Island Chatter

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Beverly Arias

Beverly Arias
Siesta Key Association

Last month, the Siesta Key Association did not hold its regular meeting because it fell on the July 4th holiday.  On that Independence Day holiday, our Florida summer rainy season delivered its expected abundance of showers, but the skies miraculously cleared just minutes before the start of a most spectacular fireworks show on Siesta Beach.  The holiday and all it stands for always gives us great reason to be thankful for what we have, and for what we still can accomplish and protect.

Whether on Siesta Key for work, play, or residence, it is easy to be thankful for the beauty of this small island and the pleasure and memories it continuously brings.  It’s no surprise that over several years our own Siesta Beach has been honored with top ranking as best in Florida, best in the U.S., and best in the world.  With increasing public interest in our beach community, it is ever more important to preserve the Siesta Key experience.  Much of this maintenance happens behind the scenes, and, thankfully, volunteerism and civil service are alive and well on this island.  With our community associations and dedicated zoning and law enforcement officers, our residents, business owners, and local government representatives, there is strong collaborative effort to keep up this special place and prominence.

Since its founding in 1948, the Siesta Key Association (SKA) has been dedicated to supporting the interests of island residents and property owners toward maintaining the quality of life on Siesta Key.  In partnership with other community organizations including the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA), the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce (SKCC), and the Siesta Key Condo Association, SKA’s volunteer Board members continuously seek information, communication, and solutions for creating a safer, more efficient, eco-friendly, and attractive environment for all who visit or live on the Key.

As an introduction to some of SKA’s involvement in the past few years, let’s take a trip along our familiar Siesta Key roads.  Starting southward from Siesta Dr. to Higel Ave., trash pick-up is done every few months by SKA and SKVA volunteers in the Adopt-a-Road effort that they started in 2003.  Turning onto Ocean Blvd, you’ll spot one of the four speed radar signs installed around the island to discourage high speed driving on streets shared by cars, pedestrians, and bikers.  A new sign will be posted in the pocket park at Givens St. to notice prohibited activity such as lighting fires and camping.  The street lamps are back on after over 20 expired lights were reported to FPL for repair.  As you enter Siesta Village, a brighter light was installed for safety at the Treasure Boat Way bus stop, close to the location of newly built walkway and fencing.  To ensure safe crossing at night, bollard lights will soon be installed at some busy Siesta Village crosswalks.   Requests have been made to add recycling bins in the Village.  SKA is working with Village residents in their presentation to the County Commission to help resolve illegal parking on their street.  Noise mitigation discussions are ongoing with Siesta Village and Turtle Beach residents and business owners.

Continuing on toward Beach Rd., SKA recruited over 30 volunteers to collect beach trash as part of the Great American Coastal Cleanup.  Together with the Sarasota Audubon Society, SKA volunteers monitor the vegetated dune areas to eradicate fire ants, part of their continuous focus on protecting our beach nesting Snowy Plovers and Least Terns.  SKA stays diligently involved as plans progress for the Siesta Beach drainage system improvement and future beach park renovation scheduled to begin in 2014.  Along Midnight Pass Rd, newly painted crosswalks, with pushbutton yield lighting, allow safe passage for pedestrians.  SKA continues sponsorship of the Sarasota County Junior Lifeguard program, celebrating five years of lifesaving training for youth ages 13-18.  Turtle Beach has newly installed No Parking signs to maintain safety clearance at its single entryway.

There are many more ongoing projects in which SKA stays involved, including those related to residential density, building and rental codes, beach sand preservation, waterway speeds, manatee protection, event parking and traffic flow, and the list goes on.  For more information on past SKA accomplishments and current projects, or to participate with SKA, please visit

SKA will resume its monthly meeting on August 1st at 4:30pm at St. Boniface Episcopal Church – Room F.  No guest speakers are scheduled as SKA will hold a public forum for suggestions and feedback from our meeting attendees.  SKA members and non-members are welcome.

With its focus on maintaining and enhancing the quality of life on the Key, the Siesta Key Association’s representation of island resident interests ultimately benefits everyone who spends time on Siesta Key.  SKA’s website is  “Like” us on Facebook!


Siesta Sand
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