Anglers and artists make for a great combination during Tarpon Festival Weekend in downtown Boca Grande

BY CARROLL SWAYZE – Excitement is brewing as anglers and artists alike prepare for the 2015 Tarpon Festival in downtown Boca Grande on June 4 through 6. Each year thousands of people travel to the Englewood/Boca Grande community from all over the world to take part in this annual Tarpon Fishing Tournament and Festival. The week […]


Editorial: Shark fishing, Gilchrist fibbing, fat-bottomed trucks

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – As the tourist season cools down and tarpon season heats up, an outsider would think that things would be pretty quiet around here. It sounds logical, but wait. Look, there in the distance, coming toward us. It’s our old friends, drama and controversy! Hey guys, how are you doing? Right now […]

Guest Editorial: Reflections on aging in Boca Grande

BY JOAN ARDREY – It’s only late April, but it seems summer weather has decided to settle in early this year, bringing a premature end to another satisfyingly frenetic Boca Grande “season.” The mounting heat causes tennis, golf and other forms of reasonably vigorous outdoor activity to lose their appeal. We retreat into our (thankfully) […]

Suncoast cats jet off to new home in England

BY PHIL SNYDER, SUNCOAST HUMANE SOCIETY – Feline siblings Binx and Little Girl had been available for adoption at Suncoast Humane Society since November 2014. Earlier this month the adoption team at the Society’s Animal Care Center received a call from the United Kingdom. Brian Port reminded staff that he and his wife Jenny had visited […]

Guest editorial: Conservancy walk held, two more scheduled

SUBMITTED BY THE GICIA – On Friday, March 27, a small group of island residents gathered to explore one of the GICIA Land Conservancy properties with certified arborist Rick Joyce. It was a beautiful day and although there was a threat of rain, it held off for the group to fully explore this parcel that […]

Guest editorial: Higher manatee count simply means we have more to protect

BY KATIE TRIPP, PhD – Florida’s manatees are at a crossroads. Well, actually, the agencies that protect manatees are at a crossroads, and manatees themselves are in the crosshairs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is busy working behind closed doors deciding whether or not to downlist manatees from endangered to threatened under the federal […]

Guest editorial: GICIA, Friends of Cape Haze watching Charlotte County comp plan closely

SUBMITTED BY THE GASPARILLA ISLAND CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION – In recent years, GICIA has begun to face new challenges as we recognize that growth in nearby areas off-island have the potential to seriously impact us. In an effort to effectively deal with such issues, GICIA has established a strong relationship with the Friends of Cape […]

Editorial: Residents, shopowners concerned: Will the weight restrictions go up one day?

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – On Thursday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium, the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority will hold a public workshop regarding weight restrictions on the new swing bridge. They obviously won’t be making the decision right away, as the bridge won’t be completed until sometime in 2016. […]

Editorial: Tarpon fishers, please read!

SAVE THE TARPON – For almost a decade, the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series used a snagging device, misleadingly characterized as a “jig,” to capture large breeding females in Boca Grande Pass. More fish and more chaos, meant more revenue for their TV reality show. Tournament participants would gaff and drag the fish to a scale […]