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Quest for incorporation hits a higher gear

A fine touch Tony Hammonds of Sarasota applies some details to his sand castle during the May 1 amateur sculpting competition on Siesta Beach. Hammonds and partner Randy Rist call themselves the “Sand Monkeys” and put on a show most every weekend. Their creation won them first place in the adult division and also the People’s Choice Award. Some impressive work was on display this day, but soon the professionals from around the world will arrive to create some masterpieces during the annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic, slated for Nov. 12 through 15. Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic. For more images of beach life here, visit page 25 for our Siesta Snapshots feature. (photo by John Morton)

By John Morton Save Siesta Key’s incorporation team is picking up the pace, and for good reason. If it wants to see the island become its own town by the end of next year, which would be the earliest for such an effort to come to fruition, it has to Underwood hustle. “You’ve got a lot of homework in a short amount of time,” said Lynn Tipton of the Florida League of Cities while addressing a group of about 40 at Save Siesta Key’s first public meeting, held April 28 at Siesta Key Chapel. A second meeting, three weeks later, drew an overflow crowd of about 200. Tipton said the fastest turnaround she’s seen is 15 months, which is the approximate timetable Save Siesta Key is on, while many efforts take up

to two years. A first major step was taken by the group in late April when it hired Jensen Beach-based consultant Bill Underwood to conduct the financial analysis portion of a required feasibility study. He said he wasn’t sure if he’d be retained to McFarland go further into other areas of the project. In total, the study will likely cost about $75,000, and Underwood received about $12,000 to get the process rolling. As of May 21, Save Siesta Key has received just shy of $30,000 in donations. It is a registered 301(c)(4) entity, so donations are not tax-deductible. The study is due to members of the Florida Legislature by Sept. 1. The upcoming sessions begin in January and, if approved at the state level, Save Siesta Key has indicated it would like Continued on page 42

Signs of the times: Hotel protest hits the streets Siesta Key Coalition, the sign’s creator, continues to grow its ranks By Rachel Brown Hackney  SarasotaNewsLeader.com In recent weeks, Siesta Key has seen a burgeoning bloom of new signs. With red letters, they say, “Stop High Density Hotels.” At the bottom of each, the website for the Siesta Key Coalition is listed. In an April 23 email, Mark Spiegel, president of the Coalition, reported that 250 of the signs had been made available so far, “with more in production.” Then, in a May 6 update, Spiegel reported that

the signs “were in such demand that we just got in a new order of 250 signs that we have available at both Davidson’s Drugs [locations] on Siesta Key.” During the May 6 Siesta Key Association (SKA) meeting, Robert Luckner, who is the vice president of the nonprofit, reported that county code enforcement staff had informed Coalition representatives that signs legally cannot be planted in the county right of way.

“We’re busy fixing that,” Luckner added. With hope of building on the signs’ message, the Siesta Key Condominium Council took another opportunity in early May to encourage island condominium associations to support the Siesta Key Coalition’s efforts. In a May 3 email blast, the Council also reported on the Coalition’s growth since Spiegel addressed the Council’s members in early March. Dozens of hotel protest signs that were created by the Siesta Key Coalition The Coalition was organized last summer in Continued on page 42

have recently appeared on the island. (photo by John Morton)

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A standout building is 50

How to wed on Siesta Key’s sand

Avenida del Mare house is honored

Going full circle with drum history

• Village Map/business listings PAGES 22-23 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE 24 • Gulf Gate Shops PAGE 35 • Music Calendar PAGE 36 • Accommodations Map/ Listings PAGE 43

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Greetings from the Gulf

There’s no masking it ... Siesta Key’s real life is the envy of America By John Morton

T

here I was last summer, on lockdown, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. (We interrupt this column to announce that just because you lived in the U.P. for one month, you are not officially a Yooper for the rest of your life. Got that, so-called friends of mine?) Anyway, I was “living” along the Michigan/Wisconsin border, well aware I was sandwiched between cray-cray coronavirus governors. How did I survive? I dreamt of good old Siesta Key. But I was 1,500 miles away. So, having heard about a “reality” TV show called Siesta Key, I thought I’d give ‘er a try. It could offer a nice dose of all things Midnight Pass Road that I so desperately missed. Oops. Big mistake. How bad? It’s enough to even make the Kardashians cringe. Not only was this the ultimate misrepresentation of life on Siesta Key, but things would get worse for me when the actors decided to go “clubbing.” Where did this take place? The Crescent Club. At this point, I’m hyperventilating. Thank goodness for the mask. Technically, when you’re at the Crescent Club I suppose you can say you are “Crescent Clubbing,” but come on now. The only clubbing I’ve seen there involved a game of gin rummy.

Next, I found out that the show was created by none other than the 1-800-ASK-GARY guy. And that he had bought the Crescent Club. And that he was planning to remodel it? Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Just call the guy, I thought to myself. If only I had his phone number! Ha! Well aware that Florida was the only place that was transitioning back into some semblance of regular life, and as a selfappointed steward of my beloved Crescent Club, it was time to strap on my cape and hit the road for the place I’ve always felt most at home -- no, not the Crescent Club, although plenty of people will beg to differ. I’m talking Siesta Key. Meanwhile, in case I missed the Midwest, that vintage, northern supper-club, red-table-cloth-andcandle look of the Crescent Club would always be there to give me my fix of nostalgia. It must not change! Upon arrival, that heavy breathing turned to sighs of relief. Not only had Gary Kompothecras not touched the classic interior, he added on a delightful outdoor area that is perfect for enjoying both gulf and golf. Bravo, Gary! Bravo! Now, with that behind me, I sat back and watched the rest of the northerners follow me in the form of tourist-season energy like I’ve never seen. I can’t tell you the number of people who marveled at how impressed they were with Siesta Key (the island). But, to be fair, one lady even said she loved the show. Anyway, comments about how

our governor balanced business with the virus were constant. How he’s the gold standard and how their governor is worthless. And how our area was somehow laid-back yet super exciting, all at once. And how, “as God is my witness, I’m moving here,” several declared. I even met an Appleton, Wisconsin couple who followed up two weeks here with a weekend revisit a month later. “We told all our friends back home about how great this place is,” the wife said, and I beamed. Then it hit me. Siesta Key’s secret, however much of it was left, is definitely out. Some of you longtimers here are probably easing this column into the shredder right about now. A few Google searches confirmed what is obvious. Sarasota’s real estate market, according to many reports, is now No. 1 in the world. That’s right, as in planet Earth. And what is one of the most common destinations for relocations? It’s right here. So, now Siesta Key finds itself in the spotlight. That’s the reality. Yes, we’re living our own reality show. Gary, you could have just sent a drone up and down the Key and saved on all the production costs. What a difference a year makes, eh? From empty streets and beaches to gridlock. From lockdown to lock-’n-load. Think of all the things that are going on here. New developments, hotel proposals, signs opposing them, an effort of incorporation, and meanwhile a shortage of

workers. Then there is the spike in short-term rentals. Didn’t this past spring break feel more intense, more rowdy, more disrespectful, than ever before? It’s no doubt an interesting time to live here. Sarasota County celebrates its 100th year right now, and I’d argue it’s one of Siesta Key’s most challenging times in a century. We’re an island at a crossroads. As a barrier island with few turns, we’ve got to decide which one we want to take. As abnormal as things may be, I’m enjoying the little things that are giving me a sense of normalcy. When I recently saw a biplane once again streaming that Daiquiri Deck banner above the beach, it felt good. When the kids take off this month for the beach run, which I’ve enjoyed so many times from five stories up at my family’s condo, it will feel good. And, seeing all those folks gather for hot dogs and to catch up with one another at the Crescent Club on Saturday mornings -well, that always feels good. Small-town stuff that makes time stand still when it’s pretty darn busy around here. Another sigh of relief. Finally, when the fireworks go off above Siesta Beach next month, those sighs of relief will transition into a collective roar. A rocket’s red glare will remind me to thank my lucky stars. I’m living life on Siesta Key. And I pinch myself. It’s my reality. (John Morton is managing editor of Siesta Sand.)

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Word on the beach Crescent Beach vs. Turtle Beach. Which do you prefer, and why? Barbara Tewksbury, Massachusetts “I like Cresent because the sand is so beautiful and it’s so flat. Where I’m from, the beaches all have more of an incline. It’s hard to walk on them.So, here I’ve been walking a lot.” Bill Green Bay, Wisconsin “I’d say there is no right or wrong. It’s nice to have two beaches that are so different on the same key. I like the fishing down on Turtle, and it’s not as crowded. But Crescent Beach is closer to all the places that I like to go. It’s more convenient.” Jodi Greenwood, Indiana “Oh, Crescent for sure. You can’t find many beaches like this. I like that white sand that is so nice to walk on. And it doesn’t get hot. I don’t like how Turtle Beach is a little steep at the start of the water.” Dawn New Brighton, Minnesota “I’ve been coming here for 20 years and I think Turtle Beach is eroding. It’s a beautiful area, but there is not a lot of beach left. It’s so narrow now. Crescent is nice and wide for walking, and that sand is cool to the touch.”


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What’s behind the hospitality staffing crisis? Siesta Key Oyster Bar among local businesses feeling impact of sudden worker shortage By Hannah Wallace

On April 30, Siesta Key Oyster Bar posted a sudden announcement on its Facebook page: “In an effort to keep quality UP and standards of SKOB, AND WITH THE CURRENT LABOR SHORTAGE, it is our decision to sacrifice dinner service beginning this evening.” The post went on to cite staffing as well as staff training as reasons for the hiatus, adding that dinner service would resume three days later. The post garnered more than 120 comments, a combination of consolation and appreciation for SKOB’s standards and its history on the key. “I thought maybe we’d be criticized for closing, but we got a lot of support from the community,” said SKOB general manager Kristin Hale. In the days prior to the Facebook post, following the departure of the executive chef and several kitchen

staff, remaining SKOB employees had been working hard to fill the holes. Front-of-house staff, including managers, volunteered to work shifts in the kitchen — handling everything from line work to washing dishes. “We’re blessed to have such dedicated employees, who said ‘100 percent, whatever you need,’” said Hale. SKOB’s plight seemed to echo what’s happening at restaurants, retailers, and hospitality businesses around the area and indeed the country: staff shortages forcing business owners and management to change their hours, limit their services, or even shut down — temporarily or permanently. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we had so much staff looking for work and not enough work. And now we have a ton of work and not enough staff,” said Stephanie Galvez, director of hospitality for Sarasota’s Ad-Vance Recruiting.

Signs asking for workers are appearing all around Siesta Key, including this storefront in Southbridge Mall. (photo by John Morton)

“Heaven forbid you get sick, there’s no one to cover you,” said Emily Leighton, a 20-year service industry veteran who worked as a manager at Blasé Café last year before coming to Daiquiri Deck in January. “We don’t have the backup staff for the just-in-cases.” As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out and more and more Americans return to travelling, in-person shopping, and dining out, the workers who serve those fields haven’t been returning at the same rate.

“In 2020, there were over 10,000 fewer jobs in the hospitality sector [in Sarasota County] than there were the year before,” said Dr. Phillip Downs, a senior partner for Downs & St. Germain Research. Downs’ Tallahassee-based firm partners with local organizations around the country, including Visit Sarasota, to track the economic impact of the hospitality industry on various destination communities. “Since the start of this year, with demand picking back up,

all the hotels and restaurants are struggling,” Downs said. “It’s not just Sarasota. It’s everywhere from New York to Dallas to smaller cities like Sarasota or Fort Myers. It’s any industry that doesn’t pay a lot of money to entry level. It’s happening in childcare, too.” The consensus — from business owners, SKOB’s Facebook commenters, and even restaurant workers themselves — is that the staffing shortage stems in no small part from furloughed or laid-off workers choosing unemployment benefits and other COVID-19related financial support over a return to the job market. “The two main contributors are fear of getting COVID, and that the unemployment benefits have been sufficient to keep a significant percentage [of hospitality workers] on the sideline,” said Downs. He added that a hypothetical restaurant worker might say, “Maybe I can make $20,000 if I go Continued on page 33


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Island  Chatter Crime, visitor stats compared to 2019 yield similar numbers Having heard from Siesta residents who believe crime is rising on the Key, Kaitlyn Perez, community affairs director for the Sheriff’s Office, was asked for some comparison data. During the April 1 meeting of the Siesta Key Association, Sgt. Arik Smith, leader of the Sheriff’s Office substation on the island, reported that the department received 620 calls for assistance on the Key in March. He noted that only 50 of those (or 8%) were what used to be classified as Part 1 incidents, which the FBI considered the most serious types. (He also has explained that the classification system changed this year.) Last March, of course, when the COVID-19 pandemic was getting underway, far fewer visitors were on the island for the latter part of the month. Therefore, Perez was asked about the stats for March 2019, which was more of a typical spring break month. The Sheriff’s Office’s crime analyst indicated the total number of calls for service on Siesta in March 2019 was 537, Perez said. Of those, 22 (or 4%) were considered Part 1 crimes. Visitor statistics for this March and March 2019 were also compared. For years, Visit Sarasota County, the county’s tourism agency, has contracted with a Tallahassee firm, Downs & St. Germain, to undertake research into visitor data each month. Downs & St. Germain conducts interviews with visitors and uses a variety of sources to arrive at its figures, its principals have explained to the county’s Tourist Development Council. For March 2019, the firm put the total number of visitors to the county at 683,130. This March, the figure was 603,200. However, since December 2020, Smith has indicated in his reports that tourism has been trending higher on the island. Because people are far less worried about contracting COVID-19 when they are outdoors, based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  Community Spotlight Marguerite Barnett

Still drumming up a Siesta Beach sensation

Q

As someone involved at the beginning, you know the history of Siesta Key’s one-of-akind drum circle that pounds away on Sunday evenings at the public beach. Tell us about its origins. It was originally started by David Gittens, a local polymath who organized a full moon drumming ceremony in 1993 by the site of the “grandmother tree” on the south end of Siesta Key. It was attended by nearly a dozen drummers and one dancer and was led by David in meditative African drum rhythms. It was so inspiring that the group collectively decided to make it a weekly event which was held at Beach Access 8 until it outgrew the parking a few years later and was moved to the main beach. By the mid-’90s, it was attended by a younger crowd more interested in the drumming than the spirituality and many of the older regulars felt relegated to the sidelines. Even David left, replaced by what we elders jokingly called “the drum Nazis” because they dominated the circle with very loud driving rhythms. These rhythms were enjoyed by the many dancers and flow artists who came to play inside the circle with hula hoops, flowing veils and creative costumes. After dark a fire was lit in the center and fire dancers performed for about seven years before the authorities decided to

Whether she’s getting into the flow of things in the center of the circle, or banging on the drums along the edge, Marguerite Barnett loves the Siesta Key Drum Circle. (submitted photos, both pages)

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ban open flames on the beach. The only thing that could put a damper on the circle is rain, which is hard on drums, but once the new pavilion was built it became a non-issue. Occasionally, a bad red tide chases us off the beach.

Q

It has grown and grown in size, and now is even considered a tourist attraction. What do you estimate as your largest gathering? And share some details on its fame. It was estimated that during peak times in season, more than 1,000 people attend, including a core group of two dozen dedicated drummers and an equal number of dancers. This group was so dedicated that even three drummers and a dancer attended during a hurricane when the beach was only 10 feet wide. The wind was so loud and strong that the drummers were hard to hear

A

and the dancer was at a 45-degree angle into the wind! One never knew what would show up on a weekly basis -- we witnessed proposals and conducted wedding and memorial ceremonies in the center; we were invaded by a group of a dozen pirates in full costume one night (never got the story); we saw giant puppets, light puppets, furries, aliens, and even on a couple of occasions a full Celtic band including bagpipes. All are welcome (except the Jesus freaks who harangue attendees with signs and bullhorns telling us we are going to hell). It became famous because news outlets as varied as the New York Times and AAA have covered the shenanigans. An award-winning locally produced rum was named after the circle. At least two movies and half a dozen music videos

had scenes shot at the circle Award-winning photographers and amateurs have documented the circle. It has spawn other circles, including the Nokomis drum circle. Some lament the popularity as it can attract a certain party element just interested in being entertained. We original “organizers” did not do this with the intent of making an “event.” For most of us, it is our “church” -- a chance to put the cares of a busy week behind us and lose ourselves to the rhythms. For some of us it has led to a community, relationships, and lasting friendships.

Q

Is there a lead drummer during the event who sets the pace? Do the beats change? And are there any rules associated with the performers?

A

There is no “head” of a circle. All are equal and all contribute. The rhythms can vary depending on the mood of the attendees, from chaotic to sublime, but overall if I am surprised at anything it is how often it works. The drum circle as it exists has few rules other than to respect the other attendees and of course we must shut it down by 10 p.m. due to the noise ordinance. Drummers invest a fair amount into their drums so another rule is to be respectful and not try to play someone else’s drum without permission or take items like hoops or scarves from the dancers without permission Any noise-making instrument is welcome as long as it does not overwhelm the others. We have seen every kind of drum, including garbage cans, and people bring flutes and stringed instruments as well. One attendee brought his electric guitar and batterypowered amp, although some of the drummers didn’t care for it and made him do it on the opposite side of the circle. As in most collective engagements, some drummers stand out because of the strength and skill at holding rhythms. This is not necessarily the loudest drummer. Continued on next page

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  Community Spotlight

Continued from previous page

People are calling for the return of the “Goggle Guy,” aka Shawn Bowen, who holds forth on the djuns. Unfortunately, due to the recent lack of respect seen at the circle, he is staying away for a while until the pandemic quiets down. As a dancer, I can move away if someone is behaving in an unsafe fashion. But the drums are fixed.

Q A

What is your favorite type of inner-circle performer? It is hard to pick what is my favorite flow art. Sometimes I am as delighted by a 2-year-old twirling a ribbon on a stick as I am seeing a pro hulahooper standing on their hands and hooping with one toe. Until I stopped attending during the pandemic, I set up the center of the circle with a large LED ball as well as flowers and ferns.

Q

For those who want to join but may not have experience, is there something online that teaches this type of drumming? Don’t worry about learning online. I learned to drum by bringing my drum and watching the drummers. They set up such a standing wave that your hands/sticks will literally vibrate on your drum. If you insist on learning, check out the Siesta Key Drum Circle page on Facebook, as we frequently post videos on certain rhythms. Or, check out Rhythm Inlet in Nokomis. It sells percussion instruments of all kinds and provides classes on drumming.

A

Q A

Any closing thoughts? A frequently asked question I get from first-

time visitors is, “What is the meaning of this circle?” I honestly answer, “It means whatever you want it to mean.” If you come to the circle, as in life, with respect and good intentions, you will be rewarded with an incredible experience which you have collectively created. What is most important to me, and I suspect to many other attendees, is witnessing the joy of others forgetting about the shoulds and shouldn’ts and letting loose whether on drum or in dance. There is nothing like a crowd of all ages, colors, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious and political persuasions joining together for free on the most beautiful beach in the world, creating an experience that lasts for a lifetime.

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Residents again decry a proposed hotel Required workshop draws another round of concerns by Siesta Key citizens, this time for longtime Village lodge By Rachel Brown Hackney  SarasotaNewsLeader.com Quality-of-life concerns once again were 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 explained facets of their application and sought questions. Mostly, they heard comments. In fact, at one point, Michael Barfield of De Novo Law Services LLC in Sarasota, a paralegal

representing the hotel owners, asked everyone “to dial it down a little bit.” That followed a woman’s complaints about the trash that tourists leave in Siesta Village. 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 team also is seeking changes to a county future-land-use policy and zoning regulations, so it can construct the section of the new hotel with guest rooms above

two levels of parking. The main building, which will include meeting rooms, would be built to 35 feet above one level of parking. Island resident John Sudnik told the project team that, in 1970, his grandfather bought the residence he lives in and that he himself has been coming to the island since he was about 10. “Even in the last 10 years,” Sudnik pointed out, “Siesta Key has transformed into something that I would say most residents, permanent residents like us, don’t find that appealing. … It’s a very stark difference. “If you were really concerned

about the community, you’d be more concerned about our concerns and less about profitability. … I think you need to listen to what the community is saying here.” Tripling the number of rooms at the hotel, Glen Marimo and other speakers pointed out, will lead to more problems, including increased crime. “That’s a huge, significant change,” long-time Siesta activist Lourdes Ramirez pointed out of the plans. “Density is the enemy.” Michael Holderness, one of the hotel owners, and Weiqi Lin of Port and Coastal Consultants in Sarasota explained that the new

hotel would be compliant with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Because of what is known as the “50% rule,” Lin said, any improvements made to an existing structure in a flood zone that exceed 50% of the market value of that structure necessitate that the building be elevated. Therefore, Lin and Holderness pointed out, to redevelop the hotel beyond renovations undertaken in 2019, the owners have no choice but to comply with the FEMA and ADA standards. Continued on page 30

Even ‘singles’ need estate plans Sarasota Local Brings Experience & Trust to Siesta Key

If you don’t have a spouse or children, you might think you don’t need to do much estate planning. But if you have any assets, any familial connections, any interest in supporting charitable groups – not to mention a desire to control your own future – you do need to establish an estate plan. In evaluating your needs for this type of planning, let’s start with what might happen if you die intestate – that is, without a last will and testament. In this scenario, your assets will likely have to go through the probate process, which means they’ll be distributed by the court according to your state’s intestate succession laws, essentially without regard to your wishes. Even if you don’t have children yourself, you may have nephews or nieces, or even children of cousins or friends, to whom you would like to leave some of your assets, which can include not just money but also cars, collectibles, family memorabilia and so on. But if everything you own goes through probate, there’s no

support to one or more charitable organizations. Of course, you can simply name these charities in your will, but there may be options that could provide you with more benefits.

Joe St. Onge outside his office on Siesta Key.

guarantee that these individuals will end up with what you wanted them to have. If you want to leave something to family members or close friends, you will need to indicate this in your last will and testament or other estate planning documents. But you also may want to provide

One such possibility is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you’d transfer appreciated assets – such as stocks, mutual funds or other securities – into an irrevocable trust. The trustee, whom you’ve named – in fact, you could serve as trustee yourself – can then sell the assets at full market value, avoiding the capital gains taxes you’d have to pay if you sold them yourself, outside a trust. Plus, if you itemize, you may be able to claim a charitable deduction on your taxes. With the proceeds, the trust can purchase incomeproducing assets and provide you with an income stream for the rest of your life. Upon your death, the remaining trust assets will go the charities you’ve named. Aside from family members and charitable groups, there’s a third entity that’s central to your estate plans: yourself. Everyone

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should make arrangements to protect their interests, but, in the absence of an immediate family, you need to be especially vigilant about your financial and health care decisions. And that’s why, as part of your estate planning, you may want to include these two documents: durable power of attorney and a health care proxy. A durable power of attorney lets you name someone to manage your finances should you become incapacitated. This arrangement is especially important for anyone who doesn’t have a spouse to step in. And if you become incapacitated, your health care proxy – also known as a health care surrogate or medical power of attorney – lets you name another person to legally make health care decisions for you if you can’t do so yourself. Estate planning moves can be complex, so you’ll need help from a legal professional and possibly your tax and financial advisors. You may not have an immediate family, but you still need to take steps to protect your legacy.

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.

Best Burgers & Tacos on the Island! 5110 Ocean Blvd. • Siesta Key Village 941-487-8116 • IslandHouseTapAndGrill.com


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JUNE 2021

TURTLES

On Little Sarasota Bay

27th State Media LLC

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Casual Waterfront Dining Fun, Fresh & Affordable

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SALADS Turtles Salad … $15 Caesar Salad … $14 With grilled shrimp or chicken

SEAFOOD PLATTERS Fried Coconut Shrimp … $15 Large Gulf Shrimp … $14 Fish & Chips … $14

ENTREES

Mahi Mahi … $17 Sea Scallops … $21 6oz Filet Mignon … $18 Gulf of Mexico Grouper … $19 Salmon … $17 Filet Mignon & Stuffed Shrimp … $25 Potato Crusted Haddock … $14 Orange Pecan Chicken … $13 Turtles Fisherman Platter … $21 Baked Stuffed Shrimp … $19 Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin … $13

SANDWICHES Grouper Sandwich … $16 Cheeseburger … $10 Chicken Breast Sandwich … $9 Salmon BLT … $13

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Taste of Turtles … $23 Seared Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, Grilled Chicken Breast Topped with Mango & Kiwi Salsa, Coconut Crusted Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce.

Shrimp & Crab Scampi … $18 Turtles Salmon Pasta … $15 Chicken & Shrimp Curry … $16 Pasta Primavera … $13

Turtles Steak & Shrimp … $23 Grilled Filet Mignon, Shrimp in Scampi Sauce, Coconut Crusted Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce.

Loaded NY Strip … $25 Grilled 10oz NY Strip Topped with Grilled Shrimp in our Gourmet Cheese Sauce. Hawaiian Surf & Turf … $23 Grilled Filet Mignon and Seared Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna. Turtles Trio … $24 Grilled Filet Mignon, ½ Rack of BBQ Ribs, Coconut Crusted Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce. Taste Of South East Asia … $21 Grilled Chicken Breast Topped with Mango Kiwi Salsa, ½ Rack of BBQ Ribs, Teriyaki Shrimp. Surf & Turf … $22 Grilled Mahi Mahi Topped with Mango Kiwi Salsa and ½ Rack of BBQ Rib

It’s Turtles Time!

8875 Midnight Pass Rd. • Siesta Key 941-346-2207 • Turtlesrestaurant.com turtlessiestakey • turtlessiestakey Ride the Siesta Breeze Trolley from the Village


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Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

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July is the target month for occupation of the new Fire Station 13, now entering the home stretch of construction. (photo by John Morton)

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During a recent Facebook Live interview, Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier talked with Media Relations Officer Sara Nealeigh about the progress on the new Fire Station 13, which is under construction next to Siesta Public Beach. “We’re about 90% complete,” Regnier said of the project, which began about 10 months ago. The crews have been operating out of temporary facilities the county rented in a building just south of the site. “They can’t wait to get into the fire station,” he said.

If construction stays on schedule, Regnier added, the new building should be ready for occupation in July — around the beginning of summer. And it will be hurricanehardened, Regnier and Nealeigh emphasized, which the previous building — constructed in the 1970s — was not. Crews still will be evacuated in advance of a storm’s potential strike on the county, Regnier explained, but as soon as the county’s Emergency Services leaders give the “All clear” for a return to the island, the crews immediately will be back

at the station, ready to serve in whatever capacity is needed. And speaking of the original structure: “There’s a little piece of history in this station,” Nealeigh said of the new facility. “We were able to preserve a lot of that brick” from the 1970s structure, Regnier explained. It is being used for exposed brick walls in the new building. As they conducted the interview, workers were busy in the background. As Regnier put it, “[There are] a lot of things happening right now.”

Beach smoking ban again extinguished NOW OPEN FOR BREAKFAST 8 AM - 11 AM LUNCH & DINNER SERVED 11 AM - 9 PM

Once again, state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, was unable to push his “no smoking on the beach” bill through the Florida Legislature. Senate Bill 334 did garner two favorable committee votes — in Community Affairs (8-1 in support) and Environment and Natural Resources (5-0 in favor) — the bill’s webpage shows. The last listing for it was on April 21, when it was on the agenda for a meeting of the Rules Committee. A notation with that listing says the hearing was “temporarily postponed.”

The Legislature adjourned about midafternoon on April 30. The bill would have allowed counties and municipalities to restrict smoking “within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks that they own,” and it would have prohibited smoking in state parks. An amendment to the proposed bill was approved by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the webpage says. State Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Lake Mary, proposed that, the webpage notes.

That amendment would have allowed the smoking of cigars and pipe tobacco “within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks” owned by local governments, as well as in state parks. The companion House bill, HB 239, never made it out of the Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee, where it ended up on March 16, that webpage says. This legislative session marked Gruters’ third attempt to enable local governments to regulate smoking on the beaches.

CAPTAIN CURT’S VILLAGE

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www.siestasand.us

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JUNE 2021

From the Grill...

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

★★★★★ 5 STAR REVIEWS THE NORM FOR THIS SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

27th State Media LLC

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Reviewed February 16, 2021

From the Market...

Large selection of fresh seafood. Special Orders Welcome!

I really like this family business. Just fresh good food, especially excellent fish and seafood. If you want quality, simply cooked to order fish and sides, this is it. My favorite key lime pie in town, too. So glad I found this little place a few years ago. Clam chowder is really nice, too.

We will be closed June 5th-13th to celebrate our Son’s Wedding! We will reopen on June 14th.

Feeling crabby? Come on down and enjoy our fresh crab cakes. You can order them three different ways! 1. Crab cake appetizer 2. Crabby BLT sandwich 3. Crab cake dinner! Then to finish it off with a piece of homemade key lime pie.

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


12

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

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

We offer a fun and affordable assortment of unique coastal themed souvenirs, gifts, home decor, artwork by local artists, t-shirts, hats, beach gear and more!

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6635 Midnight Pass Rd.

15-year-old arrested in beach-lot shooting By Rachel Brown Hackney  SarasotaNewsLeader.com

A 15-year-old North Port resident was arrested following a shooting just after 11:30 p.m. on May 7 in the Siesta Public Beach parking lot, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported. The shooter was taken into custody just after 3 a.m. on May 8 at the Sheriff’s Office headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota, the official report said. A full-time county resident, he was listed in the report as a student at North Port High School. The Siesta Sand’s policy is to not name the accused when he or she is a minor. Following the shooting, the victim “was assisted into an unknown vehicle with the help of [a] friend and several other people,” the report said. Deputies later were alerted that the victim had been transported to Fire Station 13, which is operating out of temporary quarters in a commercial building just south of the beach park. The victim suffered gunshot wounds to his right arm and the right side of his buttocks, the report noted. He was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital “for further medical care,” the report added.

The victim was not identified; the report cited Marsy’s Law, which allows victims of crimes to keep their names confidential. The Sheriff’s Office initially charged the shooter with aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon, a 9mm Glock. However, Community Affairs Director Kaitlyn R. Perez said on May 13 that the victim had signed a waiver of prosecution. That means no charges are pending against him, she added, and the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial District will not be reviewing the case, either. At the Sheriff’s Office headquarters on May 8, the official report said, the boy “invoked his rights and did not wish to answer any questions.” An officer then contacted his mother. After she arrived, the report added, she “attempted to speak to her son about the incident; during their conversation he never denied his involvement in the shooting.” The boy was released into the custody of his 34-year-old mother, the report said. On the night of May 7, the report explained, deputies already were at the beach park, investigating

Happiness is…Fresh Fruit It’s that time of year, y’all! Fresh fruit season. The time of year to pick those fresh peaches and berries. The folks at Abel’s Ice Cream love this time of year because they get to celebrate those refreshing, summer flavors blended into the best ice cream around. Jerry and Jill Williams, owners of Abel’s Ice Cream

What bursts of summer flavors can you discover at Abel’s? Cherries, raspberries, blackberries,

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941-203-5822

www.siestasand.us

key limes, and their perennial customer favorite, fabulous Peach Ice Cream. (Delicious Peach ice cream is loaded with peaches and would make a Southerner proud!) You don’t want to miss these delicious seasonal treats. Come and visit Abel’s while these flavors are hot, or in Abel’s case, sweet and cold.

Point Road, Sarasota in the South Bridge Plaza. Open Sunday through Thursday from Noon-9:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from Noon-10 pm. Learn more online at our website, www.abelsicecream.com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

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a call about a noise disturbance. They heard multiple gunshots from the other side of the parking lot, the report added, and several bystanders told one deputy that the suspect had been seen running northbound, toward 1001 Beach Road, “with a gun in his hand.” The latter address is the location of Our House at the Beach by Tropical Sands Accommodations, which is across from the beach park. During a formal interview at the hospital, the report said, the victim told an officer that “he was hanging out at Siesta Key near the main entrance [to the beach park],” on the sidewalk, when he was shot. The victim indicated that he did not know the assailant, the report said. A witness told an officer that she saw the shooting as she was standing on her fifth-floor balcony. Moments before the boy allegedly fired the gun she had seen him talking to the victim and a friend of the victim “at the corner entrance” to the parking lot, off Beach Road. As the victim and his friend were walking away, toward the south, the witness added, the suspect pulled out a handgun “and shot several rounds towards the victim and his friend.”

Stay connected to life on Siesta Key.

Subscribe to Siesta Sand Weekly eNewsletter. Visit siestasand.us to sign up.

Big Water Fish Market Retail Market & Restaurant

6641 Midnight Pass Rd, Crescent Plaza

Monday - Sea Club Tuesday - Tuna Tuesdays Wednesday - Soft Shell Crab Sandwich Thursday - Lobster Roll Friday - Pompano Cubano Saturday - Seafood Pasta Sunday - Ceviche Nachos We are open for dine in, takeout, or curbside pickup. www.bigwaterfishmarket.com

941-554-8101

Siesta Key’s Best Fish Market Now selling steaks, poultry, and deli meats in retail market

Fresh, Local, Wild Caught, Sustainable Seafood · Grouper · Snapper · Mahi · Irish Salmon · Hog Fish · Triple Tail · Shrimp · Scallops · Steaks · Produce RESTAURANT OPEN 11 AM - 9 PM RETAIL MARKET OPEN 11 AM - 8 PM MONDAY - SATURDAY


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Sheriff’s Report April 18 drug possession In a gas station parking lot, an officer noticed a female quickly exit her vehicle, which was also occupied by two males. The officer’s partner offered to give the female a ride while the officer made contact with the two other people in the vehicle. After receiving consent from the female to conduct a search of the vehicle, one officer found a clear bag containing several round blue pills. These pills were later identified as oxycodone hydrochloride and categorized as a Schedule 2 controlled substance. The female defendant, although denying the pills as her own, was declared to be in possession of a controlled substance without prescription. April 20 theft The complainant called the front desk to report that while she was swimming in the complex’s pool, her Apple watch went missing. She looked for it using “find my iphone”, and the watch was shown to be at Palm Bay Club. When she reported the incident and attempted to track the watch again, she was unable to receive a location. April 22 vehicle burglary An officer was dispatched after the victim claimed that her purse had been stolen from her unlocked vehicle the night prior. She advised that her purse, car key, wallet, and several hundred dollars in cash were all taken from her car, valued at a total of $2,200. The officer searched the neighborhood but was unable to locate information that led to any suspects. April 23 vehicle theft The complainant reported that his mother’s truck had been stolen and the

paramedics. While the victim confirmed the complainant’s story, an independent witness to the incident claimed to have observed the complainant and his friends encouraging the three suspects to fight them. He then saw several shots fired in the air by one of the suspects and then both parties drove off in opposite directions.

suspect was driving the vehicle to North Washington Boulevard. The defendant had contacted the complainant, admitting to the theft and advising him of her intended destination. Claiming that the complainant was aware of her using the vehicle to help her brother and get food, the defendant insisted that the complainant only called the police because of recent personal animosity. Despite this, the complainant’s mother pressed charges and the defendant was arrested for grand theft of a motor vehicle.

the suspect and another person get into the car and flee the area. The defendant was arrested after he drove the stolen vehicle back to the establishment.

May 1 burglary An officer was notified that the yellow lifeguard stand on the beach had been burglarized between closing on April 30 and the morning of May 1. The window on the stand was opened and there was damage to the wood paneling surrounding it. Although it did not appear that anything had been taken, items were scattered around the stand and on the stairwell.

April 23 burglary A complainant advised that someone had tried to break into her home through her locked front door earlier that day. The unknown subject was not able to gain entry into her home, but the structural damage caused by the attempted breaking of the door required a replacement costing $1,000. The victim speculated that her estranged step-brother’s involvement would be a possibility, as there has been a long-enduring conflict between them. An investigation continues. April 30 robbery The complainant advised that while he and his friends were partying at a bar on Ocean Boulevard, he saw three males exit a silver sedan and start beating one of his friends. One of the men struck the victim in the eye with a firearm and then, after taking the victim’s cell phone and Gucci hat, they fired off several rounds from a handgun into the air. Although there were visible injuries to the victim, he requested not to be checked by

May 14 battery/disorderly intoxication At a local bar the victim stated that the defendant was severely intoxicated and disturbing other people in the bar. When asked to exit the bar, the defendant refused and punched the victim in the abdomen while shouting profanities and acting enraged. This behavior continued as the defendant was handcuffed by police. The victim did not wish to be checked by paramedics or press charges against the defendant. May 12 vehicle theft An officer was waved down by the victim, who claimed that her rental vehicle had been stolen after her friend misplaced the keys in the bathroom of a bar in the Village. Surveillance footage from the bar showed

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Angie Bastian, vice-president of the Beach Terrace Association Board of Directors, enjoys a chat with architect Frank Folsom Smith while sharing a reminiscent look at an aerial photograph of the building they both love. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

Here’s to one teriffic Terrace Iconic island condo residents celebrate its 50th anniversary with gala gathering that pays tribute to the architect and showcases updates By Jane Bartnett

N

ot every 50-year-old building is honored with a gala birthday party. Then again, The Terrace condominium isn’t just any building. Built in 1961 and located at 5400 Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Key’s Village, the 16-story, 71-unit waterfront complex was the tallest building on the island. Designed by a celebrated young architect named Frank Folsom Smith, the building reflected the new modern style of architecture. Soon after The Terrace was built, Sarasota County reduced the height regulations for residential structures. Although Smith’s work can be found around the country, it is here in Sarasota that his impact is most strongly felt. When Smith began his architectural career the modern designs that he and a small group of architects embraced formed what became the Sarasota School of Architecture. In 2019, during its annual conference called “Sarasota in the Sixties,” the Sarasota Architectural Foundation honored Smith along with fellow architects Carl Abbott, Joe Farrell, Tim Seibert and Jack West. The event gained international attention. On April 24, residents of The Terrace gathered in the building’s lobby to celebrate their home and to toast Smith, the 90-year-old guest of honor. He spoke about his long career and the importance of the building’s design. The event was, according to the invitation, “a celebration of mid-century modern architecture and its timeless lines, expansive windows and integration with nature.” Smith, who made his home here in the early 1960s, recalled how that era was “a busy time in the architectural world. It was an exciting decade for our generation.” In designing The Terrace, Smith said “I wanted my building to be strong and long-lasting with its impressive views and outdoor living space.” Made of poured concrete, he recalled that the “trucks were working 24 hours a day for close to four weeks.” The design,” he said, “presented a terrific challenge” due to its location. “It reminded me of a moonshot,” Smith joked, harkening back to those days. Sarasota architect Michael Halflants, a partner in the firm Halflants & Pichette who was on hand for the celebration, called The Terrace “an architecturally significant building. It meets the sky and folds into the ground. It is a well-thought-out building structurally and it has aged very well. “The proportions of the building feel right when you’re close to it or if you see it from a distance, and it still looks contemporary.” Recently, Halflants and his partner John Pichette put their own mark on The Terrace by redesigning several Continued on page 31

Above, newly designed units give The Terrace a contemporary look while maximizing sensational water views. (photo courtesy of Halflants & Pichette) Below, The Terrace as seen today. (photo by John Morton)


www.siestasand.us

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JUNE 2021

Siesta Key is more popular than ever for beach weddings, but there are some things you should know

B

arefoot brides and grooms from all over the country are flocking to Siesta Key beaches to say “I do.” Wedding ceremonies postponed by COVID-19 and regional restrictions on the number of guests have had couples rethinking the best way to celebrate their big day. For many, the ideal wedding venue is one of Siesta Key’s scenic beaches. To marry on Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach or Turtle Beach -- the three Siesta Key beaches where weddings are permitted -- a beach wedding permit must be obtained from the Sarasota County Department of Parks and Recreation. A Florida marriage license from the Sarasota County Clerk’s office, or any county clerk’s office in Florida, is also necessary. Nationally, the entire year of 2021 is expected to be one of the busiest years for weddings in recent times, according to a national survey of 7,600 couples who had planned to marry in 2020. A poll that was conducted by The Knot, an online wedding website, and released in February, showed that 47% of couples surveyed postponed their 2020 ceremony to 2021. Of those, six in 10 couples responded that they selected an outdoor location. Places such as Siesta Key are realizing the impact of this trend. “Last year we were reducing and canceling,” said Brandon Wheeler, owner of Gulf Beach Weddings. “Now our summer and fall schedule is busy and we’re starting to book beach weddings into 2022.” Although wedding experts recommend planning a wedding six to 12 months in advance, Wheeler said that “suddenly many brides are calling and asking for wedding dates that are two months out.” Michelle Borrero, who runs the Sarasota-based Precious

By Jane Bartnett Moments Events firm with her husband Nelson, reported “Now that things are opening up, people are getting married and they want to get married in a bigger way. We’re seeing a strong influx of couples from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They’re all fleeing the cold weather and COVID restrictions in those northern states.” Popular as they may be, beach weddings come with certain unique issues that may not exist at indoor locations. “Many people don’t know,” Borrero said, “that here in Sarasota we are in the middle of turtle nesting season that runs from May 1 through Oct. 31. “This may impact available locations and for sunset wedding ceremonies, we must limit any lighting.” Nesting turtles, according to Mote Marine, rely on dim natural light to find their way to the water. Lights from the land and on the beach can disorient nesting female turtles and their young. Other natural elements can come into play during a beach wedding ceremony. Kimberly Frazer, a wedding planner and co-owner of The Perfect Dress, a bridal store on South Osprey Avenue in Sarasota, notes that she has seen beach breezes blow chairs and decorations away. And while going barefoot may sound romantic, Frazer strongly advises brides and their wedding parties to wear flat shoes or sandals to avoid harm from shells or rocks. When it comes to choosing a bridal gown, Frazer recommends a gown with a flowing skirt made of chiffon, crepe or tulle, explaining that “the dress will look airy and beautiful at the ceremony and in the wedding photos.” She also urges brides to select a long cathedral-length veil for a elegant look. Brides on the beach

should avoid getting the dress wet because it could stain. Although, she said, “Sand on your veil or dress won’t do any harm. Just shake it out as you leave the beach on your way to the reception.” Couples marrying on a Siesta Key beach may choose a religious or civil ceremony. In Florida, notaries public are legally permitted to perform civil ceremonies. The Sunshine State is one of only three states in the nation where this is allowed. Clergy who are licensed in Florida may also perform weddings. And, for the record, same-sex marriages became legal here in 2015. The Rev. Susan “Sophie” Bierker, an ordained minister in the Unity Church and a notary public, is a Sarasota wedding officiant who has performed many first and second weddings on Siesta Key beaches. Her most memorable event took place when two people wouldn’t let a few raindrops dampen their dreams. “As we began the ceremony, it was just the three of us on the beach,” she recalled. “Suddenly it began pouring rain. They wanted to stay. We laughed, continued on and we all got completely wet. “It’s one of my fondest memories.” Nancy Taussig, a notary public and wedding officiant in Sarasota, said that vow-renewal ceremonies on the beach have become increasingly popular. Not long ago Taussig conducted one for five couples from the same family. The grandparents, Taussig noted, were celebrating 75 years of marriage. Their two married children joined them, along with two married grandchildren and their spouses. “Now that,” she said, “was a ceremony their family will talk about for generations to come.”

A guide to planning a beach wedding here • A free, web-accessible guide from Visit Sarasota, the official tourism organization for Sarasota County, is called “Say I Do to a Sarasota Wedding” and can be found at visitsarasota.com/visitsarasota-county-wedding-guide • A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days from the application date from the Sarasota County or any Florida county clerk’s office. The fee is $86. Go to sarasotaclerk.com. • Florida marriage licenses for

non-Florida residents are valid day of purchase. • Marriage licenses for Florida residents are valid three days after purchase. • Permits for beach weddings on Siesta Key beaches are required and can be obtained from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation. Call (941) 861-7275 and speak to a representative. • Wedding permits for Siesta Beach are $75/hour, with a twohour minimum.

• There are three permitted wedding locations on Siesta Beach. • Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach wedding permits are $40 per hour with no minimum time. There is one designated wedding location on Crescent Beach and one on Turtle Beach. • For a list of businesses that provide wedding and event services on Siesta Key, visit the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce at siestakeychamber.com/siesta-keychamber/member-directory.

15

DUTCH VALLEY RESTAURANT

A lifeguard tower on Siesta Beach makes for a perfect backdrop for a beautiful wedding ceremony. (photo courtesy of Florida Gulf Beach Weddings)

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16

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

Siesta Sand launches new website and introduces new eNewsletter The Siesta Sand launched a new website in May offering readers a fresh design, more content, better functionality, and a better user experience. One of the key enhancements to the site is a mobile responsive experience for people accessing SiestaSand.us on their electronic devices. That is right, the new URL for the Siesta Sand is SiestaSand.us. However, if you type in the old domain, SiestaSand.net, you will be quickly redirected to the new site. The site features new navigation, lots of photos, business listings, and a new article tagging discipline so visitors to the site will easily find content that interests them. Additionally, the site launch effectively represents the “grand opening” of the Siesta Sand Store, our online store that currently features Siesta Sand branded apparel and newspaper subscriptions. “We wanted to get the store open,” said Todd Zerega, coowner of the Siesta Sand. “The plan is to build out the store with

merchandise from third-party partners that allows them to leverage our traffic to sell their products online. We are currently finalizing several agreements with future partners.”

Additionally, the Siesta Sand is introducing a new weekly eNewsletter on June 2. The weekly eNewsletter will features news, photos, games, and special offers from Siesta Key- and surrounding-

area businesses. “This was a good time to introduce a weekly eNewsletter,” said Brion Palmer, co-owner of the Siesta Sand. “Siesta Key is buzzing with activity; the incorporation

effort, the proposed hotel projects, and life on the Key is vibrant once again. The eNewsletter will allow us to keep residents and visitors updated on Key happenings in a timelier manner.” Explained Palmer, “The eNewsletter isn’t a replacement to the monthly, the Siesta Sand. The stories in the eNewsletter will be brief but provide important updates to interested parties.” Subscriptions to the Siesta Sand Weekly eNewsletter are complimentary. Simply go to SiestaSand.us and click the “Subscribe to the Sand” link up on the very top right of the webpage and you will be taken to a page that will allow you to sign up. The website and weekly eNewsletter will also be great ways for Siesta Key businesses to promote and advertise their businesses,” Palmer added. “The traffic to our site is already good and with the new site and the addition of weekly content offerings, we expect to see significant growth near-term.”

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  What’s new ... on Siesta Key

Sandwiches now share center stage at Big Water eatery A variety of ‘up north’ deli favorites make their way onto menu By Jane Bartnett A steaming-hot grilled Reuben sandwich, packed with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing, between two slices of rye bread. It’s a wonderful thing to behold. It’s even better, when done properly, as you sink your teeth into it. For transplanted New Yorkers, it’s a taste of home. For all those who long for the hot deli sandwiches and subs that they enjoyed “up north,” the long wait is over. Look no farther than Big Water Fish Market’s new deli in Crescent Plaza on Midnight Pass Road. This is where deli lovers will find these perfect delicacies. Scott Dolan, who owns the shop, is a big fan of Reubens and other such sandwiches. The Midnight Pass Pastrami sandwich, Reds Pressed Cuban, Big Ten Brisket Hero, and East Coast Roast Beef sandwich complement a selection of other favorites such as bagel and lox sandwiches, egg salad on a wrap or sandwich bread, and chicken noodle soup. While it’s all authentic deli fare, the steamed offerings are the creations that Dolan is most proud of. “I’ve got deli in my blood,” he said, recalling his early days growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “There were lots of delis in Ann Arbor,” he added, and Dolan broke into the food business helping his father with a produce facility and indoor farmers market. After college he relocated to a booming Atlanta market that was a big draw for many

Left, Big Water owner Scott Dolan (left) and deli manager Phil Taylor appear to be negotiating on who gets first dibs on a Reuben sandwich. Above, the mighty Reuben itself. (photos by Jane Bartnett and John Morton)

northern residents. In 1990, he opened a New York-style deli that grew to three locations, in addition to a baseball concession stand. “Atlanta was young and growing and transplanted New Yorkers were especially missing their delis,” he recalled. “I was one of the first people to open a deli.” In 1999, Dolan sold his Atlanta deli, packed his bags, and in 2000 relocated to Sarasota. In 2011, he decided that the time was right to open a fresh fish market and restaurant serving Siesta Key. He called it Big Water Fish Market. “Before we opened here in Crescent Plaza, people had to cross the bridge and travel to the mainland for fresh fish,” he said.

This November, Dolan will celebrate Big Water’s 10th anniversary. Part of the party will be acknowledging the success of the deli portion of his business, which launched in January. “We had planned to open of the deli in March 2020, but we had to put the brakes on that,” he said, referring to the start of the pandemic. As 2020 wore on, the seafood operation remained open and the business continued to serve the needs of the community. “We we were considered a vital business and we were lucky in that we didn’t have to close the market,” he said. Almost a year after Dolan originally had

planned, the timing appeared right to open the deli. He gauged it correctly, and the risk paid off. As tourists flocked to Siesta Key, the entire Sarasota area was lifted by a very busy winter season. Word spread about the new deli inside of the Big Water Fish Market. The hot sandwiches were a hit among beachgoers and for tourists on and off the Key. “If we didn’t get a season this year, we would have been in trouble,” Dolan said with great sincerity. The deli now under the watchful eye of manager Pete Taylor. It joins Anna’s Deli in Southbridge Mall as the second deli on the south end of the island. “Anna’s had been the only sandwich shop in town and I give them great credit,” he said, “but they don’t do hot sandwiches. That sets us apart.” Dolan noted that the Big Water Market Deli’s fresh lobster rolls are another big hit with customers. “We get a delivery from a truck from Boston every Thursday with lobster, cod, halibut and clams,” he said. “The lobster delivery includes live hand-picked lobster meat for the sandwiches.” As summer begins, Dolan looks ahead to maintaining a steady stream of customers. He’s also looking forward to having his college-student nephew Patrick Dolan behind the deli counter, learning to create the perfect Reuben.

This gemstone will amaze you! 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.

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plumage. A white stripe on its side completes the ensemble. Its yellow-green legs and feet give the impression of being stained by green algae, but this is just their natural appearance. Gallinules are included in the rail family of birds whose members are chickenlike marsh dwellers with short wings and tail, and oversized feet with long toes. True to their rail heritage, the skittish gallinule strolls across floating vegetation while darting in and out of the thick cover of marsh grasses and brush. Despite the fact that its large feet are not webbed, the gallinule swims almost as deftly as a duck, bobbing its head to the beat of its own drum.

This year-round resident of Siesta Key and Sarasota County is also a familiar sight throughout the eastern United States. The gallinule’s most unusual feature is a bright-red shield on its forehead, making it anything but common. The bird is a study in color contrast, with vibrant red and yellow accents set against a dark charcoal head and body, and brown wing

Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards showcase Siesta Key natural scenic beauty and wildlife. They are available in two locations:

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Gaillardia, also known as blanket flower, is a flower in the sunflower family Asteraceae. Native to North America, it’s a very easy plant to grow and is a nice addition to add when you make a bouquet of cut flowers. Gaillardia can re-seed and sprawl through the garden. They can take full sun, and the mature size is 12 to 18 inches tall with a spread of 12 to 24 inches. A bonus is that they will bloom off and on from summer into fall. It’s a nice addition to you gardens if you like various shades of red,

yellow, orange, or peach. Once established, these are a droughtresistant plant. They attract pollinator bees, butterflies and sometimes (if you’re lucky) hummingbirds. Gaillardia is currently in bloom in the Butterfly Garden at Sarasota Garden, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts. For information, go to SarasotaGardenClub.org or call (941) 955-0875. Submitted by Kay Weber, Botanical Gardens Chair, Sarasota Garden Club


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ILLEGAL SHORT-TERM RENTALS: A SPECIAL REPORT

‘I have been pushed out’ Some residents, like Jean Cannon, feel the frustration of Siesta Key’s growing problem with transient visitors By John Morton

A

fter 24 years of living in the gulffront townhouse of her dreams, Jean Cannon is putting it up for sale. She’ll leave behind her lush, impeccable front-yard garden -- the one she’s doted upon on a daily basis. The endless deep-blue views and easyaccess beach walks? They’ll be gone. She’s doing this not because she wants to downsize, needs the money, or is trying to strike during a strong seller’s market. No, it’s because she’s simply fed up with the chaos across the street. “It has become way too much. I have been pushed out,” said the resident of the 500 block of Beach Road, between beach accesses 9 and 10. “I’m tired of calling the cops because of the noise, knowing there’s nothing they will do. That’s silly. I don’t want to be the grumpy old lady on the block.” The rental of single-family homes for less than 30 days is illegal here, but it’s become a widespread reality on the Key and certainly in Cannon’s highly soughtafter neighborhood. When two new, fourstory buildings were built across the street from Cannon in 2014, complete with three large street-side balconies, the growing problem was suddenly right on top of her. “There were some old Florida homes there and, when they began to tear them down, I thought ‘Great. They’re really upgrading the neighborhood.’ Well, that’s not what happened at all,” she said. “This is what I got instead.” The first sign of trouble was when she saw advertisements out front stating that each house could accommodate 24 people. Today, both structures are for sale with a sign noting “income producing” on them. Meanwhile, a group shows up for the weekends, followed by another during the weekdays.

Beach Road resident Jean Cannon as at the end of her rope in regard to the short-term rentals across the street from her residence. She is even planning to sell her townhouse. Meanwhile, her neighbor always keeps the front blinds closed, she said, in an effort to fend off the constant noise. (photos by John Morton)

That cycle has been on nothing other than repeat. “This spring season was especially bad,” Cannon said. “They would party and shout back and forth on the balconies, all six of them. And the voices and music carry like you can’t believe. “Then there are the cars. They are

everywhere, including the lawn. But the police won’t do anything if they aren’t blocking the sidewalk. “It would be one thing if there was someone I could call. Like at a hotel, you call the front desk. But in this case, I have no idea who owns them.” Cannon used to own a rental property

in the Florida Keys, where owners had to register with the municipality, pass an annual fire inspection, and have their contact information mounted on a plaque outside the front door. Sarasota County does not require such measures, but leaders are beginning to explore their options (see story below). “Let’s face it, the county wasn’t prepared for this,” Cannon said. “Many of these (rentals) are not run legally, and we all know it. “You’ve got hotels that aren’t really hotels. It’s all far too dense.” That type of influx of people is hard on more than just the residents, she said. “It’s also an assault on our environment,” said Cannon, who hopes to rent in the area so she can continue to work on the canal regeneration project on the Key. “If we don’t run things effectively here, we’ll lose this beauty we have.” *** It’s one thing to see illegal short-term rentals on the main drag in the heart of the island’s tourist area, where Cannon lives. But off the beaten path near Boyd Park? Indeed, the Village and beaches are far from the Waterside East neighborhood where Victoria Popowick lives on the north part of the Key. “This is as residential as it gets,” she said. That’s why she was worried when “an army of workers” arrived in October to overhaul a large home near her Commonwealth Drive residence. “The owners went to the neighbors and introduced themselves. They even gave us gifts. And that’s the last we’ve seen of them,” Popowick said. “Since then, the house has more than 20 people in it at a time. And they overload the waste receptacle the county gives everyone. Continued on page 31

County leaders look for ideas, answers By Rachel Brown Hackney  SarasotaNewsLeader.com Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Services staff has offered various suggestions to the County Commission in response to the board’s latest request for ideas about how best to deal with illegal, short-term vacation rentals. Among the information in a new report, staff provided details about how three other communities are handling the same types of problems that have become more common in Sarasota County’s jurisdiction, especially on Siesta Key. The primary concern, Planning and Development staff stressed, is that the commissioners must be careful about any action they take, so as not to endanger the regulations their predecessors enacted about a decade ago. An October 2018 report to the board members regarding vacation rental regulations in the county code — which was included in the new document — said “The county is constrained in making amendments to the existing regulations,” as those have been “grandfathered in” by subsequent actions in the Florida Legislature. Generally, bills that have been filed for consideration apply to local laws that were adopted after June 1, 2011. That October 2018 report added that the “specific scope of the [state] preemption is limited to: (1) prohibiting rental or vacation rentals; and (2) regulating the

duration or frequency of rental or vacation rentals. Thus, the county can enact or amend ordinances governing vacation rentals, so long as they do not deal with these two subjects.” The new report, released this spring, discusses how the cities of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria, plus Monroe County (where the Florida Keys are located) handle short-term rentals. In Holmes Beach, the document says, any person who operates a vacation rental must apply for a vacation rental certificate. “The application requires the property owner to certify compliance with the following: (1) Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations concerning use of ground-level space; (2) the validity of an active license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation; (3) the validity of an active resale certificate for sales tax; (4) collection and submission of the required tourist development tax; and (5) that the vacation rental property complies with all city ordinances.” Section 5.2.3.a.1 of the Sarasota County Code does call for the following: “The owner or managing agent of real property that is offered for rent or lease shall maintain records, including the names and addresses of the lessees, that are adequate to establish

the period for which a unit is rented and the names of family members or unrelated individuals occupying the premises during each rental period. Such records shall be provided upon request to inspectors authorized by Sarasota County to enforce these regulations.” Next, the report says, Anna Maria has a regulation that requires vacation rental registration. “The application requires submittal of current and active licenses from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, evidence of compliance with tourist development tax requirements, an exterior sketch, and an interior sketch of the vacation rental facility. Every property owner must be available to handle complaints,” the report notes. There are also maximum occupancy requirements. As for Monroe County, a property owner must obtain an annual, “special vacation rental permit for each dwelling unit prior to renting any dwelling unit. The property owner is required to have a designated contact for responding to complaints by neighbors and must maintain a guest register, leases, and official complaint response records.” The Monroe County Code also has “special provisions governing the number of motorized

watercraft allowed, a prohibition against on-street parking, noise restrictions, and regulations governing trash and debris.” As Sarasota County commissioners have pointed out, Siesta residents typically complain about multitudes of vehicles parked at homes rented for vacation purposes, as well as late-night noise and trash piled at the curbside by visitors who leave days before the weekly Waste Management pickup. On Feb. 24, the commissioners discussed the complaints they have been hearing about shortterm illegals. Chairman Alan Maio suggested the potential of hiring more county code enforcement staff, noting that many situations do arise at night and on weekends. He also talked of the potential of “some sort of ticketing mechanism.” Even though the commissioners have conducted several regular meetings since the latest report was completed, none of them brought up its findings. However, the potential exists for such discussions during their upcoming budget workshops — especially if any of them does wish to pursue the option of hiring more code enforcement personnel. Three days have been set aside in late June for them to delve into planning for the 2022 fiscal year, which will begin Oct. 1

Tracking the rentals The March 23 report further notes that several software packages provide opportunities to monitor/track short-term rental activities. Based on staff’s preliminary analysis of such software, the report adds, the packages “appear to track real-time information from rental on-line platforms,” such as Vrbo and Airbnb. “The software also can determine whether [the property owners] have proper permits or registrations that may be required by a jurisdiction and monitor listing calendars for reservations.” Nonetheless, the report continues, “While these types of software may provide additional information for the county, additional research would be need to be conducted to determine what resources would be needed to implement and administer such a system, as well as whether any county regulations would need to be adjusted that correlate with the tracking [for example, the creation of a registry]. Even with the use of this type of software,” the report cautions that staff still would have to contend with challenges related to enforcing the regulations “and proving actual transactions for illegal short-term rental activity.” The report adds that the county does have software in place that tracks existing violations.


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Mind Body Soul: Whole Wellness By Dolores Day “He who has health, has hope; and Sse who has hope has everything.” -- Arabian proverb

W

e have been given a gift of a vessel -- our body -- that houses our very soul and helps us to experience this thing we call life. It is a mind puzzle to me why so many of us daily abuse this home we live in and rob ourselves of the very health that we all deep down desire. Maybe it’s all the false advertising, misinformation, culture conditioning as a child, or perhaps lack of self-worth that drives many to a lifestyle that is filled with a myriad of excesses, poisons, and harmful habits. Others are innocently being preyed upon by the corporations wishing to pick their pockets and confuse them by selling the latest fad or product that offers them their best health in just 10 days. Regardless, the plethora of mistruths and options available make it difficult to learn and participate in what really contributes to excellent health. As a health practitioner, one of the first things I do is teach my client that the first step to great health is taking full, 100% personal responsibility for the choices THEY are making that directly impacts their health. We must be our own health advocate and begin to be more aware of every choice we make. When we step into this role and begin to assume responsibility, we now possess the power to educate ourselves and sift through the flood of information that streams our way. There certainly are more choices now than ever before when it comes to what is good or bad for our health. However, we must begin to actively seek out the best choices and then participate in them regularly. I encourage everyone to change the way they look at

food and their relationship to it. Food is energy, and energy is life-sustaining. We need food. Unfortunately, the inadequacies of the American diet and lack of nutritional substance in our modern food is one of the major factors in poor health. As a society, our most consumed food is wheat and sugar. Most don’t even know that white flour has no nutritional value whatsoever to the body after it has been ground, sifted and bleached (processed). And sugar -- well, let’s just say it is a known poison to the brain and acts as a toxic neurochemical, altering the mind. And yet, most of the processed food we eat today is riddled with grams and grams of this harmful additive. Scary! What is the solution? We must get back to keeping food simple, natural, pure and as non-processed as possible in our daily consumption. Even healthfood stores with good intentions are marketing packaged goods that are packed with preservative and additives. Keep it simple and you won’t go wrong. Eat real food mostly from the earth -- your body knows just what to do with it to use as pure energy. When we know better we can do better. (Suggested reading: Food Rules.) Also, if you are not making a consistent effort every week

to strength train and give your muscles, connective tissue, and bones proper resistance, it is time to start NOW. When you don’t, you are choosing to let the frame that supports and moves your body slowly decay and lose its vitality. The old common saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” is very true indeed for everyone when it comes to skeletal muscle tissue. No one is exempt. The strength you enjoyed as a youth will dissipate insidiously if you don’t continue to challenge it. If you have lost muscle, it’s never too late to rescue it. And if you have it, you must continue to strengthen it no matter your age. There are no excuses here, don’t let what you can’t do (an injury) stop you from doing what you can do. You also don’t need to reinvent the wheel on crazy exercise moves, either. Keep exercise simple, avoiding injury and execute the movement properly, with slow deliberate movement all the way through a full range of motion. Friends, enough of the right clean foods and daily movement of our form is necessary for our body’s nourishment. In order to live our life to its fullest we must begin to pay attention and give the body what it requires. Make better choices today. Begin one good choice at a time, and your body will reward you if you are consistent and persistent. You don’t have to make the right choice every time, you just need to make it most of the time. Yours in peace, love and good health ... “De Day.” (You can find and follow De on Instagram @spread.love.and.light for more daily inspired readings and wholistic wellness, or visit www.de-day.com.)

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Go deep!

Respect our little green beach neighbors

For serious fishermen, June means it’s high time to hit the high seas By John Morton If you love the sport of fishing, must also be patient. If that’s the case, making a day of it is where it’s at. you need to let off the pressure until “What we do is designed for people they swim back out. And then the who are willing to fish all day,” said battle is back on.” Rob Roberts, captain of the 40-foot As far as eating quality, Roberts said Tightlines II boat that travels deep into red snapper is “top of the line.” the Gulf of Mexico off Siesta Key. “We “Buyers pay $25 a pound for it,” he go out at least 40 miles to catch the big said. “I can buy filet mignon for less.” stuff, in 165 to 180 feet of water. Because Other fish synonymous with the Gulf here is so gradual in depth, you Tightlines II trips beyond a variety have to go out 30 miles before it’s even of snapper are grouper, barracuda, 100 feet deep. So, it’s a trip.” and sharks. They mostly fall under Fear not, first-timers: The boat has an the “sport-fishing” category, meaning air-conditioned cabin, sleeping bunks, catch-and-release is the rule of thumb. and a stand-up bathroom. But don’t worry, you can still come Better yet, Roberts is a captain with back with a trophy. Roberts said his 37 years of offshore fishing experience. outfit works with a taxidermist that He operates the boat that iw owned by creates spot-on Fiberglass replicas that Chris Seger, who boasts more than 20 match your catch and are ready for years of experience of his own. mounting. “It’s a terrific boat,” said Roberts, “Fortunately, you don’t have to kill a resident of the Phillippi Shores what you caught in order to get credit First-mate Ryan Killoran (left) and customer Rick neighborhood. “and we know the Gulf. for reeling in a great fish,” he said. “And Johnson recently reeled in this massive red snapper. someone else gets a chance for that same We’re the only deep-water charter that’s (submitted photo) recommended by the captains at CB’s fish.” Outfitters.” Among the gameplans out in the Gulf Comfy as the boat is, prepare to battle hard once you’re out in are bottom fishing assorted wrecks, fishing deep springs, and the deep. simply trolling the endless blue water. “The battle is what most people want. It’s why they do this,” Tightlines II features a 14-foot beam, allowing for six anglers. Roberts said. Trip lengths range from four hours to customized multi-day With the calendar flipped to June, the fight is on as red adventures. Corporate events are also offered. snapper becomes open for harvesting (keeping) for 63 days. The outfit’s website is found at tightlinessportfishing.com. It “They are one of the hardest fighters, all the way up,” Roberts declares that Roberts and his crew promise you’ll leave “with said. “They also try to run into holes and structures, so you sore arms and a smile.”

Sea turtle nesting season is among us, lasting until Oct. 31. So it’s once again time to get out of one’s shell and spread the word. Newbies to Siesta Key should know that turtle protection is a local topic taken very seriously. Sarasota County hosts the highest density of loggerhead nests in the Gulf of Mexico region, so they’re considered members of the family in these parts. Furthermore, the end of June through July is when hatching typically starts. Thus, awareness of the rules takes on a heightened importance. Now, it may be true that loggerheads are unlikely to snap at you, but that doesn’t mean the local residents won’t do just that if you don’t respect the turtles. After all, they are a protected species. Harming them is actually illegal. So, what are the do’s and don’ts? Nests will be marked with wooden stakes and orange or yellow tape. Stay clear of them. The adults scare easily and may abandon the nest. When your beach day is over, remove all furniture and fill-in any holes in the sand. All of that becomes an obstacle when it’s time to head from the nest to the water. Taking pictures is also considered a no-no. A camera flash disorients them. Same with a cell-phone light. Come evening, the emphasis on darkness is crucial. Turtles head toward the brightest direction, which is ideally the open night sky above the Gulf. Even flashlights and fishing lamps can be troublesome, while outdoor porch or balcony lighting is very hard on them. Those staying near the beach should even close their blinds or drapes. You’ll feel good about taking these measures. And your reward will be moonlight and stars above the Gulf that are mesmerizing. And a thriving sea-turtle community. -- John Morton

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Island Chatter

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Continued from page 5

times receive a event-themed T-shirt. The free event is co-sponsored by Sarasota County and the Manasota Track Club.

Donations sought for July 4 fireworks

Youngsters are off and running during the 2019 Kids Summer Beach Run on Siesta Key. (file photo)

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

Siesta Beach run for kids returns June 8 After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Kids Summer Beach Run returns June 8. Starting then, the event will be held every Tuesday through July from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Adult runners begin at 7 p.m. On-site registration is held at Siesta Beach, which is the starting and finishing line for the 1-mile run. It’s for youngsters 18 and under (adults can join little ones) and participants receive a ribbon each week Those who run four

Donations are being sought by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce for the 30th annual community fireworks display, set for July 4 on Siesta Beach. Sponsorships of $500 or more include seating in the preferred viewing area, parking, beverages, and snacks. The viewing area opens at 6 p.m. and fireworks begin at dusk. Here are details on sponsorship levels: $5,000: 10 parking passes, 40 reserved seats, and logo on four banners. $2,500: five parking passes, 20 reserved seats, and logo on two banners. $1,500: three parking passes, 12 reserved seats, and logo on one banner. $500: one parking pass, four reserved seats, and name on one banner. Contact Rachel Dixon, the chamber’s promotion and event coordinator, at events@ siestakeychamber.com or call (941) 349-3800. Continued on next page

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.

WHAT Y

fashion’style + art

Coffee Shop • Tea Room • 5138 Oce

Live Music Every Day and Night

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 COFFEE SHOPS Bean Coffeehouse............................Map-D #62 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company........ Map-B #31

Daily Drink Specials

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

SIESTA KEY

5250 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242

SOUTH SIESTA

1250 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242 NI CE ND O F VE IS LA

ST ARMANDS CIRCLE

325 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34236

ISLAND OF VENICE

300 W. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285

Anna Maria Island

107 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, FL. 34217

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 GAS STATION Circle K Store........................................Map-E #6 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 HEALTH & FITNESS Indep. Lifestyle Solutions ............... Map-D #10 Siesta Healing...................................... Map-D #9 Siesta Key Fitness............................ Map-B #73 Studio Yooga ................................... Map-B #51 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 INTERNET / WiFi SERVICES Davidson Drugs...............................Map-D #65 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company........ Map-B #31 JEWELRY Created Gems.................................... Map-C #51 Mount -N- Repair Jewelers................ Map-D #9

DAIQUIRIDECK.COM

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


www.siestasand.us

941.312.0665

Island Chatter

JUNE 2021

Continued from previous page

T BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY IN PARADISE! • Organic and Fair Trade Coffees & Teas • Cold Pressed Coffee • Organic Smoothies • Light Lunch (Sandwiches) • Breakfast Sandwiches, Bagels & Lox • Homemade Pastries

941-260-6400

ean Blvd., Siesta Key Village

B

In early April, Kylie Wilson, coordinator of Audubon Florida’s Bird Monitoring & Stewardship Program in Sarasota County, was excited to report the first snowy plover nest of the season on Siesta Beach. She found it near a spot that vacationers had staked out on the beach, and the couple did not hesitate at all to move after she explained the situation to them, she reported. However, on April 22, in her email update to volunteers and other interested persons, Wilson wrote, “Unfortunate news to start off with: the snowy plover nest failed over the weekend.” Crows were the culprits, she added, noting that she had found crow tracks at the empty bowl of the nest on the beach, and she had seen the crows on the game camera she had set up near the site. However, in a later update, Wilson wrote that the same pair of snowy plovers appeared to be trying to nest again. She could tell the birds were the same as those she had seen

lasé Ca

HAPPY HOUR

Crows get to first snowy plover nest

4-6 PM Daily

EN OP

earlier, she added, because the “female is fairly light and the male has a unique, faint dark spot on his chest. I have begun to call them ‘Mr. and Mrs. Spot.’”

OPEN DAILY 8 AM - 2 PM

HAPPY HOUR

941.346.1188 siestapi.com TWO GREAT ONE LOCATION! TWO GREATPLACES PLACES ONE LOCATION! 5263 SiestaKey Key 5263Ocean Ocean Blvd. Blvd. || Siesta

SAFELY SERVING INSIDE & OUTSIDE DINING IN THE HEART OF THE VILLAGE

349-2822 MAILING - SHIPPING US Post Office.................................... Map-D #65 MARKETS/FOOD STORES Circle K Store........................................Map-E #6 Morton’s Siesta Market................... Map-C #25

!

OW N IS 941.349.9822 T E theblasecafe.com TRE S EW I V ILL H 920 3.14 PI 4 - 7 pm Daily 1 T A E Awesome pizza, AS L B wings & bartenders!

& Martini Bar

“Mr. Spot” and his mate are trying again as far as nesting goes, according to Audubon Florida. Crows ruined their first effort on Siesta Key. It is critical that beach visitors do not disturb any snowy plover nests, as the birds are easily scared away. (photo courtesy of Kylie Wilson)

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27th State Media LLC

Arizona Platform Vegan

Arizona Soft Footbed

Mayari

Arizona Sydney Vegan

MASSAGE Hands of Light Massage...................Map-B #35 The Spa at Calle Minorga..................Map-E #74 MEDICAL - DENTAL Siesta Village Dentistry.................... Map-D #63 Siesta Dental........................................Map-B #49 Siesta Key Physical Therapy............ Map-D #20 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

48 47 46

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 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

Bringing you quality and comfort for more than 40 years!

Birkenstock & More 5128 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Village

941-346-7425 Gift Certificates Available

• SEGWAY RENTALS • PADDLEBOARDS • SCOOTER CARS • GOLF CARTS • BIKES • SCOOTERS • BEACH GEAR 5255 Ocean Blvd • Siesta Key Village www.robinhoodrentals.net

941-554-4242

CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN SHIRT FROM HUNDREDS OF DESIGNS

T-SHIRTS • SWEATSHIRTS • SOUVENIRS LET US CUSTOMIZE SHIRTS FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT!

5131 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Key Village 941-349-3490


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Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

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

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

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

www.siestasand.us

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

Big Water Fish Market................................C-3 #17 Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill...............A-5 #12

To advertise in

Home of the Orange Squeeze HAND MADE:

941.346.0202

• Ice Cream • Sundaes • Shakes

www.orangeoctopusicecream.com

OPEN DAILY 11AM - 10PM

1220 Old Stickney Point Road

call: 941-312-0665 BREAKFAST and LUNCH

SERVED ALL DAY Full

Breakfast

Siesta Key

and

B

es tD

ine r

Lunch

in Flo rida

MSN Food and Drink Jan. 2015

Menu

All Natural

Fresh Fruit and Veggie

Smoothies

Beer, Wine and

Bloody Marys

6621 Midnight Pass Road Just S. of Stickney Pt. Road

941-552-6485 Open 7 Days A Week ~ 7 AM - 3 PM

www.ToastedMangoCafe.com

“A Tropical Department Store“

THE GREEN TURTLE SHELL & GIFT CITY

$

Siesta Key’s Most Friendly & Unique Shopping Spot! SOUTHBRIDGE MALL

CRESCENT BEACH

T

SIESTA KEY

Siesta Key’s Largest Seashell & Coral Selection!

GIFTS & SOUVENIRS BEACH FASHIONS BEACH SUPPLIES BEACH COVER-UPS LADIES & JUNIORS FASHIONS SUPER MEN'S LINE In South Bridge Mall

6525 Midnight Pass Road

MAP B-3#14

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Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill 1500 Stickney Point Rd.

MAP A-5 #12

Coconuts Fashion MAP 1215 Old Stickney Point Rd. B-3 #1&8

Crescent Beach Grocery 1211 Old Stickney Pt. Rd.

MAP B-3 #1

Siesta 4-Rent 6555 Midnight Pass Rd.

Toasted Mango Cafe 6621 Midnight Pass Rd.

MAP C-3 #17

Anna’s Deli 6535 Midnight Pass Rd.

MAP C-3 #14

Big Water Fish Market 6641 Midnight Pass Road

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters 1249 Stickney Point Rd.

MAP A-3 #4

Davidson Drugs 6595 Midnight Pass Rd.

MAP C-3 #14

MAP C-4 #17

MAP C-3 #14


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941.312.0665

Siesta Snapshots

JUNE 2021

27th State Media LLC

25

Photos by Trebor Britt

“Spring Breakers” -- From left, Jennifer Barr, Ginger Thompson, and high school classmates Tristan Barr, Mia Bruger, and Jenna Springiogh celebrate spring break. They are from several different schools in the Indianapolis area. After graduation this year, Tristan will be a pole vaulter at the University of Alabama. “

“Turtle Beach Wedding” -- Newlyweds Kyle and Jena Hornberger (center) with close family just moments after getting married on Turtle Beach. Kyle said, “I really wanted the location to be memorable.” Also pictured are Patti Hornberger; sons Hunter, 10, and Ronan; 14; and Kyle’s father, Scott Hornberger. Following the ceremony the group enjoyed a delicious dinner at Turtles on Little Sarasota Bay.

“Beach Break” -- First-time visitors from Ohio are Ryan Vellner with his wife and sons Logan,11, and Adam, 8. Here, they take a break from an afternoon of skim boarding along the shoreline. Logan said, ”I like the nice sand -- it’s easy to make sand castles and the weather’s great here.”

“Busy Builders” -- Julia, 7, and Natalie, 2, of Georgia, are with their mom, Jennifer Pariseau, as they build sand castles on the Siesta Beach shoreline. They were here visiting their Sarasota grandparents on spring break. Jennifer said, “It’s a great reason to get out and enjoy the great weather.”

“Doing the Wave” -- First-time visitor Gianna Britt, 9, of Grand Blanc, Michigan, makes a big splash during a day of unusually large waves on Siesta Beach. She and her SSGA Panther Cheer team competed in the One Cheer and Dance Nationals in Orlando, finishing 10th in the ation. Gianna is the youngest on her team of 17 athletes.

“Find the Ball” -- Can you find the ball in this photo? Aleksandar Nachtsheim, 6, of Silver Spring, Maryland, plays catch on Siesta Beach. Throwing a ball since he was 3, he will soon join a coach-pitched baseball team for the summer. Although they stay in Cape Coral, Aleksandar’s father says “Visiting Siesta Beach is a must.”

“Beach Buddies” -- Leah Puling (left) and Marisa Kerr of Niles, Michigan soak up the sun. The two became friends after meeting in a Michigan pub. Eleventh-grader Leah was not pleased having to go to school online during the pandemic, but managed to get through it. Their favorite movies are Polar Express and A Star is Born.

“Shoreline Volleyball” -- Emma, 13, of Cape Coral passes a volleyball to one of her friends. The clear water here is her favorite, she said. This seventh-grade science reader enjoys life most when she’s with her family and friends.

“Diggin’ the Beach” -- Ryan, 7, and Landon, 9, of Connecticut are busy digging a deep shoreline swimming hole. They come to Sarasota to visit their grandparents. Their mom commented, “I love the sand and I multi-purpose the concessionstand buckets from the pina coladas.” “Beach Break” -- First-timer Summer, 4, of Lakeland enjoys her “just-her-size” beach chair on Siesta Beach. When asked what she liked best about the beach, she replied “Swimming and making sand castles.” She claims she “swims like a shark.”


26

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

This Summer, Help Your Pup Beat the Heat Kyle Baker, Senior Pet Food Nutritionist at DOGPerfect Sure, summer isn’t truly underway until late June, but the temperatures are already climbing. Now is time to prepare your pups for the potential dangers of the coming months. Indoors, outside, or on the go, here are a few of the best ways you can help your dogs beat the heat all summer long. At home Cranking the AC all day can be expensive, but it’s important to maintain a healthy temperature in the house. Thankfully, you don’t have to run up a hefty energy bill to keep your home reasonably cool. On especially sunny days, we recommend pulling the shades to slow inhome heating. Also, setting your thermostat to a tolerable but also energy efficient level can help you manage increasing exterior temps without breaking the bank. In the car We’ve all heard the stories, so this warning should come as no surprise: leaving your dog alone in the car during warmer weather is extremely dangerous. Even in modest heat, dogs left in a vehicle unattended are at risk for heatstroke, a serious condition that can result in organ damage or even death. And yes, we encourage you to avoid cutting corners with decisions like parking in the shade or leaving the windows open – it’s just not safe. Outdoors Out for a long walk? Playing in the yard for a bit? If you’re out with your pup when the sun is out, make sure you mix in a break or two for shade, rest, and water. While your dog certainly needs regular exercise, extended direct sun exposure— especially during heavy activity—can lead to overheating, dehydration, and exhaustion. So, find a nice tree, grab a drink, and take it easy every once in awhile. Speaking of Hydration During the hot summer months it’s not just during walks or play that your dog needs water – they need regular access to fluids around the clock. Even when the sun is down, heat and humidity can take a

toll on dogs, particularly those with heavy coats. Keep the water bowl full at all times, and make sure you’ve got hydration resources on hand during travel. To further encourage hydration, we recommend occasionally adding a cup of delicious bone broth to the water bowl. For an extra treat that beats the heat, try a frozen bone broth cube – your best friend will thank you for it. More refreshing treats Your dog cannot only beat the heat this summer – they can indulge a little while they’re at it. In addition to savory options like frozen bone broth, you can spoil your pup with sweet treats like frozen yogurt or pupsicles. The ice cream we enjoy during hot days can be a little heavy on the sugar and dairy, and might upset your pup’s tummy. But thanks to products like Bear & Rat Frozen Yogurt or Nana Berry Goat PupSicles your dog can live a little too while avoiding unnecessary calories. There are also fillable dog toys from companies like Chilly Penguin that can be stuffed with tasty, pup appropriate snacks such as watermelon and bananas. Fill ‘em up, pop ‘em in the freezer, and in two hours they’ll be ready for your dog to enjoy. Extra precautions There are a few additional measures you can take to ensure your dog stays safe in the hot sun. Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned just like us. If you’re planning

Paw Pals

to be outside for a while, be sure to apply a dog-safe sunscreen to susceptible areas like the nose and ears. Indirect sun can also do damage if your pup spends too much time on hot surfaces like asphalt. A little protective balm on the paw pads can go a long way. Finally, whether it’s a full dip at the beach or a wade in the kiddie pool, getting in the water is a great way to get your pup a little exercise and help them cool down at the same time. Don’t have immediate access to water? Try innovative products like a cooling vest, collar, or the Hydro Cooling Mat. You can’t change the weather, but you can make sure your pup always stays safe and comfortable. With just a few precautions and the occasional seasonal treat, you and your dog can enjoy the best of summer.

Meet Sadie

This month we’d like to introduce you to 8-year-old Sadie. She was rescued from a hoarding situation and they have no idea what her breed might be, except she is very cute and extremely loyal. Sadie has two fur siblings: Buddy and Lizzy, also rescues. Because her mom works from home, Sadie spends her day under her desk or follows her wherever she goes. Rescues rock!

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.

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!


www.siestasand.us

941.312.0665

JUNE 2021

27th State Media LLC

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28

Siesta Sand

Off Key!

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

By Robert Frederickson

From tongues wagging on Main to things that never change ‘DOGGYSTYLE’ on Main?

Y

up. That’s the name of a new downtown business. And while the name may have some Sarasota dowagers clutching their pearls while swooning from a case of the vapors, perhaps Lady Braidentown and her BFF Sarah Sota-Noseinaire should lighten up a bit. After all, the place is just trying to satisfy an altogether natural yearning ... What kind of yearning you ask? Well, of course, a burning, churning, passionate yearning for ... hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs. Prepared in a variety of regional styles from across this great land. So doggoneit, wiggle your buns on down to 1544 Main St. and indulge your lustful desire for ... again ... hot dogs ... nothing more, nothing less. Just hot dogs ... naked or dressed as you wish to satisfy your own personal culinaryfantasies. Oh, one more thing: please don’t harass the help with your tonguein-cheek questions and comments: There is no secret menu … Okay, that’s enough. I’m walking a fine line here ...

Tiger Woods a partner in UTC golfing venture

Tiger Woods’ driving skills may have abandoned him at times over the years, and no, we’re not talking about his motoring travails out on the highway, the most recent of which landed him in an L.A. hospital with a broken right tibia and fibula that ended any chance of a return to the PGA tour this year. Rather, we’re referring to his

drives off the tee that can be spectacular examples of power and grace when he is in top form, but far less formidable – when with even the slightest fractional misalignment of body and club his swing goes awry, leading to a loss of confidence and in some well-publicized cases a fall from the leader board. Worse, the forces brought to bear in the uncoiling of kinetic energy involved in driving a tiny white ball 475 yards down a fairway have left Woods with recurring back problems that have at times left him unable to compete at all for several long stretches, even requiring surgery prior to an eventual return to form. Tiger’s short game has remained comparatively consistent over the years though, which brings us to the news of an innovative putting attraction opening later this year at the University Town Center Mall on University Parkway. Woods is a newly named partner in the company behind the project, marketed under the name PopStroke. Tiger isn’t just a passive investor though. His company TGR Designs is developing the layouts for the company’s decidedly upscale approach to golfing entertainment. This attraction is about as far from putt-putt golf as Tiger himself is from your average weekend duffer; there will be beginner and more challenging courses on tap and the ability to order drinks and food while out on the course from an on-site bar and restaurant that’s also available for relaxing after the day’s round is carded. If you’re interested in a sneak peek at what will be opening here later this year, a PopStroke has been open in Fort Myers since late 2019. It’s located at 5331 Six Mile Commercial Ct. in Fort Myers. Or visit PopStroke.com.

Social worker pushes Sheriff Judd’s buttons

A Polk County social worker was upset with a moving company she and her husband had hired after workers on the truck informed her they were unable to accept a check the woman had offered in hopes the workers would unload the family’s belongings and be on their way. After their refusal she decided to force the issue by prostrating herself in front of the truck’s wheels while holding her 18-month-old infant in her arms. The Sheriff’s Department was subsequently called and officers had to physically drag the woman from beneath the semi, after which she was promptly arrested. Now, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has never been one to mince words. He once famously answered a reporter’s question about why his officers had fired 47 times at a fugitive who had shot one of his deputies by saying “... because we ran out of bullets.” He has mellowed considerably since those days, but still he couldn’t resist putting his spin on this latest incident at a recent press briefing. “She has a college degree with a designation of ‘child welfare scholar,’” he said, raising his hand to his cheek in a spot-on Jack Benny impersonation. “Did you hear me? And she had an 18-month-old on her lap underneath a semitruck that was running. Why? Because she was mad over a civil complaint.” Like I said ... not one to mince words.

Quote of the Day

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.” –- Thomas Jefferson

Making the grade

Of all the amenities this area has to offer, perhaps the most important during the past year has been one I hope you didn’t need to avail yourself of, though I suspect many of you might have or at least know of some who did. I’m talking about the laudable level of hospital care available here in our little corner of the world. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently rated 4,500 hospitals nationwide on five criteria: mortality, safety, readmission, patient experience and timely and effective care. Only about 10 percent of those hospitals received the highest rating offered: five stars. And get this -- three of them happen to be located right here in our own backyard: Sarasota Memorial, Doctor’s Hospital, and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. World-class beaches are great. And five-star restaurants as well. But hey, in times like these, great hospitals and all dedicated professionals who staff them are perhaps the greatest blessing this area has to offer.

Bumper sticker of the day

“Prayer ... The world’s first wireless network.”

Parking paradox continues for Sarasota

Captain Ahab had his white whale. Tom Brady had Eli Manning. And Sarasota’s City Commission has paid parking. For as long as I can remember, the city has struggled – unsuccessfully – to operate a paid parking plan that even comes close to covering the costs to administer it. And the red ink seems destined to continue for the foreseeable future with a new hit to the balance sheet added recently. Commissioners agreed last

month to continue through year’s end a program begun last spring with the onset of COVID-19 that provides no-fee outdoor dining permits to downtown restaurants. The permits removed at least 36 prime downtown spots from the city’s parking inventory, setting them aside for restaurants to use for al fresco dining. But of course, that meant they wouldn’t be able to generate parking revenue for the city, revenue which not only funds the parking department’s day-to-day operations but a portion of which is earmarked for paying off parking bonds issued to fund the spate of downtown parking garages built during the past several years. The estimated added losses for the “free” parking permit extension? It’s $130,000 for 2021. This comes after the original installation of paid meters downtown a decade ago ended in an epic flop with citizens and business owners showing up at commission meetings in the immediate aftermath of the rollout wearing bags over their heads; one commissioner even suggested the meters be taken to a local gun range where citizens could take out their frustrations by blowing them to smithereens with shotguns. The city took a $500,000 hit that go-around with the manufacturer refusing to offer more than pennies on the dollar for their return. The next go-around in 2018 went better, but red tide and then COVID-19 turned what were perhaps overly optimistic revenue expectations to begin with into complete pipe dreams. Year-to-date, the city has lost between $123,000 and $150,000 on its parking program, according to reporting by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. And that’s before the $130,000 “free-parking” continuation is added in.

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Lamolithic House makes history

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Stone structure on Avenida del Mare receives designation from county’s Historic Preservation Board By Rachel Brown Hackney  SarasotaNewsLeader.com The Sarasota County Commission has approved the historic designation of yet another house on Siesta Key, this one located at 5546 Avenida del Mare. It is the fourth house on the barrier island in the past several months to win a place on the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places. Others are located on Point of Rocks Road and on Sanderling Road. In this latest instance, the county’s Historic Preservation Board reviewed the application submitted by an authorized agent on behalf of the owners of the Lamolithic House on Avenida del Mare. The members concurred with a staff recommendation that the house met two criteria outlined in the applicable section of the county code: The house is associated with the postWorld War II development of Siesta Key and the Sarasota School of Architecture, and it is “a noteworthy example of the post-war International Modern Style of architecture,” a memo said. In fact, the house was designed by two of the best-known architects of the Sarasota School of Architecture: Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph. A bit of history The application for the historic designation -- prepared by David Baber and Lorrie Muldowney, the former manager of Sarasota County Historical Resources -- noted that Siesta Key “appeared on early maps as Clam Island, Muscle Island, Palm Island and Little Sarasota Key.” It “was known as Little Sarasota Key when a subdivision named Siesta was platted in 1907 on [the island’s] northern tip by the Siesta Land Company,

organized by pioneers Harry Higel and Captain Louis Roberts. Development included the Sarasota Yacht and Gun Club and later the Bay Island Hotel.” Then, in the early 20th century, bungalows, sidewalks, canals and roads were built, and a U.S. post office opened in 1915. As the key developed, the application said, the entire island came to be called Siesta while the county experienced a population explosion during and after World War II. “Sarasota County’s Coastal Zone Survey that was published in 1990 identifies several concentrations of historic structures on Siesta Key,” the application added, noting three collections: one at the southern end of Flamingo Avenue and Roberts Point Road, one at Point of Rocks and south along Midnight Pass Road, and one at Sarasota Point, in the Sarasota Beach and Mira Mar subdivisions. The house standing at 5546 Avenida del Mare was part of the Sarasota Beach subdivision. The lots on which it was built were part of a larger transfer of property that occurred on Oct. 31, 1947 between F.J. Archibald, trustee for Eloise J. Archibald, and John Edward Lambie Jr., the application noted. Eloise Archibald “was the widow of a prominent Sarasotan, Ira G. Archibald,” the application explained. He was the president of the Archibald Hardware Co., the Archibald Furniture Co., the Morris Plan Co., and was vice president of American National Bank. Then, in late April 1949, the property was transferred from the Lambie family to R.E. Sprague and his wife,

Above, a current ground view of the historic property. Left, a conceptual drawing at the time of its construction. (photo by John Morton, submitted image)

Pauline. No evidence exists that the Spragues ever lived in the Avenida del Mare house, the application added; they continued to occupy a home located at 129 Edmondson St. Research has found that the first occupants of the house constructed at 5546 Avenida del Mare were Adolph Orion Infanger and his wife, Louise, who stayed there until close to the time of their deaths, the application noted. In 1933, the house was purchased by Nancy Smith, who sold it to its current owners, Mark and Lorrie Bogart, in 2009. The architects The Lamolithic House was a project of architects Twitchell and Rudolph. In 1925, Twitchell came to Sarasota to supervise the construction of

Ca’d’Zan, the home of John and Mable Ringling, the application said. “In early 1941 there was an occurrence that, at the time may have seemed inconsequential, but would ultimately have a profound impact on Twitchell’s legacy as well as architecture in Sarasota. A young graduate from Alabama Polytechnical Institute (now Auburn University), Paul Rudolph, came to work in Twitchell’s office as a draftsman,” the application said. In 1949, Rudolph became a full partner with Twitchell, a position Rudolph maintained until 1952, when he began an independent practice. Rudolph “is considered ‘the dean’ of the modern architecture movement that occurred in Sarasota and

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became known as the Sarasota School of Architecture,” the application added. The significance of the Sarasota School of Architecture was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in the form of a Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF), adopted in 2007. “From the International Style,” the MPDF said, “Sarasota School architects took an understanding of the concept of borrowed space, the logical use and expression of structure, the separation of structure and enclosure, simple building form and detail, and honest use and expression of materials. From earlier Southern regional designs they took modular construction, a raised floor, and efficient environmental control systems. To these the architects added the use of low maintenance materials, a play of light and shadow, and a desire to humanize International Style environments. It is the successful blending of these elements that creates the Sarasota School Style.” Also, according to the application, Christopher Domin and Joseph King said in their book Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses that “the Lamolithic Houses represent Rudolph’s first opportunity to experiment with a more urban design approach.” The term “Lamolithic” was a combination of Lambie’s name and the word “lithic,” which means made of stone. The Lamolithic House was built by John “Jack” Lambie Jr., a founder of St. Boniface Episcopal Church, the application noted.

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Hotel workshop Moreover, Lin pointed out, the hotel is functionally obsolete. “The aesthetics of what we provide to this community will be nothing short of what the hotel felt like when it was brand new 50 years ago,” Holderness said. “I don’t have a drawing,” he continued, but he talked of “aspirational ideas,” including open-air balconies and open corridors. “We want to build something very timeless,” he said. Exacerbating traffic woes Traffic issues were a major subject that residents addressed during the workshop. Rodney Linford, who lives in The Terrace, close to the 5311 Ocean Blvd. entrance to the existing Siesta Key Beach Resort & Suites, explained to the team “We have a bird’s eye view of the junction of

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us A proposal is in place that calls for the Siesta Key Beach Resort & Suites to be torn down and go from 55 rooms to 170. (photo by John Morton)

Continued from page 8

Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road and the existing problems we have with that intersection.” He stressed, “It’s one of the most heavily traveled and congested” on the island. Although the speed limit for Siesta Village is 20 mph, Linford said “Many motorists and bicyclists take that [120-degree curve from Beach Road onto Ocean Boulevard] at high speed.” The Village’s welcome sign in that area has been knocked down on several occasions during crashes, he continued. Furthermore, Linford said, the pedestrians and bicyclists who use the two crosswalks at that intersection “can’t be seen [by drivers] till the very last minute. … We’ve seen several near misses.” With up to 340 people in the redeveloped hotel, he added, “I can only imagine how much worse [the

intersection] will be.” Resident Tom Surprise added, “There’s such heavy traffic at times that it’s bumper to bumper, and you can crawl faster than cars go.” He further stressed that Ocean Boulevard is one of two main accesses to the island, so it is critical for vehicles to be able to traverse it easily in the event of emergencies. Holderness responded that more and more people use Uber and Lyft, instead of driving when they come to the island as tourists. Lourdes Ramirez disputed that, saying she has read that Uber and Lyft drivers try to avoid trips to the Key because of the traffic congestion. Linford also pointed out that he is a founding member of the Siesta Key Coalition, which was organized last year to fight proposed hotel projects that would exceed the existing height and

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residential density standards for commercial property under the Siesta Key Overlay District zoning regulations. He also commented on the plans for another 170-room hotel — an eight-story structure — just down Calle Miramar from Siesta Key Beach Resort. “From our perspective,” he continued, referring to Coalition leaders, “we can’t deal with one hotel at a time. We have to be conscious and concerned about the implications of two hotels cheek to jowl.”

The Terrace

Replied Holderness, “I am totally against the global change that would allow mega hotels to come on Siesta Key.” Forty-year island resident Linda Dickinson, who said she has been a real estate agent for 35 years, told the Siesta Key Beach Resort team of her love for the island and her knowledge of it. She voiced concerns about “the impact that [four proposed hotel projects] would have on residential property values on Siesta Key due to the increased traffic and [tourists].”

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units on the higher floors of the building. “I have always been inspired by Frank’s work,” Halflants said. During the celebration, residents were invited to view their work that involved exposing concrete and expanding the window openings to take better advantage of the expansive views. When asked what challenges he faced while working in an occupied residential building, Halflants recalled with a smile that “We had to crane in a 15-foot cement counter top and most of the work was done in the summer, when fewer residents were here.” A renowned modern architect in his own right, Halflants is a native of Brussels. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Florida and received the Florida Medal of Honor for Design. The award is the highest honor that the American Institute of Architects can bestow upon an architect in Florida. Smith had nothing but praise for Halflants & Pichette’s work. “I appreciate what Michael has

done to keep the building alive,” he told The Terrace residents as he sat in the building’s lobby, surrounded by large black-and-white photos of the building’s earlier years. Architectural renderings of The Terrace, along with modern-day photos of Halflants & Pichette’s work, were on also on display. So were photos of Smith’s Plymouth Harbor building on the edge of St. Armand’s Circle, and his Sandy Cove building on Siesta Key. The photo exhibit was presented in collaboration with Nathan Skiles of The Ringling College of Art and Design. “The building stood the test of time,” said Angie Bastian, vicepresident of the Beach Terrace Association Board of Directors, as the evening concluded. “Michael and John proved the sustainability of the building by bringing it into the 21st century.” Smith graciously quipped that “It was either wisdom or luck that we did a design that could be so beautifully adapted.”

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Illegal rentals

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“Because of all the trash that sits out for days, we now have a big problem. My husband reached for a trash can that had a loose lid and a rat ran up his arm.” Meanwhile, the noise at the backyard pool is so loud “it feels like it’s in my living room,” Popowick said. “They ruined my Christmas.” When she contacted the out-of-state owners, they said they’d have their lawyer look into the situation. “That was a big ‘F-you’ as far as I’m concerned,” Popowick said. “I’ve called the sheriff numerous times, but nothing happens. Sometimes I feel bad, because I know these people are on vacation and they’ve spent a lot of money. That house brings in as much as $1,600 a night. “It’s the owners who are to blame. The county, too. There’s no regulation.” Popowick also said her neighborhood is seeing a spike in break-ins. “My neighbor just listed his house for sale last week. He’s had enough.” *** Just around the corner on Venice Lane, Jim Dragatsis is dealing with a similar scene with another large rental that sits next door. “My twin 11-year-old girls couldn’t be in my own backyard during Easter because of all the swearing coming from the guests next door,” he said. “I mean, I live here. This is my home. I’m talking about selling. I’m not going to live next to this.” Between 12 and 15 people occupy the home usually a week at a time, he said, but the parties bring dozens more. It’s owned by someone in Ohio, Dragatsis continued, and whenever the authorities are called the guests have been coached to respond that they are “friends of the owner” so they can avoid trespassing accusations. Even Dragatsis’ canal is suffering from overload. “A 27-foot boat pulled up with a bunch of people. That’s way too big,” he said. “And once, someone’s pontoon was tied up

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JUNE 2021

A house’s for-sale sign on Beach Road makes it clear that there’s money to be made with short-term rentals. (photo by John Morton)

to my dock.” The house was built in 2018 after the previous structire was torn down. Dragatsis said his research has shown that the owner is planning to sell the property to his son in order to get a clean record and void the list of complaints. “It’s a trick they use, and it’s all just so blatant,” Dragatsis said. “It’s the Wild West. They do whatever they want. What they’re actually doing is disturbing people’s neighborhoods. I know I’m not alone.” In fact, further research revealed a daunting situation, he said. “I’ve been told there are 350 illegal rentals on Siesta Key,” Dragatsis said. “This is a tough position for us to be in.” *** Recently, longtime resident Joe Volpe watched a house down his street on the corner of Treasure Boat Way and Sandy Hook Road North go through an interesting transformation. “They split it in half, and that’s as illegal as hell,” he said of the property just north of the Village. “They put walls inside and certainly didn’t pull any permits -- had they applied for them, they wouldn’t have been allowed to do what they did. “It now has two addresses. Even two mailboxes.” It also has all the trouble synonymous with illegal short-term rentals, he said. “After people leave at the end of the weekend, the trash sits out in this heat from

Monday until it’s picked up on Wednesday,” Volpe. “And there are always parties. Thirty cars were here on the Fourth of July.” Volpe said he’s even gotten into physical confrontations with guests when he approached them with his concerns. Beyond the behavior, he’s worried about a lack of safety. “They are essentially hotels, but they don’t meet any of the requirements,” Volpe said. “No fire escapes, lit exits, fire extinguishers, and those doors are not fire doors. “We’re talking about a bunch of strangers living together. I doubt most of them could even give the address if they had to call 911 in case of a fire.” A native of Michigan, Volpe has been keeping an eye on how his home state is handling the problem. He thinks its leaders found the right solution and hopes Sarasota County will do the same. “They determined that they are hotels, or motels. And as such, they have to meet the requirements. And none of them can,” he said. “That’s how you get rid of them. *** As for Graham Clark, he’s taking a rather unorthodox approach to his fight against what are often loud and disrespectful shortterm renters next door. The parties, he said, are often as large as 30 people. “Asking them nicely to turn down the music doesn’t work,” said Clark, who moved to a house on Oxford Drive two years ago. “Believe me, I’ve tried. So now, he fights fire with fire. “They’ll have a radio blaring on the dock after midnight. So, I point my bass amp at them and blast the most offensive, the most vulgar, the raunchiest rap music I can find. Eventually, they’ll go back inside. It actually works.” He’s also a resident of what is considered canal country, back near Palm Island, and he said the noise freely carries across the waterways for blocks. Do his neighbors mind his method of

battle? “Actually, I’ll hear them shout ‘Go Graham, go!’ down the canal. They all know something has got to be done,” Clark said. “See? I’ve got back-up.” He’s also had strangers’ boats docked on his property -- “The boatlift at the rental is broken,” he said -- and one day visitors went to Disney World for the day and left a nonstop barking dog out on the balcony. “The lack of consideration is mindblowing,” Clark said. “So, what I’m going to do is ruin their vacation.” He chose the neighborhood because it appeared quiet. One house was for rent at the time, he said, but he never imagined it would become something of constant turnover. “There’s a lady on the other side in her 80s,” Clark said. “I feel terrible for her.” He actually doesn’t blame the owners as much as the rental companies that represent them. He often reads about complaints against them and their properties on the SeeClick.Fix.com app -- a community bulletin board said describes itself as “bridging the communication gap between residents and their local governments.” “Go to a location and you’ll see the codeenforcement listings (involving a property),” he said. While Siesta Key residents deal with the potential arrival of as many as four new hotels, Clark said he thinks illegal shortterm rentals should be the biggest concern. “We should be asking the hotel people to put up some money to help create laws against these short-term rentals. They should be happy to do it, because these renters will instead go to their hotels. In return, the residents will stop showing up at meetings and slowing the process,” Clark said. “They are going to get their hotels. I don’t think they can be stopped. “It is these illegal rentals that must be stopped.”

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Arts on the Horizon By Rodger Skidmore By popular demand, the month of June is back

D

o you remember what you did last year during the month of June? No? You say you draw a complete blank? Well, that’s quite natural as nobody remembers what they did last June -- because nobody did anything. It’s like you did something wrong and your parents sent you into the “timeout corner” for an entire month (actually for more like an entire year, but let’s not get into that discussion). One of the things you probably didn’t do last June was to go see a play or musical at the Florida Studio Theatre. “Theatre” -- as in that thing where you and a bunch of others watch real live people get up on a stage and sing or declaim, or whatever. “Real live people” -- as in people you really don’t know making believe they are some other people you may or may not have heard of, and they are

Beginning June 2, Florida Studio Theatre will present Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas. (submitted image)

moving about and talking to each other so that you get an idea of what those other people might have been like (this is called “acting”). No, not some people you watch on your TV or your cell phone, but real people who are sad if you don’t applaud their actions when they stop acting. But you do applaud, because it’s so much fun to go out with others (so many others that it kind of fills up a whole theatre, not just one, two, or three people sitting on a couch in your living room) to see this theatre thing. Well, the theatre thing to see at FST starting June 2, at the Gompertz Theatre, is Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas. Sophie Tucker was an over-thetop Vaudeville and Broadway star who was really big during the first half of the 20th century. She was the Ethel Merman of the stage before there was an Ethel Merman. Big voice, flamboyant delivery, risqué, and funny. The person who is making believe (or making you believe) she is Sophie Tucker is none other than Kathy Halenda. Ms. Halenda originated the role of Sophie Tucker and has played her in a number of productions of this musical -- to great acclaim. Starting on June 30, in FST’s Keating Theatre, is My Lord, What a Night. This is one of those theatre things concerning two famous people -- Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein -where you don’t know too much about their personal lives. Here’s a chance to learn what went on between these two when she, after a sold-out concert performance, was refused a room at a whites-only hotel and stayed the night with this wildhaired crazy-brilliant guy. Want more of a contemporary action musical theatre thing? Then Great Balls of Fire, an FST

musical tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis, starting June 15 in FST’s Court Cabaret, is just the ticket. Ticket and other info at Floridastudiotheatre.org.

You’ve got a second chance Every year, since 2004, the Embracing Our Differences show/ exhibition/expo/reminder-thatwe-are-all-human-display has come to Bayfront Park here in Sarasota. Admit it, some of those years you did not attend. But you had your reasons, and some of them were good reasons -- you were in Rome, you visited your mother-in-law after she fell and broke her hip, you spent so many hours every day wishing your mother-in-law would break her hip -- whatever. But really, those exhibitions were more than two months long each year. But, OK, so you were busy. A lot of people were not out driving earlier this year, so you can’t say there was too much traffic. But you can say that you were one of those people not driving and that’s the reason you missed this year’s show. And, now that we can skip wearing our COVID-19 masks outdoors, we have a second chance to see this year’s Expressing Our Differences display. All 50 of the billboardsized paintings and photos are being placed in a field on Regatta Island out in Benderson Park, next to I-75 (parking is available). Beneath these giant paintings are quotes, many from Sarasota-area students. “A country will recognize its potential only when it recognizes its people”, a quote from Luan Hau Man, a 12thgrade student from New Delhi, India, rests below the painting Punto de Partida (Point of Departure) by Moises Ramos of Jacksonville.

Regatta Island at Benderson Park will be home to 50 billboard-sized paintings and photos as part of the Embracing Our Differences display. (submitted image)

Those words certainly are food for thought. And speaking of food, Regatta Island seems like a great place for a picnic. Also a great place for one person to silently wander around, for two people to thoughtfully discuss what they see, or for a family to read what people from all over the world think about people from all over the world. Some quotes from prior years: “Dr. Seuss NEVER said ‘One fish, two fish, white fish, white fish.’” “I may be homeless but I’m NOT LOVELESS.” “I like me, but I’m glad everybody isn’t like me.” “Pain caused by SILENCE is often worse than pain caused by words.” Find directions to Regatta Island, and learn how to have a student’s quote entered into consideration for next year, by visiting embracingourdifferences.org.

Next stop, the moon? The Legacy Biking, Hiking, Walking Trail started in 2008 with a 12-mile section of an old unused railroad line. As more people used it, the Sarasota County Commission took the hint and extended the plans. Now, the northern extension of the Legacy Trail should link up

with the Appalachian Trail so that one could go all the way to Maine (our Canadian Snowbirds are demanding extensions to Montreal and Toronto). Around Tampa there will be a short eastern spur to permit stopovers in Disney World outside of Orlando and the southern end will stop at Key West. No bridge to Cuba is envisioned -- that would be a bridge too far. OK, maybe not that big a trail, but big and getting bigger. Currently the northern terminus is off McIntosh Road, just north of the Culverhouse Nature Park east of Prestancia. However, three extensions are simultaneously underway that will take the trail all the way north to Fruitville Road with a short spur to the west taking one to the southern tip of Payne Park, right downtown. It’s interesting to follow this construction path which continues along the old rail line. When viewing all of this on a Google map, one can see that the old tracks continue north of Fruitville all the up to University Parkway at Route 301. That is where the line continues up to Bradenton’s Riverwalk Park and across the Manatee River on an old railroad trestle to Palmetto. Going to the south, the trail officially dead ends at Venice Avenue, but actually links up with the Venetian Waterway Park which does a nice loop down to Caspersen Beach. Connector routes are ultimately taking it all the way down to North Port and Warm Mineral Springs. When the planned extensions are completed there will be 30 miles of trail with 15 bike- and/ or car-parking locations. An estimated 290,000 people used the trail in 2019 and 409,000 in 2020.

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Worker shortage back to work, or I can make $15,000 on unemployment, so I’m going to stay home.” In Florida, the maximum Weekly Benefit Amount for unemployment is $275. The standard 19-week allowance has been extended an additional 53 weeks under Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. On top of that, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provides $300 a week through Sept. 4. (Though that federal assistance has been declined by governors in a handful of other states; the funding is still available in Florida.) Restaurants are struggling to keep up. “I am getting three to seven calls from new clients requesting help every week,” said Ad-Vance’s Galvez, “but since we had to raise our rates in order to pay staff more, not all clients are able to use our services due to their loss of revenue during the pandemic.” But for restaurant workers, Galvez added, money is just one consideration: “I started realizing what I was getting from the candidates I was interviewing is that they were not interested in hospitality industry anymore. They’ve moved on to a different industry or they’re making it work from home. When the pandemic hit, people realized it was so easy for the employers to do just let them go. They didn’t like the way were

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treated. So, they’re like, ‘I’m going to find something else.’” “It’s not so much people are being lazy,” said Daiquiri Deck’s Leighton, adding that time away from a stressful, high-paced environment has shifted some people’s priorities. “They’ve had time to be with their families, to invest in passions or side projects that might even be making them a little more money. Chelsey Lucas, who’s worked as a server and bartender in Sarasota for five years, agreed that the job environment can be an issue. The service industry in particular demands workers spend long hours on their feet while appealing to customers for tips. And COVID-19 has further complicated stressors like childcare, on-the-job safety, and customer demands. “I’m currently making an average of $800 per week [as a bartender], but I can understand that if I were on unemployment making even $500 or $600 a week, that the temptation to forego a couple hundred dollars would definitely be there, in favor of having my own time to myself, or to continue to stay safest, or for my mental health,” Lucas said. “It’s also difficult, when masks have become so politicized, to juggle and ensure everyone feels safe.” Some customers want staff to be the “mask police”; others

challenge servers and bartenders to take their masks off. “It puts us a little on edge because now you have to wonder if it will affect your tip if you don’t acquiesce,” said Lucas, who missed two weeks and approximately $1,800 in wages/ tips when she tested positive for COVID-19 in December. Hale confirmed that SKOB has been seeing far fewer job applicants “off the street” than in pre-COVID-19 times. “We weren’t getting any traffic as far as front-ofhouse [applicants] goes,” she said. “Normally people die to serve here. We never even had to advertise [job openings]. Same goes for back-ofhouse. We weren’t even getting walk-ins.” SKOB’s three-day suspension of evening food service was in part due to the sudden departure of long-term employees who unexpectedly left their jobs, rather than furloughed workers who failed to return. But because SKOB traditionally promotes from within — sous chef Shawn Dougherty was promoted to executive chef, and other promotions followed down the line — the departures generated need for lower and entry-level workers. While SKOB hasn’t seen the same number of walk-in applicants, Hale estimated that she hired as many as six new employees who’d applied after seeing the Facebook

The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, well established as a popular Village destination, had to stop food service between April 30 and May 3. (photo by John Morton)

post. SKOB has also had success hiring candidates from job sites like Indeed and Zip Recruiter. In this new, post-COVID-19 hospitality landscape, online job postings may be the most efficient solution for the drop in walk-in applicants. By training these new employees alongside the day staff, and giving the kitchen that weekend’s dinner shifts off, SKOB was able to resume full dinner service on May 3. It should be noted that an established, island-destination restaurant like SKOB, with relatively low turnover and a tradition of promoting from within, might have at least some advantage in recruiting even entrylevel staff over mainland, corporate eateries like Chili’s or McDonald’s, both of which have closed Sarasota locations in recent months due to staff shortages. As pandemic conditions wane

and business picks up, Siesta Key’s hospitality-rich economy will continue to experience a higher demand for workers. “We’re going to be living with this through at least the end of 2021,” said Downs. But island businesses may at least be more appealing to those people who do choose to return to the workforce. “At least on Siesta Key, there’s a higher concentration of [customers] who are just here to have fun,” said Leighton. Still, the service industry remains a challenging place in the best of times. As SKOB fully recovered from its hiatus with ample, fully trained and dedicated staff members, Hale estimates she was working 70-hour weeks, while her new executive chef Dougherty was pushing 100. “I anticipate a busy summer,” she said.

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I

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

What’s new ... beyond the bridges

don’t know about you but it’s beginning to feel a bit like New Year’s Eve all over again, as the good news from the CDC keeps on coming. Hey, it’s time to give hope a chance again as the never-ending loop of the movie Groundhog Day is finally coming to a close. With that in mind, think positive and get motivated. Make plans for getting off the couch. It’s time to put away those comforting cookies and head to the gym. But we’re not talking about any old gym. EOS Fitness, a brand-new 38,000-square-foot fitness facility located in the center of The Landings Shopping Plaza at 4940 S. Tamiami Tr., is expecting to open its doors in midsummer. The registration center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 5101 S. Tamiami Tr., right

By Jane Bartnett

across the street from the shopping center. If you can’t get there in person, visit eosfitness. com/location/sarasotatamiami-trail-gym/ and complete the inquiry form. A staff member will contact you. The new Sarasota EOS Fitness is one of 75 locations in Florida, Arizona and Utah. The good news for families is that membership at the new EOS is open to anyone over 13 years of age. There’s a Kids Club option for members along with a Kids Fun House. For fans of group classes (cycling, yoga or Zumba anyone?), each week there will be more than 60 of them from which to choose. Members will have access to top-of-the-line cardio equipment, certified personal training, strength equipment, a 20-minute fullbody workout zone, free weights, as well as saunas, hot

Large-screen viewing and personal training are among the perks customers can expect at EOS Fitness, coming soon to The Landings. (submitted photos)

tubs, and an indoor lap pool. While we’re visiting The Landings, there’s more good news to report. Early June will see the opening of the muchanticipated upscale breakfast and lunch spot called The Lily Cafe at the Landings, next door to Publix. Featuring seasonal and local fare sourced from local farmers markets, The Lily Cafe will be able to seat approximately 150 diners and offer such tempting items as eggs benedict and stuffed French toast. George Woods, a restaurateur

Place your order on Grubhub. com, call (941) 330-6355, or drop in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for delights that include half-baked pot pies. Bootsy’s is closed Thursday through Sunday.

Each pie is filled and baked when the order is placed. Visit Bootsy’s Pot Pies online at bootsyspotpies.com

OPA WEDNESDAY! Saganaki Opa! Appetizer $7

Gift Certificates available

Meanwhile, the past few months have seen a good amount of new restaurant activity in Gulf Gate. If you’re not in the mood to cook, add the new Bootsy’s Pot Pies and Other Good Stuff, at 6529 Superior Ave. inside the YCP Market Place, to your go-to/ order-out list.

Try the fresh whole-dessert pies (all are $18) and select from Old School Key Lime Pie, Real Deal Coconut Cream Pie, and Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie.

MONDAY PRIX-FIXE MENU 3 Course Menu for $22 — Every Monday

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

who has won acclaim for his Jane’s Cafe on 3rd in South Naples, is the owner. Read more at tlcatthelandings.com.

The creation of chef, owner and cookbook author Frank Imbarlina, Bootsy’s Pot Pies offerings include roasted chicken ($10), beef burgundy ($11), vegetable ($10), gulf shrimp ($12), and authentic shepherd’s pie ($13).

HAPPY HOUR 4pm-6:30pm Happy Hour Food & Cocktails

WINE THURSDAY 1/2 Off Bottles of Wine

www.siestasand.us

UNIVERSITY PARK

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

SARASOTA LANDINGS

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

www.ApolloniaGrill.com

HOTTEST BAR IN GULF GATE... MLB/College Packages FULL BAR

6500 Gateway Ave • 941.554.8905

And then, there’s another new Gulf Gate must-try dining spot called RomanSQ, at 6670 Superior Ave.

Devoted to Roman-style pizza, which is not to be confused with New York- or Naples-style pizza, the shop’s adherence to its heritage dating back to the eternal city makes it stand apart. Owned by an adventurous husband-and-wife team who trained “with the world’s masters,” the couple studied and learned how to create their own light and airy pizza made with their “signature” 96-hour dough. Topped with fresh cheeses, sausage, fish, and vegetables, their pies are works of art. Their goal is to change the conversation about pizza and Roman food. RomanSQ also offers eight different 96-hour dough breads (order in advance six hours before pick up), antipasti, and salads that can be purchased separately or with pizzas. Slices can also be purchased from their pre-made pies. Full-tray pizzas that serve eight people range in price from $44 for Margherita to $64 for their Prosciutto Crudowith Prosciutto di Parma, aged 24 months. Half-tray pizzas for four begin at $20 for Cacio Pepe, with mozzarella, pecorino and fresh cracked pepper. The Prosciutto Crudo is $32. An appealing selection of antipasti offerings rounds out the menu. Visit online romansq.com or call (941) 237-8742. A variety of pot pies rule at the new Bootsy’s Pot Pies and Other Good Stuff, located on Superior Avenue in Gulf Gate. (submitted photo)


www.siestasand.us

941.312.0665

JUNE 2021

27th State Media LLC

DISCOVER GULF GATE’S SHOPPING VILLAGE 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 glutenfree or vegan. Located at 6727 S. Tamiami Trail. 941-388-7504. Off the Hook Operated and run by Chef Wes Duval, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and master at serving guests the freshest fish possible with a focus on local delicacy delights, eclectic presentations, and legendary desserts. You will

enjoy great service and a variety of original dishes he has mastered over his years specializing in seafood. His fusion of fresh fish paired with unique and flavorful creations is divine. All ingredients are hand-picked and complimented by a refined wine selection from vineyards around the world as well as his choice in quality spirits and local craft beers. Off the Hook has become a signature culinary destination, from first sip to last bite. A perfect date-night-spot or gathering place with your foodie friends.

Designer Eyeglasses, Sunglasses & Unique styles to fit your unique personality.

John Garner

Roberts Realty

Eye Exams by our Board Certified Optometry Physician Welcome outside prescriptions

Broker Associate

Diane Shane

59 Complete pair Single Vision* $89 Lined * $159 ProgressiveBifocals No line* $

Broker Associate

941-924-2330

* Selected collections.

Working with Sarasota Buyers & Sellers since 1969

We price match most competitors

• Local Expertise • Proven Track Record • Happy Clients

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Repairs available

We are with you every step of the way!

GULF GATE BUSINESS DISTRICT SARASOTA, FL 34231

2621 Mall Dr., Sarasota RobertsRealty@comcast.net www.SarasotaCoast.com 1

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Dress for Less

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Five Below

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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. - Thurs.) open until 2 a.m. (Fri & Sat.). ROBERTS REALTY, Inc. (M-5) 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 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 successfully listed and sold many, many properties throughout E 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 D drop by our office. Only Eyes, Optical (S-24) brings a new, exotic, eclectic, eccentric, unique collection of vintage, hipster, contemporary C 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 B with the purchase of new lenses. Call 941-444-7984 to set up an appointment with their licensed optician. Mellow Mushroom serves a one-of-a-kind pizza pie. A The flavors and ingredients are just as unique and special as the restaurant’s design. Try a Mellow

Sun Trust

With our map, located below, 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 (G11): 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. – 941-554-8905. 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

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Serving all of Sarasota & Siesta Key...

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36

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

CLUB

BLASE CAFÉ

In the Village

941-349-9822

941.312.0665

MONDAY

TUESDAY

Jamie Tremps

Zack Yoder

7-10 PM

7-10 PM

Nick LeValley 7-10 PM

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

Hot Club of SRQ (3rd, & 17th)

Zack Yoder Group

TBD (10th, 24th)

7-10 PM

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Rallo Pucci Band (5th & 19th)

Ron Kraemer (6th, 20th & 27th )

Doctor Drive (12th & 26th )

Tuff Son Band (13th)

7-10 PM

7-10 PM

6-10 PM

GILLIGANS ILAND BAR & RESTAURANT In the Village

WEDNESDAY

www.siestasand.us

Rodney Shenk: 6-10 PM

RPM LIVE: 6-10 PM

941-326-8122

Mike Tozier OR

RPM LIVE - 6-10 PM

Ketel of Fish- 6 PM (25th) DJ Kkonn – 10 PM

Yoder & Donadi- 1 PM DJ Kkonn – 10 PM

Deven Starr Ron Kraemer (7th )

CRESCENT CLUB

Audio Orchid

Ron Kraemer (1st, 15th , 22nd & 29th)

Tommy Santelli

Deep Blu

7-10 PM

7-10 PM

(14th, 21st and 28th) Lazy Daisy (8th)

941-349-1311 7-10 PM

SIESTA KEY OYSTER BAR (SKOB) In the Village 941-346-5443

Tracy Zito

7-10 PM

Deep Blu

7-10 PM

7-10 PM

7-10 PM

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

1-5 PM;

1-5 PM:

1-5 PM:

1-5 PM:

2-6 PM

7-11 PM

7-11 PM

7-11 PM

8-Midnight

7-11 PM

Tommy Santelli

Live Music

11 AM – 2 PM 3-7 PM

Live Music

10 AM - 1 PM 7 -11 PM

8-Midnight

THE COTTAGE In the Village 941-312-9300 THE HUB-BAJA GRILL In the Village 941-349-6800 SNIKI TIKI @ CAPT CURTS

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

6:30-9:30 PM

6:30-9:30 PM

6:30-9:30 PM

6-9 PM

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

Live Music

1 – 4 PM

1 – 4 PM

1-4 PM

Noon – 3 PM

Live Music 6-9PM

Live Music 6-9 PM

Live Music 6-9 pm

4:30 – 7:30 PM

4:30 – 7:30 PM

4:30 – 7:30 PM

3:00 – 6:00 PM

8:30 PM-mignight

8:30 PM –midnight

8:30 PM - midnight

6-10 PM LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

6-10 PM

6-10 PM

6-10 PM

6-10 PM

6-10 PM

Spearfish Siesta Grille

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

Southern end of SK 941-349-1971

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

6-9 PM

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

5-9 PM

5-10 PM

5-10 PM

5-9 PM

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

5-8 PM

5-8 PM

5-8 PM

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

3-7 PM

3-7 PM

3-7 PM

Crescent Beach Shops 941-349-3885

Turtle Beach Grill Southern end of SK 941-349-2280

LIVE MUSIC 6-10 PM

6-10 PM

SAND DOLLAR POOL BAR @ Best Western Plus 6600 S. Tamiami Trl. Sarasota 941-924-4900 CASEY KEY FISH HOUSE 801 Blackburn Pt. Rd, Osprey 941-966-1901

Above information is subject to change. We suggest calling venues for confirmation.


www.siestasand.us

941.312.0665

JUNE 2021

Notes from the Island Fishmonger

Capt. Jim Klopfer’s Fishing Forecast Adventure Charters (941) 371-1390

J

une will find Sarasota beaches lined with anglers in search of the ultimate gamefish: tarpon. Especially early in the month. Catching these giants is really not complicated. Rig a 25-pound spinning outfit with 36 inches of 80-pound flourocarbon leader and a 5/0 hook, then position the boat 100 yards off the beach and cast a live crab, pinfish, sardine, lure, or fly at any pod that presents itself. One benefit of the popularity Klopfer of tarpon fishing is that pressure in the bay will be light. With many anglers “out on the beach” the bay will receive light fishing pressure. Bait will be plentiful and those proficient in cast-netting will have no problem filling their live wells with frisky pilchards. Once the well is filled, you can choose to anchor up on a likely spot or drift across a large flat. Live shrimp is also deadly on most species, but as we move into summer the pinfish become more of a problem. Anglers casting artificial baits will do well with jigs, plugs, and spoons. The flats around both passes are usually productive for speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, and ladyfish. However, we are still bouncing back from the pretty severe red tide from last year. Shrimp under a popping cork, live pilchards, and artificial lures are all productive baits, while 4-inch Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits in red/gold shiner

and glow/chartreuse on a quarterounce jig head will account for plenty of fish. Redfish will begin to school up on the shallow flats this month. A low, incoming tide is preferred, as the fish will move up onto the flats with the rising tide. Scented soft plastics, weedless spoons, and topwater plugs work well for those who prefer to cast artificial lures. Live bait can be extremely effective. Anchoring up and fishing potholes is a proven technique. You can count on one thing in June in Sarasota: it is going to be hot! One way to beat the heat is to fish in the evening and at night. Snook are nocturnal by nature and feed heavily in the dark. Working lighted docks and bridges is the most popular night fishing method. Anchor a cast away up-current of the light, then toss a live or artificial shrimp, baitfish, small jig, plug, or fly into the shadow line of the light. You may also catch mangrove snapper, speckled trout, ladyfish, jacks, and maybe even a tarpon fishing the bridges at night. Beach fishing for snook was fair last season. Hopefully, it will bounce back as well. Walk the beach in the morning, looking for snook in the surf line. Cast out a small spoon, plug, or jig in front of any snook that you spot. This is a great time to break out the fly rod, and white baitfish patterns are best. Flounder, trout, ladyfish, mackerel, jacks, pompano, and other species will hit live and frozen shrimp and jigs off the Siesta Key beaches in June.

Florida Fish of Siesta Key

Red Snapper

Seafood & Spirits

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Our captain brings in a tarpon off Siesta Key. (submitted photo)

37

27th State Media LLC

mericans love fish and are eating more of it every day. Whether we are eating it in the restaurants or buying it to take home and cook, we all can agree that seafood and spirits are a match made in heaven and there are some spirits that go better with seafood than others. I turned to three local seafood foodies for their seafood and spirits recommendations. 1. Tony, Amy and Golf from Star Thai & Sushi on Siesta Key. It is my favorite place on the island for Sushi and I always take their recommendation to enjoy a nice sake with my sushi. My sushi of choice is a special one on the menu that is a lightly fried roll with tuna, salmon, white fish, and cream cheese. It is topped with fried shrimp and 3 Flavors Sauce (ask Golf which one that is). The recommended sake is Jizake Tenzan and is made from highly refined Saikai No. 134 rice. It goes through a high level of scrutiny for brewing suitability. It is best enjoyed chilled or on the rocks and has won awards at wine-and- spirit conventions. 2. Sarah Lansky. She’s a foodie, a blogger, salesperson of wine and caviar, but most importantly she helped rescue the restaurant business in Sarasota during the pandemic. As you know, we all were dependent on take-out for a while and Sarah was one of the main driving forces encouraging it. She created the Curbside Suncoast Food & Drink To-Go page on Facebook -- it was her baby. Some of us in the business wouldn’t have made it without her and that’s real talk! Big Water Fish Market is now in the caviar business because of her and Black River Caviar, which is the product. This is a Russian sturgeon raised in pristine waters

from the Caspian Sea Oscietra sturgeon. These black caviar pearls open with an intricate crisp spray of clean salt air with nutty flavors, finishing with excellent balance and length. It pairs well with a chilled vodka, or Sarah also strongly suggests a good sipping tequila.

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

Mangrove Snapper Scoolmaster Lane Snapper Scamp

3. Tracy Freeman, the owner and editor of Edible Magazine. Her favorite is the colossal, stone, or snow crab. She buys it from her favorite seafood market on Siesta Key. The crab pairs well with Lola chardonnay (winemaker is local, Seth Cripe) and she picks it up next door to the market at Siesta Spirits. The citrus aromas with a hint of oak pair perfectly with the sweetness of the crab. Her kids love it when she pulls out the big silver steam pot, as crab is a family favorite. As for what you can expect at your local fish markets this summer, American red snapper season run from June 4 to July 28 this year. This is a very versatile fish and can be cooked in several different ways. It is moist and delicate with a mild, slightly sweet taste that pairs with many additional flavors. Of course, the standard grouper, mahi-mahi, tripletail, and hogfish will also be plentiful this summer. Also, Crystal River just opened up for scalloping for those who are adventurous and would like to do a day trip and dig for their own. -- Scott Dolan

Black Mullet Snook Red Drum “Redfish”

Tarpon

Baracuda

Gulf Flounder

Florida Pompano Jack Crevalle

AmberJack

Spotted Sea Trout

Cobia

JUNE 2021 TIDE CHART Florida, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Sarasota Bay

June 2021

N 27° 20' / W 82° 33' Date

Day

Sunrise

Sunset

Moonrise

Moonset

1

Tu

9:05a

High Tide 1.5

5:14p

High Tide 1.8

1:17a

Low Tide -0.1

11:58a

Low Tide 1.4

6:35a

8:22p

1:37a

12:48p

2

We

9:09a

1.6

6:58p

1.6

2:08a

0.1

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38

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

ACCOMMODATIONS PAGE 47 HOMES FOR SALE PAGE 45 SIESTA KEY MARKET STATS PAGE 39

The Highs and Lows of Properties Sold on Siesta Key

Provided by Key Solutions Real Estate / www.keysolutionsrealestate.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 835 NORSOTA WAY $6.6 MILLION The impressive four-bedroom residence showcases panoramic water views from every room, leveraging master craftsmanship to infuse more than 6,300 square feet of living area with the finest materials, including Travertine floors and fine wood work. Highlights include a formal living area with gas fireplace, private dining room

with coffered ceiling, family room with wet bar and gas fireplace and media room with distressed wood floors and spectacular views. Kitchen includes professional appliances with stone countertops, large central island, Thermador gas stove with pot filler, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and breakfast bar. Enjoy sunsets from an open-air paver pool terrace with spa or head out to the Bay and Gulf from your private deep water dock with 13,000-pound boat lift.

Retreat into the master suite that features distressed wood flooring, sliders to the balcony, separate office/nursery/ exercise room, expansive dual walk-in closets, and a spa-bath with soaking tub and dual-entry rain shower. A three-car auto salon and storage space that could be an extension of the space rounds out the home. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

LOWEST-PRICED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE 8521 MIDNIGHT PASS RD. $500,000 Start living your island life now. Located on the southern end of Siesta Key, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with pool is just minutes from everything living on Siesta Key has to offer. Courtesy of Premier Sothebys

HIGHEST-PRICED CONDO 305 BEACH RD., #305-1 $2.35 MILLION This immaculate three-bedroom, two-anda-half-bath penthouse unit works like two units - perfect for an extended family. Take the elevator from your oversized two-car garage with storage loft directly to the guest floor of the unit with 2 bedrooms, bath, laundry, family/game room with a partial-kitchen. office area and covered balcony. The main living area and master suite encompass the third floor. A LOWEST-PRICED CONDO 5955 MIDNIGHT PASS RD., #12E $249,000 This exceptional valued, onebedroom, one-bath condo is well maintained and is in move-in condition. Turnkey furnished. This bayfront complex has private deeded beach access and

bay access with a private boat basin. Enjoy private newly resurfaced pool, new pool deck and community tiki lounge right on the water. Sea Club has a grandfathered-in one-day minimum rental policy. Whether you are an investor

contemporary kitchen with island/breakfast bar features stainless appliances, abundant wood cabinets, and sleek white quartz countertops. The dining area and living space flank the kitchen and provide great space for relaxing with family and friends. The covered balcony, just off the living room, makes for great outdoor space. The luxury master bedroom suite features a private balcony overlooking the pool and a fabulous bath with shower and soaking tub. Just upstairs, open the door to the expansive roof-top outdoor

Courtesy of Mangrove Realty

— Marika & Kevin

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

Courtesy of Key Solutions Real Estate

looking for a great opportunity, snowbird looking to escape the cold, second home buyers, or someone looking for a condo to call home, don’t miss this one.

This was our fifth real estate deal over the years, from San Francisco and San Diego, CA to Portland, OR to Cape Cod, MA. We have experienced “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in real estate agents. If you want someone who is more than just an agent, Al Nemore puts the “More” in Realtor - more attention to detail, more follow through, and more contingency planning. His extensive local knowledge and trusted contacts helped us navigate a complex land transaction on Siesta Key. Now we can build our “forever home in this little slice of paradise!” Trust Al - he truly cares.

Al Nemore

living room overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and Siesta Village. Two distinct areas of rooftop contain a living space complete with fire pit, abundant seating, and an outdoor kitchen with refrigerator, sink, grill and bar! The opposite side of the rooftop contains a large hot tub and plenty of room for sunning and relaxation. Mirage wood flooring throughout, high end fixtures and tri-level elevator.

NMLS #1783476

Marty Remillard NMLS#343653

No Lender Fees 941. 223.9416 highdefintionmortgage.com


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39

Word Search Answers from Page 30

Hurricane Supply List

er Ct d Un traays n d Con 3 i

338 Avenida Milano, Sarasota, Florida Beaches!, Boating! & Bistros!! Great seasonal getaway or investment located on a quiet cul de sac. This Tropical Paradise in “The Village” is the Siesta Key property you have been looking for. Beaches!- you are a short walk to World Famous Siesta Beach. Boating!- approx. 71 feet of Canal Front with access to world class fishing and watersports. Bistro’s!-You are steps away from locally acclaimed dining and entertainment of Siesta Village. Walk everywhere, no need to drive! This 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom is loaded with charm. The Master bedroom has a full En Suite bath. Walls of glass & lots of natural light. The back yard is a private tropical paradise with Mature landscaping. The front and back yards are a private tropical . Sold Turnkey (Fully) Furnished. This is Florida Living!!

$849,000


40

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

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Classifieds / Here’s My Card ACCOMMODATIONS / VACATION RENTALS • Best Western Plus Siesta Key – AAA -3 Diamond Property, Free shuttle service to and from Siesta Key 941-924-4900, 6600 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota. • Landings Carriagehouse, $2,500 per month. Call Jim 941-539-0774.

www.siestasand.us

HOUSE WATCH CONTINUED

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Hawkins Sr. personally oversees every aspect of your project from start to finish, using only the best and most reliable licensed artisan and craftsmen. His passion is delighting his clients by turning their home• DRIVER for YOUR vehicle, cargo and pets. Sarasota/Siesta improvement dreams into a beautiful reality. Call 941-650-9499 or visit Key/Port Charlotte area to MICHIGAN ONLY. Offering services their website: www.hawksnestconstruction.com Lic#CGC060852.

MEDICAL

that carriers/haulers are unable to provide. Background check. Bonded. Insured. Chauffeur’s license. Retired law enforcement officer. 941-323-3945 or 313-434-2070 or www.yhvaletdriving.com

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• CB’s Saltwater Outfitters – CB’s Saltwater Outfitters is an ORVIS Endorsed Outfitter Fishing Charter Service. Our veteran guides offer exciting Fishing Adventures for anglers of all ages from novice to the expert. See our website: www.CBsOutfitters.com or stop in their store for additional info. 1240 Stickney Point Rd, Siesta Key. (941) 349-4400.

CLEANING SERVICES

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

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5145 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34242 Owned and Operated by NRT, LLC

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HOMES FOR SALE NEW 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 your doorstep. Dreams do come true and this can be yours. 5400 OCEAN BLVD, #2-1, SARASOTA, FL 34242, MLS# A4472758, $2,599,999, Key Solutions Real Estate, 941-894-1255 NEW BREATHTAKING WATER VIEWS. Surrounded by water, rarely available END UNIT affords some of the BEST VIEWS on Siesta. Look north to the GULF of MEXICO, and the lights of Sarasota, west to sunsets over the Gulf and east to WILDLIFE in Little Sarasota Bay. This nicely appointed unit is being sold furnished. Separate laundry room inside the unit. The unit comes with underbuilding parking which will accommodate 2 automobiles. 9393 MIDNIGHT PASS RD, #901, SARASOTA, FL 34242, MLS# A4487826, $699,000, Key Solutions Real Estate, 941-894-1255

NEW IDEAL ISLAND LIVING Oversized one bedroom, one bathroom condo in The Terrace building. A few steps from the beach to the village. To the east views of mature trees overhanging a tennis court with Siesta Village in the background. To the southwest peekaboo views of the beach. Sit back on the oversized balconies relaxing to background music from the village. Walk out your front door to the deep heated saltwater pool overlooking the beach. This is the lowest priced condo in the building and with interest rates at an all-time low this will go fast. 5400 OCEAN BLVD, #1-4, SARASOTA, FL 34242 MLS# A4486578, $799,999, Key Solutions Real Estate, 941-894-1255 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 square feet 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, $1,699,999, Key Solutions Real Estate, 941-894-1255


42

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

Incorporation

www.siestasand.us

Continued from page 1

to fund a special-election in March to put a referendum question out to voters. A majority vote on the topic of incorporation would be the final hurdle toward implementation. Next, a town council would be elected during the November general election. In an effort to coincide with property-tax bills, Tipton said, most new municipalities receive their new designation on Dec. 31 of a given year. Meanwhile, Tipton said it’s crucial that Save Siesta Key builds an allegiance with the members of the Florida House who represent the island – in this case, it’s firsttime state Rep. Fiona McFarland of the 72nd district and longtime Congressman Vern Buchanan of the 16th congressional district. At the Senate level, it’s Joe Gruters. “If your House member will be your champion, you have a chance,” Tipton said. “If not, it won’t get out of committee.” She warned that lawmakers have been cold on the topic of incorporation lately due to a flurry of requests. The support of the full delegation of the Legislature, through a special act, is needed for a green light from Tallahassee. The most recent incorporation was that of Indiantown in Martin County in 2017. As for Underwood, he knows firsthand how challenging the pursuit can be. He’s represented three attempts with no successes – one was actually approved by the Legislature but subsequently voted down by the residents (the proposed name of Panacea in Wakulla County in 2015), one never got out of committee (the proposed name of Preservation in

Signs

941.312.0665

The May 19 Save Siesta Key meeting drew an overflow crowd at Siesta Key Chapel. (photo By John Morton)

Orange County in 2019, and one never reached committee because the state reps wouldn’t endorse it (a group called A Better South Walton in Walton County in 2017). “It’s an uphill battle all the way,” Underwood said. “With two of the groups, it was financially feasible. So even with the right stuff, it’s tough.” Does he like Save Siesta Key’s chances? “I’m a huge proponent of home rule. I’m all for controlling your own destiny,” Underwood said. “But there are so many unknowns. It may look good on paper, but what you’re really trying to do is get to the point of a vote.” Taking the temperature of the community is exactly what Save Siesta Key is emphasizing. Its website (savesiestakey.org) has a survey and, according to board member Tracy Jackson, 95% of the 300 respondents thus far said they favored incorporation. Also, a petition drive made its debut at the group’s May 19 public meeting. They were handed out by neighborhood ambassadors, which Jackson said stood at eight volunteers. “We really need 30,” she said in hope of recruiting more. “Especially with the different condo groups.” The signatures of at least 10% of the island’s registered voters are

required as part of the application, per Florida Statute 165 (which outlines the incorporation process). The island has between 6,000 and 8,000 voting residents, the incorporation group’s members said, and they hope the feasibility study can lead to determining an accurate number. Meanwhile, an email to McFarland in early May from the Siesta Sand has not received a reply. However, board member Harry Anand said she’s been contacted. “She said she has a very open mind about it,” Anand said. Chairman John Davidson said his group will begin interacting with her and other lawmakers, and even members of the Sarasota County Commission -- the body that governs Siesta Key. The incorporation campaign was triggered by the lack of the county listening to Siesta Key residents regarding a number of development and environmental issues, Davidson has said. He also said he didn’t expect much pushback from commissioners because they won’t win to lose votes from Siesta Key residents come re-election time. When asked by an audience member as to why Davidson supported the election of Alan Maio, the county commissioner who represents Siesta Key,

Davidson replied “It was a mistake. I wouldn’t do it again.” Davidson said he can see his group join forces in some ways with the Key’s other civic groups, including the Siesta Key Association, the Siesta Key Condominium Council, and the Siesta Key Coalition. That latter group recently distributed antihotel yard signs throughout the island. Save Siesta Key has made presentations to all of them, as well as the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. Letters of support from community groups are considered a critical part of the process, Tipton said. As for the hot topic regarding the recent proposals for four new hotels, the Save Siesta Key group acknowledged that the incorporation effort would likely not play a tangible role because of the time needed to potentially get the green light. Even after incorporation, most communities then need two more years to formulate a comp plan. “We are the long-term help,” Davidson said at the April meeting, “and they are the short-term,” he said of the Siesta Key Coalition. Still, the big turnout won’t be lost on the county leaders, board member Rick Munroe said. “When they learn we had 200 people here, they’ll know,” he said of the momentum. Davidson, who has been a resident here since 1958, spearheaded an incorporation drive in the mid-1990s but dropped it when the county agreed to be more cooperative. He said the issue goes all the way back to 1960, when he first attended meetings. “I wasn’t even aware it wasn’t

Lynn Tipton of the Florida League of Cities addresses attendees during the April 28 Save Siesta Key meeting at Siesta Key Chapel. (photo By John Morton)

incorporated,” he said of the Key at the April meeting. “But even back then they said it’s too late. The island’s too programmed. “Well, that’s not true. Yes, it would have been better then, but it’s never too late.” Added Anand at the May meeting, in relation to how often he meets people who move to the area because of their love for Siesta Key, “This is what drives this region. We have to preserve it.” He also noted that Sarasota is the 10th-fastest growing region in America, especially in areas east of Interstate 75. That’s where the county’s focus seems to be, he said, while Siesta Key is neglected despite providing huge tax dollars. “We’ve become a less-and-less significant part of the county,” he said.

Continued from page 1

opposition to a proposed eight-story, 170room hotel that would stand on four parcels between Beach Road and Calle Miramar, a short distance from the Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites in Siesta Village. The nonprofit later expanded its mission, as noted in a statement on its website homepage: “The Siesta Key Coalition exists to protect the unique character, environment, and quality of life of our island home of Siesta Key. We are committed to preventing the development of large-scale hotels that would remove protections for the barrier island, and allow building beyond current zoning and codes. The Coalition, the Siesta Key Association, the Siesta Key Condominium Council, and many community organizations, oppose any non-compliant hotel developments, now and in the future.” In March, Spiegel noted that the Coalition had been organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit; that status enables it to lobby for its goals. Further, the website points out that the nonprofit has engaged the services of an attorney and that it is in discussions with other consultants who will be able to help Coalition leaders “prepare effectively for presentations to the County Planning Commission and the Board of County

Commissioners.” During the May 6 SKA meeting, Luckner reported that the Coalition indeed has “retained the services of a planner and an environmental consultant.” It also is looking into hiring a traffic consultant, Luckner said. The Coalition website says, “We anticipate that our expenses could reach the $100,000 range over the next year. None of the money contributed to this cause will be spent on anything except expenses incurred in the effort to prevent the overdevelopment of our island.” Luckner told the SKA members that the nonprofit has received about 60% of the funds it was hoping to collect from supporters. In opening their May 3 email blast, the directors of the Condominium Council made it clear that they signed on early to support the Coalition’s efforts. They also invited Council members to review a matrix that the Coalition has produced, which provides details about the four hotel projects. The Council pointed out, “All [of the hotel proposals] exceed the current codes by varying degrees,” with their residential density levels ranging from twice to 6.8

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times what is allowed on commercial parcels within the Siesta Key Overlay District zoning regulations. “No, it is not a typo, 6.8 times the current codes,” the email blast stresses. Further, the Council leaders reported that more than 55 of Siesta Key’s approximately 112 condominium associations have joined the Coalition. Coalition president Spiegel said in his May 6 email that the number had climbed again, to 58. On March 9, Spiegel reported to Council members that, as of that date, 37 of condominium and homeowner organizations, representing nearly 3,200 households, had become part of its efforts. The May 3 Condominium Council email blast noted that the membership roster as of that date represented more than 5,000 homeowners, an indication that the larger associations had become formal Coalition supporters. “We need every association to join regardless of size,” the email blast added. A link in the email directed readers to a chart showing all those groups. A note at the bottom of the list did explain, “The numbers in parentheses represent the numbers of households represented by each

organization.” Many of them also are members of the Siesta Key Association and/or the Siesta Key Condominium Council, the email blast said. “A big thanks to those associations that have already joined,” the email blast added. The Condominium Council’s goal is for 100% of its member associations to join the Coalition, to demonstrate solidarity among the more than 7,000 condominium owners and taxpayers on Siesta Key. The Condominium Council also encouraged its members to contribute financially to the Coalition through its website: SKCoalition.org. “At this site, you will see an easy way to donate using a credit card by hitting the DONATE button,” the email blast noted. Groups may join the Coalition by sending an email to SKCoalition@gmail.com, the email said. The Council leaders also are encouraging their members to email the Sarasota County Planning Commission members and the county commissioners to express opposition to the four hotel projects proposed on the Key. Further, their email stressed, “We need to speak as one rational, educated and objective voice” to fellow county homeowners, business leaders and county leaders.”

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43

Sunset Beach Resort Siesta Key Dream Inn

We buy at full market value with no realtor fees and no showings.

Sell Fast. Sell Easy. Sell To Dougie 941-720-2093 Douglas Dolliff is a licensed Florida real estate agent

6600 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota BestWesternSiestaKey.com 941.924.4900

Complimentary shuttle service to and from anywhere on Siesta Key. Thursday-Sunday 10AM-11PM (driver tips only)

Still Family Owned and Operated Since 2007 AAA-3 Diamond Property

• 114 Guest Rooms • One and Two Bedroom Suites Now Available • Complimentary Grab & Go Breakfast Every Morning • 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

Hours: Thursday 2:00PM - 8:00PM Fri.& Sat. 2:00PM - 10:00PM Happy Hour 3-6PM OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Live Music every weekend (check the schedule on Facebook or call 941-924-4900) *Use of the pool for Registered Guests Only


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Siesta Sand

JUNE 2021

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Volleyball Fanatic

Joy This month’s Volleyball Fanatic is Joy of Eden Prairie, Minnesota -- a city 12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. After starting to play volleyball in middle school, she took a sabbatical and didn’t play again until college. A southpaw, Joy said she loves hitting but admits she’s better at passing.

Photos by Trebor Britt

www.siestasand.us

Profile for Brion Palmer

Siesta Sands - June 2021  

Siesta Sands - June 2021  

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