2019: Code complaints, the post office and The Promenade

December 27, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

■ STAFF REPORT
Another year in Boca Grande is coming to an end, so it’s time to recap what the headlines have been for 2019.
Island residents were just letting their guard down and sticking a toe in the water, so to speak, after almost two years of ferocious red tide. Local artists like Gail Cleveland held protest art shows, and everyone was up in arms about how little research and, as a result, how little recourse we had in combating the alga bloom. Some said it was just nature having a bad time of it, but others said that man had a large part to play in the length and viciousness of this particular bloom.
The post office came up many times in the headlines as well. Mail was being returned right and left, some mail was missing altogether. Island residents united to try to find some answers.
We lost some good ones and some dear ones this year … quite a few, actually. Our beaches got bigger after a renourishment project was completed, The Promenade was in the spotlight again and there was that pesky matter of the curmudgeon who kept Lee County Code Enforcement busy.
But here we are, most of us still alive and kicking, still playing the game and hanging in there.
Let’s take a closer look at the year in review …
January
It takes a village to sell a house …
A local real estate agent and an auction house teamed up to get a north island house sold. The Sunset Pines Circle residence at the north end of the island was a seven-bedroom, six bath/3 half-bath dream home on the water that was listed for double-digit millions.
Red tide expert takes some heat …
A questioning crowd quizzed Mote Marine’s Dr. Vince Lovko at ‘Coffee with a Scientist.’ More than 100 people came out to ask some very pointed questions about red tide, and what Mote Marine was doing about it.
Honoring Tim Seibert …
A Celebration of Life for Tim Seibert was held at the Joann Fust Community Library, and many turned out to honor the late architect and island friend. Seibert passed away on December 2 in his home in Boca Grande, surrounded by his family.
The announcement of the films …
Films to be shown at the first Boca Grande Film Festival were announced, including eight movies that are sure to elevate discussion around the cocktail circuit.
The festival, co-sponsored by the Boca Beacon, began in February with a “drive-in” movie under the Community Center Pavilion: The popular cult classic “Captain Ron,” starring Kurt Russell and Martin Short.

 
 
 
No Toto, we’re not in Pensacola …
A CenturyLink fluke placed Boca Grande in the Pensacola area when calls came in to cell phones. That meant if you received a call from Boca Grande, it looked to be a call from somewhere about 550 miles to the north of us.
Blood Wolf moon eclipse …
At 11:41 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 the blood moon total eclipse reached its totality in Southwest Florida. We were lucky around here, as the cloud cover finally lifted right about 11 p.m. The next full lunar eclipse will occur for viewing in our area on November 29-30, 2020. It will be a penumbral lunar eclipse. The next solar eclipse visible to us will be an annular one and will occur on October 14, 2023.

 
 
 
 
 
February
Lee County commissioner addresses island parking issues, new parking rangers
Lee County Commissioner John Manning wrote and distributed a letter addressing changes in beach access parking and new parking rangers in Boca Grande. The island’s new parking rangers, who enforce parking regulations on beach accesses and county property, were introduced.
Bush granddaughter discusses her new book with large crowd …
Islanders packed the Boca Grande Community Center on Thursday, Jan. 24 to hear two gracious and amusing women speak about a couple that is near and dear to the heart of  Boca Grande. Ellie LeBlond Sosa, grand-daughter of George and Barbara Bush, and her mother, Doro Bush Koch, held an interactive discussion about Ellie’s recently published book: “George and Barbara Bush: A Great American Love Story.”
Goodbye, Jack Horner …
John “Jack” Byers Horner of Boca Grande and Richmond, Virginia passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on January 17, 2019. Jack, born in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was an island artist, and quite a character who is missed.

 
 
 
 
Let the light shine …
History was made on Saturday, Feb. 9 as the Gasparilla Island Lighthouse shined its light across the island for the first time since the fall of 2016. Everyone was invited to help celebrate the event at a party held by the Barrier Island Parks Society.
Scarpa’s Coastal opens in the Old Theater Building …
Boca Grande was abuzz with talk of a new restaurant that opening in the Old Theater Building where PJ’s Seagrille was one located. The Scarpa family, who also own a restaurant in central Florida, were already part-time residents of the north end and were very excited to start spreading the culinary wealth here on the island.

New docks at Whidden’s dedicated to Isabelle …
The family and friends of Isabelle Joiner and the board of the Gasparilla Island Maritime Museum got together to hold a special celebration of the new docks that were installed at the historic marina.

 
 
 
 
Ruling upheld in Three Sisters’ access litigation …In the ever-ongoing case of land access to Three Sisters Island, a ruling to uphold a trial court’s decision that all landowners on Boca Grande Isles had to approve land access from The Isles to Three Sisters was passed down. That meant that land access was denied by the courts.  
Mercabo eco-restoration continues, tours offered to the public
The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association announced that the State permits for the Mercabo Cove Project had been issued. 
Goodbye to Baldy …

Joe “Baldy” Rinaldi – the leader of the tribe, great friend and purveyor of all things pig roastful – passed away. He touched many, many lives in his travels, from Boca Grande to Maine and beyond, with his contagious laugh, always- positive vibes and an ever-present love for life.
March
As new post office information comes to light, those cards and letters keep coming in …
Problems with the mail were still prevalent on the island, including a phone number to call for a higher postal power, and hash tag issues that no one seemed to know how to answer. Also, passports were or were not valid as identification at the post office, depending on whom you asked.
Lots of ‘Taste’ money raised …
It was announced that the 2019 Taste of Boca Grande netted almost $63,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
Chico the monkey stole my pork and beans …
Capt. Marian Schneider spoke in a Boca Grande Historical Society History Byte about her childhood on the island – about thieving monkeys, fishing with a cane pole and pool hopping.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Lee County iguana panel met after a long hiatus … At the first Lee County MSTU “iguana” board meeting in several years on Tuesday, March 5, the board approved a new budget and had an extensive discussion regarding ongoing lizard control methods. While Kay Wagner has been on the board for years, three new board members joined her – Skip Branin, Sally Kling and Joan Hall. New Lee County MSTU Coordinator Tim Gard led the meeting, as up until that day the board had no chairman.
A new name, a new beginning for BGCCC … 
The Boca Grande Child Care Center opened a new chapter in its three-decade history Monday when it announced a new name and a new chapter in early education for island kids. The Center is now officially a preschool.
The passing of Cappy … 

 
 
 
 
James “Cappy” Joiner, a generational island son and president of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association, passed away at his Cape Haze home surrounded by his family on the evening of Wednesday, March 13. He was 81. If you ever met Cappy, you never forgot him. If you didn’t know him, you didn’t really know Boca Grande.
Dog show draws crowd, Oliver takes the show … The long-awaited Boca Grande Woman’s Club Dog Show was held on March 16, festivities began at 10 a.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center with the parade of dogs. Oliver Allen took the coveted “Boca Bowser” honor, as well as top dog in the “Hound” division. Nina Erdekian and Tanner Rowley tied for the “Boca Geezer” award, Anastasia Hoeflich was the top “Toy” dog, and Orso Greenberg-Bigness won the “Non-sporting” group. 

‘Anything Goes’ with RPP …
The Royal Palm Players put on a stellar performance of “Anything Goes,” by Cole Porter. The cast included Alice Court, Jeff Lehrian, Kim Whipple, Kris Doubles, Jim Grant, Lynda Grant, Ross Witschonke, Dan Headington, Hal McCombs, Fred Allardyce, Stan Ikenberry, Peter Powell and Scott Wise, among others.

Nothing of note found on Fishery property …
While the ground that was once home to the Fishery Restaurant, Albritton’s Gallery and several other shops was bare, the new owners of the property had an archaeological study done to make sure there were no historic artifacts buried on the property. Nothing turned up.
Post Office clarification on addresses didn’t work out …
After a very succinct discussion with the Boca Grande Postmistress regarding the proper way to address mail to island residents, mail continued to be returned.
Beacon staff nominated for nine Florida Press awards … 
The Florida Press Association released their 2019 nominees for the Better Weekly Newspaper Awards, and the Boca Beacon team found themselves nominated in nine categories.
Mini Reefs: A small but important step for cleaner water …
Waterfront property owners who wanted to attract more beautiful marine life had an exciting new option – install a Mini Reef and watch your dock come to life. Ocean Habitat Inc. founder David Wolff invented the Mini Reef during his time as a University of South Florida marine biology student, and several island residents had them installed.
The passing of Roberta Presley Johnson …
An angel passed in March of 2019. Roberta Presley Johnson, born in 1942 in Boca Grande, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was the daughter of Charlie Mae and Bill Presley, who owned and operated the primary grocery store on the island. Her husband was Capt. Robert Johnson.

April
Fatal accident on Gasparilla Road left Boca Grande resident dead …
A 90-year-old Boca Grande man passed away after being involved in a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident that occurred on Tuesday, April 9 at approximately 7 a.m. Eliot Clark was walking his dogs at 7th Street and Gasparilla Road when he was struck by a truck.
Historical Society announced change in board members …
Marty McFadden was named as the new president of the Boca Grande Historical Society. Board members of the Boca Grande Historical Society elected new officers, as well as discussed other business affairs, at the annual meeting.
Historic Preservation Board addresses rumors regarding potential group home …
There was a conversation regarding a home at 11th Street and E. Railroad Avenue potentially being turned into a group home. Many turned out to participate in the discussion.
Mrs. Toad’s wild ride ended …
On the afternoon of Monday, April 18 our island lost one of the people who loved it the very most. Victoria Anne Kittredge may be out of our sight, but she will live on every time a glass is raised at The Temp, every time a joke or story in poor taste is told at just the wrong time, every time an engine in a choice sports car revs up to about 4,000 rpm and in every sunset from the sea wall. Only those who knew her could ever understand.

Clinic addresses plans for annex at annual meeting …
Boca Grande Health Clinic CEO Hilja Bilodeau announced at the annual meeting held on Thursday, April 11 at the Boca Grande Community Center that the Clinic had the highest recorded volume of visitors in its history. They also discussed the fact the Clinic needed more space – which was the reason they were planning to use the annex building to house doctors and staff. 
Renourishment planned for some island beaches …We added a little more beach to our name on Tuesday, April 23. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of Jacksonville awarded a $6.4 million renourishment contract to a company from New Jersey for what they call “reducing risks to landside infrastructure in the Lee County portion of Gasparilla Island.”
New parking ordinance amendment adopted …
Lee County commissioners approved an amendment to the Boca Grande Parking Ordinance, which included changes such as no parking on the south side of Belcher Road, bus and RV parking only on E. Railroad Avenue between 5th and 7th Streets, no parking on Gasparilla Road and parallel parking only on the beach access streets.
The passing of Bud Konheim …
Bernard “Bud” Brand Konheim of Boca Grande and Weston, Connecticut was one of those people who had thousands of friends and made every one of them feel special. So it was a sad day for many on Saturday, April 13, 2019 when he passed away in Norwalk, Conn. after he fell from his bicycle due to an unknown cause. He was 84. Bud was a well-known figure on the island and was well loved for his sense of style and sense of humor.
May
Shark bite …
The Boca Grande Fire Department responded to their first shark bite call since 2005 on Wednesday, May 1. At approximately 6:42 p.m. the call came in. The victim had been fishing on a boat in Boca Grande Pass when he lost his balance and fell into the water. Witnesses said it appeared to have been a bull shark that bit him once on the leg near his knee.
Two thoroughbreds with island ties to run the Derby …
Boca Grande’s own William S. Farish’s thoroughbred, Code of Honor, completed his major preparation earlier this week for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby by working a half-mile in less than 47 seconds with exercise rider Brian Duggan. The horse is kept at Lane’s End Farms in Versailles, Kentucky. By My Standards, another contender in the race, also had ties to the island. Owned by Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing Stable, LLC, the bay-colored colt was also born in Kentucky via breeder Don Ladd.
Waterway was closed through November … Installation of the Gasparilla Island Water Association, Inc.’s temporary construction bridge just north of the existing Gasparilla Inn golf course bridge on the east side of 7th Street began in May. Boat traffic was not able to pass through this area from May 1 through November 15. Boaters had  the option to use the north channel between Boca Grande Isles and the golf course or the south channel out of Boca Grande Marina. The center span will be removed and stored between November 15 and May 1 each year to allow boat traffic to flow unhindered.
Code of Honor takes second and show at 145th Kentucky Derby
The 145th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs shocked many fans that watched the race when judges ruled that Maximum Security was disqualified, but one of our local horses that ran still did well.

 
 
 
 

Little Spook was the big winner on Ladies Day …

This year’s Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament was an extra-special one, with 41 boats releasing 33 tarpon and $22,960 in prize money given to three winning teams. It didn’t take long after the tournament began on Saturday afternoon before the ladies on Little Spook caught a tarpon. Led by Capt. Nelson Italiano, they would continue on to catch a total of five by 7:08 p.m., taking first place and sharing a cash prize of $11,480 and other prizes.
Gasparilla Island magazine up for several FMA awards in 2019 …
The staff of Gasparilla Magazine (which is also the staff of the Boca Beacon) were nominated for five Charley Awards for their publication, a contest offered by the Florida Media Association.
Howling at a blue moon …
Capt. Lamar Joiner Jr. and his “Searene’ team of anglers took first at the annual Howl at the Moon Invitational Tarpon Tournament. The team included Richy Edwards, Angel Serrales, Brandon Dina and Ty Serralles. A total of 29 tarpon were released in the tournament, and there was a field of 21 boats. This was the first “Howl” that was a Jay Joiner Belt Buckle qualifying tournament.
Beach dredging began …
A flurry of activity on the beach was due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging offshore and renourishing local beaches. On average, about 500 feet of beach a day was done.
The passing of Capt. Jon Paul Zorian …
Beloved father, brother, mentor and friend to so many, Jon Paul Zorian peacefully passed away on May 23, 2019 at the age of 75.
 
 
Boca Grande young adults graduate from high school …
There were several young people who graduated from high school this year, including Flynn Stewart, Ava Reecher, Brandon Darna, Cassie Edic, Eva Glover, Julia Ford, Natalie Wood, Trey Heimann, Rowyn Shortuse, Megan Legere and Kayla Knight.
Island School graduates number 13 …
It was a rather large graduating class for a school of 60 students this year. Graduates included Lachlan Barrett, McKenzie Center, Angelina Doherty, Edwin Garcia, Micaela Heart, Morgen Holmes, Evelyn Hunt, Owen Mills, Zachary Shaffer, Gavin Silk, Isabella Steyer, Madison Tieu and Dax Turpin.
June
Capt. Willie Mills takes Kids Classic …               There were 81 tarpon released during the three-hour Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament in 2019, with Capt. Willie Mills and his team taking the win. Anglers included Braylon McGuiness, Clayton Werman, Lucas Newcomb and Jacob Newcomb. Second place went to the Blaze team with Capt. Waylon Mills and anglers Cody Dawson, Jack Mosher, Owen Mills and Zoey Mills. Third place went to Capt. Lamar Joiner Jr.’s team on Serene, including anglers Chase Tudor, Harlee Tudor, Danny Wear and Savannah Pope.
And the winners of the World’s Richest were …Capt. Sandy Melvin and the Boca Blue team, which included Donny Cayo, Bob Melvin and Ron Walker, took first in the World’s Richest Tarpon tournament. The Searene team with Lamar Joiner Jr. took second. There were 19 releases the first day, and one the second. Melvin’s team took home $42,500 in prize money – for first place and for the first fish of the first day – and the Searene team took home a total of $45,000, which included $20,000 for second place and $25,000 for the first and last fish of the second day. The Hey, Moma! team with Capt. Wayne Joiner took home $12,500 for the last fish of the first day.
GICIA vs. Damfiwill …
The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association announced they had filed a lawsuit against Lee County as a result of actions taken by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners regarding properties located at 161,143 and 151 Damfiwill St. Commissioners voted on zoning issues that the GICIA felt went against the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act.
Lessinger team takes Izaak Walton Tournament … Capt. Ozzie Lessinger, Jason Duke and Ben LeVene took first in the Izaak Walton Tarpon Tournament, which is more than 100 years old. 
Capt. Lamar proved he was ‘del fuego’ with another win in Red Gill …
Capt. Lamar Joiner Jr. and anglers Richy Edwards, Leslie Edwards, Tiki Seralles and Denita Seralles took first place in the Red Gill Invitational Tarpon Tournament, where 67 tarpon were brought to the boat. They took home $6,000 in cash prize money. The Hey, Moma! team with Capt. Wayne Joiner and anglers Effie Joiner, Kacy Cheske, Danielle Zipay and Jen Krejci took home $4,000 for second place, and the Family Tradition team with Capt. Travis Joiner and anglers John and Valerie DeLaVergne and Dan and Wendy Hicks took third for $2,100 for first fish released. The Blaze team with Capt. Waylon Mills and anglers Angie Mills, William Woodroffe and Mike Cardoso took $2,100 for last fish released.
Ladies Howl Tournament yields 42 releases …
Capt. Charlie Coleman and anglers Tracy McBride, Amber Gassman, Alex Gassman and Renee Lindsey took first in the Ladies Howl at the Moon Tarpon Tournament, for a win of $5,130. The second place team included Capt. Travis Joiner and anglers Sally Joiner, Terry Joiner, Nicole Mansingh and Andrea Linheart, who took home $3,420. Capt. Dave Chatham and anglers Julianne Greenberg, Candy Brooks, Melissa Steyer and Karen Kelley took third aboard the Jill Marie took third for prize money of $1,900. 
July
Lamar Jr. takes the buckle …
It was a third-time honor for Capt. Lamar Joiner Jr. to take the Jay Joiner Memorial Belt Buckle for 2019.
 
 
 
The Promenade obstructed again …
The right to roam on The Promenade was being infringed again, not only by overgrown bushes but by new plants intentionally placed in the thoroughfare. This time the blockage was at 1st Street, right where the walkway begins.
Iguanas on the hit list …                                          When the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission blasted an announcement regarding iguanas and how homeowners should kill them, people were confused. How do we kill them? What methods are accepted and which methods are not? In what areas is it OK to shoot them? The answers weren’t clear, and it created more confusion than anything else.
Local newspaper brings home 11 awards from statewide competition …
The Boca Beacon/Gasparilla Magazine team brought home 11 awards total from the Florida Press Association and the Florida Magazine Association awards ceremonies, held in St. Petersburg.
Code enforcement complaints …
Someone had it out for Boca Grande businesses, as a spate of code enforcement complaints were filed. Everything from propane tanks to plants to overcrowded windows were in the crosshairs. The pink gas pump at Hudson’s was even named as a suspect in sidewalk impedement.
August
The loss of Rosemary …
We lost another fine lady, as Rosemary Bowler passed away. She was an island fixture for decades, and was a vital part of our community.
 
 
 
FWC changes their tune about iguanas …
After a few emails and phone calls from the Beacon office to the FWC about their worldwide message to Florida homeowners to eradicate all iguanas they see, they sent out a press release that read, “Unfortunately, the message has been conveyed that we are asking the public to just go out there and shoot them up. This is not what we are about; this is not the Wild West.”
Pass cam gone at south end due to complaints …
More complaints were the reason the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse pass cam was taken down. It had been paid for and funded by island businesses who had their logos on the camera viewer, and someone thought that was not kosher. 
School, Community Center to get a new playground …
It was announced by Lee County Parks and Recreation that the Boca Grande Community Center playgrounds would be getting a whole new look. 
More code complaints surface …
Trying to find a bench around the downtown area was becoming trickier and trickier, as more code complaints against local businesses surfaced on the code enforcement website. By this time The Inn Bakery had been stripped bare outside, as had the front of the Pink Pony where seats had been for decades.One of the complaints regarded the fact that Aqua Boutique had “too much clutter in the windows.”
Lightning the culprit in two fires …
Sporadic and intense lightning storms were named as the source of two fires around the island – one in the 200 block of Damficare and one at one of the Inn cottages on Lee Avenue.
Boca Grande Preschool grads …
Boca Grande Preschool graduates of 2019 included Amelia Besant, Brody Wells, Cameron O’Connor, Grayson McGuiness, Jake Parsons, Lila Foos, Mary Katherine Boney and Isla Ray.
Pink Pony horse to stay, seating still undetermined …
Lee County Code Enforcement officials were on the island, trying to make sense of all the code complaints. They determined the horse in the Pink Pony window could stay, but they still hadn’t decided if the seats in front of the windows could come back. They determined that numerous complaints against other businesses were unfounded.
They all turned out to say good-bye to Baldy …
It was a triple-digit number of people, many from Boca Grande, who traveled up to Litchfield, Maine for a multi-day sendoff for Joe “Baldy” Rinaldi. Pigs were roasted, songs were sung, alcohol was consumed and there was a whole lot of love in the air in his memory.
Saying good-bye to the Boca Grande Dog Park at 7th Street …
While we were blessed for many years to have one of the most beautiful dog parks in the world, The Gasparilla Inn & Club announced that September 1 would be the last day the dog park was open. Construction was to begin on the new and expanded amenities at The Gasparilla Inn Beach Club, and new cottages were planned on the property as well.
More code complaints, this time at South Beach …
Code Enforcement visits to the island regarding the downtown businesses turned into a whole new matter when South Beach was caught in the crosshairs. Code enforcement officials said they had to remove the pavers that had been in the back of the restaurant on the beach for many years, as well as the tables and umbrellas where patrons loved to sit. The half-wall that was put in place to keep the sand out of the area had to be taken down as well.
September
We dodged a mess, but The Bahamas did not …
There was hardly a break in our typical summer weather when Hurricane Dorian was spinning off the state’s east coast as a category 5 storm, but local stores and gas stations were out of everything. By the time Labor Day rolled around we realized we were in the clear, but tales of what had happened in The Bahamas and the catastrophic damage there were just trickling in.
Go with God, Mr. David …
 
 
 
 
 
 
We were saddened to hear that David Bartels, a fixture with Lee County Parks and Recreation for many years at the Boca Grande Community Center, was leaving us. He was off to scuba diving adventures and much relaxation.
A new dog park was presented, but not without contention …
Lee County Parks and Recreation scheduled a public meeting regarding the proposed new dog park at the Wheeler Road ballfield, across from the tennis courts. While the plan was to begin the park without hesitation, some residents of that street expressed concerns about putting the park there, so county officials decided to hold a meeting.
‘It just needed to be done’ Cera said of old bike path bench …
Island iguana trapper George Cera and his son, Tucker, set about to make things right with the broken-down old bench on the bike path south of town, which faced the Boca Bay lake.

Saying good-bye to Ted Van Itallie …
We had to say good-bye to another island fixture in September. Ted Van Itallie, 99 at the time, passed away at his other home in Old Lyme, Conn. He was a valued local historian and a long-time resident of the island.
Cleaning up the beaches …
More than 275 pounds of trash was removed from Boca Grande beaches during the cleanup effort coordinated by Gasparilla Vacations, in partnership with Keep Lee County Beautiful. Island children and adults all came out to make the beaches a more beautiful place. 
October 
Island School first grader writes a book … Hampton Boney may not be very old, but he was already an accomplished author. The Island School first grader who wrote a book called “500-pound Tarpon” held a reading and book signing at The Tide Gift Shop downtown.
Memorial bench planned for Nancy Lingeman …
Nancy Lingeman may be gone, but she is definitely not forgotten. The Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association, an organization that was near and dear to her heart, announced they were planning to honor her with a bench and plaque overlooking the sea turtle sculpture and flag at the Boca Grande Community Center.
GICIA announces Mercabo Cove plans for 2020 …
The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association announced that the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection permits, but of which were necessary for the constructino of the Mercabo Cove project, had been issued. That gave the green light for groundbreaking in March of 2020.
November
Dog park meeting left islanders howling for more information …
It was a very unusual meeting in early November that was supposed to be a presentation regarding the proposed dog park at Wheeler Road. However, Lee County Director of Parks and Recreation Jesse Lavender simply handed out some ballots for people to fill out and drop in a box, then announced there would be no presentation. 
Good-bye, CiCi …
We were sad to report that respected and loved island artist CiCi Ives had passed away. 
RPP announced ‘Lion in Winter’ …
The Royal Palm Players put on a production of “Lion in Winter” with a cast that included Hal McCombs, Nancy Ryan, Mark Masselink, Lew Hastings and many more.
Two island deaths investigated …
Local authorities investigated two local deaths. The first was a woman who was found deceased on the beach at the north end, and the second was a man in his 40s who fell from a golf cart and died in Boca Grande Island.
Astronaut to visit the island …
The Boca Grande Historial Society announced that Dr. Kathryn Sullivan would be visiting the island and giving a presentation to not only the adults of the island, but also the children. The Island School had a very special morning talk with the very accomplished lady, while the Historical Society presentaiton was in the afternoon.
December
Historic Preservation Board approves Inn plan …
The Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board approved the second phase of the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club project, which includes moving some of the current amenities to the area that was once occupied by the dog park, and the addition of several new beachfront cottages.
The tree was lit ...
 
 
 
 
 
 
The lighting of the Community Christmas Tree across from Hudson’s Grocery took place, with hundreds of people in attendance. Songs were sung, refreshments were consumed and the tree was lit by honory lighters Dusty Hopkins and Marcy Shortuse of the Boca Beacon and Gasparilla Magazine.