I’d like to invite you to attend the last class of the fall 2011 session for Civics. The class will be held at Phillippi Estate Park. Please see attached flyer for more details. The theme of the program is “Our Sarasota Legacies – old, new, future.”
In the past, I have asked people to bring food to share with the group but this time I would like to ask you to bring an item to donate to the All Faith’s Food Bank. So please bring a non-perishable item to share with our community.
Please let me know if you plan to attend by November 7th.
Best regards to you all,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Volunteer for National Public Lands Day
Help celebrate the 18th Annual National Public Lands Day from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 24, at Sleeping Turtles Preserve in Venice.
What citizens want in a new county administrator
Five public focus groups honed in on thecharacteristics and qualities that Sarasota County residents feel are most important for this position.
Clean up the coast Sept. 24
Volunteer to clean coastal and other areas during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup. The event takes place 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 24, at sites throughout Sarasota County. To sign up, call 941-861-5399.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Two meetings will seek comment from residents about key county issues:
The county is actively searching for a new county administrator. Because of a tighter budget, SCAT bus fares are slated to increase by $0.75.
Today the county wants to hear from you on both of these topics at two separate meetings.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Seats still open for fall Civics 101 session
Sarasota County government's popular Civics 101 program still has a few seats
open for the session beginning Sept. 8.
Civics 101 is a 10-week session that introduces people to the operations and services of Sarasota County government. The Thursday-night classes give students a better understanding of how county government works and allows them to build relationships with county staff. (MORE)
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sarasota County wants bicyclist and pedestrian input for future paths:
Sarasota County’s first Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is under development. We want your input!
The first draft of the plan is expected to be available in summer 2011. The plan is designed to outline a safe, convenient and efficient bicycle and pedestrian system that provides access to major destinations within Sarasota County and surrounding counties.
Click on "Take our Survey."
Atlanta is creating what it calls "lifelong communities." Philadelphia is testing whether living in a truly walkable community really makes older adults healthier. In Portland, Ore., there's a push to fit senior concerns such as accessible housing into the city's new planning and zoning policies.
Such work is getting a late start considering how long demographers have warned that the population is about to get a lot grayer.
"It's shocking how far behind we are, especially when you think about this fact — that if you make something age-friendly, that means it is going to be friendly for people of all ages, not just older adults," said Margaret Neal of Portland State University's Institute on Aging.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Full Civic Literacy Exam (from our 2008 survey)
Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams. LINK.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
In September, Edwards, Sarasota's first mayor, who was in charge of gathering relevant data, reported: "The territory comprising the proposed new county is paying considerably more into the county treasury in the way of taxes than it is receiving back; the area which comprises one-half of the present county is represented by one commissioner, while the other half is represented by four." More...
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
They're into walking. Now they're holding a conference on walkability, Oct. 3-5, 2011.
More on walkability here, inspired by the work of Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
It’s that time again for all of us to reunite at the Civics Alumni event on May 19th at the Venice Community Center. Our guest speakers are Bill Furst (Property Appraiser), Commissioner Robinson (District 3 – our new commissioner), and Jeff LaHurd (Sarasota historian and author). The event begins at 5pm and will end at 8pm. Please see the attachment for more details including the agenda and of course the menu. The photos on the front page are of the current class and some of the new activities they have been enjoying.
Please RSVP no later than May 16th for our 6th Alumni gathering.
Vickie FrenchClick to enlarge:
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
If you'd like to try yet another mode of racing, find out about the Dragon Boat Festival taking place at Benderson this Saturday, May 7th. It's free, and there's still time to join in.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As many enjoyed a session on community gardens in Civics 101, this news from the Friends of Englewood Community Gardensmight be of interest:
Everyone is invited to attend the "Gardening Together-Growing Community" Open House at the new Englewood Community Garden (ECG) on Tuesday, April 19th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The garden is located at Buchan Airport Community Park on Old Englewood Road next to the Englewood Center for Sustainability (EC4S) and will officially open for planting in October. At the Open House that evening, full or part time residents of Sarasota County will have the opportunity to reserve a small parcel of land, for a nominal fee, for use as a vegetable garden. Reservations are on a first come/first served basis and a check must be submitted to rent a parcel for the fall planting. At the Open House, representatives from the Sarasota County Extension Service, the EC4S, Elsie Quirk Library, Friends of Sarasota County Parks(FOSCP) as well organic gardeners Jocelyn Hoch and Forrest Shafer from The Open Studio, will be available to answer questions about the garden (ECG), organic gardening and gardening resources. Light refreshments will be served and door prizes awarded.For more information contact the Englewood Garden Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Englewood CRA office at 941-473-9795.Additional information about the garden can be found on the EC4S website.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
"The average U.S. home pays an average of $34 a month. So our always-on, unlimited, almost universally reliably safe water costs us about $1 a day. Our water bill is less than half what our cable TV bill or our cell phone bill is. So cities are starved for financial resources and water utilities are often in terrible shape. In Philadelphia, there are 3,300 miles of water mains in the city, and they replace 20 miles a year. They're on 160-year replacement cycles. One of the officials from the Philadelphia water utility said to me, 'We want to make sure we get the 20 miles right.' That's not a question of money, it's a question of public resistance to digging up streets."
New York City has a lot of kids and precious few places where they can play outdoors and actually be kids (unless they're in private school!). New York architect Andrew Burdick's solution: Instead of building new fields, which would sap major time and money, extend the number of hours existing ones can be used.
To do that, Burdick, a finalist in the Philips Livable Cities Awardsand a staffer at Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership), proposes throwing up “smart-grid” solar- and wind-powered LED lights that'd allow kids and recreational sports teams to play in a safely lit space well into the night.. . .
Most field lights are huge purse and energy drains, so cities have little incentive to switch them on past dusk. Burdick's antenna-like fixtures include wind turbines and solar arrays that would feed energy to the grid during the day. At night, the fixtures would draw power directly from the grid, but because they're LEDs, they'd suck less juice than your average field light (often metal halide). All told, Burdick reckons that the lights would generate more power than they consume, resulting in a net gain for the city.
Monday, April 4, 2011
We examine mortality (or death) data to find out how long people live. More specifically, we measure what are known as premature deaths (deaths before age 75).Morbidity is the term that refers to how healthy people feel while alive. Specifically, we report on the measures of their health-related quality of life (their overall health, their physical health, their mental health) and we also look at birth outcomes (in this case, babies born with a low birthweight).
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Political science professor Chad Murphy often sees senior Mike Kappert wandering around the University of Mary Washington campus with his laptop open and a map of Virginia state Senate districts up in his Web browser.
Kappert, working around the clock to meet a tight deadline, is using new software to draw an updated Senate district map — one he hopes will win his team a $2,000 top prize in a statewide competition when the winning maps are announced Tuesday. More important, he hopes the Virginia Legislature will consider his map as it adjusts political boundaries to the 2010 Census.
Across the USA, college students, citizen activists and political junkies are using similar software to break a mapmaking monopoly held for decades by state lawmakers.
"The technology has evolved so much that it's become almost entirely democratized," says Bob Holsworth, chairman of Virginia's bipartisan redistricting commission. "This will be a fact of political life from now on."
One of the new programs is described on Public Mapping Project from George Mason University.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program
Florida is home to five commercial nuclear reactors located at three sites. Two additional reactors are located in Alabama near the State line.
- Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant (NW of CR)
- St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant (SE of FT. Pierce)
- Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant ( S of Miami)
- Farley Nuclear Power Plant (SE of Dothan, Alabama)
Plant Status Report - current operational status of commercial nuclear power plants.
Daily Events Report - current events reported to the NRC Operations Center by NRC licensees .
The Division of Emergency Management, has the overall responsibility for coordination of the response to a nuclear power plant emergency by federal, state and local agencies. The Division also has the overall authority and responsibility for updating and coordinating the plans with other response organizations.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates's presentation on taxation and government history is one of the most popular and frequently requested. Here's her bio, and her presentation can be downloaded here.
"Since it’s Sunshine Week: Here is a link to the Clerks in the Sunshine section of our website.
Here is a link to the Performance Measures area, which lists fiscal management reports, timeliness reporting, out Annual Report and the Balanced Scorecard that we use to keep on task throughout the year."
Friday, March 11, 2011
The new hill in the Celery Fields regional stormwater facility, east of Interstate 75, was built from excavating stormwater retention ponds. The "recycled" soil was transported across Palmer Boulevard and used to create the large hill. Some trees will be planted on the top soon. However, the construction contract warranty calls for no holes to be dug in the hillsides for one year because it could lead to erosion.
Residents will be able to soon enjoy the new 12-foot-wide paths for running or walking up and down the hill -- and the separate trails for bicycles -- as soon as the facility is open to the public. The ribbon cutting is planned for April 19 at 5:30 p.m., with a family fun walk and 5K run following the ceremony.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Citizens are in general too lonesome and too individualistic. My village has 650 houses and we have 50 active social associations (culture, hobby, sport etc) all associations run by volunteers. many similar villages are present at 5 km distance. The houses and streets are not the core of the structure but the integrated social structure is the essence. Such social cores could also be achieved in neighboorhoods or quarters of larger cities. It requires thinking about social behaviour not calculating the supporting force of a concrete construction. A 20 store city building may house the same number of living units without any social coherence and most people there feel lonesome.What are the drivers behind this level of intense volunteerism and social creativity? Does it help to ask: which is a more telling metric of "civicness": Geoffrey West's model of cities as supercenters of creativity, or a metric that compares things like civic participation?