Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sheriff Reminds: Lock the Doors

Stop Auto Burglaries: Lock the Doors

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to take one simple step to crack down on auto burglaries: lock the doors.

Auto burglary is a crime of opportunity, with at least 70 percent occurring in vehicles that are unlocked. Typically a thief will enter a community, try vehicle door handles and rummage through the ones they can open. Many times they take loose change, prescription medications, GPS units and other valuables that are inside. They could also take a garage door opener and return to burglarize your home when you’re not there.

“As simple as it sounds, all it takes to significantly reduce auto burglaries is to lock your vehicle and remove all valuables from sight,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “These common-sense precautions will protect your possessions and stop this crime in its tracks.”

Another good deterrent is a vigilant neighborhood. Residents know who belongs in their community and who doesn’t. If you see suspicious activity, even if you aren’t certain the person is committing a crime, call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number, 316-1201, so law enforcement can investigate. If you hear unusual noises, don’t just dismiss it, call.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clean-Up a Success

The Lakeview Park Clean-Up brought out some 35-40 folks from the Sky Pilots Disc Golf Club and from Lake Sarasota, who spent a lovely morning pulling debris, garbage, sunk logs, garbage cans, and benches from the canals. As the County asked, the vegetation was piled at the entrance to be picked up.

Special thanks to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Pack 100, to Ray and Connie Bresciani and to the LSCG for the pulled pork sandwiches, to Tammie for the veggie food and chips.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From LSCG President Bill Pitts

This is a reminder that we are having a park clean up day this Saturday, March 26th. The clean up is being sponsored by the Sky Pilots and they need our help. As mentioned before, when we had our Lake Sarasota Community Group clean up day at the park, the Sky Pilots came out in force and helped us. It is now our turn to repay the favor. The clean up will be from 9:00 AM till 12:00 Noon,so its just 3 hours (not a full day job).

There will be some food served and water will be provided for the workers.


Here's one reason the park needs periodic clean-ups: the picnic tables are regularly thrown in the water, or moved, or used for bridges, or broken up. The Petanque players had a large gathering last Sunday, and they found only three picnic tables where there used to be six.

Today they found only two:

Because the third is "in use":

(Parents of Lake Sarasota kids: the park is a great asset for the neighborhood, a great place for kids to play. Come over once in a while and have a look -- if they're "re-purposing" tables and benches paid for by our tax dollars, please set them straight before the Sheriff has to.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Zip is Up

According to a recent market report by Realtor Mickey Schweitzer, who has been very active in our area for many years, Lake Sarasota's zip code, 34241, ranked 7th county-wide in housing price increases over the previous 12 months.

The area saw an average upward price change of 6.9% for single family homes. The hottest zip code was 34242 (Siesta Key) with an average price jump of 21.7%. Other zips, such as 34229, declined by as much as 23%, and the county as a whole averaged an increase of 9%.

Zip code map.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Assistance to Senior Victims of Fraud

The Senior Friendship Center has help for those who believe they have been the target of a con=artist or other sort of scam - click on the image to enlarge:

More info here:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Community Connections: Redevelopment, Siesta Key, more

wikiGlobeCounty extends date for redevelopment 'wiki' editing and comments
Sarasota County is keeping the "wiki" on redevelopment regulations open for public revisions and comments until 5 p.m. Friday, March 25. (MORE)
Siesta Beach VolleyballDesign of Siesta Beach improvements will be subject of March 24 public meeting
The preliminary design of the Siesta Beach improvements will be the subject of a public meeting Thursday, March 24, at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota.
Residents are invited to come anytime during the 5-7 p.m. open-house-style meeting hosted by Sarasota County Capital Management Services. There will be no formal presentation. (MORE)
floodingLibraries hosting Flood Safety Awareness seminars
County Environmental Services staff will be at Sarasota County Libraries during the months of March, April and May to raise awareness of the dangers associated with flooding, answer questions about steps property owners can take to protect against damage ... (MORE)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Call for Neighborhood Patrols

Ted Cover, who leads Citizen Patrol, says the trends call for increased Patrols:
We need patrol team volunteers for the remaining weeks of March, all of April, and all of May. I've been lax in getting patrols on the street. My fault. It's time to get serious about the patrol. We've seen a decrease in reported incidents in Lake Sarasota for last February. Even so, there is a disturbing trend--we're having more burglaries and break-ins. While a patrol most likely will not be in on an arrest, the patrol's visible presence is a deterrent. The sight of a patrol vehicle may convince someone contemplating a theft or break-in that it might be a better idea to go somewhere else.

Most of the incidents over the past year have occurred during the daylight hours. Nighttime incidents are rare--maybe one or two a year. With Daylight Savings Time now in effect, patrolling in the early evening hours might result in greater visibility.

Please take a look at your calendar over the next two months, and see if you have a couple of hours available to take a two-hour patrol with your partner. You'll be doing our neighborhood a great service. Let me know by return E-mail when you can take a patrol. I'll get the patrol notebook, magnetic signs and other material to you within 24 hours of the start of your patrol.

Ted Cover, Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lakeview Park Clean-Up

Lakeview Park is one of the great resources available to Lake Sarasota. It gets a lot of use, and occasionally, some abuse. Part of the challenge with a park like this is to strike the proper balance between human uses, like disc golf, Petanque, and the dog park, and nature's own needs -- natural habitat for birds, fish, and critters.

On March 26th the Sky Pilots disc golf club, Lake Sarasota Community Group, and anyone else who wishes to join in will spend three hours clearing debris cleaning up the park. Food will be served for all who pitch in.

Come out on Saturday March 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet your neighbors, enjoy the great outdoors, and help your park.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

LSCG Meeting Notes

Items from the March 10th meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG):

The same officers were unanimously re-elected for the year.

The Treasury has $442.14.

LSCG is a 501(d) corporation - contributions are tax deductible. The PO box will be discontinued, and the postal address of the Group will be c/o Ellie Himes, Registered Agent, 7108 Java Drive, 34240.

Three homes were chosen as Yards of the Month.

Crime: There were 10 incidents - two of which were in Lakeview park - vandalism and theft. There were four burglaries, three of which were reported late at night.

Ted, who organizes Citizen Patrol, emphasized that all residents should have a security alarm, and arm it at night. Also, keep garage doors down, even if you're home but not in the garage.

Ted will be calling all who have participated in Citizens Patrol to update his records and schedule patrols.

A Clean-Up of Lakeview Park is set for March 26th. The Sarasota Sky Pilots, LSCG, and patrons of the dog park will remove trash and debris, as well as do some trimming, from 9 a.m. to noon. Food will be served for those who participate.

There's also a Clean-Up scheduled by the County for the Lake Sarasota neighborhood on Saturday, July 23 - Dumpsters will be provided.

Sandy offered some stats on home sales and foreclosures in the area. Homes are averaging sale prices of $81.69 per square foot, she said. 111 homes are currently being sued by banks. Foreclosures in the county can be tracked at More on foreclosures here.

There is some interest in clearing an open space in Lakeview park to serve as a butterfly garden, with benches. Anyone interested in getting involved, contact us at

The next scheduled LSCG meeting will be Thursday, June 9, 2011, at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Come out to SNOOK HAVEN for Parks!

Spring out to Snook Haven this Saturday, March 12:

It Starts in Parks:

This Saturday at Snook Haven, at River Road near I-75, it's the Friends of Sarasota County Parks' first ever Outdoors Fest.

Visit the FOSCP Site for more about the event, the prizes and the purpose of FOSCP, a non-profit organization.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

Update: Check out the just-added raffle prizes. Nearly 50 fantastic items will be won through our Chinese raffle. Any not picked up will go to Silent Auctions!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Neighborhood Meeting Thursday

New developments on Bee Ridge, upcoming Clean-Up in Lakeview Park, new Sheriff data on crime - come out and engage the world of your neighborhood.

Lake Sarasota Community Group meets 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Sarasota Alliance Church, 7221 Bee Ridge Rd., just opposite the intersection of Chaucer Lane and Bee Ridge Rd. All are welcome. We are a not-for-profit organization established as a volunteer group to help make Lake Sarasota safe, attractive, and fun. We are on Facebook and on Twitter.

No dues, no fees. We welcome all residents. Got a problem in the neighborhood? Or a question about your community? Chances are someone in LSCG can answer them. If you would like to build a butterfly garden, or a playground, or enhance some aspect of your community, we are the people to talk to.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Community Connections Updates

Jackson Lab logoSarasota County chosen by Jackson Labs for new Research Institute
Sarasota County announced that Jackson Laboratories, one of the world's leading medical research companies, has chosen the county as the location for a new personalized medicine institute. (MORE)
Get energy Smart logoGet Energy Smart rebate program pays back to homeowners
Sarasota County homeowners who have made energy improvements to their homes have received more than $440,000 in rebate checks through the Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program. Over $690,000 in rebate funds remain available for homeowners, in addition to loans and free Do It Yourself Energy Saving Kits. (MORE)

No swimming signSarasota beach water advisory remains in effect for Venice Public Beach
The Venice Public Beach remains under a beach water advisory. Sarasota County Health Department officials received testing results from samples taken Wednesday, March 2, that still show an elevated level of enterococcus bacteria. Signage will remain in place until follow-up water testing results are satisfactory. (MORE)
Sea turtlesSarasota County to hold sea turtle and coastal lighting workshops
With slightly more than two months before the start of sea turtle nesting season on May 1, Sarasota County officials want to make sure lighting from coastal structures doesn't disorient nesting and hatchling sea turtles.

The county, along with Mote Marine and the city of Venice, will hold two workshops to educate coastal residents, property managers, contractors and other interested parties on the proper ways to illuminate structures at night and avoid disturbing newborn sea turtles.interest. (MORE)


Permitting online services not available March 11-14

Permitting, scheduling of inspections and records research through the Web and the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) software under Sarasota County Planning and Development Services will not be available from 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 11, until 8 a.m. Monday, March 14. The county's Web servers and IVR system will be moved to a different location during that time.

For more information, e-mail or call 941-861-6678 during regular business hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Water glassSarasota County drinking water judged best in region
participated in a blind test at the Region 10 Water Works Association meeting on Feb. 23 at Lakewood Ranch.
Judges sampled water in unmarked bottles from eight utilities in southwest Florida, Manatee County, Charlotte County, Punta Gorda the city of Sarasota, the city of Venice, Englewood and Peace River. The panel of judges included business owners, public employees and members of the community. (MORE)