Sarasota News Leader

08/30/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 30, 2013 Page 8 While the Casa Di Amici board acted last week to recommend removing the discriminatory wording (attorney Dan Lobeck called the measure "inadvertent"), Nowak says the voting population of the complex still must approve the revisions. That vote won't come till early October, according to Nowak. She feels confident the complex will strike the discriminatory section. Several owners have called and emailed her, apologizing for voting in favor of the new documents, which many said they never even read. Nowak told the County Commission many were "appalled" to find out what they had supported. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. But Nowak's point Tuesday was that the conImage from www.myfloridacfo.com do complex's changes never would have been allowed in the first place if Sarasota County ran outside. The couple was in the middle offered comprehensive protections against of moving, and boxes stacked outside were on fire. discrimination. Former Sarasota City Commissioner and outspoken LGBT rights activist Ken Shelin echoed Nowak's comments, pointing out that "legislative action is often needed" to guard against discrimination. "There is still a disconcerting undercurrent that demonizes certain people in order to exclude them," he said, bringing up the Casa Di Amici dispute, as well as rumors that local community and business leaders have been forced out because of their sexual orientation. That's when Wojtczak realized their cats were still inside. Wojtczak went around to break open the back door to let the pets escape, and even ("foolishly," Langley says) went inside to open an interior door. They lost six cats in the blaze, but seven survived. The couple screamed for help and even tried to put out the fire with a hose, but it was no use. "Within I'd say four minutes of us getting outside, the whole front room was engulfed in flames," Langley tells the News Leader. Another example of local intolerance Shelin That wasn't all. Someone had slashed the tires mentioned: arson. on the couple's car, and their water pipes had Allie Langley and her girlfriend, Carrie Wo- been smashed. jtczak, were sleeping in the front room of their Nokomis trailer early Saturday morning Chris Cate — communications director for when Wojtczak got up to use the restroom. Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, who oversees the She heard crackling and saw flames. Wojtczak Office of the State Fire Marshal — writes in an hurriedly woke Langley, who dialed 911. They email that the incident "is being considered a

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