Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mauna Loa entrance to close nightly beginning Feb. 8th

Beginning Feb. 8 - Mauna Loa at Bee Ridge will be closed for approximately two weeks from 8 pm to 6 am. Signs are already up indicating detour on Brentwood.

The contractor will start night work on the intersection for approximately 2 weeks. The lanes will reopen each morning.

This is to allow extensive utility work to be done in the intersection. Bee Ridge traffic flow will not be affected except for the right turn lane into Mauna Loa.

Sarasota County News and Updates

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   
Full slate of February events offered by Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is pleased to announce the return of their popular February programs. Whether it's music, nature, athletics or something in between, this full slate of events offers fun for everyone.
Fire Fest returns Jan. 31 at Carlton Reserve

The public is invited to take part in Fire Fest at Carlton Reserve on Jan. 31, to learn about how prescribed fire is used to manage local native habitats in Sarasota County, how fire benefits many species of plants and animals and how prescribed burns actually protect our communities and property from wildfires.
Register now through Feb. 1 for the 26th Annual Gulf Coast Senior Games, which take place Feb.17-22 at venues throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The two counties hold the event in conjunction each year as an effort to promote and maintain health and wellness for their residents who are 50 years and older.
Emergency Services personnel honored at awards ceremony
Dozens of men and women who work in Sarasota County Emergency Services were honored Thursday for their achievements during a special quarterly awards ceremony.
Gulf Gate Public Library celebrates new chapter with grand opening ceremony
The Gulf Gate Public Library started its new chapter with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening attended by hundreds Saturday. The two-story, 24,920-square-foot building has been under construction since 2013 and replaces the former library at the same site, 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota.

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County's (DOH-Sarasota) Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide free and low-cost health services at 10 sites around the county during February.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) will host a Bay Guardian volunteer event aimed at removing the invasive air potato at North Water Tower Park on Saturday, Feb. 7, starting at 9 a.m.
The Lemon Bay Fest returns for the 13th year with a week-long series of events for the entire family aimed at highlighting the area's rich history and natural beauty.
Sarasota County's popular "Say I Do Again" wedding vow-renewal event returns Feb. 14 to Siesta and Caspersen Beaches.
Due to ongoing construction work at the Siesta Beach pavilion the 2015 Beach University has been canceled. The program, which spans four weeks and focuses on protecting coastal eco-systems, will return in 2016.
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent is accepting applications for a $1,200 scholarship to be awarded by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE) this year.
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Squatters, Golf Cart Vandals featured in January Meeting

A good attendance at the special January meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group - largely due to the effectiveness of NEXTDOOR, the community communication tool that has shown itself to be quite useful. If you have not already signed up and you live in Lake Sarasota, go to

and so long as you live within the community, you will be welcome.

In brief:

1. Ellie says the Group's treasury amounts to $329, with $29 coming from contributions from participants in the last Garage Sale. (Good thing we're an all-volunteer organization).

2. The Next Community Garage Sale will be March 7.

3. Reports of teens on golf carts vandalizing property at the dead-end of Mauna Loa raised concerns. It is unclear how the golf carts are accessing Lake Sarasota, if in fact they are coming, as some have reported, from Bent Tree.

After some discussion, these solutions were suggested:

  • Resurrect Citizens Patrol and have one of its foci be the area at the end of Mauna Loa.
  • Install infra-red Trail Cameras that capture action without a flash and forward it immediately to a mobile phone. (A possibility for a County Grant?)
  • Urge the Sheriff to patrol the area.
4. Another issue: Squatters who take over abandoned houses. Apparently a few of these have been spotted recently. Squatters often use rental cars that change weekly; there are signs of drug sales; there has been evidence of domestic violence in at least one home.

Again, this is a job that alert residents can do something about: 
  • The addresses of known squatters' houses can be reported to
  • Criminal activty should also be reported to the Sheriff. 
  • An effort can be made to track down the property owner (or bank), who are usually unaware of the squatters.
  • Professional squatter-salesmen should be reported immediately to the authorities.
  • Such homes can contribute to area crime.
  • These homes can be ruined and affect the value of all the homes around them.

5. A Board was elected for 2015:

Bill P. - President
Francine B. - Vice President
Ellie H. - Treasurer
Heidi H. - Security
Joanna K. - Beautification
Tom M - Secretary

6.  Work on Bee Ridge might be retarded by Comcast, which has been slow to move its lines as required for the roadwork. On the positive side, the contractor has found a way to install a valve that will allow continuous water supply to Bee Ridge Neighborhoods.

No immediate project was chosen for a County Grant, but Black Flash Trail Cameras were suggested. Another option: planting more trees to block the light and noise from the Racetrac gas station.

7. The March 7th Garage Sale is in the capable hands of Joanna and her team. They will report back at the next LSCG meeting, March 12, Sarasota Alliance, 7 pm.

Thanks to all who came!

County Offices Closed Jan. 19th

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   
Most Sarasota County Government offices, including the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, will be closed Monday, Jan. 19, for the national observance celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 40,000 parcels will be moving into or out of high-risk flood zones throughout the county when the changes take effect in early 2016, according to data released by FEMA, and all property owners are urged to check the flood zone status of their properties. In anticipation of new floodplain mapping, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting three open houses this month at three separate locations in Sarasota County. 
Beach Ambassadors, volunteers who help make Siesta Key one of America's best beaches, will be honored for their service and dedication on Jan. 22.
Keep your home looking spiffy as a Community Cleanup event comes to the Newtown/Beverly Terrace area in Sarasota from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 24. Sarasota County will help collect your discarded household items, yard waste, tree trimmings and any other garbage or refuse for no charge. 
The new Gulf Gate Public Library will be open to the public Saturday, Jan. 24, following a 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The two-story, 24,920-square-foot building has been under construction since 2013 and replaces the former library at the same site, 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota.
The community is invited to take a step back in time at the annual Water Oral History Project public screening, which showcases oral histories as told by local area residents in videos produced by students from the New College of Florida.
The youth services staff at the Jacaranda Public Library has again teamed up with the Venice Branch of the American Association of University Women for an event aimed at encouraging young girls to consider the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as career choices.
Sarasota County's popular "Say I Do Again" wedding vow-renewal event returnsFeb. 14 to Siesta and Caspersen Beaches.
The Cattlemen Intermodal Transfer Station for Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) will host an open house tour of the facility on Friday, Jan. 23, in recognition of its recent selection as one of the Florida Foundation for Architecture's 2014 People's Choice Award finalists.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lake Sarasota Community Meeting this Thursday

We have reserved Meeting Room 105 at Sarasota Alliance for Thursday, Jan. 15th at 7 pm. We'll be talking about:

 1. Grant projects
 2. Updates on Bee Ridge widening
 3. Sheriff's Crime Update.
 4. Election of Board for 2015 - quorum of Board necessary.