Remember to bring non-perishable food for the Free Clinic’s Food Bank.
Meetings of the Association are held 5 times a year, in January, March, May, September and November, usually on the 3rd Wednesday, at the St. Petersburg Country Club, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Save the Date – Our Next Meeting
March 16, 7 p.m. at the Country Club. We hope to have a very special guest.
Meeting Dates for 2016
May 18, September 21 and November 16
Fishing in the ponds – what’s the problem?
Here is an explanation that will allow Lakewoodians to better understand the fishing situation and enable us to explain it to outsiders who want to fish here.
The bottom line is that it is in the interest of everyone who lives here to ensure that the Country Club and the golf course continue to thrive. Without the golf course, we are just another St Pete neighborhood. All that open space, all that greenery and blue sky, all that wildlife is what sets us apart and makes us special. It doesn’t matter whether you play golf or even belong to the Club – the value of your home depends in large part on the health of the golf course.
Trespass. Most of the ponds are in areas that belong to the Country Club so that anyone wanting to fish in them has to trespass over Club property. No one who is not a member of the Country Club has any business on the course. Very often after one person begins fishing an area, others join in and create groups large enough to become a real hazard for the golfers. Little children are often left to wander around dangerously close to the water – and there isn’t a single pond on this course that doesn’t have at least one resident alligator.
Danger. A golf ball travels 90 mph and does considerable damage when it makes contact with a human head. Golfers often cannot see what’s ahead of them and have to trust that no one is foolish enough to be sitting in their path.
Fish. The fish are put in the ponds and paid for by the Club to keep down the alga. Golfers do not want to play among scummy ponds that smell. The fish are therefore not up for public grabs. Moreover, the fish are full of pesticides and fertilizer and are suitable for ingestion only by birds (who mercifully don’t seem to be affected, if the success of our osprey nests is any indication).
Intrusion. Many of the people who want to fish here do not understand the protocols and rules governing golf courses. They pull their cars up onto the easement (which is illegal) and then walk right into the path of golfers preparing to swing.
Parking and Litter. Along with a lack of knowledge about proper behavior, those wanting to fish often park illegally and leave behind dead or dying fish, litter, and/or beer bottles. In some areas, people pulling their cars up on the rights of way – also illegal – have destroyed the grass and turned the area into a sand lot. Someone has to pay to fix that.
Cast nets. A lot of fishing folk prefer cast nets, which quickly get them a lot of fish to sell for bait. Unfortunately, cast nets are illegal everywhere in this city except Lake Maggiore. And again, that ‘bait’ is really stocked fish owned by the Club so this is nothing more or less than stealing.
There are people, such as the woman who visited our meeting on January 20th, who believe that if they are sitting on a city right-of-way, they are on public property and can therefore fish. They can in fact stay on that public property all day long… but they cannot fish. Once they put that rod in the water, they are trespassing.
What you can do
If you see someone fishing in one of the course’s ponds (and the only one that isn’t Club property is Summit Lake, the entire rim of which is privately owned by residents), you can point out that they are on private property politely ask them to leave. This rarely works. You can then let them know the police are being called and move away. Or call the club at 867-2111 during business hours (ask for the pro shop or the manager), or call the police non-emergency number at 893-7780, or notify the Association president at 460-1586.
2016 SANITATION SCHEDULE
The following Monday pick-ups will be on Tuesday:
MLK Jr. Day, Jan. 19, Presidents’ Day, February 16, Memorial Day, May 31, Independence Day, July 5, Labor Day, September 6, and Christmas day, December 27.
The following Thursday pick-ups will move to Wednesday:
Veteran’s Day, November 10, and Thanksgiving Day, November 23.
The following recycle days will move from Tuesday to Wednesday:
MLK Jr. Day, January 20, Presidents’ Day, February 17, Memorial Day, June 1, Independence Day, July 6, Labor Day, September 7, Christmas day, December 28.
Per Section B (Sales Practices) of the 7/31/15 agreement Vivint signed with the Florida Attorney General, here are the things they are not allowed to do. If they violate any of these at your door, report to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can prepare an affidavit for your signature to present to the AG’s office. Without an affidavit, there is nothing the State can do to prevent these people from preying on us.
- They must state that they are sales people, not affiliated with your current alarm system. (If they say “We’re not here to sell anything,” they have violated this paragraph.
- They may not say they are there as a rep of any other alarm company or that they are there with the consent of any other alarm company.
- Cannot say they represent a company that has merged with the customer’s alarm provider or the manufacturer of the customer’s system.
- Claim that they are there to ‘upgrade’ an existing system.
- Claim that your current system is no longer being monitored.
- Claim that your house was “specially selected” to receive a discount.
- Claim that you live in a high crime area or on a street where a “recent crime
- Claim they have installed X number of security systems in our subdivision.
- Claim they will take responsibility to cancel your contract with your current provider.
There are 4 pages of these ‘no-no’s, but these are the sort of things we keep hearing about. Feel free to report anything else, such as rudeness, refusal to leave or violation of a NO SOLICIT sign.
NEW CITY ORDINANCE REGARDING SOLICITATION
Enforcement of the new solicitation ordinance is going to be essentially a police matter, since Codes will not be around when someone rings your doorbell. This is going to make enforcement somewhat tricky.
We have to bear in mind that while the day-to-day annoyances are a problem, the bigger picture is the need to get the permits pulled or rejected for companies like Vivint that come in here and consistently ignore the rules. If the word gets out that you can forfeit your permit in this city for breaking our law, we will see a lot less of this.
With that in mind, here’s what we recommend:
If you have a NO SOLICITING sign (and we urge you to hop over to Ace Hardware and get one) and a commercial vendor rings your doorbell, do one or all of the following:
- Call out “Do you see that sign? We’re calling the police.” Then call 893-7780 and report the person – male, so tall, wearing this shirt and those pants, etc. – and your address. If you see the person walking way, try to determine which way he’s going and tell that to the PD. It’s important that the PD gets involved so that there is a record of the problem.
- Take your cell phone camera to the door, open the door, say smile, take the picture, close the door. Then do #1, above. We recommend you try to see what’s out there before you open the door – a permitted solicitor will be wearing a photo ID. Be cautious.
- If you do not have a sign and a solicitor manages to get you to the door and then refuses to show you his ID, refuses to leave or becomes abusive, call 893-7780 and report as above in #1.
- Call the police any time a solicitor refuses to identify the company he’s with or becomes evasive or shifty. Remember that with Vivint, one of their many big lies was that they are from your home security provider and are there for an ‘upgrade.’
- Keep a log of when a solicitor did any of these illegal acts because we may have to back up our complaints if and when the City writes up one of these folks and they end up in court. Note the date and time and the offense – no solicit sign, refusal to leave, threats, intimidation, obvious lies (we had one household last spring who was told they needed an update and they didn’t even have a system!). This will become part of the book the city will use if they decide to revoke a permit or not grant one.
- The city cannot be the plaintiff in a court case for this sort of thing – it’s going to require one or more of us going into court and testifying as to which part or parts of the ordinance were violated. Most of us don’t want to do this but it will take only 1 or 2 of us to get a company fined and then the word goes out – remember, the long-range goal is to send a message back to places like Vivint that they can’t come in here and prey on us. We don’t want to give the judge an excuse for throwing the case out of court.
- 6. Never hesitate to call my cell, 460-1586, and let me know there’s someone breaking the law here because if it’s during regular daytime hours (and sometimes even on weekends), I can often get some immediate attention.
Unwanted literature, flyers, posters, door-hangers: Keep what’s left at your door and turn it in to me – the new law also prohibits this stuff and this is evidence that someone has ignored your NO SOLICITING sign. If you leave it at my door (!), be sure to note on it where it was left (address) and the date. Realtors, pizza places, solar energy companies, so-called “energy auditors” – they are not allowed to do this if you have a sign. The Association will notify the offending company that they have broken the law and strongly suggest they not do it again.
This law makes no changes to the way we handle unpermitted solicitation, but while we’re on the subject, here’s a review of what we see and what we do:
Kirby Vacuums – they use lies and deception to get into your house
Window cleaners – they really want to get a good look inside your house to see what they want to steal at a later date
Driveway repairs – the first time it rains, the “asphalt” you paid for goes into the storm water system
Magazine subscriptions for college students – they get the money, you get no magazines
Meat from a wagon – Some of these are licensed and we know people who have bought from them and found the meat of good quality. It’s your call.
Fish from a wagon – ditto
Mrs. Pump It Off – young teens with a squirt bottle full of ‘magic liquid.’ It’s ordinary household cleaner; they are licensed but they hide their badges so you can’t see their names. Mrs. Pump It Off is being pursued by the attorneys general of several states.
Tree trimming – there are several very good services that do solicit (although most without a permit) but there are a lot of others that know nothing about trees and sometimes the tree doesn’t survive. If you need a tree trimmed, contact the Association – we have a reliable source.
Any time you have an unpermitted solicitor, call that 893-7780 number and ask for an officer to run them out of here. It’s a low priority call but if an officer can get loose, he’ll oblige. Same rule about calling my cell phone –let me know right away who’s been at your door, what they look like and which way they went.
The new law does not apply to charities, non-profits and religious groups, who may ring your bell despite a NO SOLICITING sign. Very few of these still go door to door – the Girl Scouts are at the malls, and others are now using the internet to raise funds. (One of those excepted is “vendors of milk products.” When is the last time you saw a milkman?) We don’t want to single out any particular group, but we heard from a lot of people about “keeping the religious away,” so we will pass this on: If you don’t want the Jehovah’s Witnesses at your door, call the Kingdom Hall on 31st Street and asked to be “put in the book.” The Witnesses carry that book with them so they know which houses not to approach. It works. 866-0710
There is a list of exempt groups in the new law but the city is not quite happy with it and some time in the near future they will be revising that. In the meantime, the law goes into effect on July 16, as is, and we encourage everyone in Lakewood to do what they can to support and enforce it. If enough of us raise a stink, we can severely curtail the amount of “scamming” that goes on here.
Ace Hardware on 34th Street South, a Lakewood sponsor, is carrying a supply of two different sizes/types of signs. We encourage you to patronize them — Lakewood is always supportive of local businesses.