Showing posts from August, 2009

BMX Gone

The BMX track built by some neighborhood boys over the summer has been flattened. It was on Jarvis St. next to the home of one of the boys, and had been getting lots of use by some 15 or more BMXers.

A recent picture of how it looked (click to enlarge):

Here's how it looks today:

Demetra McBride, a forester with the county, had explained in an email (click here for full text) why the county looked on the track in an unfavorable light. However, to the best of our knowledge, notification of the county's intention to raze the track this week was not communicated to members of the Lake Sarasota Community Group.

Ms. McBride did say in an addendum to her email:

I spoke with Mrs. ___ about inviting her son Michael to be a "neighborhood spokesperson" when we open the community conversation on this project. From his work, it appears that he is motivated, organized and a good youth ambassador. As this potential project is intended to serve that demographic, we feel it is important …

Hotline for Swine Flu (H1N1) Updates

The Florida Department of Health will be launching a toll-free number to provide public health information and updates on H1N1 Swine flu. The information line will be available from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern, 7 days a week. Information is available in English, Spanish and Creole.

Details are as follows:

Time: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, beginning Monday, August 24, 2009

Telephone Number: 877-352-3581

Bus Transit Open House Wed. & Thurs.


Update on the Entrance

By now it's not news: As previously reported, HealthSouth Corporation, which is developing the healthcare facility on the north side of Bee Ridge Rd. opposite the entrance to Lake Sarasota, graciously paid the cost of stamped bricks in the new, narrower concrete median at the entrance to the neighborhood:

With the addition of a third, right-turn lane, there have been a few inattentive drivers who go to the right and attempt to make a left-hand turn, despite the new signals indicating what one can and can't do at the intersection. Word to the wise:

The flagpole is now safely (we hope) ensconced in the next median:

Invasive Plant Treatments to begin in Lakeview Park

A message from the County Parks and Rec Dept:

Could you post on your neighborhood webpage that we are about to begin work in Lakeview Park treating invasive plants (air potato) with herbicide and mulching fallen melaleuca. We do not have an exact date yet. The work is being performed by Rick Richards, Inc.

Water Moccasin or Water Snake?

At the Lakeview Park Clean-Up, some residents were picking up some branches of a tree when a dangerous Water Moccasin slithered out and dashed into the water.
It might be useful to know one when you see it, but the differences between the venomous Florida Water Moccasin (or Cottonmouth) and the wholly harmless Water Snake can be subtle. Here are a few images and links that might help.
First, here's a Water Moccasin

Another shot of a Water Moccasin (click for a huge image):

Here's the plain old harmless Florida Water Snake:

Another clue (thanks Ray):

When in water, Water Moccasins move on top of the water - almost as if they were gliding on the surface, like this:

Water Moccasins are to be met with extreme caution. "When a moccasin is nesting or has her young in their nest it will aggressively defend that area," says Ray. "Moccasins have aggressively attacked people."

Water Snakes tend to be partly submerged, partly out of the water, more like this:

Click for more…

Of Parks, Water Moccasins, and Gators

Here's Ray's report about Sunday's Lakeview Park clean-up, which involved folks from Lake Sarasota and from the Sarasota Sky Pilots. A major thank-you to all who came out to help:

We had a good turn out at the park yesterday.... I think there were 9 or 10 residents signed in on Kim's sign in sheet before Sky Pilots started showing up. Kim left the sign in sheets with Franklin if you want a complete list of people that attended. Got a lot of stuff pulled from the canal. Sky Pilots did mostly trimming of trees hanging in the way of the disc throwing on each of the holes. We completely filled the dumpster & had enough stuff laying by the fence and along the sides of the canal to fill the dumpster two more times.

Caution: water moccasins and gators:

There are water moccasins in the canal! I seen for the first time as I was picking up some branches from the canal's edge a moccasin shot out from under and swam into the canal. I saw it swimming a few minutes later &…

Update on storm activity

As of 7:00AM CDT, Hurricane Bill is located near 15.6N/50.1W, or about 740 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds remain at 100 mph with gusts up to 120 mph. Bill continues to be in an environment favorable for further intensification as it continues to the west-northwest at about 17 mph. The current Hurricane Severity Index is 15, with 7 points attributed to size.

Bill continues on a west-northwest track and is expected to gradually begin to turn the northwest over the next 12 to 24 hours. Our forecast continues to be in general agreement with current model guidance. This track will bring the center of Bill about 250-300 miles to the northeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Thursday morning, and then begin a gradual turn to the north on Friday and into the weekend with increasing swell the main impact on the islands. A moderate cold front reaching the East U.S. Coast on Saturday should cause Bill to take a northward turn and eventually turn to the northeast…

Movie Nite for Kids Aug. 22


Tropical Storm Ana

From Scott Montgomery at the Sarasota EOC:

Good Morning: Tropical Depression #2 has now become Tropical Storm Ana. Ana is expected to grow in the next few days, and current tracks have the storm reaching the US coastline in South Florida sometime Thursday. This forecast is subject to change. With regards to the attached track map, we look at the entire "Cone", not the black track line.

I will keep you posted on Ana and Tropical Disturbance #33 as they develop.

Click to enlarge image:

County responds to BMX initiative

Regarding the BMX project undertaken by some neighborhood residents, here is an email from Demetra McBride, a Natural Resources Manager for Sarasota County:

I spoke with Mrs. _____ (the owner of property adjacent to the BMX track) on Monday, early evening. The creation of that track has disrupted and damaged root systems of trees in that corridor. In addition, the use of the area for that purpose has created grade variations that could form trip hazards for people unaware it is there (especially in the dark).

The fact is, this is County property, and any conversion or alternate use of it should have been cleared with the County and properly vetted and permitted. I am looking into the possibility of finding a location that is more suited for this purpose. Also, please note that this is a transportation corridor, not a parks property, and the expectation is that this will be the site of a project that is a "learning transportation corridor" for youth. This site seems ideal…

Highlights of the August Meeting

Tuesday night's general meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group covered a lot of ground. Here are the highlights:
Our Treasurer was not present, but we assume we have much the same as was reported in July in our account: $1364.
Ted is seeking volunteers for future Citizen Patrols. He also provided this analysis of the Sheriff's July crime report: There were a total of 13 incidents, down from 20 in June. There was one burglary, seven thefts, and five juvenile disturbances. There were no instances of vandalism. Most incidents occurred in mid-month. from the 14th through the 23rd. Most incidents occurred between 4 p.m. and Midnight. The incidents were evenly distributed through the week, with more incidents occurring between 10 p.m. and Midnight. Vana had three incidents. Palau and Samoa Drives both experienced two incidents. The following streets had one incident each: Brentford, Berkshire, Eton, Friendship, Mauna Loa, and Molokai.
From the data, it looks like we want…

Lakeview Park: A Workday Aug. 16th - UPDATE

The Sky Pilots have scheduled a work day at Lakview Park on Sunday, Aug 16th. Mostly to trim back the low hanging branches from walkways and remove litter and garbage. Here are some details:
Workday - Sunday, Aug 16 @ Lakeview Park - - - 8:30am - till Lunch provided afterwards to first 20 folks who show up to help. Goals: Remove garbage and litter.Remove fallen branches from canals.Trim low hanging branches from pathways.

General Meeting Aug. 11

The Lake Sarasota Community Group meets Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 7 pm at Sarasota Baptist. This is an all-volunteer group working to improve the living and landscape of Lake Sarasota. All are welcome - no dues, no fees.
Likely to be discussed at this Tuesday's meeting:
Update on Lakeview Park effortsAbandoned houses and what can be done about them.Discussion of uses for balance of grant moneyEvent PlanningPark clean-up Aug. 16Update on Mauna Loa entranceNew BusinessCitizens Patrol, Treasurer's report, Yard of the month etc.

Update: Lakeview Park Canals Are Clearing

The canals are beginning to look cleaner in Lakeview Park. Compare the weed-choked images of a few weeks ago with today, and you see much less duckweed and algae, water that at times allows you a view down to the bottom, and - a nice plus - plenty of ripples and leaps from fish, frogs, turtles and other living creatures (including a gator, see below) that seem to be enjoying the slightly deeper, and more oxygen-rich, waters.
The canals are being fed from the lake via the pump, which was turned on a couple of weeks ago after a meeting at the pump site that included a representative of the county along with folks from Lake Sarasota, Bent Tree, and the Sarasota Sky Pilots Disc Golf Club.

For the water to circulate properly, a berm had to be constructed to move the incoming water through the park's canal system and back out through the culvert (the large pipe) to the lake. That job, using giant rocks from the landfill, took county worker Pete Sauchinitz three days, working by himself. E…

Teen Summit in Sarasota


Sarasota, FL: American Idol '08 contender and Booker High School graduate Syesha Mercado will participate in Teen Summit '09, "Greatness Beyond Measure", to be held August 7-9, 2009 at Ringling College. The event is open to youngsters 12 to 19-years-old. There is a $5 registration fee. Parents are encouraged to attend with their teens.

Ms. Mercado will headline the summit on Fri., August 7th as a keynote speaker 12:30 - 2:30pm at Exhibition Hall on the campus of the Ringling College of Art & Design. Later that evening, she will perform during the "Greatness Beyond Measure" Teen Idol singing competition at 7:30pm at Exhibition Hall.

"Greatness Beyond Measure" is designed to empower teens by involving them with panel discussions and workshops about issues pertinent to them including such topics as: social networking; sports for life; and entrepreneurial success. The summit will include a basketball game, as well …