Sarasota Sunsets

Sarasota is a great place! Thanks for shining a light on that


I can’t believe I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and just visited Sarasota for the first time.

2015-08-23 Sarasota 29th Anniversary Ritz beach club 6

The downtown was a cool mix of 1920’s Mediterranean – mid-century modern – and chic new buildings. It was really easy to walk around the entire downtown and the beaches and other sites were a very short drive away.

2015-08-23 Sarasota 29th Anniversary downtown 3   2015-08-23 Sarasota 29th Anniversary downtown 1

2015-08-23 Sarasota 29th Anniversary downtown 2

We were there in late August when Ringling was out and all the snow birds were still up north so it was pretty dead but the up side to that is we didn’t have to wait for anything and we didn’t really need reservations to anywhere. But it was 1,000 degrees so we ended up spending a lot of time in the water. I definitely want to go back to see some of the other sites and spend more time exploring when it’s more pleasant.

You can tell there’s a large retirement community there…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

Oh, the Places We See . . .

"Unconditional Surrender" down by the marina in Sarasota, Florida “Unconditional Surrender” by the marina in Sarasota, Florida

Down by the marina in Sarasota, Florida, a 26-foot tall sailor connects with a pretty young lady.  The statue, officially named “Unconditional Surrender,” has also been dubbed “The Big Smooch” (at least by, and people either love it or hate it. Originally intended to help people forever connect to the memory of WWII, Jack Curran, a former signalman, put up $500,000 to help preserve the memory of those who served. Although many have called the statue “a big gaudy sideshow” (Source:  Herald Tribune), a Florida contingency brought it back by popular demand in 2006 after it spent time in San Diego, California.  It seems a lot of people connect with the world’s largest random embrace!

For more “connections,” go to Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected.

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Survey says: No hotel for Whitney Beach Plaza on Longboat Key in Sarasota, FL

Florida Commercial Real Estate - Apartments, Shopping Centers, Retail, Multifamily

Survey says: No hotel for Whitney Beach Plaza on Longboat Key in Sarasota, FL

Whitney Beach Plaza owner Ryan Snyder knows the plaza can’t sustain itself on the leases it has now. An investigation into a 100-room boutique hotel doesn’t offer hope for the site.

Whitney Beach Plaza owner Ryan Snyder spent more than $10,000 and a good portion of the summer investigating whether a 100-room boutique hotel would work on the north end of the Key.

The verdict?

“It’s simply not viable,” he said.

Snyder, whose Lakewood Ranch law practice consists 99% of work for the banking and real estate industries, said he reached out to approximately 40 hotel developers to provide input on the viability of a hotel.

“Some of my contacts are heavy-hitters in the hotel industry with flag hotels like Hyatt and Marriott,” said Snyder, who declined to divulge the names of the consultants who offered…

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Olympian James Blake Story


On Wednesday September 9th, Olympian Tennis player James Blake was attacked outside of his Manhattan hotel. Blake was waiting for his car to pick him up to escort him to his tournament, but instead was surprised by five police officers tackling him.

After the “plain clothed” police officer detained Blake, they refused to tell him why he was arrested, the officers simply stated, “It’s an ongoing investigation.” As the story began to unravel, detectives from the Identity Theft Task Force said they were investigating the purchase of cell phones using fraudulent credit cards. The detectives put together a “sting” operation in front of the hotel; one of the witnesses from the operation pointed out Blake, this is when the five officers tackled him.

On Thursday September 10th, Blake did an interview with Good Morning America discussing the incident. He stated that he got a cut to his left elbow and…

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A New Privacy Law Could Make Insurance Expensive

Drones have been causing issues with both the law and U.S. citizens since they exploded in popularity a few years ago. There have been countless stories of people clashing and violence occurring when drones are involved in flying over private property. With issues of privacy and a fear of governmental and private spying and intrusion on private life, it makes sense that drones are viewed with suspicion — not that that justifies harming the operator or damaging someone else’s private property. Now, it seems as though a new law that was just enacted in my home state of Florida is going to make flying a drone even more financially risky.a drone flying in the air in florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act (FUSA) and it took effect on July 1st. This act is meant to prohibit a person, governmental agency, or political party or subdivision to use drones from taking pictures and capturing video of a person’s private property or the people on said private property (regardless of whether they are the owner, an occupant, or simply a visitor) with the intent to conduct surveillance and spy on their private and personal lives. The law makes it so that a drone operator must get written consent from the people on said private property if they want to use the drone in this manner, especially if the people have a reasonable expectation of privacy on their own property. The law applies to both private citizens as well as law enforcement and goes along with a previous law that require police to get a warrant to use drones for evidence collection. It also doesn’t apply to certain businesses or professions that are licensed by the state for certain reasons.

With the option to sue using this law as support, it’s going to become much more difficult for people and agencies to get insured against damage and lawsuits. It also means that many companies that rely on drones for their businesses are going to be bringing lawsuits against the state of Florida for infringing on their ability to conduct business in a free and fair way. Drones are used by insurance companies to scope out damage in hard to reach places and hazardous environments so that they can gather information more quickly and with less chance of putting someone in a dangerous position. While it remains to be seen how this will play out (after all, the law is relatively new), I can already foresee a host a lawsuits from both private citizens and corporations aimed at this law.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Derek Byrd’s Law Blog Derek Byrd’s Latest Law Blog Post