Loading

wait a moment

Siesta Key Island Chatter July 2018

Staff Report

Traffic accident on Siesta Drive

   Siesta residents, workers and visitors who needed to use the north bridge to get on and off the island on June 14 probably felt as though they were seeing seasonal traffic woes multiplied many times over.

   The Sarasota Police Department sent out an alert via Twitter that Siesta Drive was closed in the 800 block because of a single-vehicle crash with serious injuries. Vehicles were being re-routed onto Norsota Way. “We’re asking you please avoid the area and find an alternate route,” the Twitter alert added.

   Genevieve Judge, the public information officer for the Sarasota Police Department (SPD), told SNL/Siesta Sand via email that only one person — the male driver — was in the vehicle, which hit a Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) pole just before 6 a.m. on June 14. She did not have his age when she responded for the request for information.

   “Officers didn’t clear the road until after 10am and then FPL worked to replace the pole,” she added.

   A second Twitter alert on June 14, which reported that Siesta Drive had reopened to traffic, also noted that an FPL crew would be working throughout the day to install a new pole.

   One driver caught up in the crush of diverted vehicles told SNL/Siesta Sand that Norsota Way proved a problematic detour because of landscaping companies’ equipment and trucks blocking sections of it. Drivers had to play a form of motorized hopscotch to get around them.

 Drowning reported

   A 57-year-old man apparently drowned on May 18 offshore of Beach Access 2, just a day before he was due to return home to St. Louis.

   The victim was Robert C. Kannady, a Sheriff’s Office report said. He and several members of his family — also from Missouri — had been on vacation on the Key that week, the report noted.

   An emergency medical technician pronounced the death at 2:09 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office report said.

   When a deputy arrived at 20 Whispering Sands Drive on May 18, the rescue unit from Fire Station No. 13 was on the scene, along with lifeguards from Siesta Public Beach, the report noted. CPR was being performed, the deputy wrote.

    The victim’s 21-year-old daughter told the deputy that she and her father had been swimming offshore of Beach Access 2, in water she estimated to be 5 feet to 6 feet deep. After about 10 minutes, she continued, her father began getting tired and said he did not feel he could make it back to shore. She was not able to help him, she added, so she began waving for help.

   The daughter said her father seemed unresponsive in the water for about five minutes before two bystanders swam out to help her bring him to shore.

   Kannady had no known medical conditions, the report noted, and he was not taking any regular medication.

Big Water Fish Market to open a village store

   The one of kind popular fish market /restaurant located in the Crescent Plaza on the south end of Siesta Key is opening a second location in the former Donut Experiment at 217 Avenida Madera, sandwiched between Solórzano’s Pizzeria and Sub-Zero, target date September. Big Water Fish Market opened its doors 6 years ago and has been a popular destination for local residents and visitors since it opened. The restaurant is located at 6641 Midnight Pass Road, open 7 days a week. www.bigwaterfishmarket.com 941-554-8101.

Beached Boat


Facebook has been abuzz with the boat beached off the shores of Siesta Key recently.  A Go Fund Me account has been started for the boat’s owner, Mark DesErmia. The following information was posted to the account:  

DesErmia lost his boat which is also his home and all of his belongings to the water. His anchor line broke off of siesta key beach and before he could set another line his boat beached itself landing on its side. He was only able to save himself and his bird. Mark uses his metal detector to help people find lost keys jewelry and other misplaced items lost to the water. He has always been there to help others and now we are reaching out to get help for him! Anything you can do is helpful to Mark! Even if it’s not from your wallet, a kind thought or prayer is always accepted! www.gofundme.com/help-our-friend-mark-desermia.

 Calle Minorga parking lot under construction

   In the spring of 2017, Sarasota County staff received an application for a private parking lot at 5160 Calle Minorga in Siesta Village. At last, that project is underway, Siesta Sand has learned.

   A county permit was issued on March 20 for the construction of the asphalt lot, county records show.

   Materials submitted to county permitting staff, which provided copies to the News Leader at its request, show the design calls for 20 spaces. The property owner still is 5160 Calle Minorga LLC.

   According to the state’s Division of Corporations, the registered agent for 5160 Calle Minorga LLC is Sentinel Management LLC of 1221 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The registered agent for the latter company is Jeffrey R. McCurdy, who lists the same address as Sentinel Management. Two members of the firm listed in the records are Barry Silverstein and Dennis J. McGillicuddy.

   The General Notes on the parking lot plans point out that the site has been vacant. The total acreage of the parcel is 10,503 square feet, the document says, which is approximately 0.24 acres. A sidewalk is included in the project, the document adds, and landscaping buffers have been incorporated into the design.

   Since early 2017, property owners have been contracting with FL Parking Co. to manage parking lots on the Key. Davidson Plaza was the first to have a pay station installed. More recently, Chris Brown, who bought the Lofino Building on Ocean Boulevard — next to the Old Salty Dog — in December 2017, has marked the parking area on that site for paid use.

   Dr. Gary Kompothecras also installed a FL Parking Co. pay station on the former Fandango Café property on Old Stickney Point Road, which is just east of Clayton’s Siesta Grille and the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar.

Work begun on Oceane

   On June 14, almost exactly a year after construction was expected to begin, work began on the four-story Oceane luxury condominium project just north of Siesta Village. The site comprises the parcels at 4720, 4732 and 4740 Ocean Blvd. It is right on Big Pass.

   In mid-November 2017, the County Commission unanimously granted permission to the property owner to add an extra 2 feet in height to the seawall. In regard to that petition, Icard Merrill attorney William Merrill III acted as the representative of Randy Moore, managing partner of Crossgate Partners in Suwanee, Ga., who is the developer of Oceane. Merrill explained to the commission that just that much more seawall would enable buyers of the units to cut their flood insurance bills by 50% or more.

   Peter G. Laughlin, a broker associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, pooh-poohed the prospect — which the News Leader raised in mid-March 2017 — that worries about the potential dredging of Big Pass to renourish part of Lido Key Beach would diminish interest in the condos.

   However, the project website in mid-June said only two of the six units had been sold. The website also noted that the units cost between $3,990,000 and $4.5 million. Each has been designed to have 4,500 square feet of space, with “72 feet of windows overlooking the Gulf of Mexico,” the website added. The condos are expected to be completed in the spring of 2019, the website pointed out.

   During the June 7 SKA meeting, Vice President Catherine Luckner told members, “In my 28 years of living here, I’ve never seen so many “For Sale” signs, as I come onto the Key. That is a very scary thing,” she added, that people are so fearful that the dredging of the pass might take place.

Discount offered

Looking for Jewelry? Take advantage of a special offer in this month’s Siesta Sand. Mount –N-Repair Sterling Silver Jewelry store has a 15% off coupon on page 8. Stop in and shop their large selection! The store is located at 5105 Ocean Blvd in the Siesta Key Village. Hours are Mon-Sat 10-6 and Sun 10-5, mountnrepairsiestakey.com  941-346-7218.

Trolley news

The ridership for the month of April was 35,758 and the month of May was 16,347.