Sarasota News Leader

08/08/2014 & 08/15/2014

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I arrived at the beach before 8:30 a.m., not too early but early enough to observe a mostly empty beach and perfectly blue, clear water just waiting for me to anoint it with my pres- ence. The few fishermen I saw were about a 10-minute walk further south. I could not help thinking how peaceful the beach was and that I probably had about 30 minutes left to enjoy this tranquility. When the crowds began to arrive, I was ready to welcome them. I noticed a much larger variety of beach activities were allowed at this public beach area than at Siesta Beach. Just in front of me, kayaks were being hauled to the water. Two minutes later, off they went, holding their happy companions. Suddenly, a group of 10 people appeared, dressed in heavy vests and carrying spears, life preservers and oxygen tanks. They were in a SCUBA diving class, and they quickly disappeared into the Gulf, probably in search of pirate booty or sunken ships. Kids with grandparents set up their fish- ing poles and began the long wait for a bite. Paddleboarders also set off from the public beach area, looking so serene, skimming the Gulf's surface. I always enjoy seeing the usual suspects — walkers, floaters, photographers and just all-around beach bums. But spending a morn- ing at Turtle Beach and being up-close and personal with such a great variety of water activities was very pleasant. It reminded me about why I love Siesta Key. And always remember, when you see a portion of the beach enclosed with sticks and yel- low tape, tread very gently around it because you never want to disturb the turtles on Turtle Beach. % LETTERS TO THE EDITOR To the Editor: As we read the update in your recent issue regarding the unauthorized use of parking spots by the owner of Blasé Café (Siesta Seen, Aug. 1), I could not help but be concerned that the attention to this issue is the antithe- sis of the attitude that makes Siesta Key such a wonderful and unique place. SKA CONCERN ABOUT BLASÉ PARKING SEEMS OVERKILL We will admit that we are fans of the Blasé Cafe and the owner. In the years we have been going to this restaurant, we have seen an amazing transition from a small café to a local favorite gathering place, where resi- dents and visiting tourists meet to create a unique community environment. The driving force behind this has been the owner, Rami Fouad, whose creativity and OPINION Sarasota News Leader August 8 & 15, 2014 Page 100

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