+ Siesta Key Beach project approved
Sarasota County Commissioners signed off on a project to expand parking and improve the facilities at Siesta Key Beach Park.
Among the changes are an increase in the number of parking spaces, an upgraded concession-and-restroom area and the creation of a boardwalk throughout the park.
Construction could begin late this year. The improvements are expected to cost at least $4 million.
+ Springfest 2009 makes donation
Springfest Executive Director Eliza Culverhouse announced this week that this year’s event delivered a check for more than $27,000 to the Child Protection Center of Sarasota.
Springfest is an annual event in Palmer Ranch with running races, vendors and children’s activities. Each year, Culverhouse chooses a charity to receive the proceeds.
The Child Protection Center has been the recipient the past two years.
+ SMH donation will benefit heart patients
The William L. and Josephine B. Weiss Family Foundation has donated more than $30,000 to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation to buy an Aquapheresis Ultrafiltration Therapy System for the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System.
Aquapheresis Ultrafiltration is used to treat heart-failure patients with fluid overload.
The Weisses are Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation trustees.
+ Free cataract screenings offered
The Kantor Eye Institute and Laser Center is providing complimentary cataract screenings at its Bee Ridge Road office.
Appointments are required for the test. They last less than 10 minutes, are painless and can identify cataracts before a patient notices any symptoms.
To make an appointment, call 925-8888.
+ Osprey teen wins art competition
A student from Osprey has won the 2009 High School Congressional Arts Competition.
Amberose Marie Courville, a Venice High School student, took first place for “Tyson,” an acrylic painting of a rooster.
The Congressional Arts Competition is an annual event that showcases the talent in each congressional district nationwide.
Courville’s artwork will hang in the corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House office building.
As part of her prize, she will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington, D.C., for a reception next month, as well as the opportunity for a $5,000 college scholarship.
Third runner up in the competition was Sarasota High School student Josh Parenti.
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Trevor Kunk is the chef de cuisine at Blue Hill in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which the James Beard Foundation just named "most outstanding restaurant."
Sarasota native and resident Bri Oliva made her TV debut May 7, on the "Rachael Ray Show." Oliva was selected to participate in a segment called "Hidden Dangers on the Playground."
Key to the city
More than 100 community members and leaders, friends and family surprised Paul Thorpe, one of the founding members of the Downtown Association of Sarasota, April 25, at The Gator Club, to show their appreciation and celebrate the strides he’s made for Sarasota over the past four decades.