Sarasota News Leader

12/06/2013

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Siesta Seen THE CRYSTAL CLASSIC ENDED UP WITH GOOD ATTENDANCE IN SPITE OF THE WEATHER; THE SABAL DRIVE HOUSE IS ALMOST FULLY IN COMPLIANCE WITH CODE AGAIN; AND VOLUNTEERS COLLECTED A RECORD AMOUNT OF TRASH IN THEIR LATEST ADOPT-A-ROAD ENDEAVOR By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor In spite of gloomy skies on the opening day and rain the second morning of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition in mid-November, attendance was down only about 5 percent over the 2012 total, Maria Bankemper, chairwoman of the event, told me this week. Some traffic issues did arise at Siesta Public Beach, Bankemper and Mark Smith, chairman of the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., explained. Still, Bankemper said, "The utilization of Riverview [High School for parking] was much better than the utilization of Phillippi [Estate Park]." Visitor numbers were good enough on the last two days of the Crystal Classic to make up for fewer admissions the first couple of days, she pointed out on Dec. 3. This was the first year the Crystal Classic organizers used the high school as the "parkand-ride" facility for visitors wishing to take a bus to the beach on the weekend days of the event. The park, located on South Tamiami Bankemper was present at the Siesta Key Trail, had served that purpose in previous Village Association meeting that morning, years. wearing all three of her proverbial hats at once. She is also chairwoman of the Siesta Smith told Deputy Chris McGregor of the Key Chamber of Commerce and general man- Sarasota County Sheriff's Office that he felt ager of the Best Western Plus Gateway Siesta the deputy stationed at Riverview to assist Key. with traffic there was unnecessary. Cheryl Gaddie, the SKVA president, told the "We're working for you" in that type of situation, approximately 20 people present for the meeting, McGregor told Smith. Deputies look for guid"I think [the event] went off extremely well …" ance about what they should be doing, he added. facebook.com/SarasotaNewsLeader

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