News Worthy

City to close lanes on Ringling Bridge for recreation trail

The City of Sarasota is ready to build what it calls the Coon Key MURT project — a 10-foot-wide multi-use recreational trail on the south side of John Ringling Boulevard.

This will require concrete trucks to be on site for multiple concrete pours and necessitate closures of the outside eastbound lane (leaving St. Armands Key). To minimize possible traffic issues, the City has directed the contractor to work early in the morning (starting at about 7 a.m.) and reopen all lanes by lunchtime.

This work is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 4, and wrap up in about 10 days, weather permitting. Crews will begin at S. Washington Drive and move eastward toward Plymouth Harbor.

When complete, the area will be landscaped with Florida-friendly plants and 240 trees.

Bike Sharing – Pilot Program Launched on St. Armands Key

Last week, The City of Sarasota launched our own bike sharing pilot program in partnership with locally owned and operated company, I Bike Sarasota.

About 10 cruiser bicycles are now available for hourly or daily rental from a self-serve station near the entrance of the St. Armands Garage. The City is providing I Bike Sarasota with a secure space designated for bicycle storage in the parking garage and I Bike Sarasota is handling the operations and transactions. Rates are set by I Bike Sarasota: $10 for 2 hours, $15 for 5 hours and $25 for 48 hours. The bikes can be rented via cell phone — follow the directions on the posted signage.

The City may expand the bike-sharing program to the State Street and Palm Avenue garages, where secure bicycle areas already exist.

Sarasota Memorial gets top ranks from federal government

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has earned five stars on its report card from the federal government, the only hospital in the area to receive top marks.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week released its hospital quality and safety rankings, and Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Florida and one of 45 in the U.S. that has received five stars in every reporting period since it began in 2016, according to the hospital.

“This remarkable achievement reflects the enduring commitment of physicians, staff and volunteers to meet the highest standards for quality and safety while providing the most personalized patient experience,” CEO David Verinder said. “Maintaining our prestigious position as one of the highest-rated hospitals in the nation requires the hard work of every area of the health system, the leadership of the hospital board and the support of our community.”

The ratings are based on performance in seven quality areas — mortality, safety, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging. Mortality, readmissions, patient experience and effectiveness of care have the greatest weight.

The federal government evaluated 4,586 hospitals, and fewer than 9% of those received five stars, according to Sarasota Memorial.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Englewood Community Hospital received four stars, DeSoto Memorial Hospital got three, Venice Regional Medical Center and Fawcett Memorial Hospital got two and Blake Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and Bayfront Health Port Charlotte all got one star.

City Commission to hear Bath & Racquet Club proposal

The City Commission will hold a public hearing Monday evening to consider part of a redevelopment application from the owners of the Bath & Racquet Fitness Club.

The proposed site plan would allow for the construction of up to 207 residential units in 10 three-to-five-story buildings on the property at 2170 Robinhood St. The property owners intend to build the residential project around the existing fitness center.

Bay Park Conservancy breaks ground on Bayou Walkway

The Bay Conservancy broke ground last week on what will become a Mangrove Bayou Walkway.

The Mangrove Bayou Walkway, one of the first segments to be set in the initial phase of the larger 53-acre bay redevelopment project, will feature a 10-foot wide, 1/2-mile-long walkway.

Jon F. Swift Construction will begin work on the walkway, which will loop around the mangroves and coastal wetlands and connect to the walkway that already exists north of Boulevard of the Arts. It is slated to be completed by summer.

Embracing Our Differences – On Display Through April 5

Embracing our Differences on Display at Bayfront

The thought-provoking art exhibition “Embracing Our Differences” is now on display at Bayfront Park through April 5. In its 17th year, this juried international exhibit features 50 billboard-sized works of art.

This year’s theme is “Enriching Lives Through Diversity.” Accompanying each piece is an inspirational quote.

Submissions were received from 111 countries and 44 states, with 70 percent coming from students. Since its inception in 2004, nearly 3 million people have visited the annual “Embracing Our Differences” display.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Longboat Key News

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