53 F
Longboat Key
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Letters to the Editor week of July 15, 2022

Longboat Key News and Sarasota City News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Who does Vern owe?

To the Editor:

Though it is newsworthy to learn of Vern Buchanan’s significant campaign reelection fund (LBKNews, July 8) I believe it would be far more edifying to know where this money is coming from. To the point, to whom is Mr. Buchanan beholding as he accumulates this mountain of cash?

Lawrence I Sank

Longboat Key

 

Roadwatch Report US 41 Gulfstream Roundabout, Week of Sunday, July 17, 2022

Also note the Ringling Bridge nightly lane closure.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

RoadWatch Update for the Week of Sunday, July 17

To: Longboat Key Commission, Sarasota City Commission

US 41 at Gulfstream Avenue Roundabout Project, Sarasota: Construction project: Crews will work within the right-of-way, medians, driveways and throughout the project limits. Please use caution and watch for construction vehicles, dump trucks, semi-trucks and heavy equipment entering or exiting the work zone.

Activities Include:

Installation of storm drainage pipe and structures on US 41 between 1st Street and 2nd Street.

Installation of the concrete truck apron.

Clearing of existing roadway and shoulder on the east side of US 41 between Gulfstream Avenue and Fruitville Road.

Grading of base stabilization material in the roundabout area and on US 41 between Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue.

John Ringling Bridge Shared Bus-Bike Shoulders stripping and pavement marking work continues. Two lanes for vehicular traffic will remain during the work and following the changes. This work will be complete by mid-August. Expect nightly lane closures in both approaches to the bridge.

Detours/Crossings:

Phase 1B configuration in place (island traffic only on US 41 south of Fruitville Road and north of Main Street). Watch for new traffic patterns, traffic signals, and pavement markings. Motorists are urged to use alternate detour route, if possible.

Palm Avenue, 1st Street, and 2nd Street are closed at the US 41 connection in both directions. Entering and exiting the downtown area via Cocoanut Avenue to Fruitville Road is recommended.

Sidewalk at the northwest corner of US 41 at Gulfstream Avenue is closed. Pedestrian paths are available via US 41 Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT) along Ritz Carlton Drive.

Sidewalk on the east side of US 41 between Gulfstream Avenue and Fruitville Road is closed for reconstruction work. Pedestrians should use Cocoanut Avenue for access to downtown and to the Main Street.

The east pedestrian crosswalk at Sunset Drive and Gulfstream Avenue is closed. The west pedestrian crosswalk is available to cross Gulfstream Avenue. Signage and pedestrian barricades are in place for guidance.

Marina Jacks north parking lot entrance/exit on Gulfstream Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic. Motorists may access the parking lot via Bayfront Drive at Main Street/Marina Plaza. No through traffic allowed through this area. Motorist may not exit the Marina Jacks parking lot via Bayfront Drive at Main Street/Marina Plaza. The south exit at Ringling Boulevard must be used to exit Marina Jacks.

Eastbound through travel lane on Gulfstream Avenue (towards downtown) will remain closed. Use alternate routes via Ringling Boulevard or Fruitville Road.

Detours and lane closures will be in place during various phases of the project. During construction, the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph on US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue.

We encourage motorists to allow extra time to travel, follow the roadway signage and messaging and avoid making unauthorized U-turns or changing lanes across solid lines between the lanes when traveling through the construction work zone.

Construction activities will take place weekdays and weekends, daytime and occasionally during nighttime hours. Expect noise from grinding asphalt, hammer drills, noise and vibration from construction equipment, backup alarms, vacuum trucks, pumps, and lighting.

Improvements being made as part of this project consist of replacing the existing signalized intersection on US 41 at Gulfstream Avenue with a roundabout, installation of HAWK pedestrian crossing signal system, raised pedestrian refuge islands, replacement of underground drainage structures, utilities, fiber optic, new LED streetlights, reconfiguration of stormwater retention ponds, sidewalks, and pedestrian walkways. Expected completion is fall 2022.

Alice Ramos

Community Outreach Manager

Valerin Group

Roadwatch Report US 41 Gulfstream Roundabout, Week of Sunday, July 17

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Please share. Also note the Ringling Bridge nightly lane closure.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Roadwatch Report US 41 Gulfstream Roundabout, Week of Sunday, July 17

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Thanks, Jen.  It’s not always easy to sort out what’s new and/or important in these reports.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Town of Longboat Key

 

Talk of the Town- Vertical Oyster Gardens

To: Longboat Key Commission

See link to the latest Talk of the Town video.

This one is on the Vertical Oyster Garden project at Durante Park.  Thanks to Manatee County and Shaun Swartz, their Environmental Specialist for the great job on the video explaining the program. Special thanks to Carolyn to coordinating the effort and to Barry for the great production and video work. We will post on our website and share through our various distribution lists.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

St Regis Longboat 7-8-22 01

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Just a good look at the site. Thanks for all your help!

Michael Ogorek

General Superintendent

Moss Construction

 

COVID Update 7-11-22

To: Longboat Key Commission

See this month’s update on COVID numbers for Longboat Key from Charles Henry (FDOH)

He mentioned that our numbers are still somewhat elevated, as they are in Sarasota County, but haven’t changed much on a month to month basis.

The latest weekly numbers for Longboat Key:

5/29- 6/4             16 positives

6/5-6/11              11 positives

6/12- 6/18           10 positives

6/19- 6/25           12 positives

6/26- 7/2             9 positives

7/3- 7/9                9 positives

Here are the latest monthly numbers for Longboat Key:

January               195 (Delta Variant)

February             47 cases

March                  49 cases

April                     66 cases

May                     55 cases

June                     52 cases

July                        9 cases through July 9th

Obviously, the FDOH numbers only reflect those that seek formal testing versus a private at home test.  He reported that the 7-day positivity rate in Sarasota County is slightly higher than the 14 day rate and may indicate a slight increase in trend especially with some of the July 4th holiday timeframe included.

He said hospitalization are being monitoring but not a concern as there is capacity available and severity has been lower than in the past surge. New hospitalizations have trended slightly down over the past few weeks from an overall system capacity standpoint but they tend to lag and increase a few weeks after an increase in positive test results. We will continue to monitor the data and keep in touch with the FDOH on any changes.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

COVID Update 7-11-22

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I know of four alone that tested at home in the last seven days and were positive.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

COVID Update 7-11-22

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

Commissioner Bishop, thanks for the email.  I am aware of some similar circumstances.  Chuck did agree that these numbers are under reported as they don’t have data on home testing- but said they are tracking hospitalizations related to COVID as well as an additional way to monitor.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

B of A

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I stopped in at BofA today.  They re-opened on June 27 and will be open M-F from now on.  Their new manager, Martin Duffy, would love to see some traffic, so I suggested that he get involved with the Chamber and he would like you to call him.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

2021-2022 FLC Land Use & Economic Development Committee

To: Town of Longboat Key Trish Shinkle

The Land Use & Economic Development Committee will hold an in-person meeting on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL. This meeting is held during the League’s Annual Conference. The purpose of this meeting is to brief committee members on legislation from the 2022 Session and what may be coming during the 2023 Session. This is the final, wrap-up meeting for the 2021-2022 committee.

Click here to register to attend the August 11 Land Use & Economic Development Committee meeting. Registering for this meeting does not register you to attend the FLC Annual Conference.

Please note – this is not the first meeting for the 2022-2023 committee that will consider policy for the 2023 Legislative Session. That meeting will be held on Friday, September 16, 2022 in Orlando. Committee appointment confirmation letters will be sent on Aug. 22.

Mary Edenfield

Legislative Administrator

Florida League of Cities, Inc.

 

Question about special events

To: Sarasota City Mayor Erik Arroyo

I spoke to Jim Wormley, the manager of special events. He mentioned that I can have the space, but City only support 15 events a year and I am currently not one of them. I have a couple of questions:

1. Will the City be involved in co-sponsoring the event?

2. Will City be involved in co-producing / sponsoring the Parade.

I’m trying to understand the details for organizational purposes. If all the expenses are on me, I’ll have to think how to organize it differently.

There will be a lot of production/ artists related expenses and I have to spend it smart in order to be able to get back year after year.

Mikhael Brovkine

Sarasota

Sleeping and Panhandling on Main Street Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Commission

My apologies if I’m directing this email to the wrong people.  I searched some Sarasota websites, and this seemed to be the best. Kindly forward to the right people if necessary.

My husband and I bought an apt in the beautiful city of Sarasota last fall.  As a graduate of the Univ of S. Florida, Sarasota has always been a special place for me.

On occasion, we have seen a couple of homeless people in Sarasota, either sleeping on the street or begging for money.  Sadly, it’s not unexpected in any city today.  However, this past week, we have seen an uncomfortable increase in the number of people sleeping on the sidewalk or begging for money on the street.  On July 3rd, we walked up Main Street from S. Gulfstream Ave to the Whole Foods Market and were hassled by 5 different individuals  aggressively requesting money, then following us and insisting when we politely declined or ignored them.

Additionally, as we walked past Five Points Park at about 1 p.m., there was a man standing in the middle of the park with a very good megaphone screaming about something.  I saw people who wanted to enter the park for a little visit unable to because of the loud megaphone.  We went back to the area for dinner at about 7 p.m. and he was still there screaming into his megaphone!  Meaning that there were no Sarasota police that ever went by the park all day either by driving or walking by. That’s not good!

I have no objection to people protesting their cause, however, it’s illegal to use a megaphone in a public place.  I just read about a 13-year old Lakeland girl being arrested for using a megaphone in public (couldn’t they just take it away from her?).

Questions:

Are you aware of this panhandling situation, and what, if anything is being done about it?

In a 7-hour period of time, why was there not one police car or foot patrol person anywhere near 5 Points Park?

If this happens again, what number should I call?  I don’t want to call 911 for something like this. Thanking you in advance for your reply.

Candice Sabatini

Sarasota

 

Sleeping and Panhandling on Main Street Sarasota

To: Candice Sabatini

Thank you for your email concerning panhandling and homelessness in the City. I have copied the City Attorney, Deputy City Manager, and Chief of Police to respond to your procedural and legal questions concerning the situation you referenced. Thank you again for your email and I look forward the response as well.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Sleeping & Panhandling on Main Street Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Commissiner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Many thanks for your reply.  I look forward to hearing what can be done. Additionally, using a megaphone in a public park is illegal, and also needs to be addressed.  While not dangerous, it means that no one else can use the park due to his screaming.  As I mentioned, I don’t want to call 911, but is there a local police precinct I can call to get a policeman or policewoman there to stop him?  He had the park all to himself the entire day with no one stopping him, so he’ll be back for sure. Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

Candice Sabatini

Sarasota

 

Sleeping & Panhandling on Main Street Sarasota

To: Candice Sabatini

The nonemergency number is 941-316-1199 for law enforcement response.  Using a megaphone in a public area is not on face value illegal (and could be constitutionally protected activity depending on the specific circumstances) but it could however be subject to certain noise regulations that could be addressed and or assessed by a police officer.  In the future if you have any concern, you can always call 911 and they will route your call to a nonemergency dispatch operator if you cannot dial the nonemergency number.  I am sorry about the experience you had with the aggressive panhandlers, that is unacceptable behavior and is potentially criminal conduct.  In the future please call as soon as practical (and safe) so Officers can respond and address the situation.  We are aware of the challenges surrounding panhandlers in our community and have multiple programs to address their needs and if needed their criminal conduct.  We staff the downtown with 3 Officers at all times and I will ask the Chief to look into the situation at the park to see if we had anyone call reference to the situation and what actions were taken.  I apologize for your experience on the 3rd  and hope your next visit to downtown is more enjoyable.

Patrick Robinson

Deputy City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Sleeping and Panhandling on Main Street Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Assistant Manager Pat Robinson

Thank you for your response. I really appreciate the clarity on some of the questions raised by Candice.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

Request for assistance please

To: Sarasota City Jen Ahearn-Koch

I know you’re busy and I hate to have to ask this.  But, my neighbor, for reasons unknown to me, decided to share my private email to her w/you back on 6/16/22.  I did not want my email sent to you or in the public record.  Is it possible to get that email removed from the city’s web-log since it was sent w/out my permission. Her name is Bon Fehling.  Again, my apologies for this.  Thank you.

Mike Nuckols

Sarasota

 

Request for assistance please

To: Mike Nuckols

This is a question for the City Attorney and/or City Auditor & Clerk, both copied on this email and I am confident they will respond accordingly.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

ÅZÅ

To: Sarasota City Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg

Please see the attached letter that Mr. Ellis received by the St. Petersburg Tenants Union, as well as Mr. Ellis’ attorney’s response to their letter. The Party for Socialism and Liberation is organizing a protest and press conference over this tomorrow, June 17th at 1pm at City Hall regarding these false allegations.

Carey Van Ostenbridge

Legal Assistant to

Richard V. Ellis, P.A.

 

St. Petersburg Tenants Union

To: Sarasota City Commission

FYI only in the event you have questions of your own. I have also asked Ms. Panica to have Code conduct a site visit and there were observations of rubbish, junk, trash and overgrowth. The owner stated that it would be taken care of as this may have been the responsibility of the tenant. Staff had a conversation with the tenant, who stated that all interior issues were remedied and there were no issues. Other than that, this is a civil matter. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

St. Petersburg Tenants Union

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Here is an update that I just received.  The tenant turned over the keys yesterday and is out of the house.  The owner called for a special trash pickup for the items the tenant left outside.  That pick up should be occurring tomorrow or tomorrow.  The owner arranged for a lawn company to clean up the overgrowth that the tenant left.  That should be completed by tomorrow.  This site should be back in compliance by Monday.

Lucia Panica

Development Services Director

City of Sarasota

 

Millage rate for City of Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Commission

The Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Special City Commission Meeting  for the purpose of discussing the Approval of the Preliminary Millage Rate for the City of Sarasota, the Golden Gate Point Streetscape, the St. Armand’s Business Improvement District, and the Downtown Improvement District for Fiscal year 2022-2023, Agenda packet is now available through your iLegislate app (This meeting will begin immediately following the conclusion of the Budget Workshop).

Please note that paper packets are available for pickup in the Commission Liaison Office for those who have indicated a wish to continue to receive them. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance, or if you have any questions. Thank you. Have a great day!

Shayla Griggs

City Clerk

City of Sarasota

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
spot_img

Latest Articles