Sarasota News Leader


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Sarasota News Leader
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Rachel Brown Hackney ( Publisher )
New Sheriff Publishing, Inc.
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Sarasota, FL
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July 12, 2013
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Robert S. Hackney, General Manager(Oct. 26, 2012)

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University of Florida
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COVER THE SARASOTA News Leader Vol. 2, No. 17 January 10, 2014 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside A LAND DISAGREEMENT A SURPRISE OFFER PREDICTIONS COME TRUE




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 is a registered trademark of New Sheriff Publishing, Inc., which publishes The Sarasota News Leader Copyright 2014 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 P.O. Box 5099 Sarasota, FL 34277 (941) 227-1080


I believe most of us on staff would concede we were a little rusty this week after taking off time for the holidays but rusty only in the sense of minor matters, such as mistyped words. I can assure you we all were happy to be back on the hunt for good stories. And certainly the good stories were waiting for us. Two of our top articles this week are updates on issues that have simmered for some time. County Editor Roger Drouin and City Editor Stan Zimmerman collaborated on a look at where things stand between the City and County commissions regarding the vacant site of the former city Police Department headquarters; a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the boards over that property remains a point of contention. This week, I learned that warning ags were waved about the new Bobs Boathouse long be fore it opened. I had so many documents about this ongoing saga scattered on my computer desktop at one point this week that I could barely see the other items for them. Siesta Key news ourished this week, too, in cluding a rumor about weddings being pro hibited on Siesta Public Beach in 2015. Fortu nately, county staff was very helpful to me in sorting fact from ction. On the lighter side, correspondent Barbara Dondero has crafted a lovely story about a new Chalk Festival, and Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel with the help of Pro duction Manager Cleve Posey has put together a wonderful look at the extraor dinarily talented students of the Sailor Cir cus Academy. Welcome to a new year of local news! Editor and Publisher WELCOME


A LAND DISAGREEMENT A SURPRISE OFFER NEWS & COMMENTARY A LAND DISAGREEMENT 8 A 2003 memorandum of understanding between the city and county has been resurrected in the form of a political dispute between the two boards Roger Drouin and Stan Zimmerman A SURPRISE OFFER 14 The University of Miami has said it will donate Little Salt Spring to Sarasota County, but one commissioner says the offer is the rst step in a longer process Roger Drouin PREDICTIONS COME TRUE 20 Close to three years after the Sheriffs Ofce warned what would happen if Bobs Boathouse reopened, the county commissioners are mired in complaints Rachel Brown Hackney MAKING OPPOSING CASES 28 A Tiger Bay Club panel debates the merits of the Sarasota County School Boards latest referendum on a special 1 mill tax Rachel Brown Hackney NO BAN ON BEACH WEDDINGS 34 The general location for vows on Siesta Public Beach may be temporarily inconvenient as of January 2015, but county staff will allow ceremonies if couples desire them Rachel Brown Hackney SEEKING AN EXPANSION OF POWER 39 The Sarasota Independent Police Advisory Panel wants more say over Police Department matters Stan Zimmerman ATWELL MALIGNED 43 A University of Florida journalism school publication misreports action in the latest City of Sarasota Sunshine lawsuit Stan Zimmerman TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front cover: Golden Promontory Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Beauty In Bloom Robert Hackney


OPINION NEWS BRIEFS THE WORK BEGINS 45 A neighborhood meeting this week marks the rst step on the road to gaining city approval for increased density in part of the Rosemary District Stan Zimmerman SO MANY IDEAS; SO LITTLE MONEY 49 Analysis: Downtown Improvement District ponders expansion to ll its coffers Stan Zimmerman MORE FIREFIGHTING POWER 53 The Sarasota County Fire Department and Sheriffs Ofce are collaborating on a new public safety facility near University Parkway, with interim plans in the works for increased activity in that area Rachel Brown Hackney NEWS BRIEFS 58 CRIME BLOTTER 72 OPINION EDITORIAL 85 A slow trafc problem grows Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article For Advertising Info (941) 227-1080


A NEW CHALK FESTIVAL SIESTA SEEN SARASOTA LEISURE A NEW CHALK FESTIVAL 89 Seven people resolve to launch the rst event of its kind on Anna Maria Island Barbara Dondero ITS A WONDERFUL SHOW 94 Sailor Circus performers demonstrate their skills under the Big Top Staff Reports SIESTA SEEN 100 Another suspected environmental violation has been reported on the beach; the County Commission public hearing date is set for a new petition regarding construction at 162 Beach Road; and Village business updates abound Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 107 RELIGION BRIEFS 123 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 131 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 132 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION


An a greement reached 10 1/2 years ago between the City and County commissions cleared the way for the swap of key down town parcels. But that agreement has resurfaced in the form of a simmering political dispute between the two current boards. It all goes back to 2003, when the county lev eled an ultimatum to the City of Sarasota. Faced with the prospect of losing Sarasota Countys central operations in downtown Sarasota, the Sarasota City commissioners capitulated. In exchange for the county promising to keep its court and administrative facilities on Ringling Boulevard, the city agreed to sev eral concessions, including handing over the downtown parcel where the Sarasota Police Department (SPD) headquarters stood. On July 15, 2003, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by then Mayor Lou Ann Palmer and then County Commission Chairwoman Shannon Staub. The County agrees to satisfy its facilities mas ter plan for Court and Administration needs within the downtown judicial complex area, and the City agrees to provide the County with The open lot where the former Sarasota Police Department stood is green space now on Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel A 2003 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE CITY AND COUNTY HAS BEEN RESURRECTED IN THE FORM OF A POLITICAL DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO BOARDS A LAND DISAGREEMENT NEWS & COMMENTARY By Roger Drouin County Editor The whole thing is clear as mud. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County


Page 1 of the 2003 Memorandum of Understanding outlines most of the agreement between the city and the county. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 9


the police facility site ready to build, the doc ument says. But the contract was never nalized; a for mal interlocal agreement was never signed, and the deed to the land never was trans ferred from the city to the county. That lack of resolution is a sore that has festered over time. The old police station site on Ringling Boulevard sits empty. The future of that former SPD headquarters property is slated for discussion at the Jan. 14 County Commission meeting. City commissioners do not appear willing to give up the parcel. At their Jan. 6 regular meeting, they made it clear they do not think of the MOU as a binding contract. We had no legal obligation to [do] any of it, Mayor Shannon Snyder said. Yet, county commissioners say the city is not following through on its share of the accord struck 11 years ago. In an email he wrote after the City Commission discussion, County Commissioner Joe Barbetta said he wanted to talk about the issue at the Jan. 14 County Commission meeting. This matter has been pending for far too long and should have been resolved quite some time ago, Barbetta wrote to his fellow board members and county administrative staff. The old Sarasota Police Department building was torn down in May 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 10


In an ear lier email, dated Dec. 30, Barbetta made it clear what action he expects: We should have had this Deed from the City quite some time ago, so hopefully the City will com ply quickly. Commissioner Nora Patterson told The Sarasota News Leader she did not agree with the manner in which the county leveled the ultimatum at the city leading up to the 2003 agreement. Patterson said her belief is that the county seat should remain downtown with or without concessions from the city. I didnt think the county should [have been] having that conversation in the first place because the downtown of Sarasota is of great value to everyone, Patterson pointed out. Moving commission meeting and planning staff and administration would have been a huge blow to downtown Sarasota, so I was very focused on making it stay downtown, with an agreement or without an agreement, Patterson said. Yet, terms were reached, Patterson noted, adding, [The city] should keep to that agree ment. The MOU operates like a contract. The Silvertooth Judicial Center is just west of the parcel where the city police headquarters once stood. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 11


TUG OF WAR? The whole thing is clear as mud, Patterson said about the question of how to handle the ownership of the old police department site. But one thing is clear: The two sides do not see eye-to-eye on the issue. At the Jan. 6 meeting, the City Commission, by consensus, agreed with City Attorney Bob Fournier. My advice, to put it in a nutshell, Fournier said, was that the City Commission is under no legal obligation to convey that site based upon that MOU. Mayor Shannon Snyder asked his colleagues, Does anybody want to sign off on that prop erty? Raise your hand. The only response was laughter. Meanwhile, county commissioners and county staff say they want the land so they can begin planning for expanded judicial and law enforcement facilities on Ringling Boulevard. In the short term, the property could be used for county parking for the current jail and judicial tower. In the future, it could be the site of a new parking deck, Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer told the News Leader County Commissioner Christine Robinson has suggested the parcel might be used for an expansion of the Silvertooth Judicial Center just west of it. County ofcials believe the property is an important piece of the puzzle as conceptual planning for the entire Ringling Boulevard judicial and law enforcement area begins. The ofces of the Sarasota County Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections will also be involved in the master planning for the area, Harmer noted. Its planning for the future, Harmer said. MORE ON THE ACCORD Only 11 years have elapsed since then Mayor Lou Ann Palmer reluctantly signed the MOU. But most of the major players are gone from the stage. It resurfaced in March 2013, prompt ing City Manager Tom Barwin and former County Administrator Randall Reid to take a stroll through downtown together, looking at ways to heal an old wound. The MOU also assigned air rights to the city until 2018 for a parcel at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Main Street. Additionally, it put the city on the hook for $4 million to participate in nancing shared parking to support the expanded court facili ties, the Citys Payne Park and vicinity needs, providing up to 300 additional spaces but not to exceed $4,000,000. On Oct. 29, when the MOU came up again during a County Commission meeting, Barbetta said of the old SPD site, Part of the deal was that we took that in trade, so techni cally, thats our parcel of land. County At torney Stephen DeMarsh replied, It should be conveyed under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, in my opin ion. Im not sure the city shares that view. As is clear from the Jan. 6 discussion, the City Commission does not; the next move lies with the County C o mmission % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 12


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The Uni versity of Miami (UM) has offered to donate Little Salt Spring a site where artifacts dating back about 12,500 years have been found to Sarasota County. The announcement came in the new year as a bright surprise to supporters who have been hoping the county would take ownership of the 112-acre site. I didnt really anticipate UM saying, We will donate it, said Lawry Reid, president of the Friends of Little Salt Spring. But in a letter forwarded to the county com missioners thi s week, UM General Counsel Maria G ralia conveyed exactly that mes sage: I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami has approved the donation of the property known as Little Salt Spring located in the City of North Port, Sarasota County, Florida to Sarasota County for inclusion in the Environmentally Sensitive Land Acquisition Programs. The Dec. 20 letter was marked as received by county ofcials on Dec. 30. The Friends of Little Salt Springs president learned the news on Jan. 6 when Commissioner Christine Robinson e mailed him a copy of the letter. Artifacts more than 12,000 years old have been located in Little Salt Spring. Contributed photo by Curt Bowen THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HAS SAID IT WILL DONATE LITTLE SALT SPRING TO SARASOTA COUNTY, BUT ONE COMMISSIONER SAYS THE OFFER IS THE FIRST STEP IN A LONGER PROCESS A SURPRISE OFFER By Roger Drouin County Editor Its great news. Christine Robinson Commissioner Sarasota County


I was thrilled, said Reid. Other spring supporters, such as North Port resident Jill Luke, voiced their excitement as well. This year is starting out phenomenal!! Luke wrote in an email response. But the deal remains far from ofcial. Reid put it this way: Weve had a good blast off, but we havent gotten to the moon yet. County staff and university ofcials are nego tiating a nal agreement, which must be voted on by the County Commission, said Sarasota County spokesman Curt Preisser. In addi tion to drawing up a contract agreeable to both p arties, they would have to arrange for the property to be transferred to the county through a state agency, such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The transfer has to be handled that way because of a 1982 requirement stipulating that the property can only be turned over to a state agency, with the premise that the spring would be preserved for educational and research purposes only. The County Commission voted on Oct. 23 to operate the spring as an environ mental and educational preserve if the county were to take over ownership. Little Salt Spring encompasses 112 acres. Contributed photo by Steve Koski, University of Miami I didnt really anticipate UM saying, We will donate it. Lawry Reid President Friends of Little Salt Spring Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 15


A Dec. 20 letter from the general counsel for the University of Miami tenders the offer to Sarasota County. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 16


If both sides reach a greement, the spring property would be added to the countys Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program holdings. ONE STEP IN A LONGER PROCESS Sarasota County is much closer to becoming the new owner of the spring than circum stances indicated a few months ago. The University of Miami has owned the land since 1982, thanks to a donation. However, because of cuts in fund ing to the universitys Rosenstiel Schools Division of Marine Affairs Program which managed research at the spring the university began looking to sell the property. Before the county received the universitys offer of the donation, Reid and other members of the Friends of Little Salt Spring advocated for the county to purchase the undisturbed site, using funds from the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program. But at the end of October, the university and the county seemed far apart on terms. The An aerial map shows the location of Little Salt Spring near North Port. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 17


university had paid for an appraisal that had estimated the value of the land at $2.11 mil lion. During the Oct. 23 County Commission meeting, three commissioners said they would accept the spring only if it were donated to the county. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who has voiced concern about taking on the annual maintenance and security costs for the spring, told The Sarasota News Leader this week that it would have been a deal killer if university ofcials had sought a purchase price from the county. I would not have supporting paying for it, Patterson said. That would have been a dead deal. Patterson added that even as a donation, the spring brings a new nancial burden to the county, as she had noted at the October meet ing. Previously, the University of Miami had a full-time salaried research associate who lived on the property and watched over it. At the October meeting, Vice Chairman Charles Hines and Robinson also said they would not support paying for the site. Robinson, who had publicly called on the university to donate the land to the county, is encouraged by the universitys offer. Thi s is a big hurdle, Robinson told the News Leader on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Its one step in a longer process. Robinson learned about the offer from the university on Jan. 6, when Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer showed her a copy of the letter. Its great news, said Robinson, who, in turn, sent a copy of the correspon dence to the Friends of Little Salt Spring. If the county takes over the spring, The Florida Aquarium would be an ideal partner to help the county oversee research activ ities at the spring, Reid indicated. Although Sarasota County does not have the expertise or means to implement an underwater arche ological program, the Tampa aquarium does, Reid pointed out. Patterson also mentioned Mote Marine Laboratory as a potential partner to help man age the spring. We will have to see, Patterson said about the Sarasota-based nonprot that has seven centers for marine research. They are such a responsible organization, that would be a positive partnership. % 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 January 10, 2014 Page 18


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


On April 2 8, 2011, during a County Commission workshop, Sheriff Tom Knight told the board members, Before the calls start, we want to make sure were all on the same playing eld. Were worried about if theyre going to have evening entertainment out there. He was speaking of plans to reopen Bobs Boathouse at 5515 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Maj. Kevin Kenney, head of the Law Enforcement Division in the Sheriffs Ofce, added, This is merely a heads up for a poten tial problem that w e see if the same type of esta blishment with the same type of business plan goes in at this location. When the original restaurant and entertain ment venue was open on Siesta Key, Kenney continued, We endured some 1,800 distur bance calls in those four years. That problem didnt go away until the establishment went away. A PowerPoint presentation prepared for that discussion says, The Sheriffs Ofce spent an inordinate amount of time mitigating distur bance and quality of life issues generated by the establishment and its proximity to resi dential areas. An aerial photo provided by Sheriffs Ofce executive staff to the County Commission in April 2011 shows the proximity of the new Bobs Boathouse location to residential areas. Image courtesy Sheriffs Ofce CLOSE TO THREE YEARS AFTER THE SHERIFFS OFFICE WARNED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF BOBS BOATHOUSE REOPENED, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE MIRED IN COMPLAINTS PREDICTIONS COME TRUE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Before the calls start, we want to make sure were all on the same playing eld. Were worried about if theyre going to have evening entertainment out there. Sheriff Tom Knight April 28, 2011


Kenney told the b oard, Unless there are some changes to the way they are going to do business and were not even saying its the same ownership; we havent determined that yet its just a Hey, this may be coming down the road. Flash forward to the present, and Knights and Kenneys statements have proven prescient: The commissioners once again are facing a barrage of complaints about Bobs Boathouse. Between April 2011 and November 2013 when new complaints began rolling in after the business reopened on Nov. 3 at its new location the county has seen not only changes on the commission but in the county administrators ofce. The commissioners themselves would have had no say in whether Bobs Boathouse could reopen its doors, county spokesman Curt Preis ser explained to The Sarasota News Leader this week. Unless a petition is led for a zoning change or a special excep tion, for example, all applications for new businesses are handled by staff. Further he pointed out, Its that ne line that we always need to remember. The staff works for the administrator, not the commissioners. Only the administrator and the county attor ney work for the County Commission. The board just provides direction for operations, Preisser noted. Therefore, it would be up to a county Building Department ofcial to issue a Temporary Certicate of Occupancy (TCO) or Certicate of Occupancy (CO) to a business. Almost exactly a month after the 2011 work shop, Administrator Jim Ley was gone a victim of a Procurement Department scan dal. He was f ollowed in the position by Terry An April 2011 aerial photo shows the site of the new Bobs Boathouse on property previously occupied by a car dealership. Image courtesy Sheriffs Ofce Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 21


Lewis on an in terim basis. Then Randall Reid came to work in late January 2012. Now, after Reids ring last fall, Tom Harmer is the interim county administrator. Maj. Kevin Kenneys April 2011 comment about ownership regarding the new Bobs Boathouse also seems prophetic in the light of recent occurrences. An excerpt from a Sarasota County Code Enforcement log provides details about inspections at Bobs Boathouse. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 22


Because of the ling of applications under dif ferent names for the new business, Tom Polk, director of the Planning and Development Services Department, told the commission ers in early December that a county employee had mistakenly issued a TCO to the business before the owners paid the county the $77,063.44 they owed in water and sewer capacity fees. The action sparked ire from commissioners during that Dec. 10 meeting. As a result of the non-payment of fees, Polk pointed out, staff sent letters that week to two entities involved with the business to notify them the fees must be paid by Dec. 30 or the water and sewer service to the restau rant would be terminated. However, on Dec. 27, an attorney for the business led suit against the county in 12th Judicial Circuit Court, contending the County Commission had no right to insist the owners pay the capacity fees by Dec. 30. POINT, COUNTERPOINT The lawsuit contends that the operations man ager for Sarasota County Utilities, Tony Gipe, told the owners of Bobs Boathouse on Oct. 23 that the water and sewer capacity fees would be deferred until after the establishment was awarded its Certicate of Occupancy (CO). The complaint says that on Oct. 10, The Best Restaurant on 41 LLC, the developer, entered into a Standard Utility Agreement with Defendant, Sarasota County, regarding water and sewe r utilities for the three (3) phases of the property It adds, The Agreement did not clearly state when water and sewer capacity fees would be due and that The County never requested that water and sewer capacity fees be paid at the time permits were issued i n 2010 for the constructio n of Bobs Boathouse and its utility system. A n ew utility agreement was reached on Oct. 16 to specify that The Best Restaurant on 41 is the long-term tenant of the property, with an option to purchase the site, and is enti tled under the terms of the lease to use the property for a restaurant, hotel and related purposes, the suit continues, adding that agreement and the original one are basically the same. The lawsuit identies Skipper Bobs LLC as the entity which operates the restaurant as Bobs Boathouse. The complaint seeks damages in excess of $15,000. Late in the afternoon of Dec. 30, Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham sent an email to the County Commission with the following update: There are a number of very unhappy emails and I have been getting them for a couple of weeks. Hopefully you are able to inject some belief for the neighbors, as well as the commission that they turn to, that the county will be able to be helpful regarding the noise level or that the owner operator would like to help and be a good neighbor. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County Dec. 31, 2013 Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 23


On Thur sday, December 26, 2013, staff from County Administration and the County Attorneys Ofce met with legal counsel rep resenting Bobs Boathouse restaurant to discuss the state of the restaurants Temporary Certicate of Occupancy (TCO). During the discussions, I indicated that no additional extension to the current TCO would be con sidered or issued until the outstanding utility capacity fees owed to the County are paid in full. During said meeting, I also communi cated that in accordance with recent written correspondences sent to the proprietors ger mane to the matter, water utility services to the restaurant would be disconnected on or about 5:00 p.m. on 12/31/2013 if the aforemen tioned utility capacity fees were not paid in full. Subsequent to the 12/26/13 meeting, and as you are aware, a complaint was led in the Circuit Court of Sarasota against the County [on Dec. 27]. Cunningham continued, During follow-up discussions with legal counsel represent ing Bobs Boathouse restaurant it was indicated that the full amount of the utility capacity fees will be paid to the County on 12/31/13 via a Cashiers Check contingent upon a 60-day extension of the TCO. Staff has agreed to a 30-day extension, with the possi bility of an additional 30-day extension prior to expiration, contingent upon receiving the full payment of the utility capacity fees before 4:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. If the fees are not received, water utility services ... will be disconnected. The fees were paid as Bobs Boathouses coun sel had indicated, but Commissioners Nora Patterson and Joe Barbetta were not happy. In an email sent at 7:17 p.m. on Dec. 30, Barbetta wrote Cunningham, Please know that I do NOT agree with this. I thought the Residents on Montclair Drive, across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse, have been the most frequent source of complaints about noise emanating from the restaurant. File photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 24


Boa rd, at our last meeting, determined that ALL outstanding matters needed to be cleared up by December 30th (today) prior to any fur ther extensions. This is not acceptable to me. Just after 11 a.m. on Dec. 31, Patterson responded to Cunningham: There are a number of very unhappy emails and I have been getting them for a couple of weeks. Hopefully you are able to inject some belief for the neighbors, as well as the com mission that they turn to, that the county will be able to be helpful regarding the noise level or that the owner operator would like to help and be a good neighbor [her emphasis]. I do not get from staff that we are devoting the effort needed to see what the noise level is late at night when it is most disturbing and also the continued effort the commission has asked for that would catch noise levels that are loud but discontinuous say very loud at 1 AM but not so much at 10 PM. THE NOISE COMPLAINTS According to a partial list provided to the News Leader by the Sheriffs Ofce, the com plaints about the new Bobs Boathouse began as soon as it opened. The rst one, identied as a Disturbance/Nuisance/Noise call, was logged just before 5 p.m. on Nov. 3. Ten more came in through Nov. 17, with times ranging from 3:22 p.m. on a Sunday to 2:25 a.m. on a Sunday. In the rst complaint, the responding of cer wrote that a warning was issued to the manager on duty because a live band was exceeding the allowable decibel level at that time. However, just three days later, a deputy responding to another complaint wrote, [T] he music was soft No noise violation. On Nov. 17, after checking on yet another complaint, a deputy reported, Music cant be heard from street but there is a creek between establishment and residential neighborhood so noise may carry to residents. Bobs Boathouse employees told that deputy they would have the band turn it down a bit, the report added. Preisser, the county spokesman, told the News Leader last week that no citations had been issued for noise by the Sheriffs Ofce or county Code Enforcement staff. On the other hand, a resident across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse, Michele Chapman, emailed the county commissioners at 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 6 to complain that not only The Bobs Boathouse sign on South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota advertised music in early December. File photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 25


had she had an other sleepless night because of the music from the restaurant BLASTING directly into our homes hour after hour after hour after hour after hour! but also that the Sheriffs Ofce had cited her for a noise vio lation the previous day. Chapman wrote that she and several of her neighbors were using megaphones to com municate with each other over the LOUD music when deputies showed up. She added, [T]o our dismay, we found out that as private citizens, WE are not allowed to object to this assault at the same decibel levels that Bobs Boathouse is using. Apparently, it is against a very strict code for any individual to use amplied sound equipment and I was given a warning by the Sheriffs Ofce to stop mak ing myself heard by the offending business [Chapmans emphasis]. The incident report from the Sheriffs Ofce says Chapman was cited for Disturbance/ Nuisance/Noise for an incident called in at 4:27 p.m. on Jan. 5. It adds that deputies responded to the site of Bobs Boathouse in response to a complaint about live music being too loud. While there, deputies observed a person yelling through an amplified megaphone. Then a call came in from the dis patcher saying someone had complained on Montclair Drive that her neighbor across the street was outside with a bull horn yelling, We hate the music; turn it down, repeatedly and then got out a ute and began to play it. When three dep uties and a sergeant spoke with Chapman and a neighbor at Chapmans house, the report says, Chapman and the neighbor became extr emely belligerent and stated that we needed to take the measure ment from the middle of the waterway. The deputies responded that they would not be able to do that. They also advised Chapman that Bobs Boathouse was not in violation of the noise ordinance. When Chapman and her neighbor continued to insist on a reading from the waterway, the deputy added in the report that he and his fellow ofcers tried to explain that was an unreasonable request and further tried to explain that if the reading wasnt over the limit at approximately 200 feet from the band [at Bobs] it was not going to be over the limit in the middle of the waterway as that is a greater distance from the band, but none of the subjects were satised. NEXT STEPS? Preisser, the county spokesman, told the News Leader that Interim County Administrator Harmer plans to initiate another discussion of Bobs Boathouse during his regular report at a County Commission meeting next week. Additionally, Commissioner Patterson has listed an item regarding the countys noise ordinance under her part of the commission ers reports. In the meantime, Wendy Rose, the commu nity affairs manager for the Sheriffs Ofce, told the News Leader on Jan. 9, Our cur rent position is we would encourage Bobs Boathouse management to follow the lead of other establishments that were in similar situations to reach out to affected residents and start conversations seeking to become a better neighbor. % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 26


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If the Sarasota County School District were to lose the approximately $42 million a special 1 mil tax would add to the budget for the 2014-15 school year, the system would have to reduce salaries, cut its guidance counselor ratio and curtail the offering of small classes such as those for some Advanced Placement (AP) courses, Superintendent Lori White tol d approxi mately 200 people at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club meeting on Jan. 8. The quality of the teacher is the single most import ant factor affectin g student achievement, White pointed out. Because of the referendum funds, the Sarasota district is able to attract the best [teachers], she added. In a program focusing on the districts fourth referendum on the tax scheduled for March 25 White and Dan DeLeo, an attorney with Shumaker Loop & Kendrick who is chairman of Sarasota Citizens for Better Schools defended the initia tive to seek (From left) Former County Commissioner Jon Thaxton moderates a panel discussion among Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White; Don DeLeo, chairman of Sarasota Citizens for Better Schools; and Rod Thomson, president of The Thomson Group. Photo by Rachel Hackney A TIGER BAY CLUB PANEL DEBATES THE MERITS OF THE SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARDS LATEST REFERENDUM ON A SPECIAL 1 MIL TAX MAKING OPPOSING CASES The quality of the teacher is the single most important factor affecting student achievement. Lori White Superintendent Sarasota County Schools


continuation of the special funding. Rod Thomson, the former executive editor of the Gulf Coast Business Review who heads up his own public relations rm, took the opposing view during the 90-minute discussion. Thomson maintained that no correlation can be found between student achievement and the additional funding made possible by the referendum dollars when demographics are taken into consideration. We were a Top Three district before the tax, he pointed out. We are a Top Three district after the tax, according to research by the Tampa Bay Times, he continued. When children grow up in a strong family, with two parents at home, they excel, he added, and you cannot get away from that fact in any of the data. Certainly, we know poverty does impact per formance, White said. However, she pointed out that wh ile the perception is that Sarasota is an afuent community, over 50 percent of the students in the school system are receiv ing free or reduced-price lunches. Moreover, White added, the Sarasota district ranks above other Florida districts with lower per centages of people in poverty. She further countered Thomsons argument by noting that when people take into con sideration the young people who are able to nd paths out of poverty as they grow up, the primary reason for their success has been education. Its the hook that suddenly allows those students to go beyond [a lower-income standard of living]. I will tell you that the arts education is hooking a ton of kids that dont have the advantages that your kids have, she told the audience members. Arts educa tional offerings are among the extras in the district the referendum funds support, she pointed out. The School Board meets last October with Deputy Chief Financial Ofcer Al Weidner (far left) and Scott Lempe (to Weidners right), the districts chief operating ofcer. File photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 29


I will tell you education can make a differ ence, White added, and its doing it every day. Among other aspects of the public educa tional system the extra funds make possible, White said, are the additional 30 minutes of instructi on in each school day, which equals 14 more days a year. Theres a huge amount of research [showing] that instruc tional time used well does produce better results, she noted. The tax m o ney also pays for a technical sup port person at every school to assist teachers when problems arise with digital textbooks and the white boards used to display infor mation, inc lud ing material on websites. In the districts Title I schools that do not qual ify for federal funds for assistant principals, the referendum dollars make it possible for the district to pay for those extra positions, she continued. In response to a question from an audi ence member, DeLeo explained that the owner of a house val ued at $300,000 pays a bill of $300 per year because of passage of the special tax. When moderator Jon Thaxton, director of community invest ment f or the Gulf Coast Com munity Foundation and a former county commissioner, asked Thomson what he would cut in the districts budget if the March referendum failed, Thomson replied, Oh, heavens, I cant [gure o ut] a school bud get. The School Board meets at the districts ofces at The Landings in Sarasota. File photo We were a Top Three district before the tax. We are a Top Three district after the tax. Rod Thomson President The Thomson Group Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 30


Having covered education for three years at the Florida Legislature, Thomson contin ued, I can assure you the [Sarasota County] School Board doesnt really have a clue how to, either. You have to rely on Lori and her staff to gure it out Thomson insisted that if the referendum does not win approval for the fourth time on March 25, the district would not lose its high ranking in the state. A WELL-RUN DISTRICT DeLeo explained to the audience that when MGT America Inc., an independent consult ing rm, reviewed district programs a couple of years ago its team said the Sarasota dis trict was one of the best-run it had studied in the United States. He pointed out that local foundations and very generous benefactors paid for the undertaking. The rm handles such reviews in a very rigorous way, he added. In its findings, DeLeo continued, MGT Americas team said the Sarasota systems morale and performance are unusually high, including innovative practices Typically, the report noted, a school district of the same size would earn 50 commenda tions during an MGT review. Sarasota won 73, DeLeo told the audience. The fact that voters have supported the spe cial tax in referenda held every four years since 2002 reects their partnership with the district in pursuit of excellence, White added. This referendum is a way of adding value to the school district Since the Great Recession began in 2007, she pointed out, the district has reduced its budget by 30 percent about $124 million and cut more than 600 positions. But we are one of those districts that have been able to sustain programs because of referendum dollars. When Thaxton asked DeLeo about the makeup of the district Financial Advisory Committee charged with scal oversight, DeLeo explained that the members are community business leaders, professional people and represen tatives of arts groups. Among them is Eric Robinson, a CPA who is the former chairman of the Sarasota County Republican Party, and Beverly Girard, director of food and nutrition services for the Sarasota County Schools, says she has seen higher and higher percentages of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals since the recession hit. Photo by Scott Proftt Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 31


John Cr aner, former chairman of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. DeLeo pointed out that the members are not shrinking violets and that they challenge the School Board and district staff on spending matters. For example, he said, the committee led an initiative to reduce the school systems healthcare costs. DeLeo also praised the districts chief operat ing ofcer, Scott Lempe, who is a retired Air Force ofcer. This guy is a phenomenal man ager who runs the district like a business, DeLeo said. I think the district is probably pretty well run for a school district, Thomson told the audi ence, adding that no government organization is known for being run well. While he said he did not believe Sarasota dis trict ofcials were involved in any nancial shenanigans, he maintained that the data he had found through research showed you do not see an impact on educational achieve ment from educational spending. THE MORAL FACTOR Thomson also explained to the audience his view that the increasing number of sin gle mothers; the rise in the divorce rate; the uptick in the number of single-mother fami lies with multiple children of different fathers, none of whom are in the picture; and chil dren living in higher-crime and drug-ridden neighborhoods have a much more negative impact on student performance than a lack of funding. If people really want to improve student achievement, he said, That is what has to be attacked. The culture has to be changed, he added, with an emphasis put on a more moral foundation where we have commitments between men and women in marriage. He told the audience, If we dont want to do that, then I think were just being lazy about voting for a tax increase. THE DATES Thaxton reminded the audience that absen tee ballots will go in the mail on Feb. 18 in advance of the March 25 referendum, and early voting will be offered from March 10 to March 22. When Thaxton asked for an explanation about the School Boards decision to continue hold ing the referendum in March on the same day as the Town of Longboat Key election for its commissioners White said the School Board in 2002 chose the March time frame for its second attempt to gain the extra tax. (A summer referendum in 2000 failed.) To have changed the timing for this year, she added, would have meant the loss to the district of the $42 million in referendum money. The dis trict budget has to be ready by June 30, she pointed out, according to state law. Moreover, White pointed out, There are actu ally more citizens here in March [eligible to go to the polls]. They dont all choose to vote. It was March on purpose, Thomson said of that 2002 School Board decision, noting that fewer people vote in March elections than in November elections. (Sarasota County Supervisor of Election Ofce records have conrmed that, The Sarasota News Leader has reported in the past.) % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 32


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When construction begins on the western end of Siesta Public Beach Park in January 2015, that part of the countys prime tourist attrac tion is not going to be as accommodating a setting for weddings as it is now, Sarasota Countys Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Brown told The Sarasota News Leader this week. However, contrary to a miscommunica tion from Parks and Recreation staff to the Siesta Key Chamber of Comme rce, the county is not going to deny permits to people interested in saying their vows in that area while improvements are under way, Carolyn Brown said in an inter view on Jan. 7. It s certainly not impossible, Brown said of holding wed dings during 2015 on the segment of beach, which faces north. We are always going to be responsive to the communitys ne ed s. Contrary to word spreading on Siesta Key, county staff has not banned weddings at the public beach in 2015 because of planned construction. Image by Beercha via Wikimedia Commons THE GENERAL LOCATION FOR VOWS ON SIESTA PUBLIC BEACH MAY BE TEMPORARILY INCONVENIENT AS OF JANUARY 2015, BUT COUNTY STAFF WILL ALLOW CEREMONIES IF COUPLES DESIRE THEM NO BAN ON BEACH WEDDINGS We would be happy to rent it but getting to it is going to be very tricky. Carolyn Brown Director Parks and Recreation Department Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


During t he earl y morn i ng Jan. 7 monthly meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA), Russell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck and the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar and the immediate past SKVA president said he was concerne d after hearing that Parks and Recreation staff had begun telling people the county would issue no permits for weddings on Siesta Public Beach during 2015 because of the phased park improvements. The work at the beach is just getting started on the eastern end, Brown told the News Leader Phase III of the planned improvements at Siesta Public Beach shows initial impacts on the western end of the property. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 35


All the impr ovements are scheduled to be completed in four phases over two years. If they are turning people away that quickly without an alternative, Matthes pointed out of Parks and Recreation Department employ ees, that really impacts the accommodations, the restaurants and all the retailers on the key. Chastanna Neiman, events and ofce manager for the Siesta Chamber, told the approxi mately 20 SKVA members present that she had le arned Parks and Recreation staff had begun telling area wedding planners to make it clear to prospective brides that Siesta Public Beach will be off limits for all of 2015. She was trying to learn the exact details about the countys plans, Neiman added, because the Chambers goal was to encourage people to follow proper procedures in planning wed dings or other events on the island. Matthes suggested SKVA board members follow up with county staff to get a bet ter understanding of the situation, so the During Phase IV of the beach park work, the last section of the existing parking area will be renovated. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 36


appropriate information can be conveyed to the public. Otherwise, he said, people will look to venues other than Siesta Key for beach weddings in 2015. Neiman pointed out that she already had directed Chamber volunteers to begin call ing all the accommodations that are members of the Siesta Key Chamber in an effort to compile a list of private residences or other locations on the island where weddings could be held. Brown explained to the News Leader that with the western end of the park seeing con struction start in early 2015, people would have to walk a much longer distance to reach the area of beach where weddings normally are held. They also would be faced with heavy equipment near the site, she added. Moreover, Theres going to be mud. Theres going to be dirt. She added, We would be happy to rent it but getting to it is going to be very tricky. Additionally, Brown said, We would hate to have someone disappointed with their surroundings. She noted that the north end of the beach, where vows typically are said, is more secluded, more subdued. But with the con struction, she cautioned, It may not be quite as quiet as one would hope or anticipate a wedding to be. One of the things about weddings is that people want to know that their special day is going to be really, really special. Brown al so pointed out that that area of Siestas famous sand is not the only one avail able to the public for weddings. The beach is huge, she said a comment SKVA Vice President Kay Kouvatsos also mentioned during the meeting. While the ea stern end of the park is typically more active in nature and louder in nature, Brown noted, weddings could take place in that area. She added that a new public con cession probably would be open or nearly ready to open by January 2015, and volley ball tournaments are common on that end of the park. However, Brown said, county staff would be happy to work with wedding plan ners for events there. During the SKVA meeting, members also men tioned the fact that weddings take place at some of the beach accesses, especially closer to Siesta Village. However, Brown explained, We have not done special event permits for the beach access points. One reason, she continued, is that the paths generally are narrow. If wedding party members took up most of a path, she said, beach-goers would have to maneuver around them, leading to the possibility that people would walk on private property or environ mentally sensitive areas of the beach. Additionally, Brown noted, the access points tend to have limited parking. If the county were to provide permits for weddings at beaches, those events could make it impossi ble for other members of the public to use the accesses at the same time. At the conclusion of the SKVA discussion, Matthes and board member Mark Smith of Smith Architects both indicated they planned to contact Brown, so they could assist the Chamber staff with obtaining the most accu rate information. A search is still under way for a new executive director of the Chamber, with Kevin Cooper, the most recent person to hold that job, having taken a new posi tion with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce in earl y December. % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 37


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Two old adages will collide Friday afternoon, Jan. 10, at the meeting of the Independent Police Advisory Panel in Sarasota City Hall. One is Advisory boards only advise; the second is Power is the ability to influence events. Three y ears ago, the panel was established by ordinance. Now its members want to amend the law to broaden the boards scope of duties. Weve come to the point we need to expand the ordinance or give more leeway to the board, Chairman Elmer Berkel told the City Commission last month. On a 3-2 vote (with Mayor Shannon Snyder and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo in the min ority), the commis sion agreed to allow the advisory board to suggest amendments to the ordinance. On Friday, the board will get down to the details of the specic langua ge needed to The City Commission sits in session on Jan. 6. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE SARASOTA INDEPENDENT POLICE ADVISORY PANEL WANTS MORE SAY OVER POLICE DEPARTMENT MATTERS SEEKING AN EXPANSION OF POWER Early on, I had some issues with this panel. We have a new [Police Department] administration, and this has morphed into something pretty good. Suzanne Atwell Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


change each of the three duties outlined in the original law. The first change simply clarifies the ver biage, substituting referred for brought to describe how issues are put before the panel. It also adds the City Commission as a refer ring agency, to join the chief of police and city manager. The second change reects the sex of the cur rent police chief, adding or her in addition to his in describing the person in the posi tion, as the current police chief is female. The real and sweeping changes are contained in the third section, which contains topics the group is forbidden to examine. Those taboos now include the Police Departments operat ing budget, personnel issues (including hiring and ring), discipline, resource allocation and other day-to-day operations, as the pro posed change puts it. The latter amendment that will be under con sideration Friday strikes out two words and adds two. For clarity, the proposed changes are capitalized. The current language says, The panel shall NOT advise OR make recom mendations to the city commission regarding matters that are not related to policy making but are more administrative in nature which would be the responsibility of the chief of police or city manager The proposed language under review by the group reads, The panel shall FURTHER advise AND make recommendations The taboo topics in the original ordinance would become part of the panels regular agenda. The proposed amendment adds one more topic: administrati ve issues referred to Peter J. Abbott was police chief prior to the establishment of the Independent Police Advisory Panel. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota The Sarasota Police Department headquarters is on Adams Lane in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 40


the panel by the chief of police, city manager or the city commission. The revision also would allow the panel to pursue its own initiatives. It says, The recom mendations authorized by this section include unsolicited recommendations that originate from the panel upon discussion after place ment on a published agenda. The group meets quarterly. Its subcommittees can meet more frequently. The police chief is an ex ofcio member of the committee and therefore can participate fully in discussions but cannot vote. One change to police procedures the panel previously recommended concerned domes tic violence. After a 2012 report from the panel, the Sarasota Police Departments gen eral orders were amended by then Chief Mikel Holloway to reect that. Chairman Berkel said of the proposed changes in December, Weve come to ask [the City Commission] to open [the ordinance] up, so we can make recommendations to the chief and city manager about police operations. These are just recommendations. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw replied, I found this panel useful to restoring trust in our community. But Caragiulo was less enthusiastic. If you have faith in your police administration, if the chief is doing [his/her] job, I dont think we need this kind of panel. I wont support this motion, either, said Snyder. If the administration was on the ball, this is stuff that should have been addressed several years ago. As usual, the swing vote was Commissioner Suzanne Atwell. Early on, I had some issues with this panel. We have a new [Police Department] administration, and this has morphed into something pretty good, she said. With the resulting motion authorizing a rewrite of the enabling ordinance, the Independent Police Advisory Panel can approve the amend ments Friday. The board will come back to the City Commission for a public hearing on the changes and a nal vote later this year. Police Chief Bernadette DiPino began working in the city a little more than a year ago. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 41


OTHE R T OPICS The panel grew out of a scandal during which a Sarasota Police Department (SPD) ofcer was caught on tape kicking a handcuffed pris oner in the jail sally port. The prisoner was later offered cash by representatives of the department in return for signing a waiver absolving the city of any liability. The incident eventually resulted in the dis missal of the police chief and the creation of a fact-nding committee. That group recom mended the establishment of the Independent Police Advisory Panel (which now meets quarterly on policy issues) and the Police Complaint Committee (which meets monthly to review disciplinary cases). Several new projects will also come under discussi on Friday. One is an SPD discipline matrix to be introduced by Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. Recruitment and testing of entrants to the SPD is also on the agenda. Production of an overview of the work of, and report on progress by, the Sarasota City Police Advisory Groups is on the agenda as well. This may be tied to the item after it, which concerns membership on the advisory panel and the complaint committee. Another item regards the appointment of a chair protem for the April meeting. That might be an early indication that Berkel will be stepping down. Berkel was a two-term city commissioner who remains very active in city and county affairs, especially the criminal justice system. He is a retired Sarasota County Schools psy chologi st. % 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 January 10, 2014 Page 42


The premie r Sunshine watchdog publication in Florida incorrectly is reporting that the Sarasota City Commission and Commissioner Suzanne Atwell violated the states Open Meetings Law. The Brechner Report by the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida carries a Page 1 headline in its January issue: Sarasota, commissioner admit to Sunshine Law violation The story is drawn from the reporting of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune Ironically, the dean of the journalism department is Diane McFarlin, the former publisher of the newspap er. The publication is the joint effort of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, and the Joseph L. Brechner Endowment, it notes. Unfortunately, the headline and the story are wrong. Neither Atwell nor the City Commission admitted any guilt in their set tlement of a suit led last fall by Citizens for Sunshine, a Sarasota organization. The fact has been reiterated several times by City Attorney Bob Fournier an d Atwell. The City Commission listens to a constituents remarks in June 2013. Photo by Norman Schimmel A UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA JOURNALISM SCHOOL PUBLICATION MISREPORTS ACTION IN THE LATEST CITY OF SARASOTA SUNSHINE LAWSUIT ATWELL MALIGNED By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Commissioner Susa n Chapman was also named as a defendant in the suit. She has not settled, maintains her innocence and is pre paring for depositions later this month in the case. Citizens for Sunshine led suit in mid-Octo ber, charging that Atwell and Chapman met without public notice with a group of down town merchants concerned about vagrancy and homelessness. In another story this one on Page 4, head lined Sarasota faced four suits in 2013 the Brechner Report repeated the error. The city and one of the commissioners admitted vio lating the Sunshine Law and settled, it said. The Brechner Report did not respond by dead line this week to The Sarasota News Leader s request for the reason for its errors. % Commissioner Suzanne Atwell previously was mayor of Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel 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 January 10, 2014 Page 44


The circums tances seemed eerily familiar. A developer comes to town, buys a hunk of acreage near downtown and asks for a com prehensive plan change to make his plan economically feasible. The last time it hap pened, the proposed site was along School Avenue across the street from an undevel oped Payne Park. Old-timers recall well what a battle royale that became. This time it is 6.2 acres in the Rosemary District, with Cocoanut and 10th Stree t as the northwest corner. Property owner Bruce Weiner wants to build 450 mar ket-rate apartments on the site, but he needs to triple the current 25-units-per-acre zoning density to make it economically viable. The idea to double or triple the density in the area, using an overl ay district, was pro posed to the City Commission last year. The overlay district is a planning tool used in Laurel Park and along the Nor th Tamiami It was standing-room-only in City Hall as residents and property owners listened to a proposal calling for tripled density in part of the Rosemary District. Photo by Stan Zimmerman A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING THIS WEEK MARKS THE FIRST STEP ON THE ROAD TO GAINING CITY APPROVAL FOR INCREASED DENSITY IN PART OF THE ROSEMARY DISTRICT THE WORK BEGINS Were doing what the market needs. Bruce Weiner Property Owner Rosemary District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Trail to alter existing zoning rules in a dened area. On Tuesday, Jan. 7, a required neighborhood meeting was held in Sarasota City Hall to begin the process to change the citys Future Land Use Map and Comprehensive Plan for the Rosemary District. It was a standingroom-only crowd in the meeting room. The event was conducted by Weiners law yer, Bill Merrill, and planning consultant Joel Freedman. The area they propose for the Rosemary Residential Overlay District inevitable acronym, ARE-rod would be bounded on the north by 10th Street, on the west by Cocoanut Avenue, on the south by Fruitville Road and on the east by Orange Avenue. The area of the R-ROD would be much larger than Weiners property alone. The scheme would work in a similar fash ion to that of the now defunct DROD or Downtown Residential Overlay District, which offered quadruple density to develop ers in a dened area of downtown. It bumped the density to 200 units per acre from the 50 allowed under the Downtown Core zoning designation, but by the time the DROD was on the books, the economic bloom had faded and there were no takers. In both cases, the overall number of units in the overlay district remains constant. The roughly 70 acres in the Rosemary area would allow approximately 1,700 units, and that The area proposed for the 3X density bonus (highlighted above in yellow) is bound by 10th Street on the North, Cocoanut Avenue on the west, Fruitville Road on the south and Orange Avenue on the east. Bruce Weiner is requesting the density change to build a 450-unit, market-rate apartment complex. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 46


would not change regardless of the density allowed in any single section. A developer availing himself of the triple-density bonus would subtract his numbers from the total. In Weiners case again, the numbers are approximate his 6.2 acres would normally allow 155 units. But with tripled density, he would get an additional 200 units. Those 355 would be subtracted from the 1,700 total, leaving 1,345 for future development. There are already homes and other development in the overlay district; they would be subtracted as well from the allowable total. In effect, the extra density is available on a rst-come, rstserved basis. PUBLIC WEIGHS IN The 90-minute meeting this week kept its standing-room-only crowd to the end. Freedman lled in the basics. Two identical buildings would be constructed on either side of May Lane. They would be four sto ries tall with an integrated parking garage in each structure, creating a rough total of 600 spaces. Access to parking would be off Florida Avenu e. Joel Freedman (in the blue shirt) and Bill Merrill (standing in the center) were the developers representatives at the neighborhood meeting required at the start of the initiative to change the citys comprehensive plan. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 47


The uni ts would be market-rate, said Freedman, costing about $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit. The project would include two-bedroom and a few three-bed room units. The average size of the units will be about 900 square feet, he said. Each building would have a pool and other upscale amenities. The face of the devel opment would be along Cocoanut and Boulevard of the Arts (Sixth Street). A question was raised about traffic gener ated by approximately 450 new units. Merrill said a trafc study might be required, but he reminded the audience the area is already zoned for 1,700 new units. The number of trips generated will be the same, he pointed out. Questions also were raised about the drop-off and pick-up areas for students at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences along Florida Avenue. Freedman said he was aware of such issues (he has a child at Bay Haven School for Basics Plus in Sarasota), and he would work with the school and developer to ease any problems. Further questions were brought up about noise and light pollution. One neighbor asked where the heating and air conditioning units would be located. If theyre on the roof, Im going to hear them, the neighbor said. Another pointed out, Five hundred units and 1.5 cars per unit is not going to contribute to the area. Noting the meeting was held on the coldest night of the year, one person said, This is a great turnout, so you can see there is a lot of passion around this issue. In a brief interview after the meeting, Weiner said he closed on the property about nine months ago, and he plans to retain ownership after the building is nished. I hope my chil dren will continue to receive income from it, he added. He and his wife have been visiting and living in Sarasota for the past 25 years, starting with trips to see his parents. He said any number of studies show downtown urban environments are increasingly attractive across a wide range of demographics, and that demand for down town residences will only increase. Were doing what the market needs, he added. The next step for the project is a formal appli cation to change the comprehensive plan, followed by a public hearing before the city Planning Board in April. That would be fol lowed by a second public hearing, before the City Commission in May. The package then would go to state government ofces in Tallahassee for review, returning for addi tional public hearings in Sarasota in August or September. In the meantime, the architect will need to develop both site plans and building plans. Once permits were received, construction would take 14 to 16 months, a contractor estimated. One resident of the Renaissance high-rise condominium between U.S. 41 and Cocoanut Avenue said, Id rather look at this than whats there now. % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 48


Wha t do you do when the money runs out? It is a question facing a lot of American fam ilies today, and it is one facing the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District (DID). In a nutshell, the DID has shot its wad. What are we going to do for the next 14 years? asked Chairman Ernie Ritz. He was reactin g to the news that the district has only $58,000 to spend each of those years. After paying down the principal and interest that pr oduced a $1.1 million facelift downtown, covering ongoing maintenance and funding its part-time staffer, the DID has about $82,000 per year available. Subtract 20 percent for reserves and contin gencies, and there is $58,000 left. At its Jan. 7 meeting, the ve-member gov erning board of downtown commercial property owners pon dere d an expansion of the geography the DID represents in the search for more cash. DID Operations Manager Joh n An aerial view shows the boundaries of the Downtown Improvement District. Image courtesy City of Sarasota ANALYSIS: DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PONDERS EXPANSION TO FILL ITS COFFERS SO MANY IDEAS; SO LITTLE MONEY What are we going to do for the next 14 years? Ernie Ritz Chairman Downtown Improvement District By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


The DID paid for a major facelift on Main Street during the summer. Photo by Norman Schimmel Moran suggested the district could be expanded to encompass the same area as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The DID tax at a full 2 mils would raise $1.3 million. Thats enough to take on some game-changing projects like a down town circulator, which could be a bridge to a permanent circulator, he said, refer ring to a past proposal for a type of trolley system. RUN IT UP A FLAGPOLE In some respects, the DID and the down town CRA serve the same purpose but approach it from different viewpoints. The DID is of-by-and-for downtown mer chants to improve the shopping and dining experiences they offer. Cleaner and wider Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 50


sidewalks, better lighting, improved land scaping, paver crosswalks and other general improvements have been the DIDs focus. The CRA is ostensibly about encouraging public-private partnerships to spur more development and redevelopment. Whole Foods and the new Sarasota Herald-Tribune building are two examples of successful CRA enticement initiatives. However, ostensibly means about half the CRA income now goes to pay for operational expenses that otherwise would come from the regular city budget. The future of the CRA is in limbo, and it is set to expire in 2016. Its $7 million annual budget would be reabsorbed by the city and county if the CRA expires. The DID board is not interested in taking over the CRAs role as public-private partnership incubator, in part because it has no public money to o ffer enticements. Using one cur rent example, the entire $58,000 DID budget available for new uses would not even cover putting new lights in Five Points Park. If we dont expand and grow, then what we have is $58,000 per year to spend, said Ritz. It doesnt even meet our contingency require ments. Theres no reason for this board to meet, except on auto pilot. Were talking about expansion. Now were talking about six times what our present [area] is, said member Dr. Mark Kauffman. If you add [the] Rosemary [District] and other areas, the DID is not a city. Let the city raise taxes and do it. The idea of expanding to the CRA district is overwhelming to me. Members Ron Soto and Eileen Hampshire seemed t o agr ee. Moran was quick to defuse Members of the Downtown Improvement District board and area residents gathered for a December demonstration of a proposed new lighting system for Five Points Park. File photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 51


the growing co nsensus. This is not some thing we have to decide today. If there is no buy-in, we wont do it, he said. Then Mr. Downtown rose to speak. Paul Thorpe has served on every downtown orga nization, often as its leader, for three decades. Every parade and festival during that period has his ngerprints on it. I agree the DID should expand into the central downtown, he said, from School [Avenue to the east] and the bayfront. Continue your work on Main Street. Its a real Main Street, not a fake like the one at Lakewood Ranch. Thorpe than proposed the DID return to its roots with a community-wide meeting to look to the future. We should discuss this with a group of people, like a SEMCON Lets nd out from the public what they want, and what we can do, he added. We could have a workshop or a SEMCON, said Ritz. A downtown circulator, Fruitville Road [designs], expansion of the DID lets do that. I agree wi th Ernie [about having] a SEMCON. Otherwise, this is just a scheme to raise money, noted Hampshire. Its not about getting money, said Moran. Its about identifying projects and then decid ing how to get the money to achieve them. Moran added that he would bring the board a list of names for creation of a steering commit tee to begin the lengthy process of organizing another SEMCON. The one in 2008 led to the creation of the DID to satisfy a number of unmet needs d owntown. PE SKY FIVE POINTS LIGHTS You would think there was a Native American burial ground under Five Points Park. Nothing there ever seems to go right. It is the citys only park without benches because vagrants used them. City commissioners ordered them removed (the benches, that is; the vagrants remained), so there is no way to linger in the citys downtown park. Now plans to install lights in the trees are falling apart. The old system proved a cata strophic failure, leaving a gurative bad taste in the mouths of representatives of organiza tions and a foundation that initially helped pay for their installation. At Tuesdays DID meeting, the conversation turned from who will be installing new lights to who will be removing the old ones. Im not going to spend our reserves on this, said Ritz. You guys are asking for the money and we dont have it. % Ernie Ritz is chairman of the Downtown Improvement District. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 52


While constr uction is under way on a new com bined re station/Sarasota County Sheriffs Office facility near University Parkway, county fire officials are prepared to move more units to the area if necessary to handle an increased work load whe n the Mall at University Town Center is completed, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hoag has told the County Co m mission. With the mall set to open Oct. 16 and numer ous rowing events planned at Benderson Park, Hoag said on Dec. 10, We will be uid in determ ining how best to address calls in that ar ea. Furt her, Hoag said Sheriffs Ofce staff is working on ways to create some tempo rary space in that area to address its A map shows the proposed location of Fire Station No. 17 on Desoto Road near University Parkway. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE SARASOTA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT AND SHERIFFS OFFICE ARE COLLABORATING ON A NEW PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY NEAR UNIVERSITY PARKWAY, WITH INTERIM PLANS IN THE WORKS FOR INCREASED ACTIVITY IN THAT AREA MORE FIREFIGHTING POWER We feel very fortunate that we are in a good situation. Bill Hoag Assistant Fire Chief Sarasota County By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


service lev el in conjunction with the malls debut. A Dec. 10 memo to the County Commission says the station is expected to be completed about eight months after the opening of the mall. The re facility will include 2,000 square feet of spac e for administrative ofces and storage area for the Sheriffs Ofce includ ing room for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Hoag added. Staff is working with Benderson Development Co. on a land swap to allow for the construction of a facility for the Sheriffs Ofce Mounted Patrol to keep horses there as well, Hoag said. The proposed site of the structure is the north side of Desoto Road, just east of Honore Avenue, on property the cou nty owns. In an interview with The Sarasota News Leader last year, Sheriff Tom Knight discussed simi larities between stafng near Benderson Park and his use of personnel on Siesta Key. Were going to need a special group of deputies up there, he told the News Leader especially given the number of international as well as out-of-state and Florida visitors who will be coming to the venue for competitions. The ofce utilizes both ATVs and Mounted Patrol ofcers on a regular basis during sea son and special events on Siesta Key. The commissioners voted unanimously during their regular meeting on Dec. 10 to move forward with design and permitting for four new re stations, with a construction contract expected to come before the board in early spring for the rst one. Taking into A map shows the location of Fire Station No. 16 on Hummingbird Lane near Clark Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 54


conside ration permitting requirements and design work, the order of construction for the stations puts the University Parkway proj ect second in line, according to the Dec. 10 memo. In response to a question from Commissioner Nora Patterson, Hoag pointed out that while initial cost estimates indicated the county would need to borrow about $8 million to cover the total cost of the projects, the amount would be closer to $5 million. We feel very fortunate that we are in a good situation, he added. Some of that reduction in expense is related to the use of re and emergency services impact fees for Fire Station No. 17, Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer explained. Part of the agenda item the board approved included a budget amendment to transfer $731,161 in Sheriffs Ofce impact fees to the project. THE NAME AND OTHER DETAILS When Commissioner Joe Barbetta suggested a shorter name might be found for the new University Parkway station, Hoag replied, I The design of Fire Station No. 12 on Bee Ridge Road could be similar to that of Fire Station No. 3 on St. Armands Circle. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 55


came up wi th that name; maybe I was being a little technical. The boards agenda material referenced the facility as Fire Station No. 17 and Sheriff Administrative Facility University Parkway Area. Its really a public safety center, Barbetta pointed out. Along with the lower anticipated expense, another facet of the four projects that drew commissioners praise was the work of the staff to enable them to give concurrent approval to the hiring of both the construction manager and the architect. Harmer called that aspect of the work really important, adding that the contractor will be at the table right upfront with the design. We havent done that in the past. I think its great, Barbetta said. Sweet Sparkman Architects of Sarasota is the design rm for the re stations, while Willis A. Smith Construction Inc. of Sarasota will be the construction manager. The rst of the four new stations, No. 16, will be constructed at 5875 Hummingbird Lane, in the Twin Lakes area of Sarasota, Hoag pointed out. It will utilize the same oor plan as Fire Station 10 at Fruitville and Vic Edwards roads, he added. The design originally created for that project was placed on hold in 2010 as a result of bud get constraints related to the Great Recession, the Dec. 10 memo indicated. That design will be modified to ensure the structure com plies with current Florida Building Code and county standards, the memo pointed out. Following No. 17 at University Parkway, Fire Station No. 14 will be built on one of two sites under consideration on South Tamiami Trail in Osprey, according to the Dec. 10 memo. Design work is still under way on that proj ect, Hoag pointed out, with the award of the construction bid expected in the fall. A rendering shows an alternate design for Fire Station No. 12 on Bee Ridge Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 56


Lastly, a ne w Fire Station No. 12 will be con structed at 3110 Bee Ridge Road. The memo said the Fire Department anticipates a formal award of that bid late this year. Wh en then Commission Vice Chairman Charles Hines asked why the proposed design for the new Bee Ridge facility was so different from the others Hoag had shown the board, Hoag explained that the site has a very small footprint The plan is to put the crew quarters on the second oor, he added. The design also will need to t in with the community, he noted a goal for each of the four projects with neighborhood meetings planned for that purpose. % This rendering shows the possible design for Fire Station No. 14 in the Osprey area. Image courtesy Sarasota County Work continued in mid-November on the Mall at University Town Center off University Parkway. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 57


The Sixth Annual Sarasota Jewish Food Festival at Temple Sinai will be held on Sunday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the organizers have announced. Guests are welcome to start with bagels and a schmear and then savor all the traditional comfort foods such as brisket, corned beef and cabbage rolls, a news release says. Or maybe blintzes, knishes or matzoh ball soup would entice you? the release adds. Come and experience a blast from your past or some new taste treats. Additionally, the release notes, A large selection of delectable baked goods will be available. Admission is free. The event takes place rain or shine, and attendees may eat in or ask for takeaway, the release says. New this year is a partnership with All Faiths Food Bank, the release continues. Guests are encouraged to bring canned goods or non-perishable donations for the food bank. The need is great in this community, and All Faiths staff members work tirelessly to help meet it, the release points out. Temple Sinai also will be donating a portion of the days proceeds to the food bank. Further, Be the Match the bone marrow reg istry organization, will have a booth at the festival, seeking individuals who are willing to Diane Silverstein and Shirley Rose are making hundreds of cabbage rolls for the Sarasota Jewish Food Festival on Sunday, Jan. 12, at Temple Sinai. Contributed photo SIXTH ANNUAL SARASOTA JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL TO BE HELD JAN. 12 NEWS BRIEFS


have thei r cheeks swabbed. This was inspired by members who have a 14-year-old relative with Acute Childhood Leukemia, the release explains. Ninety-ve percent of the children diagnosed with this disease respond to che motherapy, but these members relative is not one of them, the release points out. It is crit ical that a match be found [for him] and he has not matched any of the 10 million people already in the r egistry, the release says. The event also will feature a Health Fair with displays presented by numerous companies, as well as a used book sale and many crafts and arts vendors. Temple Sinai is located at 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota. Guests may enter the site from Proctor Road between Swift and Beneva roads. For more information, call 924-1802 or visit On Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at Sarasota Garden Club, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will present a program titled, Big Pass: To dredge, or not to dredge? Local environmentalist Jono Miller will address Lido Beach renourishment options, particularly whether it makes sense to dredge Big Pass to renourish Lido Key, and potential dredging impact on Siesta Key, a news release say s. CONA TO HOLD DISCUSSION ABOUT LIDO RENOURISHMENT PROJECT The Sarasota Garden Club is located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts off U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota. The public is welcome to join this commu nity discussion to consider alternatives that will serve both local beaches, the release adds. For more information, visit In spite of whitecaps in the Gulf of Mexico on Jan. 7, Big Pass appeared calm. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 59


The 16th Annual Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival will feature a Born To Be Wild Kickoff Party on Friday, Jan. 10, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota and at events on Main Street in Sarasota Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11 and 12, with plenty of live music, orga nizers have announced. On Jan. 11, nationally known recording artists Foghat will perform, while the Outlaws band will take the stage on Jan. 12, a news release says. Along with the music, more than 80 ven dors will offer a variety of specialty items, the release adds. Light Up The Night LED bike shows have been scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday on South Palm Avenue. Additionally, on Jan. 12, a Legacy of Valor ride for motorcycles will offer riders $4,000 in cas h prizes, the release notes. Registration will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at OLearys Tiki Bar & Grill in Bayfront Park off U.S. 41 in down town Sarasota. The 2013 festival drew an estimated crowd of 90,000, the release points out, generating an economic impact of $6.8 million in the community. For festival details and more information about Suncoast Charities for Children for which the event is a fundraiser visit Thunder by the Bay is partnering this year with Legacy of Valor, a campaign honoring veter ans and their families throughout Southwest Florida. For more information about that ini tiative, visit THUNDER BY THE BAY ROARING INTO TOWN THIS WEEK A multitude of vendors will be offering a variety of wares during Thunder by the Bay this weekend. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 60


On Jan. 11 at 10 a .m., the Womens Interfaith Network (WIN) of Sarasota-Bradenton will present a program on the Friendship Force. The event will be held at the North Sarasota Library, located at 2801 Newtown Blvd. in Sarasota. Friendship Force (FF) International is a non prot cultural exchange organization with more than 360 local clubs in 57 countries, a news release notes. Members are people of all ages who want to better understand other cultures and develop friendships around the world, the release explains. The Sarasota club has more than 100 members. During an exc hange, visiting club members stay in the homes of local FF hosts. The host club organizes v arious lar ge group activities, includin g welcome and farewell dinners and visits to various venues, the release adds. Individual local FF members serve as day hosts for individuals or small groups, or they hold small dinner gatherings for visitors and the FF members hosting guests in their homes. The presentation to WIN, by Peggy Hayden, will summarize a number of inbound and out bound exchange visits over the years, with a special focus on the Sarasota clubs September 2012 week-long exchange in Albania, a coun try that prides itself on religious tolerance and is home to Muslims, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and other groups that live in harmony, the release continues. For more information on the Friendship Force, go to www.womensinterfaithnetwork. org and click on WIN. FRIENDSHIP FORCE TO BE FOCUS OF JAN. 11 PROGRAM Sarasotas Friendship Force shows off the Mote Marine Aquarium to visiting Peruvians. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 61


Sarasot a ofcially became a real estate desti nation in 1885 when 60 people from Scotland, who had purchased land in this area from the Edinburgh-based Florida Mortgage and Investment Co., arrived on an uncharacter istically chilly December day at what is now lower Main Street, excited to establish neigh borhoods and a town, a Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC) news release says. They were soon disappointed with the mud road and wood huts they saw. Then it snowed, the release adds. Want to know what happened next? That will be the topic of the next Conversations at The Crocker program on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Crocker Memorial Church (1260 12th St. in Sarasota), when a small group of gabby researchers talk to one another and to you about the development of signicant neigh borhoods in Sarasota, the release explains. The event is free to Historical Society mem bers and $10 for the general public. The program starts at 7 p.m. The leader of this Conversation will be Bob Plunket, who has been writing about Sarasotas people and places for more than 30 years, the release points out. His articles appear regularly in Sarasota Magazine as well as national publications such as Barrons. After owning eight different houses in Sarasota over the years, he says in the release, Im obsessed about all the amazing neighbor hoods in Sarasota where you can own, rent and be foreclosed in. And the history of all of these neighborho ods is entirely fascinating, from the street names to the famous people who lived in them. For instance, do you know why theres an Ocean Boulevard on Siesta Key when the city isnt near any ocean? Turns out the street was named after Capt. Louis Roberts wife, whose given name was Ocean Hansen. Plunket continues in the release, Roberts was an early developer of Siesta Key and had a hotel on the island that he expanded from his house. Joining Bob Plunket will be Clifford Smith, senior planner in historic preservation with the City of Sarasota; and Margi Baskerwille Nanny, who, with her former husband, Jerry King, developed Centergate. King was one of Sarasotas top real estate developers of the HISTORY OF SIGNIFICANT SARASOTA NEIGHBORHOODS TO BE DISCUSSED ON JAN. 14 Bob Plunket/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 62


1960s to 1980s, the release notes. With his family, he developed Southgate and several other neighborhoods that will be discussed, the release says. On The Street Where You Live is the offi cial title of this fourth event of the 2013-14 Conversations at The Crocker season, now in its second year. Proceeds from the panel discussions help to maintain the Historical Societys two heritage properties at Pioneer Park the BidwellWood House (1882, Sarasotas oldest private residence) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901). Docent-led tours of both buildings are available an hour before each of the Conversations at The Crocker events, the release adds. The Florida Depa rtment of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) is urging pregnant women to receive the u vaccination because of the increased impact that inuenza infec tions are having on pregnant women and their babies in Florida this year, the department has announced. The u vaccine is the single best way to pre vent u, says DOH-Sarasota Medical Director Dr. William Heymann in a news release. We want to make sure people understand how important it is for pregnant women to receive the inuenza vaccination to protect them selves and their babies. DOH-Sarasota recommends that all individu als six months of age and older receive the u vaccination each year, the release notes. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the u while pregnant, the release adds. The u vaccination is safe and will protect moth ers and their unborn children, and it will also help protect infants during the rst months after birth, the rele ase points out. Add itional f lu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneez ing and coughing, the release continues. Symptoms of the u include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment, the release says. For more information on pregnant women and inuenza, visit vaccine/pregnant.htm Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies and health centers, as well as by many employ ers and schools, the release points out. Check with your physician or the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County or visit www. ness/u-prevention/locate-a-u-shot.html to search for a location to receive u vaccine. For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, visit www.saras o or call 861-2900. PREGNANT WOMEN URGED TO RECEIVE FLU VACCINATION Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 63


Adam P utnam, Floridas commissioner of agriculture, will be the keynote speaker at the Sarasota Republican Clubs dinner meeting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Marina Jack, the club has announced. Marina Jack is located at 2 Marina Plaza off U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota. Reservations are required at www.sarasotare ; by sending $30 per member and $35 per guest to Sarasota Republican Club, PO Box 51953, Sarasota, FL 34232; or by calling 888-325-3212. PUTNAM TO BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT REPUBLICAN CLUB MEETING Adam Putnam is the Florida commissioner of agriculture. Image courtesy www. Bird Key Park is a popular spot for tourists and county residents. Photo by Norman Schimmel Work on upgr ades to the drivable grass park ing areas in Bird Key Park began this week, the City of Sarasota announced. Because of the volume of parking and exces sive wear, the drivable grass parking areas will be replaced with sustainable pavers, which are expected to be more durable, a news release says. Bird Key Park will be open to the public during the constr uction period, with access allowed to parking areas that are not the focus of the work, the release points out. The replacement process started on the west side of the park, the release continues; work on the east side will begin in approximately two weeks. The project is expected to be nished within one month at a cost of $75,467, the release adds. BIRD KEY PARK GETTING PARKING UPGRADES Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 64


On Thursday Jan. 16, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) will present Ringling College of Art and Design profes sor Christopher Wilson in a lecture titled A School in the Sun: The Contribution of the Florida Climate to the Sarasota School of Architecture The program will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune building, located at 1741 Main St. in Sarasota, the foundation has announced. The Sarasota School of Architecture (SSoA) was southwest Floridas unique and innova tive interpretation of Modern architecture that evolved and thrived in the 1950s and 1960s, a news release says. Designed before air conditioning was considered standard equipment for homes and businesses, SSoA structures sought to make the best practical use of Sarasotas sunny, mild and breezy con ditions, the release adds. Fifty years before the term sustainability became fashionable, the SSoA was designing hom es, schools and commer cial buil dings that incorporated such eco-minded features as the breezeway, inter nal courtyard, overhead shading, walls of jalousie windows and overhanging roof struc tures, the release points out. Wilson will document the pioneering design strategies that were most effective in Sarasotas subtropical coastal location and contemplate their relevance to todays environment-friendly designs, the release continues. Among the subjects in his pre sentation will be architect Paul Rudolphs Umbrella House, Harkavy House and Walker Guest House (aka the Cannonball House). Admission is $10 for SAF members, $15 for the public and $5 for students. Click on the following for advance registration and to pay online For those paying at the door, cash, checks or credit cards will be accepted, the release says. For more information, email or call 487-8728. SAF PROGRAM TO PUT THE FOCUS ON A SCHOOL IN THE SUN The Walker Guest House was designed by architect Paul Rudolph. Contributed illustration by John Pirman Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 65


Gov. Rick Sc ott announced on Dec. 23 that Alta Vista Elementary School Principal Barbara Shirley is one of three nalists for the Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership. One statewide Principal of the Year and one Assistant Principal of the Year will be announced in February at the annual Commissioners Summit for Principals, a Sarasota County Schools news release notes. According to a news release from governors office, the awards recognize outstanding leaders who have increased student perfor mance, promoted safe learning environments and established successful partnerships with parents and community members. It is an incredible honor to receive this rec ognition when you realize the quality of our principal leadership throughout the state, Shirley said in the Sarasota district news release. This news is particularly rewarding because it reects the achievement of our entire Alta Vista team, our districts collabora tive educational efforts and the strong citizen support for public education in Sarasota County. Shirley has been principal of Alta Vista Elementary since July 2007. She has worked for the Sarasota County School District since 1993, serving first at Pine View School as a teacher of gifted students in grades two and four, Exceptional Student Education liaison and admissions coordinator, the release points out. She was assistant princi pal at Gocio Elementary from 2001-05 and assistant principal at Sarasota High School from 2005-07. Alta Vista Elementary has maintained an A over the time Shirley has been principal, the release continues. It is designated as a Five-Star School in a statewide program that recognizes schools with high levels of fam ily and community involvement. In 2013, Alta Vista also was designated a Positive Behavior Support Model School; it received two awards from the University of South Florida, the release adds. In 2012, in partnersh ip with a private donor and with subsequent funding from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County along with the cooperation of several local organizations and individuals Shirley started the Eagle Academy, a summer program for entering kindergartners and rst-graders. The sev en-week summer academic and enrichment program promot es school readiness and SARASOTAN ONE OF THREE FINALISTS FOR PRINCIPAL LEADERSHIP AWARD Barbara Shirley/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 66


p repares st udents for a successful academic career, the release explains. In 2013, Parent University was added to the program, with sessions centering on parenting and work place skills. The Eagle Academy program has been recognized by the Aspen Institute, a national think tank based in Washington, D.C., for its two-generational approach to solving the problem of poverty by address ing its effect on student achievement, the release says. Additionally at Alta Vista, Shirley has emphasized the importance of the arts in a well-rounded education, the release contin ues. She enhanced existing ne arts classes and integrated arts strategies to improve stu dent learning in each classroom. Shirley also expanded the volunteer pro gram at Alta Vista working with school and district s taff, as well as community residents, to create the Eagles Nest, a welcoming yet structured environment for volunteers, the release notes. This program has served as a district elementary model for other Sarasota County Schools. Further, in October, Alta Vista was recognized by the East Coast Technical Assistance Center, a network of 36 school districts across Florida, for showing great progress with improving student achievement in a Title I school, the release adds. Title I schools have a high per centage of students living in poverty; over 90 percent of Alta Vista students receive free or reduced-cost meals. The school was cited for exceeding expectations on academic indi cators when compared to other schools with similar characteristic and populations, the release points out. On Friday, J an. 17, at 3 p.m., the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) School of Dental Medicine located at 4800 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Bradenton will host a Health Professions Career Awareness Program. This event is designed to help answer high school students questions regarding medi cal, dental, pharmacy and veterinary medical schools, as well as other health-related pro fessional schools, LECOM has announced. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., a panel of students representing all of LECOMs schools will answer questions about what they did and wish they would have done in high school STUDENTS INVITED TO PROGRAM ON HEALTH PROFESSION CAREERS to prepare for admission to a variety of med ical schools, a news release says. Additionally, representatives from LECOMs College of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and School of Dental Medicine will offer presenta tions and answer any questions students and parents may have, the release continues. The doors will open at 3 p.m., with the program scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. To sign up for the program, visit the LECOMs Health Professions Career Awareness website Seating is limited, so those planning to attend are urged to ll out the online form. For more information, email Dr. Kersten Schroeder at Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 67


With the com pletion of a signicant land scape enhancement project to make our community even more beautiful, thousands of new shrubs and hundreds of new trees now line U.S. 301, stretching from Mound Street to Myrtle Street, the City of Sarasota has announced. A portion of Mound Street, north of the U.S. 301/U.S. 41 split, also was landscaped, a city news release points out. Sarasota is a beautiful city, says City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. Now, after this landscaping project, our gateways are even more inviting. If you havent driven along U.S. 301 lately, I encourage you to do so. The new landscaping is stunning and long overdue. Congratulations to all involved. Among the improvements were the addi tion of almost 200 new trees including 147 palms plus 16,000 shrubs, as well as ground cover, the release notes. Irrigation systems also were installed and brick pavers were placed along select medians. Click here to see a short YouTube video of the project. The contractor will provide one year of main tenance as part of the bid, the release says. Residents are encouraged to contact Keep Sarasota Beautiful to report litter issues: 861-5000. The project cost $851,700, with more than half funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, the release adds. The remain der was funded through the Local Option Sales Tax II, which was approved by voters throughout Sar asota County in 1997. U.S. 301 LANDSCAPE ENHANCEMENT PROJECT COMPLETED The facelift for U.S. 301 in Sarasota has been completed, adding signicant greenery to the landscape. Contribute photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 68


The Sarasota Bay Estuary Programs Bay Guardians will visit Arlington Park Saturday, Jan. 25, to remove air potato vines and seeds, the organization has announced. Ridding the park of the invasive plant fos ters the vitality of native vegetation, a news release points out. Prizes will be given for the biggest and smallest air potato seed collected during the morning project, the release adds. Among other upcoming volunteer outings in 2014 will be a native planting along the Braden River at Jiggs Landing on Feb. 8, a rain garden planting project at New College of Florida on March 15 and a joint planting project with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program at Perico Preserve on April 12, the release continues. All of t he projects take place in the morning, followed by a picnic lunch provided by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP). The Bay Guardians are the largest and most active volunteer program in the region focused on Sarasota Bay, the release notes. The award-winning volunteer program is managed by SBEP in partnership with Around the Bend Nature Tours. Each new volunteer receives a blue T-shirt featuring the Bay Guardians logo, the release adds. Every outing features environmental education and a picnic lunch. Join the Bay Guardians for a single project or as an ongoing commitment, the release says. Local school, scout and church groups interested in volunteering should contact Stephanie Hames at BAY GUARDIAN VOLUNTEERS TO REMOVE AIR POTATO PLANTS Air potato plants are an invasive species found in many parts of Florida. Image by MrX via Wikimedia Commons In the Dec. 27 article Upgrading a popular place dragonies were misidentied as ver tebrates. They are invertebrates. The Dec. 27 edition of Siesta Seen incorrectly identified the president of the Siesta Key Village Association. She is Cheryl Gaddie. CORRECTIONS Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 69


The Kwenski Krewe members are (from left) Kendell Kwenski, Kay Kwenski, Norma Kwenski, Brent Kwenski and Montana Kwenski. Contributed photo The famil y of Norma Kwenski, a member of the Sarasota Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC), responded to a need at the Crocker Memorial Church (built in 1901) by donating the funds to provide handrails to the porch of the de-sanctied church build ing in Sarasotas Pioneer Park, the Historical Society has announced. These new handrails, which were reviewed and approved by the City of Sarasota, pro vide additional safety for people coming to the Crocker for monthly member programs, weddings and community social and civic meetings and public events held in the facil ity year-round, a news release points out. I mentioned to my children about the need for handrails on the porch and they suggested we make a family gift of the funding in memory of my husband, Brad, who loved history and loved this community, says Norma Kwenski in the release. It gives us all such great plea sure now every time were at the Crocker and we see people using the handrails. Its made a real difference, and my husband would be thrilled to know he is being remembered for a role in historic preservation and in keeping these historic places alive and in use. MEMORIAL GIFT LAUDED FOR ITS WIDE-RANGING COMMUNITY BENEFIT


Employees of the law rm of Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg P.A. joined forces recently to raise $1,140 for the benet of All Faiths Food Bank as part of a special holiday outreach project coordinated by rm president Robert G. Lyons, the rm has announced. Staff from all three ofce locations Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Port Charlotte par ticipated in the campaign, a news release notes. Icard Merrill supports the community and local nonprots in various ways all year long, but we wanted to do something extra during the holiday season, said Lyons in the release. It is disturbing to realize just how many fam ilies in this area may not have enough to eat, ICARD MERRILL EMPLOYEES MAKE DONATION TO ALL FAITHS FOOD BANK and this small project is a way that we could have a tangible and immediate impact on their lives. Because of a matching gifts campaign in effect at All Faiths Food Bank through the month of December, the rms donation was automatically doubled to $2,280, the release points out. All Faiths Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the hub of the hunger relief sys tem in DeSoto and Sarasota counties, the release adds. Last year, the organization dis tributed nearly 6.2 million pounds of food equating to 5.2 million meals through 195 pantries, soup kitchens, churches, community centers and programs, the release notes. % For the best viewing experience on a computer click the icon in the menubar to zoom to fullscreen mode. QUICK TIP Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 71


Two officers with the Sarasota Police Department remained on administrative leave following an ofcer-involved shooting that occurred on Jan. 5, the department reported on Jan. 7. Officer Terry Crenshaw and Officer Adam Barlow have both been with the Sarasota Police Department since January 2012 and have not been involved in any other similar incidents, a news release says. The deceased suspect in the case has been identied as Deacon Clark, 30, with a last known address of 1281 N. Riverside Drive, Sarasota, the release notes. On Jan. 5, Cre nshaw and Barlow were on bicycle patrol just after 10 p.m. in the neigh borhood around North Water Tower Park in north Sarasota, the release continues. The Police Department has received complaints from residents about narcotics and prostitu tion in that area, the release adds, so ofcers have increased their presence there. While on their bicycles, Crenshaw and Barlow encountered Clark in the park, the release says. The ofcers identied themselves to Clark, the release points out. Crenshaw and Barlow said Clark had a gun in his hand and as they ordered him to drop [it], Clark pointed [it] in a threatening manner at [them], the release says. Crenshaw and Barlow fired, wounding Clark, but they continued to order him to drop the gun, the release adds. EMS workers who arrived on the scene attempted to revive Clark but were unsuc cessful, the release continues. The release notes, No other information will be released at this time, as the investigation is proceeding. North Water Tower Park is located in north Sarasota. Image from Google Maps. (Inset) Deacon Clark/ Contributed photo INVESTIGATION CONTINUING IN OFFICER-RELATED SHOOTING CRIME BLOTTER


T he Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested three Venice area residents who were in possession of property worth thou sands of dollars that allegedly was stolen in six residential burglaries over the past three months, the ofce has announced. Deputies first encountered James Moore, Tiffany Meyers and Zachary Johnson during a trafc stop in December, a news release says. At the time, Moore was arrested on drug charges, but deputies also found a number of items in the vehicle that were believed to have been stolen, the release notes. Deputies alerted detectives who were investigating south Venice burglaries on Gentian Road, South Venice Boulevard, Papaya Road, Lemon Bay Drive and Pineapple Place, in which more than $62,000 worth of property wa s reported THREE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH VENICE BURGLARIES James Moore/Contributed photo Zachary Johnson/Contributed photo Tiffany Meyers/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 73


stolen and one ho me was ransacked, the release adds. While Johnson was at the Sheriffs Ofce for an interview on Dec. 13, a detective noticed a large black suitcase in the bed of his pickup truck, according to the report. The nametag on that suitcase was discovered to be that of one of the residential burglary victims, the report continues. After Johnson gave a verbal consent to a search of the truck, detectives found the suitcase to contain dif ferent types of power tools and drill bits, the report says. Additionally, two Invicta watches were discovered behind the drivers seat; they also were identied as prop erty of one of the robbery vic tims, the report adds. Johnson denied any knowledge of the property. Three days later, on Dec. 16, detectives con firmed that Moore had made a phone call from the county jail to Meyers which was recorded instructing Meyers to get rid of the stuff he had hidden at his residence, the report continues. Detectives escorted Meyers to the dumpster behind a movie theater in Venice, where they recovered the stolen property, the report says. Then, on Dec. 20, detectives used a search war rant to enter a storage unit rented by Moore Tools and other items reported stolen in Venice area burglaries were recovered in a storage unit, Sheriff s Ofce detectives reported. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 74


at Value Self Storage at 3000 S. Tamiami Trail in Venice, the report adds. That resulted in the recovery of a large amount of stolen prop erty from multiple residential burglaries, the report notes. Among them were the bulk of the televisions, computers, jewelry, tools and household items that were reported taken in the crimes, the news release says. Moore is charged with six counts of Grand Theft. He has been in the Manatee County Jail since the traffic stop and drug arrest because he was on probation in that county for Burglary, the release points out, but he will eventually be transferred to Sarasota County to face the new charges. Meyers, who was wearing a pair of one vic tims shoes when rst contacted by detectives, is charged with two counts of Tampering with Eviden ce, two counts of Accessory After the Fact, two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property and one count of providing False Information to a Pawn Broker, the release continues. Johnson is charged with two counts each of Tampering with Evidence, Accessory after the Fact and Grand Theft. While victims have identied many of their stolen items and the property has been returned to them, detectives are still investi gating these crimes, the release points out. Anyone with information on who commit ted the actual burglaries is asked to call the Criminal Investigations division at 861-1719 or, to be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477) or Jewelry reported stolen from Venice homes also was found in a storage unit. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 75


Two men hav e been arrested in connection with an alleged sexual battery case that neces sitated a Jan. 6 deployment of the Sarasota Police Departments SWAT team to a 17th Street residence in Sarasota, the department has announced. Francisco Serrano, 28, of 2072 17th St., Sarasota, has been charged with Sexual Battery and Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, while Pastor Mendiola-Martinez, 26, of 3232 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, has been charged with Sexual Battery, a news release says. At approximately 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 6, ofcers responded to a call in reference to an armed sexual battery in the 2000 block of 17th Street, the release continues. Accordi ng to the report, the victim said she was at a restaurant with both men on Sunday night; she had gone there to ask Serrano for money to buy gas. She told ofcers that both men drank numerous beers and she had a couple of tequila shots, the report continues. However, she said the men did not appear intoxicated, the report adds. The victim told the ofcers that Serrano said she could sleep at his apartment, which was nearby, so she would not have to drive home after consum ing the alcoholic beverages, the report says. While all three of them were in the apart ment, the victim told ofcers, the two men began speaking in Spanish, which she does not understand. They started to remove their clothes and began kissing her, the victim said, according to th e report. Then they began to TWO SARASOTA MEN ARRESTED ON SEXUAL BATTERY CHARGES Pastor Mendiola-Martinez/Contributed photo Francisco Serrano/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 76


take off her c lothes. Both men raped her, she told the ofcers. After Mendiola-Martinez left, the victim tried to ee, she said, but Serrano came outside wearing no clothes on the lower half of his body. She jumped in her car and locked the doors, but he began hitting the drivers side window with a gun and pointing the gun at her, according to the report. At that point, friends she had managed to text earlier showed up, the report adds. She told offi cers that the friends also saw Serrano with a weapon, the report says. Serrano went back into his home after the other people arrived, the report continues, and the friends drove her to a convenience store, where she called the Police Department. Officers worked with SWAT members to make contact with Serrano inside his home, the news release adds. Serrano was arrested without incident, the release notes. During the subsequent investigation, weapons were located inside Serranos home, the news release says. Mendiola-Martinez was arrested at his home off Fruitville Road, the release adds. Cartwright, who has had four felony bur glary arrests since 2011, is charged with three counts of Armed Burglary, two counts of Burglary, one count of Grand Theft and one count of Resisting Arrest without Violence. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested 16-year-old Kyle Cartwright in con nection with several residential and vehicle burglaries, most of which occurred earlier this week, the ofce announced on Jan. 8. Deputies were looking for Cartwright near Locklear Park in Sarasota on the night of Jan. 7 because he was the subject of an arrest war rant for violating probation and was a suspect in a recent theft, a news release says. When they approached him Cartwright ed, jumped into a creek and took off his clothes and back pack in an attempt to get away, the release adds. Deputies took him into custody as he climbed out of the water, the release notes; they found a laptop, jewelry and several watches among his belongings. They linked the items to a crime on Hillview Street, and Cartwright admitted to a number of other burglaries and to selling stolen items, including guns, the release says. TEEN CHARGED WITH VEHICLE AND RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES Kyle Cartwright/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 77


n otes. He will be held without bond in Champaign, IL, until he can be brought to Sarasota County to face charges of Sexual Battery on a Child and Tampering with a Witness, the relea se says. The Sarasota C oun ty Sheriffs Ofce Fugitive Apprehension Unit, working in conjunction with the U. S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, has captured a man who has been on the run since September to avoid arrest for a sex offense against a child, the ofce has announced. Detectives obtained a warrant for Jose Martinez, 24, after the victim reported that Martinez forced her to perform sex acts on him when she was just 6 years old, a news release says. Her younger sister, who wit nessed this crime, also related the incident to detectives and a threat by Martinez to kill their dog if they told, the release adds. The Fugitive Apprehension Unit deputy who has been working the case for four months forwarded information to the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, the release continues. Members of the task force took Martinez into custody on Jan. 7, the release FUGITIVE SOUGHT FOR SEX OFFENSE ARRESTED IN ILLINOIS Jose Martinez/Contributed photo A 35-year-old Sarasota man was charged with second-degree murder in connection with a New Years Day homicide on Fourth Street, the Sarasota Police Department reported. Less than 48 hours after the incident was reported, ofcers arrested Jorge A. Macias of 1743 Ninth St., Apartment 2, Sarasota, and booked him into the Sarasota County Jail, a Police Department news release says. On Jan. 1, Sarasota Police Department of cers responded to 2065 Fourth St. in Sarasota in reference to a stabbing at 4:25 a.m., the release says. When they arrived on the scene, they observed the victim lying on the ground bleeding from multiple stab wounds, the ARREST MADE IN NEW YEARS DAY HOMICIDE Jorge A. Macias/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 78


release ad ds. An EMS unit responded, but paramedics were unable to revive Johnny A. Luna and pronounced him dead, the release continues. Ofcers also found at the same location a large kitchen type knife with a black handle; it appeared to have blood on it, according to the report. An investigation determined that on Dec. 31, Macias was at 1743 Ninth St. when he report edly had an argument with family members that turned into a physical altercation, the news release says. Macias ed and later contacted other family members at a party at 2020 Fifth St. to explain his actions, the release continues. While at the Fifth Street address, Macias and two of his frie nds became involved in Ofcers found a stabbing victim at 2065 Fourth St. in Sarasota just before 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. Photo from Google Maps a heated argument with several people, including Luna, the release adds. The people attending the party were laughing at Macias as his friends removed him from the party, the release says. On Jan. 2, detectives with the Sarasota Police Department executed a search warrant at the home of Macias, 1743 Ninth St., the release continues. Detectives located a set of kitchen knives in the kitchen area which matched the murder weapon found at the crime scene, it adds. Detectives also located clothing they believed Macias was wearing when the homi cide occurred, it notes. On Jan. 2, Macias was interviewed by detec tives at the Sarasota Police Department, the release says. During that interview, he con fessed to the crime, the release adds. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 79


Anyone with information about the sec ond suspect is asked to call Criminal Investigations at 861-4900, Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at www.sarasotacrimesto The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested one of two suspects who allegedly broke into a business on Lockwood Ridge Road on the night of Jan. 6 but fled with out stealing any merchandise, the ofce has reported. The owner of SRQ Fishing Oasis/Amendment II Armory called 911 just before 9:30 p.m. Jan. 6, when she reported seeing two men breaking into the store on her remote surveillance sys tem, a news release says. Deputies arrived on the scene, secured the business and reviewed the footage, which showed one of the sus pects carrying a small revolver, the release adds. A man wearing identical clothing and a black brace on his right ankle was located a short distance away, the release notes. Ryan Pete, 27, of 3209 Joe Louis Drive, Sarasota who has a history of drug and weapons charges was charged with Armed Burglary, the release adds. ONE SUSPECT CHARGED IN JAN. 6 BUSINESS BURGLARY Ryan Pete/Contributed photo Th e Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce arrested two people in connection with the theft of lawn equipment from the Sarasota County Technical Institute (SCTI) campus on Beneva Road early on the morning of Jan. 3, the ofce has reported. Just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 3, members of the Sheriffs Ofce Tactical Unit spotted a white Chevrolet Silverado that had been seen on surveillance video from a prior theft, and they attempted to conduct a trafc stop, a news release says. Unit ofc ers noted in their report that the vehicle was pulling a lawn trailer with three riding lawn mowers on it. The truck ed into Manatee County but even tually hit stop sticks and two suspects bailed out, the release adds. The driver was taken into custody, a second suspect was captured later and a warrant has been obtained for the third man involved, the release notes. The men admitted stealing two trailers and four comme rcial grade lawn mowers from TWO ARRESTED FOR LAWN EQUIPMENT THEFT AT SCTI Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 80


Sammy Balsinger/Contributed photo Travor Henson/Contributed photo The Sarasota County Technical Institute main campus is at the intersection of Beneva and Proctor roads in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools SCTI on Jan. 3; the equipment was valued at $45,000, the release says. Sammy Balsinger, 47, of 4206 78th St. West, Bradenton, was charged with Grand Theft, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Driving with a Suspended License and Aggravated Battery on an Ofcer for intentionally crashing into a deputys vehicle. The deputy was not seri ously injured, the report adds. Travor Henson, 42, of 5011 31st St. West, Bradenton, was charged with Grand Theft. The investigation is continuing, with addi tional charges pending in both Sarasota County and Manatee County, the release says. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 81


Huber was also arrested for Grand Theft in December after another client reported $30,000 worth of jewelry was taken from the clients home and detectives determined the items were pawned by Huber, the release notes. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested the operator of a Sarasota pet sitting service for allegedly selling thousands of dol lars in property that was reported stolen from a client, the ofce has announced. The victim reported that jewelry along with cash and electronic items valued at $12,300 were missing from her home, a news release says. When detectives searched pawn data bases, they found two transactions by Jill Huber, 42, of 2363 Doud St., Sarasota, the release adds, which included items matching those reported missing. The victim explained that Huber, whose busi ness is Pro Pet Services, was allowed to live at the victims home for a month last fall in exchange for dog-sitting services while the victim was out of town. Huber is charged with two counts of Providing False Ownership Information to a Pawn Broker and two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property. PET SITTER CHARGED WITH SELLING PROPERTY STOLEN FROM CLIENT Jill Huber/Contributed photo The Sarasota County Sheriffs Offices December saturation patrols resulted in 19 DUI arrests and 216 citations for other trafc offenses, the ofce has announced. In addition, the agency participated in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday cam paign from Dec. 14 to Jan. 1, a news release notes, resulting in 26 more DUI arrests, 39 seat belt citations, 70 suspended license citations, 193 citations for not having proof of insurance, 109 speeding citations, 30 citations for reck less driving and three child seatbelt citations. 19 DUI ARRESTS MADE DURING DECEMBER SATURATION PATROLS The Sherif fs Ofce conducts monthly satura tion patrols to remove dangerous, uninsured or impaired drivers from local roadways to keep motorists safe, the release points out. In January, saturation patrols were conducted on the 4th; they also are scheduled for Jan. 11, 18, 19 and 25, the release says. This initiative is conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and supported through a grant from the Florida Departme nt of Transportation. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 82


Eight local c onvenience store clerks were cited for selling alcohol to a minor during the most recent undercover operation con ducted by the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce Juvenile Alcohol Task Force (JATF) on Dec. 30 the Sheriffs Ofce has reported. Seven of the clerks were given a misdemeanor Notice to Appear (NTA), a news release says. In one case, a clerk was arrested for not hav ing legal identification and not fitting the criteria for an NTA to be issued, the release notes. The following businesses were found to be in violation of selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21: Marathon, 6212 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 7-Eleven, 3156 Clark Road, Sarasota. Mobil 3580 Clark Road, Sarasota. Palmer Market, 5300 Clark Road, Sarasota. 7-Eleven, 5420 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. BP, 3605 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. BP, 1660 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. Mobil, 2745 Beneva Road, Sarasota. Another 10 businesses were found to be in compliance, the release notes. Each was sent a letter to commend the owners and employ ees for helping reduce the sale of alcohol to minors, the release says. This was the third JATF operation con ducted last year, resulting in a combined 29 store clerks being cited for selling alcohol to minors, the release points out. CONVENIENCE STORE CLERKS CITED FOR SELLING ALCOHOL TO MINORS The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has noti ed the public that effective as of Jan. 2, its Public Safety Communications Center (PSC) will handle dispatch services for the Venice Police Department (VPD) from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., seven days a week. City of Venice residents should continue to dial 911 for all emergency situations, a news release says. Citizens should not notice a change in service, as 911 calls will be pro cessed through the PSC instead of transferred to VPD, it adds. During the month of December, Sheriffs Ofce personnel worked with Venice person nel to ensure a smooth transition of service, the release notes. For all other calls, city of Venice residents should continue to call the Venice Police Departments non-emergency number (486-2444), the release points out. However, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., calls to the non-emergency number will be redirected to the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce. There are a number of advantages to calling 911 in an emergency instead of a non-emer gency number, the release explains. The phone system automatically recognizes the call as an emergency and routes the caller to the prima ry Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the county, which prevents a delay in service, it says. In addition, 911 calls come into the PSC as a priority over non-emergency calls, and technology enables the PSC to immediately gather important data from landline and wireless phones. A complete consolidation of 24-hour dispatch service is expected by the middle of this year, the release adds. SHERIFFS OFFICE ASSUMES PARTIAL DISPATCH SERVICE FOR VENICE Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 83


A 23-year-old Osprey man arrested in con nection with an aggravated battery incident on Dec. 22 in Siesta Key Village remains in Sarasota County Jail under $500,000 bond, according to the Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce website Hunter Elliott Johnston of 141 Bayview Lane, Osprey, was charged with one count of Aggravated Battery Serious Bodily Injury after deputies saw him punch the victim in the face at the Beach Club just before 2 a.m. on Dec. 22, according to the incident report. The victim, Tyler R. Blandford, 25, of Owensboro, KY, sustained minor bleeding in the brain, the report says. He was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton in criti cal but stable condition, the report continues. A deputy on routine patrol in Siesta Village already had been advised by another deputy to be on the lookout for Johnston because of a prior altercation at the Beach Club, the report says. A short time later, the dep uty heard noise near the establishment and turned in time to see Johnston and Blandford in the alley between the Beach Club and The Lobster Pot, the report notes. Then the dep uty saw Johnston use his right st to punch Blandford, the report says. Blandford fell back and hit his head on the pavement, result ing in bleeding from his ears, the report adds. Bystanders performed CPR on Blandford while awaiting an EMS unit, the report notes. Blandford eventually was transported to the Bradenton trauma facility by the Bay Flight medical helicopter service, according to a news release issued later that day. Johnston is scheduled to be arraigned in 12th Judicial Circuit Court on Jan. 17, according to the Sheriffs Ofce. A search of court records shows Johnson has been charged in the past with several trafc infractions and a trespassing incident the latter dating back to 2009. % BEACH CLUB ASSAILANT REMAINS IN SARASOTA COUNTY JAIL Hunter E. Johnston/Contributed photo Simply put, Crime Stoppers relies upon the cooperation between the police the media and the community to provide a ow of information about crime and criminals. All submitted tips are secure and anonymous. (941) 366-TIPS (8477) Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 84


EDITORIAL OPINION EDITORIAL With another season in the sun beginning in southwest Florida, a chronic problem is brought to the fore: The dangerous interac tion between increased motor vehicle trafc and pedestrians and bicyclists. A disproportionate number of seasonal driv ers, while knowing where they want to be, are less certain of where they are or how to get to their destinations. Their uncertainty is demonstrated by often erratic driving behavior, a practice that reaches epidemic proportions in February and March. Of course, common sense dictates that pedes trians and bicyclists, because they invariably lose in conicts with automobiles and trucks, have the greater burden of being much more careful in trafc. And most are. Unfortunately there also are bicyclists who seem to be reincarnated kamikaze pilots, as they drive at full speed on sidewalks, going against the traffic, crossing intersections without even slowing down. Almost as bad are those who prefer to stay on the white line that denes the leftmost boundary of the bike lanes, as if this demonstrates a greater degree of biking skill. Since motorists are required by law to give bicyclists a 3-foot berth, this forces trafc to cross the centerline of the roadway to avoid the bicyclist, creating an even greater hazard in heavy trafc. At the same time, pedestrians would fare bet ter if they would stroll the extra few feet to a signaled crosswalk, rather than jaywalking wherever they intersected with a street. This is especially true on the many wide thorough fares in the county. A SLOW TRAFFIC PROBLEM GROWS


It is frightening to see someone saunter across seven lanes of trafc on Bee Ridge Road, for example (although, in fairness, this reckless ness is engaged in most often by individuals carrying a six-pack of beer or similar libation, apparently not their rst of the day). But another problem is growing that impacts seasonal trafc on the Suncoast, and that is the use of golf carts and similar low-speed vehicles on public streets. There are three con ditions that must be met before a lowspeed vehicle, dened by statute as those that travel between 20 and 25 mph, may operate legally on pub lic streets: The posted speed limit must be 35 mph or less; the local government must spe cically designate that roadway as eligible for use by low-speed vehicles; and the vehi cles must be registered like any other motor vehicle and have a rearview mirror, effective brakes, windshield, headlights and taillights that conform to state standards. Most golf carts, which are designed for use only on golf courses, are unable to meet the standards for on-street use. Nonetheless, there has been an alarming increase in the number of residents using golf carts and other low-speed vehicles on county roadways, despite the practice being illegal. Although examples can be found almost everywhere in the county, Ground Zero for the practice appears to be the Amish and Mennonite community of Pinecraft along Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota and its environs. While the Amish and, to a lesser degree, the Mennonites are known for eschewing the trappings of modern society, there have been notable exceptions enjoyed by local members of these communities. Cell phones, for exam ple, are ubiquitous, as ar e electric-powered bicycles. Apparently, it was a matter of inevitability that golf carts would be adopted next as a simple mode of transportation. In the Pinecr aft community and surrounding area, golf carts have been observed on many public streets, as well on sidewalks and mak ing use of pedestrian crosswalks. When we asked some Amish golf cart drivers if they were aware the practice was illegal, they voiced essentially the same response: I dont care. But they should. A nonconforming low-speed vehicle is a greater hazard to trafc safety than errant bicyclists and pedestrians. Perhaps it is for that reason that the County Commission has never designated any roadway in the county for the legal use of low-speed vehicles. There simply are too many motor vehicles on the thoroughfares now, many traveling at speeds much higher than those that could be attained by low-spee d vehicles. Combine the slow speeds of golf carts, the minimal visibility, the lack of caution exhibited by the operators and the interaction with heavy trafc traveling at much higher speeds, and one has a perfect recipe for disaster. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 86


Combine the slow speeds of golf carts, the minimal visibility, the lack of caution exhib ited by the operators and the interaction with heavy trafc traveling at much higher speeds, and one has a perfect recipe for disaster. That no one has been seriously injured or killed in a collision between a golf cart and an automobile is almost miraculous. And if nothing is done to stem the growth of these illegal vehicles oper ating on county roads, only a true miracle will avoid the carnage that surely will ensue. Given the illegality of golf cart use, it becomes a conundrum for the Sheriffs Ofce when some of those users have an utter disregard for obeying the law. Beginning a crackdown on violations with the issuance of warning citations might be hel pful, but at some point persiste nt violators must face the conse quences of their unlawful acts. Given the decades of deferential treatment of Pinecraft residents by the county, any increased enforcement of existing laws is likely to foment anger and feelings of persecution. However, the stakes are simply too high for the county and law enforcement to ignore this problem. The Pinecraft community is traversed by Beneva Road and Bahia Vista Street, two of the most heavily traveled thor oughfares in the area. The presence of even a few golf carts constitutes a serious hazard, and the practice must be stamped out, for the safety and welfare of the errant golf cart oper ators and all those they encounter. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sar asota News Leader wel comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone num ber of the writer. Letters should be emailed to Lett with Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Let ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other fac tors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. Dont have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader ? Subscribe for FREE and receive a latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 87




Is it possible for seven people to have the exact same New Years resolution to launch the rst annual Anna Maria Island Chalk Festival? Yes! It is true for Denise Kowal, artistic director and founder of the Sarasota International Chalk Festival, who with Michael Coleman of the Pine Avenue Restoration Project is helping coordinate the Anna Maria Island event on Jan. 18 and 19. It is true for California artists Joel Yau and Julie Kirk, who will be returning to the area to be among the more than 20 professional artists who will chalk along Pine Avenue. It is true for Julie Fagen, who, with her hus band, manages the Studio at Gulf and Pine (which is owned by Mrs. Lawton Chiles, for mer First Lady of Florida and also an avid patron of the arts). The studio will be the site of the VIP dinner for the artists and public, Artist Joel Yau (reproducing a World War I portrait by J.C. Lyendecker) chalks alongside artist Julie Kirk at the Sarasota International Chalk Festival in November. Yau and Kirk are returning to the area for the Anna Maria Island Festival. Photo by Barbara Dondero SEVEN PEOPLE RESOLVE TO LAUNCH THE FIRST EVENT OF ITS KIND ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND A NEW CHALK FESTIVAL By Barbara Dondero Contributing Writer


which will be held the night before the festi val begins. It is true for Michelle Clinton, faculty member at Manatee School for the Arts, who will be participating in the event. A longtime volun teer for the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Clinton is more than ready to make the leap onto the pavement! according to Kowal. It is true for the captain of the Scallywag Anna Maria Islands beloved pirate ship, which oats into events such as this one. It is rumored that the captain will be accom panied by his Krewe (sometimes called scurvy old sea dogs). Joel Yau of San Rafael, CA, dazzled view ers last November who viewed his Sarasota street painting, a reproduction of a World War I port rait by famed illustrator J.C. Lyendecker. Im playing with a few ideas before Anna Maria, he told me. I want to honor the theme: From Pirates to the Present Maybe Ill reproduce one of N.C. Wyeths pirate illus trations or else one of the lively 19th century posters celebrating Gilbert and Sullivans comic operetta, The Pirates of Penzance My favorite part of the festival (Yau chalks at many national and international events) is the camaraderie among the artists and viewers. A few years ago in Sarasota, while chalking a Gil Elvgren portrait, Yau heard a man exclaim, Thats my fathers painting! Sure enough, it was Elvgrens grown son, who told Yau that as a youngster in the 1960s, he prepared all of his fathers art materials in his studio on Featherbed Lane on Siesta K ey! Yaus completed 2013 Chalk Festival work reected the events theme, Legacy of Valor. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 90


Joel Yau works on his 2013 Chalk Festival entry. Photo by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 91


Denise Kowal, artistic director and founder of the Sarasota International Chalk Festival, with Michael Coleman of the Pine Avenue Restoration Project. Photo by Barbara Dondero Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 92


Kowal also enjo ys the coincidences. Harriet Stieff, youngest and sole surviving daughter of Sarasota city father Owen Burns (18651937), stops by to visit, Kowal says. Burns development rm was responsible for some of Sarasotas most notable buildings, includ ing John Ringlings home, C dZan, and Herald Square now called Burns Square at the intersection of Orange and Pineapple avenues. For more than 20 years, the historic Burns building has been owned by Denise Kowal. She already has undertaken two major renovations of it. It means so much to me that Harriet encour ages my efforts, Kowal says. It takes a village to create an event of the Sarasota Chalk Festival caliber. Kowals advi ce to the volunteer Krewe? This is your rst chalk festival. ENJOY! Whether it is a product of hidden treasures (doubloons and pieces of eight) or golden coincidences, do not miss this wonderful street event on the weekend of Jan. 18 and 19. It will be free and open to everybody. If you yearn to indulge your own creative side by chalking on the pavement, regis ter for a space beforehand by calling Kowal at 954-5800 or email denise@chalkfestival. com For Friday evenings VIP dinner tickets, call Julie Fagen at 941-778-8210. For fur ther information, visit AnnaMariaChalkFestival % Joel Yaus reproduction of Gil Elvgrens pin-up illustration was part of the 2010 Chalk Festival. Elvgren, to Yaus surprise, was part of a notable group of artists and writers who made Sarasota their home in the 1950s and 60s. Image courtesy of Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 93


All photos by Norman Schimmel ITS A WONDERFUL SHOW Offering a new take on the story of Its a Wonderful Life students in the Sailor Circus Academy presented the opening performances of their 65th season in late December, under their Big Top on Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota. SAILOR CIRCUS PERFORMERS DEMONSTRATE BIG TOP SKILLS Staff Reports


Their version of the Jimmy Stewart classic centered on three young people who found themselves lost in the mythical Snow-Fairy World. As part of The Circus Arts Conservatory, academy performers made it plain to audi ences that they are well trained in carrying on the traditions of The Greatest Little Show on Earth Sarasota News Leader Photographer Norman Schimmel was on hand to record their feats of derring-do. % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 95


Pedro Reis (left), co-founder of The Circus Arts Conservatory, and Circus Sarasota star aerialist Nik Wallenda take on the role of stagehands for the Sailor Circus show. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 96


Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 97


Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 98


% Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 99

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ANOTHER SUSPECTED ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATION HAS BEEN REPORTED ON THE BEACH; THE COUNTY COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING DATE IS SET FOR A NEW PETITION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION AT 162 BEACH ROAD; AND VILLAGE BUSINESS UPDATES ABOUND SIESTA SEEN A Sarasota Audubon volunteer reported a new potential violation of county and state environmental regulations on the north end of Siesta in late December, I learned this week. Allan Worms, a wildlife biologist, reported in a Dec. 30 email that he had been seeing a gr e at mix of migrant and localized shore birds on Siesta Key and especially on the wide north end [of the] beach. However, a large number of beach visitors witnessed a man digging an articial outlet on the west side of a tidal p o ol in the vicinity of Accesses 4 and 5. By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor With the wind having blown out of the north Monday and into Tuesday morning from more than 20 mph to about 10 mph the ne quartz sand on Siesta Beach appeared to have been sculpted by an artist. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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That pool consisting of several acres and at least three feet in depth, Worms wrote, developed on the north end last fall and has been providing both a plentiful and diversi ed array of shorebird feeding opportunities since October until [Dec. 30]. After the man completed his project, Worms continued, The pool drained through a rap idly widening channel. Also, disappointingly, a large number of shorebirds left the pool site and associated feeding area as the pool drained. Catherine Luckner, president of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) and herself a Sarasota Audubon vo lunteer, notied Sarasota County environmental staff and Commissioner Nora Patterson who lives on Siesta as well as officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, suggest ing the activity might have been the illegal modication of naturally occurring shore line regulated by [the Florida Department of Environmental Protection] and the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan. Luckner requested a response from the county and state employees in time for the SKAs Jan. 9 meeting. (It was held after the News Leader s deadline for this issue.) Sarasota Audubon volunteers have alerted county and state environmental staff about a potential violation involving a tidal pool on the northern part of Siesta beach. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 101

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On Jan. 6, I contacted Matt Osterhoudt, man ager of conservation and environmental permitting in the Sarasota County Natural Resources Department. He explained that the county already had made plans to send an environmental specialist to the site to investi gate the situation. The creation of the channel might not have required county authorization, he pointed out. The specialist would be able to determine whether the work fell within the area governed by the Coastal Construction Control Line the state established in Sarasota County. He also was making certain the appro priate state authorities had been contacted, he added. Over the past year, Sarasota Audubon vol unteers have dealt with several violations of environmental guidelines as they have tried to aid the islands avian wildlife in co-existing with human inhabitants and visitors. BEACH ROAD VARIANCE On Feb. 19, the Sarasota County Commission is scheduled to hear a request for a variance on the property at 162 Beach Road the same location where the board denied a similar request last year. Commissioner Nor a Patterson perhaps was the most persuasive voice during that discus sion. She pointed out to her colleagues on the board that she had seen that property under water in years past. Howard Berna, the environmental supervisor in the countys Natural Resources Department, said the public h earing proba bly would be in the after noon during the Feb. 19 commission meeting. The request from owners Ronald and Sania Allen, represented by attorney William W. Merrill III, is for construction of a new sin gle-family residence and paver driveway at 162 Beach Road. All proposed construction will be a maximum of 176.5 feet seaward of the Sarasota County Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL), according to the public hear ing notice published by the county. Zoning side-yard and street-yard setback variances are also requested in conjunction with this Coastal Setback Variance, the public notice adds. A nesting area that proved very popular last year with the islands endangered snowy plo vers, as well as Least Terns, is on the Gulf of Mexico side of the property. Peter van Roekens, secretary of the Terrace East Condominium in Siesta Village, tells me Terrace East residents are rmly opposed to the project. The Siesta Key Association board expressed opposition to the project proposed in 2013. Berna pointed out last summer that this new petition involves a revised construction plan. THE LATE ST ON GIDGETS The opening of Gidgets Coastal Provisions in Siesta Village on the property formerly occupied by Napolis restaurant has been delayed again, business co-owner Brian Wigelsworth to ld me this week. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 102

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Although he had expec ted to start work on the interior by the middle of this month, it likely will be the end of January before that happens, he said. Wigelsworth and his wife, Trudy, will be offering customers Margaritaville Apparel and nice gift items in the shop, adjacent to the Siesta Key Oyster Bar, once they get it open. On a related note, Siesta architect Mark Smith is ready for a Jan. 28 appearance before the County Commission to se ek approval for propert y and building owners Jim Syprett and Jay Lancer to create three transient rental units on the second oor. Smith won unani mous Planning Commission approval for that plan when he appeared before the advisory board on Dec. 19. Lancer accompanied Wigelsworth to the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) meet ing on Jan. 7. Southern Cross Contracting Inc. is continuing work on the future home of Gidgets Coastal Provisions in Siesta Village. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 103

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Napolis is open seven days a week in its new location on Ocean Boulevard. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 104

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SPEAK ING OF NAPOLIS Although Napolis structure was torn down to make way for Gidgets, the restaurant has found a new home in the spot previously occupied by a RE/MAX realty ofce at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Avenida Madera. As a matter of fact, Napolis is now a neighbor of the Broken Egg. As for the Broken Egg: Michelle Logan, who represents the rm that recently bought the Siesta restaurant, told me after the Jan. 7 SKVA meeting that renovations are under way, with the establishment renamed Another Broken Egg Caf scheduled to reopen on Feb. 17. Were slowly putting it together, she added. STORMWATER SITE UPDATE Isaac Brownman, the countys capital projects director, notied the County Commission on Jan. 7 about the latest news from the Beach Road Drainage Project (aka the Siesta storm water project) site, adjacent to the eastern end of the public beach. His report, covering the weeks of Dec. 31 and Jan. 6, included the following notes: The 60-inch storm drainpipe is approxi mately 80 percent complete and should be nished in the next two weeks. The intake pipe for the stormwater lter vault has been installed, and the electrical controls and pump equipment structure will be in operation by Jan. 10. Sections of 60-inch pipe await installation at the site of the Siesta Key stormwater project, just east of Siesta Public Beach. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 105

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The new p ond is approximately 80 percent complete. Pumping of groundwater off shore continues. Forty loads of unexpected buried debris (mostly tree trunks, rebar, asphalt and con crete) have been removed from the site. Based on test holes dug, an additional 130 loads may still need to be removed, he wrote. Coordination with the Siesta Public Beach improvements project continues, with ll being placed and the footers for the new maintenance facility being installed. The Beach Road Drainage Improvement project has a Substantial Completion date of March 14 and a Final Acceptance date of April 13, 2014, he wrote in conclusion. ABOUT THE BEACH PROJECT Jon F. Swift Inc. of Sarasota began staging equipment and supplies at Siesta Beach Park on Dec. 28 in anticipation of beginning the long-awaited $21.5 million improvement proj ect, the county announced last week. The rm received permission to perform work on Saturdays throug h March 1 to make up for work days lost due to heavy rains earlier this year, a county news release said. The two-year proje ct still is set to be under taken in four phases, with Phase 1 contained to the easternmost portion of the park. Brad Gaubatz, Sarasota County Public Works Department projec t m anager for the beach park work added in the release that Swifts construction manager anticipates being able to catch up by the end of February, and after that, work will resume on weekdays only. THAT BLIP WITH THE BRIDGE I confess that my curiosity gnawed at me to keep trying to learn why the north Siesta bridge was stuck in the open position on Dec. 19. This week, thanks to JoAnn May, communications specialist with the Florida Department of Transportation, I received an answer. May wrote in a Jan. 6 email, I checked with our bridge folks and Im told the computer at the bridge detected a faulty pump lter ... Apparently, when the lter was changed the previous day, the replacement was not a good piece of equipment, shall we say. Consequently, the computer shut it down, and the bridge was closed for 45 minutes while crews mobilized and replaced the faulty lter, she added. OH, ME; OH, MY A stalwart reader alerted me to a big boo-boo in my Dec. 27 Siesta Seen : I misidentified Siesta Key Village Association President Cheryl Gaddie as Cheryl Matthes. In my haste to make early deadlines for two issues, I obviously was thinking both of Gaddie and her predecessor in the post, Russell Matthes. My apologies! I also absolve Copy Editor Vicki Chatley of any blame. After all, I am the one who is sup posed to keep the names straight. % Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 106

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The Edu cation Foundation of Sarasota County will kick off the 19th Evening of Excellence with its annual Juried Art Show from Saturday through Tuesday, Jan. 11-14, the Foundation has announced. The exhibit is free and open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. on all four days, a news release notes. The premiere arts competition for young art ists as well as a favorite on the local social scene, Evening of Excellence showcases out standing works of ne art created by students from every public high school in Sarasota County, the release explains. More than 300 student pieces paintings, photographs, sculpture and more will be on display at the Ringling College of Art and Designs Diane Roskamp Exhibition Hall in the Ulla Searing Student Center, the release says. Free campus parking is available on either side of the Selby Gallery, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota. Select works in the exhibit will be available for purchase by sealed bid, the release points out. The minimum bid is $125, and the rst $100 of each bid will be awarded to the stu dent artist, the release adds. Each visitor will be invited to vote for his or her favorite piece at the exhibit. The stu dent whose work receives the most votes will receive the Marie B. Ritter Peoples Choice Award of $250, the release continues. Following the exhibit, the top 25 pieces selected by a panel of arts professionals will be framed by area galleries that donate their services, the release says. The students con tribute their art for a live auction at a gala Riverview High School student Ines Balasch stands with her award-winning drawing Madame Buttery from the 2013 Evening of Excellence student art exhibit. Contributed photo by Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch EDUCATION FOUNDATION TO SPOTLIGHT EXCEPTIONAL YOUNG ARTISTS A&E BRIEFS

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dinner held on the last Friday in February, it notes. This years gala theme is An Evening in Paris All top 25 artists receive monetary awards, recognition and valuable contacts, the release adds. Event proceeds benefit Sarasota Countys 41,200 students through the work of the Education Foundation. Gala sponsorships are available at $2,500 and up. Patron seating is $250; individual tickets are $200. For more information, tickets and underwrit ing opportunities visit www.EdFoundation. net or call 927-0965. At noon on Jan. 15 at Florida Studio Theatres Court Cabaret, located at the corner of Cocoanut Avenue and First Street in down town Sarasota, Bookstore1Sarasota will host a luncheon featuring Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who will discuss her young adult book, To the Mountaintop the store has announced. To the Mountaintop chronicles Hunter-Gaults experiences with the Civil Rights Movement, a news release says. An award-winning journalist, Hunter-Gault spent 20 years with PBS. During much of that time, she was national correspondent for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the release notes. She has also worked for National Public Radio as a special correspondent and as CNNs Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent. Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and four Peabody awards the rst of the latter was for her work on Apartheids People a NewsHour series about South African life during Apartheid, the release explains. In 2005, she was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2011, she received the Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award As part of this Sarasota event, Hunter-Gault is sponsoring and Bookstore1 is admin istering a writing contest for middle and high school students. The rst-place winner will receive $100 and a signed copy of To The Mountain along with an invitation to sit at the authors table on Jan. 15. Information about the contest is at The fee for the luncheon is $25. Reservations may be made through Florida Studio Theatre at or by calling 552-1521. More information is available at or 3 65-7900. BOOKSTORE1 TO HOST LUNCHEON WITH CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT To the Mountaintop is by Charlayne HunterGault. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 108

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When was the last time you saw a huge work of art made from attened Cheerios boxes, Harp Lager cartons and Pokemon cards? The Sarasota Museum of Arts ARTmuse pro gram will be bringing just such art to Sarasota to inspire children and adults, a news release notes. Wendy G. Surkis, president of the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA), a division of Ringling College of Art and Design, has announced that acclaimed artist Lisa Hoke will be in Sarasota from Jan. 15 to Feb. 4. Celebrated for her innovative use of re-purposed color ful cardboard packaging materials, Hoke has created works designed for specific spac es and environments at museums all over the country, the news release explains. Hoke uses massive quantities of everyday consumer materials including cardboard boxes and household, ofce and food product packaging to create her epic color-satu rated assemblages, the release adds. During her Sarasota project, the artist will create a site-specic installation inside the historic Sarasota High School building on U.S. 41 near downtown Sarasota the future home of SMOA. Surkis says the public will have many opportunities to view the artist at work and watch her creation unfold and evolve, the release continues. ACCLAIMED ARTIST TO TAKE TRASH TO TREASURE AT SMOA A Lisa Hoke installation combines a multitude of types of trash. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 109

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Wer e thrille d to offer our community another artistic transformation using unusual material to stretch their imaginations, thanks to this remarkable artist, says Surkis, adding that last years ARTmuse project with Patrick Dougherty was a triumph. Surkis adds in the release that Hokes work reusing mate rials that are transformed into colorful works of beauty is symbolic of the work SMOA is doing to repurpose the historic Sarasota High School into a dynamic arts destination for innovative contemporary visual art. Hoke, based in New York City, rst sorts sal vaged packages by color and then forms items into roughly 4-foot collages before integrating them into huge works that are designed for the particular space and environment, the release points out. My room-sized collages are derived from cardboard and paper pack aging, reecting the amazing unappreciated properties of colorful disposable consumer products, she explains in the release, add ing that she enjoys the challenge and stress of working big. Hokes work has been shown internationally as well as in the United States. Hoke has created installations at The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC; The McNay Museum in San Antonio, TX; New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut; the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont; the DAmour Museum in Springeld, CT; and the Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. Surkis notes in the release that Hokes unfold ing vision will be realized with help, in part, from corporate partnerships and individual participation. PNC Wealth Management, again, is this years co rporate sponsor, she Lisa Hoke/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 110

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says in the re lease. And area companies are already on board to donate the colorful cardboard they would otherwise discard. These are the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and the Residences, the Siesta Key branch of Michael Saunders & Co., the PNC Wealth Management staff, New Balance, The Lollicake Queen, Perq Coffee Bar and Sassy Hair on Siesta Key. As Surkis sees it, community engagement is at the heart of SMOAs mission, the release explains. Were reinventing a historic structure thats central to the experience Sarasotans have of their community, she points out. At the same time, were connect ing Sarasota with the larger arts community around the nation. The ARTmuse program attracts world-r enowned artists and is helping to put us on the art world map while we are a museum in the making. Its very exciting. SMOA will be Sarasotas first art museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, the release adds. The museum will inter weave exhibitions, educational programs and community outreach initiatives to engage a diverse audience and serve as a stimulating hub for creative discovery and discourse, the release continues. The SMOA board has already raised $16.5 million of the $22 million needed to bring the museum to a reality, Surkis notes in the release. Were in the home stretch. For more information about the Sarasota Museum of Art, visit www. Celebrated Ru ssian piano virtuoso Eleonora Lvov will bring her elegant and passion ate brand of performance to the Sanctuary Concerts series on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. in a pro gram titled Intimate Fantasies It will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 3975 Fruitville Road in Sarasota, series organizers have announced. Tickets, which are $15, include a compli mentary wine and cheese post reception in the church courtyard with the artist. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 3714974 or visit Lvov has achieved international acclaim, a news release notes. She performs as a soloist with major orchestras and in recitals through out the United States, Europe and Russia, and often punctuates her concerts with personal impressions and hist orical remarks, the INTIMATE FANTASIES TO FEATURE PIANO VIRTUOSO ELEONORA LVOV Eleonora Lvov/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 111

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struggle or tu rbulent dark forces, it is my soul talking to the audience through the language of music. When I perform, my ego dissolves, and what ashes through my mind is a tor rent of images images that come from the subconscious and unconscious mind. I dont concentrate on the notes thats what prac tice is for I only feel emotion. What gives me a high is the feeling of joy, from spirit speaking through me. For more information visit concerts/ or email release adds. Lv ov has received the top prize in the Beethoven Competition in Moscow and has been awarded the International Alex de Vries prize in Belgium, among other honors. She has also participated in command perfor mances for the queen of Belgium, the prime minister of Great Britain and the president of Israel, the release points out. Her program for her Sarasota concert will include works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Gershwin. Music is the language of spirit, says Lvov in the release. Whether I am pla ying about love, Having perf ormed for sold-out concerts in Sarasota the past several years, banjoist and vocalist Cynthia Sayer will return to town for two shows only this month as part of the South County Jazz Series, the South County Jazz Club has announced. Cynthia Sayers Hot Jazz Trio will perform on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC) on Palmer Ranch, a news release says. The Glenridge is located at 7333 Scotland Way in Sarasota. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for GPAC and Jazz Club members. Reservations are strongly recom mended, the release adds. Call 552-5325 or visit Sayers trio will include internationally acclaimed jazz clarinetist Alan Vach and string bassist Jay Mueller for the Saturday concert and Vach and string bassist Don Mopsick for the Sunday performance. Contemporary, edgy, and soulful, Cynthia Sayer breaks all the banjo player stereotypes as she single-handedly brings the four-string banjo to the forefront of jazz, the release continu es. Celebrated as the top four-string banjoist in the world today and praised for her drive and virtuosity by the New York Times Sayer is a founding member of Woody Allens New Orleans Jazz Band, with whom she toured for more than 10 years, the release points out. Sayer has played with many lead ing jazz, popular and roots artists, including Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Wynton Marsalis, Marvin Hamlisch, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Charlie Giordano (Bruce Springsteens E Street Band), Andy Statman and Tony Trischka, the release notes. Vach is a renowned jazz clarinetist who is a former member of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, having appeared with the group at Carnegie Hall and on PBSs Austin City Limits the release adds. He also performed on NPRs A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and was a regular performer on PRIs Riverwalk Live from the Landing from 1987 to 199 2. POPULAR BANJOIST RETURNING TO CITY FOR GLENRIDGE SHOWS Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 112

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Cynthia Sayer/Contributed photo Mueller, a staff musician at Walt Disney World, is well known for his multi-instru mental talents on brass instruments, the release says. His many credits include touring with the Ringling Bros Circus Band and playing with the Florida Symphony Orchestra, the release continues. He also has played for numerous Broadway shows. Mopsick was the bassist for the Jim Cullum Jazz Band for about two decades, the release says. He has also played Florida concert dates with many top artists, includ ing Howard Alden, Mousey Alexander, Mose Allison, Bill Allred, Dan Barrett, John Bunch, Pete Christleib, Al Cohn, Buddy DeFranco, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Bob Rosengarden and Ira Sullivan. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 113

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Venice T heatres upcoming MainStage com edy is the 1960s French farce Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti, the theatre has announced. The show will open Tuesday, Jan. 14, and run through Sunday, Feb. 2. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $25 to $28 for adults and $10 to $15 for students. They are on sale at the theatres box ofce, online at www. or by phone at 488-1115. Boeing Boeing features a swinging bache lor named Bernard who has three ances: one Italian, one German and one American, a news release explains. All three are beauti ful airline hostesses with frequent layovers, it adds. He keeps one up, one down and one pending until unexpected schedule changes bring all of the women to Bernards Paris apartment at the same time, the release continues. His college friend, Robert visiting from Wisconsin and housekeeper Berthe are charged with helping him avoid disaster, the release notes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Boeing Boeing is the most performed French play throughout the world, the release points out. French and British audi ences have loved Boeing Boeing since it was rst produced in 1962, the release adds. The show ran in London for seven years and 2,000 performances. In Paris, it ran for 19 years. For whatever reason, American theater-go ers have taken longer to get the joke, the release continues. Broadways rst shot at Boeing Boeing didnt take off. In 1965 it closed after only 23 performances. The movie, star ring Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis, was no rst-class hit, either, the release says. Given 30-plus years and an updated translation by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans, American audiences nally decided to jump on board, the release points out. The recent Broadway production of this clas sic bedroom farce won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Audiences ocked to see it and the New York Times gave it a stellar review. Critic Ben Brantley raved, [ Boeing Boeing ] levitates low burlesque into high comedy Its deliciously, deliriously innocent. In Venice, Murray Chase will direct an experi enced cast featuring Ronald Krine Myroup in the starring role. Kristofer Geddie will play the best friend, and the housekeeper will be por trayed by Candace Artim. Bernards ances will be played by Alison Prouty (the German one), Arianna DeCecco (the American) and Tarah Hart (the Italian). Venice Theatre is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Box ofce hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before all performances. TONY-WINNING COMEDY BOEING BOEING TO TAKE FLIGHT JAN. 14 Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 114

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The Boeing Boeing cast features (standing, from right) Ronald Krine Myroup as Bernard, Kristofer Geddie as Robert, Candace Artim as Berthe; (seated from left) Tarah Hart as Gabriella, Arianna DeCecco as Gloria and Alison Prouty as Gretchen. Contributed photo by Renee McVety Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 115

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Art Center Sarasotas 2013-2014 exhibition season, titled Incredible Journey will con tinue with four shows running from Jan. 16 to Feb 28: Natures Voice: Quilts by Regina Benson in Gallery 1; Tradition Gone Wild: Venetian Society of Basket Weavers in Gallery 2; Black Muse: Works by Members from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Gallery 3; and Breaking Tradition an open all-media juried exhibition in Gallery 4, the gallery has announced. An o penin g reception will be held on January 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. For more information, call 365-2032 or visit Natures Voice: Quilts by Regina Benson will showcase sculptural quilt forms by the ber artist Regina Benson, who is celebrated for her wall hangings, art quilts and dimensional textile sculptures, a news release explains. Benson pus he s the boundaries of textile art, FOUR EXHIBITS TO OPEN JAN. 16 AT ART CENTER SARASOTA Indigo Girls by Eleanor Merritt will be part of the ASALH exhibit at Art Center Sarasota. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 116

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Tradition Gone Wild by Marge Shemanski. Contributed image it adds. She creates her own fabrics and develops textile constructions that retain the painterly effects of her flat pieces. She imbeds these works with undulating forms, incorporating newspaper clippings, fragments of technology and other physi cal allusions to her subjects. In this exhibit, 12 of her midto large-scale wall hangings will be displayed. Bensons work has been shown in gal leries and museums in The Hague in the Netherlands, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 117

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Houston, Chicago and Pittsburgh, the release notes. She was the recipient of the Quilt National 2007 Award of Excellence. Tradition Gone Wild will be a juried exhibi tion of contemporary woven art produced by members of the Venetian Society of Basket Weavers, the release continues. Emma Thurgood, Art Center Sarasotas exhibi tions coordinator, explains its intent: This exhibition serves as an exploration beyond the traditional uses of the weaving process, encompassing basket weaving, jewelry, tex tiles and surface design. These nely crafted, woven artworks will show how functional craft objects can become masterful ne art objects. ASALH Black Muse 2014 will be a curated exhibit showcasing artwork by member art ists of the Manasota ASALH, the local chapter of the Association for the Study of AfricanAmerican Life and History, the release explains. This exhibition will include a wide array of media paintings, drawings and sculptures, the release says. Regarding Breaking Tradition the release notes, Take a walk outside the safe zone of tradition, both artistic and personal. Regional artists will rise to the challenge. For more information about Art Center Sarasota, call 365-2032 or visit Core Sample by Regina Benson will be featured in the Natures Voice exhibit. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 118

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The Jim Well en Quartet will kick off the Jazz Club of Sarasotas 2014 Joy of Jazz concert series on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. in Centennial Park in downtown Venice, the club has announced. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted in support of the Jazz Clubs schol arship fund, a news release says. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blan kets. For more information, call 366-1552 or visit Originally from the New York/New Jersey area, tenor saxophonist Wellen has made his mark on the local jazz scene, where he per forms to critical acclaim with the areas top pianists, bassists and drummers, the release continues. Jazz blogger Ken Franckling has called Wellen an excellent mainstream tenor player who is always a treat to hear, the release notes. Wellens quartet will include Mac Chrupcala on piano, Al Hixon on drums and Dave Trefethen on bass, along with a surprise special guest, the release adds. In keeping with the open-air venue and the series joyous theme, Wellen and his ensemble will offer up a program of light-hearted tunes from the Great American Songbook that are sure to evoke sunny days, good times and lots of smiles, says Wellen in the release. The Joy of Jazz series will continue in February and March with local favorites The Venturas on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. and the buoyant sounds of Tom Ellison and Hip Pocket on March 9 at 2 p.m., the release points out. This Sunday afternoon series is a double treat, says Jazz Club of Sarasota board mem ber and series producer Bill Beckman in the release. Its a perfect way to come out and enjoy our great climate and swinging jazz! JIM WELLEN QUARTET TO KICK OFF JOY OF JAZZ CONCERT SERIES Jim Wellen/Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 119

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As a result of continuing popular demand, Florida Studio Theatre has announced an additional extension of the Tony Award-winning musical Monty Pythons Spamalot, with book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. The musical will run in FSTS Gompertz Theatre through Jan. 25. Tickets may be purchased online at by phone at 366-9000 or by visiting the box ofce at 1241 N. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. Contributed photo THE SHOW KEEPS GOING ON Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 120

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The politically divided and emotionally stunted Wyeth family puts the fun in dys functional in Jon Robin Baitzs Other Desert Cities, which will open in previews Jan. 15 and 16 before starting its formal run Jan. 17, presented by the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the theatre has announced. The show will run through Feb. 27. Greg Leaming, the associate artistic director of the Asolo Rep, will be at the helm of this production, which was nominated for ve Tony Awards in 2012, a news release notes. Othe r De sert Cities a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, had its Off Broadway premiere in January 2011 and transferred to Broadway in November 2011. Former actor-turned-ambassador and Republican Party bigwig Lyman Wyeth and his wife, Polly, live a picturesque life in their very own afuent exile the Palm Springs desert, the release explains. When their daughter, left-winged Brooke, returns home during Christmas of 2004 for the rst time NEXT UP FOR ASOLO REPERTORY THEATRE: OTHER DESERT CITIES Other Desert Cities will open in mid-January and run through Feb. 27 as an FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 121

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in six years, sh e rev e als that she has written a tellall memoir that discloses the familys controv ersial past, including one very painful incident, the release continues. This shock ing announcement sends the Wyeth family down an emotional spiral, during which they are forced to revisit and ultimately heal their wounds from the past, the release adds. Pollys recovering alcoholic sister, Silda, and Brookes TV producer brother, Trip, complete this holiday family reunion, the release notes. Jon Robin Baitzs extraordinary play charts how politics can tear apart a family, and this family is a kind of emblem for America itself. It is painful, hilarious and profound, says Michael Donald Edwards, producing artistic director of the Asolo Re p, in the release. Baitz is one of Americas most celebrated playwrights, the release points out. The Drama Desk Award winners other works include A Fair Country, The Substance of Fire Ten Unknowns Three Hotels The Paris Letter and Mizlansky/Zilinsky. Other Desert Cities is the third show in the second season of Asolo Reps American Character Project, continuing its concentra tion on the American family, the release notes. Tickets for Other Desert Cities and the other productions in the 2013-14 Asolo Repertory Theatre season start at $21. To purchase tick ets, call 351-8000, visit or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre box ofce in the lobby of the theatre, which is part of The Ringling complex in Sarasota. The the atre is located at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. % 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 January 10, 2014 Page 122

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Bernadette Bennett/Contributed photo RELIGION BRIEFS

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In 2012, stud ent entries for the exhibit grew to more than 23,000 from 186 schools. In 2013, art and quotation submissions came from 52 countries, the release says. Come and hear why Embracing Our Differences makes an impact for the peo ple who work on it and the people who see it, the release adds. Additionally, The Humanaires, the chorus of the CHJ, will be singing at the Jan. 11 service, the release notes. The Humanaires is now under the direction of conductor Robert Lischetti. CHJ meets at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. The suggested donation for non-members at tending the program is $5. Embracing Our Differences the annual art/ quote exhibit that graces the Sarasota bayfront each year, i s not something that springs up in a matter of days nor is it something that disappears when it is gone, a Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) news release points out. What happens behind the scenes to make the exhibit possible will be the focus of a program hosted by CHJ at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 11, the Congregation has announced. Special guests will be Carol Poteat Buchanan, who co-chairs Embracing Our Differences now in its 10th year; and Bernadette Bennett, program spe cialist for social studies in grades K-12 in the Curriculum Department of the Sarasota County Schools, the release adds. The recipient of numerous local and national awards, Buchanan serves on a variety of boards in Sarasota. She was selected by ABC7 in Sarasota as One of the Seven Who Care in 2012, the release notes. As part of her duties, Bennett creates learn ing opportunities in character and diversity education for both teachers and students, the release continues. Among those are work shop s in creative writing and art teachers retreats, the release notes. The Humanaires will be featured in the Congregation for Humanistic Judaisms Jan. 11 service. Contributed photo by Barney Sack EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES TO BE FOCUS OF PROGRAM Rabbi Adam Chalom, dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, will present four lec tures on Women in Jewish Life over the weekend of Jan. 24-26 at the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ), the Congregation has announced. RABBI ADAM CHALOM TO PRESENT FOUR LECTURES AT CHJ A national leader of Humanistic Judaism, Chalom has a doctorate in Hebrew and Jewish cultural studies and serves as rabbi of Kol Hadash in suburban Chicago, a news release says. A regular contributor to the Chicago Times Religion Blog, he is on the Advisory Council of the Humanist Institute, the release Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 124

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adds. H e al so is the editor of A Provocative People: A Secular History of the Jews by Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of Humanistic Judaism. Until m odern times, Jewish women, half of the Jewish people, were not full citizens, the release continues. What was their expe rience? What traditional images continue challenging full inclusion? What insights has Jewish feminism offered Jewish women and men? How have we moved forward in the past hundreds of years? The programs, which are open to the public, will be held as follows: Friday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. Shabbat celebra tion Eve, Lilith and the Jewish Women Saturday, Jan. 19 Session I: 10 a.m. to noon: Wives and Daughters Jewish Women in Jewish Law and Traditional Life ; Session II: 1:30 to 3 p. m. Mothers Unity of Sarasota is the meeting place for the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. Image courtesy Unity Church and Workers Jewish Women in Je wish Culture and Literature Sunday, Jan. 20 Session III: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Feminist, Prime Minister and Rabbi Jewish Women in Modern Judaism All events will be held at Unity, located at 3023 Proctor Road in Sarasota. Registration is required for the Saturday and/ or Sunday sessions, the release notes. The cost is $20 per session or $50 for the entire seminar. The reservation deadline is Jan. 18. Make checks payable to CHJ and please note Scholar in Residence in the memo line. Indicate which sessions you will attend and send your checks to Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, 3023 Proctor Road, Sarasota, FL 34231. For more information, visit o r call 929-7771. Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 125

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Members of First United Methodist Church, located at 104 S. Pineapple Ave. in down town Sarasota, invite the public to attend the Watermarks Worship Series Jan. 12 through Feb. 23 at all three Sunday worship services (8:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m.). The Rev. Art McClellan, senior pastor, will present mess ages that reference Gods WATERMARKS WORSHIP SERIES TO BE HELD JAN. 12 TO FEB. 23 First United Methodist Church is located at 104. S. Pineapple Ave. in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel creating, blessings and saving work through out the Bible, a news release explains. A nursery for babies and toddlers will be available each of the Sundays from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For additional information on worship and other church activities, call the ofce (9550935) or visit Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 126

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How to Under stand and Form a Positive Relationship with Our Adult Children is the title of a new educational offering at Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. Rita Feder, a registered nurse with a masters degree in counseling psychology, will address this topic on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 10:30 a.m., the Temple has announced in a news release. In additio n to helping participants explore generational diffe rences and obstacles, Feder PROGRAM TO FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS WITH ADULT CHILDREN will pro vide strategies and basic guidelines for understanding and bonding with adult children, the release explains. There will also be an opportunity to share stories and coping strategies for families with tension or animosity between the generations, it adds. This program is free and open to the commu nity with advance reservations. To register or obtain more information, email Temple Emanu-El Adult Education Chairwoman Beth Salzman at bethan The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ) welcomed some of its newest members at a brunch on Dec. 14. The best way to learn what followers of Humanistic Judaism believe and practice is to watch an extended interview (via DVD) with the founder, Rabbi Sherwin Wine, CHJ members in Sarasota point out. Informational coffees featuring the video take place on an occasional basis. Interested persons are asked to email GETTING TO KNOW YOU Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 127

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For the e ighth year in a row, Temple Emanu-El will be the site of an interfaith Shabbat ser vice honoring the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Temple has announced. Joining Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman on the pulpit will be Bishop Henry Porter of the Westcoast School for Human Development. This special service will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, a news release says. The Temple is located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota. In addition to Glickmans Torah reading recounting the experience of the Israelites slavery in Egypt and insights from Porter on the legacy of King, attendees will hear rst hand stories of the days of segregation and the struggle for civil rights. Members of the community are warmly invited, the release adds. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. interfaith Shabbat service is sponsored by the Temple Emanu-El Social Action Committee. For more information, call the Temple ofce at 371-2788. INTERFAITH SHABBAT PROGRAM TO HONOR DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. (From left) May Fisher Cohen, Rona Shays, Lorraine Glixon, Bishop Henry Porter, Emily Tennenbaum, Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, Dorothy Quint and Helene Rosenberg are regular participants in Temple Emanu-Els annual interfaith Shabbat service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 128

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On Sat urd ay Jan. 1 8, at 2 p.m., Maureen McGill of St. Petersburg and Marina Teresa Sanchez Majia of Cali, Colombia, will be ordained priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests during a ceremony in Sarasota. Mary Bergan Blanchard of Albuquerque, NM, and Rita Lucey of Orlando will be ordained deacons, according to a news release from the association. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, the release notes. The ceremony will take place at St. Andrew United Church of Christ, located at 6908 Beneva Road in Sarasota. Because Sanchez Majia speaks Spanish, part of the ordination rite will be in that language, the release points out. All are welcome, the release adds. The candidates are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in minis try, the release says. McGill is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired attorney in St. Petersburg, the release continues. She spent most of her professional career advocating for abused and neglected children as director of the Guardian ad Litem Program in Northwest Florida. My call to priestly ministry arose from those years, she says in the release. Women experience sim ilar abuse and neglect in the church today. My call to priesthood will include advocacy to give women their rightful equality in the chur ch. McGill will lead inclusive liturgies at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota and provide pastoral care for resi dents of nursing homes in St. Petersburg, the release continues. Sanchez Mejia is a dynamic community activ ist and married woman with two sons and a granddaughter, the release says. She has pursued the cause of human rights, includ ing justice for women and for Colombians of African descent, her whole life, it adds. In the 1990s, she participated in global womens conferences in Brazil, Vienna and Beijing. She has worked with local priests in base com munities and was a missionary to Ecuador for three years. There, she studied theology and served women, children and outcasts, the release explains. Since 2005, she has animated, represented and served the large community of Afro-Colombians near Playa Reciente, near the Cauco River in Cali, the release notes. Blanchard will continue her work as a coun selor, writer and teacher, the release says. Her mission will be nurturing spiritual life by developing liturgies for inclusive home church celebrations. Lucey, a m ember of Pax Christi has been married for 61 years, the release continues. She is a human rights activist who spent six months in federal prison because of her activism advocating the closure of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, the release points out. Because of her witness for justice issues and her experience in prison, she has advocated for women in prison and has also served as a Hospice volunteer for 25 years, the release adds. % WOMEN TO BE ORDAINED AS CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 129

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Visit the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests website to learn more about the organization. Image from the website

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 10+ JANUARY FSU/Asolo Conservatory presents Loot Through Jan. 19; times vary; Jane B. Cook Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $27 to 29. Information: 351-8000 or 10+ JANUARY FST presents Monty Pythons Spamalot Through Jan. 25; times vary; Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $18 to 49. Information: 366-9000 or 10+ JANUARY Dabbert Gallery presents 10th Anniversary Exhibition Through Feb. 1; times vary. 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 9551315 or 10+ JANUARY Allyn Gallup presents Nature and Irony Through Feb. 1; times vary; Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 366-2454 or 10+ JANUARY Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents The Whipping Man Through Feb. 2; times vary; 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $29.50. Information: 3661505 or 11 JANUARY WSLR presents Malcolm Holcombe in concert Jan. 11, 8 p.m., Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Information: 894-6469 or 15 JANUARY Sarasota Concert Association presents the Jerry Eckert Jazz Trio Jan. 15, noon, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Free Admission. Information: 351-7467 or Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader January 10, 2014 Page 131

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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 DUN TAK WIF MA MOUF FULL??? SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS