Island Chatter: September

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Pedestrians struck in busy crosswalk

A father and his two young children suffered serious injuries while in the crosswalk on Midnight Pass Road at the corner of Old Stickney Point Road.

The incident occurred at 8:47 p.m. on Aug. 18 when a northbound SUV driven by a 74-year-old Saint Petersburg man struck the family members after failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, as required, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The victims are a 47-year-old man, his 5-year-old son, and his 2-year-old daughter, who was being carried in the father’s arms. They are residents of Sarasota.

All three were transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation.

Siesta Beach hit with a pair of no-swim advisories

As a precaution, Sarasota County health officials on both July 28 and Aug. 11 issued no-swim advisories that included Siesta Beach.

The first advisory lasted one day for Siesta, and the second lasted two days.

In both cases, the amount of enterococcus bacteria found during water-quality testing was outside acceptable limits. The beaches remained open, but wading, swimming and water recreation is not recommended when no swim advisories advisory in place. The first advisory included the following:

Siesta Key Beach, Bird Key Park/ Ringling Causeway, Service Club Beach, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard Beach, Casperson Beach, and Manasota Key.

On Aug. 2, the balance of the beaches on the list had the advisory removed.

The Aug. 11 advisory included Siesta Beach, Lido Casino, and North Lido Beach. It was lifted Aug. 13.

Signage advising the public not to swim or engage in water recreation stays in place until follow-up water-testing results meet the EPA’s recreational-water-quality standards.

Coastal cleanup is Sept. 17

The annual International Coastal Cleanup will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at various locations throughout Sarasota County including Siesta Key.

Preregistration is required and must be completed by noon on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Register online at (keyword: Keep Sarasota County Beautiful) or call (941) 861-5000 to register via phone. The first 500 volunteers to register qualify for first-option access to this year’s commemorative T-shirt.

Tickets now available for annual sand sculpting event

Tickets and parking passes are on sale now for the 2022 Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival. Visit to make your purchase.

The website also has information on how to become a sponsor or a volunteer.

The event, which takes place on Siesta Beach, runs from Nov. 11 through Nov. 14 and draws participants from all across the world.

Gruters retains seat with landslide victory; Buchanan takes Republican primary
Incumbent state Sen. Joe Gruters took two-thirds of the vote in a universal primary election Aug. 23, topping political newcomer Michael Johnson, a fellow Republican.


”Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen — very excited about being able to fight for our community over the next four years,” Gruters said via social media.
With no Democratic challenger on the ballot, the primary served as the decisive vote and was open to all voters regardless of political affiliation.
Gruters, whose District 22 covers Sarasota County, received 84,737 votes (67%) compared to Johnson’s 41,778 votes (33%).
In a Republican primary for the state’s District 16 congressional seat, which includes Sarasota, incumbent Vern Buchanan also won with ease, receiving 82% of the vote against challenger Martin Hyde by a margin of 63,982 to 10,206.
Buchanan will face Democrat Jan Schneider, who was unopposed, in the Nov. 8 general election.

SKA meeting is Sept. 8
The next public meeting of the Siesta Key Association civic group is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. It is held in the community room of St. Boniface Curch, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd.
The meetings are typically held the first Thursday of each month. The September meeting has been delayed a week due to a conflict with a Sept. 1 Sarasota County Planning Commission hearing that is addressing a proposed hotel on Siesta Key.

Anna’s Deli postpones expansion plan

Anna’s Deli, located at 6535 Midnight Pass Rd. in Southbridge Mall, has announced it has postponed its plans to remodel and expand into a vacant neighboring storefront.

An Aug. 15 post on its Facebook page said, in part:
“To all our loyal and future guests, some good news and some not so good news …
“The good news: We won’t be closing for remodel. No need to change any vacation plans.
“The not-so-good news: After investing months of planning and preparing for our remodel, due to many unexpected and uncontrollable events and circumstances, our remodel is on an indeterminate hold.
“Back to the good news — we will not be closing at any time in the near future, which means you will be able to get your favorite Anna’s Deli sandwich with your favorite Anna’s sauce without interruption.
“Thanks for your anticipated patience and we’ll give it another try in the future.”
The sandwich shop, which has existed on Siesta Key for 51 years, was planning to expand into the space previously occupied by the Things You Like boutique, which in May left the mall and transitioned to an online-only business model.

‘Scooter of the Beach’ has rum created as a tribute

Siesta Key Rum has issued a limited-edition “Scooter of the Beach” variety of its toasted coconut rum.

The item is a tribute to Scot Ruberg, the Siesta Key lifeguard who can be found at what he calls his “magical” green lifeguard station on the Key’s public beach. Visit for more information and to place an order.

Big Tiki Lounge to hold grand opening Sept. 17

The Big Tiki Lounge will celebrate a grand opening from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. The business is located at Siesta Key Beach Resort and Suites at 5311 Ocean Blvd. in the Village.

The establishment offers seating for 70 and sells specialty cocktails, beer, wine and spirits.

Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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