Island Chatter: November

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Tricky curve at Higel/Siesta to receive safety upgrades

The challenging nearly 90-degree curve at the intersection of Higel Avenue and Siesta Drive will receive some safety measures in the near future when Sarasota County public works installs internally illuminated raised pavement markers. The solar-powered devices consist of LEDs visible from 2,000-plus feet.

Up next at the spot are new striping, additional signage, guardrail realignment, and two mid-block crosswalks with rapid flashing beacons, the county reported.

On Sept. 19, message boards approaching the curve notified motorists of the project, first slated for Sept. 27 through 30 but postponed due to Hurricane Ian.

The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in September agreed to take on the project in-house, saving an estimated $100,000, the county reported. Originally, FDOT was slated to handle it at a cost of $359,138 but in February 2020 the county took control of all Siesta Key roads.

Holiday parade is Nov. 26

The 37th annual Light Up Siesta Village Holiday Parade will be held Saturday, Nov. 26. Festivities start at 5 p.m., beginning at Siesta Center Plaza, 5053 Ocean Blvd.

New this year is the judging and awarding of prizes for parade entries.

To enter, visit

Next Siesta Key Association meeting is Thursday, Nov. 3

The Siesta Key Association civic group meets the first Thursday of each month. The November meeting will be on the 3rd from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in St. Boniface Church’s community room, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd.

If interested in becoming a member of the Siesta Key Association, email the organization at

Info on Nov. 8 election

Early voting for the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election ends Sunday, Nov. 6.

On election day, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Mail-in ballots must also be received by 7 p.m. that day.

Siesta Key residents vote at either St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd. (precincts 411 and 421), or Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave. (precincts 401 and 403).

The two seats being contested on the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners both involve Siesta Key. In District 2, which includes the northern half of the island, Democrat Fredd Atkins faces Republican Mark Smith.

Smith is a Siesta Key resident.

In District 4, which includes the southern half of the island, Democrat Daniel Kuether faces Republican Joe Neunder.

A state House race also impacts Siesta Key, as incumbent Republican state Rep. Fiona McFarland is being challenged by Democrat Derek Reich.

To find the location of your polling place and for more information, visit

Red tide at Turtle Beach

Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach was one of eight Sarasota County beaches to possess elevated levels of red tide, an Oct. 17 water test indicated. Siesta Beach was not impacted.

The warning was lifted for all on Oct. 26.

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County posted warning signage Oct. 20 at the beaches to advise the public that red tide is present.

The beaches issued an advisory were: Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club Park, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard Beach, and Caspersen Beach.

CB’s fly fishing school returns

Nov. 12 is the first date for the fly fishing school hosted by CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd.

The Orvis-endorsed course will also be held Jan 14, Feb. 4 and 18, and March 18.

Designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, the course will focus on basic fly casting principles, the improving casting skills, and the correcting of faults.  Instructor Capt. Rick Grassett will also cover saltwater fly fishing techniques, leader construction, and fly selection.

Cost for the class, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is $225 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a workbook, and lunch. Optional instructional guided fly fishing trips are also available for an additional fee.

Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or at to make reservations.

Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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