A few weeks back your trusty TWISler attended a press conference at the fancy-schmancy Ritz-Carlton where representatives from Sarasota County, USF, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota Memorial and SRQ-bound hopeful Jackson Laboratory made the joyous announcement that they would indeed be joined together in holy geographical matrimony. The organizations’ leaders didn’t go into detail, but everyone showed enthusiastic confidence that Jackson Labs would soon be finding a nice comfy spot to set up shop right here in Sarasota County.
One by one, they touted the 2,200 new high-wage jobs Jackson will create once its new “biomedical village” is fully operational, estimating an economic benefit of $1 million per year by 2030. The proposed facility is to be the future of healthcare — where revolutionary research is gathered through cutting edge clinical tests using miraculous medicinal methods administered in ideal doses. Jackson will work closely with industry experts at Sarasota Memorial, share in USF’s $400 million worth of research grants, and ultimately make Sarasota County the epicenter of stem cell breakthroughs and genetic code comprehension. “This event epitomizes partnerships,” proclaimed County Commissioner Carolyn Mason from the podium.
Hey there, all my fresh peeps! The TWISler’s looking to fill some voter rolls this fine Tuesday by reminding you we still have one more city commissioner to put in power, and all you blue collar bay dwellers in Sarasota’s first (and best) district will be the ones making that decision for us on May 10. But you can’t just go in there and vote cha’know – ya gots to getcho self registered!
So, just in case voting for your elected representative is something you might like to try out, you best understand you need to be registered at least 29 days before you can vote in an election, and you better recognize you have exactly two weeks from today before the April 11 deadline.
TWISler Update: Festival Steering Committee surrenders
Some of you long-time TWISler fans may remember one of our first Breakdowns back in January in which we tore apart the one-and-a-half-year-long-and-running colossally disastrous fiasco known as the Sarasota County Festival Steering Committee. We wanted to give the committee a fighting chance to make its case before offering an Update on the issue. But with their recent ill-received business plan presentations to the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Commission, that time has now come. And it doesn’t look pretty.
The carnage began in mid-March when Committee Chair Robert Warren received a treacherous verbal beat-down from the 13 members of the TDC, who basically told Warren that the arts festival his committee had labored and toiled to develop for the past 16 months amounted to, as Obama would say, a turd sandwich. From claiming the committee had ignored major parts of its former-Canadian consultant’s report, which stated “The Festival of Firsts may help to retain or regain local audiences for the arts organizations but will do little in attracting new tourism to the area,” to pointing out the plan’s projected numbers appeared to be “plucked out of the air,” the TDC clearly stated it would not be picking up what Warren was laying down. Alas, a motion to give the committee one more month to clean up its mess was passed 11-2. Continue reading “TWISler Update: Festival Steering Committee surrenders”
TWISler Breakdown: Paid parking returns to downtown Sarasota
Now, the TWISler knows just as well as anyone about the pure joy it is trying to find a spot to park in downtown Sarasota. And thank heavens the new Palm Ave. garage lightened the load a bit when it opened this winter. But as much as we love bitchin’ about parking, we sure haven’t shown much willingness to pay for it. Well, the citizens haven’t anyway…. But the politicos are the ones running the show, and they say paid parking it is. So, starting next week you can prepare to see the glorious installation of 459 metered spaces from Cocoanut and Gulfstream east to Orange, and First down to State and McAnsh Square.
Some treasured gems, like the spots across from the Palm garage, will be graced with their very own meter. But most spots will be purchased by way of pay station. You just input the number painted in front out your slice of pavement into the machine, and pay the toll with some spare change or your Visa. Hey, it’s everywhere you want to be – including your favorite parking spot. No paper bills though, folks. So keep that bank card handy. Continue reading “TWISler Breakdown: Paid parking returns to downtown Sarasota”
TWISler Call Out: Our Governor needs to hear from us
Now, the TWISler said we wouldn’t be delving into state politics after the feedback we fielded from angry tea-baggers appalled at our scathing critique of Governor Skeletor’s questionable background. Fair enough, but it’s pretty hard to keep from questioning a guy that refuses to answer any questions. As you may recall, after Scott was forced to resign as CEO of Columbia/HCA for having filed the most fraudulent claims of any company in history, he went on to found a Florida chain of urgent care centers called Solantic Corp. In 2006, he predicted that Solantic would grow to 1,000 locations and become a publicly traded company.
He managed to open 32 of them, and was just starting to get on a roll when disaster struck: The voters of Florida decided to appoint him as Governor. Obviously, that meant he had to quit his day job. But it’s kind of tough to untie yourself from a $62 million investment, the heftiest single portion of your $218 million in personal wealth, especially when you known the returns on your investment are still in their infancy. Continue reading “TWISler Call Out: Our Governor needs to hear from us”
TWISler Breakdown: Sarasota Film Fest Fabulousness
The swankiest Sarasotans among us have been busily rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s finest actors, directors and producers at this past week’s Sarasota Film Festival events. The red carpet was rolled out in front of the Opera House last Friday for the Opening Night Party featuring a screening of “Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times,” a documentary about the slow and inevitable death of print media. In attendance along with Director Andrew Rossi was New York Times Media Desk reporters David Carr and Brian Stelter, providing living proof that professional journalists still actually roam the Earth and survive by selling stacks of dead trees filled with ink.
The opening night action continued all over the Michael’s on East complex at the After Party, where SFF joined forces with Vinyl Music Festival to present “Hollywood & Vinyl,” featuring ass-shaking sets by DJs Honorebel and Cosmo that had heads ringing well into the wee hours of the morning. Continue reading “TWISler Breakdown: Sarasota Film Fest Fabulousness”