20170519-19 May 2017

Majority of School Board members favor issuing debt to keep projects on track if governor signs bill designating more capital revenue for charter schools

Board members Eric Robinson and Bridget Ziegler voice opposing views

Three of the five Sarasota County School Board members said this week that they would approve of the district’s issuing $30 million in debt to maintain the timeline for specific construction projects if Gov. Rick Scott signs a 274-page education bill that the Legislature passed in the final days of the 2017 session. (Read more »)

Proposed City of Sarasota business tax increase to be reviewed during budget discussions, board decides

New Commissioner Hagen Brody joins two public speakers in opposing the hike, calling it a burden on business owners

With newly elected Commissioner Hagen Brody in the minority, the Sarasota City Commission this week voted 4-1 to continue until July 3 a discussion of whether it will implement a 5% increase in the city’s tax on businesses. (Read more »)

Diverging diamond interchange to open at University Parkway on the morning of May 21

Proposal first was unveiled to Sarasota and Manatee county commissioners in 2013

On April 16, 2013, representatives of a consulting firm working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) unveiled a radical new design that they indicated could resolve the constant complaints about congestion at the University Parkway interchange with Interstate 75. It was called a diverging diamond, and none had been built in Florida. (Read more »)

Suncoast Partnership to End Homeless working on plan for separate leadership board with more members representing providers of services to the homeless

Work underway as well on a coordinated entry system with uniform standards for providing assistance to individuals in Sarasota and Manatee counties

The Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness plans to have a separate new leadership board for the members of Continuum of Care in place by July, in conjunction with one of a consultant’s recommendations for resolving issues related to homelessness in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the nonprofit’s chair has announced. (Read more »)

School Board members agree staff needs to keep close eye on student enrollment linked to Venice High School

Future redistricting of elementary schools in central county — with a new facility on the horizon — among other issues addressed as board reviews latest proposed Capital Improvement Plan

Conservative projections for student enrollment growth have been factored into the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget for the next five years starting in 2017-18, the Sarasota County School District’s planning director pointed out to the School Board this week. (Read more »)

Appeals of traffic ticket disputes will not be heard in Circuit Court after June 30

Sarasota city attorney says a Special Magistrate will take over the responsibility for City of Sarasota cases

As of July 1, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court no longer will have a civil traffic infraction hearing officer handling appeals of municipal parking ticket disputes, Chief Judge Charles E. Williams notified city leaders throughout Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties in a May 9 letter. (Read more »)

Rental companies will have to pay $250 for ‘medallions’ for Turtle Beach Park program beginning July 1

Company owners still feel level of business at that location does not warrant county supervision

Representatives of kayak and paddleboard rental companies are resigning themselves to having to comply with a Turtle Beach Park management program Sarasota County will implement as of July 1, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)

Payne Park Village wins City Commission approval, though questions raised about affordability of homes

Project team hopes to break ground before the end of the year

One new Sarasota city commissioners raised concerns about the affordability of the homes, while the other focused a number of questions on the mitigation of trees on the property. In the end, though, they joined their three colleagues this week in voting to accept a revised development agreement and an ordinance to allow Payne Park Village to be built on School Avenue. (Read more »)

Nonprofit gets an extra six months to secure homes for eight chronically homeless individuals through City of Sarasota’s Housing First program

Mayor hears assurances that CASL expects to complete the contract before the Dec. 31 deadline

The nonprofit Community Assisted Supportive Living Inc. (CASL) will have an extra six months to purchase at least two homes for eight chronically homeless individuals under an amended agreement the Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved this week. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Coast Guard considering reducing opening times for Siesta Drive and Stickney Point Road bridges; of two recent parking lot proposals on the Key, only one appears to be moving forward with county review; a better pressure-washing firm found for the Village; and the co-owner of CB’s gets a widespread audience for her business story

The U.S. Coast Guard is considering reducing the number of openings per hour for both the Siesta Drive and Stickney Pont Road drawbridges. The service in mid-February made available a survey — published on the Federal Register — that sought public comments on the bridge schedules; interested persons had until April 14 to respond. (Read more »)

10th Street Boat Ramp to be closed May 23-25

Repaving of parking lot to be done

The 10th Street Boat Ramp will be closed from 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23 until noon on Thursday, May 25, while the Centennial Park parking lot is resurfaced, the City of Sarasota has announced. All boat ramps at 10th Street will be unavailable during this 36-hour period, a city news release stresses. (Read more »)

Woman’s Exchange awards $250,000 in grants and scholarships to support arts endeavors and aspirations

Funds come from nonprofit’s consignment operations

The Woman’s Exchange is awarding a total of $250,000 to 18 arts and cultural organizations and 24 students pursuing a higher education in the arts, the nonprofit announced on May 15. The monies dedicated to those purposes were earned entirely through the organization’s 10,000-square-foot consignment operation, located at 539 S. Orange Ave. in downtown Sarasota. (Read more »)

Family fun planned for the public on Memorial Day at ‘new’ Sarasota pool owned by nonprofit

Miracle Swimming for Adults to offer lessons, a picnic area and a water slide at its facility on McIntosh Road in Sarasota

From 1 to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day — Monday, May 29 — Miracle Swimming for Adults (MSA) will open its outdoor pool to the community for a holiday afternoon of swimming fun and a free lesson for adults and children, the nonprofit has announced. (Read more »)

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe invited again to National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina

Sarasota group to make its third appearance at that event

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) has been recognized with its third invitation to perform during the National Black Theatre Festival, which takes place every other year in Winston-Salem, N.C., the troupe has announced. (Read more »)

Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program information available through free workshops

County staff to assist interested persons in learning how to win funds to improve their residential communities

Sarasota County residents are being invited to learn about the county’s Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program and how it can help them improve their communities, with free workshops offered May 31 through June 19. (Read more »)

Booker High teacher aide named School-Related Employee of the Year for county schools

Anthony Chioccarelli Jr. honored during luncheon at Michael’s on East

The Sarasota County School District has named a Booker High School teacher aide the School-Related Employee of the Year. The announcement that Anthony “Tony” Chioccarelli Jr. was this year’s top honoree was made on May 11 during a luncheon at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. (Read more »)

New principal named at Ashton Elementary School

Kristi Jarvis has been assistant principal at Phillippi Shores Elementary School

Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden has named Phillippi Shores Elementary School Assistant Principal Kristi Jarvis as the new acting principal of Ashton Elementary School, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (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!