20160930-30 Sep 2016

‘No Swim’ advisory lifted for Siesta and Longboat; south county beach advisory continues

UPDATE: The  “No Swim” Advisory that has been in place at Siesta and Longboat Key Beaches since Thursday, Sept. 29 has been lifted today, according to an announcement from the Health Department at 4:39 p.m. Sept. 30. The advisories at Turtle, Nokomis and North Jetty Beaches remain in effect. (Read more »)

FDOT explains disappearance of palms next to U.S. 41 and Ritz-Carlton property

Leader of walking/biking advocacy group bemoans the loss of what he says was one of Sarasota’s best pedestrian areas

As a leader of the nonprofit Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates in Sarasota County, Mike Lasche was distressed when he learned recently that the towering row of palm trees next to U.S. 41 just north of the Gulfstream Avenue intersection had disappeared. (Read more »)

With Oct. 3 deadline looming, North Beach Road lawsuit still not served on county as of Sept. 29

In the meantime, plaintiff Mike Cosentino has responded to a countersuit and continues with his petition drive

Facing an Oct. 3 deadline to serve legal papers on Sarasota County, the attorney for a Siesta Key resident challenging a County Commission decision in court still apparently has not resolved problems relating to the original documents filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, The Sarasota News Leader learned this week. (Read more »)

Neal turned down on request to eliminate affordable housing and off-site land conservation for new development

Planning Commission members unanimous in denying proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment for Grand Lakes project

Planning Commission members applauded Pat Neal’s developments in Sarasota County during their Sept. 15 regular meeting. But regardless of their respect for him, they said, they could not approve his request for a Comprehensive Plan amendment that would allow him to proceed with his Grand Lakes project east of Interstate 75. (Read more »)

New mangrove trimming and preservation ordinance to be focus of Oct. 10 County Commission hearing

Draft ordinance completed after public outreach and consultation with state environmental personnel

On Oct. 10, the Sarasota County Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that will govern mangrove trimming and preservation in the unincorporated areas of the county. (Read more »)

County’s tax collector hoping Florida counties will be able to gain legislative support for dealings with Airbnb

Barbara Ford-Coates airs frustrations with the internet-based firm’s reluctance to comply with state disclosure laws on tourist tax collections

In March, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates told members of the county’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) that she and her staff felt they were “just moments away” from signing an agreement with Airbnb to ensure the collection of the tourist development taxes on units its hosts rent in the county. (Read more »)

New Dairy Queen/retail center on Stickney Point Road wins Planning Commission endorsement

Board members consider traffic matters and whether the community workshop was advertised appropriately to the neighbors

Questions about traffic access and queuing, dumpster placement and even the circulation of a Venice newspaper came first, but the Sarasota Planning Commission finally gave unanimous approval to a proposed infill project on Stickney Point Road across from the entrance to Sarasota Pavilion. (Read more »)

Dispute between city clerk and commissioners leads to call for more research into leasing options for storage of public records

Board members debate condition of current facility, digitization of records and a deal with Benderson Development

With two Sarasota city commissioners having voiced anger over the matter having been placed on the Consent Agenda, City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini and Purchasing Department staff will be investigating more options for temporary public records storage than a lease with Benderson Development. (Read more »)

Two days in a row, FPL contractor digs into county water main on north Siesta

30 homes in the Treasure Boat Way neighborhood affected by pole replacement incidents

Treasure Boat Way resident Joe Volpe was in the shower Monday morning when the water flow suddenly ceased. The reason? A contractor working for Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) had hit a Sarasota County water main as it worked to replace a utility pole. (Read more »)

Southwest Florida scientists tracking changes in red tide algae counts

Siesta and Turtle beaches among those with highest concentrations mid-week

Water samples collected by the Florida Department of Health on Sept. 26 along Sarasota County’s coastline and analyzed by Mote Marine Laboratory showed medium to high cell counts of the naturally occurring Florida red tide algae, Karenia brevis, in all 16 locations the department checks, Mote spokeswoman Kaitlyn Fusco reported in a Sept. 28 news release. (Read more »)

Oct. 11 voter registration deadline nears

Voters also encouraged to make certain their records are up-to-date

Monday, Oct. 11, is the deadline to register to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent is reminding voters. (Read more »)

New City of Sarasota solid waste fees go into effect Oct. 1

Residential customers with curbside pickup will see an increase of $1 per month

After maintaining solid waste fees at the same rate for the past 10 years, the City of Sarasota is implementing new rates for residential and commercial customers as of Saturday, Oct. 1, with no change to the current level of service, the city has announced. (Read more »)

Phillippi Farmhouse Market to return Oct. 5 for its eighth season

Free tours of Edson Keith Mansion also provided

The Phillippi Farmhouse Market will return on Wednesday, Oct. 5, for its eighth season of offering locally grown produce, including USDA-certified organic fruits and vegetables, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

Sample ballots for Nov. 8 General Election available online

Supervisor of Elections Office explains how to access them; samples also will be mailed

Sample ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election are available online at www.SarasotaVotes.com, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent has announced. (Read more »)

Boys in the Boat named One Book, One Community selection for 2017

Choice reflects community’s designation as co-host of the 2017 World Rowing Championships

Daniel James Brown’s New York Times best-seller The Boys in the Boat has been named the 2017 selection for the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department’s popular One Book, One Community program. (Read more »)

Ajax/Tandem team formally awarded contract for preliminary Venice Library construction services

County staff hopes to have the new facility open in the fall or early winter of 2018

Exactly two weeks before the Hamilton Building’s opening as Sarasota County’s interim public library on Venice island, the County Commission approved a $106,623 contract with Ajax Building Corp. and Tandem Construction for preliminary services in the effort to construct another permanent home for the library. (Read more »)

Rynberg withdraws from process to name new Sarasota County superintendent of schools

Former Indian River District assistant superintendent cites personal reasons

One of the four finalists invited to interview for the position of Sarasota County superintendent of schools — Andrew Rynberg — has withdrawn his application, the district announced on Sept. 26. (Read more »)

Barbara Ford-Coates wins Thomson Reuters Public Sector Champion Award

Presentation recognizes efforts to increase office efficiencies

Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates has received the 2016 Thomson Reuters Public Sector Champion Award for Excellence in Office Leadership, Thomson Reuters has announced. (Read more »)