Saturday, March 31, 2012


Thanks to all who came out this morning to help us provide a facelift for Hina Point Park:  Renee, Sandy, Connie, Joanna, Ellie, Doug, Jim, Ray, Bill, Tom and Chris.

Originally built in 2009, the park was due for sprucing up.

Thanks to Debbie Marks of Sarasota County for helping over the years as we've used, slowly but surely, the grant funds she originally helped us to receive -- among many other helpful interventions.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Restoring our little park

Hina Park Fix-Up We have a grant from the county to help fix up Hina Point Park - at the intersection of Hina and Palau.

We'll be replacing posts, adding mulch, doing a general facelift.

Want to help?

Meet us at the little park at 8 am Saturday, March 31.


If you have a post hole shovel, please bring it!

Other things to bring on Saturday, 8 am:

People should bring:
  • ratchet 1/2 "
  • drinking water 
  • rakes
  • gloves

Got an auger to lend us? Or other questions? Write to lakesarasota@gmail.com.

Some photos from the time the park was built can be seen on Facebook.


Friday, March 23, 2012

A Chance to Help our Parks



If you care about our parks, then you should know about this Giving Challenge to help the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

On March 27, you can them in the 36-Hour Giving Challenge!

You can check out our profile anytime.

On Marcy 27, as close to 6 am as you can, Support the Friends by doing this:

1. Go here.

2. Type "friends" into the search and locate our profile. (The link is not there yet, but will be at 6 am on Tuesday March 27).

3. Enter your credit card info.

4. Accept our thanks - all contributions are fully tax deductible.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Community Connections


Greetings!
Welcome to the Sarasota County Community Connections e-newsletter. Please share it with family, friends and neighbors. Contact us if you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, at communityconnections@scgov.net

eProcure goes live, begins training
financial transRegistration has begun for eProcure, Sarasota County's free, single website for solicitations, policies, procedures and forms. Find oout how you can register for eProcure online, or attend a free eProcure training session.

Beach blanket baseball! 
FRIDAY: Celebrate Siesta Beach Day at Ed Smith Stadium March 23 when the Orioles take on the Boston Red Sox. Take home a T-shirt, beach towel and your own pair of limited edition sunglasses. .

It's a marvelous night for a movie  
FRIDAY: The Sarasota Film Festival presents a free outdoor screening of "Megamind." Bring blankets, lawn chairs and a picnic. Arrive early for the best viewing. The show starts at 8 p.m., Booker Middle School, 2250 Myrtle St., Sarasota.


An Rx to reduce community crime 
SATURDAY: Join local public safety officials for a free athletic community event. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota. Connect with law enforcement, firefighters and others serving in public safety roles.

2012 Legislative Session ends
Gavel
This was a roller coaster session for Florida's lawmakers. Read what passed, what failed, and what the 2012 Legislative Session means for Sarasota County.  

State's wildfire risk heating up
Below-average rainfall for the last four to five months has significantly increased thestate's wildfire risk. Decide now what to do before wildfires threaten.

Help reduce the risk of diabetes  
DoctorThe Sarasota County Wellness Coalitions is holding a free seminar for those living with or supporting those affected by diabetes. The event takes place from 2-3 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Laurel/Nokomis School.

Mobile health services in April  
The Sarasota County Heallth Department will be offering free and low-cost health services at 15 sites in April. Services include diabetes education and screening, and tests for blood pressure, pregnancy, HIV and tuberculosis.

March Economic Report
Sarasota County has released itseconomic report for March. See how the county is faring in population, gas prices and other economic indicators.

Commission Reports

More headlines    


Friday, March 16, 2012

Community Connections


Greetings!
Welcome to the Sarasota County Community Connections e-newsletter. Please share it with family, friends and neighbors. Contact us if you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, at communityconnections@scgov.net

Registration begins for new online procurement system training 
financial transTHIS WEEK: Registration for eProcure, Sarasota County's new online procurement system, begins March 19. The eProcure system replaces the current online service with a free, single website for Sarasota County solicitations, policies, procedures and forms.

Sarasota County supports Sunshine Week    
County SealTHIS WEEK: Sarasota County government supports Sunshine Week in Florida March 11-17. As part of its commitment to open government, the county has two new websites, one on Financial Transparency and another on Public Information.

Sarasota County website wins 'A' for transparent government
THIS WEEK: The Sarasota County website,
www.scgov.net, has won a "Sunny Award" as one of the most transparent government websites in the United States. The website scored an "A" transparency grade "A."

Community Field Day: A Rx for
Reducing Community Crime 
MARCH 24: A free grass-roots event, "Community Field Day: A Rx for Reducing Community Crime" will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota. The youth athletic event is designed to foster relationships between local public safety officials and youths in the community.

National Kick Butts Day
MARCH 21:Youths from 14 Sarasota County clubs called Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) are fighting back and "kicking butts" on Wednesday, March 21, which is National Kick Butts Day. This is a national day of activism that empowers youth to build awareness about the health effects associated with tobacco use.

Orioles, libraries enjoy a great
Big League Reader Day!
For the second consecutive year,Sarasota County libraries and the Baltimore Orioles teamed up to promote reading through the Orioles Big League Reader program. Children who read three or more books in
the month of February received a
free 
ticket to the Wednesday,
March 14 game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

County to celebrate Siesta Beach Day at Ed Smith Stadium 
MARCH 23Sarasota County and the Baltimore Orioles will celebrate Siesta Beach Day at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota on Friday, March 23 when the Orioles take on the Boston Red Sox.

In recognition of Siesta Beach being designated the #1 beach in the USA, parks and Recreation staff will be at the ballpark handing out limited edition sunglasses, t-shirts and beach towels.

Lack of rain increases state's wildfire risk 
fire truck
Each year, thousands of acres of land and many homes are destroyed by wildfires. Droughts, lightning, burning debris or carelessness contribute to the ignition of wildfires. Also, a growing number of people live in new Florida communities and are building homes in areas that were once undeveloped and overgrown.The below-average rainfall for the last four to five months has significantly increased the state's wildfire risk.

Great American Cleanup set  
APRIL 7: Keep Sarasota County Beautiful has begun registering volunteers for the 2012 Great American Cleanup. The event takes place from 8 a.m. - noon Saturday, April 7, at sites throughout Sarasota County.

Sarasota County urges Governor to veto Medicaid charges bill
Sarasota County Commissioners have sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott urging him to veto a bill that they say would cost county taxpayers millions of dollars for inaccurate Medicaid billings without the opportunity to verify that the charges are accurate. 


Planning Commission has vacancy
The advisory board has one vacancy. This board interprets and advises the Sarasota County Commission on the adoption and amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, as well as land use applications.

The board meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. This is a 4-year term.
The application deadline is March 30 by 5 p.m.  

To learn more, contact Paula Clintsman at 941-861-5154 orpclintsm@scgov.net.

  
First look!
Sarasota County is getting ready to debut its new website.Here's your sneak peak.

Want your very own piece of paradise?
Download color and black and white versions of Siesta Key Beach's new No. 1 sign.

New videos this week 

The Oriole Bird visits Siesta Beach
The Oriole Bird visits Siesta Beach



Commission Reports

More headlines    





Speakers Bureau
Request a member of ourSpeakers Bureau to share their expertise with your community, homeowners association or other civic group.

Energy Upgrade Neighborhood Challenge



http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs069/1102715362124/img/455.jpg

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A fire in Lake Sarasota

This is the dry season, and it's at its peak. Wednesday evening some trees were set ablaze in Lakeview Park, fairly close to a house. The fire moved very quickly. Here are a few notes gleaned from those present:

1. How did the fire start?

Witnesses said they saw three or four young kids with bikes at the spot where and when the fire began. The kids took off as it gathered force. They thought the kids were 13 or so, possibly younger. It is unknown if anyone actually saw someone start the fire.


2. Who called it in? 

Several people who were in the park around 7:30 p.m. appear to have called 911. One woman said she was kept on the phone for 10 minutes with questions like, "How high is the fire?"

Others in the park might also have called it in, however, no one shouted to the homeowner or came to his door to tell him of the fire. It was his dog's barking that drew his attention to the flames, which were very close to his fence, he reported.


3.  How long did it take for the Fire Dept. to arrive?

It had to have been about 15 minutes or so, given that 911 talked to one woman for 10 minutes. When the fire truck did arrive at the park's gate on Lago Rd., they found it locked. Apparently there is not a common key that is shared between Parks Dept. and Emergency Responders. It took the Firemen about two minutes to cut the chain and open the gate.


4. What steps were taken to slow the fire before the Fire Dept. arrived?

When the homeowner saw the flames, he turned on his hose and shot water over the fence. This retarded a portion of the blaze, but the fire was climbing high up into trees and was not going to be quenched by a hose.


5. Did anyone offer to help?

The homeowner reports he called out to people in the park and asked if anyone could help by grabbing a bucket of water to throw on the fire.

     -- "The Fire Dept. will be here in a minute," was the reply from some high-school age kids playing disc golf.

Thankfully a neighbor came with a bucket and helped.


6. How long did it take the Fire Dept. to put out the fire? 

The firemen spent at least a half-hour working to douse the flames and making sure the area was soaked. They had begun with one fire extinguisher, but seeing the size of the fire, they ended up using an entire truckload of water.

[Update] Even with that amount of water, the fire had not entirely been put out. The following morning, there were hot embers turning the base of a palm tree into flame. The Fire Dept. had to be called a second time. This time they raked and used water. This shows how fire can travel down into the roots below the ground and remain intact.


7. What did the Sheriff's deputy do?

The Officer who responded to the call was informed that there were witnesses who saw those who were near the fire when it started. Those witnesses later stated they were not questioned by the Officer. It is unclear whether they were questioned by anyone from the Fire Dept.


Final Question:

Imagine this was your home. Fortunately no loss of life or property occurred. Are you 100% satisfied with how this incident was handled?


 Takeaways:


  • If you see a fire near a neighbor's home, make sure that homeowner is aware of the situation even if you have called 911. 
  • Do not assume Fire Responders can and will always respond rapidly.
  • If a homeowner asks for help quenching a fire, consider giving him a hand. You never know when you might need a hand in turn.





Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cyclovia, Housing, Half-Marathon, more


Greetings!
Welcome to the Sarasota County Community Connections e-newsletter. Please share it with family, friends and neighbors. Contact us if you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, atcommunityconnections@scgov.net

District 1 community forum 
TODAY: Join your District 1 city and county commissioners, along with local experts, for an important panel discussion on the current state and future of community safety and the evolving structure of education.

Weekend marathon will cause delays at Centennial Park  
SUNDAY: The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon March 11 will cause somedelays in access to the Centennial Park boat ramp between 7-11 a.m. To avoid traffic, boaters are encouraged to use the ramp at Ken Thompson Park.

Spring forward with new smoke alarm batteries  
Smoke alarmSUNDAY: Finally, Daylight Saving Time is back. Take advantage of this annual rite of spring to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and weather radios.

Spin your wheels Sunday 
Cyclovia Venice draws cycling enthusiasts, walkers, runners, inline skaters and people with strollers from around the region. From 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, March 11, join them as they once again converge on downtown Venice to spin their wheels.

Early voting for Longboat Key
Vote early for the March 20 Town of Longboat Key general election March 10-16. Early voting will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

New online vendor registration
financial transVendors who want to do business with Sarasota County will soon be able to use a free online procurement system. Readhow eProcure will simplify the vendor process in Sarasota County.

Raise your seagrass IQ
seagrassFlorida waters contain the largest seagrass meadow in the world, including 16,500 acres of beds along Sarasota County. Learn about this precious resource at a free seagrass presentation at the Siesta Key beach pavilion.

Florida building code changes 
Effective March 15, all permit applications and construction documents must comply with the 2010 Florida Building Code. Find out how this may affect you - attend one of these sessions being held throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Housing action plan for 2012 
Sarasota is updating its 2012 Action Plan for Federal Housing and Community Development Funds. Share your ideas for affordable housing, community development and homeless services March 15, from 5:30-7 p.m., at the Nokomis Community Center.

How do you color the cost of saving energy? 
Show Sarasota County what saving energy at home looks like to you. Join theEnergy Upgrade Art Competition to share your energy-efficiency message. The contest is open to residents 18 and up. Winners will be recognized by the Sarasota County Commission April 24.

We're No. 1 (again!)
The Society of American Travel Writers has named Sarasota the best place in the United States for a Spring Break family vacation. The group lauded our indoor and outdoor activities, amazing beaches (but we already knew that!), and cultural and historic sites.

Great American Cleanup set  
Keep Sarasota County Beautiful has begun registering volunteers for the 2012 Great American Cleanup. The event takes place from 8 a.m. - noon Saturday, April 7, at sites throughout Sarasota County.

Planning Commission has vacancy
The advisory board has one vacancy. This board interprets and advises the Sarasota County Commission on the adoption and amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, as well as land use applications.
The board meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. This is a 4-year term.
To learn more, contact Paula Clintsman at 941-861-5154 orpclintsman@scgov.net.

  
First look!
Sarasota County is getting ready to debut its new website.Here's your sneak peak.

Want your very own piece of paradise?
Download color and black and white versions of Siesta Key Beach's new No. 1 sign.

New videos this week .
SCGov FYI - 2012 Tornado Drill
Sarasota County tests its emergency response during acountywide tornado drill.

PLUS: Sarasota County libraries and the Baltimore Orioles team up to promote reading.

2012 Legislative Session, Week 8
Your up-to-the-minute report onlegislative actions affecting Sarasota County.

Commission Reports

More headlines    

Speakers Bureau
Request a member of ourSpeakers Bureau to share their expertise with your community, homeowners association or other civic group.
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Sarasota County Government
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, Florida 34236