20170630-30 Jun 2017

Circuit Court’s refusal to stop Sarasota County’s retail pet sales ban from going into effect upheld by Second District Court of Appeal

As case continues in Circuit Court, Petland continues to sell animals

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal has affirmed the 12th Judicial Circuit Court’s refusal to allow the Petland Sarasota store to continue selling animals while Petland pursues litigation to overturn Sarasota County’s ban of retail pet sales. (Read more »)

Siesta Promenade plan revised to include 415 residential dwelling units and a 130-room hotel, plus commercial space, latest documents show

Updated traffic analyses submitted were undertaken during the evening peak drive time on a weekday and early on a Saturday afternoon

Benderson Development Co. has revised its plans for its proposed mixed-use Siesta Promenade project to encompass 415 residential dwelling units, a hotel with 130 rooms and 140,000 square feet of retail and office space, as outlined in materials submitted to Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Department this week. (Read more »)

More bicycles and bike paths seen by visitors to county as best option for easing traffic woes, research shows

By 3-to-1 margin, residents more likely to perceive positive instead of negative impacts from tourism

The top solution to transportation congestion in the community, from visitors’ perspective, is more bicycles and bike paths, based on the results of a mobility study undertaken for the county’s tourism office, the members of the Sarasota County Tourism Development Council (TDC) heard last week. (Read more »)

Benderson Park Foundation has to consult with Sarasota County staff about spending the $2.5 million grant it received from the state, parks director says

County’s World Rowing Championships financial commitment capped at $2,782,000, with any net revenue going to SANCA

Since the day she was sworn in as a member of the board — on Nov. 22, 2016 — Commissioner Nancy Detert has raised questions about finances of the World Rowing Championships and the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA), which manages the county-owned Nathan Benderson Park. (Read more »)

Report from committee evaluating parking meter systems for downtown Sarasota expected to be given to City Commission in about 120 days

Parking Management Department still requiring a $300,000 subsidy for the 2018 fiscal year, but no meter revenue has been included in budget projections

Probably within 120 days, a committee that has been evaluating parking meters for downtown Sarasota will present its findings and cost estimates to the City Commission, Mark Lyons, the city’s parking manager, told the board during its June 22 budget workshop. (Read more »)

Process being pursued for building new facility that provides air conditioning to downtown Sarasota buildings could add months to the timeline

Commissioners question whether staff no longer feels urgency for completing project, even though equipment has failed in the past, and the plant cools the jail, among other facilities

For years, Sarasota County staff has cautioned the County Commission about the increasing urgency of replacing the facility that supplies air conditioning to the jail, the Historic Courthouse, the Terrace Building and the Lynn Silvertooth Judicial Center in downtown Sarasota. (Read more »)

Siesta Key Association members overwhelmingly support nonprofit’s positions on Siesta Promenade, North Beach Road and potential for a new hotel

Close to 600 members have responded to SKA’s second survey this year

Launched at midnight on June 1, the latest survey sent to Siesta Key Association (SKA) members had garnered answers from more than half of them who received it — almost 600 people — by June 28, SKA directors said this week. (Read more »)

Authorization of Players Theatre negotiations and approval of resolution on current leases of city land designed to facilitate bayfront planning process

Two city commissioners voice concerns about paying for Players property, but city manager indicates feasibility of lower sale price

In two separate, unanimous votes, the Sarasota City Commission has taken steps to facilitate the planning process for 42 acres of city-owned bayfront property. During its June 19 regular meeting, the board agreed to allow City Manager Tom Barwin to negotiate with The Players Theatre regarding the potential purchase of the approximately 1.77-acre site the organization is attempting to sell at 838 N. Tamiami Trail so it can relocate to a new facility in Lakewood Ranch. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Chamber makes its $50,000 fireworks goal; FDOT renews funding commitment for the Breeze; July Fourth cleanup plans underway on various fronts; cause of pilot whale’s stranding still a mystery; Sheriff Knight glad his South Midnight Pass training facility will have a good new use; South Siesta Renourishment Project wins more state money; Dr. Beach’s No. 1 announcement goes viral, indeed; 2017 Crystal Classic to feature lighted sculptures on two nights; and Best Western Plus earns big honor from TripAdvisor

With eight days to go before the big event, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce achieved what Executive Director Ann Frescura called its “pie-in-the-sky” goal of $50,000 to pay for the spectacular July Fourth fireworks show at the beach. (Read more »)

Public hearing on proposed recycling facility near the Celery Fields set for Aug. 23 at 9 a.m.

That will be the only item on the agenda, county administrator confirms

A public hearing before the Sarasota County Commission regarding the proposal for a recycling facility near the Celery Fields has been confirmed for Wednesday, Aug. 23. (Read more »)

Nokomis Beach-goers celebrate the Summer Solstice

People are not the only ones to enjoy the first day of summer

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice officially arrived at 12:24 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21. One did not have to partake in any official ceremony to be able to celebrate the official start of the season when school traditionally is out, the Gulf of Mexico is that perfectly tempting temperature and fewer tourists means — potentially — more available parking. (Read more »)

Cocoanut Avenue sewer line replacement initiative to get underway July 5, City of Sarasota announces

Project expected to be completed by Thanksgiving

On Wednesday, July 5, the City of Sarasota Utilities Department “will begin another significant capital improvement project to further strengthen the integrity of the city’s wastewater system and lessen the risk of sewage overflows and spills in our coastal community,” City Manager Tom Barwin has announced. (Read more »)

Street closures and reminders for spectators announced in advance of Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival

Races to take place on July 1 and 2

The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival will host its Boats on Main Downtown Block Party on Friday, June 30, starting at 6 p.m. on Main Street between Orange Avenue and Palm Avenue, the City of Sarasota has announced. The Grand Prix Festival is open to the public with free admission. (Read more »)

Sarasota County School District earns A grade again

42 of the schools retained an A or B grade, state data show; only one school was given a D

The Sarasota County School District has earned another A grade for 2016-17 and is one of only two of the state’s 67 districts to have earned an A every year since grading began in 2004, the district announced on June 28. (Read more »)

City and county offices and facilities to be closed on July 4, with garbage collection pushed back one day

The free Siesta Breeze trolley will be operating, but SCAT buses will not

City and County of Sarasota administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day, both local governments have announced. (Read more »)

Fourth Precision Machining and CNC Automation class graduates from Suncoast Technical College

Program already has trained 89 students, with the original goal of 100 in five years

Sarasota County Schools’ Suncoast Technical College has graduated another class “of trained apprentices for the modern world of manufacturing,” the district has announced. This is the fourth year of the Precision Machining and CNC Automation program, a news release points out. (Read more »)

USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour Championships to be held on Siesta Beach July 20-25

More than 400 teams expected, with both boys and girls competing

The USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour Championships will be held on Siesta Beach July 20-25, Visit Sarasota County has announced. The event will be a tournament-style competition that will feature more than 400 teams from across the country. (Read more »)

An important note to SNL Tinypass (paid) subscribers:

If, in addition to your Sarasota News Leader Tinypass subscription, you also subscribe to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, you have been notified by the SHT that your Press+ account (which was bought by Piano Software, which also owns Tinypass) has been converted to a Tinypass account. This likely has caused some confusion when trying to sign into one publication when already signed into the other.
Our editors are having the same problem. We have contacted Piano support, and they do not yet have a good workaround. What we have found works best on a laptop/desktop is having two browsers (e.g.-Safari and Google Chrome or Internet Explorer and Firefox), with your SNL account signed in on one and your SHT account signed in on the other. You don’t have to sign out of either … you just switch between browsers.
If you use an iPad or iPhone (or other mobile device), the SHT is read on their Tecnavia app, while the SNL is read on your mobile device browser. Since two separate programs are used, you should not experience sign-in conflicts.
We apologize for the inadequacy of the Tinypass system to accommodate this overlap (something they should have anticipated, since they have a virtual monopoly on paywalls, and we can’t be the only two paid publications existing in the same market). We hope they develop a better way of handling this, and we will communicate that to you if they do.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience, and your support of The Sarasota News Leader!