July 15, 1976. Getting to Siesta Key Beach in mid-July 1976 was as difficult as it is today during season. But, this particular day, the hang-up was a sailboat passing under the drawbridge. Photographer Mac Brenner snapped this photo as he was stopped in traffic while trying to get to the beach.
July 12, 1979. Thirty members of the Siesta Key Sertoma Club worked side by side with the County Parks and Recreation crew to clear a path for an exercise trail on Siesta Beach. The 1.25-mile trail was a community project located between the tennis courts and firehouse, which still exist today. The then-4-month-old Sertoma Club, County Parks and Recreation Department and J.C. Penney department store sponsored the project. Parks and Recreation first marked the trail before Sertoma members cleared a 4-foot path through the wooded area. The trail was meant as a walking and jogging path and included 20 exercise stations along the way. Each station had a sign telling people what exercise to do and the number of recommended reps, and the equipment was meant to accommodate both children and adults. J.C. Penney provided the signs for the exercise stations. This path on Siesta Key and the one at McIntosh School were the first two public trails in Sarasota County.
July 12, 1985. Patients at Sarasota Memorial Hospital saw an 11.5% rise in their hospital bills from 1984 to 1985. According to hospital officials, state legislators were to blame for about half of the increase. Cost-containment legislation and increased funding for the state’s retirement program were cited as reasons for nearly 6% of the jump in patient charges. Assistant Administrator Dale Beachey attributed 4.2% of the increase to the then new indigency pool and 1.5% to funding a puffed-up state retirement program. But it was the patient who had to bear the brunt of a cost-containment bill, which required a $1.4 million contribution to the indigency pool, according to Beachey.