Zika virus found on Gasparilla Island

BY DR. JEFFREY HUMBARGER – This is the first in an ongoing series of posts by myself regarding current medical topics. Certainly you’ve heard about Zika Virus. The CDC has issued travel warnings and the Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed that certain Florida Counties are in a state of Medical Emergency. So what’s the big deal? […]

Watkins, Major retain chair and co-chair seats on GIBA Board

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Ginger Watkins and Lee Majors retain their seats as chairman and co-chairman of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, as a vote was cast at the board’s quarterly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The board also voted in Drew Tucker as the Audit and Finance Chairman, replacing Bill Holmberg who is moving […]

Two notices to mariners: Bridge closed to boat traffic, buoy locations changed

The swing bridge will be closed to boat traffic from February 8-15 so contractors tearing down the old swing bridge can remove some of the steel. The closure was originally slated for the first week in February, but they were unable to perform the work they needed to do because of extenuating circumstances.

FPL land use change passed by commissioners, so what’s next?

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Developers looking into purchasing the 9.98 acres at the south end of the island, commonly known as the former FPL land, are one step closer to their goal as Lee County Commissioners recently voted to redesignate the future land use from “public facilities/port” to “urban community.” Two developers, Seagate Development Group, […]

Lemon Bay Conservancy celebrates Wildflower grant, new progress for park

BY SUE ERWIN – Nearly 100 people gathered at the Cape Haze Community Center last Monday to commemorate the recent progress at Wildflower Preserve Habitat. A restoration design review meeting preceded the annual meeting that also took place that evening. Eva Furner, Lemon Bay Conservancy’s Wildflower Committee Chair, welcomed the group.

Painter Joan Mitchell featured in Lippincott book, author to speak at Fust

BY ALICE GORMAN – Who is Joan Mitchell? She is not Joni Mitchell, the pop singer of “Both Sides Now” fame. If you are an artist, you very likely know about the abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell. If you are an art history student, a curator, a critic or an American art collector, you are […]

Portion of Boca Grande fishing pier closed, deemed unsafe

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – The Boca Grande Fishing Pier at the north end of the island is partially closed, due to Charlotte County Parks and Natural Resources staff saying there is some potential for structural instability. As of Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, only the last 36 feet of the pier have been walled off. Fishing […]

Trio Art Show planned for February 13, 14

BY SUE ERWIN – The tradition of the biennial trio art exhibit will continue this weekend, as Jack Horner teams up with Toni and Linda Wolcott to host their art show at the Boca Grande Art Center. The trio will display various works of watercolor, oil and pastel art. The shows have been taking place […]

Nat Geo photographers make guest appearance at Island School

BY SUE ERWIN – National Geographic Explorers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes gave a special presentation to students at The Island School on Wednesday afternoon. The presentation featured unique underwater photography from around the world as well as photos of wildlife in Antarctica.

The Strawberry Festival to return March 5 for its 18th year

Luscious ripe strawberries on top of crispy biscuits. Hundreds of bargains and boutique items. Live and Silent Auctions filled with fishing excursions, paintings and crafts by some of the island’s best, delicious dinners at popular local restaurants and much more. On Saturday, March 5, the United Methodist Women’s annual Strawberry Festival will return for its […]