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Sarasota County Parks and Recreation staff members once again are seeking community comments on a proposal to allow the rental and use of stand-up paddleboards at coun- ty-owned beaches, the county has announced. Residents and visitors are encouraged to attend one of two open house-style meetings to ask county staff questions and provide thoughts on what they would like to see at county beaches, a news release says. The meetings will be on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road in Sarasota; and Tuesday, Aug. 12, at Nokomis Community Center, located at 234 E. Nippino Trail, Nokomis. Both meetings will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the release says. "Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), an off- shoot of surfing, is a sport that originated in Hawaii," the release explains. It enables surf- ers to paddle while either standing or sitting and using the paddleboard like a kayak, the release adds. "Users range from the casual recreational participant to serious athletic competitors," it notes. "The proposal to offer stand-up paddleboard rentals at county beaches was initiated by local vendors who are experiencing an increased demand for them," said Tricia Wisner, busi- ness development coordinator for Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, in the release. "Currently, we only allow swimming-related activities at the beaches, so we want to know COUNTY SEEKING PUBLIC COMMENTS ABOUT PADDLEBOARD RENTALS County staff will hold two public meetings in August to obtain comments on a proposal for stand-up paddleboard rentals at county-owned beaches. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader August 1, 2014 Page 82

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