Highlights of Sept. 8th Meeting

A crowded agenda and an unusual group of guests made the Sept. 8th meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group a memorable one.

The official business included:

Treasurer's Report: LSCG has $1,337.19 in the bank.

Citizen's Patrol: Ted is always seeking volunteers. Reach him at TCover6161@aol.com He advises neighbors to keep an eye out for any unusual activity at houses they know to be empty, and to never have their garage door openers visible in their cars.
Saved by the dead battery

One couple present told of how their daughter's car was nearly stolen - thieves jimmied open the door, pulled out the ignition, and would have been on their way, only the battery was dead.

Lakeview Park and Canals: The Sarasota Sky Pilots and some Lake Sarasota residents did another clean-up, pulling lots of debris out of the canals.

The lake itself has risen since water began pumping through the canals, thanks to rainfall. Many who use the park have remarked on how much clearer and cleaner the canal waterways look thanks to the pump circulating the water and the clean-ups. The county has indicated it is looking into additional aeration of the canal waters, as well as some further measures to reduce algae and mosquitos. (More as this develops.)

Abandoned House: A dilapidated, abandoned house is considered by nearby residents to be a fire hazard, a haven for pests (Sandy actually saw a hawk snag a large rat from the yard), and a danger to children thanks to the gaping hole in the front, and the potentially hazardous, junk-filled interior. The county was contacted, and has set in motion certain procedures, sending letters to the owners. One neighbor who wanted to mow the lawn said she was warned not to by a county official, who told her she could be opening herself to being sued. Similarly, people who wished to board up the front of the building -- to keep kids and pests out -- have been told they could be exposing themselves to legal liability. So the house sits, pending "procedures":

In contrast to the slow pace of county procedures vis a vis the eyesore, a few hundred feet away from it, a BMX track built and used by some boys was razed by the county despite community interest in it, as reported here. About a dozen of the BMXers and a dad or two came to last night's meeting, under the impression they had been invited by County Natural Resources Manager Demetra McBride, with whom they expected to hold a "community conversation."

BMXers giving thumbs up

The boys expressed an interest in having this conversation. However, whether through some mishap or miscommunication, McBride was not at the meeting, to the surprise of the boys who had the impression they'd been invited to it by her.

The boys say they'd like to work with the county to find another site, and to speak with any homeowners who might have concerns. The site served as jumping practice for the boys, some of whom train and race at the BMX track at 17th St. and Tuttle. One boy is second in the state in BMX racing, and a Lake Sarasota girl has been a national champion. (More about BMX bicycle racing here and here).

Members of the Lake Sarasota Community Group indicated they are willing to help with site search, community contacts, or as liason with the county. More to come.

Yard of the Month: No yards were selected this month, as all three "Yard of the Month" signs have been stolen. The Group voted to purchase three replacement signs.

Upcoming Events: Sandy is working on lining up speakers for future meetings. More immediately there are plans afoot for an "OctoberFest" in Lakeview Park on Oct. 24, a Saturday.

The event will be a community identity building day -- a chance to meet neighbors and get to know the community. Tentative plans call for free food, maybe a Bud truck, games, raffles, bands, arts and crafts booths, possibly a climbing wall, bungee jumping, representatives from the county, free ice cream, and who knows, perhaps a BMX demo!

Sandy will be holding a planning meeting soon. Let her know if you are interested in taking on a task. She can be reached at sallen11@comcast.net.

A typical BMX event


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