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. 32 April 25, 2014 Old school journalism. 21st century delivery. Inside THREAT FROM THE HOMELESS PROMOTION VERSUS PROJECTS A LIFT IN THE PRICE TAG




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


When I wa s a college student working as a lowly intern at The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, I used to gaze periodically at a big sign on the wall of the open-plan newsroom. It said, Get it rst, but get it right. A tangential maxim I have embraced all my career is Make sure it is fair. As much as I love to score a big scoop, I not only want to make sure the information is accurate, I also want to make sure the way it is presented is as fair as possible. To that end, News Leader Copy Editor Vicki Chatley has been invaluable. She does not shy away from pointing it out if she feels we have stepped across the line. Sadly, if someone disagrees with the editorial stance we take on a position, the person tends to conate that with our coverage of the issue. That can lead to the source punishing us by refusing to speak to us or failing to provide the most up-to-date information when we request it. Those circumstances are never pleasant. Our only response can be what it always has been working to the best of our ability to avail you of all the facts we can assemble from both sides. Now that my rant is over, I encourage you to take note of the wide variety of news stories in this issue. Then you can relish the latest spectacular photos and essay contributor Fran Palmeri created for Earth Week and marvel at A&E Writer Elinor Rogosins descriptions of a contemporary dance program. Editor and Publisher WELCOME


THREAT FROM THE HOMELESS PROMOTION VERSUS PROJECTS NEWS & COMMENTARY THR EAT FROM THE HOMELESS 9 Campres near a petroleum company and other nearby businesses prompt comments to the City Commission Stan Zimmerman PROMOTION VERSUS PROJECTS 12 In 3-2 vote, the county commissioners approve another $769,500 for tourism promotion, but some say they would prefer seeing the money spent on infrastructure Roger Drouin A LIFT IN THE PRICE TAG 18 The City Commission learns Lift Station 87 will cost about $27 million, and design concerns are yet to be worked out Stan Zimmerman SHOT DOWN 23 Sarasota County declines to pursue ordinance banning anti-gay discrimination Cooper Levey-Baker COUNT STILL STANDS AT TWO 26 Parcels on East and Osprey avenues remain in consideration for a come-as-you-are homeless shelter, but both are problematic Roger Drouin SOUNDING OFF 34 Musicians plead with the County Commission to back away from its tighter noise restrictions Rachel Brown Hackney NO MICROMANAGEMENT 41 County commission debates whether recent rowing facility missteps suggest more oversight is needed Cooper Levey-Bak er TABLE OF CONTENTS Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article PHOTO CREDITS Front Cover: A Quiet Cove Norman Schimmel Sarasota Leisure: Rainforest Grotto Robert Hackney


NEWS BRIEFS OPINION RESET QUASHED 43 City Commission decides not to risk county wrath over the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency Stan Zimmerman CLEANER AND MEANER 46 Nonprot has not met county grant hiring goals, but says revamped deal better suits its startup model Cooper Levey-Baker THIRD TIME NOT THE CHARM 48 In spite of a threat of a lawsuit, the County Commission holds fast on refusing to let a couple build a house seaward of the Gulf Beach Setback Line Rachel Brown Hackney THE WAIT NEARS AN END 56 The City of Sarasota will proceed with a peer review as soon as it receives the Lido Renourishment Project data from the Army Corps of Engineers, which should be by early May Rachel Brown Hackney CITY COMMISSION WRAP-UP 60 The State Street parking garage project will be close to making deadline, and a new mobility fee system has started its course to becoming law Stan Zimmerman NEWS BRIEFS 65 CRIME BLOTTER 73 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


EARTH, AIR, FIRE AND WATER SIESTA SEEN OPINION EDITORIAL 78 Siesta Key justiably fears the Army Corps of Engineers LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 81 SARASOTA LEISURE EARTH, AIR, FIRE AND WATER 83 For Earth Week, a celebration of the world that makes us and sustains us Fran Palmeri A FESTIVAL OF INTENSE ENERGY 95 Lil Buck provides an extraordinary nale to an evening of charismatic performances Elinor Rogosin SIESTA SEEN 98 County staff summarizes the process for implementing new outdoor display regulations; another barge in Big Pass prompts a lot of buzz; and the Temporary Use Permit ordinance will undergo another public hearing so its sunset date can be extended Rachel Brown Hackney A&E BRIEFS 105 RELIGION BRIEFS 112 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 120 SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS 121 Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article FOR ADVERTISING INFO (941) 227-1080


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Don Fee is one of the most re-safety con scious people in town. He has to be. His chain-link fence protects 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline and 40,000 gallons of propane. Over the past six months, he has grown increasingly concerned about camps of homeless people and vagrant s starting res that get out of control. Were seeing fires three and four times a week, and it gets away from them sometimes, he told the Sarasota City Commission on April 21 during the open to the public slot on the agenda. He works for Midco Petroleum, the only fuel storage and supply business left in Sarasota County. The business is located in the cen ter of the City of Sarasota, where Sixth Street is bisected by the Seabo ard Coastline Railroad. His business is on the east side of the tracks. Rick Mixon, vice pres ident of M idco, has On one side of the railroad tracks stand tanks with thousands of gallons of volatile fuels; on the other side, a camp of vagrants who start res and then fall asleep. Photo by Stan Zimmerman CAMPFIRES NEAR A PETROLEUM COMPANY AND OTHER NEARBY BUSINESSES PROMPT COMMENTS TO THE CITY COMMISSION THREAT FROM THE HOMELESS These people dont want help. They are where they want to be. Rick Mixon Vice President Midco Petroleum Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY


recei ve d calls at 2 a.m. from delivery truck drivers reporting res. He sees the burnt brush himself later those mornings, he says. He has emailed the citys Code Enforcement Ofce several times, but he has had no response. Thus, he and other people with businesses near his went to City Hall Monday afternoon to complain. The city needs to clear the grass and brush, said Mixon. Im begging you: Please get this under control. As we enter the driest month of the year, Mixon and Fee fear an unattended camp re could create a wildre that might just might start a 10-alarm conagration. You could build a re here that blazes out of con trol, noted Mixon. The businesses around me would be gone. Im trying to be proac tive here. Amy Kubanek works on the west side of the tracks at the former Stottlemeyer Lumber Co. headquarters. A re would destroy our build ing, she told the commission. We employ 100 people and could expand to 400. But people dont feel safe. She added that the company joined the citys program to help businesses prevent and handle trespassing but is experiencing delays in getting police ofcers to respond. Midco could b e considered a strategic asset for the region. During the past ve hurricane strikes in the region, the company was key to fueling not only Sarasota but Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties emergency vehicles. Mixon said, If we get burned out, the [Florida Department of Environmental Protection] would never let us build back. Mixon is a lifelong resident of the area. In an interview, he said his opinion of the homeless and vagrant population has changed over the years. It used to be, you could deal with peo ple up and down the railroad. For years, I had sympathy, he added. For the people who are truly homeless, the city does a good job for them. But over the past two years, people have become more belligerent, especially in the last six months. He has seen public defecation and urination; spotted the syringes and condoms. When you see somebody lugging a 24-pack of beer at 8 a.m., you know whats going on, he said. These people dont want help. They are where they want to be. Mixon noted that he recently called the Fire Department to report another campre near his fuel facility. Is it out of control? asked the person on the other end of the line. No, said Mixon. Replied the dispatcher on the phone: Well, call back later. % An aerial view shows the location of Midco Petroleum at 2212 Sixth St. in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 10


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Sarasota Countys tourism bureau will have an additional $769,500 to spend this year on promoting local sports and arts programs and marketing the county in gen eral from ads at Atlanta International Airport to a campaign in Manhattans Bryant Park. In a 3-2 vote on Wednesday, April 23, the County Commission approved Visit Sarasota Countys request for additional To urist Development Tax (TDT) revenue to promote the community. The amount represents $318,600 in unspent funds the tourism bureau had and $451,000 in extra, u nbudgeted TDT revenue from hotel roo m and vaca tion rentals. With the additional money, the bureaus current scal year budget increased from $5,591,218 to $6,360,718. Former Congresswoman Katherine Harris speaks to the City and County commissions about the upcoming Modern Pentathlon events that will be held in the county. Photo by Norman Schimmel IN 3-2 VOTE, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE ANOTHER $769,500 FOR TOURISM PROMOTION, BUT SOME SAY THEY WOULD PREFER SEEING THE MONEY SPENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE PROMOTION VERSUS PROJECTS Promotion has run behind when compared to similar communities. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor


Becau se hotel occupancy rates have risen, thanks to a spike in tourism, more TDT dollars are being collected from visitors overnight stays in the county. The matter of how to spend that unanticipated extra TDT revenue has prompted County Commission debate. The topic was rst discussed at a budget work shop last month. Commissioner Joe Barbetta has argued for increased spending on infra structure that will draw in even more tourists and benet residents, while other commis sioners support more spending on marketing the beaches, existing sports venues and local arts programs. On Wednesday, Chairman Charles Hines and Commissioners Nora Patterson and Carolyn Mason approved the additional marketing money, with Barbetta and Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson dissenting. The extra money will allow the tourism bureau to boost promotion going into late summer, usually the slower months for local hotels and businesses, Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, told the commissioners. Patterson said promotion is the key to get ting more tourists into Sarasota County. Ive been told Sarasota is pretty much a well-kept secret, she added. A graphic from Visit Sarasota County shows how the agency plans targeted advertising campaigns for community arts and cultural programs, thanks to funds approved by the County Commission this week. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 13


The tourism bureau will spend $30,000 of the additional funding to research how visi tors to Nathan Benderson Park spend their time and money in the community when they are not at rowing and other events hosted by the facility. The funding will also help market the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final and the USA Ultimate Masters Championships, which will be held here this su mmer. Those events for which Visit Sara sota County had not planned were awarded to the community over the winter. The Pentathlon an nouncement came as a result of lobbying by residents such as for mer Congresswoman Katherine Harris. We didnt have a clue about this a year ago, and it needs to be adver tis ed, Hines said of the Pentathlon. Regional sporting events already have an estimated $90 mil lion annual economic impact on the co unty, Haley pointed out. B ut Hines cautioned that while he supported the request for additional promotional and marketing money this year, in future bud get years, he would like to see more of that A chart shows how Visit Sarasota County plans to divvy up the extra funding. Image courtesy Sarasota County Those [infrastructure] opportunities increase additional demand for hotels and rental cars. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 14


reve nue go toward new facilities to attract additional tourists and benet local residents. One such example is the planned expansion of the Knight Trail Park Pistol and Rie Range, Hines said. Last month, the commissioners voted to give the Sarasota Trap, Skeet and Shooting Clays club $500,000 in TDT revenue to help pay for that project Barbetta said the $769,500 could be better spent on facilities such as a conference cen ter, an equestrian facility, sports venues or upgrades to the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. Those opportunities increase additional demand for hotels and rental cars, Barbetta pointed out. He attributed record-breaking tourism this scal year to one of the worst winters up North along with Visit Sarasota County adver tising through an existing county agreement with the Baltimore Orioles. He cited those as reasons indicating a reduced need for addi tional tourism marketing efforts. Barbetta added that he would support a smaller amount but not the $769,500. Vice Chairwoman Robinson also asked that Haley and her staff members be sensitive when planning their advertising campaigns. She would like to see more promotion of South County communities such as Venice. Theyve had a spike in the southern portion A graphic explains a promotional plan involving Bryant Park in New York City. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 15


of the cou nty [in tourism], Robinson said. They are holding their own. A BUDGET ISSUE During the boards March 25 budget work shop, the County Commission undertook a discussion of the TDT revenue that has been coming in higher than budgeted. Figures through February show the county up almost $700,000 over last years total for the same period of time. I want to invest more in assets to generate more tourism for the community, Barbetta said during the workshop. These projects also benet the community, he pointed out. Investing in assets produces more tourism and creates more generators of tourism, such as hotels and local attractions, he noted. In turn, the latter create additional TDT revenue, something that spending money on marketing and advertising does not do, he maintained. New developments that draw tourism also become advertisements themselves, as they attract new people to the area and give visi tors something to do, Barbetta said. During Wednesdays meeting, Patterson acknowledged that there are infrastructure projects to which TDT revenue could be allocated. A planned North County Sports Complex is just one example, she noted. But marketing the area to potential vaca tioners is important, too, she said, adding there has to be a balance. Promotion has run behind when compared to similar communi ties, Patterson pointed out a fact that a Visit Sarasota County consultant has made to the countys Tourist Development Council, which Patterson chairs. % 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 April 25, 2014 Page 16


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On Monday evening, April 21, the cost esti mate to build a new sewer lift station in Luke Wood Park doubled. The man responsible for engineering and designing Lift Station 87 told the Sarasota City Commission the total proj ect cost is now $27,112,600. That is more than twice the origin al, 2008 esti mate of $12.5 million. A total of $13,432,200 has already been spent, Robert Garland said. He is the project manager for McKim & Creed, the engineering and desi gn rm hired to pick up the pieces after the former company, AECOM, walked off the job in failure. A sizable lawsuit is under way over that. Garland fo und th e AECOM design contained major flaws. One necessitates deep ening the borehole under Hudson Bayou by eight feet; a sec ond flaw regards the pipeline south of the bayou. Those changes will add $3.5 million to the expense. Materials and some of the construction for Lift Station 87 remained highly visible this week in Luke Wood Park near downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY COMMISSION LEARNS LIFT STATION 87 WILL COST ABOUT $27 MILLION, AND DESIGN CONCERNS ARE YET TO BE WORKED OUT A LIFT IN THE PRICE TAG Ive started to look at best practices. Boca Raton is now raising all their lift stations. It may have been an unrealistic promise to put it underground. Susan Chapman Commissioner City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


Garla nd told The Sarasota News Leader on April 14 he suspected the original structure might need to be abandoned and a new wet well built because it has to be 13 feet deeper. That could add $6.5 million to the project. This is a significant rebuild, said Mitt Tidwell, the city utilities director, on Monday. He was joined at the presentation by city Project Manager Steve Topovski. The original design called for the facility four structures for pumps, emergency generators, electrical switchgear and odor control equipment to be hidden from sight underground. Commissioner Paul Caragiulo asked the three engineers, Have you ever seen a facility like this? All three said, No. In the meantime, the old Lift Station 7 on Pomelo Avenue continues to handle about one-third of the citys sewage, despite a history of failures and spills. Twice it has sent 500,000 gallons into Hudson Bayou. Neighbors have been waiting for years for Lift Station 87 to replace it. Elle n Miller lives next to Lift Station 7. It failed in 2004, she said Monday night. It was to be decommissioned in 2010, then 2013. Now its May 2016. Im asking for a moratorium on new building permits until [Lift Station] 87 is completed. Think of all the construction in the past 10 years, including a new wing at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Richard Shaffett lives on Pomelo, too. When will this insanity end? he asked. Its a tick ing time bomb right in our front yards. Its a black-hole boondoggle. By Garlands estimate, Lift Station 87 will be ready to operate in June 2015. Demolition of Lift Station 7 would begin in November of that year and be nished by January 2016. SWAP HORSES? Commissioner Susan Chapman, formerly a neighborhood activist, forced the city to admit the spills at Lift Station 7 had taken place, and then she forced the city to admit it did not even own the land under the facil ity. She made the ca se to decommission the Three engineers explain to the City Commission on April 21 why the project doubled in price: (from left) City Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell, City Project Director Steve Topovski and consulting engineer Robert Garland. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 19


station and b uild a new one. Now she is won dering whether the underground design of Lift Station 87 might be yet another mistake. Ive started to look at best practices, she said. Boca Raton is now raising all their lift stations. It may have been an unrealistic promise to put it underground. We started this redesign using whats already there, replied Tidwell. He was referring to the underground structures built to AECOMs specications. He added, Wed prefer it to be aboveground. Another one of Garlands recommended changes involves emergency back-up power. The AECOM design incorporated diesel-driven pumps in case the electrically driven pumps in the wet well lost power. But getting the diesel-driven pumps going full speed would take an hour, allowing sewage to back up into the system. Garland recommends using diesel generators to power additional electrical back-up pumps. He was thinking of installing the generators in another of the underground structures, but that might make them vulnerable to a Category 2 hurricane storm surge. We could bring some of the underground equipment aboveground, elevated above a [Category] 2 storm surge, said Tidwell. And then we could screen it. In other words, the equipment could be put in a building disguised to look like a home or business instead of an industrial blockhouse. Putting all the facilities underground raises the risk that a storm surge of 15 feet or more could exert enough water pressure to rupture the lids atop one or more of the four facilities. A presentation about Lift Station 87 during a project team meeting in November 2013 included this site plan. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 20


If the switchgears were ooded, Garland said it would take six months or longer to replace them because they are custom-made. With all the talk of a new and deeper wet well, new electrical pumps, moving diesel generators and other mechanicals well above ground, Vice Mayor Willie Shaw asked, Is this approaching a total rebuild? His ques tion was reiterated by Caragiulo. Should we look at conventional designs? Mayor Shannon Snyder boiled down the discussion to its essentials. The only real question is, do we leave it underground or aboveground? he pointed out. We need a conversation about the entire system and how we respond to events. He said that dis cussion was best left to a budget workshop about capital improvements funding that will be held later this spring. In the meantime, neighbors adjacent to the stalled Lift Station 87 were thrown a bone. Having looked at a stranded construction site for a year, they have asked for some kind of screening. Drape the site with something tasteful, said City Manager Tom Barwin. As for the aboveground/below-ground design issue, Barwin added that he would task the citys Urban Design Studio to prepare some drawings. The city will pay for Lift Station 87 out of proceeds from the sale of its so-called waste water spray elds at Hi Hat Ranch in eastern Sarasota County. But as Caragiulo noted, the new twice-as-high price tag for Lift Station 87 will just about wipe out the money from the land sale. % Questions remain about whether the wet well for Lift Station 87 should be above or below ground. The structure shown is aboveground. Image from 90.5 WESA via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 21


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The Sa rasota County Commission this week chose not to pursue a new ordinance that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and employment, quietly ending a review period that began last fall. While federal and state laws protect many America ns from discrimination, dis crimination based on sexual orientation remains an uncovered category. Therefore in Florida, gays and lesbians, for exam ple, can still be fired for the ir s exual orientation or a landlord can legally decline to rent to them. That reality has prompted dozens of Florida counties and municipalities to pass so-called human rights ordinances, which generally protect their citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientatio n or gende r identity. The cities of Sarasota and Venice have both passed such regula tions, and the county took steps last fall to begin researching the possibility of passing its own rule. County Commissioner Carolyn Mason listens to discussion about the domestic partnership registry last fall. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA COUNTY DECLINES TO PURSUE ORDINANCE BANNING ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION SHOT DOWN The state is not going to step up, so we do need counties and cities to all step up and do something about this. Julia Nowak LGBT Rights Activist Englewood By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


Commission er Carolyn Mason, responding to pressure from Englewood Realtor and local LGBT rights activist Julia Nowak, asked County Attorney Steve DeMarsh to report back to the board on how human rights ordi nances work for other local governments. DeMarsh did so this spring, with a pair of memos laying out the current legal situation for gays and lesbians. But would the commis sion act on the issue? That was the question Mason put to the board during a meeting held Tuesday, April 22. Mason served on the Sarasota City Commission when it approved its own human rights ordi nance. I think that has worked pretty well for the City of Sarasota, she said. Youve seen their process, how it all works, but I needed to see what my board wanted to do. The response: silence. Eventually, Chairman Charles Hines broke the quiet time, saying his reticence to support the idea was not because he thought it wasnt needed. I felt that this is a statewide issue, he said, and it becomes difcult when local communities have overlapping ordinances. At the same time, Hines continued, he under stood the argument that the state has not stepped up and youve got to start somewhere. He compared the proposal for a human rights ordinance to the recently approved domes tic partnership registry, which gives gay and lesbian couples some rights in healthcare decision-making and more. Neither Commissioner Joe Barbetta nor Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson chimed in, while Commissioner Nora Patterson said sim ply, I agree with wha t youve said, Charles. And that was that. The commission took no action. Nowak, whose persistence prompted Mason to bring up the concept in the first place, told the commission that because of fed eral inaction, it falls down to the states and the counties to protect us. She spoke with Mason immediately after the commission broke for lunch, and later told The Sarasota News Leader shes not giving up. The state is not going to step up, she told the board, so we do need counties and cities to all step up and do something about this. % County Commission Chairman Charles Hines. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 24


...two days early! My Sunday Paper... One of my favorite things to do is spend all day Sunday relaxing with the Sunday newspaper, reading it from cover to cover. Unfortunately, my old Sunday paper is mostly classied ads, real estate ads, ad inserts and very little in the way of real, informative news. Thats why I love the award-winning Sarasota News Leader It is so full of news and features that relate to Sarasota County that I need a whole day to read it all ... perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. And reading it on my iPad means no trip to the recycling bin. The Sarasota News Leader access e-mail is delivered to my inbox every Friday morning. Of course, Im tempted to read some of it right away. Who could resist? But I know I have all day Sunday in fact, all week to read the No. 1 digital news weekly in Sarasota County. The Sarasota News Leader Your New Sunday Treat Old school journalism. 21st century delivery.


As the Sarasota city and county commission ers have discussed and debated the concept of a come-as-you-are homeless shelter in Sarasota, two potential sites have been front and center. During a j oint meet ing of the boards on Tuesday, April 22 less than one week after consulting firm Cardno Entrix Inc. wrapped up a due diligence and environ mental analysis report the consult ants presented lists of pros and cons for each site. Both pieces of property are problematic, as the consultants noted in their summaries on Tuesday. Co nstructing a facil ity on the lot at 1800 N. East Ave. hinges on the approval of four condominium owners in a business partnership, a hurdle County Commission Chairm an Charles Residents and business owners nearly lled the County Commission Chambers for the joint meeting on April 22. Photo by Norman Schimmel PARCELS ON EAST AND OSPREY AVENUES REMAIN IN CONSIDERATION FOR A COME-AS-YOU-ARE HOMELESS SHELTER, BUT BOTH ARE PROBLEMATIC COUNT STILL STANDS AT TWO We already have homeless people occasionally coming to this area off the railroad I am afraid if there is a homeless shelter in that area, there will be more of it. Steve Lanning Business Owner Sarasota By Roger Drouin County Editor


Hines cited as a cause of concern. The parcel conguration is also so tight, Cardno Senior Planner and Urban Designer Ryan Givens told the commissioners, the building layout barely ts, even in an L-shape. Moreover, stormwa ter facilities would have to be placed in an underground vault. We can accomplish this design, Gibbons told the commissioners. It is just a little difcult. The property on East Avenue also has low levels of petroleum compounds and arse nic, as indicated by soil samples. Petroleum storage tanks were once located on the prop erty, which used to be home to Morris Oil, according to a county staff summary of the Cardno report. Meanwhile, the city-owned site at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. has concentrations of lead, arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene (a hydrocarbon The Sarasota City and County commissioners listen as County Chairman Charles Hines explains the procedures for public comments on April 22. Photo by Norman Schimmel A Cardno ENTRIX Inc. consultant presents information gleaned from due diligence and environmental studies. Photo by Roger Drouin Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 27


often found close to asphalt parking lots) and dieldrin (found in pesticides) in excess of allowable standards, as shown in the soil samples. Cardno consultants and county staffers have said environmental issues are not a dealbreaker for either site, but Sarasota Mayor Shannon Snyder cautioned that the land that was once a landll could require more extensive, and expensive, environmental A chart lists the pros and cons associated with the potential shelter site at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County Our homeless shelter is downtown Sarasota right now. It is the street, it is the parks, it is the backyards of people, and if we dont do something, that is the status quo and it will only get worse. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 28


cleanup than the commissions have expected. Although he said he is not adverse to putting the shelter on that site, he added that there is probably a reason we didnt build on it in the past. Another con is that utilizing the city-owned site for a homeless shelter would displace some utility operations and parking spaces for 24 pieces of heavy equipment as well as 48 city Utilities Department vehicles. One potential replacement location for the city equipment would cost $1.6 million. A deep injection well and a water main are located on the property, too, so the project would have to be planned around them. Cou nty Commissioner Joe Barbetta asked whether both sites could be remediated. Certainly, these items can be addressed, replied Cardno Environmental Engineer Richard Hagberg. But it proved difcult for the commissioners to choose one site over the other largely because both have problems that could poten tially delay or derail shelter construction. Im trying to take all this in, City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell said at one point, and compare [the Osprey Avenue land] to East Avenue. A chart lists the pros and cons associated with the potential shelter site at 1800 N. East Ave. in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 29


It seems to me we are not where we should be at when it comes to choosing between the two sites, said County Commissioner Nora Patterson. The questions we raised need to be answered. Patterson wanted the consultants, working with city and county staff, to conduct more exte nsive evaluations and comparisons of the parcels. GREATER FEASIBILITY After hearing from the consultants, the com missions decided to do exactly what Patterson had suggested : continue due diligence on A graphic shows far more homeless people have been documented in the City of Sarasota than in the unincorporated part of the county. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 30


the two north Sarasota properties that are high on homelessness consultant Robert Marbuts list of recommendations. The vote was 8-2, with Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and City Commissioner Susan Chapman dissenting. The boards also agreed to reconvene again in 60 days as suggested by County Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson after staff and the consultants have a better idea of the environmental and logistical issues that will have to be addressed and how much those would cost. At that time, the commissioners will either choose between the two parcels or go back to square one. Snyder said he thinks the East Avenue site looks more feasible because of the potential cost of environmental cleanup and relocation of city utility vehicles necessary if the boards chose the Osprey Avenue site. Atwell con curred with that sentiment. Right now I would look at the 1800 East Ave. site and how we can work it out [there], Atwell said. A chart compares the proximity of the two potential shelter sites in Sarasota to downtown and illustrates the same factor in other cities with shelters. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 31


A shelter in the ci ty is the anchor for Marbuts strategy for addressing homelessness in Sarasota County. Among his other recom mendations are the creation of a team of social service and law enforcement ofcials to reach out to homeless people; the devel opment of other facilities, such as a center for helping homeless families and children; and the establishment of a county-funded Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) that would be used by all local home lessness service agencies. PROPONENTS AND OPPONENTS Of all the facets of the Marbut plan, it is the shelter that has attracted the most attention and sparked the greatest degree of contro versy. Some residents and business owners have spoken out against it, while others have pleaded with local ofcials to build it soon. That debate continued on Tuesday. Steve Lanning, owner of Lanning Tire on Lime Avenue, was among those who expressed concerns about the potential impacts a Wayne Applebee, coordinator of homelessness issues for the county, poses outside the Commission Chambers before the meeting begins. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 32


shel ter would have on a section of the city business owners have worked to make safer and cleaner. We already have homeless people occa sionally coming to this area off the railroad, defecating on concrete areas and going through trash, Lanning said. I am afraid if there is a homeless shelter in that area, there will be more of it. Cathy Antunes, vice president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, pleaded with the commis sioners to pursue more research about the potential impacts of a shelter on a neighbor hood. Antunes also raised questions about how much funding the city will have to con tribute to operating the facility. Other residents advocated for the shelter. It belongs in the city, said Sarasota resident Steve McAllister. When you have a wound on your arm, you dont put a bandage on your leg, McAllister pointed out, responding to comments by Shaw and Chapman that a shel ter should not be constructed in the citys District One. Neighborhood activist Diana Hamilton said that homeless people are constantly on the move between locations where they can get help. Every place I go, I see homeless peo ple every day, all day long, in our downtown, Hamilton added. We must do something. We have to move forward. New College student Joey Whitesman told the commissions, I really hope and believe this shelter will help. In a co mment near the end of the meeting, Commissioner Carolyn Mason had a mes sage for the community: Residents must join forces on this project. Quite frankly, doing nothing is not an issue, Mason said. So lets just take that off the table and focus on work ing together so we can get there. In another remark just before the meet ings adjournment, Barbetta said he thought Hamilton and McAllister were right on point. Both said it well. Our streets right now are where the homeless are right now, Barbetta pointed out. Our homeless shelter is down town Sarasota right now. It is the street, it is the parks, it is the backyards of people, and if we dont do something, that is the status quo and it will only get worse. Barbetta added that he would like to see the shelter project expedited, if at all possible. City Commissioner Chapman countered that. What weve painfully learned is government mistakes are the biggest mistakes, Chapman said. I think we are about to make a big gov ernment mistake. I think this is a awed site selection process. Specically, Chapman said the Osprey Avenue parcel should remain a utility site. In a previous interview with The Sarasota News Leader Chapman noted she favors a means of providing regular housing for the homeless as the rst approach to the issue. In addition, if a shelter were built, she would prefer a mid-cou nty location. % Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 33


Image from the website SOUNDING OFF (Above) Image from the TheLiveMusicAlliance Facebook page.


They went live on Facebook on March 21, two days after the Sarasota County Commission approved a revised Air and Sound Pollution Ordina nce that lowered legal decibel lim its. On April 22, they went live before the County and City commissions to protest the new regul ations. Althou gh the two boar ds were meeting in Sarasota to discuss the planned homeless shelter (see the related story in this issu e), Tony LeClerc told the commissioners it was the first opportunity musicians had to speak to them about the chan ge s in the ordinance. Still, he said, I dont mean to hijack the meeting. LeClerc was one of nine speakers who pleaded with the County Commission to backtrack on its March 19 decision They rep resented Live Music Alliance, organized by Sarasota native Twinkle Yochim. The new decibel limits are so restrictive and impossible that it makes lawbreakers out of all of us, Yochim said. Were requesting that you guys please redress this. Find a bet ter way. Yochim requested that th e bass level be set at 10 over the ambient noise level, noting that the latter tends to be 72, 78, depending on where youre at. The m aximum bass level (dbC) the County Commission approved on March 19 is 65 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. as measured from a receiving area zoned Musician Christopher Young protests the revised county sound ordinance during public comments at the April 22 joint meeting of the City and County commissions. Photo by Norman Schimmel MUSICIANS PLEAD WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSION TO BACK AWAY FROM ITS TIGHTER NOISE RESTRICTIONS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor No ones interested in being bad neighbors. We dont want to cause problems for anybody; we love our community. Tony LeClerc Musician Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 35


As requested by the River Forest Civic Association, the County Commission on March 19 approved lower maximum decibel readings for noise received at residential property lines. A second table shows that the request puts Sarasota County in company with its Southwest Florida neighbors. Image courtesy Jim McWhorter Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 36


residential, while th e dbA level (described as the range of sound people actually hear) was lowered to 60 during the same time frame. The other maximum allowable readings for residential receiving areas are 55 dbA and 60 dbC between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. People in the River Forest Civic Association and other residents in the proximity of Bobs Boathouse at 5515 S. Tamiami Trail requested the changes, citing a diminished quality of life since the restaurant opened in early November 2013 and began offering live music. Jim McWhorter, a retired professional engi neer and president of the River Forest Civic Association, explained in emails to the commissioners that the proposed limits would align Sarasota County wit h the other Southwest Florida counties, whose allow able noise limits were lower. Sarasota County Zoning Administration Ofce staff conrmed his research. Nonetheless, county staff recommended lev els of 65 dbA and 70 dbC between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for residential receiving areas. This is a music Mecca, Yochim of the Live Music Alliance told the commissioners on April 22, and I am not so sure that the [county board members] understand the talent and the revenue generated on a daily basis. She added that she founded the alliance because I realize the one thing we havent done in the past is be organized. As of late morning on April 23, the group had 1,964 likes on its Facebook page. An aerial view shows the proximity of residential areas to Bobs Boathouse on South Tamiami Trail. Image from Google Maps Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 37


LeClerc pointed out the group is working on the documentation necessary for it to become a limited liability corporation and that it has obtained legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Sarasota attorney Morgan Bentley. LeClerc also told the commissioners, No ones interested in being bad neighbors. We dont want to cause problems for anybody; we love our community. However, he said, Sixty decibels might as well be 10 decibels. Its easy to [go over the limit]. POLICE PRESENCE Several speakers pointed to Sarasotas repu tation as the City of the Arts. Ive been all over the world, Yochim said, adding that Sarasota has a reputation for live music similar to those of Nashville, TN; Seattle; and Austin, TX. LeClerc pointed out, We are the City of the Arts. We celebrate that. Heari ng [music] wafting on the breeze is a good thing, not a bad thing, Yochim noted. No ones windows are getting rattled here. Residents across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse dispute that, however. On the same day the Live Music Alliance representatives appeared before the commissions, Michele Chapman, who lives on Montclair Drive, told the News Leader in an email, A musicians right to play loud music stops at our right to NOT have it penetrate our homes and bodies without our consent. Chapman added, If the musicians would just be considerate of our rights, then there would be no conict. Only due to the profound inconsideration of busi ness owners and musicians are most noise codes even needed. Yochim complained to the commissions about the citations Bobs Boathouse has received from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office since the new noise levels went into effect, calling the action constant police presence. She pointed out that once a deputy shows up, People get nervous; half of our audience Residents on Montclair Drive are right across Phillippi Creek from Bobs Boathouse. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 38


leaves. Ive be en performing for 33 years and to call it noise diminishes the expertise of these musicians. In response to a request by County Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson for information about citations written since the ordinance went into effect on March 20, Sandra LeGay, manager of the Code Enforcement Ofce, responded in an April 22 email that Bobs Boathouse had received one warning, nine citations and one Notice to Appear. The latter is a step necessary to seek an entitys compliance with the county code. It can lead to an appearance before a Special Magistrate. LeGay added, As far as I know, no other enti ties have been cited. Only one of the nine speakers Tuesday after noon, Christopher Young, appeared before the County Commission during the March 19 public hearing on the proposed changes to the ordinance. He reminded the board this week that he cautioned them against changing the regulations because they would be infringing on peoples First Amendment rights. He recently returned from a trip to Detroit, he noted, adding that that city is dead. Is that what you want here? LeClerc asked the board members to review materials representatives of Live Music Alliance brought them in regard to noise reg ulations in other areas. We would love to work with you guys and the neighborhoods and the communities to gure out something that could be done, he added. Montclair Drive resident Michele Chapman stands at the podium as Sarasota County Code Enforcement Ofcer Kevin Burns (center left) and Jim McWhorter, president of the River Forest Civic Association, compare notes on decibel readings during the March 19 County Commission meeting. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 39


RESPO NSES FROM COMMISSIONERS As is customary, none of the commission ers commented on the remarks. However, on April 10, Yochim posted on the alliances Facebook page the following responses from county board members to a letter she had sent them, pleading for modication of the new regulations. Chairman Charles Hines wrote on April 7, I have seen you perform many times and loved it, noting that she probably had performed in Manatee and Charlotte counties as well as Sarasota County and asking whether she was familiar with those local governments sound regulations. Hines concluded, We reduced the ordinance to a level that is similar to those [of] other Counties. Thanks for your input as this is a very difcult issue to try to nd a reasonable balance. The same day, Carolyn Mason responded, Please know that this was not an arbitrary decision, and that in coming to the decision we arrived at, I took a lot of things into con sideration, including information from our staff as well as from neighbors. Additionally, for me, nding a balance between what works for the business as well as the neighbors was and remains paramount. It isnt easy or popu lar some times, but necessary. Vice Chairwoman Robinson wrote on April 9, Our ordinance has been made consis tent with all other counties in our region. We found this was necessary due to the abuse of homeowners near certain venues. I believe this change will help us co-exist. Late on the night of April 22, Yochim posted a thank-you note to all the supporters of Live Music Alliance who were in the audience for the meeting: [Id] say we kicked some a** today! .... nothin I love more than a good scrap! nice job people! She also noted that a new noise ordinance on which city staff is working soon will be com ing up on a City Commission agenda. Although City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo held meetings in 2013 to try to resolve issues over live music in downtown Sarasota, the city board has yet to address a new ordinance. A discussion was scheduled for the City Commissions Feb. 18 agenda, but Mayor Shannon Snyder announced that night that the matter would be de ferred to a future meeting. % Twinkle Yochim. Image from her website Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 40


Respo nding to weeks-old news that the Sarasota nonprofit created to manage the rowing facility at Nathan Benderson Park had temporarily lost its ability to solicit charita ble donations, County Commissioner Carolyn Mason this week oated the idea of naming more than one county representative to the board of the 501(c)(3) nonprot, but the pro posal went nowhere. In early April, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) had failed to le the nec essary paperwork with the state to allow the organization to collect tax-deductible dona tions. According to a presentation SANCA President Paul Blackketter gave the County Commission in January, the nonprot is plan ning to raise $22 m illion in the next few years. Benderson Park is busy on Nov. 16, 2013 as teams compete in the rst Sarasota-Bradenton Head Regatta. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION DEBATES WHETHER RECENT ROWING FACILITY MISSTEPS SUGGEST MORE OVERSIGHT IS NEEDED NO MICROMANAGEMENT By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor


While fur ther reporting by multiple outlets revealed SANCAs state ling problem was quickly corrected, Mason this week said the controversy had caused heartburn and that perhaps the county should be exercising more direct oversight of the nonprot. I need some assurances that things are headed in the right direction, she said, sug gesting that perhaps the county ask for the right to name a couple of representatives to the SANCA board. No other commissioner backed Mason. County Administrator Tom Harmer and Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker both attend SANCA board meetings, Harmer told the board, offering a level of oversight with which the commission seemed comfortable. I dont think this board wants to get into the day-to-day micromanagement of SANCA, Chair man C harles Hines said, adding that Harmers and Hunzekers presence at meet ings offers some level of review. While the commission took no action to ease Masons heartburn, it did this week mod ify its contract with Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership that oversees the states economic development programs. Enterprise is working with the county to implement the $5 million the state Legislature allotted for the rowing facility during last years session (in addition to the $5 million approved in 2012). The county has negotiated with the organization for months about lan guage that requires the county to repay the state if economic impact goals arent met. The action this week simplies reporting require ments for the county, making it responsible for annual rather than quart erly analyses. % 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 April 25, 2014 Page 42


The rst hint of linkag e has emerged in the citys quest for county approval to extend the term of its Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). A study com mittee recommended the city and county grant another 30 years to the CRA, which uses a tax-differential scheme to ght slum and blight. In 2007, the city unilaterally extended the CRA to a dened area in north Sarasota, just before the bottom fell out of property values. Because the CRA depends on a difference between a base year and the current year to compute its tax revenue take, the difference for the north Sarasota CRA has been negative every year, because p roperty values remain below 2007 levels. In addition to suggesting the Downtown CRA be extended, the study committee proposed a reset of the base year for the north Sarasota, or Newtown, CRA to 2013, in anticipation of a continued rise in property values. But the idea blew apart at the Monday, April 21, meeting of the City Commission. Attorneys for the city and county have sparred over the reset idea, with County Attorney Steve DeMarsh saying the city does not have the power to unilaterally take such action. City Attorney Bob Fournie r thinks otherwise, but Mark Huey, chairman of the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board, and Lorna Alston, general manager of the North Sarasota Redevelopment Ofce, address the City Commission on Monday. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION DECIDES NOT TO RISK COUNTY WRATH OVER THE NEWTOWN COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY RESET QUASHED By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


A map shows the area of the Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 44


until the city moved to act, their disagreement was academic. When an ordinance to reset the date came up for a public hearing Monday, Fournier said the city had three options: Walk away from the idea, hold the rst public hearing but wait on the second to seek county permission or go forward with unilateral adoption. The reset idea is small potatoes, starting with maybe $9,000 a year. But Newtown receives more than $1 million per year from the Downtown CRA. If the county decides not to extend the Downtown CRA, that money will go away. While Sarasota County does not participate in the Newtown CRA, its share of the funding for the Downtown CRA is more than $3.5 mil lion a year. That led Vice Mayor Willie Shaw to say, It would be fruitless to go forward with the reset for $9,000 and lose out on the $3.5 million. Shaw implied a linkage. If the city acted unilaterally to reset the CRA in his district, it would run the risk the county would use that decision to deny any extension for the Downtown CRA. There are several contentious issues between the city and county at this time. The Newtown CRA base year reset was one of them, but no longer. Shaw made a motion to scuttle the ordinance. It passed unanimously. The question remains whether the county will use this leverage to get its way on other issues, including the fate of city-owned prop erty along Ringling Boulevard across from the jail that the county covets for a new judicial center and the site of a proposed shelter for homeless people and vagrants. As a historical note, the city has already and unilaterally reset the Newtown CRA base year. Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown reminded the commission Monday, We reset it after two public hearings [from 2007 to 2008]. We did not seek permission from the County Commission. The City Commission did that without the permission of the county. Since the proposed ordinance was scrapped, Fournier and DeMarsh can continue their academic argument, with Browns historical anecdote added. Just before the vote, Mayor Shannon Snyder said, The county has been very cooperative with us recently. Unsaid was the implied rest of the sentence: And we would like to keep it that way. % Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood Lifesaving cancer screenings Parent & teen education Annual GYN exams Birth controlPlanned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central FloridaSarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 45


Sarasota County this week approved changes to a $1.2 million financial incen tive a greement with a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to working with Sarasotas aging pop ulation that so far has not met full-time employment goals stipulat ed in its deal. In November 2011, the nonprofit Institute for the Ages inked a deal with the county for the money, agree ing to meet a variety of milestones over a three-year period. The Institute grew out of an initiative plotted by Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence; its The Institute for the Ages has its ofces on Main Street in Sarasota. Image from the website NONPROFIT HAS NOT MET COUNTY GRANT HIRING GOALS, BUT SAYS REVAMPED DEAL BETTER SUITS ITS STARTUP MODEL Instead of just forcing ourselves to hire eight full-time people, we can be more exible and nimble and tap into more specialized talent. Tom Esselman CEO Institute for the Ages By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor CLEANER AND MEANER


mission is to co nnect innovative compa nies and researchers with the countys elderly population. One third-year stipulation in the nonprots deal with the county called for the Institute to show it has hired eight full-time employ ees with an average annual wage of not less than the then-Current Metropolitan Statistical Average for this area, calculated to be slightly more than $37,000. But the Institute hasnt met those hiring goals. It now employs just four full-timers. However, the Institute argued in a request to the county this month, it has worked with part-time and contract workers at a level commensurate with its eight-employee goal. According to a spreadsheet laying out all its workers hours and wages, the Institute has hired four part-time employees and has com missioned work from eight contractors, some of them not local e.g., the New York PR rm DJC Communications. With respect to the local versus non-local hiring, these non-local roles are all involved in media to help raise the national prole and exposure for the Institute, which is a clear mandate of the Incentive contract, Institute CEO Tom Essel man wrote in an April letter to the county. Were a startup, Esselman tells The Sarasota News Leader Its a brand new entity and were trying to do something very unique. He says the eight-employee stipu lation, which was hammered out before he was hired, was intended primarily to make the Institute demonstrate that it is a grow ing organization. But rather than just hire eight employees to meet an arbitrary goal, Esselman says the Institute leadership has thought carefully about how best to spend the resources it has been given. We look at this as a great oppor tunity to show that were better stewards of the countys money, he adds. Instead of just forcing ourselves to hire eight full-time peo ple, we can be more exible and nimble and tap into more specialized talent. Esselman, a former Hallmark executive, says the approach is common these days. I fol low national trends like crazy and the most important trend in terms of startups has been this workforce trend of hiring more and more part-time people, he adds. When youre a startup, it helps you become a lot cleaner and meaner. % Search for text in stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and entering a search term. Search the current edition or all editions. QUICK TIP Search Only The Issue You Are Viewing Search All Issues Your search term here Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 47


A graphic prepared by county staff shows the lot at 162 Beach Road in comparison to nearby properties. Image courtesy Sarasota County THIRD TIME NOT THE CHARM The lawyer part of me says that there are other uses for this property. Ive been here 31 years. Ive seen that property underwater. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County


It took about 30 minu tes less than a twoand-a-half hour public hearing in January 2013, but the result this week was the same: On a unanimous vote, the Sarasota County Commission denied an Osprey couples peti tion to construct a two-story house on Siesta Keys Beach Road that would stand 176.5 feet seaward of the Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL). The action came despite a threat from the couples agent, a Sarasota attorney, that they would le a lawsuit against the county for a taking o f the land if their latest request were turned down. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta, made the motion, pointing out that she had literally been standing at the street when the two next-door prop erties really stood fully in the water. Patterson added, And while theres lots of beach there [now], and its really tempting [to approve the request], I dont believe [the beach] will stay th at way. The lot at 162 Beach Road (left) was ooded by Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012. Photo courtesy Sarasota County IN SPITE OF A THREAT OF A LAWSUIT, THE COUNTY COMMISSION HOLDS FAST ON REFUSING TO LET A COUPLE BUILD A HOUSE SEAWARD OF THE GULF BEACH SETBACK LINE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 49


Bill Merrill III, agent for the Allens, addressed the County Commission about the variance in February, before the public hearing was postponed until this week. File photo To deny this variance would put an unreasonable hardship on the land, because without this variance, there is not reasonable or economically viable use available for the property at all. William Merrill III Agent for Ronald And Sania Allen Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 50


Ronald and Sania Allen bought the 7,429-square-foot parcel at 162 Beach Road as part of a two-lot package in 2009, paying $5.4 million for them. They were seeking a vari ance to build a 3,088-square-foot house on the 162 Beach Road site and construct a paver driveway of 1,421 square feet. In January 2013, the County Commission refused their request to put a 4,744-square-foot house on the parcel. On Wednesday, Chairman Charles Hines told his colleagues, Its just against my core in America to tell someone how big their house should or shouldnt be. However, he added, Looking at this, I believe there is a reason able expectation that there is a reasonable use thats available for the property. This is still a big house on this lot. My concern is we have to focus on whats in front of us, Commissioner Joe Barbetta pointed out. He then referenced comments the couples agent, William M. Merrill III of Icard Merrill in Sarasota, had made that a denial of the request could result in a lawsuit. We can speculate were going to be sued; we can speculate its a taking [but] I cant sup port [the petition] as it appears. Photos from 1992 show the 162 Beach Road property ooded. Images courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 51


Barbetta added, The lawyer part of me says that there are other uses for this property. Ive been here 31 years. Ive seen that prop erty underwater. Barbetta seconded Pattersons motion. Because two earlier petitions were denied for the same site, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh told the board, I think it important to give direction as to what the commission might think is a more appropriate petition, unless the board felt no construction should be allowed on the site. Itd be hard for me to approve anything here, Patterson responded, adding that she felt his suggestion was unfair. The Allens proposal did not meet the criteria for approval under the countys comprehensive plan, she said. I just have a hard time believing that there is an obligation on our part to approve some thing thats several thousand square feet, Patterson added. To deny this variance would put an unreason able hardship on the land, because without this variance, there is not reasonable or eco nomically viable use available for the property at all, Merrill asserted, adding that it would be a categorical taking. Merrill referred the c ommissioners to a sec tion of the countys code of ordinances, which says, Nothing in this article or the Comprehensive Plan shall be construed to result in a temporary or permanent taking of private property without due process of law. If the board denied a variance petition for the property for a third time especially as this was a request for a smaller structure than the one proposed in 2013 I submit to you that this would be a temporary or permanent tak ing of private property without due process of law, Merrill stressed. Since the Allens purchased the property, the ad valorem tax on it has risen dramatically, he said, despite [Ronald Allens] protests to property tax ofcials. According to the Sarasota County Property Appraisers Office, the assessment was $41,140 in 2009. A year later it jumped to $665,100. In 2013, the assessment was $816,629, records show. When Hines asked if he had any idea why the appraised value had continued to rise, Merrill replied that staff members in the Property Appraisers Ofce had indicated to Ronald Allen that they felt the gures reected the Howard Berna, environmental supervisor in the countys Natural Resources Department, prepared the staff review of the variance petition. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 52


value of the land and the fact that it was a buildable lot Even after the County Commission denied the variance petition last year, Merrill noted, They didnt feel that [the value] should be lowered; in fact, it got increased. TRYING TO MAKE HIS CASE Merrill showed graphics to the board as he noted that the 162 Beach Road parcel and an adjacent lot (168 Beach Road) are the only pieces of property without houses on them between Beach Access 3 and Siesta Public Beach, exc ept for a county-owned lot and two other parcels one owned by the Tivoli Siesta Key condominium complex; the other, by Terrace East, to ensure residents have unobstructed views of the beach. (Neither complex is on the water.) In response to another question from Hines, Merrill said he provided the tax information and photos of the neighboring houses to underscore what Ronald Allens reasonable expectation was in regard to the parcel. You think that youre going to be able to build a house there, and thats what he [t hought], A cross section shows plans for the house proposed to be built at 162 Beach Road. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 53


only to nd out [he and his wife] were not able to do that. At Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinsons request, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh explained that any development has to be consistent with the countys comprehensive plan, so I think that it is appropriate, really, to focus on the criteria in the ordinance to determine whether or not to grant a variance and, specically, also, whether its the mini mum variance necessary. DeMarsh referenced an earlier comment by Merrill that the lot was platted in 1926, a fac tor in whether a denial of the variance could be considered a taking. The history of the property would be reasonable to consider, DeMarsh pointed out. Steve, I dont mean to argue with what youve just said, Patterson told him, but there are platted lots even seaward of this [regarding which variances have been denied] many times. I didnt conclude whether it would be a tak ing or not, DeMarsh replied, referring to a denial of the petition. I gave you a principle of law to consider. He added that the board should consider the numerous factors related to any lot when asked for a variance to build on it, includ ing its location seaward of the Gulf Beach Setback Line and its elevation to determine what the reasonable expectations of an owner purchasing [it] would be. At another point during his presentation, Merrill directed the board to a section of the countys comprehensive plan that references dune management guidelines. That language indicates co mmissioners should discuss preservation but encourage public acquisi tion if preservation is contemplated, Merrill said, so if you are looking to deny this today, then we would contemplate that you are going to be then considering buying this property at some point in the future, and, certainly, my client would entertain that discussion Merrill also stressed that the Allens had reduced the size and scope of their plan since they submitted their petition last year. Merrill characterized the changes as sub stantial modications to this [design] in line with what you asked us to do. For example, he said, the structure would be two stories, instead of three, over the ground level and the pool had been eliminated from the design. Additionally, Merrill presented gures show ing that the house the Allens proposed would be about 2,800 square feet smaller than the average size of homes along the stretch of Beach Road he had referenced earlier. We believe this is as small as you can go and still get a reasonable return on the investment, Merrill said. In response to a question from Patterson, Merrill agreed that the two houses to the immediate north of the 162 Beach Road lot have smaller houses on them than the one planned by the Allens. Located at 156 and 152 Beach Road, he said one has 1,783 square feet of habitable space; the other, 1,782 square feet. So theyre quite a bit smaller, Patterson replied. Yes, Merrill told her, but he added that they were built before 1979, when the comprehen sive plan went i nto effect. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 54


When Patt erson pointed out that the compre hensive plan tightened building regulations on the countys coast, Merrill responded that after 1979, Houses got bigger, not smaller. The staff report says the Allens 3,088-squarefoot house would be ranked as the third largest residence based on Living Area and fifth most intensive residential con struction based on Living Area/Land Area (41.57%), based on a comparison with 16 nearby properties. PUBLIC COMMENTS Among the speakers who addressed the com mission during the public hearing was Jono Miller, a New College faculty member who pointed out that he started his environmental consulting rm in the county 39 years ago. I would just bite the bullet and concede that its a taking, he said as he urged the board to deny the petition. He added that the com mission should offer to pay the Allens the fair market value for the land, because its history shows clearly that its a compromised lot that really cant or shouldnt be developed. Representing the residents of the Terrace East condominiums in Siesta Village, Cathleen ODowd, a partner in the law rm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Sarasota, told the commissioners, [The Allens] purchased the property assuming the risk of not being able to develop it. She also pointed out that the commission in 1993 unanimously denied a request to con struct a home on the site. Allen Worms, a retired professor and wild life biologist who volunteers with Sarasota Audubon, reported to the board that on April 14, a snowy plover nest had been found with three eggs in it only about 50 feet from the Beach Road property. The whole state has only about 200 snowy plovers, he said, stressing their endangerment. Its a fragile area, he added of the area that includes the Allens lot. During Merrills rebuttal, he called up Michele Steinbaum, a biologist with the Sarasota rm of Steinbaum and Associates, to dispute Worms assertion. It would be atypical for snowy plovers to nest on this lot, she said, because the birds utilize the wet sand of the beach for their nests, which are way far away from this lot. % 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 April 25, 2014 Page 55


As soon as the U .S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) delivers to the City of Sarasota the model and analysis regarding the proposal to renourish Lido Key Beach, the city will ask a local independent consultant to con duct a peer review of the material, City Engineer Alexandrea DavisS haw told The Sarasota News Leader this week. The COE has requested that step, she said, so the agency will have an opportunit y to make any modi cations the consultant rec ommends before the COE begins holding public meetings on the data. City Manager Tom Barwin wants to make cer tain the ndings have been double-checked, DavisShaw contin ued. They re planning to be done with the model and the report very soon within days DavisShaw said on April 22, refer ring to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Gulf of Mexico pools around a Lido Beach condominium complex. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota THE CITY OF SARASOTA WILL PROCEED WITH A PEER REVIEW AS SOON AS IT RECEIVES THE LIDO RENOURISHMENT PROJECT DATA FROM THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WHICH SHOULD BE BY EARLY MAY THE WAIT NEARS AN END Theyre planning to be done with the model and the report very soon. Alexandrea DavisShaw City Engineer City of Sarasota By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor


The material will b e available to the public as soon as the city receives it, she pointed out. In an April 23 email to the News Leader Susan J. Jackson, a spokeswoman for the COE in its Jacksonville District ofce, said she had spoken to the COE project manager, Milan Mora, who reported that the district is still conducting an internal peer review of the model (this is a normal part of our process). We anticipate providing the model to the city for [its] peer review in May. Jackson added that the COE would start work ing with DavisShaw in the next few weeks to start coordinating a public meeting schedule. Cliff Truitt of Coastal Technology Corp. (CTC) will undertake the peer review for the city, DavisShaw t old the News Leader Sea birds rest on the shoal in Big Pass just after dawn in early March. Photo by Rachel Hackney Alex DavisShaw. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 57


CTCs website explains that it was founded in Florida in 1984 and that it specializes in coastal engineering, coastal zone manage ment, coastal geology and environmental permitting services. The rm is based in Sarasota. Truitt has worked on past versions of the countys Inlet Management Plan for big Sarasota Pass and New Pass, she added, so he is familiar with the characteristics of both passes. He has not participated in any of the work the Corps has done. Becaus e of the time the review may take, DavisShaw continued, it could be mid-June before the COE is ready to hold the rst pub lic meeting on the modeling and analysis. However, if the peer review nds no causes for concern, she said, the COE might proceed with meetings on an earlier timeline. Sarasota County may want to pursue a peer review of the materials on its own, DavisShaw noted. Commissioner Nora Patterson has advocated for that in meetings this year of Siesta Key organi zations. A slide shown to the City and County commissions in October 2013 predicted no substantial negative effects on Siesta Key from the dredging of Big Pass and the installation of three groins on South Lido Key. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 58


A reside nt of Siesta Key, Patterson has heard island owners of homes and businesses voice concerns about the potential impacts on Siestas beaches regarding the COEs proposed dredging of Big Pass and the con struction of three groins on South Lido Key. As presented in several public meetings last year, the COE plan calls for the dredging of more than 1 million cubic yards of sand from Big Pass for the first renourishment of Lido Beach under a 50-year-long project. Subsequent renourishments of Lido would take place every ve years, with sand alter nately coming from New Pass, COE Project Manager Mora has said. The approximate cost of the work is $22 mil lion, with the federal government to handle about 63 percent of the expense. The rest of the cost would be covered by the city through county Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue allocated for beach renourish ment and state funding. PUTTING THE COUNTY ON NOTICE In the meantime, a Tampa attorney has noti fied Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer that he and his rm have been hired by Best Western Plus-Siesta Key to assist it in legally protecting its interests and in ensuring that the proposed project to renourish Lido Beach does not adversely affect Siesta Key. In the April 17 letter, Donald E. Hemke of Carlton Fields Jordan Burt added, I under stand that we may be similarly representing other organizations through SOSS2, Inc., Save Our Siesta Sands 2. SOSS2 was founded as a nonprot organiza tion to oppose the dredging of Big Pass. The lett er poin ts out that the ownership of the hotel, located at 6600 S. Tamiami Trail near Siesta Key, does not oppose renourishment at Lido Key, but insists that any renourishment does not jeopardize Siesta Key in any way and that alternatives to obtaining sand from Big Pass be appropriately explored and used. Hemke asked Harmer to include him on any email or notice list to ensure he receives infor mation about the Lido Beach project. He also requested that Harmer provide him a point of contact for coordinating any requests for public records, pursuant to the Public Records Act, in any way relating to the pro posal to renourish Lido Key. Maria Bankemper, co-owner and general manager of the Best Western Plus, is the immediate past chairwoman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. She and her father, Mike Lepore, ar e directors of SOSS2. % Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Milan Mora addresses the Sarasota County Coastal Advisory Committee in September 2013. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 59


The April 21 S araso ta City Commission meeting was about big money, ordinance tweaking and more (and more) talk about homelessness. The State Street parking garage is now off and running, having received the commis sions blessings for construction to begin. It took six related agenda items to cut the cord and start the baby breathing on its own. The gestation period has been about a decade. The cost is estimated at $11.4 million to pro vide parking for 300 cars, 20 bicycles and eight motorcycles. Th e price is well above the $7.2 gure originally budgeted. The city has a complicated funding plan to cover the difference, with money from the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency, shifts between internal accounts and borrow ing from the Workers Compensation Fund and the Fleet Liability Fund. During the early design phase for the proj ect, the public was asked to contribute ideas. One was a green roof, possibly even a city park atop the mid-rise building. That went nowhere, but city Chief Planner Steve Stancel told the commissioners the city is in discussions with Florida P ower & Light for The City Commission listens to a presentation on April 21. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE STATE STREET PARKING GARAGE PROJECT WILL BE CLOSE TO MAKING DEADLINE, AND A NEW MOBILITY FEE SYSTEM HAS STARTED ITS COURSE TO BECOMING LAW CITY COMMISSION WRAP-UP By Stan Zimmerman City Editor


the company to lease the rooftop and install solar panels. Commissioner Paul Caragiulo said of the garage plan, Ive supported this from the beginning, to develop nearly an acre of the downtown area. There are some issues with spending. The 50-percent increase does not give me condence I would like to have, but parking garages are an important part of our downtown. Caragiulo then voted against the project, joined by Mayor Shannon Snyder. But the other three commissioners voted in favor of it. The same vote split was repeated when it came time to approve the funding scheme. The city is obligated under a contract with the developers of Pineapple Square to provide the garage by February of next year. Stancel says it will be a race to the nish line. Expect a groundbreaking in May. IMPACT FEE TAKES A HEADER Although a raft of public hearings will still be required, the city commissioners cleared the way for Sarasota to opt out of the countys road impact fee system and replace it with a more dexterous mobility fee that can be used for more than just road improvements. City Engineer Alex DavisShaw has been work ing on the plan for many months. It requires undoing many codes, interlocal agreements, ordinances and coordination with Sarasota County. At issue on the afternoon of April 21 was a resolution declaring an intent to terminate the road impact fee inter-local An artists rendering shows one view of the State Street parking garage design. Image courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 61


agreement that was signed in 1990, almost a quarter-century ago. Under the existing system, the developer of any new construction is required to com pensate the city or county with cash for any impact the new project will have on roads. The mobility fee plan uses the same ethic but allows the money to be spent for more than extra lanes for trafc. Bike and pedestrian paths could be funded, as could a variety of forms of transit (water taxis, buses, trolleys, streetcars, electric vehicles). To goad construction, Sarasota County slashed its road impact fees years ago. Later in this new process, the city must decide how much it will charge for mobility fees. It adds exibility that wasnt ther e in the old regime, said Rod Warner, a seasoned citizen volunteer on a variety of transportation issues. DavisShaw said she would like to start the new system by the beginning of the next scal year, Oct. 1. This is our future, said Commissioner Suzanne Atwell. We need to do this. The commission agreed to advertise a public hearing that will be held to establish rates for the mobility fee. THE HOMELESSNESS REFLEX On Monday, the commission also took four votes and heard one report on vagrancy and homelessness in the city. Mayor Snyder has asked City Manager Tom Barwin to provide a A surface parking lot stands on the site where the State Street garage will be built. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 62


report on the lat ter issue at every meeting; April 21 marked the debut of Barwins briengs. Barwin said the Seminole Gulf Railway has begun clearing brush from its right of way. The rail corridor has long been the site of a string of encampments, probably going back to the hobo days of the 1920s. At least one of those encampments has been linked to res adjacent to a fuel storage facility (see the related story in this issue). Barwin added that the encampment near the cemetery between 10th and 12th streets is still in use. We did one trash cleanup, and we will need to do another in the very near future, he said. That is the encampment the City Commission ruled off-limits to police unless there were calls there for service. The police attempted to use homeless out reach teams to offer people in that camp free lodging at The Salvation Army and a variety of A graphic shows the property where staging could be handled for the deep injection well project. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 63


social services The commission ordered that halted because the city and countys homeless ness issues consultant told a daily newspaper the city should wait until a shelter was built to take such action. The city asked the con sultant, Robert Marbut, for clarication, but Barwin said, He has not responded to our request that the outreach teams continue. City and county staffs continue to meet, coor dinate and share information, Barwin noted. The following day, the City and County com missions were scheduled for a joint session to discuss vagrancy, homelessness and a pos sible site for the shelter (see the related story in this issue). Construction begins at one of the proposed shelter sites on April 28, but not for a cen ter for the homeless. The property is home to a city utility facility now being prepared for injection of brine from the citys reverse-os mosis drinking water treatment plant. The effort will require more than 1,000 feet of pipe that was to be stored on-site. The area is one of two under study for a come-as-you-are shelter for the homeless and vagrants. Should the utility site across 12th Street from the sewer treatment plant be chosen for the shelter, all of the construction materials for the injection facility would need to be moved tons of it. On Monday, the city deferred the decision to lease a new area to stage the construction material. But at the end of its joint meeting Tuesday with still no decision on a site the City Commission voted 3-2 to spend $1,075 a m onth to lease propert y for the pipe and other gear. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioner Susan Chapman voted in the minority. Another homeless-driven issue settled Monday will ban people from loitering in roundabouts. The vote was triggered by a man who has been spending his days on the inner curb of the roundabout at Ringling and Pineapple. The purpose is to promote trafc safety for motorists and pedestrians on the roadways, explained City Attorney Bob Fournier of the action. I can think of about ve other things in this community that are more important than Ian sunning himself in the roundabout, said Snyder of the man at the focus of the initia tive. I think it is targeting one person, and I cannot support this. The vote to approve the ban was 4-1, with Snyder in the minority. Then the commission amended three provi sions of its outdoor-lodging ordinance so the law would be more congruent with the new county ordinance. Until a shelter is built, how ever, there will be little or no enforcement of the changes, a cautionary action because of a federal court decision in Miami called the Pottinger case. That decision made it clear homeless people cannot be held legally accountable for acts of nature, for example, if a city does not provide facilities for them as alternatives. Those changes to the ordinance were approved unanimously. % Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 64


The 2014 Veter ans Stand Down event, which is designed to connect veterans to vital ser vices, will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 26, at the William L. Little Health and Human Services Center (county Health Department), located at 2200 Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota, the center has announced. Additional services will be offered in Payne Park Auditorium, a short walk away, a news release notes. Veterans should bring their IDs (Veterans Administration cards or DD-214 forms), if available, the release points out. The event is free, the release adds; bus passes are available in advance by calling 366-2224, Ext. 146, or attendees will be reimbursed the day of the event with a receipt. The Stand Down program is a way for veterans not already receiving services to get access to many providers and types of support in a one-stop setting, the release notes. Veterans who attend the event will be able to get help in accessing Veterans Administration benets and service s, for example. Further, housing assistance also will be available for homeless veterans, the release says. Local organizations providing programs relating to mental health and substance abuse treatment as well as legal and employment services will have represen tatives on hand to supply information and referrals, the release explains. Additionally, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota People await assistance during a Veterans Stand Down event in the Dallas area of Texas in October 2011. Image from Flickr via Wikimedia Commons VETERANS STAND DOWN EVENT PLANNED FOR APRIL 26 NEWS BRIEFS


County (form erly known as Sarasota County Health Department) will have its Health in Motion Mobile Medical Unit parked nearby, so attendees can receive no-cost blood pres sure and blood sugar (diabetes) screenings, HIV testing and health education, the release continues. In addition, attendees can get help with nding a primary healthcare pro vider, the release points out. Because of the signicant interest in hair cuts last year, a team of barbers, hair stylists and nail technicians from Manatee Technical Institute will be on hand again. Nonperishable food items, personal care items and Veterans Administration surplus items also will be provided. The Salvation Army will offer f ood and refreshments, the release notes. We are dedicated to helping veterans within our community, said Phil Gorelick, vice president of Programs at Jewish Family & Childrens Service (JFCS), in the release. Among the JFCS offerings is the Operation Military Assistance Program, a federally funded service to assist veterans with obtain ing or maintaining permanent housing. The Stand Down allows us to connect with home less veterans, providing access to resources they may not be aware exist, which sup ports the process of helping them to become self-sustaining, Gorelick added in the release. For more information, visit or call 366-2224, Ext. 146. Sarasota County, t he University of Florida/ Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension program, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) and Florida Power & Light (FPL) will celebrate Arbor Day with two free educational events at the Sarasota County Extension Office, located at Twin Lakes Park at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota, SBEP has announced. Tree School will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 25, a news release points out. The event will focus on best practices and proper tree care for landscape professionals, the release says. Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) as well as International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) credits will be available to participants. Value of Trees and Pruning for Tree Health will be held from 1 to 4 pm, on Saturday, April 26, the release continues. The event will fea ture pruning demonstrations and a discussion on how to place the right tree in the right loca tion, it adds. Information about coastal trees and special considerations when managing them will be included. A panel of experts will be on hand to answer questions, it notes, and participants will receive free pindo palm seed lings, while supplies last, courtesy of FPL. A commemorative tree planting at the Sarasota County Extension Gardens at Twin Lakes Park will be held following the class on April 26. Advanced registration is recommended for both classes, the release notes. That can be done online at or by call ing 861-5000. SBEP TO CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY WITH CLASSES AT TWIN LAKES PARK Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 66


Law enforcement agencies throughout Sarasota County will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) national event to take back and properly dispose of pre scription medication on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Sheriffs Ofce has announced. The Sarasota County Sheriffs Ofce has permanent drop boxes at the Criminal Justice Center, 2071 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, which is open 24-hours a day; and the south county ofce, 4531 State Road 776, Venice, where the hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Sarasota Police Department, the Venice Police Department and North Port Police Department also hav e pe rmanent drop boxes in each of their lobbies and a re participating in Saturdays event. Medication turn-in is always anonymous. Prescription and over-the-counter solid dosage medication such as tablets and capsules are accepted. While boxes at each location are available to the public year-round, the agencies participate in the national turn-in initiative to publicize the perma nent option for proper disposal. Drug turn-in events address a vital public safety and pub lic health issue. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, includ ing from home medicine cabinets. In addition, proper dis posal of medication is safer for the environment, which is timely in recognition of Earth Day. NATIONAL DRUG TAKE-BACK EVENT PLANNED FOR APRIL 26 Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 67


The new Sarasota County Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan (PDRP) a countywide report that proposes best practices for rede veloping the community after a major disaster, will be the focus of two public meetings next week, the county has announced. The PDRP emphasizes actions that can be taken before a catastrophe, such as a major hurricane strike, to prepare the way for haz ard mitigation and community improvements consistent with the local comprehensive plan and with citizen participation, a news release says. Recovery topics addressed in the plan include business resumption and business redevelopment; housing repair and reconstruction; infrastructure restoration and mitigation; short-term recovery actions that affect long-term redevelopment; sustain able land use; environmental restoration; and nancial considerations, the release points out. The countys local municipalities (the cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port and the Town of Longboat Key) are evaluating the plan, making it more applicable to their respec tive jurisdictions, the release notes. For the PDRP to apply within a municipality, its local government board would need to adopt it, the release explains. The plan is also available for county residents to review. It can be found online at www. All residents are encour aged to read it to become more aware of the risks and the need to prepare for disaster, the release says. Residents are also asked to consider and comment on the priorities for redevelopment outlined in the plan, the release adds. Comments may b e emailed to PDRP@scgov.n et or mailed to PDRP Comments, Sarasota County Coastal Resources, 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34240. The two open meetings scheduled for next week to obtain public opinion on the plan will be held as follows: Tuesday, April 29, 6 to 8 p.m., Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. Wednesday, April 30, 6 to 8 p.m., Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice. The County Commission is set to discuss the PDRP on Wednesday, June 11, at 1:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers located within the County Administration Center at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota. PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON POST-DISASTER PLANNING Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 68


Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a Free Play Day Friday, April 25, at the Payne Park Tennis Center, located at 2050 Adams Lane in Sarasota, the county has announced. From 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. all 12 clay courts, ball machines, instructional clinics and activ ities will be absolutely free, a news release points out. The daylong event will feature tennis clinics from 4 to 6 p.m., round-robin events for all levels from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a potluck tennis party beginning at 6:30 p.m., the release adds. Sarasota County Parks and Recreation offers tennis facilities in many of our park locations, but the Payne Park Tennis Center is more than just courts to play on, said Carolyn Brown, director of the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department, in the release. Its a full-service tennis facility featuring certied professionals, lessons, competitions, clinics and more. Payne Park Tennis Center, which was estab lished in 1993, features the following, the release notes: 12 Har-Tru Hydrogrid tennis courts. Canopy-covered bench seating. Water fountains at the courts. Locker rooms with showers. Lig hted courts for evening play. Certied teaching pros ( USPTA/USPTR ). Hitting wall. Courtside tables. Lessons and clinics. Leagues and round robins. Tournaments. For more information contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or visit PAYNE PARK TENNIS CENTER HOSTING FREE PLAY DAY APRIL 25 A list of rules hangs on the fence above the Payne Park Tennis Center sign. Photo by Scott Proft Sarasot a County was one of six Florida coun ties selected to develop PDRPs as part of a pilot project for the Florida Department of Community Affairs and Florida Division of Emergency Management, the release points out. These counties experiences will shape future guidance from the state on the content and planning process for PDRPs, it adds. Because Sarasota County has been featured as a pioneering case study in the states PostDisaster Redevelopment Planning guidebook, the release continues, the county will have a jump start on any planning requirements that come from this pr ogram. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 69


After nearly 10 years in the position, Gwen MacKenzie will be stepping down next month as president & CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, the hospital has announced. MacKenzie will be returning to her home state to assume a leadership role with the nations largest Catholic and nonprot health system, Ascension Health, where she will have oversight of the organizations Michigan Ministries, a news release points out. MacKenzie will remain at Sarasota Memorial through the month of May. She will start her new job on June 1, the release adds. In the latter role, MacKenzie will be responsible for the administrative direction, strategic posi tioning and operations of Ascension Healths ve health systems in Michigan Borgess Health, Genesys Health System, St. John Providence Health System, St. Joseph Health System and St. Marys of Michigan which collectively have 31,000 employees and more than 150,000 patient discharges and 4 million outpatient visits throughout the state, the release notes. Sarasota Memorial is a very special organiza tion with outstanding doctors and staff, and its been an honor to serve this community, MacKenzie said in the release. It will be hard to leave so many good friends and colleagues. Marguerite Malo ne, chairwoman of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, announced MacKenzies resignation to staff and physicians on Wednesday, April 23, the release points out. The board has appointed Sarasota Memorial Chief Operating Ofcer (COO) David Verinder as interim CEO, effec tive June 1. Verinder joined Sarasota Memorial in 2006 as chief financial officer and has served as COO since 2010, the release adds. Thanks to Gwens outstanding leadership and vision, she is leavin g Sarasota Memorial in a n ex ce ptionally strong position, from both a quality and nancial perspective, Malone said in the release. Since joining Sarasota Memorial in 2005, MacKenzie has successfully implemented numerous patient care and operational improvements, the release continues. Indeed, the organization has been repeat edly honored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet designation), [ U.S. News & World Report ] Thomson Reuters, HealthGrades and numerous other national organizations for our excellent care and robust operational performance, it adds. The organizations positive nancial results paved the way for bond-rating upgrades and our $250 million campus improvement proj ect, it notes. MacKenzie also led the organization through a period of unprecedented growth and improved access to care, opening seven outpatient cen ters in the past nine years, including Sarasota Memorials freestanding Emergency Room and Health Care Center in the medically under served com munity of North Port, it says. SARASOTA MEMORIAL CEO ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION AS OF JUNE 1 Gwen MacKenzie/Photo contributed by Sarasota Memorial Hospital Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 70


The Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) will be conducting pre scribed burns during the months of April, May and June on both the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and the neighboring Schewe Tract, the district has announced. Deer Prairie Creek Preserve, which is jointly owned and managed by SWFWMD and Sarasota County, is located between Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 41, a news release notes. The Schewe Tract, which is located north and south of I-75 just north of Deer Prairie Creek, is fully owned and managed by the dis trict. Both of these parcels are located west of North Port. Approximately 950 acres will be burned, in small manageable units, the release notes. Acco rding to Will VanGelder, SWFWMDs land management supervisor, burns are imple mented to mimic natural re cycles under a controlled situation, the release explains. The objective is to avert uncontrolled wildres and enhance the areas natural conditions by maintaining the ecological and wildlife habi tat values, the release says. Prescribed burns are conducted only when weather conditions are optimal to meet the desired objectives and to minimize impacts to the public, the release notes. Although every effort will be made to assure that smoke does not affect homes or highways, vehicle operators should exercise caution if smoke reduces visibility on the areas roads or highways, the relea se points out. DISTRICT SCHEDULES SPRING PRESCRIBED FIRES FOR SARASOTA COUNTY A section of a brochure shows Deer Prairie Creek Preserve. Image from Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 71


The lm Take Back Your Power will be shown at 2 p.m. at the Jacaranda Library, located at 4143 Woodmere Blvd. in Venice, on Saturday, April 26, organizers of the program have announced. Learn about smart meters that are on our homes, a news release says. The free event is open to the public. The Venice 912 Group is sponsoring the showing, the release adds. FILM ABOUT UTILITY COMPANIES SMART METERS TO BE SHOWN Images courtesy I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | 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 April 25, 2014 Page 72


CRIME BLOTTER A ag shows the location of the Sarasota residence where a woman was killed early Saturday morning after a vehicle smashed into her bedroom. Image from Google Maps Jakeilah R. We eks, 24, of Tampa, was charged with Vehicular Homicide, Burglary, two counts of Battery, Petit Theft and Obstruction in connection with a crash that cost a Sarasota woman her life early on the morning of Saturday, April 19, in Sarasota, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. Just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday, ofcers with the Police Department were dispatched to a report of a domestic situation and burglary at a home in the 1700 block of 29th Street 62-YEAR-OLD WOMAN KILLED BY DRIVER FLEEING CRIME SCENE in Sarasota, a news release says. The of cers learned from Donta Carswell Jr., 24, of 1719 29th St., Sarasota, that Weeks was upset because he had broken up with her and he had begun dating another woman, according to the report. He was lying facedown on the ground in front of his home when the ofcers arrived, the report notes. As the ofcers were interviewing Carswell, the report continues, his mother, who lives at 1725 29th St. yelled to them that a woman,


The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested four men from south Florida for allegedly trying to break into a home on Western Pine Circle on the morning of April 23 while children were alone inside, the ofce has announced. The mother left the house to take one child to school but received a text from one of the children at home that said someone was try ing to break in, a news release says. She told the kids to run out the back and head to a neighbors residence, it adds. As they did, the oldest child snapped a picture of the suspects vehicle in the driveway, the release continues. A witness who called 911 saw two men run to the car, which sped off northbound, the release adds. A description of the vehicle and the tag number were radioed to deputies, who located and stopped the car on Interstate 75 at Laurel Road, the release notes. The occupants of the vehicle were identied as 22-year-old Trevon Jackson, 19-year old Darian Jones, 24-year-old Marcus Felder and 20-year-old Gary Saulby Jr., the release says. Each suspect told detectives a different story regarding the reason they were in the area, it points out. All four men are charged with one count each of Attempted Residential Burglary. Jackson is also charged with Violation of Probation. SOUTH FLORIDA GROUP ARRESTED IN ATTEMPTED BURGLARY CASE Jakeilah R. Weeks/Contributed photo later identied as Weeks, had just broken into her home and was attempting to ee the scene in a vehicle. When an ofcer ran up to the car and banged on the window to get Weeks attention, she ignored him and ed north on Maple Avenue, the report continues. Ofcers ran to keep visual contact of Weeks on Maple Avenue and witnessed her crash her vehicle into the back wall of a home at 1728 32nd St., the release says. The vehicle smashed through an exterior wall of the home and into a bedroom where the homeowner, Eleanor Ball, 62, of Sarasota, was sleeping, the release points out. Ball died at the scene, the release adds. Weeks rst was taken to the hospital for treat ment of injuries sustained in the crash and later was booked into the Sarasota County Jail on Saturday, the report notes. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 74


Marcus Felder/Contributed photo Darian Jones/Contributed photo Trevon Jackson/Contributed photo Gary Saulby Jr./Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 75


The Sarasota Cou nty Sheriffs Office has charged a Bradenton man in connection with multiple locker thefts at two Crunch Fitness locations, the ofce has reported. On April 7, a mans wallet was reported sto len from a locker at the Bee Ridge Road gym, a news release says. The victims debit card and credit card later were used at several locations to purchase gift cards worth more than $1,800, the release adds. After detectives issued a law enforcement bulletin, a Manatee County detective identied the suspect as Jared Mustrat, 27, of 10407 Winding Stream Way, Bradenton, who was suspected in a sim ilar crime at a Crunch Fitness location in that city, the release points out. On Monday, April 21, two more locker thefts were reported at the Bee Ridge Road gy m, the release notes. One v ictim reported the theft of credit cards and $300 in cash, the release says, while the second victim found nearly $1,500 in fraud ulent charges when he checked his online credit card statement. Deputies located Mustrat on April 22 and booked him into the Manatee County Jail, the release adds. At this time he is facing one count of Scheme to Defraud, one count of Grand Theft and two counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card for the Sarasota County crimes, it says. Additional Manatee County charges are pending as the investigation continues. MAN CHARGED AFTER INVESTIGATION INTO LOCKER THEFTS Jared Mustrat/Contributed photo The suspect is shown in a surveillance video. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 76


Jason Flo res, 22, of 1644 Eighth St., Sarasota, has been arrested and charged with residen tial and commercial burglaries, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. More charges are pending, a news release says. Flores was implicated in four burglaries, the release adds: one at a business at 1899 Fruitville Road in Sarasota and three residen tial incidents at 2466 Loma Linda, 2380 Bahia Vista St. and 2253 Bahia Vista St., the release points out. He was arrested after ofcers saw him running in an area neighbor hood, the release notes. Flores is charged with three counts of Occupied Burglary (a felony), one count of Possession of Burglary Tools (a felony), one count of narcotics Possession (a fel ony) and one count of Burglary Structure Unoccupied (a felony), the release continues. Lt. Pat Ledwith with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations said in the release, We just want to remind residents: Lock it up. Lock your homes, your vehicles and your screen doors to your homes and protect yourself. If you see something suspicious, call 911. Anyone with any information about a crime is encouraged to call Det. Sgt. Tom Shanafelt at 954-7089, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 366-TIPS (8477) or going online at sa % SARASOTA MAN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH BURGLARIES Jason Flores/Contributed photo Simply put, Crime Stoppers relies upon the cooperation between the police the media and the community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals. Call: (941) 366-TIPS (8477) Click: Text: Text TIP109 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) All submitted tips are secure and anonymous Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 77


SIESTA KEY JUSTIFIABLY FEARS THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL Shor tly, we under stand, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) will deliver to the City of Sarasota its much anticipated models/ analysis regarding the Lido Renourishment Project specically, the effects that could be expected from dredging Big Sarasota Pass and constructing three groins on South Lido Key to keep sand in place on the renour ished beach. As City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw explained to the News Leader this week, the city will have its own consultant who has remained independent of the COE work look over that material to see whether any major concerns exist or if modications are needed before the federal agency schedules public meetings on the data. Therefore, it could be mid-June before the Army Corps airs its ndings in the rst such session. However, because the materials will become a matter of public record once the agency delivers them to the city, we expect a scram ble of requests for them. Regardless of what the citys independent consultant nds, we also imagine a lot of people are going to be unhappy. The key issue all along in this pro cess has been a lack of public trust regarding the Army Corps work. The agency has pushed back the timetable for the release of these documents so many times, it is difcult not to be cynical in considering the reasons. The prime one, of course, is whether the Army Corps has been massaging the material to make it more palatable.


We feel terribly sorry for DavisShaw. In a let ter she sent the News Leader last week (see it below in this section), she points to text in the Big Pass Piano music video released earlier this month, which protests the proposal to dredge Big Sarasota Pass for sand to renourish Lido Beach. No decision has been made at this time, DavisShaw stresses about the dredging plan, adding, If the data in the nal analysis shows that the proposed Lido Beach project would put Siesta Key beaches, homes or businesses at risk, neither the City of Sarasota staff nor the Army Corps of Engineers staff would sup port moving forward with it. DavisShaw has an excellent reputation in this community, which makes it all the more painful that she has to contend with criticism that rightfully should be directed at the COE. In fact, we continue to rue the treatment she received when two representatives of the federal agency joined her in a presentation about the Lido project during a public meet ing hosted last December by the Siesta Key Association (SKA). DavisShaw was berated by people in the audience, who were angry and fearful about the very idea of dredging Big Pass, which has remained untouched over the centuries. What DavisShaw wants and what the vast majority of opponents of the project have agreed is needed is sufcient renourish ment of Lido Key so structures do not start tumbling into the Gulf of Mexico. But whereas DavisShaw has spoken of caution, the COE representatives have been cavalier about how the project might affect Siesta Key. Anyone who sat in the audience for the Sarasota County Coastal Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting on Sept. 18, 2013 and listened to Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Milan Mora talk about the whole scenario saw smugness and heard assurances that brought to mind the line from that old joke: Were the government and were here to help you. It was enough to make any Siesta resident want to run from the room, screaming in terror. Perhaps Mora thought the volunteers who serve on the CAC would be an Amen chorus for him. After all, he was the man from the government, there to keep Lido from falling into the sea. During remarks to representatives of the news media almost exactl y a month later just hours before he was to present the same PowerPoint slides to a joint meeting of the City and County commissions that he had shown the Coastal Advisory Committee his assertions were still that assured. Both the dredging of Big Pass and the installation of the groins on South Lido Key are necessary to What has prompted one organization after another on Siesta Key to protest facets of the Army Corps of Engineers plan as Mora has outlined them has been the sheer uncertainty of their impacts on Siesta Key. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 79


the project, he said. They will not harm Siesta Key, he insisted with no solid models or analysis at the time to back him up. The smugness was not evident, though, when he addressed the two local government boards. However, that agenda item began with a con sultant for Visit Sarasota County presenting slides showing the annual $155 million impact Lido Key Beach has on the countys economy. Worry about losing that money clearly was etched on the face of Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. The threat to the commissions was evident: If you do not do this project as the COE has planned it, you will suffer greatly. By the time Mora appeared before the SKA audience in early December, his attitude at times was that of a parent chiding children. This is the way it has to be, he essentially told the crowd, which included Lido res idents, unless you want man-made Lido Beach to disappear. No wonder the crowds ire mounted as the meeting went on that evening. It was left to DavisShaw, again, to stress that the federal agencys analysis and models regarding the dredging of Big Pass and the construction of the groins would undergo peer review and that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection would take a very careful look at the plans as well. What has prompted one organization after another on Siesta Key to protest facets of the CO E p lan as Mora has outlined them has been the sheer uncertainty of their impacts on Siesta Key. Is it worth creating a asco on one island just to lessen erosion on another? For at least the past three scal years, Siesta Key has collected more Tourist Development Tax revenue than any other location in the county including the City of Sarasota, in which Lido Beach is just one tourist desti nation. In the 2013 scal year, which ended on Sept. 30, 2013, Siesta had total collec tions of $4,773,981.52. That gure surpassed collections for all of the city by more than $200,000, according to the Sarasota County Tax Collectors Ofce. In all this discussion, we have seen no one with the county or city provide documenta tion showing the total economic impact Siesta Key has on the community. We wholeheartedly support Siesta residents and business owners who want to protect their island and their livelihoods. The County and City commissions, as we see it, have no choice but to nd a highly qualied, highly respected person with a scientic background to conduct a peer review of the Army Corps of Engineers models and analysis. In the meantime, when we consider all those assurances Milan A. Mora has provided the public with no science to support them, we remain mindful of the tagline for the 1986 horror film The Fly : Be afraid. Be very afraid. % Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 80


To the E ditor: In response to the April 18 article Plea for the Pass I am concerned that emotion is at the heart of misinformation being disseminated about the proposed long-term plan to provide restoration and stabilization for Lido Beach. Text in the music video states that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Sarasota plan to dredge sand from Big Pass, risking Siesta Key beaches, businesses and homes. To be clear: No decision has been made at this time. The fact-nding phase is still ongoing. The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing previous research and is naliz ing its own computer modeling to determine potential impacts, if any, on Siesta Key. A peer review also will b e conducted. It is vitally important to withhold judgment until the process is completed and the nal reports are issued. The City of Sarasota has a responsibility to provide accurate, factual information to the community. If the data in the nal analysis shows that the proposed Lido Beach project would put Siesta Key beaches, homes or busi nesses at risk, neither the City of Sarasota staff nor the Army Corps of Engineers staff would support moving forward with it. We ask for your patience as we await the facts in the nal reports, which we anticipate will be completed by mid-June. Alex DavisShaw City Engineer City of Sarasota LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PATIENCE REQUESTED 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. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 81




EARTH, AIR, FIRE AND WATER FOR EARTH WEEK, A CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD THAT MAKES US AND SUSTAINS US Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Editors note : Fran Palmeri has created a photo essay in observance of Earth Week, includ ing with it quotes from some of her favorite writers, who span almost 2,000 years. Man has been called by the ancients a lesser world, and indeed the term is rightly applied, seeing that if man is compounded of earth, water, air and re, this body of the earth is the same. Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519 Notebooks


EARTH She receives us at our birth, nourishes us when we are born, and ever afterward supports us, lastly, embracing us in her bosom when we are rejected by the rest of nature, she then covers us with a spe cial tenderness. Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder) AD 23-79 Natural History Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 84


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 85


AIR The air cannot be owned. It cannot be con trolled. It cannot be contained. It has no borders or boundaries. It is hot or cold, thick or thin, heavy or light, wet or dry as it pleases. It appears and disappears at will. It spins, rises, falls, swirls, spurts, mounts up, swoops down, expands, contracts, tumbles, jets, sprays, mixes, ows, sinks, stays, or rests. It changes the world, it changes the fate of creatures and the des tiny of peoples. William Bryant Logan Air, the Restless Shaper of the World, 2012 Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 86


FIRE We are uniquely re creatures on a uniquely re planet. Other planetary bodies in the solar system have elements of combustion Jupiter has the ignition source in light ning; Mars, traces of free oxygen; Titan, a methane-based fuel. Only Earth, how ever, has all the essential elements and the means by which to combine them only Earth has life. Marine life pumped the atmosphere with oxygen, and terrestrial life stocked the continents with carbon fuels. Fire and life have fused biotically ever since ... Stephen J. Pyne World Fire: The Culture of Fire on Earth, 1995 Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 87


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 88


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 89


WATER And then, he knows the truth that his world is a water world, a planet dominated by its covering mantle of ocean, in which the con tinents are but transient intrusions of land above the surface of the all-encircling sea. Rachel Carson 1907-1964 The Sea Around Us Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 90


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 91


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 92


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 93


Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 94 %


Lifted a n evening of contemporary dance presented by the newly formed Sarasota International Dance Festival, did break the mold of most dance performances, as the pro grams solos and duets ignored theatricality for personal intense dancing. Drew Jacoby, a dramatic dancer who impressed Sarasota audiences in the past when the International Carreno Dance Festival debuted on the same stage, joined former Sarasota Ballet Director Robert de Warren in organizing this reinvention of the festival. The original manifesto of bringing to the Sarasota dance scene celebrated dance artists with edgy choreography remains the same. Lifted lived up to its promise. Jacoby, who is now a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), appeared with her NDT partner, Madhi Walerski, in two duets choreographed by Walerski. Blink of an Eye like most of the evenings cho reography, explored relationships of people to themselves and others through intensely complex, isolated movements that began with familiar gestures and traveled through the nervous system and muscles of the individual dancers. Jacoby and Walerski are statuesque, strong dancers; it was fascinating to watch Lil Buck performs The Dying Swan at the 2011 Vail International Dance Festival. Image from DanseTrack LIL BUCK PROVIDES AN EXTRAORDINARY FINALE TO AN EVENING OF CHARISMATIC PERFORMANCES A FESTIVAL OF INTENSE ENERGY By Elinor Rogosin A&E Writer


Drew Jacoby/Contributed photo their controlled artistry. However, as this was the evenings opening work, I found myself asking, What are they doing? By the second half of the program, I began to understand there was a common theme among the pieces of using/exploring the energy that flows through our bodies, our minds and our emotions. I was more in tune with the performance of Tue the solo choreographed for Jacoby by Marco Goecke. Jacoby is tall with long, long limbs. In this solo to a vague French song, she was like an image of wild energy pouring out of a long column. I am not certain how to describe Jacobys performance other than to say she was fantastic to watch. Again, both Jacoby and Walerski are superb dance artists. By the end of the evening, in their nal duet, In the Seam their eloquence and focused energy had captivated the small but enthusiastic audience. Dancers from Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet and Crystal Pites Kidd Pivot shared the program, rein forcing the idea of bringing a variety of dance to the festival. In fact, there will be another performance with world stars at the end of Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 96


September. It will be interesting to discover whether t he programming will be similar, as two of the pieces I saw last week were excerpts. I had to wonder about the relation ship between the duet and the rest of the work in each case. Acacia Schachte and Jason Kittelberger from Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet were like two praying mantises in an excerpt from Horizons In a selection from Decadence he was a dark lump of a man crawling toward his partner. There were hints of sexual games, often violent, in the choreography of both duets. In Migration Meredith Webster and David Harvey from Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet where caught up balancing on one leg, in space and toward one another, while quirks of energy seemed to rustle through their bodies. Webster is a graceful dancer whose articulate uidity and focused energy pulled me into the jour ney of two gures ghting for balance while they were continually being pulled in other directions. During their second duet, Meyer Pas de Deux I began to wonder how many ways a man and a woman could explore winding and unwinding around each other without mak ing meaningful connections. All the dancers in the evenings program were a joy to watch, but perhaps Bryan Arias was the most charismatic performer, apart from the break dancer, Lil Buck. In Wind Turned Under Arias was a lone individual responding to the emotion in the music, Suite for Viola Solo. He offered a uid dynamic, focused performance. In contrast, i n A Picture of You Falling he brought the only light moments to the evenings intense exploration of physical movement. The piece began with odd thump ing noises that sounded like gunshots. A taped voice revealed those were the sounds of Arias heart beating. The voice then told him to walk three paces, turn and repeat. Arias did this a number of times and eventually fell, got up and walked off. He is a charismatic performer, a reection of that connection between movement and feel ing that comes from the dancers focus and innate talent. I have saved comments about Lil Buck for the end of this piece. He is a charming young man who combines break dance moves and ballet in his performance. His popularity brought in an unusual number of younger audience members. The Dying Swan first choreographed in 1907 by Michael Fokine for Anna Pavlova, has always been an audience favorite. For this performance, Lil Buck teamed with Nina Kotova, who played the melancholy St. Saens composition on the cello while he in a T-shirt, jeans and white high-topped sneakers interpreted the famous solo. Break danc ing has never been so graceful and uid. Lil Buck moon walked, boureed on the tips of his sneakers, rippled his arms like a swans wings and caught the uttering motion of the animal in squiggly movements that traveled snakelike through his legs and arms. The end was most remarkable, as Lil Buck folded himself inside his own legs with his head bent ov er as if in death. % Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 97


COUNTY STAFF SUMMARIZES THE PROCESS FOR IMPLEMENTING NEW OUTDOOR DISPLAY REGULATIONS; ANOTHER BARGE IN BIG PASS PROMPTS A LOT OF BUZZ; AND THE TEMPORARY USE PERMIT ORDINANCE WILL UNDERGO ANOTHER PUBLIC HEARING SO ITS SUNSET DATE CAN BE EXTENDED By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor SIESTA SEEN Sarasota County staff estimates it will take four months from the time the proposed zoning revision regarding outdoor displays on Siesta Key begins the formal process of wending through Planning Commission and County Commission review before a verdict will be delivered on it, according to an April 17 memo from staff to the County Commission. The information was requested by Commissioner Nora Patterson during the boards April 8 meeting. A Sun Ride Pedicab driver prepares to let off a group in front of Robin Hood Rentals in early April. With parking spaces at a premium, pedicabs have been busy on the island this season. Photo by Rachel Hackney


Mark Toomey is one of the leaders of a group of Siesta business owners working on a new outdoor display ordinance. File photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 99

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The memo summarizes the effort under way to revise the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD), the compendium of county rules that gov erns the entire island. The Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) unanimously endorsed the proposed outdoor display changes during its April 1 session. The modications provide a set of specic rules, but no business could put wares outside without rst applying for and receiving a permit from the county. The April 17 memo notes that architect Mark Smith, acting on behalf of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, contacted Assistant Zoning Administrator Donna Thompson in January this year regarding the potential text amendment to the SKOD; he provided sug gested language developed by the Chamber and the Siesta Key [Village] Association. Thompson then met with Deputy County Attorney Alan Roddy to review the language and get Roddys feedback. In March, Smith provided Thompson with a nal draft of the language the SKVA would be voting on in April, it notes. On March 31, Mark Toomey of Robin Hood Rentals contacted Thompson regard ing the process for a Citizen Initiated Text Amendment, the memo adds. Zoning staff emailed Toomey the application and advised him that the proposed amendment would necessitate one public hearing before the Planning Commission and two hearings before the County Commission. At this time, staff has no t received a formal submittal by any entity representing Siesta Key, the memo points out. When I reached him on April 22, Toomey was very busy, but he said he felt that after this week, with season slowing down, he would have time to check on the status of the revision. In the meantime, when I asked whether he planned to seek Siesta Key Association (SKA) approval of the version the SKVA approved this month, he replied that he does not feel that is necessary. SKA board members have been aware of the process, he pointed out. Moreover, he said of outdoor displays on the key, Its not something [SKA members] police. SKA President Michael Shay told me he has provided his board members with the lat est copy of the revised SKOD, but they have taken no formal action on it. Shay also said that Mark Smith has not been able to sched ule a walk-through of the Village, as Shay requested at the April 1 SKVA meeting, so Smith could point out to him businesses that are and are not complying with the provisions of the proposed ordinance. I want to know, Shay added, based on whats on paper, what its going to look like. Toomey did promise to let me know once the clock starts ticking on the formal adop tion process. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 100

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ANOT HER BARGE The local webisphere was abuzz again last week after another barge sighting in Big Pass. This time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not behind the appearance. Instead, the barge was hired to help with one of the nal facets of the stormwater project, formally known as the Beach Road Drainage Project, I learned. On April 15, SKA President Shay sent out the rst email I saw, noting the barge had a crane on it and that it was being moved around by a small tug. Unlike the Army Corps of Engineers vessel spotted in the pass a few weeks earlier, however, he pointed out that this one had no obvious markings on it to link it to the Corps or any other agency. It has been moored at least for the last 2 nights in Big Pass just off the seawall at Givens St. & Ocean Blvd., he added in the email to City Engineer Alex DavisShaw and county Coastal Resources Manager Laird Wreford. During the day it has been seen in various spots in Big Pass itself. Any idea what it is doing? A day later, Shay was able to get a closer look, so he sent another email to city and county staff noting that he had observed a circular emblem on the wheelhouse of the tug and on the crane, both saying Kelly Brothers 239482-7300 and both with a logo of a helmeted deep sea diver. County emails were ying, too, with people apparently having contacted Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta. Credit SKA Vi ce President Catherine Luckner with the sleuthing that led to the answer. Alex Boudreau, the county project engineer in charge of the stormwater work next to Siesta Public Beach, explained to Luckner who kindly explained it to me that employees working for Forsberg Construction of Punta Gorda the rm with the stormwater proj ect contract had hired the barge to enable divers to attach a diffuser to the pipeline that extends about 2,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico from the stormwater site. That dif fuser will be another element in the treatment of efuent before it is discharged into the gulf. The wind was blowing just a bit too hard for the divers to do their work underwater, Luckner said, so they were doing what they could on the barge until conditions improved. That was why the barge was in Big Pass biding its time. During the April 22 County Commission meeting, Patterson referenced an email she had received that morning complaining about noise from the barge. Another barge in Big Pass last week prompted considerable island chatter. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 101

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In that correspondence, a Siesta resident explained to Patterson that the barge has been anchoring overnight in Big Pass along the seawall in the 4800 to 4900 block of Ocean Boulevard, where a vacant lot sits (the same site Shay had noted). The writer continued, The barge pulls in, its crew goes home for the night, and it goes back out into the Gulf in the morning. This is clearly for [the crews] convenience, and is serving no legitimate work purpose. He added, The problem is that they drive huge pilings into the pass each night to anchor the barge. Patterson related that to her c olleagues on the commission: Every night, theyre pounding in stakes to anchor the barge. She asked County Administrator Tom Harmer to have staff check into the sit uation and nd out how long it was going to continue. Harmer promised to do so. Late that afternoon, Isaac Brownman, the countys director of public works, reported by email to the commission that the barge was scheduled to leave the site the following after noon, adding, outfall diffuser installation is complete. Final inspection of the diffuser will take place next week from a standard power boat. A group of children seems well entertained with each other and their smartphones as adults stroll past them in Siesta Village. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 102

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THE TUP O RDINA NCE On a unanimous vote following about 5 min utes of discussion the County Commission this week approved the advertisement of a public hearing on extending by two years the sunset date of the Temporary Use Permits (TUP) provision in the Siesta Key Overlay District zoning ordinance. The new date would be June 8, 2016 and the revised ordi nance would include Halloween among the holidays for which a permit could be sought. The original ordinance, approved in June 2011, allows bars and restaurants to request TUPs for outdoor activities during specic holiday periods. However, as Assistant Zoning Administrator Donna Thompson pointed out during the April 22 County Commission meet ing, no bar or restaurant has applied for a TUP under the ordinance since the law went into effect. Nonetheless, Thompson said, the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) had sent staff an email requesting the extension of the sunset and also seeking to add Halloween to the list. The existing ordinance allows for TUPs to be issued for the following holidays, begin ning no earlier than 11 a.m. and ending at the hour specied: New Years Eve valid until 12:30 a.m. on New Years Day. St. Patricks Day valid to 10 p.m. Memorial Day valid to 10 p.m. Independence Day (July Fourth) valid to 12:30 a.m. on July 5. Labor Day valid to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving valid to 10 p.m. The ordinance also provides for the TUP to include one extra day immediately before or after the holiday for which it is obtained, and it is valid to 10 p.m. that day. If a sec ond day is requested, all subsequent parties requesting a TUP for that holiday desiring a second day must select the same second day, it points out. Commission Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson reminded her colleagues and staff, There was, back in 2011, a whole lot of angst over the number of days allowed for these TUPs. While she said she knows Patterson regularly attends SKA meetings, she wants to be sure the SKA is aware of the movement to extend the sunset date. I dont want to take anybody by surprise by this, Robins on added. Ive never heard restaurateurs talk about problems with this, Patterson said, and I dont think SKA could narrate any problems, because [businesses] actually, apparently, have never taken advantage of the opportu nity [to apply for a TUP]. Patterson added, Its sort of strange that there have been no permits. Thompson pointed out that the only time staff had received a n application for one Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 103

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was for a haunted house at Halloween. Because Halloween was not among the specied periods in the ordinance, the appli cation was denied, she noted, which is why weve asked to include Halloween in the revised ordinance. Further, Thompson said, with no TUPs hav ing been sought other than that one, staff was seeking the sunset date extension to see if we are going to have a problem when some one takes advantage of [a TUP]. Ill be back to the board with any feedback I get, Patterson responded. In May 2012, Russell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village and a past president of the SKVA, told me the reason he believed no TUPs had been pulled was the fact that they are not cost-effective. He pointed out that the TUP language allows for special events on specic holidays, add ing that Siesta Village bars and restaurants normally plan special events at those times. The ideal use of a TUP, he added, would be during a slow time of the year, but the ordi nance does not make that possible. FIESTA TIME The 36th Annual Siesta Fiesta will take place in Siesta Village along parts of Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road on Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27. The hours, as usual, will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Parts of both Ocean and Beach Road will be closed to trafc to allow tents to be set up. The show brings a wide variety of artists and ne craftsmen to the Village. And do not forget about the T-shirts. The Siesta Key Village Association with help from the Siesta Key Association will have the 2014 version on sale, with proceeds going to the SKVA for a variety of projects to benet businesses in the Village. % Siesta Fiesta is this weekend. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 104

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Linda Bento-Rei and Vytas Baksys will present ute and piano selections during a Marvelous Music program at Siesta Keys St. Boniface Episcopal Church on April 25, the church has announced. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. The ticket donation is $10. The church is located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road. Bento-Rei has performed frequently as a soloist and in chamber music programs throughout New England, a news release notes. Since 1989, Baksys has been the fac ulty pianist with the Fellowship Conducting Program at The Tanglewood Music Center and a frequent keyboardist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, the release continues. The program will feature Sonata Latino by Mike Mower; CPE Bachs Sonata in G minor ; Joseph Jongens Sonata pour ute et piano Op. 77; and Peter Schickeles Spring Serenade the release adds. The performance of Sonata pour flute et piano is part of what has come to be known as Bento-Reis Jongen Project, the release notes. Having fallen in love with the ute music by this composer, the release says, she is in the process of recording many of his works for ute and other instruments. Most of Jongens music is known only to enthusiasts of the pipe organ, though he composed prolically in almost all forms of music, the release points out. Tickets are available online and they will be offered at the door. MARVELOUS MUSIC TO BE PRESENTED AT ST. BONIFACE CHURCH A&E BRIEFS

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The Florida Stat e University(FSU)/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training will present The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute on Sunday, April 27, as part of its Late Night Series, the group has announced. The performance will be offered for free at 9 p.m. in the Asolo Repertory Theatres Cooley Rehearsal Hall, a news release says. It originally was scheduled for April 21, the release notes. This bold piece takes place on September 12, 2001 the day after 9/11, the release explains. Ben should have been at work in the towers that day, the release continues. He should be dead. Instead, he spent that illfated morning with his mistress, Abby. With his wife uncertain whether he made it out of the towers, Ben now has the chance to run away with Abby, it adds. La Bute examines the complexity and innate selshness of humanity in this fascinating two-person play, the release says. Directed by Ronda Hewitt, this piece will star thirdyear Conservatory student Cale Haupert and his wife, Kimberly Wiczer-Haupert. The Cooley Rehearsal Hall is located on the second oor of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. No reservations or tickets are required. Donations will be welcome, the release adds. The play is 90 minutes with no intermission, the release notes, and it has mature language and themes. THE MERCY SEAT TO BE PART OF ACTING GROUPS LATE NIGHT SERIES The Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Ringling Complex on North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 106

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Season of Sculpture, Season VII, invites members of the public to its Wrap Party and Presentation on Sunday, May 4, at the Francis in downtown Sarasota. Public art consultant Glenn Weiss, a mem ber of the Florida Association of Public Art Professionals, will discuss Engagement: Marrying Public Sculpture and the City a news release says. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m., the release adds. It also will feature conversation over drinks and hors doeuvres, the release notes. The Francis is located at 1289 N. Palm Ave. Tickets are $75. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by emailing seasonofsculptu or calling 928-4445. Please mail checks to Season of Sculpture, 1662 Floyd St., Sarasota, FL 34239. SEASON OF SCULPTURE TO HOLD WRAP PARTY ON MAY 4 The Elepha nt Man will close out Venice Theatres 2013-14 MainStage Series with a two-week run, from April 29 to May 11, the theatre has announced. This new production of the 1979 Tony Awardwinning drama by Bernard Pomerance is based on the life of John Merrick, who was severely disgured, a news release explains. The Elephant Man focuses on Merricks transformation from a freak show curiosity to a friend of 19th century Londons aristoc racy, it adds. Tickets are $25 to $28 for adults and $10 to $15 for students. They are available at the theatres box ofce, online at venicestage. com or by pho ne at 488-1115. The theatre is also offering a rst-week special rate of $20 through Sunday, May 4, the r elease points out. The sh ows title, The Elephant Man refers to the derogatory description given to Merrick (played by Venice newcomer Matt McClure) by his sideshow promoters, the release notes. The play opens with scenes of him on display in a London storefront and then at a carnival sideshow in Belgium, the release says. After being mistreated, abandoned and left help less, he is eventually admitted to Londons prestigious Whitechapel hospital under the care of celebrated physician Frederick Treves (played by Steven ODea), it continues. Merrick is introduced to London society and VENICE THEATRE TO PRESENT TOUCHING DRAMA THE ELEPHANT MAN Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 107

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Kelly Woodland will play Mrs. Kendal and Matt McClure will take the part of John Merrick in The Elephant Man. Contributed photo by Renee McVety evolves from an object of pity to an intelligent and witty favorite of the aristocracy and lite rati the release adds. 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 b efore all performances. Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 108

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Florida St u di o Theatre (FST) has announced that the winning plays of the Under Six pro gram have been selected. The playwrights will be honored on Saturday, May 10, at the Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) awards ceremony. The festival of Under Six world premieres is made up of plays written by children in grades K-6, selected from material submitted by more than 3,000 young playwrights, the release explains. With FST Director of Education Beth Duda at the helm, professional actors will carefully weave together this collection of plays with reverence to the written word of the young creators, the release adds. Performances have begun and will continue through May 23. Tickets, which are $6, may be purchased through the FST box ofce by calling 366-9000, or by visiting the website Approximately 12,000 students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties are bused to the the atre to see the works of their peers, the release notes. The list of winners follows: Chomp! by Ms. Williams first-grad ers, Phillippi Shores Elementary IB World School. A Flash Into Time by Joshua Fitzgerald, Sarasota Christian School, fth grade. Hand Kisser by Logan Wendell, Rowlett Magnet Elementary, fth grade. Lost i n Space by Zackary Asbridge, Garden Elementary, fth grade. Mr. E and the Case of the Stolen Jewel! by Nicholas Paredes, Fruitville Elementary, fth grade. One Stuck Rock by Luke Downes, Sarasota Christian School, fth grade. Peters Homework by Logan Schultz, Garden Elementary, fourth grade. The Princess and the Guitar by Ada Borovikov, Yamit School, sixth grade. Snowy and Winter on Their Adventure by Pearl Aze roual-Dray, Swan Azeroual-Dray FST YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL FEATURING UNDER SIX Florida Studio Theatre is located at 1241 N. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel Enjoy The Sarasota News Leader Anytime Day Or Night Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 109

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and Hannah Kremer, Miami Country Day School, fth grade. Tears By The Lake by Haydn Sage, Miami Country Day School, fth grade. The TV Time Machine by Emma Carter, Sigsbee Charter School, fourth grade. Time Out by Seth Stahlmann, Generation Harvest, sixth grade. Trading Up! by Nash Klein, Gulf Gate Elementary, rst grade. Uh Oh! Not Again! by Torrica Green, Emma E. Booker Elementary, fourth grade. In the nal prog ram of its Britten to Britain 2013-14 season, Musica Sacra Cantorum, Sarasotas sacred choral ensemble, will pres ent a program to celebrate a milestone it has achieved: the rst residency of any Sarasota choral ensemble at a British cathedral, the group has announced. The program, Cathedral Close will take place on Sunday, May 4, at 4 p.m. at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. For advance pur chase, visit or call 405-7322. Musica Sacra Cantorum is honored to have been selected to serve as the choir-in-res idence at Great Britains historic Licheld Cathedral in July, a news release says. Cathedral Close will feature works writ ten solely for the concert hall as well as pieces chosen from the repertoire to be per formed during the Licheld residency, the release adds. The anthems for the program and the resi dency reect our American heritage, the release notes. Among them will be selections by Harold Friedell, Leo Sowerby, Rene Clausen and Ned Rore m. Two large-scale works, Benjamin Brittens Rejoice in the Lamb and Gabriel Faurs Cantique de Jean Racine will be balanced by Mendelssohns poignant Hear My Prayer featuring soprano Fiona Gillespie in her Florida debut, the release points out. MUSICA SACRA CANTORUM LOOKS FORWARD TO MAY 4 MILESTONE Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 110

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Nine-time Gram my Award-winning artist John Legend will appear on the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall stage April 27 as part of The All of Me Tour the hall has announced. The performance will feature Legend in an intimate and acoustic setting, highlighted by guitar and vocal accompaniments and a string quartet, a news release points out. The tour comes on the heels of the release of Legends highly acclaimed fourth studio album, Love In the Future, which he produced with longtime collaborators Kanye West and Dave Tozer, the release adds. Legend released his debut album, Get Lifted in December 2004, the release continues. That critically acclaimed album included his rst hit single, Ordinary People which won him multiple Grammy Awards, the release says. Throughout his career, Legend has strived to make a difference in the lives of others, the release points out. In 2007, he launched the Show Me Campaign, an initiative that focuses on education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty. He has been honored with many awards for his philanthropic efforts and sits on the boards of The Education Equality Project, Teach For America, Stand for Children and the Harlem Village Academies, the release adds. Tickets are $36 to $91. For more informa tion, call the box ofce at 953-3368 or visit % LEGEND BRINGING THE ALL OF ME TOUR TO SARASOTA John Legend/Contributed photo I am so incredibly pleased, with my beautiful smile and my comfortable and natural bite. Barbara LeeFor a complimentary consultation call 941.923.5406 | Christine Koval, D.M.D. | Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 111

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The next Freethi nkers Brieng, held in coop eration with the Lifelong Learning Academy ( ), will feature Marden Paru in a presentation titled Health and Medicine in the Bible offering an overview of medical and health practices in the original Hebrew Bible, the Freethinkers has announced. The free program will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 25, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, located at 3975 Fruitville Road in Saras ota. Among the questions Paru will address, a news release says, are the following: Did our ancestors get it right? Was early medicine folk medicine or science-based? Do ancient Israelite rituals prevent disease? Does modern medicine draw on early Biblical texts? Other remarks will focus on key elements of Biblical ethics pertaining to saving lives and Marden Paru/Contributed photo HEALTH AND MEDICINE IN THE BIBLE TO BE TOPIC OF BRIEFING RELIGION BRIEFS

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the outbreak of skin diseases seen early on as punishment for sin. Paru is the dean and co-founder of the Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva (an adult Jewish education institute), former director of continuing edu cation at Temple Beth Shalom and an ethics instructor at the Melton Adult Mini-School, which is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, the release points out. He trained as a social worker and served for many years as an executive of nonprot orga nizations, it adds. Paru studied r eligion and sociology at Yeshiva University in New York City, the release continues. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and political science at the University of Tulsa and a masters degree at the University of Chicagos School of Social Service Administration. Freethinkers Briengs are evidence-based summaries of what the general public needs to kn ow about complex issues in the elds of religion, morality, ethics and justice, the release notes. For information call David Ryan at 365-4027 or email The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota is a Welcoming Congregation serving Sarasota and Manatee counties. More information may be found at u usaraso Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, invites the community to participate in the eighth annual Mitzvah Day on Sunday, May 4, beginning at noon. Taking its name from the Hebrew word mitz vah which means commandment but is often associated with good deeds Mitzvah Day is an afternoon devoted to hands-on ser vice projects that benet charitable agencies throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, a news release explains. There are opportuni ties for people of all ages to be involved, it adds. The preferred registration deadline is April 28, but several projects will be available for late registrants or walk-in volunteers who wish to participate, the release notes. After creating cards for soldiers serving over seas, hospitalized patie nts and nursing home residen ts, attendees will gather in the Temple Emanu-El sanctuary for a brief rally led by Rabbis Brenner and Elaine Rose Glickman, the release points out. Following the rally, Mitzvah Day participants will engage in proj ects to benet organizations including the Salvation Army, Anchin Pavilion, Manasota BUDS, Cat Depot, Take Stock in Children, Sarasota County Fire Department, Honor Animal Sanctuary, All Faiths Food Bank, Lions Club, BeTheMatch, Easter Seals, Suncoast Communities Blood Bank, Manatee County Schools, The Jewish Center of Sun City, SPARCC, SMART Horse Therapy Stables, Jewish Family & Childrens Service and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the release says. Interested attendees of all faiths are invited to join the hundreds of Temple Emanu-El vol unteers who participate in Mitzvah Day. For more inform ation, call 379-1997. REGISTRATION CONTINUES FOR TEMPLE EMANU-ELS MITZVAH DAY Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 113

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Temple Emanu-El Religious School students Emma Katz and Julianna Maggard decorated cookies for reghters at a previous Mitzvah Day. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 114

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Temple Emanu-El Mitzvah Day Steering Committee member Stan Levinson collected food donations at last years event. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 115

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Temple Emanu-El Director of Religious Education Sabrina Silverberg and Cindy Gilburne display cards created for hospitalized patients at last years Mitzvah Day. Contributed photo Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 116

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The Conrmation class from Temple Sinai, along with chaperones Rabbi Geoff Huntting and David Berkowitz, recently attended the Ltaken Social Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C., organized by the Reform movements Religious Action Center, the Temple has announced. As part of the intense four-day program, students chose issues to research and presented position papers in the ofces of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key; Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL; and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL. They shared the experience with hundreds of other high school students. The Temple Sinai group gathered outside the Capitol for a commemorative photo (from left): Rabbi Geoff Huntting, Aspen Kaye, Danny Gardi, Dana Berkowitz, David Berkowitz, Kaitlyn Siegel, Ethan Blumenstein, Dana Saltz, Michael Fallacaro, Marisa Freedman and Fiona Marlowe. Contributed photo WORKING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 117

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Temperatures in the low 60s in no way deterred hundreds of people from gather ing before dawn to celebrate Easter on Lido Key Beach. Conducted by the Church of the Palms, the service began at 6:30 a.m. near the Pavilion. The line where the gray sky met the gray Gulf of Mexico may have been barely distinct at times, but the light shone brightly on the cross and the shroud marking the risen Lord. % WORSHIPPERS GATHER FOR SUNRISE SERVICE ON LIDO KEY All photos by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 118

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% Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 119

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YOUR LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO THE SUNCOAST 25 APRIL Linda Bento-Rei and Vytas Baksys in concert April 25, 7:30 p.m. St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key. Admission: $10 donation. Information: 349-5616 or 25+ APRIL Dabbert Gallery presents Barbara Krupp and Allan Teger Through April 28; times vary. 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Free admission. Information: 955-1315 or 25+ APRIL Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents Bubbling Brown Sugar Through May 11; times vary. 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $29.50. Information: 3661505 or 25+ APRIL Florida Studio Theatre presents Tom Jones Through June 1; times vary. Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $19 to $42. Information: 366-9000 or 26+ APRIL 36th Annual Siesta Fiesta April 26-27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road in Siesta Key Village. Event to feature ne arts and crafts created by 250 artists from around the country, presented by the Siesta Key Village Association and Howard Alan Events Ltd. For more information, visit the website 28 APRIL Gloria Musicae presents Voices of the Holocaust April 28, 7:30 p.m., Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tick ets: $25 to $70. Information: 953-3368 or 29+ APRIL Asolo Repertory Theatre presents Hero: The Musical April 29 through June 1; times vary. Mertz Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tick ets: $21 and up. Information: 351-8000 or Community Calendar The best of upcoming EVENTS Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 120

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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. A SPRITELY GUIDE TO THE ARTS SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS SCHIMMEL SIGHTINGS