Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Park Creation and January 13th Meeting

From Chairman Bill:

Hello neighbors and Happy New Year one and all!
We will be planting plants and flowers at Hina Point Park (corner of Hina & Palau) Saturday morning, January 3rd at 8:30 AM.  We are in need of volunteers to help with the plantings.  If you can help us out, please be there at 8:30AM.  If you have gloves and small hand tools (spade, shovel, etc,) please bring them with you.
It is exciting that all of the work that went in to creating the park is coming to fruition.  We all should look forward this improvement in our community.
We hope that all of you can attend our next meeting.  It will be January 13th, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Sarasota Baptist Church.  This will be an important meeting since we will be planning things for the new year.  Please try and make this meeting!
As previously announced, we are going to start putting together a directory of services provided by residents of our community.  If you are interested in being in the directory, you need to be at this meeting.  The cost of being in the directory is $20. and you should bring a business card that can be duplicated for the directory.  THE BOARD OF THE LAKE SARASOTA COMMUNITY GROUP HAS VOTED TO REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING AS A PREREQUISITE FOR BEING IN THE DIRECTORY, SO WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO INCLUDE ANYONE THAT DOES NOT COME TO THE MEETING. 
We look forward to seeing everyone at the January meeting. 
Bill Pitts

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hina Pocket Park Taking Form

The picture below reflects the triangle at the intersection of Hina Dr. and Palau Dr. which is about to become a pocket park, thanks to the energies and efforts of several of our residents and to the folks at Neighborhood Services of Sarasota County.

In fact, you can help make that transformation happen. Bushes and benches have been ordered (thanks to the grant from the county), and we'll be doing some plantings at the site this Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009, at 8:30 AM. Anyone who enjoys a bit of outdoor exercise and community participation is invited to join in. Things to bring:
  • water
  • big shovels
  • post hole diggers
  • some gardening gloves
  • a tool or two 
In a follow-up email, Faith explained the need for post hole diggers and more:
. . . we need big shovels and if any post hole diggers laying in a garage. We have several holes to dig for the boundry fencing and do have 1 power auger but only for a few hours. The garden area is a 12 foot circle which we need to totally dig out and till to aide the plants. Also a lot of mulch to drop.
We also need strong backs as all the park goodies are concrete piece we will put together.
So do come out and be part of the latest Lake Sarasota beautification project.

This is the BEFORE shot:

When it's completed, we'll post the AFTER shot here as well.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa was here

Thanks Santa! And thanks to Sarasota's Firefighters and Squad 8 for visiting Lake Sarasota!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa and Caroling coming again this Christmas

Santa Claus will be making his Second Annual Firetruck Tour of Lake Sarasota on Sunday, Dec. 21, shortly after 2 p.m. We hope to have a map of his route before the event.

Also, plans are underway to repeat last year's caroling -- a walk through the neighborhood with songs and perhaps some candy canes for the kids.

Santa plans to take this route through Lake Sarasota:

Santa will enter Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa, go all the way down Mauna Loa and make a left on Berkshire. Then he'll wind around and make a left on Brentford, a left on Marlborough, a right on Friendship, a left on Mauna Loa, a right on Lanai and a left on Jarvis.

View Larger Map

Here's a bit more from Bill:

Hello everyone!  We are pleased to announce that Santa Claus has consented to make an appearance in Lake Sarasota on December 21st at approximately 2:00PM.  He has decided to ride on a fire truck so that his reindeer will be rested and strong for Christmas Eve!
Please come out and say hello to him as he rides through the neighborhood on a bright shiny fire truck!
Last year when he came through, all the kids that came out to see him were amazed that he could ride on a fire truck.  They will be amazed again this year!
Santa has personally asked me to invite everyone in Lake Sarasota to come out and say hello as he "flies" through the neighborhood. 

Thank You in advance for your support for Santa!
Bill Pitts

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A note from our neighbors

About the recent Yard Sale and more:

First I would like to say that I think Sandy did a fantastic job! There are a lot of good ideas here and we need to talk about them while it's still fresh in our minds and implement them. However, until we get participation from all the homeowners with a wish list, the few people that actually show up and do the work won't be able to fulfill those wishes.

If homeowners of Lake Sarasota want a better community, then it's time to stand up and be counted. If we want a safer community, then we need to keep Ted Cover's phone (379-0758) ringing [or keep his email pinging] so he can set up a Citizens Patrol schedule that will let vandals and thieves know we are serious about keeping them out of here! He is doing a superb job of forwarding information from the sheriff's office to our community and needs everyone's help. This program is way too massive for 5 or 6 people to accomplish. If you want outside people to want to buy some of the empty homes in our community, this program may be one of the ways that might encourage that. People want to live in a safe surrounding.

Again I say, stand up be counted and make a difference! Let me apologize to all the people that helped on the garage sale that I didn't mention. Like Tina on Lania that got her neighbor to haul the grill to Maui. Just little things like that, people helping people, make the difference. Regardless of how short a time, each person that played a part in the sale made a difference to its success.

Thanks again Tom,

Ray & Connie

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Neighborhood Disaster Plan Meeting this Thursday at the EOC

For anyone interested in neighborhood preparedness, some of the key county people involved with emergency management and public safety will be on hand at a meeting scheduled for this Thursday, December 11 from 1:30pm-3:00pm.


The meeting  will be at the Sarasota County Government Administration Center,  Emergency Operations Center, located at 1660 Ringling Blvd in downtown Sarasota on the 6th floor of the Administration Building.

Here's an agenda:

* Welcome and Introductions


* Emergency Services Neighborhood Public Safety Program

    --Firewise Program presented by Assistant Fire Chief Dillon

    --AED Program presented by Assistant Fire Chief Dezzi

    --Stormwise Program presented by Emergency Management Chief McCrane

    --Water Safety Program presented by Lifeguard Operations Chief Ayers

    --CERT Program presented by Recovery Chief Scott Montgomery


* Foreclosed homes project


* Review of 2008 Hurricane Season and what is forecasted for the 2009 Hurricane Season     Dan Noah, National Weather Service Ruskin


* Review of 2008 year

    --what went well and what can Emergency Management do better to keep you  prepared


* Questions 

Update: A powerpoint presentation of the meeting is now available here - click on "neighborhood disaster meeting" to download. You'll need a powerpoint viewer to look at it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Some thoughts on Community and Change

More from the Harwood Public Innovators home page:

If you're interested in deeply exploring community rhythms consider attending the Harwood Public Innovators Lab. At the Lab you'll learn about Community Rhythms, the 3A's of Public Life and other key tools and frameworks to help accelerate change in your community. 

Click here for a set of questions to help you determine your community's stage click here 

Click here for a description of the five different stages of community 

Click here to learn what efforts fit with which stage.

Thanks to April at SCOPE for the link.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Third Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop in Sarasota

We respectfully invite you to join us at the third annual Sustainable Communities workshop on Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13. We scheduled the two day workshop to include a Saturday this year to allow more attendance from homeowners and residents that often can't attend our weekday workshops. The agenda will be relevant for residents, neighborhood representatives, and members of the business community, providing updates on the latest policies and technology innovations and hands on strategies for saving energy and water in your homes and businesses.  Please share this notice with members of your neighborhood and other contacts.  Thank you!

Dec. 12-13, 2008

The POWER to learn, the POWER to lead, the POWER to change.

Searcy S. Koen Regional Campus for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida

4780 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota

Dec. 12-13, 2008

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Information and Registration at:


or call 941-861-5000

This two-day interactive workshop convenes leaders from industry, government and university programs to share their expertise and strategies for:

·       Community solutions for climate change

·       Energy and water conservation techniques in homes and businesses

·       The relationship of transportation and land use choices to energy and health

·       Renewable energy strategies

·       Neighborhood energy and water saving strategies and funding opportunities

The workshop setting is the Searcy S. Koen Regional Campus for Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida in Sarasota, a LEED Certified green building built to preserve a natural wetland.


Professional and commercial strategies to reduce energy and water use, develop sustainable business models, build according to green principles and incorporate societal considerations in response to a changing climate. Speakers will discuss innovative water strategies, greening your business, land use, health, and green building, and renewable energy strategies. 


Hear how you as an individual, homeowner or neighborhood representative can implement energy and water conservation strategies to save money and improve your quality of life.Speakers will cover alternative transportation, living locally, greening an existing home and the Water/ Energy Connection in homes and neighborhoods. 

Green holiday gift ideas. Come see exhibitors offering products and services to help consumers save money, save energy, and protect the planet.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A smashing success

Thanks to the efforts of several stalwart Lake Sarasotans, the mega yard sale of Thanksgiving 2008 was a stunning success. Some 97 homes participated (thanks all), and more than a thousand people came through our entrances. Every last map was taken, and many of the burgers and hot dogs were purchased.

A big thank-you to Sandy Allen for doing virtually everything to make this happen. Vigorous thanks also to Bill Pitts, Ray and Connie, Tisha, Laura, Ellie, and Ted for their magnificent efforts. Special thanks to Richard A. for allowing us to wake him up so he do some heavy lifting and driving.

Congratulations all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yard Sale now at 97 Homes

At latest count, this Saturday's mega Lake Sarasota Yard Sale has 88 97 participating homes!

And more volunteers are needed! Contact Sandy at sallen11@comcast.net.

Click here to see the latest map.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Choked Waterways of Lakeview Park

Few Sarasotans today remember the rather fanciful way Lakeview Park began, as a developer's come-on for lot sales in "Sunshine Springs and Gardens":

Until a few years ago, the waterways of the park were relatively clear, thanks to a deep well and a pump that kept the water moving. When a storm knocked out the power and the pump failed, things changed.

A small group is looking at ways of restoring the park - not, mind you, to the days of swan-adorned boats, but simply to healthier, cleaner water. Have a look at some of the approaches outlined here.

If you have ideas, interest and time, do get in touch - we'd love to hear from you. We'd love to see clear waters moving again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Listen up!

The Nov. 29th community Yard Sale is attracting a huge number of participants. Click on this link to see the latest map. Sandy says some streets have yet to be canvassed and she's expecting more homes to join, which means this is virtually certain to be the largest Yard Sale Lake Sarasota has done so far.

It also means we are in desperate need of volunteers!

As Sandy says:
We desperately need volunteers for the garage sale.  We only have a few and we need many more.  Also, we will have Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Chips and Drinks at the corner of Maui and Bee Ridge.
If any of you know a landscaper, I need a little patch mowed there. 
So we need people to work on handing out the maps, and to handle the food, and someone to mow a bit of the area at Maui and Bee Ridge.

Contact Sandy directly at sallen11@comcast.net to get your house on the map, and to volunteer to help make this yard sale a huge success.

Thank you...

Friday, November 14, 2008

72 Hour Crime Spree?

Some new information from Ted Cover, who still needs volunteers for the Citizens Patrol (contact him here):
I've just received the October 2008 Crime Report for Lake Sarasota from the Sheriff's Dept.
There was an alarming increase in theft -- probably a symptom of economic hard times: 

Twenty-two were reported -- most of them within the span of three days:

Palau and Jarvis both had four incidents.  Java, Brentford, Lago, and Mauna Loa had two incidents each.  Paota, Lancaster, Hina, Rangi, and Honolulu each had one incident.  Most of the thefts occurred between Oct. 12 and 14.
I encourage everyone to keep garage doors closed as much as possible.  Keep car doors locked when parked in the front yard or street.  Don't make it easy for the thieves.  If we make it difficult for them, we discourage them.
Citizens Patrol 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Updates from the Chair

Bill Pitts has been elected Chairman of the Lake Sarasota Community Group for 2009 - here's his update:

Hello residents of Lake Sarasota:
We held our last meeting for this year on Tuesday, November 11,2008.  Many important topics were discussed.
Ellie Himes gave a treasury report and stated that we currently have $552 in our account.
There were three new winners chosen for Yard of the Month awards.
Ted Cover gave us a report on the citizen's patrol.  He asked that anyone who is signed up for the patrol and no longer wishes to be on it let him know so that he can remove your name from the list.  The lack of volunteers for patroling was addressed.  We took a vote and decided to assign patrol times to all volunteers still on the list.  Assignments will be made in alphabetical order starting with "A".  Ted will set up a schedule and let you know when you are assigned to patrol.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS WILL ONLY BE A COUPLE OF HOURS EVERY SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS AND THAT IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT JOB.  If you choose to no longer be a volunteer be let Ted know so that he does not put you on the patrol schedule.  You can contact him at 379-0758 orTCover6161@aol.com
Tisha Farrington gave a report on landscaping and explained that the new plants at the entrances to Lake Sarasota are in need of more frequent watering.  If you would like to volunteer to help out with the watering please let Tisha know.  You can reach her at 377-0755.
We are waiting to hear from the county about the use of a pump to keep the water circulating in the canals at Lakeview Park.
Habitat for Humanity will be working on a house on Samoa.  The program is called rehabitat for humanity and is designed to help with homes that are in need of repair (as opposed to new construction). If you would like to help out for a couple of hours please contact Laura. 
We are waiting to hear from the county about getting the grant money released to do the Pocket Park at Hina and Palau.
CERT Program:  We need to have 10 people signed up for the CERT Program by our next meeting on January, 13,2009.  If we get the 10 people, we can have the classes here in Lake Sarasota at our convenience.  Please contact Tom at lakesarasota@gmail.com to sign up for this very important program.
Lake Sarasota Community Group elections:  Our election was held and Bill Pitts was elected as Chairman of the Board.  There was a unanimous vote to keep all of the other officers and committee leaders in their positions.

On December 21st Santa will be visiting Lake Sarasota on a Fire Truck.  We will be announcing the time that he will be here.  Please take a minute to come out and say hello.  Last year the neighborhood kids got a kick out of seeing Santa riding on the Fire Truck.
Please try your best to start off next year by attending our meeting in January.  The more people that participate, the better it is for everyone.

Community Business Directory in 2009

At our next meeting on January 13,2009 we are going to start putting together a directory of services provided by residents of our community.  We hope to help our residents get some business during these tough economic times.  If you are interested in being in the directory you will need to be at the meeting.  The cost for being in the directory is $20. and you should bring a business card that can be duplicated for the directory.  THE BOARD VOTED TO REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING AS A PREREQUISITE FOR BEING IN THE DIRECTORY, SO NO ONE WILL BE LISTED THAT DOESN'T COME TO THE MEETING.  WE WANT TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET EVERYONE THAT WE PUT IN THE DIRECTORY.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brief report of Nov. 11th General Meeting

The Lake Sarasota Community Group held its final meeting of the year, at which it held elections among other business:

Three new Yards of the Month were selected.

Citizens Patrol needs you. Contact Ted, let him know when you can do a few laps around the neighborhood.

The landscaping of the front entrances looks good, but needs watering. Volunteers are welcome. Contact Tisha if you can volunteer to help out.

Habitat for Humanity is working on a ReHabitat mission in Lake Sarasota, on Samoa. Contact Laura if you'd like to be involved in this home makeover, which is improving our community and helping longtime neighbors in Lake Sarasota.

During the meeting the idea for a Lake Sarasota Trades Referral Service was revived. If you have a business or know of one operated by Lake Sarasota residents that you can recommend, let Bill know, or drop a line to the blog. The best way to get your business represented is to bring your business cards to our general meetings, the second Tuesday of every month (except December - the next one is Jan. 13th).

As a result of our very own November election, Bill Pitts is Chairman of the Lake Sarasota Group for 2009. Tisha is Beautification Director, Judy and Laura are membership directors, and Ellie is again Treasurer. 

Another brainstorming session led to the idea of a list of useful numbers that can be handed out to new residents (in lieu of the welcome wagon). 

The group agreed to canvass interest in starting a CERT training course after the holidays.

Sandy needs volunteers to help with food, maps etc. for the Nov. 29th Lake Sarasota Yard Sale. Contact her at sallen11@comcast.net if you can help, or if you want to list your home address on the map.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Google Map of 11.29 Yard Sale

A number of Lake Sarasotans have already signed up to participate in the November 29th Yard Sale. Contact Sandy at sallen11@comcast.net if you wish to be listed on the map. You can move around the map with the mouse.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Meeting 11.11, Yard Sale 11.29

The last general meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group for 2008 will be on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Sarasota Baptist, 7 p.m. Come to learn more about 

  • a Habitat for Humanity project in Lake Sarasota
  • elections for LSCG officers for 2009
  • ideas for neighborhood parks
  • plans for upcoming events

Speaking of events, this year's Lake Sarasota Mega Yard Sale will be on Saturday, Nov. 29th - check back for more details.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sincere Thanks

This past rainy Saturday, a few stalwart volunteers were out sprucing up the front of the neighborhood. We didn't get a photo, alas, but did hear from one resident, Ruth, who happened to be passing by:

I passed through Mauna Loa on Sat. morning and there they were planting those plants in the median with it pouring the rain. What a great job. I would like to write them a note. They are surely to be commended.

Hopefully it's not too late to say "thank you" to Ray and Connie, Tisha, Laura, Judy and Diane. If anyone wishes to get more involved, just drop us a line and we'll put you in touch with the right person or persons.

Also, if you received the latest newsletter (thanks Laura Mathis and Mickey Schweitzer) you may have read about the interest in CERT. When we get 10 Lake Sarasotans, we can have our own course here at a time that meets everyone's needs. So let us know if you're interested!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Anyone have a spare rain barrel?

Neighbors: We are having a problem with our flowers wilting due to a lack of rain. Tisha has spent a lot of time working on them but she can use some help!

Our landscaper only comes to Lake Sarasota once a week. They water every time they are here, but due to the lack of rain, once a week is not enough.

We need to come up with a rain barrel for both entrances. The landscaper will fill it up when he is here and Tisha has volunteered to try and water the plants during the week when there is no rain. The landscaper has one rain barrel and is dropping it off on Friday. WE DESPERATELY NEED ANOTHER ONE!!

If anyone has one please let Tisha know ASAP. You can contact her at tishafarrington@gmail.com

We are in the dry season now and we really need to take care of the plants to keep them looking good!

If you can contribute a rain barrel it will be greatly appreciated and it will benefit the entire community.

Thanks in advance

Bill Pitts

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Early Voting Info and More

The latest edition of Neighborhood News is available in our documents library. It's a pdf file -- if you have the software, you can read it by clicking here.

Among other info, it has the days and locations for early voting, which begins Oct. 20th and continues through Nov. 2. The nearest location: Fruitville Library.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A recap of the Oct. 14th meeting from Bill Pitts

Hello Neighbors!
We are pleased to report an increase in attendance at last night's meeting.  That was great!  We believe the signs that were put up throughout Lake Sarasota helped to increase the attendance.  Thanks to all of those who put up the signs.  In order to avoid any confusion about the next meeting, please pick up the signs and put them back out a few days before the next meeting (November 11th).
Yard of the Month - The latest winners of the Yard of the Month award were selected.  If you want to nominate a yard for the award, please let Renee Pitts know.  You can call her at 371-3988 or email her at JPitts9710@aol.com
Citizen's Patrol - Ted Cover gave an excellent presentation on what type of crimes the neighborhood has experienced, the most common times the crimes have been reported and where the crimes took place.

Ted is doing a great job with the citizen's patrol, but he needs our help!!  If you are able and willing to help out please contact Ted.  Volunteering for just 2 hours a month would be a big help.  If you have previously signed up for citizen's patrol and can no longer participate, please let Ted know so that he can remove your name from the list of volunteers.  You can contact Ted by email at TCOVER6161@aol.com
Landscaping for Entrances - The new landscaping for the entrances to Lake Sarasota will be done soon.  It should make the entrances a great deal more attractive.  We are having a work day on Saturday Oct. 25th.  We will be doing cleanup as well as some planting and trimming.  We can really use all the help we can get.  It shouldn't take long if we have enough volunteers.  We will start at 8:00AM.  If you can make it please bring a plastic bag or 2 and your work gloves.
Sidewalks on Lago - David Foster brought us up to date on the efforts to get new sidewalks installed on Lago.   He explained that there is still much to be done and that he will continue to work with the county to see if the sidewalks are a possibility.
Park at Hina and Palau - Faith Downes explained some of the frustrations with all of the rules and regulations we have to follow to get the park done.  Debbie Marks from the county sent us an email saying that Public Works is finishing up their review and that everything seems to be good at this point.  Hopefully all of the hard work done by Faith, Ray and Connie will be rewarded soon.
Lakeview Park - Tom Matrullo and Ray Bresciani have had discussions with the county regarding water levels and water quality in the lake and canals at the park.  The water quality should be tested soon and there are ongoing discussions about using pumps to keep the water in the canal at a certain level.  The park is a great asset to the community and should be utilized more than it is.
CERT Program - Tom Matrullo is working very hard to get ten people to sign up for the classes for the CERT Program.  If we can get a minimum of ten, the county will train us here in Lake Sarasota at our convenience.  Please contact Tom if you are interested in the CERT Program.  You can email him at lakesarasota@gmail.com for more information.
Upcoming Events - Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 11th.  It will be the last meeting of this year.  It is a very important meeting because we will be electing officers for next year, so please try and attend.  If you would like to nominate someone please let us know, or, better yet, come to the meeting and nominate them personally.  IT'S YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SO PLEASE PARTICIPATE!!!
Saturday, Nov 29th.  Yard sale starting at 7:00 AM (there will be signs posted with more details).
Sunday, December 21st.  Santa Claus will be visiting Lake Sarasota via fire truck.  We will let you know what time he will be coming by.  Please take a few minutes to come out and say hello.  The neighborhood kids loved seeing him on the fire truck last year!
We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Bill Pitts

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Highlights of October Meeting

A few highlights from tonight's general Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG) meeting:

Community Yard Sale

The major community-wide yard sale will be on Saturday, Nov. 29th. It will probably start early, around 7 a.m. Contact Sandy with your information to have your sale pinpointed on the map.

LSCG Election

We will be electing officers for the coming year at our next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 2008. If you wish to nominate residents for the elective posts, send names and whatever contact info you have to LakeSarasota@gmail.com.*

Citizens Patrol

Volunteers are still needed for October - contact Ted

Ted analyzed five months of crime data, and finds:

Open garages invite theft - especially of tools - even during daytime. Close your garage. Also, cars in driveways are being looted - a very expensive GPS system was stolen last week.

The peak area for crime is the 6500-6800 blocks of Mauna Loa. The peak day is Friday, followed by Saturday, Thursday, and Wednesday. Peak times are 3 - 4 pm, Noon - 1 pm, 11 am - Noon. Ted has shared his analysis with the Sheriff and says it might influence Sheriff patrols.

Hina Point Park:

Public Works is looking at the plans and we should hear back from them soon.

Sidewalks along Lago St. 

The status and history of the project is being investigated in order to see whether we can get sidewalks along that section of Lago.

Lakeview Park Water and Canals

There may be a site visit with county personnel in the near future. Those who have expressed interest will be welcome to come along. We first need to determine jurisdiction, as there seems to be some overlap between stormwater, health, and environment.

Few residents are able to make the county's class in November. When we have definite commitments from 10 or more residents (drop a line to LakeSaraota@gmail.com if interested) that group will meet to work out a custom schedule and talk with the county emergency managers about setting up a class for Lake Sarasota.

*Here's the description of the board from our articles of incorporation:

Section 1: Board of Directors (Board)

The Board of Directors consists of the Chairman, Beautification Director, Membership Director, and Treasurer. Board positions will be held for one-year terms. Board vacancies will be filled by a majority vote of the membership and will serve for the unexpired portion of the one-year term. Board members and committee chairpersons may meet at their discretion and, as allowed by law, to plan meetings and make committee appointments. 
The complete articles can be downloaded here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have you filed for your Economic Stimulus Payment yet?

A reminder from Neighborhood Services:

Sarasota County reminds all residents that October 15, 2008 is the last day an individual may file for an Economic Stimulus Payment. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted by Congress and the President and enables individuals to receive a one-time monetary payment. Even if you do not file taxes, you may still be eligible for a payment. Please forward this message to others who may not be aware of this.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the agency responsible for issuing payments, and lists Florida as the fourth highest state of citizens who have not filed for payment. Once again, even if you do not regularly file taxes, you should claim your payment. The IRS will be holding special events at retirement communities and assisted living facilities throughout Florida this week to allow citizens to file for payment. The agent assigned to our area is Ms. Andrea Tupper. Ms. Tupper is available to answer any questions regarding an Economic Stimulus Payment. Her contact information is as follows:

Ms. Andrea R. Tupper

Internal Revenue Service



Citizens may also visit the Internal Revenue Service online by going to: www.irs.gov. Please contact Ms. Tupper or visit the IRS website for further information.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

General Meeting Tuesday, Oct. 14

The Lake Sarasota Community Group will hold its October General Meeting on tuesday Oct. 14, at 7 pm at Sarasota Baptist.

Don't miss this

Ted will have some interesting news about crime patterns - he's been crunching numbers and other data (locations, times of day, types of crime) from several months of Sheriff's reports.

So far, we also expect updates on several other initiatives:
  1. Landscaping the Mauna Loa Entrance
  2. Developing a pocket park at Hina and Palau.
  3. Fall event planning.
  4. CERT training.
  5. Grant money allocation.
  6. Lakeview Park Canals, pump, water quality.
  7. Traffic Calming, Yard of the Month, Treasurer's Report.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Crime patterns - tip

This is just informal info - it seems that the peak times for criminal activity are 3 pm - 4 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Again, this is just preliminary, but you might want to keep an eye out - especially if you're in the 6800 blocks of Mauna Loa.

Ted is doing a more in-depth analysis of the past five months of Sheriff's reports of break-ins and other police calls in Lake Sarasota. We'll update as soon as he's ready.

Also: Citizens Patrol reports still seeing many garage doors open well after dark last night - many without the lights on. This is an invitation to certain visitors, folks!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Meet 'First Wave' Cities in Orlando, Tues. Oct. 21st

For anyone interested in community building:

Democratic Governance at the Neighborhood Level: 

What Have We Learned?


An event organized by Grassroots Grantmakers and the

Deliberative Democracy Consortium, with assistance from

the National League of Cities and NeighborWorks America

November 11th, 2008, 9am-5pm

Orlando, FL

Thirty years ago, a new democratic experiment began in a handful of American cities. In Portland, Oregon, and a number of other places, local governments created neighborhood council systems as a way of engaging citizens in public decision-making and problem-solving.

What have we learned from these civic experiments? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What lessons do they offer about how to initiate, recruit for, staff, support, and fund neighborhood-level democracy?

Please join us for a stimulating, interactive day-long session in Orlando! The meeting will feature representatives from Portland and other ‘first wave’ cities in the morning, then turn to a broader discussion of lessons and potential innovations in the afternoon.  

The cost of the event will be $50 (to cover breakfast, lunch, and coffee). To RSVP, please contact Matt Leighninger at mattleighninger@earthlink.net by October 21st

Portland and its Five Year Plan.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meeting signs are ready!

Just wanted to let everyone know that our signs announcing our upcoming meetings are done and ready to display for our meeting in October.

If you are interested in placing one in your yard let me know so I can either be here to give it to you or leave it on my front porch for you to pick up. I think we discussed at the last meeting displaying them the Sunday before the meeting so it would give everyone interested a couple of days notice.

Just email me.
See Ya!!!
Your Neighbor,

CERT in Lake Sarasota - let us know of your interest

We hope to have 10 or more residents who can commit to CERT training. If you are thinking of doing this, drop a line to this email, so we can get an accurate sense of who's aboard. Also, we'd like to have a short meeting of Lake Sarasotans who want to take the CERT course so we can coordinate schedules. Let us know.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oct. 14th Meeting, new CERT Class, Citizens Patrol

Hello Neighbors:
Please try and make our next meeting on Tuesday, October 14, 2008.  It will be the next-to-last meeting of this year (Sarasota Baptist will be using all of their rooms during the month of December).  We need to have good attendance at this meeting so that we can discuss the new year and plans for Lake Sarasota. We promise that the meeting will start promptly at 7:00 PM and will be over at 8:30 PM.
We are still in desperate need of volunteers for the Citizens Patrol. Please contact Ted Cover at
TCover6161@aol.com or phone him at 379-0758.  If more people would just volunteer for a couple of hours a month, it would make the Citizens Patrol Program a big success.  YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS YOU!
The next Sarasota County CERT class will be held in November.  The maximum class size is 40 students, with preference given to neighborhood "teams" who can commit 5 or more members to the class.  Seats for individuals (those not part of a 5 person team) will be reserved on a first come first served basis, after all the team requests have been met.  If we are able to get 10 students from Lake Sarasota, we may be able to get classes just for us that would be taught right here. If you plan to apply, send an email to LakeSarasota@gmail.com to let us know. Let's try for a minimum of 10 students.

Text book training will be held in the Emergency Operations Center at 1660 Ringling Blvd., 6th floor.
Field training will be held at the Venice Training Facility off Pinebrook  Road in Venice.
The schedule is as follows:
                                        Emergency Operations Center
                                        1660 Ringling Blvd., 6th Floor
                                        All classes 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Session 1 -  Monday, November 10

Unit 1 - Disaster Preparedness

Unit 2 - Fire Safety 


Session 2 – Wednesday, November 12

Unit 3 - Disaster Medical Operations Part 1

Unit 4 - Disaster Medical Operations Part 2


Session 3 – Thursday, November 13

Unit 5 - Light Search and Rescue

Unit 6 - CERT Organization

CERT Communications


Session 4 – Friday, November 14

Unit 7 - Disaster Psychology

Unit 8 – Terrorism and Crisis Response for Schools

Unit 9 – Course Review

Team Organization and Drill Preparation


Session 5 – Saturday, November 15

Location: Venice Fire Training Facility

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Final Organization Time (9 am – 10 am)

Drill, Debriefing, Badging and Certificate Awards
If you are able, and would like to attend the classes please enroll by emailing Anne Miller atammiller@scgov.net or calling her at 861-5930.  Anne is the Logistics Chief and will be able to answer all of your questions.
Remember, if we can get 10 students here in Lake Sarasota, they will come here and do the classes for our group.  Please sign up and encourage your neighbors to do the same.  This is a very important program.

Feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Always something going on at SCOPE

SCOPE stands for Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence

Monday, September 22, 2008

Citizen Patrol Volunteers Needed for October

Fall is here as of today, and October is just around the corner.  And, we need to staff the Citizens Patrol for next month.  Here are the days and dates.
     Fri.   Oct. 3                Sat.   Oct. 4
     Fri. Oct. 10                Sat.  Oct. 11
     Fri. Oct. 17                Sat. Oct. 18
     Fri. Oct. 24                Sat. Oct. 25
     Fri. Oct. 31                Sat.   Nov. 1
Note that Halloween is a patrol night!
Please respond by return E-mail advising the night or nights that you can make the patrol.
We need more patrol volunteers.  In you know of anyone interested, please have them contact me so I can arrange training.
Here is the August crime report.
                    Vandalism:  8/27   7150 Lago St.
                                      8/30   4213 Middlesex Dr.
                                      8/30   7061 Brentford Rd.
                    Burglary     8/16    4051 Westminster Dr.
                                     8/23    6566 Mauna Loa Bv.
                    Theft          8/1     7127 Ranch
                                     8/5     7123 Lago St.
                                     8/8     7061 Brentford Rd.
                                     8/15   4147 Lancaster Dr.
                                     8/15   7230 Mauna Loa Bv.
                                     8/27   6934 Friendship Dr.
Thank you all for patrolling for the month of September.  We've had or will have patrols each weekend this month.
Citizens Patrol

Note: Citizens Patrol Training this Wednesday (9/24)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Citizens Patrol Training -- Call Ted

A note about an upcoming training session from Ted:

Sgt. Neal Scully of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Dept. will be at my house (4102 Parry Drive) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,  Sept. 24  to provide the training required to participate in the Citizens Patrol. Anyone who would like to take the training, contact me by return email or call me at 379-0758.

Ted Cover
Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fertilizing and Planting Near Our Lakes

We take our lakes for granted, but the more we understand about their ecologies, the better we'll be able to ensure that we don't cause irretrievable damage by over-fertilizing, over spraying, or other harmful practices.

Here are a few culprits that arise when homeowners who live by the lakes ignore basic precautions:


Grass sprayed:

"Bag worm:"

By the way, he county has two brochures of interest to anyone living near bodies of water:

Living on the Water's Edge: A Homeowners Guide to Low Maintenance Landscaping Along Seawalls, Bayfronts and Canals

Sarasota County Fertilizer and Landscape Management Code

We are forming a Group that will address lake and waterway issues in Lake Sarasota. Please join us whether you live on a lake or just care about them. Start by dropping us a line - tell us about you and your concern.

Both brochures and other info can be downloaded from the county's website, here. We have also made them available on the files page on the Lake Sarasota Website.

Please Welcome Bill

A note from our new point person Bill Pitts:

This is my first attempt at this, so I hope it is informative!
Recap of Tuesday's meeting:
Ellie Hines reported that we have a balance of $672.68 in our account.
The citizens patrol is in urgent need of volunteers.  Please contact Ted Cover and volunteer your services for a couple of hours if you possibly can.  Ted will be scheduling a training class later in the month.  We will notify you of the date and time.
Our front entrance landscaping project will begin on September 29th.
I will be leading the monthly meetings if Dan Johnson is not available to do so. I will also be handling email communications.
We made a decision to buy signs to put up in the neighborhood to notify our neighbors about the upcoming meetings.  Please try and attend the meetings.  Everything works better with more participants.
We talked about the construction of the Pocket Park at Hina and Palau.  The decision was made to name it the "Hina Point Park". 

We had a discussion regarding replacing the pump at Lakeview Park.  We would like to see if we can keep the water in the canals circulating year round.  We will be checking with the county on whether or not we can get a new pump installed.*


George Morgan will be arranging classes for the CERT training program.  We will notify you when we have the time and place for the classes.  We need a minimum of 10 volunteers for the class.  It is something that is very worthwhile and we hope you will participate.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me.
Bill Pitts

A Note from Laura and a Change of Guard

Laura has been LSCG's official president, unofficial leader and behind the scenes go-to person for a full two years. We are deeply grateful for all she's done, and are pleased that she'll stay on as a valued contributor even as some very talented new people are stepping up to help out. Here's Laura's note:

Hello neighbors, 

For those of you who couldn't make it, the meeting last night was really good ~ despite the rain! 
We had 4 new people there and many great ideas & projects happening.  Recap is forthcoming. 
Bill Pitts, who also led our meeting last night (Thanks Bill!) has stepped up to handle the email. 
So, for at least the immediate future, if you have email inquiries; please send them to: 
JPitts9710@aol.com or lakesarasota@gmail.com

Also, be thinking about…. Who would be a good President to lead and motivate our group. 
Maybe it's You!  We'll be doing elections for our group in November.  What timing!

Thank You :) 
Laura Mathis 

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ike as of Sunday evening, 9.7.08

Click on the map for latest projections:

A message to Citizens Patrol Members

Dear Citizens Patrol Members,
Could you help me update our address and phone lists by providing your current? Also, Please advise if you have moved from or are in the process of moving from Lake Sarasota.

Email Ted at TCover6161@aol.com
We still need volunteers to patrol the nights of Friday Sept. 5, Saturday Sept. 6, Saturday Sept. 13, Saturday Sept. 20, and Friday and Saturday Sept. 26 and 27. Any who can cover these dates please advise so I can provide you with the magnetic Citizens Patrol signs, logbook, etc.
Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group

October is Disability Awareness Month

October is Disability Awareness Month and Sarasota County Parks and Recreation has a special event planned to highlight the many agencies and services that provide support for Sarasota County residents with disabilities. The Disability AwarenessHealth and Recreation Expo, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Oct. 4 at Arlington Park Gymnasium, 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota will provide information on tai chi programs, wheelchair tennis, respite care, and much more.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask about the Disability Awareness: Health and Recreation Expo and the Arlington Park Open House.

Meeting: Sept. 9

The Lake Sarasota Community Group holds its next general meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7 pm, at Lake Sarasota Baptist Church.

A number of important topics are on the agenda, including:

Median Tree Plantings update (Laura) (5 mins)

Front entrance landscaping update (Tisha)

Sidewalks along Lago

CERT program

Planning future events/meetings (Sandy)

Park at Hina (Faith)

Lakeview Park Waterways (Ray and Connie) (nothing new)

Regular Reports:

· Treasurer’s Report (Ellie) (2 minutes)

· Yards of the Month (Renee) 5 minutes

· Traffic Calming (Judy) – no reply

· Citizens’ Patrol (Ted)

Group organization (Everybody)

Other potentially relevant concerns:

· TRIM Notices
· Foreclosures

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sept. 20: Mauna Loa CleanUp

We will do a cleanup along Mauna Loa on Saturday, Sept. 20th, the same day as the Coastal Cleanup.

We encourage any lakefront residents to clean up along their property, too.

If you'd like to help with the cleanup along Mauna Loa Blvd, please email Kim Davis:


Thank you,
Laura Mathis


SCOPE - Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence - has several initiatives - here's a list from their site:

Every year, SCOPE engages a diverse group of people in conversations that focus on what we want our future to be as opposed to problem solving the past. In these conversations, or “community studies,” SCOPE frees people to innovate and create new approaches to change. Topics are chosen by local residents and have included race and cultural relations, affordable housing, school dropout, redevelopment and infill, family violence, traffic flow and congestion, mental health and aging. With each completed study, SCOPE volunteers work as partners with public officials, individuals and organizations to put those ideas into action and create meaningful change in the community.

> Aging: The Possibilities
> Race & Cultural Relations
> Neighborhoods Initiative
> Community Change: Redevelopment & Infill (2004)
> Family Violence (2004)
> Mental Health (2003)
> School Dropout (2003)
> Affordable Housing (2002)
> Traffic Flow & Congestion (2002)