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2012 SieSta Key CryStal ClaSSiC
Nov. 8 through Nov. 12 SieSta beaCh
Look inside to see the news you missed this summer on the Key. PAGES 10-16A
OUR TOWN + Hats off to vets Honor U.S. military veterans at a Veterans Day parade, which takes place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 301, in downtown Sarasota. The parade proceeds west on Main Street to Gulfstream Avenue, and a one-hour program will follow at J.D. Hamel Park to honor veterans killed in action.
Look inside for our guide to the Siesta Key Crystal Classic.
Ulla Searing’s life was shaded with many colorful stories. INSIDE
sand success by Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
Champions unite for Crystal Classic Karen Fralich and Sue McGrew will sculpt together at the event for the first time in almost two years.
+ Your chariot awaits Sarasota Bay Club staff competed in a pumpkin-decorating contest Wednesday, Oct. 31, to get in the Halloween spirit, and the finished products were on display at its cocktail event. To encourage creativity, contestants were not allowed to carve the pumpkins. Placing first in overall creativity, this pumpkin, decorated by Arts and Leisure staffers, sat ready to escort guests to their respective Prince Charmings.
Sand sculptors begin crafting the sponsor scroll for the Siesta key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition. Onlookers watched — and at times dodged — bulldozers and backhoes moving hundreds of tons of sand into piles Nov. 5, on Siesta Key Beach. Shirtless sand sculptors carve niches into a hardening wall of the soft sand, and fire hoses blast the piles with water. It’s less than one week until the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Mas-
ter Sand Sculpting Competition, and the sponsor display is taking shape southeast of the beach pavilion. There will be three days of festivities, including the master sand-sculpting competition, amateur sculpting contest and quick-sculpting event, at the third annual event, which is shaping up to be the biggest so far. Organizers sold out of spots
for the vendor village, which will be made up of food and retail booths, a month ago, said Crystal Classic Steering Committee member Lourdes Ramirez. Twenty-two sculptors competed in the inaugural event in 2010, and 24 participated the following year. Twenty-four sculptors from as far away as Singapore are scheduled to dig, pack and carve
this year, including 2010 winner Sue McGrew and last year’s champ, Karen Fralich. “I love contests, I adore them; to me it’s like cotton candy — I just can’t wait for the next one,” Fralich said. The pair last worked together at the North American Sand Sculpt-
SEE CRYSTAL CLASSIC / 2A
by Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
Sarasota County authorizes Beach Road repair Although a temporary fix is in the works, a long-term solution could cost upward of $2 million and take two years to complete. + In the hot seat Visitors at the Sunday, Nov. 4 SECA Car Show, on Hillview Street, stopped to admire this washroom on wheels. Tis go-kart features all the luxuries of a restroom, including hardwood floors, on a mobile fourwheel frame.
Sarasota County will spend as much as $250,000 to retrofit the north end of Beach Road for vehicle access, but it may not be the only time spending will be required.
County Administrator Randall Reid approved an emergency procurement request for funding Nov. 5, for Frederick Derr & Co. to repair the portion of roadway that collapsed one week earlier.
As of Nov. 7, the contractor chosen for the repair is waiting for the go-ahead from county staff. Staff recommended a designbuild approach for the longterm fix, which means the county would hire one contractor to complete the design and construction of a mitigation solution for Beach Road erosion, after looking at quotes from various
firms. That would cost about $2 million depending on permitting requirements from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the possibility of underground utility lines, according to a Nov. 2 memo from County Engineer Jim Harriott. But, county commissioners as-
SEE BEACH ROAD / 2A
INDEX Briefs....................4A Classifieds ........ 15B
Cops Corner..........9A Crossword.......... 14B
Opinion .............. 8A Real Estate........ 12B
Sports................ 17A Weather............. 14B
Vol. 43, No. 15 | Four sections YourObserver.com
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
CRYSTAL CLASSIC/PAGE 1A ing Championship in 2010 and sculpted two folk dancers they called “Celtic Sisters,” which won a $3,000 fourth-place prize. Fralich won the solo competition at the North American Sand Sculpting Championship this year and finished second at the 2012 Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival, where she was edged out by another 2012 Crystal Classic competitor: Singaporean artist Joo Heng Tan. Fralich worked with Dan Belcher to create the dark equine-themed “Nightmares” at the 2011 Crystal Classic, but she said their schedules didn’t align this year. “Sue called and asked if I wanted to do it, and, of course, I was honored,” Fralich said. McGrew won the Crystal Classic in 2010 with “Circle of Life” and has been busy working on the Travel Channel show, “Sand Masters,” this season. Local master sandsculptor Brian Wigelsworth, who took third place in the North American Sand Sculpting Championships this year, said in an interview earlier this year one of the biggest challenges for a sculptor is setting out with a unique vision, as well as never-before-seen techniques.
BEACH ROAD/PAGE 1A signed staff to secure an independent engineering study and look at the county’s legal obligations for such a fix because the street is a public asset. “It may never be repaired properly, and I don’t want to keep pouring money into a black hole,” County Commissioner Joe Barbetta said during the reports section of a Nov. 6 County Commission meeting. “I just don’t want to jump into a designbuild approach without someone totally independent looking at this with no horse in the race,” Barbetta said. Derr said bringing in an outside engineer would only stretch the timeline of a
“That’s one of the hardest things for me,” Fralich said. Ideas can bubble up during menial daily activities such as washing dishes, she said. Another challenge comes from the fact that the world-famous Siesta sand loses a lot of hardness as it dries, meaning sculptors have to dig deeper for more course sand, Fralich said. “But, it feels so nice — it’s like talcum powder,” Fralich said. “It carves like butter.” Fralich and McGrew have kicked around sculpture ideas through Skype, but haven’t settled on a vision for the Crystal Classic. “I’m just going to kind of dive in and see what happens,” Fralich said.
IF YOU GO What: Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 through Monday, Nov. 12 Where: Siesta Key public beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key Transportation: Buses available from Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
long-term solution for Beach Road. “That’s a terrible waste of money to hire an engineer who doesn’t know anything about this to go out there and go to school on this,” Derr said during a Nov. 7 phone interview. County staff will present options for a permanent fix while Derr’s firm puts the temporary repair in place; the long-term solution is expected to take as long as two years to be completed. “During that time, it is likely the county will need to provide several temporary fixes each at the current estimate or more depending on the type of weather event or tidal forces involved,” Harriot said in the memo.
By Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
Siesta Isles Association pushes for safety measures The Siesta Isles Association’s push for safer turns at Midnight Pass Road is complete, but room for improvement remains. Since May, Siesta Isles Association President Tony Romanus has avoided taking a left turn from Glebe Lane onto Midnight Pass Road. The 10-year island resident realized how dangerous the maneuver was after he met with Florida Department of Transportation staff about roadway safety at the subdivision inlet at Shadow Lawn Drive. The May meeting grew out of the fallout from the Jan. 7 hit-and-run accident on the curve on Midnight Pass Road that killed Donna Chen. At the end of October, eight months after the Siesta Isles Association board sent a letter to FDOT about the treacherous curve, the state removed a tree that once blocked the view of traffic, and the organization has spent upward of $1,000 to increase visibility at the location. “I think what that created was an opportunity to get the ear of people who could effect change,” Romanus said. Ultimately, three property owners agreed to shrink their backyards and taper their fences inward as part of the effort. The Siesta Isles Association paid for the fencing replacement and allowed one resident a height variance to shade headlights from vehicles traveling onto Shadow Lawn Way. “It was surprising how cooperative everybody was,” Romanus said. Romanus sent an email to FDOT the week before November to ask about the possibility of convex mirrors that bend a vehicle’s reflection so they can be seen by other vehicles trying to turn onto
Siesta Isles Association President Tony Romanus spearheaded an effort to improve visibility at a dangerous curve on Midnight Pass Road.
Midnight Pass Road. One of the newly elected Siesta Isles Association board members could serve as the liaison to government and civic organizations, Romanus said. The organization worked with the state, the county and Florida Power & Light to have trees reaching into a clump of power lines removed and landscaping cleared. And, communication with St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church led to the removal of at least five trees from the church’s property, which is on the corner of Midnight Pass Road and Glebe Lane. “It’s still not great, but it’s better than it was,” Romanus said.
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
moving target by Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
judge, no jury
Sarasota County staff again raised cost estimates for the now $27 million Siesta Beach renovation and postponed a public meeting set for this month.
Trial set for Chris Brown case
Improvement project sputters Sarasota County commissioners assigned staff to prepare a report on the Siesta Key beachimprovement project in September. But three weeks after the board assignment was due, during the Nov. 6 County Commission meeting, county staff was still unsure about a timetable for project landmarks, and the estimated cost had grown to as much as $27 million. Sarasota County Engineer Jim Harriott announced a possible postponement of a public meeting at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, scheduled for Nov. 13, about the beach project. “If you want the public to attend, you usually have to give a little bit of notice,” said County Commissioner Nora Patterson. Commissioner Joe Barbetta again brought up the beach improvements during the Nov. 7
County Commission meeting; he cited confusion about the open house after receiving a postcard invitation for it. As of Wednesday afternoon, county staff was still preparing for the scheduled meeting, according to Sarasota County Resources Manager Hank Schneider. “We wanted to make sure we were designing the right thing,” Harriott said. “There’s a $20 million project, and there are options that get you up to about $25 million.” The design commissioners already approved is currently about a $26 million to $27 million project, Harriott explained, with $20 million earmarked for the enhancements. “We’re rapidly approaching year end; the economy is starting to come back; interest rates are going to go up; construction costs are going to go up; and we’re losing this huge window of opportu-
nity,” said Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Harriott compared the project with building a house or buying a car, in that as the design process progresses, new options appear. And as county staff considers input from architects, engineers, builders and the public, picking which options to add to the project, such as the esplanade or observation deck for the beach improvements, takes considerable time. The design process, which has landmarks at 30%, 60% and 90%, also causes price estimates to fluctuate, Harriott explained. The beach project design is nearing the 90% mark, but is stuck at 60%, until staff can consider input from the public and County Commission. Sarasota County project manager Curtis Smith said the 60% design and costcutting options would have been
presented at the public meeting. “Everything seems to be frozen in place and we need to move on this,” Barbetta said. “This appears to be a moving target for us right now,” said County Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson. Commissioners voted for staff to compile a project timeline of the five months since the 60% timeline was approved, as well as a projected timeline of future landmarks. Interest rates and construction costs are tied to the economic climate, which Barbetta said would mean a higher total cost for the project as the economy recovers. Production costs have grown each of the last four months according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “This is costing us money every day we delay it — every day,” Barbetta said.
Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County History Center
Andrew McAnsh, a downtown Sarasota developer of the early 1900s, built the Mira Mar Casino (a bathhouse) in 1925 on North Siesta Key to bolster interest in his proposed development, Mira Mar Beach.
hearing feedback by Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
Siesta Key Village noise complaints continue The brisk breezes floating off the Gulf of Mexico this month have aggravated the noise debate. Sarasota County code enforcement officers compete with wind, crowds and car stereos to measure sound with decibel readers in Siesta Key Village. And, as part-time residents return to the island and the holiday season commences, noise complaints will likely become more common, said Sarasota County code-enforcement officer John Lally. “If you’re trying to take a reading and a car comes by playing Megadeth, you have to turn the reader off,” said code-enforcement officer Kevin Burns, who works overtime to investigate after-hours code violations.
Hurricane Sandy delivered conditions to the Village that made measuring sound waves difficult, but prompted some residents to open their windows to feel the changing seasons. “There are a lot of atmospheric conditions that cause music to travel farther than it normally would,” Lally said. A Gulf breeze may fill a condominium unit with cool, fresh air, but the same breeze can carry with it sounds from neighbors. “Recently, the issue was simply wind,” Burns said. A sound-level reading can be inaccurate if there is heavy wind competing with a machine’s input, Burns said.
A resident emailed Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson to complain about Village noise Oct. 31 — Halloween — and cited the Beach Club as the source, which is a rarity, Lally said. The resident said in the email he encountered “large, noisy crowds obstructing traffic” and exceptionally loud music. “Ambient noise is exempt from the code — it’s not a violation,” Lally said. And soundlevel meters are calibrated to vet out sound not coming from the source code-enforcement officers are measuring. If the meter reads less than the regulated amount of deci-
bels from a restaurant or bar’s property line, there is nothing else an officer can do. But, Burns said he has met with leaders of the various island organizations to develop a better model for enforcement in the Village. “Instead of trying to take care of all the issues at once, we’re breaking them up into individual problems,” Burns said. Code-enforcement staff will sit down with the complainant and suspected violator to resolve a legitimate dispute, Burns said. “Unless I believe there’s a violation, I try prevent the people from being disturbed,” Burns said.
by Alex Mahadevan | News Editor
Siesta Key property owner Chris Brown increased his settlement offer to Sarasota County 15% to $315,000. County attorneys want more information. What kind of damage does a five-year legal battle with the government do to a business? Attorneys at Bentley & Bruning P.A. estimate that entrepreneur Chris Brown’s lawsuit against Sarasota County cost him $1.7 million, and the trial to settle claims of discrimination is set for next year. It will be the culmination of three lawsuits revolving around taxes the county levies on Siesta Key Village businesses. Judge Lee Haworth set a fiveday trial for Aug. 26, 2013, to decide the civil suit, and allowed both parties to extend the deadline for mediation and settlement from Dec. 21 to Feb. 1. County commissioners voted to decline Brown’s first settlement of $277,000 in September but ordered staff to re-evaluate the county’s method of taxing Village merchants for the partial cost of the municipal lot in the district. “I think the majority of the (County Commission) has logical thinking,” Brown said. The outcome was the dissolution of the parking tax district. Assistant County Attorney David Pearce wrote in an Oct. 22 letter to Brown’s counsel that the County Attorney’s Office would need a breakdown of the $1.7 million in damages to bring the Siesta property owner’s latest offer to the County Commission for a decision. The office disputed parts of Brown’s case against the county. “We believe that, as time goes forward and additional information is obtained through discovery and legal research, then the county’s case can only improve,” Pearce wrote in the letter. Bentley did not provide a summary or breakdown of damages for each of Brown’s companies, CJB Property Development LLC and 5148 Beach Road LLC, nor the dates and nature of any undue expenses. The county also asked Sept. 10 for a list of documents or experts used to calculate damages. Pearce declined to comment specifically about whether the damages cited by Bentley were fair and accurate. “I think the letters speak for themselves,” Pearce said. The County Attorney’s Office Nov. 2 asked Haworth to order Brown to disclose the specific details cited in Pearce’s Oct 22 letter. “For them to continue to dig for tax returns and very personal information — it’ll all come out during trial,” Brown said. Both parties agreed to bring in attorney Gary Larsen for an allday mediation Feb. 1. “You’re torn because you want to rid yourself of the negativity,” Brown said. “But, a part of me really wants to go in front of a judge and show them what’s going on.”
This week on
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
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+ SKA online membership launches successfully Siesta Key Association board member Deet Jonker announced during a Nov. 1 meeting that 15 members renewed annual memberships online after the organization sent out 1,100 notification emails. Recipients opened 46% of the emails the organization sent about new online services, which will eventually include links to surveys and media for island residents. The organization will still send out paper notices to those who can’t use the online membership renewal. “The whole purpose of this is to make membership easier and also less expensive because the cost of mailing (and) printing is just tremendous,” Jonker said.
+ County consolidation affects mowing
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MOST READ STORIES ONLINE LAST WEEK: 1. “Permit issued for Village restaurant” (Oct. 30) 2. “Tides destroy Beach Road repair” (Oct. 29) 3. “Open house planned for beach project” (Nov. 2) 4. “Election contenders emerge” (Nov. 1) 5. “Siesta dock on agenda for Sarasota County Commission” (Nov. 5)
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Sarasota County commissioners derided staff during the first meeting of November, after an audit from the Clerk of the Courts found evidence of negligence that led to miles of overgrown medians. The audit did not name specific employees, but found that staff signed work orders for thousands of dollars of mowing from Bloomings Landscape and Turf Management, without knowing if the work had been performed. The firm abandoned the contract earlier this year, prompting the county to split its mowing territory into smaller pieces and hire temporary contractors. County Administrator Randall Reid blamed the consolidation of the county’s operations and maintenance department in 2007, and the rush to privatize mowing operations for the problems, as well as the poor state of county baseball and softball fields.
Meetings &agendas Sarasota Community Disaster Organizations meeting — 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, Sarasota County Health and Human Services, Room 226, 2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota Public Facilities Financing Board meeting — 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, Administration Building, A/B Conference Room, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota Sarasota County Commission meeting — 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, Administration Building, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota Sarasota County Commission meeting — 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Administration Building, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota Sarasota County Planning Commission public hearing — 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, Administration Building, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
+ Siesta sewer rehab ahead of schedule Williams Testing Inc., a pipelineinspection and -rehabilitation firm, reached substantial completion of the Siesta Key sanitary sewer rehabilitation project Oct. 31, two weeks earlier than expected, according to the firm’s project manager, Susan Dunlop. The firm finished lining and inspecting sewer pipes on Midnight Pass Road the same day, in the final aspect of work requiring lane closures.
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DEEPER ROOTS. HIGHER STANDARDS. ®
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Election victors look to future Local GOP winners focus on key issues and challenges — from jobs and public education to reducing violent crimes.
Rachel S. O’Hara
John Patterson, Ed Brodsky and Nora Patterson attended the Republican Party of Sarasota Election Night Party Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.
in a county that has consistently named Republicans to the County Commission for the past five decades, yet she found herself ahead by only a surprisingly slim margin. “I feel excitement and a real sense of honor,” Robinson said after hearing that she had secured the District 3 seat. Robinson, who was appointed to the board by the governor to replace former Commissioner Shannon Staub in 2010, was already thinking of some of the projects she wanted to finish — with the focus on jobs being the most important. Job training is a key component, Robinson said. After 21 months on the campaign trail, Brodsky joked he was going to Disney World.
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ing of the challenges and issues ahead. The Sarasota Observer asked the candidates which of those issues they would tackle. Robinson said one ongoing mission was to solve what she calls “workforce issues.” She will focus on two problems: local manufacturers hiring employees outside the county because they can’t find qualified, trained employees in Sarasota County, and residents having to look outside the area for work. Earlier in the evening, as she received early updates from the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections office, Robinson said she was nervous — and she had some cause to be. The incumbent had outspent her opponent $100,000 to $15,000
As Ed Brodsky walked away from the podium after his victory speech Tuesday night, he hugged Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight, who became a key supporter of Brodsky during a 21-month campaign for State Attorney 12th Circuit. A few minutes earlier, as results forecast an imminent win, Brodsky told Knight that it was looking like the sheriff was “stuck with” Brodksy. Knight, who has attributed a 15% drop in crime in part to the work being done by Brodsky, a longtime prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office, was just fine with that outcome. Amid the applause, juggling entertainers and live music at the GOP election party at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Christine Robinson celebrated her County Commission District 3 win quietly — before she had to step to the podium and give a speech. Robinson celebrated with her mother, Sandy Strenkoski, who flew down from Buffalo, N.Y., to surprise her daughter. Brodsky, who beat Democrat John Torraco with 54.9% votes, and Robinson, who captured 55.4% of the vote over opponent Jennifer Cohen, were two of the successful Republican candidates who savored their victory, thanked supporters and embraced family members at the party at the Hyatt. But, even as they touted their wins, the politicians were think-
“I just want to soak it all in,” he said. After that, Brodsky wants to collaborate with law enforcement to go after gangs and violent offenders who are being tried in the court system. That means gunning for high conviction percentages and stiff sentences for “the 6% who commit 60% of the crimes.” Brodsky was engaged in a bitter campaign that kept him on the defensive most of the time. Torraco, a real-estate investor and professor at the State College of Florida, lost to Brodsky by about 13,000 votes. Torraco’s campaign painted Brodsky as an insider at an office that pushed for convictions at the cost of case dismissals or taxpayer money. Peter Lombardo, who lost to Brodsky in a bitter primary battle, endorsed Torraco. “I knew it was going to be close,” Torraco said. “I wish the best to my opponent, and, hopefully, we can get some positive change out of the debates that went on in Sarasota and Manatee counties,” Torraco said. Up next, Torraco said he is going to continue to work and practice law, teach and stay involved with real-estate investment. Ray Pilon, another GOP candidate who won Tuesday, was also looking ahead — to Wednesday and beyond. Pilon, who won the State House District 72 seat with 53.9% of the vote, said his election crew would spend Wednesday removing more
than 650 campaign yard signs, and then he would be getting ready for committee meetings in Tallahassee. As for the big issues, there are jobs and the economy. But, Pilon also wants to get some momentum, and, perhaps, set up a policy think group to address issues in public education from kindergarten to grade 12, to the university level. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, won his fourth term with 186,627 votes, or 53.6%, compared to Keith Fitzgerald’s 161,257, or 46.4% of votes. Buchanan reiterated many of the messages on which he campaigned: He promised to focus on jobs and controlling spending. The cheers grew louder when he talked about taking action against illegal immigration and loudest when he vowed to work toward repealing Obamacare. Fitzgerald is a New College political science professor who served two terms in the Florida State House from 2006 to 2010. Speaking of his next step, Fitzgerald said: “I’ve been at this for seven years, and I think it’s time I take a timeout to spend more time with my family.” A city charter amendment that would have split the City Clerk and Auditor Office was voted down with 55.3% of voters against the measure. As a result, City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini will retain oversight of the clerk and auditor functions at City Hall. The proposal, if approved, would have moved the city clerk — now an independent charter branch of the city’s government — to the city manager’s office and created a separate auditor’s office.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Managers talk collaboration at Tiger Bay meeting Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin, Longboat Key Town Manager Dave Bullock, North Port City Manager Jonathan Lewis and Venice City Manager Edward Lavallee spoke to the Tiger Bay Club. At the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club luncheon last week, Sarasota County’s four new city and town managers spoke about how each of the municipalities could collaborate with other cities and with the county in a time of reduced budgets. It doesn’t hurt that the four managers — including Tom Barwin, Sarasota city manager; Dave Bullock, Longboat Key town manager; Jonathan Lewis, North Port city manager; and Edward Lavallee, Venice city manager — are coming to the community with a clean slate and a new outlook on local priorities and challenges. The managers talked about teaming together on issues from emergency dispatch services to assembling hiring committees. “All four of us are new, and we all have to find a way to start to look at collaboration,” said Lewis. Lavallee said the city of Venice has reduced its workforce by 25%, and there are opportunities for some consolidated services with the county. “If a city has reduced 25% of its workforce, and it has to take another major hit, there isn’t that much that can be squeezed without a major impact,” said John Wesley White, moderator for the event and former Sarasota County administrator. The city managers also answered questions about amendments on the ballot and a proposed strongcity-manager initiative in the city
Michele Grimes, Margaret Wise and Ann Charters Rod Girdwood, Jay Berman, Taylor Collins and Debbie Johnson of Sarasota. In addition, Barwin fielded a question from former County Commissioner David Mills about the possibility of constructing more multi-use, pedestrianfriendly pathways similar to the county’s Legacy Trail. Barwin said Sarasota is perfect for multi-use pathways because of the favorable climate and the area’s natural resources. He is also interested in considering ways to increase recreational infrastructure in the city and access to that infrastructure. “I’d love to get on a bike with you and take a ride (to talk about bikefriendly options),” Barwin, a bicyclist, said to Mills.
Photos by Nick Friedman
Kathi Pletzke and Longboat Key Commissioner Jack Duncan
Charlie Wilson, Pam Truitt and Rick Fawley
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
by Nick Friedman | Community Editor
Pine View salutes veterans with yearlong project This year’s community service project idea was formed as a way to give thanks to United States veterans. Each year, Pine View School students participate in a school-wide community service project. This year, when the students were trying to develop an idea, student coordinator and senior John Potvin asked the other student planners what they thought they could do to make a difference in the community. They all agreed that they wanted to do something to thank U.S. military veterans. “We wanted to show how much Pine View loves the community and how much
we care,” said Potvin. “We’ve always done something to help people who are less fortunate, but this was a new aspect that we’d never touched on, and we all thought we could make a big difference.” The project, titled “Pine View Salutes Our Veterans,” is a yearlong project that unites the entire school, from elementary students to seniors, in a four-part effort to thank veterans on a local and national level.
The first aspect of the project involved the school adopting a local veteran, who is on 100% disability, to help provide financial assistance to him and his family. While stationed in Korea, Pine View’s veteran was frostbitten and also developed acute asthma. Pine View will work to provide him with a new air-conditioning unit, which will alleviate some of his high electric bills and asthma problems. Other aspects of the project in-
clude partnering with Operation Military Assistance Program to fill 50 backpacks with personal-hygiene supplies to send to homeless veterans; writing letters to currently deployed soldiers and various other fundraising projects, including a changecollection day, a flea market, kickball tournaments and selling shirts and buttons. “A lot of people know that our students are gifted, but another thing that’s nice is our ability to be active in the community,” said Potvin. “The best part of all of this is knowing that you can make a difference, even with small things. We wanted to come together, as a school, and say thanks to these veterans.”
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
opinion | our view
A salute to veterans It’s over. At last. No more TV ads. Jima; John Saputo, Skip Sack, David Novak, But as America shifts, adjusts and Longboaters, Marines; Andy Hooker, endures, the next few days likely Sarasota, Army helicopters, Vietnam; Bill will deliver an aftermath similar to Kelley, Longboater, U.S. Navy, D-Day Hurricane Sandy — as the pain for the survivor, Omaha Beach. afflicted sets in, there’ll be sqawking, Marina Jack was filled with more than yelling and endless TV reporting 200 heroes Wednesday when the Marine on alleged voter fraud and voter veterans celebrate the 237th anniversary suppression. of the Corps. We’ll pick up and eventually We admire them all for their courage, recover and move on. sacrifice and commitment to the cause Let’s hope there is no gloating — of liberty. As they all can tell you, there throwing gas on the fire. is nothing worse than war. It is hell So in the vein of moving on from on earth. With its costs so the intensity of the past year and devastating and immeasurable reuniting the United States of in so many ways, it should America, here are two reminders never occur. But since the time that may help put Tuesday’s results of the Book of Deuteronomy, in a bigger picture: greedy, maniacal despots •Monday is Veterans Day. have placed themselves above • Freedom is not free. people, rejecting the value of Most of us had the opportunity life. to have our say Tuesday when we That’s another whole subject. slipped our ballot into the electronic Instead, we want to express our scanner. Billions of people in this gratitude to all of our veterans. world do not get that opportunity. And a good way to do that is to We have that opportunity because quote the words of our nation’s of the men and women in this nation’s first president, when George Washington 236-year history who believed and sent his farewell address to the believe in the cause of liberty. They Revolutionary War army: were willing to give their lives in “He presents his thanks in the most defense of freedom. An extraordinary serious and affectionate manner to the concept — that freedom is so precious General Officers, as well for their Counsel men and women are willing to die for it. on many interesting occasions, as for Whatever it takes. their ardor in promoting the success That is why Veterans Day is of the plans he had adopted — To important. It is especially important the Commandants of Regiments to this region — Longboat Key, and Corps, and to the other Officers Sarasota, Manatee — and to Florida. for their great Zeal and attention Almost 85,900 U.S. military veterans in carrying his orders promptly live in Greater Sarasota-Manatee. And into execution — To the Staff for 1.6 million veterans live in Florida, their alacrity and exactness in the second highest number of any performing the duties of their several state except California. Departments — And to the NonFlorida honors its veterans. When commissioned officers and private you filled out your ballot Tuesday Soldiers, for their extraordinary (and in early voting), you had the patience in suffering, as well as opportunity to reinforce how we feel their invincible fortitude in Action as a state about our veterans. The … To the various branches of the Legislature crafted Amendments 2 Army, the General takes this last and and 9 to give property-tax exemptions solemn oppertunity of professing his to combat-wounded veterans and the inviolable attachment & friendship — A few of our veterans, from top left clockwise: Fay and surviving spouse of veterans killed He wishes more than bare professions Geri Cunningham at the Sarasota Veterans Day parade in the line of duty as a way of paying were in his power, that he was really in 2009; Andy Hooker, Army/Vietnam; David Novak, homage to our heroes. able to be usefull to them all in future Marines/Vietnam; George Swansey and Larry Bilodeau, In this region, we, for a long time, Korea; David Beliles, Marines/Korea; Bill Kelley, Navy/D- life; He flatters himself however, they have had many great heroes among will do him the justice to believe, Day survivor. us. The late Maj. Gen. Aubrey S. that whatever could with propriety Newman lived here. Newman became be attempted by him, has been done. survived Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway famous for his battle cry in World War II. And being now to conclude these his last and the Battle of Guadalcanal. He earned With his Infantry Division bogged down on public Orders, to take his ultimate leave, three Distinguished Service Medals, seven Leyte Island, Newman shouted: “Get the in a short time, of the Military Character, Distinguished Flying Crosses, eight Air hell off the beach … Follow me!” … and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he Medals, three Legions of Merit, the Silver “Follow me!” became the motto of an has so long had the honor to Command — Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Army recruiting poster. he can only again offer in their behalf his Two former chiefs of staff of the U.S. We had the late Brig. Gen. John H. recommendations to their grateful Country, Army Command in Europe made their McLain, for whom the Southgate post office homes here: Retired Lt. Gens. Rolland and his prayers to the God of Armies. May is named. Gen. McLain earned 15 medals ample justice be done them here, and may Heiser and Howard G. Crowell Jr. And for his heroism in World War II and Korea, the choicest of Heaven’s favors both here on Tuesday, Manatee voters re-elected serving with Gen. Patton. and hereafter attend those, who under the Larry Bustle to the Manatee County Longboaters will never forget the late divine auspices have secured innumerable Commissioon. Bustle, a Naval Academy Air Force Lt. Gen. James V. Edmundson, blessings for others: With these Wishes, graduate, flew 138 combat missions in for whom the Longboat Key post office is and this benediction, the Commander in Vietnam for the Air Force, the last 68 of named. In his 36-year military career, Gen. Chief is about to retire from service — The them over North Vietnam. Edmundson flew and survived 107 combat Curtain of seperation will soon be drawn The list of heroes is miles long. They’re missions in World War II, 32 missions — and the Military Scene to him will be everywhere: Marty Samowitz, 99, Longboat in Korea and 42 in the Vietnam War. He closed for ever.” Key, the oldest surviving Marine at Iwo
THE CASTAWAY by Jorge Blanco
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
by Kevin Cooper | Guest Columnist
Siesta’s more than a coastline
In my parents’ generation, a high performers and artists from all over the school diploma was an important portal globe. Its Historic Asolo Theater was purto success. Once that diploma became chased from Italy, after it was created commonplace, the bachelor’s degree be- there in 1798, and became America’s only came the new standard and a relative 18th-century European theater. Tourbaseline requirement for sucism, though, can’t be the only cess. In today’s educational landfuture of Sarasota County. The scape, the bachelor’s degree is area needs to maintain what has far more common and, thus, the drawn outsiders to the area for master’s degree has become what relocation. The rich culture, enthe bachelor’s degree once was. vironment and housing opporIn education, or otherwise, the tunities must be maintained, lest key to success is how unique you the draw for retirees and those are. Once the bachelor’s degree others seeking a better quality of became commonplace, it was no life be diminished. longer as valuable. Similarly, the Finally, Sarasota must look KEVIN key to Sarasota County’s future at how it can retain and attract COOPER is its ongoing ability to remain talent through a vibrant busiunique. ness community that finds equal There are roughly 7 billion peostrength in both providing opple in the world today; around 312 million portunity and maintaining stability. of those people live in the United States. If you’ve gotten this far, you may be Both figures are anticipated to continue scoffing that my concept is nothing growing, but, of course, no person can be groundbreaking or complex. Perhaps not. in two places at once. If Sarasota County However, most mission statements are is to attract and retain the right mix of not either. Often, they are the most basic those people, it must focus on developing frameworks from within which strategy is and redeveloping those areas that make it formulated. unique. Thus, this week as the Siesta Key ChamThe beaches of Sarasota County can’t ber of Commerce works feverishly with just be coastline, they need to be main- our partners, to host the third annual Siestained as the top beaches in the country. ta Key Crystal Classic, we focus on bringThe county needs to continue developing ing people to Sarasota County, increasing the area for sports tourism, but we need participation within Sarasota County and to do so in ways that are unique like ma- retaining people within Sarasota County. jor league baseball, whose spring training The event is unique, and uniqueness is only takes place in two of the 50 states, the future of our home. The Siesta Key and rowing, for which it continues to de- Crystal Classic is a master sandsculpting velop the next world-class facility. competition on Siesta Beach open to the Of course, the arts can’t be understated public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 8 to Nov. and those areas need continuing pro- 12. motion and funding. The John & Mable Kevin Cooper is the executive director of Ringling Museum of Art draws visitors, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.
GIFT OF GAB
1:44 a.m. — Siesta Key North Bridge. Driving Under the Influence. Deputies conducted a traffic stop after a man nearly swerved into oncoming traffic. During a field sobriety test, the man stopped in the middle of an exercise and told the officer he only drank two beers at the bar he just left. The man paused again during another test and told the deputy about his evening.
BIRTHDAY BLING BURGLARY
1:15 p.m. — 8900 block of Midnight Pass Road. Residential Burglary. A woman returned from a birthday party and noticed some of her jewelry was missing. She reported that someone stole $10,000 worth of rings and necklaces from her jewelry box, but deputies could not find signs of forced entry into her home.
The employee continually hung up when the owner attempted to call him. The employee also stole two pizza bags worth $100 each.
THREE TURNTABLES AND THE COUNTY CODE
9:22 p.m. — 900 block of Beach Road. Disturbance. A deputy told three men that their music was four decibels louder than allowed by a local ordinance. The three men, who are DJs, shut their music off, packed their equipment and left the beach parking lot.
Oct. 29 HE’LL SHOOT YOUR LIGHT OUT
5 p.m. — 600 block of Beach Road. Criminal Mischief. A woman told deputies she suspects two seventh-graders shot a flood light on her property with a BB gun. She said she had spotted one of the children walking in her neighborhood with a BB gun in the past.
Midnight — 4400 block of Ocean Boulevard. Petit Theft. A man reported that a $150 women’s beach cruiser had been stolen from his residence. Deputies do not have any suspects in the theft.
Oct. 28 SPECIAL DELIVERY
1:30 p.m. — 600 block of Canal Road. Criminal Mischief. A man called deputies and reported that an unknown vandal caused $50 of damage to his aluminum mailbox.
7 p.m. — 200 block of Avenida Madera. Petit Theft. The owner of a pizzeria reported that one of his delivery drivers made a $60 delivery and never returned to work.
BY THE NUMBERS Reported Incidents: Oct. 24 — Nov. 1 Incident # of times % change from reported reported previous week Suspicious person or incident 6 — Disturbance 9 28% Public Service 4 33% Alarm 6 — Illegal Parking 0 — Animal Problem 0 (100%) Abandoned 911 Call 0 — Theft 1 (50%) Battery 0 (100%) Abandoned Tow 0 — (Data retrieved from Sheriff’s Office Log of Siesta Key | Zone S07)
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Welcome back: Since you LEFT ... The lights from the Terrace Condominiums are multiplying in the evenings, and the bicycle lanes along Midnight Pass Road are becoming crowded with beach cruisers and recumbent bicycles. Yes, Hurricane Sandy and the election may have delayed the return of part-time Siesta residents, but season is just around the corner. Notice anything different? For one, residents who remained on the island probably noticed the appearance of a tan young man at association meetings, events, and perhaps in their neighbor’s backyard. That would be the news editor of the Pelican Press, Alex Mahadevan, who joined the paper in time to keep snowbirds up on Siesta news through YourObserver.com this summer. We waded through Beach Road after Tropical Storm Debby pounded the island in June, and survived the stench of hundreds of tons of algae that washed ashore after to bring you the news. But, if you happened to be traveling through the jungles of the Amazon, or other parts of the world that (gasp) lack Internet access, here is a rundown of news highlights from this summer.
May + Pelican welcomes editor
The Pelican Press welcomed Alex Mahadevan as its news editor. Mahadevan was born and raised on Siesta Key and leads the news coverage of the paper, after serving as Tampa Bay editor for the Gulf Coast Business Review. Before tackling the Tampa business beat, he completed his master’s degree in applied economics from the Florida State University, where he also completed his
+ Sarasota says bye to AirTran
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport President Fred Piccolo announced AirTran, owned by Southwest Airlines, would halt service to the airport starting Aug. 12. Piccolo also announced the airport had attracted the likes of JetBlue and Delta Airlines for service to LaGuardia International Airport, and United Airlines, which began offering flights to Chicago in November.
+ Loggerhead turtle observed
Members of Mote Marine’s turtle patrol witnessed a loggerhead turtle nesting on May 1, the first day of turtle-nesting season. Nesting numbers were high this season with a total 2,385 loggerhead nests recorded between Longboat Key and Venice.
+ Total Tennis leaves Village
After 35 year in Siesta Village, Total Tennis announced it will move to a new location on the mainland, sighting parking issues as a reason. The store has since vacated the 2,400-square-foot location and moved to a space on Bee Ridge Road. In October, Sarasota restaurateur Sean Murphy announced plans to open a third Eat Here in the former Total Tennis location. Eat Here is slated to open in January after renovations are completed and will operate from 5 until 10 p.m. on weekdays, and close at 11 p.m. on weekends.
+ 40 years of priesthood
The parish of St. Michael the Archangel celebrated Msgr. Joseph Stearns’ 40th anniversary of being a priest Sunday, May
A boater enjoys the Siesta Key sunset from the abnormally large sandbar.
+ New sandbar brings boaters and beachgoers together A sandbar emerged on the northern tip of Siesta Key Beach. Siesta residents said the sandbar had existed in the location for sometime, but it became more pronounced than it had ever been. It was estimated to be a football field’s length and width at low tide, making it an ideal place for meet-ups, by way of boat or beach. The depth of the ridge of sand connecting the sandbar to the beach barely reached 4 feet. 20. Stearns was honored during a Mass for his 40 years of serving as a priest, five of which have been at St. Michael.
+ Library design unveiled
The design plans for the new Gulf Gate Library were released May 24, for public comment. The design received a positive public reaction. Commissioners came to a consensus in support of the project
renderings June 26. Sarasota County will decide on a final design in January, with construction set to begin in February. A grand opening is scheduled for May 2014. The county has a little more than $3 million appropriated for the $10 million project and the remaining amount earmarked in the 2013 fiscal year budget.
SEE WELCOME BACK / PAGE 12A
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15 South Ristorante Banana Cabana Bjiou Cafe Blue Dolphin Cafe Blue Marlin Bridge Street Bistro Bridgetender Inn Cafe L’Europe Chart House Columbia Restaurant Crab & Fin Doggin’ It Dry Dock Waterfront Grill Eat Here Euphemia Haye Harry’s Continental Kitchens Island Time Bar & Grill Island Creperie Latitudes Beach Cafe Lazy Lobster of Longboat Lido Beach Grille Lynches Pub & Grub Longboat Key Club & Resort Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant Moore’s Stone Crab O’Shucks Porcelana Artisan Chocolate Sand Dollar Rooftop Restaurant Village Idiot Pizza Featuring Exotica Florist LO NGBOAT KEY: BP Station: 400 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Sun Trust Bank: 510 Bay Isles Rd. Ace Hardware: 4030 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Lazy Lobster: 5350 Gulf of Mexico Dr. LBK Chamber of Commerce: 5570 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Barrier Island Realty: 7000 Gulf of Mexico Dr. ST. ARMAND’S CIRCLE: Coldwell Banker; Edward Jones; Lynches Pub & Grub D OW N TOWN SARASOTA: Observer Media Group: 1970 Main St., 4th Floor ANNA M A R I A : Bridge Street Bistro: 111 Gulf Dr. South
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Rachel S. O’Hara
Monday, June 25, cars drove down a flooded Beach Road, next to the current stormwater retention pond.
+ Tropical Storm Debby causes flooding
High winds and downpours from Tropical Storm Debby pommel Siesta Key for four days starting June 25. The storm’s biggest impact is flooding, which prompted the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to close a 0.7-mile stretch of Beach Road. The tropical storm eroded nearly 30 feet of Turtle Beach, leaving 50% of sediment placed in 2008 during a $10 million nourishment project. Siesta Key public beach was spared.
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the start of nightly lane closures for construction. Bridge Lane closures ended in October, but bridge repairs are ongoing.
+ Gabbiano gets new owner
Marc Grimaud took over ownership of Café Gabbiano from Peter and Susan Migliaccio, who opened the restaurant in 2003. Although Grimaud kept the mainstays on the menu, he added his own flair with options such as “Sunset Baskets” to go.
+ Another mainstay leaves
After 15 years, Anna’s Deli shut down its Siesta Village location May 29. Owner David Havill cited parking pressures as the reason for vacating and stated that laws allowing 24-hour parking in Sarasota County led to beachgoers occupying spaces during the restaurant’s short hours. Anna’s still maintains south Siesta Key, Sarasota downtown and East County locations.
JUNE + Bridge work commences
The Florida Department of Transportation closed one lane on the Siesta Key north bridge Monday, June 11, marking
+ New pipeline approved
Sarasota County commissioners unanimously approved a coastal variance May 23 and a $1.1 million price tag June 5, to allow the construction of a new water main pipeline between Siesta Key and Casey Key. The new connection will eliminate future water disruptions, such as the one that occurred Oct. 18 that affected 2,600 Siesta residents.
+ Millage rate increases
County Administrator Randall Reid announced a 3% increase in the county preliminary budget over last year, with spending projected at $834 million in the 2013 fiscal year. The total county millage rate is set at 3.39% for 2013 compared with 3.33% in the previous fiscal year.
+ Beach Road project delayed
Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson announced at the Sarasota County Commission June 26 meeting that the expected July 7 start date of a $2.8 million Beach Road drainage-improvement project will be delayed due to blue-
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
print changes. The project is out to bid and work is on track to start in February.
+ Beach Road fix
Tropical Storm Debby worsened an already damaged portion of Beach Road. The county got a permit for and conducted an emergency fix in June; it worked on another emergency patch Oct. 3. That portion of Beach Road completely collapsed Oct. 29. County Administrator Randall Reid authorized a $250,000 emergency procurement request for another temporary fix Nov. 5.
+ Siesta tourism up, then down
The Sarasota County Tax Collector showed tourism was the strongest it’s been in more than 10 years, with a tax jump of nearly 50% from May to June. Siesta Key accounted for 38%, or $367,476 of the $1.03 million collected in tourist taxes in June. The string of record-breaking months for tourist development tax collections
ended in July, with short-term rental units on Siesta Key contributing $358,796 — 14% less than July 2011.
July + New contractor chosen
Championship Landscape Professionals was chosen as the new Village maintenance contractor July 20, with a $97, 417 contract. According to the contract, Championship must keep the Village in “resort-style” condition. Sarasota County commissioners voted to approve the deal Aug. 21. Championship Landscape took over Village upkeep duties Sept. 10.
+ Seaweed cleanup starts
During the month of July, Sarasota County removed more than 140 tons of seaweed from Siesta Key beach. The unattractive seaweed had washed up and accumulated as an after effect of Tropical Storm Debby.
The task of removing the seaweed was accomplished while bending to the needs of endangered sea turtles and snowy plovers, avoiding days with heavy beach traffic and squeezing an already strained budget.
August + Plover babies spotted
Two plover chicks were spotted Aug. 7, in the sand dunes near Beach Access 8. Volunteers from the Sarasota Audubon Society and Siesta Key Association roped off nesting areas and placed warning signs in strategic locations to prevent startled plover mothers from abandoning nests.
+ Turtle hatchlings on Siesta
Despite Tropical Storm Debby’s devastating blow, Siesta Key experienced a record-setting sea-turtle nesting season and, as of Saturday, Aug. 4, 322 nests were recorded on Siesta Key.
+ Issac causes false alarm
Tropical Storm Isaac whirled past the tip of Florida into the Gulf of Mexico Aug. 28 and took an unexpected left turn, leaving Siesta Key and Sarasota largely unaffected with the exception of a storm surge that, once again, put parts of Beach Road under water.
September + Crystal Classic gets buses
Siesta Key Village Association members, during a Sept. 4 meeting, learned that 10 buses would be trucking people to the island from the mainland during the popular five-day event. A new bus route allows an additional stop in the Village and streamlines vehicle activity. The Crystal Classic kicks off Thursday, Nov. 8.
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+ Chamber gets new website
The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s announced its website will be getting a facelift to increase user-friendliness. It hopes to debut a beta version of the site by the end of the year.
+ Bronze cranes stolen
Twin bronze crane statues were stolen from Siesta resident Ron Flynn’s yard between Sept. 4 and Sept. 5. The bronze birds landed in three different scrap yards in Manatee County, before Det. Tony Colonna arrested Jason McMahon, a pool cleaner, Sept. 21, in connection with two lawn-ornament thefts. Deputies say McMahon stole $8,500 worth of bird statues from at least three homes on Siesta Key and Prestancia.
+ Crosswalk construction begins
FDOT started construction of six crosswalks on a 1.23-mile stretch of Midnight Pass Road Sept. 24. Federal funding will pay for the total cost of the road improvement, which engineers estimated to cost about $155,000. As of the last week in October, crosswalk construction had hit the halfway mark.
+ Ocean Club gets approval
Alex Gutierrez, a Siesta Key property owner and 23-year resident, applied for a certificate of occupancy July 20, for an Internet café in the Village. Ocean Club is similar to 777 Internet cafés around Sarasota County, in which customers can pay for Internet time to check email, surf the web, receive faxes — and play casinostyle Internet games. Currently, all of the machines are in place and there is talk of a soft opening this weekend.
County Commission to apply for $5.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for Turtle Beach sand restoration. The quick pace of erosion moved the estimated timeline for the second phase of the Turtle Beach Restoration Project to 2014 from 2015. The county estimates the project will take six months and be complete in March 2015. State grants and monies from tourist development taxes are expected to cover the renourishment costs.
OCTOBER + Red tide hits the county
Water samples analyzed the week of Oct. 11 showed a red tide bloom moved into Sarasota County. Medium to high levels of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes Florida’s red tide, were discovered off southern Sarasota County, as far north as Casey Key, while low levels were detected further north in the county. No red tide was detected off the waters of Siesta Key, because currents in the Gulf of Mexico and wind directions kept the bacteria at bay and the beaches open.
+ Board abolishes district
Multiple lawsuits initiated by Siesta Key business owner Chris Brown forced county commissioners to make changes to the district. County commissioners voted 4-1 Oct. 10, to abolish the Siesta Key Parking Public Improvement District. The move will save Village property owners $344,000 in taxes over the next seven years. The remaining funds, which are used to pay down debt from part if the construction of the municipal parking lot in the Village, will now come from the county’s general fund.
+ Turtle Beach renourishment + New development unveiled Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid received approval Sept. 11 from the
Taylor Morrison Inc. announced plans for a new 77-acre development near the
Sarasota County code enforcement officer John Lally holds a sound-measurement device next to comrade Kevin Burns, who started working weekend hours last month.
+ Code enforcement officer position added
Siesta Key welcomed Kevin Burns, a former military intelligence agent, as the newest code-enforcement officer. Earlier in the year, county commissioners voted to expand the 2013 fiscal year budget for overtime code enforcement during weekends. The push for the expanding enforcement came partly due to Siesta residents’ complaints about noise levels in the Village, which are most prominent during weekends and holidays.
intersection of U.S. 41 and Clark Road, with model homes expected early next year for the proposed Esplanade. The long-term vision for the property encompasses 247 home sites, surrounded by more than seven ponds, wetland preserves and pedestrian trails.
Plans for signs at other accesses could be in the works.
+ Food truck denied permit
During the first public hearing Oct. 23 to consider private use of a county-owned right of way in the Siesta Key Overlay District, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously to deny a permit for Gumbo Mojo Food Truck to operate in the Village. The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, Siesta Key Association and the Siesta Key Village Association came together in opposition of the food truck location. Code enforcement barred a shave ice truck from operating in the Village soon after.
+ Beach access parking
Sarasota County decided to install signs at each of Siesta Key’s beach accesses notifying people that if they aren’t heading to the beach, they’ll have to find another place to park or face enforcement. At the end of October, county parks and recreation staff had posted parking regulation notifications at Beach Access 5.
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1 mile north of Siesta Key Village off Ocean Blvd. 349-1166
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7:49 p.m. â€” corner of Gleason Avenue and Reid Street. Driving Under the Influence. An officer pulled over a man driving on Ocean Boulevard without a seatbelt. When the officer approached the car, he noticed the man was eating a grilled steak with his hands and smoking a cigarette at the same time. The man was asked three times to put down the steak and cigarette and exit the vehicle, however, he kept trying to bring his cigarette. He was arrested for driving under the influence and driving without a valid license.
3 p.m. â€” 900 block of Beach Road. Suspicious Incident. A Polish woman was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and an unknown man with a scorpion tattoo on his hand approached her and started a conversation. The woman, who speaks little English, became uncomfortable with the dialogue. Then, a large wave struck the man, pulling down his swimsuit. Of-
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Corner been about a woman who slept with one of the men, then began flirting with the other.
ficers could not find the man.
June 22 TRUNKS SHOW
July 29 NOT HOUSE BROKEN 4:35 p.m. â€” 4000 block of Shell Road. Dog on County Beach. Shortly after demanding an off-duty police officer vacate a section of beach, a man began walking his dog down to the water. When deputies arrived, they noted the man seemed extremely intoxicated and refused to cooperate. When an officer told the man dogs were not allowed on the county beach, the man stated that he wasnâ€™t violating the law, despite that he was standing next to a dog and holding its leash. While in the patrol car, the man told officers he would get even with them, and upon reaching county jail, he urinated in the holding area.
Aug. 17 LOVE SPAT 11:59 p.m. â€” 500 block of Canal Street. Battery. A woman reported that her neighbor had assaulted his roommate during a drunken brawl. When police contacted the two men, they said the altercation might have
Sept. 23 CLOTHING MAKES THE MAN 3:45 a.m. â€” 100 block of Avenida Veneccia. Prowler. A woman reported that a nude man was trying to open doors and windows to her home, while repeatedly asking for his clothes. After 15 minutes, the man left, and deputies arrived with a K9 unit. Officers didnâ€™t find the man, but discovered that a neighborâ€™s porch screen was damaged and found clothes and a wallet in the backyard.
Oct. 12 MATCH POINT 10:13 p.m. â€” Intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Higel Avenue. Driving Under the Influence. A deputy pulled over a woman who was driving erratically and tailgating a taxi. The officer could smell alcohol on the womanâ€™s breath and asked her to step out of the vehicle to confirm. The woman said she could not perform the field sobriety test because she is a tennis player.
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