A brief informational session takes place on Tuesday, Jan.15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce. The inaugural Leadership Class of 2019 begins with an orientation on Monday, March 4. Thereafter, sessions will take place on the second Friday of each month until Oct. 11. For information, contact Barbara Hines at 941-488-2236.

Porta Vista Condos

Mike Miller co-owner of Cassata Miller Development announces the new Porta Vista Condominiums at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina, a 40-unit waterfront condominium project. The 1,820 sq. ft. condominium homes will sell for $695,000 -$850,000+ and be available for sale upon approval of Venice City Council in early January 2019.

Banjo Society is 30

Gulf Coast Banjo Society has been performing at Snook Haven Restaurant at 11 a.m. on Thursday’s for 30 years this year. They have 54 Members whom it is hoped will all be playing during 2019.

Paul Jacques is 82 years old and sings and plays banjo, guitar, bass and harmonica. He has been leading the band for 25 years and playing music for 70 years.

The two oldest members are 94 years old. Both have been playing for 80 years, Ray Kowalski plays accordion and Vern Nelson sings and plays guitar and banjo.

Youngest band member is David Trast, 60 years old who has been playing banjo for 2 years.

New AIRPO vice char

The executive director of Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, Robyn Faucy-Washington was recently elected as the Vice Chair of the national Alliance of Independent Regional Parkinson Organizations (AIRPO). The event took place at the group’s annual meeting in Miami in November. Faucy-Washington is slated to be the AIRPO Chair for 2020.

No cycling on sidewalks

A reminder that on Nov. 28, 2018 the Venice City Council adopted an ordinance making it unlawful to ride a bicycle on sidewalks along these downtown street segments. Bicycles must be walked on these sidewalks.

· Venice Avenue from S. Tamiami Trail (Business 41) to Harbor Drive

· Tampa Avenue from S. Tamiami Trail (Business 41) to Harbor Drive

· Miami Avenue from S. Tamiami Trail (Business 41) to Harbor Drive

· Nokomis Avenue from Tampa Avenue to Miami Avenue

· Nassau Street from Tampa Avenue to Miami Avenue

It is legal for bicyclists to ride their bikes on these roadways.

Winter reading challenge

Sarasota County Libraries and historical resources will accept the national Winter Reading Challenge in January sponsored by billionaire and “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban.

Cuban is challenging more than 100 public libraries across the country to read a total of 75,000 books, equaling five million minutes in one month. If the goal is met, he will donate $35,000 to the top performing libraries.

It is the second time Sarasota County libraries have participated. Library patrons of all ages are challenged to read for 6,000 minutes. To register, visit scgov.beanstack.org/reader365, program begins Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. For details call 941-861-5000 or visit scgov.net.

Editor’s note: Service and product information in this column should not be taken as an endorsement of the business. Send your new business opening, an expansion, a relocation or other significant event to rogerbutton@verizon.net.

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