Sarasota Scoop: The Inside Track about Sarasota & Her islands


Join the crowd at Lakewood Ranch tomorrow afternoon to watch American Idol film singer/songwriter Sam Woolf, who is a contestant on the popular television show.

Woolf describes his music as acoustic/folk/rock “with a little pop.” The 17 year old musician has performed at the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Bradenton Riverwalk and other venues.

The American Idol crew plans to shoot video 2-4pm Friday, September 6 at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern, 8110 Lakewood Main Street.

Photo taken at MacAllisters Grill & Tavern on Lakewood Ranch by Louis Wery

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Mr Red struts his aluminum latticework on Cocoanut Avenue. He's staying cool near Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, Florida USA.
The sculpture by David Langley of Fort Pierce is part of the City of Sarasota Public Art Collection. At 7 feet 6 inches tall x 10 feet long and 3 feet wide, Mr Red has a commanding presence in the Theater District.
Take the time to read Joan Altabe's delightful article titled "Mr Red Stands for Freedom," published in the  Sarasota Herald-Tribune (June 20, 2000).

Photo by Louis Wery
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If you received a letter offering to copy your certified property deed, Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Karen Rushing urges you to decline the offer and go to her office for that document. You will save time and money.

Property deeds are public records. The Clerk's Office provides these documents starting at $3 a copy — considerably less than $59.50 cited in solicitation letters received recently in Sarasota County.

You can print a noncertified copy of your documents for FREE by going to—choose Online Services and look for Official Records.

For a Certified Copy, call the Clerk’s Office at 941.861.7425 or visit your local office at 2000 Main Street in Sarasota or 4000 S. Tamiami Trail in

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Sarasota Mayor Shannon Snyder suggests developing the GWIZ site in concert with the nearby Quay property, according to SRQ Magazine. He wants the waterfront property on the city tax roll.

 Other commissioners see the possibility of renting to a new and similar tenant.

 GWIZ closed with a whimper on August 12. The children’s hands-on science museum limped along for the past year and has 60 days  to remove its equipment and property.

Photo by Louis Wery

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The Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s 67th Annual Labor Day Regatta decorated Sarasota Bay with sun-dappled sails. The scene looked almost painterly with Charles and John Ringling’s historic mansions in the background.

The event claims the title of the longest running sporting event in the City of Sarasota. For sure, it ranks among the longest running sailing regattas in the United States. More than 180 boats registered for the event, which took place August 31- September 1, 2013.

In addition to its cultural cache and natural beauty, Sarasota & Her Islands are becoming a destination for sports tourists. The 2017 World Rowing Championships secured just yesterday only adds to the excitement.

Our community already draws close to 80,000 visitors a

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Diana Nyad successfully swam nonstop from Cuba to Florida on her fifth try. The long-distance swimmer began her endurance water event at 9am August 31, 2013 and finished just before 2pm September 2. She crossed the Florida Straits without a shark cage or  flippers.

The 64-year-old athlete broke the record for the longest ocean swim without a shark cage or flippers.. She swam the 110.36 miles total distance in about 53 hours, according to her website. She was 28 years old when she made her first attempt in 1978 to swim the Florida Straits. Thirty five years later, she did it!

Nyad trained on Anna Maria Island near Sarasota for her 2010 Cuba-Florida effort.

She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1986 and the International

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Just announced in Chungju, South Korea: The International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) officially named Nathan Benderson Park as the site for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The announcement affirms Sarasota as a center for sports tourism. Officials expect the 2017 World Rowing Championships to draw 42,000 people to Southwest Florida. Estimates of the financial impact range in the $25 million range, according to the announcement.

Two other FISA events take place at Benderson Park in 2018.

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We Sarasotans possess a keen interest in the history of our community. We’ve even been known to make up fanciful stories about how our town got its name.

Ever heard the one about Hernando de Soto's daughter Sara? As it turns out, that was creative marketing by starting with the first “Sara de Soto” pageant held here in 1916.

I don’t know about Sara, but, by the mid-1700s, maps identified Sarasota as Zara Zote, and Americans and Cubans ran ranchos or fishing camps along Sarasota Bay. They maintained a lively trade selling turtles and fish to merchants in Havana.

By the 1800s, the Seminole War raged and the U.S. Army established a fort at the site of the ranchos. Eventually the Seminole Wars ended and the federal government deported the native

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The Chief economist for the popular real estate website predicts moderation in Sarasota home prices over the next 12 months. Stan Humphries noted a 13 percent increase in home values over the last year but predicted a more sustainable 4.3 price-appreciation percent for the next 12 months, according to an interview with Harold Bubil in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Humphries points to higher mortgage rates, lower affordability and new construction as factors in reducing demand. He expects newly built homes to ease the current low inventory. Also, homeowners will begin selling again once they achieve enough equity to cover transactions costs.

He suggests that the Sarasota real estate market take four or five years to return to boomtime

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The Florida Agriculture Department recruited a black Labrador Retriever named Bear to sniff out rat-sized Giant African Land Snails (GALS) before they escape from the Miami area and invade the rest of the state.

Before dogs joined the hunt, human snail fighters tried baiting traps and even crawling areas where residents reported seeing the pests.

About two years ago, a Miami homeowner identified the danger posed by the enormous mollusks, whose ravenous appetite for stucco and plaster can damage buildings. The snails devour calcium to grown their big shells. The snails also eat many different kinds of plants and help disburse a parasite that causes meningitis.

The canine detector teams tasked with rooting out the destructive slimy creatures have

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