Friday, January 30, 2009

Responses to Proposed Change to Mauna Loa Entrance



Concerns of safety and aesthetics with regard to the plan to reconfigure the entrance to Lake Sarasota have come in and are posted below:

1. Given that it appears we will have no median or divider at the entrance/intersection at Mauna Loa/Bee Ridge:

  • Are we looking at entirely eliminating any divider between north and south lanes of Mauna Loa at the busy entrance?
  • Is this safe? 
  • I there is some sort of divider envisioned, what will it look like? 

2. Given that we are not just losing the median but also our flagpole, what might be done to re-station the flagpole, and, perhaps install a lighting system to make it more visible?

All responses received (lakesarasota@gmail.com) will be forwarded to the agent for the developer and to Debbie Marks, our Neighborhood Services liaison.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Business Directory: Work in Progress

Please note: The final form of the Lake Sarasota Business Directory is still to be determined. This is a temporary posting until all details are worked out. To be included in the directory, please contact Sandy Allen at sallen11@comcast.net, 321-5582. Hopefully final details will be presented at the Feb. 10th meeting.

Note: Resident members of our Yahoo Group are welcome to post their business/service info for free in the Lake Sarasota Group Database.

















Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More on the proposed change to Mauna Loa Entrance



More about the proposed change to the intersection at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Rd. The responses were offered by an engineer associated with the developer involved with the project:

Currently we have two lanes that can turn left onto Bee Ridge from Mauna Loa, Now that a third left turn lane is being added, what will be the directed use of the other two lanes at the intersection?

Response: The proposed plan will provide two dedicated left turn lanes and one combination thru-right turn lane.


What is your understanding of the purpose of the change?

Response: The proposed change will relieve some congestion at the south leg connection by providing the dedicated north/east bound lane.

What other changes will occur at the site - we know our first median will be removed - anything else, on any part of the intersection?

Response: My desire is to maintain the existing east and west curb lines. The County has "in concept" agreed with this plan...so other changes will be minimal.

What is the timing for this to occur?

With consideration to preparation of Construction Plans, the County Review and actual Construction, I'd estimate that work will be completed by mid-summer. The actual construction should take about a week or less.


Will there be, or have there been, any hearings or other approval procedures?

The approval process will consist of a review by the County Land Development Division, Stormwater Division, Transportation Division, Utility Division and SWFWMD. Hearings are not required.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Left Turn Lane at Bee Ridge

As has been mentioned, plans are in the works to reconfigure the intersection of Mauna Loa Blvd. and Bee Ridge Rd. The plan appears to call for the removal of the first median and the creation of a third lane that would be left turn only.

Here is a picture of the concept that is being proposed:



We'll post more information as it becomes available.

Kinder, Gentler Code Enforcement

Sometimes for one or another reason, we feel it necessary to address an action or inaction that we feel blights our streets. Here's some useful advice on handling matters of code:

Things we have found to be successful before calling the county:

  • ~ Write a nice letter to the owner as a "concerned resident." Renee has some "form letters." 

  • ~ Talk personally to the neighbor about the situation and how it affects home values (we did this with neighbors when their big coach camper was blocking our sidewalk ~ it offered an opportunity to get to know them and they happily moved the camper. They have turned out to be great neighbors).

If you have to end up calling County Code Enforcement, it's 861-6403.

Park friendly folks


From Laura:

Another organization that might be interested in the welfare of our parks is the Friends of Sarasota County Parks. This is from their web site:
The Friends of Sarasota County Parks is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of parks in Sarasota County. Our mission is to build a partnership between the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation system and the community; coordinate and bridge efforts with other like minded community organizations; to advocate for quality services and facilities for all the people of Sarasota County; to encourage the donation of gifts, endowments and bequests for the Sarasota County recreation/preservation system, and to be a friend at every opportunity.

Among other things, the site offers virtual tours of several area parks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hina Point Park Dedicated and Celebrated

A small, friendly band of neighbors enjoyed Saturday's warm afternoon sun, games, and an amazing buffet full of excellent food, including North Carolina Pork, crab muffins, Mexican casserole and lots more, including some wonderful desserts, both home-made, and courtesy of Publix.




A huge thank-you to Faith, Ray and Connie, and the very kind folks who shared their culinary skills, their tables, their games, toys and warmth, helping celebrate Hina Point Park as Lake Sarasota's newest amenity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Save the Day: Saturday, January 24th

  DEDICATION 

AND POT LUCK

Something special happened in our neighborhood. A park was built and with it people became neighbors.

On January 24th at 2:00 pm a Dedication is planned…….

Let’s make it a Celebration with an old fashioned Pot Luck!

Bring the family…..Bring a friend……..Bring a blanket……..Oh yes,

Bring a dish to share……….

This will be a day to have fun and get to know the great people that live around you……So please mark your calendar……..

Would appreciate a call asap so we can figure some of our setup needs.

Sincerely,

Faith

371-2331

 

LET’S HAVE A GREAT DAY!

  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lake Sarasota Call To Service Overflows with Volunteers


As part of the Call to Service for Martin Luther King Day, ReHabitat of Sarasota called for 45 volunteers to help work on the Ward house on Samoa, and as many as 75 showed up early Monday morning.

By a little after noon, they'd done 40 hours worth of work in four hours, said Cas Azera, construction manager for Habitat for Humanity, Sarasota Inc.

Azera said the project should take another month or so. ReHabitat is at the house at 6669 Samoa every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We'll have more information as it becomes available. Thanks to ReHabitat and to all who came out.

For those who'd like to get involved, more about ReHabitat here. Here are signup links for this Thursday and Saturday - volunteers are needed!




Monday, January 19, 2009

County-wide Bike Map Project seeks support

Hello A.R.T. Members and Friends,

A.R.T. volunteers have been working on a SARASOTA BIKE MAP for over
three years and the file is finally complete!!  Check it out online at
www.bikewalklive.org.

We are beginning a fundraiser to raise the money needed for a Spring
2009 printing of 10,000 bike maps. They will be distributed for FREE
throughout Sarasota. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
            We need to raise over $6,000, so please do what you can:

-Donate online at www.bikewalklive.org, using JustGive or Paypal.
-Join or renew as a member at http://www.bikewalklive.org/join.html.
-Volunteer to help arrange presentations and/or visit local businesses.
-Take out an ad on the bike map or get a friend’s business to take out
an ad. 
            Great green marketing tool, starting at $100.  Call 726-8800
for more info.

Please help A.R.T. put this map into the hands of the residents and
visitors of Sarasota.

Thanks Aubrey Goodman for starting us off with a generous $100 donation!

Sincerely,

Andrew Noune
Alliance for Responsible Transportation
(941) 726-8800
www.bikewalklive.org
PO Box 1741
Sarasota, FL 34230

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lake Sarasota project featured in Call To Service

A Habitat for Humanity home restoration -- helping an elderly couple who are located in Lake Sarasota -- is among the projects listed on a Call To Service set for Monday, Jan. 19th. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HAM RADIO TECHNICIAN LICENSE COURSE



The Sarasota County Auxiliary Communications Service is offering a
ham radio Technician License course for those individuals interested
in obtaining an entry level ham radio license.

We understand not everyone has time to spend in a classroom once or
twice a week, for several weeks.  For this reason, this course will
be strictly "self study" training, which you can do on your own
schedule.  A willingness to pre-study and take on-line practice
exams is an imperative part of this course.

Topics covered in the course, include:

 1) Radio Fundamental
 2) Electrical and RF Safety
 3) Radio Waves and Antennas
 4) Communications Modes and Methods
 5) Station Setup and Operation
 6) Operating Practices
 7) Federal Communications Commission Rules
 8) Control Operator Duties
 9) Emergency Communications
10) Special Operations

For those who are committed to doing the course, you will be provided
with a no frills, no nonsense Technician Study Guide (purchase of a
separate license study manual is NOT required).  This Technician Study
Guide presents everything needed to pass the test - and nothing you
don't need.  This, combined with on-line practice exams, should enable
you to receive your ham radio license.

Those interested in this ham radio course, please contact Ron Wetjen,
wd4ahz@gte.net .  You will be provided with the Technician Study Guide,
Technician Study Sheet, Technician Band Chart, and be registered for
the FCC exam session.  Registration is limited to 15 people.

The FCC exam session will be held on March 7, at the Sarasota County
Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., beginning at 9AM.

There is NO COST for the study material, review class, or ham radio
exam.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Ron Wetjen,
wd4ahz@gte.net


Ron Wetjen, WD4AHZ

Sarasota County Auxiliary Communications Service
http://www.saracs.org

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Highlights of the January Meeting


A lot of news, plans and lively discussion took place at this well-attended first meeting of the year. Some of these items will be noted briefly here and followed-up as they develop:

1. The LSCG has $647.42 in the kitty. The Thanksgiving Weekend Garage Sale cleared $94.71 in hot dog sales.

2. Three new Yards of the Month were chosen and will be receiving signs from Renee. If you would like to nominate a yard for this award you can do so by contacting Renee at 371-3988 or by emailing her at JPitts9710@aol.com.




3. Ted Cover of Citizens Patrol offered new data from the Sheriff: In October alone, there were 22 thefts along with burglaries and two acts of vandalism. There were 6 thefts in Nov. and 4 in December. Ten of the thefts occurred on Jarvis Rd., 5 on Palau, 4 on Mauna Loa.

Sunday 9 am - 5 pm is the most active time for crime, followed by Tuesday 8 am - 9 pm, then Saturday 10 am - 7 pm.

Popular items include tools in garages, and Tom-Toms or Garmin GPS systems. Don't leave them visible in vehicles when parked, and close garage doors even when you're home, Ted advises. He also suggested getting intruder alarms and motion detecting lights.

Mainly, however, Ted urges more people to get involved in Citizens Patrol - the training session is short and convenient, and it's designed to be safe. Contact Ted at TCover6161@aol.com.


4. Someone has hit upon the brilliant idea of using picnic tables in Lakeview Park as bridges, tossing them into the canals in order to cross to islands in the ponds. The county is looking into the matter, and Bill intends to contact organizations that use the park to work with them to eliminate this costly vandalism.

5. Mark your Calendar -- Faith, the driving spirit behind Hina Point Park, is planning a park dedication for Saturday the 24th of January, complete with a pot luck meal, beginning around 2 pm. Come out, bring the kids, meet your neighbors and maybe some special invited guests. Faith shared with the meeting a letter of appreciation received from neighbors who live on Palau:
"Every day as we walk by it truly makes us smakle and what a joy it is to see as we turn off Brentford Road. Your labor and perseverance are a blessing to us all."

6. Ray has a great idea for returning the canals in Lakeview Park into clean, navigable streams. In the middle of today's gusty rainstorm, he discussed it with people from Parks and Rec, and from Stormwater Management. It would involve putting a pump into the lake to pump water into the canals - he estimates this will reduce the lake level by about an inch. Since the pump would work continuously, it would circulate water through the canals, then back out into the lake. The idea was well received and will be followed up.

7. Several ideas for future speakers - including Sheriff Tom Knight - were brought up - as they are scheduled we'll post the information here.

8 . Rumors of possible new developments adjacent to Lake Sarasota came up: 

  • Apparently HealthSouth is moving forward with plans that will eventually affect our Mauna Loa entrance - eliminating the first median to create a turn lane. 


  • A developer is said to be interested in putting housing units at the end of Jarvis Rd.
  • A Racetrak, CVS pharmacy, and possibly a hotel are planned for the parcel across from the Mauna Loa entrance on Bee Ridge.
  • The tennis courts on the lake are said to be slated for removal, to be replaced by condos. 

9. Plans for a Lake Sarasota Business Directory are moving forward. Sandy Allen will present a format at the next meeting on Feb. 10, and plans to knock on doors to build interest. The directory is exclusively for businesses whose owners reside in Lake Sarasota, and there's a $20 fee for the year. Several business owners signed up at the meeting. There will be a deadline for inclusion announced at the Feb. 10th meeting. Contact Sandy at sallen11@comcast.net.

10. The postal service is studying a plan to relocate the main mail facility to Tampa, which could result in slower mail delivery for the Sarasota area, along with lost jobs or long commute times for workers. See more here.

11. Laura presented a pin and message of appreciation to Debbie Marks for her assiduous work as liaison with Neighborhood Services, to the hearty applause of all.



First Meeting of the Year Tonight


Our next meeting is this evening, 7 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist, Rm. 100. Come find out what's going on in your neighborhood. 

  • Do you have a local business or service? Come to this meeting to participate in the 2009 Lake Sarasota Business Directory.
  • Come share ideas for using our new Hina Point Park.
  • We'll have an update from Ted on Citizens Patrol, with data from Sheriff's reports for the holiday period.
  • Also . . .
  • We'll hear an update from Debbie of Sarasota Neighborhood Services.
  • Yard of the Month
  • Traffic calming
  • Landscape upkeep
  • Other business as may come up.



Monday, January 12, 2009

County Neighborhood Services wins national award


Congratulations to Sarasota County Neighborhood Services:
Neighborhood Services has
accepted a national award from
the National Association of
Town Watch.

“Greater Sarasota” (Sarasota
County and the City of Sarasota)
was selected to receive the
award for it’s outstanding
participation in the 25th Annual
National Night Out.
You can download their latest newsletter (Winter 2009) here.

Lose your keys?

From Sarasota County Neighborhood Services:

A complete set of keys were found in Lake Sarasota yesterday at the corner of Mauna Loa Blvd. and Suva Way. If anyone believes that they are the owners of those keys please call 302-3476 to find a convenient time to get them back.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Postal Service Downsizing?

A resident who works for the post office writes:

Hello,

I have been a resident of Lake Sarasota since 2000 and a Postal worker since 1991. I am writing this to raise awareness of a study currently being conducted that proves to adversely impact our community as a whole. Please take the time to look at the web site the American Postal 
Workers Union, Local 7136 put together for further infomation on how this "Plan" affects you, your family, and your career. The website is 
www.keepthemailhere.com. Please sign the petition and pass it along to friends, family and co-workers living in Sarasota, Manatee,and Desoto 
county. 

Thank you,
Kathleen

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Any Martial Arts Instructors in the Neighborhood?

How can what began 2009 at Hina Point Park become something more? Here's a few words from Faith. Other ideas? --

People have been using the park all day and when Brandon and I walked the dogs neighbors that helped came out and told stories of going to the park last evening and today and meeting others...One of the men said he noticed some straggled limbs so wanted to trim them up so it would look nicer, I think the seed of pride has struck our fallen section of the neighborhood and I really want to encourage it...neighbors became neighbors yesterday not just people living in the neighborhood...

Laura called and we talked about ways to keep bringing people together and something for the kids so maybe they will respect it and I thought if someone in LS could instruct some form of martial arts for kids...not like the rigid classes but something that would entice them...if we could find a volunteer...wouldn't that be wonderful and maybe someone to do yoga...well it a thought.

I have to admit with the Park right across from my house I look out and find myself tearing up several times a day...I honestly can't believe it happened..
.


More photos, these taken by Faith:


Sarasota's Newest Park



Special thanks to Faith for her inspiration, to Ray and Connie for their detailed plans and preparation, and to all who turned out for their good humor and hard work. And of course to Sarasota County Neighborhood Services, without whose funding and support this would not have been possible.

Next Meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 7 pm, Sarasota Baptist Church.

Saturday, January 03, 2009