Atwell received a different offer to settle on Nov. 7. That offer was not furnished to Chapman until after Chapman made her statement during the Nov. 18 C ity Commission meeting, Chapman City Commissioner Susan Chapman listens to a speaker at a joint city/county meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 10


says. Ch apman received the revised settle ment offer the next day, she added, 12 days after the settlement offer was sent to Atwell. TURNER PERSEVERES TO WIN Another Sunshine suit has been settled. Former City Commissioner Terry Turner became embroiled in a public records request by Mogensens paralegal, Michael Bareld. Barfield sued the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District (DID) after the News Leader reported that two of its members admitted to using their private computers for email about city matters. Acting as his own attorney in the initial complaint, Barfield demanded production of the documents by ling suit on Sept. 12, 2012. He amended the complaint in December, demanding docu ments from Turner about a public referendum Turner was supporting. The city eventually settled the DID lawsuit and paid Barfield $8,437.50. The city also admitted that two DID members did not pro duce public records in their possession in an immediate, timely fashion. Turner, however, did not settle; he was suc cessful in having his case separated from the DIDs because the DID members records were clearly public while he believed his were pri vate. On July 15 this year, Special Magistrate Deborah Bailey agreed with Turner and dis missed the suit. Nowhere in the complaint does Bareld allege that the emails sought from Turner were made or received in con nection with the ofcial business of the City Comm ission, she w rote. Bareld appealed her decision to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. On Nov. 12 a judge upheld Baileys ruling and ordered all parties to abide by the magistrates ndings. The case is somewhat similar to Chapmans. A board and individual members were sued. The city and individuals agreed they violated the Sunshine Law and the city paid the plaintiffs attorneys fees. But one party, not believing he broke the law, maintained his defense to eventually win in court on principle. Then he won on appeal. Still, it is likely Turners legal fees exceeded the $8,437.50 the city paid to Bareld to settle its part of the suit. % Then City Commissioner Terry Turner participates in the Convocation of Governments session in January. File Photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 11


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Before a series of votes Monday afternoon, Nov. 25, homelessness consultant Robert Marbut had a cautionary note for the Sarasota City and County commissioners. If local leaders do nothing, the homeless pop ulatio n in Sarasota will increase 25 per cent over the next few years, Marbut said. Based on the rising number of homeless veterans and domes tic battery cases, more people are finding themselves without a place to live or the means to afford one. I would encourage you to take action and start working on this, Marbut told the com missions during a joint session in the Sarasota Cou nty Commission Chambers, the second of two local govern ment presentations that day. They listened. After hearing Marbut discuss his 12-point The County Commission Chambers is nearly full in downtown Sarasota as Robert Marbut speaks to the City and County commissions. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE SARASOTA CITY AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MOVE AHEAD WITH IMPLEMENTING CONSULTANT ROBERT MARBUTS 12 STRATEGIC STEPS INCLUDING PLANNING FOR A 24/7 PERMANENT SHELTER IN SARASOTA THE POLITICAL WILL If the expert is sure our organization is the one to run it, we will make it happen. Tom Knight Sheriff Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


strategy and listening to residents offer pub lic comments most in support of Marbuts plan both boards took action. In a series of votes, the City Commission and County Commission approved motions to begin implementing Marbuts recommen dations. They also voted to do the following: extend Marbuts contract to keep him work ing as a consultant in Sarasota County; and begin drafting a uniform code of ordinances on crimes such as panhandling and camping on private property. In a 4-1 vote, the City Commission agreed to move ahead with due diligence on three pos sible sites for a permanent shelter a list that was narrowed down from Marbuts top four suggestions. However, the actions did not come without some dissent. Sarasota Vice Mayor Willie Shaw called for a motion to postpone any decision on a shelter until a public hearing could be held in District 1, where three of the four suggested sites are located. That motion was voted down 3-2; City Commissioner Susan Chapman sided with Shaw. Shaw also cast the lone No vote on the motions to move forward with investigating the three possible shelter sites and to extend Marbuts contract. The shelter location has proved controversial. Shaw has objected recently to a facility in his district, District 1, which encompasses north Sarasota and much of the Rosemary District. He says the area is already saddled with many of the countys social services. Shelter advo cates, on the other hand, have said that is exactly where a permanent facility should go. Robert Marbut explains his proposals to the City and County commissions on Nov. 25. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 14


County Comm issioner Joe Barbetta was one of the driving forces to keep plans for a shel ter in motion Monday. This is going to take some political will, but we need to keep it going, Barbetta said. Marbut addressed the question of shelter loca tions early in the afternoon meeting with the boards. (He met earlier in the day in Venice with the County Commission and the North Port and Venice city boards.) You need to put the emergency room where the problems are, Marbut told the City and County commissions, repeating a statement he has made over the past few weeks. He also said the homeless center should be come as you are, si milar to a dozen such facilities across the country. Eleven of those 12 are located in the central business district, Marbut added. He further stressed that although anyone should be able to come into the shelter, alco hol and drugs would not be allowed on the Sarasota campus. AFTER THE VOTES Marbut told The Sarasota News Leader he was not expecting the City and County com mission votes Monday afternoon. I was surprised and thrilled we moved that far yesterday, he said in an interview Tuesday. I was expecting maybe a broad approval in concept, or a conversation to have another conversation. County Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason listens to the presentation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 15


I think we will do some real good here, he added. He scheduled the interview before another meeting with local leaders to come up with a concrete plan for carrying out his 12 strategic recommendations. NOT JUST A BOX The working name for the new shelter is Sarasota Safe Harbor, after Pinellas Safe Harbor, a facility that has inspired advo cates for a Sarasota center. For the Sarasota facil ity to function well, including meeting its goal of graduating homele ss people from the street to homes, it ne eds to in clude services such as job train ing and mental health counseling, and it must be clean and safe, Marbut told the boards on Monday. It would house about 225 people, he added. Another important element is that it have suf cient buffering between it and surrounding residences and businesses, Marbut said. Regardless of functions or site plans, Marbut pointed out that the shelter would not be a solution in itself. If the community looks at this [center] as just a box, it doesnt make sense, Marbut told the News Leader Tuesday. Community resi dents have to stop enabling homeless ness, and that means st opping street feed ing and giving money to panhandlers. The com munity is part of this, M arbut said. I n addition, law enforcement ofcers, social service workers and existing service provid ers and foundations have to collaborate to get people into the facility. (From left) County Commissioner Charles Hines, City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, County Commissioner Nora Patterson, City Commissioner Susan Chapman and Sheriff Tom Knight consider the proposals. Photo by Norman Schimmel This is going to take some political will, but we need to keep it going. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 16


Funding for the shelter could come from pub lic and private funds. Marbuts plan includes a master case man agement system to keep track of homeless individuals and families and to assist with providing them services. Groups called homeless outreach teams, made up of social service workers and law enforcement ofcers, will go out and encour age homeless people to go to the shelter or a portal for homeless families. WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN Marbut recommends Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight run the shelter. This would be similar to Pinellas, Marbut said, acknowledging that Pinellas Safe Harbor is run m ore efciently than other homeless centers because the county sheriff manages it. After the meeting Monday, Knight told the News Leader he was open to the concept of operating a 24-hour/seven-days-a-week, per manent shelter in Sarasota. Initially, he was skeptical, he said. When it was rst mentioned, I thought, That is not our role. But our role changes all the time, Knight added. He supports Marbuts recommendations, he said. If the expert is sure our organization is the one to run it, we will make it happen, Knight told the New s Leader City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo (right) considers the points consultant Robert Marbut is making during the presentation. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 17


City Commissioner Willie Shaw again argued against a shelter in north Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 18


Marbuts suggestion of a unied system of countywide ordinances to deal with issues revolving around homelessness is another big step in the right direction, Knight noted. Those laws would be similar to countywide ordinances regulating pain clinics and pre cious metals. Situations involving the citys and coun tys separate panhandling ordinances made it clear earlier this year how a patchwork system can create problems, Knight noted, referring to a court case that went against the City of Sarasota necessitating quick County Commission action to change county regulations. Bill Spitler, director of planning and research for the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce and a member of the Gulf Coast Community Founda tions homeless children and families committee, said Mondays votes set the path for a new, better way of addressing homeless ness in Sarasota County. What happened in there was huge, Spitler told the News Leader outside the County Commission Chambers Monday. I have been here 30-plus years, and the rec ommendations by Dr. Marbut will be one of the biggest turning points in Sarasota County, Spitler added. The complex and difcult problems associ ated with homelessness have not been handled well locally, Spitler noted. Mondays com mission motions combined for landmark action that will help make the community a better place and safer place for everyone, Spitler said. Mayor Shannon Snyder listens to the discussion. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 19


Mich ael Barfield, vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida and a critic of the citys handling of home lessness also spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, adding his support for Marbuts 12 strategic steps. Its time to get together and solve something that everyone agrees has been a problem, Bareld said. Im glad weve made progress. THE BIG PUSH Marbuts top four shelter sites were 1003 N. Washington Blvd., north of Gillespie Park; 1121 Lewis Ave., near 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue, close to Ed Smith Stadium; 1330 N. Osprey Ave. (and/or 1530 N. Osprey Ave), near the Sarasota Police Department; and 1800 East Ave., near Osprey Avenue and Webber Street, as well as Southside Elementary School. The city and county commissioners directed staff to look into three of the sites, excluding the vacant North Washington Boulevard par cel because of its steep price of $750,000. Sarasota Mayor Shannon Snyder is a propo nent of Marbuts plan for a shelter. This was a big win for Sarasota taxpayers, Snyder said after the votes, noting that shelters cost a fth of the expense of a night in jail for a home less person. Statistics have shown that, on average, about 20 percent of the countys jail population is homeless individuals. Shelters also promote movement from a life on the street to a job and a home, Snyder added. Its a big win all the way around, Snyder told the News Leader When Vice Mayor Shaw suggested post ponement of action until a public hearing could be held in north Sarasota to allow the most affected to have a hearing, Barbetta responded that the commissioners were only directing county staff to conduct due dili gence on three of the sites, not choosing a location. There will be plenty of time for public input, Barbetta said. Right now we are just trying to keep the train moving. City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo added that Yes votes were an important step for the elected ofcials to take. This is an endorsement of the concept, which is to say we havent been doing this right and there is a better way. County Commissioner Nora Patterson sug gested starting with due diligence on the 1330 N. Osprey Ave. site, which is owned by the city. It was also the location Marbut indicated as most viable for a shelter because of its prox imity to other resources for the homeless. To me its most logical to start with that, Patterson said. At some point, she added, it might be good for the boards to see aerial maps showing how close businesses and residences are to each of the three sites. City Co mmissioner Suzanne Atwell pointed to the value of the overall plan as a compre hensive approach that includes master case management and a treatment team. Im excited, A twell said. % Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 20


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A new nonprot fundraising organization has to be created to raise the capital for the struc tures needed to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, the manager of events at the venue told the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council (TDC) last week. Paul Blackketter, president of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), said during the TDCs regular meeting on Nov. 21, We soon realized we needed to create a separate fundraising founda tion solely to focus on capital improve ments. It will not be under Sunshine, he The inaugural Sarasota-Bradenton Head Regatta at Benderson Park drew hundreds of people. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE PRESIDENT OF THE ORGANIZATION THAT MANAGES BENDERSON PARK EVENTS SAYS A FOUNDATION WILL BE ESTABLISHED TO RAISE MONEY FOR NECESSARY ROWING FACILITIES A MEANS TO MORE MONEY We soon realized we needed to create a separate fundraising foundation solely to focus on capital improvements. It will not be under Sunshine. Paul Blackketter President Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


added, refer ring to the states open meeting laws. SANCA has to operate according to the Sunshine laws, Blackketter pointed out. Additionally, SANCA should have its busi ness plan delivered to the Sarasota County Commission by Feb. 15, Blackketter said. In early November, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh told The Sarasota News Leader that negotiations had been going on for about six months to complete the contract between SANCA and the county. DeMarsh said the process was put on hold while both entities worked to nalize the details of SANCAs bid for the World Rowing Championships, which the park won in Sep tember. Commissioner Nora Patterson who chairs the TDC reminded Blackketter during the advisory boards meeting last week that the TDC would not meet again before Feb. 15. Unless it held a session in January, she added, the members would not have the opportunity to comment on the business plan before it goes to the County Commission. So you need to coordinate that in some way, so this board can see [it], Patterson told Blackketter. Ill be working with Virginia, he responded, referring to Virginia Haley, president of the countys tourism ofce, Visit Sarasota County. Yes, I understand, he added. Moreover, Patterson pointed out that Blackketter had referenced SANCAs next big step as the renement of its business plan. Teams row against the clock during the Head Regatta on Nov. 16. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 23


We havent re ally seen [the plan], she told him again. Yes, he replied, adding that SANCA has learned how to manage events at the park. MORE DETAILS In January, Blackketter told the TDC that SANCA needed only about $5 million to build the structures it absolutely has to have to host the World Rowing Championships. At that time, SANCA had received $5 million from the Florida Legislature, and Sarasota County had invested about $20 million in the venue. This year, the Legislature gave SANCA another $5 million. Part of the holdup in completing the business plan, county ofcials told the News Leader early this month, was the effort to block a clawback provision that came with the lat est state funds, meaning SANCA would have to return that $5 million if it did not meet cer tain economic development benchmarks. No clawback language was included with the 2012 state bequest. [T]he thought process is that since this is ongoing funding, we would prefer that that clause not be in future agree ments, county Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown said. Among the facilities Blackketter listed in January as musts, and their estimated expenses, were the following: Crew teams and family members gather by stacks of rowing vessels for the Head Regatta on Nov. 16. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 24


Regatta Island water and sewer and electri cal systems: $800,000. Finishing towers with timing mechanisms: Three are needed at a cost of $40,000 each. A starting line tower and timing huts: $80,000. A three-story tower at the nish line that would contain timing equipment and pro vide space for the referees and the news media: A basic structure would be $800,000. However, Blackketter said, the goal was to expand the initial facility to make it capable of multiple uses. The expanded version would cost up to $2 million. A starting line platform with all the neces sary precision timing apparatuses: $375,000. For its next big project, Blackketter told the TDC on Nov. 21, SANCA needs to complete plans for the boathouse. That facility, he told the TDC members ear lier this year, would be designed to host all sorts of events that would generate reve nue for Benderson Park, which is owned by the county. A current aerial view shows the layout of Benderson Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 25


Blackketter noted, You see a lot of wish I coulda/shoulda when you go and tour boat houses around the United States and the world. The goal, he pointed out to the TDC, is to build a structure like no other in the country. Only European venues have such boathouses, he added. As part of his Nov. 21 update to the TDC, Blackketter pointed out that he had just returned from New York City, where he attended the Golden Oars Awards Dinner The A schematic shows the conguration of Regatta Island and Benderson Lake. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 26


Paul Blackketter (left) and Commissioner Joe Barbetta celebrate in September after Benderson Park won the bid for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 27


event included all the whos who of rowing in the United States. He added, They actually got up and cele brated Sarasota-Bradenton for winning the World Rowing Championships Were on the map, and were getting a lot of phone calls. VENUE NOTES Last year, Benderson Park hosted 10 row ing events, Blackketter said. This year, it has scheduled 21. In 2012, 13 college rowing teams trained at the park, Blackketter noted. We expect that to grow up to 20 to 30 percent every year. People from all over the world are contact ing him about training options at the park in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he added. As for construction: Blackketter pointed out that all the dredging has been completed to make the racing lanes the 3.5-meter depth required by FISA, Fdration Internationale des Socits dAviron the International Federation of Rowing Associations. The material removed from the lake during that process was used to construct the 32-acre Regatta Island, he noted, which is in its sec ond year of hosting events. The island is perfect in size and function and how it oper ates, Blackketter said. And were getting great reviews. On Nov. 16, the island had more than 1,500 people in stands to watch the inaugural Sarasota-Bradenton Head Regatta, he told the TDC members. Benderson Park is the only rowing venue in the nation, he continued, that makes it possib le for visitors to follow an ent ire 5,000-meter head race. It was a huge success, he added. Asked to explain what a head race is, Blackketter said it is a timed event, like a 5K race. Once vessels pass the starting line, the clock begins ticking, he pointed out. Head races are held in the fall, he said, while 2,000meter sprints are scheduled in the spring. We only take on events that we can handle and do right and we can afford, he noted. Blackketter further explained that the wave attenuator system installed at the park is the worlds largest. It works exceptionally well. In fact, South Koreas system was three times more expensive, he noted, and not as good as ours. Additionally, Blackketter said efforts con tinue to promote the park as a green facility, with emphasis on people being able to walk, bike and even rollerblade to it. We want to promote the bicycle as the main means of transportation to the venue, he added, though accommodations will still be made for motor vehicles. Finally, Blackketter told the TDC members that Benderson Development for which he formerly was executive director of planning has donated a triple-wide construction trailer for use as an event headquarters and SANCA ofce on Regatta Island. Although he is one of two SANCA employees now, he added, once the County Commission has signed off on the business plan and the new fundraising foundation has been established, more people will be hired. Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker con tributed to this report. % Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 28


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How exa ctly did Sarasota County come to sign a $90,000 consulting contract calling on Tennessees Laffer Associates to provide a right-wing history of smart growth that was ercely assailed by county commission critics and commissioners alike? Thats what County Commissioner Christine Robinson wanted to nd out. Robinson made a public records request for hundreds of emails between the county and Laffer and discussed her rst review of them during the Tuesday, Nov. 19, board meeting. While she acknowledged that the request to insert language about a history of smart growth and New Urbani sm came from Laffer, The Sarasota 2050 Plan was designed to create walkable communities in the county, east of Interstate-75. File photo THE SARASOTA NEWS LEADER RECONSTRUCTS, VIA EMAIL, WHAT LED TO THE COUNTYS MUCH-CRITICIZED CONTRACT WITH LAFFER ASSOCIATES HOW DID WE GET HERE? By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor [Donna Arduin] wants us to know she has only a BA in economics so does not want the mantle of economist but her partners would be certainly recognized as leading economist. Her rm and Laffer is clearly supply side and oriented free market economics, frequent speaker for chambers. Randall Reid Former County Administrator Sarasota County In an Email to County Planning Staff And Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham


not the county, she told her fellow commis sioners that the section was included with the explicit knowledge of former County Administrator Randy Reid. It wasnt like it was slid in there, she said. The Sarasota News Leader requested copies of the same emails Robinson looked at, in an effort to piece together the process that led to the countys much-criticized contract. So, without further ado, heres a timeline (heavily sic-worthy throughout) on how things went down. June 28: Reid emails the commissioners and circulates a memo detailing his proposal for how to proceed with a review of scal neu trality in the countys Sarasota 2050 land-use plan. Fiscal neutrality the principle that a new neighborhood generate enough county revenue to compensate for any increased demand for county services has been one of the chief targets of criticism by developers frustrated with 2050s detailed regulations, and it has become a major hotspot in the battle over the countys decision to revisit the plan. Mentioning a meeting held with Tim Chapin, the chairman of Florida State Universitys Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Reid writes that staff is developing a request to have Chapin review scal neutrality and to bring in a peer review team made up of expert practitioners. The team would focus on land use planning and infrastructure anal ysis, economic analysis, and monitoring and timing issues to assure the scal neutrality concept as eventually redened is adhered to successfully by conclusion of the specic 2050 project, Reid adds. July 1: Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Vice President of Planning Todd Pokrywa emails commissioners expressing concern about bringing in Chapin and his team. I suggest that the approach to resolving this issue can be much more simplied (and involve a more practical rather than academic approach) as it is not a difcult concept to correct in terms of its denition and implementation, he writes. The peer review team should be approached from a more practical perspective so that it includes other large landowners/developers, The County Commission sits in session in 2012 with then Administrator Randall Reid (far right). Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 31


perhap s the Association of Florida Community Developers, economic/nancial consultants that work with private landowners and public entities, and lenders that can best represent solutions to the real-world impediments and barriers caused by the current scal neutral ity framework, Pokrywa adds. Commissioner Joe Barbetta asks Reid for more detail about the makeup of the peer review team. The administrator responds by naming, among others, Donna Arduin, who has agreed to participate. Arduin is a Tallahassee-based economist with close ties to Gov. Rick Scott. She has also consulted with Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. I questioned the FSU folks as to the number crunching experience of their academic team and as to the lack of a pure economist with credentials, Reid responds to Barbetta. The peer review process was suggested as a key element to assure non academic feedback and produce a better product. July 2: I do not believe that the recommen dation, as outlined in your memo, should be approved by Commissioners, Pokrywa writes to Reid. He argues that county staff should be able to address the identied obstacles pre sented by the periodic and arbitrary looks at scal neutrality. If not, he says, no large-scale developers will be able to secure funding. We have clearly stated what we believe the prob lem and solution should be. Reid writes to Pokrywa that he is making the latters concerns known to Chapin, but he defends his approach. The peer review pro cess we suggest provides opportunities for those with expertise to consider and com ment on how to assure scal viability and continued nancing in this environment, he writes. Chapin then chimes in, introducing himself and his team to Pokrywa. As an outsider looking in, what I see is a well-intentioned pol icy that no stakeholders are happy with; one that yields many question s and few answers Todd Pokrywa, vice president of planning for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, expressed opposition to county commissioners regarding a proposal for a Florida State University team to review the scal neutrality aspect of the countys 2050 Plan. Image from www. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 32


for the va rious actors, he writes. We have been tasked with bringing new ideas to light and making recommendations that benet all stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of generating development that keeps Sarasota County economically attractive and vibrant, promotes the wise use of limited public resources, and respects the beautiful natu ral setting that is found in this most special place. July 9: The County Commission meets and votes to reject Reids proposal to bring in Chapin to review fiscal neutrality. I dont want an academic, Barbetta says. I dont want a team of people coming in here who dont know anything about 2050. He suggests three potential economists as alternatives: University of Florida economist David Denslow; the director of the University of Central Floridas Institute for Economic Competitiveness, Sean Snaith; and Arduin. July 11: Reid emails county Planners Allen Parsons and Tom Polk and Assistant County Attorney Mark Cunningham to let them know he has spoken to Arduin. She wants us to know she has only a BA in economics so does not want the mantle of economist but her part ners would be certainly recognized as leading economist, he writes. The contract would be with the rm (nashville) but she would see herself as our project manager. She would like to be assured we would provide substantial local planning assistance in understanding laws currently in affect. Her rm and Laffer is clearly supply side and oriented free market economics, frequent speaker for chambers. Both Denslow and Sean who later drop out of consideration for the project have less political involvement, he writes. July 19: Cunningham emails Arduin with a draft version of the countys scope of ser vices. The draft asks for Laffer to review and analyze the feasibility of scal neutrality, as well as rules for the timing of reports. There is no mention of a request for a big-picture analysis of smart growth or New Urbanism. The term supply-side does not appear. July 20: Arduin responds to Cunningham: We are working on a scope that is econom ics focused. July 22: Arduin emails Cunningham with Laffers proposed scope of services. It calls for Laffer to provide a literature review on Former County Administrator Randall Reid reviews agenda material. File photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 33


the costs and benefits of New Urbanism/ Smart Growth development, a supply-side overview on the costs and benets of New Urbanism/Smart Growth development and a supply-side perspective on the proper devel opment policy for the County. She holds a conference call with Reid and staff to discuss the proposal. Aug. 2: Parsons emails Cunningham with an edited version of Laffers proposal. A county staffer has specically asked for the portion calling for a literature review on the costs and benets of New Urbanism/Smart Growth development to be replaced with wording calling for Laffer to review and provide an assessment of the overall feasibility of Fiscal Neutrality as a concept. Aug. 8 : After an Aug. 6 conference call, Arduin emails a second version of the pro posed scope of services, incorporating the suggested staff edits but also including an outline of the report Laffer will deliver, includ ing a review of the history of New Urbanism/ Smart Growth development the part of the report that will later generate the most criticism and controversy. Aug. 13: Reid forwards an email blast from attorney Dan Lobeck a erce critic of the countys decision to rewrite 2050 to Chapin. Lobecks email labels Arduin a pro-devel oper political consultant. All Reid writes to Chapin is: Follow up to polarization on 2050 Commission direct ive. In another for ward, Reid shares with Parsons an email from an assistant county administra tive ofcer from Monterey County, CA. The California ofcial thanks Reid for agreeing to provide more information about Sarasota Countys scal neutrality rules. Ironically Monterey County CA wants to consider adopt ing our scal neutrality policies, Reid writes to Parsons. Aug. 26: Reid emails the commissioners with a copy of the nal contract with Laffer. That version calls for Laffer to review the history of New Urbanism/Smart Growth development and to place the Florida state regulations, as well as the Sarasota 2050 Policy, into proper context. Sept. 9: Parsons writes to Arduin, once all the ink is dry on the contract: You can now begin the wor k. % Donna Arduin speaks to an audience. Photo by Don Irvine Photos via Flickr Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 34


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


Sarasota County will enter into negotiations to sell Benderson Development 42 acres of land off Fruitville Road where the com pany wants to create what Vice President Larry F ineberg calls basically a product that doesnt exist in Sarasota County right now an attractive center for industrial light manufacturing. That was the 3-2 deci sion of the County Commissi on during a special meeting on Nov. 26 in Sarasota, when the board spent almost an hour and 40 min utes exploring in more depth two proposals the county had received for the parcel. Vic e Chairman Charles Hines and Commissioner Nora Patterson were in the minority. Hines voiced concern that the project could be competition for facili ties that already exist in the co unty, while Benderson Development proposes a business park for light manufacturing, warehouses, distribution, research and development on the site. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION SPLITS ON A DECISION TO ALLOW BENDERSON DEVELOPMENT TO CREATE A LIGHT INDUSTRIAL/ WAREHOUSE PROJECT ON 42 ACRES OFF FRUITVILLE ROAD OPTING FOR A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY I was interested in a stable economic driver The track record that Benderson has had brings a lot of relief to me as far as their ability to attract quality tenants Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


Patterson said t he Benderson plan really changes the whole concept of whats been thought of for the Fruitville area. She added, This is like your key chess piece in this whole development, referring to the Fruitville Initiative However, Commissioner Christine Robinson said of the Benderson proposal, I was inter ested in a stable economic driver The track record that Benderson has had brings a lot of relief to me as far as their ability to attract quality tenants Commissioner Joe Barbetta pointed to Finebergs remarks about opportunities Sarasota County had lost to lure new compa nies because it had no appropriate facilities to offer them. Those comments, Barbetta said, are precisely what weve been talking about at the [ Economic Development Corp. ] for the past couple of years. The other proposal for the site a sports complex with a hotel and eld house at its core was offered by Goodsports Enterprises Global LLC. One factor commissioners cited in turning down that idea was the rms request Goodsports Enterprises proposed an athlete-centric hotel and eld house on the site. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 37


Sarasota Audubon President Jeanne Dubi expresses concerns about the potential project impacts on the Celery Fields. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 38


for a lease price of $1 per year for 50 years with the option of two 25-year extensions. Benderson Development offered $2.5 million in cash for the property, but Fineberg pointed out the rm had not had a clear understand ing from county staff about stormwater and floodplain issues that would increase the value of the 42 acres. According to county staff, the appraised value of the property ranges between $4.1 million and $4.6 million, with the difference linked to an assessment of the stormwater factors. After the split vote, Robinson proposed a list of issues to be considered by staff in nego tiations with Benderson over nal details of the proposal and price. That motion passed unanimously. Among her points was a request that Benderson employees work with members of Sarasota Audubon regarding concerns the organization has about the Celery Fields a major birding destination in Sarasota County. The Celery Fields is adjacent to the 42-acre site. Robinson specically cited buffering to limit noise and lighting problems for birds in the Celery Fields. Because of the sites location and importance to the Fruitville Initiative, Robinson further requested that staff work with Benderson about the design of the buildings and come up with some language to depict what is envi sioned in light of the conversation that we have had today from the dais. Although Fineberg emphasized that landscap ing especially the use of ponds would make the project look less like the typical industrial site, Patterson told him the sche matic the rm provided the board prior to the Nov. 6 discussion looks like a bunch of Army barracks. Given the information Benderson received from the county during the Invitation to Benderson Development Vice President Larry Fineberg listens to a question from Vice Chairman Charles Hines. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 39


Negotiate p rocess for the property, Fineberg told her, We just wanted to give you a very conceptual layout Finally, Robinson emphasized that tenants undertaking research and development would be preferred for the site light, clean manufacturing. Barbetta said he generally was supportive of her list, but I do have a problem when we get into design, when you start second-guessing architects. He added, I think its better coming from the applicant. And [my suggestion] is attempting to clarify [the look of the facilities] for the Fruitville community, Robinson responded. I believe were on the same page. BENDERSON DETAILS During about 33 minutes of discussion with the board, Fineberg compared the 200,000-square-foot proposed facility with one Benderson built near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, at 15th Street East in Manatee County. Its been a great product, he said. Its maintained impeccably. He added of the Fruitville proposal, You couldnt nd a more ideal project to have in [a Major Employment Center, or MEC] type zone. I envisioned that property for years as a catalyst that would facilitate the develop ment of the property [along Fruitville Road], Patterson told him, because everybody would want to be near it. You might actually be the big bear that nobody can compete with Benderson Vice President Larry Fineberg takes a question about his rms proposal as Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer (center) and Lin Kurant in the countys Real Estate Services ofce listen. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 40


as oppose d to the catalyst that draws people to that site. One project considered in the past for that location, she added, was a new facility for The Jackson Laboratory but the county ulti mately could not ante up a large enough incentive to lure the rm. The rst thing we all need to understand is it is very, very difcult to attract a user and say, Hey, come to our community, and a year from now, well have a facility ready for you, Fineberg responded. Tenants like Jackson Laboratory, he added, come around once every several years. We take a shot at [them], and we havent had a lot of success. What we do propose is to pro vide facilities. To me, thats a tremendous positive. If an area lacks the types of facilities rms need when they are seeking new locations, he stressed, the rms have to look elsewhere. We want something meaningful in there, Robinson told Fineberg. How can you make sure that thats what were going to get there? The character of the structures is important, he replied. Firms involved in research and development and engineering, he added, are the prospective tenants Benderson would be seeking. When Hines asked how the project would compare to the Interstate Business Center at Jacaranda Boulevard and Interstate-75 in Venice, Fineberg said the Benderson proposal featured larger buildings with a park-like setting. GOO DSPORTS PLAN Anthony Homer, vice president of devel opment for Goodsports, explained to the commissioners that the rms founder and CEO, Jerald Good, relocated the headquar ters from Indiana to Sarasota several years ago after falling in love with the community. The rm has 39 years of development and management experience, Homer added. Given the growth of sports tourism, he contin ued, Goodsports proposal for the Fruitville property would be obvious on the weekends, when all sorts of amateur events would take place on the site. The goal, he said, was to create a network of consistent bricks and mortar for such events around the country. The rm recently signed a $9.5 million devel opment agreement with the City of Wichita, KS, for a similar project, Homer pointed out. Another is in the works in Ohio, he added. We would love to have a project in our own backyard. Commissioner Christine Robinson prepares for the start of the meeting. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 41


AFTER THE VOTE Within moments of the commissions nal vote on negotiations with Benderson, Fineberg approached Sarasota Audubon President Jeanne Dubi and the chapters conservation chairman, Wade Matthews, to ask about set ting up a time to talk with them about the concerns they voiced during the Open to the Public segment at the outset of the meeting. Well satisfy you, Fineberg said. During her remarks, Dubi told the board, Weve always been committed to the Celery Fields being an area of passive recreation. Sarasota Audubon is investing a tremendous amount of money and time in that to build a nature center. By the time that project is completed about a year from now, she added the organiza tion will have spent $1 million. Durin g his comments, Matthews said Sarasota Audubon found Goodsports proposal more disruptive to the Celery Fields. However, he questioned the appropriateness of industrial facilities for that entrance to the commu nity on Fruitville Road. He suggested the county put out another Invitation to Negotiate for the 42 acres. After the board vote, Dubi told Fineberg she was especially concerned about buffer ing between the Benderson facility and the Celery Fields. In an interview with The Sarasota News Leader Matthews said he is hopeful Audubon leaders will be able to work out the issues. Its doable, environmentally, with this, he said of the Benderson project. % 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 one-time 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 November 29, 2013 Page 42


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Sarasotas Down town Improvement District (DID) board held a planning workshop Tuesday, Nov. 26, to see what members and the public want in the near future. The DID this year has about $13 2,000 in its budget, includ ing a c arryover from previous years. Next year, the group will have about $82,000 in uncommitted funds. The district taxes commercial property owners an extra 1 mill to fu nd its o perations T he tax raised $344,501 for the current scal year. However, the DID must pay back a $1.6 mil lion loan over the next 15 years. The money was bor rowed at favorable rat es from the citys self-insur ance fund; it was used for among other tasks the just-com pleted $1.4 million streetscape project along Main Street. Among other nancial DID board members and city staffers listen to moderator Roger Barry as they formulate their ideas for the near future of their organization. The ideas were written on sheets for later voting. Photo by Stan Zimmerman DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS CONSIDER THE AREAS FUTURE, WITH EXPANSION GETTING THE TOP RANKING AMONG PROPOSALS LAYING OUT PRIORITIES You guys really dropped the ball on the State Street garage. A big project right in the middle of the district and you didnt do a damn thing. You really need to participate in whats happening in the city. Paul Thorpe Advocate for Downtown Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


obligat ions for the organization are mainte nance expenses, salaries and covering the cost of city staff time. Although lack of sufcient remaining funding prevents another similar streetscape project within the defined downtown core, board members and the public still had strong ideas Nov. 26 about what to do with the groups unencumbered funds for this year. The workshop was guided by Roger Barry, professor emeritus in urban planning at the University of Cincinnati. He helped estab lish the DIDs strategic plan soon after it was formed ve years ago. DI D RANKS ITS DREAMS For people who have had a role in strategic or budgetary planning, this was a familiar exercise. In round-robin fashion, participants suggested projects or other uses for the money. At the end, they were issued small dots to place by their favored suggestions. The big winner was expanding the DIDs funding base. Two options were presented: broaden the geographical base of the organi zation or request money from the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Main Street improvements were under way in front of the Gator Club and Parkers Books in July. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 45


However, DID Manager John Moran cau tioned members that the CRA could go away in about two years, so depending on it for future funding could be iffy. While a study committee looking at the CRAs funding future recently voted to recommend giving the agency another 30 years, the nal decision rests with the City and County commissions. As for expanding the DIDs area, one sugges tion was to push it west to encompass Marina Jack and the Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt hotels. The second topic for the DIDs money was less controversial put it into a contingency fund. That idea had resonance with four of the ve board members, including the newly appointed Ron Soto. He replaces William Pettey, who was term-limited. How much to put into the contingency was not as clear, with some members suggesting a specic number and others recommending a fraction of the unspent amount. Tied in ranking with the vote to put the money into contingency was another cate gory security which is another word for protecting businesses and patrons from the downtowns homeless people or vagrants. Why dont waitresses use the parking garage? Because they get off late; theyre carrying cash; they are dressed in black; and have no idea whats waiting for them in the garage, said Soto. Thats why they park in the cus tomers spaces on the street. In other words, the security issue involves more than downtown residents, merchants and tourists. Even people who work down town have to be conscious of their personal safety. Once the ideas were done, the DID board members could vote or even haggle among themselves to set funding priorities for the year: (from left) Ron Soto, Tom Mannausa, Ernie Ritz, Dr. Mark Kauffman and John Moran. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 46


DID board members previously talked about joining forces with downtown merchants and condominium complex associations to raise $100,000 to hire a couple of off-duty Sarasota Police officers to patrol downtown and enhance security. Downtown Development Director Ron Gollub said he would take on that task. The fourth priority by ranking was encourag ing the public to come downtown. We need to promote it so people can see what weve done, said DID Chairman Ernie Ritz. But not everybody agreed with that idea. Im a strong advocate of infrastructure as opposed to advertising, said board member Dr. Mark Kauffman. Advertising should be province of the [commercial] tenants. If we dont do ca pital improvements, nobody will do it. OTHER ISSUES RAISED A host of other ideas were proposed. Gollub recommended bringing Five Point Park to life, restoring the benches and starting some event programming. Board member Tom Mannausa suggested replacing the sidewalks in the 1400 block of Main Street. From the former Patricks Restaurant to the Gator Club, on both sides, he said. Those are old and tired and cant be cleaned anymore. They should be replaced. Board member Eileen Hampshire suggested ower baskets on light poles, as well as a com fort station for dogs We have a tremendous An aerial map shows the boundaries of the Downtown Improvement District in Sarasota. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 47


num b er of dogs downtown, she said. In Europe, they have dog stations with a water ing point [that] are surrounded by an iron rail with a sand oor. Doggy bags are available; theres a receptacle you push a button and [the waste is] gone, she pointed out. Soto returned to the security issue. We need to promote downtown, and it must be safer, he said. From my shop to Patricks [one-half block], I have at least three people begging me for money or cigarettes. Hampshire kicked a political live wire by rec ommending the city bring back a few parking meters. If we put in just 10 parking stations on Palm [Avenue] and lower Main Street, we could use the money for security in the [Palm Avenue] garage, she said. If people are driving around trying to nd parking, would they pay a dollar? I think so. Paul Thorpe long ago earned the moniker Mr. Downtown for his decades of tireless work in the promotion and handling of events to draw people to the citys heart. He urged the DID board to become more heavily involved in policy formation. You guys really dropped the ball on the State Street garage, he pointed out, referring to the City Commissions pro tracted discussions and ultimate decision about the design of a facility it had agreed to build as part of the Pineapple Square plan for downtown. A big project right in the middle of the dis trict and you didnt do a damn thing, Thorpe added. You really need to participate in whats happening in the city. % Purchase a full-page, advertising twelve pack between now and January 31st, 2013 and receive four of these fantastic SNL 16oz Tervis Tumblers. Show your support for e Progressive Voice Of Southwest Florida around the house, around the oce, wherever you go with these locally manufactured, high-quality insulated tumblers. or (941) 227-1080 Advertisers must meet all terms and conditions of sale for the 12-pack advertising package. Limit of one set of four tumblers per advertiser. Offer is valid while supplies last. Tervis is a registered trademark of Tervis Tumbler Company. The Sarasota News Leader is not afliated with Tervis Tumbler Company. A Very Special Oer For Advertisers Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 48


Three d ays before Thanksgiving, the vice chairman of the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program was lled with gratitude for the gen erosity of people in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This year a community food drive brought in 50 tons, seven more than the orga nization collected in 2012, Scott Biehl told The Sarasota News Leader It was a huge increase, Biehl pointed out. This year, 265 locations participated in the collection of non-perishable items, he noted, also an increase. Additionally, some companies matched employee donations, Biehl said, and student groups even took part by going door-to-door in neighborhoods to ask for contributions. About 200 volu nteers gathered at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Nov. 22 to sort all the items for distribution to about 20 food pan tries all 501(c)(3) organizations located from Palmetto to North Port, Biehl said. Along with the food, the program welcomed the 2,300 frozen turkeys donated to it, Biehl added. Further, p ublic support has enabled Volunteers sort the food that has been donated. WITH ASSISTANCE FROM THE ORIOLES, THE MAYORS FEED THE HUNGRY PROGRAM BEATS ITS 2012 MARK IN THE TONS OF FOOD COLLECTED DURING ITS ANNUAL PRE-THANKSGIVING INITIATIVE HELPING THE HUNGRY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


the or ganization to distribute to the food pantries $10 Publix gift cards worth a total of $130,000, he pointed out. David Rovine, vice president of the Orioles in Sarasota, told the News Leader the team was thrilled to help. In early November, the Orioles began running a notice about the food drive all day on its billboard outside Ed Smith Stadium at the intersection of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota. The Orioles also put information on their website to let people know how they The sign at Ed Smith Stadium lets passersby know about the event. A banner encourages the public to donate to the program. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 50


Volunteers unload boxes of food. Repackaged boxes await delivery. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 51


could support the initiative, Rovine said on Nov. 25. This is a no-brainer as far as we are con cerned, Rovine told the News Leader It is very, very important to make sure people dont go hungry. As a result of public generosity, Biehl said, 145 boxes of food were delivered to each of the nonprot food pantries participating in the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program, along with frozen turkeys and the gift cards. Biehl also expressed gratitude to Sean Murphy, co-owner of the Eat Here restaurants, who opened a rooftop dining area at his downtown Sarasota location on Nov. 22. All the money patrons paid for their skyline dinners that day went to the Mayors program, too, Biehl explained. A number of former mayors and current Brade nton Mayor Wayne Poston were present fo r that event, Biehl said. It was just another blessing on top of the food drive. The Mayor s Feed the Hungry Program is an all-volunteer, nonprot organization that has helped more than 390,000 hungry persons in Sarasota and Manatee counties since 1987, according to a news release issued at the out set of the food drive. The program is endorsed by the mayors of Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, Venice and Longboat Key, as well as the chairs of the North Port City Council and the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions. Biehl also pointed out that the organization comprises volunteers only; it has no paid staff. More information may be found at All photos are by Staff Photographer Norman Schi mmel. % Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto Home Life Renters Motorcycles Flood Business Annuities Financial Services Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 52


A series of sci entic tests indicate a micro tunnel under Hudson Bayou needs to be eight feet deeper than originally thought, meaning the lift station on the northern shore in Luke Wood Park in Sarasota may need to be eight feet deeper, to o. The details were revealed at a biweekly status meeting among the project manager, city utility officials and a consultant. The proposal for sinking the project deeper into the ground came after an examination by Sandy Nettles, a geotechnical engineer and president of N.S. Nettles and Associates of Palm Harbor. The new lift station team is trying to pick up after the project failed last year, resulting in a multimillion-dol lar lawsuit. Earlier this month, another geophysical engineer suggested the pre vious attempt failed because of inadequate This cross section of Hudson Bayou at the Osprey Avenue bridge shows the abutments reach bedrock limestone. The earlier microtunneling operated barely below the limestone, and it could have emerged into the silt on the north side before boring into the abutment. Image courtesy City of Sarasota DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE ABOUT THE BEST WAY TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED RESULTS FOR THE CITYS TROUBLED NEW LIFT STATION A GREATER TUNNEL DEPTH, PERHAPS It appears the drill would have been in the silt and sediment layer. It would have hit the bridge abutment where the rock slopes down on the north side. Robert Garland Project Manager McKim & Creed By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


lubrication of the cutting head of a micro tunneling rig. Further research now indicates the failure was propitious because the previous team was about to drill into the north abutment of the Osprey Avenue bridge across the bayou. Were recommending the crown of the pipe be at negative-16 feet. The previous design was negative-8.5 feet. It would [have] hit the bridge abutment and gone above the bedrock in some places, explained Nettles. It appears the drill would have been in the silt and sediment layer, noted Robert Garland, Southeast regional manager of McKim & Creed. The engineering company is handling the work now. It would have hit the bridge abutment where the rock slopes down on the north side. NEXT STEPS Most of the drilling, seismology and elec trical resistance testing is complete, so the engineers have a much better idea than their predecessors regarding what lies under the surface and what lies ahead for the project. Tom Cross is the project manager for the lift station part of the project. The station is composed of four separate buildings in the park. Two of them contain submersible elec tric pumps that will propel sewage from the southern third of the city to the 12th Street treatment plant. The raw material has been planned to arrive at the lift station purely by gravity. The gravity pipe needs to be lowered six to eight feet, said Cross. The submersible Sandy Nettles is a geophysical engineer who can see underground. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 54


room need s to b e lowered the same amount, and the pumps will need to be reevaluated for the additional lift [the eight feet] theyll have to pump. But there is an alternative to lowering the sta tions and pipe. A syphon design means no change in the depth of the wet wells, pointed out City Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell. There are pros and cons to that. The choice between the gravity and syphon designs will be ironed out at the next update meeting, on Dec. 9. The gravity system is a straight pipe installed with microtunnel ing, while the syphon is a curved pipe like a horseshoe, Tidwell said. Nine days after that next update session, the engineers plan to hold their second meet ing with neighbors and other citizens. It is scheduled for Dec. 18 at the Waldemere Fire Station at 6 p.m. So far no costs have been discussed in this rst phase of reassembling the project. On Jan. 6, the Sarasota City Commission will receive the information accumulated from the rst phase of work and then discuss the second phase, which will include an esti mate of fees and other expenses to move forward. % In early October, pipes and other construction material awaited the resumption of work on Lift Station 87 in Luke Wood park near downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 55


Photo courtesy Stock.xchng HURRICANE SEASON 2013 Editors note: City Editor Stan Zimmerman has provided his annual rundown on the hurricane season, starting with the earliest forecast, issued back in the spring. 27 March 2013 : The first predictions are pending. Colorado State University gurus William M. Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach say, I expect were going to come out with a busy forecast for this year. 10 April : Gray and Klotzbach predict 18 named storms, with nine of them hurricanes and four, major storms. They offer a 72 per cent chance that a major hurricane will make landfal l in the U.S. The usual odds are 52 percent. And they predict chances of 47 and 48 per cent, respectively, that one will land on the Gulf Coast and one on the Florida peninsula. A warmer Atlantic and the lack of an El Nio are the reasons. 23 May : The Climate Prediction Center offers a 70 percent chance of 13 to 20 named storms this year, of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes. Of those, three to six could be major hurricanes (Categories 3, 4 or 5). THE ATLANTIC SEASON PROVES EXTRAORDINARILY UNEVENTFUL WHILE THE WESTERN PACIFIC SEES TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The normal run would be 12 named storms, with six of them hurricanes and three major storms. The Climate Prediction Center is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The center notes that an El Nio is not expected to develop (and thus suppress hurri cane development), but tropical Atlantic and Caribbean temperatures are above average, and there is a strong West African monsoon (that gets the little buggers going) all very much in synch with the Gray and Klotzbach forecast six weeks earlier. 2 June (Sunday) : Well it is Day Two of the ofcial hurricane season and already there is a heads up. There is a band of disturbed weather over the Yucatan expected to pull out into the Gulf of Mexico and head east. Then it will have about 48 hours to get developed before coming ashore between Tampa and Cedar Key, says Rob Lightbown with Crown Weather Services. The Nat ional Hurricane Center says only that the band has a 20 percent chance of becom ing a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. Lightbown is predicting heavy rain 10 inches as the band crosses the Florida nish line this coming weekend. And there are two tropical waves already on the African railroad. The season is starting. 3 June (Monday) : Our little friend is now up to a 30 percent-er; motion is generally north ward. Meanwhile, it is soaking the Yucatan, west and central Cuba and Orlando south to the Keys. This is a good warm-up, I hope, to get folks aware it is now Hurricane Season. 5 June (Wednesday) 9 a.m.: Our friend is now up to a 50 percent chance of becoming the rst named storm of the year, and it is expected to bring 3 to 5 inches of rain. A small craft advisory is po sted for offshore waters The National Hurricane Center advisory shows the expected path of Tropical Storm Andrea. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 57


A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Andreas position over the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. Image courtesy NOAA The National Hurricane Center graphic shows the tropical storm wind eld for Andrea. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 58


this morni ng. Th e storm is asymmetrical, with dry air all over its western hemi-circle, and all the rain and thunderstuff on the eastern half. It has been cloudy-cloudy-cloudy for the past several days but not breezy. 6 p.m.: The NHC declares our little friend Tropical Storm Andrea and puts us under a tropical storm warning. Sustained winds are 40 mph, and central pressure is 29.59 inches. The center of the storm is expected to cross the Big Bend area north of Cedar Key tomor row night. And NHC expects Andrea to stay a tropical storm while it moves inland from Florida through Georgia and into South Carolina and then North Carolina before going extra-trop ical. Maximum winds are predicted at 34 knots from Key West to Tampa, with a possi ble 50 mph level at Cedar Key upon landfall. A hurricane hunter aircraft found a center of circulation on the western edge of the huge rainfall mass, so this is the real deal. Some storm surge is expected along the west coast because of the circulation of the landfalling storm. Offshore sea condition predictions for tomor row call for 9to 11-foot seas and southeast winds at 30 to 40 knots. June 6 (Thursday and D-Day +69 years) 8 a.m.: Andrea remains on the same track, with tornadoes and heavy rains expected to be the worst of it. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are predicted. However, dry air to the west of the storm has prevented circulation from completing the loop. A satellite view shows the storm trying to close up its eye, but dry air just will not let it. Rob Lightb ow n has an eerie prediction based on Andrea. One nal thought and observation of past storms in history: In many past years, I have noticed that where June storms tend to make landfall and track are visited later in the season by a much stronger storm. Take for instance 1995: Hurricane Allison made land fall along the Florida Panhandle in June. Later in the season, Hurricane Opal made landfall in almost the same exact location and was obvi ously a much stronger storm. So, I have some serious concerns now for a stronger storm to impact an area from Apalachicola to Tampa, including the Big Bend area of Florida, later on this Hurricane season. [Note on 24 Nov.: Lightbowns prediction of a repeat landfall did not happen.] 6 p.m.: Andrea made landfall about 5:40 p.m. with sustained winds of 65 mph, damn close to hurricane status. Central pressure is a respectable 29.32. 7 June (Friday) 10 a.m.: It is sunny to partly cloudy and a bit on the humid side. The birds are singing and it is as though Andrea never was here. Andrea is a phenomenon that blew up quickly, almost to cane strength in just a couple of days. Rain has been sporadic here, heavy at times, then nada for hours. Sarasota seems to spend most of its time inter-band with no rain and uky winds from nothing to trop ical storm level in moments. It will all be over by tomorrow as the storm moves up the Southeast coast of the U.S., heading for the Chesapeake Bay and then Ireland. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 59


17 June noon: T en days later, from the same general area that produced Andrea, we have ta dah! Tropical Depression Two. Sustained winds are 35 mph, and it appears to be a Central American rainmaker. We will keep track all by ourselves, because Rob Lightbown has erected a $10 per month paywall at his site. Alas, he is taking his insights private. 18 June (Tuesday) 6 p.m.: Still TD2; still on track. Pressure is 29.74 and top winds are 30 mph a lively little corner of the Caribbean to start us off this year. 19 June (Wednesday) 6 p.m.: The storm is now tropical, called Barry. Pressure is down a few hundredths of an i nch to 29.68, an d sustained winds now are 45 mph, out some 70 miles. The cloud cover over Florida is totally land-based. 7 July (Su nday) 2 p.m.: Today is the rst day in at least a week with a precipitation chance lower than 30 percent. It has been stop-and-go rain-rain-rain some heavy, most light, but producing persistent occasional street ood ing, all thanks to a huge system sweeping up from Cuba (which really got plastered with rain). The monthly record for rain has been broken, and we never saw more than a brief 30 knots of breeze. However, that might change. The years rst pipeline storm is brewing in the mid-Atlan tic, about 1,000 miles east of the Windward Islands. Closed circulation is forming, and A graphic shows the expected path of Tropical Depression Two. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 60


A graphic shows the expected path of Tropical Storm Chantal in early July. Image courtesy NHC A satellite image shows the predicted formation of Tropical Storm Barry. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 61


NOAA gi ves it a 60 percent chance of becom ing a tropical, named entity. And if that is not enough, our sailboat stalled in mid-channel when we were coming in this morning, so we had to do the emergency dance to get the boat tied off in a prudent manner. And if t hat still was not enough, we came home to nd the air conditioning not working. Call it a lovely day so far. 8 July (Monday) 6 p.m.: The storm is called Chantal, a charming name for a piece of weather not predicted to get to hurricane intensity. It has a classic track, though. So by this weekend, Chantal should be exert ing some inuence on Floridas weather. We are just on the cusp of the cone. My wife and I will not be here, though. We will be driv ing back to Washington, D.C., from Newport, RI, following our sons commissioning as an ensign in the United States Navy. 24 July (Wednesday) 9 a.m.: I do not think it was the remains of Chantal, but the drive back to D.C. from Rhode Island was a watery hell for about four hours. Anyway, we have the rst pipeline storm of the year forming west of Africa; no name yet, just Tropical Depression Four. The NHC says it is expected to become a tropical storm later today. Already, it has 30 knot winds and a central pressure of 29.77. The forecast track puts it in the mid-Atlantic by the weekend. It has a long way to go over damn warm water. 11 a.m.: Yup, now we have Tropical Storm Dorian with a track a little north of TS Chantals. It is expected to remain a tropical storm at least through Saturday. 27 July 11 a.m.: Dorian is still with us, and it is still a tropical storm. Winds are 40 mph and pressure is 29.85. It has been through a rough patch but it is now expected to skirt the north ern shores of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, though as a tropical depression. No watches or warnings have been issued. 11 p.m.: Dorian is down to a tropical wave at this hour: no cone; no forecast track; a weather nada. Pressure is 29.85, a regular low pressure system. Maximum winds are 40 mph. It looks like it will be Adios, Dorian. 30 July 5 p.m.: The remains of Dorian, basi cally a tropical wave, are north of Hispaniola, kicking up a few thunderstorms. NHC gives a zero percent chance of its strengthening in the next 48 hours. 2 Aug. 11 a.m.: Dorian just will not give up. This is the rst time in 30 years the NHC has changed how it handles a particular type of tropical weather outlook forecast. It for merly was a three-day forecast, but starting yesterday and in use today, it is a ve-day deal. And our luck puts us right in the crosshairs. 3 Aug. 10 a.m.: Damn Dorian has upgraded himself back to a tropical depression with 35 mph winds and a central pressure of 29.91. Never a real impressive sort, Doran does get points for persistence. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 62


By now Dorian has carried his name across the central Atlantic, from July 23 all the way to sit close offshore of West Palm Beach on Aug. 2 to its expiration nally today. That makes it a two-week tropical system, maintaining its organization either as a tropical depression or storm. 15 Aug. 9 a.m.: Our second African pipe liner makes an appearance. TS Erin shows up south of the Cape Verde Islands with 40 mph winds and a central pressure of 29.71. It is expected to run the normal course across the central Atlantic and into the Antilles. Meanwhile, there is an area of interest south east of the Yucatan, with a 60 percent chance of growing into a tropical storm over the next ve days. That one is predicted to turn north and then west into the northern Gulf Coast, so it bears watching, too. 27 Aug. 6 p.m.: The Yucatan continues to be a hotbed this year, as Tropical Storm Fernand whipped into existence southeast of Veracruz, Mexico, on Aug. 25 and coming ashore on Aug. 26. The storm quickly weakened after winds topped out at 50 mph. 6 Sept. 6 p.m.: At this instant a real after noon thunderstorm is about ready to pull its pin and explode all around us. This summer, for the rst time since the late 1970s, we have experienced a few historic Its 4:15 p.m., so it is going to start raining now afternoon thunderstorms. This is the absolute peak of hurricane season. And while there are f our areas of interest in QUICK FACTS Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th. The 2013 hurricane season is on track to become the least active hurricane season in the satellite era since 1983. Hurricanes and typhoons are tropical cyclones The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a tropical cyclone as ... a rotating, organized sys tem of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropi cal waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 63


yellow and one red circle denoting Tropical Depression Eight moving ashore in eastern Mexico, things are actually quiet for now as they say in the movies: Too quiet. Where is all the heat going? Are the tropics supposed to just get hotter and hotter and monopo lize all the moisture? The global purpose of hurricanes is to remove heat and moisture, restoring some semblance of balance to the climate. It has been a wet summer for Sarasota, per haps the wettest in a couple of decades, as things became a bit more tropical instead of savannah-like. Even the normally bald spots are green. 9 Sept. 10 a.m.: Tropical Storm Humberto has formed just west of the African coastline, and it continues to strengthen. Right now its central pressure is 29.68 inches with its max imum winds only 40 mph. The forecast says Humberto has all the mak ings of a major storm. But changing weather patterns to the northeast are expected to pull the storm off the normal pipeline track and send it north into much cooler waters. So we will see what happens. Meanwhile, the tropical depression that passed between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Sept. 6 (a one-day wonder called Gabrielle) has rejuvenated itself and is on the verge of becoming a tropi cal storm. It is tracking due north about 1,000 miles east of the continental U.S. 10 Sept. 9:30 a.m.: This is getting crazy. The season is half over, and not a single hur ricane has formed. We may get the rst one tomor row, as Humberto travels west of the Cape Verdes Islands headed north (!?) into colder waters. At the same time, under the How weird is this? category, Tropical Storm Gabrielle has reformed east of the Bahamas and is headed north to nowhere except colder sea temps. And yet another tropical wave is crossing the Yucatan, bringing more rain to that drenched peninsula. Is it really a hurricane season without hurri canes? If Humberto does become No. 1 this year, it will be the latest formation in about a century. I am sure the climate-change deniers will leap on that fact. 11 Sept. noon: Humberto becomes the rst hurricane of the 2013 season, and it misses by only hours the record of being the latest hurricane ever to form. Hurricane Gustav in 2002 retains that record. However, Humberto is staying on the African side of the Atlantic, and it is predicted to stay there and turn north instead of heading west. 13 Sept. 6 p.m .: Humbertos wind speed has dropped below the 75 mph threshold, and it is no longer considered a hurricane. It remains devoted to heading north into the eastern Atlantic. Meanwhile, the Yucatan-crosser became a depression before turning into Tropical Storm Ingrid and putting the Mexican mainland in a tropical vice, with Hurricane Manuel sitting on the western shore. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 64


14 Sept. 6 p.m.: Ingrid is now the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, with 85 mph sustained winds. While it had the necessary wind speed, the storm looks nothing like a tra ditional hurricane in satellite photos. But it is dropping heavy rain on northeastern Mexico. 16 Sept. 4 p.m.: Ingrid comes ashore in northeast Mexico as a tropical storm and rap idly weakens back into a tropical depression: another two-day hurricane. 1 Oct. 8 a.m.: Yes, the peak of the season has come and gone and still no real activity. Humberto briey became a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic, turning north and then northeast to nowhere. The seasons rst hurricane was a two-day wonder. Thousands of miles away, Ingrid also spent two days as a hurricane. A tropical storm named Jerry has formed, again in the mid-Atlantic and on much the same track as Humberto and Gabrielle. And there is an area of disturbed weather that could develop into something later this week. It is now southwest of Jamaica and heading northwest, away from us. 3 Oct. 5 p.m.: Jerry is going down and going nowhere. But that disturbed weather patch has turned into Tropical Storm Karen, now just off the northern Yucatan coast. Winds are 65 mph, and the storm is expected to go to hurricane strength tomorrow but sag back down to tropic al storm level by landfall, A graphic shows the projected path of Tropical Storm Karen in early October. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 65


probably alon g the Mississippi coast. It will be another rainmaker. Here we are, out of the wind prediction areas with no severe rainfall predicted for Sarasota. But the Florida Panhandle looks to be in for a drenching. 5 Oct. 7 p.m.: TS Karen is barely that now. It never achieved hurricane strength; instead, it has become a 40 mph storm and is expected to weaken further. The cone shows a hard turn to the east, with the storm holding just south of the Panhandle as it peters out. No big rain event is forecast anymore. So far, this has been a one-hurricane year, and a year when tropical systems form and then die. Some graduate student will put together a thesis from the lack of hurricane days in 2013 compared to prior years. 6 Oct. 1 1 a.m.: This year the escalator always seems to be heading down. Karen three days ago was predicted to be at near hurricane force as it came ashore somewhere between New Orleans and Mobile, AL, carrying a ton of rain. This morning the NHC reports Karen has dis sipated, with maximum winds of 30 mph and a central pressure of 29.80 inches The pres sure at this moment at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is 29.89 inches, and our winds are so light we have cancelled a morning sail in hopes the breeze will pick up this afternoon. In other words, Karen did not even make it to shore before it was torn apart despite warm waters and other encouraging factors. 13 Oct. 9 p.m.: The busted pipeline: Over the past sev eral days, an area of suspicious The path of Typhoon Haiyan in the Western Pacic in Nov. 2013 Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 66


weather formed off the coast of Africa in the usual place. Soon it went orange for more intensity and then red for greater certainty of formation, as the NHC gauged its danger. But then it went back to orange and then yellow. Now it is marked as disorganized showers. Ditto Karen? This is going to be a crow-eating year for the long-range predictors. The science of meteo rology is complex beyond imagination. What coulda-shoulda been a gangbuster year for hurricanes was instead just a bust. One so far has formed just one. Imagine sitting in your ivory tower and pre dicting a hurricane season with just one hurricane. Your grant funders would laugh you out of the park. But so far, that is what we have seen. And the clock is ticking down. 22 O ct. 9 a.m.: Its name is Lorenzo, a barebones tropical storm with 40 mph winds and a central pressure of 29.77 inches. It is in the mid-Atlantic and trending north and east away from everything. Nothing is in its favor; sea surface temps are decreasing and wind shear is expected to blow the storm apart in four or fewer days. 24 Oct. 9 p.m.: Lorenzo is history, off the record books. As the cops say, Gone on arrival. 7 Nov. 5 p.m.: For this news ash, we sweep you from the not-so-stormy Atlantic to the not-so-pacific western Pacific Ocean. The fourth-strongest storm in recorded history is now hammering the eastern arch ipelagos of A graphic shows Typhoon Haiyan as it strikes the Philippines. Image courtesy Colorado State University Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 67


the Philippines. It is called Typhoon Ha iyan (or Super Typhoon Yolanda, in the Philippines), and it is pushing sustained winds of 195 mph. Gusts are up to 235 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Central barometric pressure is estimated at 898 mil libars, only the second storm in the past 22 years with pressure to fall that low. This is off-scale. The Dvorak metric used for satellite imagery peaks at 8.0. This afternoon scientists estimated Haiyan was at 8.1. Storm surge on the eastern shoreline could push 10 feet, with 40-foot waves on top yes, 190 mph sustained winds and a 50-foot wall of water at the shoreline, right now, this instant, halfway around the globe. While the storm is the fourth strongest in history, it takes top spot for wind intensity at landfall. The previous peak was Hurricane Camille in 1969, which landed in Mississippi with 190 mph winds. The eye is tiny, increasing its circulation (and wind speed) like an ice skater pulling in her arms during a spin. Meanwhile, we are having a quiet year. It has been active in the so-called Pacic ocean. Both ocean basins were quiet until mid-Sep tember. So far 30 named storms have formed in the western Pacic, and ve have become super typhoons. On average, about 27 storms would get a name in one year. Unlike the Atlantic and eastern Pacic, the western Pacic has no typhoon season; the storms can form any time of year. 9 Nov. 3 p.m.: The Philippines storm, Yolanda, has blown through, leaving an estimated 1,200 dead in its wake. A million people were displaced and took shelter. Winds at the 4:40 a.m. local-time landfall were measured at 145 mph, with gusts to 170 mph. 11 Nov. 9 a.m.: The human cost of Yolanda is now estimated at 10,000 dead. One town of 220,000 is utterly shattered. The Philippines top disaster ofcial estimated a storm surge of 10 to 13 feet ooded the town, propelled by 140 mph sustained winds. It was a tsunami-like storm surge; it is the worst time, said Eduardo de Rosario, the executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, in an interview after touring the damage at Tacloban. Of particular concern are the missing. There is speculation people were sucked out to sea by the receding surge. 18 Nov. 10 p.m.: Back in the Atlantic, we have the 13th named storm of the season, Melissa. A tropical storm in mid-ocean, it carries 29.09 inches of central pressure and sustained winds of 60 mph. It has been brewing for the past several days, and it is sufciently large to raise the surf from Bermuda to Puerto Rico. Looking at the projected track, this is clearly the humani tarian storm, avoiding any spot of land, no matter how small. With the season coming to an end in less than two weeks, it look s like Melissa will close the Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 68


books on a mild Atlantic hurricane season: 13 named storms and a single two-day hurricane. 21 Nov. 6 p.m.: Melissa continues north east, bringing gale-force winds to the Azores tonight. Central pressure is actually hurri cane-caliber at 28.94 inches, and sustained winds are 65 mph. By tomorrow, the storm is expected to lose its tropical characteristics and close out the season we hope. 24 Nov. 1 p.m.: Only the very rst tropical storm of the year Andrea made landfall in the United States. As a tropical depression, Dorian brushed Floridas east coast but then peeled away following the Gulf Stream waters. Tropical Storm Karen looked like a threat, but it evaporated as it neared Louisiana. And fo r everybody, this was the hurricane sea son without hurricane threats. Only Humberto and Ingrid prevented this from being the hur ricane season without any. So it has been a near record year in both ocean basins: for the Atlantic, one of the least active and destructive hurricane seasons in decades; for the western Pacic, just the opposite, with ve super typhoons and the terrible toll of Yolanda in the Philippines. So now it is time to recycle your hurricane supplies. The All Faiths Food Bank will appre ciate any canned goods you would like to donate. And your trees and shrubs will enjoy that bottled water in the dry season before it is time to ll the jugs to prepare for hurricane season 2014. % A graphic shows the tropical storm wind eld for Melissa in mid-November. Image courtesy NHC Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 69


Property taxes may be paid in person at the Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce in the Terrace Building in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Scott Proftt NEWS BRIEFS Because N ov 30 legally the last day to pay property taxes with a 4-percent discount falls on a Saturday, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates is urging tax payers to plan ahead. According to Ford-Coates in a news release, Florida law extends the discount for custom ers who pay in person on Dec. 2. To assist customers on that day, drive-through service will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to paying in person, customers also can receive the 4 percent discount by doing one of the following: Making certain the payment is postmarked by Saturday, Nov. 30. P aying online at www.SarasotaTaxCollector. com by 11:59 p.m. EST Nov. 30. Placing a payment in the drop-box by 5 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 2. The dropbox locations are in downtown Sarasota at the southeast corner of Washington Boulevard and Ringling Boulevard, at the Terrace Building; 8484 S. Tamiami Trail, across from Palmer Ranch Plaza (on the south side of the building in the drivethrough lane); and at the R.L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail in Venice, to the right of the main entran ce, opposite the fountain. DEADLINE ANNOUNCED FOR DISCOUNT ON PROPERTY TAXES


Having clear ed up the potential for prob lems in ridding itself of unwanted fences on adjacent parcels, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on Nov. 26 to proceed with a deal to purchase 115 acres of Newtown land for a North County Sports Complex. The vote authorized Chairwoman Carolyn Mason to execute a letter notifying Aqua Holdings Inc. of the boards decision to exer cise its option to purchase the site. During their Nov. 19 regular meeting, com missioners acknowledged concerns that the county could be entangling itself in a legal quagmire if the fence issue were not resolved before it moved ahead with the purchase. During their special meeting on Nov. 26, Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer notie d them that he had received a letter from Aq ua Holdings the previous day saying it had won agreement of the property owners to take down the fences. The Nov. 25 Aqua letter says, These encroach ments will be removed prior to the asset pre-closing scheduled for December 11, 2013 either by Aqua or by the property owner. See how easy it was, Commissioner Joe Barbetta pointed out, drawing laughter from his fellow commissioners. All we had to do was tell them what we wanted before the closing. The 115-acre parcel is on the northwest quad rant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Tuttle Avenue. The purchase price and closing costs total $2,236,500, according to a memo provided to the board. The actual expense for the parcel is $2 million. Rachel Brown Hackney COUNTY TO PROCEED WITH SPORTS COMPLEX SITE PURCHASE Fences encroaching on the site of the planned new North County Sports Complex will be removed before the county closes on the property. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 71


The City of Sarasota is seeking the publics help to shape the downtown Sarasota busi ness climate. How do we improve upon downtown Sarasotas business environment? What are the goods and services needed to enable downtown to compete in the regional market place? a city news release asks. The recently adopted 2014-2016 City of Sarasota Strategic Plan placed identifying an optimal balance of types of businesses for downtown as one its goals, the release adds. The Downtown Sarasota Community Survey will be online from Monday, Dec. 2, through Friday, Dec. 6. This is part of a larger market study being conducted by city staff for down town, St. Armands Circle and the Rosemary District, the release points out. An outside consultant will soon be hired to complete the study and to make recommendations about the types of businesses to grow and other businesses to recruit into the community, the release adds. Understanding the shop ping habits and preferences of members of the community is an important rst step in downtown planning, especially as regional competition continues to grow, the release notes. To participate in the survey, simply log onto DowntownSarasota Responses will remain anonymous, the release says. Results will be made available in the consultants report. PUBLIC ASKED TO TAKE SURVEY ON DOWNTOWN BUSINESS CLIMATE The public is being encouraged to take a survey about the business climate in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 72


The Salvati on Army of Sarasota will hold its rst ever Kettle Kickoff event on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mercedes Benz in Sarasota, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, Boars Head Provisions Co. Inc., Grapevine Communications Advertising Agency and the Downtown Sarasota Alliance. With the theme, The Sound of Hope sponsors, donors and volunteers of the organization are encouraged to support the Salvation Armys 22-day holiday fund drive, running from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24, a news release says. Funds collected during the drive are distrib uted throughout the community to benet those in need. At The Sound of Hope event, the Salvation Army will be presented with a Smart Car design-wrapped as one of the organizations recognizable red kettles, and a Sprinter designed to resemble a sleigh, both courtesy of Mercedes Benz, the release adds. For six weeks, the Salvation Army will use the cars to promote its fundraising efforts throughout the area via social media. The overall goal of The Sound of Hope event is to attract more volunteers and sponsors to help support the Salvation Army and its work to provide positive contributions for the community, the release continues. Anyone registered to volunteer for a full day (four shifts) as a bell-ringer is invited to attend. A familiar sight during the holiday season, the Salvation Armys customary red kettles and bell-ringing volunteers will be stationed outside 25 Sarasota-area shopping malls, dis count stores and grocery stores, the release adds. Volu nteers can sign up for a date and time convenient to their schedule and choose from four two-hour shifts that need to be lled daily, the release notes. Local companies can sponsor kettles and provide volunteers to cover a full day of shifts at their site of choice. Its the generous support from volunteers that makes it possible for us to provide physi cal, nancial, personal and spiritual help year after year, said Salvation Army Maj. Ethan Frizzell in the release. Thanks to the addi tional push from our sponsors, we will be able to extend our reach even further to improve and enhance the community we serve. For more information about sponsorship opportunities or to volunteer to help with this holiday seasons fundraising efforts, call 3648845, Ext. 222, or email SarasotaVolunteerInfo@ SARASOTA SALVATION ARMY TO HOLD KETTLE KICKOFF EVENT DEC. 5 The Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to help with its annual holiday season campaign. Image from rock-the-red-kettle/ Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 73


Pine View School will be ofcially awarded the Guinness World Record for the most sand wiches made within an hour, the Sarasota County School District has announced. On May 30, a community service club known as Pine View Interact coordinated the prepa ration of 5,721 sandwiches in 60 minutes by about 600 students, adhering to strict Guinness World Record rules, a news release says. The previous record was 2,706 sand wiches in one hour, achieved just nine days earlier by Eckrich Bacon Lovers Deli Meats in New York City. The new record set by Pine View students could not be declared ofcial until evidence of the attempt was reviewed by Guinness, the release adds. Critical to the verication were video docu mentation of each minute of the hour and the notes of the 10 Sarasota people who served as judges and timekeepers. Each of the 5,721 sandwiches had to be counted by two judges, according to Guinness rules, the release notes. The judges included Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight; County Commissioner Christine Robinson; School Board Chairwoman Jane Goodwin; Wendy Deming, chief of staff of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation; and Beverly Girard, director of Nutrition and Food Services for the Sarasota County Schools. The Rot ary of Sarasota Sunrise-sponsored Interact Club decided to break the record to fulll its mission to serve the local com munity as well as the global community, the release explains. All the sandwiches made were donated to ve local charities: Salvation Army centers in Sarasota and Venice, Harvest Tabernacle, Church of the Palms and Resurrection House. Donations raised above the cost of supplies were donated to Interacts global project, Life for a Child, the release continues. The proj ect provides insulin supplies to children with Type I diabetes in Haiti. In the 2012-13 school year, Interact donated $7,000 to this cause, the release adds. Jeremy Kemp, project leader for the Pine View sandwich-making event and current University of Virginia student, said in the release, We were on pins and needles for three months as Guinness reviewed video documentation and the log books recorded by the ofcials. I cant thank our sponsors and judges enough for the resources they donated, including their valuable time. This world record would not have been possible without their support. Pine View School is located at 1 Python Path in Osprey. PINE VIEW SCHOOL SETS WORLD RECORD FOR FAST SANDWICH-MAKING The same week the City of Sarasota learned its general obligation bonds and non-ad valorem obligations ratings were afrmed, the Finance Department also was honored with a prestigious professional award, the city has announced. First, Moodys afrmed the Aa2 rating on the citys general obligation bonds as well as the Aa3 rating on the citys non-ad valorem obliga tions, a news release says. Among the reasons Moodys provided for the afrmations were the following, the release notes: CITY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS PRESTIGIOUS HONOR Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 74


Th e citys relati vely strong nancial posi tion is expected to remain healthy. Managements awareness of pension lia bility and meaningful efforts to address it. The citys strong reserve levels have allowed signicant nancial exibility. The citys aggressive responses during the economic downturn (including work force reductions and program cuts). The affirmation of the citys bond rating reects the citys commitment to scal sus tainability and the willingness of the [City] Commission to address the tough scal issues head-on during one of the most challenging economic periods in recent memory, said Finance Director Joh n Lege in the release. Additio nally, the Government Finance Ofcers Association of the United States and Canada honored the Finance Department with the Certicate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the departments 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the release points out. The award is the highest form of recognition within governmental accounting and nancial reporting, said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. This is the 32nd consecutive year the City of Sarasota has been honored with this award, which speaks highly to our legacy of high quality scal management and talented dedicated staff, he added. Nearly 17,000 government nance profession als are served by the Government Finance Ofcers Association. Sarasota Count y has announced that its 2013 Sustainable Communities Workshop will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, located at 4780 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota. The workshop is open to professional plan ners, builders and developers, engineers, architects and landscape architects, small business owners and government represen tatives, as well as residents, homeowners, neighborhood associations and community advocates, a news release points out. Registration is $30 for professionals and the general public ($20 for students); it includes a continental breakfast, lunch and refresh ments during an afternoon break. This p opular interactive workshop draws leaders from industry, government and uni versity programs to share their expertise and strategies for achieving a more sustainable future through job creation and community building programs and innovation, the release continues. From alternative transportation and ecotourism to the future of the built envi ronment, the workshop will highlight national trends as well as local successes. Of particular note this year is the workshops focus on green business practices and build ing resilience in local food supplies, the release says. Keynote speaker Carol Peppe Hewitt will dis cuss Financing our Foodshed: Rethinking How We Pay for our Food Hewitt is an author, business owner, social entrepreneur and a pioneer in the Slow Money movement, the SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES WORKSHOP SET FOR DEC. 18 Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 75


release notes. Since founding Slow Money NC in 2010, she has catalyzed more than 90 low-interest loans to nearly 50 small farmers and local food businesses in North Carolina, with a goal of building resilience in local food sheds, the release adds. Her book, Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money tells the com pelling, real-life stories of 22 Slow Money entrepreneurs who grow, process, distribute and sell local food, as well as the generous people in their communities who became their lenders, the release continues. A second speaker, Trish Riley, will discuss Greening Your Business: Working Together Toward a Sustainable Future Riley is an award-winning journalist and author whose books include The Complete Idiots Guides to Green Living and Greening Your Business and The Explorers Guide to South Florida, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys the release notes. Riley publ ishes an environmental news site and resource to help build sustainable communities. She founded the Gainesville Chapter of Green Drinks as well as Cinema Verde, an environmental lm and arts festival in Gainesville. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available, the release notes. The deadline for sponsorship and exhibitor applications is Dec. 2. To learn more about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor and to view the applications, visit Pages/2013Applications.aspx To learn more about the event and to regis ter, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit SustainableComm unities Trish Riley/Contributed photo Carol Hewit/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 76


No garbage pickup will be provided in the city of Sarasota on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, the city has announced. The Thursday garbage, recycling and yard waste collection will occur one day later, on Friday, Nov. 29, a city news release says. Regularly scheduled Friday collections will occur on Saturday, Nov. 30. City of Sarasota administration ofces will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving, the release adds. All ofces will reopen on Monday, Dec. 2. Bobby Jones Golf Club, located at 1000 Circus Blvd., will host the Fifth Annual Turkey Shoot starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving, the release notes. The Ro bert L. Taylor Community Complex located at 1845 34th St., will be closed Thanksgiving Day only. The Lido Pool at 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive, will be open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For more information regarding trash col lection, call the City of Sarasota Solid Waste Division at 365-7651. Anyone with ques tions regarding recycling, yard waste or bulk waste should contact Waste Management at 497-8088. Sarasota County government ofces, includ ing libraries, the History Center and recreation centers, also will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29, for the Thanksgiving hol iday. Some county s ervices will be available Sarasota city government ofces will be closed on Thanksgiving and on Nov. 29. Photo by Norman Schimmel GARBAGE COLLECTION CHANGES ANNOUNCED FOR HOLIDAY WEEK Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 77


on Friday, Nov. 29, how ever, a county news release says. Libraries will be open Saturday, Nov. 30, and other county ofces will reopen on Monday, Dec. 2. The Payne Park Tennis Center will be open Friday, Nov. 29, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. No Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus service will be provided on Thanksgiving Day, but full service will resume on Friday, Nov. 29. Residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county will not have yard waste, recy clables or garbage collection on Thanksgiving Day, the release notes. For residents whose regular collection day is Thursday, yard waste, recyclables and garbage will be collected on Friday, Nov. 29. For th ose whose regular collecti on day is Friday, the materials will be picked up on Saturday, Nov. 30. Because collection times vary, residents should place refuse materials at the curb by 6 a.m. the day of collection, the release adds. Sarasota Countys chemical collection cen ters at 8750 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota and 250 S. Jackson Road in Venice will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29. The Citizens Convenience Center at 4010 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28, but it will be open Friday, Nov. 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All three centers will be open Saturday, Nov. 30. The landfill at 4000 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis will be closed on Thanksgiving, but it will reopen on Friday. The landll adminis tration ofces will be closed Nov. 28 and 29. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000. % SARASOTAS HAIR COLOR SPECIALIST John-Norman Tuck (941) 928-1203 369 St. Armands Circle Sarasota Located Upstairs In the Green Ginger Salon John-Norman Tuck is Sarasota and Bradentons premier hairstylist and hair color artist. Getting his customers hair to look and feel its best is his passion. John-Norman started fullling his customers hair dreams in his Pasadena, CA salon and now has brought his talents to Sarasota. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 78


The driver of the vehicle who was drunk when he struck and killed a Siesta Key run ner in January 2012 accepted a plea deal from the State Attorneys Ofce on Nov. 25 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with four years set as a mandatory minimum by 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Frederick P. Mercurio, court records show. On Sept. 3, Blake C. Talman, 24, was scheduled to accept a 15-year plea deal, but that morn ing, his public defender, Patricia Edwards, notied the Ofce of the State Attorney that he had decided to go forward with a trial. The Sarasota News Leader was unable to reach Edwards or Assistant State Attorney Amanda Gambert to learn any reason for Talmans decision to take the deal this week. Aft er Talman rejected the states offer in September, his trial was set for the week of Nov. 12 or Nov. 18, Gambert told the News Leader Talman was arrested on the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2012, on multiple charges after striking and killing Donna Chen, 53, of Sarasota, who was running with her dog on the sidewalk in what Siesta Key residents have long described as a dangerous curve near St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church on Midnight Pass Road. Talman pleaded guilty on Nov. 25 to one count of Driving Under the Influence (Manslaughter); one count of Driving Under the Inuence (Serious Bodily Injury); three Sarasota resident Donna Chen was struck in a sharp curve on Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. File photo TALMAN ACCEPTS SECOND OFFER OF PLEA DEAL IN CHEN CASE CRIME BLOTTER


counts of Dr iving Under the Influence (Property Damage-Misdemeanor); and one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage (Misdemeanor). According to court records, the maximum penalty that could have been imposed on him if he had been convicted of the crimes was 23 years and 60 days in jail. Talman also was ordered to surrender his drivers license for the remainder of his life, attend and complete DUI School and perform 50 hours of community service. He has 30 days from the time of his release to enroll in DUI School, and he must complete it on his rst attempt, the plea deal notes. Talman was fleeing from another vehicle crash when he failed to follow the Midnight Pass Road curve; instead, he collided with Chen and then landscaping, a street sign, several wooden poles near the church and a telephone pole, according to the Florida Highway Patrol report. Chen died at the scene. Both Talman and his passenger, David J. Brewer, then 24, of Sarasota, were injured. Earlier the same day, deputies at Siesta Public Beach spoke with Talman and Brewer on three separate occasions after witnesses reported the two young men were consuming liquor and bothering beach-goers. However, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office says Talman and Brewer did nothing for which ofcers could arrest them. The last time depu ties observed them, according to the Sheriffs Ofce report, both men were headed toward the beach. Talman will be given credit for all the jail time he has served, the plea deal says. After his arrest, he was not released on bond until June 20, 2012. Court records show Talman had been arrested numerous times before the incident on Siesta Key, including charges for possession of mar ijuana, possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21, driving with a suspended license and having no valid drivers license. On Nov. 13, he was arrested again at 1:26 p.m. by the Sarasota Police Department on a charge of Battery: Touch or Strike (Domestic). The name of the complainant was kept conden tial, according to the report. Ofcers took Tal man into custody at his res idence, 2123 Bay St. in Sarasota, the report says. He is scheduled to be arraigned on that charge on Dec. 3. Rachel Brown Hackney Blake Talman/Image from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 80


As holiday sale s get into full swing, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is reminding the public to shop smart and stay safe, a news release says. Patrols are increased in high-traffic retail areas this time of year, but shoppers are encouraged to keep the following tips in mind when heading out to hit the stores, the release points out: Avoid shopping alone, particularly at night. Park your vehicle in a well-lighted area and remove valuables from sight. Know your surroundings, and keep an eye on the people around you. Carry a purse close to the body and do not reveal large amounts of cash. If using a shopping cart, do not leave purses unsecured, and keep them closed. Approach your vehicle with keys already in hand. Do not carry too many packages at one time. Place all packages out of sight when you get to your vehicle. Do not place a purse on top of the vehicle or in the trunk when loading purchases. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows shut. Be suspicious of anyone approaching you to pass out leaets or ask for donations. If you see anything suspicious or if some thing just does not feel right, leave the area immediately and contact store security or law enforcement ofcers. HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC To make sure people get home safely with holiday gifts, the Sheriffs Ofce has provided shopping tips. Photo by Evalowyn via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 81


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce made 40 arrests with a total of 22 felony charges and 44 misdemeanor counts during its third oper ation in ve months to crack down on retail theft, particularly as the holiday shopping season begins, the ofce has announced. Operation Booster Buster III focused on retail corridors in Sarasota and Venice over a period of three days, a news release says. The offenders have a combined 344 prior felony charges and 343 prior misdemeanor charges, the release notes. Five of the 40 people arrested are locally iden tied as Prolic Offenders, and one of the defendants was arrested two days in a row, rst for Petit Theft and then for an attempted 40 ARRESTED DURING LATEST CRACKDOWN ON RETAIL THEFT A Sheriffs Ofce poster shows some of the individuals arrested during Operation Booster Buster III. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 82


vehicle b urgl ary in a store parking lot, the release adds. Another person charged in this operation was arrested in the rst Booster Buster crackdown, the release points out. Forty arrests in just three days exemplies the fact that retail theft is a monumental prob lem in Sarasota County, said Sheriff Knight in the release. Nearly all of the people arrested have criminal histories but are just released to commit more crime. We will continue our crackdown to assist these businesses and reduce shoplifting in this community. The Sheriffs Ofce formed a unique pub lic-private partnership with major local retailers for the first operation in July, which has continued with efforts to enhance theft detection methods and expanded opportunities to collaborate on reducing retail theft, the release notes. Much of our field intelligence pointed to a specic location near one of the targeted shopping centers where some of our prolic offenders frequently congregated, Knight continued in the release. Crime analysts real ized some of these offenders felt the pressure we were exerting on other crimes and turned to retail theft and return fraud instead. Operation Booster Buster utilized the Tactical, Crime Analysis and Trafc units, in addition to Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Corrections personnel, the release says. To date, the three retail theft operations have resulted in 131 arrests. Additional suspects have been identi ed in the most recent operation, the release adds; charges are pending. % 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 For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 83


EDITORIAL OPINION EDITORIAL It has been 150 years since Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a day he commended to the American people for Thanksgiving and Praise to our bene cent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. Whether the first observance was by the Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA, really is of little importance. What has engraved this occasion in the national consciousness over the last four centuries is a tacit recognition that, col lectively, we have it pretty good here in the United States, and we should look beyond ourselves to give credit for the benecence Lincoln knew we enjoyed. Certainly, he realized then that the nation struggled in the midst of a violent Civil War. While the tide of the war might have turned in his favor only weeks earlier at Gettysburg, it would be many long months before the war would end and the divided country could begin to heal. Yet, he called upon the people to recognize that, in the midst of tragedy and travail, the blessings of life still are easily seen, and grat itude for those blessings is a proper response. Now our country is in the midst of another struggle. Certainly not a bloody one like that fought in the 1860s, but still a struggle that divides us. For more than three decades, the wealthiest Americans have had more and more to be thankful for each year. Their share of the national income and the nations wealth has SHARING A SPECIAL HOLIDAY BY SHARING


grown to the greatest proportion since the late 1920s just before the collapse of our nancial markets and the beginning of the Great Depression. At the same time, the nations middle class that great cohort of prosperity that rose up after World War II teeters on the edge of oblivion. The ranks of the poor have swelled to the point that more than a third of Americans cannot provide completely for themselves. Lincoln called for a Thanksgiving Day because he knew that war and bloodshed were not attributable to our Creator. The blame for all wars rests solely on the shoulders of the imperfect creation that is mankind. Lincoln understood that acknowledging the blessings that existed in peoples lives, and their giving thanks for those blessings, was an essential step in coping with the war. More import ant, it also was an acknowledgement that the world was meant to be a better place and would be again soon. To heed Lincolns call in this modern era is to accept that Thanksgiving is a day to recognize and celebrate all that exists in the world to sustain our lives. It is a day to recognize and celebrate the generous spirit of those who give of themselves to help others, not just on holidays but throughout the year. It is a day when we must do more than just acknowl edge, There but for the grace of God go I. It is an opportunity for each of us to extend that grace to those around us. A kind word, a helping hand, a warm meal to a shut-in, groceries for a hun gry family, proper clothes to warm cold skin, shelter from the harsh elements there is so much that can be done. There is so much that must be done. It is impossible to be thankful for our bless ings when we ignore the struggles of others. In seeking to alleviate their suffering, we lift up all of humanity. For the greatest praise we can render to a benecent Creator is emulation. Philanthropist W. Clement Stone once observed, If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. Thanksgiving is not just about giving thanks. It also is about thankful giving. % Lincoln called upon the people to recognize that, in the midst of tragedy and travail, the blessings of life still are easily seen, and gratitude for those blessings is a proper response. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and in clude the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Letters ac tually printed will be selected based on space avail able, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted be come the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 85


GUEST COLUMN The recent Sarasota News Leader article dealing with the pending Government in the Sunshine lawsuit against the City of Sarasota contained some factual errors ( Divide to conquer Nov. 22). No doubt, the errors were due to repre sentations made at the City Commission meeting last Monday by Commissioner Susan Chapman, so I do not attribute it to any neg ligence on the part of the News Leader I just want to set the record straight. First, the article states that Chapman was not offered the same deal that Commissioner Suzanne Atwell was offered. This is flatly untrue. On Nov. 1, I extended the very same offer to both Atwell and Chapman to pay $500 to a charity of her choice in exchange for being dropped from the lawsuit. That email was conveyed from me to the city attorney and to counsel for both Chapman and Atwell ( See Exhibit 1 ). As reported, Atwell took that deal just a few days later. I would point out that, following the remarks of Chapman last Monday, in which she errone ously stated that the same deal had not been offered to her, I again sent correspondence to Ch apmans attorney, Richard Harrison, attach ing the correspondence referenced above and indicating that the offer was still on the table until 5 p.m. on Nov. 22. Harrison responded that he was no longer representing Chapman and would not respond to the renewed settle ment offer ( See Exhibit 2 ). Clearly, Harrison already was aware of the earlier settlement offer, extended to both Atwell and Chapman, dated Nov. 1. Second, the article states, Chapman then received an emergency injunction and was served with a set of interrogatories. That was followed with a request to set a sched ule for depositions in the case. Atwell instead received an offer to settle the case, which she accepted. Attache d as Exhibit 3 is the current docket in this case. No motion for emergency injunction has ever been led or served in this case That representation is simply a c tion. Additionally, the request to schedule depositions in the case occurred on Nov. 13 ( See Exhibit 4 ) nearly two weeks after the same settlement offer had been made to both Atwell and Chapman because there had been n o response or effort by Harrison ATTORNEY IN SUNSHINE LAWSUIT DISPUTES CHAPMAN STATEMENTS TO THE CITY COMMISSION By Andrea Mogensen Guest Columnist COMMENTARY Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 86


to respo nd to the settlement offer made on Nov. 1. Therefore, I assumed it was rejected, and I wanted to make efforts to get this case moving forward. Finally, the set of interrogatories mentioned in the article were served on Chapmans attorney on Oct. 29. They were also served on Atwells attorney that same date, along with a request for admissions. Those dis covery efforts followed various pleadings and motions led by Atwells attorney on that same date, but before the settlement offer extended to both Atwell and Chapman on Nov. 1. Thus, the same discovery efforts were made to both Atwell and Chapman on the very same date. In light of the above, the title, content and tenor of the article is misleading. The article implies that the plaintiff named the two com missioners individually and then purposely discriminated in the discovery efforts and set tlement offers made to those two individuals. The title suggests this was done to divide and conquer as a result of different actions taken with respect to each individual defendant. As on e can certainly see from the forego ing, and the related exhibits, that simply is not true. The only actual difference between Chapman and Atwell is in the way that they chose individually to respond to this issue. Editors note: The writer is the attorney for Citizens for Sunshine, which is the plaintiff in the lawsuit referenced. % Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION 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 November 29, 2013 Page 87




With ballets by George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton on the same program together, with the added presence of The Sarasota Orchestra under the baton of Ormsby Wilkins, the Sarasota Ballet had a winning combination in its second set of per formances this season. This is the year of Ashton, with a retrospec tive of his work scheduled for the end of the season, but Illuminations a work he choreo graphed for the New York City Ballet Company, was the exotic production of the evening; while Balanchines Serenade enchanted and Who Cares to the music of George Gershwin, delighted everyone with its toe-tapping beats. Seventeen girls in pale blue bodices and bil lowing white skirts lled the stage. They were posed in diagonal lines, each with one arm raised and the other pulled back, as if in a ges ture that said, Stop for a moment, and I did for this was the famous opening moment of Serenade one of my favorite ballets. Set to the rapturous melodies of Tchaikovskys Serenade for Strings it has both the simplic ity of spirit and the complex choreography that dene a Balanchine ballet, even though it was his rst important ballet after he came to the United States in the 1930s. Choreographing for his students, Balanchine would in corporate into a ballet whatever The dancers begin Balanchines Serenade. Photo by Frank Atura HULLAND AND BROWN STAND OUT IN SARASOTA BALLETS SECOND PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON THE SUMPTUOUS AND THE WHIMSICAL By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer


Danielle Brown and Ricardo Rhodes are the Waltz Couple in Serenade. Photo by Frank Atura Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 90


was happening at the time: A girl fell; another arrived late, etc. Therefore, the overall pattern of this ballet winds and unwinds through out the musical accompaniment as the girls rush onto the stage, leave and reappear as if oating through space. In a few words, Balanchines magic is underscored in his understanding of the spirit of the music, and his choreography is always deeply connected to whatever music he has chosen as a spring board for his vision. In the challenging waltz movement, the rst of four in Serenade Danielle Brown was more lyrical than usual. Melding quick foot work with the daunting technical challenges while maintaining a uidity of movement in the torso is the basis of the Balanchine style, and both Brown and her partner, Ricardo Rhodes careful and elegant as the shadow figure tackled their difficult roles with authority. Amy Wood and Jamie Carter as the Dark Angels were both musical and fast; while Kate Honea whirled off the quick turns as the Russian girl. There are moments in the ballet when Balanchine appears to be having fun insert ing the traveling arabesques from the ballet Giselle as well as a reference to Orpheus searching in the underworld. But it is the breathtaking last image of Brown, hair ow ing, head and body arching backwards with her arms outstretched at her sides as she stands on the hands of four men and slowly travels off into the wings followed by the corps, heads slightly tilted up to the heav ens, arms reaching skyward to the unknown Elegant movements are integral to Serenade. Photo by Frank Atura Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 91


that seals th e dream poetry of this stun ning ballet. Sir Frederick Ashton set Illuminations his exploration of the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud the bad boy of French verse to Benjamin Brittens beautiful score, Les Illuminations Opus 18 As the tortured poet, Ricardo Graziano was convincingly anguished over profane and sacred love, interpreted by two women and a large cast outtted in colorful costumes designed by Cecil Beaton. Ashton tended to create ballets with charac ters and narration, and this ballet followed that pattern. Ellen Overstreet was a believ able temptress as Profane Love, while Amy Wood was chaste as Sacred Love. Of course, these tensions still exist, espe cially in the context of drug addiction, though at first I questioned the idea of a conflict between sacred and p rofane love as having relevance in todays environment. The ballet is obviously a dream, and my impression of the crowded, pageant atmosphere of it was that it was the poets (Graziano) hallucination. Honestly, though, it was not until the nal moments that Grazianos emotional anguish became real, and that might have been due to the power of the music. Balanchines nod to George Gershwin in Who Cares set against the outline of Manhattans skyscrapers, reflects urbanity and jazz rhythms. Both the dancers and the audience were smiling. The 15 songs in the ballet are short stories of love found, lost and discov ered once again. Though the mood shifts from delight as in the opening ensemble performing to Strike Up the Band to the sensuous longing of Somebody Loves Me the dancing is always joyous. As in any Balanchine ballet, clear musical phrasing is all-important, whether it is a little unexpected jump, a quick Elaborate costumes are featured in Illuminations by Sir Frederick Ashton. Photo by Frank Atura Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 92


slide between s teps or a leap that is so right it appears the music is taking ight. Everyone in the performance danced with their hearts on re, but, as always, there were highlights in a ballet with so many dancers and so many segments. In Biden My Time Alex Harrison, Daniel Rodriguez, Jamie Carter, Ricki Bertoni and David Tlaiye brought brio and energy to the variation, proving that the male contingent of Sarasota Ballet is getting stronger. Ryoko Sadoshima was a dainty partner for Harrison, who danced with surprising speed; Bertoni and Emily Dixon combined for ease as a cou ple, as did Dagny Hanrahan and Tlaiye in Lady Be Good However, the performances of both Danielle Brown, who appeared more at e ase w ith the jazzy rhythms of Stairway to Paradise and Victoria Hulland were unforgettable. In The Man I Love with Ricardo Graziano as the lover, Hulland disappeared into the music, her whole body melting into the emotion of the dance; the song is all about meeting and lov ing and leaving. Graziano, who dances with a graceful ease and nonchalance, was a wonder ful partner, making each of Hullands lifts like a sigh of happiness. In her solo, Fascinating Rhythm Hulland charmed the audience with a glint of sauciness in her dancing. Ive Got Rhythm brought the entire cast back on stage for a rousing nale, with audience members convinced that they, too, were ready to da n ce. % Ricardo Graziano is The Poet and Ellen Overstreet is Profane Love in Illuminations. Photo by Frank Atura Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 93


SIESTA SEEN As temperatures were dropping up North, the Siesta Public Beach remained balmy in early November. Photo by Rachel Hackney A DISPUTE OVER A BEACH PATH SEEMS TO BE RESOLVED; A COUNTY VARIANCE PETITION IS PROCEEDING; THE SIESTA CHAMBER BIDS ADIEU TO ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; AND CHAMBER AWARD NOMINEES ARE SOUGHT By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor met with representatives of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to iron out a recent complaint regarding clearing of a path through the Foundations 11,687-square-foot property, which has been a popular nesting place for the endangered Snowy Plovers that call Siesta home. The accreti on of sand on Siesta Public Beach has led to what Sarasota Countys environ mental supervisor calls a rather unique situation regarding one path to the beach. Last week, Howard Berna, a staff member in the countys Natural Resources Department,


Berna told me on Nov. 22 that staff had inves tigated the complaint about work Sarasota Audubon volunteers had observed on the path. A volunteer reported that someone was actu ally digging up the natural sod beside that path on the Gulf side of 644 Beach Road. To my way of thinking it was a site location vio lation and a physical violation of the naturally vegetated dune surface, the volunteer wrote and the underscores are his emphasis. In response, Matt Osterhoudt, the resource protection manager in the Natural Resources Department, wrote to Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery and his depart ment boss, Amy Meese, on Nov. 1: Natural Resources staff conducted a site inspection earlier today and documented unauthorized clearing activity within a dune for a path. We informed the person conducting the work to cease as there are some regulatory issues with the Coastal Setback ordinance to address. There are two property owners that are involved. We have been in contact with both owners and we will continue working to resolve the compliance matter. Berna explained to me that when the Arbisser family sold the property at 644 Beach Road to The property owned by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast has been popular with nesting Snowy Plovers in years past. File photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 95


A drawing shows the footpath that the Arbisser family was allowed to maintain when it sold a Siesta Key parcel to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Image courtesy Sarasota County Property Appraisers Ofce Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 96


the fou ndation in December 2007, the deed reserved the right for the family to maintain the path to the beach. The deed calls for a perpetual, appurtenant, exclusive [10-footwide] recreational easement over, across and through said Property for ingress and egress to the beach and Gulf of Mexico. However, as the beach has grown, this foot path and others have meandered and havent necessarily followed the property line, Berna added. People walk on the path of least resis tance, he said. If a low spot tends to hold water, for example, people will walk around it to the point that they end up creating another section of path. Technically, the work [the Arbissers] were doing was allowable, Berna noted. Yet, it appeared in this case that workers hired by the family were creating a second path, he said, so the county asked the workers to stop. The Foundation staff has talked with the Arbissers, he continued. The result is that the Arbissers will abandon and restore the old footpath and create a new one, Berna said. THE NEW VARIANCE PETITION While I had Berna on the phone last week, I took the opportunity to ask him about the status of the latest petition to build a house at 162 Beach Road, which I reported on in early October. On July 10, the owners Ronald and Sonia Allen led a new petition with the county for a Coastal Setback Variance for a three-story structure. They had revised their design since the Cou nty Commission on Jan. 9 turned dow n their request to build a resi dence on the lot. Commissioners denied the request after reviewing evidence about the property having been under the Gulf of Mexico in years past. Berna told me on Nov. 22 that the Allens had provided more information about the latest request, at staffs request. Further details have been sought regarding the plan for dune enhancement if the County Commission approves the project, Berna said. Im not asking for any changes to the plan, Berna added. However, he does not have a date yet for when the County Commission will hear the petition. THE LIDO PROJECT The Siesta Key Association is putting out the word that the public is welcome to come to the Dec. 5 SKA meeting, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present details of its proposal for renourishing Lido Beach, includ ing the dredging of Big Pass and the erection of three groins on the south end of Lido Key. The session will be conducted from 5 to 7 p.m. in the St. Boniface Episcopal Church Community Room, located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. Questions from the public will be welcome. The $22.7-million project has been controver sial among some Siesta Key residents and area boaters, because the Army Corps has iden tied Big Pass a s the source of sand for the Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 97


Revised drawings were submitted in July for a house at 162 Beach Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 98


initial renourishment of Lido Beach under the proposal. Big Pass never has been dredged. Further, worries have arisen that the planned groins will interrupt the natural downdrift of sand that has beneted Siesta Public Beach. The City of Sarasota has been working with the Corps on the project. Additionally, Visit Sarasota County has offered information showing tourism linked to Lido Beach has an annual economic impact on the county of approximately $155.6 million. BIDDING ADIEU TO KEVIN Members of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce gathered late last week to bid goodbye to Executive Director Kevin Cooper, who has taken a job with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Cooper offered his notice on Oct. 28, though he agreed to stay through the fourth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition, held Nov. 15-18. Cooper will start Monday, Dec. 2, as vice presi dent for public policy for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and he will oversee the organizations Sarasota Tomorrow ini tiative, said Brittany Lamont, the Chambers communications manager. Cooper told me he is very excited about the new opportunity to serve the community. In a message to members, Chamber Chairwoman Maria Bankemper wrote, Kevin has been a great asset to the Chamber over the last 4 years, starting as the Membership Director and moving into his current position as Executive Director. Kevin has helped us not only retain our membership and increase our stability but has brought a momentum and energy to our Chamber as well. I truly do wish him all of the best and I know that we will likely cross paths in the future. On a personal note, I would like to add that it was a great pleasure for me to work with Kevin. Not only could I count on him to be very informative when I asked questions, but he also has an excellent personality for work ing with the public. Bankemper added in her note that a Search Committee has been formed to find his replacement. Kevin Cooper has left his position as executive director of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. File photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 99

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STORMWATER PROJECT UPDATE Those who have been keeping an eye on the stormwater project next to Siesta Key Public Beach the initiative formally identied as the Beach Road Drainage Project have seen equip ment digging pretty steadily over the past couple of weeks. Isaac Brownman, director of capital projects in the countys Public Works Department, notied the county commissioners that the Digging has been under way for the past several weeks at the stormwater site next to the public beach on Siesta Key. File photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 100

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contract or this week is expected to continue digging the Rim Ditch which he calls a sump necessary to remove groundwa ter around the site of the planned 1-acre stormwater pond. He continued, It is anticipated that by the end of the week, an agreement will be in place allowing the Beach Road Drainage contrac tor to perform some site work for the Siesta Beach [improvements] project; allowing the latter to start on site work and achieve an overall cost savings for the County. Additionally, Brownman wrote, Staff has received an updated work schedule from the contractor with an anticipated Substantial Completion date of March 9 and a Final Acceptance date of April 8, 2014. At this time we do not expect that the delays we have had to date will signicantly impact the Beach project. He added, There continue to be coordina tion meetings with staff and the contractors on both the drainage project and the Siesta Beach project; it is anticipated that with both projects now overlapping with time lines/ schedules, some economy of scales will be realized. BUSINESSES OF THE YEAR The Siesta Key Chamber has announced it is accepting nominations for the 2013 Business of the Year Awards. Ever y yea r the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce recognizes two outstanding member businesses and one member business person for his or her personal achievements and contributions, a news release says. Additionally, the Shining Star Award is pre sented to an exceptional employee nominated by their employer, or an employer nominated by one or more of their employees. Completed nomination forms must be received no later than 5 p.m. Dec. 20. The release says, You can download a nomina tion form by clicking here or pick one up in person by visiting the Chamber ofce. The Chamber headquarters is located in Davidson Plaza on Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Village. The awards will be presented at the Chambers Annual Meeting and Business Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nominees will be evaluated based on the fol lowing criteria, the news release says: Demonstration of excellence in business or profession. Demonstration of Chamber involvement. Demonstration of community service. Anyone with questions regarding the awards may email % Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 101

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Selby Gardens has no shortage of beautiful vistas and unique plants, so it is no surprise that artists are inspired to depict the Gardens beauty in their work. Tropical Splendor, a new art exhibit in the Museum of Botany and the Arts, will demonstrate two artists fasci nation with Selby Gardens and its plants, the Gardens has announced. Tropical Splendor features stunning gar den paintings by Anna Mason of the United Kingdom and Sarasota artist Tom Stephens, a news release says. The paintings portray macro and micro views of tropical locales and plants, with an emphasis on texture and color Stephens work showcases Selbys landscapes, while Mason focuses on distinc tive tropical plants from Selbys collections, the release adds. The exhibit will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Feb. 27, and after hours during the Gardens holiday show, Lights in Bloom which will be presented Dec. 20-23 and 26-30. Entry is included in the price of admission to the Gardens. For more information about Tropical Splendor and Selby Gardens, visit or call 366-5731. Tom Stephens landscapes are featured in Tropical Splendor. Contributed photo TROPICAL SPLENDOR IN FULL BLOOM AT SELBY GARDENS A&E BRIEFS

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Artwork by Anna Mason is part of a new exhibit at Selby Gardens. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 103

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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota will pres ent KT Sullivan and Jon Weber performing Colored Lights Sullivans effervescent auto biography told through songs and hilarious anecdotes, Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater, the organization has announced. The theater is located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. Tickets are $25 to $45; they may be purchased online at www.artistseri or by calling the box ofce at 360-7399. Discounted student tickets are available at the box ofce one hour before the performance; call the box ofce for prices and more information. KT Sullivan turns her experiences on and off Broadway into an upbeat and dynamic performance of wit, style and musical dexter ity, says John Fischer, executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, in a news release. According to Fischer, Sullivan makes great use of her signature comedic style and rich soprano voice as she recalls the ups and downs of her time on and off Broadway with a solid show that includes tender love songs and comic material from nearly 100 years of stage gems. Colored Light s also celebrates Sullivans pas sion for classic material, with one remarkable segment of the show covering 29 songs pub lished in 1929, the release notes. Sullivan is an annual headliner at the Oak Room in New Yorks Algonquin Hotel, the release points out. She has won the Manhattan Association of Cabaret & Clubs Outstanding Female Vocalist Award presented by Liza Minnelli and the top award from the Mabel Mercer SULLIVAN AND WEBER TO PERFORM IN COLORED LIGHTS KT Sullivan/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 104

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Foundation for her achievements. In April 2012, Sullivan became the artistic director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation. Weber, host of National Public Radios Piano Jazz Rising Stars is counted among the most brilliant minds in jazz today, the release continues. The New York-based, Wisconsin/ Chicago-raised Weber is a virtuosic piano player who can be heard regularly in the most renowned clubs and rooms in Manhattan and at festivals around the world, it adds. His brilliantly crafted spontaneous orchestra tions easily place him in the rareed company of todays elite jazz musicians. CNN, CNBC, Black Entertainment TV, Bravo/Arts, National Public Radio, and Voice of America have pro led Webers unique musical depth and vast knowledge of his craft, the release notes. For more information about this show or the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasotas 2013-2014 season, visit or call 306-1202. The bright colors and bold designs of artist Peg Green will be on display at The Womens Resource Center from Dec. 5 through Jan. 30 in a show titled Spirits of Life: Portraits from the Art of Living the center has announced. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the center, located at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. in Sarasota, a news release says. The public is invited; refreshments will be served. The show may be seen most weekdays after 10:30 a.m. Greens art is a suite of visual stories and por traits that express her powerful immersion in the act of living, the release adds. Her subjects range from the playful aspects of life to the more serious depictions of grat itude, protective ferocity, life-giving energy and deep questions about personal values even love. Using nature and personal experience as her primary sources of inspir ation, she also draws on archetypes and symbols from cul tures around the world, as well as feminist and shamanic sources, the release contin ues. Her current work is strongly inuenced by her recent three-year study of intuitive painting, following the teachings of Michele Cassou. Green studied her craft at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cuyahoga Community College, the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, the Hudson River Valley Art Studio in Greenville, NY, and at Milford Art Studio in Kejimkujik, Nova Scotia. Her work has been exhibited at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, VA; the Invitational Quilt Show in Manassas, VA; the Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, VA; and All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs, CO, the release adds. For more information, call The Womens Resource Center at 941-366-1700. GREENS ARTWORK TO BE EXHIBITED AT WOMENS RESOURCE CENTER Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 105

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Secret Life of Plants will be on exhibit at The Womens Resource Center. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 106

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Sarasotas cutt ing-edge contemporary dance company, Fuzin Dance Artists, will present Voices of Fuzin: Mlange Dec. 7 and 8 in the Jane B. Cook Theater at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, located at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, the company has announced. The program will feature works by company members, highlighting both seasoned and eme rging choreographers who have not yet had a pl atform to create unique works of their own, whose voices are still emerging, a news release says. We are thrilled to expand our season with another theater production in December, add ing artistic richness to our annual concert in March and taking our community collabora tions to the next level, says Artistic Director Leymis Bolao s Wilmott in the release. FUZIN DANCE ARTISTS TO PRESENT VOICES OF FUZIN: MLANGE Erin Fletcher (left) and Ariel Hart. Contributed photo by Daniel Perales Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 107

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Molly Nichols and Rolando Cabrera. Contributed photo by Daniel Perales Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 108

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The perfor m ances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $28, or $10 for students. They may be purchased online at or by calling 359-0099, Ext. 101. The word fuzin means a mixture, which, in our case, reects both the individual danc ers and the styles of dance that we present, explains Bolaos Wilmott in the release. What makes our company so eclectic is the individual voices of the artists. In this program we will explore what inspires those individ ual dancers; we will witness their strengths, passions and varying styles. The choreographers are Fuzin Dance Artists company members Molly Nichols, Erin Fletcher, Rolando Cabrera and Xiao-xuan Yang Dancigers. My piece, Toll, is inspired by the strength and serenity of the women in the work, says Nichols, who has been with the company for two years and is a graduate of the University of Floridas dance program. Toll brings a sense of time and arrival and with that the end of striving, all within travel sequences and group phrasing. I am honored to continue such a sacred movement work and to share it with new audiences, she adds. Taiwanese-born Yang Dancigers is excited about recreating her work, Faces for a group of seven women, including her, the release continues. The concept of the three-section work is a procession of past selves creating a ritual, notes Yang Dancigers, who joined the company in the fall of 2012. I will use reverse movements to represent the past, as well as isolation movements and oor work. Fletchers piece, titled Sigue Para Lante explores the randomness and symbolic thoughts of a dreamer visited by past love experiences taking place in a dreamscape, the release continues. The work choreographed by Cabrera, titled Three Accents is an expansion of his piece Accents from Fuzins August In the Round performance. In it, he explores the styles of animation and break-dancing, while giv ing audience members an opening to create their own stories based on what they see, the release adds. Also on the December program is a new piece featuring company members and dancers from Sarasotas Parkinson Place, who will come together in a work choreographed by Bolaos Wilmott. This piece features original music by two of Fuzins favorite composers, Scott Blum and Francis Schwartz, the release notes. It was commissioned by the Parkinson Research Foundation. I continue to be drawn to creating work that is physically integrated, such as last seasons Propel for a dancer in a wheelchair and com pany members, says Bolaos Wilmott in the release. Not only will this new piece be an artistic milestone, but I hope that it will also bring awareness of the disease to our audi ence, and demonstrate what people with mixed abilities can accomplish artistically, whether it is dance, music or art. Bolaos Wilmott leads the Dance for Parkinsons program at Parkinson Place for individuals with Parkinson s disease. Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 109

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The smash off-Broad way hit The Marvelous Wonderettes will open on Venice Theatres Pinkerton stage Friday, Dec. 6, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 22, the theater has announced. Evening performances of this fun-filled jukebox musical will be offered Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees will be at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $28 for adults and $10 to $15 for students. They may be purchased online at by phone at 488-1115 or in person at the box ofce, located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Venice Theatres production is musically directed by the award-winning Michelle Kasanofsky, a news release notes. New Yorkbased director and performer Dennis Clark has returned to the area to stage the show. (Local audiences might remember Clark from star ring roles in Singin in the Rain and The Full Monty He also directed and choreographed Venice Theatres recent production of The Drowsy Chaperone the release adds.) Clark and Kasanofsky have chosen four Venice Theatre veterans (Andrea Keddell, Noelia Altamirano, Laurie Colton and Liz Pascoe) to play the Wonderettes. The cast will take audiences back to the 1958 Springeld High School prom during Act I and the 10-year class reunion in Act II, the release notes. As the audience members learn about the girls lives and loves, they will be treated to classic songs of the s and s, such as Lollipop Dream Lover Stupid Cupid Lipstick on Your Collar Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Its My Party The Associated Press wrote, [T]he fun never stops during this must-take musical trip down memory lane, the release points out. The Los Angeles Times called The Marvelous Wonderettes deliciously enjoyable wildly entertaining froth. MARVELOUS WONDERETTES BRING BACK MUSIC OF THE S AND S (From left) Noelia Altamirano, Andrea Keddell, Liz Pascoe and Laurie Colton are the Marvelous Wonderettes. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 110

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Last year, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation hosted its rst Arts and Crafts Show at the Englewood Sports Complex, and the response was overwhelming, with res idents and visitors purchasing unique gifts including jewelry, artwork and clothing, a county news release says. Last years inaugural event was a huge success, said Wendy Aldridge, program coordinator with Sarasota County Parks and Recreation in the release. We heard from HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW RETURNING TO ENGLEWOOD both cu stomers and vendors that they wanted to see us do it again, so we are looking for ward to another very successful event. The Arts and Crafts Show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Englewood Sports Complex, located at 1300 South River Road in Englewood. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 8615000. The Englewood Sports Complex will host the Holiday Arts and Crafts Show on Dec. 7. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 111

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The Moo dy Blues, still rocking in 2013 with original members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge, have released 24 albums in a career spanning nearly ve decades. On March 24, they will return to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota to perform many of their hits. The group has sold more than 70 million albums, a news release notes, earning 18 platinum discs and all manner of awards, including the Golden Ticket for selling the most tickets at Madison Square Garden. The Moody Blues classic album, Days of Future Passed (featuring the signature song Nights in White Satin ), heralded the era of the concept album and detailed sleeve art work that would epitomize the Progressive Rock movement that followed, the release notes. Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, England, The Moody Blues came from the same gene pool that would give the world Trafc, the Move, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Slade, the release continues. The bands original line-up of Denny Laine, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder scored a global No. 1 hit with Go Now but unable to follow up this success, Warwick and Laine left the group, to be replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward, respectively, in 1966, the release says. For the next few months, the band crafted a new set of original compositions that would change their fortunes, the release adds. Drastically re-thinking their musical approach, it notes, the band members began to c ompose new material Eager to recoup some of the money [it] had invested in the band, Decca asked The Moody Blues to record a rock version of Dvoraks New World Symphony to demonstrate a new stereo sys tem it was launching. Instead, The Moody Blues, along with producer Tony Clarke, used the orchestral settings for a suite of the groups own songs, which resulted in Days of Future Passed. This proved a turning point for the band members, the release continues. They soon became acknowledged masters of lushly orchestrated psychedelic rock and trailblazers in the use of the mellotron, which they used both live and in the studio to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra. Tickets are priced from $35 to $85. For more information, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit www.VanWe % THE MOODY BLUES COMING BACK TO THE VAN WEZEL IN MARCH The Moody Blues will take the Van Wezel stage on March 24. Contributed photo by Mark Owens Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 112

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The Church of t he Redeemer will joyfully wel come the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, and his wife, Lady Carey, to the parish on Dec. 5, the church has announced in a news release. During his six-day visit with Redeemer, Carey will preach on Sunday, Dec. 8, during the 9 and 11 a.m. Masses, the release says. He will also preach on Monday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m., during the Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests of Charleston David Wilson, Jason Andrew Murbarger, and David Stuart Bumsted, the release notes. In 1991, Carey became the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, serving 70 million Anglicans around the world. He retired in 2002 and was made a life peer as Lord Carey of Clifton, the release continues. He is currently the chancel lor of the University of Gloucestershire and president of the London School of Theology. He also serves on the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and is a co-chairman of the Council of 100. It is a great honor that Lord Carey, a world-renowned and respected theologian and speaker, will be preaching at Redeemer; it is especially distinguishing that he will also preach for the ordination, said the Very Rev. Fredrick A. Robinson, rector, in the release. Our parish is thrilled to have Lord and Lady Carey as our guests. During their stay in Sarasota, Lord and Lady Carey will participate extensively in the life of the parish, including attending several lun cheons and gatherings, the release notes. On Saturday, Dec. 7, the couple will be the Lord and Lady Carey participated in events at the Kanuga Conference Centre in North Carolina in September. Contributed photo LORD CAREY OF CLIFTON TO PREACH AT REDEEMER RELIGION BRIEFS

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guests of hono r f or a parish event: Experience Nashotah: Tea and Conversation with Lord and Lady Carey Designed to high light Redeemers renewed energy and work at Nashotah House, inspire donors, foster alumni participation and encourage theo logical study, the event will be attended by Nashotah House alumni, donors and current and prospective students, as well as a number of trustees, the release says. Lord and Lady Carey will be introduced by the Right Rev. Edward L. Salmon Jr., dean and president of Nashotah Hous e, and the Right Rev. Dabney Smit h, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. During the tea, Lord Carey will discuss the future of theological education and Nashotahs unique role as a center for lay and priestly formation, highlighting its Benedictine ethos and strategic role in revitalizing the American Church, the release adds. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. For more information, visit or call 955-4263. To learn more about Lord Carey, visit ww Green Torah: Spirit uality and Jewish Ecology is the title of a new adult education series at Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. Taught by Rabbi Brenner Glickman, the class will be held on Tuesdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, at 10:30 a.m., a news release notes. Comprising an examination of sacred Jewish texts and their implications for modern life, Green Torah will explore how Judaisms ancient sages found divinity in the natural world and viewed caring for the environ ment as a religious imperative, the release explains. Ways to put this imperative into practice today will also be discussed. For more information or to register for Green Torah call 3 51-8766. GREEN TORAH BEGINS DEC. 3 AT TEMPLE EMANU-EL Advent Lessons and Carols a festive cele bration in preparation of the birth of Christ, will be offered as a gift to the community at the Church of the Redeemer, located at 222 S. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota, on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 5:15 p.m., the church has announced. A light reception will follow in Gillespie Hall. No tickets or reservations are required for this free event. Presenting Advent Lessons and Carols is an ancient Anglican tradition in which the ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS PROGRAM PLANNED AT REDEEMER congr egat ion actively joins in the reading of Scripture aloud, recounting history from the Fall of Man, through the prophets, to the Annunciation of the Saviors birth to Mary, a news release says. Throughout the service, the Redeemer choirs will lead the congrega tion in the singing of well-loved Advent carols, under the direction of organist-choirmaster Ann Stephenson-Moe. For more information on the event or parking information, call the parish ofce at 955-4263 or visit ww w.redeemersar Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 114

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The Church of the Redeemer is located in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 115

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This month brings the earliest Hanukkah sea son ever the rst day of Hanukkah actually coincides with Thanksgiving Day and the youth of Temple Emanu-El have been prepar ing for both events, a Temple news release says. Young Jewish and interfaith families gathered at Temple Emanu-El on Saturday morning, Nov. 16, for a special Tot Shabbat program devoted to getting into the Hanukkah spirit. Children played dreidel; painted coin purses and lled them with gelt or chocolate coins; sampled the traditional Hanukkah dessert sufganiyot or jelly doughnuts; and sang Hanukkah songs and heard the Hanukkah story with Rabbi Brenner Glickman, the release add s. The morning event was chaired by Liana Sheintal Bryant and Alicia Zoller. Temple Emanu-El Religious School students joined in the Hanukkah activities the follow ing day. After visiting the synagogues Judaica shop to purchase small gifts for family mem bers and friends, students created Hanukkah cards and glitter-encrusted Hanukkah dec orations for senior Jewish residents of Sarasota-Manatee, the release continues. The students Hanukkah greetings will be distrib uted in partnership with Jewish Family and Childrens Service. For more information about Hanukkah cele brations at Temple Ema nu-El, call 371-2788. % TEMPLE EMANU-EL KIDS PREPARE FOR HANUKKAH Temple Emanu-El Religious School students Danielle Rudd, Jayme Rudd, Jordan Cohen, and Caterina Cappelli display Hanukkah greetings created for seniors served by Jewish Family & Childrens Service. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 116

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Temple Emanu-El Preschool student Simone Velez donned a Pilgrim hat to play dreidel. Contributed photo % Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 117

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 29 NOVEMBER WSLR presents John McEuen in concert Nov. 29, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at door. Information: 894-6469 or 29+ NOVEMBER Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents Purlie Through Dec. 15; times vary. Theatre located at 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $28.50. Information: 366-1505 or 29+ NOVEMBER Above the planet through a microscope by Carla Poindexter Through Dec. 28; times vary. Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 366-2454 or 29+ NOVEMBER FST presents Monty Pythons Spamalot Through Jan. 5, times vary. Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Avenue. Tickets: $18-49. Information: 366-9000 or 30 NOVEMBER Light Up the Village Nov. 30, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Siesta Village, Ocean Boulevard on Siesta Key, featuring a holiday parade, Santa Claus accepting childrens Christmas wish lists, gift bags and live musical entertainment. For info, visit the Siesta Key Village Association website 02 DECEMBER A Feast of Carols presented by Gloria Musicae Dec. 2, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple St., featuring selections by Bach, Benjamin Britten and Conrad Susa. Tickets: $35 (10 percent discount for online sales). Visit call 953-3368 or visit the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall box ofce, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 Page 118

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Each week, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel searches Sarasota County for iconic shots that underscore why the community is a favorite with residents and tourists alike. SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS BECAUSE ALLIGATORS WONT EAT SKINNY DUCKS? SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS

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