Caragiulo chooses not to seek re-election

Instead, county commissioner is endorsing Republican state committeeman Christian Ziegler

On Jan. 16, new Sarasota County Commission Chair Nancy Detert said she hoped to be able to lead the board as well as her predecessor did in 2017. (Read more »)

Proposal for Florida history museum in Sarasota County takes a big step forward with commission offer of staff assistance in search for grants

John Pether envisions the most advanced technology to bring the past alive and compare it to the present

They may not have money to spare, but they have knowledgeable staff and land that could serve as a local match for state or federal grants. Therefore, the Sarasota County Commissioners have directed staff to assist a county resident in seeking funds for a proposed Florida history museum that would incorporate the most modern technology available to bring the exhibits to life. (Read more »)

Plan for new parking garage for Sarasota Memorial Hospital employees moving forward after unanimous City Commission votes

Hospital leaders hope to see the facility completed by the end of the year

Although one board member raised concerns about the potential impact of the project on the adjacent neighborhood, the Sarasota City Commission has given unanimous approval to the rezoning necessary for construction of a new Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) parking garage. (Read more »)

Siesta Key residents and organizations calling for big turnout at Jan. 30 County Commission meeting to try to defeat proposed zoning code amendment

Proposal could enable construction of tall commercial buildings 2 feet from the sidewalk

In advance of a Jan. 30 public hearing on a proposed amendment to Siesta Key’s zoning regulations, both the Siesta Key Condominium Council (SKCC) and the Siesta Key Association (SKA) are urging members to, in turn, urge the County Commission to vote “No.” (Read more »)

Proposed Pinecraft zoning regulations win plaudits during first public hearing before County Commission

Final hearing set for Feb. 28

With plenty of compliments for Pinecraft leaders and Sarasota County staff, the County Commission is poised to approve a new set of zoning regulations for the predominantly Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota, at residents’ request. (Read more »)

County ‘bed tax’ revenue continues a boom

Collections for October and November 2017 are up by more than $317,000, compared to the figure for the same months in 2016

Even after two consecutive record-setting years, the county’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections remain on a roll thus far this fiscal year, based on the latest report from the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. November 2017 had an even higher increase year-over-year for the total of county “bed tax” revenue brought in than October 2017, which was the first month of the 2018 fiscal year, data show. (Read more »)

Cooper, Kourelakos reappointed to Public Facilities Financing Advisory Board for Sarasota County

Members make recommendations on impact fees and fiscal impacts of levels of service

Two people have been reappointed to Sarasota County’s Public Facilities Financing Advisory Board (PFFAB), which makes recommendations to the commission on impact fees, other funding sources and fiscal impacts of levels of service. (Read more »)

City and county staff collaboration on floodplain issues vastly improved, city’s emergency manager reports

Remark made as City Commission addresses annual Floodplain Management Plan update

City of Sarasota staff has forged a much better working relationship with Sarasota County staff in regard to floodplain issues, the City of Sarasota’s emergency manager has reported to the City Commission. (Read more »)

Variety of ‘bizarre laws’ enacted for condominium associations in 2017 legislative session, Sarasota attorney tells Siesta condo owners and directors

Issues addressed range from term limits to availability of records on websites

From term limits to websites to third-degree felonies, the 2017 Florida Legislature enacted a number of “bizarre laws” affecting condominium associations, a Sarasota attorney who has specialized in condominium law since 1980 told about 60 people during the Jan. 23 meeting of the Siesta Key Condominium Council. (Read more »)

Connectivity proves a profound force in nature

We need only take the time to realize its many manifestations

Years ago, my friend Laurel Schiller introduced me to the concept of connectivity. At a meeting of the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park, she gave a talk on how green corridors link wildlife in parks with other natural areas, greatly enhancing their existence. The wildlife could find food, places to live and new mates — widening the gene pool. (Read more »)

‘Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family’ chosen for One Book, One Community program

Author to appear at Suncoast Technical College and Sarasota Opera House on Jan. 26

Daniel Bergner’s Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family is the One Book, One Community selection for 2018, Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources staff have announced. (Read more »)

Latest facets of Siesta Promenade proposal to be focus of CONA program on Feb. 12

Meeting to kick off at 6:30 p.m. with social at Sarasota Garden Club

On Monday, Feb.12, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will host a presentation by Sura Kochman, an organizer of the Pine Shores Neighborhood Alliance, about the latest plans for the proposed Siesta Promenade development. (Read more »)

Decide the Date Sarasota petition campaign earns Sarasota ACLU endorsement

Initiative seeks to move city elections from the spring to the fall

Decide the Date Sarasota, a petition campaign to allow city of Sarasota residents to decide whether to move general city elections from spring to fall, has been endorsed by the Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, Decide the Date organizers have announced. (Read more »)

Baltimore Orioles and Sarasota County libraries join forces again in Big League Reader program

Youngsters age 6 and older may participate in opportunity to attend March 10 Spring Training game for free

Sarasota County once again is “going to bat with the Baltimore Orioles and the Big League Reader program to encourage youth literacy and foster a love of reading,” the county has announced. Children who sign up at a county library and read three or more books during February will earn a free reserved grandstand ticket to the Orioles Spring Training game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on March 10. (Read more »)

Fire Fest set for Jan. 27 at Carlton Reserve

Annual event seeks to inform the public about the importance of fire to the ecosystem

On Saturday, Jan. 27, Sarasota County’s Fire Fest will be held once again on the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Venice, the county has announced. “The annual event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, seeks to educate and inform the public about the importance of fire to the ecosystem,” a news release explains. (Read more »)

Sarasota named Tree City USA for 32nd consecutive year

Distinction recognizes the municipality’s commitment to maintaining healthy tree canopy

The City of Sarasota has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 3nd year in a row, the city has announced. “The 2017 Tree City USA award recognizes the City’s commitment to maintaining and expanding a healthy tree canopy in Sarasota,” a news release points out. (Read more »)