20180504-4 May 18


Company submits application for waste transfer station on property adjacent to county-owned land next to the Celery Fields bird-watching park

TST Ventures won a special exception from the County Commission in 2015 to construct the facility

A Sarasota businessman has applied to Sarasota County staff to build a waste transfer station on property he owns in the vicinity of the Celery Fields, The Sarasota News Leaderhas learned. On Oct. 14, 2015, the County Commission voted unanimously to approve a special exception that would enable James Gabbert to construct the operation on about 4.27 acres located at the intersection of Porter Road and Palmer Boulevard, east of Interstate 75. (Read more »)

Workshop planned on potential for county-owned North Sarasota land to host affordable housing project

County commissioners to seek public comments on future of 115-acre site originally planned for sports complex

Sarasota County commissioners have indicated continued interest in working with a private developer on an affordable housing project located on part of a 115-acre site the county purchased in 2013. At the time, the board’s intent was to construct a regional park there that would be called the North County Sports Complex. (Read more »)

Future of School Avenue through Sarasota High campus to be primary focus of joint May 8 meeting of Sarasota City Commission and School Board

Alta Vista neighborhood residents already on record in opposition to proposed street vacation

Almost exactly five weeks after the deaths of 17 people in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Sarasota County School Board approved a motion calling for the scheduling of a joint meeting with the Sarasota City Commission “as soon as possible.” (Read more »)

Town of Longboat Key first to win Community Reinvestment Program grant from the county

$400,000 will go toward first phase of creating the Arts, Culture and Education Center in the Town Center area of the island

As the Sarasota County Commission figuratively rang the death knell of the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Trust Fund in September 2015, it resurrected a process designed to spur economic development throughout the county. (Read more »)

Planning Services Division manager latest Sarasota County employee to leave for job on Longboat Key

Tate Taylor joins former county administrator, former chief engineer and former long-range planning manager

Yet another former Sarasota County employee has joined his previous boss in the employment of the Town of Longboat Key, The Sarasota News Leaderlearned this week. Tate Taylor, who was manager of the county’s Planning Services Division and liaison to the county’s Planning Commission, left county employment on March 26 and began working for the town on March 28, according to public information officers for the two local governments. (Read more »)

County staff formally notifies Benderson Development that its Siesta Promenade application is on hold as staff awaits FDOT comments

County staff also has sought a formal response from FDOT on the latest proposals for a road swap that would involve the area planned for the mixed-use development

Sarasota County staff has informed the director of development for Benderson Development Co. that while staff is awaiting a new set of comments from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the company’s Critical Area Plan (CAP) application for Siesta Promenade is on hold, The Sarasota News Leader learned this week. (Read more »)

Jouniari’s campaign contributions a fraction of Ziegler’s in District 2 County Commission race

Republican Ziegler had raised almost $24,000 by early April, compared to almost $1,300 for Jouniari

ince she filed for the District 2 seat on the Sarasota County Commission, Democrat Ruta Maria Jouniari of Sarasota has been able to raise only about 5.5% of the money that her Republican opponent, Christian Ziegler of Sarasota, has raised, the latest campaign finance reports show. (Read more »)

Almost two years after it was filed, North Beach Road lawsuit remains unresolved

Dispute over materials plaintiff Michael Cosentino has sought and county’s request for a trial to be scheduled among latest developments

On May 7 — almost exactly 23 months after he filed a civil complaint against the Sarasota County Commission — a Siesta Key resident is due back in 12thJudicial Circuit Court on motions regarding a dispute over discovery in the case. (Read more »)

Alison Foxall appointed to Sarasota County’s Citizen Tax Oversight Committee

Libertarian was candidate for Florida House 72 seat in special election this year

The Libertarian candidate who lost a bid for the Florida House 72 seat during a February special election has become the newest member of Sarasota County’s Citizen Tax Oversight Committee. Alison Foxall won the appointment as part of the County Commission’s unanimous April 24 vote to approve its Consent Agenda of routine business items. (Read more »)

Siesta couple wins 10-year property tax exemption after undertaking years-long rehabilitation of historic house

Property located at 12 Rockwell Lane in Sandy Hook

It took the owners of a historic Siesta Key house longer to complete the rehabilitation of it than Sarasota County guidelines allowed them, one of them has explained to the Sarasota County Commission. Nonetheless, the board unanimously agreed with the couple that they should receive the 10-year property tax exemption for which they had applied. (Read more »)


Cartoon of the Day:

(Click on image to enlarge)

Commentary: Siesta has its own ‘March of the Penguins’

A veteran beachgoer observes the wide varieties of arrivals for the day on the public beach

It is 9 a.m. Sunday at Siesta Beach; I have just had my first swim of the day and I am ready to greet the masses. I am sitting on my regular perch, a few feet to the right of the beach Mobi-Mat, close enough to hear and see our marchers.  Of course, they are not really penguins, but watching them amble along the mat — some groups weighed down by tons of beach gear and some actually appearing to waddle — reminds me of that spectacular and masterful movie in which mobs of penguins march in step. (Read more »)

Letter to the Editor


Learned and Honea shine in Sarasota Ballet’s final program of the season

Members of troupe also earn high marks for Leaves Are Fading and Bugaku

The last program of Sarasota Ballet’s 2017-18 season began with a sparkling Logan Learned bounding about the stage in George Balanchine’s challenging interpretation of the traditional Tarantella folk dance. Set to Louis M. Gottschalk’s joyous Grand Tarantelle, the choreography is devilishly demanding, as fast as the toe-tapping tempo of the music. (Read more »)

Ancient offshore burial site and updates on controversial projects to be focus of May 14 CONA meeting

John McCarthy to discuss archaeological site found off county’s coastline

At 7 p.m. on May 14, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will present a discussion of the globally significant archaeological site discovered just offshore of Sarasota County, CONA has announced. The program also will focus on the efforts being made to protect and preserve the site. (Read more »)

Ribbon cutting held for Mid County Tax Collector’s Office on Sawyer Loop Road

New facility features variety of services, including road tests for people applying for driver’s licenses

Sarasota County commissioners cut the ceremonial ribbon on May 2 to mark the completion of the Mid County Tax Collector’s Office, which is located at 6100 Sawyer Loop Road in Sarasota. The new facility — opened to the public on April 30 — was a joint effort of the Sarasota County Tax Collector, Sarasota County Public Works, Fawley Bryant Architects and Tandem Construction, a news release notes. (Read more »)

Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team wins Voice of Sarasota Award for 2018

Visit Sarasota County honors members of tourism industry during National Travel and Tourism Week celebration

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team has been named the 2018 recipient of Visit Sarasota County’s prestigious Voice of Sarasota Award. On May 2, Visit Sarasota County (VSC) celebrated the 2018 National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) during a luncheon held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the county’s tourism agency announced. Along with learning the winners of a number awards, attendees listened to keynote speaker Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, a destination marketing agency, a news release notes. (Read more »)

With sea turtle nesting season underway, public advised of ways to help instead of hinder hatchlings

Primary caution is to avoid using lights on the beaches at night

As summer approaches and trips to the beach become more frequent, Sarasota County staff is reminding all visitors and residents “to keep light out of sight” during sea turtle nesting season. As of May 1, “Sarasota County beaches play host to the largest population of nesting sea turtles on the Gulf Coast of Florida,” a news release points out. Typically, the number equates to more than 200 nests per mile. (Read more »)

Agenda kiosks made available at Sarasota City Hall for public convenience

Devices will allow people to view materials for upcoming meetings

As part of the City of Sarasota’s ongoing effort to bring information to the public “in the most efficient and effective way possible,” the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk has announced that new agenda kiosks have been placed in City Hall. (Read more »)

Sarasota Memorial earns ‘A’ for hospital safety and protecting patients from preventable errors and injuries

Hospital recognized by national nonprofit organization that reviews variety of data

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has received an A for protecting patients from preventable injuries and harm and for meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S., the Leapfrog Group has announced. Leapfrog issues nationwide hospital safety grades twice each year, assigning an A, B, C, D or F on the basis of individual hospital performance in preventing harm and death, a Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) news release explains. (Read more »)

County encourages residents to register for CodeRED

Alerts include those for severe weather and interrupted water and sewer service

arasota County staff is encouraging property owners — both year-round and seasonal — to sign up for the CodeRED alert notification system. “CodeRED allows residents to receive calls, email alerts or text messages” about events that could impact their neighborhoods and help protect their families or property, a news release notes. (Read more »)