Showing posts from 2007

Lake Sarasota Santas: Then and Now


Meet Santa on Sunday!

Santa will arrive in Lake Sarasota on a firetruck on Sunday, Dec. 23rd, around 2 p.m. The truck will proceed through the neighborhood slowly, and Santa will wave and have candy canes.

Here's the route - note he begins at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge, heads down Mauna Loa, up Bershire, back across to Lanai, then to Jarvis Rd., Lago Way, then the High School:

Santa should be arriving at the high school sometime around 2:40 p.m. He'll meet and greet kids for the next half hour or so.

And don't forget! Caroling begins at 5 p.m.

Scope Out These Winter Community Events

SCOPE is a local group - the name stands for Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence.

They want us to Save the Date in 2008:

People Are Talking - About Youth & Diversity: Sunday, January 27 Winter Forum on Aging: Friday February 22 Summit for Environmental Action: Friday February 29

Voter Registration Deadline Nears For January 29, 2008 Election

Media contact: Tel 941.861.8606 Fax 941.861.8609
(SARASOTA, FL,) –The voter registration deadline is approaching for the Presidential Preference Primary Election, which will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2008. Citizens must be registered by Monday, December 31, 2007, to be eligible to vote in this election.
Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent recommends that voters verify their registration information. A voter who has moved, had a name change, or needs to update a signature since the last election may submit a Florida Voter Registration Application to update his or her record. For more information call the supervisor of elections at 861-8600 or write to Supervisor of Elections, PO Box 4194, Sarasota, FL 34230-4194.
To register to vote, one must submit a completed Florida Voter Registration Application Form. Florida Voter Registration Application forms are available at supervisor of elections offices, city halls, county libraries, county offices, social service agenc…

Holiday and New Year Activities, Events, Plans

At the December meeting, plans were made for holiday festivities, beautification, traffic calming, and citizens patrol.

1. Holiday: Sunday, December 23, 2 p.m. Plans call for Santa to ride through Lake Sarasota on a fire engine from the 17th St. Fire station. From 2 p.m. to roughly 3 p.m., Santa will be distributing candy canes (or small bottles of vodka) so make sure all Santa fans are out looking for him.

Here's the route:

Beginning at Bee Ridge and Mauna Loa, and proceeding to make a loop consisting of:

Berkshire -> Brentford -> Marlboro -> Friendship -> Lanai -> Jarvis

Click below for larger map or click here.

2. CAROLING: The same day, Sunday, Dec. 23rd, at 5 p.m., carolers will gather near the start of Mauna Loa (near where the community sign is located). There will be sheet music. Bring holiday attire, candles. There will be sheet music. The Carolers will probably proceed down Mauna Loa. Anyone is free to join at any point for as long as they wish.


Water Line Project Update

For Lake Sarasota residents on Lago and Jarvis:
The water line construction contract with Frederick Derr was approved this morning. The pre-construction meeting will be held next week sometime. The contractor plans to begin right after the New Year.
County Utility and Public Works representatives will be at our next meeting at Sarasota Baptist, 6:30 pm January 8. The contractor will be there as well to answer questions. Please come to that meeting.

How the Lake Sarasota Community Group Began

(This is excerpted from a report presented to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in 2007)

In 2006, Lake Sarasota, a neighborhood of 1,600 homes, was approached by Sarasota County.
Debbie Marks of Sarasota’s Neighborhood Services, as it was then called, got out the word that there was help available if residents of Lake Sarasota wished to try to build neighborhood identity and a community group to address local issues.

Several residents responded and began to meet. Several themes emerged: identity, neighborhood beautification, community events, security and traffic calming.

Over the course of the next 16 months, Ms. Marks gave support, guidance, and served as a liaison as a core group of residents began work on these issues. The “core group” consisted of about a dozen active members who worked tirelessly, often getting out at the crack of dawn on weekends to clean up, to plant, to move bricks and mulch.

A brief list of initiatives and actions that have taken place over the past year…

On the Tuesday County Commission Agenda

Several items of potential interest to Lake Sarasota residents are on the Tuesday, Dec. 11th County Commission Agenda:


To approve a Contract with Frederick Derr and Company, Inc., for construction services of
the Lakeview Elementary School Area Sidewalk Project and the Jarvis Road Water Main Extension Project, in the amount of $1,622,104.68.


To approve the use of contingency funds for improvements to sidewalks, as follows:

C. Webber Street, Phase II, Improvement Project, Lakeview Elementary School Improvement Project, CIP 85786, Shamrock Drive Improvement Project, CIP 95793, and North Sarasota Improvement Project, CIP 85785, in the amount not to exceed the Project's


A. Public hearing continued from August 29, 2007, to consider proposed Ordinance No.
2007-072, Palmer Place Development of Critical Concern (DOCC), a petition by Kemmons
Wilson, Inc., to construct 1,488 mixed residential dwelling units with 50 p…

Agenda for December and for 2008

The last General meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group of the year is this Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist Church. Among the agenda items:

Seasonal activities - we're working on either a hayride, or caroling, or both, for either Saturday, Dec. 22 or Sunday, Dec. 23 - come help us figure it out! Anybody have a hay wagon to lend? Any more ideas? Contact Sandy if you do.Are you concerned about taxes? Property appraisals? Foreclosures? Short sales? The Jan. 29th vote on some of these matters? We are too. We want to inform ourselves, and we're doing some planning.Also, we'll start thinking about community events for the spring - yard sales, etc.
George Morgan needs someone to help schedule Citizen Patrols. Contact him (377-4437 or email) if you have a little time to make some phone calls.
Plus, get updates on

Traffic calming efforts.The water line project on Jarvis/Lago (special meeting on that Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m., Sarasota Baptist).Want to stay current on wha…

Water Line Meeting Jan. 8th, 6:30 p.m.

If you have a stake or an interest in the water lines that will soon be installed along Jarvis Rd., Lago Way and Lago Rd., make a note to meet the contractor on Jan. 8, 2008.

Representatives of the county's public works, utilities, and the contractor, Derr Excavating, will be at Sarasota Baptist, in our regular Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting room at 6:30 p.m. A regular general meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

This is your chance to ask questions about costs, timing, sidewalks, and all else. Try to attend, and if you live in the impacted area, please make sure your neighbors know.

The fee schedule is below - click on it to enlarge:

Also: Low income financing might be available.
For general info, or more info about low income financing, call Linda Larsen, 861-0662.For questions about the impact of the project on the neighborhood, call Rodney Jones, 861-0506. He will be the county's onsite representative once the project has begun.For information about the installation of sidewalk…

Certain Elves have been Spotted . . .

. . . decorating the entrance signs:

they can be difficult to photograph,

but we have ocular proof:

Thanks to Tisha for the photos and to Dawn and all else for the work.

A word of thanks

If you've not been over to Lakeview Park recently, you have a surprise in store. Over the past few weeks, the Corrections Dept. crew has been out pretty much every day removing 10 years' worth of invasive undergrowth that was choking the canals and making it difficult to see the lakes, let alone play disk golf. They even dredged the canals to give the water space to move.

Clean sight-lines now look across opened-up vistas that offer a whole new perspective on the park. For one thing, I'll bet you didn't know that one of the small ponds (along the Lago Road side) has two small islands -- I asked one person who's been coming to the park nearly every day for years, and she said it was a revelation to her.

One odd thing: there are piles of dead wood that have been collected and placed at the base of some trees, many of which themselves are dead. I wondered why this wood hadn't been removed by the crew, which did a great job of removing tons of brush, weeds and invasi…

County training for aspiring poll workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Pam Cutrone, Poll Worker Coordinator (941) 861-8640

New Poll Worker Orientations: Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker may attend. Applicant must be a registered voter in Sarasota County and bring a Florida Driver License and signed Social Security card. No need to RSVP.
North County:
Fruitville Library - 100 Coburn Rd, December 3, 10 am
Selby Library - 1331 First St, December 4, 11 am
Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA- 8301 Potter Park DriveDecember 10, 11 am and December 12, 6 pm
Frank G. Berlin Branch YMCA-1075 Euclid Ave.December 10, 6 pm and December 12, 10 am

South County:
Jacaranda Library - 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd, December 5, 2 pm
North Port Library - 13800 S. Tamiami Trail,, December 6, 2 pm
Michael & Georgia Miller Branch Venice YMCA-701 Center RoadDecember 11, 10 am and December 13, 6 pm

Help for Food Bank

One of our neighbors, John, 4134 Palau Drive, is offering to collect and bring canned food to the food bank. The photo below offers details - click on it to enlarge.


UPDATE: Traffic Meeting Rescheduled!

The 1:30 p.m. traffic calming meeting at the County Commission scheduled for today has been postponed. Thanks to Commissioner Shannon Staub who replied to an email about our traffic concerns, we have just learned that the stop sign petition for Mauna Loa was not set for today's meeting agenda.

The matter is expected to come up in December. Stay tuned for updates - apologies for the late-breaking news.


We adopted our By-Laws as the Lake Sarasota Community Group and voted in new officers for 2008 at our November meeting:Chairman: Jeff Ellis (Mauna Loa) jeffreyellis@juno.comBeautification Directors: Tisha Farrington (Friendship)& Dawn Steele (Lancaster)Membership Director: Judy Johnson (Mauna Loa)Treasurer: Ellie Himes (Java)We are applying for a tax id # and will soon have a checking account and accept donations sent to:Lake Sarasota Community GroupPO Box 21983 Sarasota, FL 34276Keep Sarasota BeautifulAdopt-A-RoadProgramMany thanks to Kim Davis for making Mauna Loa Blvd part of the Adopt-A-Road program. This is yet another positive influence to make our community cleaner and more attractive. Kim will be putting together a schedule for residents who are interested in being involved with this endeavor to help pick up trash.Please contact Kim if you would like to help out:kaysyrah@msn.comLitter Prevention Hotline: call 365-TAGSto report anyone you see littering, including ciga…

New Officers Elected at Nov. Meeting

Members of the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG) unanimously approved articles of incorporation on Tuesday, and elected a new slate of officers for the coming year.

The articles of incorporation handed out at the October meeting were approved with only very minor changes. The primary purpose for this step was to enable the group to have a bank account, to accept and write checks, and to qualify for not-for-profit status.

New officers include:

Jeff Ellis, Chairman, replacing Laura Mathis. (Laura was one of the driving forces of the LSCG and will remain active with the group.)

Judy Johnson is the new Membership Director, Tisha and Dawn will co-direct the Beautification Committee.

Ellie Himes is the new Treasurer; her first order of business will be to file the articles of incorporation with the state.

George Morgan continues with Citizens Patrol, Renee continues with Yard of the Month, and Judy and Tisha will actively monitor traffic issues. (Note meeting on stop signs on Nov. 20th.)

Sandy …

Final Decision on Stop Sign Tues. Nov. 20th

The County Commission will make a final decision on the petition from residents of Lake Sarasota for additional stop signs along Mauna Loa Blvd. The 1.6 mile roadway sustains daily traffic of over 3,000 cars.

The Traffic Advisory Council recommended approval for one additional stop sign at Friendship and Mauna Loa. Three other requested signs did not receive support.

The Commission will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 20th at 1:30 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers, Ringling Blvd. Anyone who wishes to speak may do so. If you wish to communicate by email, here are the addresses.

Paul Mercier - County Commissioner District 1

Joe Barbetta - County Commissioner District 2

Shannon Staub - County Commissioner District 3

Nora Patterson - County Commissioner District 4

Jon Thaxton - County Commissioner District…

Water Line Project Update

Representatives of Sarasota County Utilities met with Lake Sarasota residents tonight to give the latest info on the water line installation set for Jarvis St. and Lago Way. Here it is in brief with contact info for anyone with questions:

The county has awarded the contract to Derr Excavating. The project is expected to begin in December and to be completed by April 2008.

Property owners (some 63 properties) will need to decide where to locate the water meter. It is advisable to locate it away from the septic tank area if possible.

Those who wish to keep wells for lawn watering will need to install a backflow device. This will need to be reinspected annually for a fee.

Owners can join together to do a unified deal with a plumber to do both the hookups and the backflows, at a considerable group rate savings. If interested, email Tom at

A table showing fees and costs was handed out. A digitized version (click to enlarge) is below:

It is also available on our group on Y…


Sarasota Baptist Church #100
(via admin offices entrance across from Worship Center)6:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Water line project meeting with homeowners on Jarvis Rd.7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
General meeting
*ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION for the Lake Sarasota Community Group
-We edited and voted on draft last month. This month we will vote on final and officers for 2008.
-See attached and please give me any thoughts before meeting and any nominations.
-So far we have the following:
Chairman: We need someone to "Step Up" :)
Beautification Directors: Tisha Farrington and Dawn Steele (they would like to co-direct)
Membership Director: a couple people are thinking about it, but we welcome more nominees :)
Treasurer: Ellie HimesThe 'Standing Committees' are fortunately filled except for 'Neighbor to Neighbor Assistance'.
'Events' and 'Citizen's Patrol' are always in need of more volunteers.

It is so important that we continue to get 'new b…

Pre-Construction Meeting for Homeowners set for Nov. 13th

Representatives of Sarasota Public Works will be on hand on Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 6:30 p.m. to answer any questions residents have about the water line project due to begin construction along Jarvis and Lago. The project affects about 69 properties, but will also affect traffic along the corridor, drainage, etc. All are welcome, and affected property owners are encouraged to attend.

One item of particular interest for affected property owners is the possibility of joining together to do a unified deal with a plumber for hook-ups. Such a deal could result in a savings for homeowners.
The meeting will take place in the same room at Sarasota Baptist Church at Proctor and Hand Road that the Lake Sarasota Community Group uses for its general meetings, and on Nov. 13th a general meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Here's the info from the coordinator:

We will be at the Sarasota Baptist Church on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 pm. We will have information about where the project will begin, how long the…

Traffic Council Supports Additional Stop Sign for Mauna Loa

One of the four stop signs on Mauna Loa that residents of Lake Sarasota petitioned for now has the recommendation of the county's Traffic Advisory Council.

The Council today voted to send a recommendation in support of a stop sign at Friendship and Mauna Loa. Three other intersections were not recommended after a discussion that involved volume of traffic, average rates of speed as clocked by the Sheriff, and the absence of viable traffic calming alternatives (such as speed bumps or tables) thanks to the current budget crunch.

The county's budget squeeze is so tight that it is not accepting new requests for traffic calming as per its own ordinance.

Four residents spoke in favor of the additional stop signs, and one spoke against it.

The Council's recommendation goes to the County Commission for final action. The commission may choose to accept, decline, or modify the recommendation. All who wish can write to the Commission, or email each Commissioner separately. Here are thei…

Sales Tax Vote Tues. Nov. 6

The local sales tax expires Aug. 31, 2009.

The Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, or CONA, voted last week not to endorse the tax extension. The position was taken mainly because of the group's dispute with the Sarasota County School Board, which has not raised school impact fees in three years and is largely relying on the sales tax to pay for new school construction. For more on the upcoming tax vote, click here or here.


Shall ordinance 2007-087 be approved continuing the one-cent sales tax through December 31, 2024 to fund community projects, including transportation, parks, beaches, dredging, libraries, criminal justice facilities, general government, museum, transit, sidewalks, environment, water and sewer, stormwater, solid waste, affordable housing,, neighborhoods, health systems, public safety, public schools; establishing county ec…

November 5th Traffic Advisory Meeting

There will be a Traffic Advisory Meeting on November 5th @ 2:00pm downtown, 1660 Ringling Blvd. specifically addressing our concerns about traffic calming.

Apparently several families have actually moved out of the subdivision because they felt their children were unsafe living on Mauna Loa Blvd.
We need as many "bodies" there as we can get so hopefully they will give us more stop signs.

Is your home overvalued in this market?

From the Herald Tribune:
Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties had foreclosure actions against 2,920 homes in the third quarter of 2007, up from 857 in the same 2006 quarter -- a 241 percent jump.

That is according to numbers released by RealtyTrac Inc., the California-based company that tracks the phenomenon.

Sarasota County saw the bulk of the increase, jumping to 1,406 in the July-to-September quarter, up from 365 in the third quarter of 2006, a 285 percent leap, and up 48 percent from the 952 actions in the second quarter.

In Florida, the data documented a third-quarter rate of one foreclosure filing for every 95 households, the nation's third-highest foreclosure rate for a state. A total of 86,465 foreclosure filings on 60,992 properties were reported in the state during the third quarter, up more than 50 percent from the previous quarter and more than double the number reported in the third quarter of 2006.

Surtax is a good idea, Herald Tribune says

'Yes' on local-option surtax
Tallied up over the two decades since its inception, Sarasota County's 1 percent sales surtax probably has cost the average resident at least $1,000.

That's a substantial sum for a so-called penny tax.

But the question is, what have taxpayers received in exchange?

The answer is, a great deal.

Environmentally correct and fun too

At Lakewood Ranch on Nov. 17th, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (click to enlarge):

Citizens Patrol Training this evening

*Citizen's Patrol Training:
Tuesday (this evening!) 7-7:30 pm @ Sarasota Baptist Church - Room #100 via Admin entrance.*New Officers:
We need nominations (and feel free to nominate yourself :) for voting in @ November meeting:Chairman (no nominations yet, and I'll be passing the baton….)
Beautification Director (Tisha Farrington & Dawn Steele so far)
Membership Director(I'll help w/ newsletters, but need a new 'PR' type person for this role)
Treasurer (I'll nominate myself if need be, but would like to see someone new here, too)We have the following on Committees:
Citizen's Patrol - George Morgan (and he could use help or a replacement :)
Yard of Month- Rene' Pitts
Traffic Calming / Safety - Judy Johnson
Welcome Wagon - Rene' Pitts and Diane MacDonald
Events - Sandy Allen (THANK YOU SANDY FOR 'STEPPING UP' :)
Neighbor to Neighbor Assistance - needs a leader!

Neighborhood Workshop set for Wednesday

Last year at a Neighborhood Workshop, a developer announced his intention to build an affordable housing project north of Bee Ridge Rd., opposite the main Lake Sarasota entrance at Mauna Loa Blvd.

That project proved controversial, and apparently has been withdrawn.

A new developer, Discovery Management, will present a new proposal for an adult congregate living facility on the same "Ansin tract" on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn. A pdf of the plan for the proposed facility has been uploaded to our community group site.

The public is welcome to attend.

Proposed Articles of Incorporation

Hello neighbors, We had a great turnout at the meeting last Tuesday and worked through a draft of the Articles of Incorporation - see immediately below for the text.

The next step will be the final voting on Articles and of Officers at the November meeting. Please take a look at the 4 officer positions and email me nominations. We also voted to do the landscaping at front median ourselves as the landscaper "fell through" . Flag is getting closer to happening as we work thru more "hoops" to jump through. Thank you, Laura Mathis LSCG

LAKE SARASOTA COMMUNITY GROUPArticles of IncorporationArticle 1: Name of Organization The name of the organization shall be the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG).Mailing address:PO Box 21983Sarasota, FL34276Article II: Statement of Purpose LSCG 's purpose is to maintain and improve the beauty, safety, sense of community and quality of life of residents of our neighborhood. The members of LSCG have gathered together to form and su…