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Friday, August 19, 2022

Letters to the Editor week of March 4, 2022

Blake Fleetwood article

To: Editor

The February 18 article on the Ukraine issue by Blake Fleetwood was excellent as long as readers understand that he is not justifying the Putin actions but presenting a view, absent in the mainstream media, which explains Putin’s motivation and anger at the West.

The facts that support the view were also reported in “The Economist”, a highly respected news magazine published in the UK and are as follows:

At the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 President George HW Bush

and Secretary of State James Baker made a deal with Gorbachev which promised that we would not expand NATO beyond its size at the time in return for Russian agreement with the reunification of East and West Germany.

That agreement was honored during the remains of the Bush administration but the successor Clinton administration began a process which eventually resulted in the expansion to the East of 14 new member countries, many of which were formerly Soviet satellites. This constituted a flagrant violation of  the Bush agreement.

George Keenan, our highly respected Ambassador to Russia at the time opposed the expansion and opined that we might be initiating a new “cold War”

Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist echoed the Keenan concern.

To supplement the excellent article by Blake Fleetwood I offer supplementary

views on the current situation as follows.

During my fifty year career I have learned that there are two very important factors involved in decision making and they are the degree to which the decision is based upon logical thinking and/or feelings. Logical thinking tends to be objective and fact based while feelings tend to ignore the potential consequences and to be subjective.

For this reason, decisions based primarily on feelings like anger can be very dangerous to the decision maker and those who may be affected by the decision.

Frankly, I believe that Putin has “lost it” and that is proceeding on the basis of feelings of anger. He has completely ignored the consequences of his rash decision some of which follow:

– His people may revolt and overthrow him.

-His military could revolt

-He has awakened NATO, the sleeping tiger

-Other countries like Sweden and Finland who are not NATO members may now elect to do so.

-Present NATO members will increase funding and military preparedness.

– The Economy of Russia which is shakey to start with could be placed in danger of a full economic depression.

-The Western European countries which buy Russian oil and gas will now seek

to attain energy independence which will severely cripple the Russian economy

-A postwar victory over Ukraine would result in an occupation which would be extremely costly and involve interminable warfare.

-The global reputation of Russia is in the garbage can

Americans need to understand that this is an extremely dangerous situation in which we have a deranged, angry dictator who has unlimited access to one of the strongest nuclear arsenals in the world.

William B Allen

Longboat Key

 

Tom Barwin editorial

To: Editor

“Tom Barwin Gets the Last Laugh” published February 24 was quite a snarky little piece of literature written by your staff. As a downtown dweller, I find nothing wrong with fanny packs and golden doodles neither of which I own. I enjoy being able to safely walk around my city without cars wizzing by. Cars pollute the environment, contribute to global warming, and threaten even Longboat Key’s  shores. Walking is a healthy choice. Perhaps Longboat Key should expand its services and infrastructure so that it’s residents don’t have to depend on Sarasota for hospitals, entertainment and restaurants. Longboat Key can even widen Gulf of Mexico drive to accommodate future expansion while providing a racetrack for its citizens who love the mobility that their cars offer.

Melissa Furman

Sarasota

 

Hyde a professional?

To: Editor

If Martin Hyde truly was a professional soccer player as you professed, he must have been the designated flopper so well established in the game today.

John Ehlert

Sarasota

 

Historical environmental papers from Dr. John Morrill

To: Longboat Key Commission

Important historical environmental papers from Dr. John Morrill. Dr. John Morrill from New College was for 20-40 years one of the most respected environmental experts on the Longboat Key area.  I was one of his students and I received a bag full of documents about the environment of Longboat Key from him before he died.  Some of these documents seem to be original and some may be copies.  My concern was that this information may shed light on projects that the Town is currently working on and that we may want to preserve this information into the future.

I made a video to display these documents so that if there was any interest in preserving these environmental documents for posterity, I could find a safe home for them.  The people who may be interested in seeing and preserving these may be New College Environmental Studies Dept., Manatee County Commissioners and government officials, Sarasota County Commissioners and government officials, Longboat Key Town Commissioners and government officials, Mote Marine Lab and others in this area.  As far as I can see there is no one body which can safely archive this material for the future.  The Longboat Key Historical Society is inactive, New College said they were not set up to receive these documents, Susan Phillips from the Town of Longboat Key said that she would look at these documents in order to consider what to do with them.  Here is the video and if you see anything that you may want to look at more, please contact me.  I am trying to do due diligence out of respect for the many years that John put in trying to help the environment here locally.

Tom Mayers

Longboat Key

 

Historical environmental papers from Dr. John Morrill

To: Tom Mayers

I was forwarded a copy of your email.  The Clerk’s Office here in the Town would be happy to review and the manage the documents.  They have a Historical Category of files in our Laserfische system.  I will have our Town Clerk Trish Shinkle reach out to you directly.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

The Black Box Theater has limits

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Tom Freidman and Tom Aposporos kindly briefed our Kiwanis Club on the Black

Box Theater concept for our Town Center Green.  It brings to mind the question what are the highest and best uses of our publicly owned Town Center Green property?

Obviously facilities that will attract the highest use by Longboaters, who paid for

the property and will pay the ongoing carrying costs, should take priority.

While the Black Box Theater is an interesting concept it clearly has very limited capacity and attracts a niche audience looking for an intimate, minimalist production theater experience.  We all have the luxury of enjoying the traditional production entertainment venues and even a black box in nearby Sarasota.

It is instructive to take note of the recent event successes on the Town Center Green already, like the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club’s annual Lawn Party benefiting the Children’s Guardian Foundation, 800 attended.

Also, the  two Farmers Markets and the Art Festival which were well attended, good real world examples.

The upcoming concerts with the new band shell are sure to be a success as well.

Many of us urge you to preserve the beautiful existing oak trees and open space of the Town Center Green to maximize use by Longboat residents.  Preserving flexibility and aesthetics of the space are the key to generating high use.

Maybe the Commission could start with a “clean slate” and arrange an electronic Straw Poll of residents on the Town web site.  List all the potential use options, allowing three picks per e mail address, to give you real world guidance for planning the highest and best uses for this important Longboat Key asset.

As an aside, no we don’t want to attract off island people. In season traffic is a very real concern but by the same token we want things to do on island so we can stay on the island and not contend with the off island traffic, hence this Town Center Green opportunity.

Finally, based on experience, don’t just think “build it and they will come”, that was just a movie. Thank you for your consideration and for your service to our Community.

Bob and Shannon Gault

Longboat Key

 

The Black Box Theater

To: Bob and Shannon Gault

Thanks for your thoughts regarding the Town Center Green.  The outdoor activities this season have been a great success and, with the completion of the oval walkway, shade trees and lighting and the construction of the stage, that part of the vision should be a truly wonderful addition to the Town.  On that note, there is no plan to remove any of the oak trees, as that portion of the property with its picnic tables and shade has its own unique beauty.

As for construction of what we had been calling an Arts, Cultural and Education Center on the property adjacent to the Chase Bank, we are working closely with the Sarasota County Library System, The Sarasota County School Board and the Longboat Key Education Center to create a joint facility including library services, classrooms, meeting rooms, a place for the community to congregate and relax and a multi-purpose space that could serve as an auditorium, large meeting room and performance venue for use by all parties.  An excellent example of this format (albeit on a larger scale) is the joint venture of Sarasota Libraries and Vo-Tech School and the City of Northport.  It’s worth a visit.

While considerable public input received over the years has contributed to these plans, more is welcome and will be sought out.  As for a black box theatre, it would seem to be redundant as an addition to a multi-purpose performance space and would provide much less flexibility as an alternative.  Moreover, we have been advised by operators that a properly-equipped black box theatre would be more complex and expensive to build than a standard professional theatre of equal size and would require more back-stage room than we may wish to dedicate to that use.  As we have noted in recent hearings, the addition of a black box theatre to the Ringling College plans that were sidelined several years ago was estimated to cost an extra $7 million, far in excess of the $750,000 that has been suggested in the most recent proposal.

We look forward to your continued participation in this important project.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

Police Chief Appointment

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please join me in congratulating George Turner for his official appointment as the Town’s next police chief. The effective date of the appointment is March 13, 2022.

Ten months ago, George agreed to serve as the Interim Chief to assist the Town with an unexpected vacancy in the Department.  He has addressed a number of issues during that time including supporting the FY22 budget process, helping fully implement enforcement of the resident parking program in the Village, helped finalize accreditation plans, updated the evidence process, implemented updated high priority polices and training, managed through COVID and has worked hard to fill critical vacancies within the department. I want to thank Chief Turner for agreeing to assist the Town during this transitional period.

Chief Turner has over 40 years of law enforcement experience, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from State University of New York, and a graduate of the National FBI academy. He has previously served the Town of Longboat Key leaving as a Captain in 2007 to accept the Chief position in the City of Brooksville where he served until 2018.

One of the reasons Chief Turner was asked to assist the Town in his interim assignment was to help advance plans to seek independent professional law enforcement accreditation of the Department. He led the Brooksville Police Department through accreditation and reaccreditation during his tenure with the City. Over the past 10 months the Police Department has already started the process to update key equipment, implemented a series of new policies, and facilitated key training for the officers.

The Chief will be responsible for working closely with all of the members of the Police Department to make sure we maintain the high level of community policing that the Police Department has been known for.  He will also be responsible for maintaining a positive working relationship with the two Sheriffs, and with our other neighboring law enforcement agencies as well as collaboratively working with the other departments of the Town.

We are fortunate to have a great group of officers and employees within the department and look forward to Chief Turner leading this great team.

A short swearing in ceremony is scheduled for Monday, March 14th at 10 a.m. at the Longboat Key Police Station.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Police Chief Appointment

To: Longboat Key Police Chief George Turner

One of the many great things about Longboat Key is our fortune to attract the perfect people for our key positions just when we need them.  Your return to this community and elevation to Chief is a case in point.  Best of luck in your new role.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Police Chief Appointment

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thank-you Mayor. Very proud to return, and to now stay on in the permanent position.

George B. Turner

Police Chief

Town of Longboat Key

 

Proposed MarVista Cell Tower

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

I represent the Chiles Group which owns the MarVista restaurant on the northern end of Longboat Key.   MarVista is the site of one of the oldest structures in historic Longbeach dating back to 1912 (see history athttps://www.marvistadining.com/about-us), and was purchased by Ed Chiles in 1989. As you know, it is a very popular dining site for many Longboat Key residents and visitors.  Several years ago, our company invested several million dollars to renovate MarVista, but in the process we made every attempt to honor its historic legacy.  I think many of our guest will agree that its laid back, understated design fits in well with its surroundings and it is a great complement to the Longbeach community.

When we first heard of the proposed Version cell tower project, we welcomed the news as wireless connectivity on the northern end of Longboat Key is very poor.  When we found out that Verizon decided to place one of the proposed cell towers on the corner of Broadway and Lois Avenue adjacent to our “MarVista” sign, we were deeply disappointed.  We know that everyone wants the benefits of better cell connectivity, but no one wants a cell tower in their “front yard”.  We understand that the proposed tower is in an easement and technically not on our property, but only an engineer could have picked a place of more prominence as it relates to our restaurant – a pimple on the tip of our nose.

We recognize all of the good benefits everyone will receive from enhanced cell service and we are willing to “take one for the team”, but all we ask is that they move the proposed location from its current spot to a new location approximately 20-30 feet down Lois Avenue within the same easement (please see attached), so that it’s not as imposing as the current location.  If this 20 to 30-foot move cannot be accomplished, we ask your permission to paint “MarVista” on the tower so it looks like we meant to put it there to advertise our establishment. Please let us know if this small concession can be made.

Brooks O’Hara

Director – RE and Facilities

The Chiles Group

 

Proposed MarVista Cell Tower

To: Director Ed Chiles Group Brooks O’Hara

We discussed with Verizon the possibility of moving this pole 10 feet to the south.  Please work with Allan Parsons to see if we can make this work.

Mike Haycock

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Cell tower public comment

To: Longboat Key Commission

Thank you for listening to my input regarding the cellular signal solution.

Please note when I refer to the town in my comments this is the town as a whole both government and townspeople.

I would like to provide some background so you understand my point of view.

I have owned a home on LBK for 13 years.  My home is a one-story cinder block house and we do not have a cell signal in the house and limited reliability outside the house.

I was disappointed many years ago when the town launched a campaign against improving the cell signal with a tower at Lords Warehouse.   At the time the town raised the alternative of a distributed antenna system as a more acceptable solution.   In addition, the town advised that we purchase new cell phones that could run over wifi instead of relying on cellular, as well as maintaining a land line in our home. In 2019 Apple helped the town with that transition when they stopped supporting our older model phones.  But at the same time the town communicated that land lines would be decommissioned as part of the undergrounding project.

I recently looked into purchasing a medical alert system for my parents.   I was surprised to find out that these systems rely on copper land lines or cellular.   I have not found one that operates on wifi.

When I discovered this information, I immediately wondered how many residents of LBK are unable to use medical alert systems because there is no cell service and no land line service?  It may be a very small number and most likely they have found a work around, but it is another example of limitations arising from the limited cellular and land line services on LBK.

So here we are discussing a type of distributed system and there is opposition.

We come back to how does LBK get reliable cellular service; what kind of system is used to emit the cellular signal and who is going to make that happen.

I would like the town to have a concrete plan.

I was previously under the impression that the town fiber was going to provide this cellular signal through the lamp posts.  It seemed that all the discussion about lamp post spacing and height was to support a cellular and wifi network.

So last night I read through town documents I have collected from 2015 to 2021. I am now more confused than ever about what is supposed to happen with this town fiber and the lamp posts to address cellular issues inside and outside of our homes.

The documents included the December 2015 resolution, information from Waterleaf (the first fiber partner), and the 2021 Enhanced technology information provided by the new fiber partner.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that the town does not have an actionable plan for generating cellular signals from the lampposts.

So the town is at a crossroads – How do we get reliable cell service?   Is it distributed poles from cellular companies, distributed poles from the town or a single tall cell tower.

Many people are going to come here today and say they want the cell signal through the lamp posts, as the town has marketed.

Before voting down any poles from the cellular companies, I request that the town share with the townspeople a detailed operational plan about what needs to happen, along with annual taxpayer costs, to have cellular service from the lamp posts.  Evaluate that plan and determine if it is feasible.

In conclusion, present an actionable town Smart Pole plan that will provide enhanced cellular service in a similar time frame or clearly communicate that the town fiber is not a feasible solution to enhance cellular service and approve cellular company infrastructure.

Thank you for reading this during the public comment period.

Blythe Jeffers

Longboat Key

 

Reduced COVID restrictions

To: Longboat Key Commission

This morning we updated our COVID-related restrictions for activity within Town facilities.

Fortunately, COVID case numbers have been decreasing in Florida, and in our two-county area; the percent positives are now below 10 percent and hospitalizations related to COVID have also significantly decreased. The CDC has also issues new guidance regarding masks lifting recommendations to wear masks especially when related hospitalizations are low.

This is all good news, but there is still active infection in the area and it is important for individuals to continue to follow the safe practices that have helped our community mitigate the impacts of the pandemic thus far.

Based on the level of vaccination on the island, as well as the latest data from the Florida Department of Health and the CDC, we are returning our COVID protocols to the pre-“Omicron Variant” guidelines.

These updated protocols go into effect today, February 28, 2022.

Masks are voluntary in Town Facilities. Unvaccinated individuals are still encouraged to wear a mask at all times when in the common areas and when they cannot social distance.

Masks will continue to be available at all Town facilities for visitors that may request them

The staff will no longer be screening visitors when they enter a Town facility

Signs on the entry doors will be updated at all facilities to reflect the updated protocols.

Tennis Center – the same protocols for all Town facilities. Any special events and/ or tournaments will require a safety plan reviewed and approved in advance.

Indoor use of Bayfront Park is authorized and will be considered on a case by case basis after review of their safety protocols.

The public will continue to be encouraged to do business with the Town by use of technology, phones, our website, drop boxes or they can schedule meetings with staff in advance if an in-person meeting is necessary.

All events requiring a Public Forum Permit will continue to require a safety plan reviewed and approved by Town staff.

We will be closely monitoring COVID cases, both on and off the island, to evaluate the need to make adjustments to our COVID plan moving forward.  We will reevaluate these protocols at least every two weeks and take appropriate actions if conditions change.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Jewfish lots- Mangroves

To: Longboat Key Commission

We previously provided an status report on the lots being developed just north of Broadway on GMD.  See latest update below.  They now have water service on the property and the contractor has indicated that they will be installed landscaping within the next two weeks.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Jewfish lots- Mangroves

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

I again write to question the work being done at the lots behind our house. I communicated back on December 2, 2021 regarding why it is taking so long to get that work completed and you politely replied that they were working through issues and I understand.  However, I would like to know- do either of you have an expected timeline for the completion? Every time we see the owners, they tell us it is about to happen and then nothing.  At this point, their actions speak louder than words.  Complete inaction!

Also, today, the owners were there removing mangroves! It is my understanding that this had already been done.  They were seen removing mangroves from the water level up.  Is this allowed?  My understanding is that 6 ft and below is off limits without a professional and permits.  The folks doing this work were the landowners.  This bayou needs all the help it can get through the filtering action these mangroves provide.  Being a closed end waterway limits the flow and we had real issues last summer with Red Tide.  Why would anyone be allowed to remove more mangroves is beyond my understanding.

How much more can you expect us to take?  It surely seems like the town is looking the other way. The project has been going on for over two years and right now it looks like a trailer park over there.  Not a pretty site or inviting to visitors.

I appreciate your efforts and I am not complaining about town services.  You folks have responded and been very helpful on this issue. look forward to hearing from you.

Eddie Abrams

Longboat Key

 

Jewfish lots- Mangroves

To: Eddie Abrams

Thanks for your email. There have been a number of permitting related delays that have impacted finalizing the permit for the water meters & finishing the landscaping.  The latest update has the Town’s Utilities Manager scheduled to work with Benchmark Environmental Studies on Tuesday the 18th to get bacterial samples taken and resubmitted to FDEP as a final step in FDEP’s permitting review related to the water main extension. The developer will be following-up with staff next week to indicate timing associated with permit approval of the water meters and then will be finishing the landscaping. Please know that the Town is not looking the other way. The Town will not finalize the permits for the docks until all components, including landscaping, have been addressed.

With regard to the mangroves, staff did inspect & did not find any signs of recent mangrove trimming, other than around each of the 5 docks, which is generally allowed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection mangrove trimming permit. There will likely need to be continual maintenance on the current mangroves due to how close they are to the docks.

Please do continue to bring any concerns you have to our attention. We appreciate your eyes, ears and awareness.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

Jewfish lots- Mangroves

To: Eddie Abrams

Following up with a Status Update: Backflow preventers were certified & received by the Town Utilities on the lots this week.  The water should now be on to all 4 lots. The contractor has indicated that the remaining the seagrapes, pitch apples and Christmas palms (per the approved Landscape and Tree Replacement Plan) will be installed within two weeks. This is in addition to the bismark palms and royal poincianas that have already been installed.

Thanks again for keeping a close eye on things. Please feel free to contact us anytime with any other issues you become aware of.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

U.S. 41 at Gulfstream Roundabout Construction

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

A follow-up to Tuesday’s Workshop. See update below regarding the next traffic pattern phase for the Gulfstream/US41 Roundabout project.  In the next 4-6 weeks they will be transitioning to Phase 1B. This transition will switch traffic on to the newly built SB to WS lanes and will further open up the area for the contractor to work on the actual roundabout construction.  It should not impact the other existing traffic patterns.  See attached diagram of the Phase 1B traffic flow change.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager, Town of Longboat Key

U.S. 41 at Gulfstream Roundabout Construction

To: Longboat Key Public Works Director Isaac Brownman

Our next phase is to switch traffic on to the newly built SB to WB lanes, as seen in the attached. Travelling public shouldn’t see much of a difference with respect to traffic patterns. All other routes remain as they are right now. Even though the drivers don’t see a big change, this will open up significant area for the contractor to work in. We are expecting this pattern to be implemented in 4 to 6 weeks and should take about 2 nights to get the transitions completed. This should be a fairly simple transition and is not even close to being as complicated as the initial switch we did for the current phase. Please let me know if you need more info. Thanks.

Pinky Pakalapati

Project Engineer

CDM Smith

 

Environmental impacts

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thanks for the email.  Allen and I discussed that and we can continue to monitor and provide updates on this particular area along with some the other environmental related initiatives that we are now tracking.

As mentioned, there can be delays in having temporary power installed based on individual sites and depending on the contractor/subcontractor there are still tools and equipment that they will use that may require a compressor and/or gas-powered equipment- so the encouragement approach is a good start.  The staff has contact with contractors during the permitting process and will highlight the concerns about temp power and the noise from gas powered equipment in residential areas.  Just FYI- Staff has indicated to me that the concerns raised at this one site are among the only such concerns they have received from the public, and that this issue hasn’t historically been Town-wide or overly problematic.  That doesn’t change the opportunity to look at environmental opportunities- just wanted to share the history of related complaints to the Town.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Importance of protecting our wildlife

To: Longboat Key Commission

Since moving to Longboat Key last March, I have developed a deep appreciation for the abundant wildlife, and for the people who have so successfully worked to protect it.  As I have watched the fishermen cast their wide nets in Harris Bayou, I have come to consider the importance of protecting and preserving each intricate part of our delicate ecosystem.  And this is why I am particularly concerned about the prospect of a Verizon Cell Phone Pole being erected right beside the Wildlife Preserve on Binnacle Point Drive… near nesting American Bald Eagles!

Given the importance of protecting our vulnerable wildlife, I respectfully ask you to reconsider the Mar Vista location or the area that sounded like a great location behind a church.  Or even, and probably best, utilizing the cell tower that already exists on Clubhouse Drive in Spanish Main.  Unlike a shorter pole, the existing tower could potentially accommodate more than just one or two carriers, solving similar dilemmas when other carriers also want to improve their service.

If the community of Spanish Main does not want to rent the existing tower to Verizon, The City of Longboat Key would have a Compelling Reason to take possession via Eminent Domain.  Protecting the nesting American Bald Eagles and wildlife in the preserve is a Compelling Reason.

Above is a photograph of the already erected tower on Clubhouse Drive in Spanish Main.  Below are a number of excerpts from websites that support my concerns about the very real impact of radiation on our wildlife.

Gail Pyke

Longboat Key

 

Cell Towers

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Maureen Merrigan

As I have pored over the documents in preparation for today’s Special Workshop, and discussed it with my neighbors, these are some of the questions that have arisen to us:

1)  Why is Verizon not using the Town’s poles?  This is a preferred option to using their own poles, as specified in our ordinance.  The only thing I have heard is that they just don’t want to…

2)  I have heard that our hands are tied, and that if Verizon wants to put up their own poles, there is nothing we can do about it.  Oh really?  Then why are we having this meeting at all?  And what would be the consequences if we did not approve the permit being considered today by the Commission?  It seems to me that non-approval would entail at least a considerable delay in the process.

3)  I have also heard that Verizon is not willing to share their poles with the other 2 wireless companies (ATT and T-Mobile/Sprint).  Does this mean that we could end up with 27 poles on the North end instead of just 9, if the other 2 providers also insist on their own poles??

Thanks for listening.  See you all at the meeting!

Dr. Jim Whitman

Longboat Key

 

Cell Towers

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Maureen Merrigan

I see in the paper that tomorrow will be a commissioner meeting on cell towers.  I would like to submit a statement in support and share my discovery of medical alert systems reliance on cell instead of WiFi. I think this provides a public safety point of view different than the standard 911 and something the town fiber may not address.

I was looking for the public comment form on the town website and did not see it.  Can you direct me to the form or tell me what Information is required so I can send the clerk an email with the appropriate info.

Blythe Jeffers

Longboat Key

 

Cell Towers

To: Blythe Jeffers

You can send any letter to the Town Clerk directly (copied above) and your letter to me below also is public record. You can also speak at Commission meetings during public comment periods.

Maureen Merrigan

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Cell Towers

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Maureen Merrigan

Thanks Maureen — I am out of town so I cannot attend in person to speak during the publix comment section — I plan to send a letter to the town clerk to be read during the public comment section..   Of course I continue to encourage the town to allow remote participation in the town meetings, rather than just being a silent viewer of a video.  I think I requested this functionality for the new town center during the first iteration with Ringling.  I commend public works for conducting zoom calls with Sleepy Lagoon HOA.

Thanks for your service.

Blythe Jeffers

Longboat Key

 

Eagle’s nest

To: Longboat Key Commission

I thought you might like to see a photograph of one of the nesting American Bald Eagles referred to in my prior email, “Wildlife Preserve is No Place for a Cell Phone Pole.”  The nest is located at 721 Binnacle Point Drive, across from the proposed Cell Phone Pole beside the Wildlife Preserve.

Before casting your vote on the location of the pole, please consider the impact on our delicate ecosystem.

Gail Pyke

Longboat Key

 

Sewer Pipe, Flooding & Personal Injury Due to City Policy

To: Sarasota City Associate Attorney Joe Mladinich

It is with heartfelt appreciation that I thank you for your true help and consideration regarding the ongoing tree issues I have experienced in the past 3 years since moving to Sarasota.

I am attaching an article about a similar case in Pensacola that was recently decided by the courts, and how the courts found in favor of the homeowners.

Also, I was wondering if the City of Sarasota accepts mature oak tree donations?

With the significant resources of the City of Sarasota, it seems the City would be able to accept a mature oak tree donation and with it own equipment, or the equipment of the numerous tree service companies that the City works, the City would be able to dig out the Oak Tree in question on my property and remove it to a location, such as the Bobby Jones Conservation area, where it would thrive and have the space it needs to grow even taller.

It would be a wonderful resolution of the situation—The City of Sarasota saves a Mature Oak Tree donated by a property owner, moves the oak to  the Right Place for it to thrive and the property owner would be saved the huge maintenance and repair costs caused by the  Oak Tree, that should never have been planted in this tiny space in the first place and that has burdened, and will continue to deplete, my limited retirement savings.

Since the City of Sarasota, via its stringent tree laws, has made it clear that Mature Oak Trees are treasures and that they are to be protected and saved at almost any cost or effort, it would be a chance for the City of Sarasota to “put its money where it mouth is”, so to speak.

Otherwise, it seems I am between the devil and a hard place.

Thank you again for actually “listening” to the issues I have faced in my 3 years in Sarasota.  For the first time in 3 years, my stomach is calming down and I believe I might be able to continue living here in peace and quiet, as I intended when I first took possession of the house keys for 1010 Snead in March 2019.

I look forward to your thoughts, suggestions and any hope you can offer me.

Monica Abbott

Sarasota

 

Sewer Pipe, Flooding & Personal Injury Due to City Policy

To: Monica Abbott

The City’s Risk Manager, Matt Arendall, processes claims made against the City of Sarasota. I have CC’d Mr. Arendall on this email and asked that he follow-up with you directly on the claim process.  After an investigation and evaluation of your claim has been completed, the City will provide a more detailed response.

Joe Mladinich

Associate City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Masks Required on Buses & Trolleys

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

The Bay Runner Trolley website claims that masks are not required on “open air” trolleys. The website links to the CDC website to back up that claim. The CDC website does not agree with your definition of outdoors as open windows.

“How is CDC defining “outdoor” areas on conveyances and at transportation hubs?

Subject to how other federal partners and state and local entities define “outdoors,” CDC understands “outdoors” to refer to any open-air area. Examples of outdoor areas of conveyances are the uncovered top decks of buses and open deck areas of ferries or other vessels.”

You will notice that the Siesta Breeze trolley, which also has open windows, requires masks.

Dan Kriwitsky

Sarasota

 

Masks Required on Buses & Trolleys

To: Dan Kriwitsky

Dan, I like you and appreciate your involvement but you can’t be serious. I literally rode with you on it yesterday. You weren’t wearing a mask nor were any of your friends. There’s masks available for anyone that wants one. Please stop hassling staff over this. Just enjoy the trolley it’s a huge success.

Hagen Brody

Commissioner

City of Sarasota

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