Friday, February 25, 2011

County temporarily going offline

Data CenterCounty data center move to temporarily interrupt online services
A number of online services provided by Sarasota County will be temporarily unavailable beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and lasting through Sunday, Feb. 27, while they are relocated to the county's new data center at 5875 Bahia Vista Road. (MORE)
No swimming signBeach water advisories in effect for Venice, Turtle beaches
Water quality at Venice Public Beach and Turtle Beach does not meet current health standards for recreational waters, according to the Sarasota County Health Department, which monitors water quality weekly at 16 sites along Sarasota County's 34 miles of beaches. (MORE)
broomsEnglewood community cleanup scheduled for Saturday
It's time to clean out the garage and gather up yard waste, tree trimmings and discarded household items. Sarasota County will hold its annual free community cleanup in the Englewood area from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26. (MORE)


2011 Sarasota Invitational Regatta hosting charity event this weekend

When competitive rowers take to the waters of Nathan Benderson Park, 2500 Honore Ave., Sarasota, for the 2011 Sarasota Invitational Regatta on Feb. 26-27, they will be competing for more than trophies. (MORE)

PaversNOW YOU KNOW ...

Why did Sarasota County install permeable brick pavers for sidewalks on the expanded, improved Fruitville Road east of Interstate 75?

The paver sidewalk is actually a method of managing stormwater that is environmentally friendly. When rain falls on solid concrete sidewalks, it quickly runs off. The permeable pavers have holes (see photo) and a reservoir layer of rock underneath. When stormwater hits this surface, it is collected in the reservoir where chemicals and nutrients are filtered out and the cleaner water is allowed to percolate back into the groundwater table.
In addition, the permeable pavers promote tree survival by providing air and water to roots.
The system is also compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines since the grooves that allow water to percolate through are filled with pea gravel to create a level walking surface. In addition, the permeable pavers promote tree survival by providing air and water to roots.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sarasota County Announcements

Mt. Rushmore

County offices closed for Presidents Day holiday

Most Sarasota County government offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 21, to observe the national holiday that celebrates Presidents Day.
All Sarasota County libraries will be closed. (MORE)


2011 Sarasota Invitational Regatta to host charity event

When competitive rowers take to the waters of Nathan Benderson Park, 2500 Honore Ave., Sarasota, for the 2011 Sarasota Invitational Regatta on Feb. 26-27, they will be competing for more than trophies. Rowers from the U.S. National Team, Olympians and future Olympians will participate in the charity portion of the two-day event to raise money for an adaptive rowing program designed to introduce individuals with physical and/or mental challenges to the sport. (MORE)
Tree City logoSarasota County named a Tree City USA for 20th year
Known for its reputation of protecting the natural environment, Sarasota County again has earned the designation as a Tree City USA for 2010, the 20th consecutive year it qualified for the award. (MORE)
Rain BarrelFree rain barrel workshop offered at Woodmere Park
Sarasota County Extension Service will offer a free rain barrel workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Woodmere Park, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.

Rainwater harvesting can reduce the use of potable water and yield cost savings on water and wastewater utility bills. Rain barrels help to reduce stormwater runoff by diverting and storing runoff from impervious areas such as roofs. (MORE)
Recycle symbolConstruction and Demolition Recycling Center changing hours
The Sarasota County Construction and Demolition Recycling Center, 4000 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis, is changing its operating hours on Saturdays only.

Beginning Saturday, March 5, construction and demolition debris will only be accepted from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (MORE)
More Headlines

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Telephone scam targeting Sarasotans

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a prevalent telephone scam that has claimed another victim this week. Click here for more information on how an 85-year-old Sarasota woman was victimized by a con artist pretending to have information about an injury to her grandson.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Spring into Snook Haven March 12th for FOSCP

Come out to the Spring into Outdoors Snook Haven Fest on Saturday, March 12th and you'll not only have fun, but you could win a fantastic prize:

A $1,800 Hobie Pedal Kayak:

Or, a $700 64 Gig iPad:

Or, a $400 DJB Charters Fishing Boat Cruise. Lots more prizes will be raffled or sold at auction, plus games for kids, a Cornhole tournament, food, music by the Gumbo Boogie Band, all happening at Snook Haven on the idyllic Myakka River.

These are limited raffles. There are only 300 tickets in the whole world for this kayak, and only 250 each for the iPad and the Charter Boat, so chances of winning are VERY GOOD! Tickets will be on sale at the event, if any are left. Or, you can get them NOW at any of Evie's locations.

Note: This is a Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP) event -- that's to say, it's a fundraiser that benefits all the public parks of Sarasota County. FOSCP is a 501(c)3, and donations are fully tax-deductible.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Crime Report for January 2011

According to the Sheriff's Office, there were 8 reports of vandalism in January, 4 burglaries, 3 thefts and one juvenile disturbance in Lake Sarasota. Ted Cover, who gets these numbers from the SO, noted that there were a couple of additional actions, including a brick being thrown through a bedroom window in the 4100 block of Tonga Drive, which were published in the Sarasota Observer. The paper states that the Sheriff was called to investigate, but these incidents did not appear in the monthly report. It's unclear why that would be.

The most popular street for crime was Friendship; the most popular day was Sunday (4 incidents), the next was Monday (3).

Anyone up for Citizen Patrol? Please contact Ted: at or 379-0758.

Update from a regular Lakeview Park user:
I see the "reported" crimes listed on the Lake Sarasota page but don't recall seeing any of the frequent vandalism in the park mentioned. There are many people that enjoy the park and hate to see the destruction of the tables tossed into the water, skateboarders using the tables as skating rails, trashcans destroyed and tossed into the lake, the Petanque courts dug up to create ramps for jumping over with the bikes, destruction in the restrooms, etc. There are many children and teens that come daily to the park but I never see parents come to check on what they are actually doing there. Please, Parents...if your child has a bike or a skateboard check it out as to what they are doing and where it is taking place!

Friday, February 04, 2011

A few openings remain for new Civics 101 class

Some news about the upcoming "semester" of Civics 101 -- now's a good time to let people know who might be interested, it's filling fast:

Seats still open for Civics 101

Seats still open for Civics 101

Sarasota County government’s popular Civics 101 program still has a few seats open for the session beginning March 10.

Civics 101 is a 10-week program that introduces people to the operations and services of Sarasota County government. Each week, staffs from different county departments guide participants through a particular area, exposing them to the inner workings of county government. The classes give students a better understanding of how county government works, and allows them to build relationships with county staff. Sessions are offered at no charge in the spring and fall each year to Sarasota County residents and anyone working in Sarasota County. Twenty-five people are selected each term on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications are available here.

The course schedule is available here.

For more information about Civics 101, call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or e-mail

Down payment assistance funding available
Eligible applicants in Sarasota County seeking to buy their first home but lacking the funds for a down payment have a little-known resource available to help them.
With $1.2 million in federal and state funding in the ...
Public input needed for focus group sessions
Sarasota is updating its five-year strategic plan for Federal Housing and Community Development Funds. The public is invited to attend the following focus group sessions to provide public input on community needs and solutions for affordable housing, community develoment. (MORE)
OriolesCounty libraries and Baltimore Orioles team up to promote literacy
Sarasota County libraries and the Baltimore Orioles announced a new partnership to promote literacy through the Orioles Big League Reader program. Starting Feb. 1, children age 6 and up who check out three books at any of the eight Sarasota County public libraries will receive a Home Run Reading Card. (MORE)
wikiSarasota County launches policy 'wiki' for public input on policies, regulations
Sarasota County is starting an online public policy website on Monday, Feb. 7, that will enable citizens to revise and make comments to proposed ordinances, regulations and policies. (MORE)
SBA logoSBA Disaster loans available in Florida following disaster declaration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announces today that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes located in Florida as a result of frosts and freezes that occurred from Nov. 5, 2010 through Dec. 17, 2010. (MORE)
Attend a free condominium educational seminar
Sarasota County is partnering with the state Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes on a free educational seminar that will cover condominium board member responsibilities and financial reporting. (MORE)
Tax helpFree tax aid offered to help people file for valuable tax credits
Free tax aid is available at locations throughout Sarasota County for quick filing of federal individual income tax returns at AARP tax aid sites and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. (MORE)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Free Emergency Alert for Sarasotans

Free emergency alert notification system available for property owners
Sarasota County Utilities is encouraging all property owners and occupants to submit their contact information into the CodeRED emergency alert notification system online at this site, keyword search CodeRED. Registering your contact information with the CodeRED system is free, and Sarasota County does not share the information with any private third party vendors.

CodeRED uses the Sarasota County 911 system to issue an automated phone call to alert registered property owners and occupants in the event of an incident that could impact their daily activities. “The CodeRED reverse 911 system is the fastest way to let people know about incidents such as water main breaks, boil water notifications, sudden major road detours or evacuation alerts,” said Paula Parson Grubb, Sarasota County Utilities. “By registering your contact information, you are ensuring that you and your family will be notified of events that could impact your household.”

Verizon supplies the county with land-based phones numbers of every residence and business in Sarasota County; however, people who use another phone company or only use cell phone service are not included. According to Grubb, “accurate, timely information is the key to protecting people and property and the CodeRED system is the most reliable means of getting that information to the public.”

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or keyword search CodeRED.