Archive for November, 2010

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Instead of blabbing on about The HuB, “a warehouse space on Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota that has become a combination new-media incubator and gathering spot for hip people,” we thought we’d excerpt a recent Herald-Tribune article detailing the young venture. Laurel Park Management is happy to go on record, however, by saying that it makes us proud to see developments like this in Sarasota. We love this town, and would love to see it become even better. Sarasota’s present will be more enriching, its future more dynamic, if we embrace mixed-use neighborhoods and diversity of all kinds. Downtown should be a place that welcomes young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, the hip and the square.

Remember the times you stopped by Sarasota News & Books (or Charlie’s, for those with longer memories) to pick up a coffee and the newspaper or pick out a book? You never knew who you might run into, who you might strike up a conversation with. Those were heady moments in a truly urbane place. The interaction of “others,” of people of different stripes, is what makes a city interesting. So congratulations to The HuB for adding to the mix in downtown Sarasota. Now for the article:

The HuB occupies a large space with high ceilings and one of those big roll-up garage doors leading into the middle of it. The two founders of The HuB — Rich Swier Jr. and former Michael Saunders & Co. Realtor Matt Orr — have retained large open spaces near the entrances and built a collection of cubicles and work stations toward the back.

Since it is Tuesday and lunchtime, acupuncturist Hayley Enright is conducting one of her weekly community acupuncture sessions in a comfy seating area — couches and cushioned chairs anchored around a coffee table and area rug. She moves deftly between six walk-in patients. One by one, she studies their pulses and any medical complaints they have noted on a one-page form, then places the sterile pins in an effort to encourage the life force within each of them to function as effectively as possible.

Meanwhile, her husband, sound engineer Frank Enright, is around the corner, involved in his own unique combination of art and surgery. Closeted inside his tiny but well-equipped sound studio, Enright is editing short musical segments he has created electronically to fit visuals and voice-overs in a proposed new commercial for “Ask Gary,” a lawyer and doctor referral service that has become a customer of HuB Studios.

That is a tiny slice of life at the HuB. It is a free-wheeling, hard-to-categorize business that deals in video and audio productions and in helping clients do Internet marketing with an emphasis on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

Oh, yeah, and in raising the collective consciousness of mankind.

Besides making money, the HuB lists for its members a parallel mission of finding ways to make Sarasota more interesting for people like themselves. They are younger, creative types who tend to live a large part of their waking lives in an Internet cloud, while at the same time loving music and being with their friends.

Along those lines, the HuB two years ago created the Vinyl Music Festival. This summer, the festival drew 6,000 visitors.

When search engine giant Google Inc. announced early this year that it would pick a U.S. community to receive ultra-high-speed Internet-to-the-home service, the HuB was behind the curtain, pushing all the right buttons to improve Sarasota’s visibility as a candidate. In other words, when the mayor jumped into the shark tank at Mote Marine Laboratory and created a hot YouTube video in the process, it was HuB co-founder Rich Swier Jr. who instigated the scheme.

The weekly acupuncture session is typical of the way the HuB’s founders try to make work life more interesting.

They also asked electric vehicle maker Pete Hansen to convert a van to run on rechargeable batteries. Hansen then installed his prototype for a charging station at the HuB as well. It displays sponsors’ videos while the owner plugs and unplugs his vehicle.

If you look a little closer at Enright’s relationship to the HuB, you can see how different this place is from a standard media/public relations shop. continue reading at herald-tribune.com



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Where were you on Halloween weekend? We certainly hope that Laurel Park residents made the short stroll to Burns Square to check out the incredible chalk art created by artists from all over the world. The renowned 3D chalk artist Edgar Mueller even came from Germany to do his first work on American soil!! In case you missed it, here’s a recap:

The Sarasota Chalk Festival celebrated the spectacle of Street Painting, a 400 year-old performance art cultural tradition, during the weekend of October 30 & 31st when it became America’s First International Street Painting Festival. The art-form that originated in Europe when Madonnari (street-painters) would recreate images of the Madonna on the surface of the streets for tips had a contemporary feel during this festival that for the first time in street-painting history celebrated the theme Halloween – with all its delicacy, beauty and a little spooky fun.

Professional I Madonnari (street-painters) and artists from all over the world transformed South Pineapple Avenue and all of Oak Street from Pineapple to Palm Avenue in Burns Square into a gallery of fine art using the street pavement as their canvas and chalk as their medium.

This years theme was… a little funny… and a little spooky… all Halloween style! The theme was a total opposite of last year’s theme, the Goddess Flora, springtime and birth. Discussions are well under way for next years theme among the Board of Directors, “We see the need to educate the public on the 500 year-old history of the art-form so we are pondering doing a traditional I Madonnari themed event by recreating images of the Virgin Mary.” But… the board did not stop there… there is talk of an adult only street that requires ID to enter! (keep reading at chalkfestival.com)

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Along with air, water is the most important resource on planet Earth. You’d think something so important would be treated like gold, but think about how much is lost through running hoses and faucets, leaks, and inefficient washing machines. We can do better. We should do better. And if the rainclouds that pass over Sarasota stay stingy, we’ll need to do better. From today’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

In a signal that watering restrictions may be coming in the next few months, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s governing board declared a water shortage today.

The shortage declaration, which goes into effect on Dec. 1, is meant to alert local governments and the public to developing drought conditions. It does not bring additional watering restrictions.

The water district is urging residents to check their irrigation systems to make sure they do not leak and that timers and rain sensors work properly. An estimated 50 percent of fresh water suitable for drinking is doused on landscaping in many parts of Southwest Florida.

The district also is encouraging local governments to step up their enforcement of existing watering restrictions.

While the district limits watering to two times per week regardless of drought conditions, Sarasota County limits watering to once a week. (see entire article)

So, are you water smart? Do you use low-flow faucets and toilets? Have you traded in your energy-intensive lawn for Florida-friendly landscaping? Laurel Park Management is proud to say that we’ve upgraded nearly all of our units by taking these steps and others to make the water we’ve got go that much further. Want to know more? Here are 100 ways to conserve water. Every little bit helps.


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Have you visited your friendly local liberal arts college lately? New College of Florida, located just off Tamiami Trail near Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, and within an easy bike, bus, or car ride from Laurel Park, hosts a large variety of events open to the general public. Included amongst upcoming offerings is the latest in the Archaology Lecture Series “Dialogues with Florida’s Past,” a good old-fashioned New England Clambake, and a performance of John Cage’s Song Books. Laurel Park Management encourages you to come on out, support Florida’s finest academic institution, and take advantage of world-class culture at your doorstep.

“New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report,Forbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 40 states and 25 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.” (source)

Dialogues with Florida’s Past

“Dialogues with Florida’s Past” seeks to engage the public in a discourse that will draw upon Florida’s archaeological heritage as we address contemporary concerns. It is organized to pair an archaeologist with a scholar from another discipline. Although each speaker comes to the dialogue with a different frame of reference, each shares a research or occupational interest in the topic at hand.

November 10: Archaeology and Climate Change
Dr. Kenneth Sassaman, University of Florida
Dr. Frank Alcock, New College of Florida

All programs take place at Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Programs are FREE, but due to limited seating reservations are highly recommended. Contact the New College Events Office at (941) 487-4888 or email events@ncf.edu.

Old Fashioned New England Clambake

On November 10, 2010, the New College Foundation presents the 32nd Annual Old-Fashioned New England Clambake on the New College Bayfront, beginning at 6:30 pm.  This annual fundraiser supports the College and its many programs and scholarships.   The title sponsor is Northern Trust Bank, with Julie and Phil Delaney as chairpersons.

The event features music by Daniel Paul Fugazzotto and a special drawing for dinner and cocktails for 20 at College Hall, the former Charles Ringling Mansion.  The menu includes lobster, clam chowder, barbequed chicken and ribs, corn on the cob, salad bar and dessert, along with beer, wine and a cash bar.

Tickets are priced at $125 ($70 tax-deductible).  Patron tickets are $300 and include recognition at the event.  For reservations, call the New College Foundation at 941-487-4685.

New Music New College: John Cage’s Song Books

New College of Florida’s cutting-edge series of contemporary music presents its 12th season beginning in the fall of 2010. Once again, Director Stephen Miles has put together a varied and compelling program for New Music New College, featuring some of the most innovative musicians of our time, coupled with performances featuring New College students.

Demo/discussion: Friday, November 12, 3:30 pm, College Hall (free)
Concert: Saturday, November 13, 3:00 pm, College Hall
Concert: Sunday, November 14, 3:00 pm, College Hall

Cage’s Song Books (1970) are ranked among his most important works, employing the full range of his techniques and methods – from surprisingly simple songs, fully notated, to electronically-processed vocal sounds and theatrical actions. In this performance, six soloists will perform simultaneous recitals, moving from location to location in College Hall, inviting the audience to follow the music, the performers and their imagination. This is NMNC’s first production of the Song Books since its landmark performance at the Ringling Museum in 1998.


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It’s hard to live in Sarasota and not have heard of Owen Burns, the man for whom Burns Court (and by extension Burns Court Cinema) is named, and the honoree of the week-long Owen Burns Week fete November 8-14, 2010. But how much do you know about one of our town’s founding fathers? Here’s a bit from the Owen Burns Historical Marker at the intersection of Orange and Pineapple to bring you up to speed:

Owen Burns was one of Sarasota’s most distinguished citizens and connected with virtually every early development of the city. He first came to Sarasota on vacation from Chicago in 1910 and decided to make it his home. He purchased more than 75% of the land area of the city, making him the largest landowner.

Burns helped organize the Sarasota Board of Trade in 1911, was instrumental in founding the first locally owned bank, and was a leader in the push to divide Sarasota County from Manatee County in 1921.

His other activities included the effort to have the city’s first streets paved and the construction of Sarasota’s first seawalls. He oversaw the development of the bayfront subdivisions of Cedar Point and Sunset Park and of Washington Park, just east of this site. His Burns Construction Company built the Ringling causeways connecting Sarasota to St. Armands Key, and Lido Key. At one time, he owned all of Lido Key. He was initially involved with John Ringling in the development of St. Armands and John Ringling Estates. During the 1920s, his construction firm was responsible for the construction of some of Sarasota’s most notable buildings, including John and Mable Ringling’s home, Ca’d’Zan.

Owen Burns was a dreamer and a visionary who laid the foundation for Sarasota today. His cottages at Burns Court, in particular, are the epitome of walkable urbanism. Speaking of walkable, Burns Court and the events surrounding Owen Burns week are easily reached by foot or bike from any of Laurel Park Management’s Laurel Park or Gillespie Park apartments. The following is from the event organizers:

The City of Sarasota has officially proclaimed the week of November 8-14, 2010 Owen Burns week in celebration of the city’s most significant developer and civic leader 100 years ago. Commemorative signs will be posted at the Owen Burns properties, from Cà d’Zan, throughout downtown and on Lido and Longboat Keys.

Don’t miss the community-wide events featuring a Kick-off Party at Mattison’s™ City Grill, Jeff LaHurd’s New Book Release, Historic Trolley Tours, and a Burns Court Street Party with special appearance by Jimmie Fadden’s “Suitcase Full of Blues” Band. Join us!

For a full listing of all events, check out OwenBurns.com. Hope to see you all there!

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