Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gator(s) in the park

Several people have recently reported seeing an alligator going from Lake Sarasota into the canals of Lakeview Park.

Tonight around 6:30 p.m. a four-foot alligator was spotted in one of the ponds in the park. It was sitting in the water, near the edge, and appeared to have a dead possum in its mouth.

People familiar with the park - including a few disc golfers - say they've seen this gator come and go for several months. About four months ago it - or another like it - was seen sunning itself near the seventh tee. The gator's presence is therefore most likely due to the natural return of water to the canals thanks to rainfall. Three or four alligators are understood to regularly circulate between the waters of Bent Tree and the lake and park.

It only makes sense to be wary. Dogs should be on leashes in the park, kids should stay out of the canals, golfers may need to accept the watery fate of discs that have gone astray.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Second Sarasota Flu Victim

Second man's death linked to swine flu

Published: Friday, July 17, 2009 at 11:29 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 17, 2009 at 11:29 a.m.

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County health officials today confirmed that a 47-year-old Sarasota man died from swine flu.

The death is the second from the disease in the last few days. Officials confirmed Thursday that the death of an otherwise-healthy 22-year-old local man was also the result of swine flu.

Officials say there have been 11 confirmed cases of the disease in Sarasota.

“These deaths are tragic and a sobering reminder that influenza is serious, and can be fatal. Our staff continues to monitor this disease in our community, and reminds residents to take precautions to avoid the flu,” said William Heymann, medical executive director for the Sarasota County Health Department.

People experiencing cough, fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and sore throat, possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, should contact their doctor or health-care provider to see if they need to be treated at emergency department or stay home, officials said.

People with respiratory illness should stay home and away from work, day care or summer camps to avoid spreading infections, including influenza.

Health officials advise that you stay home for a week after symptoms begin or 24 hours after you are symptom-free whichever is longer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 25 Community Clean-Up

Everyone should have received a postcard about the Community Clean-Up on Saturday, July 25.

When: 8 am - 2:30 pm

Where: Lake Sarasota - Free dumpsters will be available at Tora Place and Brentford Rd., by the Fire House, and at 7100 Lago St., in front of the dog park.


  • Tires and appliances will only be accepted at the Tora Place dumpster.
  • Hazardous materials, electronics, TV's and computers will not be accepted at either location.
  • Hazardous waste may be taken to 8750 Bee Ridge Rd., Wed.-Sat., 8 am - 4 pm
This is the third (?) year in a row that we've had the county's support in a July clean-up, and each year we've seen enormous amounts of stuff removed. And much neater garages afterward!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chairman's recap of July Meeting

To Residents of Lake Sarasota:

We had a very interesting meeting last night.

We had guests, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Palmer who gave a very informative presentation on waste management and recycling. They explained what things are and are not recycleable and what to do with things that cannot be put out for recycling. We are going to try and get a copy of their power point presentation to post on our blog so that anyone who is interested can see the presentation.

We had a report on the Citizen's Patrol from Ted Cover. While we have not gotten the numbers for June yet, Ted explained that the number of crimes reported in May were down. We certainly hope that this trend continues. We are in need of volunteers to patrol for the rest of this month and for August. Please contact Ted if you can volunteer for patrol duty (

We had a treasury report by Ellie Himes, who informed us that we have $1346.54 in our account. We decided to buy fertilizer for the palm trees in the medians (approximately $50.) and to buy some more plants after all the work at the Mauna Loa entrance has been completed.

We discussed the meeting that we had last Friday about the pump in the canals at the park. The meeting went very well and everyone agreed that the pump should be turned on. The county is also going to build a berm in the canal to force the water to circulate all the way around the canal and back into the lake. This should be very helpful. The moving water will be better aerated and it will also help decrease the number of mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water.

We discussed having a garage sale in mid October. Sandy Allen will be organizing it and can be reached at

Please try and make our meeting on August 11th. The best way to get your concerns heard or to voice your opinion is to be at the meeting. Hope to see you there!

Bill Pitts

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July Meeting: Brief Update

The July meeting featured a PowerPoint presentation on how to recycle - and how not to. We will try to get a copy of the slides to share online.

  • The group voted to allocate $50 to fertilize palms in the Mauna Loa median that are outside the county's responsibility.
  • A few trees planted by the county in the same median have died and that fact will be relayed to the county.
  • The treasury of LSCG has $1,327.19, according to Ellie, mostly proceeds from various community functions. The group also still has some county grant funds remaining.
  • Ted reported 10 incidents in the past month - most occurring between 4 pm and 10 pm - a shift from the pattern earlier in the year, when more break-ins and thefts were taking place in the morning hours. Most popular days were M, Tu, W, and F.
  • Ted is also looking for Citizens Patrol volunteers for the next few weeks. Call him at 379-0758 or email
  • The flagpole has been moved to the second median, and construction on the new exit lane and low separator is underway at the Mauna Loa entrance.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Communities find common ground

An unusual meeting took place in Lakeview Park on Friday, July 10. People from three communities and from the county met to discuss a longstanding problem regarding the lake and the canals in the park.

The problem in a nutshell:
  • According to longtime residents, the lake and canals used to be clear – you could see all the way to the bottom.
  • There used to be lily pads in the lake, which nurtured fish.
  • A pump used to circulate water from an aquifer through the canals and into the lake.
  • Now there are no lily pads, the lake is low, dark and full of decomposing plantlife on its sandy bottom, fish are not plentiful, and the canals are stagnant and breed mosquitoes.
Among the probable causes:
  • Less rainfall has lowered the level of the lake.
  • The pump that fed the lake from an aquifer has not operated in several years.
  • There’s runoff from parking lots and schools – some of this might never have been monitored or approved by SWIFTMUD (are schools exempt?)
  • The canals no longer move, so have become choked with vegetation in dry months, and duckweed in the rainy season.
A pump was installed recently by the county that would move water through the canals by taking water at a low rate from the lake, circulating it, and returning it to the Lake.

At Friday's meeting, folks from Bent Tree, Lake Sarasota, the Sarasota Sky Pilots Disc Golf club, and Sarasota County had a constructive discussion. There was consensus that moving the water in the canals would reduce vegetation and mosquitoes and could lead to clearer water. However, it was acknowledged that the lake is already low, and it would be detrimental to see it go down even further. The conversation led to the following action items:

  1. Action item: the pump will be tested and turned on while water and seasonal rains are plentiful.
  2. Action item: A berm will be built to serve two purposes: enable the circulation of water throughout the canal, and to provide a further walkway over the canals (linking the goal at 15 with the tee of 13).
  3. Action item: Lake water level will be monitored and, if the lake gets too low, the pump will be turned off.

Further discussion may explore a plan that could re-elevate the level of Lake Sarasota. More on this to come - stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

General Meeting Tuesday, July 14th

Among items on the Agenda for Tuesday's regular meeting:

  • PowerPoint Demo about the new park at the end of Bee Ridge county's solid waste program - how to's on recycling and what to do with items not picked up at the curb. (Thanks to Tisha for the clarification).
  • Yard of the Month
  • Citizens Patrol: Ted has some new stats and analyses of crime patterns.
  • Re-cap of Lakeview Park and Canal Meeting
  • Other business as comes up
We ask anyone who has yellow meeting reminder signs to put them out today - Thanks!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Meeting this Friday about Lake and Park

The county has set up a meeting to discuss Lakeview park - in particular the question of the canals, water quality and water levels of the lake, and possibly other matters.

It's at 10 am Friday, July 10, at the pavilion in the park, near the boat ramp.

All are welcome.

August 1st: Hope for Homeowners