20120615-15 Jun 12

New publication schedule announced

The Sarasota News Leader was planned from the outset as a weekly publication. This website was a temporary place for our news team to begin disseminating stories of interest to the people of Sarasota County while we completed plans for the publication of the weekly. Read more….

LED bus schedule signs proposed for the county

The Sarasota County commissioners today, June 15, asked County Administrator Randall Reid to check into the cost of putting LED signs at new and retrofitted bus shelters, so riders would know when to expect buses. Read more….

Analysis: Getting to the city of the future

Mike Taylor worked as a planner with the City of Sarasota for more than 30 years. Wednesday night, June 13, he went before the city’s Planning Board to introduce what he said would be the most important topic of his entire career. Read more….

Killers with guns, go hide

Violent criminals, beware. The Sarasota Police Department is about to corral 10 of you to serve as an example to others. It’s part of a new anti-crime strategy unveiled Thursday evening, June 14, at the Robert Taylor Community Complex in north Sarasota. Read more….

Two commissioners reiterate support for faster Siesta beach improvements

During a budget workshop today, June 15, two Sarasota County commissioners reiterated support for funding the planned Siesta Public Beach improvements in a short time frame, as they discussed their Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017. Read more….

Commission forgoes action on employees’ pay supplement

The Sarasota County Commission ended two-and-a-half days of budget discussions Friday, June 15, without taking action on County Administrator Randall Reid’s recommendation that they consider making a one-time payment to non-union employees in the 2013 fiscal year budget. Read more….

County Commission seeks more involvement in historic preservation

Saying they should be more involved in efforts to preserve historic buildings, the Sarasota County commissioners June 13 asked County Administrator Randall Reid to schedule a thorough workshop with them on the county’s Comprehensive Plan, including policy guidelines for such initiatives. Read more….

Historic Phillippi Estate farmhouse wins rehab grant funds

The Florida Legislature has approved a $50,000 matching grant for the rehabilitation of the historic farmhouse located in Phillippi Estate Park, Lorrie Muldowney, manager of the Sarasota County History Center, announced to the County Commission June 13. Read more….


I was startled the other day when a catalog arrived with a swimsuit on the cover. Down here they’re on the sale rack! I can tell you the day of the week and the month. It’s Florida’s seasons that confuse me. Read more….

Siesta Seen: This little bird proves a seasoned traveler

Editor’s note: Former readers of the Pelican Press who enjoyed Rachel Brown Hackney’s “Island Beat” column, which kept all apprised of goings-on on Siesta Key, will be pleased to know that her new column — “Siesta Seen” — will be a regular feature in The Sarasota News Leader.

A visitor who sparked a lot of interest on Siesta Key in February and March has relocated to St. Joseph State Park and found himself a “lady friend,” according to reports from a Florida Park Service biologist. Read more….

City economic development director resigns

Randy Welker handed in his resignation on Friday, June 8, ending a 14-month run on the job. “It’s for personal reasons,” he told the Downtown Improvement District (DID) board on Tuesday, June 12. Read more….

County administrator pushes for employee lump sum payments

After years of declining property tax revenue and budget shortfalls, Sarasota County Administrator Randy Reid delivered some positive news about the county’s economic condition and brought up a rare-in-these-times proposal during a Tuesday, June 12, commission budget workshop: a lump sum boost to employees’ bottom lines. Read more….

Floridays picked for Palm Avenue hotel

A city review committee on Friday, June 8, selected a boutique hotel over a conventional Embassy Suites to be built adjacent to the Palm Avenue parking garage. Read more….

County Commission puts off decision on new code enforcement officer for Siesta Key

The Sarasota County Commission made no decision today, June 13, regarding the hiring of a new full-time code enforcement officer to handle noise complaints involving bars and restaurants in Siesta Village. Read more….

FPL to weigh decision on extended Smartmeter opt-outs, company rep says

Only about one-tenth of 1% of Florida Power & Light Co. customers so far have expressed concerns about having Smartmeters installed at their homes, an FPL spokeswoman told The Sarasota News Leader on June 11. Read more….

Wallenda Walk focus of downtown street party on June 15

Paul Mattison, executive chef and proprietor of Mattison’s, and Pedro Reis, CEO of Circus Sarasota, will host a fundraising street party Friday, June 15, with the theme, “Above the Falls & Beyond Belief … Celebrating the Wallenda Walk over Niagara Falls with Mattison’s and Circus Sarasota.” Read more….

Community forum to be held at Taylor Center

District 1 Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw and District 1 County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will host a community forum Thursday, June 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St. the City of Sarasota has announced.  The forum will feature updates on current city and county projects within District 1, including the latest community efforts to improve public safety, a city news release says. Read more….

From a fear of drowning to a love of swimming

Natasha Ganesh always had been wary of the water, she says, but as long as she could touch the bottom, she was OK.

Then came the day about 12 years ago, at a beach in the San Diego area. “I almost drowned in California,” she says. Read more….

Fireworks education focus of Siesta groups, county officials

This year, at the request of Siesta Key organizations, including the SKA and the Siesta Key Condominium Council, county officials are collaborating to try to educate people — especially tourists — about the state fireworks law, SKA President Catherine Luckner told members during her organization’s June 7 regular meeting. Read more….

Second Ringling roundabout open

The city’s newest roundabout, at Palm Avenue and Charles Ringling Boulevard, opened today, June 12, just in time for people heading home from work, City Editor Stan Zimmerman reported.

Although the first roundabout project in the pair, at Pineapple, opened about a month early, the contractor still beat the city’s announced deadline of June 15 for the second one. Read more….