A Pinella’s County Elementary School Teacher was found with a Loaded Gun and Knives in School yesterday.

The Tampa Bay Times reported yesterday of Pinella’s county arrest of Starkey Elementary School forth grade teacher Betty Jo Soto, 49.

Ex-Elementary School Teacher, Betty Jo Soto, 49, of Pinella’s County’s Starkey Elementary School. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office via Tampa Bay Times]

Soto is facing two counts of misdemeanor conceal weapons charge, after being found with a Glock 9mm pistol and two knives in a backpack. According to WFLA’s interview with Desoto on why she brought weapsons into her classroom, Soto responded by telling them to “Ask Desantis.” Revelations made on her Facebook Page was also reported to include a message indicating that she was conducting a “revolutionary act.”

Soto’s timely arrest arrives on the heels of the passing of the controversial State Bill 3070 on arming teachers, signed by Gov. DeSantis on May 8 and strongly advocated for by Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri.

School district would have to opt into the “Guardian’s Program” in order for teachers to receiving the training. As of this time, both Sarasota and Manatee counties have opted out, despite Manatee school board member, Scott Hopes, advocating for the district’s inclusion into the program.

What we don’t know:

  • Soto’s psychological evaluation, if any.
  • Soto’s Motive

Rep. Vern Buchanan Releases Statement on Russian Election Hacking via Twitter

On Thursday, U.S Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, released a public statement strongly condeming the Russian cyber-hacking of two florida county voter databases after attending a classified briefing via Twitter.

U.S Rep. Vern Buchanan’s public statement in response to attending an FBI briefing on Russian cyberhacking of two Florida county voting systems on Thursday. (Via Twitter)

In the release, Buchanan describes the alarming nature of the cyber security threats posed to state voting systems, stating ‘Vladmir Putin is not our friend’ and called on a bipartisan approach to deal with future election inteference.

Buchanan’s response comes after the revelations of Russian cyber interference from Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this week.

Gov. DeSantis told reporters that he was not ‘allowed to disclose’ information related to the FBI investigation due to signing a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for a private briefing. via Politico.

Buchanan’s response comes after his public statement last month on the Mueller Report, stating that ‘America needs to move on.’ (Via Zac Anderson, Sarasota-Herald-Tribune)

As of this time Thursday, none of the two counties has been identified.

Do you feel Vern Buchanan’s response is adequate? Please comment below.

Sick day today, so why not watch a spec video I made?

In lieu of fresh content for today due to Sammy getting a double whammy stomach virus and mild ear infection, I bring to you a spec video I created while shooting for the “Seen on Scene” for the St. Jude’s Foodlosophy 2018 event in November of last year. Foodlosophy is an annual charity event hosted by St. Jude’s Research Hospital that brings together some of Sarasota’s best chefs to create meals inspired by child patients of the hospital.

In this video, I spoke with Chef Christian Hershman of Sarasota’s The Overton. We spoke about his philosophy driving the event as chef-chair, and how the event continues to resonate with him.

Please keep in mind the final audio was never mixed down, hence all the “clicking and clicking,” of pans and dishes. It’s annoying, I know.

Also keep in mind that this video below is spec, and is no way affiliated with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Spec video of Foodlosophy interview with Chef Christian Hershman of Sarasota’s The Overton. (Video: Alex M Buono)

Would love to hear feedback and comments on it!

Hope you’re all having a good day, and I’ll hoping I’ll get this boy into better shape!

-Alex

Celebrating the 10th Annual Harvey Milk Festival 2019 in Sarasota

The 10th Annual Harvey Milk Festival celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary this Saturday, May 11 in Sarasota. The festival honors the enduring activist legacy of pioneering LGTBQI political activist and San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk.

This year’s celebration brought together a diverse array of emerging local artists, musicians, roller derby bombers, food trucks, jello shots, and an array of political activist groups and vendors.

(Photo: Alex M Buono)

The festival crowd was young and old, with fishnets or chest-mounted baby (or leashed fur-baby), teal-haired or bald. That said, everyone was flawless.

The stated mission of Festival organizers is by “fostering emerging talent in musicians and artists who support diversity and reject discrimination. While we promote equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation.”

Harvey Milk’s historical mark being the first openly gay politician in America was tragically cut short, when November 11, 1978 Milk and then San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a rival city supervisor.

The festival’s impact continues throughout the year with youth outreach and scholarship programs, performance art and other events.

For more info, visit www.harveymilkfestival.com.

Hello Again…Again.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve published here. I am derelict of my public duty.

I know it’s this. A great indicator is whenever I change my branding image.

Feelin’ more ‘beachy’. Perhaps a little more casual. Relaxed is probably a better word.

In an effort to be a bit more conversational and above all, consistent, I want to reach out today to say that I’m starting fresh yet again.

I’m hoping I can share more of me with you.

In this reboot, I’m hoping to capture local southwest Florida stories and present them in multimedia features in the upcoming months. Stay tuned.

Most importantly, I want to know what you care about, what stories you have, and what I can help shed some light on. Please reach out to me on social media for tips at @alexmbuono.

Also, I aim to publish much more frequently, hopefully on a daily basis with musings, commentary, and recaps of what’s happening locally and nationally.

To start here’s something truly…Florida. It happened right down the road from me.

Stay tuned and hope to hear from you.

Onward and upward,

-Alex