Friday, January 31, 2014

Say I Do: County Update for the week

Dear Lake,
Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at communityconnections@scgov.net.   
TODAY: Come see - and hear - the 2014 Sarasota Oral History Project presentations, "Celebrating Our Water Heritage," Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m.at New College of Florida.
TODAY: Meet the author of "Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town" Jan. 30 and 31. The program is free and open to the public. 
SATURDAY: In recognition of Florida's "Prescribed Fire Awareness Week"Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, the county is hosting Fire Fest 2014 on Saturday, Feb. 1.
SCAT will operate a pilot route from Feb. 1 to May 2 to test rider demand for bus service from the Pinecraft neighborhood to Siesta Key.
A second Pickleball Workshop for Beginners will be held at the Englewood Sports Complex Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10-11:30 a.m.
The Arlington Park Pool, located at 2650 Waldemere St. in Sarasota, will closeMonday, Feb. 10, for about six months for renovations. 
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation's popular "Say I Do Again" wedding vow-renewal event returns to Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key,Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.   
North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota will host the nationally recognized art exhibit "Kin Killin' Kin" by artist James Pate, Jan. 28 - Feb 22
Locations and dates for the next round of Grant Orientation Workshops have been announced. Attendance is a requirement to be eligible to receive a neighborhood improvement grant.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Brainstorming: Possible projects and why to do them


The January 16th Brainstorming Meeting (of the Lake Sarasota Community Group) produced some doable project ideas. Folks also clarified what purpose any such project is about. It's really about contributing in any way we can to the 1,600-home community we call home.

Here's the thinking: If you own or rent a house here, then Lake Sarasota matters to you. If bad things happen, chances are the value of your property will sink. If good things happen -- because people care -- the value of the neighborhood will rise, not just in Realtors' eyes, but in the eyes of all of us.

Here are the ideas that came up at our January Brainstorming meeting. The one we have committed to putting into action is the March Neighborhood Garage Sale. The rest will depend upon support from you -- not necessarily money, but a bit of your time and energy.

UPDATE: Take a moment after reading this to use the POLL at the right tell us which one or two projects matter most to you. It will be open for 10 days. If you have another idea, send it along to LakeSarasota@gmail.com - thanks.

In no particular order, then:


1. Spring Neighborhood Garage Sale - Set for Saturday, March 29th. It will be advertised online and in the Herald Trib, and there are plans for maps. If you wish to have your sale listed on the map, get in touch with Sandy. Volunteers will be needed to hand out maps, and if we are selling food, for that as well.

Action Item: Even if you do not want to be on the map, email Sandy at sarasotadreams@gmail.com to let her know you are participating. The more participants, the more advertising we'll do.

2. Worker Endorsement Board -- a place to list honest and reliable workers who have done work for folks in Lake Sarasota. Basically, a referral service like Angie's List, but limited to folks who have proven to be trustworthy, and who actually do work for residents. Send your endorsements to lakesarasota@gmail.com.


3. Community-MeetUp Event - an excuse to get out and meet people while the weather is nice. Can involve pot luck, beer truck, special activities, e.g.
  • Bike Rodeo
  • Fishing and Kayak demos on the Lake
  • Working on a small project with Boy Scouts or other organizations that need community service hours.

4. Bingo - rent a hall and organize an event.


5. Neighborhood Improvement Grant. If we can guarantee volunteer hours, we can apply for neighborhood grants. We have people willing and able to do the grant writing. But a grant requires us to tell the County that we have volunteers willing to put in some time. Projects could include an ecology walk for students who walk to Lakeview or Oak Park, improvements to our front entrances and the Mauna Loa median, cleaning up or dismantling Hina Pocket Park, etc. Have an idea? Let us know at LakeSarasota@gmail.com

In other news

  • You might hear the sound of houses along Bee Ridge being demolished to make room for the road widening. Also, Verizon is moving some of its infrastructure along the road in advance of the widening. 
  • We are working with the County to have a new and improved Neighborhood sign after Bee Ridge Road is widened. The existing signs at Mauna Loa have to be moved. They will be taken up and used at other entry points.
  • The County is asking for suggestions and input on Lakeview Park - they plan to make some improvements, and would like our thoughts. You can share them with LakeSarasota@gmail.com.
  • Look for roadwork on Bee Ridge to begin in the Spring. The current work is FDOT at the highway exchange.

Check the Neighborhood Facebook Page for updates:

https://www.facebook.com/LakeSarasotaCommunityGroup

The next Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting will be 7 pm, March 13 at Sarasota Alliance Church (just opposite Chaucer). We plan to invite a tax expert to speak. All are welcome.

Remember to Take the POLL.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

County news and info


Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at communityconnections@scgov.net.   
FRIDAY: The yearlong celebration kicks off with a reception Friday, Jan. 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., and continues Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with activities for the entire family. All the festivities will be held at Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library in Venice.
SATURDAY: Sarasota County Parks and Recreation will hold a Winter Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Englewood Sports Complex.
Come see - and hear - the 2014 Sarasota Oral History Project presentations, "Celebrating Our Water Heritage," Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. at New College of Florida.
Meet the author of "Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town" Jan. 30 and 31. The program is free and open to the public. 
In recognition of Florida's "Prescribed Fire Awareness Week" Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, the county is hosting Fire Fest 2014 on Saturday, Feb. 1.
A second Pickleball Workshop for Beginners will be held at the Englewood Sports Complex Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10-11:30 a.m.
The games take place Feb. 18-23.
Locations and dates for the next round of Grant Orientation Workshops have been announced. Attendance is a requirement to be eligible to receive a neighborhood improvement grant.
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation's popular "Say I Do Again" wedding vow-renewal event returns to Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key,Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.   
Get up-to-the-minute updates on breaking news and events.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Garage Sale Coming - see our Facebook Page for details



A Community-Wide Garage Sale set for Sat. March 29th!

See our Facebook Page for details.

Anyone doing home schooling? This might be of interest

Click on the image to see it in full: Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

County Updates - Barefoot Beach Bazaar, Arts and Crafts, Oral History, more....

Dear Lake,
Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at communityconnections@scgov.net.   
SATURDAY: The Barefoot Beach Bazaar season at Nokomis Beach begins Saturday, Jan. 18. This is the first of four events that will take place the third Saturday of January through April at the Nokomis Beach Plaza.
Many Sarasota County offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20, for the national observance celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Here is a complete list of openings and closings.
The yearlong celebration kicks off with a reception Friday, Jan. 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., and continues Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with activities for the entire family. All the festivities will be held at Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice. Each event is free and open to the public.
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation will hold a Winter Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road in Englewood.
In recognition of Florida's "Prescribed Fire Awareness Week" Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, the county is hosting Fire Fest 2014 on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Come see - and hear - the unveiling of the 2014 Sarasota Oral History Project presentations, "Celebrating Our Water Heritage," Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. at New College of Florida in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 
The games take place Feb. 18-23 and are held at venues throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, which partner yearly to host the event.
Sarasota County Libraries will host 2014 One Book author, Bryan Mealer, at three free events this month. Meet the author of "Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town" Jan. 30 and 31. The program is free and open to the public. 
Sarasota County Neighborhood Services has announced the locations and dates for the next round of Grant Orientation Workshops. Attendance at the workshops is a requirement to be eligible to receive a neighborhood improvement grant.
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation's popular "Say I Do Again" wedding vow-renewal event returns to Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.   
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County urges pregnant women to get the flu vaccination due to the increased impact that influenza infections are having on pregnant women and their babies in Florida this year.  
The Sarasota County Library System offers free webinars throughout the year on topics that include technology, self-empowerment, parenting, personal finance, entrepreneurship and much more.
Sarasota County has expanded its presence into social media with an updated Twitter site. Follow us now for up-to-the-minute updates.
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About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sheriff's Report for December 2013

The Lake Sarasota Crime Report by Ted Coverr for 12.13

The Dec. 2013 Sheriff's Dept. Crime Report for Lake Sarasota reports a total of seven incidents:  one vandalism, two burglaries, and four thefts (two AUTO and two UNKNOWN).

The single act of Vandalism occurred Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7150 Lago St., reported at 7:27 a.m.
The two burglaries occurred three days apart, Monday, Dec. 2 and Wednesday, Dec. 5, and were at:

            6515 Mauna Loa Blvd. (12/2, reported 5:28 p.m.)
            7214 Java Dr.  (12/5, reported 7:01 p.m.)

The four thefts occurred as follows:

        Fri., Dec. 6   7004 Jarvis Rd. (AUTO, reported 7:50 a.m.)
        Fri., Dec. 20 3975 Coleridge Dr. (AUTO, reported 11:51 a.m.)
        Sat., Dec. 28 7033 Mauna Loa Blvd. (UNKNOWN, reported 11:51 a.m.)
        Mon., Dec. 30 4052 Vana Dr. (UNKNOWN, reported 11:50 a.m.)

With seven incidents, it's difficult to pick up a pattern.  The four thefts were discovered and reported in the morning hours, between 7:50 a.m. and noon.  Three incidents occurred at the beginning of the month, two mid-month, and the remaining two at the end.  This time, no incidents occurred in the western third of Lake Sarasota.  All occurred in the center and eastern thirds.   Except for the burglaries, most incidents appear to have occurred in the early morning hours.  In respect to the dates of occurrence, time of day, and areas of Lake Sarasota where occurred, the December, 2013 crime incidents fit the pattern of previous months.  It still appears that any Citizens Patrol preventive action should be directed to those dates and locations.

Over the next few weeks I'll compile a report and analysis like the report I did for 2012.

Bee Ridge Widening Update

Status report on Bee Ridge Road project

An update on several aspects of the Bee Ridge Road Project from the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee:

This article is being written on 1/11/2014 and only reflects information available at that time.

Current work Projects

Recently, “Start work 1/8/2014” signs went up on Bee Ridge. Those signs have nothing to do with the Bee Ridge widening project. They are related to the FDOT work that has now begun at the I-75 interchange. That project calls for repaving under I-75 and the addition of a sidewalk on the South side of Bee Ridge from the beginning of the State responsibility to Cattleman road. The side walk will connect to side walk being placed by the County under the Bee Ridge project. The FDOT project is scheduled for 120 days, dependent on weather.
The sidewalk was not on the FDOT schedule until after 2108, but due to the efforts of the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee, the work is being done now.

Verizon is placing conduit on the South side of Bee Ridge in anticipation of the road project. They started at Mauna Loa and are currently outside Hidden Oaks.

House demolition has started as well in anticipation of the road project.  Demolitions are on the south side of the road. 6 houses went down in Dec., 14 are scheduled in Jan., and 4 more in Feb.

Seven houses will remain and the County has no plans to pursue these properties at this time. BRNC has made numerous appeals to reconsider acquiring 5 of the 7 but has failed to change the County position. 2 of the properties will have driveways on Bee Ridge—the remaining 5 will enter from Brentford (south of Bee Ridge.). Screening is provided in the Construction bid to block seeing these properties from Bee Ridge.

Future  Requirements to “get started”

The actual construction bids will be opened on Jan. 15. If the bids exceed the budgeted amounts, it will be up to the County Commissioners as to whether the project proceeds as scheduled.

Additional acquisition hearings for right of way requirements on the North side of Bee Ridge are scheduled for the end of Feb. There are no houses involved in those hearings.

Public works has a $5m project (yet to be approved) that is to be done concurrently with the widening of Bee Ridge. It involves reinforcing of forced mains, relocation of lift stations and some localized potable water reallocation. BRNC has not been involved in this project details.

If all goes well, the Commissioners should approve the projects in March and it will start in earnest in the Spring. It is estimated to take 2 years to complete.

Specific items of interest to Laurel Oak Residents and Members
LOCA and Bent Tree are negotiating a contract with the County to plant and maintain the round about in front of our property. It will be a shared responsibility to install and maintain the upgraded plant material.

LOCA and LOCC are negotiating a contract to maintain the railing that will run the length of the Laurel Oak property on the west side. The railing is required due to the elevated sidewalk that will be installed. The railing will be painted black to match the fence and street lamps.

Please call with any questions or need for more details
Respectfully
Joe O’Hara
For the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Brainstorming Meeting set for Jan. 16th

The Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG), an all-volunteer organization, has scheduled a special meeting in January to plan an event, work on a grant, and organize a community garage sale.

The special meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 16th at 7 pm in meeting room 105 at Sarasota Alliance Church, 7221 Bee Ridge Road.

The meeting will combine three initiatives: An Event, a Grant and a Garage Sale.
1. To plan a community-wide event to be held in February or March. Ideas include a party in Lakeview Park that could include kayaking and paddle-boarding demos, disc golf, and possibly some dog training experts. 
2. To brainstorm for a Neighborhood Grant of up to $10,000 to be used for community-building and beautification. Ideas include an ecological walk from Mauna Loa to Lakeview School, with a Community Bulletin board; purchase and plant some additional trees in the Mauna Loa median; consider other events and amenities that would benefit the community. All ideas are welcome. 
3. To plan a Neighborhood Garage Sale for the height of the season. 



One reason to promote community at this time is that the Lake Sarasota Community Group has only $358.71 in its treasury. Cost to renew our state papers is $100. Without serious community involvement, members said, the volunteer group might be unable to continue.

Other items at the meeting: an uptick in crime, a sale of land, and a real estate update.

CRIME: Ted provided details of 7 incidents in November, up from 3 per month in the two previous months. Two acts of vandalism, three burglaries, and two thefts. Ted recommends people consider installing motion detectors, or outdoor lighting. The entire report is here.

LAND SALE: Land between Lake Sarasota and I-75 has reportedly been sold to a builder who intends to build single family homes and paired villas. Most of the homes would be toward the south end of the property. Those present had questions about how traffic would circulate and which roads would be used to enter and exit the new housing. More to come on this.

REAL ESTATE UPDATE: Houses in Lake Sarasota are selling for an average of $104 a square foot under air - about the same as last year. This is down slightly from the June-September quarter. The market is expected to heat up with the season.


Lakeview Park

Two more things:

Sarasota County Parks & Rec is seeking input from users of Lakeview park - what they like, what could be improved - both the larger park, and the Paw Park, will see some improvements over the coming weeks. If you have ideas, share them with an email to lakesarasota@gmail.com, or put them on our Facebook page.

A Neighborhood Workshop regarding the land behind the Racetrac property at North Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Rd. will take took place Monday, Dec. 16th, at 6 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church. The developer is petitioning to rezone 8.8 acres and to have residential units above the commercial space. More details here.

Finally, the next regular meeting of the LSCG will be Thursday, March 13, at 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church. But we urge you to come to the January 16th brainstorming meeting and take part in planning some cool upcoming events.