Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Park CleanUp This Saturday

Organizers of the Lakeview Park CleanUp met with representatives of the County today, and all are prepared for Saturday's big CleanUp. All we need is YOU.

We're looking for help to clean the canals - removing debris, large and small, bottles, paper, picnic tables, possibly even dredging a bit to allow smoother water flows.

So, does anyone have a backhoe or a trailer they can bring? 

The county is bringing a large dumpster and plastic bags to collect trash.

Other helpful equipment would include:

  • Gas Chain Saws
  • Waders (boots for the canals)
  • Gloves (a must-have)
  • Shovels (the more the better)
  • Wagons or other means of lugging debris from the park to the dumpster.
A few hours on Saturday and the park will be so much better. 


Ray has contacted the Sarasota Sky Pilots Disk Golf Club, The Petanque Society, the Firemen, and of course our community has been informed.


Anyone, young or old, needing Community Service Hours - this will qualify - County Reps will sign your paperwork if you bring it.


There will be pulled pork sandwiches, home-made, water, pretzels, etc.

Meet at the Pavilion at 8 a.m., this Saturday. You never know - it might change your life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Invitation to Attend a Focus Group

A note from SCOPE

Lake Sarasota residents are invited to attend a focus group on April 9th to share how they use Bee Ridge Road.  The Transit Oriented Design committee, a grassroots citizen group that arose out of SCOPE's Summit for Environmental Action, is hosting the focus group. 


The committee wants to start a community conversation on transit-oriented development and smart growth through a case study of the Bee Ridge Road corridor.  Community input will help create a “roadmap” for elected officials, the business community and citizens to move into the future.


A grassroots citizen group needs your vision and input at a Focus Group on transforming Bee Ridge Road to better serve the businesses, adjoining neighborhoods and beyond. Focus Groups are being held with neighborhood associations, businesses and places of worship along the Bee Ridge corridor.  


The committee believes this is a unique and important moment to get involved because:

 ·        2008 Urban Service Boundary voter referendum will lead to a focus on redevelopment and infill.

·        The current downturn notwithstanding, fuel prices are increasing, leading to a decreased focus on driving and an increased focus on creating more transportation options.

·        The real estate downturn allows us the opportunity to create a future built by design, not default.

·        Regional and local government transportation initiatives include Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority’s $2 million funding and the SCAT’s Bus Rapid Transit application to the Federal Transit Authority.


The Focus Group session is scheduled Thursday April 9th from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Central Church of Christ located at 6221 Proctor Rd (just east of I75).  A short informative presentation will be followed by an interactive visioning exercise to gain clarity about what our community envisions for Bee Ridge and beyond. Light refreshments will be served.


A series of Focus Groups will culminate in a Community-wide Forum, May 1st from 1:00 – 4:00 at the Suncoast Polytechnic High School on Beneva Road. 

Weekend Burglaries in Lake Sarasota

Two reports of burglar activity came in over the weekend. In one case, a man was spotted crawling into a garage that had its door open. The homeowner said:
Just want to alert everyone that this happened - in the bright light of the day, while we were all home.  And, I have a window in my door from the house to the garage - which is probably why he was crawling.  My garage door will now stay shut. 
I never saw his face, but from his size, body and clothing, my best guess is he appeared to be anywhere from 15-20 years old??  He was wearing tan colored shorts (to about his knees) and a white tank top and sneakers.
In the second report, the burglar(s) came through a small window (cutting the screen) on the screened porch facing the street, and seems to have had plenty of time to go through the home, leaving no fingerprints.

The owner says:
It was such a beautiful day to open the windows and let that great breeze in yesterday.I do not share this story with you to scare you as I will not live in fear just perhaps take a walk through your home today and check the windows. If I had it to do over, I would have put my treasures in a bank security box. After the feeling of my home being violated, just the heartache remains for the sentimental items that are irreplaceable.
A further update on the second incident:

The Sheriff's Office arrested a man on meth today who robbed my new
neighbor across the street, and another house on the next block.
They are fairly certain it fits the same description.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Upcoming Events and Decisions

Lakeview Park CleanUp - April 4, 8 am at the Pavilion in Lakeview Park

Mauna Loa to Hand Rd.: Road or Walk?

Next Regular Meeting: April 14, 7 pm, Sarasota Baptist, Rm. 100.

Lake Sarasota Community-Wide Garage Sale: Saturday, April 18th, 8 am - 1 pm

Walkway or Road?

A while back some people from the county looked at the space between Mauna Loa Boulevard and Hand Road -- it's a sidewalk with a wooded area, mainly, with a crossing on Jarvis -- and suggested it might be possible to create a kids' walk that would offer a safer, "greener" walkway, and possibly fun-use and educative environment for the many Lake Sarasota kids and parents who use that route to get to Lakeview Elementary, or to the park.

So far, the area has been cleared of invasive plants, risks and brush. 

What's next might involve getting some input from the community. But first, there needs to be clarity on the question of whether the community does or does not wish to have a road punched through from Mauna Loa to Hand Road. Apparently this issue has never been completely resolved.

Please give this some thought and let us know what you think about the road, and the walkway idea.

You can email us at lakesarasota@gmail.com, and/or come out to the Lakeview Park CleanUp on April 4 (8 am until done, meet at the pavilion by the lake), and/or come to our next regular monthly meeting, April 14, at Sarasota Baptist Church, at 7 pm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Flyer coming your way

Residents of Lake Sarasota will soon be finding this flyer in their mailboxes -- a colorful reminder of our April 4th day to clean up Lakeview Park. Thanks to Laura, Debbie and everyone who helped put it together. (Click to enlarge):

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another good reason for Citizens Patrol

A significant update to the home invasion story:

SARASOTA - Police believe a series of home invasions targeting middle-aged and older women has climbed from two to five.

Last week, Sarasota police officials confirmed two attacks, now detectives have added a rape a month ago, a violent robbery in Manatee County and a fifth attack last Saturday night in a Phillippi Creek neighborhood in Sarasota County to the list.

A news story from Sunday, March 15:

SARASOTA - Another home invasion happened Saturday night in Sarasota County. 

Sheriff's deputies say they believe this isn't the first time the robber has struck.  It happened last night around 11:30pm.  A woman was inside her home in the River Forest subdivision.

Detectives say the man entered her house, tied her up and took off with cash, credit cards and small TV.  Deputies say the woman survived the attack, but neighbors say that shortly after the crime, the victim suffered a heart attack and is now in the hospital.

Detectives say this home invasion has the same M.O. as other robberies in the area.  more here.

Plants rescued

Thanks to the help of an amazing group of community stalwarts, the first median has been relieved of its hawthornes and other plantings. The small shrub had been put in only a few months ago by the beautification committee and helpers, but the required reconfiguration of the entrance at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge necessitated the move.

Some of the plants have moved to the area of the entrance signs. 

The flagpole will be removed to the second median by the developer of HealthSouth, whose expansion triggered the intersection changes. The first median will be replaced by a concrete separator, four feet wide by six inches high. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yard Sale, Biz Directory, Entrance Changes, Park Clean-Up, More

Tonight's meeting generated a lot of news, including updates on the next Garage Sale, the next Park Clean-up, changes to our entrance, the business directory and more.

The treasury now has $1201.92 in the bank all of the difference from the last report due to revenue from the Business Directory (see more on it below). The group approved paying to renew our incorporation with the State.

A brief training session for Citizens Patrol will be held at Ted's house Wed. evening, March 11. Contact him for more information if interested at 941 379-0758.

Three new homes were chosen for Yard of the Month - Renee will be delivering signs.


Work will soon begin on adding a lane to the front Mauna Loa entrance. Anyone who wishes to help save the plants and possibly the trees in the first median is invited to meet at the flagpole this Saturday, March 14, at noon. Hawthorne and other plants will be saved possibly to be replanted around either this entrance or the one at Westminster. More on the entrance reconfiguration below.


Plans to install a pump that would balance water in the lake and canals may be put on hold for the time being thanks to recent county layoffs. However, a massive Lakeview Park Clean-Up is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, beginning at 8 a.m. It's needed:

  • Bring shovels, plastic bags, etc. to collect debris. 
  • The County will bring a dumpster for yard waste.
  • There will be food - some of it possibly home-made by Ray and Connie - along with water, etc.
  • Some of the sports groups who use the park will be invited to participate   -- the Sky Pilots might even bring some food -- but we need 25-30 residents to join in.
  • Signs to remind folks of this event will be posted in Lake Sarasota and in Lakeview Park.

The Next Lake Sarasota Mega-Garage Sale has been set for Saturday, April 18th, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  1. Plans call for a table with maps, coffee, donuts, muffins, etc.
  2. As in the past, anyone who wishes to have their sale listed on the map needs to contact Sandy at (941) 321-5582 or sallen11@comcast.net.
  3. However, there will be a $2 charge to be listed on the map, to defray expenses of advertising etc. If you want to be on the map, contact Sandy. Chairman Bill or a surrogate will collect the fee on the day of the event.

The deadline to be included in the Lake Sarasota Business Directory is March 15. The directory of residents' business cards will be printed and distributed by or around May 1. To be included, pay the $20 fee to Sandy at (941) 321-5582 or sallen11@comcast.net.


The Mauna Loa Entrance will be reconfigured as a result of development north of Bee Ridge - the HealthSouth project. Basic changes:

  • Three 10-foot-wide lanes northbound to Bee Ridge.
  • New traffic signals.
  • New crosswalks across Bee Ridge Rd with pedestrian countdowns.
  • Replacement of first median with 4-foot-wide concrete separator, 6 inches high.
  • Relocation of flagpole to second median (at HealthSouth developer's expense)
  • Possible embellishment of concrete separator with stamped concrete or tile. We are looking at options.
  • Work is to begin on this very soon, hence the need to remove all plantings we wish to save - so come out on Saturday!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Water Conservation

The county now has a website dedicated to water conservation, with links to a variety of useful resources with all kinds of information. Click and have a look. A perma-link is to the right, marked Water Conservation.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Next Community Meeting: Tues. March 10

Come to the next general meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm at Sarasota Baptist. Among the action items:

- Planning Lakeview Park clean-up, tentatively set for Saturday, April 4th. [Note: this is changed from earlier posting that indicated April 5]. One action item being considered: producing a single page announcement to go to homes in Lake Sarasota to get more people involved.

- Mauna Loa entrance reconfiguration - where things stand with the plans

- Lake Sarasota Business Directory

- Regular items (Citizens patrol, YOTM, Treasury, etc.)

- New Business

Sarasota Summer Camps

Wondering about the summertime and the kids?

Here's a link to Sarasota Parks and Rec's Summer Camps site.

Worth a thought

"A community can only exist with communication, which means something more than extensive software facilities scattered about town. It means common understanding, a common tradition, common ideas and common ideals."

Robert M. Hutchins (1899-1977), American Educator and Writer

Courtesy of the Olive Branch Forum

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Update: Park Spraying Cancelled

Plans to spray to kill vegetation in the canals of Lakeview Park have been nixed. Parks and Rec says the drought makes any spraying inadvisable.

The date of April 5 Saturday, April 4 has been set for a community clean-up. It is hoped we can get a good number of residents out to help get the park back to looking good. We have been in touch with the Sarasota Sky Pilots (the disc golf club), who have promised to help as well. With over 500 members, they claim to be "one of the largest disc golf clubs in the world."

The more the merrier: April 5th.

Census 2010 is Coming

The US Census Bureau held an Open House on Tuesday at its local office on Princeton Street, off 301 in Sarasota. 

The Census Message for 2010 is simple:

The greater the count, the better a community's chances of receiving a larger slice of the $300 billion that flows from Washington to states and municipalities for a wide range of services.

  • The 2010 Census form is simple: just a very few easy questions.
  • Address checkers will be spreading out through towns and cities, using GPS-equipped handheld computers to map and enter address data. 
  • All information given to the Census is confidential under Title 13 of the US Code. (See also here). Census personnel take oaths to uphold the right of privacy.
  • Which means: anyone fearing that information given to the Census Bureau could be used for any other purpose than to produce an accurate account of the population should understand: it is against the law for this to occur.
  • The Bureau will hire approximately 1,000 residents for each office it opens, and will open some 30 offices across the state. The jobs are mostly temporary and part-time.