APRIL FOOLS —
+ Awards continue to role in for Siesta Key beach
World-renowned parking-lot architect Dr. Richard L. Anderson, known in the planning community as “Dr. Asphalt,” named the Siesta Key Public Beach parking lot the best in the United States March 22.
The lot beat out the “Daffy Duck” parking lot at Walt Disney World, and the lot at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Anderson’s annual list.
Staff from Visit Sarasota County submitted a close-up shot of the asphalt at the beach parking lot.
“The asphalt is a perfect shade of black, and from the description in the application, parking is efficient. Plus, Sarasota County’s ban on saving parking spaces is a major plus,” Anderson wrote in his list.
+ Algae tax causes a ‘stink’ from community members
Sarasota County commissioners delayed a conversation about plans to combat red tide during a March 20 special meeting, citing concerns about funding the estimated $5.3 million project.
Sarasota Tactical Initiative to Nix Karenia Brevis (STINK), a controversial plan to employ experimental technology to collect and kill the bacteria that causes red tide, hit a roadblock when more than 100 Siesta Key residents protested a tax to fund the program.
County staff recommended a special taxing district, Siesta Key Residential Algae Tax for Capital-fund Help (SKRATCH), to pay for Robotic Hoarding Orbs Operated from Mobile Beach Antennas (RHOOMBA). The company that created the 5-foot-tall spherical robots is currently facing an environmental lawsuit after one of its machines sucked a family of sea turtles into its collection tank.
“We want Sarasota County to stay on the cutting edge of red-tide elimination,” said a scientist with the county. “That may mean big capital expenses and taking a few chances.”
+ Tightrope walker’s career hits new heights
Nik Wallenda started his new job March 25.
The city hired Wallenda in February because he “can walk the walk.”
City officials asked the famed tightrope walker to join the city’s building, planning and neighborhood services department as a facilities planner and final inspector. He will test the durability of new projects by walking to the building from a nearby building via high wire.
“Just this morning he was high-wiring across the parking garage to the other side of Palm Avenue,” said a city official.
Wallenda said his day job as a planner and inspector will keep him on his toes and help him prepare for future televised stunts.