EDITORIAL: Gasparilla Mobile Estates residents still struggling with storm damage

It has been more than seven months since the morning of January 16, when an F1 tornado swept the bottom of Cape Haze Peninsula, damaging more than two dozen mobile homes in Gasparilla Island Estates. You would think in that amount of time, certainly the damage was cleaned up and repaired. But time has been […]

GUEST EDITORIAL: BTT to study juvenile tarpon habitats in Charlotte County to study juvenile tarpon habitats in Charlotte County

Our current focus is in Charlotte County, Florida, near the tarpon fishing capital of the world – Boca Grande. A VI uses GIS mapping data layers for nursery habitat sites overlaid with data on things like current and potential development locations, freshwater flows, and whether land is publicly or privately owned to categorize areas as high, medium or low vulnerability. For example, a nursery site classified as “natural” that falls under an area that the Charlotte County deemed as likely to be developed would rank as “high” in the VI. Conversely, a degraded nursery habitat with low potential for restoration that falls under an area in the county that is at low risk for development would rank as “low” in the VI.

EDITORIAL: Readers, please take note of our obituary policy changes: There’s good news, and there’s not-so-good news

Since the Boca Beacon began in 1980, the Boca Beacon has had the distinct honor of running obituaries free of charge. This policy has been adhered to without question until recently, when we realized that many of our readers send us obituaries that don’t go through funeral homes. This means that they aren’t being recorded […]

EDITORIAL: NOAA releases proposal to restore protected Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Restoration Blueprint describes proposed changes to boundaries and regulations, both sanctuary-wide and within specific marine zones. It also includes a draft revised management plan, last revised in 2007, that contains a suite of non-regulatory goals and objectives that will help the sanctuary respond to challenges from changing conditions, use patterns and emerging threats to sanctuary resources.

EDITORIAL: Joint statement from the Florida Secretary of State and Florida Supervisor of Elections in response to cybersecurity and infrastructure concerns

Submitted by the Florida Department of Elections Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an advisory confirming that Florida is well ahead of the nation on election cybersecurity. The report calls attention to “vulnerabilities” and a voting system version that is neither used nor certified for use in Florida. The report references Dominion […]

EDITORIAL: ‘We have it in our power to begin the world all over again’

As we sit perched on the brink of a Fourth of July three-day weekend, it might be a good time to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room. For a small local newspaper, trying to keep things light is a good idea … most of the time … but there comes a time when […]

Who are these groups of cyclists around Cape Haze?

As to the rides, they take place every day and can have as few as two or three riders in the heat of the summer, to 20 or 30 riders during the season, when many snowbirds migrate south. Riders come from far and wide. Carrie comes from Wyoming each winter, and Rob usually makes it from Jersey – no, not New Jersey but the island in the Channel off England. Others come from all over the U.S., but mainly from the northeastern and midwestern states. The rides are mainly in Rotonda, Gulf Cove, South Gulf Cove, the Meadows, or on any given holiday CHC ventures to Boca Grande. There is an occasional ride from Manasota Key to Casey Key, but mainly the rides stay in the Cape Haze peninsula. Several riders have raced in the past ,and many completed various long-distance trips.

EDITORIAL: A first time fishing this writer will never forget

Then, bam! Lynn felt something hit her line. Tim instantly got my rod secured and me out of the way, and then put all his attention on Lynn. She had a tarpon on the line. “You got this,” he assured her. “Reel it in.” “Bow to the king,” “Just hold on, don’t do anything.” The orders were calm, but authoritative. Captain Mark was advising Tim from his higher vantage point and moving the boat as conditions warranted.

EDITORIAL: The degradation of Sarasota Bay

 The water bodies of Sarasota Bay are designated as an Outstanding Florida Waters (OFW’s). This designation is intended to provide additional protection to special waters recognized for their ecological significance, by providing the highest degree of protection under the State of Florida’s permitting policies. An OFW designation requires that water quality must not be degraded below the level that existed at the time of the OFW designation. However, significant degradation of Sarasota Bay has occurred since its original designation, as documented through water quality data, red tide blooms, areas of seagrass die-off and manatee mortalities.

Calusa Waterkeeper and Brain Chemistry Labs pioneer collaborative research on HAB toxins in our area

Using the most sensitive technology available for detecting harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins, the Calusa Waterkeeper (CWK) research team started airborne toxin monitoring in July 2021 at eight locations in Lee County, Florida. Samples were collected with the use of a monitoring device designed and optimized from the ground up, incorporating elements of other design […]