Thursday, October 23, 2014

Write a novel, family day at Celery Fields, more..

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us atpubcom@scgov.net.   
TODAY: Flooding from excessive rainfall doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it can be just as damaging as storm surge from a hurricane. Certain neighborhoods are more at risk than others. Find our if yours is one of them. 
FRIDAYSarasota County will host a grand opening celebration for its newly designed outdoor pickleball courts at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road, at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24.
SATURDAY: The library at 2801 Newtown Blvd., will host a community celebration Saturday, Oct. 25, in honor of its 10th anniversary. The festivities will kick off with a 10:30 a.m. ceremony, followed by free family fun and activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
SATURDAY: Keep your home looking spiffy by taking part in the South Venice Community Cleanup, 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 25
Sarasota County will hold its ninth annual Sustainable Communities Workshop from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, 4740 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.
Access Point No. 12 on Siesta Beach will be closed from 6 a.m. to noon Oct. 27-28 due to scheduled maintenance of condominiums located there, county officials announced Monday.
Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension is hosting free open houses at community gardens throughout the county from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 30as part of "Eat Local Week," sponsored by Transition Sarasota.
Sarasota County and the Sarasota Audubon Society will host a Family Festival at the Celery Fields, 6799 Palmer Blvd., from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 1. The festival will kick off the public bird watching program offered each Saturday by the Sarasota Audubon Society and highlight the recently opened new amenities at the Celery Fields.
The History Center Museum and historic Chidsey Library Building will temporarily close Nov. 1 to accommodate Visit Sarasota County's move to a new location.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) buses are temporarily detouring transit service along North Honore Avenue and will not travel on North Cattlemen Road between DeSoto Road and University Parkway due to traffic around the new Mall at University Town Center. 
County staff will host a grand opening Saturday, Nov. 8, to celebrate the completion of a wetlands restoration project in three areas within the 72-acre Red Bug Slough Preserve.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) is adding late evening trips to Lakewood Ranch and for connections to SCAT routes south of University Parkway.
The best-selling novel "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline has been selected for the Sarasota County Library System's 2015 "One Book One Community" read-together book. 
Sarasota libraries will be taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing, this November. On Nov. 1, participants will begin writing a 50,000-word novel to be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More details about bus stops on Mauna Loa

The team recommends limiting the number of bus stops along the Mauna Loa Boulevard detour route. SCAT is proposing to add one stop northbound and one stop southbound on Mauna Loa Boulevard.

MAUNA LOA BOULEVARD, WEST SIDE of the street, approximately 25 FEET NORTH from BIKINI WAY.

MAUNA LOA BOULEVARD, EAST SIDE of the street, approximately 25 FEET SOUTH from BRENTFORD ROAD.

SCAT will also maintain three existing bus stops within the neighborhood on Berkshire Drive and on Middlesex Place. These are long standing bus stops and are used by SCAT passengers.

The reason for the limited stops is to allow Route 14 to stay on time. The detour adds considerable distance to the route, and stopping frequently would add time to the route. The locations at Bikini Way and Bretford Road closely reflect current service.

SCAT buses will adhere to all speed limits and use added caution when traveling along Mauna Loa Boulevard and at all times within the neighborhood. We value the safety of Lake Sarasota residents and SCAT passengers.

I appreciate your support and continued discussion. Please contact me with any questions.

Sarah Blanchard, AICP
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT)
Desk: 941-861-1045

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Use your freedom to speak your mind about 2050

Tomorrow, Oct. 22, Sarasota County Commissioners will vote to approve a set of changes to the county's 2050 Comprehensive Plan that will weaken it, allow development to overbuild, ignore wildlife and water issues, and change the face of Sarasota county forever. More Racetracs. More pavement. More burbs, fewer trees, farms, ranches, and native creatures. Would you like East Sarasota to resemble Miami?


Miami, FL
If you don't want that, show up. Wear a white shirt. Use your freedom. 

The hearing will be in the Commission Chambers beginning at 1:30 pm. To speak, sign a card that you'll find in the back of the room. You get 5 minutes.

To learn more about the issues, check out the 2050 Action Network blog here:


A good overview by Sarasota's Cathy Antunes is at the blog's top - it begins:  
On Wednesday the County Commission will be voting on amendments to the Sarasota 2050 plan. The original 2050 standards for rural land outside the Urban Service Boundary (USB) were the result of a robust collaboration with community leaders and development interests. Since 2050 was adopted over ten years ago, understanding of best land use practices has improved dramatically. The 2050 changes fail to incorporate these new insights, nor are they the result of community collaboration. Rather, the changes are the result of County meetings with a handful of landowner/developers focused on facilitating development of their rural land.
Continue reading: "Our quality of life is at risk" - Cathy Antunes

Friday, October 17, 2014

Temporary Lane Shift Begins on Bee Ridge Rd


Update: SCAT Detour: Bee Ridge Bus Lines to go thru Mauna Loa



Due to the road construction on Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus system is working on a temporary detour that would bring Bee Ridge route buses through Mauna Loa Blvd. to Middlesex. From the County Coordinator:
The map shows the proposed detour onto Mauna Loa Boulevard with the dark blue circles being temporary bus stops. The green circles are existing SCAT bus stops that will continue to be served. Those three stops are the busiest stops we have for the Bee Ridge route so the detour has been set up to continue service to those locations.
Click on image to enlarge:

Proposed temporary bus detour via Mauna Loa Blvd.
 and locations of future Bee Ridge Bus Stops
We expect that all the bus stops currently on Bee Ridge Road are going to be removed by the road construction contractor in the next couple of weeks. (You can also see on the map the new stops and shelters that will be built along Bee Ridge as part of the road project.)

1. Mauna Loa stops are temporary until the roadwork is completed. 
Update: The bus stop signs on Mauna Loa Boulevard will need to be regular SCAT bus stop signs rather than temporary “yard sign” type signs. We have learned that the construction may last up to 18 months and we need the signs to last long-term. The bus stop signs will be installed on public right of way not private property between the sidewalk and the curb on Mauna Loa Boulevard. 
 SCAT Planning is also working to consider the long-term location of the bus route on Bee Ridge east of I-75 and would like to work with residents to discuss that issue. Our long term plan calls for the route to travel to the Publix store at Iona Road in the future. However, if Lake Sarasota residents would like to continue some service on Mauna Loa, SCAT would certainly consider that as part of our future planning.

2. The proposed detour route is south-east on Mauna Loa, north on Middlesex to Berkshire, then right (east) on Bee Ridge, right (south) on Middlesex and continue south back to Mauna Loa where the bus will head back west and north to Bee Ridge Road and the signal.

3. The only part of Bee Ridge that SCAT Route 14 will use is between Berkshire and Bee Ridge. (SCAT may have to make adjustments during the time the roundabout at Berkshire is constructed.)




National Novel Writing Month and lots more from Sarasota County Updates

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at pubcom@scgov.net.   
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) buses will temporarily detour transit service along North Honore Avenue and will not travel on North Cattlemen Road between DeSoto Road and University Parkway beginning Wednesday, Oct. 1, due to the upcoming grand opening of the Mall at University Town Center and anticipated traffic. 
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) is adding late evening trips to several bus routes, transit officials announced Thursday. The added service allows passengers late-night access to Lakewood Ranch and for connections to SCAT routes south of University Parkway.
Want to look your best this holiday season? Need a little extra push to get in shape? Beginners Boot Camp could be just what you're looking for.
Flooding from excessive rainfall doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it can be just as damaging as storm surge from a hurricane. Certain neighborhoods are more at risk than others; is yours one of them? 
Keep your home looking spiffy by taking part in the South Venice Community Cleanup,
8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 25
Early voting for the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election will begin on Saturday, Oct. 25 and continue through Saturday, Nov. 1.
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent is reminding voters who request an absentee ballot for the November 4 General Election that they may track their ballot online from the time they request it until the voted ballot has safely reached the supervisor of elections office.
The best-selling novel "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline has been selected for the Sarasota County Library System's 2015 "One Book One Community" read-together book. 
Sarasota libraries will be taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo),a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing, this November. On Nov. 1, participants will begin writing a 50,000-word novel to be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30.
The current fall and approaching winter season brings an expected increase in seasonal flu viruses. The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) reminds people to get a flu vaccine as your best defense against several flu viruses.
The Liberty Pass, which provides unlimited monthly rides on Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) to qualified passengers, has been made available for sale at additional locations.


 
Volunteer -We have meaningful opportunities and flexible hours for people of all ages. Together, we can build a better community!
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Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 

Sept. 2014 Sheriff's Dept. Crime Report for Lake Sarasota

There were eleven incidents:  five acts of vandalism; two burglaries; two thefts; and three juvenile disturbances.  Here is the breakdown.
 
Vandalism:  5 incidents
 
    Tues. 9/9  6565 Samoa Dr.;  reported 6:24 a.m.
    Tues. 9/9  6770 Mauna Loa;  reported 7:29 a.m.
    Wed. 9/24 4033 Lancaster; reported 9:25 p.m.
    Thurs. 9/25 4050 Lancaster; reported 7:21 p.m.
    Sun. 9/28  7150 Lago; reported 6:04 p.m.
 
                    Note:  7150 Lago is Lakeview Park
 
Burglary:  2 incidents
 
    Sun. 9/21  3891 Wake; reported 12:06 a.m.
    Tues. 9/23  6288 Jarvis Rd.; reported 4:22 p.m.
 
Theft:  2 incidents
 
     Thurs. 9/4  3953 Hina  (Bldg); reported 9:41 a.m.
     Fri. 9/5  3946 Vana (Other); reported 10:23 a.m.
 
Juvenile Disturbance:  3 incidents 
 
    Sat. 9/6  6909 Brentford Rd.; reported 7:52 p.m.
    Fri. 9/12  (no address given) Hina; 7:10 p.m.
    Fri. 9/12 7150 Lago; reported 8:14 p.m.
 
                    Note:  7150 Lago is Lakeview Park
 
Five incidents occurred between Sept. 4 and 9.  The locations and reporting times for the 9/9vandalism incidents seem to indicate that they were committed by the same person or group.  The two thefts occurred in the same vicinity one day apart may have been committed by the same individual.
 
The two incidents on Lancaster on the 24th and 25th (vandalism) may have been committed by the same person or group.  There were a total of five incidents between 9/21 and 9/28.
 
Six incidents were reported in the afternoon hours; five in the morning hours.
 
Four incidents occurred in the center of Lake Sarasota.  The rest were scattered throughout Lake Sarasota.
 
Ted Cover
Citizens Patrol

Lake Sarasota Community Group 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Temporary Lane Shift begins late on Friday, Oct. 17th - UPDATE

UPDATE from the County:

Bee Ridge Road Improvements - Temporary Lane Shift Postponed:
The contractor has postponed the temporary lane shift to Friday evening, October 17. Both the east and west bound traffic will be shifted slightly to the south from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Hidden Glen Drive. There will be signs posted directing traffic through the new pattern.


You've seen the blinking notices, here's what they mean:

Lake Sarasota Community Yard Sale


The date for the Autumn Lake Sarasota Community Yard Sale is Saturday, Nov. 15th, 8 am to 1 pm. (Of course it can continue beyond 1 pm if people wish). More to come.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Some money for a project

We've just found out that Lake Sarasota still has $331 left of grant money that was never used - it was from an old Neighborhood Grant that helped pay for mulching and planting in the medians, and for the pocket park at Hina.

The money is there if we want to use it for a project. Any ideas? One suggestion has been to put a bicycle rack in near a bus stop used by kids going to school. If you have an idea, post it here or send it to lakesarasota (at) gmail (dot) com.


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Resurfacing scheduled for Lake Sarasota

A Lake Sarasota resident has been tracking the resurfacing schedule for our area. He's learned that a number of our neighborhood streets that feed onto Bee Ridge Road are scheduled to be resurfaced as the widening project approaches completion.

Chris Sharek provided a spreadsheet of resurfacings and says:
As you can see, there are quite a few roads that are planned in Lake Sarasota for resurfacing. This is FANTASTIC news. It looks like they are currently in design and will be done in 2015. Even if they slip with the schedule, Bee Ridge won’t be done until 2016 anyway, so we’re in good shape.
 Chris added:
Second, I was chatting with a neighbor the other day and they seemed to think that Laurel Oaks and Bent Tree put up a bunch of $ to keep their light on Bee Ridge. I have confirmed that this is NOT the case. There is a round-about planned for that intersection. Just wanted to put an end to that rumor.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Work on temporary south lane for next week


Enhancing Rothenbach Park: A neighborhood initiative


Many of us have enjoyed the lovely oak hammocks of Rothenbach Park at the east end of Bee Ridge Road:


Rothenbach has developed a reputation as one of the most beautiful shaded walks and bicycle paths in Sarasota County. Now there's an initiative to make it even more beautiful and user friendly.

Here's the beginning of a letter that went out to Lake Sarasotans and to other East Bee Ridge neighborhoods recently:
What makes every community special is not that it is “perfect” from the very start, but that there is a consistent effort on the part of its citizenry to identify areas that need attention and to bring them up to the standards of the rest of our fine community.

We are fortunate to have a wonderful Sarasota County Parks Department that has re-developed a “less than attractive” portion of our neighborhood (the landfill) and created a park and wildlife sanctuary that offers walking and biking trails as well as playground and picnic facilities with clean restrooms. While this as been a noteworthy success, certain areas are still in need of attention. This is especially true for the northern section of the trail leading past the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation and Solid Waste Management facilities. Continue reading.
The area we hope to add shade trees and plantings to is the northern section of trail that is bare of foliage and lies exposed to some county buildings and storage areas (area lower left in this map):


The effort is to develop neighborhood support to get a grant and other contributions to pay for plants, trees, landscaping designs to help make the big Rothenbach Loop one continuous path with shady birding and butterfly habitats, an educational area, and a colorful selection of native plantings.

Another part of the letter:
After months of negotiations, we have now received verbal approval from the County to go ahead with this project, and we ask for your support. 
To finance this we need the support of our neighborhoods. We will seek pledges from our HOAs, residents, nonprofit organizations and for profit enterprises. We also will apply for a County Neighborhood Grant. This is a Dollar-for-Dollar matching fund. The County will match every dollar we raise, provided we can proof to the County that our communities support the project.
 Read the rest here, and do what you can to support this effort. Thanks.