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Longboat Key Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 2 years ago

Longboat letters: Ospreys, drawbridges and Van Wezel ideas

Longboat readers sound off on key topics.
by: Columnist Columnist

Let's encourage the ospreys, not repel them

I thought I'd finished worrying about the osprey couple which have nested on the New Pass Bridge up until this year when the "raptor repeller" was installed where they make their home.  Alas, perhaps you've noticed that the repeller has been removed, but have you noticed that the poor osprey couple are back there sitting forlornly in its place?  They've been spotted several mornings this week.

It seems the osprey aren't going to give up, nor did I think they would.  Wouldn't it be terrific if instead of a "repeller" being installed the beginning of nesting season next year (typically late January), an "encourager" could be erected such as the one on top of the pole at the northeast side of GMD just north of the stop light at Longboat Club Road?   This would be the right thing to do for the osprey and perhaps such a structure would help keep nest debris from falling onto the bridge thus appeasing the FDOT.

Susan Gilmore- Clarke

Longboat Key


There are far more drivers than boaters

A letter writer in a recent Observer asserted that John Weber’s recommendation to  have bridge openings every two hours would be “dangerous” and inconvenient to boaters. Many municipalities, Ft. Lauderdale among them, have scheduled bridge openings. Boaters in these communities adjust their schedules accordingly. If they arrive too early, they drive in slow circles until the bridge opens.

It doesn’t take a scientific survey to know that there are far more people who cross over the bridges than under them. To suggest that the needs of people in boats outweigh those of people in cars is at best inconsiderate, at worst arrogant and elitist.

The needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the few.

Jeff Goldstein

Longboat Key


A 21st century Van Wezel is a good idea

The Van Wezel is a beloved icon in the Sarasota area, primarily for its wonderfully unique design.  But it needs significant updating—more restroom capacity, up-to-date audio and sensory capabilities in the main auditorium and better-designed hallways and areas to reduce attendee congestion inside during events.

So, what to do? 

 How about this — build a new, better 21st century Van Wezel that replicates the look and feel of the current facility. Architects could create a dynamic, beautiful new complex, with the same purple color scheme and Frank Lloyd Wright touches.

It would have a similar look and feel to the existing facility, and retain its icon status as the center for the performing arts in this area. 

Rick Fetherston

Longboat Key

Van Wezel was exciting to see for newcomer

When I first moved to Sarasota from New York, I was very excited to see the Van Wezel on the Bayfront, being a Frank Lloyd Wright structure. When I was young, I was fortunate enough to meet Mrs. Wright at Taliesin West. I wanted to be an architect, but instead went on to get my masters of fine arts. I know that many complain about having no middle aisle, but having attended many times, each row easily exits out the side doors. I know that the Sarasota Orchestra has acoustic issues, so perhaps another facility can be built on the Bayfront.

Gary McKinstry

Longboat Key


A bayfront amphitheater would fit in well

I haven't seen a suggestion for an amphitheater.  Consider Boston and the Esplanade highly successful and home for the Boston Pops. The Van Wezel can be kept and the Amphitheater can hold larger audiences and events. Our weather is perfect for it. Imagine a Fourth of July on the bay with fireworks and a concert. Visit Boston on the 4th and see the turnout for their celebration. Please submit this and maybe we can save the Van Wezel and maybe do a little updating to it. 

Ron Smith


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