Friday, October 06, 2017

Yard waste collection map

This map from Sarasota County projects a schedule of when the yard waste from Hurricane Irma will be collected in various neighborhoods throughout the county.

As of now, Lake Sarasota is looking at sometime around Nov. 20th:

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Irma updates, online voter registration, more updates

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at
  • Sarasota County's landfill will be open this Saturday, Oct. 7from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all customers and from 2-5 p.m.for residential vegetative storm debris only. The landfill will be closed Sunday. Tipping fees for residential vegetative storm debris are waived through Saturday.
  • Waste Management trucks for garbage and recycling are back to normal schedule, but the yard waste routes continue to be delayed by up to two days.
  • Waste Management trucks continue to collect properly prepared yard waste meeting the normal pickup standard of 4' or less in length, 40 pounds or less in weight and bagged, containerized, bundled, or tied, from residences in the unincorporated areas of the county.
  • If you also have vegetative storm debris, please make sure it is kept completely separated from the regular yard waste and garbage. Only vegetative storm debris will be picked up at this time. Please do not place construction debris at the curb or road.
  • Sarasota County has developed an interactive tool to show residents the collection schedule for Hurricane Irma debris.
Other county news:
The entire family is invited to a enjoy a fun-filled and educational day this Saturday, Oct. 7 at the annual Fire Prevention Week Open House sponsored by Sarasota County Emergency Services.
Sarasota County, in partnership with South Venice Civic Association Water Quality Task Force and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, will celebrate the completion of the South Venice Beach Waterway Restoration Project on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Sarasota County Health and Human Services is recruiting a team of volunteers to run Volunteer Reception Centers during a disaster. 
Sarasota County Master Gardeners will hold their 12th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. 
Florida launched a new online voter registration website on Oct. 1 for voters who want to register to vote online or who are already registered but need to update their voter records.
Monday, Oct. 9 is the last day to register to be eligible in the Nov. 7city of Venice general election. 
Sarasota County will hold a free community cleanup in the Osprey/Vamo area from 8 a.m. to noonSaturday, Oct. 7.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

FEMA, Rowing, Volunteer Opps, Banned Books, more

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance team relocates to new county facility

The FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance team has moved to Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota. The team will be at the location for the next three weeks and hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2017 World Rowing Championships run through Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park

Rowers from more than 70 countries are competing in the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park. The closing ceremony takes place Sunday.

Volunteers needed for disaster response

Sarasota County Health and Human Services is recruiting a team of volunteers to run Volunteer Reception Centers during a disaster.

Volunteers invited to celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday

Join Sarasota County to celebrate National Public Lands Day with a volunteer event Saturday, Sept. 30, at Woodmere Park in Venice. National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America's public lands.

'Words Have Power' is theme for this year's Banned Books Week

Sarasota County Libraries will observe Banned Books Week to emphasize the importance of ensuring access to a wide array of ideas for all citizens.

County seeks feedback during workshops on Unified Development Code

Sarasota County is creating a Unified Development Code that updates and brings together the land development and zoning regulations, which control the development of all properties in the unincorporated area of the county.
Editor's Note: You'll find coverage of the First UDC workshop here.

Tidy up with Osprey/Vamo community cleanup

Sarasota County will hold a free community cleanup in the Osprey/Vamo area from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Connect with us

Sarasota County Government

1660 Ringling Blvd.,
Sarasota, Florida 34236

TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771

County Connect

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Debris Hotline, UDC updates, libraries open, more

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at
Garbage collection has resumed for unincorporated Sarasota County, and the county's landfill is open for trash and yard waste.
Sarasota County is creating a Unified Development Code that updates and brings together the land development and zoning regulations, which control the development of all properties in the unincorporated area of the county.
A special election will be held for the State House of Representatives District 72 seat to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Rep. Alex Miller for the remainder of the term. 
Sarasota County continues working to address issues around the county resulting from Hurricane Irma. Residents should proceed with caution while driving around the county as debris cleanup continues.
Sarasota County has reopened all of its libraries and all locations have resumed normal operating hours. 
Connect with us

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meeting, Yard Sale, Fall Fest, CERT, more . . .

Our regular quarterly community meeting was held in Hina Point Park Thursday, 9.14.17. A quick summary:

Key points:

Hurricane Relief: Alliance Church is offering AC and showers to people without electricity. The church is on the north side of Bee Ridge opposite Chaucer.

Purse: LSCG has the grand sum of $273 in its treasury.

Yard Sale: The Fall Community Garage Sale is set for November 11, 8 am to 2 pm. The sale will be advertised in the newspaper one time. No maps. Feel free to put out your own signs, just remember to pick them up. Also feel free to post ads on Craigslist.
Items you do not need that could be sold to raise $ for the community can be dropped off at Keith and Sommer's - 4032 Westminster.

Fall Fest: The community Fall festival date is Sat. Nov. 18 in Lakeview Park, 11 am to 2 pm. Bring food, games. A sign-up message will be circulated via email or text.
A planning meeting for the Fall Festival will be held on Oct. 12 - stay tuned for time, place.

CERT Training: After IRMA, many in the community have expressed interest in participating in CERT - it's a community emergency response training program periodically offered by the County. If you are interested in joining a group of Lake Sarasotans for the next course, whenever it's offered, let Sommer know:

Trash and Yard Waste

The latest on trash collection and yard waste (two separate things done by two distinct companies):
  • Unincorporated Sarasota County - Normal collection days resumed Wednesday, Sept. 13. 
  • Storm related debris pickup: If you have a small amount of storm related debris and you bundled or bagged as yard waste, it will be picked up on your regularly scheduled day starting Wednesday, Sept. 13. 
  • Recycling collection will resume Monday, September 18. 
  • Storm debris is not required to be bagged or bundled. 
  • Storm debris and storm vegetation should be placed curbside in separate piles for collection by an independent contractor.
  • Debris removal operations for larger debris placed near the right of way should be in operation by Monday, Sept. 18, and continue until complete. 
  • Debris should be placed consistent with the guidelines and the graphic below. 
  • Debris pickup may not occur on your normal collection day.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lake Sarasota meets Thursday 9.14 at Hina Point Park - 6 PM

The Lake Sarasota Community Group meets this Thursday:

Thu, Sep 14 6:00 PM
Hina Park 
Quarterly meeting. 

**Neighborhood Meeting: 6pm, Thursday, Sept. 14th. Hina Point Park**
       - at the intersection of Hina and Palau:

Rain Location: 4032 Westminster Dr. (Purple and Beige House at the Eastern tip of Tema).


  • Post-Irma State of the Neighborhood - 
  •        heaving a collective deep sigh of relief with the BEST neighbors in Florida!
  • Fall Festival; 
  • Community garage sale; 

Please note the different time and place. Bring a lawn chair. Tell your neighbors without power. We need to find a way to get them through this week.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Sarasota County Emergency Preparations, Shelters, Storm Info

Update: County Emergency Management has a new Web Page about Irma with good info about Shelters and more.

National Hurricane Center Tracking


Maps - downloadable PDFs:

Web Pages:

They are still giving out sandags today and tomorrow. 10 per household.
The county’s three sandbag locations open at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and will stay open until 6 p.m. They also be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. There is a 10 bag limit per person. Identification is not required. The locations where sandbags are being offered are as follows: 
  • Newtown Estates Park, 2800 Newtown Blvd. 
  • Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road 
  • South County Fleet Facility, 4571 Englewood Road

Just in case.....A few hurricane tricks for those who may need it:

1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.

2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn't crack the container.

3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.

4. Fill up all vehicles; check tires; oil.

5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don't freeze your card for out-of-area "suspicious" transactions.

6. All important docs screenshot; send to your email. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.

7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.

8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you're headed.

9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don't plan on taking them with you.


11. Old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!

12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).

13. If you don't already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Public Workshops on Planning Updates

The absurd proposal for a waste facility at the Celery Fields revealed some disturbing facts about  how planning has been failing the people of Sarasota County.

E.g., Sarasota's land use map is out of date, its multiple codes do not mesh, and County planners apparently are not required to consult the community, or notify anyone of major changes to, or sales of, public lands.

The County is working on updating - and will have public meetings beginning Sept. 20th. 

The public "workshops" are in Nokomis for some reason:
Public Workshops
Nokomis Community Center, Main Hall
234 Nippino Trail
Nokomis, FL 34275

September 20th – Public Workshop No. 1
October 18th – Public Workshop No. 2
November 7th – Public Workshop No. 3
6:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible.

Community Meeting Thursday Sept. 14

Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG) Meets Thursday, Sept. 14th, 7 pm in the meeting rooms of Sarasota Alliance Church, Bee Ridge Road.

This is a regular quarterly meeting of volunteers interested in bettering the neighborhood. It's open to all residents of Lake Sarasota.

CONA invites all HOAs Sept. 11

meeting locations and information

CONA monthly meetings are free and open to the public as well as the members of the more than seventy associations the organization represents and our individual members. ​ Regular monthly meetings are on second Mondays of the month at the Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, which is at the intersection of Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. Parking and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way. A social at 6:30 precedes the meeting that begins at 7:00. ​ We do not schedule regular monthly meetings in July or August unless there are pressing issues of immediate concern. ​ Special meetings may be held on different dates, at other times, or at other locations, please check announcements and notices carefully. Special fund-raising events may be reserved to contributors who respond to advertisements of the event to members and the public.

Some of those who protected the Celery Fields

From Luigi Verace of Stand Up Fight Back SRQ:

Stand Up Fight Back as a group became involved in actively opposing a proposed dump at the Celery Fields in Sarasota, Florida, in February of 2017. I personally had been following the issue from abroad in Sweden and upon my return in Jan 2017 our steering committed agreed to officially proceed.
  • I headed up the Celery Fields wing of our group and immediately began organizing events and public outreach to the County Commissioners. Along with hundreds of activists, thousand of hours and a massive amount of money, we won an impressive victory on August 23rd 2017 in defeating an industrial waste concrete crushing construction and yard debris facility situated within the 450 acres that is the Celery Fields.
  • Dozens of members of our group were actively involved and showed up at every event, town hall, private meeting and all the public hearings. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart to the top of the Celery Fields hill.
  • This is a list of some of those involved beyond SUFBSRQ. It's by no means complete. My apologies to anyone I missed:

Adrien Lucas 
Researcher, facilitator, force of Nature, and organizer of in-depth data. Her posts, comments, radio shows, preparation of documents, and passion was beyond the call of duty for many. She was a huge player in all this. She facilitated the SUFBSRQ portion of the public hearing and provided over a dozen well-thought-out presentations for our members to enter live into the public record during the BOCC meeting. She spoke and presented in virtually every pubic meeting of various groups involved over the course of this entire year and of course at every public hearing.

Glenna Blomquist
Glenna tirelessly helped organize the Palmer East Group - the dozen neighborhoods on East Palmer that formed a working group that worked for months to battle a land use change -- permitting a Waste Processing Facility on Palmer Blvd., near their homes, their children's schools, and their priceless Celery Fields Preserve, bird sanctuary, and recreational area. She produced PowerPoint slides and organized the presentations of 15 speakers at the final Celery Fields / TST Ventures Hearing on 8.23.17.

David G. Johnson
Another founding member of the Palmer East Group, David was instrumental in organizing and creating a website and Facebook page for this issue, and spoke extensively to media at events and public hearings.

    Tom Matrullo

    Citizen advocate, researcher, blogger and a major force in this effort. Co-founder with Cathy Antunes of Citizens for Sarasota County.

    Rob Wright
    As Sarasota Audubon conservation chair, Rob was another voice of reason and knowledge not only of the Celery fields, but of their connection to our fragile eco-system. Rob was instrumental in our victory. 

    Palmer East Group (PEG)
    A neighborhood group of homeowners and HOAs, PEG grew into the Save the Celery Fields movement. They met every Monday and held larger events for the entire community, educating us all on the issues. These were the people presenting facts on traffic, environment, toxic air particles, pollution and more. 
    Founding members of PEG include Glenna Blomquist, Jamie Caseber, Carlos and Joan Correa, Peter Gemma, Paula Berkowitz, Jonny Howell, Gary Walsh, Rob Wright, David G Johnson, Tom Matrullo, Matt Moffitt, Wendy Loomis, and many others.
    Allan Mestel

    Allan Mestel - Allan was a huge behind the scenes player. He never once refused a request by me to shoot photos and did so on many many occasions for several different public presentations I gave. He also photographed all our Save the Celery fields events and rallies. All his time and resources were donated. A slide show he did brought tears to many eyes at the BOCC meeting, myself included.
    Mestel Photo
    Mestel Photo Facebook 
    Streetwork Studios 

    Allan Mestel

    Tom Walker, the Peace and Justice Report and Mary De Jesus, News producer. WSLR was a partner featuring this issue on air and through phone interviews.  

    WMNF - Sean Kinane - WMNF News Facebook
    Sean did a full hour show in July on the Celery Fields dump issue with Luigi Verace and Adrien Lucas.

    CONA Sarasota
    Kafi Benz, Bill Zoller and Pat Rounds of CONA (Sarasota Conference of Neighborhood Associations) held three well-attended meetings with community leaders to inform the neighborhoods and plan a strategy to combat the TST Ventures Waste Facility plan. 

    Cathy Antunes
    Cathy is a citizen advocate, former CONA boardmember, and co-founder of Citizens for Sarasota County. Her show, The Detail on WSRQ RADIO, featured the CF issue at least six times. She also wrote about the issue on her blog and for SRQNews.


    A few additional organizations and groups that worked seriously to halt the planned dump for the Celery Fields:

    Fruitville 210 Community Alliance - Gary Heffner, Chairman.

    Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee - representatives of more than a dozen neighborhoods along Bee Ridge Rd., Bee Ridge Ext., and Iona Rd. Uwe Hinrichs, Chairman. The committee include Dr. Marguerite Malone, Charles Young, Tom Matrullo, Joseph O'Hara and more.

    Lake Sarasota Community Group - Keith C. Russo, Chairman, Jami Caseber, environmental consultant to Palmer East.

    Suncoast Waterkeeper Andy Mele

    Sierra Club

    Rachel Hackney, The Sarasota News Leader

    Robin Bloom, artist

    Matt Casella, creator of first online Petition to save the Celery Fields that gathered over 7,000 signatures.

    Democratic Party Issues Committee

    Ralph Smith, cartoonist

    Ralph Smith

    Control Growth Now

    Roger and Lynda Letourneau, whose photos told the story of what we could expect, early on.

    Environmental Activist Jono Miller.

    Tom Lyons, Columnist

    Attorneys Judy Earl, Aaron Alfano, Charles Young, Steven Thompson and Dan Lobeck, planner Tim Litchet, Howard Diener MD, LTE writer Dennis Robertson and many, many more, including lawyers, scientists, doctors, planners, artists, illustrators, realtors, and regular citizens who preferred not to be named, whose combined efforts totaled thousands of hours of research and dissemination of information.