October 23, 2011

Gilkey, Jr. Appointed to UF Advisory Council

Michael A. Gilkey, Jr., a Florida registered and licensed landscape architect with Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., has accepted a position on the Advisory Council for the University of Florida Department of Landscape Architecture.

The Department of Landscape Architecture is celebrating more than 75 years of landscape architecture education at the University of Florida (UF). Their accredited graduate and undergraduate programs are home to more than 100 students. Ten faculty members enrich the teaching, service and research mission of the department through their diverse planning and design expertise. The Department offers a Bachelor’s degree, First Professional and Post Professional Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. degree from the College of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) with a concentration in Landscape Architecture.

To ensure that the Department’s programs continue to meet the needs of the profession, an Advisory Council consisting of industry leaders from several related design disciplines has been assembled from across the country. The Council will work with faculty to improve current programs, and to help guide future educational and research program offerings from the department.

"Michael is a graduate who has made a name for himself and his firm for quality work,” says Kay Williams, FASLA, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at UF. “His active participation in the social and academic life of the department as a student has translated into a mentoring role that ranges from funded awards that speak directly to the student's experiences here to professional involvement in studio projects."

For more information about the University of Florida Department of Landscape Architecture, please visit www.dcp.ufl.edu/landscape, or call (352) 392-6098. A partial portfolio of Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.’s work to date may be found at www.magilkey.com. Please call (941) 924-0132 for more information.

ABOUT MICHAEL A. GILKEY, INC.: Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. is a landscape architecture studio in Sarasota, Florida, established in 1981. Through a passion for pure design and personal relationships with architects, contractors and homeowners, Gilkey creates expressions of outdoor space that are direct translations of their clients’ visions. For more information, please visit www.magilkey.com or call (941) 924-0132.

October 19, 2011

Local Businesses Leading Electric Vehicle Charge

With the help of EcoTechnologies, Inc., Florida's leading renewable energy and energy conservation integrator, a handful of forward-thinking businesses and municipalities are leading the charge to bring electric vehicles to the Suncoast. By installing charging stations in their parking lots, businesses like Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Bradenton-Airport, developed and constructed by Sarasota-based Finergy Development and Firmo Construction, plan to attract more of the zero-emissions vehicles to our community.

EcoTechnologies, Inc. supports businesses committed to this initiative, and has helped many obtain awards for charging equipment through the ChargePoint America Program, whose aim is to install 4600 stations nationwide by month’s end. Owners are responsible for footing the bill for the equipment’s installation and operation costs, but for Eric Collin, Executive Vice President of Finergy Development, the decision made sense.

"This is a logical continuation for us,” says Collin, whose hotel was the first in Sarasota to earn the US Green Building Certification, and the first of its chain to earn a LEED® Silver Certification. “We want to keep our properties on the leading edge of sustainability."

Charging stations like the ones being installed at Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Bradenton-Airport are part of Coloumb's ChargePoint Network, the world’s most advanced and easy to use electric vehicle-charging infrastructure. The charging stations are designed to accommodate electric vehicles (EV’s) as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (visit www.pluginamerica.org/vehicles for a current list of electric vehicles). Today’s plug-in EV’s typically do not require gasoline, but recharge their large on-board batteries with electricity. The typical result is an efficiency of over 100 miles per gallon – a two-fold increase over conventional hybrids.

Those interested in the future of electric vehicles are encouraged to attend the unveiling of the new charging stations at Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Bradenton-Airport, located at 975 University Parkway in Sarasota, on Wednesday, November 2,, 2011. A ribbon-cutting will be held at 4:30pm, during which guests can see the latest electric vehicles plugging in. A reception inside the hotel will follow from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, hosted by the General Manager, Michelle Siese and her team. For more information, please contact Michelle Siese at the Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Bradenton-Airport at (941) 355-8140 ext. 600 or Michelle.Siese@hilton.com or contact Ken Stokes, EcoTechnologies consultant at (813) 789-1262 or Ken@EcoTechnoUSA.com.

About EcoTechnologies, Inc.: EcoTechnologies is Florida's EcoSquad for Solar Power, PhotoVoltiacs, Solar Hot Water Heater, Electric Vehicle Car Charging Stations, Energy Saving Cooling Systems and BioBased Spray Foam Insulation Systems. A full-service, green building and remodeling integrator for Florida's green homes, businesses and institutions, EcoTechnologies includes consulting, design, installation and customer service. EcoTechnologies is located at 2101 47th Street, Sarasota, Florida 34234, (941) 364-5900 and online at www.EcoTechnoUSA.com. INTERVIEWS, MEDIA TOURS, AND ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR NEWS STORIES AT THE CONVENIENCE OF THE PRESS. PLEASE CALL KEN STOKES AT (813) 789-1262.

October 18, 2011

Sarasota Community Acupuncture Goes Co-op

In September, Sarasota Community Acupuncture joined the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA). POCA is a cooperative whose mission is to provide accessible and affordable acupuncture.

In Community Acupuncture, patients rest in recliners in a shared space. Small, thin needles are placed in a patient's lower legs, lower arms, and head in order to treat everything in between. A sliding fee scale allows more patients, regardless of income or insurance, to receive enough treatments to experience relief from chronic and acute stress and pain, as well as improvement in symptoms and root causes of illness and injury.

As a multi-stakeholder cooperative, POCA brings together practitioners, students, clinics, patients, and organizations, all working together to make community acupuncture economically sustainable and socially just. Every POCA member has a vote in the organization. Individuals can contribute their skills and leadership in clearly defined self-organizing circles, as part of POCA's dynamic governance structure. Benefits are based on membership categories--patient, acupuncturist, clinic, or organization--benefits such as free treatment cards, access to a national clinic and job network, employer support documents, a POCA cooperative newsletter, and more. All members have access to affordable acupuncture at any POCA clinic.

Community Acupuncture is practiced in Canada, Britain, Australia, Israel, and the United States. Acupuncture is offered on a sliding fee scale of $15 - $35, with a one-time $10 new patient orientation fee. No income verification is required.

To make an appointment, contact Sarasota Community Acupuncture (941) 922-4611 at 3615 Webber Street Sarasota, FL 34232, or www.sarasotacommunityacupuncture.com. To learn more about POCA, please visit www.pocacoop.com, or contact Karen Grosskreutz, POCA Membership Coordinator at 971-400-8739, pocacoop@gmail.com.

Sarasota Community Acupuncture is a famly practice committed to cultivating health with the practitioner and the patient in partnership. The mission of SCA is to provide the community with high quality and affordable acupuncture, and to create a treatment space that connects people and builds community. For more information, please visit www.sarasotacommunityacupuncture.com, or call (941) 922-4611 for an appointment at our clinic, located at 3615 Webber Street in Sarasota, Florida.

October 12, 2011

Cycling Puts New Spin on Parkinson Disease

For the first time ever, a Suncoast event is combining breakthrough research with futuristic fitness to raise money for one of the area’s most urgent causes. Cyclists will take a virtual spin through gorgeous terrain at the YMCA’s high-tech cycling center during the Pedaling For Parkinson’s Cycle-A-Thon. It happens on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the YMCA’s Frank Berlin, Sr. Branch located at 1075 South Euclid Avenue, Sarasota.

Ten teams will participate in the four-hour cycling event, where they’ll hop on top-of-the-line Schwinn bikes in front of a huge video screen in the YMCA’s new cycling center, complete with Blu-Ray technology. Every pedal stroke will raise cash for Neuro Challenge Foundation, which provides services for the 15,000 people on the Suncoast who struggle with Parkinson Disease. The incurable brain condition robs patients of the ability to move, eat and think clearly.

This event comes after breakthrough research revealed that cycling can relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Neuro Challenge Foundation is bringing the man who made that discovery to Pedaling for Parkinson’s. Dr. Jay Alberts of the Cleveland Clinic will present his breakthrough and explain how you can apply the finding in your own life. Several other physicians will also present lectures on the latest in Parkinson’s treatment. In addition, the YMCA’s fitness staff is now working with Neuro Challenge Foundation and medical advisor Dr. Dean Sutherland to develop a specialized program for Parkinson’s patients.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It results from the death of dopamine-containing cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of cell-death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related, including shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly with most cases occurring after the age of 50. Parkinson’s experienced national attention when actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed several years ago.

Neuro Challenge Foundation provides free support services and education to Parkinson patients and their families on the Suncoast. For more information contact Doreen Sutherland at doreen@neurochallenge.org, or call The Sarasota Family YMCA at 941-955-8194.

About Neuro Challenge Foundation: The Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson Disease and their caregivers through service, education and research. Their flagship program, Parkinson Partners, provides one on one advice for patients. Call 941-926-6413 to enroll, free of charge. NCF funds programs and activities that promise to ease the burden of Parkinson Disease through patient-centered professional education, community forums and scientific and clinical research. Patients, caregivers and nationally recognized scientific experts advise us and lead the way as we invest in the science and services that will lead to a cure. For more information, please call (888) 623-4483 or visit www.neurochallenge.org.

12th & East to Host Party in the Plaza

12th & East Home at the Beach will continue its seasonal series of artist showcases on Thursday, October 20th, from 5pm to 8pm. The event, known locally as the “Party in the Plaza,” will take place at this beachside boutique every third Thursday of the month through May.

This month’s event will feature local artists Judy Titsworth, Kim Darnell, Donna Sutton, Dana Rudolph, Dottie Baker and Ellen Soloman. Catering will be provided by Fusion CafĂ©, and will include an enticing selection of their signature appetizers and sweet treats. Local honey and chutney will also be available, and the boutique’s winter line of candles will be introduced.

“We had a blast at the first Party in the Plaza,” says owner and designer Jessica Holmes. “Now I find myself looking forward to this event all month. It is a great showcase for the creativity of the community in which we live and love.”

Now located at 5416 Marina Drive, 12th & East Home at the Beach brings their unique vintage modern aesthetic seaside, while continuing to hand-select and update 17th and 18th century antique treasures. To learn more about 12th & East Home at the Beach or any of these fine artists, please call (941) 778-7440 or visit www.12thandEastHome.com.

About 12th & East Home: 12th & East Home at the Beach is a sophisticated home accessories showroom in Holmes Beach, Florida. Designer Jessica Holmes presents an ever-changing collection of vintage-inspired modern accents and expertly selected consigned antiques, establishing a unique and relevant aesthetic for today’s discerning home decorator. The Sarasota collection has expanded to include a more casual, seaside lifestyle. Please call (941) 778-7440 to learn more, or visit us on the web at www.12thandEastHome.com.


Four Sarasota Mothers Launch Radio Program

Earlier this month, four Sarasota mothers launched a weekly radio program dedicated to maternal health. “Maternally Yours: Sarasota’s Conversation about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Motherhood” airs every Tuesday night at 6:30pm on Sarasota’s community radio station, WSLR 96.5 LPFM. It is the first ever local broadcast dedicated to the subject, and WSLR’s first program hosted by a collective of women.

Maternally Yours is an opportunity for Sarasota to learn about issues affecting pregnant families, infants, and young children from a consumer perspective. The program will be hosted on a rotating basis by four women well-known in the community for their expertise in the areas of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. The hostesses will invite local experts in the fields of midwifery, obstetrics, nursing, pediatrics, healthcare administration, breastfeeding, doula work, public health, and consumer advocacy, as well as (and often) parents who might share their experience on a given topic. The show will offer listeners a broad range of perspectives and opinions incorporating all models of maternity care available.

“This is such a balanced, judgment-free, thoughtful, refreshing show,” says Sarasota mother Abby Weingarten. “What a gift to our community!”

The hostesses of Maternally Yours are Cheryl Kindred, Carmela Pedicini, Ryan Stanley and Laura Gilkey. Cheryl is a certified birth doula, birth assistant, childbirth educator, MotherBaby advocate and leads local groups for Babywearing education and postpartum support. Carmela is an Independent Childbirth Educator, Certified Lactation Counselor, Licensed Practical Nurse, and local musician. Ryan is a long-time Sarasotan and young mother whose daughter’s birth shifted her career path toward Postpartum Doula certification. Laura is an advocate for evidence-based maternity care, a board member for Florida Friends of Midwives and the Healthy Start Coalition, author of the blog Born in Sarasota, and marketing director for The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project.

The unifying voice of the programmers is a genuine desire to empower women to take control of their bodies, their pregnancies, their births, and the raising of their children. “We all believe deeply in informed consent and allowing families to make their own choices,” says Laura. “The best way for them to do so is with evidence, information, and support.”

To listen to Maternally Yours, please tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM every Tuesday evening at 6:30pm. The program is also available via live streaming on wslr.org, and podcast atpodomatic.com/profile/maternallyyoursradio. For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at MaternallyYoursRadio@gmail.com, or call (941) 915-8115.

About Maternally Yours: Maternally Yours is Sarasota's Conversation about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Motherhood. The Conversation airs on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm on YOUR Community Radio Station, WSLR 96.5 LPFM. The mission of Maternally Yours is to educate and inform our community about the options, support, and evidence-based best practices available to them in maternal-child healthcare.

October 03, 2011

Guest Column: Safe Childbirth Advocate Honored

Kangaroo Promotions has the honor of coordinating a national marketing effort for 2011 Right Livelihood Laureate Ina May Gaskin's Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, set to launch in early 2012. My gratitude to the Sarasota Herald Tribune for printing the following editorial on Monday, October 3rd.

In 2009, American midwife Ina May Gaskin visited Sarasota. She spoke to the physicians at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, displayed her Safe Motherhood Quilt Project at the Selby Public Library, and sat on a panel of experts at the conference on Maternal Healthcare in the 21st Century. She shed some light in our community on the evolution of American maternity care, our current maternal mortality crisis, and the model of care and accountability we must embrace to change it.

These are the kinds of visits Ina May makes on an almost weekly basis, in between delivering babies at The Farm, the "intentional community" in Tennessee she and husband Stephen Gaskin developed in 1970. One book, one airplane flight, one community at a time, she uses her 40-plus years of midwifery experience and research to educate and call to action those of us who are compelled by the fact that, while the United States spends more money on maternity care than any other nation, we remain ranked 50th in maternal mortality and 41st in infant mortality, according to the World Health Organization.

Recently, Ina May received the highest honor of her career thus far: The Right Livelihood Award (rightlivelihood.org), commonly referred to as the "Alternative Nobel." The award, established in 1980, honors "those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today." Among 2011's four Laureates, Ina May was chosen "for her whole-life's work teaching and advocating safe, woman-centered childbirth methods that best promote the physical and mental health of mother and child."

The Gaskins will travel to Stockholm in December to accept the honor, which will be presented by Sweden's Parliament.

This will be the second time they have done this as husband and wife; in 1980, Stephen became the first Right Livelihood Award Laureate for his establishment of PLENTY International. This is the first time a husband and wife have each been laureates of the award, causing the Right Livelihood Foundation to liken the couple to Marie and Pierre Curie.

Today, Ina May focuses her efforts heavily on The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project (rememberthemothers.org), in which each quilt square honors a woman who has died in childbirth in the United States since 1982. The Project aims at summoning the national will necessary to lower the rising maternal death rate by creating a consistent, mandatory system for reporting, classifying and counting maternal deaths, and reviewing and analyzing their causes.

She is also engaged in a national information campaign, aimed at women and medical professionals, about the potential side effects of using Cytotec, or misoprostol, to induce labor. She continues to teach and speak to physicians and midwives worldwide, and has traveled to Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Italy, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan to do so.

When I was newly pregnant for the first time in 2004, the first book I read was Ina May's "Spiritual Midwifery." Like so many other new mothers, I relied on the birth stories and wisdom so frequently that its pages were dog-eared and tattered by my due date. Since that bestseller, she has penned: "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth," "Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding" and "Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta," published just this summer. I encourage people to read this most recent work, describing the evolution of our maternity care system, and the path we must take to improve it, not only for the highest good of our mothers and babies, but for nations worldwide that strive to replicate our model of care.

"A society that places a low value on its mothers and the process of birth will suffer an array of negative repercussions for doing so," says Ina May Gaskin. "Good beginnings make a positive difference in the world, so it is worth our while to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies throughout this extraordinarily influential part of life."

We as a nation should celebrate Ina May Gaskin, the U.S. 2011 Right Livelihood Award Laureate, with collective pride and gratitude. Her tireless dedication to her calling has rippled throughout the world, and it is up to us to carry her message. It is a privilege to work with Ina May, and the highest honor to call her my friend.