Saturday, August 28, 2010

County to discuss cut in spending on Bee Ridge Project

This email comes from the Bee Ridge Neighborhood Committee, which has been instrumental in making the case that Bee Ridge Road deserves a fully landscaped, buffered treatment when it is widened:

There will be a County Commissioner hearing on Thursday, September 2, beginning a 1.30 PM. The meeting will discuss allocations of Surtax 3 money to various projects including Bee Ridge Road construction and other budget matters.  I will attend  and urge other committee members to attend . Joe O'Hara  will probably attend as he recovers from knee surgery.
The meeting will be held at the County Administrative Building downtown on Ringling, probably at the 3rd floor meeting room.
Public comment at the Surtax hearing is generally not allowed, but later a Public comment period is usually provided. to allow people three minutes each to comment on  anything discussed on the whole agenda.
We have been advised that our allocation could be reduced  about ten percent ($2.2 Million) to reflect the savings the County is experiencing in bidding  construction projects. We indicated in letters to Commissioners that we would prefer to see no reductions until those savings are confirmed through actual bidding.

Mobile Health Services to Offer Free HIV Testing

Mobile health services offered at 15 county sites and at two special events in September
In September, the Sarasota County Health Department's Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide its regular health services at 15 sites around the county and will participate in two special events. 
The special events are free HIV testing as part of the National Aging and HIV Awareness Day and National Gay Men's HIV-AIDS Awareness Day public health campaigns. 
To encourage testing in adults over 50 years old, free HIV testing will be available from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Friday, Sept. 17, at the Senior Friendship Center, 2350 Scenic Drive, Venice. 
Free HIV testing also will be available during the presentation of the play "Return to the Mineshaft" at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, 25 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. That event, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, is part of the National Gay Men's HIV-AIDS Awareness Day campaign. (MORE)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can Parks Help the Local Economy

There's evidence that parks bolster tourism - click for more.  Then consider the cumulative benefits of having a world-class rowing facility in a Sarasota Park, one that will draw competitors and their fans from around the state, the region, and eventually the world. Parks are good for people, and because they are, they're good for the economy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rebates for saving energy

Program offers homeowners rebates for energy saving improvements
Retrofit programHomeowners can get rebates and low-interest loans to upgrade their properties with energy saving technologies under a new Get Energy Smart Retrofit rebate program. The program is being offered by Sarasota County and the cities of North Port, Venice and Sarasota. (MORE) 

July Sheriff's Report for Lake Sarasota

Apologies for delay in getting this posted. The information from the Sheriff was obtained by Ted, who organizes Citizens Patrol.

Here's how the July, 2010 Sheriff's Dept. Report for Lake Sarasota breaks down:

There were 18 total incidents:  3 burglaries, 2 juvenile disturbances, and 13 thefts.

The following streets were involved:Berkshire (1 incident), Brentford (3 incidents), Fiji (1 incidents), Friendship (2 incidents), Jarvis (1 incident), Lancaster (1 incident), Malden (1 incident), Palau (3 incidents), Parry (1 incident), Rangi (1 incident), Vana (1 incident), Westminster (1 incident).

Half of the incidents occurred during the last ten days of the month.  The other half occurred between the 7th and the 18th.

As to time of day, six incidents occurred between 8 a.m. and noon.  And six incidents occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight.  Three incidents occurred on Mon. the 26th.  On that day there were thefts at 6511 Friendship (9:03 a.m.), 4256 Lancaster (7:04 p.m.), and 6926 Brentford (1:53 p.m.).

Ted adds:
Thieves are getting bolder, and are now smashing in doors.  I demonstrated a device, a bar, that fits under a door knob and directs the force of entry into the floor, preventing the door from opening.  It's called a "security bar", and is available from most hardware stores.  I got mine from the DG store at MacIntosh and Bee Ridge.  They're between $20 and $25.  Also, our residents should lock their homes and cars, keep garage doors down, and set their security alarm systems at night or when away from home.  
Two incidents on Mauna Loa that were reported by residents in August do not appear in the July report.

Ted trans and organizes neighborhood patrols. Wish to volunteer? Call Ted at 379-0758 or email him.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

August Meeting - Free Pizza!

The Lake Sarasota Group meets Thursday at 7 pm. at Sarasota Alliance Church, 7221 Bee Ridge Rd.

Besides the usual agenda items - Citizens Patrol, Yard of the Month, Sheriff's Report, Event Planning, etc. -- there will be free pizza.

But we'll need to have an idea how many plan to attend. Can you RSVP on Facebook, or below in the comment section? Thanks.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Further Dialog on Plans for the Fruitville Quadrants

For those interested in either the Fruitville "Special Planning Area," or in the question of the effectiveness of dialog between the county and the community on critical matters such as planning, growth, and environmental issues, be advised that the County will hold a series of five additional community meetings, each addressing a specific facet of the large plan for that area (basically Richardson Road and the areas in the North and South quadrants East of I-75 at Fruitville Road).

Here's the summary from the County's site.

Tuesday, Aug. 10
6:30-8:30 p.m.
What’s going on and how can I participate in this planning for Fruitville at I-75? 
This session will include short presentations and audience participation on the history of the Fruitville Initiative, the County’s planning processes (rezoning, land use and planning for large land areas), and how residents can participate. This will be followed by discussions on planning options (including charrettes, “transects,” traditional neighborhood design patterns) and how they might affect the area.
Tuesday, Aug. 17
6:30-8:30 p.m.
What can go there today? What’s different about plans being discussed now? This workshop will include discussion on existing land uses (density and intensity), potential zoning districts, and how much square footage (baseline) could currently be allowed on the 325 acres. Then we will review how much square footage could be allowed under scenarios such as the "Illustrative Plan," and options with transect planning, including discussion of general impacts that baseline and transect scenarios might have on the area and local residents. These discussions will be followed by input from local residents.
Tuesday, Aug. 31
6:30-8 p.m.
How is this going to impact my Richardson Road East neighborhood?Speakers will address uses and impacts from potential development on the neighborhood, and engage residents in discussing options to protect the existing rural neighborhood. This discussion will include buffers and preserve areas, changes in uses, drainage and flooding, protection of rural character, noise, visual impacts, building heights, traffic and protection of Richardson Road East.
Tuesday, Sept. 14
6:30-8 p.m.
What about traffic?  How much will be there?  Where is it going to go?This section will build on the use and transect discussion from Workshop #2. Planners will discuss potential traffic impacts from proposed development, traffic planning options and ways to avoid traffic problems in the area with thoughts on local street networks, followed by questions from and discussion with neighbors.
Tuesday, Sept. 28
6:30-8 p.m.
What about the Celery Fields and how does this impact them?  What's next?Water and stormwater specialists and county officials will discuss topics such as protection for current Celery Fields use plans, habitat interconnectivity, floodplain compensation, remuneration agreement, and soil. This will be followed by discussion on the Celery Fields and a question and answer period on next steps for the Fruitville planning initiative

All meetings will take place at Church of Hope, 1560 Wendell Kent Road, Sarasota.

For questions or additional information regarding the Fruitville Development Meetings, e-mail or call 861-5000.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More reason to be alert

We are receiving unofficial reports of burglaries and attempted break-ins around 3 a.m. on two separate occasions recently. In one case, someone seems to have triggered an alarm when they entered through a partly open window in a garage. In the other, a male suspect allegedly made off with valuable items left in an unlocked truck parked in a driveway.

Both instances took place at houses located at the far end of Mauna Loa Blvd. Anyone with any information should contact the Sheriff.

Anyone interested in becoming actively involved in the neighborhood Citizens Patrol, contact Ted at 379-0758, or email him at

There is discussion of stepping up Patrols and doing late-night rounds.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Come out on National Night Out: Aug. 3, Payne Park

Fight crime at National Night Out 2010 event on Aug. 3

National Night Out
National Night Out
Neighborhoods throughout Sarasota County will join thousands of communities nationwide for National Night Out 2010, the 27th annual crime and drug prevention event. The local celebration hosted by Sarasota County and the city of Sarasota is from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, in Payne Park, 2110 Adams Lane, Sarasota. (MORE)