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THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019

Report on April fatal crash blames driver, cyclist equally

With an accent on safety, Longboat ups tree bounty

New York man was killed in crash with parked truck on GMD in April. ERIC GARWOOD MANAGING EDITOR

Eric Garwood

Many Australian pines were planted in the early 1900s as ornamentals.

Reimbursement program is adjusted to account for prices of tree removal. ERIC GARWOOD MANAGING EDITOR

Town officials are intensifying their fight against a tall, slim, silent interloper with ties to the Land Down Under, seen lurking for decades around some of the town’s most important infrastructure. No, Longboat Key isn’t looking to run Crocodile Dundee out of these these parts. Australian pines, an invasive tree species with notoriously shallow roots and a propensity for toppling in heavy winds, remain as much of a concern for town officials now as they have has since the days immediately after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Since December 2017, when town officials reinstated a program through which property owners could be reimbursed for removal of the pesky trees, there have been few takers. Originally, a maximum incentive of $1,500 was available for owners of trees posing a threat. Eleven people took the town up on its offer to remove 18 trees. On average, the town has found, tree services charge between $1,700 and $2,000 for the towering trees. So, earlier this month, the town approved raising reimbursements to as much as $1,800. Also changing, each applicant can now seek reimbursement for five trees instead of three. Town officials have to review the applications to confirm the threat level of each tree before allowing the reimbursement to take place.

An investigative report following a fatal collision between a bicycle and a parked truck last month said the rider who died and the truck’s driver share responsibility  in the incident on Gulf of Mexico Drive. Cyclist Ridgely Harrison III, 67, of Tupper Lake, N.Y., was killed in the April 22 crash.  Investigators from Sarasota Police examined the scene of the crash, spoke to witnesses and consulted GPS data and other evidence in coming to their findings. The report says Harrison was northbound in the bike lane in the 5800 block and crashed into the back of the truck. Truck driver Steven J. Cline of Port Charlotte was cited for parking a vehicle in a bicycle lane. Harrison “failed to operate (his bicycle) in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for traffic and all other attendant circumstances which ultimately caused injuries that took his life.” According to the report, Cline — a driver for O’Green Concrete Pumping of Naples — arrived in the 5800 block of Gulf of Mexico


Eric Garwood

The crash took place in the 5800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on April 22.

Drive for a job and parked with the truck’s right wheels in the grass and the left wheels touching the white line marking the edge of the northbound driving lane at around 10:35 a.m. After switching on the emergency flashers of his concrete pumping truck, he walked up the driveway to consult with a contractor at the work site. He told investigators he was away from his truck for about 5-7 minutes and returned to find a Longboat Key Police officer on the scene and the victim on the ground behind the truck. Investigators reported Harrison was likely traveling between 20-25 mph and was riding with so-called aero bars on his bicycle, which allow riders to lean forward with forearm rests in addition to handgrips.


Award-Winning Romanza Interior Design Helps Buyers Bring the Indoors Out

The Mandeville’s expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking, panoramic views of the Sarasota bay and create a seamless transition into its outdoor spaces designed by Romanza Interior Design. The estate is currently open for viewing and located in Spice Bay in Siesta Key. the historic neighborhood of South Poinsettia. The home inspires intrigue with its unassuming coastal contemporary architecture that seamlessly melds into the intimate 1920s-era bungalows and eclectic mix of architectural styles nearby. The Camberdale optimizes grand-scale entertainment and gathering areas with its open great room floor plan, large outdoor spaces and a custom pool and spa. Enhancing the indoor-outdoor connection are walls of sliding glass in the great room, dining room, study and in the master shower leading out to a private shower garden. For homeowners desiring to take the entertaining outdoors without breaking to check on roasting dishes indoors, the Camberdale’s outdoor kitchen and alfresco dining area is ideal, equipped with an under-counter refrigerator, grill and sink. The model also features a second-floor terrace and a large living area with a fire table and dual televisions. The Camberdale is currently open for viewing, and is priced at $3,150,000. No detail has been overlooked in these model homes, and Romanza takes the same approach when working with individual homeowners to create personalized interior design plans and outdoor spaces. Romanza Interior Design can help you transform your outdoor space today to reflect the beauty and style found within your home.

The Camberdale’s master suite design by Melissa Allen of Romanza features a bright and airy ambience with jewel tones, neutral textures and double French doors that allow you to wake up just footsteps from the spa and pool.

Romanza Interior Design can help create the alfresco area of your dreams, whether it’s incorporating elements like high-end furnishings, entertaining areas or outdoor dining spaces.

For more information, call 239-596-1613 or visit


reating stunning spaces that highlight new trends in color, fabrics and finishes, Romanza Interior Design elevates home styling to an art form. But one of the most desired trends our designers have helped recent buyers bring to life is a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces. After all, maximizing your time spent with family outdoors, and making memories while enjoying Sarasota’s breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, is why you moved to paradise in the first place. “This year, it’s really been about finding ways to bring the inside out,” said senior interior designer, Melissa Allen with Romanza Interior Design. “Homeowners desire the same comfort and luxury they’ve become accustomed to indoors, and are recreating outdoor living spaces to reflect the warm and inviting spaces that are central to how they live.” Stepping outdoors, Romanza works with homeowners to create seemless transitions from the living rooms to the alfresco gathering spaces by utilizing contemporary outdoor designs that provide craftmanship and functionality, such as high-end, resortstyle furniture for lounging or dining. “We’re seeing everything from boldly shaped pieces to softer more organic curves and forms with light fabrics accented with pops of color in the outdoor furnishings,” added Allen. Whether accommodating larger groups for gracious gatherings or creating a more intimate setting for lingering conversations, it’s important to also consider how indoor spaces flow outwards. Blurring the indoor-outdoor boundaries while also adding beauty and breeze, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and pocket wallto-wall sliding doors allow spaces such as a family room to open up to an outdoor kitchen or sectional seating. For London Bay Homes’ recently sold Mandeville estate in Spice Bay on Siesta Key, Romanza designer Melissa Allen opted for a transitional interior design with a contemporary blend of classic and modern style that complements panoramic views of Sarasota Bay from bedrooms and other spaces within the 5,010-square-foot model. Bringing the indoors out, the estate features multiple outdoor living spaces that embody the same blend of classic and modern style found indoors. The covered terrace and sun terrace, for instance, feature soothing palettes of gray and pastels mixed with bright pops of red, and is the ideal space to catch up on reading while overlooking the bay. The Mandeville estate recently sold but is open for viewing through this fall. Romanza design professionals also embraced sophisticated style for London Bay Homes’ showcase estate, The Camberdale, in

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Longboat Observer 5.16.19  

Longboat Observer 5.16.19