+ Church’s transformation nears completion
The $300,000 facelift at the Church of the Redeemer is nearly complete, except for a set of plantation shutters that has yet to be delivered.
What had been the rear of the church, along Palm Avenue, is now a grand entrance.
The original entry, which now sits on Gulf Stream Avenue, was built in 1950, before the avenue was built. In those days, the church had a spectacular view of Sarasota Bay.
But with the cul-de-sac facing the church’s entrance, church leaders said people had to go out of their way to see the front of the building.
The new entryway is designed to let the community know that Church of the Redeemer is open to everyone.
An entry vestibule, covered porch, pavers and raised- and in-ground planters now mark the new Palm Avenue entrance.
The church’s rector said he couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
“It’s exactly what I had envisioned,” said the Rev. Fred Robinson. “It’s been my dream for 15 years.”
Church of the Redeemer will hold a public blessing and dedication Sept. 26.
+ City to attempt bond buyback
With the new Sarasota Police Department headquarters coming in under budget, city leaders will try to buy back the bonds used to fund the building.
The project was budgeted at $46 million, but came in about $4 million under budget.
City commissioners approved buying back those $4 million in bonds.
The city hopes to reduce its debt burden through the buyback.
Part of the reason the project came in under cost is that after the budget was approved, construction costs plummeted.
+ Baseball lawsuit to be appealed
Two citizens groups that had their sunshine-violation lawsuit against Sarasota County turned away by a judge will file an appeal later today.
Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government and Citizens for Sunshine will claim that the judge erred in his ruling last month, which allowed the county’s contract with the Baltimore Orioles to stand.
The lawsuit claimed that Sarasota County officials conducted negotiations with the baseball team outside of the public eye.
Judge Bob Bennett ruled that three county commissioners unintentionally violated the state’s Sunshine Laws, but said Commissioners Joe Barbetta, Nora Patterson and Shannon Staub should not be sanctioned, because there was no overt attempt to break the law by avoiding public discussion.
Assistant County Attorney Rick Elbrecht has not seen the appeal yet, but said he believes Bennett made the correct decision.
“We’re confident the ruling will be upheld by the appellate court,” he said.
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Shine bright like a diamond
Ten-year-old Montserat Vasquez can now add jewelry designer to her list of hobbies.
The Ikebana International Sarasota Chapter held its 46th annual exhibition Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Darwin’s on 4th’s brewery, Darwin Brewing Co., earned a silver medal in the Best Florida Beers porter category for its Charapa Spiced Porter at Tampa Bay Beer Week March 1 through March 9.