|

Editorial Letters – Week ending June 14, 2019

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Ringling back in center plan?

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

Several people have told me Ringling is back on track with the arts, culture and education center project on LBK. Am I missing something? I know you, Larry, or Jim would have contacted me if that was the case. I haven’t been keeping up with all the newspapers because I am busy working on my brochure but I haven’t seen anything. Just checking. Hope all is well.

Susan Goldfarb

Executive Director

The Longboat Key Education Center

 

Ringling news

To: Longboat Key Education Center Executive Director Susan Goldfarb

I have not heard it, but that would be great news. We have the long range planning for the Town Center back on our agenda for next Monday, so anything is possible. I will let you know.

Ken Schneier

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Ringling news

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

I am thinking people simply misread headlines from last week. It is amazing to me what the public thinks they have heard or read that is mostly incorrect. I am tied up for June as you know but I really think we could come up with a long-range plan that goes back to the idea of a community center. Jim knows all about it. We could make it happen.

Susan Goldfarb

Executive Director

The Longboat Key Education Center

 

Planned Longboat Key Street Lights

To: Save the Longbeach Village

You can see the latest Undergrounding presentation and planned street lights at this web site. (https://www.longboatkey.org/docview.aspx?doctype=fd&docid=47618 ) Neighborhood street light poles are planned to be 25 feet though the street lights could be hung at a lower height. One-hundred percent of us Village folks voted last year for 15-foot decorative street lights as might be found in a planned development. But the town, and the town’s consultant, are claiming that 25-foot poles are needed to get improved cell phone service – if the cell phone companies ever elect to use these planned poles to mount cell phone antennas on them. Please see email exchange that we have had with Isaac Brownman at Longboat Public Works. Could you please advise what action you think should be taken? Thanks.

Pete & Carla Rowan

Save the Longbeach Village

Longboat Key

 

1. Email to Isaac Brownman at Public Works

Hi Isaac. Thanks for getting the pole height back down to 25’ for the neighborhoods, and having them sort of decorative, too.

It looks like the Village needs 5 poles to be 25 feet to get adequate RF. (Waterleaf charts were very blurry online so it might be 6). Yet the village will have 25 new poles (1 for 1 replacement). What I can’t understand is why all 25 poles need to be 25 feet. Wouldn’t it be better if the 5 poles were 25 feet (with lights hung at 15 feet) and then the other 20 poles were at 15 feet? This would give the residents what they want, save significant money on pole cost, and still meet all the RF requirements. What am I missing?

Pete Rowan

Longboat Key

 

2. Two Responses from Isaac

To: Pete Rowan

Good question, we will discuss with Waterleaf. I think one of the primary issues is the lower poles will not be ready for future 5G at that height. We will need the extra poles when 5G rolls out and also the minimum height, but we can confirm.

Thank you, Isaac

Just as a quick follow up, we confirmed with Waterleaf. The densification of poles will really be around the market propagation of 5G. The 25-foot poles will allow us to be more prepare for that roll out.

Isaac Brownman

Director Planning and Zoning Department

Longboat Key

 

3. My reply back to Isaac

To: Planning and Zoning Director Isaac Brownman

Thanks for the response. I could understand that for a neighborhood like Sleepy Lagoon where they have long distances between street light poles and lots of canals that spread houses out over a larger area. But the Longbeach Village has lots of street light poles (25) resulting in virtually all homes being within a maximum of 250 feet from the nearest street light pole. Most homes will be much closer. As we move forward could you ask Waterleaf about this again? All neighborhoods are not equal. Thanks. And thanks for your hard work on the many projects you currently have going on there.

Pete Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Support for more pickleball courts

To: Town Commission

Please add our firm support for more pickleball courts on Longboat Key as soon as possible.

As property owners of 40+ years and now part-year residents, we were thrilled when a dedicated court was built at Bayfront Park. And through the single-handed efforts of USAPA ambassador Sara Cullen, two more temporary courts were added last year, along with two dedicated open play sessions per week.

This year I was at our condo through the last week in April. I went to open play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and even in my last days playing there, we had all three courts full and people waiting to play. In 85-degree heat. At 10 a.m. A game takes 10-15 minutes to play, then you rotate out and wait your turn again. In ‘high season’ those wait times to play on the three courts during open play exceeded 1/2 hour, because there were so many people wanting to play (I counted more than 40 one day).

We’ve made so many new friends from all over the country – and outside of the US as well – who want to play pickleball while visiting LBK. Many of the people we play with are at least part-time Florida residents. I know several who have recently bought property on the island and will be full-time residents. They want to play year-round nearby, and not have to drive off island in search of courts. Many of our fellow picklers, like me, have artificial joints, yet we can still be competitive on the court. It’s great exercise, it’s social, and it contributes to the local economy when  people on the island buy clothing, equipment, and refreshments at local shops, and meet for lunch or a post-game cocktail at one of Longboat’s many fine establishments.

I understand there will be a proposal in the upcoming 6/17 workshop meeting from Friends of Tennis to keep pickleball entirely at Bayfront Park, and move the two hard surface tennis courts from there to the Tennis Center. This proposal makes sense, if Bayfront’s current tennis courts, basketball court and/or shuffleboard court are converted to dedicated pickleball courts, an easy conversion as they are already built, surfaced and mostly fenced. Bayfront Park has extensive open land. The basketball court (which rarely has more than one or two players at a time) could be moved to an area near the playground. Many of those families using the basketball court have small children along – it would be a perfect place for dads to play hoops while keeping an eye on younger kids swinging and sliding.

The plans already studied and the work begun on pickleball courts at the Tennis Center make sense as well. A reservation system, fees for the maintenance and upkeep of courts, lighting for night play, access to the Pro shop, are some of the excellent reasons for putting the courts at the Tennis Center. However, if pickleball continues to grow as it has recently, those four new courts will quickly be overrun and we will be back to petitioning for more courts. Four is not enough, even now. Perhaps a two-pronged approach is needed, with new courts at the Tennis Center this year as currently planned, and conversion of hard surface courts at Bayfront into more pickleball courts in the near future.

Regardless of where they are located, more courts are needed now. The proposal and study for more courts has been in the works for at least two years. People will move on to other communities if the amenities they desire are not available. Many are active seniors who may feel they don’t have endless years to wait for more courts, and have enough money to go to any community they’d like. Longboat is already way behind most other Florida Gulf Coast Communities, such as St. Petersburg, Punta Gorda, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples, in the pickleball arena. Please continue your good work developing and opening more pickleball courts on Longboat Key to meet the current and growing demand.

Barbara Harkins

Jeffrey Harkins

Longboat Key

 

Longboat and Sarasota joint meeting

To: Town Commission

Due to audio system limitations at the Temple, we will only have 9 wireless microphones available at the dais for you to share with your neighbors at the Joint Meeting with City of Sarasota at 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. held at Temple Beth Israel, Social Hall, 567 Bay Isles Road.

Please keep these points in mind:

Wireless mics are designed to be held 6-8 inches from the speaker’s mouth. Please hold the wireless mics close to your mouth when you speak.

The mics will remain on during the entire meeting.  When moving mics/mic stands, please place the mics and mic stands softly to avoid background noise.

The audio and video recording systems can only pickup comments through the wireless mics (If you do not speak into the mic, your comments will not be heard or recorded). Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

Daniel Shtuka

Systems Administrator

Town of Longboat Key

 

More pickleball courts

To: Town Commission

I am a LBK condominium owner and tennis player impacted by injuries from years of play, which has caused me to dramatically reduce my tennis playing. However, in the last year or so I discovered pickleball, which is a terrific substitute for tennis and, it is easier on the body. Pickleball is great fun and the open play format allows players to meet and compete against other players by just showing up to play, without having to arrange a game. These factors have resulted in a big turnout of pickleball payers at Bayfront Park during the season (perhaps 30 or more players are showing up on open play days). Unfortunately, there is a shortage of pickleball courts and the wait time to play is long.

To address the shortage of courts, four new pickleball courts have been proposed to be built at the LBK Tennis Center. I whole heartily support adding more courts to meet the growing demand. However, recently I learned that there is an alternative proposal to the construction of courts at the LBK Tennis Center and that is to add 6 to 8 additional pickleball courts at Bayside Park, replacing the two tennis courts. The idea of consolidating the pickleball courts in one location is very attractive, especially if the two hard surface tennis courts could be moved to the LBK Tennis Center so that free tennis is still available. Regardless of the location on LBK, more pickleball courts are needed to meet the rapidly growing demand. Please help us get for more pickleball courts!

Matt Carpenter

Longboat Key

 

Additional pickle ball courts needed

To: Town Commission

I am in support of Sara Cullen’s recent letter and communications to you about additional Pickleball (“PB”) courts and increased availability of PB within the community of Long Boat Key.

I spend time in LBK during the months of February and March each year and very much support the proposal of adding more pickle ball courts. I try to play most Tuesdays and Thursday mornings during the open play times at Bayfront Park. It is a fun way to get some great and healthy exercise plus engage in social activities with many of the other seasonal visitors. I sure hope additional pickle ball courts can be made available to all residents and seasonal visitors to the LBK community.

Bob Voss

Elgin, Illinois

 

More pickle ball courts

To: Town Commission

As a former tennis player who has taken up pickleball, I am acutely aware of the need for additional pickleball courts on LBK.  My preference would be additional courts at Bayfront Park, but, if that’s not possible,  then the courts should be installed at the Tennis Center.  in any event, I appreciate your consideration.

Thanks,

Sam Rothbart

 

Pickle ball Ambassador

To: Town Commission

I am the USAPA Pickleball Ambassador for LBK. I have been working on the proposed 4-pickleball courts at the Tennis Center for two years. I have recently been made aware of a new proposal being brought forward by Fanny Younger who is a member of the “Friends of Tennis”. She and I had a nice phone conversation several days ago. As you know she is suggesting that two hard surface public courts (w/o fee) be added to the Tennis Center and that the two tennis courts at Bayfront Park be reconfigured as 6-8 pickleball courts.

While the pickleball community has not given up on the plans for the four new courts at the Tennis Center we can also see there are many benefits for Ms. Younger’s proposal. Her proposal has a lot of merit for both sports, and is thoughtfully conceived. These are the benefits that I see from her proposal:

Putting the pickleball courts at Bayfront Park would eliminate any of the noise concerns associated with pickleball.

Keeping the pickleball courts in one location would allow for more: round robins, evening play with lights, skill division play, events, social opportunities, lessons, ladders and leagues. The “single location concept” would in my opinion result in a higher facility utilization and also increase participation.

The cost to convert the hard surface tennis courts to pickleball would be minimal and will provide a considerable savings over building four new pickleball courts.

Sharing tennis courts with pickleball players is getting more difficult for both sports as the pickleball players numbers grow and grow. If each sport had their own designated courts then both tennis and pickleball players can have Open Play MWF. No more unhappy disputes about what is the fair division of reasonable court times and how to use the backboard.

If the current activities building at Bayfront were remodeled as is currently being discussed to better suit the needs of the community, it could possibly include a pickleball pro shop with a court reservation system.

I offer for your consideration the following facts about the sport of pickleball:

In the years since Bayfront Park was designed (over ten years ago) pickleball has exploded all across the United States and the world. Today virtually every new 55+ community, and every public park that is being remodeled or redefined includes pickleball courts. Also of importance is the number of courts they are building in communities. They are building 24+ court facilities to meet the rising demand for courts. I have attached links below to substantiate these facts. Golf used to be a sure sighted amenity for new developments but in todays world there are a lot of golf courses and golf communities that are having financial difficulties. Golf requires too much land, is environmentally difficult to maintain because of water requirements and the cost to maintain the courses is becoming prohibitive. Builders have discovered that pickleball is the feature to build. It is cost effective, in huge demand and requires less space and upkeep. They can keep their costs down and attract buyers much more easily then with golf or tennis.

Pickleball is a sport that all ages and skill levels can play. Pickleball can be a very competitive sport with a great deal of athletic skill involved BUT it can also be a social sport that is enjoyed by players with age or physical limitations. It is also a wheelchair sport. It is a family sport that you can play with your grandchildren or that your college age kids can play aggressively in a heated contest. It does not require a high degree of lessons and practice to enjoy. It is easy to learn, and virtually everyone can play and enjoy the game right from its introduction.

Pickleball has been shown to increase real estate property values because more and more retirees are playing the sport and they are looking for destinations and communities where they can play. Punta Gorda has just completed 16 courts with plans to add 6 more next year, and Naples Florida where they have 54 courts has every intention of adding more courts. Indian Wells California hosted the USAPA Nationals at the Tennis Gardens in November 2018 where they converted 48 tennis courts to pickle ball to host 2,400 players from around the world. Condominium associations are converting unused tennis courts to pickleball and new associations are being built with pickleball as an important feature to attract sales.

Pickleball is not a passing fad. As the American population ages there are more and more pickleball players. Seniors are interested in maintaining their fitness levels and pickleball not only helps with keeping them physically fit but it also helps with keeping them socially engaged and involved. Pickleball builds friendships; it helps seniors stay active and involved in life. We are also seeing that it is being taught in middle and high schools. College students are now playing and competing in the sport and while it used to be considered a “seniors game” that is not true any longer.

I respectfully offer that in my opinion, LBK will be behind every other Florida community if it does not begin to make pickle ball an important part of its public facility planning. It is proving to be the fastest growing sport worldwide with over 3 million players this past year in the United States alone. I sincerely hope that LBK responds to the requests of the growing population of pickleball players on the island. The current limitations of available courts on LBK is causing a great deal of discontent and hardship. It is time for the courts to be built.

Sara Cullen

USAPA Pickleball Ambassador LBK

 

Thanks for listening

To: Town Commission

We have been coming down to Longboat Key during the winter months for the past six years. We love our time spent on the island, and consider it to be our own little bit of paradise! We had been asking for the past few years if Longboat Key had Pickleball courts, and where we might play? We were delighted this past winter to learn that Bayfront Park now has a Pickleball court! It was a pleasure to play Pickleball in such a beautiful setting overlooking Sarasota Bay, and even better to have the opportunity to meet so many other Pickleball players from all over the country.

We are grateful to Sara Cullen for organizing the round robins and social events for the growing number of Pickleball players. We have been following her emails regarding adding additional Pickleball courts on LBK for the growing number of Pickleball enthusiasts. As you are probably learning, Pickleball is indeed the fastest growing sport in America!

The attached letter written by Sara to you LBK Commissioners does an excellent job of presenting the case for converting the existing tennis courts at Bayfront Park into additional Pickleball courts, and then adding two free tennis courts up by the Tennis Center. This makes eminent sense, and we endorse Sara’s proposal wholeheartedly!

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the impact Pickleball is having in communities across our country, and for considering this proposal.

Nancy Hecker

Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pickle ball courts needed

To: Town Commission

I am a snow bird who stays in Longboat each winter. I have been following the news about new courts. I can understand the argument about leaving Bay Front as is. I do, however, want to urge you all to add more courts wherever feasible. Pickle ball has made my life so much more enjoyable and having it so close by is wonderful for me. I don’t know how many years of play I have left in me, but I do so hope you add courts so that we can enjoy Paradise just a bit more.

Harold Kasselman

Longboat Key

 

Pickle ball courts needed

To: Harold Kasselman

The Commission is committed to adding where feasible Pickle Ball Courts. We are looking at several options in order to achieve the expansion of incremental Pickle Ball Courts in the near future.

Irwin Pastor

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Fruitvill Road Diet

To: Town Commission

We would like to thank you for your invaluable support in defeating the Fruitville Road Diet that was presented to the Sarasota City Commission on April 15.

Regarding your June 13 meeting with the Sarasota City Commission, we would like to make a few points.

First, the Fruitville Road Diet had two options. Option 2 was undoubtedly worse…….eliminating the bike lane for 100 percent of the length, and two-laning for 44 percent of the length. But, Option 1, simply eliminating the bike lane for 100% of the length, would have been bad for all through traffic and emergency evacuation traffic too.   Indeed, like Option 2, Option 1 was expressly designed to create congestion and slow traffic.

Eliminating the bike lane would have diminished the turning radii for motor vehicle right turns off of Fruitville Road and right turns onto it.   Thus, turns would be slowed for all motor vehicles but particularly for buses and trucks, thus slowing all traffic.

The bike lane also serves as a de facto pulloff lane for buses, which allows following motorists more opportunities to pass stopped buses.   Eliminating the bike lane means that the entire right lane will be stopped while the bus stops.

In all times, but particularly emergency evacuation, the bike lane performs a valuable role as the breakdown lane for disabled vehicles. The bike lane is 4’ wide. The gutter is 1.5’    Combined, this provides 5.5’ of space. 5.5’ happens to be the width of a standard car, thus allowing disabled vehicles to get out of the way and allow traffic in all lanes to continue through travel.

Finally, the bike lane also serves to speed up car traffic by removing bicyclists from the travel lane, thus allowing motor vehicles to proceed at higher speeds.

For all these reasons and more, we urge you to realize that Longboat Key would not have been served well by Option 1.  So, if Fruitville Road should come up in the June 13 conversation, we urge you not to express any support for that option either.

Second, the Longboat Key Town Commission should realize that it is not clear whether or not the City of Sarasota has formally withdrawn its application for INFRA fund for the Fruitville Road Diet.   At this time, despite repeated efforts, we have not received any definitive information about the status of the application.    If it has not been withdrawn, there is a chance that USDOT could announce that the grant has been approved and then Sarasota City staff may attempt to introduce the proposal to the City Commission again.

Third, the Longboat Key Town Commission should also be aware that the Fruitville Road Diet may still be considered “live” by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).    According to their leader, Dave Hutchinson, the decision by the City Commission does not mean that the project was removed from the MPO’s Priority list.

Fourth, relevant to regional transportation, please be advised that the City of Sarasota is considering other “road diets”.  Apparently, their staff have “road diet fever”.  City staff recently presented, to the County Bike/Ped committee, a proposal for a road diet on Siesta Drive, from U.S. 41 to School Avenue. Also, although we have not seen a formal proposal, there is discussion of a possible road diet on Ringling Boulevard downtown.

Thank you for your consideration.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Mike Lasche

Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates

Sarasota

 

More pickle ball courts needed

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Please consider reconfiguring the two tennis courts at Bayfront Park into 6-8 pickleball courts and adding two public tennis courts at the Tennis Center with no fee.

My husband and I are residents of Florida. We own a place in Long Boat Key where we permanently reside. We play both tennis and pickle ball weekly at Bay Front park.

Please support the proposal to put all the pickleball courts at Bayfront Park. In addition, add two hard surface public tennis courts (w/o fee) to the Tennis Center. This proposal has many plus factors along with being the most cost-efficient proposal.

Patti Kielpinski

Longboat Key

 

More pickle ball courts needed

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Thank you, Commissioner Daly, for sharing this suggestion with me for Sarasota in Motion. I appreciate your documenting this idea and will make sure it is recorded for consideration as we move into the next phase of the plan.

Colleen McGue

Chief Transportation Planner Planning Department

City of Sarasota

 

Sarasota in motion

To: Chief Transportation Planner Colleen McGue

I just recently became aware, unfortunately after the fact,  of the first public meeting focusing on a City- wide transportation master plan , as reported in today’s herald tribune by Carrie Seidman. I especially commend the initial “envisioning process” to evaluate and listen to inputs to address the obviously  increasing transportation challenges of the future for the City and its affected neighbors, including Longboat Key. As you well know, there are many transportation issues being addressed in our region through the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, including the Barrier Island Traffic Study(BITS), but it’s equally  important to fine tune the focus on City-wide issues which is where the rubber hits the road. –Turning to a suggestion that I would have noted at the meeting on a post-it( probably not a drawing with my non-artistic skills), I urge that serious consideration be given for a gondola  cable car system, eg;  from the Marina Jack area to St Armand’s (and perhaps  Lido Key).  It would be an exciting tourist attraction, while reducing automobile traffic and enhancing people  mobility, thus achieving important dual transportation  objectives. A public/ private partnership could be considered for funding. A Gondola will be included in the BITS recommendations , but may not gather much traction without the enthusiastic support of the City. —Colleen, this suggestion is mine personally as a resident, and not on behalf of the town of Longboat Key or my Commission. I would appreciate being kept advised of future Sarasota in Motion activities and would look forward to contributing to the Master Plan.

Jack Daly

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Sarasota may lose Orchestra

To: Editor

I have been moved to comment on the question of the location of a new home for the Sarasota Manatee Orchestra by a letter written by Karen Webner to the editor of the Sarasota City News. Karen Webner is a person I have never met,  it was without doubt the most well constructed and thought out letter of this nature that I have ever read.

My wife and I visited Sarasota for the first time in 1977. We had been to a meeting in Sanibel, Florida. It was at that time we first thought of buying a place in Florida. We spent several days with a realtor looking all over the Naples area. Sanibel was a great place to visit, but it lacked something, we couldn’t clearly describe at the time. On our way back to Chicago we stayed a few nights with a friend who lived on Longboat Key. That is when we realized what was missing in Sanibel was a Sarasota. Before we returned to Chicago we bought a Condo on Longboat Key and the City of Sarasota was the deciding factor for this purchase. We have lived in Sarasota for the last four years.

There is no question Sarasota in 1977 has dramatically changed over the years. We no longer have an airport that we can walk out onto the field to greet our arriving guests. All of the East-West roads in Sarasota where then two lane roads. Try to imagine two lane University Park,  Fruitville Road or Bee Ridge Roads. Today. We lost our main street department store, Maas Brothers, and added a lot of high-rise buildings.  But it still is the best small town city in the world. A City adopted by many very special people like the Palmers, the Ringling Circus and many others that loved the arts and devoted their life’s to make it the Cultural Capital of Florida. We had Major League Baseball spring training teams, the gulf of Mexico, deep sea fishing, beautiful beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, the Opera, Ballet, Live theater, a Symphony orchestra, the Ringling Art Museum, St. Armands Circle and an easily available downtown main street with boutique shops to mention a few, all within easy reach of those that lived here. And with all of these amenities came the tourist and winter residents.

If you had to pick one standout it would have to be the Sarasota/Manatee Orchestra. This Orchestra under the direction of Paul Wolf grew into a Symphonic Orchestra that a City of any size would be proud to have their name attached. My wife and I have been attending the Alan Friedman memorial piano concert for over twenty-five years. Through our association with Beatrice Friedman we have met many of the people who have contributed to the growth of this Orchestra. They are without exception a wonderful group who has for the most part donated their life and fortune to its success. Having out grown its home they have been planning on building a new facility in Sarasota. After an extensive search the orchestra found a perfect site, but have been denied the use of land they deem most suitable.

That said their ongoing search for land might take them out of Sarasota. Lakewood Ranch has been suggested. I suspect if they offered themselves to any City in Florida they would be swamped with offers of land and money to relocate. I can’t imagine how devastating the loss of this Orchestra would be to Sarasota. So I ask those in charge of this decision to reconsider. It is a fact that our Orchestra is one of the most valuable assets our community has and the loss of this asset would be devastating to our city and county.  Its loss will change the character of our city and have a negative impact on our cities budget and the prosperity of all those that profit from it being in Sarasota. The priority of our commissioners should be keeping the Sarasota Manatee Orchestra in Sarasota no matter what the cost.

Do the math. Multiply the number of people who will benefit times the space being used then add the income or cost benefit of the use. My son is a tennis nut. He never has a problem finding a place to play. It is an outdoor sport so he doesn’t play in the rain or on extremely windy days and usually only in the morning when it’s hot and humid out.

Don Hase

Sarasota

 

Deadly health danger to children

To: Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

I’m telephone message with this email to inform you that the children are coming on school buses and wading in the water at Ken Thompson Park. There is no shower for them to rinse the salt water off which may lead to flesh-eating viruses Etc. I have been three years trying to get a shower put out here for these children in a couple of days I will contact the media. Please install the shower ASAP

David Christner

Sarasota

 

Gotcha shuttle

To: Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

I’ve noticed that the Gotcha shuttles in town all seem to have South Carolina license plates. Wouldn’t a transportation-related business operating in Florida be required to have local plates?  I figured you would be the person to ask.

Turner Moore

Sarasota

 

Gotcha shuttle

To: Turner Moore

Thanks for reaching out to me with this, but I can only take a guess that Gotcha is a national company and Virginia is their home base and there are no requirements for in state license plates for businesses. This is a guess but I copied Mark Lyons our Parking Director so he can respond as well.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Lido Pavilion

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

I received a call from John Lambert on Lido who was concerned about the condition of the Pavilion. He mentioned three specific items.

When will the sand bags be removed?

There is sand under the boards at the shower area that needs to be cleaned out for proper drainage (I assume he means the outdoor shower).

The palm trees need to be trimmed.

He also mentioned that he has heard that a new committee is being formed to select a vendor for the Pavilion. He suggested we should have him or Beth Dilworth or John Kerker.

Liz Alpert

Mayor

Sarasota

 

Lido Pavilion

To: Mayor Liz Alpert

We will review this tomorrow. Some sand bags have been removed but we are awaiting the final okay on the Corp shoreline protection project, and until then, with Hurricane season upon us, we are being very cautious. I had intended to convey an executive summary on Pavilion updates last week so I will check on that as well in the morning.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

Lido Pavilion

To: Mayor Liz Alpert

I hope your day is going well.  Thanks for the email.  We will take care of the showers this morning.  We will reach out to our custodial contractor to ensure they are addressing this daily. We will take a look at the palms. We normally trim the palms in the fall.

Once we are ready to go out to bid for the pavilion concessionaire, City personnel will be selected for the committee. Thanks and enjoy your day!

Jerry Fogle

Parks & Recreation Director

City of Sarasota

 

Lido Pavilion

To: City Parks Director Jerry Fogle

Is the County responsible for anything beyond lifeguards at Lido? I noticed sand is spilling through one of the walkways, over the sidewalks, and nearly into the parking lot, perhaps the second walkway north of the entrance to the pavilion. I also noticed sand leaching over the sidewalks on the south side of the pool into the parking lot between the pool and the Lido Beach resort lot?   Between the county and city these areas should be maintained. Can you please coordinate the response? Thanks.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Being Discussed by Sarasota City and County Commissioners to Include Newtown

To: Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

This communication is about the new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District discussed by Sarasota City and County Commissioners. I strongly support the expansion of the TIF District’s northern boundary to include Newtown. As a longtime Sarasota resident and supporter Newtown in many areas including health matters, I want the Newtown CRA to receive funding that continues much needed community improvements and enhancement to keep Newtown Alive.

Newtown qualifies as a beneficiary of the TIF proceeds because:

Funds are intended to improve the quality of life for residents in “slum and blighted communities.”

The Sarasota Bayfront project when completed will be beautiful, but it doesn’t qualify as a “slum and blighted” area.

TIF funds are needed to continue improvements of Newtown’s infrastructure (streets, buildings, sidewalks).

There are 150 historic structures in Newtown and 2  potential historic districts that can qualify for a National Register for Historic Preservation designation.

The funds can pay experts to assist community leaders and residents in developing a vision for Newtown 10 – 20 years from now before development pressure causes gentrification such as what occurred in Overtown. Overtown residents were displaced. There was disinvestment and eventual erasure of the African American community’s identity.

The City of Sarasota’s investment into the documentation of Newtown’s history is paying off and continues economic redevelopment efforts that benefits all of Sarasota County by:

Highlighting Newtown’s historic and cultural assets benefit not only the neighborhood, but Sarasota County.

The historic markers are attracting visitors and Sarasota residents who are coming into the community to learn about Sarasota’s history. Individuals and members of organizations are booking trolley and private tours.

A Newtown history story about beach integration is listed nationally on the US Civil Rights Trail. The designation will bring more travelers into Sarasota County and Newtown to spend money.

The TIF must extend the northern boundary beyond the Bayfront to build up Newtown. The neighborhood can become a destination that unites the Sarasota community, attracts visitors, businesses and investment. That is the goal of Newtown Alive. Thank you for your support and I would be happy to talk to you about this matter at any time.

Washington Clark Hill, M.D.

Sarasota

 

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Being Discussed by Sarasota City and County Commissioners to Include Newtown

To: Dr. Washington Hill

Thanks so much for getting in touch with me about your thoughts on the TIF. What would be a good day and time for me to call you about this? Or, if you prefer to meet, I have copied Diane Taylor on this email and she can help set up a meeting. Either way is fine, just let us know.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

“Hotel-House” on St. Armands Key?

To: Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

I have just returned from a 30 day trip to visit portions of our great nation and upon return I learn that we now have a very strange neighborhood situation.

Two doors away is a newly completed house at Van Buren Drive and it already has been occupied. Noticing that different cars are there each of past three days, I wondered who might be my new neighbor.

Four children were out riding bikes this morning (in street without safety gear) and I stopped them to ask if they are new neighbors. The oldest boy, about 16 said “no, we are just having vacation. The house is not ours but it’s like a hotel-house. We have a couple of rooms rented and other people will rent the other rooms.”

So Jen – who do I turn to for clarity on what is happening in my neighborhood. My residence association is the St. Armands Residents Association, (better known as the “Doo-Wops”) and they only harmonize with the merchants association. The sign out front of the house says Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties.

Please help me to understand why our city is now converting this residential neighborhood into a high-density rental neighborhood?

Disappointed in how local city management departments are again doing a disservice to residents.

Mike Adkinson

Sarasota

 

“Hotel-House” on St. Armands Key?

To: Mike Adkinson

Thanks for reaching out to me about this situation. I have copied City staff on this email who will respond with all the details. I’ll try to call you in a bit as well.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Library Meeting on Casey Key

To: Ken Schneier;

I’m writing to confirm our plan to host Ken Schneier (Longboat Key Town Commissioner), Tom Harmer (Longboat Key Town Manager) and any of their associates who care to join, for a tour of the Osprey and Casey Key libraries. The idea is to spark discussion about how we might expand our Longboat Key connections to the Sarasota County Public Library system. As Dr. Seuss would say: Oh, the places we’ll go!!!

See below for recent correspondence. Plan to meet at Osprey at 3 pm on Monday, June 10. Our tour guide: Sarabeth Kalajian, Director of Libraries for Sarasota County. Attending for the Library Foundation: Isabel Norton, Board President, and Connie Davis, Board treasurer and founding member of Casey Key’s Private Library. Connie will arrange for us to visit Casey Key around 4:00 that day, where we can discuss ways that private entity is engaging with our County system.

Osprey Library address: 337 N Tamiami Trail

Casey Key Library: 800 Blackburn Point Rd

I will have to miss the meeting as I find myself migrating Northward much earlier than anticipated.

Ken and Tom, please let us know who else you would like to include for the tours.

Thanks to all, have a great time!

Sarah Karon

Board VP

Library Foundation for Sarasota County

 

Library

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

I am available June 10, however my calendar shows a conflict 2 – 2:30 p.m. and that is a long-standing appointment that I would prefer not to re-schedule.

It is possible for me to join you earlier or later – – 1 to 1:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. or later.

Will that be convenient for you?

I also wondered if you want to visit the private Casey Key Library, and if so, Library Foundation Board member Connie Davis would be the contact to arrange for that visit. It would be my pleasure to talk with Connie about your interest in library models and how that can assist in future options for library services to Longboat Key.

Sarabeth Kalajian

Director Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources

 

Library

To: Sarah Karon

Links and Requests for Login Information

Afternoon of Monday, June 10, say 2 p.m.?

Ken Schneier

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Library

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

Well, I see that Ken’s “retirement” is Longboat Key’s windfall! He is a busy man and we are the beneficiaries. Still, I am hoping to find a date for the three of us to tour Osprey Library together, or at least the two of you. Sarabeth can’t join us May 3 as she will be chauffeuring Eric Klinenberg from event to event.

By any chance, can we make this happen either Monday or Tuesday, June 10 or 11? Operating hours are 10-5 both days and my schedule is completely open.

Hope this might work!

Sarah Karon

Longboat Key

 

To: Sarah Karon

Yes, I was invited to the Venice location for the Klinenberg event (1 p,m. on May 3) and thought I would check out the new library. As for the first week in June, I have Town Commission, Mote and then a 3-day seminar on local government in West Palm Beach–welcome to my retired world! When do you head back north?

Ken Schneier

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Library

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

Are you referring to the Eric Klinenberg event on May 3? Is the County staff workshop being held at our new Venice library that day? If so, great that you will be attending! I’m going to a reception for him that same evening at Selby Library so not sure that’s the best day to try for an Osprey visit, depending on what time your conference ends. I’m copying Sarabeth Kalajian on this note… if May 3 doesn’t work, perhaps we could set a date further out on the calendar? The Osprey library is open from 10-5 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, so how about June 3, 4 or 6?

I’m completely open those days, and I can do late afternoon May 3 as well, but let’s be sure Sarabeth can join us. Let me know if we can make something work.

Sarah Karon

Longboat Key

 

To: Sarah Karon

I would like to see the Osprey Library. We have a pretty crazy stretch coming up with budget and annual planning for the town, end of season activities, and awaiting 3d grandchild “any day now” in Denver, but I am scheduled to attend the Venice Library event on May 3, and maybe we could include a stop at Osprey on the way there or home?

Ken Schneier

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Library

To: Commissioner Ken Schneier

As conversations take place around our LBK “library” and what it might be, I want to follow up on a thought that occurred during our recent author event. Can I bring you two to see the Osprey Library at Historic Spanish Point, here in Sarasota? It’s a lively yet small County library that collaborates extensively with its neighboring attraction… might be good to consider as a model for what might be done here in collaboration with an arts center?

I’d love to bring you there, and have our Director of Library Services Sarabeth Kalajian join us. Please let me know if you’re interested.

Sarah Karon

Longboat Key

Tags: , , ,

Longboat Key News

Leave a Reply