Siesta Sand - January 2022

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SEE OUR YEAR IN REVIEW FOR A LOOK BACK AT AN EVENTFUL 2021 page

OWNER AT 636 BEACH RD. GIVEN APPROVAL TO BUILD CONDO COMPLEX

SIESTA KEY’S HOME FOR FOOTBALL! LIVE MUSIC NIGHTLY

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Why the world comes to Sarasota

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JANUARY 2022 | 941.312.0665 | 27TH STATE MEDIA LLC | www.SiestaSand.us | COMPLIMENTARY

Residents, condos strike with lawsuits Sarasota County approval of hotels at Calle Miramar, Old Stickney Point Road result in legal action in 2 separate filings By Phil Colpas

Ramirez

In the relentless tug of war that often pits developers vs. property owners, the last three rounds on Siesta Key have gone to the developers, with two large-scale hotel projects and a four-unit beach condo recently greenlighted by the county commission. Now some residents are firing back in court. Two lawsuits from Siesta Key residents question whether the Sarasota County Commission had the authority to grant special

exceptions requested by the builders of two proposed hotels. Longtime Siesta Key resident Lourdes Ramirez was first to file suit Nov. 24, contending the county did not have the authority to grant exceptions that violated the County Comprehensive Plan, which capped the number of rooms at 26 per acre of property on the barrier islands; and that this added density will also cause traffic and safety

problems. “It’s crazy for them to think they’ll be able to execute an evacuation without a problem, especially when they keep increasing traffic,” she said. “I’m not budging from no density increase.” Ramirez’s counsel suggested she focus her efforts on the hotel nearest where she lives. “I wanted to challenge both,” she said.

Wallace

Continued on page 20

GETTING CLOSER? Despite super-charged push, Save Siesta Key supporters still in limbo; delegation vote is Jan. 4 By John Morton It’s been an eight-month grind for Save Siesta Key, yet a flurry of recent events took everything to the front burner in a hurry. Still, is the group any closer to its goal? Well, it’s certainly closer to knowing if things appear positive or if it’s time to either throw in the towel or go back to the drawing board. One of those all-or-nothing moments is nearing. After a roller coaster of a week in early December, here’s what the incorporation folks do know: State Sen. Joe Gruters supports the proposal, state Rep. Fiona McFarland is willing – with some reservations – to represent the bill in Tallahassee, and one member of the Sarasota County Legislative

Above, the Siesta Key Chapel on Dec. 8 was packed for a town hall meeting (photo by John Morton). Right, state Sen. Joe Gruters addresses the crowd. He would vow to support the local incorporation effort. (submitted photo)

About 120 residents marched from the public beach southbound along Midnight Pass Road on Dec. 5 to have their voices heard regarding Siesta Key incorporation. A second “walk and rally” was held Dec. 12, taking the message northbound to the Village. (photo by John Morton)

Continued on page 18

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A record sale goes down at $14 million

Mini-reef madness picks up the pace

Rembering Bruno Izzo of Napoli’s restaurant

• Village Map/business listings PAGES 24, 25 • Music Calendar PAGE 33 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE 34 • Gulf Gate Shops PAGE 39 • Accommodations Map/ Listings PAGE 47

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Word on the beach

Greetings from the Gulf

If only time could stand still ... sometimes By John Morton

I

t was at noon sharp when I called a bunch of local psychics, hoping I’d get no answer and giggle as I reported to you that these folks are totally out to lunch. And this, I assure you as a new year arrives, is the kind of sidesplitting, kneeslapping, belly-aching humor you can expect from me in 2022. Yet just before I was about to turn to my Magic 8 Ball, a woman named Nancy Mitchell caught me off guard when she picked up her phone at her Bee Ridge office. I scrambled to find my script. “Um, yes, my prophet of prediction, my dear seer, my clairvoyant crystal-baller, my soothing soothsayer, my pretty paranormal ...” She cut me off, asking “Let me guess, you want a prediction about Siesta Key in 2022, right?” while clearly worried it might soon become 2023. “How on earth did you know that?” I replied, wide-eyed. “I feel better vibes, better energy,” she said. “It’s going to be better than last year.” Ah, good. What a relief. Then the ultimate question hit me: Was 2021 bad? Was it good? Somewhere in between? Either way, what the hell was that? (We interrupt this column to note that most of those born in 2022 will be alive to see the arrival of the 22nd century. Knowing the age of my average reader, remember how we couldn’t believe we were around to see the 21st century? Father Time,

will you please slow down?) Back to now, as this year concludes, I don’t think anyone can dispute that 2021 was one of the craziest of all time for Siesta Key. For those of you snowbirds who go away for much of the year and are just returning here, turn to pages 13, 14 and 15 of this issue for our Year in Review and good luck grabbing your spinning skull before it blasts off into orbit. Sarasota’s progress, if you want to call it that, is currently off the charts. And it’s punctuated by my memory that for many, many years things here just seemed to stand still. And that was the point of it being my family’s ultimate getaway. The wellkept secret had yet to be whispered, and certainly not shouted. We made the Sarasota Surf & Racquet Club our home away from home in 1976, and I recall the only attraction in the downtown area being the Old Heidelberg Castle. Only the spectacle of beer-steintoting St. Pauli girls bouncing on trampolines between orders could drag us off Siesta Key, my dad decided. En route, I couldn’t believe what a tired, desolate area it was. For years, in fact, I thought Sarasota’s downtown was actually St. Armands Circle. I’m sure I’m not alone on that one. Then one day -- and I literally can’t remember when -- downtown exploded. It seemed instantaneous. And it put an end to everyone meeting at “the wall.” Yes, in the 1970s and early ‘80s, the place to go to socialize was the waist-high sea wall at our condo and the tiki-hut grill at its center. I kid you not -- hundreds upon hundreds

of kids would gather there nightly, coming from all points of the county. This was great for me, seeing as the wall was literally below my family’s fifth-floor unit. But that changed in the spring of 1978. There I was, working on a girl named Cindy Sobinski of Aurora, Illinois, within a sea of partiers. Suddenly, the condo porch light goes on and I can see the silhouette of my mother. Then, despite the battling boom boxes, I heard the start of a nightmare. “It’s 10 o’clock. Time to come on up.” I just grinned at my gal, and continued with my lies. “I know you’re down there. I know you can hear me!” People started to look around, wondering who was the victim. I didn’t bat an eye, keeping my composure, returning to my stories of athletic prowess at the University of Wisconsin. A rarity for someone who’s actually 15 years old. However, being an amateur, I’d been using my real name. I told her I was John Morton. A few minutes passed ... but it wasn’t that mom had given up, of course. Are you kidding me? It was the calm before the storm. And you know where this is heading. “JOHN MORTON, THAT DOES IT! YOU GET UP HERE RIGHT NOW!!!” Cindy spits out her Pabst Blue Ribbon and howls, the crowd turns to me and howls, and I sheepishly look up at the porch, a bright shade of beet red that apparently lit up the nighttime skies. Defeated, I start to take my first steps ... and you’d think that would be enough.

But oh no. There was still an atom bomb to drop. “JOHN MORTON, NOW MEANS NOW! DARN IT, THIS ISN’T FAIR! “IT’S LATE, I WANT TO GO TO BED, AND YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN YOUR TETRACYCLINE!!!” Now that is how you make time stand still. And that’s when I learned the hard way about menopause. Hey, if I can survive 1978, I’d like to think that those of you who don’t like what lies ahead in 2022 will also pull through. A roundabout will be built. At least two new huge hotels will likely begin construction. Siesta Promenade will explode. May I suggest something stronger than tetracycline? Meanwhile, those in favor of all that “progress” will call it a banner year. But remember -- Ms. Mitchell only predicted better vibes, better energy. And that’s what Siesta Key delivers year-in and year-out, despite all the other noise. And at the end of 2022, on New Year’s Eve, there’s a chance Siesta Key will become its own town. Wow. Here’s to the New Year. Here’s to rolling with the punches. Here’s to reminding ourselves how blessed we are to live here. Here’s to Cindy Sobinski reading this. Call me, babe. I’ve got more stories to tell. And no, this time they are not all about me. They’re about Siesta Key! And they’re even more unbelievable.

What is your New Year’s resolution?

(John Morton is managing editor of Siesta Sand.)

801 Blackburn Point Road, Osprey, Florida

941-966-1901

7 Miles South of Stickney Point Road

Kelly St. Louis “To have more patience.”

Beau Sarasota “Have success with my new barber lounge.”

Macaire Sarasota “I’m hoping to find a meaningful career. Time to find it.”

Jim Cape Cod “To mend any issues I have with others.”

Christine Summit, New Jersey “To visit friends in Sarasota more often.”


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Siesta Sand

JANUARY 2022

MEMBERSHIP MEETING NOTICE SIESTA KEY CONDOMINIUM COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP MEETING January 11, 2022 • 3:00 PM Siesta Key Chapel • 4615 Gleason Ave MAIN SPEAKER:

DAN LOBECK, Law Offices of Lobeck & Hanson 2021 Legislation Affecting Condominiums

Assessment Collections, Emergency Powers Association Records, Dispute Resolution Insurance, Discriminatory Restrictions, Term Limits Meeting Notices, Screening Fees Conflicts of Interest, Law Suits, Fines Electric & Natural Gas Vehicle Stations Budget Deadlines, Property Valuation Challenges

2022 Legislative Preview

Criminal Penalties in Condo Conduct, Association Records & Access, Expanded Website Requirements, Mandatory Director Education & Affidavits, Vacation Rental Regulation by Local Governments, Timeshare Board Emergency Powers, Space Force Flags

Surfside Collapse Task Force/ Proposed Legislation:

Mandatory Maintenance Standards, No Limits on Repair Assessments and Loans, Mandatory Building Inspections and Disclosure, Compliance With Inspection Reports and Repairs, Expanded Reserve Requirements, No Association Obligation for Alternative Housing Cost, Termination of Obsolete Condominiums, Funding for Division of Condominiums, Government Repair Financing Programs, Developer and Builder Liability, Manager Maintenance Responsibility and Liability, Local Government Responsibilities.

Question & Answer Session with Audience

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The spirit of giving Kay Kouvatsos of the Village Cafe organizes the donations her diner received during its annual toy drive, benefiting the One Stop Cares program. (submitted photo)


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Island Chatter MULTIPLE NEW TV’s

Thunder Fun Day is Jan. 29

Siesta Key’s Out-of-Door Academy will become a winter wonderland from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29 as the school hosts its annual Thunder Fun Day. The event is free and open to the public. The campus is located at 44 Reid St. Winter-themed activities, bounce houses, inflatibles, games, crafts, food booths, and a chili cookoff are among the highlights.

LIVE MUSIC 7 NIGHTS A WEEK FROM 7-10 PM

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Monroe memorial run is Jan. 9

The ninth-annual Andrew Monroe Memorial Scholarship 5K Run/Walk takes place Sunday, Jan. 9 on Siesta Beach. The event provides scholarships for further education to Riverview High School senior soccer players, JROTC cadets, and track athletes. If there are remaining funds, they will continue to grow the Sarasota Community Foundation scholarship fund in Andrew’s name. Visit andrewmonroe.com to register. Please bring a can or two of food for donation to the Mayors Feed the Hungry organization. The event includes pre-race Starbucks coffee, plus a color guard and national anthem opening. Following the race, stop by the doorprize board to see if you won one of roughly 160 items. Early packet pick-up is 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, at New Balance, 315 Cattlemen Rd.; or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at New Balance’s Siesta location at 1872 Stickney Point Rd. Monroe, a college student at the time, died in a car accident in March 2011. Continued on page 24

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Community Spotlight Frank Jurenka

Catching up with the condo head hancho

Q

Frank, let’s cut to the chase: You are president of the Siesta Key Condominium Council. In that role, what is your reaction to the county’s recent approval of the two large hotels? I’m extremely disappointed in the Sarasota County Commissioners’ vote, save one. The Siesta Key Condominium Council worked diligently to get Siesta Key condos to sign-up to the (anti-hotel) Siesta Key Coalition effort and was highly successful with 70 or so associations joining. In addition, two Siesta Key Condominium Council board members were key players in the Siesta Key Coalition efforts. The commissioners’ vote ignored the wishes of in-excess-of 5,000 noted taxpayers and most likely a high percentage of Siesta Key property owners. Guess their priorities were elsewhere, but a major factor may have been the small, actual-voter numbers on the Key. The Siesta Key Condominium Council is now actively supporting the incorporation ballot initiative by the Save Siesta Key organization.

A

Q A

Let’s rewind a bit. Tell us about your history with Siesta Key. I have been a property owner at the Gulf & Bay Club since 2001 and a resident of Florida since 2015. I spend six months here on the Key and love every minute. While traffic might have picked up in 20 years, thanks to existing building codes the Key is basically the same as when my wife and I first bought here. I work for the Siesta Key Condominium Council, which works to keep it that way,

subject to modest changes/growth reflecting the times. In-scale hotels meeting longstanding building codes would meet those criteria.

Q A

How and why did you become associated with the condo council? My tenure goes back a number of years -- in excess of 12, I think. I am fully retired and was, and still am, keeping busy. The Siesta Key Condominium Council afforded an opportunity to spend some of my excess time and energy on a worthy cause, as outlined in the council’s mission statement. The essence of the statement is: “... to provide member condominium associations, their owners, residents and renters, current information applicable to condominium living in the legislative, legal

and insurance arenas, through a series of meetings/speakers; and to support efforts that promote: safety, economic stability, environmentalism, and the beautification of Siesta Key.” The Siesta Key Condominium Council is one of three organizations that, shall we say, watches out for the Key. We try to do our best to keep our membership informed and advocate for issues of a general nature that impact the Siesta Key condo community way of life. We make every effort to support what the condo community wants and needs.

Q

We see you’ve also been a director with Save Our Siesta Sand. What has the impetus for that group, and what is its current status? This group is alive and well and is basically in a “watching” mode since

A

losing the battle with the city of Sarasota over dredging Big Pass. Again, the Sarasota County Commissioners refused to step in to support Siesta Key. The condo council board sees this and other examples for reasons to continue to support, first, the single-member districts and then the incorporation ballot.

Q A

On a personal note, what else keeps you active in your life on the Key? I play some golf, walk the beach, attend local restaurants and ride my bike to get some exercise. Siesta Key is really a nice place to live and enjoy significant outside life. I also do some church work for the Siesta Key Chapel and am the treasurer for the Siesta Key Fire and Rescue Council, a not-forprofit supporting Fire Station 13.


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Mini-reefs make biggest splash to date

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45 canal installations in a single day as local program becomes a model of environmental stewardship By Jane Bartnett

O

Top left, Siesta Key resident Bruce Luberski (center) assists mini-reef designer Dr. David Wolff (right) and his son Alex. Above and lower left, program leader Jean Cannon joins the effort and then shows off the work done by Out-of-Door Academy students to help prevent waterway pollution. Below, a reef is set in place. (photos by Jane Bartnett)

n a misty late November day, Siesta Key received an early holiday gift when 45 mini-reefs were installed under the docks of 45 waterfront canal homes. Participating homeowners had purchased the reefs, through the Siesta Key Association, at a cost of $300 each. What they’ll accomplish could be considered priceless, as they’ll benefit the ecosystem of the island’s canal waters for many years to come. As a soft rain fell, a team of local volunteers joined the association’s Jean Cannon and Florida scientist Dr. David Wolff, the designer of the reefs, along with his two sons for the day-long project. Wolff’s company Ocean Habitats, based in Micanopy (south of Gainesville), has overseen the successful installation of minireefs in 23 states as well as the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Volunteers deposited the reefs at the end of designated driveways throughout the neighborhood, and then carried them to the homes’ docks where Wolff and his sons provided installation. “They’re light and easy to work with,” said Cannon as she lifted a specially designed mini-reef constructed of fiberglass, PVC pipe, polypropylene rope and crab-trap floats. The mini-reef measures 24 inches by 36 inches long and 24 inches deep. Commenting on the benefits that the mini-reefs have on Siesta Key’s canal waters, Wolff said that the simple devices “provide shelter for certain species and act as a filtration system for 30,000 gallons of water a day, allowing shrimp and crabs to grow.” They are designed, he added, “to serve as a nursery habitat and an alternative to

the mangroves that have been lost due to development. The mini-reefs are designed specifically to work in canal systems such as the Grand Canal in Siesta Key.” During the morning, the team focused on the Waterside East community where it installed 30 mini-reefs at residential docks. That afternoon, 10 mini-reefs were installed at residential docks in the Shadow Lawn, Palm Island and Oxford neighborhoods, and another five were attached under residential docks along the Intracoastal and in Heron Lagoon. “When I heard that Jean Cannon needed help on the mini-reef project I got involved,” said Bruce Luberski, a retired oil company consultant who brings to the effort years of experience in managing large projects around the world. He has made Siesta Key his home since 2016. “There’s something about getting involved in a project like this,” he said. “You see firsthand how important it is that we support efforts to improve biodiversity in the Grand Canal. “Our canal system is a great thing about Siesta Key. Several of us have begun doing surveys on a wave runner with GPS coordinates. We know where the reefs are and we’re organizing data sheets and taking more sophisticated oxygen readings of the water. It’s important that we do what we can to ensure that the canals don’t go dead. There is no other way to filter the water and ensure that it’s not robbed of oxygen.” Cannon praised the work of volunteers such as Luberski. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of these individuals,” she said. Continued on page 16

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After long battle, Saba Sands lands victory Revised application for 636 Beach Rd. moves proposed condo project 22 feet further from water, cuts units from 6 to 4 By Phil Colpas A pattern seems to be emerging. When it comes to petitions for exceptions needed to build on Siesta Key, the current Sarasota County Commission tends to find in favor of the developers. The board did just that once again on Dec. 7, when it granted another highly contested request, this one for a setback variance at the Saba Sands property at 636 Beach Rd. With Sarasota County seeing a nearly 15% population growth from 2010-2020, decisions made now over future development regulations are likely to have farreaching consequences. There are currently two proposed high-rise hotel projects on Siesta Key that have been tentatively approved by the county commission. But before construction can commence, both face lawsuits recently filed by two concerned residents. In this most recent hotly disputed property saga, the county commission considered petitioner Saba Sands LLC’s revised application and conducted a public hearing on the topic. The county commission had denied Saba Sands’ previous application in August 2020. A special magistrate later ruled that the county was “not unreasonable” in voting down the petition, which sought permission to replace a single-family residence on the parcel with a six-unit condominium. During the public hearing on Saba Sands’ original petition for a Coastal Setback Variance,

Left, the home that currently sits at 636 Beach Rd. Above, its location on the beach. (photo by John Morton and screen shot from Sarasota County Commission meeting)

Commissioner Nancy Detert said that approving the petition would “set a horrible precedent.” “I’m not anti-property owner,” she continued. “But you got what you bought. It does take a lot of nerve to ask for multiple units on this property.” As the public hearing portion was near the end of a day-long commission meeting, it became clear that the myriad development issues and the controversy they create are taking their toll. “Great. After a long day, we have another coastal setback variance to round out the day,” said County Commission chairman Alan Maio. Marty Black represented Saba Sands in its presentation to the commission. “We had proposed six units on the four platted lots, and simply were closer to the beach,” Black

said. “The board denied that request, based solely on the location of the proposed structure beyond the established gulf beach setback line, which extended further into the beach area than the adjoining properties. With this revised petition, we’ve moved the entire development 22 feet further from the beach.” “The previous request was reviewed by a magistrate, and we are here today with the revised plan that reduces the size and scope of the request to meet your reason for denial,” Black continued. “Property owners spent additional time and resources engaging legal counsel, environmental professionals, design architects and coastal planners to reduce the size and scope of the project from six units to four units, one for each of the four platted lots.”

According to Black, his team is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan and the gulf beach setback line, in compliance with zoning and environmental protection standards, and has met the standards to grant this variance. He also asked that the commissioners “recognize equitable treatment of this property owner in the context of what other private property owners have been granted in the same RMF-1 Zoning District.” Black stated that “coastal property owners should retain their existing private property rights to the underlying zoning, not to the underlying use. Mr. (William) Saba has at least the right to build one unit for each of the four platted lots. Our design demonstrates that he can do that and meet all the dimensional,

environmental regulations of the county on the two most landward lots, preserving the two lots closest to the beach in conservation.” Seven concerned citizens filled out speaker cards to address the board during the public hearing portion of the presentation. Longtime Siesta Key resident and conservationist Robert Luckner argued that the development and reduced setback variance would disturb the snowy plover, a protected species of bird that likes to nest on that stretch of beach. “There are only about 98 nesting pairs in the entire state, and about 17% of them nest in our region,” Luckner said. “They are very vulnerable, solitary nesters,” and Siesta Key’s beaches are very important to their survival. Dick Miles, Audubon site Continued on page 26

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BOAT RENTALS

He delivered a big slice of local dining history Bruno Izzo, owner of the former Napoli’s, passes away at 86

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For Bruno Izzo, owner of Siesta Key’s Napoli’s Ristoranti & Pizzeria, there were fewer places on earth that he’d rather be than in his business. A well-known fixture on the island’s restaurant scene, Izzo, who died Nov. 15 at the age of 86, was a well-loved member of the island community. The day after his death, a posting appeared on the Napoli’s Facebook page that read “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Napoli’s founder and owner Bruno Izzo. Bruno loved Napoli’s and his customers. He will be sorely missed.” Soon after, tributes appeared on the page. Carlos Solorzano Salomon Sr. wrote: “So sad. I always had a great time talking to him. Mi dispiace. Condoglianze.” Molly Hurley, a former Napoli’s employee, recalled her days spent working at the restaurant. She stated: “So sorry to hear this. He was such a nice person and I enjoyed working at Napoli’s years ago.” Heidi Ley called Izzo “a warmhearted man, a huge part of Siesta Key.” Izzo was at home in his popular Italian restaurant, greeting his guests and overseeing the little ristoranti that brought visitors and locals back again and again for nearly half a decade. They came not only for the pizza but also to enjoy his special Italian creations and traditional dishes, and to chat with Izzo himself. Village Cafe owner Tommy Kouvatsos recalled his fellow restauranteur fondly. “We had a great relationship,” he said. “We knew each other as local business owners. Bruno would come over here and we enjoyed going to Napoli as well. He loved being in the restaurant business. In recent

Bruno Izzo, above, died in November. He established Napoli’s on Siesta key in 1971. (submitted photos)

times, he told me that he was looking for another location where he could open again.” During the course of the 46 years that Napoli’s stood as a Siesta Key landmark, it was housed in two Siesta Key Village locations. Izzo first opened on the Key in 1971 after he relocated to Florida. He brought a dash of international Italian flair to the sleepy beach community. His recipes for traditional Italian specialties such as stuffed shells Florentine, Zupa di Pesce, and Risotto alla Pescatora, harkened back to his native Naples and drew customers. His cuisine and the

welcoming, friendly atmosphere made Napoli’s a “must visit” location for vacationers and residents alike. Izzo paid tribute to his homeland by naming his restaurant Napoli, in honor of the city from which he and his family emigrated years before. The eatery’s first location was in the heart of Siesta Key Village in the space that is now home to Gidget’s Coastal Provisions. In 2013, Izzo moved the restaurant into new space at 5200 Ocean Ave., in Key Corners Center. That location is now home to sports bar MVP -- My Favorite Pub. As the years went by, Izzo saw many changes in the business community and the island itself. The quiet little beach town grew and became more and more popular and business was good for Napoli’s and other small business owners. Catherine Luckner, the president of the Siesta Key Association, remembered Napoli’s the restaurant, and Izzo the restauranteur, with great fondness. “It was such a fun place to go t,” she said. “I never remember a time visiting there when he wasn’t in the kitchen. The food was great. It was the place to go, a real local place.” According to local news reports, following a legal dispute with his landlord regarding rent, Izzo moved out of the Key Corners location in October 2017 and closed the restaurant. He had planned on finding another location. A posting on Napoli’s Facebook page from Oct., 27, 2017 states: “We will be back soon!” Izzo went on to thank his loyal customers and promised that “Napoli’s will be relocating to a new location on Siesta Key. Please check back when we announce our new location.” Despite his fervent wishes to reopen again, Izzo’s dreams of a third Siesta Key Napoli’s location was not to be.

CAPTAIN CURT’S VILLAGE

Siesta Key’s “Old Florida” Shopping Village In The Heart of Crescent Beach

BEST SHOPPING, DINING AND FUN ON SIESTA KEY

Enjoy specialty coffees and craft beers

SIESTA KEY’S OLDEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

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Outdoor Dining / Food until 2am LIVE MUSIC

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! FISH MARKET OPEN UNTIL 1 PM ON NEW YEAR’S EVE FOR SPECIAL ORDER PICK UP Please place your special orders as early as possible Restaurant will be closed for dining New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

From the Grill...

Fresh fish your way: Grilled or Blackened & topped with Lemon Butter, Pico or Salsa, Soups, Sandwiches, Steam pots & more!

★★★★★ Bill M via TripAdvisor BEST KEY LIME PIE IN SARASOTA

From the Market...

Large selection of fresh seafood. Special Orders Welcome!

It’s stone crab season! We have medium, large, jumbo and colossal! Come on in for FRESH stone crab!

“I couldn’t resist a pound of their colossal stone crab claws. Nothing better this time of year in SW Florida! Finished things off with a piece of the best key lime pie in Sarasota. Fine friendly service and reasonably priced. You bet we’ll be back!”

7119 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota Just off the Key, 1/4 mile south of Stickney Point Road 11 AM - 8 PM Monday-Saturday • Full menu available for takeout

941-413-7133 | www.FreshCatchFishMarketandGrill.com


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Ask us about our many “products with a purpose!”

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Siesta Key the perfect ‘casa’ for this fashionista Move from Longboat makes life, business better for Leuenberger By Jane Bartnett

We offer a fun and affordable assortment of unique coastal themed souvenirs, gifts, home decor, t-shirts, hats, beach gear, locally made jewelry, art, and much more!

6635 Midnight Pass Rd. Happy New Year! 2022 is going to be an exciting year!

We’re excited to announce the arrival of two new lines from

Ottica Veneta

(eyewear from the mountains of Italy)

We welcome outside eyeglass prescriptions

6627 Midnight Pass Rd. • 941-413-5146

eyestyleopticalboutique.com

Key Casuals Dress Like You Are On Vacation

Casa Smeralda, a Siesta Key women’s clothing boutique whose name translates into a house on the emerald coast of Sardinia, Italy, will celebrate its second anniversary on the Key this spring. Formerly of St. Armand’s Circle, the shop is situated in the heart of Siesta Key Village at 5121 Ocean Blvd. Specializing in fashion-forward women’s clothing, accessories and footwear designed for life at the sea, all of Casa Smeralda fashions are created from fluid fabrics, silks and linens. The designs are made in the continental U.S. and Hawaii, as well as Italy, Canada, Nepal, India and Indonesia. Reflecting the store’s international flair and Swiss-born owner Marie-Louise Leuenberger’s heritage, the words “Hello, Aloha, Hola, Gruezi, Bonjour, Hallo and Ciao” greet shoppers as they enter the store. Looking back on the challenges that she faced in opening an established store in a new location as businesses were forced to close their doors during the early days of the pandemic, Leuenberger said that she relied on her long career in the fashion and business world to guide her. “I anticipated that the closings would not go on forever. I also had a business reserve that helped to carry us through,” she said. “During my career, I’ve run several stores and other businesses. Before coming to the United States, I lived in Africa where I designed and sold clothes. I’m a small boutique. I know my customers and I’ve worked with my vendors for many years.” She then added, thoughtfully, “Getting through that early period of 2020 would have been much more difficult for any new business owner. Experience helps at times such as these.” The move from St. Armand’s Circle, where Casa Smeralda was based for 13 years, to Siesta

Casa Smeralda owner Marie-Louise Leuenberger inspects some of her fine accessories. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

Key was a business decision that Leuenberger had been considering for some time. When she saw that the Ocean Boulevard space across the street from Davidson Plaza in Siesta Key was available, she made her move. Relocating the store was a personal and business decision. “Since I live on the Key, I can ride my bike to work and I left the commute to St. Armand’s behind,” she said. From a financial perspective, she noted that “We sold the property on the Circle, reduced our store size and our customers still find the fine quality and selection that they’ve come to know here. Many new people have also discovered us here on the Key and our longstanding customers from St. Armand’s still shop with us. “On an environmental level,

being here, we’ve reduced our CO2 output. It’s much better for the environment. Nature is very important to me.” During the past two years, the veteran businesswoman and fashion expert has seen a slight shift in the way that people shop. “People are more cautious about their purchases and the way that they make decisions about their own economic situation,” she said. “Fine quality, sustainability and craftsmanship remain very important to our customers.” Looking ahead to the new year, Leuenberger says that despite the ongoing pandemic facing the world she said she is “hopeful about the future, for her business and for Siesta Key.” Continued on page 33

HOME OF FLORIDA STONE CRAB Big Water

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Shop online at SarasotaKeyCasuals.com

FRESH LOCAL FISH SERVED EVERYDAY

Retail Fish Market 11am–8pm • Restaurant 11am–9pm • Closed Tuesdays

6641 Midnight Pass Rd • Crescent Plaza • Siesta Key

941-554-8101 bigwaterfishmarket.com


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JANUARY 2022

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Hotel proposals, hotel opposition, hotel decisions. That alone made for a hectic year on Siesta Key, but tack on an incorporation effort, some terrible red tide, a worker shortage, and an off-the-charts tourist year, and you’ve got yourself one action-packed 2021. For a month-bymonth review, turn to pages 14 and 15. (file photos)

Did you know that Siesta Key has a Gemstone? Looking into the water at Siesta Key Beach is an incredible, captivating feeling - hues of blue and green dancing in light waves on top of crystal white sand with sunlight reflecting on it. Undeniably, the “Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM” has captured the colors of this experience. It’s no secret that the sand on Siesta Key Beach is composed of 99% pure quartz. The crystalline white sand of Siesta Key is luxurious, soft, white and cool to the touch 365 days a year. This is why our beloved beach has been revered as one of the most beautiful in the world. Wanting to capture the experience and essence of Siesta Key beach was the goal of the proprietor of Silver City, Monica. “Tourists always wish they can somehow take their vacation memories with them,” so with this in mind, Silver City designed the Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM. They were able to capture the colors of Siesta Key’s blue/green water and put it into a quartz gemstone. This quartz gemstone is a fusion of the tropical colors that surround us. Just looking into the clear, beautiful gemstone will transport you back to our island paradise representing the Sea, Sky and beautiful sand of Siesta Key Beach. Silver City has now become a “Must Stop” destination for tourists (Currently named #1 shopping destination on TRIP ADVISOR on Siesta Key). Shining brightly among the cases of this uniquely mirrored store lies the much raved about Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM. Every jewelry piece is designed and made by Silver City Sarasota. The staff of Silver City Sarasota is very proud of their unique collection and variety of designs in Sterling Silver and in 14K gold.

LET’S GO TO THE BEACH! Watercolors That Inspire

New Design!

Siesta Key Watercolor Gemstone

TM

Also available online at www.SilverCitySarasota.com Silver City Sarasota 6539 Midnight Pass Rd, Sarasota, FL. 34242 Phone: 941-349-5030

www.SilverCitySarasota.com

Open Monday-Saturday 10am to 5pm Advertorial


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JANUARY • At a Jan. 7 Siesta Key Association meeting, Sgt. Arik Smith of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reports a spike in complaints he’s receiving about the behavior of visitors staying in illegal rental properties. Some hold as many as 28 guests. • At that same meeting, Siesta Key Association director Jean Cannon reports that 23 mini-reefs have been installed under docks since her Grand Canal Regeneration Project launched in November 2020. • Mark Spiegel of the anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition writes: “We are now up to 22 associations on Siesta Key representing nearly 2,000 households. A few more are considering joining.” He says his group now has 22 associations either of the condo variety or homeowners’ variety in its ranks. That represents nearly 2,000 households. • Citing the dynamic shoreline and the impact the proposal would have on the dune system, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously denies on Jan. 13 a request by Siesta Key property owner Michael Holderness to construct a two-story-over-parking, single-family home entirely seaward of North Beach Road. The structure would have stood north of Beach Access 3. • Sarasota County commissioners take just barely more than a minute on Jan. 26 to approve a $610,000 budget amendment for two controversial Siesta Key projects — the construction of 22 parking spaces in county right-of-way on the northern end of Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Village, plus a roundabout planned for the intersection of Midnight Pass Road and Beach Road. • Residents argue against the proposed eight-story, 170-room hotel on Calle Miramar during a neighborhood workshop. At the end, Kafi Benz, president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, summed up the proceedings in saying “I would like to note we did not have a single participant who was supportive of the project.” • William Saba of Saba Sands files a request for relief through the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act, arguing that the Sarasota County Commission’s August 2020 denial of its plans for a six-unit condominium complex on Beach Road was “unreasonable and unfairly burdens owner’s reasonable, investment-backed expectations for use of the land.” Saba sought a coastal setback variance so it could demolish a twostory-over-parking, single-family residence with 3,990 square feet of habitable space at 636 Beach Road and replace it with a three-story, pile-supported structure that would contain 17,106 square feet. The new building would contain six condominiums. FEBRUARY • Attorneys for a group of nine environmental or public interest organizations say the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to issue a permit for a “fish farm” off the Sarasota County coast is misguided, saying in a Feb. 1 brief that it “has consistently failed to evaluate the totality of the project it authorized under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.” • On Feb. 4, Siesta Key resident Jim Wallace files a second request with the Florida Department of Transportation to stop its plans for a stoplight at Avenue B and C off Stickney Point Road. The light is part of the upcoming Siesta Promenade development. • Tragedy strikes on Feb. 8 at the intersection of Midnight Pass Road and Stickney Point Road when a 74-year-old bicyclist is killed after colliding with a Siesta Breeze trolley. An investigation determines that the bicyclist was at fault, having turned in front of the vehicle. • On Feb. 17, resident Mike Cosentino holds at the Siesta Beach pavilion the first of two public meetings to voice his support of Siesta Key becoming its own town through incorporation. • Spring Break season appears to get an early start in February, Sgt. Arik Smith, reports. The total number of calls for service was 365, Smith said. Of those, 23 were of the more serious nature. “We had six assault and battery cases, (for) all of which we have suspects identified and arrested,” he noted. MARCH • St. Michael the Archangel church officially re-launches its $5.25 million capital campaign to build a new ministry hall that will hold meeting and office space, as well as a full kitchen. First announced in 2019, it was put on hold because of the pandemic. • The annual Easter sunrise service on Siesta Beach is cancelled due to the pandemic. However, an Easter-egg hunt is announced for Turtle Beach for April 3. • The redevelopment of four parcels between Beach Road and Calle Miramar as the site of an eight-story, 170-room hotel would result in an extra 132 vehicle trips during the afternoon peak drive time, The Kimley-Horn consultant for the project team said in a March 18 document. • State Sen. Joe Gruters gets no support for a bill he once again files that would give local governments the ability to restrict smoking at their beaches and in parks. • Dune vegetation catches fire the night of March 20, burning about 40 yards in diameter at Beach Access 7. • Sarasota County receives an application to build a 100-room

941.312.0665

hotel on 2.15 acres at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd. The property is the site of the former Wells Fargo bank. Dave Balot is the leader of the endeavor and his request marks the fourth on the Key within a year. • Residents of Siesta Key’s Sandy Cove property report a significant increase in wave activity, and thus deterioration of their shoreline, as a result of the removal of up to 1.3 million cubic yards of sand from Big Sarasota Pass to renourish about 1.6 miles of Lido Key Beach the previous year. • Sarasota Bradenton International Airport posts a record-breaking March, handling 277,590 passengers for the month — an all-time high for the airport. • On March 27, a group of residents announces the formation of Save Siesta key – a non-profit entity seeking state approval and a subsequent local referendum on the issue of incorporation. Longtime business owner John Davidson is named chairman, while the Hon. Harry Anand, Tracy Jackson, Lisa Choate, Rick Munroe, Stephen Lexow, Tim Hensey, and Chuck Byrne round out the board of directors’ membership. APRIL • After a thorough investigation, Sgt. Arik Smith, leader of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office substation on Siesta Key, determines that electric bicycles are not permitted on the county’s beaches. He notifies the Siesta Key Association of his decision on April 1. • At that same meeting, Smith hears concerns from residents that patrons of the Crescent Club, and pedestrians walking past it, are spilling into the roadway due to a lack of guard rails along the business and inadequate walking and biking lanes. The business later installs a protective rail. • Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal on April 14 rules for the city of Sarasota in the case initiated in 2017 by the Siesta Key Association in an effort to prevent the removal of sand from Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key Beach. • A large, original sea-turtle sculpture formed from aluminum was unveiled April 17 at the main entrance to Siesta Beach. It holds recyclable materials and reminds beach-goers of the importance of stewardship. The result of a joint partnership between Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the sculpture was created in the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Koski Center, a stateof-the-art scenic production facility. • “Stop High Density Hotels” protest signs begin to emerge throughout the island. Created by the anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition, 250 signs were first printed but another 250 were soon ordered, leader Mark Spiegel reports. • The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce directors agree to a new promotion and fund-raising project: a Siesta-themed children’s picture book called The ABCs of Siesta Key that features the artwork of local and renowned painter Shawn McLoughlin. • A 50th-anniversary event celebrating The Terrace, an iconic 16-floor high-rise landmark in the Village, takes place on April 24. Architect Frank Folsom Smith is honored. • About 40 people attend Save Siesta Key’s initial public meeting on April 28 at Siesta Key Chapel. Lynn Tipton of the Florida League of Cities is guest speaker and warns the audience that state officials have cooled down in their willingness to create new municipalities. “If your House member will be your champion, you have a chance,” Tipton said. “If not, it won’t get out of committee.” The incorporation group requests that residents volunteer to become ambassadors, sign petitions, and donate to the need to create a state-required feasibility study and draft a proposed town charter. • On April 30, the Siesta Key Oyster Bar – an anchor of the Village’s business community – closes for a weekend due to a lack of employees and a need to train new ones. It marks a tangible example of an emerging dearth in hospitality workers that is hurting local businesses. The Clark Road McDonald’s soon temporarily closes as well because of the same issues. MAY • On May 7, a 15-year-old North Port resident was arrested following a shooting just after 11:30 p.m. in the Siesta Public Beach parking lot. The shooter was taken into custody just after 3 a.m.

www.siestasand.us

• Quality-of-life concerns once again are the focus of Siesta Key residents’ comments as they participated in the third Sarasota County staff-mandated neighborhood workshop on proposed hotel projects on the island. On May 10, members of the team behind the planned redevelopment of the Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites on Ocean Boulevard – looking to tear down the existing 55 rooms and come back with 170 rooms -- explained facets of their application and sought questions. At one point, Michael Barfield of De Novo Law Services, a paralegal representing the hotel owners, asked everyone “to dial it down a little bit.” The proposal for the hotel at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Calle Miramar calls for demolishing the existing 55-room structure, which dates to 1955, and replacing it with new buildings that could accommodate potentially 170 rooms. • The “Lamolithic House” at 5546 Avenida del Mare is designated as a member of the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places. • Save Siesta Key’s second public meeting is held May 19 at Siesta Key Chapel, drawing an overflow crowd of nearly 200. The incorporation group reports it has hired Jensen Beach-based consultant Bill Underwood to begin the formation of a required feasibility study. He has served the same role for three other incorporation efforts, but none came to fruition. • In a May 25 letter to Sarasota County, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce goes on the record regarding hotel proposals in saying it only supports “boutique hotels of no more than 52 rooms per acre, with a maximum of 75 rooms regardless of total acreage, and height restrictions which are in conformity with the surrounding residential multi-family properties.” JUNE • County commissioners on June 8 unanimously approve that the vacant land at 6647 S. Midnight Pass Rd., next door to Crescent Plaza, is paved for a future parking lot. How it will be used, however, is yet to be determined. Will it be public? Or will it be leased through the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce to its membership businesses for employee parking? • On June 9, hopeful hotelier Dave Balot faces scrutiny during his public workshop regarding his proposed five-story, 100-room hotel at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd. Mark Spiegel, leader of the anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition, does give credit to Balot for being “front and center” while other applicants have relied upon land-use attorneys to address the public. • Save Siesta Key establishes petition drop-off boxes at the island’s two Davidson Drugs stores. With a goal of 2,000 petitions, board member Tracy Jackson reports on June 25 that 500 signatures were in hand. It’s required by state statute that at least 10% of the voting residents must sign their names in the form of a petition, and a recent feasibility study finds the island’s population to stand at 8,915 as of 2020, with about 7,500 registered voters. Therefore, the percentage threshold for petitions has not yet been reached. JULY • The Fourth of July fireworks return to Siesta Beach after a oneyear hiatus due to the coronavirus. They occur in the nick of time, as reports of an approaching hurricane loom. • Many local businesses close early on July 6 as Tropical Storm Elsa arrives. It reaches hurricane status for a short period of time as it delivers wind gusts as high as 54 mph and 2 inches of rain. By the end of July 7, the storm is gone. • Sarasota County establishes the dates of the first two Planning Commission meetings in which Siesta Key hotel proposals will be discussed – Aug. 19 for the eight-story, 170-room plan for Calle Miramar near the Village; Sept. 2 for the seven-story, 120-room plan for Old Stickney Point Road near the south bridge. • On July 9, Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier opens the new Siesta Key Fire Station 13 during a ceremony. The 10,500-square-foot station costs about $5.4 million, replacing a facility constructed in 1974. • Siesta Key’s beaches see the first signage warning of the presence of red tide on July 13. • Part-time resident Jim Alfieri distributes information on the warnings of lightning strikes to Siesta Key beach-goers on July 16 – the one-year anniversary of the day Texas teenager Jacob Brewer was struck by lightning at the public beach and was paralyzed from the waist down. Brewer’s family announces he will soon undergo experimental treatments in Jacksonville for the potential use of robotic legs. • Save Siesta Key reports on July 20 it has reached 993 petitions from voting residents, sending it past the required 10-percent threshold for an incorporation application, with another 100 in hand from non-voting property and business owners. Regarding fundraising, $83,200 has been raised toward the goal of $125,000. The group also hires Bob Pritt, a former city attorney in Sanibel and Naples who helped with Bonita Springs’ incorporation, to write the required town charter document. • More than 160 lifeguards from across Florida arrive on Siesta Key for the U.S. Lifesaving Association James “Mac” McCarthy Memorial Surf Lifeguard Championships. Siesta Beach lifeguards Continued on next page


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JANUARY 2022

AUGUST • On Aug. 2, Connecticut-based William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance company acquires Key Solutions. The luxury Siesta Key real estate firm boasts 44 professional sales associates and two Sarasota offices -- one on the Key and the second in Lakewood Ranch. • Eleven of the county’s 16 beaches are hit with no-swim advisories at some point due to unacceptable levels of bacteria. Turtle Beach was one of them, holding the dismal designation between Aug. 5 and 10, while Siesta Beach manages to avoid making the list. The result of a spike in the red tide, more than 30 tons of debris made up mostly of dead fish is collected by Sarasota County in the two-day period of Aug. 4 and 5 along its 16 beaches. Nearly 3 tons of it comes from Siesta Key. By the end of the month, nearly 70 tons of debris is collected, the county reports. • Venice Pier Group, the company that operates Sharky’s on the Pier, becomes the new concessionaire for Siesta Beach’s Sun Deck and Sand Pavilion. A new menu is unveiled. • Siesta Beach lifeguard Robert Martini begins a 50K run at 4 a.m. on Aug. 8 to raise money for ADA-compliant swings in Sarasota County parks. His fundraiser, known as the Maverick Movement in support of his 4-year-old son, brings in $4,600. This summer, his advocacy took the form of a 50-kilometer fundraising run to bring ADA-compliant swings to Sarasota County parks. “People like to donate money for a cause,” Martini says. “And their reward was watching me go through a lot of pain and suffering.” On Aug. 14, he leads a dedication ceremony at Siesta Beach as the first swing is installed. • A single-car accident after midnight on Aug. 8 results in the death of the 28-year-old driver and critical injuries to his 37-year-old front-seat passenger. The fatal crash occurs at 12:40 a.m. at the intersection of Stickney Point Road and Midnight Pass Road, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The westbound sedan ran the stoplight on Stickney Point Road and slammed into a pole while attempting to turn left on Midnight Pass Road, causing the car to burst into flames. • Thirteen properties in the Coronas Park neighborhood hit the market, marking the first such opportunity on Siesta Key in years. Five are existing homes, ranging in price from $1.2 to $1.8 million, and eight are vacant lots, ranging in price between $550,000 and $650,000. The gated community is located at Ocean Boulevard and Givens Street. • On Aug. 19, Sarasota County’s Planning Commission -- which serves as an advisory board -- votes in favor of eliminating both density and height limits for hotels, opening the door to potential approval four proposed hotels on Siesta Key. The first is the eight-story, 170-room hotel planned for Calle Miramar, which the commission recommends for approval to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners. The anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition presents 19 speakers in protest at the hearing. • On Aug. 22, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reports it arrested a Sarasota man after he crashed a stolen vehicle on Siesta Key and then fled on foot. According to witnesses, the white Mazda turned southbound from Higel Avenue at a high rate of speed into the opposite lane, striking a black SUV head on before colliding with a nearby fence.

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• A landmark decision is made Oct. 27 by members of the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners as they approve by a 3-2 vote the removal of hotel density limits and height restrictions. It equates to a green light for the construction of Hotel Siesta Key, the eight-story, 170-room project proposed between Calle Miramar and Beach Road near the Siesta key Village. Commissioners Nancy Detert and Christian Ziegler cast the dissenting votes.

Continued from previous page are among Sarasota County’s 13 participants, as the competitors are forced to step over and swim amongst red tide-related dead fish and seaweed. • On July 22, the Save Siesta Key group holds its third community meeting as Marsha Segal-George and John Gucciardo, the former town manager and deputy town manager of Fort Myers Beach, respectively, discuss the successful incorporation of Fort Myers Beach in 1995. That community’s “government lite” approach where it has few employees and outsources much of its services, is what Save Siesta Key is using as its incorporation model. Meanwhile, Save Siesta key announces that its feasibility study determined that only a .25 mill levy will be needed to start a municipality, meaning the owner of the median home ($479,000 of assessed value) would pay $11.97 annually in taxes. That number was later lowered to $96.75 when it was discovered the accurate median-home number was lower ($440,062). Finally, the group announced it has hired Tallahassee-based attorney Jon Moyle to serve as lobbyist if an incorporation bill makes its way to the Florida Legislature. Previously, he assisted the community of Panacea to successfully pass legislation to enable that coastal community to conduct a vote on municipal incorporation. He also assisted the northwest Florida communities of Seaside, Grayton Beach, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach as they collectively explored whether to pursue incorporation of the combined area.

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Tips from local residents lead to the 25-year-old man’s arrest in the Gulf Gate area. • Cynthia Breslin, 65, who established the popular Blasé Café in Siesta Key Village in 1997, passes away Aug. 23 at the Siesta Key home of Kevin Skiest, her business co-owner since 2016. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July of 2020. SEPTEMBER • A second hotel proposal receives support from the Sarasota County Planning Commission on Sept. 2, this time for the sevenstory, 120-room project on Old Stickney Point Road that is being planned by Gary Kompothecras of 1-800-ASK GARY and reality TV fame. Its nearby five-story parking garage also receives support. The meeting marks the first for three newly appointed commissioners. • On Sept. 9, the beach-condition signs on all 16 beaches in Sarasota County were changed to “Enjoy the Beach” from “Red Tide Present,” according to Sarasota County. This comes after all beach water samples taken Sept. 7 by the Florida Department of HealthSarasota came back showing zero cells of Karenia brevis present. • Rick Munroe steps down on Sept. 9 from his role as a member of Save Siesta Key’s board, citing time constraints. He is the son-inlaw of Save Siesta Key chairman John Davidson. Munroe’s primary duty was interacting with the members of the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation, which must endorse Save Siesta Key’s incorporation effort for it to get any consideration at the state level. • Local artist Shawn McLoughlin, whose murals and paintings are a fixture in the Siesta Key community, loses his year-plus fight with pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 68. • The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce makes arrangements with Sarasota County to lease the 1.83-acre vacant lot at 6647 S. Midnight Pass Rd. to its member businesses, providing parking for 43 cars. It eliminates concerns regarding it possibly becoming a public lot, likely resulting in people crossing the street and private properties en route to the beach. • Deciding to address concerns by beach-goers on Siesta Key who feel boundary signs by private properties are unreasonable, The Sarasota County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 28 adopt a signage ordinance after testimony by the Gulf & Bay Club – which began to post signs in October 2020 because of overflow crowds at the neighboring public beach impeding its guests’ access to the beach and water. The ruling supports what Gulf & Bay and other properties have been doing, and boundary flags and sandwich boards are allowed to be as much as 6 feet in size and as much as 50 feet apart. • Save Siesta Key’s incorporation effort becomes a bit convoluted when two members of the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation voice concern at a Sept. 30 meeting. State Rep. Fiona McFarland, who represents most of the key, even asks if Save Siesta Key would consider approaching the city of Sarasota for potential annexation. • A group leading the effort to reopen Midnight Pass begins a donation campaign for an engineering study. Known as OPEN MIDNIGHT PASS NOW, it has more than 3,000 Facebook followers and hopes to reverse the measures taken in 1983 when sand was filled in between Siesta and Casey keys on behalf of two beachfront homeowners, likely impacting water flow along the Intracoastal Waterway. OCTOBER • Starting Oct. 1, park hours for many Sarasota County-owned public beaches and parks are changed to a 10 p.m. closing time. Previously, it was midnight. Opening time remains 6 a.m. The parks on and near Siesta Key that are impacted are Siesta Beach; public beach accesses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 12; Givens Street beach access; Turtle Beach; and Phillippi Estate Park. According to the county, these changes are being implemented to improve the safety of park visitors, for maintenance considerations, and to reduce impacts on natural and cultural resources. • Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach and Siesta Beach join the list of areas where elevated levels of red tide are again present, the Florida Department of Health-Sarasota announces Oct. 8. • Chairs, loungers, umbrellas, and cabanas are among the items now available for rent on Siesta Beach. Boucher Brothers, a hospitality management firm doing business on both Florida coasts, begins offering the rentals daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Set-up of all items is included. • The Siesta Key Association receives a $9,000 Sarasota County Neighborhood Grant to support the installation of 30 new mini-reefs in November on Commonwealth Lane, on Siesta Key’s man-made, 9-mile-long Grand Canal. As part of the group’s Grand Canal Regeneration Project that began in 2020, the reefs will join the 121 that were previously installed on docks, seawalls or piers in the canal during the past year.

NOVEMBER • On Nov. 2, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners votes 4-1 in favor of allowing two special exceptions for the building of a seven-story, 120-room hotel on Old Stickney Point Road and a five-story parking garage across the street on Stickney Point Road. Commissioner Nancy Detert casts the dissenting vote. • On Nov. 4, Save Siesta key reports that lobbyist Jon Moyle files a proposed incorporation bill in Tallahassee. • Dave Balot, who is proposing a 100-room hotel at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd., cancel his Dec. 2 date with the Sarasota County Planning Commission when he’s notified that he can’t take down a protected oak tree at the front of his property. He decides to rework his designs, likely adding as many as 12 rooms and another floor of height due to the loss of available property. • All 16 of Sarasota County’s beaches are cleared Nov. 5 of their red-tide warning status. according to the Florida Department of Health-Sarasota. • The Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival returns to the public beach Nov. 12 to 15, drawing more than 30,000 patrons. Former founder and organizer Brian Wigelsworth passes the chairman reins to sculpting partner Andy Daily, with Wigelsworth instead participating as a sculptor. He places second in the duo category with teammate Matt Long. • Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium researchers report a cumulative 521 sea turtle nests were documented on Siesta Key during the 2021 season, along with another 603 “false crawls.” The numbers show an increase from the previous year in which 465 yearly nests were found and 581 “false crawl” reports. • A children’s book entitled The ABCs of Siesta Key makes its debut at the Crystal Classic. Commissioned by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce with artist Shawn McLoughlin, the 32-page illustrated book that highlights island life here was completed and printed just after McLoughlin’s September death, per his wishes. He worked on it up until his passing. The chamber announces it is available for $15 at it’s office, the Beach Bazaar, and the Captain Curt’s gift shop. • On Nov. 24 and Nov. 29, two separate lawsuits are filed against Sarasota County regarding the county’s decisions of approval for the two hotels. The first is filed by resident Lourdes Ramirez, the former president of the Siesta Key Association. The second is filed by residents James Wallace and Robert Sax, along with condominium complexes Marina Del Sol and the 222 Beach Road Owners Association. DECEMBER • On Dec. 2, Save Siesta Key spokesperson Tracy Jackson reports that her group has surpassed its goal of 2,000 petitions in support of incorporation. Regarding its fundraising goal of $125,000, the group is at more than $121,000. • The incorporation group organizes a “walk and rally” at the public beach that on Dec. 5 sees roughly 120 supporters with signs march southbound along Beach Road and Midnight Pass Road, toward Stickney Point. A second walk occurs northbound to the Village on Dec. 12. • On Dec. 7, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners approves a setback variance for the proposed Saba Sands project, setting the stage for a four-unit condo dwelling in place of the single-family home at 636 Beach Rd. • A Dec. 8 town hall meeting to discuss Save Siesta Key’s incorporation effort, arranged by state Sen. Joe Gruters and some members of the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation, draws an overflow crowd of roughly 500 people to Siesta Key Chapel. Gruters announces that he’ll vote in favor of the bill, and state Rep. Fiona McFarland says she’ll endorse it and represent it at the Florida Legislature’s meetings that begin in mid-January. Locally, the delegation plans to vote on the matter Jan. 4. • On Dec. 9, a waterfront estate on Siesta Key sells for $14 million, marking the highest selling price in island history. Located across three parcels on Sanderling Road, the main house and guest house combine for 9,096 square feet. The 3.76 acres feature 528 feet of beach frontage.


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Sandy Claws run brings out the holiday spirit

Above, Maureen Williams (left) and Trish Ivey all are grins during the Sandy Claws Hot Cocoa Fun Run; middle, a group of walkers was in the fine form; right, runners remove their Santa hats to hunker down for the home stretch. The event drew hundreds of participants on Dec. 11 on Siesta Key and benefited the “Summer in the Parks” Adopt-a-Camper scholarship fund. (photos by John Morton)

Mini-reefs

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For the Waterside East project, Cannon noted that Jim Martin (president of the neighborhood’s homeowners association), Eric Hampton, Bruce and Judith Luberski, and Gina and Eric Wright all played a very important role in making this a success. “Homeowners such as these,” she explained, “are vital in bringing a neighborhood together,

allowing for a larger impact.” Cannon said that residents in canal communities have also reacted positively to a smaller yet impactful program associated with the mini-reef effort: An increasing number of street-level storm drains are sporting a colorful and important message stenciled in a bright turquoise blue that were designed and painted by Kim

Walsh of the Out-of-Door Academy and her students. Atop the image of a bright blue dolphin are the words “no dumping” and below the mammal’s image it reads “drains to ocean.” This colorful reminder, Cannon said, “tells us that the trash we casually thrown down a storm drain ends up in our waters and harms dolphins and other living

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things.” As the new year begins, Cannon plans to increase outreach efforts to Sarasota County and to share data. She also looks forward to embarking on a concerted neighborhood outreach effort to meet with condominium and homeowners associations to speak to them directly about the minireef program.

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“We’re also applying for grants that will allow us to purchase new digital reading equipment to survey the canals by water,” she said. “A community in Venice has allowed us to borrow their equipment but having our own will give us the tools to support the science side of our data. It comes at a cost of approximately $7,000.”


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Sheriff’s Report Nov. 14 theft Victim was dining at a restaurant in the middle of the Village. He arrived by bicycle and left his bicycle locked in a bike rack in front of the restaurant. Victim decided to leave his bike, a black Felt Verza, chained to the rack overnight. He returned at 8 a.m. the following morning to discover it was gone. Nov. 16 theft Victim reported that an unknown subject stole three kayaks from his property. The kayaks were all locked on a kayak rack. The lock was cut and left on the ground. A search failed to produce any surveillance footage. The case remains open. Nov. 21 theft Victim’s iPhone 13 was stolen

from a bar. The phone later pinged from a nearby hotel. The victim checked with the desk clerk at the hotel, but was unable to locate the phone within the hotel. The value of the cell phone is $1,100. Nov. 22 battery Officer responded to a disturbance at a residence. Upon arrival, officer spoke with a couple on a date who indicated that the male’s ex-girlfriend pulled next to them on the side of the road, and they proceeded to get into a verbal altercation. The couple alleged that the exgirlfriend then threw a cup filled with either water or soda, which struck the female. Nov. 24 theft Victim reported her silver

Trek bike was stolen from an underground parking garage. The bicycle was locked and the lock had been cut. Nov. 26 theft Victim’s purple 2015 Trek mountain bike with 26-inch wheels, straight handle bars, and bottle holder was taken from her driveway. Security footage captured a suspect on camera described as a white male, age 20s to 30s, wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, blue shirt and a blue backpack. The suspect appears to have a goatee and tattoos on his arms. Investigation continues. Nov. 27 theft Complainant, the owner of an Airbnb rental, reported that one of his renters rode his Black Huffy “Nel Lusso” bike to a store

at 5221 Ocean Blvd. The bike was taken from in front of the shop when it was left unattended. The case remains open. Dec. 4 theft Victim’s bicycle, a 32-inch turquoise hybrid Cannondale with a black metal basket, was

stolen from the bike rack at her complex. The bike was locked and the lock was cut and left on the floor. The total value of the bike and lock was approximately $870. A black flashlight was left at the scene is being processed for fingerprints.

Don’t let investments go on vacation Sarasota Local Brings Experience & Trust to Siesta Key Now that we’ve gained at least some space from the COVID-19 pandemic, summer travel is heating up. But while you might be eager to hit the road, you won’t want your investments to take a vacation – you need them to work hard for you consistently. But how can you make this happen?

might incur immediate taxes and penalties – they are designed to provide you with income during your retirement years. Similarly, you may have other investments for other purposes, such as a 529 education savings plan. Here’s the key point: Goals-based investing, by its nature, can help ensure your portfolio is always working on your behalf, in the way you intended.

Here are some ideas: • Know your destination “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” This bit of wisdom, paraphrased from the classic children’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, may be appropriate for, say, hikers exploring a new landscape. But as an investor, it matters a great deal which path you take. If you only dabble in investing, occasionally putting some money into one investment or another, it will be difficult to build a portfolio that’s consistently working in your best interest. It’s important to create a long-term investment strategy based on where you want to go in life – that is, how long you plan to work, what sort of retirement

• Invest for growth

Joe St. Onge outside his office on Siesta Key.

lifestyle you envision, and so on. • Match goals with investments Some investments are designed to achieve certain goals. To illustrate: When you contribute to an IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, you’re investing for one specific, long-term goal: a comfortable retirement. While you can tap into these accounts for other purposes – though doing so

Ideally, hard work produces results, and one of the main results you want from your investments is growth – that is, you want your investments to appreciate in value so they can eventually help you meet your goals. But if you are overconcentrated in vehicles such as certificates of deposit (CDs) and government securities, you may end up lowering your growth potential. That’s not to say that CDs and Treasury bills are in some sense “lazy.” They can provide you with income and help you reduce the impact of market

volatility on your portfolio. But to achieve most of your goals, you’ll need a reasonable number of growth-oriented investments working for you, with the exact percentage based on your needs and life stages. • Check your progress How else can you ensure your investments aren’t just taking it easy? By checking up on them. If you follow a buy-and-hold strategy, your portfolio shouldn’t require many changes if it already reflects your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. Too much buying and selling could jeopardize your ability to follow a consistent, long-term strategy. However, “buy and hold” doesn’t mean “buy and forget.” By reviewing your portfolio at least once a year, you can determine if your investments are performing as they should. If they’re not working for you as you’d like, you may need to make some changes. If you’re traveling this summer, relax and enjoy yourself – but keep those investments working hard.

Joe St. Onge, ChFC® Financial Advisor Edward Jones Investments 5112 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, FL 34242 (941)-346-0560 phone (941)-320-4030 mobile Joe.StOnge@edwardjones.com

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Edward Jones. Member SIPC. Advertorial


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Guest editorial

Why incorporation here won’t work By Dr. Gary Kompothecras As Paul Harvey would say ... “Now, the rest of the story.” (Yes, I am that old.) But I have also lived on Siesta Key for almost 40 years. People who live or own property on Siesta Key have been hearing a lot about incorporating the island, mainly from a small vocal group of, at best, wellintentioned “more government is good government” types. They would have us form another layer of government that they will then control in order to protect Siesta Key and Kompothecras you from something bad, like upscale hotels and restaurants, among other terrible things. Well, I would speculate that this group of incorporation advocates is mainly made up of people that live in and run the high-rise condos (you know, the condo-commando types). They live in high-rise buildings that block others residents’ views and yet don’t want high-rise buildings around to block their views. They’ll sue to preserve views they block from others. Hypocrisy? And, they want to “protect” the rest of us at the “bargain rate” of a mere .25 mills city tax. This is a fantasy. Here are the facts: In Florida, only one town comes even close to having the same taxes as its home county and that is Brooker, a small town of 350 people in Bradford County. But even it can’t do it for .25 mills -- it charges .3 mills. State law requires advocates for a new municipality to show it can raise revenue equivalent to at least 3 mills in property taxes. Why? Because 3 mills is more the standard in Florida. As an example, in Sarasota County, the cities of Sarasota, North Port, and Venice all levy between 3 to 4 full mills above the county tax rate. A 3-mill increase would more than double your current Sarasota County tax rate. The truth is that however well-intentioned some in the group are, they will be back to the well for additional funds. Although they may start at .25 mills, they will soon look to increase that tax rate to underwrite their stated goals -- to limit development and property use by limiting property rights. This will surely entail hiring staff and outside lawyers to defend against the sure-to-come property owners’ lawsuits. Again, the entire effort is being driven by a very vocal minority on the Key. Even its own website documents that less than 6% of registered voters on the Key have actually contributed to their efforts

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(420 out of 7,500 -- hardly an overwhelming uprising of the actual residents who will be asked to pay for some form of government to tell them what they can and can’t do at their home or business. Let’s look at what may happen if this group did form a government on Siesta Key. Well, there is a presumption that the county will continue to provide for the various small parks throughout the Key. As just one example, the county has been getting out of the business of operating what are in effect city parks. The new Siesta Key town could find itself needing additional revenue for this. How? Property taxes. Meanwhile, get accustomed to code enforcement officers, inspectors, magistrates. These are all a part of catering to “those who know better.” Infrastructure dollars, particularly maintenance dollars, will be a challenge. I haven’t looked at the feasibility study in detail, but I have to wonder about policing, for example. The sheriff will not normally police in the city without some form of agreement and compensation to do so. He certainly does not police in any of the other cities in Sarasota County. And Longboat, Venice and North Port all have their own Fire Rescue Departments. Is that next? As with most high-end beach communities, it might be difficult for a new town council to resist the temptation to cut off access from the mainland as a means of “controlling traffic” by suggesting a toll to get on the island and of course parking at the Siesta Beach parking lot and on all roads of Siesta Key. All speculation of course, but truisms in other beach communities. This all reminds me of when they put in an “only 15-cent toll” on our local bridge in my hometown of Rockaway Beach in Queens (Democratic controlled) -- before long it was dollars a trip, because government just can’t help itself. We are fortunate in Sarasota County. We have a good county commission with very good services that has not raised the millage rate in decades. They live within their means. Cities typically do not. In closing, the group behind the incorporation effort builds this all up by suggesting that the county is threatened by incorporation. Frankly, I doubt that is the case. I don’t think the county has a concern one way or the other. But by creating demons -- the county, the developers, those who dare to move here after you did -- is a way to try to rally folks to the flag. In this case, a false flag. (Dr. Gary Kompothecras is a local resident and business owner. A hotel project he proposed on Old Stickney Point Road has recently been approved by Sarasota County.)

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Incorporation

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Delegation said he went from a “hard no” to being “open-minded,” but warned a packed house during the closing moments of a town hall meeting that the idea won’t even get a look-see from state legislators because it involves an increase of taxes for those residing on the Key. “It’s highly doubtful the bill will get a hearing, because of the hardcore fiscal conservatives that won’t raise taxes,” said state Rep. Tommy Gregory, bringing a moan to a crowd of nearly 500 that packed a town hall meeting on Dec. 8 at Siesta Key Chapel that Gruters delivered, as promised, to gauge the interest of the community. To start the meeting, Gruters asked for a show of hands of who supported incorporation, with all but only five being raised. Three hands went up as undecided, and two went up in opposition. Later, after several citizen speakers, he declared “I’m with you – I’m going to be a yes vote,” as the crowd cheered. That only matters if the majority of the six-person delegation votes in favor of the incorporation bill at a Jan. 4 meeting. It is being held at 5:30 p.m. at the Sarasota County Administrative Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., and is open to the public. The delegation members are Gruters, McFarland, Gregory, state Rep. Michele Rayner, state Rep. James Buchanan, and state Rep. Will Robinson, the delegation’s chairman. Without delegation support, the Florida Legislature won’t consider the bill at its upcoming sessions which begin Jan. 11. Rayner and Buchanan were not present at the town hall meeting. Joining the balance of the delegation on stage was Sarasota County Board of Commissioners member Christian Ziegler, whose district includes the northern tip of Siesta Key. “It’s amazing to see how many citizens have turned out for a community event,” said Ziegler. Robinson, who has also publicly expressed doubts about the bill, told the audience that he hadn’t made up his mind and that he postponed what was originally thought to be a Dec. 13 delegation vote because he still has questions about Save Siesta Key’s required feasibility study and was still waiting to hear back from various state agencies regarding his concerns. “You have a very steep hill to climb,” Robinson said. As for McFarland, who represents the Key and in September suggested that Save Siesta Key leaders consider approaching the city of Sarasota for annexation, she first told the town-hall crowd that “I want to make sure this is not out of anger” in regard to the recent approval of two controversial hotels on the Key. And as for the Save Siesta Key projection that it can start a town with only a .25 mill tax levy – representing an annual $96.75 tax bill for the owner of a median-assessed value home on the Key of $440,062 – McFarland conceded that many residents are clearly willing to spend some extra money to become a town. “There might not be a price you’d put on incorporation,” she said. “Maybe even more than a quarter mill.” The last part of her comment drew some negative reactions from the crowd, which once again broke into the “let us vote!” chant that dominated the evening. In reaction to McFarland’s concern that the campaign was only about the new hotels, Save Siesta Key board member Tracy Jackson commented that “It’s event after event that we’re paying for and don’t want.” The incorporation team has

also voiced opposition to county decisions that allowed for the dredging of Big Pass and the green light for the massive Siesta Promenade project that is coming to the corner of Tamiami Trail and Stickney Point Road – the main gateway to the Key. Part pep rally and part inquisition, several speakers at the meeting voiced their frustration with government leaders. Aware that Save Siesta Key hired Tallahassee-based attorney Jon Moyle to serve as a lobbyist for the incorporation effort, resident Mike Cosentino turned toward the delegation members and told them “You should be our lobbyists.” Resident Jean Cannon asked them “What about our particular petition would cause you not to vote for it?” Harry Anand, another Save Siesta Key board member, reminded the delegation once again that group’s feasibility study had “no major red flags” and that it was thus the delegation’s duty to bring it to lawmakers for consideration. He noted that the estimated .25 mill rate was the lowest in the state. “The delegation should be proud,” he said of that number. He also re-emphasized that Siesta Key had $6 billion in assessed property value and brought Sarasota County 28% percent of its bed-tax revenue despite only representing 1.5% of the county’s population. The town hall event was sandwiched between two “walk and rally” outings that Save Siesta Key organized, where residents wearing incorporation-themed T-shirts and carrying signs first marched southbound from the public beach on Dec. 5. Roughly 120 people participated. A week later, a group of about 100 did the same, marching northbound into the Village as it chanted “Hear our voice!” and “Let us vote!” “Nothing means more to me than Siesta Key, and seeing all of these people walking with us, being energetic, and showing such passion about the love we all share for this beautiful place means the world to me as an ambassador,” said Ashley Cebak, one of Save Siesta Key’s volunteers. She also spoke at the town hall meeting. “At 31, I’m probably the youngest person here, but it’s not just about now. This is about Siesta Key’s future,” said Cebak, who inherited her grandmother’s condo at the Excelsior. “I want it to stay the same as much as possible – to be the place my family fell in love with.” Another rally is set for 11 a.m. Dec. 29 in downtown Sarasota at at the “Unconditional Surrender” statue in Bayfront Park. Earlier, on Dec. 2, Jackson reported at the Siesta Key Association’s monthly meeting that Save Siesta Key had surpassed its goal of 2,000 petitions – a number Gruters has said is critical in demonstrating community support. As for fundraising, $121,885 had been donated toward the group’s goal of $125,000. Siesta Key is Florida’s largest barrier island that is not its own municipality. If supported by the local delegation, and then approved by a state house and senate vote, then signed-off on by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a local referendum vote would then occur. The earliest Siesta Key could become a town is Dec. 31 of 2022. A new municipality hasn’t been approved since 2017, when Indiantown in Martin County got the nod. If an incorporation effort is denied, a minimum two-year wait is required before a new application is allowed.


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But because she was advised as a civil plaintiff to be in proximity of the violation for which she was suing, Ramirez limited her lawsuit to the 170-room hotel at Calle Miramar and Beach Road in Siesta Key Village, which is located less than a mile from her home. Ramirez urged both

participation and caution in the upcoming 2022 elections, where both chairman Alan Maio’s (District 4, including most of Siesta Key) and vice-chairman Christian Ziegler’s (District 2, including a small northern part of Siesta Key) seats will be up for grabs. “Please, someone, step up to

the plate. We need grassroots candidates who care about upholding the law and are not beholden to developers,” she said. “This is not about Siesta Key and hotels, this is about the county not following the law. If the commission thinks they can ignore the comprehensive plan, they’ll do

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it whenever they can. The county didn’t follow the procedure with Siesta Promenade. Now that they got away with that, they want to take it to the next level.” Previously approved by the county, Siesta Promenade will feature 414 apartments/ condominiums, a 130-room hotel, 133,000 square feet of retail space, and 7,000 square feet of office space. It is being built on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road across 24 acres. But there’s a catch: That project’s approval hinges on whether an additional traffic light is installed at Avenue B/Avenue C and Stickney Point Road, which brings us to our next lawsuit. Shortly after Ramirez filed her lawsuit, another Siesta Key resident filed a lawsuit on Nov. 29, this one by James Wallace, who has been a resident of Siesta Key since 1964. Wallace said he is also contesting the installation of the traffic light, but thus far has not been granted standing, or alleged a sufficient legal interest and injury to participate in the case. Wallace filed an appeal on this decision Dec. 15. “Even though there’s litigation, they have already started turning it into a full-blown intersection,” Wallace said. “If we win the lawsuit, they have to put it back the way it was.” Wallace’s hotel lawsuit targets both the 170-room Siesta Village hotel and Dr. Gary Kompothecras’ 120-room hotel and parking garage project at Old Stickney Point and

Peacock roads. Wallace was joined as plaintiffs by the Marina Del Sol condominium complex, located at 1312 Old Stickney Rd. near the Kompothecras project, and resident Robert Sax along with the 222 Beach Road Owners Association, located near the Calle Miramar project. In his complaint, Wallace alleges that the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) acted illegally and in violation of their own procedures by adopting the Land Development Code changes without first amending their Comprehensive Plan policy which limits hotel room density to a 26 units per acre maximum on Siesta Key. When the commission approved these hotels, they were selling public beach access as part of the proposal, when in fact there isn’t sufficient public access and the vast majority of beaches are private, Wallace said. “FDOT doesn’t have a land-use case for barrier islands,” he said. “They’ve done no traffic analysis whatsoever of the impact these hotels will have on pedestrians, especially at the corner of Old Stickney Point and Midnight Pass roads.” “Their behavior is just unbelievable,” said Wallace of the county commissioners, “and I for one am sick of it. People are going to die because of this; that’s negligence. How are you going to feel when it shows up in the paper that you were responsible for a decision that cost someone their life?”

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A concert 450 years in the making! Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, is back January 14 and 15 for Choral Splendor in 40 Parts, featuring over 40 voices of the Chamber Singers and special guest Les Canards Chantants, a solo-voice ensemble specializing in music of the Renaissance. Founded in England in 2011, Les Canards Chantants are now based in Philadelphia, where they are Ensemble in Residence at Glencairn Museum, and present concerts of renaissance polyphony at home and abroad. Innovative programs like 1.500 Surround Sound (an immersive polychoral experience), Dowland’s Table (Lute song choose-your-ownadventure) and Sex, Drugs and Madrigals (staged Italian madrigals) have cemented the ensemble’s reputation for daring and entertaining presentation in concert, and for engaging with the most unusual repertoire from the Renaissance. “We are excited to singing alongside of some of our country’s leading performers of this style,” said Maestro

Joseph Caulkins. “In addition to them being a special part of these incredible works for 40 or more voices, we will also get to hear them perform works as an ensemble by Gabrieli, Palestrina, and Victoria – all masters of the 16th century. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Experience a rare live performance of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium considered one of the greatest compositions of all time and Alessandro Striggio’s Mass in 40 parts, a masterpiece lost for more than 400 years! These masterpieces are scored for 40 independent vocal parts, and as many as 60 parts for Striggio’s final Agnus Dei – a feat unequaled to this day. Experience an unforgettable program of polychoral extravagance and unparalleled splendor. Performance Dates: Friday, January 14, 7:30 PM First Presbyterian Church Saturday, January 15, 4:00 PM St. Boniface Episcopal Church

For tickets, go to keychorale.org or call the box office at 941-552-8768. ADVERTORIAL

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Siesta shines bright during holiday parade The annual Light Up Siesta Key & Village Holiday Parade on Nov. 27 featured the usual seasonal favorites as Santa made his rounds, carolers sounded great, and vehicles and floats were as festive as ever.

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LIVE MUSIC, page 33

VILLAGE MAP, pages 24 -25

ACCOMMODATIONS, page 47

CRESCENT BEACH MAP, page 34 GULF GATE SHOPS, page 39

941.312.0665

Calling all ‘yogis’ Lynn Hagen’s free yoga classes are held Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesdays at sunset, on Siesta Beach By Jane Bartnett

A

s the light of day begins to fade, the sky over Siesta Beach takes on a soft, rosy glow. It’s that magic hour just before the sun sets. Quietly, a group gathered and placed yoga mats on the cool, white sand. Several feet behind the blue and green lifeguard stands near the main entrance to the public beach, a vertical flag waved in the soft breeze that simply read “Yoga.” Lynn Hagen, a trained, certified and insured yoga instructor, greeted her students. Many join her on the beach every week for her gentle yoga classes. Soft spa-like music from Hagen’s iPhone began to fill the air as a young couple visiting Siesta Key from Toronto asked if they could join the class. She welcomed them and they placed their towels on the sand. “This gentle yoga class is open to everyone,” she said to the group. “No

Lynn Hagen (foreground, above) leads her yoga class on Siesta Beach. (photos by Jane Bartnett)

reservations are required. The class is free, but tips are greatly appreciated.” For the next hour, the class followed Hagen’s instructions. “Do what you can,” she said. “You may find that by the end of our hour together you will feel more relaxed, more limber and more at peace.” As the class continued, the yoga moves became more intense. Although most of the class was able follow Hagen’s instruction and mirror her movements, others kept their own pace. “Look over your shoulder and enjoy the beauty of the beach and the setting sun,” she told the class as the sky became awash in shades of red, pink and blue. The natural beauty of Siesta Beach, along with the soothing music and the cool feel of the sand, created a truly Zen-like atmosphere. “This is a no-judgment time. This is your time and your space,” she said softly. At the close of the hourlong session, as the pink sky began to fade, Hagen instructed her students as they lay on their mats facing the sky to “clear your mind and feel the air around you. Namaste.” As the class dispersed, students thanked Hagen

and asked about her morning classes. All agreed that they would return. “My goal,” Hagen said later, “is to get my ‘yogis’ to live in the moment, practice their breath, and use proper alignment.” A career educator from Delaware, Hagen relocated to Sarasota in May of 2020. In addition to spending 27 years as an elementary school teacher, she has also taught fitness classes at major sports facilities such as Esporta Fitness, Gold’s Gym and LA Fitness. After taking a year-long certification class she became a certified and insured yoga instructor. “I’ve always been passionate about fitness, positive behaviors and attitudes,” she said. “I began teaching fitness classes in step and aerobics when I was 18. Yoga fills a need for our minds, bodies and soul. It’s important,” Hagen noted, “to find some time for yourself and to calm the mind. That’s the beauty of yoga.” When she began her own yoga business in Sarasota that she calls Tranquility by the Sea, Hagen secured a permit from Sarasota County Parks & Recreation so that she could offer her yoga lessons on the beach. In June, Hagen began her classes. She has made the blue and green lifeguard stands a landmark for her sessions. Continued on page 27

Don’t Waste Your Island Time Crossing Bridges! We are conveniently located just a few steps from Crescent Beach and minutes away from anywhere on the Key.

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Island Chatter Next time you visit the aluminum sea turtle sculpture at Siesta Beach for a recycling deposit, you can say “thanks, Turbo.” That’s name that given to the recepticle that made its debuit in April. Students from the Sarasota County Cummer Camp Program submitted drawings and voted on suggested names, and Turbo received 32 of the 58 votes.

Big G’s Oyster Happy Hour from 3-6 Every day 1/2 Priced House Oysters

Sarasota’s Key Chorale, an award-winning symphonic chorus, will present Choral Splendor in 40 Parts at 4 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd., on Siesta Key. Special guest Les Canards Chantants, an American solo-voice ensemble specializing in music of the Renaissance, will join 40 Key Chorale vocalists as they perform rarely heard music. Tickets are $40. Visit keychorale. org for more information.

Shorebirds tour is Feb. 8

Get to know Siesta Key shorebirds with a guided walk on Siesta Beach with the Sarasota Audubon Society from 8 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 8. The event is free.

Meet at the pavillion on the north end of the main Siesta Beach parking lot, 948 Beach Rd.

Shell Show is Feb. 11, 12

The annual Shell Show, presented by the Sarasota Shell Club, will be held Feb. 11 and 12 in the Potter Building at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, 2896 Ringling Blvd. Join in this two-day “shellabration” that will include the chance to purchase exotic and rare shells from around the world. There will be shell-crafting demonstrations and activities for the kids. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for students ages 12 to 18. Children 11 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Visit sarasotashellclub.com. Continued on next page

• Organic and Fair Trade Coffees & Teas • Cold Pressed Coffee • Organic Smoothies • Light Lunch (Sandwiches) • Breakfast Sandwiches, Bagels & Lox • Homemade Pastries

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ACCOMMODATIONS Beach Palms ........................................................ B-#74 Siesta Key Beach Resort & Spa............. Map-A #38A ATM / BANKS PNC ATM........................................... Map-C #61 Sun Trust Bank & ATM.......................Map-E #4 BARS & NIGHTCLUBS Blase Café..........................................Map-A #38 Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar.............. Map-B #42-43 Gilligan’s........................................... Map-B #33 My Village Pub............................ Map-C #53/54 Siesta Key Oyster Bar...................... Map-B #45 The Beach Club.................................. Map-D #22 The Cottage........................................ Map-C #58 The Hub-Baja Grill............................ Map-D #59

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LIQUOR STORES / FINE WINES Gabbiano’s Wine Club....................Map-D #70 Gilligan’s........................................... Map-B #33 Siesta Key Wine Bar........................ Map-C #61 Siesta Village Liquors..................... Map-C #26 The Beach Club.................................. Map-D #22

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MISCELLANEOUS Chamber of Commerce...................Map-D #67 Prime Audio Video..............................Map-E #1 Roberti Enterprises........................... Map-A #39 Village Arcade................................... Map-C #53 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Attorney Fleming.................................Map-E #1 Edward Jones Investments.............Map-D #68 Smith Architects................................... Map-E 74 REAL ESTATE / RENTAL SERVICES Amy Robinson RE................................Map-E #1 Beach Palms................................................... B-74 Coldwell Banker Realty.................... Map-D #20 EXP Realty............................................Map-E #4 Judith Guzzi & Assoc........................Map-E #74 Keller Williams Real Estate.............. Map-D #11 Michael Saunders Realty.................Map-E #72 ReMax Alliance Group................... Map-C #29 RentSiestaKey.com.............................. Map-D #9 Robasota Rentals & Real Estate....... Map-A #39 Siesta Key Rental Prop..................... Map-D #10 The Ringling Beach House Rentals......Map-D #9 Tropical Sands Accommodations....... Map-D #67

GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Beach Bazaar..................................... Map-C #28 Gilligan’s Gift Store...........................Map-B #32 Island Trader...................................... Map-C #51 Sea Pleasures & Treasures............... Map-C #29 Siesta Key Outfitters........................Map-D #13

ICE CREAM/SWEETS Big Olaf Creamery............................ Map-C #52 Curly Cream Ice Cream...................... Map-D #9 Local Chill Ice Cream......................Map-D #60 Made in Rome Organic Gelato........ Map-C #53 Meany’s Mini Donuts....................... Map-C #24 Stefano Versace Gelato..................... Map-C #50 SubZero Ice Cream/Yogurt............. Map-D #16 The Fudge Factory............................ Map-A #36

OPEN DAILY 8 AM - 2 PM

MEDICAL - DENTAL Siesta Village Dentistry.................... Map-D #63 Siesta Dental........................................Map-B #49 Siesta Key Physical Therapy............ Map-D #20

GAS STATION Circle K Store........................................Map-E #6

HEALTH & FITNESS Indep. Lifestyle Solutions ............... Map-D #10 Siesta Healing...................................... Map-D #9 Siesta Key Fitness............................ Map-B #73 Studio Yooga ................................... Map-B #51

5-7 PM Daily

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FASHION & ACCESSORIES Beach Bazaar’s & Swin Shack........ Map-C #28 Blvd. Beachwear.................................Map-B #30 Casa Smeralda Fashion’Style............. D #12-11 Comfort Shoes-Birki & More........Map-D #64 Foxy Lady Fashions.........................Map-A #40 Ganja Mon Vibes................................. Map-D #9 Gidget’s Coastal Provisions........... Map-B #44 Island Boutique..................................Map-B #50 Island Style......................................... Map-C #53 Lilly Pulitzer.....................................Map-D #66 Sea Shanty.......................................... Map-C #24 Siesta T’s..............................................Map-B #30 The Sandal Factory............................Map-B #46

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MARKETS/FOOD STORES Circle K Store........................................Map-E #6 Morton’s Siesta Market................... Map-C #25

DRUGSTORE Davidson Drugs...............................Map-D #65

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RESTAURANTS / CAFÉS Another Broken Egg................ Map-C #54 & 55 Blasé Café..........................................Map-A #38 Bonjour French Cafe......................... Map-C #47 Café Gabbiano..................................Map-D #71 Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar.............. Map-B #42-43 Flavio’s Brick Oven & Bar.................Map-B #29 Flavio’s Italiano Ristorante...............Map-B #30 Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill......... Map-B #33 Island House Bar & Grill................Map-D #69 Lobster Pot......................................... Map-C #23 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company........ Map-B #31 Old Salty Dog Rest. & Pub..................Map-E #2 PI Pizza & Craft Beer........................Map-A#37 Ripfire Pizza........................................Map-B #47 Siesta Key Oyster Bar...................... Map-B #45 IL PANCIFICO.................................Map-D #15 Subway Sandwiches..........................Map-B #30 Summer House.................................. Map-C #57 Sun Garden Café............................... Map-D #19 The Cottage........................................ Map-C #58 The Hub - Baja Grill.......................... Map-C #59 The Seafood Joint.............................Map-D #15 The Star Thai Sushi.................. Map-D #17 & 18 Village Café.......................................Map-D #14 SPAS - HAIR & BEAUTY Sassy Hair Salon...............................Map-A #40 Sassy ... the Little Day Spa.............Map-D #62 Siesta Key Nails & Spa.....................Map-D #9 Shaman Sanctuary Salon.................... Map-D #9 SPORTS INTEREST/RENTALS CaliFlorida.......................................... Map-C #29 Robin Hood Rentals........................ Map-B #34

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Daily Drink Specials

Continued from previous page

The record for sale price of a Siesta Key property has been smashed. On Dec. 9, the house known as “Aquadisia” sold for $14 million. It breaks the local record of $11.85 million that was established in 2014 with the same home. The 3.76-acre estate runs across three parcels in the gated Sanderling Club, located on the Key’s south end. The addresses involved are 7711, 7712, and 7660 Sanderling Rd., and the property includes 528 feet of beach frontage. The house, which was designed in 1999 by architect Guy Peterson in his minimalistic-yet-modern style, boasts 6,480 square feet. A guest house offers another 2,616 square feet. Realtor Donna Wright-Morgan of Coldwell Banker listed the property on July 29. She also represented the owners when they were buyers last year, when they paid $10.5 million for the property. “Two once-in-a-lifetime deals for me,” she said of her accomplishment. “It was a pleasure working with these people.” The $10.5 million purchase in 2020 at the time tied second-best on the Key. In 2019, a property at 3799 Flamingo Ave. also went for that price. Sarasota County’s highest sale is a tie at $16.5 million for a home on Casey Key (2021) and one on Longboat Key (2020). -- John Morton

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WHAT BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY IN PARADISE!

Siesta Key Oyster Bar, or “SKOB” as the locals call it, is the hangout with the laid-back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. One of the things that set SKOB apart from the other restaurants in Siesta Key Village is that we have some of the best food on the Key.

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Island Chatter

Continued from page 5

Key Chorale performs at St. Boniface on Jan. 15

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Turtle’s name is Turbo

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Saba Sands setback variance approved supervisor for nesting and endangered birds, agreed. “Many people come from miles around to see the snowy plover, which is protected by federal law,” he said. “Harming or disturbing these birds, their eggs or their young is punishable by five years in prison or a $5,000 fine.” Siesta Key resident Patricia Petroff told the commission that historically, a single-family

dwelling was considered to be a reasonable use for the property at 636 Beach Rd. And that is what exists there now. “You denied this variance in 2020,” she said. “I’m asking you to do it again.” Dan Lobeck is a land-use attorney representing Tivoli by the Sea Condominium Association Inc., a condominium located directly across Beach Road from

www.siestasand.us

Continued from page 8

the property in question, with a private beach access path that runs just north of it. Lobeck said the new construction would impair the beach views of his clients. “To grant a beach setback variance, it must be determined that it is the minimum variance necessary to permit reasonable use of the property,” he said. “It was determined in 1998 that this house

was that minimum variance. And the facts haven’t changed.” According to Lobeck, the property is valued at $7.2 million. The proposed resolution was for construction of a new three-story multi-family residential structure, rooftop pool, and pervious paver driveway a maximum of 168.75 feet seaward of the gulf beach setback line at 636 Beach Rd. The county commission passed the resolution

4-1, with Detert proffering the only no vote. A number of people were visibly and audibly not pleased with the decision, prompting Maio to say: “If you’re unhappy, please go outside and express your unhappiness. We’re just not impressed if you want to start a fight. We’re not going to fight, OK? That goes for the petitioner too. Please leave quietly.”

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Siesta Beach yoga

Continued from page 23

As the new year begins, on Tuesday, Jan. 4 she will begin offering an 8:30 a.m. beach yoga class that will be held every Tuesday and Thursday for the next six months. On Wednesday evenings, beginning at 5 p.m., yogis of all levels are invited to join her for her sunset beach yoga class. “The start time of my sunset class shifts

with the sunset,” Hagen said, noting that as the sun begins to set later in the day, the start time of her class will also begin at a later time. Although all of her morning and evening beach yoga classes are offered for free, Hagen gladly accepts donations before or after the class. Hagen also offers private yoga sessions

to small or large groups of people upon request, for a fee. “Recently, Hagen reported, “I held a private yoga session for a bachelorette party on the beach and a yoga session for a brunch at a private house.” Hagen’s Facebook page, Tranquility by the Sea, has updated information on her class

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times as well as her contact information. “Yoga,” she said, “helps to strengthen the body. Especially these days, we all need to take a little time for ourselves to find some peace of mind. There’s truly nothing better than practicing yoga on the most beautiful beach around.”

Spa Experience Siesta Key

Maintain that Youthful Look with Microcurrent Treatments Microcurrent Facials are a powerful anti-aging treatment that tightens and tones facial muscles and stimulates the lymph and blood flow to the face and neck, restoring suppleness and a youthful glow while tightening the facial muscles. This machine based treatment sends electrical impulses of very low voltage but high frequency through the skin resulting in a more youthful appearance. Crow’s feet begin to disappear, eyebrows lift, and cheekbones are more defined. Clients normally fall asleep during the facial as it is extremely relaxing and painless. There is no downtime and clients may go outside with no concerns after treatments. Spa Director, Connie Lewis has been performing micro-current facials since 2005 after learning the technology during her studies at Fashion Focus Academy where she earned her Facial Specialist Certification. “I was so ‘wowed’ by the results I personally experienced on my own face I immediately acquired the machine right out of school,” says Lewis. Results of the treatments are cumulative and the best visible results are after a series of 5- 10 treatments then monthly or weekly treatments are recommended depending on skin condition and desired result. The system is completely safe and treatment is non-invasive. The current is extremely low, less than the output of a pacemaker. The system operates on a per-programmed setting and contains calibrated internal data monitoring and resistance meters. This allows full comfort to the client as well as optimal performance and results for the operator.

Microcurrent treatments are usually performed within 45-60 minutes, and are usually prescribed in a series of 6 to 12 treatments over a course of 60 days with one to two treatments a week recommended for maximum results. The number of sessions in a series is specific to each client. Once the series is complete, a monthly “booster” treatment is required to maintain results. Our non-invasive treatment usually offers noticeable results even after just one session and effectively gives you the benefit of a nonsurgical alternative to a facelift. Like exercise for the other parts of the body, the facial muscles need a regular workout to achieve good muscle tone. Muscle reeducation by microcurrent is often referred to as “sculpting” and “lifting.” The lifting and strengthening action have an accumulative effect on the face with each systematic series of treatments, increasing the holding action of the muscles. Through repeated sessions, facial muscles will hold their tone. Just like the stomach muscles will “re-tone” after repeated sessions of sit-ups. During the initial program, we recommend one to two visits a week with the total number depending on the individual needs. A typical course of treatment will range from six to twelve sessions. And after that a visit once a month is usually all that is required to maintain good facial muscle tone and youthful appearance. When you stop exercising the body, over a period of time the muscle will lose their increased tone and return to a more flaccid state. The same is true for the face. It will not suddenly “fall,” but overtime will begin to resume its normal aging process. Most individuals will see immediate changes in ADVERTORIAL

2022 “Tweet Life” Calendar: Buy Today at Siesta Sand Online Store

The beautiful birds of Siesta Key are featured in a custom 2022 Tweet Life calendar. Jan Baumgartner’s photography of Siesta Key’s birds is something to enjoy throughout the year. $20 plus shipping handling. Go to siesta-sand-store.myshopify.com to buy your Tweet Life 2022 calendar today.

facial contour after the first treatment. Your skin specialist can lift half of your face to show you the difference compared to the other side. But the improvement is increasingly obvious over a period of time with the series of sessions. Results depend significantly on the individual’s age and lifestyle. What can microcurrent do for you? Originally developed for treating facial palsy, microcurrent in the esthetic realm can: • Re-educate muscles • Increase blood and lymph circulation • Enhance the penetration of the active ingredients of skin care formulations • Increase the production of collagen and elastin • Increase protein synthesis, gluconeogenesis and cell membrane transport. Additionally, research has shown that microcurrent may help with anti-aging at an even deeper level. In 1982, researcher Ngok Cheng led a study that provided hard evidence of microcurrent’s role in cellular vitality by proving that microcurrent increased levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in lab-rat skin cells by 500 percent. ATP is the fuel a cell needs to function. Actually, ATP is a really big deal as it is the energy that fuels all biochemical functions in the body. It boosts protein synthesis, necessary for tissue repair. If you are interested in seeing the results on yourself, you can book an appointment online at www.MassageexperienceSK.com or by calling 941-349-4833. Massage Experience, Siesta Key is conveniently located at 5700 Midnight Pass Road, Suite 4B, Siesta key (next door to the fire station). Go to spaexperiencesiestakey.com to book your appointment or call 941-350-7495.


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Siesta Sand

JANUARY 2022

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Mind Body Soul: Whole Wellness By Dolores Day “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the now the primary focus of your life.” -- Eckhart Tolle

T

his is not another read on the importance of New Year resolutions or an inspiring new year post to help stress the importance of goal setting. Mostly because I know that this beginning-year ritual has created an unhealthy pattern that has led many of us no closer to our goals. It may even prevent us from cultivating and harnessing the real power that is found in the NOW to make lasting changes. The idea of starting fresh and new is idealistic because in our mind we are moving beyond the past year’s trials, tribulations and reminders of what we did not accomplish. Indeed, there is new found hope that can be found. However, don’t we get offered a new day to start again with every passing morning? Isn’t it true that every day is a gift and a renewal? We needn’t wait for a specific date on a 12-month calendar to inspire us to make lifestyle changes or wait 11 more months to try again. I believe the best time to begin anything new, add a new healthy habit, or adopt any new practice is Now. Right now! Right in the moment we are generating the idea that this might be just the thing we need to do in order to live our best life. There is strength, energy and excitement to be found during the very ancestor of our thoughts. If this is how we begin to condition our brain, imagine how the act of procrastination slowly begins to wean from our habitual patterns. We must acknowledge that we may not get to January 1st at all and if that would be the case, why would we have wasted so many days

postponing life when we could have used those days to gain momentum in the direction of our goals. We all wish to achieve what our life has to offer. We all want to feel good and live our best life. However, the very act of waiting to take action seems preposterous when all we really have is right now! The most powerful thing you can do is make a decision to change. Take personal responsibility and make a commitment to yourself. Not to others but to your best self! Make the commitment NOW to show up as your best self, to live your best life, and to make the most of the gifts you have been born with. Commitment is the secret sauce! It may seem scary but when we commit out loud and say yes to life and say yes to living the best version of ourselves, something changes. It is as if we awaken our real self that has been asleep within. Until then we have been living a life of the ordinary. But to live a life of the extraordinary we must do something different, something extra. We must show up different

for ourselves daily, consistently. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to live a life that we love. And it never happens by accident. It happens because one makes a decision either out of desperation or inspiration to change, improve, and grow. Don’t wait for desperation. Don’t wait for a new year day. Let the best self that is already within us hear our commitment and take immediate action! So go ahead, take the walk, sign up for the class, meet in the new group, write down a new grocery list that excludes processed foods and sugar, and create a new branding plan for your business. There is never a better time than right now. The power exists here not in the future. It is begging for us to take full advantage of every day and use the energy that exists in the moment to do one baby step, one small action, however little it be to accomplishing our desires. After all, these daily satisfactions we receive from the little tasks are the reward. The statistics of people who wait until the new year and fail to complete their goal to start anew are staggering. Why become one of these statistics? As this year continues and every day you are given expands, let us change our mindset to use each day to its fullest by taking advantage of the NOW. Tomorrow may not be here. Yesterday is for sure gone for good. But the now, this is where our power will always come from. We needn’t wait for a new year, only a new day to add, however small, something new, that will push the needle just a little bit closer to living our best life. (De Day is an empowerment life coach. Connect more on Instagram @ de.day.love or at www.de-day.com.)

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Condos flip the switch for a festive island Decoration winners are Siesta Harbor, Aloha Kai, Sandpiper Beach Club, and Sea Shell Condominiums By Jane Bartnett ’Twas the season for Siesta Key condominiums to light up the night with beautiful and creative displays of whimsy and color in celebration of the holidays. On Dec. 6, as night fell, an intrepid group of Siesta Key judges boarded the Siesta Breeze trolley at Davidson Plaza ready to head out to cast its ballots for the finest light displays in all the land. The Siesta Key Condominium Council’s 2021 Holiday Lighting Contest, co-sponsored by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, had returned. Hilla Blatt, chair of the contest committee, explained that although there were fewer entries this year than in 2019 when the event last took place, the beauty of the displays was as cheerful and happy as ever. The contest is now in its fifth year. It was clear that the condominium elves had been very busy in the days following Thanksgiving and the judges had a tough job in selecting the top holiday displays. As the trolley made its way through Siesta Key Village and down Midnight Pass Road, the judges were treated to sights of brilliantly lit reindeer and snowmen standing guard along the roadway. Palms were lit in bright white at their bases as shimmering emerald green lights created twinkling crowns for the majestic trees. Nancy Jo Manney of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce noted that the beautiful annual light displays brighten the lives of everyone who visits, lives and works on Siesta Key. “When you light up Siesta Key it’s all components. It’s our condominiums getting involved in the festivities. This is what makes visitors want to come to Siesta Key,” she exclaimed. During a trolley stop at Siesta Harbor, the judges were invited to see the magnificent light displays on the condominiums and boats that graced the sides of the canal. As luck would have it, Siesta Harbor was having its holiday party that night and the guest of honor was Santa himself. The judges spotted the white-bearded fellow sporting his classic red suit, having a jolly good time as he danced to the holiday music. Santa wished everyone on Siesta Key a wonderful “Ho ho holiday!” season. When all of the condominiums had been judged, the trolley returned to Davidson Plaza and the judges turned in their votes. In the following days, the ballots were tallied by the Condominium Council. In the category of 100 units and more, Siesta Harbor took the top prize. Siesta Dunes and Excelsior scored in second and third place, respectively. In the second category of 51 to 100 units, Aloha Kai placed first. Casablanca won the second prize and Bay Oaks placed third. In the final category of 50 units and under, the Sandpiper Beach Club and Sea Shell tied for first place, and Siesta Royale took the No. 3 position.

Left and clockwise, the lights shined bright at Siesta Harbor, Aloha Kai, Sea Shell, and Sandpiper condo complexes. All were winners in their respective categories for the annual decorations contest judged by the Siesta Key Condominium Council. (photos by Trebor Britt)

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Arts on the Horizon By Rodger Skidmore It will be a good New Year

H

ow do we know? Well, for starters, last year is over. And, Rachmaninoff is alive and well, and will be here in Sarasota this month. Well, at least his fingers will be -- in that Garrick Ohlsson will be performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Sarasota Orchestra and will be, to the best of his ability, channeling that great composer. Or, Heavens to Betsy, perhaps adding a new level on interpretation. Mr. Ohlsson has been interpreting all the great composers since winning the triple crown (first place in the Chopin, Busoni and Montreal piano competitions). He did not win any awards in the Oswego, New York piano competition, but only because there never was such a competition. If there had been one, everyone is sure that he would have come in first, by at least half a length. In 2015, the Washington Post wrote that Rachmaninoff’s third was his “most difficult work” and is “40 minutes of fingertwitching madness.” In the movie Shine, the actor Geoffrey Rush portrays the pianist, David Helfgott, as he goes mad learning that piece for a piano competition. When Mr. Ohlsson arrives for his threeday stint in Sarasota he will be “on tour” from here to California. But have no fear, he will not be playing the Rack 3 every day -- a person could go mad doing that. Jeffrey Kahane, music director of the Sarasota Music Festival (June of 2022), having not much to do in January, will be directing the Sarasota Orchestra as they perform the Rachmaninoff (Ohlsson will not be doing the concerto as a solo). As a filler piece, just to have something to do while Mr. Ohlsson is warming up, Kahane will also be directing the orchestra as they perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. The orchestra will not be playing any Schubert, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, or

Mozart on Jan. 7, 8 or 9, during this concert at the Van Wezel. To hear those composers, in a more intimate chamber setting, simply go to Holley Hall on Jan. 23 (Schubert/ Mendelssohn) and/or the 27th (Beethoven/ Mozart). If you go on the 27th you will get to hear a bonus piece (“Street Song” by Michael Tilson Thomas). All info at Sarasotaorchestra.org. Want more? The Sarasota Orchestra will be performing Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Smith on Feb. 3 to 6. Special treat: Augustin Hadelich performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with guest conductor Yaniv Dinur.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare said “The play’s the thing”

And, in January, that is exactly right. So, if you’re looking for something grand, Grand Horizons may be just the play for you. Remember that Grant Wood painting where the really jolly farm couple (he with his pitchfork at the ready) are staring out at you? You may have some thoughts about what they think of the world, but what do they think of each other? That’s the thing that this play is all about. In the painting he was bald and looked a bit dried up, while she had her lips pursed -- but with that blonde hair (bleached?) maybe she was from Chicago, and not born and bred in Iowa. What gives with these people -- what happens to them when retirement brings them to sunny Florida? And what of those farm animals that they left behind -- their two sons -- what do they think? Bess Wohl’s play is not just dealing with the viewpoint of someone who lives in the Midwest and how that viewpoint has changes when they moved to Florida, but with the greater idea of how it changed from when they were 18 to how it is now when they are 80. Perhaps many of us can relate to that. Everyone who is 80 once was 18 -- the question is, do we remember how we felt back then? Or has our memory changed as we aged so that we think we remember that

we always thought the way we do now? Celine Rosenthal, artistic director of the FSU/Asolo Repertory Theatre, is directing Ms. Wohl’s play, which opens on Jan. 21 and runs through April 1 at the Mertz Theatre. “Two Americans .... head into Hitchcock territory” -- “a taut edgy thriller” -- “a portrait of a marriage coming undone” -- “a stylish psychological thriller.” They all are quotes for earlier productions of an Amy Herzog play that is at the FSU/Cook Theatre, Jan. 4 through 23. What is interesting is that both this play, Belleville, and the above-mentioned Grand Horizons, are kinda-sorta about the same subject -- a married couple, neither of them really knowing the person to whom they are married. The difference being that one is a comedy and the other is, well, a bit darker. But then, maybe, that is just the difference

between sunny Florida and Paris when it drizzles. The actors in Belleville are all third-year students in the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training graduate program and thus will be actors to watch, not just this month, but on stages across the country in the future. So much for couples that are dysfunctional. How about an entire town that does not know who they are, where they are going, or where they’ve been? Back in 1938, when we were drifting toward World War II -- although most of mainstream America did not seem to be clued into that concept -- Thornton Wilder wrote the Pulitzer Prize-for-drama-winning play Our Town, letting everyone know how wonderful and exceptional everyone was. According to one website, the major themes of the play were “mortality, appreciating life, companionship and marriage, love, and the circle of life.” How could they have left out “apple pie”? The play takes place in 1901 and opens with the milkman and paperboy making their morning deliveries. The stage direction specifies that there be no props, so there is no horse, wagon or newspapers. This is either because the play was written during the depression and they were saving money, or there were supply chain issues. Surely many can relate to those times. And if you can, the Asolo Rep production of Our Town will be running from Jan. 12 through March 26. Info for all three plays at Asolorep.org.

Murder, She Wrote

Or was it Murder, She Did? Or was it a murder at all? This kind of tale would make a great three-part serious BBC drama, but let’s make it a musical taking place in Live Oaks, Florida. (“Live Oaks just means Dead Folks where we come from” would make a good promo line.) There’s nothing like a plot where a rich woman kills her doctor. This made all the newspapers back in 1952 and was covered by Zora Neal Hurston. Probably because alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, paternity issues, money, the IRS, and politics were involved. Book, music, lyrics, arrangements, and direction for Ruby were done in some combination by Nate and Michael Jacobs, Brennan Stylez, and Antonio Wimberly. It should have run in April and May of 2020, but, you know, things happened. So, this world premiere will run from Jan. 12 through Feb. 27 at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s showplace on North Orange. More info at Westcoastblacktheatre.org.


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JANUARY 2022

Letter to the editor After reading Phil Colpas’ article on property lines from the November Siesta Sand paper about Siesta Key beaches, I decided to bring a tape measure and see if there truly was 20 to 25 feet of beach available to non-condo owners on the beach. The first place I measured was Midnight Cove. Its flags were placed within 17 feet of the first water mark on the beach. As I walked further south toward the “Ask Gary” house, I noticed that the timeshare properties had flags into the water line. Upon walking toward the public beach , I noticed that the blue shirt security team of El Presidente was shooing away people who had set up chairs in the water. The security guards said that they have water rights into the water and threatened the beach-goers with arrest if they did not move away. I’m an owner at Midnight Cove II that is across the street from the beach. We have our own private access code to the beach walkway. So, from what I saw on Nov. 19 is nowhere close to what your article states is available to the general public. Siesta Key has a public beach access at the Stickney Point bridge. Does that mean that the visitors that come from the beach access have to walk a full mile or so to the public beach? Once the new hotels are built, there will be uprisings from the hotel owners and guests about the flag placements. I suggest a workable compromise should be worked out now instead of waiting for the hotels to come. A few days later, my wife and I went to Marco Island. We stayed near the South Beach. There was public access everywhere and no markings of any condos on the beach claiming that they owned the beach rights. How is it that Siesta Key can keep visitors off the beach, yet Marco Island freely welcomes beach-goers?

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Happiness is...Seeing Old Friends As we ring in a new year it is a great time to reflect on all the good things that the prior year has given us. Things like getting to see family again and a deeper appreciation for each other.

-- John Wright Jerry and Jill Williams, owners of Abel’s Ice Cream

The new year is also a perfect time to look forward to what lies ahead. The team at Abel’s Ice cream are excited to see their family of customers in the coming months. “A new year is always like a family reunion around

here,” said Jerry Williams, owner of Abel’s. “This year will be even more special as we anticipate getting to visit once again with our Canadian and overseas family of customers.” Abel’s is celebrating having them back with a seasonal favorite, Peppermint Ice Cream (Refreshing and vibrant; peppermint ice cream filled with peppermint candy.) Spend some special time with your favorite people over a cup or cone of delicious award-winning ice cream at

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This one’s for not just the birds Our ‘Tweet Life’ photographer creates a fine-feathered calendar Jan Baumgartner’s gorgeous photos of all things birdies on Siesta Key is coming to life larger than ever in the form of a 2022 calendar. A Siesta Sand contributor for nearly a year, her one-of-a-kind offerings stand out as favorite among readers. See her most recent one to the right. “What started out as a personal, vacation pastime — capturing bird images in their natural habitat, undisturbed — turned into much more with the encouragement of friends and family,” said Baumgartner, whose notecard-style images are on sale locally. Originally, the northern Illinois resident started her creations with just herself in mind. “Having visited Siesta Key since 2009, I looked for this kind of photo card because I wanted to enjoy a high-quality bird photo long after my vacation was over. My handmade card format evolved out of that desire,” she said. Starting with seven different birds on 13 cards, next thing Baumgartner knew she had 30 different birds on more than 50 cards. A calendar was a natural next step, given the feedback she was getting. “The last quarter of 2021 saw many art-and-craft shows return to northern Illinois as pandemic restrictions loosened, so I gave in-person direct sales

a try,” she said. “My bird notecards and other related products debuted at two holiday art-and-craft shows. “My products received a very warm reception. It was fascinating to discover how many attendees either knew of Siesta Key or had strong connections to it through family, time-shares, or second homes. I hadn’t expected my tropical coastal birds to be so popular in the northern latitudes, but they were!” The calendar features some of her favorite birds. She appreciates them all, especially knowing what she goes through to get such vivid images. “The vast majority of my training and experience is in studio portrait photography where my subjects aren’t 50 yards away from me, moving at 30 miles per hour,” Baumgartner said. “It was a real switch for me to approach the birds on their terms and on their turf, using only the available light. It can be punishing to be out in the high heat and humidity (which I’m not at all accustomed to), hauling a tripod and gear off the beaten path — sometimes in sand, sometimes in dense vegetation, sometimes in mud. It’s definitely a game of patience, perseverance, and learning about where the hot spots are for bird activity.” See the advertisement on page 27 of this issue to get details on how to purchase the calendar, or visit siesta-sand-store.myshopify.com.

Ring-billed gull

Larus delawarensis This member of the gull and tern family sports a yellow bill with a narrow black racing stripe of sorts. Although the ring-billed gull has a reputation for chillaxing with Siesta Key’s devoted sunworshippers, it can swiftly snatch up a dropped potato chip in the blink of an eye! An agile flyer, the ring-billed gull’s natural diet includes fish skimmed in flight from the warm gulf waters surrounding the Key.

Thanks to a built-in compass guiding its annual migration, this gull — like so many Siesta Key vacationers — finds its way back to the same nesting place year after year. From Siesta Beach, this fine specimen seems to gaze contemplatively into the setting sun just above the gulf horizon. Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at BLVD Beachwear, 5239 Ocean Blvd., and Shelly’s Gift and Christmas Boutique, 4420 S. Tamiami Tr.

Blooming this month: Cuban buttercup

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These yellow, five-petaled, buttercup-like flowers bloom prolifically on this butterfly bush. Commonly called Cuban buttercup or yellow alder and botanically called Turnera ulmifolisa. These growing buttercup bushes provides continued blossoms. They create great ground cover and serve as small bushes that brighten bare spots in the landscape with bright yellow flowers that bloom in the morning and last all day. The rewards of growing buttercup bushes are abundant

flowers and the attractive, oval-shaped, serrated evergreen foliage. The Cuban buttercup attracts pollinator butterflies and bees. This bush reaches about 2 to 3 feet in height and width, and is a nice addition in a butterfly garden. This is a drought-resistant plant and grows best in full sun. It’s currently in bloom in the Butterfly Garden at Sarasota Garden Club. 1131 Boulevard of the Arts.

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Getting Your Phil

JANUARY 2022

T

immediately begin thinking of ways to be subversively apolitical. (Not that I would do that here. I mean that would be ... deceptive.) Here are some other curated tidbits of information about yours truly: • I’ve looked into the face of death and laughed. It was a Woody Allen-sounding laugh. But I think the important thing here is the laughter. • I have the appetites of Henry VIII but lack his infrastructure. • I owe my salty, makes-a-sailorlook-like-a-choirboy vocabulary to the late great comedian Richard Pryor, and his streetwise philosopher character Mudbone. • Not raised with organized religion (thank God), I thought the title character of the long-running Broadway hit Jesus Christ Superstar was “the King of the Juice.” • And finally: I’m old enough to know better. But young enough to try it one more time. Get your stream on In these days of streaming content, one not only has to find something to watch, but also how to watch it. It’s the modern version of channel surfing, except instead of a hundred or so channels with nothing on, now there are countless

Politically incorrect In writing this column, I have to abide by certain rules. For example: Don’t be overtly political. But as a contrarian, I hear that and

Casa Smeralda When she and her husband first came to Siesta Key in 1989 from Switzerland, the couple discovered the sleepy beach hamlet while visiting their son, a tennis player and student who was attending the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton. The couple were enchanted by Siesta Key and

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By Phil Colpas

Welcome to the ‘gig economy’ he powers that be are calling our current state of affairs a “gig economy,” which means many people now work several parttime jobs with no benefits rather than a single full-time job with ever-decreasing benefits. The choice of the term “gig economy” is amusing to me as a musician. If my band books a show or performance, for example, it is referred to as “a gig.” Now, a lot more people are getting paid like musicians. At any rate, in this so-called gig economy, I must wear many hats. In no particular order, I am: a freelance content creator in the healthcare IT space; a reporter and columnist for this newspaper; and a musician (guitar instructor, bandleader, singer/songwriter). And thanks to my endless predilection for self-delusion, I still entertain rock and roll fantasies.

27th State Media LLC

streams of content. Good luck finding something worthwhile. To that end, I recently discovered, located and watched the 2019 PBS Ken Burns documentary, “Country Music” -all eight parts (yes, eight, and each is close to two hours long). So, while the 2019 doc is quite lengthy, it’s so well paced and packed with music and entertaining anecdotes that it doesn’t drag. And it is chock full of interesting information. For instance: Hank Williams, the “Hillbilly Shakespeare” himself, learned from an African-American bluesman named Rufus “Tee Tot” Payne, while Jimmie Rodgers, known as “the Father of Country Music,” had bluesmen mentors of his own. Employing the KISS philosophy (“Keep It Simple Stupid”), bluegrass performers were fond of saying, “Keep it close to the ground boys!” And as a reminder to never forget where you came from: “Don’t get above your raisin’,” which is also a tune by Ricky Scaggs. And finally, before enjoying his long successful career, Willie Nelson had money trouble. He said, “I pawned my guitar so many times, the pawnbroker played it better than I did!”

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Continued from page 12

decided to make it their home. After searching for a local business that they could buy and operate, the couple purchased the Tropical Breeze Motel. After a complete renovation, they expanded the facility and sold the motel in 2000. In the following years, they owned and

operated several more small, local businesses. In 2007, Leuenberger opened Casa Smeralda on St. Armand’s Circle. As the owner of a successful business with a loyal following, Leunberger is optimistic about the future. Despite the challenges that

Siesta Key and the world faced, Casa Smeralda had a successful past two years. “Being here on Siesta Key has been better for my business and for my life,” Leunberger said. “As a designer, I find inspiration on our beautiful beaches and by living and working here in our Village.

“I am also committed to offering our customers at Casa Smeralda quality, sustainability and provenance. I find that Siesta Key has the same Mediterranean feel as the emerald green coast of Sardinia, the inspiration for our name.”


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Siesta Sand

JANUARY 2022

BARS & NIGHTCLUBS Capt. Curt’s Backroom Saloon................B-3 #7 Crescent Club.......................................... C-3 #13 Sniki Tiki....................................................B-3 #8 COFFEE SHOPS Coffee Garden................................... B-3 #8 DELIS / BAKERIES Anna’s Deli & Sandwiches.................. C-3 #14 Nutritious You......................................... C-3 #14 The Beach Deli @ Crescent Beach Grocery......B-3 #1 DRUG STORES Davidson Drugs..................................... C-3 #14 FASHION & ACCESSORIES Fin Island Co.............................................. A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters........................ A-3 #4 Coconuts Fashion......................................B-3 #1 Green Turtle Swimwear......................... C-3 #14 Key Casual Fashions............................... D-3 #17

941.312.0665

CRESCENT BEACH SHOP INDEX

Things You Like...................................... C-3 #14 GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Capt. Curt’s Souvenirs.............................B-3 #8 Green Turtle Shells & Gifts................. C-3 #14 Sunshine Sand Hidden Treasures...... D-3 #17 Silver City Jewelry................................. C-3 #14 HEALTH & BEAUTY Sanctuary Siesta Key............................... A-5 #12 Siesta Key Salon & Spa........................... D-3 #17 The Key Spa & Salon.............................. A-5 #12 ICE CREAM & TREATS Orange Octopus ........................................B-3 #8 Siesta Creamery....................................... C-3 #14 INTERNET / WiFi SERVICES Davidson Drugs..................................... C-3 #14 Mail Pack Center..................................... C-3 #14 LIQUOR STORES Crescent Beach Grocery...........................B-3 #1

SERVED ALL DAY

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Capt. Curts Crab & Oyster Bar.................B-3 #7 City Pizza Italian Restaurant................. D-3 #17 Clayton’s Siesta Grille...............................B-3 #9 Daiquiri Deck.................................................A-3 #2 Spear Fish Grill..............................................A-4 #5 Toasted Mango Cafe....................................C-3 #17 Miguel’s Restaurant................................ C-3 #17 WATER SPORTS - FISHING - RENTALS A to Z Beach & Bike Rentals.................. A-5 #12 FIN Island Co. ........................................... A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters........................ A-3 #4 Parasail Siesta........................................... A-3 #2 Siesta Key Bike & Kayak ........................B-3 #8 Siesta Key Marina.................................... A-4 #5 Siesta Key Jetski ........................................ A-3 #2 Siesta Sports Rentals............................. C-3 #14 Waves Boat & Social Club...................... A-5 #12

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Crescent Club...........................................B-3 #13 Siesta Spirits............................................. C-3 #17 MAILING & SHIPPING Mail Pack Center..................................... C-3 #14 US Post Office Sub Station..................... C-3 #14 MARKETS 7-11 Store.................................................. C-3 #16 Big Water Fish Market.......................... C-3 #17 Crescent Beach Grocery...........................B-3 #1 REAL ESTATE / RENTALS Beckmann Properties.............................. C-2 #15 Homes & Condo Rentals........................ D-3 #17 Re/Max Tropical Sands............................B-3 #1 Siesta 4-Rent............................................ C-3 #14 Waterside Realty.................................... C-3 #17 RESTAURANTS / CAFES

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Crescent Beach Grocery 1211 Old Stickney Pt. Rd.

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Siesta 4-Rent 6555 Midnight Pass Rd.

Toasted Mango Cafe 6621 Midnight Pass Rd.

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Anna’s Deli 6535 Midnight Pass Rd.

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Big Water Fish Market 6641 Midnight Pass Road

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters 1249 Stickney Point Rd.

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Davidson Drugs 6595 Midnight Pass Rd.

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Siesta Snapshots

JANUARY 2022

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Photos by Trebor Britt

“Diggin the Beach“ -- Rylan, 5, of Seattle shows his mom Jen how to build sand castles. They visit grandpa annually in Port Charlotte. Rylan was thrilled to be able to jump over the gentle waves as they rolled into the shoreline.

“Cheers on Siesta“ -- First-timer Dennis Chow of Massachusetts toasts the beach with an ice-cold Siesta Sunrise on the Sun Deck while enjoying a view of the entire beach. He also savored an order of Buffalo tenders and blackened chicken tacos. Chow said, “The food exceeded expectations. You would not expect food this delicious to be served on a beach.“

“Stress-free Siesta“ -- Here is the view local residents miss if they’re not on Siesta Beach on a regular basis. The stresses of life pour out of your toes into the powdery soft cool sand. One relaxing hour on Siesta Beach may empty a bucket full of stresses.

“Siesta Sisters“ -- Sisters Cassie, 2, and Zoey, 3, of Utah are excited to spend the day learning about Siesta Key. They came to visit their grandmother who lives in North Port. Their mom loves the long stretch of beach and gradually deepening waters, making it super

“Working the Sand“ -- Brothers and sister Ezra, 7; Jack, 10; and Ella, 12, of Colorado all said they are amazed by the pure white, soft sand on their first visit to Siesta Beach. The family visited many California beaches and wanted to see if Siesta lived up to all the hype.

“Beach Book“ -New Bradenton resident Denise Lunnin is lost in a good book. Her first visit here was to witness the spectacular sand sculptures at the annual Crystal Classic sand-sculpting festival. Once she experienced Siesta Beach, she vowed to come back soon. She recently moved here from Massachusetts.

“Siesta Catch” -- Brooklyn, 7, of central New Jersey is pleased to display a nice-sized greenback she caught while fishing along the Siesta Key shoreline. She enjoys fishing, but has a real flare for tennis and soccer. The secondand third-grade soccer team she plays on recently won the recr league championship.

“Siesta Swings” -Melissa is pleased to be giving her son Tyler, 4, of Connecticut, a gentle swing at the beach playground on Siesta Key. The family has vacationed here for seven consecutive years. A former teacher, Melissa started her own business as a personal trainer six years ago. At some point she and the family may move to Sarasota, she said.

“Football“ -- Old friends and new enjoying the thrill of playing a pickup game of football on the powdery soft white sands of Siesta Beach. The sand on most beaches is much too hot to play football, but the sand on Siesta is 99% quartz -- so even on the hottest days, the sand is so reflective it feels cool underfoot.

“They’re Hooked” -- Jesse Greco and son Anthony, 8, of New Jersey enjoy the challenge of fishing along the island shoreline. An avid golfer, Anthony recently shot a 37 on nine holes which included his first eagle. Jesse is a senior workforce operations executive at Macy’s in New York City.


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Siesta Sand

JANUARY 2022

941.312.0665

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Resolutions with Rover Kyle Baker, Senior Pet Food Nutritionist at DOGPerfect New year. New goals. New goals? Most of use the turn of the calendar to renew old goals: lose weight, get more exercise, learn a new skill, travel, or spend more time with friends and family. This year, how about trying something different and resolve to do something new… with your dog! Here are a few to get you started. Take a Hike Whether you live in the Sarasota area or you’re just visiting on vacation, one of the easiest ways to spend time with your dog is to go for a walk — a great way for you both to stay active and shed a few pounds. Seeking a little extra adventure? Check out Myakka State Park. With over 58 square miles of pine forest, scrub, and prairies, Myakka offers accessible hiking trails and even campgrounds welcome to dogs. Like Myakka, many Sarasota County parks and hiking trails allow dogs as long as they’re on a leash and accompanied by a responsible person — like you! Visit the Market Sarasota’s downtown Farmers Market is another great spot to take a well-behaved dog for a stroll. If your pup can handle the action, there’s plenty to see and often surprises to be enjoyed as many vendors offer water and treats for furry friends. If you’re planning to head to the market, we recommend getting there early before it gets too hot or crowded. Play in the Park Dog-friendly and close by, Bayfront Park welcomes leashed dogs and their owners to a lush, grassy play space near the water. Located near Downtown Sarasota along a beautiful 32-acre peninsula, Bayfront is a favorite of dog owners all along the Sun Coast. Hungry? Main Street, featuring a number of dog-friendly restaurants with sidewalk or patio seating, is just around the corner.

Paw Pals

bring your dog along for a ride on the waves. Just make sure your pup wears a life jacket and bring plenty of freshwater. With so many things to do and exciting places to visit in pet-friendly Sarasota County, making and keeping resolutions can be easy. This year, resolve to spend more quality time with your best friend and enjoy benefits and memories that will last for years to come.

Go to the Beach Ready? Let’s head down the coast for the ideal pet and pet-owner experience. That’s right – Brohard Beach and Paw Park in Venice is the only public beachfront in Sarasota County where dogs are not only welcome but encouraged to visit. How welcome? Brohard is off the leash, baby, and your pup will love the freedom to run the beach, go for a dip, and interact with other dogs out for a day in the sun. Hop on a Boat And there’s more fun to be had once you leave the land. See the sights and beat the heat with a day on the boat! If you don’t have your own boat, many area rental companies will allow you to

Stay connected to life on Siesta Key.

Kyle Baker, senior pet food nutritionist at DOGPerfect, has a passion for educating pet parents on the power of nutrition and how it can improve their pet’s lives with proper food, supplements and treats. DOGPerfect is a locally owned and operated pet supply store with locations in The Landings, University Park, and Lakewood Ranch. Visit www.DOGPerfect.com for more information and to sign-up for a free one-on-one nutrition consult with Kyle.

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DUTCH VALLEY RESTAURANT

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Join our Team - Now Hiring! 6721 S. Tamiami Trl, Sarasota • 941.924.1770

DutchValleyRestaurant.net

Fred is a 5-year-old American basset hound who loves to have his belly rubbed and is known for hoarding dirty socks taken from the family’s hamper. He comes to Sarasota via a farm in Arcadia at what his co-owner Patricia calls “hound heaven.” There, he was raised alongside other basset hounds and dachshunds -- also known as wiener dogs. His extensivie travels by planes, trains and automobiles include visits to Italy and Puerto Rico. And, according to Patricia, he’s helped complete a very specific dream for her husband. “When I first met him, he said ‘I’ve always wanted to get married, buy a house, and then get a basset hound,’” Patricia said of her hubby. “And we did it.” (Submit your Paw Pal to the Siesta Sand at info@27statemedia.com.)

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JANUARY 2022

Siesta Sand

Capt. Dawson Day’s Fishing Forecast

Florida Fish of Siesta Key

Red Snapper

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Catch Sarasota Fishing Charters (941) 586-0204

Florida Puffer Yellowtail Florida Puffer Sailfish Sailfish Spanish Mackerel Dohlpin “Mahi-Mahi”

Mangrove Snapper Scoolmaster Lane Snapper Scamp Black Mullet Snook Red Drum “Redfish”

Tarpon

Baracuda

Gulf Flounder

Florida Pompano Jack Crevalle

AmberJack

Spotted Sea Trout

Cobia

A massive redfish after being reeled in on Sarasota Bay. (submitted photo)

F

ishing remains hot despite the cool water temps. We are still seeing lots of migrating cobia and tripletail, with a few king mackerel here and there. In the bay we are still seeing good numbers or snook, jacks, pompano, sheepshead, and black drum. With water temps being down, the snook like to hide away in the creeks and canals inside the bay and they can be very lethargic at times. These fish can be caught using a variety of different live and artificial baits. When live-baiting these fish, it helps to have a live well full of bait to be able to chum and get the fish fired up and actively feeding. While fishing for snook you will often come across schools of jack crevale that will give you a run for your money on some light-tackle setups. The water clarity has been incredible lately, which means these fish can get smart, so I like to scale my gear down to a 1/0 circle hook and 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to get more bites. Another great species to target this time of year is pompano, which make for great table fare. We are finding them on the local grass flats and passes of Sarasota Bay, as well as off of our beautiful Siesta Key beach. Pompano can be caught using live shrimp, sand fleas, and with pompano jigs found at our local tackle shops. No boat? No problem. You can walk the beach casting pompano jigs with a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader on a small 2,000- to 4,000-size spinning reel and find them. The key for beach fishing is to cover lots of water until you run into them. While beach fishing for pompano, you will also come across other species of fish like Spanish mackerel, jacks, and lady fish. Sheepshead will be another great species we will see more of over the next few months. They can be found around docks, in the passes around rock structure, and on our local reefs and ledges. When fishing for sheepshead, I like to use a knocker rig with a 3/4- to 1-ounce egg sinker and a 1/0 J hook, or a jig head with a shrimp or small fiddler crab. If you see the sheepshead around dock pilings or rocks and can’t get them to eat, try a free line with a small hook and small piece of shrimp and that will usually do the trick. Sheepshead also make for great table fare, so be sure to have a cooler handy. We are also seeing steady action drifting the grass flats still with trout, ladyfish, bluefish, and mackerel throwing an assortment of live and artificial baits. Fish water between 3 to 6 feet and around bird activity, casting all around as to cover as much water as possible and you are sure to find something to bite. Siesta’s Premier Fishing Charter Operation!

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Ben and a nice-sized snook he caught with a live pilchard on Sarasota Bay. (submitted photo)

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Winter months offer solid fishing experiences By Capt. Rick Grassett, CB’s Outfitters You may find reds along with big trout concentrated in potholes, along the edges of bars or tailing on shallow grass flats on negative low tides this month. This is a good month for catchand-release snook action around lighted docks in the Intracoastal Waterway. Some lights will also have trout and reds making it possible to get a dock “slam”. There may also be good action in the coastal gulf with false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel and tripletail, depending on conditions. Snook and reds remain closed to harvest south of State Road 64 in Manatee County on the west coast of Florida, south to the south bank of Gordon Pass in Collier County. Reds and snook are catch-and-release-only in that zone until May 31. Spotted seatrout has reopened in that zone with a three fish per person, bag limit and a six fish boat limit. Trout must be from 15 to 19 inches with one allowed per vessel that is longer than 19 inches. Full regulations and details can be viewed at https://myfwc.com/. However, catch and release snook fishing around lighted docks can be good this month unless it gets too cool. I won’t target snook following a strong cold front or if the water dips below 60 degrees, since they may be stressed at that time. However, it can be very good in December and January under normal conditions. Larger baitfish will thin out and snook will gorge themselves on glass minnows and small shrimp in the Intracoastal Waterway at night. I like docks that have a good tidal flow and deep water under them. CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms, DOA Tiny TerrorEyz and DOA Shrimp are my favorite lures for snook at night. Fly anglers should do well with sink tip fly lines and small white flies. Fish peak tidal flows for the fastest action. You might find reds in potholes or along the edges of flats and bars on negative low tides. They may also tail on shallow grass when the tide is low. Weedless rigged CAL shad tails and 4-inch jerk worms, DOA Shrimp and lightly weighted flies with weed guards will work well in that situation. As the tide rises, reds will spread out and feed on shallow flats. You may also find them around docks this month. I usually let the stage of the tide tell me where to look for reds. You may also find big trout in skinny water this month in many of the same areas where you find reds. The same

lures and techniques that I use for reds will also work for trout in the same areas. You should also find trout on deep grass flats this month along with blues, flounder or pompano. Blues may sometimes feed on the surface, so bird activity may give their presence away. Pompano may skip when you drift or run past them and when that happens, circle back upwind and drift through the area casting ahead of your drift. Flounder prefer a mix of sand and grass, particularly in potholes or on the edges of bars. I like to drift and cast ahead of my drift with CAL jigs and a variety of plastic tails or DOA Deadly Combos. Fly anglers should score with sink tip fly lines and weighted flies, like Clousers or my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny fly, which behaves like a jig with a shad tail. I like to fish shallow flats for reds and snook and deep grass flats that are close to passes, on points and along sand bars for trout, blues, flounder and pompano in December. There should still be some action in the coastal gulf with Spanish mackerel, blues, false albacore and tripletail. Rough or cold water later in the month may slow the action and move fish south or offshore. Look for terns either diving or hovering low over the surface of the water to find albies, blues and mackerel feeding on the surface. Once you’ve found them, cast top water plugs or CAL jigs with shad tails to catch them. Fly anglers should score with glass minnow fly patterns, poppers or Crease flies. Sometimes top water plugs or fly poppers will draw fish to the surface, especially over structure. You’ll need to add wire or heavy fluorocarbon to your leader when blues and mackerel are around. Look for tripletail around crab trap floats or channel markers. Once you’ve located a fish, work back into the wind or current with an electric trolling motor to get into casting range and cast a DOA shrimp, a weedless-rigged CAL shad tail or lightly weighted fly with a weed guard to them. Try to make your first shot count since they are much tougher to catch once they know you’re there. There will be lots of options in December, although weather becomes more of a factor. When fishing flats, I usually let conditions and the stage of the tide determine when, where and what I will target. I like to fish the coastal gulf for false albacore and tripletail whenever conditions are good.

JANUARY 2022 TIDE CHART


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DISCOVER GULF GATE’S SHOPPING VILLAGE

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6500 Gateway Ave • 941.554.8905

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Beall’s Outlet

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941-924-2330

Full Service Optical Boutique. Call today and make an appointment with our Board Certified Optometry Physician. Discover this hiding gem in Gulf gate. Unique Contemporary & Vintage Eyeglasses.

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many, many properties throughout Sarasota County. OUR PHILOSOPHY is to have fun, enjoy the experience, achieve great results, make friends and receive referrals. We’re with you every step of the way! Call 941-924-2330 or drop by our office. Only Eyes, Optical (S-24) brings a new, exotic, eclectic, eccentric, unique collection of vintage, hipster, contemporary eyeglasses and sunglasses to the community. Licensed and experienced optician available to fill your prescriptions. Only Eyes Optical has a large assortment of free frames with the purchase of new lenses. Call 941-444-7984 to set up an appointment with their licensed optician. Mellow Mushroom serves a oneof-a-kind pizza pie. The flavors and ingredients are just as unique and special as the restaurant’s design. Try a Mellow Mushroom stone-baked pizza, munchies, calzone, salad, hoagie, or even a burger. Pick from our selection of 24 draft beers or tasty, handcrafted cocktails. And, many of our pizzas can be made gluten-free or vegan. Located at 6727 S. Tamiami Trail. 941-388-7504.

Hooters

Tony’s Chicago Beef Company (S-16) is owned and operated by true Chicagoans. Dedicated to deliver Chicago’s best food - Chicago style Hot Dogs wit’ the works...dragged through the garden on poppy seed buns with fresh cut fries, Italian Beef Sandwiches anyway you like, dipped or dry, sweet or hot. All served in true Authentic Chicago Style. Solórzano’s Late Night Pizzeria (S-32): At every Solórzano’s, they offer an experience familiar to those who understand the importance of family and dedication. Their recipes and techniques have been perfected through three long generations based on the traditional simplicity of the methods used by their Italian ancestors. Dine inside, outside, pick up, or DELIVERY anywhere on Siesta Key, or in Sarasota until 3:30 a.m. 6574 Superior Ave., 941-924-5800. Gulf Gate Food + Beer (S-51): Sarasota’s late-night hot spot for the service industry, night owls, and midnight snackers. It’s not your typical sports bar, offering unique menu selections for carnivores and vegetarians. Be sure to check out their menu online at: eatfooddrinkbeer.com. Hours: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sun. 1 - Thurs.) open until 2 a.m. (Fri & Sat.). Roberts Realty, Inc. (M-5) E John Garner, Broker Assoc. & Diane Shane, Broker Assoc. have a combined 40 years’ experience in Sarasota of making dreams come true for our clients. FOR BUYERS, we have had great success in finding the right D property for our clients because we listen closely to their wants and needs and matching that as close as possible. FOR SELLERS, over the years we have C successfully listed and sold

Sun Trust

With our map, located below and to the right, you’ll be able to navigate your way to our featured shops with ease. The Shop SRQ (G-2) offers flattops, fades, tapers, blowouts, razor cuts, and straight razor shaves. Owners, Erick and Dawn use a back to basics approach to grooming with a precise attention to personal detail. Their commitment to excellence has provided them with many loyal customers. They welcome the opportunity to earn your trust. Hours: Tues. – Fri. 8:30am – 6pm, Sat., 8:30am – 3pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Sarasota Brewing Co. (G-4) Sarasota’s first micro brew pub always has something new to offer. From over 20 seasonal beers that rotate throughout the year, the Brewing Company always has at least five unique brews online as well as several favorites from around the world. Established in 1989, their menu has been a winner in the Reader’s Choice Awards of the Sarasota Herald Tribune featuring their mouth-watering burgers, Chicago style pizzas, and Chicago beef sandwiches. With dozens of televisions, it’s a great place to catch a game with friends and family. Gulf Gate Barber Shop (G-11): has been an institution in the community for years, owned by Kyle Flannery. The super-clean barbershop’s clientele is comprised of primarily men, but the shop services children as well. Scott Reich, formerly of the Siesta Key Village Barber Shop has relocated to this location. West End Pub (G-49) Where else can you watch your favorite game with a great selection of beers, wines and liquors served by a friendly staff AND where you’re allowed to bring your own restaurant or deli food? Right here. 6500 Gateway Ave. – 941-5548905.

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Siesta Sand

JANUARY 2022

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What’s new ... beyond the bridges

t’s a brand-new year. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 as Sarasota continues to grow and flourish. In March, Tiger Woods’ PopStroke, the new 36-hole golf and casual dining complex, is expected to open on the grounds of Sarasota’s University Town Center, at 100 University Town Center Drive. When completed, two 18-hole putting courses designed by Tiger

Woods and TGR Design will face a 10,934-squarefoot, two-story building that will hold an open-air restaurant with multiple open decks, covered dining areas, bars and retail space. Designed with synthetic turfs, incorporating fairways, bunkers and roughs found on traditional golf courses, the courses are meant to provide a multitude of options for players of all abilities. A family-

By Jane Bartnett friendly covered playground and beer garden will round out PopStroke’s offerings. According to the PopStroke website, the name PopStroke pays tribute to Tiger Woods father. “Some of my happiest memories are spending time with my pops on the golf course having putting contests. I’m looking forward to others enjoying time with their kids at PopStroke,” Woods is quoted as saying. The new Sarasota PopStroke will join two existing Florida locations in Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie. In the near future, Orlando, Tampa and Delray will open. PopStroke courses are also planned for Scottsdale and Glendale, Arizona, as well as Houston/Katy, Texas. Each location will feature a different course design and layout. There’s more exciting news around town on the local restaurant front. The popular Mattison’s Forty-One, on South Tamiami Trail, is welcoming diners again after having closed for several months for a large

HAPPY HOUR 4pm-6:30pm Happy Hour Food & Cocktails MONDAY PRIX-FIXE MENU 3 Course Menu for $25 — Every Monday OPA WEDNESDAY! Saganaki Opa! Appetizer $7 WINE THURSDAY 1/2 Off Bottles of Wine

UNIVERSITY PARK

HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday - Thursday 11:30 - 9 | Friday & Saturday 11:30 - 10 | Sunday 11:30-8

www.siestasand.us

8235 Cooper Creek Blvd, University Park, FL 941-359-4816

SARASOTA LANDINGS

4956 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 941-927-2270

www.ApolloniaGrill.com

renovation that included an extensive brightening up of the interior and the addition of more “al fresco,” outdoor dining space. Diners will find new menus for lunch, dinner and the bar. Call (941) 921-3400 or visit mattisons.com. Heading north, the long-awaited Vampire Penguin shop at 4976 South Tamiami Tr., in the busy Landings Shopping Center, has opened. Inside you’ll find truly delectable and refreshing shaved ice desserts. It’s the perfect place to drop in after enjoying a meal at Vampire Penguin’s neighboring restaurants -- the Corkscrew Deli or Appollonia Grill. Vampire Penguin is open on Sunday and Monday from noon to 8 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Visit them on Facebook at Vampire Penguin SRQ, or call (941) 923-8155. If you happen to be a member of AAA/CAA and you’re planning a trip to some exotic land, the continental U.S., Canada, or a beautiful location in our own sunshine state, visit the new AAA offices in the Pelican Plaza shopping center at 8220 South Tamiami Tr. The professional travel staff is there to assist you. AAA hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on Saturday and Sunday. Call (941) 929-2299 or visit autoclubsouth.aaa.com Interested in expanding your knowledge of world affairs or brushing up on your music knowledge this winter? This month, Sarasota Institute for Lifetime Learnings begins its 12-week Global Issues 2022 subscription series. Running through March,

the series includes 72 lectures by leading international affairs experts representing the diplomatic community, the military, journalism and academia. Topics will include China, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, the European Union, as well as domestic issues. Lectures will be in-person and on-line, through video on demand. Lecture locations are slated for downtown Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch. Taped video of the week’s lectures will be shown in Longboat Key. The Music Mondays 2022: Musical Conversations with Great Performers series will take place in Sarasota and Venice. Video recordings of the Music Mondays lectures will be shown in Lakewood Ranch. For tickets, times, locations and additional information on the series, visit sillsarasota.org. Is finding a furry new friend one of your new year’s resolutions? If so, you may find that special fluffy someone at the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Recognized as the Sarasota region’s premier no-kill shelter, the Humane Society opened its brandnew 38,000-square-foot shelter in late September. The bright and cheerful facility allows the organization to house and help many more animals awaiting their forever homes. A private nonprofit organization, the group received the 2021 Best of SRQ Local award. Located in downtown Sarasota at 2331 15th St., its hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Call (941) 955-4131 or visit hssc. org Happy New Year!

Your Go-To Store on the Island Morton’s Siesta Market is your one-stop shop for easy island living. We offer a large selection of staple groceries, beer and wine, as well as fresh produce, meats and seafood. In keeping with our Morton’s tradition, we also carry a delicious array of prepared foods, perfect for take-out, picnics, parties and more.

Please stop in and say hello!

205 Canal Road, Siesta Key • 941-349-1474 • MortonsMarket.com

VISIT OUR SIESTA VILLAGE LIQUORS JUST NEXT DOOR!


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HOMES FOR SALE PAGE 46

The Highs and Lows of Properties Sold on Siesta Key

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ACCOMMODATIONS PAGE 47

Provided by William Raveis Real Estate / www.raveis.com

The following are properties sold on Siesta Key in the last 60 days, providing a snapshot of home values on the Key for both single-family homes and condominiums. HIGHEST-PRICED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE 7712, 7711, 7660 SANDERLING RD. $14 MILLION This modern beachfront home is better known as Aquadisia was thoughtfully designed by renowned architect Guy Peterson in 1999. Sited on 3.86 acres, the property is comprised of three parcels; the main house and two guest homes. The 528 feet of private, pristine beachfront makes this property one of the most significant beachfront properties on Siesta Key. The main house offers a warm, minimalistic modern design, with 6,480 square feet of open and airy living space. Among the captivating landscapes of these properties LOWEST-PRICED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE 4931 COMMONWEALTH DRIVE $830,000 This two-bedroom, two-bath home with loft is fully renovated and has great elevation with a two-car garage on the ground floor. The kitchen features granite countertops, breakfast bar and stainless steel appliances and opens to a combined dining room, living room area with vaulted ceilings. The master bedroom is

located on the first floor and additional bedroom and the loft are on the second floor. The fully screened back porch and lanai area overlook the swim spa surrounded by a private tropical back yard. Recently painted interior, plantation shutters, metal roof and more. Well-positioned on one of Siesta Key’s most desirable streets, you can walk or bike to the village. Courtesy of Coldwell Banker HIGHEST-PRICED CONDO 1660 SUMMERHOUSE $2.5 MILLION Designer elegance featuring well-appointed Robb & Stuckey décor highlights a sweeping floorplan that overlooks the breathtaking waterfront. Tile floors, high tray ceilings and naturally bright interiors set the tone of a breezy atmosphere. Ideal for hosting sophisticated and lively occasions, the open concept showcases the kitchen – with brick pattern tile backsplash,

LOWEST-PRICED CONDO 5683 MIDNIGHT PASS RD., #112 $336,500 This one bedroom, one bath, turnkey furnished condominium has a favorable two-week minimum rental policy and onsite rental office. Guests can spend the day at the beach, play tennis or relax and enjoy the amenities in and around Siesta Beach Park. The

granite countertops, wood cabinetry, a breakfast bar, and stainless appliances – sharing the stage with an accommodating dining area and spacious living room featuring a built-in wood entertainment center. Visitors will appreciate their stay in two guest suites that are thoughtfully separated from the delightful master suite, boasting sliders to the terrace, a large walk-in customized closet and a luxurious en-suite bath with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

residence has recent updates including a new kitchen, bathroom and interior paint. Major systems updated: HVAC in 2019 and Hot Water Heater in 2020! The screened in balcony is a spacious area for relaxing; in a park like setting. Low HOA fees. Eleven boat slips accommodating up to a 22-foot boat are assigned first come, first served. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

I had been looking to purchase my Florida Gulf Coast home since 2009, and I settled on Sarasota after reading numerous reviews naming it as the best location for retirees in the US. Al Nemore has been a real estate agent in both NJ and Florida for 15 years; since he has owned a home on Siesta Key since 2004, he knows the ins and outs of Sarasota County. I had been looking online, mostly at older homes, but ultimately decided to go with new construction. For my in-person search, Al scheduled an appointment with Sunrise Preserve @ Palmer Ranch, which I had not considered because I thought I couldn’t afford it. This community has resort-like amenities, and it is closer to the beach and more centrally located than the five other communities that had first interested me. Communication and reliability are essential for a real estate agent’s relationship with his/her clients, and Al communicated seamlessly with the salesperson, builder, mortgage loan officer, and title company throughout the process. His knowledge and passion for his client’s home purchase satisfaction should be the reason for choosing Al Nemore as your agent. Nemore knows more! — Brian

Al Nemore

is the Royal Palm grove, circular labyrinth, a 30-foot cascading glass water wall and pools that surround the home. The separate guesthouse, 7711 Sanderling Rd, located across the street from the main house was added to the total square footage, bedroom and bathroom count. This parcel faces Heron Lagoon with a private dock where you can enjoy kayaking and picturesque landscaping. The coastal home features 2,616 square feet, 3-bedrooms, 3-bathrooms, an open great room, and a Florida room that overlooks the salt-water swimming pool and hot tub. The third parcel, 7660 Sanderling is just steps from the Gulf. Courtesy of Coldwell Banker

941- 479-1175 • 856-278-7522 realtornemo@gmail.com

NMLS #1783476

Marty Remillard NMLS#343653

No Lender Fees 941. 223.9416 highdefintionmortgage.com


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The Terrace -- a spectacular beachfront condominium

The Terrace beachfront condominiums afford spectacular 360-degree views of the Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Lido Key, downtown Sarasota, and Siesta Village. There is no other property with the amazing views and proximity to amenities on all of Siesta Key! Designed by renowned architect Frank Folsom Smith and built in 1970, the Terrace is the

quintessential retreat. Located directly on the beach at the north end of Siesta Key, walk out of the luxury residences on to the world-famous white sand of Siesta Key. Alternatively, walk only one block in the opposite direction to fun, eclectic Siesta Village. Ever happening, the Village offers a myriad of shops and restaurant choices ranging from seaside eats or fun bar food to elegant

dining. There’s also busy nightlife including live music and dancing. The Terrace units are spread throughout 17 floors and are accessed by elevators. The size of the units varies considerably, ranging from studios measuring 522 square feet; 1-bedroom/1-bath units from 698 to nearly 1,000 square feet; 2-bedroom/2-bath units from 1,187 square feet; and 3-bedroom/3-bath units beginning at 1,677 to nearly 2,000 square feet. Bob Ruiz with William Raveis Real Estate reports all units have tremendous balconies – some of the units have as many as five separate outdoor living areas. Most units have a wall of windows/ sliding glass doors which bring the outdoors in and, when open, add wonderful extra living space. Terrace amenities include a large, heated salt-water pool overlooking the beach and Gulf; game room; fitness area; community room; lovely lobby; secured entry; storage; assigned covered parking; and on-site management. Small pets are permitted. Ruiz shares that the complex is

exceptionally well-maintained. Management and a maintenance crew ensure the stellar condition of the building and grounds. Owners and tenants alike enjoy carefree living in a secure, impeccable environment. Units may be rented with a twomonth minimum and command top dollar on Siesta Key. Ruiz has just listed a 3-bedroom 3-bath 1,907-square-foot unit for sale at The Terrace. If space, privacy and views are paramount, the stunning home with incredible outdoor living on four large oceanfront balconies is

ideal. The vicinity and the westernfacing views don’t get any better than this! Beautifully furnished, buy and move in for season. Furnishings are included with sale. Assigned under-building parking is convenient to the building entrance and elevator to your door. Priced at $2,300,000. For more information about this unit at The Terrace or any other units, please contact Bob or Sheri Ruiz at 941-544-3299/941-4004186 or RobertRuizRR@aol.com.

21 YEARS OF BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FOR LIFE Lin and Maurice personify professionalism and integrity. Their philosophy of exceptional client service and “Relationships for Life” assures each relationship lasts far beyond the transaction process. #1 TEAM FOR THE SIESTA KEY OFFICE $1.12 BILLION IN SALES VOLUME 2021 RECIPIENT OF THE FOUNDERS AWARD SECOND-TIME RECIPIENT OF THE JOHN MCMAHON AWARD FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE AGENT AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR 13 CONSECUTIVE YEARS PERSONALIZED CLIENT SERVICES TARGETED & SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PASSIONATE MARKET KNOWLEDGE KEEN INTERNATIONAL EXPERTISE REFINED NEGOTIATING SKILLS

Maurice Menager REALTOR ®

941.238.8119

Lin Dunn

REALTOR ®, SRES, LSS, LSE

941.809.2154

TeamDunn.michaelsaunders.com

Receive a free home valuation to begin your real estate journey with us.

5100 Ocean Blvd | Sarasota, FL 34242 | 941.349.3444


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Word Search WORD LIST: Barware Binoculars Bluetooth Boat Camera Captain’s hat Compass Dinghy Dock cart Drink holder Fillet knife Fish finder Fishing lure Gear Keeper Gift card Key buoy Maritime clock Mermaid Nautical flag Parapull Pocketknife Sailcloth bag Sea sled seaHEX drone Solar watch SonarPhone Sunglasses Tackle box Thermos Topwater lure Weathervane

Answers on Page 46

Holiday Nautical Gifts

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Classifieds / Here’s My Card AUTOMOTIVE VALET

Airport Shuttle Limo/Taxi

MEDICAL

DRY CLEANERS

Environmentally Conscious Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service CONTACTLESS!

Sarasota to Tampa Airport $ 89 each way

Free Pick Up & Delivery Service Call

from your home or business

941-275-4647

Board-Certified dermatologist skin CanCer • laser • Botox and Hair/nail disorders

J Morgan O’Donoghue, MD.

1952 Field Road Sarasota, Florida 34231

HOUSE WATCH

Long Distance Trips

House Watch Sarasota Licensed and Insured

941.926.7546

www.dermatologyexperts.com

ExEcutivE Shirt SErvicE • houSEhold itEmS • SamE day SErvicE availablE

RELIABLE AIRPORT RIDES

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POOLS

Affordable and Dependable Service Solutions For Your Home While You Are Away

We Specialize in Helping the Elderly, Handicapped and We are Pet Friendly

PLEASE CALL: 941.735.4732 BOATING RENTALS / FISHING CHARTERS

Dolphin Watch • SunSetS • half Day aDventure SailS

R. BRuce Whittinghill, llc (941) 955-1864

Call or e-mail sarasotabruce1@housewatchsrq.com housewatchsrq.com for quotes and references Serving SaraSota and Surrounding areaS Since 1979

LANDINGS RESIDENT OWNED AND OPERATED

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

HELENE M. HYLAND REALTOR®

(941) 685-2274 Cell (941) 349-4411 Office (800) 237-9403 Toll Free (941) 349-8090 Fax HeleneHyland@comcast.net

Sailing From Marina Jack, Sarasota

Kathleen D Sailing Catamaran 941-896-6400

Insured, Bonded and Licensed by The National Home Watch Association.

5145 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34242

(941) 961-4309

www.SuncoastHomeConcierge.com

www.KathleenD.net

Captain Jacks Yacht Charters

Capt. Jack Wallace 941.320.8700 www.sarasotachartervessel.com Pleasure Cruises only Sunsets/Weddings/Special Occasions Hourly, Daily, Weekly

CITIZEN JACK

HOME WATCH SERVICES Accredited, Bonded, Insured & Certified

AmericAn Born, A FloridiAn By God's GrAce! Honest As ABe...responsiBle As GeorGe!

citizen JAck's Got your BAck tHis president's dAy And Beyond!

Owned and Operated by NRT, LLC

www.SheSellsSiestaKeySarasota.com

Book your slice of paradise today! Weekly rentals on Longboat Key, Siesta Key, and St. Augustine in Florida! Book online today at: www.floridarent.com or call 800-851-1096 to speak to a vacation specialist!

Jim Farley (#06190076) 941.350.3610 info@citizenjackhws.com www.citizenjackhws.com

COMPANIONSHIP

Your Companion

Compassionate Company To Help You Through The Day

Offering Transportation and Companionship to.... * Doctor Appointments * Beauty Salon Appointments * Shopping and more!

Please call for complimentary interview:

Patricia Newman from 9am-5pm

941-923-4301

“Serving All of Southwest Florida”

941-499-4008 H2H.companions@gmail.com Heart2HomeHealthCare.com

Family Owned and Operated

CONTRACTORS

SPAS / HAIR & BEAUTY

ICE CREAM

• Companionship • Dementia/Alzheimers Care • Medication Reminders • Meal Preparation • Transportation/Errands • Light Housekeeping • Shopping

Come try Sarasota’s

COOLEST new dessert! 4976 S Tamiami Trl. Sarasota, FL 941-923-8155 www.vampirepenguin.com

JEWELRY

Hours: Sun. 12-8pm Mon. 3-8pm Tues. - Sat. 12-9pm

APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE HOURS: MON. - FRI.: 9AM - 6PM

941-312-6001 2081 SIESTA DRIVE SARASOTA, FL 34239

SPEAKERS

BAUMANN JohnBaumann.com Inspirational Speaker WJSHTHPD* *Who Just So Happens To Have Parkinson’s Disease 502-262-3300


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Classifieds (cont.) SPIRITUALITY

• God the Father invites you to worship His Son Jesus ... SIESTA BEACH PRAYER CIRCLE ... Every Saturday ... an hour before Sunset ... The Original Pavilion ... 948 Beach Road, Sarasota ... Look for the American flag ... ”The Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come.’” Siesta Beach Prayer Circle is registered as a fictitious name with the state of FL and operates as a non-profit. Donations are welcome.

Barber Scott Reich Formerly of the Village Barber

Gulf Gate Barbershop Making Gulf Gate look good since the ‘60’s

TEACHING

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible. — Audrey Hepburn

Bringing over 70 years of life lessons and local knowledge to your haircut (trust us, we know alllll about what you did last summer). It’s not just a haircut, it’s life. We know all about it. Let’s laugh, have a beer, and talk nonsense….that’s free. Haircut? That’s gonna cost you…$18, if we like you, $25 if you’re a P.I.T.A. “Best Local Barbers” 20 years in the running Kyle and Scott “to the second power”

6575 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, FL 34231 941-809-9028 Walk-ins Welcome

Handmade Antique Rugs Bought and Sold

Florida’s Largest Selection of Antique Oriental and Chinese Rugs for 45 Years

Mosby oriental rugs

Mah Jongg EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ARE INVITED TO JOIN NEW GROUP AT PEPPERTREE BAY ON WEDNESDAY OR FRIDAY AFTERNOONS CALL PATRICIA - 941-312-2452

941-925-1025 by appointment www.antiqueorientalrugs.com


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HOMES FOR SALE GULF-FRONT UNIT Rarely available, spacious three-bedroom, three-bath. On the beach in The TERRACE building. The location is second to none, directly on the beach and just steps away from the heart of the village. This fabulous beachfront corner unit has five oversized balconies with stunning sunsets. The swimming pool is fantastic; over-sized, extremely deep, heated, saltwater with full gulf-front views. If you enjoy sunsets and walking the beach you have found paradise. The award-winning white sugar sand of Siesta Key, the finest white sand in America is at your doorstep. 5400 OCEAN BLVD, #2-1, SARASOTA, FL 34242, MLS# A4472758, $2,599,999, William Raveis Real Estate, 941-894-1255 PERFECT INVESTMENT PROPERTY. NO minimum stays and NO pet restrictions. The premier location of Sandy Toes is one of the most desirable spots on Siesta Key within close walking distance to everything that is needed for a memorable world-class island vacation experience. Park the cars in your two-car garage and walk to shops, restaurants, boutiques, and the newest most popular nightlife and live music on the island or jump on the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley to experience Siesta Village. 6810 MIDNIGHT PASS RD, SARASOTA, FL 34242, MLS# A4507853, $1,350,000, William Raveis Real Estate, 941-894-1255

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Word Search Answers from Page 43

Holiday Nautical Gifts

STUNNING VIEWS from three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom beach condo. The views are stunning, and the sunsets never disappoint. The total square footage is 2,245 with 1,845 square feet of air-conditioned space with five private balconies, three of which are oversized. This flowing open floor plan is perfect for beachside living and elegant entertaining. A walker’s paradise on the white sands of Siesta Beach to the heart of the village, restaurants, boutiques, and nightlife. 5400 OCEAN BLVD, #1-3, SARASOTA, FL 34242, MLS# A4486556, $1,599,999, William Raveis Real Estate, 941-894-1255

WATERFRONT SANCTUARY Situated in a private tropical setting on north Siesta Key at the end of a cul-de-sac. It features a dock with davit allowing for a quick boat ride to Sarasota Bay, Lido Beach and direct access to the Gulf and Intracoastal Waterway. This charming and unique open floor plan features a vaulted ceiling, reclaimed wood beams, wood floors, fabulous kitchen with glassed pantry, spacious wood and granite countertops, and stainless appliances. Double French doors open to an expansive covered deck. 111 FAUBEL ST, SARASOTA, FL 34242 MLS# A4517235, $1,300,000, William Raveis Real Estate, 941-894-1255

®

To advertise in print or online contact: 27th State Media LLC at 941-312-0665 Send editorial and/or photos via email to: info@27statemedia.com

Published by 27th State Media LLC Contributing Writers and Photographers will be noted with bylines. Guest commentary not necessarily the opinion of 27th State Media LLC Reproduction without written permission prohibited. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement. All business bios are extensions of the display advertisements. 27th State Media LLC is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. All ads are subject to the approval of the publisher. It is the responsibility of the party placing any ad for publication in Siesta Sand to meet all applicable legal requirements in connection with the ad such as compliance with town, county and state codes in first obtaining an occupational license for business, permitted home occupation, or residential rental property. DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that when you hire an unlicensed/uninsured person to do work at your home, you accept the liability. 27th State Media LLC is not responsible for claims made by advertisers.

P.O. BOX 35105, Sarasota, FL 34242 www.siestasand.us


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Sunset Beach Resort Siesta Key Dream Inn

• 2ND Month Free • Free Move-In Truck • Entire Facility Carpeted • Free Lock & Keys • Big Garage Bay For Loading And Unloading • Climate Controlled 941.315.5222 5260 Tamiami Trail • Sarasota, FL 34231 www.thelockup.com

6600 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota

Complimentary shuttle service to and from anywhere on Siesta Key. 7 days a week from 10 AM to 11 PM. (driver tips only)

BestWesternSiestaKey.com 941.924.4900 Still Family Owned and Operated Since 2007 AAA-3 Diamond Property

HOURS: Sunday - Thursday 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM Friday & Saturday 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM Happy Hour 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

• 114 Guest Rooms • One and Two Bedroom Suites Now Available • Complimentary breakfast included with every stay • Free Shuttle Service to and from Siesta Key every day. • Microwave/Fridge in every guestroom *Amenities and services may be adjusted due to COVID-19, please contact the hotel or visit our website for details

Open to the public Live music Thursday thru Sunday starting at 4:00 PM (check the schedule on Facebook or call 941-924-4900) *Use of the pool for Registered Guests Only


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Key Employee

Nikki

Nikki has worked at Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar for seven years, wearing many hats. Said her manager Cary, “She does anything and everything. She’s one of our special employees.” Nikki hails from Bradenton. Her duties and accomplishments at the restaurant have included the roles of hostess, server, kitchen-help, and maintenance. “All I haven’t done is bartend and manage, and I hope to nail those down as well,” Nikki said. “I’m a jack of most every trade.” Her favorite part of her job? “Keeping smiles on all the faces,” Nikki said. How does she do it? “By just being me. I’m a social butterfly,” she said. Photos by John Morton (To nominate a Siesta Key employee worthy of recognition, email: info@27statemedia.com.)

Sun Garden Cafe recognizes the impact that quality workers can have on a business, and is proud to sponsor the Key Employee each month.

Congratulations, Nikki! Your dedication has resulted in a gift certificate for breakfast for four at Sun Garden Cafe, located at 210 Avenida Madera in the Village.