+ Sarasota organizations push for bayfront planning
In an effort led by Visit Sarasota County, seven organizations have begun pushing for the creation of a long-term master plan that will guide the development of up to 75 acres of land on the Sarasota bayfront.
The area under consideration would include the city-owned “Cultural Park” around the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the property that housed the GWIZ Science Museum. It would also include the adjacent, privately owned Quay and Proscenium properties.
The groups that have committed to supporting the initial stages of this plan include Visit Sarasota County, the Van Wezel Foundation, Sarasota Orchestra, the Arts Alliance of Sarasota County, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County.
+ New lights make debut at Ed Smith Stadium
The Baltimore Orioles will play the Minnesota Twins March 17 at Ed Smith Stadium under new lights for the first time in 25 years.
Sarasota County staff and other stakeholders held an official test of the $1.2 million lighting overhaul Monday, with positive results, said Sarasota County Sports Development and Athletics Manager Pat Calhoon. The system includes a phone application to control the lights, and is more efficient and environmentally friendly.
County staff originally expected the project to cost roughly $900,000, but asked commissioners in November to allocate additional funding to accommodate the lowest bid submitted by Himes Electric Company Inc.
+ County names assistant county administrator
Steven Botelho, Sarasota County’s chief financial management officer, took over as Sarasota County’s assistant county administrator Monday.
Sarasota County Administrator Thomas Harmer announced the appointment during a county budget workshop Feb. 21.
Botelho will continue to serve as Sarasota County’s chief financial management officer, a position he’s held since 2012. In his new role, he will also oversee the county’s information technology and human resources services.
A Feb. 20 article about the proposed relocation of the downtown SCAT transfer station incorrectly stated that Downtown Economic Development Coordinator Norm Gollub was opposed to moving the station. Gollub is in favor of relocating the station.
Meetings & agendas
The Siesta Isles Association annual meeting — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key.
Regular City Commission meeting — 2:30 and 6 p.m. Monday, March 3, Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
Casey Key Association meeting — 3 p.m. Monday, March 3, Casey Key Library, 800 Blackburn Point Road, Osprey
Sarasota County School Board meeting — 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, Landings Administrative Building, 1980 Landings Blvd., Sarasota.
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24 What are you doing on Christmas Eve?
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
26 Lights In Bloom
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
3 FREE 5K Fun Run
7:00 am - 8:00 am
3 Historical Trolley Tour
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.