OBITUARY: Mike Giobbe

Michael E. Giobbe, Jr. (a.k.a Papa), 79, of Boca Grande and Chappaqua, N.Y. died peacefully in his home in Boca Grande on March 6, 2021.   Michael was born on April 13, 1941 the youngest of three children, to Marguerite Visconti and Dr. Michael E Giobbe of Torrington, Conn. He arrived on an Easter Sunday […]

PROFILE: Tom Cross

BY T MICHELE WALKER – When Dos Equis beer created their “Most Interesting Man in the World” advertising campaign, the ads featured a bearded, debonair gentleman with voiceovers that were both humorous and outrageous. Boca Grande has its own version of that icon in Tom Cross, who gives him a run for his money.  Born […]

EDITORIAL: The GICIA turns 50 years old

SUBMITTED BY THE GICIA – As the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association celebrates its 50th Anniversary working to preserve island life, it is the perfect time to reflect on its beginning. In the late 60s there were fewer than 500 homes on Gasparilla Island. The zoning regulations, at that time, allowed for high rise […]

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The last resort?

To the Editor, “… some rich men came and raped the land, nobody caught’em. Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought’em. They called it paradise the place to be. They watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea…”  – The Eagles When I drove past the property at 13000 Gasparilla Road […]

Keep those cards and letters coming regarding the NHR

BY SUSAN HANAFEE – In anticipation of next week’s meeting, scores of emails have been received by the Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board on the proposal to include a portion of the downtown in the National Register of Historic Places. To date, the vast majority have opposed the plan, with many suggesting that it might […]

Sago palms everywhere on the island, but deadly to pets

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Pet owners, be aware: Sago palm trees are in full fruit, and the red nuts that fall all over the ground can kill a pet or child if ingested. Several island dogs have succumbed to sago palm fruit toxicity over the years, as all parts of the Sago palm are poisonous. […]

What to do with a 300-pound deceased sea turtle

BY TONYA BRAMLAGE – One of the most amazing aspects of living on the beach on Gasparilla Island is to see sea turtles coming up to nest on our beaches. While only a few people have been lucky enough to witness that, or a clutch of sea turtles emerging from their sandy nests, many more […]

Register now for the Annual Bike Path ‘Grande’ Parade

STAFF REPORT – The 35th Annual Bike Path “Grande” Parade will be held next Saturday, March 13, with heat times running between 10:30 to 11 a.m. (no regular line-up due to social distancing). Registration deadline is Thursday, March 11. Even if you do not register for the parade, you can still come out and watch! […]

OBITUARY: Garfield Beckstead

Garfield Ray Beckstead, founder and owner of Useppa Island Club, passed away peacefully on the evening of February 16, 2021 at the age of 82 after a long and bravely fought battle with cancer. Gar spent his last days surrounded by the joy and love of his entire family, especially enjoying seeing all four of […]

EDITORIAL: Something to be remembered by; would you be willing to leave a legacy to the people of Placida and Boca Grande?

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Just across the little bridge by the Fishery is a 91-acre piece of land that for many of us is a piece of old Florida eye candy. You’ll recognize the parcel I mean by mentioning the cows and the long driveway that leads to a little farmhouse, right on the other […]