Siesta Key Round Up

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By Rachel Brown Hackney & Bob Stein 

Turtle Beach Renourishment update
Siesta Key Association has been receiving calls regarding the start date for the Turtle Beach renourishment. The project was to begin in January; however when Catherine Luckner from SKA contacted the county to confirm the date she was informed by County Staff there is no set written start date; only a verbal commitment to begin sometime in February but no later than March 1. The project will last 40-45 days once it's initiated. The startup is contingent on the necessary equipment relocation from an ongoing northeastern shipping project.

SCAT Transportation Projects
Among new transportation projects the Sarasota County Commission approved in January for state and federal funding assistance through the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is one that encompasses the construction of Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus shelters, plus crosswalk and Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at Siesta Public Beach.

County plans call for improvements to the SCAT stops on Beach Road near the public beach. News Leader photo
County plans call for improvements to the SCAT stops on Beach Road near the public beach. News Leader photo
On July 26, 2010, the MPO adopted the original version of this project, which called for one new SCAT bus pullout lane and three bus shelters on Beach Road in the vicinity of the public beach. Subsequently, preliminary engineering work determined “bus pullout lanes are not feasible at any location” along the approximately half-mile segment of Beach Road adjacent to the park because of land-use constraints, a March 5, 2014 county staff memo explained.

Therefore, SCAT staff decided to put the focus on shelters and pedestrian access to them, and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) representatives approved the proposal, the County Commission learned in March 2014. Although Beach Road is a county route, FDOT provided the $312,372 in grant funds for the original design work.

The plan, as presented in March 2014, would expand the number of shelters from three to five, add way-finding signage and two new crosswalks on Beach Road, upgrade one existing crosswalk and improve the current crosswalks at the beach park to add ramps and other features to enhance access under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
SCAT was asked to postpone the project until the improvements were completed at Siesta Public Beach, SCAT Senior Planner Sarah Blanchard explained to the County Commission in March 2014.

On a Jan. 12, 2016 motion by Commissioner Carolyn Mason, seconded by Commissioner Paul Caragiulo, the board voted unanimously to approve the county’s 2016 Major Improvement Project priorities as well as the county’s top choices for state and federal transportation program funding, for adoption by the MPO board.

Siesta Key’s Valentine’s Beach event: Say “I do" Again
A romantic beachside renewal of wedding vows, offering couples a beautiful backdrop to express their continuing love and commitment to one another will take place on February 14 (Sunday) from 4:30 to 7 p.m.  Couples will be able to renew their vows at the non-denominational sunset ceremony then enjoy wedding-themed refreshments. Couples receive a beautiful certificate to commemorate this very special ceremony. The cost is $10 per couple. To register, please call 941-861-7275.  

Siesta Key Chamber announcement
Desiree Hanright On January 5, Desiree Hanright resigned as Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Membership Service Manager stating, “It is the right time for me at this time as I work toward fulfilling my personal and professional goals.”According to the press release, Desiree did a great job at the Siesta Key Chamber and all wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Consequently, Ann Frescura, Executive Director of the SK Chamber, is working on the job description for the Membership Service Manager position which will be advertised in the near future.


February Craft Fair in the Village
The Siesta Key Village Association has announced the dates for the popular Craft Fair that kicks off the busiest time on the island in Season. The dates are February 27 and 28, 2016. Howard Allen will continue to host the Craft Fair.

Puppy Love 2016
Iconic 80’s TV star, Judy Landers and her two daughters, Lindsey and Kristy and Mrs. Shigemi Higgs will host the event that is to benefit Satchel’s Last Resort Animal Shelter & Sanctuary.  The event will take place February 6, from 4-6 p.m., at the Village Café located at 5133 Ocean Blvd, in Siesta Key Village.  Admission is $45 and will include a buffet, wine and beer, a raffle, silent auction and live entertainment.  Dogs are welcome on the patio. 
Satchel’s Last Resort is a sanctuary dedicated to the care of over 100 last chance animals which are divided into two groups: guests and residents.  The guests are available for adoption.  The residents are animals who, for one reason or another, are not considered adoptable and will live the remainder of their lives at the shelter.
Satchel's Last Resort provides lifelong shelter to dogs and cats deemed unadoptable, a nurturing environment, training for all dogs, and offer temporary shelter to adoptable dogs and cats whose owners can no longer care for them. Satchel’s Last Resort believe all dogs and cats are created equal and deserve to live the life of a beloved pet.

If you are interested in adopting or being a foster parent, please go to their website:    The Village Café is donating 100% of the food and time for this charitable event. See the display ad on page 18 for additional information.

Siesta Key Association Announcement
The February 4 (Thursday) meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key. The guest speaker this month is Sara Kane from Sarasota County Sustainability. See the SKA ad on page 16 for more information.

Road work on Siesta Drive
Improvements from Siesta Drive to Dunn Drive will encompass State Road 758/Bee Ridge Road/Osprey Avenue. 
This project was originally scheduled to begin in early January 2016 and includes significant drainage improvements along State Road 758; replacing pipes and inlets; removing old asphalt and resurfacing the roadway; reconstructing sidewalk, and installing new signalization in some areas.
Additionally, crews will construct eleven (11) pedestrian refuge islands on Bee Ridge Road between U.S. 41 and Dunn Drive. Pedestrian islands provide a safe space for pedestrians to stop before crossing the remaining portion of the roadway while increasing the visibility of pedestrians to motorists.  The $17 million project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.

Mail Pack Center reminder
Their motto, “BE GOOD TO YOURSELF – TRAVEL LIGHT!”  helps simplify your life during travel.  On January 8, Mail Pack Center of Siesta Key started their 20th year serving Siesta Key residents and visitors. They offer shipping by all major carriers: UPS, FedEx, USPS, DH, Freight Company’s, and International shipping by sea to many countries in Europe at very low prices. They also provide professional packaging services of fragile and valuable items. Besides shipping and packing, the store provides notary service, computer-time rental, scanning, forwarding services, mailbox rental, copies scan & e-mail, laminating, postage stamps, fax service.
Located at 6547 Midnight Pass Road, the shop is open on Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.  You can call Jack at 941-346-3303, or Fax 941-346-3996, with any questions on items you wish to pack and mail.

Looking for the Village Barber?
For those that have enjoyed the cuts and comradery at The Village Barber over the years, you can still continue to see Scott at his new location.  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. The Siesta Center was sold and the new ownership of the Ocean Blvd building wasn’t quite meeting up to expectations he and Sparks had of the new landlord. Sparks announced his retirement and Reich announced a move to The Shop SRQ at 6625 Gateway Ave. in Gulf Gate. You can reach Scott Reich at 941-346-0222. His hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tues – Fri, and Sat from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Siesta Sand
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