Siesta Sand June 2022

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RAMIREZ ENTERS DISTRICT 2 SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION RACE page

SAVE SIESTA KEY RETOOLING FOR ANOTHER RUN AT INCORPORATION

MUSIC NIGHTLY! STOP IN FOR THE U.S. OPEN GOLF TOURNEY

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NEW MEMBERS WELCOME

Why the world comes to Sarasota

©

SiestaKeyFitness.com JUNE 2022 | 941.312.0665 | 27TH STATE MEDIA LLC | www.SiestaSand.us | COMPLIMENTARY

A new lease on life

Digging a stormy Siesta scene

Sailboats at Beach Access 8 get a second look by county By John Morton

The annual Amateur Sand Sculpting Contest was washed out this year by a storm, but that didn’t stop local little guy Everett McSwain, 3, from creating a hideout that day on Siesta Beach. (photo by John Morton)

Asking for forgiveness from his fellow commissioners because what he was about to say was “elementary” in nature, Christian Ziegler opened discussions about the sailboat situation at Beach Access 8 on Siesta Key by saying that while the county needs to be wary of issues like fairness, encroachments, and liability, “Some things we do are just dumb.” The words set the stage for a unanimous vote by the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners on April 26 to not only give a 60-day reprieve for the varying number of catamaran sailboats that were scheduled to be removed beginning May 1, but to potentially find a way in which some can stay on the beach going forward. “It will be a big hit on the community,” said Ziegler of the idea of removing the boats. His District 2 seat represents the northern half of Siesta Key, where the issue exists. “To some it might sound silly, but it’s important to the community,” he added. The vote came on the heels of resident James Smith, who told the commission that he’s sailed his boat from Beach Access 8 for more than 30 years, telling the board “We Continued on page 44

Sarasota County is taking a longer look at the several boats staged at Beach Access 8. (submitted image)

Request to expedite hotel-related case is denied By Phil Colpas The 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Steven Walker heard a request from Siesta Key hotel developers April 25 to expedite a lawsuit challenging whether the Sarasota County Commission had the authority to grant special exceptions requested by the builders. The hotel developers, who are the defendants in the lawsuit, wanted the case heard before the end of the year. Judge

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Walker denied the developer’s request without prejudice, urging both the plaintiff and defendant in this case to move along as swiftly as possible. The Sarasota County Commission on Oct. 27, by a vote of 3-2, decided to remove the limit on the number of hotel rooms allowed per acre (commissioners Nancy Detert and Christian Ziegler voted against). With the

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Something is fishy It’s the ultimate stamp of approval about this guy • Village Map/business listings PAGES 24, 25 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE 32 • Music Calendar PAGE 38 • Gulf Gate Shops PAGE 39 • Accommodations Map PAGE 47

density issue resolved, developers were now free to proceed with a proposed eight-story, 170-room hotel to be built on less than 1 acre of land between Beach Road and Calle Miramar near the Siesta Key Village. In addition to determining that transient accommodations are not residential units in commercial-zone districts for density calculation, the commission’s 3-2 vote also

Page 22 A colonel has come calling

SHAPIRO

INSIDE: Proposed hotel will again be subject of workshop. Page 11 found the ordinance consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and allowed transient accommodations and an increase in height Continued on page 28

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Greetings from the Gulf

An election, a sandal collection, an attempted lobster extraction, and a back-seat question By John Morton

S

iesta Key. These are the two most important words in Sarasota County. After all, where else do hundreds of thousands of people in immediate proximity to a beautiful powder-sand beach get 976 parking spots tossed in for free? That’s what Siesta offers, and Turtle has another 300. Spread across our beach accesses, there’s another 138. I lived on Fort Myers Beach where there are ZERO free beachfront parking spots. I lived near Clearwater Beach, where the story is the same. Throughout Florida, what Siesta Key offers is unheard of. That said, not only should residents of Siesta Key care about our island but the whole county should follow suit. Do you know how many people have told me they live as close to Siesta Key as possible, because of the beach and the overall vibe? You don’t think all our traffic is to blame on tourists, do you? And, do you think our county residents connect with spontaneous trips to parkingsparse Lido and Longboat like they do Siesta? No way. So, I’m pleased to learn that the Save Siesta Key incorporation team is interested in interviewing and possibly endorsing candidates for the two Sarasota County Commission seats up for grabs this fall. Both include territory which encompass our island – District 2 the north half, District 4

the south half. And I’m pleased to learn that the Siesta Key Association, or maybe some other civic group, is considering the organizing of candidate forums related to the same. Of all places in the county, Siesta Key should hold power and prestige as far as commission hopefuls are concerned. You’d think they would understand how critical it is to ensure Siesta’s safekeeping. In case they don’t, they need to be exposed. On its own, Siesta boasts only about 7,200 registered voters out of the roughly 255,000 throughout the county. Gulp. But, remember, the March 8 special election upheld the single-member district voting format, which no doubt helps local candidates. Those closer to an issue and candidate are more likely to pay attention, right? Instead of that quarter of a million voting in all districts, we’re instead talking 66,720 (25,632 Democrats, 23,763 Republicans, and 16,042 non-party) registered voters in District 2 and 73,153 (21,061 Democrats, 32,594 Republicans, and 18,115 non-party) registered voters in District 4. Let’s make sure candidates are fully vetted. Let’s make sure voters are informed to the hilt. Here’s to Siesta residents leading that mission. FYI, Florida primary elections exist in a closed-primary format, meaning you can only vote for the candidates under the party for which you are registered. I’ve never liked this, but 14 states do it this way. The Sarasota County

Commission primaries are Aug. 23. If you aren’t registered, or want to change your party affiliation, your deadline is July 25. Visit SarasotaVotes.gov to learn how. Seeing as Siesta Key will have at least two residents in a primary -- at this point they are Mike Cosentino (Democrat) and Lourdes Ramirez (Republican) in District 2, both of whom have ran previously -- the primary vote is nothing to ignore. We have actual representation! Come November for the general election between primary victors, party affiliation is of course no longer in play. Whether they be locals or not, imagine two Siesta Key-endorsed winners joining a five-person county commission in November knowing that sitting member Nancy Detert has voted in support -- and often as the lone vote -- of most of the island’s concerns. That would be quite the sudden swing. So, for starters, everyone here needs to vote. How could anyone consider taking a pass at this point? As for the commission elections, which I consider the most important in Siesta Key history, Cosentino is up against Hagen Brody, a current Sarasota city commissioner, and Fredd Atkins, a former city commissioner who also served as mayor. Ramirez faces Christain Ziegler, the incumbent. Regarding District 4, incumbent Alan Maio is done as the result of term limits. Thus far, two Republican candidates are in the fray: remodeling contractor Mark Hawkins of Sarasota and Dr. Joseph Neunder, a member of the Venice City Council.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if the Key had a local resident or two in the District 4 race as well? If YOU would like to run, you’ll need to file and meet specific criteria by the qualifying period of noon, June 13 through noon, June 17. Those who win a commission seat earn about 80 large per year. For details, call the county’s elections office at (941) 861-8606. A man with a lot of sole In April, the creations by local artist David Skaggs were displayed in our Community Spotlight feature. Now, in tribute to turtle-nesting season and in recognition of the importance of keeping our beaches clean, he has built a sea turtle made of the more than 250 abandoned sandals he has collected. Visit davesworldart.com if interested in this rubbery friend he appropriately calls Flippy Floppy.

Boiling mad at the Lobster Pot The folks at the Lobster Pot in the Village report that people attempted to steal their beloved mascot Claudette -- ha, ha, CLAW-dette! -- from outside the restaurant on May 9. They are asking the public for help in identifying the culprits. When caught, they’ll certainly be in some hot water!

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? For Chris Brown, buyer of the building that holds Crescent Beach Grocery and who’s a smart Wisconsinite like me who fled the frozen tundra, imagine the “What is going in there?” questions he must be getting. I’ll bet they rival the scenario where a dad is driving the family to something highly anticipated and from the back seat there’s the constant “Are we there yet?” chorus. And I’m one of those snot-nosed brats. I can’t wait to find out. Tell me now! Tell me now! (P.S. Trust me, this is how good reporters operate.) So, how many does he get per day. “I’d say 20, on average,” Brown said. Has there ever been more curiosity on the Key? That highprofile spot has 70 years of history behind it, all as a grocery store. This will be interesting. And I trust that Brown will make the right choice. By that, I mean he’ll see to it that there’s a cheese curd stand in the parking lot. (John Morton is managing editor of Siesta Sand.)

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Siesta Sand

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From the Publisher’s Desk

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By Brion Palmer

Here’s to 10 years of serving Siesta, thanks to you

T

The cover of the debut issue of Siesta Sand, January 2012.

he Siesta Sand quietly celebrated its 10th anniversary in January 2022. We are proud and thankful for this accomplishment. We owe it to our readers and our advertisers to be able to celebrate 10 years as Siesta Key’s newspaper. Thank you. What Could $250,000 Buy on Siesta Key? That is the headline at the top of the front page of the Siesta Sand back in January 2012. “Not much,” if I am answering that question in 2022. At least as far as real estate goes. The $250,000 would make a good down payment, though. As I peruse through the first issue of the Siesta Sand, I see some businesses that still support their community paper with their advertisements: SKOB, CB’s, Siesta Key Fitness, Casey Key Fish House, Johnny’s Free Beach Rides, Siesta 4-Rent, and West End Pub. Their support, and that of many more businesses you see advertising in this issue, allow the Siesta Sand to continue to serve the community. For that, we are grateful and thank you. One ad in the inaugural issue serves as a reminder how real estate continues to drive

the news on Siesta Key. The building that was home to Crescent Beach Grocery, an advertiser in the January 2012 issue, was sold last month to Chris Brown. This issue contains an update on the status of this property on page 11 of this issue. If you have ever wondered about how the paper came to be named the Siesta Sand I have an interesting story compliments of Bob and Emy Stein, the previous owners and publishers, The deadline was approaching to publish the first issue and Bob and Emy had tossed around several ideas, including the Sandpaper. One day, as they were walking (possibly on the beach), Bob said to Emy “It is the sand that brings people from all over the world to Sarasota.” With that simple but astute statement, the paper had a name and a tagline: Siesta Sand – Why the world comes to Sarasota. Continued on page 45


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Island Chatter

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County drainage project in full swing along Ocean Boulevard and Higel Avenue

Drainage improvements near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Higel Avenue began May 2 on the north end of Siesta Key and the project is expected to last as long as five months. Residents in the area received postcard notification from Sarasota County stating that construction will be done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays. They noted that motorists should expect lane closures and should exercise caution when driving in this area. The project, according to the county, includes connecting two retention ponds to a new piped stormwater drainage system. Work will begin on Ocean Boulevard, just east of Ocean Place, and continue to Higel Avenue, turning south to Lotus Lane. Existing deep wet ditches along the road will be converted into shallow grassed swales fitted with ditch bottom inlets to drain into the new stormwater pipes. Phase one, which is underway, involves the closing of Ocean Boulevard at Higel Avenue to Gleason Avenue, at the Siesta Key Chapel. Phase 2 involves the closing of Higel Avenue to Reid Street, which runs behind Out-of-Door Academy school. The final phase involves Lotus Lane, where the new system will take water into the Grand Canal. Timelines for each phase have not been defined, the county reports.

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Community Spotlight Meet the reel deal

Jacob Steckerl’s passion for fishing is matched by his concern for the environment

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A

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Jacob, you are a 22-year-old Siesta Key guy who is already a professional fisherman. For starters, please share your family’s history with the island. I’ve been coming to Siesta Key ever since I was born. My great grandparents lived out their retirement years in Whispering Sands on Siesta Key and shared their love for the Key with our family. After their passing, I’ve continued visiting Siesta Key until I moved to Siesta Key myself to begin my educational studies at the State College of Florida ManateeSarasota.

Q A

What led you to decide to fish for a living? I have always had an interest in all water sports from skimboarding to spearfishing. When I began living on the key full time, my passion for fishing grew. I live directly on the Big Pass, which is one of the best fishing spots in Sarasota. Many people were interested in my catches, and I was always asked to share them or post them for others to see.

Q A

How often are you out on the water? I am lucky enough to truly say that I am out on the water every single day, which has enabled me to capture footage of all the amazing wildlife I encounter in my back yard. I always try to wet a line any chance I get throughout the day.

Jacob as a toddler on Siesta Key. (submitted image)

Q A

How did your use of social media result in your creation of your Reel Siesta Key brand? As soon as I began posting, my page grew rapidly. Thousands of people have enjoyed watching my wildlife content and unique catches. Both locals and tourists alike have a passion and love for Siesta Key. I wanted to create a brand that gives back to the beloved community and environment.

That said, 20% of your profits go to Mote Marine for waterquality research and programs. Tell us about your motivation in doing so. Living on the water, I have seen firsthand how detrimental the harmful algal blooms are. I have witnessed many years of red tide and its devastating effect on the community and environment, from struggling local businesses to suffering animal species. As a professional fisherman, and Sarasota local, I knew I needed to raise awareness of the issue. Mote Marine Laboratory is dedicated to forming mitigation and control technologies that will help adverse the impacts of the Florida red tide. I created Reel Siesta Key products to help raise donations for Mote’s water quality and harmful algal blooms program. I’m eager to support Mote’s research, knowing it will help preserve Florida’s resources for future generations to enjoy.

Q A

How can people see your platforms and participate in your endeavors? You can check out all my posts on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube @reelsiestakey. You can also learn more and support Reel Siesta Key on my website: thereelsiestakey.com. -- John Morton

www.siestasand.us


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Incorporation group readying for round 2 By John Morton Save Siesta Key is retooling in a big way for another push. The hiring of a new lobbyist group, with possibly a second to follow, and the planned hiring of both a public relations firm and a polling organization are what are now in the game plan, chairman Tim Hensey said, as the incorporation group amps up for second filing in Tallahassee come Sept. 1 for what it hopes to result in Siesta Key becoming its own municipality, shaking its governance away from Sarasota County. “We haven’t lost our passion,” said Hensey of the six-person group that was shot down in January by a 3-3 tie vote from the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation, which needed to support the idea before it could move on to state House and Senate votes and then a local majority referendum. Now, with a second attempt going forward, the earliest Siesta Key could become its own town is Dec. 31, 2023. And a renewed petition drive is chugging along, Hensey told the Siesta Key Association at its May 5 meeting, as well as a fundraising effort to collect $75,000 to pay for the new investments. The 503(c)(4) non-profit had previously raised about $125,00, spending about $80,000. Regarding another swing at incorporation in a moment of levity with Siesta Key Association members, Hensey said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,”

quoting Albert Einstein. “So, what are we doing different?” For starters, Hensey said David Ramba of TallahasseeHensey based Ramba Law Group has been hired to serve as lobbyist for the next Florida Legislature session beginning next spring. Ramba won out after interviews with three firms that Hensey called “the most visible and respected lobbying firms in Tallahassee.” Hensey, who spent a career as an executive in Florida’s construction business, reports that he and Ramba have a successful personal history while pursuing matters of mutual interest. Ramba replaces Jon Moyle, who was recommended last year by the Florida League of Cities but who Hensey feared may have limitations because he’s a lifetime Democrat who would have been trying to influence a heavily Republican-weighted House and Senate. “How effective can a Democrat be in that environment? Hensey said. Recruitment of even a second lobbying firm could also shake out, Hensey said, considering the complex nature of reaching so many politicians. “Everyone has their relationships, and they’re not all the same,” he said. Next, a public relations firm will be hired to better convey the

incorporation group’s message, and a polling organization will likely also be hired to gauge public interest. A measure in the past legislative session at the state capital that didn’t pan out noted that efforts of incorporation should present a straw poll that indicates strong interest, and Save Siesta Key members have gone on record to embrace that concept. Best yet, Hensey reported, is that house-member redistricting maps have shaved the county’s legislative group from six to two – with the two biggest adversaries in the form of Will Robinson and Tommy Gregory no longer representing any Sarasota County turf. Also gone is Michele Rayner, who represented just a bit of the northern county who did support the incorporation concept. Robinson, the former delegation chairman objected, to the low .25 mill rate proposed by Save Siesta Key that he thought was too meager and also didn’t like the fact that part of the island’s northern edge included resident of Bay Island who reside within Sarasota city limits. Statutes note that there needs to be a buffer of at least 2 miles between an existing municipality and one that wants to incorporate, but history shows it’s often easily waived in incorporation matters. “He hung his hat on that,” Hensey said of Robinson. As for Robinson’s issue with the low mill rate, which would have initially resulted in a budget of about $3.75 million and covering the cost of five likely employees, Hensey said his group is

Motorists on Midnight Pass Road get the message from supporters of Save Siesta Key. (submitted photo)

discussing the possibility of raising that number “just a bit.” He also said the proposed charter, which currently calls for five council members, could be switched to seven when revisited. Tommy Gregory was another delegation dissenter, saying he couldn’t support a tax increase – no matter that the proposed .25 mills would result in about $97 per year for the owner of a medianassessed-value home on the Key – and he also felt the number of petitions submitted at about 2,300 should have been higher considering Siesta Key has more than 7,200 registered voters.

While no threshold regarding petition numbers was ever made public by the delegation prior to its vote, Save Siesta Key is now pushing hard to reach a recommended 60% mark despite Gregory’s departure. Petitions can be downloaded and printed at savesiestakey.org (they must be signed by hand) and can be mailed to P.O. Box 35214, Sarasota, 34242. They are also available at the island’s two Davidson Drugs locations (Village and Southbridge Mall) where drop boxes exist. Petitions previously signed are still valid, Hensey noted. Continued on page 41

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‘The Shark Lady’ immortalized in Forever fashion Siesta Key’s Eugenie Clark, who helped create Mote Marine, honored with United States Postal Service stamp By Jane Bartnett “Follow your heart.” That was the mantra of Dr. Eugenie Clark, Siesta Key’s own “Shark Lady,” who was not only influential in the creation of Mote Marine but in how scientists would study the oceans. On May 4, on the day that would have been Clark’s 100th birthday, the United States Postal Service unveiled a Forever Stamp bearing the likeness of a young Clark and a lemon shark, one of the species of sharks that she discovered. The ceremony, held at Mote Marine, was attended by family members, friends and those from the scientific community who knew and worked with Clark during her long, adventurous career. Clark died at home in Sarasota in 2015, at the age of 92. The daughter of a Japanese mother and American father, Clark is recognized worldwide for her research and findings on sharks and is celebrated for opening doors of opportunity for women in science. On hand at the ceremony were two of Clark’s four children -- her son Tak Konstantinou, a real estate agent who lives and works in Sarasota, and her daughter, Aya Konstantinou, a recently retired United Airlines pilot, who also lives in Sarasota. Speaking of her childhood and growing up on Siesta Key in the Point of Rocks area, Aya Konstantinou recalled that the family moved to Siesta Key in 1960, after Clark’s lab, known at the time as the Cape Haze Marine Lab, relocated from Cape Haze, near Englewood. It was at the Cape Haze and Siesta Key labs where Clark, an ichthyologist and oceanographer, conducted her groundbreaking studies on sharks. “I attribute part of my success to having a successful mother,” said Konstantinou. “She was a pioneer for female scientists, researchers and scuba divers. We are so

Above, Eugenie Clark at age 92, shortly before her death. Right, the ‘Shark Lady’ on a dive in the South Pacific. (photos submitted by Tak Konstantinou)

proud of her legacy as an Asian-American woman, teacher, scientist and most importantly, grandmother.” Clark brought her four children with her

on many of her explorations, and during those trips to faraway places there were often photographers, reporters and notable individuals.

“She didn’t do things to be recognized. It was amazing how hard she worked,” said her daughter. Recalling her mother at work, she noted that Clark was equally at ease speaking to non-scientists as she was to the marine professionals whose lifework she shared. Said Tak Konstantinou, “Some of my fondest memories from early childhood are being on Point of Rocks with my mother. There used to be a nice beach off the south end that went by the Sanderling Beach Club cabanas along where the old pass separated Siesta Key from Casey Key.” Looking back, he said of his mother, “She was always curious, even up to the very end. I also remember being with my grandparents and learning about our Japanese culture as we visited my grandfather’s Siesta Key restaurant, called Chidori.” Numerous visiting scientists and research students came to conduct research and work with Clark. In 1967, the Mote family became the financial supporters of the lab that had originally been supported by the Vanderbilt family. Although Clark left the laboratory in late 1968 to pursue an academic career at the University of Maryland, she maintained close connections to the research facility. In 1978, the Siesta Key lab was relocated to its current location on City Island and renamed Mote Marine. A native of New York City, Clark’s fascination with sharks began as a child when she visited the New York Aquarium. She earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from New York City’s Hunter College in 1942, and then completed graduate studies at New York University. She earned a master’s degree in zoology in 1946, and a Ph.D. in zoology in 1950. Continued on page 40

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Residents of the Whispering Sands condominium complex petitioned the county in January for the signs, with the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Siesta Key Condominium Council also voicing subsequent support. While Commissioner Nancy Detert said she rarely goes against a staff recommendation, she said “Sometimes it’s good to let the residents win one – if it makes them happy and helps them get out of their neighborhood. It looks like it fits there.” While the signs will help Whisper Sands residents turn onto the busy Ocean Boulevard, the request was made mostly as a traffic-calming measure. The boulevard has a posted speed limit of 20 mph, but a study county staff provided showed that drivers often exceed that rate. “That’s one of the few straightaways, so it might slow things down, which is a good thing,” Detert said. Added Commissioner Alan Maio, “There may be people who don’t want another stop sign coming out of the Village, but I’ve got to tell you I hear a lot of people wouldn’t mind seeing things slow down a bit.” The stop signs may also create an opportunity for the Siesta Breeze trolley to extend its route and pull aside for a turnaround. Currently, it makes its final stop a few blocks earlier at Canal Road, near Beach Bazaar. Maio said he has heard requests that the trolley go deeper into the village, and the board has asked the county staff to begin to explore a means in which that can happen in conjunction with the new four-way stop. Back in March, the county’s Traffic Advisory Council voted 4-0 against the stop signs because a point system tied to a traffic study didn’t reveal conditions that justify such a measure. Ocean Boulevard draws approximately 7,000 cars per day, while the two side streets draw about 700 each. While speeds on the boulevard do often exceed 20 mph, but not by much, and coupled with a zero-accident rate during the study, only 5 points were accumulated in a formula where 7 points are typically needed for a stop-sign recommendation. Don DeBerry, the transportation manager with public works, noted that a roundabout could be a consideration but also noted that it was not cost-feasible at this time.


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Hotel proposed for Wells Fargo site gets another review A year after the first one, neighborhood workshop slated for June 14 at St. Boniface Church By John Morton About a year after holding a Sarasota County-mandated neighborhood workshop for his proposed hotel and restaurant, Dave Balot is doing it again with a revised plan. It will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd. Balot went back to the drawing board in late November, cancelling his hearing before the Sarasota County Planning Commission that was set for Dec. 2. At that time, he was informed that he couldn’t remove the massive protected oak tree at the front of his lot at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd. – home of the former Wells Fargo Bank – without an OK by the county that was unlikely to come. That resulted in some tweaks to his design. Furthermore, a pair of lawsuits against two other hotels that received county approval beyond

what had previously been allowed in terms of height and density had just been filed. Now, Balot is back to taking step one in the process. “We are moving forward with our special exception for height – 59 feet above ground – and for hotel use,” Balot said. “Per discussions with the county staff, it was not recommended to file a comp plan amendment until the two lawsuits are decided upon. “We plan to simply move the ball down the field and then sit on the sidelines.” The lawsuits are fighting, in part, the eight-story, 170-room Calle Miramar hotel at the edge of the Village and the sevenstory, 120-room hotel and nearby five-story parking garage at Old Stickney Point Road in regard to the county’s decision to allow unlimited density that allegedly

The former Wells Fargo bank sits on the lot at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd. where a new hotel may be built. (file photo)

is in violation of the county’s comprehensive plan. By losing about 25 to 30 feet of his footprint because of the tree, Balot decided to tighten his design. As a result, in order to keep at least 101 rooms which is required for special exception status in which a restaurant and bar is allowed, his reconfiguration took his room total to 112 and a sixth floor, instead

of 100 rooms and five floors as originally planned. Currently, height is limited to 35 feet without special exception. Balot had originally sought 54 feet, but has gone 5 feet higher. As for density, Balot is proposing twice the amount previously allowed of 26 per acre, with his number coming in at 52. His lot is 2.15 acres in size. Another issue that’s being explored in the lawsuits involves setbacks, where an additional 1 foot of setback was required for every 4 feet beyond the 35 feet in height. That requirement is on the county’s books, but was lost in the shuffle during the approval process for the two hotels that received the green light. It’s a second factor in Balot tightening his design. “We’ll be bringing the fourth through sixth floors inward 6 feet

to accommodate the disputed setback issue,” Balot said. Regarding the hotel’s layout, the lobby is on the ground level, along with surface parking and a valet drop-off area. The second floor holds a parking garage, kitchen, banquet area, and the first level of a restaurant. The third level is home to a pool and deck, the second level of the restaurant, a courtyard, and poolside rooms. Levels four through six feature guest rooms only. Balot is a partner in the Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites in the Village. That operation has also applied with the county for the creation of a new hotel, in this case featuring a teardown and rebuild, going from 55 units to 170. Balot bought the Wells Fargo property for $4.41 million in the spring of 2021.

Cavanaugh sells Tropical Sands Accommodations Former chamber president will continue to run his RE/MAX business out of former grocery store location, at least for now By John Morton

Cavanaugh

Tropical Sands Accommodations, which former Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce President Steve Cavanaugh started in 2006, was sold by Cavanaugh on April 30 to Anna Maria Island-based Prime Vacations. The new owner will keep the existing employees and operate out of the same office at 5116 Ocean Blvd., in the Village’s

Davidson Plaza, Cavanaugh said. Tropical Sands Accommodations represents nearly 600 units on Siesta Key, he added. He did not feel comfortable revealing the price tag on the sale, other than to say “It’s a good number.” Meanwhile, Cavanaugh’s other business interest as a broker with RE/

MAX on the top floor in the building that formerly held Crescent Beach Grocery, at 1211 Old Stickney Point Rd., remains intact. Whether he stays there after that building sold in April remains uncertain, Cavanaugh said. The small office below him, which sits between the now-defunct Crescent Beach Grocery and the Coconuts

boutique and that provided additional RE/MAX space, it likely to be occupied by Meaney’s Mini Donuts as a second Siesta Key location, Cavanaugh said. That business exists in the Village on Canal Road in a building owned by Chris Brown, who owns several Village properties and is the recent buyer of the Continued on page 45


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It’s all in the family at Flavio’s

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Italian eatery in Village, now with outdoor seating and private room, continues to grow as its popularity continues to soar By Jane Bartnett Walk through the doors of Flavio’s Brick Oven & Bar and suddenly the outside world fades away. The aromas of fine Italian cooking, the warm welcoming atmosphere, and a full house of happy customers on most nights signal that at this place, no one’s a stranger. Flavio Cristofoli himself is typically at the front of the house to greet his guests. In the kitchen, his brother Daniele runs the show. “He’s in charge of the kitchen, I take care of everything out here,” Flavio Cristofoli said while in the dining area where he so masterfully works the crowd. It’s indeed a family affair at this classic Italian eatery that has been a favorite of locals and Siesta Key visitors for 31 years. “For the first 22 years -- that’s from 1991 on -- we were called Bella Roma. In 2013, we decided to change the name to Flavio’s. We wanted to make it our own,” said the restaurateur. The name changed but the family that makes the magic happen every night remained the same. “My mother also cooks,” Cristofoli said. “Each morning she comes in and makes our gnocchi. It’s her specialty. She’s really a great cook.” With a big smile he pauses to say “She’s 80 now, so she takes it a little easy. She makes the gnocchi and then goes home.” Cristofoli’s wife, Harva, also plays a starring role in creating the

Left, Flavio Cristofoli’s familiar face greets his guests most every night (submitted photo). Above, the new permanent outdoor seating area. (photo by John Morton)

Flavio’s specialty desserts. “She’s the baker and makes the best key lime pie, coconut pie, and chocolate mousse. It’s just delicious,” Cristofoli said. The couple met when Cristofoli, who began cooking when he was 14, came to Sarasota on a vacation. They fell in love and he decided to stay. “Harva grew up in Florida with orange groves,” Cristofoli said of his wife, noting that they came from two very different worlds.

“I was from Turin in northern Italy, the headquarters of Fiat cars. I loved it here and soon I found work as the chef of Osteria in St. Armands Circle.” When he and his wife learned that there was an opportunity to take over Bella Roma on Siesta Key, Cristofoli contacted his mother and brother and told them about the small Italian restaurant. They decided to move to Sarasota so that they could work together and to build their own Italian restaurant.

In Turino, the family had previously owned a bar and restaurant. “We’ve all been in the business,” he said, adding that his grandfather had been a chef on a cruise ship. In recent years, Flavio’s on Siesta has flourished and grown in terms of both the menu and the space. “Our cuisine is regional -- I would call it a little bit of all regions,” Cristofoli said. “We have some Sicilian, some Naples dishes,

some from Venice, some from my region of Turino. “Our best dish is the papardelle pasta with short ribs. Also, the lobster and scallops with our unique Fra diavalo sauce is excellent.” The Flavio’s pizzas made in their own brick ovens is also a customer favorite. An expansion began in 2013. The current bar area had been a Continued on page 40


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A ‘people person’ and so much more

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Do-it-all membership director Nancy-jo Manney has the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce thriving By Jane Bartnett “I’m a people person.” That’s how Nancy-jo Manney, membership director of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, describes herself. Ann Frescura, her boss, agrees -- and then some. “Nancy-jo is a tremendous asset to our chamber team,” said Frescura, the executive director. “Her personality, professionalism and experience are a winning combination. We greatly appreciate all she does for our chamber and our members.” On business days, Manney can be found working side-by-side with Frescura, Visitor Center and volunteer manager Mia Leone, and promotion and event manager Mandi Green. Their small but bustling office in Davidson Plaza in the heart of the Village is home base for the chamber’s 400-plus members. When Manney arrived in her new job at the chamber in February of 2019, she had just wrapped up a 20-year career as executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce in Springfield, Virginia -- a large suburban community outside of Washington, D.C. “It’s refreshing to be here,” she said. “Siesta Key is an entirely different world.” As head of the Springfield chamber, her focus was on business issues that impacted government contractors, non-profit organizations and small businesses that supported the large community. By contrast, most Siesta Key members work in hospitality and tourism. “In suburban Washington, D.C. the emphasis was on the legislative and political arena. Here on Siesta Key, it’s the beach,” she said with a laugh. During the years that she directed the Springfield chamber, Manney watched the

Nancy-jo Manney, membership director with the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

region go through a period of rapid growth. Much like Siesta Key, transportation and development issues were a constant factor. She sees similarities in the growth issues currently facing our local region. In late 2018, when Manney and her

husband decided to make the move to Sarasota, she took a leap of faith. “I moved here without a job, but thanks to social media I discovered that the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce was looking for a membership director. I applied and I was so

happy to get the job,” she said. And a perfect match was made. Much like Siesta Key, Manney’s Springfield chamber also had an active board and strong membership. “There’s a nice mix of people here and it’s also nice that we have the Siesta Key Visitor Center in our office,” she noted. “Half of our members are in businesses that are tourist related. Of our 400 members, 100 are in the accommodation field -- the others are involved in beach retail, restaurants, and things to do. This mix of businesses makes us different than traditional chambers. I find it very interesting.” When she signed on to become the membership director, Manney launched several new efforts to build the membership ranks. The Ambassador Program, an outreach effort that involves volunteer chamber members who help to educate fellow members about what the chamber can do to support their business, is one of which she is most proud. Manney was also charged with upgrading the chamber’s website. In early 2020, when COVID-19 impacted the business community, Manney used this time to focus on building the website’s content, featuring a redesign and the development of a marketing strategy. “The quiet time gave us the opportunity to get the site up and running and to make new additions to create a better user experience for our members. We also added more community events that members can promote. The website encourages crossmarketing with social media and that is vital for a tourist- and hospitality-driven chamber like ours,” she said. Continued on page 46

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Sheriff’s Report

March 31, theft Victim reported that an unknown suspect stole a black 3G Venice bicycle, valued at $583. The bike was stolen along Midnight Pass Road. April 12, theft Victim reported that his mail-order pharmacy package was supposedly delivered to his residential complex but was never received. The victim indicated that there were both prescription medication and syringes in the order. The management office of the complex did not have any report of it being delivered. A signed medical-theft affidavit was filed. April 18, theft Victim reported that certain Amazon packages had been stolen from his front door. His doorbell camera captured a subject who ran up to the front door and took the packages. Video footage was obtained. April 20, theft Security at a condo complex advised that a “Welcome” sign was stolen from a front parking lot. Cameras captured a suspect take the sign and place it in a truck parked in the lot. The truck with the sign was located by authorities and the owner of the truck admitted to taking it. The sign was

valued at $300. April 20, battery A sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a fight. Upon arrival, the deputy met with multiple witnesses who stated an unknown subject was in a verbal and physical altercation with the victim. The witnesses reported the subject punched the victim in the face and then put him in a headlock. Subject was later apprehended by assisting deputies. April 21, battery A sheriff’s deputy responded to a possible battery call at a rental unit. Complainant and her friend indicated that they had been at a bar drinking. When they returned to the rental unit, they engaged in an altercation with another friend and the complainant was punched in the face by the subject. The complainant suffered a swollen and red cheek. April 21, battery Units responded to a restaurant on Siesta Key for a report of a physical altercation between two male subjects. The victim advised that there was an underage male with two drinks in his hand. Victim requested that the underage male put the drinks down, and the suspect made a threat against the victim

and told him not to mess with him. When victim persisted in having the underage male put the drinks down and attempted to grab one of the drinks, the subject grabbed the victim in a bear hold. The victim escaped and the suspect fled from the scene and was not located. April 29, identity theft Victim reported the fraudulent use of his personal identification. On May 2 he received a call from the fraud department at a credit union who advised that a possible fraudulent account was opened using his personal identification. At the time of the complaint, the victim had not suffered any financial loss. May 7, burglary Victim stated that at 6:30 a.m. the defendant was observed removing a bicycle from a breezeway between the garage and the main house, and then observed leaving the driveway with the bicycle. The following day, the defendant returned to the incident location with the bicycle. The defendant then walked up to a front door camera and began to speak in the camera stating that he stole the bike but returned it. Observation of the bike indicated that it had been damaged on the seat. The defendant was located.

Crypto: Investment or speculation? Sarasota Local Brings Experience & Trust to Siesta Key With cryptocurrencies so much in the news, you might be wondering if you should invest in them. But “invest” may not be the right word -- because, in many ways, cryptocurrencies, or “crypto” for short, are more speculation than investment. But what’s really the difference between a speculator and an investor? Probably the main factor is the differing views of time. A true investor is in it for the long term, building a portfolio that, over many years, can eventually provide the financial resources to achieve important goals, such as a comfortable retirement. But speculators want to see results, in the form of big gains, right now – and they’re often willing to take big risks to achieve these outcomes. There’s also the difference in knowledge. Investors know that they’re buying shares of stock in a company that manufactures products or provides services. But many speculators in cryptocurrency don’t fully comprehend what they’re buying – because crypto just isn’t that easy to understand. Cryptocurrency is

Joe St. Onge outside his office on Siesta Key.

a digital asset, and cryptocurrency transactions only exist as digital entries on a blockchain, with the “block” essentially being just a collection of information, or digital ledgers. But even knowing this doesn’t necessarily provide a clear picture to many of those entering the crypto world. In addition to time and understanding, two other elements

help define cryptocurrency’s speculative nature: • Volatility – Cryptocurrencies are subject to truly astonishing price swings, with big gains followed by enormous losses – sometimes within a matter of hours. What’s behind this type of volatility? Actually, several factors are involved. For one thing, the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies depends heavily on supply and demand -- and the demand can skyrocket when media outlets and crypto “celebrities” tout a particular offering. Furthermore, speculators will bet on crypto prices moving up or down, and these bets can trigger a rush on buying and selling, again leading to the rapid price movements. And many purchasers of crypto, especially young people, want to see big profits quickly, so when they lose large amounts, which is common, they often simply quit the market, contributing to the volatility. • Lack of regulation – When you invest in the traditional financial markets, your transactions are regulated by

the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the firms with which you invest are typically overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Other agencies are also involved in regulating various investments. These regulating bodies work to ensure the basic fairness of the financial markets and to prevent and investigate fraud. But cryptocurrency exchanges are essentially unregulated, and this lack of oversight has contributed to the growth of “scam” exchanges, crypto market manipulation, excessive trading fees and other predatory practices. This “Wild West” scenario should be of concern to anyone putting money in crypto. The cryptocurrency market is still relatively new, and it’s certainly possible that, in the future, crypto can become more of an investment and less of a speculation. In fact, Congress is actively considering ways to regulate the cryptocurrency market. But for now, caveat emptor -- “let the buyer beware.”

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Joe St. Onge, ChFC® Financial Advisor Edward Jones Investments 5011 Ocean Blvd., suite 205 Siesta Key, FL 34242 (941)-346-0560 phone (941)-320-4030 mobile Joe.StOnge@edwardjones.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Edward Jones. Member SIPC. Advertorial


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By Jane Bartnett Imagine exotic, sexy, and brilliantly colored bikinis from Brazil, California, Miami and Columbia, created from tropically inspired luxurious fabrics. That’s what you’ll discover on a visit to the new Siesta Bikinis boutique. This new, upscale bikini- and beach-ware shop opened in late March at 2095-B Siesta Drive, just off South Tamiami Trail, across the street from Aldi’s in the Crossings at Siesta Key mall. Paloma Magner is the founder and owner of the welcoming boutique that is home to some of the most special bikinis this side of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the festive and colorful swimwear, the store also features fluid and brilliantly colored dresses that could make a stunning appearance at a tropical cocktail hour, along with cover-ups, hats and bags. It’s all that any woman could ever dream of for a visit to the soft white sands of Siesta Key. “Nearly all of the brands that we carry in Siesta Bikini are exclusive to us here in Sarasota,” said Magner. The store enjoys an immediate following. “We see a lot of local residents, but more and more visitors are finding us now too,” Magner said. “The woman that we serve is between 16 and 60. I help our customers find what she wants and what will look good on her.” “All of our brands are handmade and very international,” added Magner as she discussed the beautiful designs and fabrics that she offers her customers. Among the luxury brands she features are: Beach Bunny Swimwear, from California; Luli Fama, from Miami; Aqua Bendita, from Columbia; and the store’s own Siesta Bikini line that is hand-made in Brazil. “Lots of celebrities wear Beach Bunny’s glamorous designs,” the boutique owner reported. Known for their hand-sewn here in Sarasota with flowers and other designs that are embellished with glittering appliqués that glisten on

Paloma Magner organizes her vast array of bikinis at her new store on Siesta Drive. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

a sunny day at the pool or beach, Beach Bunny bikinis are sold exclusively at Siesta Bikinis. “This line really appears to a younger clientele,” said Magner. Beach Bunny tops and bikini bottoms begin at $100 apiece. Highly embellished styles are $195 apiece. The richly colored tropical prints and colors found in the Miamibased Luli Fama line of bikinis, one-piece styles and cover-ups are another customer favorite. “They make a statement on the beach and some of the styles are reversible,” Magner said. “It’s kind of nice to have two bathing suits in one.” The line retails for $90 per piece and up. The Agua Bendita line from Columbia is a hand-made luxury line that begins at $98 per piece. Tropically inspired prints and bright solid designs are sold in bikinis and one-piece styles. The shop’s own Siesta Bikini brand is available in six different styles. It’s Manger’s top seller. The line is priced from $24.50 per piece up to $79 for a two-piece set. A new line of SPF hats and beach bags that coordinate with the

bikinis has also just been added to the store’s offerings. All of the bikini tops and bottoms at Siesta Bikinis are offered separately. Tops range from triangles and halters to crop tops, along with underwire designs that offer additional coverage. Bikini bottoms are also available in various shapes and sizes. “The Brazilian scrunch bottom is the favorite style,” Magner said. No stranger to the Sarasota retail world, Magner was the owner of the Miami Girl Fashions store on South Tamiami Trail for 12 years. She also worked as a fashion specialist at Macy’s for five years. “It was the right time to create a special new store where women will want to come to shop for that special bikini or beach accessory for a trip to Siesta Key,” she said. In the coming weeks, Magner plans to welcome customers to special “nail nights” and evenings with make-up artists, where she’ll serve cocktails. Other fun shopping events are on the horizon as well. Siesta Bikinis is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (941) 993-1837 and find the store on Facebook at facebook.com/ SiestaBikinis/.

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★★★★★ via TripAdvisor (April 2022) BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT IN THE SARASOTA AREA BY FAR! FRESH, FLAVORFUL, PERFECTLY PREPARED FOOD. BE BACK NEXT YEAR!

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We are closed on Sunday, June 19, but would like to wish everyone a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

“This is a small family run restaurant and the owners are onsite there. The owners and staff are friendly and welcoming. The service is great, but the food is phenomenal ! We had the blackened grouper, crab cakes and fish stew. It was seasoned and prepared perfectly ! We found it because we were looking a place to eat after a movie, and if we hadn’t looked for reviews on TripAdvisor we would never have found it. It’s in a small plaza in the back corner and does not stand out. It was 45 minutes from where we were staying but it was so good we had to go back again. Each of the last 3 years we have stayed for 2 months on longboat key and this was the best seafood restaurant we’ve been to, hands down! It was nice to meet the owner who it turns out was from the town next to us in Connecticut. You must try it, but I would recommend reservations at dinner time as it’s a small place.”

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

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Mind Body Soul: Whole Wellness By Dolores Day “The moment we start connecting to our breath, we connect with life itself.” -- Denise Kaufman

I

remember the first time someone asked me if I did conscious breathing practices. Inside I was rolling my eyes at the very thought that I needed to waste time doing the very thing that my body so intelligently did on its own for decades now. Ignorance laced with pride is unattractive, so I did listen to my peer at the time and took in health education that for years I had otherwise dismissed. Having an open mind is a beautiful thing. I learned about the vagus nerve that impacts our parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for controlling vital systems in our body like blood pressure, breathing, heartbeat and digestion. It is true that our body has hardwired within it an involuntary intelligence to perform these functions. Yet, I came to understand that when this nerve is stimulated it has the ability to affect all of these systems positively which then produce a cascading emotional response within our bodies like decreased anxiety, lower stress, and enhanced overall peaceful feelings. What can we do on purpose or consciously to activate this nerve to reap these benefits throughout a typical day? We must begin to practice conscious breathing. If I told you all you had to do was place your hands on the trunk of your car three times a day for one minute and your car would go twice as far with half the gas, would you do it? I think most people would say yes, especially with increasing fuel prices! This is what a few minutes of focused and intentional breathing will do for our bodies. When we cultivate and practice deep, rhythmic breathing several times

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a day we stimulate this nerve and remove energy blocks present in the body. Releasing these blocks helps us to improve the flow of natural energy (breath/spirit) in the body as well as reduce the physiological and emotional imbalances that insidiously creep in. More flow, more energy, less stress. Who doesn’t want more of this free fuel? Interesting enough, the Greek word “pneuma” means “spirit” as well as “breath.” So, like the quote above, connecting to our breath is also helping us to connect to life, the very thing that is sustaining our physical bodies to this plane. I have come to experience that connecting to my breath not only has physiological benefits but spiritual ones as well. Our breath is one of the fastest ways to slow down and realign us with our own true inner being as well as to the One that offers this very breath to us. Where there is intentional conscious breathing, you will also find balance, connection and peace. To create healing for the body we must employ these invisible forces with intentional breathwork. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. Our mind must begin to require this practice daily. There are many different forms, techniques and types to be learned.

However, I like to keep it simple. I believe in habit, which occurs by cultivating the repetition of any practice in our life over and over again. To encourage this discipline, simply setting a timer on your phone three times a day will remind you to pause what you’re doing, sit still, upright, and bring your focused attention to your breath. Six deep, slow breaths will take you no longer than 60 seconds to complete. Taking your time to inhale as slowly as you can through the nose, and taking even longer to exhale that breath back through the nose is all it takes! I like to repeat the words “inhale love” as I breathe in and “exhale peace” in my mind as I breathe out. Developing this habit while you are out in nature will absolutely enhance your experience as well. One more subtle suggestion, is placing your hand over your heart during this breathwork which will improve your connection to your true self. What I know to be true is if you will invest three minutes a day connecting to the flow of the very life force energy that supports you, your body, mind and soul will reap exponential rewards. So little is necessary to foster such great health benefits. As you develop this habit in your life, you will find that you no longer need a timer to remind you to practice as the work feels so amazing that you will find yourself voluntarily going to it more and more often during your day. Inhale love, exhale peace.

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Fish farm off Siesta Key coast is put to a halt

The Environmental Appeals Board has ruled that a first-ever industrial aquaculture facility – known as a fish farm – that was targeted to be established 45 miles off the Siesta Key shoreline has had its previously granted permit denied until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can clarify that the facility will not cause harm to aquatic ecosystems and species in the Gulf of Mexico. The Center for Food Safety and other agencies asked for the appeal against the facility, called Velella Epsilon. In the ruling, the facility’s

operation was said to violate the Clean Water Act. Jean Cannon isn’t against the fish-farm concept but was concerned about the nature of this large-scale facility and its location. “Mote (Marine) had a fish farm near Myakka State Park and it performed very well. I’d like to see this type of fish farming continue,” said Cannon, a Siesta Key Association member with a history of local environmental stewardship, including the creation of a canal regeneration project. “In my opinion, the fish farm operation will add a concentration for food and waste to

our Gulf waters -- a negative discharge -- that could add to our red tide problem. “Also, the operation is remotely monitored. If there is problem, it will be too late to react and this could have a negative impact on our marine life, water, beaches, etc., putting more negative impacts and pressure on the health of people, local marine life, and commercial fishing operations. “The fish farm operation needs to be worked out before it comes to the Gulf of Mexico.” -- John Morton

19

An image of Velella Epsilon, the fish farm being proposed off the coast of Siesta Key. (file photo)

The Inside Scoop on Made In Rome Organic Gelato Made In Rome would like to thank all of our customers for supporting us all these years and our new customers for appreciating our homemade organic gelato that is made daily in our shop! Owner Diane Theron-Cuna invites you to watch the process as she creates a batch of her sinfully delicious gelato from scratch every 15 minutes. “We are very proud and happy each day. to be here on Siesta Key,” says Theron-Cuna. “My husband’s family recipes used to create our gelato comes directly from Rome, Italy and only certified USDA organic ingredients are ever used.” There are 48 flavors to choose from and the staff at Made In Rome Organic Gelato generously provide samples of their made-from-scratch, in-house gelato. No hydrogenated fats or colorants, or preservatives are ever used so you can really taste the difference. Sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan options are also made fresh each day. Besides their gelato, the shop also carries Italian coffee, cakes, and focaccia sandwiches. If you’re lucky enough to catch Theron-Cuna at the shop, she will happily entertain you with stories of her earlier days as a circus performer. She comes from three generations of circus entertainers and has traveled around the world performing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The family earned their own “Star of Fame” at St. Armands Circle - The Theron Cycling Troupe.

Above: Sage, Nora, and Anna (Made In Rome staff) invite you to try our organic, made from scratch gelato. Right: Two of the 48 delicious flavors of organic gelato available at Made In Rome, Cookies & Cream and Key Lime.

Made In Rome Organic Gelato is located at 5204 Ocean Blvd, in the Siesta Key Village. Their hours are Mon. Thurs: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Fri. - Sun. Their holiday hours are 11:00 a.m. -11:00 p.m. (941) 960-5344. ADVERTORIAL

The Original Fun Tiki Cruises, Sandbars, and Sunsets!

Also offering Private Charters and Special Events

Book online at cruisintikissarasota.com 941-253-5404


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Siesta Sand

JUNE 2022

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How sweet it is

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Celebrating 10 years in the Village, Meaney’s Mini Donuts continues to draw long lines by creating tasty treats

D

onuts and the beach. Could there be a more perfect match? In the heart of Siesta Key Village, at the edge of the Morton’s Market parking lot and across the street from the gazebo, lies a wellloved landmark: Meaney’s Mini Donuts. The shop’s cheery bright-yellow awning and the giant soft serve ice cream cone that sits in front of the walk-up window makes it a hard place to ignore. Considering the long lines that often wrap around the corner on any given day, Siesta Key’s beloved donut shop is a hands-down favorite among tourists and locals alike. For 10 years, donut lovers have flocked to this little patch of sweet bliss. There’s something special about walking down the street with your own freshly baked bite- sized warm donuts topped with mouthwatering treats ranging from apple pie filling to chocolate, coconut, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. But that’s not all. The soft serve ice cream, another beach treat that harkens back to simpler times, can be yours too. Enjoy yours in a cone or a cup. If you have a serious sweet tooth, try the donut sundae. Sprinkles? Meaney’s got you covered there, too. When the little shop opened its window back in 2012, it was the creation of Vince and Karen Meaney, a Grand Rapids, Michigan couple with a treasured family donut recipe. The couple had relocated to Sarasota several years earlier and started to sell their donuts at a popular flea market in Bradenton. The donuts were such a hit that they decided to open their own free-standing donut shop. Their daughter Lindsay joined the new business and when the space that had previously been the home of the Village Laundry became available, the couple decided to give it a go. Meaney’s Mini Donuts was born. In 2018, Lindsay and her husband, Anthony Pallaria, assumed the ownership of the Siesta Key operation from her parents. Two years later, as the pandemic raged on, the Meaneys opened a second location on St. Armand’s Circle. Despite the odds, the new shop became a success. Looking back, Pallaria said that the summer of 2020 was, incredibly, one of their busiest years on Siesta Key. “It’s hard to believe, but because we are a walk-up window operation, it was a real advantage for us,” he said. And the island’s tourism growth has provided a big boost.

By Jane Bartnett

“Our business has increased about 200% in the last few years and it’s due to the popularity of Siesta Key. Having grown up here, I can see that Siesta Key is very different than when I was a kid. We’re very lucky to be young business owners,” said Pallaria, who is 33. The couple also own the Sea Shanty gift store next door to the donut shop. He manages the donut business and she takes care of the boutique. “Lindsay and her dad grew the donut shop into what it is today,” he said of his wife and father-in-law. The couple just signed a long-term lease, ensuring that donut lovers will be able to walk up and get their favorite tasty treats for a long time to come. “It’s a great business,” said Pallaria. “Our customers are happy, they’re on vacation and they love our donuts. The best way to eat our donuts is to walk up to the window and get them hot and fresh. We don’t do UBER Eats. They’re not meant to be bought and put in the refrigerator.” The top three best sellers are French toast, Bavarian cream, and cheesecake. “All of our toppings go on top of the donut, which makes it like a blank slate. We can customize the donut to our customers liking,” he added. Pallaria said that local businesses have told him that they view the donut shop as a

The made-fresh-daily creations at Meaney’s Mini Donuts are part of what makes the Village a destination. (submitted photos).

barometer for how busy their day will be. If there’s a long line in the morning, they know that business will be brisk. Each day the window opens at 8 a.m. and the donut-making begins. “We make our dough on the spot as needed. It’s as fresh as it possibly can be,” said Pallaria. The store is open seven days a week, 16

hours every day, until 10 p.m. It only closes on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And of course, a good donut needs a good cup of coffee to go with it. Espresso and the double brew of Meaney’s own coffee are popular choices. Ice coffee and latte to go are also on the menu.

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


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Ramirez enters county commission race By Phil Colpas Longtime Siesta Key resident and activist Lourdes Ramirez announced on May 5 her candidacy for the District 2 seat of the Sarasota County Commission. District 2 comprises parts of Siesta Key, the city of Sarasota, Longboat Key, and the Arlington Park neighborhood. “Sarasota County needs a leader who will represent the citizens and neighborhoods of Sarasota County,” Ramirez said. “As a county commissioner, I will represent the entire county, making sure citizens’ concerns about traffic, overdevelopment and taxes are heard.” Ramirez is a former board

member and president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations and the Siesta Key Association. Ramirez She is also active in the Republican Party as a member of the Republican Executive Committee, and is the current president of the Republican Women’s Club of Sarasota. Ramirez said she plans to focus her campaign on “putting Sarasota County first.” She is concerned with the county’s failure to balance the needs of

its citizens with the need for responsibly planned growth, and believes that big developers have an undue influence on the county commission. “The big developers have been able to convince our county commissioners to approve developments that are not compatible with existing neighborhoods,” Ramirez said. “And I have witnessed costs of new development being shifted from the developer to the existing taxpayers.” Ramirez is currently suing Sarasota County for violating the local growth plan, claiming the county’s approval of megahotels on a barrier island will

increase emergency evacuation times and impede emergency vehicles trying to get on and off Siesta Key. “Challenging the county for the violation of our growth laws when they approved the mega-hotels is not enough for me,” Ramirez said. “I want to be your next county commissioner!” Ramirez’s goal was to get on the ballot by using the petition process, thus avoiding the $5,500 qualifying fee. But to do this she needed 681 signatures from Sarasota County registered voters in one week. “According to the Supervisor of Elections office, we reached

our goal of 681 signed petitions from registered voters in Sarasota County,” Ramirez said. “As of Friday night, I was unsure if we would make it by Monday morning (May 16). But in the end, we received more than needed. Continued on page 45

Happiness is...Summertime Fun Ah, Summer. A wonderful time for siestas, evening walks on the beach, baseball, and of course…ice cream.Would it even be summer without it? At Abel’s Ice Cream, owner Jerry Williams celebrates with delicious seasonal fresh fruit ice cream flavors that are the perfect tastes of summer and a fantastic way to beat the heat. Two light summer favorites are Cherry Oblivion (Creamy Black Cherry ice cream loaded with black cherries and luscious liquid

chocolate chips) and Peach (Delicious Peach ice cream is loaded with peaches and would make a Southerner proud). Can’t you just taste summer now? And remember Dad in June by celebrating Father’s Day at Abel’s. Nothing says “I Love You, Dad” like treating him to his favorite cup or cone. With more than 30 delicious, creamy flavors, he’ll have a hard time picking just one! So why make him choose? While you’re there, grab a gift card for his next visit.

Abel’s Ice Cream is located at 1886 Stickney 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. Awarded their Certificate of Excellence for SIX years straight!

CONVENIENCE YOU NEED, ATTENTION YOU DESERVE Have you ever wished your primary care practitioner could spend more than a few minutes with you? Or, better yet, that they could come to you? Now, that’s possible! NP On The Key gives you a direct connection to a Nurse Practitioner, in your home or online. Get the personal attention you need from a provider who takes a whole-person approach to health and wellness. You can pay a la carte for home visits and telehealth appointments, or you can join our concierge practice for ongoing care on Siesta Key or in the Sarasota region. Tiffany Tompkins is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who brings over 15 years of medical experience and a compassionate, attentive bedside manner right to your door. She specializes in family and integrative medicine, and is committed to treating her patients as people, not numbers, with outstanding, personalized attention. Tiffany graduated with honors from both Simmons University (Boston, MA) with a Master of Science in Nursing degree, and Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Prior to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, Tiffany worked as a registered nurse in med-surg, critical care, neuro/stroke and pre-/post-operative units, both in hospital and ambulatory settings.

A PARTNER IN YOUR CARE Tiffany takes great care to partner with her patients on their medical journey from a holistic point of view. She looks at the whole person – mind, body and spirit – so she can treat and serve each person with shared decision-making and a level of health care delivery that’s hard to achieve in the typical clinical setting. Her mantra is to treat others as she would like to be treated and as if her family member is the patient sitting in front of her, whether in person or virtually. Tiffany loves living in Siesta Key, Florida, where she and her family are avid paddle-boarders, pickle ballers, boaters and golfers. Tiffany is also passionately involved in her community through her work at a nationally recognized charitable organization that serves Sarasota County.

NP on the Key, LLC Tiffany Tompkins

APRN, FNP-BC, MSN, Owner

941-444-5656 Tiffany@nponthekey.com www.nponthekey.com


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Siesta Sand

JUNE 2022

941.312.0665

A salute to the new colonel

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Aledia Tush of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters receives Kentucky’s top honor to add to her list of accomplishments By Jane Bartnett

I

t’s official. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has proclaimed Aledia Hunt Tush, a former Kentucky resident and co-owner of Siesta Key’s CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, a Kentucky Colonel. From now on, just call her Colonel Tush. Dating back more than 200 years and considered to be the state of Kentucky’s highest honorary title and one that only a sitting governor can award, the title Kentucky Colonel is a lifetime award. “It’s such a wonderful honor,” said Tush. Nominations and recommendations can be submitted by both Kentucky colonels and members of the general public by completing a form detailing any active or previous service in a charitable organization or community service and/or any military service and a statement of the noteworthy deed that qualifies them. Tush credits CB’s Saltwater Outfitters’ employee Rod Rhew, a former Kentucky native who retired to Sarasota, with making her dream of being a Kentucky Colonel come true. One day he brought former Kentucky state Sen. Kim L. Nelson to the store to meet her. Nelson nominated Tush for the award, and soon after an official letter arrived. Rhew then surprised Tush with a framed gubernatorial proclamation, complete with Beshear’s signature and the official

Tush, left, with her Kentucky Colonel certificate. She’s the fourth in her family to receive the honor Right, she displays another big catch. Her fishing prowess has resulted in several tournament victories. (submitted images)

state seal. Her honor comes as the result of a combination of her business success and her volunteer roles in community and conservation groups. By joining the ranks of the Kentucky Colonels, Tush is now in the company of many famous natives of her state. The list includes actor George Clooney;

his journalist father Nick Clooney and his aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney; country singer Crystal Gayle; the late sportscaster and 1971 Miss America Phyllis George, who was also the state’s first lady; boxer Muhammad Ali; pioneer Daniel Boone; and Harlan Sanders, who created the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Distinguished non-Kentucky

natives such as Princess Anne, and former United States presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, also share Tush’s honor. Beyond be associated with such big names, Tush is most proud of the fact she is continuing her family’s tradition. “My father, who purchased CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in 1976, was a Kentucky native and a

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Kentucky Colonel,” she said. “My sister Barbara Thompson is also a Kentucky Colonel and my husband, Lee Tush Jr., who is originally from Louisville, is also a Kentucky Colonel.” Raised a short distance from the Kentucky border in the small Appalachian town of Grundy, Virginia, Tush attended and Continued on page 40


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27th State Media LLC

LIVE MUSIC, page 38

VILLAGE MAP, pages 24, 25

ACCOMMODATIONS, page 47

CRESCENT BEACH MAP, page 32 GULF GATE SHOPS, page 39

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Bumper boats making a big splash By Jane Bartnett

F

amily fun doesn’t get much better than spending time on the water on the area’s only motorized bumper boats in the calm, shallow basin of Phillippi Creek. “Bumper boats are a hit,” said Richard Campbell, who owns Siesta Key Aqua Adventures. “The summer season is our busiest time of the year when families come to the Siesta Key area for vacation.” If you’re ready to get wet and have a great time zooming around on a colorful inflatable mini boat, head over to Bigfoot’s Bumper Boat Adventure at Siesta Key Aqua Adventures, 5253 S. Tamiami Trail. Each small bumper boat is equipped with a 2.3 horsepower outboard engine and the propeller on each vessel is safely encased in a protective cage. The boats are launched in the shallow waters that lie directly behind the business. At high tide, Campbell said the water in the immediate area is approximately 2.5 to 5 feet deep. Each bumper boat can seat one driver who’s 50 pounds or more and two passenger who are less than 50 pounds. Overall weight capacity is 300 pounds. A person must be at least 7 years old and at least 50 pounds to operate a boat. Everyone, and that includes adults and kids alike, must wear life jackets that are provided when they’re in the bumper boats. A Siesta Key and Sarasota native, Campbell said one of the best things about the bumper boats is watching the families being together and enjoying their time on the water.

Photos courtesy of Siesta Key Aqua Adventures

“Everyone has fun and it’s a great activity for all ages. Kids, parents, grandparents -- everybody has fun in our bumper boats. Teens really enjoy it too,” he said. Siesta Key Aquatic Adventures has eight inflatable bumper boats available for rent seven days a week, all year long. The fee for a one half-hour rental is $43. The boats can be reserved during daytime hours in half-hour increments, starting at 10 a.m. each day. The last rental of the day is from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made

online at siestakeyaquaadventures.com, or by phone at (941) 359-2782. During their half-hour rental period, drivers and passengers can take turns piloting the boats or cruising around as a passenger. “There’s also great seating on the water’s edge,” noted Campbell. “It’s a fun place to watch everyone in the group having a really good time.” Of course, Bigfoot also stands watch on the shoreline. He’s always ready to join you for a selfie at the end of your adventure.

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!


24

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2022

941.312.0665

Island Chatter Kids Summer Beach Run is Tuesdays in June, July

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

The annual Kids Summer Beach Run series returns June 7. Starting then, the event will be held every Tuesday through the 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 times receive an event-themed T-shirt. Coupons from New Balance shoes will also be offered. The free event is co-sponsored by Sarasota County and the Manasota Track Club.

Bus strikes SUV on Siesta Key A school bus struck an SUV from behind on Siesta Key on May

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.

www.siestasand.us

Bird walk set for June 11

A beach walk with an emphasis on bird watching will be held at 8:30 a.m. June 11. It is hosted by Kylie Wilson, shorebird coordinator with Audubon Florida. The walk begins at Siesta Beach near the volleyball courts and heads north along the beach.

Participants will see and learn how to identify some of the protected bird species on Siesta Key. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required. For more information, email Wilson at kyliewilson@audubon.org.

Volleyball tournament is June 4, 5 at Siesta Beach The Sunshine State Outdoor Volleyball Association will hold a tournament for both adults and juniors on Siesta Beach the weekend of June 4 and 5. On Saturday, the adult open division enters competition beginning at 9 a.m. On Sunday, juniors and co-ed adults begin at 8:30 a.m. As many as 300 participants are expected to compete. Visit ssova.com for more information.

Continued on next page

Speed cushions installed at approach to Village area

On May 11, Sarasota County installed 3-inch-high speed cushions on Ocean Boulevard, in both lanes, at the approach to the Village from the north, near Hour Glass Way. The measure is designed to lower speeds to 15 to 20 mph. but not impeded rescue vehicles.

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

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

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

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

MARKET & GRILL

217 AVENIDA MADERA SIESTA KEY

941-552-8826

CATERING AVAILABLE Hey Dude & Birkenstocks Back in Stock!

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

Gizeh Pearl White

Granada Habana

Arizona Tobacco Brown

MASSAGE Hands of Light Massage...................Map-B #35 The Spa at Calle Minorga..................Map-E #74 Sassy ... the Little Day Spa.............Map-D #62

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

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

Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is seeking volunteers to help remove debris left on Siesta Beach from the Fourth of July fireworks as part of its eighth annual Liberty Litter Cleanup event. The morning-after clean-up effort begins at 7 a.m. on July 5. To participate, you must register at scgov.net or by calling (941) 8615000. No walk-up volunteers are allowed.. The registration deadline is noon on June 29. The first 100 volunteers qualify for an event-themed T-shirt. Supply pick-up is the week of June 29 through July 1 at 8750 Bee Ridge Rd. from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

MAILING - SHIPPING US Post Office.................................... Map-D #65

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

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

A new outdoor tiki bar is open in front of Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites, 5311 Ocean Blvd. in the Village. Called the Big Tiki Lounge, it offers service at a walk-up window and outdoor seating for about 70, including several large TVs. Live music will also be featured. Drinks available include craft

Post-fireworks beach cleanup volunteers are needed

941-554-4242

SOUTH SIESTA GIFTS & SOUVENIRS 1250 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242 F VE NI CE Beach Bazaar..................................... Map-C #28 IS LA ND O Gilligan’s Gift Store...........................Map-B #32 Island Trader...................................... Map-C #51 ST ARMANDS CIRCLE Sea Pleasures & Treasures............... Map-C #29 325 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34236 Siesta Key Outfitters........................Map-D #13 300 W. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285

Tiki bar opens in Village

and domestic beers, wine, and specialty cocktails. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

5255 Ocean Blvd • Siesta Key Village www.robinhoodrentals.net

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

SIESTA KEY

Continued from previous page

• SEGWAY RENTALS • PADDLEBOARDS • SCOOTER CARS • GOLF CARTS • BIKES • SCOOTERS • BEACH GEAR

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

5250 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242

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www.THESEAFOODJOINT.com

WHAT BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY IN PARADISE!

941-260-6400

Daily Drink Specials

JUNE 2022

New speed cushions are in place as a safety precaution at the entrance to Siesta Key’s Village area. (photo courtesy of Sarasota County)

Coffee Shop • Tea Room • 5138 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key Village

Live Music Every Day and Night

941.312.0665

Island Chatter

Continued from page 5

4. No injuries were reported. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, shortly before 9 a.m. the bus, carrying six students, had a rear-end collision with the SUV that was stopped in a rightturn lane northbound on Midnight Pass Road where it intersects with Stickney Point Road. Investigators said the bus driver failed to execute proper stopping distance. The car that was struck was driven by a 69-year-old Palmetto woman who had an 81-year-old passenger.

www.siestasand.us

Mayari Licorice

Arizona Habana

Bogg Bags in Stock! Bringing you quality and comfort for more than 40 years!

Birkenstock & More 5128 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Village

941-346-7425 Gift Certificates Available

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

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* Authentic Italian food from Italian chefs

941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

* Fresh housemade pasta

BEST HAPPY HOUR IN TOWN Daily 4pm - 6:30pm

Open for dinner from 4pm - 9pm 3900 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233 (941) 952-3186 www.chiantisarasota.com

Sarasota’s only old-fashioned Meat Market, Deli and Restaurant under one roof

Voted Sarasota’s best non-chain Steakhouse 4 years in a row!

Home of the Sarasota TurDucKen, as seen on The Food Network with Guy Fieri, host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Butcher Shop Father’s Day Special

(a take-home package for two)

• 2 8-oz bacon-wrapped filets w/ bearnaise sauce • 2 twice-baked potatoes • 4 stuffed mushrooms • Gorgonzola salad with house-baked bread

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Prime Aged Steaks, Chops, Seafood, NY Deli Meats, Sausage and Salads Voted Sarasota’s Best Philly Cheesesteak and NY Reuben Serving Sarasota Since 1975

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Great blue heron Ardea herodias This statuesque member of the heron family is often called a living fossil. Resembling its prehistoric ancestor from 1.8 million years ago, the great blue remains virtually unchanged today. The heron’s nearly 5-foot-tall frame, comprised mostly of neck and legs, gives this colossal carnivore unmatched reach and power. The heron’s lightning-quick reflexes and a blade-like bill are a lethal combination for the hapless fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, insects and small mammals that cross its path. Most often, the great blue snatches food between its upper and lower bill

and only occasionally stabs its prey like a dagger. This nimble fisherman seldom tells stories about the one that got away. Just ask the poor catfish pictured here! What does the great blue heron do with fish or animals that are much larger than its narrow neck? It swallows them whole, of course — thanks to a very elastic gullet. It is estimated that these hungry herons spend about 90 percent of their waking hours stalking food in both fresh- and saltwater habitats all around Siesta Key. Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at BLVD Beachwear, 5239 Ocean Blvd., and Shelly’s Gift and Christmas Boutique, 4420 S. Tamiami Trail.

Blooming this month: Confederate jasmine vine

It doesn’t need to be NEW to be

AWESOME! Est. 1962

Find your joy Sarasota’s #1 consignment shop    

The joy of shopping The joy of giving The joy of recycling The joy of supporting students and the arts in our community

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This purchase he award $250,000 lped in and scholarships grants during our 2021-2022 Fisc al year.

DONATE SHOP CONSIGN VOLUNTEER

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Tracelospermum jasminoinodes, a species of the flowering plant in the family Apocynace, has the common name of Confederate jasmine. It features beautiful and fragrant white, tiny star-shaped blooms and glossy dark-green tiny leaves. A bonus is the plant attracts pollinator butterflies and bees. This plant needs to climb on a trellis or a fence. It blooms several

times a year, and it needs to be planted in good soil that drains well. It can take full sun or semishade, and it’s a nice addition to any garden. It’s currently in bloom in the Quiet Garden at Sarasota Garden Club, located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts. Visit our website for more information at SarasotaGardenClub.org -- Kay Weber, Botanical Gardens chair


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JUNE 2022

TURTLES

On Little Sarasota Bay

27th State Media LLC

Casual Waterfront Dining Fun, Fresh & Affordable

Outdoor Waterfront Dining!

Open 11:30am-9pm Daily. Sunday Brunch starting at $9.99 from 10am-3pm.

Turtles All Day Menu APPETIZERS

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New England Clam Chowder Cup … $6 Bowl … $8 Signature Crab Bisque Cup … $6 Bowl … $8

SALADS

Bang Bang Shrimp … $11 Coconut Shrimp … $11 Shrimp Cocktail* … $11 Calamari … $12 Stuffed Mushrooms … $11 Fish Bites … $11

Turtles Salad … $19 Turtles Deluxe Salad … $15 Caesar Salad … $17 With grilled shrimp or chicken Kale Salad … $19

SIDE SALADS

Grouper Sandwich … $19 Salmon BLT … $18 Mahi Mahi Sandwich … $18 Chicken Sandwich … $12 Cheeseburger … $12 Vegan Burger … $12

Fresh Garden Salad* … $6 Caesar Salad … $7 Turtles Wedge* … $11 Kale Salad … $10

SANDWICHES

ENTREES

FRIED SEAFOOD PLATTERS

Stuffed Shrimp … $21 Potato Crusted Haddock … $19 Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi … $19 Gulf of Mexico Grouper … $22 Salmon … $21 Sea Scallops … $22 Shrimp and Seafood Au Gratin … $15 Fisherman Platter … $30 Baby Back Ribs … $22 Orange Pecan Chicken … $15 Filet Mignon … $22 Filet Mignon & Stuffed Shrimp … $31 Filet Mignon & Maine Lobster Tail … $48 Stuffed Shrimp & Maine Lobster Tail … $40 Twin Maine Lobster Tails … $53

Shrimp & Crab Scampi … $23 Salmon Pasta … $19 Chicken & Shrimp Curry … $19 Bang Bang Chicken & Shrimp … $21 Pasta Primavera … $14

Coconut Shrimp … $20 Large Gulf Shrimp … $18 Fish & Chips … $17 Fried Combo … $25

PASTA & BOWLS

DESSERTS

Turtle Pie … $7 Key Lime Pie … $7 Sample Platter … $10 Ice Cream Bar … $5

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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Tourism ‘bed tax’ to go to 6% in October By Phil Colpas Sarasota County is capitalizing on its soaring popularity by enacting a 1% increase in its tourism development tax, which is a tax visitors pay when they stay in short-term hotel rooms. The money generated from the tax is used to fund projects to enhance the tourism industry. Back in March, the Florida Department of Revenue certified Sarasota County as a “highimpact” tourism area because, for the first time, short-term lodging businesses exceeded $600 million in taxable sales in 2021. As such, the county is now permitted to charge the maximum percentage of tourism development tax allowed by state law, which is currently capped at 6%. The Tourism Development Council voted 9-0 in favor of increasing the bed tax from 5% to 6%, and it was approved by the county commission in April to

commence on Oct. 1 of this year. The additional percentage of bed tax revenue will help fund beach maintenance, beach renourishment and major capital projects on publicly owned property. Statistics from Visit Sarasota County reveal that, in 2021, there were: ● 3,008,900 Visitors to Sarasota County. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically impacting 2020 numbers, this was a 51.4% increase over the prior year. ● More than $2.2 billion in direct expenditures from visitors. This includes accommodations, restaurants, shopping, attractions, entertainment, groceries, transportation and other expenses. ● $3.6 billion in total economic impact. This also includes increased spending from households and businesses as a result of tourism dollars. ● More than 3.1 million room

Let's Bring You Home Specializing in short-term and long-term investment properties on and off Siesta Key BRANDI FURLAN - The Furlan Group Keller Williams Classic Group 941.894.9888 www.TheFurlanGroup.com

nights generated. According to Visit Sarasota County, the tourism development tax that is collected is divided among these areas: beach maintenance 24%, beach renourishment 10%, public relations through Visit Sarasota County 20 to 25%, Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy 10%, spring training sports stadiums 16 to 21%, arts/cultural organizations 10%, and sports tourism 5%. Sarasota County began a 2% bed tax in 1988, gradually increasing it to 5% by 2011. This will be the first increase since then. The overwhelming response from business leaders is that this 1% hike will have minimal impact on future tourism in Sarasota and on Siesta Key. “We are delighted with the approval of the enactment of the sixth levy of the Tourist Development Tax that will begin

Lawsuit

on Oct. 1,” said Virginia Haley, president, Visit Sarasota County. “This means that the county will have additional funding for capital projects, such as the new Mote Aquarium. But it will also provide additional maintenance of the county beach parks. We know our beaches are our No. 1 draw and this ensures that visitors will be able to enjoy well-maintained public facilities.” Added Michael Gatz, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce chairman and general manger of Gilligan’s Island Bar and Grill, “I don’t believe the bed tax being raised from 5% to 6% will have much of an impact on tourism. Many other popular tourist destinations around Florida have already been at 6% and don’t seem to be affected.” The Siesta chamber’s chairmanelect agrees. “This has been discussed at the

Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting and the consensus is that going from 5% to 6% tourist bed tax will not negatively affect tourism,” Mark Smith, of Smith Architects PA, said. “The total tax now that visitors pay on a hotel room is 12% (7% state sale tax plus 5% bed tax) and going to 13% will not be detrimental to people wanting to visit Sarasota County and Siesta Key. As an FYI, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville all have a 6% tourist bed tax.” According to the Business Destinations website, “Tourist taxes can be useful and help destinations treat the symptoms of overtourism, providing extra funds to better maintain their tourist sites and ensure the infrastructure and public transport can cope with the visitor numbers,” said Justin Francis, CEO of the Responsible Travel organization.

Continued from page 1

up to 80 feet in the Commercial General/Siesta Key Overlay District. The plaintiff in this case is longtime Siesta Key resident Lourdes Ramirez, who filed her lawsuit in November, contending that the county did not have the authority to grant exceptions that violated the County Comprehensive Plan, which capped the number of rooms at 26 per acre of property on the barrier islands; and that this added density would also cause traffic and safety problems. “It’s crazy for them to think they’ll be able to execute an evacuation without a problem, especially when they keep increasing traffic,” she said at the time. “I’m not budging from no density increase.” Ramirez’s counsel suggested she focus her efforts on the hotel nearest where she lives. “I wanted to challenge both (hotels),” she said, the other being Gary Kompothecras’ seven-story,

120-room hotel (with five-story parking garage) on Old Stickney Point Road. But because she was advised as a civil plaintiff to be in proximity of the violation for which she was suing, Ramirez limited her lawsuit to the Calle Miramar hotel near Siesta Key Village, which is located less than a mile from her home. “This is not about Siesta Key and hotels, this is about the county not following the law,” Ramirez said. “If the commission thinks they can ignore the comprehensive plan, they’ll do it whenever they can.” The Siesta Key Coalition, which was formed in 2020 to limit highdensity construction projects on Siesta Key, has steadfastly fought any changes to the law affecting density on barrier islands beyond those established in the county’s 1989 Comprehensive Plan, which it says this project would violate. Of the more than 50 people who signed up to address the commissioners for five minutes

each at the Oct. 27 public hearing, the lion’s share was opposed to eliminating the hotel room density limit, citing the county’s 1989 Comprehensive Plan, which set the limit at 26 hotel rooms per acre on commercially zoned property on barrier islands. “Why is an owner of less than 1 acre on Siesta Key allowed to amend the Unified Development Code in a manner that will have countywide impact?” asked Patricia Petruff, land use attorney with Dye Harrison, at the Aug. 19 Sarasota County Planning Commission public hearing on the project. “Most people don’t even know about it. There need to be more public hearings to educate people about what is going on.” Shane T. Costello, an attorney with Hill, Ward & Henderson in Tampa, represented the defendants in the hearing. The trial remains slated for March 2023.


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Cool Treats for Your Hot Dog Kyle Baker, Senior Pet Food Nutritionist at DOGPerfect The weather is heating up — and so are our furry friends. While higher temperatures mean more fun in the sun, they also mean your dog might be overheated. Fortunately, there are a number of great ways to cool off your canine. Here we offer a few tips and tricks to keep your pup healthy while cooling them off, plus a listing of our favorite terrific treats to help you and your dog beat the heat during the steamy summer months. Your No. 1 Watchout When it’s hot, there are few things better than a cold scoop of ice cream. As you might know, dogs love it too. However, ice cream is a major watchout during the summer months as the same tasty treat we enjoy can be unhealthy for dogs. Unsurprisingly, the high caloric intake delivered by ice cream can cause weight gain. Additionally, the excess dairy can cause vomiting and diarrhea. But even worse, some ice cream also contains ingredients like xylitol, which is toxic for dogs. And there are a few other items to keep an eye. Though your pup may be a fan, don’t let harmful ingredients like chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, or chives sneak past you. They can do just as much damage whether fresh or frozen. Homemade and Healthy Now for the good news. Despite the dangers of some people-friendly dairy options, your pup is in luck – there are still a number of refreshing treats that can keep your dog cool and hydrated. In fact, with a little time and effort, you can whip up some healthy homemade options right in your kitchen … including ice cream! That’s right: with a few simple ingredients, you can make your own creamy, delicious, doggie-friendly ice cream. Just take a pup approved fruit like a half banana, add four ounces of plain, no-fat, or low-fat yogurt, top it off with a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, and blend! You can serve immediately or transfer to small containers and freeze for another quick treat later on. Similarly, homemade “pupsicles” are super easy and will yield several perfectly portioned savory (yes, savory) treats to cool off even the hottest days. Simply fill an ice tray with fat-free, low, or zero sodium chicken or beef broth and freeze. If you want to mix it up, add some finely diced carrots,

apples, lean meat, or other dog-friendly food. To kick things up another notch, your dog’s Kong toy works great as a cold container when paired with any combination of soft, dog appropriate ingredients. We suggest plain yogurt, bananas, a bit of canned pumpkin, plain ground or shredded lean meat, diced carrots, or apples. Toss ‘em in the Kong and freeze for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight. Of course, nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than watermelon — and dogs can enjoy it too! Just remember to remove the rind and seeds, cut it into chunks, and serve in moderation. And while it should go without saying, we’ll say it anyway: make sure your dog always has easy access to fresh water more than any other cooling treat — particularly during the summer months. To boost the refreshment and control intake at the same time, throw a few ice cubes in a bowl – they’ll love it. Doggie Grocery Goodies Cooking not your thing, or just short on time? Your local independent pet retailer has got your back with plenty of fantastic frozen goodies. Puppy Scoops by Puppy Cake is an all-natural doggie ice cream mix. Just add water, freeze, and — voilà — a creamy puppy treat. The mix is shelf-stable up to 12 months and, after mixing, will stay fresh up to 6 weeks in the freezer. Made with real yogurt, The Bear & The Rat frozen yogurt dog treats come in amazing flavors like Bacon & Peanut Butter, Bananas & Peanut Butter, or Pumpkin & Cinnamon. They also offer a nice opportunity for a supplement bump as their frozen goat’s milk yogurt comes complete with helpful prebiotics and digestive enzymes.

Paw Pals

Finally, Boss Dog’s Greek frozen yogurt treat is available in a trio of popular flavors: Peanut Butter & Banana, Cheddar & Bacon, and Pumpkin & Cinnamon. Crafted using 100% human-grade ingredients, it’s also lactose free, easy to digest, and loaded with probiotics. Whether you’re mixing up refreshers at home or grabbing cool frozen products at the pet store, always remember that treats like these should comprise no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. It’s a good rule of thumb that can help you and your dog have fun and stay cool all summer long.

Meet Brinley

Brinley is a bernedoodle, which is a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle. Now about 3 months old, she was rescued from Hillsborough County when a family could no longer provide proper care. “She’s shy at first, but very playful after that,” said her owner Kasey, who works at the Siesta Key Wine Bar in the Village. “She’s so loving, so loyal. She sits right by you all the time.” (Submit your Paw Pal to the Siesta Sand at info@27statemedia.com.)

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

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Sarasota, FL 34231 941-925-3955 Fax 926-0066 View menu at corkscrewdeli.com


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

941.312.0665

CRESCENT BEACH SHOP INDEX

Things You Like...................................... C-3 #14 GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Capt. Curt’s Souvenirs.............................B-3 #8 Green Turtle Shells & Gifts................. C-3 #14 Sunshine Sand Hidden Treasures...... D-3 #17 Silver City Jewelry................................. C-3 #14 HEALTH & BEAUTY Eye Style Optical ....................................C-3 #17 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 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

Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill...............A-5 #12 Capt. Curts Crab & Oyster Bar.................B-3 #7

Clayton’s Siesta Grille.............................B-3 #9

Daiquiri Deck.................................................A-3 #2

Pizza ‘N Brew Siesta Key...................... D-3 #17 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

BREAKFAST and LUNCH

SERVED ALL DAY Full

Siesta Key B

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in Flo rida

MSN Food and Drink Jan. 2015

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Beer, Wine

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941.346.0202

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OPEN DAILY 11AM - 10PM

1220 Old Stickney Point Road

“A Tropical Department Store“

THE GREEN TURTLE SHELL & GIFT CITY

$

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

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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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Siesta Snapshots

JUNE 2022

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Photos by Trebor Britt

“On guard” -- Lifeguard Josh Ashley of St. Augustine stands alongside the rescue watercraft looking for anyone in trouble. The general public does not realize the lifeguards participate in a rigorous workout even before they get to the lifeguard tower. Ashley commented, “We apply what we learn in the workouts to saving lives on the beach.”

“Beach cornhole” -- Jenny Otte of Winter Garden enjoys a friendly family game of beach cornhole. After being furloughed as a Disney cast member during COVID-19, Jenny’s husband Dan now makes cornhole games and ships them all over the country.

“Northern newcomers” -- Friends Carol and Carol of Appleton, Wisconsin, relax and enjoy their first visit here. Other Wisconsin friends highly recommended Siesta Beach to them. “We were told the beach was beautiful and it is,”one of them said. Both are semi-retired.

“Got it!” -- Levi, a 6-year-old from Arcadia, is determined to catch the Frisbee one of two ways. Fortunately, there was no need for the dentist as he caught it between his hands. His family reserved a pavilion and barbecue pit near the playground to celebrate his 6th birthday.

“Castles in the sand” -- Virginia sisters Eleni, 8, and Daphne, 5, are happy to be with their parents Christopher and Kayt Shipley after spending an hour and a half sculpting in the sand. Daphne named her creation “The Sandy Castles.” They are here visiting their grandparents, who live in Venice.

“Siesta patriot” -- Candice of Bradenton enjoys wearing a patriotic bathing suit heading into July 4th. A big fan of Siesta Beach, when she’s not working you’ll see her on the beach several times a month. She works in retail sales in the UTC area.

“Beach chillin’” -- Kateri Baranowski and Brad Hess of Chicago soak up the sun and warm temperatures during a short vacation on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. A microbiologist, Baranowski visits her grandmother who lives here nearly every year. They both work and live in the Chicago suburbs. She tests food products to ensure they’re safe for consumption and he is an accountant.

“All in the family” -- Identical twins Lucca and Bastian all smiles with parents Cala and Patrick of Peru. They came to visit the for the first time after learning Siesta Beach was named one of the top beaches in the world. They’ve been coming every year since and hope to move here someday. Patrick is a sales director in Peru for Heineken beer.

“Have a seat” -- Brother Jamison, 1, and sistaer Raelynn, 6, of Sarasota start to work the sand for a sculpture. Among Raelynn’s favorite things to do are playing on the swings, jumping a on a trampoline, and watching movies. Their father owns a local landscaping business. “Workin’ it” -- Walker Schwappach of Minneapolis gets fancy with a soccer ball.A junior at the University of Minnesota, Schwappach said he was studying “marketing and drinking.” A multiple visitor to the Key, he was here to celebrate his father’s 61st birthday.


34

JUNE 2022

Siesta Sand

941.312.0665

Notes from the Island Fishmonger

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Forecast

Florida Fish of Siesta Key

Red Snapper

www.siestasand.us

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (941) 923-7799

Meet the speedsters! They are fast, lean and packed with protein

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

Bill Morrison, of Anna Maria Island, with a fat trout he caught with a Clouser fly in Sarasota Bay. (submitted photo)

T

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

Tarpon

Baracuda

Gulf Flounder

Florida Pompano Jack Crevalle

AmberJack

Spotted Sea Trout

Cobia

arpon fishing will take off this month as migratory fish arrive along our beaches. Also look for Spanish mackerel, tripletail, cobia and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf. Snook will move into passes and the surf, and reds and trout should feed heavily on shallow flats as baitfish become more plentiful. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more should be good options on deep grass flats. Resident tarpons are usually the first to show up as they make their way out of rivers and creeks. As migratory tarpons start to arrive this month, we should have schools of tarpon moving both north and south along our beaches. Early-arriving tarpon may be more aggressive due to less fishing pressure early in the season. Set up in their line of travel and wait for tarpon schools to move past and cast a DOA Baitbuster, a 4-inch CAL Shad, or a live crab or pinfish to them. Once you’ve seen the first school of fish, you can concentrate your efforts in that “lane” since other schools should be following the same route. When they aren’t showing well on the surface, a live bait under a float in their travel lane may score. I’ve also done well blind casting a DOA Baitbuster or Swimming Mullet when there wasn’t much showing on the surface. Be quiet and use your electric trolling motor sparingly. Even though your 4-stroke outboard sounds quiet, it is no substitute for an electric trolling motor. Give other anglers at least several hundred yards of space and keep in mind that fish can be moving either north or south, so setting up too close to another angler may affect their flow of fish. Fly anglers should do well with a variety of baitfish or crab fly patterns fished on floating or intermediate sink tip fly lines. Staking out or anchoring in shallow water on their travel route should result in some shots at fish. The best angle is a “head-on” shot, followed by a quartering shot. A perpendicular shot may work if it’s timed perfectly, although casting too far beyond their line of travel will usually spook them. I use a push pole with an occasional assist from a trolling motor if I need to adjust my position to make a cast. You may find pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the same deep grass flats where trout are plentiful. They can be targeted in the same way as trout, but you may need to use wire or heavy fluorocarbon leader when toothy fish are around. You may also find Spanish and king mackerel, little tunny, cobia and tripletail in the coastal gulf. Keep your eyes open for surface activity such as diving birds, breaking fish or baitfish being forced out of the water which could indicate the presence of mackerel, blues or little tunny. Medium spinning tackle and 8- or 9-weight fly tackle should be heavy enough, although your tarpon spinning and fly tackle is not too heavy for cobia. Look for cobia either swimming on the surface or around navigational markers or buoys. I have also found cobia swimming with schools of tarpon before. . This is one of my favorite months of the year. If battling a big tarpon isn’t for you, you should have plenty to do on both shallow and deep grass flats or in the coastal gulf. I’ll be spending my time targeting tarpon in the coastal gulf unless conditions won’t allow it. There is something about casting a fly to a giant fish in shallow water!

I

t would appear that most of the faster fish in the Gulf fall into the billfish category. Billfish are truly prized catches. What is my interest in fastswimming fish? Not only do they make for an exciting catch but the edible meat is lean from all the exercise a fast-fish gets. The characteristics that define fish speed are the streamlined shape, the powerful muscles, plus the fins that provide the fish with superb speed, stability and maneuverability. Here’s a look at those tasty speedsters: • MARLIN: A close relative to the sailfish and swordfish, marlin measure up to 15 feet and travel around the ocean at about 30 mph. Based on a report, a marlin was recorded stripping the fishing line around 120 feet per second, or the equivalent of 80 mph. Now that’s a whopper of a fish tale. Marlin is an edible fish with a exotic meaty taste but most people catch and release this species in good conscience. • SWORDFISH: Swordfish can also grow up to 15 feet and can weigh around 1,400 pounds while traveling up to 60 mph. They are a great eating fish, good on the grill because of the meaty texture and wonderful, moist, white flakey meat. Despite popular opinion, we

do catch swordfish in the Gulf all the time. • WAHOO: By far my favorite eating fish. When eating it sashimi style, it melts in your mouth like butter. Ceviche, poke, and seared wahoo are my kind of eating. Still on my bucket list is to catch this elusive speedster. Up to 8 feet long and sometimes 200 pounds, it travels along in bursts of 50 mph and, like a mahi, its color underwater is breathtaking with its brilliant blue sheen and sail-like dorsal fin. You can’t find wahoo everywhere but if you check out the retail counter at Big Water Fish Market you just might find this fish. • EL DORADO (MAHI-MAHI): Another brilliant-colored fish with a fluorescent green, blue and yellow body, this big guy can travel in bursts of 50 mph but usually cruises at around 30 mph. Great meat for fish tacos or the Mahi Melt at Big Water. It’s is a must try. • GROUPER: Just kidding. Our famous grouper is a lazy fish that rests on the ocean floor. A lady fish in the Intracoastal Waterway is even faster than a grouper. I’m sure that’s why when we go deep-sea fishing in the Gulf, we all usually max out on the easy-to-catch grouper. Live well ... eat fish. -- Scott Dolan BigWaterFishMarket.com 6641 Midnight Pass Rd.

JUNE 2022 TIDE CHART

Kid Catch of the Month!

Black Drum

Grilled swordfish and some favorite veggies.

www.USHarbors.com

Sarasota, FL - Jun 2022 High

Date

Catfish

King King Mackerel Mackerel

Blue Marlin

Black Grouper

Sheesphead

Lauren, of Atlanta, shows off a 30-inch redfish she caught on a half-day outing with CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. If you’d like to submit a picture and caption involving a child’s fishing moment, send an email to: info@27statemedia.com. (submitted photo)

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5:10

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1:03

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12:03

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12:37

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6:34

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9:06

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6:35

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1:28

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10:33A

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6:36

8:30

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2:33

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Moon


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Arts on the Horizon By Rodger Skidmore June is bustin’ out all over

On Broadway, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great American musical Carousel was a big hit when it opened back in 1945 (never mind that it was originally set in Budapest by the French playwright Molnár, in 1909). Here in Sarasota, June is bustin’ out with music. Yes, the Sarasota Music Festival is back on the scene. Given a choice, would you like to hear a quartet with “irrepressible dramatic instinct” or beautiful music? How about both when the Calidore String Quartet opens the festival on June 9 at Holley Hall with Schubert’s String Quartet No. 12 in C Minor. Clarinetist Franklin Cohen has also arranged some of Schubert’s art songs for this event -- with Jeffrey Kahane at the piano. Grammy nominee Carol Wincenc will be playing Valerie Coleman’s Amazonia (think rainforest). The afternoon wraps up with Beethoven’s first published work, his Piano Trio in E-flat Major. Not to top the previous day’s concert, but on June 10 at the Sarasota Opera House, they will kick off the festivities with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major. The Bach is followed by a Carl Nielsen’s piece for wind quintet. Last month, PBS’s show Now Hear This featured lost works by the first internationally recognized Black American composer, Florence Price. Her lyrical composition Adoration, originally written for organ, has been arranged for many instrument groupings, including this one for quintet. And the Calidore String Quartet is back with Jeffrey Kahane on piano, playing Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A Major. This year’s Easter egg hunts are over but, at Holley Hall, there are still hidden gems to be found. The festival’s program on the 16th starts off with Peregi verbunk (this is not something to eat, it is a Hungarian dance) by Leó Weiner, for clarinet and piano.

Smith & Wesson .38 Special

The great French music teacher Nadia Boulanger (think Aaron Copeland, Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass, and Quincy Jones) is represented by her Three Pieces for Cello and Piano. Ah, you might ask, but who taught Ms. Boulanger? Her composition, with Jeffrey Kahane at the piano, is followed by her teacher’s (Gabriel Fauré) Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, with Robert Levin at the keyboard. And, filling out the program, five short pieces for violin, oboe, and piano by Shostakovich will be performed. During this three-week festival there is a series within a series (go ahead and binge). Three Rising Stars concerts will feature some of the nation’s top students (60) showcasing their talents by playing six or seven movements, during each concert, from a hit parade of top composers. And how many concerts and lectures haven’t been mentioned here? Eight, including two evenings with full orchestra. More info at SarasotaOrchestra.org.

The .38 S&W Special was the service revolver of many U.S. police departments from the 1920s through the 1990s. But the Special 38 are the songs of Johnny Cash performed in Richard Malbty’s Broadway musical Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. Mr. Maltby’s adaption of his show is brought to Sarasota by Florida Studio Theatre. The show, opening at the Gompertz on June 1, features five actors, each playing two characters, who also play all the show’s musical instruments and sing those famous songs. Yes, live music is alive and well at FST. The arc of this musical tribute show highlights Cash’s career and that of others like him. It takes him/them from dirtpoor cotton-picking beginnings through success and beyond. In the process, there are glimpses of some of the hard times that seem to follow along. Those hard times were always there but, thankfully, the good times overshadow them in the end. Mr. Cash’s songs are used to track his long career and move from “Country Boy” through “A Boy Named Sue” and “Folsom Prison Blues” to so many others of his memory-jogging tunes. In the same building, through June 12, there is another musical about some of life’s problems and successes -- the problems of life in Sarasota. Laughing Matters takes a sidewise glance at how construction sites seem to grow in an inverse ration to the number of parking spaces that are lost around town. While this is the sixth iteration of the show, head writer Rebecca Hopkins continues with updates to keep it current, the only thing that seems to stay the same is the great piano playing of Jim Prosser. The singing, dancing quartet of actors that entertains in this show includes some long-time FST regulars. They entertain, that’s why they keep coming back. More info at Floridastudiotheatre.org.

Going around in circles

They say, “What goes around, comes around” and what’s coming around here

(at the historic Asolo Theatre), is Summer Circus Spectacular 2022. Yes, this circus extravaganza, the best of all possible circles, will be performed for your pleasure, from June 10 through August 13. That’s five days per week for 47 days -- for a total of 94 performances - yes, two chances each day to see this great show. This is a partnership between the Circus Arts Conservatory and the Ringling Museum -- a great combination producing fun, laughs, and awe. And to get you totally immersed in all-things-circus, the Ringling is providing discounts to the Circus Museum to all ticket holders. Some children can stand on their hands, and some can teeter or totter around their living room for a bit, but Ricardo Sosa has built an act around balancing on his hands atop moving objects. This will leave children’s hands free to applaud his skills. The Rolla Bolla act is another feat of balance, with Abrehem Mola balancing on top of things that are balanced on top of other things that are balanced on top of still other things. Hard to top that. Raise your eyes a bit and you will see an aerial duo that will spin, fly, drop, and swoop around the sky (well, not the sky, but high above the stage). And in between these and other acts, Chris Allison will juggle, jiggle and jingle, in his special way, to keep you laughing while everyone gets ready for the next act. More info at Circusarts.org.

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Making the most of being home

37

lsolation of pandemic inspires Siesta Key musician Sean Robey, known as Xpeaker, to release first solo project By Phil Colpas

T

he pandemic forced many artists to look inward and embrace a different kind of music making. This is the story of Sean Robey, a 38-year-old musician performing under the name Xpëaker, and a full-time resident of Siesta Key. Robey is a lifelong musician who had always served as a bass player for bands, but the pandemic forced him to take musical matters into his own hands. He spent the past year writing, engineering, performing, recording, mixing and mastering his first solo album at his Calle De Peru residence. Robey’s dad was a musician, and so his childhood included the “passive absorption of a wide variety of music,” he said. “I had formal education on the trumpet through school (fifth through 12th grades), but my passion was ignited at the very beginning of high school. I witnessed my two friends playing guitar and drums together. Watching them perform absolutely blew my mind.” Before this epiphany, Robey thought rock music was “something happening on a far-away stage, made by magicians on another planet. But all of a sudden, these people I knew were doing it right in front of me.” He asked his friends if he could get involved, and they presented him with a challenge: If he learned to play the bass, he could join their band. “From the moment I got home that day, I was teaching myself to play bass on my dad’s broken-down old Peavey,” Robey said. “It was my first time attempting a string instrument, and I learned to play by ear. I would turn on the radio, and jam along to all genres.” He and his friends were about 15 years old, having a blast playing covers such as Jimi

Siesta Key’s Sean Robey, known as Xpeaker, has created a solo album he wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered on his own. This summer who hopes to perform his songs in the Village’s establishments. (submitted photos)

Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” When Robey first began playing with them, he remembers erupting in uncontrollable laughter. “Not because anything was humorous, but I don’t think my body was able to contain the joy I was feeling,” he said. “By the end of the song we were all laughing, jumping and understanding we had found our calling.” Robey loves great storytellers. His “motivational” influences include Modest Mouse, Rancid, Everclear, Mod Sun, The Clash and Jimi Hendrix. “I’ve noticed that when I listen to music, a catchy guitar riff might receive quick attention,” Robey said,

Getting Your Phil

“but the songs making the longest lasting impact on me contain magnetic lyrics and great stories.” Robey’s first album, Long Way Home by Xpëaker, is now available on all major music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. The album can be previewed now for free on his SoundCloud page: soundcloud.app.goo.gl/ nDW9pJSSV3VJdGSL9. Operating in a decidedly neo-punk vibe, Robey’s lyrics and atmosphere are definitely informed by the isolation of the pandemic. Some of the tracks are vaguely reminiscent of Green Day.

“Without any intention of sounding morbid, I draw significant inspiration from how impermanent life truly is,” Robey said. “I have two amazing kids that are getting older, and who always help reframe my world views.” Robey has been in several serious bands and played more gigs than he can remember, but always as the bass player. Long Way Home is the first album he wrote, played, recorded, mixed and mastered completely by himself. “Like all of us, I found myself feeling isolated and alone in the aftermath of the pandemic, and I began writing and recording

these songs without any fellow musicians,” Robey said. “It was a totally different exercise than all the songwriting I have done in the past. “On this album I am playing full band versions of the songs as intended, but when I play them live I typically play them alone acoustically, sometimes with a looper pedal for layering.” Robey said that he hopes to bring his songs to Siesta Village this summer. He plans to release a second album later in 2022, which should work as a companion piece to Long Way Home.

By Phil Colpas

Water presents a danger here, but not how you might think I n Wasteland, a new Paramount documentary series, host Adam Yamaguchi reports on the shocking amount that unchecked overpopulation and overdevelopment – and the unfortunate byproducts of such – have to do with our increasing red tide problem in Florida. Red tide is a toxic algae bloom that increasingly plagues tropical coastal communities. It kills fish by the thousands. It burns your throat and lungs. The red tide is actually a saltwater bloom, while blue-green algae blooms in freshwater areas, such as Lake Okeechobee. The proliferation of both appears to be directly tied to the rapidly growing number of septic systems, most in coastal areas not ideal for such systems.

According to the documentary, climate change is also a factor. For proper septic treatment, there needs to be a minimum of 2 feet of aerobic dry soil between the bottom of the drain field and the top of the seasonally high groundwater table, and every year the groundwater levels are getting higher and higher. Runoff, fertilizers, sewage, wastewater – all of these things fuel the red tide. This is a worldwide problem, especially in popular coastal areas. And now, for a complete 180… Sarasota named best place to retire According to the U.S. News & World Report’s just-released “Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023,” Sarasota ranks first in best places to retire and ninth in best places to live in the country.

U.S. News analyzed the 150 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life. According to the report, Sarasota has its own unique charm distinct from similar coastal cities in Florida, with vibrant arts, a beachy atmosphere and a burgeoning food scene. “This metro area of just over 800,000 people has a renowned opera house, a number of rooftop bars and the popular beach of Siesta Key,” reads the report. “What makes the region special is its duality – downtown Sarasota boasts resorts and fine dining, but strolling Siesta Key Village or St. Armands Circle offers a more intimate, seaside ambience.”

Historically, Sarasota was seen as a resort for retirees, but that viewpoint is slowly changing as the city begins to attract young professionals. With a median age of about 53, Sarasota still has a large retiree population. However, as more people look to places for quality of life as well as job opportunities, Sarasota is becoming increasingly popular. The downside is cost of living. Sarasota’s popularity means rising home prices, and many people who want to live here are priced out. It is a very expensive metro area for its size. Compared to nearby metro areas like St. Petersburg and Tampa, for example, Sarasota’s apartment rental prices are a bit higher – and much higher than the national average.


38

Siesta Sand

JUNE 2022

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

and liquors served by a friendly staff AND where you’re allowed to bring your own restaurant or deli food? Right here. 6500 Gateway Ave. – 941554-8905. 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-34): At every Solórzano’s, they offer an experience familiar to those who understand the importance of family and dedication. Their recipes and techniques have been perfected through three long generations based on the traditional simplicity of the methods used by their Italian ancestors. Dine inside, outside, pick up, or DELIVERY anywhere on Siesta Key, or in Sarasota until 3:30 a.m. 6574 Superior Ave., 941-924-5800. Gulf Gate Food + Beer (S-51): Sarasota’s late-night hot spot for the service industry, night owls, and midnight snackers. It’s not your typical sports bar, offering unique menu selections for carnivores and vegetarians. Be sure to check out their menu online at: eatfooddrinkbeer.com. Hours: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sun. - 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 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 941-9242330 or drop by our office. Only Eyes, Optical (S-24) brings a new, exotic, eclectic, eccentric, unique collection of vintage, hipster, contemporary eyeglasses and sunglasses to the community. Licensed and experienced optician available to fill your prescriptions. Only Eyes Optical has a large assortment of free frames with the purchase of new lenses. Call 941-4447984 to set up an appointment with their licensed optician. Butter Curated Thrift (S6) offers handpicked sustainable thrift: eclectic, creative, and inspired. For you and your home & work space. Ever changing curated inventory: bar ware, kitchen ware, art, furniture, clothing, vintage, retro, reclaim, reuse, and reduce. Located at 6625 Superior Ave, store hours are Tuesday – Thursday 10AM – 5PM and Saturday 9:30AM-5PM. Hidden Gem SRQ (G46) is a family-owned small business grateful to offer Sarasota a world class collection of crystals, gemstones meteorite, and minerals. Custom handmade silver and gold jewelry and laser engraved jewelry and art! Open daily from 10 AM- 6 PM, Hidden Gems is located at 6526 Gateway Avenue and phone number is 941-414-1413.


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To better understand sharks, the elusive creatures that she made the focus of her life’s work, she conducted more than 70 trips in high-tech submersibles, at times diving as deep as 12,000 feet beneath the ocean surface. Only a small number of other marine biologists have accomplished this fete. During her career, Clark authored three books, including her best-selling Lady with a Spear. She also wrote numerous scientific papers and lectured at close to 80 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.

Planing Pointed Bow Pontoon Powerboat Propulsion Rough Ride Round Bottom Shallow Draft Skinny Water Smooth Ride Stabilizers Top of Water Trawler Wide Beam

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Continued from page 12

restaurant called Cafe Continento. That year, it became a part of Flavio’s, allowing the restaurant to create a larger footprint. “Having the bar as it is now was important,” said Cristofoli. “We were growing and we want to welcome our customers. The bar is very popular.” In 2016, Flavio’s Two opened at the site of the former Beulah restaurant in downtown Sarasota and in 2020 it became Flavio’s on Main. Flavio’s on Siesta Key expanded again in 2018 and took over the space that had been owned by a jeweler that was adjacent to the restaurant. Then, to better accommodate diners during the pandemic, Flavio’s in 2020 set up an outdoor tent that allowed the business to offer outdoor seating. It was an instant success among customers who enjoyed the outdoor dining. In 2021, the former Subway sandwich store gave way to Flavio’s temperature-controlled wine room that is filled with California, French and Italian wines. “Of course,

Tush

A popular figure among nonscientists, she appeared in 50 documentaries and television programs. Clark’s honors include the National Geographic Society’s Franklin L. Burr Award, the Explorers Club Medal, and the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Women Geographers. Shortly after her death, the United States Congress honored her posthumously. In 2018, a species of dogfish shark, discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, was named in her honor and called Squalus clarkae.

we have more Italian wines,” said Cristofoli, “but they are all excellent.” Flavio’s newest improvement that Cristofoli expects will be very well received is the restaurant’s new private dining room. The space offers seating for up to 60 people. “It’s a perfect place for a family get-together,” he said. “We expect it will be good for people who want to have a nice party for a special occasion or for a business group or a small wedding.” And now, outdoor dining is a permanent option for diners. “We’ve added new permanent, raised outdoor seating that is shaded and very comfortable,” Cristofoli said. “Guests can now enjoy a Siesta evening breeze and be here with us at Flavio’s.” Open seven days a week, Flavio’s, located at 5239 Ocean Blvd., is open only for dinner. Reservations for inside and outside dining, as well as for the private dining room, are available by calling (941) 349-0995 at flaviosbrickovenandbar.com.

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graduated Kentucky’s Morehead State University. After college, she began her career at a Louisville, Kentucky bank. The state remains near and dear to her heart. This month, Tush is shifting her focus to winning the 92nd annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament. If successful, it will be her fourth time winning the prestigious event. She is one of the few anglers in the world to have won the tournament three times. “There are about 120 to 150 contestants, and very few women,” Tush said of the tournament. “They’re big fish and it’s not easy! I fought one for over three hours. Winning that contest was one of my biggest personal achievements.” The 2022 tournament began May 7and will conclude June 12. When she’s not winning fishing tournaments, collecting honors and running a successful business, Tush plays an active role in the sport-fishing industry. A member of the International Women’s Fishing Association, Tush served

on the board of the American Sport Fishing Association. She was nominated by her fellow constituents from the tackle industry. In the Siesta Key and Sarasota region, Tush is active in the Coastal Conservation Association’s state and Sarasota chapters. She also served on the board of directors of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce for 15 years and as a board member of Visit Sarasota, which is Sarasota County’s tourism arm. “It’s very important to give back,” she said. “I enjoy staying involved.” Today, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters is a family business that involves three generations. Aledia Tush and her husband, Lee, run it along with their son, Mason. She has passed along her commitment to community to her son who recently served as the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chairman. “I’ve always encouraged him to become involved,” said Tush.


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Save Siesta Key

JUNE 2022

As for state Sen. Joe Gruters and state Rep. Fiona McFarland, who also remain in the delegation and who represent Siesta Key most thoroughly in relation to territory, Hensey said a recent meeting with them further confirmed their ongoing support. “We’re probably looking at a 3-1 vote,” Hensey said, “but not for sure.” The final positive shift, Hensey said, involves the fact that House Speaker Chris Sprowls – who Hensey said was “iron-clad no taxes, no new government, no matter what” – will be replaced in 2023. State Rep. Paul Renner will have that role, and Hensey’s group has already contacted him with incorporation in mind. “He said he would have an open mind,” Hensey reported, “if there are good reasons to do it.” Finally, Hensey said Save Siesta Key would still like to play a role in interviewing and/or endorsing candidates for the Sarasota County Commission, where both seats up for grabs this November include Siesta Key turf, but the outcomes would unlikely curtail his group’s mission to self-govern. “I’m not convinced we can just replace the commissioners and everything will be OK,” Hensey said.

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Not only registered voters (who qualify in that category by living on the Key at least six months plus one day per year, making that residence their homestead) are invited to sign petitions. Property owners and business owners on the Key are also considered legitimate. A couple members of the audience at Hensey’s presentation suggested that Save Siesta Key post the names of petition signees on its website, to no doubt enforce name recognition amongst residents. Hensey said he’d take that idea to his board, and said his group’s ambassadors would not only be working the neighborhoods again but helping to conduct neighborhood meetings. If a local referendum vote eventually emerges, only registered voters can cast a ballot. Meanwhile, a newcomer to the delegation is state Rep. Mike Grant, whose District 75 includes a small portion of southeast Sarasota. Hensey said his group would soon be meeting with Grant and state Rep. James Buchanan – he represented the third no vote, voicing concerns about how the incorporation group would adequately fund the infrastructure-related projects it proposed, such as traffic studies, the creation of pedestrian and bike lanes, and island beautification.

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The Highs and Lows of Properties Sold on Siesta Key

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

The following are properties sold on Siesta Key in the last 60 days, providing a snapshot of home values on the Key for both single-family homes and condominiums. HIGHEST-PRICED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE 852 FREELING DRIVE $6.25MILLION This recently remodeled home features four bedrooms, including two owner suites, 4.5 baths, cathedral ceilinged living room with wood burning fireplace, open floor plan, and sweeping views of Roberts Bay. The light and bright living area opens to an expansive outdoor living area that includes terraces, large outdoor kitchen, covered

LOWEST-PRICED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE 5070 COMMONWEALTH DRIVE $1.005 MILLION This three-bedroom, three-bath home is minutes away from world-renowned Siesta Beach. Situated on a quiet street just off Midnight Pass Road, this house

dining area and pool. Sea life abounds right at your dock where playful dolphins are frequent visitors. Included are a 15,000-pound boat lift and swim ladder, ideal for boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, or paddle boarding. After a day of sun and fun, retire to the huge first-floor family room for a game of billiards, darts, video games, or just sharing time with friends and family. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

is waiting for you to come and make it your own! The bright interior opens to a screened lanai with a covered area for dining in the shade, and a pool and uncovered area for frolicking or just relaxing in the sunshine. Courtesy of Coldwell Banker

HIGHEST-PRICED CONDO 6232 MIDNIGHTPASS RD., #6232B $2.375MILLION A rarely available three-bedroom, two-bathroom Siesta Dunes unit with an additional non-conforming bedroom and bathroom. The fresh white cabinets and bright granite are accented with an iridescent tile backsplash reminiscent of abalone shells from the beach. Each interior window is framed with upgraded

LOWEST-PRICED CONDO 5683 MIDNIGHT PASS RD., #108 $399,900 This private second-floor unit is located directly across the street from Siesta Key public beach. Owner has taken meticulous care of this home which is reflected in the total remodel that’s been done. You can feel secure with your investment as over the last few years the complex has also undergone a complete

plantation shutters for a classy accent providing shade and evening privacy. The additional non-conforming space can be an in-law suite, au pair suite or additional guest quarters. Stow your beach and vacation essentials in your convenient garage space. On-site rental office with short term rentals welcome. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

overhaul: new metal roofs, new clubhouse remodel, newer gas grills, and kitchen facilities and complete with paver brick driveways and parking areas. Low HOA fees and great on-site rental office. This unit has repeat renters for Feb. and March 2023 at total income of $7,760. Unit is being sold turnkey furnished. The screened in balcony is very private and tropical as the unit sits in the back of the complex. Courtesy of Michael Saunders

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

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Sailboats

JUNE 2022

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Continued from page 1

have no other place to go. Give us an alternative.” He was one of several sailing enthusiasts who not only came before the board – like several did two weeks earlier – but noted that day that more than 930 people who offered signatures to an online petition shared his views. The web address for that petition is change.org/p/save-thecatamarns-on-access-8 and as of May 20 the number of signees was at 1,068. “I don’t think this is a public emergency any way you look at it,” said Smith, referring to the notion that the county has heard complaints that not only are some boats on private land, and others on public land, but others are in disrepair and abandoned, creating a hazard. Smith asked the board to look at Beach Access 7, where more county land is available, as a possible new location for the boats. County staff will return with a report that examines what other communities have done in similar situations. Naples and Key West have faced such a scenario, the county noted. Not a simple fix However, the issue here is complex. For starters, about 20 boats were inventoried by the county in December, as part of a countywide initiative to address encroachments

on public land, according to Nicole Rissler, director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. Originally, she said she used Facebook live and other outreach methods to inform the public that boat owners had 30 days to remove the vessels, and even granted the owners another month to do so. County Administrator Jonathan Lewis said his staff exercised “As much grace and understanding as possible” in handling the matter. The county’s research efforts resulted in a mixed bag, Rissler said. Some boats were moved off neighboring private property, where their storage was unauthorized, only to go to the public land and join other boats where they block the 60-foot-wide beach access. Others went away altogether. Back in December, she estimates that seven boats were on private land and the rest on public land. Meanwhile, Rissler added, the county connected with some owners but not others. Some boats were registered, and others were not. Beyond the county initiative, the impetus, she said, was the result of complaints that included comments about not only unauthorized staging of boats but that “people were getting hurt” on dilapidated vessels. A look at the boats in early April by the Siesta Sand did indeed indicate that a few were in terrible

condition. Along those lines, Rissler said in her late-April report that some boats were seaworthy, and others not. At that time, she said nine boats were on the public land and four or five were still on private land without permission. When Commissioner Alan Maio asked Rissler if the problematic boats could be removed by the Venice-based West Coast Inland Navigation District, whose duties include the removal of derelict vessels in local waterways, Rissler said these boats on the dry part of the beach fall instead under the category of lost and abandoned property. That said, the 90-day rule is imposed so owners can gather them because they have value. “People say, ‘Just get rid of the bad ones.’ We can’t make that determination,” Rissler said. “Staff, and even experts, can say what is derelict and what is not.” Establishing a plan Commissioner Nancy Detert voiced her frustration with the scenario. “I don’t know why they don’t understand our position,” she said of the opposing residents. “If someone moves or dies, does the catamaran just sit and deteriorate? Who tows it away?” Ziegler argued that the boats have become iconic on Siesta Key, calling the scene “post card material” and noting it’s home to

social and family gatherings. It even graces magazine covers, he added. “There are only a couple places to take photos like this, and this is one,” he said. As far as a solution is concerned, commissioners mentioned the idea of possibly creating a medallion system like they implemented at Ted Sperling Park on South Lido Key a few years back, where kayak chaos was taking place. It regulated rentals where vendors pay $500 per year for the right to do business and the field is limited to a dozen of them with a total of 165 boats. Rissler expressed caution to the idea, noting how the process took more than two years to establish and it deals with known businesses rather than individuals. Still the commissioners expressed the need to potentially establish permitlike criteria, and likely limits in numbers, for Siesta sailboat owners who wish to remain on the beach. “It’s lovely, it’s picturesque. Four, five or six would be OK,” Detert said of the boats, but warned that people would likely add to that amount if no limit was in place, even if they paid for the right. “At 15, 20, 25, you reach the point of diminishing returns. It goes from unique and pretty to clutter and ‘in my way.’” A potential lottery system for a limited number of vessels was also proposed. A large number would possibly expose the county to

liability issues, Lewis said. Preserving memories Back to Ziegler, he compared the Siesta sailboat situation to what Manatee County faced with Greer Island on the northern tip of Longboat Key. The area is locally known as Beer Can Island. It’s where dead, weathered wood was about to be removed before citizens cried out in protest. It was a spot where parties took place, engagements were held, and other memories were established for years, he said, and Ziegler commended Manatee County on keeping the area undisturbed. When the report comes back in July, Maio said he wants a definitive number on how may boats are still at the access, and where they sit, before action takes place. In the meantime, he credited the Siesta Sailing community for stepping up and being heard – even it was a bit overwhelming. “We do not need 500 more emails. We get it, we’re trying,” he said. “But feel free to send another 500 emails. This is the county commission, and we entertain all emails.” Also, Maio was pleased with the approach. “This group has been relentless on appearing here and contacting us. I have never gotten anything aggressive or disruptive. They handled it the way you’re supposed to handle it,” he said.

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

LET’S GO TO THE BEACH! Watercolors That Inspire

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We had the great fortune of acquiring the paper from the Steins in January 2019 – yep, just a couple of months prior to COVID-19. Nonetheless, because of the support of the community, the paper persevered. I would personally like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone that supports the Siesta Sand through their readership and advertising. All of us at 27th State Media are proud to serve the Siesta Key community – residents, businesses, and visitors. We are proud to be part of the community. One last thing: If you ever wondered about the origin of the name 27th State Media, the answer is quite simple. Florida was the 27th state to be accepted into the United States. Not quite as elegant as Siesta Sand – Why the world comes to Sarasota, but just as meaningful.

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

1952 Field Road Sarasota, Florida 34231

941.926.7546

www.dermatologyexperts.com

Sell for the Siesta Sand Part-time sales opportunity working for Siesta Key’s #1 newspaper and website. If interested, email info@27statemedia.com or call 941-312-0665

HOME WATCH SPAS / HAIR & BEAUTY APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE HOURS: MON. - FRI.: 9AM - 6PM

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

Snowbirds, heading back? Let us watch your back!

PUBLIC NOTICE JF Best Consulting, LLC announces it is changing our DBA from Siesta Creamery to Jake’s Homemade Ice Cream on Siesta Key. This change took place on March 1, 2022. Residents of Sarasota County or any impacted parties can contact Jake Best at (615) 403-5551.

To advertise in Siesta Sand, call 941-312-0665 Insured, Bonded and Licensed by The National Home Watch Association.

(941) 961-4309

www.SuncoastHomeConcierge.com

Cavanaugh

Continued from page 11

Crescent Beach Grocery building. Speaking of that building, Brown said there isn’t much new to report on finding a replacement business for the grocery store, which ceased operations in April after 70 years, nor are the rental agreements with RE/MAX and Coconuts settled. Brown said step one is to give the building an exterior facelift, with interior updates to follow but when and how based upon how things stand with his renters. Designs, permits, and other variables will dictate how fast that moves along, Brown said. “Things take time. They need to manifest, they need to evolve,” Brown said of both refurbishment and pursuit of a tenant for the grocery store space. “Putting up a ‘for lease’ sign up is typically not how I do things.” Brown reiterated that he still hopes he can land another grocer that wants to move in. “If it’s not a grocer, it won’t be from a lack of effort,” he said.

Ramirez

Continued from page 21

“This achievement saves our campaign over $5,500. We can now use those funds for mailers, signs and other campaign materials. Friends, neighbors, supporters and volunteers worked hard to achieve our goal in a little over a week. I can’t thank them enough for the hard work. Thanks to everyone who submitted petitions. Your efforts will make a difference in this upcoming election. “For too long, local politicians have put special interests, such as big developers, over Sarasota County residents. I’ve dedicated two decades volunteering to protect neighborhoods from incompatible development. It’s about time someone puts Sarasota County first.” Ramirez has a master’s degree in business administration from Iona College. She and her husband, Eric, have lived on Siesta Key for 23 years. The primary election is Aug. 23. The District 2 incumbent is Republican Christian Ziegler. Also competing for the District 2 seat from the Democrat side are former Sarasota mayor Fredd Atkins, Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody, and activist Mike Cosentino. This will be Ramirez’s third attempt at winning a county commission seat. She lost in the Republican primary to Alan Maio in both 2014 and 2018. Maio, the commission’s chairman who represents District 4, can no longer run again because of term limits. For more information, visit Ramirez’s website at LourdesRamirez.net.


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Siesta Sand

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941.312.0665

Sheriff’s spring break operations expanded Manney The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department decided to expand its heightened spring break operations on Siesta Key through May 1 this year, instead of scaling back as planned on April 15, due to large crowds on the beach. And May 1 will be the cut-off date going forward. That’s what Sgt. Dan Smith told the Siesta Key Association at its May 5 meeting. Between April 1 and April 30, 597 calls for service originated from Siesta Key, Smith reported, including 55 for personal property crime. Smith said that high number for personal property crime was likely the result of a large officer presence on the beach, where visitors had the ability to make immediate contact with law enforcement regarding an issue. The other high number of calls, at 76, involved illegal parking. Smith also noted his department will continue to educate businesses and visitors that it’s illegal to use low-speed vehicles, including golf carts, on the southern part of Midnight Pass Road where the speed limit increases to 40 mph. Low-speed vehicles are limited to areas that are 35 mph and below. The area on Midnight Pass Road that turns to 40 mph begins approximately at the 7-11 store just south of Southbridge Mall, heading south until the end of the island. Smith said a southbound sign notifying motorists that low-speed vehicles are not allowed exists. He said he’ll be reminding rental businesses of the law, and encouraging them to create maps with details on where low-speed vehicles can be used on the Key. -- John Morton

www.siestasand.net

Continued from page 13

The chamber’s website does double duty for members and visitors alike. “We’ve seen a healthy number of tourists visiting the site and our social media. The new mapping feature has also been good for our members,” she said. “Visitors can find out exactly where that store, restaurant, condo or service is that they’re looking for.” Keeping the Siesta Key Visitor’s Guide fresh and appealing was another project. “Visitors still like to pick up a brochure, a business card, and printed materials. The Siesta Key Visitor’s Guide is one of our most popular promotional pieces,” Manney said. Manney explained that the chamber’s website and promotional materials play another large role in working closely with neighboring chambers of commerce and sharing materials with Sarasota, Anna

Maria, Venice, Long Boat Key, and the regional Visit Sarasota tourism arm. It’s all part of the Siesta Key chamber’s overall marketing plan. Now in her third year at the chamber, Manney finds that she is tapping into lessons learned during the first 10 years of her career in the hospitality industry. “Property management is a critical business here and having started my professional life in the hospitality field gives me a good perspective on the needs of these business owners,” she said. “I love meeting with members in their business locations and getting to know them. My goal is to encourage more members to attend our events. I tell everyone that the more we know about you, the more we can help to you to promote your business.”

A Destination Day Spa Catering to your Personal Wellness, Easing Body Mind and Spirit Specializing In Anti-Aging Facials and Intuitive Therapeutic Massage Services offered:

• Facial treatments • Massage

Spoil your dad this Father’s Day with a hot stone massage or a couples massage!

• Reiki • Spa Treatments • Gift Certificates

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

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

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


www.siestasand.us

941.312.0665

JUNE 2022

27th State Media LLC

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Sunset Beach Resort Siesta Key Dream Inn

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

6600 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota

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

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

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

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

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


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Siesta Sand

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941.312.0665

www.siestasand.us

Key Employee Tera OK, maybe 20 years at the same company can result in you talking into a conch shell instead of the phone. But in Tera’s case, a fun and positive outlook is also what has given this licensed real estate broker the perfect personality for her longevity with Siesta 4-Rent in Southbridge Mall. “I’ll be here forever,” said Tera of the job she loves, noting it’s her co-workers, the beautiful beach, and the first-rate properties she gets to show that give her a constant spark. Speaking of co-workers, it was Tracy from her office who nominated Tera. “She is a stellar employee that works so hard, has the best attitude, and a smaile that greets people from around the world,” Tracy said. “She truly has a heart of gold.” To nominate a Siesta Key employee worthy of recognition, email: info@27statemedia.com. Photos by John Morton.

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

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