The following letter was sent to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Ken Wright on May 8, 2013. This letter is reprinted here with Mr. Grubich’s consent.
To the Editor:
The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce wants your readership to be aware of our position on the Gilchrist Avenue parking issue. Below you will see the letter sent to Commissioner John Manning’s office last month.
To the Editor,
I am about to open a can of worms. Image a fisherman doing that.
I have been following online the controversy regarding tarpon fishing in Boca Grande and the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series.
Since I have often been referred to as the guy “who ruined the fishing in Boca Grande,” and then running off to Costa Rica, I feel I am qualified to weigh in on this matter. Wade Stephenson and I introduced the 12 Fathom Jig to Boca Grande back in 1986. Ownership of the company has changed hands several times as well as the design of the jig.
I believe that all residents here in Boca Grande are much aware of the significance of the INN, an enormous economic engine. I would like to point out that they have minimal frontage on Gilchrist Ave. when compared with the individual residents and so it seems to me that the residents should have a greater impact on the parking issues.
I was surprised to read in your paper last week that the INN was proposing a solution, endorsed by not for profit organizations. Why does the INN gain such a strong voice on this issue? If the INN needs more parking they have a large open lot on the corner of Gasparilla Road and Fifth St; this could easily be converted into a major parking lot and could be walled in and landscaped. Additionally the INN still has other undeveloped land yet to be used.
The parking issue is one that should be resolved by the residents of Gilchrist who continually face the ugly appearance of the parking on the median. Many should recall the awful and dangerous parking issue of the median on Fifth St. which was resolved by the county installing a serious curb around it and thus not allowing any parking!
If we must have parking on the median, let us move ahead with the residents’ plan.
Thank you very much for printing the article last week to inform everyone about the Boca Grande Historical District Audio Tour that is now available at Bike ’n Beach.
But, yikes! The report got a number of things wrong. I’m afraid the many people who know and love the history of Boca Grande will think the tour is a compilation of misinformation. That could not be further from the truth. I would like to set the record straight.
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