Most Sarasota County Government offices, including the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, will be closed Monday, Jan. 19, for the national observance celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 40,000 parcels will be moving into or out of high-risk flood zones throughout the county when the changes take effect in early 2016, according to data released by FEMA, and all property owners are urged to check the flood zone status of their properties. In anticipation of new floodplain mapping, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting three open houses this month at three separate locations in Sarasota County.
Keep your home looking spiffy as a Community Cleanup event comes to the Newtown/Beverly Terrace area in Sarasota from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 24. Sarasota County will help collect your discarded household items, yard waste, tree trimmings and any other garbage or refuse for no charge.
The new Gulf Gate Public Library will be open to the public Saturday, Jan. 24, following a 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The two-story, 24,920-square-foot building has been under construction since 2013 and replaces the former library at the same site, 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota.
The community is invited to take a step back in time at the annual Water Oral History Project public screening, which showcases oral histories as told by local area residents in videos produced by students from the New College of Florida.
The youth services staff at the Jacaranda Public Library has again teamed up with the Venice Branch of the American Association of University Women for an event aimed at encouraging young girls to consider the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as career choices.
The Cattlemen Intermodal Transfer Station for Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) will host an open house tour of the facility on Friday, Jan. 23, in recognition of its recent selection as one of the Florida Foundation for Architecture's 2014 People's Choice Award finalists.
At the Lakeview Park Clean-Up, some residents were picking up some branches of a tree when a dangerous Water Moccasin slithered out and dashed into the water. It might be useful to know one when you see it, but the differences between the venomous Florida Water Moccasin (or Cottonmouth) and the wholly harmless Water Snake can be subtle. Here are a few images and links that might help. First, here's a Water Moccasin
Another shot of a Water Moccasin (click for a huge image):
Here's the plain old harmless Florida Water Snake:
Another clue (thanks Ray):
When in water, Water Moccasins move on top of the water - almost as if they were gliding on the surface, like this:
Water Moccasins are to be met with extreme caution. "When a moccasin is nesting or has her young in their nest it will aggressively defend that area," says Ray. "Moccasins have aggressively attacked people."
Water Snakes tend to be partly submerged, partly out of the water, more like this: