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

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
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
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 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*

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 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: 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 by October 21st

Portland and its Five Year Plan.