Sarasota News Leader

01/25/2013

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Sarasota News Leader January 25, 2013 The release quoted George Tatge, the county's parks and recreation manager: "Communities all along the Gulf Coast, from Charlotte County northward, are experiencing some impact from this large red tide bloom in the Gulf of Mexico." Page 55 "I was amazed at how many cigarette butts" were on the beach, he added. The cigarette debris problem diminished greatly when the County Commission banned smoking on the public beaches in 2007, Patterson pointed out. "And now apparently state During the TDC meeting, Tatge explained law won't permit that and we are going to do that county policy allows staff to clean up the our best to get that changed," she said. wet sand areas of the beach — between the The commissioners learned early this month highest wrack line and the low tide line — that a 12th Judicial Circuit Court ruling in Debut cleaning is limited to areas workers can cember on a City of Sarasota case would preaccess. (The wrack line is the area marked vent them from enforcing that ban. by seagrass and microscopic sea creatures washed onto a beach by the tide. It is known On Jan. 19, Marsha Hosack, the county's manas a source of food for beach-nesting birds.) ager of intergovernmental relations, sent the Generally, he added, those are the same areas commissioners an email saying that the latto which the public readily has access. est newsletter from the Florida Association of "Once in a while in a storm, you get dead fish Counties mentioned that House Bill 141 had way up on the beach, and I gather you guys been filed to allow local governments to redon't feel like you can go up there" and clean strict smoking on their properties. private property, Patterson said. That bill had since been withdrawn, she addIn such cases, Tatge replied, Parks and Rec- ed. However, the staff of state Rep. Bill Hager, reation staff seeks guidance from the County R-Delray Beach, had confirmed he planned to introduce such a bill. Commission and the Health Department. Patterson said the County Commission had In the meantime, she added, state Sen. Rob asked County Administrator Randall Reid to Bradley of Orange Park had filed Senate Bill schedule a public discussion in the coming 258, "which also would permit local governments to restrict smoking on their properweeks about the policy. ties. We've been speaking with our delegation members to ask that they sign on and support THE SMOKING ISSUE the legislation. Those seen to date are supTDC member Edward Braunlich, the reportive and I have additional appointments sort manager at the Hyatt Siesta Key Beach, next week." thanked the Parks and Recreation staff members for their work, adding that the Hyatt staff Bradley's bill, filed on Jan. 17, was referred to had been cleaning up Turtle Beach on a reg- the Regulated Industries, Health Policy and ular basis over the past three years as part of Community Affairs committees, according to volunteer initiative with the county. Bradley's Senate website. %

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