The lazy days of summer are finally over and it's time once again to welcome back our part-time neighbors. It's been a busy summer, let's get caught up!
Red Tide The story of the summer and the fall, indeed just about the past year, is red tide. According to Mote Marine, “the naturally-occurring algal bloom, is a higher-than-normal concentration of a microscopic algae in saltwater environments along Florida’s west coast and elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.” This current bloom has lasted so long and has caused such damage, that it has made national news.
Some people are more sensitive to red tide than others. You might cough and get a headache but your friend only claims a tiny tickle in her throat. The Florida Department of Health advises people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma, to avoid red tide areas. Mote Marine says most people can swim in red tide safely, but may experience skin irritation and burning eyes, in which case you should leave the water and wash off with fresh water.
2018’s red tide has stood out from other red tide blooms. Literally tons of dead fish have washed up on the beaches. The tide has killed sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and even an alligator. People have experienced respiratory issues and other health problems. The smell has chased locals and tourists off the beach and away from businesses near the Gulf. Fishing captains are struggling to make ends meet. Many events, like Englewood’s Paddlefest, the Pioneer Days Youth Fishing Tournament, and the Chalk Festival in Venice, were canceled. Travelers are rethinking their vacation plans.
More than 700 people packed the Englewood Event Center for a public meeting on red tide in August. On August 12, more than 250 people gathered at Englewood Beach to join thousands of others around the state for Hands Along the Water, peacefully protesting the lack of action being taken to battle red tide.
A great way to stay up to date is to join the Red Tide Watch Manasota Key Facebook group. The nearly 7,000 members share beach conditions, photos, and check-ins from local beaches. Facebook is also home to Red Tide Reports for Florida, where you can see and share beach conditions from around the state.
Ed Hill, Executive Director of The Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce, says that property management businesses, beach restaurants and water-related recreational activities have been among the hardest hit by red tide. He also feels the fear of red tide slowed advance ticket sales for Englewood Beach Waterfest and the Offshore Boat Races scheduled for Nov. 17-18, as this publication was going to press.
Nobody knows when the red tide crisis will end and nobody knows beach conditions from one day to the next. It can be clear and beautiful on Wednesday and bad on Friday. If you’re headed to a bar or restaurant on or near the beach, just give them a call first. Take things day by day and don’t give up on our beach or our businesses.
Sea Turtle Numbers Down It’s no surprise that the nesting sea turtles suffered this year. Zoe Bass, principal permit holder, said hundreds of juvenile turtles died. But the volunteers with the Coastal Wildlife Club suffered too. Red tide was horrendous for most of the season. Many wore goggles and masks. Fortunately, the storms did not affect the turtles this year. The number of hatched loggerhead nests in our area dropped from 4376 in 2017 to 3566 this year and Green Turtle nests dropped from a record 228 to 32.
Plane Crashes in Englewood Yard On June 7, an experimental plane hit a tree after taking off from Buchan Airport and crashed in the nearby yard of Englewood resident Norman Ellis, missing his house by about 15 feet. The plane suffered extensive damage, but nobody was injured. The incident is under investigation by the FAA.
Local Business Receives State Recognition 3D Build Systems was selected as a finalist for the annual Cade Prize that recognizes early-stage inventors and entrepreneurs in Florida. The team, Don Musilli, Roberta Ruxton, Deborah Hegedus and Bryan Domian were invited to the awards in Gainesville on September 6. They didn’t win, but congratulations on this major achievement.
Annual Pioneer Days Celebration Here’s some of what happened in the “off season” in Englewood: Manasota Mystique at the Manasota Beach Club, The Artful Lobster at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Big Brothers Big Sisters Cooking for Kids, F.A.M.E. Music City’s 10th Anniversary, The Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary’s July 4th Fireworks and Festival, The Dearborn Street Halloween Safewalk, and The Englewood Rotary Club Wine and Swine Dinner. Off-season? Not quite.
Of course, the biggest event is always Pioneer Days. Chris Phelps, Co-Chair of The Englewood Pioneer Days Committee, reports that attendance was up at every event from last year. Between 7,500 and 8,000 people attended the parade, and said Phelps, most stayed for post-parade activities in the park. When red tide forced the cardboard boat race to move from Indian Mound Park to Ann Dever Memorial Regional Park pool in Charlotte County, more than 1,500 people showed up and the Chalk Festival drew crowds all day.
With all the success, Phelps says one of the best things was seeing all the people who helped out, even though they weren’t official volunteers. “People that had never helped before, stepped up and made a difference.
You’ll be Grand Marshal, and You’ll be Grand Marshal... This summer the Pioneer Days Committee named Rick Goff, former Charlotte County Sheriff and member of one of Englewood’s first families, Lemon Bay High School teacher Darrell Roach and The Lemon Bay Woman’s Club as Grand Marshals for this year’s annual parade. The theme of the parade was “A Journey in Time” and the three were chosen to represent the “past, present and future” of Englewood.
Buildings and Business West County Annex Opened in May The newly rebuilt West County Annex opened at 6868 San Casa Drive. The full-service annex is nearly 20,000 square feet and houses offices of the tax collector, elections, human services, veterans services and other government services, as well as offices for the Englewood Community Care Clinic.
Renovations at Tringali In August, renovations began on the Tringali Park Recreation Center, at 3460 S. McCall Road. While the center will remain open, and most classes will continue, it is currently unavailable for rentals. The renovations which include a new front desk and kitchen, are scheduled to be completed by March, 2019. The project is funded by Charlotte County’s 1% infrastructure sales tax.
Uptown Consignments is now open at 2411 South McCall Road. The shop offers accessories and clothing in all sizes. (941) 460-6581
The Golden Mermaid Boutique opened at 445 W. Dearborn Street in July. The shop sells casual women’s clothes and accessories at affordable prices. Owner Christine Ann had shops in Texas and California. Golden Mermaid features items from more than 50 different brands. (512) 689-169
Is your dog craving treats? How about all natural dog treats? Pack Approved Dog Treats Co-owner, Victor Melo, even creates some of his own recipes. The store is located at 454 W. Dearborn St. 833-364-7225 www.packapproved.com.