Friday, November 30, 2007

County training for aspiring poll workers


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 Drive

December 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 Road

December 11, 10 am and December 13, 6 pm

Thursday, November 29, 2007

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.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


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)

Beautification 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 Group

PO Box 21983 Sarasota, FL 34276

Keep Sarasota Beautiful



Many 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:

Litter Prevention Hotline: call 365-TAGS

to report anyone you see littering, including cigarette butts out of cars (give tag #)


We will be decorating our medians to celebrate the holidays.

Come out and join us! We will be meeting on Dec. 2 @ 1 pm by our announcement board (second median from Bee Ridge)

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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 Allen will take charge of parties and special events. There's talk of a holiday hayride, caroling, and of planning a Neighborhood Yard Sale for January.

Dawn is involved with Roots and Shoots, a neighborhood program for children. Tom continues as Blogmeister.

Kim Davis will coordinate clean-ups of Mauna Loa. Kids can get community service hours for participating. If you see anyone littering, get their tag and call 365-TAGS.

The treasury currently has about $200.

The permit for the flagpole at the entrance has finally come through, Laura announced. Once in place, some landscaping will be organized.

Upcoming Events:

Tues. Nov. 20th, 1:30 p.m. County Commission vote on stop signs for Mauna Loa.

Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 1 p.m. Meet at LSCG sign near front entrance to decorate entrance for the holidays.

Next General Meeting: Tues. Dec. 11, 7 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist.

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 5

Mailing Address
County Commissioners
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34236

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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 Yahoo: join if you need to, go to files, then find Lake Sarasota Fees.pdf.

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 sidewalks, call Pinky Pakalapati, 861-0931 in Public Works.

Monday, November 12, 2007


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 Himes

The '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 blood' involved in this group as officers to bring fresh insight and ideas. THANK YOU to all the dedicated people in this group who have all made our community a better place :)

Flag Pole:
Still hung up in permitting with the county…. Trust that I have been 'round and round' on this one and will continue till it's done :)

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

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 contractor expects it to take, what homeowners can expect to see during construction. It will be a good time for residents to ask questions.

I will have a detailed chart showing fees and charges. We won't know the final costs until the construction is complete but the original $4000 to $6000 estimate seems good at this time.

We will be asking them to place blue flags in the right-of-way where they wish the connection to be. The contractor will give them the flags at the appropriate time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

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 their emails:

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 5

Mailing Address
County Commissioners
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34236

Monday, November 05, 2007

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 economic development trust fund; providing continuance of sales tax by referendum; requiring 4/5's vote to modify county projects/allocations; continuing citizen tax oversight committees?

YES FOR continuing the 1-cent sales tax

NO AGAINST continuing the 1-cent sales tax

Friday, November 02, 2007

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.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

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.