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  • | 5:00 a.m. January 19, 2012
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+ Night planned for arts program
The Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts Department will present its annual Magnet Night at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19, in the VPA Theater, 3201 N. Orange Ave.

Parents and middle-school students from throughout Sarasota County are invited to attend the event to learn what Booker High School’s VPA program has to offer young people with an interest in the arts.
Magnet Night will begin with a program highlighting student art and performance, followed by breakout sessions designed to enable students and parents to meet faculty and students.

Booker High School’s VPA program offers intensive, comprehensive study opportunities in the areas of dance, music, theatre, television and film and the visual arts. Students are exposed to numerous performance and exhibition opportunities on campus, with a full main-stage performance schedule, film showcases and numerous art exhibits.

The VPA Department also partners with local, regional and national arts affiliates, offering students broad exposure in their areas of interest. Among the graduates of the program are Academy Award winner Bill Corso (Best Makeup for “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”), American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado and Broadway actor Darren Ritchie (“Dracula,” “Les Misérables). For more information about Magnet Night, contact Judy Piercy at 355-2967.

+ Foundation to host Parkinson symposium
The nation’s largest Parkinson’s Disease symposium once again will be held in Sarasota. Scheduled for Feb. 4, the event is open to patients, caregivers and physicians.

The Suncoast Parkinson’s Disease Symposium, hosted by the Neuro Challenge Foundation and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sarasota Memorial’s Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd. Registration will begin at 9 a.m.

Among the speakers will be internationally known drug inventor Dr. Moussa Youdim of Israel, who will speak about the drug rasagiline (Azilect); Dr. Cynthia Fox, co-founder of the Big and Loud voice therapy and a research associate at the National Center for Voice and Speech in Denver, Colo.; Dr. James M. Schumacher, neurosurgeon at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and research associate of the Neuroregeneration Institute at Harvard Medical School.; and Dr. Dean P. Sutherland, founder of the Southeastern Center for Parkinson’s Disease in Sarasota.

“Our annual symposium provides an interactive venue for the PD community to come together and discuss the latest global developments in Parkinson’s Disease care, as well as to meet and talk with others affected by PD,” said Doreen Sutherland, president and CEO of Neuro Challenge, in a news release.

The cost to attend is $25; the fee includes a continental breakfast. Scholarships are available. Registration is required, because seating is limited. For more information, visit  or call the Sarasota Memorial Healthline at 917-7777.

+ Applications available for academy
Applications are being accepted for the 2012 Citizens Academy offered by the city of Sarasota.
The academy will be held Thursday evenings from Feb. 9 through March 29. It will culminate with a ceremony during the City Commission meeting Monday, April 2.

City of Sarasota residents, business owners and those who work in the city, who are interested in learning about the inner workings of their municipal government, are encouraged to submit an application to Neighborhood & Development Services by Friday, Jan. 27.

The Citizens’ Academy is an interactive, seven-week course designed to educate residents about the functions of City Hall. The sessions include numerous behind-the-scenes tours of various city departments. Among those scheduled to be highlighted are the Public Works Department, the Police Department, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Bobby Jones Golf Complex and the offices of the City Manager, the City Auditor and Clerk and the City Attorney.

An informal discussion with city commissioners will also be part of the Academy. 

The course is free; however, participants are asked to commit to attend all seven evening sessions.
For more information, visit the city website,, or  contact Nancy Kelly at Neighborhood and Development Services: 954-2612.

Meetings & agendas
• Criminal Justice Commission — Noon Jan. 23, Administration Center, Third Floor Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
• County Commission — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 24, Administration Center, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
• County Commission Budget Workshop — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26, Administration Center, Third Floor Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.


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