Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Insurance questions answered on Tuesday, Nov. 30

Insurance experts coming to Sarasota

Sarasota County residents who have questions about insurance will have an opportunity for experts in the field to answer their questions at seminar hosted by the office of Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. The Insurance Roundtable will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30,  at M&I Bank Training Center, 7020 Professional Parkway East, Sarasota.

The Florida Department of Financial Services is offering the roundtable discussion for residents currently shopping for insurance or need assistance with a current insurance-related issue. Topics on the agenda include homeowners insurance, life insurance, reverse mortgage products, long-term care and more.

For more information visit, or call 877-693-5236.

Holiday Hours for County Facilities and Services

Government offices close for Thanksgiving holiday
All Sarasota County government offices, including libraries, the History Center and recreation centers will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Libraries will be open Saturday, Nov. 27, and other county offices will reopen Monday, Nov. 29.
  • Sarasota County Parks and Recreation's two pools will be open on Friday, Nov. 26, with Arlington Pool and Aquatic Center open noon-5 p.m. and Lido pool open 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
  • Payne Park Tennis Center will be closed on Nov. 25 and open 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Nov. 26
Bus service will not be offered by Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) on Thursday, Nov. 25; however, full service will resume on Friday, Nov. 26.

Residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county will not have yard waste, recyclables or garbage collection on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25.
  • For residents whose regular collection day is Thursday, yard waste, recyclables and garbage will be collected on Friday, Nov. 26.
  • For residents whose regular collection day is Friday, yard waste, recyclables and garbage will be collected Saturday. Nov. 27.
  • Because collection times vary, residents should place refuse materials at the curb by 6 a.m. the day of pickup.
  • Sarasota County's chemical collection centers at 8750 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, and 250 S. Jackson Road, Venice, will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26.
  • The Citizen's Convenience Center at 4010 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis, will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, but will be open Friday, Nov. 26, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • All three centers will be open Saturday, Nov. 27.
  • The landfill at 4000 Knights Trail Road, Sarasota, will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, but open Friday, Nov. 26.
  • The landfill administration offices will be closed Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.
For more information on Thanksgiving week trash collection, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Solid Waste Customer Service.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Free vaccinations at Clark Rd. Animal Clinic: 12.11.10

Compassionate Care Clinic 12.11.10

On Saturday, Dec. 11, dogs and cats being cared for by owners in financial need can receive FREE vaccinations and routine healthcare from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clark Road Animal Clinic.

Note:  Owners must apply by filling out a form; referrals are mandatory.

Information and app forms are available at, or call 941 922-5007.

All forms must be received by Dec. 1, 2010. Owners are encouraged to make a donation for services received.

$100 reward for missing ferret named Jack - UPDATE!

UPDATE: Welcome news, Jack has been found and has been returned to his happy family.

A male ferret, named Jack. Jack is dark brown in color with a
distinct mask and black nose. He is very friendly and playful and loves
people. He is gentle and can be handled safely. He managed to pull a
corner of a screen away from the window and wiggled out on Saturday

Please help us find our beloved pet. If you see him, but can not catch
him you can call us at home 941-377-1569 or the cell 941-373-5153.

We love Jack very much and are distraught that he managed to escape. Reward $100.

Jim and Michele Mackey

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yard Sale Map with Participating Lake Sarasota Homes

Here's the Community Yard Sale Map for the Lake Sarasota Yard Sale on Nov. 20th - this coming saturday. Deadline for inclusion on the printed maps that will be handed out at the Mauna Loa Entrance is this Wednesday.

Sandy is looking for volunteers to hand out the maps Saturday morning. Also, there are still spots available on the back of the map for advertisers - get in touch with her,, or 321-5582.

View LS Community Garage Sale - November 20, 2010 in a larger map

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Community Connections Urfer Park Celebration Saturday

Refurbished Wilson House featured on Green Homes Tour 
The historic C.B. Wilson House at Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota will be featured on the 2010 Green Homes Tour, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Nov. 13 and 14. The tour will feature homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties that are energy efficient.

Relocated from its original site in downtown Sarasota, the house has undergone extensive  renovation over the last year. Newly installed features include low-energy consumption light fixtures and air conditioning systems, plumbing fixtures that minimize water use, and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products used in the interior for better air quality. The landscape was designed to represent typical plants available in southwest Florida during the early 20th century. The C.B. Wilson House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To sign up for the tour visit,  or visit the Florida House, 4454 Beneva Road, Sarasota.

Operation Medicine Cabinet scheduled for Saturday 
Operation Medicine Cabinet is taking place across the country this Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reminds citizens that they can drop off unused or expired prescription medications as part of the event or year-round.(MORE) 

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meeting of 11.11.10

The Nov. 11 meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group took the following actions:

1. Heard an interesting talk by Sandee Rains of on the various forms of Identity Theft, and ways to prevent it from happening.

2. Ray Bresciani reported that $1000 will be divided among five Lake Sarasota families with a total of 10 children this holiday season. Nearly all of that total was cleared from the Adopt-a-Family Festival held last weekend at Lakeview Park. Lakeview School will deliver the gifts (this year in the form of gift cards) to the families, which were selected by the school's staff. The board acknowledged Ray and Connie's extraordinary work in making the Festival a fantastic day for all.

3. The number of incidents reported to the Sheriff rose to 19 in October, according to Ted Cover. There were 6 burglaries, 10 thefts and 4 juvenile disturbances reported, the bulk of them in the middle of the month, tending to cluster around the noon to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. time slots. "We need to get [Citizen] Patrols in the streets," he added. He is scheduling patrols - contact him to get on the Nov-Dec. schedule, or 379-0758.

4. The Group agreed to work with the county to deliver a couple of generous Thanksgiving Meals for folks in Lake Sarasota.

5. Tisha brought to the attention of the Group that at least four trees planted by the county in the median are dead and others are stressed. They need water and perhaps fertilizer. She will contact the county to see what can be done.

6. Renee facilitated the choice of three more Yards of the Month, and will be contacting owners.

6. Note: To contact the county for any purpose, call the county switchboard at 941 861-5000. Trained operators can help with virtually anything, and connect you to the right person if need be.

7. The Nov. 20th Community Garage Sale will have maps -- Sandy already has 44 homes listed, and is still accepting locations (no charge to be on the map). There is also room for 12 ads on the back of the maps. They're selling for $20 per ad. Contact Sandy at or 321-5582 to be on the map or to book an ad.

8. Agreed that Santa on a Firetruck will take place this year on Sunday, Dec. 19th. More on this to come.

9. Next and final meeting of the year: Thursday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., 7221 Bee Ridge Rd.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Workshop on Identity Theft at Meeting Thursday

The Lake Sarasota Community Group has its regular monthly meeting this Thursday, Nov. 11, at 7 pm. In addition to the regular agenda items, the agenda includes these special items:

  • A report on the results of the Adopt-A-Family Festival, and how to allocate the proceeds (i.e., should we "adopt" one family, or more than one, for the Holidays?)
  • A proposal to do something for a family for Thanksgiving.
  • Any other holiday event planning (e.g., Santa on Firetruck).
  • Citizens Patrol: Sheriff Office reports uptick in incidents.
  • Reminder: Community Garage Sale is Nov. 20th.
  • A Workshop on the dangers of Identity Theft and how to protect yourself. Sandee Rains from -- formerly the Consumer Credit Counseling Service -- will speak. 

All are welcome. The meeting is at Sarasota Alliance Church, 7221 Bee Ridge Rd., just opposite the intersection of Chaucer Lane and Bee Ridge Rd.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thanks and More Pix from the Festival

We want to acknowledge with our sincere thanks the many volunteers and Sarasota County businesses who came together to make our Adopt a Family Day a terrific success. Many are in the photos below, and we've tried to remember everyone below -- please let us know if we've overlooked anyone, and again, we're deeply grateful.

Artfully Yours (Cindy Cook)

Randy and Cheryl Burr



Debbie Marks, Sarasota County Neighborhood Services

Direct Buy

Economy Tackle

Extra Innings

Gary Kennedy (All Weekend Bounce)

Heavenly Cupcakes

The Hobson Family

House Cleaning by Alessandra (301-1643)

Kaufman Family Chiropractic Center

Kelly Dickerson

Kevin McGuire

Madfish Grill


NextAge Realty -- Chris Westphall

Pressure Monkey Pressure Washing


Sam's Club

Sandy Allen

Saporito's Cleaning Service

Sean McDonald



Tangerine Salon

The Lake Sarasota Community Group

The Muscle Repair Shop

Winn Dixie

A special thank-you to the numerous, energetic and charming Bresciani family, without whom this day would not have happened.

We can't leave out many others who gave generously of their time and labor: Angela and Brian Conway, Ruth and Jim Dunn, Clarence Macomber, Diane and Don Prieur, Jenny and Chris Swezy, Jo, Carmen Patterson (thanks for the burger and hot dog buns!), and Sue Whetzel of Sarasota Parks and Rec. Great job everyone!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thanks for a great day

Today's Adopt-A-Fam Fest was everything we'd hoped -- beautiful day, lots of kids, fantastic food, prizes and people, and above all, a very classy group of volunteers who came early, stayed late, and did what they said they'd do. The result was a fantastic community event. A massive and heartfelt thank-you to all of you - we'll follow up with all the names we can gather very soon. Meanwhile, some glimpses of the event:

Safety Tips from Sarasota Community Connections

Change smoke alarm batteries when you turn back the clock on Nov. 7
Tiem change
With the daylight savings time change on Nov. 7, Sarasota County fire officials say this is a good opportunity to replace smoke alarm batteries.

Approximately 70 percent of home fire deaths result from fires in the home with no smoke alarms, or no
working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can save lives - but only when they are working properly. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm will provide an early warning signal to a household, providing the chance for occupants to escape.
(MORE) Follow us on Twitter


Shop safely this holiday season
 PresentThe Sheriff's Office works cooperatively with shopping center management and increases patrols in high traffic retail areas this time of year, but shoppers are encouraged to keep the following tips in mind when heading out to hit the stores:
  • Park in a well-lighted area.
  • Avoid shopping alone.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, don't reveal large amounts of cash.
  • Don't carry too many packages at once.
  • Approach your car with your keys already in your hand.
For more safety tips,

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Our Adopt-a-Family Fundraiser Fest Is Two Days Away

The Adopt-a-Family Festival is this Saturday -- two days away! A Lake Sarasota Community Fundraiser, the festival will raise money to help a few families during the coming holidays. The staff at Lakeview Elementary will help identify neighborhood families that can use the help, and volunteers from the Lake Sarasota Community Group (a not-for-profit association) will buy and wrap presents.

All are welcome to come for Food, Fun and Fundraising:


We have contributions so far from BJ's, Sam's, SweetBay, Winn Dixie, Publix and McDonald's. Sarasota County is providing a popcorn popper (thanks Debbie!).

Fun: Music and Games!

Sarasota folk and Irish music singer and guitarist Kevin McGuire will be on hand.

There will be Games for the kids and Contests with prizes. If you have a kids' game that you'd like to share with us for the event, please let us know. You can email, or call Ray and Connie at 371-1180.

Here are some of the games we'll have (some of these have never been played before by anyone -- they were designed especially for this event by the Amazing Brescianis).

Fundraising: PRIZES!

For the raffle we are accepting prizes. So far we have a fine grill,  a gift of pencil artwork by Cindy Cook of Artfully Yours Glass Studio (see some samples here!) and a superb patio hearth fireplace:

We also have:
  • Two Gift Certificates from Extra Innings 717 Cattlemen Road, each containing 5 half-hour sessions of cage-time ($150 value each). 

  • Two Full-Day Kayak Rental Gift Certificates from Economy Tackle ($40 value each). 

  • Two Gift Certificates from The Muscle Repair Shop 4370 S. Tamiami Trail Ste. 151 - each is for a one-hour deep massage or active isolated stretching, 921-5160. (Thanks Jim and Ruth!)
  • A $100 Gift Certificate from Pressure Monkey Power Washing to wash one driveway and sidewalk, Mike and Gail Small, 371-2717.
  • A $75 restaurant gift card from Nextage Lighthouse Realty, 377-2700.
  • A Gift Certificate for two hours of housecleaning from Housecleaning by Alessandra ($50 value) 301-6493.
  • A Playmaker Foosball Table ($79.99) from Sears:
And three gift certificates, each for two months of banner advertising on Sarasota Grapevine. Also, via Rob at the Grapevine, we have these donations for prizes:
Thanks in addition to Randy and Cheryl Burr of Lake Sarasota for their generous contribution. (All contributions are tax deductible.)

Vendors are welcome to set up ($10 fee, bring your own table etc.), and we most certainly welcome additional contributions.

Above all, come out to the Pavilion in Lakeview Park on Saturday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., to help make this a community event we can all be proud of. More on our FaceBook Page.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Green into Gold: Sustainability Incentives for Homeowners

Friends and residents of the Fruitville 210 Community Alliance,
  You are cordially invited to the following neighborhood meeting:
Who:  Betty Alpaugh, Education Specialist, University of Florida/IFAS Sarasota County Extension. 
What: Incentives for Home Energy Improvements - Federal, State, Local and Utility Rebates for Homeowners- "Green into Gold"
Where: Sabal Palm Bank, 5101 Fruitville Road (next to Comcast).
When: Tuesday evening, November 9th from 6:30-7:45 pm.
Why:  It's no mystery that we live in a world of limited resources.  This is an opportunity to learn about incentives and tips that can SAVE you$$$$ by going green!!!
Thanks for your continued support.  Hope to see you there....
John Krotec
Chairman, Fruitville 210 Community Alliance
5373 Fruitville Road  PMB 101
Sarasota, Florida 34232

Monday, November 01, 2010

This just in!

Thanks to Gary Kennedy of (the site is not yet live, but should be in a few days), we'll have a 15' x 15' Bouncy House at the Adopt-A-Fam Festival! Thanks to Gary and to all who are helping make this a great day. (Note: above is just an illustration - not the actual house we'll have)

Come out to the Pavilion at Lakeview with your kids on Saturday from 11 am - 2 pm - you'll be glad you did.