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Bus it to the beach

Bus it to the beach

Sarasota, Florida - Siesta Public Beach's popularity is causing problems. The parking lot there fills up early in the day and Sarasota County officials are urging people to car pool or use public transportation.

This weekend is expected to be especially busy with a large crowd hitting the beach for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation fundraising walk. A memorial for the teens who were recently killed in traffic accidents is also planned.

9,000-year-old artifacts excavated from North Port spring

9,000-year-old artifacts excavated from North Port spring

North Port, Florida -- Yesterday, archaeologists and scientific divers from The Florida Aquarium brought several "items of interest" from Little Salt Spring in North Port (Map) to the surface for examination, after two decades of excavating around the basin. The items include wooden artifacts preserved from over 9,000 years ago.

Siesta Beach improvements to be finalized next week

Siesta Beach improvements to be finalized next week

The preliminary design of the Siesta Beach improvements will be the subject of a public meeting Thursday, March 24, at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota. Residents are invited to come anytime during the 5-7 p.m. open-house-style meeting hosted by Sarasota County Capital Management Services. There will be no formal presentation.

Staff from the county and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., the design and engineering firm, will answer questions and receive comments about the design plan, which includes many new and enhanced amenities at the world-class Siesta Beach, one the county’s most popular beaches. The Sarasota County Commission approved the Siesta Beach concept plan in May 2009 after several public meetings were held to gather citizen input.

The project will increase and improve parking and pedestrian access, upgrade and expand recreational opportunities and facilities, and restore the historic pavilion built in the 1950s. 

Among the amenities planned for the beach park are:

North Sarasota Library helps those with hearing loss

North Sarasota Library helps those with hearing loss

Sarasota, Florida -- The North Sarasota Public Library will be the first community venue in Sarasota to offer a hearing loop system in its main meeting room.

This innovative system is considered to provide the clearest, most understandable sound for many with hearing loss as it sends the voice of a speaker from a microphone directly to one's hearing aids.

It also eliminates the need for headsets used by other assisted listening systems, which frequently cause irritating back-feed interference.

Health warnings for Venice and Turtle beaches

Health warnings for Venice and Turtle beaches

Sarasota, Florida - Health officials say stay out of the water at Venice Public Beach and Turtle Beach. Tests show an elevated level of bacteria there from fecal pollution. That can come from storm water runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.

Swimming in water with high levels is hazardous. If the water's ingested or enters the body through a cut or sore, it can cause disease, infections or rashes.

New College of Florida students offer free math tutoring

New College of Florida students offer free math tutoring

Sarasota, FL -- Students who need help in math, listen up.


New College of Florida students are offering a free Math Clinic at Sarasota's Selby Public Library now through May 8.


Tutoring is available to all ages every Sunday (except March 20, March 27 and April 24) from 2 - 4 p.m. on the second level of the library at 1331 First Street in Sarasota.


The walk-in Math Clinic operates on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required.

Bird Key Park improvements complete

Bird Key Park improvements complete

Sarasota, Florida - Bird Key Park has a new look. Over the past eight months, the city of Sarasota has renovated the park. The improvements include more green space, more public access and a new multi-use recreational trail or MURT.

The city's MURT is a ten-foot wide sidewalk for walkers, runners and bicyclists. It now extends an additional 1,500 feet from the Ringling Bridge to the Coon Key Bridge.

Kayakers will love the park's new look too. It includes a kayak launch and wash rack. A pet water station and picnic tables also make the park a friendlier destination. There are now 42 parking spaces.