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Lido Beach concession stand to close temporarily for renovation work

The concession stand at Lido Beach will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, Sept. 30, while the City repairs the pavilion. In its place, food trucks will be available most days of the week to provide service for beachgoers.

Crews will first be installing a new vent hood in the kitchen and a new long-lasting metal roof. This work coincides with the expiration of the City’s contract with the current vendor at the concession stand. The City is in the process of evaluating bids for the continuation of the food and beverage service once the renovation work is complete, tentatively scheduled for December.

In the meantime, food trucks and picnic tables will be available in the front of the building to provide service for beachgoers.

Once this phase of work is complete, there will be additional upgrades to the pavilion, including the installation of a shaded concrete patio and an update to the restrooms.

Those interested in food truck opportunities during the renovation should contact Judy Soenneker at the Parks and Recreation Department:  941-263-6569. For questions or information about the renovations, contact the Parks and Recreation District at 941-263-6386 or ParksProjects@SarasotaFL.gov or visit www.LetsPlaySarasota.com

 

US 41-Fruitville Rd Roundabout – Open House 10/1    

Residents will have an opportunity to learn firsthand about the upcoming US 41-Fruitville Road roundabout construction project during an informational open house on Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Foyer – Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Planned years ago to help improve traffic flow, connectivity and enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety, construction of the roundabout is now set to start in October.

While there will be temporary traffic detours around the intersection, the evacuation route from the barrier islands — northbound US 41 to eastbound Fruitville Road — will remain open throughout the project.

Education outreach about the rules of roundabouts and how to safely navigate them as a driver, pedestrian and bicyclist has been underway by the City Transportation team within the Planning Department and representatives will be available at the open house to discuss how to properly maneuver a two-lane roundabout. These education efforts will continue to increase prior to the roundabouts opening at US 41-10th Street and 14th Street in Spring 2020, followed by US 41-Fruitville in Fall 2020.

The roundabout is being constructed by Wright Construction Group, Inc. for the Quay Sarasota, on behalf of the City of Sarasota in cooperation with the Florida Department of Transportation.     

More information will be available at www.US41FruitvilleRoundabout.com or by calling 941-275-9360.

 

Turtle nests hit record numbers

Sea turtle nesting season is not yet over, but Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP) has already recorded a 38-year-record number of nests in the Sarasota area. STCRP monitors sea turtle nesting on the 35-mile stretch of beaches from Longboat Key through Venice.

As of late August, Mote’s STCRP has documented a total of 5,063 nests across all sea turtle species – 4,888 loggerhead nests, 170 green turtle nests and five other nests. As female sea turtles nest every two to three years, many of them are expected to be returners from 2016, the previous total nest record, which had a total count of 4,588 nests. For the first time in the program’s history, there are at least two green sea turtle nests on every key/region in Mote’s area of monitoring. More records are included below.

In addition to record nesting numbers, STCRP has also been busy tagging a record number of nesting females. The team applies flipper tags and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags (similar to a pet microchip) to nesting females, allowing researchers to estimate the number of individual females nesting on local beaches. As of July 31, STCRP had tagged 468 turtles, compared to 2016’s record of 451 turtles tagged. The team also logged a record number of turtle encounters, 719. For each encounter, the team records the individual, date, location and what the female is doing during the encounter.

The increase in green sea turtle nesting this year has also presented researchers the opportunity to learn more about this threatened species through satellite tagging. STCRP applied satellite transmitters to seven green sea turtle females this past year, more than ever before, which the public can follow at mote.org/seaturtletracking.

Mote’s long-term tagging and nesting data are crucial for determining estimates and trends for sea turtle populations in our area, and can answer important questions such as how well local nesting females survive year to year, how often females return to a specific site, how far apart a female spreads her nests, and how many turtles enter the nesting population each year. These kinds of questions contribute to our understanding of the biology and ecology of female turtles – specifically, how aging and environmental conditions affect individual reproductive success – and help inform state and federal policy makers with the best possible data.

 

Downtown Paid Parking – Update

Almost 70,000 drivers have used the metered spaces in Downtown Sarasota, and about one-third used the ParkMobile App.

City staff continues to monitor the new system and refine where necessary.  One recent change:  The minimum $1.50 for a ParkMobile transaction was removed.

Parking revenues are utilized to maintain the three major public parking garages (Palm Avenue, State Street and St. Armands) with assets valued at over $40 million.

Have a question regarding the paid parking program?  email: ParkingInfo@SarasotaFL.Gov   

   

Credit card skimmers at Fruitville Citgo

On the morning of Sept. 25, two suspected skimming devices were found at the Citgo located at 3580 Fruitville Road in Sarasota, the Sarasota Police Department has reported.

One skimming device was found on pump No. 1; the other, on pump No. 3, a news release says. “Both devices were removed and collected as evidence,” the release adds.

The discovery came as members of the Police Department Street Crimes Unit partnered with the Florida Department of Agriculture to undertake gas pump checks in the city of Sarasota, the release said. All 17 gas stations in the city were checked on Sept. 25, the release notes, with only the two skimming devices found.

The Police Department is offering the following safety tips for customers who use convenience store gas pumps:

• Choose a fuel pump that is close to the store’s entrance.

• Use a credit card for the transaction, not a debit card.

• Pay inside and use cash.

The Sarasota Police Department is encouraging customers who recently may have purchased gas at the Fruitville Road Citgo “to pay close attention to bank accounts” and credit card statements, looking for any suspicious transactions, regardless of how small they may be. If anything seems out of order, the release adds, customers should contact their banks immediately.

Anyone with information that may be related to the skiming case is asked to call the Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS, or going online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

 

Turtle nests hit record numbers

Sea turtle nesting season is not yet over, but Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP) has already recorded a 38-year-record number of nests in the Sarasota area. STCRP monitors sea turtle nesting on the 35-mile stretch of beaches from Longboat Key through Venice.

As of late August, Mote’s STCRP has documented a total of 5,063 nests across all sea turtle species – 4,888 loggerhead nests, 170 green turtle nests and five other nests. As female sea turtles nest every two to three years, many of them are expected to be returners from 2016, the previous total nest record, which had a total count of 4,588 nests. For the first time in the program’s history, there are at least two green sea turtle nests on every key/region in Mote’s area of monitoring. More records are included below.

In addition to record nesting numbers, STCRP has also been busy tagging a record number of nesting females. The team applies flipper tags and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags (similar to a pet microchip) to nesting females, allowing researchers to estimate the number of individual females nesting on local beaches. As of July 31, STCRP had tagged 468 turtles, compared to 2016’s record of 451 turtles tagged. The team also logged a record number of turtle encounters, 719. For each encounter, the team records the individual, date, location and what the female is doing during the encounter.

The increase in green sea turtle nesting this year has also presented researchers the opportunity to learn more about this threatened species through satellite tagging. STCRP applied satellite transmitters to seven green sea turtle females this past year, more than ever before, which the public can follow at mote.org/seaturtletracking.

Mote’s long-term tagging and nesting data are crucial for determining estimates and trends for sea turtle populations in our area, and can answer important questions such as how well local nesting females survive year to year, how often females return to a specific site, how far apart a female spreads her nests, and how many turtles enter the nesting population each year. These kinds of questions contribute to our understanding of the biology and ecology of female turtles – specifically, how aging and environmental conditions affect individual reproductive success – and help inform state and federal policy makers with the best possible data.

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Longboat Key News

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