Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last Minute Advisory about I-75 Hearing

This just in from Sarasota County Neighborhood Services:

Hello Everyone,

Just this morning, I received a notice of an very important public meeting to be held tonight regarding the proposed improvements to Interstate 75 (I-75) in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. I realize this is late notice, but I would rather send the information to you today, than you miss the opportunity completely. I also want to note that the late arrival is not the fault of FDOT, as it was postmarked Feb. 15. Please see the meeting information below and the attached hand-out that will be given at tonight's meeting.

WHO: Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

WHAT: Hosting a Public Workshop on the Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study for proposed improvements to I-75 from SR 681 north to approximately University Parkway.

WHERE: University of Phoenix, 501 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota

WHEN: February, 28, 2008 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM

FDOT has noted that this is the first of three planned public workshops on the topic. The next workshops are planned for the Fall of 2008 and early 2009. If you are interested in this topic, I highly encourage you to find out more about the project, attend the meeting, ask a neighbor who may go if you are unable, or talk with an FDOT representative as early in the process as possible. As listed in the attached handout, the contact at FDOT is:

Mr. Tony Sherrard, Project Manager

FDOT District One

Environmental Management Office

801 North Broadway

P.O. Box 1249

Bartow, Florida 33831

Phone: (863) 519-2304


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jogger seeks fellow joggers

Lori says:

I'd really like to have a posting to get in touch with fellow runners/joggers in Lake Sarasota...any way to get something started? I'm looking for someone with my schedule in common that wouldn't mind having a running/jogging partner...

New Poll Worker Orientations Scheduled

Interested in becoming a Poll Worker? Applicants must be registered to vote in Sarasota County and bring a Florida Driver License and signed Social Security card. No need to RSVP. Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker may attend.

North County:

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA

8301 Potter Park Blvd

Mar. 3rd, 6:30 pm

Fruitville Library

100 Coburn Road

Mar. 4th, 6:30 pm

Selby Library

1311 First Street

Mar. 5th, 2:00 pm

South County:

Francis T Bourne Jacaranda Library

4143 Woodmere Park

Mar. 6th, 10:00 am

Venice Library

300 S. Nokomis Ave

Mar. 7th, 2:00 pm

Plea for courtesy from one dog lover to another

A plea for courtesy from a neighbor:

Will you please address in your next newsletter and on line, the etiquette of owning a dog! Please remind everyone that dog’s are to be on leashes. Most importantly PLEASE ask all of those dog owners that walk their dogs through the neighborhood to pick up the POOP that their animal leaves behind. We work very hard to keep our yard nice so that our granddaughter and our neighbors little boy don’t have to worry about playing around piles in their own yards. We have a 100 pound dog………would they like it if we left his calling card at their front doors?????????????

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One loud bird

The photo above comes from Lynne, who lives on the lake. If you've been over there recently, you probably heard the bird that sounds like it's being deprived of its dinner, its chicks, its mate, its nest and its pick-up truck. Instead of regaling us with a country music song, all it can do is repeat its raucous lamentation - which is probably not even that -- most of the day, and most of the evening, and most of the night.

Says Lynne:
This is a picture of the culprit. It is a limpkin. They were almost extinct at one time. Sometimes you can hear another one - maybe on the other side of the lake - answering. I think their mating season is Feb-April, maybe that has something to with it. Hopefully, he/she will quiet down soon. I know this has happened before and then stopped.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Briefs from tonight's meeting

Tonight's LSCG meeting, ably chaired by Dan Johnson, addressed the question of what trees to put in the medians. The county is prepared to work with us to finalize a plan, and it's hoped we can do the planting before the Spring rains. Come to our next meeting, March 11, to help reach a consensus. To be better prepared, here are some links from the county's web site:

The March 15th Yard Sale is moving full speed ahead. Sandy Allen ( is in charge of the Map, the hot dogs, etc. Any volunteers contact her. Hot dogs will be sold in the second median from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day of the Yard Sale. The sale will officially end at 2 p.m., although homeowners are welcome to choose their own closing times.

George plans to hold a Citizens Patrol Training Session on Feb. 25 - time TBA.

We plan to hand out flyers at the Yard Sale with news, contacts, and a heads-up about our April 14 meeting, where we intend to have a special speaker. Make sure to vote in our blog poll on the upper right, and stay tuned.

CONA's latest newsletter

Here's the latest newsletter of CONA - the Sarasota Council of Neighborhood Associations, Inc.

CONA meets at Twin Lakes Park on the 2nd Monday of each month, 7 p.m.

We look forward to their next newsletter, which should summarize what Sarasota Property Appraiser Jim Todora had to say about the new property tax amendment that recently was voted into law.

For the April 14th meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group, we want to bring in a speaker - someone from Todora's office, for example, or an expert on another issue. Have any ideas? Let us know.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cleaning Up on April 5th

To anyone interested:

The medians were cleaned up in January. We need to participate in the Great American Cleanup, on April 5th. We'll begin at 9 a.m. Let Kim Davis know you'll be joining her.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Community Group Meets Tuesday, Feb. 12

Dan Johnson will be leading this month's meeting. The main topics will be:

Trees for medians: Dimetra McBride will be back from the county to discuss the options again and we expect to be able to get the trees planted and on the water truck schedule in about a month.

Yard Sale - March 15 / contact Sandy Allen if you want to help or have a sale and be on map:

Other topics will include:
· Yard of Month
· Adopt A Road
· Traffic Calming
· Citizen's Patrol

The meeting begins at 7 in the usual meeting room at Sarasota Baptist Church.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Warning from Manatee Sheriff

Warning: Man in Fake Ice Cream Truck – Kids!

If any resident(s) has a suggestion to implement a neighborhood watch program to keep our children safe, please let me know.
Last week we sent out an Ewatch regarding a man in a van that looked like an ice cream truck trying to get a child to get in the van. This occurred on a Saturday afternoon in the Perico Island area.
On this Saturday January 26th it seems the same man approached 2 young children in the Lakewood Ranch area.
The man is described as a white male in his 50's with gray balding hair, small thin mustache with a chubby build, driving a white older van that looked like an ice cream truck with no markings. there were discoloration marks on the side of the van like signs had been removed. There was no tag seen.
The man told the children to hop in the van because their mother had sent him to pick them up.
Please tell your children about this incident and remind them never to get in a car with someone they don't know.
This Ewatch is going out county wide because this person is mobile and could show up anywhere. So far there haven't been any reports on other days than Saturdays.

Manatee County Sheriff's Office
Crime Prevention
941-747-3011 ext 2500

If any resident(s) has a suggestion to implement a neighborhood watch program to keep our children safe, please let me know.

Phishy rebates and more from phony IRS scammers

Laura shares this timely article:

The IRS has posted an article specific to phishing and scams using the IRS name on their website. The full article can be found at the following address:,,id=178061,00.html
An excerpt provided by the CSIS SIRT Team is below.

Summary: Even before Congress passes an economic stimulus package, identity thieves are using promises of tax rebates to trick people into revealing financial and personal data, the Internal Revenue Service warned Wednesday.

The most recent scams brought to IRS attention are described below.

Rebate Phone Call

At least one scheme using the word "rebate" as part of the lure has been identified. In that scam, consumers receive a phone call from someone identifying himself as an IRS employee. The caller tells the targeted victim that he is eligible for a sizable rebate for filing his taxes early. The caller then states that he needs the targets bank account information for the direct deposit of the rebate. If the target refuses, he is told that he cannot receive the rebate.

Refund e-Mail

The IRS has seen several variations of a refund-related bogus e-mail which falsely claims to come from the IRS, tells the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount, and instructs the recipient to click on a link in the e-mail to access a refund claim form. The form asks the recipient to enter personal information that the scamsters can then use to access the e-mail recipient's bank or credit card account.

In a new wrinkle, the current version of the refund scam includes two paragraphs that appear to be directed toward tax-exempt organizations that distribute funds to other organizations or individuals.

Audit e-Mail

Another new scam brought to IRS attention contains features not seen before by the IRS. Using a technique calculated to get almost anyone's attention, the e-mail notifies the recipient that his or her tax return will be audited. This is the first scam of which the IRS is aware that uses this to get the victim to respond.

Unusual for a scam e-mail, it may contain a salutation in the body addressed to the specific recipient by name. Most scam e-mails seen by the IRS are sent using the same technique used by spammers, in which hundreds of thousands of messages are sent to potential victims based on Internet address. Because of the volume, the typical scam e-mail is not personalized.

Changes to Tax Law e-Mail

This bogus e-mail is addressed to businesses, accountants and "Treasury" managers. It instructs them to download information on tax law changes by clicking on a series of links to publications on businesses, estate taxes, excise taxes, exempt organizations and IRAs and other retirement plans. The IRS believes that clicking on a link downloads malware onto the recipient's computer.

Paper Check Phone Call

In a current telephone scam, a caller claims to be an IRS employee who is calling because the IRS sent a check to the individual being called. The caller states that because the check has not been cashed, the IRS wants to verify the individual's bank account number.

Anyone wishing to access the IRS Web site should initiate contact by typing the address into their Internet address window, rather than clicking on a link in an e-mail or opening an attachment.

Those who have received a questionable e-mail claiming to come from the IRS may forward it to a mailbox the IRS has established to receive such e-mails, ( ), using the instructions contained in an article titled "How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious E-Mails or Phishing Schemes." (,,id=155344,00.html) Following the instructions will help the IRS track the suspicious e-mail to its origins and shut down the scam. Find the article by visiting and entering the words "suspicious e-mails" into the search box in the upper right corner of the front page.

Those who have received a questionable telephone call that claims to come from the IRS may also use the ( ) mailbox to notify the IRS of the scam.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Water line project proceeds apace

One of the fascinating pieces of equipment used to bore channels under the road for the water lines being installed on Lago and Jarvis: