20170526-26 May 2017

County staff tasked with bringing recommendations to the commission by Sept. 1 to spur affordable housing developments in the community

Chair Paul Caragiulo makes the request a day after staff releases a final report on community recommendations for addressing the issue

Sarasota County Commission Chair Paul Caragiulo made it plain on May 23 that he wants action, instead of just more discussion, that will lead to creation of affordable housing in the community. (Read more »)

SANCA looking at potential $900,000 deficit in the 2019 fiscal year without funding at the level it has had from Sarasota and Manatee counties

Nonprofit manager of Benderson Park hopes to gain renewal of Manatee financial assistance through 2020; Sarasota County Commission will have to discuss what it wants to do, county administrator says

With Sarasota County funding assistance for the nonprofit Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) set to end after the 2018 fiscal year, Administrator Tom Harmer indicated this week that discussions will be needed about how to pay for the ongoing management of Nathan Benderson Park. (Read more »)

Legal action authorized to collect penalties imposed by a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate in regard to wetlands destruction on Manasota Key Road property

Office of the Sarasota County Attorney to seek an injunction to get the property restored, with potential for foreclosure, as well

On a unanimous vote, the Sarasota County Commission this week authorized County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh to pursue legal action against a Manasota Key Road property owner who “destroyed a wetland on his vacant barrier island property” in February 2014, as DeMarsh put it in a memo. (Read more »)

Siesta Beach once again No. 1, Dr. Beach says

Stephen Leatherman unveils his latest list just before Memorial Day weekend

Once again, Dr. Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University — known as Dr. Beach — has named Siesta Beach No. 1 in the United States. The beach previously won that accolade in 2011. (Read more »)

County Commission gives unanimous approval to two more agreements needed for Atlanta Braves deal

Paul Caragiulo and Nancy Detert voice skepticism and concerns, but county attorney assures them that county’s and public’s interests are protected

Both Sarasota County Commission Chair Paul Caragiulo and Commissioner Nancy Detert sought assurances that the county’s interests are being well protected. After hearing them, they finally joined their colleagues this week in approving an operating agreement and a non-relocation agreement with the Atlanta Braves for a planned Spring Training complex in the West Villages development near North Port. (Read more »)

Team confirmations and ticket sales picking up for World Rowing Championships, executive director says

Meredith Scerba also tells the County Commission she is optimistic the event will break even

One hundred twenty-three days out from the start of the World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, the executive director of the event told the Sarasota County Commission this week that about 22 teams have selected their hotels and are putting down their deposits. (Read more »)

June 6 public hearing set on proposed changes to County Code involving parks

One modification will allow the county administrator to set hours appropriate for each facility

On June 6, the Sarasota County Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the ordinance governing activities in the county’s parks. Among those modifications is a new section that provides for the setting of specific park hours. (Read more »)

FDEP amends draft permit for the dredging of Big Pass, correcting the water classification of Sarasota Bay

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the federal funding for the Lido Renourishment Project has not been included in the Trump Administration budget for the 2018 fiscal year

Almost exactly five months after it issued its Notice of Intent to allow the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key Beach, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) this week filed a legal document that corrects mistakes in its draft permit. (Read more »)

Savor Sarasota Week to return June 1

79 restaurants plan to participate in Visit Sarasota County event

Seventy-nine restaurants are on board to participate when the 12th annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week returns June 1 to 14, Sarasota County tourism leaders have announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota man charged with almost three-dozen counts related to possession of child pornography

Same person was arrested for trespassing on the Riverview High School campus last week

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office this week was continuing to conduct an investigation into the activities of 31-year-old Aaron Talley of Sarasota, who was arrested twice last week in Sarasota County, the office reported on May 22. (Read more »)

Memorial Day Parade and ceremony details announced

The 2017 theme is Celebrate, Honor, Remember

The City of Sarasota, in conjunction with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, will host the annual Memorial Day parade in downtown Sarasota on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m., the city has announced. The parade will start at the intersection of Main Street and Osprey Avenue and conclude at J.D. Hamel Park, located at the intersection of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. A ceremony will be held at the park at approximately 11 a.m. (Read more »)

Street closures announced for Sarasota’s Memorial Day Parade on May 29; towing to be enforced

Police Department encouraging the public to drive cautiously over the holiday weekend

The Memorial Day Parade in downtown Sarasota will be held on Monday, May 29, starting at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Osprey Avenue, the Sarasota Police Department is reminding the public. (Read more »)

Sarasota County School District’s third-grade Florida Standards Assessment English Language Arts results improve over those from 2016

The 71% proficiency rate is 13 points higher than the statewide figure

The performance of Sarasota County third-grade students who scored as proficient in the Florida Standards Assessment in English Language Arts rose by three percentage points compared to 2016 district results, the school district announced on May 19. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office provides safety tips for people planning boating excursions over Memorial Day weekend

Use of life jackets and the filing of ‘float plans’ strongly encouraged

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit will be monitoring area waterways this Memorial Day weekend to ensure boaters and those operating personal watercraft stay safe, the Sheriff’s Office has announced. (Read more »)

Summer Learning Program returning to county libraries

Free activities will begin June 1 and continue through Aug. 5 for children, teens and adults

Members of the public are invited to celebrate reading “and beat the heat at Sarasota County libraries with the return of the Summer Learning Program, starting June 1,” the county has announced. (Read more »)

City and county offices to close for Memorial Day

Garbage and recycling collections will not be affected

City of Sarasota administrative offices and most Sarasota County Government offices, including libraries and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, will be closed on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day, the city and county have 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!