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About this site
The Sarasota News Leader® is a news publication co-founded and edited by Rachel Brown Hackney, a veteran journalist with more than three decades experience. For the past several years, she was the editor of The Pelican Press on Siesta Key.
The Sarasota News Leader® became a full-featured electronic weekly - or eWeekly - on September 21, 2012, with the publication of the first edition readable on iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook and other personal readers, as well as laptop or desktop computers.
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Category Archives: Business
Although the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously Sept. 11 to maintain a 10% reduction in building permit fees through Oct. 1, 2013, Commissioner Joe Barbetta balked at the prospect of hiring a consult to undertake a study of the county’s … Continue reading
A pair of foreclosure-defense lawyers scared the willies out of the largest audience the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations has seen in years. The Monday Sept. 10, forum was billed as “The Foreclosure Mess 101.” By the time the … Continue reading
Noise ordinance could become part of zoning code The Sarasota County Commission will hold a public hearing on Sept. 25 to determine whether the sunset dates for the county’s Noise and Air and Sound Pollution ordinances should be extended for … Continue reading
“Out with the old and in with the new” would be an odd motto for a historic preservation board. But two buildings in Sarasota’s downtown historic district will be coming down by early next year to make way for another … Continue reading
Siesta Village businesses are continuing to grapple with the use of fraudulent credit cards, several members reported during the Sept. 4 meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association. “We’ve been dinged a few times,” Keith Cipielewski, co-owner of the Siesta … Continue reading
The total number of permits Sarasota County staff approved in July for single-family homes was just four higher than July 2011 total, but the value of the construction had more than doubled, according to the August economic report of the … Continue reading
On two occasions, almost exactly three months apart, Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason was the swing vote for a decision affecting one aspect of the commission’s decision to allow a broader range of commercial uses within major employment centers (MECs) … Continue reading
During its Sept. 5 meeting, the city’s Development Review Committee put the proposed Walmart “supercenter” slated for Ringling Boulevard in its crosshairs. Engineer Joshua Bryant noted that neighboring residents, during a voluntary community meeting Walmart held in August, had asked … Continue reading
The Siesta Key Village Association will hold its monthly meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar, with updates scheduled on noise issues and crosswalks in Siesta Village. Members also will discuss the third … Continue reading
Survey just completed points to manufacturing skills gap In an effort to improve workforce readiness in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday, Aug. 29, to ask County Administrator Randall Reid to meet with the … Continue reading
Jonesing for some of that fast truck food, now that the lot at Ringling and Links is shut down for the summer? A second location is in the works, this time at Ringling and Pineapple. Chip Fendt filed his paperwork … Continue reading
Over the past several months, big hunks of property along traffic arteries have been quietly optioned for large-scale development. The “supercenter” Goodwill on North Tamiami Trail, a 100+ unit, mixed-use development on 47th Street — just south of the Goodwill … Continue reading
Riding on waves of tourist enthusiasm engendered by Siesta Public Beach’s No. 1 ranking, Sarasota County businesses relished a huge comeback in the summer of 2011 after the dour summer of 2010. The beach publicity wiped clean the remnants of … Continue reading
Tropical Storm Debby survivors have two weeks remaining to register for federal disaster assistance, federal officials have announced. Applications must be received by Tuesday, Sept. 4, to be considered for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the … Continue reading
Fort Myers Beach event’s schedule no longer a conflict Brian Wigelsworth saw it as an opportunity to show his fellow master sandsculptors that the Siesta Key beach was the best place in the world for a major competition. Siesta business … Continue reading
The Siesta Key Association Board of Directors has asked the Sarasota County Commission to authorize an evaluation of staffing patterns in the county’s Code Enforcement Office before any decision is made about overtime hours for any employees in that office. … Continue reading
A local icon is about to answer many dreams. The boat structure at 425 N. Osprey Ave. may soon be open for visitors to spend a night or two. Elwin Lissone came before the city’s Historic Preservation Board Tuesday, Aug. … Continue reading
Roughly 50 people came to the Payne Park Auditorium Wednesday evening, Aug. 15, to talk with Walmart representatives about a proposed new “supercenter” at the old Ringling Shopping Center. The “maestro” for the event was Michelle Belaire, a battle-hardened corporate … Continue reading
Welcome back, city commissioners. There’s a big, meaty agenda waiting for you Monday, Aug. 20. Bring your No-Doz and your Dramamine. The meeting is set to start at 2:30 p.m. with the approval of five sets of minutes from a … Continue reading
Sarasota County’s two noise-related ordinances to sunset Nov. 18 Because the Sarasota County Commission has not authorized the hiring of additional Code Enforcement Office employees, staff will discuss with County Administrator Randall Reid how to proceed with overtime hours to … Continue reading
The $500 fee for a formal determination on a zoning matter will be among those addressed when Sarasota County pursues a new study of its fee schedule, Rob Lewis, the county’s director of planning and development services, told about 20 … Continue reading
Developer Frank Chinnici has his eye on the largest plot of undeveloped land along U.S. 41 between downtown Sarasota and the airport. On Aug. 2 he held a neighborhood workshop to brief residents on both sides of the Tamiami Trail … Continue reading
Rob Lewis, director of planning and community development for Sarasota County, and Jon Mast, representing the Business Center Operations office in Lewis’ department, will be special guests during the Tuesday, Aug. 7 meeting of the Siesta Key Village Association. In … Continue reading
The most recent Sarasota County business statistics show continued growth for the county, with the total number of building permits for single-family homes up 160% from June 2011 to June 2012. Residential real estate sales are up 18.7% for those … Continue reading
Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid named current county Contracts Manager Ted Coyman Jr. as the county’s new Procurement Department official, he notified the county commissioners by email on July 20. The appointment was effective immediately. Coyman’s salary will be $93,000, … Continue reading
Several businesses in the 1600 block of U.S. 41 Bypass in Venice have lost water service, Sarasota County has announced. Crews installing a tap in the watermain discovered a problem with the line, which has been shut down for repairs, … Continue reading
With the Sarasota County Economic Energy Zone Pilot Program having begun July 1, the County Commission on June 27 approved an application for firms to fill out so they can be considered for financial incentives to participate in the program. … Continue reading
As local governments continue to deal with Tropical Storm Debby’s effects on the county, Sarasota County Emergency Management officials are urging businesses to report any damage, health officials are warning people to use caution around flooded areas and standing water … Continue reading
Sarasota County’s May economic data shows revenue from the tourist development tax was up 31.6% over the amount budgeted, while the income from the half-cent sales tax was up 15.7%, according to figures released by the Office of Financial Planning. … Continue reading
On Saturday, June 16, owner Scott Dolan cut the ceremonial “Grand Opening” ribbon at Big Water Fish Market. General Manager Brian Brainerd and Mark Smith, chairman of the board of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, looked on. Big Water … Continue reading
Gov. Rick Scott touted his pro-business credentials to the Argus Foundation at a Longboat Key luncheon today, June 8, discussing his K-12 and higher education policies, as well as his administration’s changes to the state’s unemployment system. The Longboat Key … Continue reading
Both Anna’s Deli and Total Tennis on Avenida Madera in Siesta Village are closing this month and moving on to other locations, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. “We absolutely hate it,” said Dave Havill, whose family started Anna’s 41 … Continue reading