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SRQ DAILY Mar 3, 2022

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"We are not referencing that directly,"

- Kindra Muntz, SAFE

[Politics]  Messaging Grows Intense Around Single-Member Voting
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A new political mailer added controversy to an already contentious debate on how Sarasota elects county commissioners.

The Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections sent out flyers to Republican voters in the county attaching the same “Stop The Steal” language associated with former President Donald Trump’s false claims about election chicanery with a special election vote that may soon reverse a switch to single-member voting.

The mailers on one side have a picture of Trump and the phrase “Stop The Steal.” On the flip side is a picture of Democratic President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by the phrase: “Don’t Let Them Steal Our Votes Again.”

The rest of the type on the mailer lays out objections to a county referendum being voted on March 8. If passed, the county will hold county-wide elections for commissioners and abandon single-member elections, a system approved by voters less than four years ago.

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo called the latest mailers “outrageously pathetic.” He supports county-wide elections and says voters should have a say on all five commissioners. He suggested it was irresponsible to conflate emotions around the 2020 election outcome to a local political issue.

Kinda Muntz, president of SAFE, defended the language and said “Stop The Steal” is a phrase that predates the last presidential contest. “We’re not referencing that directly,” she said. “We are talking about elections and trying to steal the vote. The one we are referencing now is the one in Sarasota County. If you think back that language was used in 2018— about the original single-member districts vote.”

Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, also supports a switch back to county-wide elections. He found the flyers laughable. “Are Sarasota Democrats finally admitting there was voter fraud in 2020,” he said, “or are they using that issue to steal Republican votes in order to influence the results of an election in Sarasota County in 2022?”

Notably, Ziegler was elected countywide in 2018 before single-member districts took effect. He now lives in a district where, as of book closing for the March election, Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans 25,790 to 23,474. The results of the March 8 referendum will determine if he runs county-wide for re-election in November or runs in a district election.

Muntz for her part said the shifty move is holding a special election now and trying to persuade voters to reverse a decision made just four years ago.  

[Recognition Given]  SMH Makes Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2022 List

Sarasota Memorial was recognized among the world’s best hospitals today in Newsweek’s fourth annual global ranking of hospitals. This is the 4th year that Newsweek, in collaboration with global market research and consumer data company Statista Inc., has published the global list. The World’s Best Hospitals 2022 list recognizes the best medical institutions across 27 countries, including 414 hospitals in the United States. The World’s Best Hospitals 2022 list includes more than 2,200 medical institutions across the United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, India, Spain, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. SMH has made the list four years in a row. It is the only hospital in southwest Florida ever to make the list since the global rankings began in 2018.

Newsweek compiles the list to help consumers discover the ways leading hospitals—close to home and around the world—are shaping the future of medicine. Hospitals are selected based on numerous performance indicators, including a survey of doctors, health care professionals and administrators across four continents. Results are validated and checked for quality assurance by a global board of renowned medical experts. 

To read more click here

[New Business]  Wellen Park Announces Kind Vibes Outfitters in Downtown Wellen Park

Kind Vibes Outfitters joins a growing number of businesses and restaurants coming to Downtown Wellen Park, the central hub and gathering destination for Wellen Park, the master planned community. Offering kayak, paddleboard, bicycle and e-bike rentals, Kind Vibes Outfitters will be located in a statement-making building of glass, wood and corrugated shipping containers adjacent to downtown’s 80-acre Grand Lake and floating dock. Kind Vibes Outfitters is operated by Jamie Albano and business partner Ryan Lane, who own nearby Venice Outdoor Sports and discovered the outfitters opportunity during a visit at Wellen Park. Kind Vibes Outfitters is expected to open during the fourth quarter of 2022 with the completion of Downtown Wellen’s first phase. It will offer single and tandem paddle- and pedal-powered kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, e-bikes, trikes and scooters. Albano is also exploring other rental options to offer at Kind Vibes Outfitters and plans to offer paddleboard yoga, guided sunset tours with certified Florida naturalists, and e-bike, kayak and paddleboard tournaments. People will be able to take equipment offsite to explore nearby biking tails and blueways. Wellen Park residents will enjoy white-glove service with rentals delivered right to their door or preferred launch location. Wellen Park’s wellness focus is holistic and practical, designed to give residents greater opportunities to connect with one another, take care of themselves and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, all within an inclusive, genuine community vibe. 

To learn more, visit

[Hospital News]  Doctors Hospital of Sarasota Celebrates Transition to HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital with Celebrations and New Relaxation Space for Caregivers

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota is one of more than 450 HCA Florida Healthcare affiliated sites of care across the state uniting as HCA Florida Healthcare. HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital signals the hospital’s connection to a leading collaborative health care network in the state. To celebrate, the hospital will host celebrations throughout the day and open a new Zen Lounge for caregivers. The Zen Lounge is a calm, quiet lounge with massage chairs and peaceful environment for caregivers to relax and recharge during their break times. When: Thursday, March 3, 2022, at noon. Where: First Floor, Sarasota Doctors Hospital, 5731 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota FL 34233.

HCA Florida Healthcare connects approximately 11,000 staff physicians, 77,000 colleagues, 49 hospitals and more than 450 physician practices, freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers. As a comprehensive and connected network, HCA Florida Healthcare continually strives to improve quality, expand patient access to care, address the ongoing nursing shortage, respond during times of disaster, advance diversity in healthcare and fund and collaborate with non-profit organizations to address high-priority community needs. 

To learn more, visit

[Flight lessons]  The Freedom of Flight

There’s a sense of freedom that accompanies flight, an escape from the world as you’re soaring above it. It’s a feeling that not many of us get to truly experience - unless, however, you call the Sarasota area home.

833-LET’S FLY is a flight school based on Anna Maria Island that specializes in the instruction of weight-shift controlled aircraft or ‘trikes' as they are commonly called. Trikes are open-cockpit aircraft that have evolved from hang gliders - a carriage with a motor and propeller is suspended from a delta wing.

“Our aircraft have retractable wheels and floats so they can land on water or at airports,” says Hans Brown, 833-LET’S FLY owner and flight instructor.

The outfit offers ‘Discovery Flights’, that take off from Anna Maria island that start at $159 for the half-hour flight and $279 for the hour-long flight. On the back half of the hour-long flight, students can even take control of the aircraft and experience what it’s like to truly fly on their own - all under the guidance of their instructor of course.

“Our Discovery flights are technically an introductory flight lesson, but there’s nothing that says we can’t have a lot of fun doing it. During the flight you’ll learn a ton about the aircraft and aviation in general, plus have a lot of fun doing splash and gos, water skimming, and taking in great views of St Petersburg and downtown Sarasota,” says Brown.

What makes these aircraft so unique is that in addition to experiencing the open air from high above the ground, they can also fly safely over and even atop the water.

“These aircraft create a lot of drag, which allows them to go low and slow over the water. You can actually land on the water and fish from the aircraft if you wanted to,” attests Brown.

More than just an outlet for a fun afternoon, 833-LET’S FLY offers lesson packages for those interested in obtaining their Light Sport Pilot certification and also doubles as a full on repair and maintenance center as well.

833-LET’S FLY, Phone: 833-538-7359. Discovery Flight Departures: Anna Maria Islandat Kingfish Boat Ramp - 752 Manatee Ave, Holmes Beach, FL 34217


To learn more, visit

[Schedule Announcements]  La Musica International Chamber Music Festival Announces Changes and Additions to its 2022 Season

La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, which celebrates its 36th season this year with events and concerts from April 1 to April 13, is pleased to announce changes and additions to its season. For the safety of guests and La Musica musicians, the venue for the Musical Chefs Dinner on April 11 has been changed from Michael’s Wine Cellar to the outdoor atrium at Michael’s On East. Due to scheduling conflicts, open rehearsals will now be held at both the Bayfront Community Center at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium and at the Sarasota Opera House. Festival rehearsal passes are valid at both locations. Rehearsal schedule can be found at LaMusicaFestival.org. This year, the La Musica school outreach program involves children by offering free tickets through Musical Kids Go Free, and by inviting students from the Suzuki Institute School of Music and the Booker High School VPA program to share their music in the Sarasota Opera House courtyard during the half hour prior to each concert. Booker High VPA students will play prior to the evening concerts, and Suzuki Institute students will play prior to the afternoon concerts. For subscriptions, event tickets, and more information, visit LaMusicaFestval.org or call the LaMusica box office at (207) 266-7999. Single concert tickets can be purchased by calling the Sarasota Opera box office at (941) 328-1300. 

[Grant received]  Child Protection Center Receives Funding for Therapy Programs

The Child Protection Center, Inc. (CPC) has received a $14,850 grant supporting the nonprofit’s Therapy Programs dedicated to treating victims of child abuse. Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation has generously provided this funding in a continuation of their lengthy support of CPC’s treatment services. The funding from the Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation will directly assist the nonprofit in providing individual, family, and group therapy services to children and families experiencing traumas of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or problematic sexual behaviors by children. The Child Protection Center’s mission is the Prevention, Intervention, & Treatment of Child Abuse, as the organization envisions a community where children are safe from abuse and free to thrive. For over 40 years, CPC has been serving Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in the State of Florida, and is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. 

Postscript: Children participating in art therapy. Photo courtesy of CPC Sarasota.

To learn more, visit

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Pops: The Envelope Please , March 4 – March 5, 7:30pm and 2:30pm

Three of Broadway's best join Sarasota Orchestra in a concert of songs that garnered Grammys, Tonys and Oscars on Friday, March 4 at 7:30pm at the Van Wezel and Saturday, March 5 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm at the Van Wezel. Vocalist Susan Egan, the original Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, returns to our Pops stage with Phantom of the Opera stars Douglas LaBrecque and Lisa Vroman.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 5 - Mark Morris Dance Group , March 4 – March 7, 7:30pm and 2pm

For Program 5, The Sarasota Ballet is excited to present the acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group for the first time. Founded in 1980 by dancer and choreographer Mark Morris, the group quickly garnered national and international attention as a result of Morris’ expressiveness and unique musicality. Mark Morris Dance Group will take place on March 4 2022 at 7:30pm, March 5 2022 at 2pm and 7:30pm, March 6 2022 at 2pm and 7:30pm, and March 7 2022 at 7:30pm at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 North Tamiami Trail.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Atelier de SoSi: Trashed , March 4 – April 22, Gallery hours.

“Trashed ”—an art show where 85% of the materials have been found or otherwise set aside to be “Trashed”. This seven-week show focused on “Turning Trash into Treasure” is meant to shed some light on what we so easily toss aside to be sent to our landfills and waterways. Artists have a unique way of looking at objects through a different lens. These artists have taken “trash” and transformed it into imaginative pieces of unique artwork. The show includes sculptural, functional and beautiful objects, this will be a rare chance to snag one of a kind pieces for the local art lover. “Trashed” will encompass different events during the show’s run, including a Trashed” Comedy show, on March 25th. Visual artists and comedians will come together to present an experience of laughter and good times. This collaboration only highlights and cultivates the growth of a dynamic arts community here in St Petersburg. Hosted by Lauren Dufault, she brings a group of the area's favorite comedians: Shellie Harris, Brad Gilmore and the headliner John J Murray. “Trashed” will finish out with an Earth Day Celebration on April 22nd. Opening is March 4th 6-9pm, Art Walk is March 12th 5-9pm, Comedy Show is March 25th 8pm, Art Walk is April 9th 5-9pm, and Earth Day Celebration is April 22nd.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Florida CraftArt: Art of the Garden Show , March 4 – April 19, Varies.

Art of the Garden is a juried exhibition of original art showcasing fine handcrafted work inspired by the natural beauty of gardens. Fifty artists created 90 pieces from fiber art and delicate jewelry to ceramic garden sculptures. The show runs from March 4 through April 19, when the People’s Choice Award will be presented. People can vote for their favorite work of art in the Florida CraftArt Exhibition Gallery and on Facebook. Docent tours are available upon request. Mark your calendar for... Wednesday, March 9, 6pm: Virtual tour of the exhibit and awards presentation with judge Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. (Zoom link on FloridaCraftArt.org). Saturday, March 12, 5-9pm: Second Saturday ArtWalk and visit ArtLofts on the second ­ floor. Wednesday, March 16, 6pm: Discover the beauty of Florida native plants with garden expert Marquette McManus of Wilcox Nursery. Sunday, March 27, 2pm: Enjoy a garden-inspired poetry reading with Helen Pruitt Wallace and other poets. Saturday, April 2, 11am: Learn about Ikebana - the art of Japanese ­ flower arranging. Saturday, April 9, 5-9pm: Second Saturday ArtWalk and visit ArtLofts on the second ­floor. Sunday, April 10, 1-3pm: Workshop: Make a macramé plant hanger with artist Elizabeth Neily. $35 fee includes all materials and a handcrafted pot by a Florida CraftArt artist. Space is limited; call FCA to register.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Beyond Van Gogh , March 4 – April 24, 10am-9pm and 10am-10pm

Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh like you've never experienced before from March 4, 2022 to April 24, 2022 at the Starry Night Pavilion at University Town Center, 195 University Town Center Drive. Beyond Van Gogh is a rich and unique multimedia experience, taking the viewer on a journey through over 300 iconic artworks including instantly-recognizable classics "The Starry Night", "Sunflowers", and "Cafe Terrace at Night", now freed from their frames. Set to a symphonic score and using the artist's own dreams, thoughts, and words to drive the experience as a narrative, Van Gogh's art comes to life by appearing and disappearing, flowing across multiple surfaces and heightening the senses with their immense detail. Guests will leave with a new appreciation of this prolific artist's stunning work. Hours of Operation are Sunday through Thursday: 10am to 9pm and Friday & Saturday: 10am to 10pm. The visit will take around one hour with final entry one hour before close.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: The Pearl Fishers , March 5 – March 19

The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles) by Georges Bizet with words by Eugéne Cormon and Michel Carré. Set in legendary Ceylon, longtime friends Nadir and Zurga are reunited. Their friendship had faltered when they shared the same forbidden love for the priestess Leila - a love they swore to renounce. The Pearl Fishers will run from March 5 until March 19, 2022.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival , March 5 – March 6, 10am-5pm

Are you an art collector, seek art for your home or office, or merely wish to support the arts? If so, join us for the 9th Annual Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival in downtown Sarasota on March 5-6, 2022. The event is located in JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street. Your support has made this art show a signature event for the Sarasota community. This event is produced by Paragon Festivals and graciously hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association. The Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival transforms JD Hamel Park into an outdoor gallery of original, handmade works by artisans from across America. This tapestry of art is woven from creations in painting, sculpting, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, mixed-media, woodworking and much more. Talk with artists and order a unique piece of art created just for you. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm with free admission. Bring your sense of discovery and appreciation of the beautiful! Come be inspired and discover something of yourself as you explore art.

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century , March 6 – August 28, Museum hours.

The exhibition features work from the past decade by an international selection of artists and visual activists that are working to make palpable the unseen information, or metadata, that undergirds the image regime. This includes not just the tags or descriptors attached to image files, but the power relationships, biases, and economic interests that are not always visible in the image itself. The exhibition emphasizes an expanded concept of photographic practice that includes research-based projects, installation, conceptual work, and activism as well as analog and digital photographs. Artists featured are Mohsen Azar, Viktoria Binschtok, Mladen Bizumic, Joy Buolamwini, Jason Lazarus, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Lilly Lulay, Trevor Paglen, and Penelope Umbrico. Metadata: Rethinking Photography in the 21st Century will be held at The John and Mable Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida from March 6 through August 28th, 2022. The exhibition is curated by Christopher Jones, Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles , March 6, 7pm

RAIN - A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES performs songs from Abbey Road & the Rooftop Concert LIVE, in addition to all your favorites hits. This mind-blowing performance takes you back in time with the legendary foursome delivering a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to seeing the Beatles on March 6 at 7pm. Experience the worlds’ most iconic band and get back to where you once belonged with RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Masters of Illusion , March 7, 7pm

MASTERS OF ILLUSION, the hit CW television series and America’s largest touring magic show is coming to the Van Wezel on Monday, March 7 at 7pm. These cutting-edge illusionists perform sleight-of-hand, perplexing interactive mind magic, hilarious comedy, dangerous escapes and large-scale illusions. Audience members will be baffled by the astounding skills of these modern illusionists. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Impact100 SRQ: Purposeful PopUp , March 7, 7am-8am
Impact100 SRQ's Purposeful PopUp Bayfront Park Walk will take place on March 7 from 7am to 8am. Meet at the Bayfront Park (in front of O'Leary's), 5 Bayfront Drive, to casually connect with other Impact100 SRQ members and enjoy a walk around the Bay.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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