November Siesta Key Round Up

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By Bob Stein 

New Pastor announced for St. Michaels the Archangel on Siesta Key

Parishioners of the Catholic Church received word on Sunday October 18 that a new Pastor was appointed to the parish.  The new pastor, Reverend Michael Cannon will assume his new responsibilities on November 2. Father Cannon is a priest of the Diocese of Venice and has been the Pastor of St. James Parish in Lake Placid.

Father Leo Smith has been the Parochial Vicar for the parish ever since Monsignor Joe Sterns retired this past year. Father Smith is being appointed as Administrator of St. Finbarr Parish in Naples and has been with St. Michaels for the past 15 months. Siesta Sand wants to thank Father Smith for his services. He will be truly missed.

Looking for The Village Barber?

As snowbirds begin to return to Siesta Key many are wondering; where did the Village Barber go? Back in July, Scott Reich announced moving out of the Village and off the Key.  Reich and his stepfather Pete Sparks had been servicing patrons in the Village for the past 20 years. When the Siesta Center was sold and the new ownership of the Ocean Blvd., building was not quite meeting up to the expectations Reich and Sparks had of the new landlord, they decided to look elsewhere. Although Sparks chose to retire, Reich announced a move to the Shop SRQ at 6625 Gateway Ave. in Gulf Gate. You can reach Scott Reich at 941-346-0222.

Volunteers Needed

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is seeking volunteers for their Visitor Center.  As a volunteer you will have fun helping visitors find accommodations, places to shop, eat and the many attractions throughout Sarasota.  It’s a great place to become active and involved in the Siesta Key community, whether you are a full time or seasonal resident.  Volunteers also have the opportunity to attend Chamber networking functions and special events.  You must be familiar with the local area, some computer knowledge, and the ability to handle a busy environment!  Please contact, Mia Leone, Visitor Center & Volunteer Manager at 941-349-3800 or stop by the Chamber office at 5114 Ocean Boulevard.

Pirates Invade Siesta Key

Come celebrate Sand Fest 2015 in your pirate attire on Siesta Key public beach. The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual party at the beach. This year the theme is a Pirate Invasion. The event will feature Pirate Cuisine provided by SK area restaurants along with live music, dancing and a live auction. This fun annual event will take place Friday, November 6th from 6 to 10 pm. at the Siesta Key Public Beach Pavilion. For reservations call 941-349-3800, $30 for members – $36 for non-members.

SKA needs board members

The Siesta Key Association has a rich tradition of representing and proactively lobbying for the rights of the citizens of Siesta Key, and it is becoming ever more critical to have an active body that represents the interest of all property owners on Siesta Key.

SKA needs board members who can actively participate in subcommittees which work closely with the County to beautify our island, look after the environment and ensure that zoning laws are followed, so that we can look forward to maintaining the essence of Siesta Key which is so important to all of us. Please contact if you wish to become a board member.

If you don't have the time to participate in subcommittees, you can learn more about what is happening in your community and contribute your ideas by attending any of the monthly SKA Board Meetings. Become a SKA member for only $30 a year. SKA is the closest thing to an island government.

Siesta Key Association discusses Turtle Beach renourishment

The guest speaker for the monthly meeting will be Laird Wreford, Coastal Initiatives Manager for the Environmental Protection Division of Sarasota County Government. SKA has received many requests for information regarding Turtle Beach renourishment and renovation of the camp ground and park amenities. The meeting will be at St. Boniface Church 5615 Midnight Pass Road Room F on Thursday November 5th at 4:30 pm.

Siesta Key resident appointed to Tourist Development Council

Siesta Key resident Vern Johnson, a longtime volunteer at the Siesta Chamber was appointed to the Tourist Development Council by The County Commissioners on Tues. Sept 22nd for a term of 4 years.

The Tourist Development Council (TDC) makes recommendations on tourism policy to the County Commissioners and oversees the use of tourist development tax revenues pursuant to Florida law. The Council also examines the changing dynamics affecting the county's tourist development, cultural environment, beach maintenance and restoration, and responds to the needs of the tourist industry.

Johnson was living in California as a NCR Executive when AT&T purchased the Company.  The decision to move to Siesta Key was easy, as he owned a Condo at Gulf and Bay Club, establishing Residency in 1990.  “All my travels while working kept calling me back to Siesta.” Johnson stated. 

As a charter member of the Beach Ambassadors and a graduate of Civics 101 sponsored by the County Commissioners, his desire to be involved in tourism grew.  After attending TDC meetings over the past two years, Johnson decided to apply for one of the vacancies.

Siesta Key Condo Council meeting

Siesta Key Condominium Council will be holding their membership meeting November 17, 3 p.m. at the Siesta Key Presbyterian Chapel, in the Fellowship Hall at 4615 Gleason Avenue, east of Siesta Village.  The speaker will be Attorney Daniel J. Lobeck from the law offices of Lobeck and Hanson.  Topic to be discussed will be 2015 legislative session changes which include authority and procedures for online voting, process for levying enforcement fines, maintenance of Association records, disregarding restrictive endorsements on checks, use of proxy copies, meeting notices by email to owners, clarification of manager’s authority, and update on therapy animal rules.  Condominium owners, board members, and managers are encouraged and welcomed to attend the meeting. 

Red tide detected

Cell counts of the Red Tide organism Karenia brevis reached “high” concentrations in early October at two docks located near Mote Marine Laboratory on City Island in Sarasota.

Some beaches in Sarasota were experiencing human and aquatic health impacts of Red Tide. Mote Marine Laboratory was monitoring the red tide algae bloom.

The Florida Red Tide and other Harmful Algae Blooms government organization—comprised of Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory—received confirmed reports of respiratory irritation at three Sarasota beaches: Nokomis, Siesta Key, and North Jetty. On Oct. 13, the North Jetty also reported some dead fish on shore.

Residents and beachgoers can stay informed and visit the Beach Conditions Reporting System for real and near-time beach information:








Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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