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Siesta Seen The officers explained that on Avenida de Mayo, they are working to find out whether the owners of vehicles parked illegally are new renters or homeowners on the street, he pointed out. Education is the key to keeping those people from continuing to park illegally, the Sheriff's Office representatives explained. "I'm not going to argue with that point," Shay said, adding, "Both sides got to understand where the other side is coming from." I also learned late last week that county staff has posted two more "No Parking" signs on Avenida de Mayo and repositioned an exist- ing sign. Residents credited Shay for his persistence in helping them address their frustrations about the signage. As for the homeless on the island: Quite a bit of discussion on that topic arose during the SKA's June meeting. Through the years, numerous complaints have been lodged regarding Lance, the fellow who sits in a wheelchair by the roadside on the north- ern end of the island. Over the past couple of years, he has tended to stay close to the vacant, Gulf-side lot across Ocean Boulevard from Givens Street. Sgt. Scott Osborne, who heads up the Sheriff's Office's Siesta Key Substation, has told SKA audiences that Lance is not crippled, that deputies know he can walk and have seen him do so. Most regulars on the northern end of the Key are well aware of the fact that people provide handouts to Lance, an action that the commu- nity's Texas-based homelessness consultant, Robert Marbut, has argued must end if a come- as-you-are shelter for adults is constructed. When more complaints about Lance arose at the June 5 SKA meeting, Deputy Chris McGregor pointed out that Lance does not violate laws, to the knowledge of deputies. One time Lance was cited for having an open container of alcohol, McGregor noted, but Lance "took care of the charge." Furthermore, McGregor said, "Lance has lots of friends out here on the island" who give him food and rides. McGregor added that it also is not against the law for Lance to stay on the public sidewalk in his wheelchair. Finally, McGregor said, "Every time that I have talked to him, he has been nice and polite." Other complaints about homeless people have been aired over the past several months, including reports of inappropriate activity near the north end of the Village. Shay told me the Sheriff's Office also is addressing problems reported with the home- less on the island. "It was definitely a positive meeting," he added of the July 15 get-together. % SHARE Sarasota News Leader July 25, 2014 Page 75

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