Sarasota News Leader

06/21/2013

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I have said it before, but it is a mantra every news editor learns to repeat — and often: "Expect the unexpected." Certainly that was the case this week, when Sheriff Tom Knight surprised a lot of people, I daresay, during a presentation to the County Commission. He was there to talk about a workforce study he had commissioned for his department (more on that in an upcoming issue), but he ended up talking bluntly about how his deputies have been providing a lot more assistance to the Sarasota Police Department in recent months. This is a story with impact on both city and non-city residents, especially given the new leadership in the SPD and the much-publicized fact that it costs the City of Sarasota an incredible amount of money to keep operating its own police force. Not only do we provide an in-depth accounting of the sheriff's discussion with the County Commission, but our Editorial Board also felt it was a critical matter to address. You will see we urge the city to meet this challenge head on. Another unexpected story had bearing once again on a Siesta Key conservation easement area that has proven popular with the snowy plovers that nest in Sarasota County each season. People driving down Beach Road cannot help but notice the construction of a three-story condominium complex that is at the center of this latest story. As for the "expected," on the county side, the commissioners continued this week to grapple with North Port's elected board over the future of Warm Mineral Springs. On the city side, City Editor Stan Zimmerman provides his own inimitable takes on a proposed tent city for the homeless, a return visit to Sarasota by urban planner Andres Duany and an "air rights" controversy with the county over a downtown parcel. In our Sarasota Leisure section, contributing writer Fran Palmeri offers some interesting facts – and breathtaking photography – of orchids in the wild. Current and prospective home gardeners also will not want to miss Rick Wielgorecki's latest advice on how to create beautiful landscaping. And there are plenty of other Siesta Key happenings in this week's Siesta Seen. Editor and Publisher

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