20170127-27 Jan 2017

Special note to readers:

We have changed the formatting of our articles to make them much easier to read on smartphones and tablets. The format of our homepage news summary remains the same.

Judge declines to stop county ban on retail sales of dogs and cats from going into effect on Jan. 27

Petland Sarasota turned down in request for a temporary injunction

Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Frederick P. Mercurio has denied an attempt by the owners of Petland Sarasota to stop a new county law banning retail sales of cats and dogs from going into effect on Jan. 27. (Read more »)

On a 4-1 vote, County Commission allows work to proceed on Critical Area Plan application for Siesta Promenade project

Commissioner Nancy Detert voices frank opposition to the Benderson Development’s plans

Sarasota County Commissioner Nancy Detert cast the lone vote on the board on Jan. 25, seeking to deny Benderson Development the opportunity to continue a process it has initiated with the hope it can build a mixed-use development with density up to 25 units per acre on the northwest corner of the Stickney Point Road/U.S. 41 intersection, just east of Siesta Key. (Read more »)

Siesta Key Association announces plan to seek court injunction to stop state from issuing Lido Renourishment Project permit

Sarasota city manager says city staff already is planning for practice of emergency measure notifications, with an eye to the potential for significant storm damage on Lido

The approximately 80 people who attended the Jan. 12 meeting of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) would not have been surprised by the arguments the nonprofit’s attorneys have put forth in a complaint they propose to file in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Sarasota. (Read more »)

Plan for I-75 overpass from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to North Cattlemen Road wins County Commission’s unanimous support

About two-thirds of the speakers during the public hearing say they believe, ultimately, that the route should extend to Honore Avenue

Speakers representing the DeSoto Lakes and Meadows communities traded quips about efforts to influence the location of the project. Nonetheless, the Sarasota County Commission this week unanimously agreed with staff that a proposed Interstate 75 overpass from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard should end at Cattlemen Road in the southern segment of Nathan Benderson Park. (Read more »)

Braves’ vice chair talks of commitments to Sarasota County, including year-round academy at new complex in South County

Commissioners give warm welcome to team leaders and discuss funding and facilities

After hearing an update on the proposal for the Atlanta Braves to conduct Spring Training at a new West Villages site in South County, Sarasota County commissioners this week applauded the team’s plans for a year-round academy as part of the $75-million to $85-million complex. (Read more »)

With two votes, City Commission authorizes next steps in timeline for parking garage to be built on St. Armands

Vice mayor opposes the hiring of the design team and construction manager after raising concerns about staff’s plan to employ a project manager, as well

Thanks to two votes of the Sarasota City Commission, Sarasota-based architectural and construction management firms have been hired to design and oversee the building of the St. Armands Circle parking garage. (Read more »)

New interlocal agreements designed to make more school facilities available for public recreational use

Plans tentatively call for first one to go before School Board and County Commission for votes in April

If all goes as Sarasota County School District and Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) staff hope, by April, the two local governments will have a new agreement in place that will open up opportunities for the public to use school facilities for recreational purposes. (Read more »)

Funding priorities for roads amended to move River Road regional connector to top of Sarasota/Manatee list

Sarasota County board approves change with hope that state money will enable it to eliminate what Commissioner Charles Hines calls ‘the perfect, horrible bottleneck of all time’

Sarasota County commissioners this week stressed the importance of a widened and improved River Road not only to increasing growth in South County but also to people who might need to evacuate areas of Charlotte and Sarasota counties in advance of a hurricane strike. (Read more »)

County’s elected leaders hear an update on the joint Suncoast Technical College/new North Port Library

Facility scheduled to open during the 2017-18 school year near Interstate 75

Almost exactly three years ago, representatives of the Sarasota County Schools and Sarasota County Government announced their planning for the combination of a new technical college and a new county library in North Port. (Read more »)

Florida serves up alligators, a la carte

The great beasts prove a source of fascination for many people

On the bridge over the river, a large crowd is pointing cell phones at an alligator mississippiensis. The grownups giggle like kids. Londoners standing next to me admit that Paris with its Mona Lisa pales in comparison to these prehistoric beasts at Myakka River State Park. Sometimes I think the beasts are on the park payroll. (Read more »)

Saturday brings a surprise

The music of Elton John at the Van Wezel is juxtaposed against the powerful rhythms of women’s marches

Elton John: I knew the name, and knew he played the piano and sang; but when I saw a notice that a Sarasota Orchestra Pops Concert would feature his music, it was time to know more. (Read more »)

‘Ask the ACLU’ discussion series to continue with program on Muslim registries and surveillance

Three panelists to discuss the issues during Feb. 2 forum

Next week, the Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida will continue its monthly discussion series Ask the ACLU, with a focus on Muslim Registries and Surveillance in America, the organization has announced. (Read more »)

Big League Reader program to kick off again next month

Partnership between the Baltimore Orioles and the county enables youngsters to win free reserved grandstand seats

Sarasota County once again is “going to bat with the Baltimore Orioles and the Big League Reader program to encourage youth leadership and foster a love of reading,” the county has announced. (Read more »)

Homestead exemption tax benefit deadline of March 1 fast approaching, property appraiser cautions

Information about qualifications available online or by calling Property Appraiser’s Office

The deadline to file for a homestead exemption — a property tax benefit available to eligible homeowners — is March 1, Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst has announced. (Read more »)

Exhibit at North Sarasota County Public Library a feature of Black History Month celebration

Public reception planned for Friday, Feb. 3

The Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department is inviting all members of the community to celebrate Black History Month by viewing the Congressman Robert Smalls exhibit at the North Sarasota Public Library, starting Feb. 1. (Read more »)

Sunrise Beach Walks to begin again Wednesday, Feb. 1, on Siesta and Nokomis beaches

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department staff offers a ‘goody bag’ to participants who complete four walks

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department’s popular Sunrise Beach Walks will return to Siesta and Nokomis beaches starting Feb. 1, and they will continue every Wednesday through March 29, the department has announced. (Read more »)

2017 Fire Fest to be held at Carlton Reserve on Feb. 4

Event to feature activities for all age levels, providing education and fun, county staff says

Sarasota County staff will host the 2017 Fire Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve, the county has announced. (Read more »)