Sarasota, FL Government

Longboat Observer

City ends storm vegetative storm debris pickup

Two months after Hurricane Ian, the city of Sarasota has brought to a close its vegetative storm debris collection program, and with that regular yard waste rules and collections have been reinstated. More than 113,200 cubic yards of Hurricane Ian storm debris has been collected in the city over the...

Sarasota kicks off holiday season with parade Saturday

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the season is kicking off in Sarasota with the 26th Annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade. The parade will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and participants will witness the streets of Sarasota go from sunny to snowy. Snow is the star of this year’s “Winter Wonderland” theme, which will feature snowmen, marching bands and more.

A Jeep parade in Manatee County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A parade of festive Jeeps lined up in Manatee County Jeeps across the DeSoto Square Shopping Mall parking lot. According to organizers of the event, the parade gives local Jeep clubs from Sarasota to Manatee Counties and beyond an opportunity to showcase creativity. Larry Hippich, one...

Hostile school boards oust 2 superintendents while FBI probes another

A pair of Florida superintendents are stepping down after confrontations with hostile school boards while a district leader in Texas is being investigated by the FBI. Superintendent Brennan Asplen is now negotiating a severance from Sarasota County Schools after members of the newly sworn-in school board announced their intention to fire him after just over two years on the job in southwest Florida. The Sarasota County board is now chaired by Bridget Ziegler, who co-founded the conservative activist group Moms for Liberty. Ziegler—who is no longer a part of Moms for Liberty—and three other conservative members now dominate the board by a 4-1 margin.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sarasota Housing Authority Board Member Verbally attacked former Resident Commissioner at Ribbon Cutting

The year of 1997, our property manager at that time (Mary Marshall) asked me to be the representative Janie Poe Complex, which I accepted. At the time Ms. Black was the Resident Commissioner, the next year I applied, I was appointed to the Sarasota Housing Authority Board. Since that time, I have been reappointed the Sarasota Housing Authority Board as a Resident Commissioner.

Winter Festival returns to St. Armands

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Holiday tree in St. Armands Circle is lit after a controversy surrounding parking. The annual holiday event was originally canceled by the St. Armands Circle Association after a lack of parking caused concern. According to the Association, the area has limited parking spots and the event would stop them from using parking around the circle.

D-SNAP location opens in Palmetto for Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Disaster SNAP benefits location is opening for Manatee County following Hurricane Ian, the Department of Children and Families announced this week. The location at the Bradenton Area Convention Center will be open from Friday, Dec. 2, through Sunday for applicants to fulfill their in-person interview on-site, DCF said in a statement. It's geared toward residents of Manatee County who pre-registered online but did not complete the D-SNAP phone interview.

Finding the energy of Broadway back home in Sarasota

I finally had a chance to return to the theater on Broadway last month for the first time in three years. I didn’t realize how much I needed the energizing effects of New York and fellow audience members. The cheers that greeted some of the shows were reminiscent of rock concerts. Maybe they were excessive, but they made you feel like it was an event. I was able to see five shows and found something exciting about each of them, but in my roundup of reviews, I want to call extra attention to the charming new musical “Kimberly Akimbo.” It is a real winner.

Weekend events in Sarasota and Manatee brave red tide impact and continue as planned

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — A several weekslong red tide bloom continues to impact the Florida coastline with high and medium levels remaining in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This week the Florida Health Department maintained its advisory for elevated levels of red tide at all 16 beaches in Sarasota county that were sampled. The red tide has caused dead fish to wash up ashore and affected birds. Along with the odor of rotting fish, it's also caused respiratory irritations to some beachgoers.


Tiffany Weston, a third year associate with the law firm of Latham & Watkins, LLP, recently celebrated a notable achievement in her career when she skillfully pulled off a winning summary judgment argument for an American multinational technology corporation. This was Weston’s first argument in federal court. Weston is...

Amid controversy over proposed new development in Quay Sarasota, city manager cancels special Development Review Committee meeting

City Attorney Fournier wins City Commission approval for setting out ‘roadmap’ to guide process for One Park application. After controversy erupted recently over the scheduling of a special meeting of the City of Sarasota’s Development Review Committee (DRC) the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, City Manager Marlon Brown ended up announcing the canceling of it during a Nov. 21 City Commission meeting.

Low levels of red tide organism persist around Pinellas

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) red tide update Friday, low concentrations of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, were again detected around Pinellas County. Meanwhile, harmful algal blooms are rampant across Sarasota County. The FWC reports respiratory irritation and fish kills related to red tide from Collier County north to Manatee County.
Longboat Observer

City rejects St. Armands zoning study request

Few topics raise more interest at Sarasota City Hall like a discussion about changes in zoning on St. Armands Circle. At its Nov. 21 meeting, the Sarasota City Commission heard a request by the St. Armands Business Improvement District to direct staff to study possible changes to the Commercial Tourist Zoning District with the intent to “promote mixed use development in the area, improve upon the existing functionality and aesthetics of the circle, and lay out framework for future development.”

Ouster Exposes DeSantis’ ‘Politics-Free’ Schools Hypocrisy

Welcome to DeSantis World, as manifested on Tuesday night by a local Florida school board with a new conservative majority whose first major action placed politics before kids—even as it declared there is no place for politics in the classroom.And, by forcing out a highly regarded and resolutely apolitical school superintendent, the deciding members of the supposedly non-partisan board handed a victory not only to Gov. Ron DeSantis, but also to former National Security Adviser Gen. Mike Flynn, the Proud Boys, and other Trumpian extremists who have come to call Sarasota home.The candidates in the midterm election that DeSantis backed...