LISTEN LIVE

City of Sarasota

Downtown high rise with view of street and bay.
Sarasota City Government

Citing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the city of Sarasota is joining a growing list of Florida cities that require the wearing of face masks in public spaces.

The Sarasota City Commission approved the measure at a special meeting on Monday.

Beachgoers at the ocean
Visit Sarasota

By a 4-1 vote, Sarasota City Commissioners have decided to reopen Lido Beach.  

Waiter wearing mask waits on man and woman at restaurant patio.
City of Sarasota

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced expanded capacity for restaurants starting Monday, local communities are figuring out how to enact those orders. 

Under the governor's directive, restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. They can also expand outdoor service as long as there is a six foot distance between tables.

A beach with people sunbathing
Visit Sarasota

Sarasota's Lido Beach will remain closed for now but city owned boat ramps at Centennial Park and Ken Thompson Park have been reopened to the public.

Downtown high rise with view of street and bay.
Sarasota City Government

The City of Sarasota has approved a grant program aimed at helping small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative would help stabilize struggling small businesses with grants up to $5,000. Money would come from $2.2 million in economic development funds.

The grant program is still being finalized-- but will be eligible to businesses with 25 employees or fewer. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

Bags of sand on the beach.
City of Sarasota

The latest beach renourishment plan for Lido Key Beach still doesn’t have a start date, but officials say they know what is needed to protect the shore for the next five years.

Bobby Jones Golf Club
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

While Sarasota deals with a long time issue involving a historic golf club, Pinellas County is spending $1.2 million on a former golf club to, in part, create a new park.

Addressing community concerns with its initial plan, Sarasota’s Selby Gardens has announced its amended expansion proposal.

The initial plan was rejected in a 3-2 city commission vote Nov. 5 after area residents raised issues with the height of the parking garage, evening noise from the proposed roof-top restaurant, and the potential for increased traffic.

More than a hundred, mostly retired, part-time musicians from around the country gathered last week in Sarasota to revive what some fear is a dying art – live circus music. These elder musicians hope to pass the mantle to a younger generation of performers.

After weeks of public hearings, the Sarasota City Planning Board has voted to recommend approval of a master site plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

On Thursday, a sold-out crowd heard speakers both for and against the organization’s $92 million plan less than 24 hours after it learned it would be able to move forward in the city's approval process.

Two members of Homeless Response Team in Sarasota
City of Sarasota

Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota.

Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol.

The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings.

A man and woman picking up trash
Jason Bartolone

City of Sarasota commissioners have voted in favor of an ordinance to ban Styrofoam and limit single-use plastic straws on city-owned property.

Plastic straws would still be available for people who specifically request them and the policy does not apply to private businesses. 

A man and woman picking up trash
Jason Bartolone

The City of Sarasota is moving forward with a ban on single-use polystyrene products, commonly known as Styrofoam, in public spaces.

Mote Marine Laboratory

The federal government, with the help of Mote Marine Laboratory, is continuing to investigate a significant spike in dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico -- and they want to know if red tide is playing a part in it.

FWC/flickr

The City of Sarasota has declared a state of emergency over the toxic red tide bloom that began in November.

Todd Kerkering is the emergency manager for the city of Sarasota. He has lived there since the 1970s and said he doesn't remember ever hearing about an emergency declaration in Sarasota because of red tide.