Monday, November 30, 2015

Newsletter ***** NOVEMBER / DECEMBER, 2015 ISSUE *****

As our membership renewal campaign is in full swing, a number of members have asked me why we no longer have a Newsletter—and have expressed a desire for one.  Nationwide, newsletters have dwindled in the Internet age. Postage and paper are expensive.  We do have a blog, a web site, a Facebook Page, a Pinterest site, and so on where you can go to see our latest activities, pictures, by-laws, and so on.  And these sites are doing an excellent job.  But maybe you members would like more regular communication to be pushed directly to you????

What follows IS NOT a newsletter, but it is modeled on the local info@srqmagazine.com and info@biz941.com idea.  Short snippets of what is going on in the Sarasota Sister City world sent to you as things happen.

At this point, this is not an official organ of Sarasota Sister Cities.  It is strictly what strikes Dave Harralson, your Membership VP, as being newsworthy. At this point info@sarasotasistercities is strictly unofficial—and may or may not last.  We’re just trying out something new.



***** NOVEMBER / DECEMBER, 2015  ISSUE *****


NEW MEMBERSHIPS AND RENEWALS

Your Membership Vice President is calling or emailing each of you to tell you we have received your check or PayPal statement.  But remember……..it takes a while for your check to get from City Hall to our new office in the Federal Building.  Then the treasurer has to pick up your checks / PayPal, log them, forward them to me, and ONLY THEN can I let you know they have been received.  Thanks for your patience.


THE PASSING OF RON GOSSETT

Board member Ron Gossett suddenly became ill this last summer and passed away on October 9 after a short illness.  Ron organized the Playwriting Festival we sponsor with Florida Studio Theatre and was a board member of Sister Cities International.  He will be greatly missed—and we send our warm regards to his wife, Shirley.


OUR LECTURE SERIES/SPEAKERS BUREAU 

We began this Sister City lecture series last Fall, and it has been a bit hit so far.  Talks on everything from Sarasota history, the creation of perfumes, to the relationship of the Sarasota Jewish community to Israel (and particularly our sister city, Tel Mond). 

They will begin again in the New Year, and each is followed by a Meet & Greet, a social hour where we can discuss the talk over wine and munchies.  You will receive specific details about locations before each event.  Hope to see you there!


Feb. 8 – Flub-dub and Farfetchedness:  China Behind the
Travel Posters

Mar. 16 – France:  A Tale of Two Cities—Paris and Perpignan

Apr. 20 – Polynesian Cultures of the South Pacific



A NEW SISTER CITY FROM SWITZERLAND?

New sister cities are not suggested—and immediately accepted.  Getting a new sister city is a courtship process.  After both Sarasota and a candidate city visit back and forth, determine likenesses that would insure a successful twinning, a city then becomes a “Friendship City.” Sarasota and our potential sister city are engaged, but not yet married. 

We explore possible educational, tourist, cultural, and economic development exchanges and activities.  Is there enough interest in Sarasota to support a prospective new sister city?  Is the foreign city strongly interested in contributing to the success of this twining.  Only then, after this long process, is a city recommended for twinning with us.
I tell you all this to let you know that we have made a new friend.  Under the careful tutelage of Primo and Ruth Bader and the Swiss-American Club,  Rapperswil-Jona has been proposed as a new friendship city from Switzerland.
Welcome Nelly Camardo, Provisional City Director for Rapperswil-Jona and Charlotte Hull, Assistant City Director.


SISTER CITY PLAQUES IN BAYFRONT PARK ARE CRUMBLING?!?!

On Island Park, a part of Bayfront Park, A tree has been planted by the city each time we twinned with new Sister City.  Each tree has a plaque in front of it telling which Sister City it was planted for and the date. 

A recent letter from the city suggested that the plaques before each tree were in bad shape.  To that end, Ray Young (chair), Gloria Grenier, Dave Harralson, and Bill Wallace visited Island Park to examine the condition of the plaques.
We found that as the trees have grown, their roots are pushing the plaques (on a concrete base) out of the ground, and most of them are now askew.  Our committee has suggested that the City reseat the plaques.  We have offered to replace the one plaque that is missing.  Some on the committee even suggested that a small sign be mounted at each end of the walk indicating that this is the Sarasota Sister Cities Walk of Trees.  Stay tuned for what happens……………..


A NEW SISTER CITY OFFICE

Office space has grown increasingly tight at City Hall, but the city manager (with the strong encouragement of Kenney DeCamp) has found us a new office in the old, beautiful Federal Building at the corner of Ringling Blvd. and Orange.

We now have a much larger office with storage space. We moved in late October. Thanks for your effort Kenney.


WHEN I COLLECT A LITTLE MORE NEWS, YOU’LL HEAR FROM ME AGAIN!   THAT IS—IF YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM ME AGAIN!

David Harralson
VP Membership