A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Innovative? What does that mean?

My campaign literature (still being developed) will claim I am innovative and creative. But what does that mean? Here's a specific example. On Tuesday night the City of Sarasota took testimony regarding the potential of "greening" downtown. Many citizen's spoke encouraging more plantings or objecting to existing or planned developments that seemed to make the downtown less green. 

I listened carefully and spoke about street trees on Main Street -- nothing very innovative there. But I did toss two new ideas in the hopper:

No net loss of cabbage palms. Since cabbage palms are so easy to transplant, why not formally or informally work with those developing downtown parcels to relocate whatever cabbage palms are in the footprint of their developments to public spaces? That w
ay there would be no net loss of our native palms -- we'd avoid shipping removed ones to the landfill and importing into others from rural ranches to populate downtown landscapes. 

Living Walls.  Living walls are a new trend in green construction. Websites are bristling with photos of living walls in Europe. Example One. Example Two. Example Three. Some of these are indoor, some outdoor, but most have more or less e
laborate systems to supply the plants with a substrate and water. 

But we already have living walls downtown -- look at the creeping fig (Ficus pumila) that covers the building on the southeast corner of Cocoanut and Palm. I think there is more creeping fig on Palm Avenue at Sarasota News and Books. This plant cover no doubt lowers temperatures, produces oxygen, etc.  It needs to be pruned away from windows and we need to understand the structural implications of allowing vines to cling to buildings, but here is a way to "green" an urban area without using up any pedestrian space. And vine covered walls have been shown to discourage graffiti.

The image above right is a scan of notecard produced by John Langmann, which can be purchased at Sarasota News and Books. Gorgeous no? It depicts the western wall of Sarasota News and Books, which is covered with creeping fig and features a large Bougainvillea. Imagine more of our city so covered.

By now some readers may be convinced I would make a good county groundskeeper, but are somewhat less sure about a county commissioner. Don't get lost in the chlorophyll. Look at the underlying inclinations to reduce costs and waste and take advantage of what we already have around here rather than falling for the latest thing. Ask SCOPE Board members if my penchant for unexpected solutions to a wide variety of challenges doesn't manifest itself in many contexts, not just civic landscaping. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Join me Sunday for a potluck and march for Dr. King

I'm inviting all early supporters for a simple potluck late brunch/early lunch at Gillespie Park this Sunday, January 20th.

This is not a big-budget production, but a simple, spontaneous event. Since we can't reserve tables or space in advance, this event may provide opportunities for problem-solving. Gather at noon at the picnic tables south of the playground or wherever you see a large “Official Sarasota County Campaign Headquarters” banner. We'll eat around 12:30.  Please bring a brunch dish or beverage to share.

Gillespie Park is easy to find. Simply turn north off of Fruitville on Osprey (which is between 301 and 41). Soon you'll see the park on your right. MAP

This is a chance to socialize informally, enjoy a local urban park, consider Dr. King, and meet and chat with County Commission Candidate Jono Miller, who will speak briefly around 1:00 pm.

This downtown gathering will position everyone present who chooses to to head over to City Hall around 1:30 to prepare for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March. You can march as an individual or join other Sarasota Democrats who will be marching as group.

To march in the MLK Day Parade, please meet up by 2pm by the seashell sculpture at the corner of 1st Street and Lemon Ave. downtown (this spot is across from the bus terminal and also across from Whole Foods, just north of Mattison's Grill on Main Street). The march begins at 3pm and ends at MLK Park (at the corner of Cocoanut & MLK, close to Ringling School of Art & Design). This is a one and three quarter mile distance, and I'm told trolleys will be available to run folks back downtown. A vigil and unity circle concludes the event at 5pm in the park.  

If you can't make it Sunday, please check out the campaign website: www.jono08.com and take time to contemplate the many contributions of Dr. King.  You may also want to learn more about Florida's own martyred civil rights leader Harry T. Moore, and his wife Harriete. 

If you know in advance you'll make the scene, please RSVP to jonocampaign@gmail.com

And if you just decide to show up spontaneously, that will work too. 

And yes, you can feel free to forward this blog link to others. Let's have a great march on Sunday.



How does November 2008 sound?

I'm trying to get the date for this story that ran in the Sun Herald family of papers. When I get it perhaps I can create a link to the story by Steve Smith. The sentence that leads the quote is a response to my emphasis on the need for the county to do better on regional matters. I'm not arguing that we are doing such a bad job now, I just think we need to do more and that I will bring a lot of regional expertise to the Commission. 

It was the penultimate sentence that caught a supporter's eye and I didn't want to include it out of context. 

First campaign video

Do candidates for the Sarasota County Commission end up on You Tube? 
They do now. 
Click on the highlighted text below to go to You Tube.