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Welcome Back!
home : features : welcome back!
December 7, 2019

11/27/2019 3:34:00 PM
Welcome Back, Snow Birds!
Let’s Eat Englewood

Let’s Eat Englewood

Keith Coleman performing a tribute to Elvis Presley.

Keith Coleman performing a tribute to Elvis Presley.

While you were away...

New Florida Laws

While you were away, the state legislature passed many laws regarding everything from schools and texting, to prisons and hemp. These are a few that you need to know about.

Texting and Driving. It is now a primary offense to text and drive. That means you can be pulled over for texting while driving (not while stopped) without law enforcement needing another reason.

HB 19 says that more affordable drugs can be imported into Florida from Canada and other countries, as long as they’re approved by the FDA.

Good news for gardeners, you can grow fruits and vegetables in front yard gardens.

Vaping is no longer allowed in indoor workplaces.

Hurricane Dorian

The area braced for slow-moving Hurricane Dorian the last week in August and prepared accordingly, emptying store shelves of water and bread and hitting gas stations hard. Ultimately the Category 4 storm that was so devastating to the Bahamas, barely registered in Florida. Because we were spared, local organizations urged residents to donate the items they had collected, and then some. And of course, Englewood responded, contributing a significant amount of supplies for the victims in the Bahamas.

Events & Gatherings

Some of the area’s biggest and most anticipated events take place between May and November. 

The Suncoast Humane Society’s fundraiser “The King and his Queens,” dinner and drag show sold out at the Englewood Event Center as did Manasota Mystique, the Englewood Chamber of Commerce annual fundraiser at the Manasota Beach Club. The crowds also came out for the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club’s July 4th Fireworks, Englewood Rotary Club’s second Wine and Swine dinner, Fundraiser for water safety education, the Englewood Beach 9 Putt-Putt Tournament, the Halloween Safe Walk, the F.A.M.E. festival for music education, the Artful Lobster at the Hermitage Artist Retreat and Let’s Eat Englewood celebrated its 5th anniversary in September, offering locals and tourists deals at 20 participating restaurants. Weekly events including yoga and the drum circle on the beach and trivia at the Englewood Elks Lodge, continued to attract a loyal local crowd, as did the Friday evening visiting artist series at the Hermitage. 

To stay on top of upcoming events in our area, check out the Englewood Review calendar at englewoodreview.com, where you can also submit your community events.

Pioneer Days & Pioneer Days Reboot

If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Englewood’s biggest celebration of the year. In 2018, red tide forced the cancellation of events and the relocation of the cardboard boat races. This year with the threat of Hurricane Dorian and both Charlotte and Sarasota County withdrawing personnel and resources from the festival for emergency readiness, the Pioneer Days Committee had no choice but to cancel the parade and festival on Labor Day weekend. 

Up until that point, this year’s Pioneer Days, which you could call Pioneer Weeks, had been successful and seamless with good weather and great crowds. But what is Pioneer Days without a parade? Chris Phelps and her Committee rescheduled the parade and festival for November 2-3. 

Phelps said at its new time, the parade drew a large crowd, but numbers for the festival were down and credits the volunteers and Board for putting in the extra effort on the reboot. Thanks to them, Englewood still has the longest-running parade in the state of Florida.

Rescheduling the parade provided much-deserved recognition to Pioneer Days Grand Marshal Bobbi Sue Burton, executive director of Project Phoenix and community advocate and for John Radkins, executive director of EARS Animal Sanctuary, who beat out five
other candidates to win Mayor for a Day.

More Pioneers

Summer is also the time when the Secret Society of the Smoked Mullets names its newest member. The award was established in 1996 by the Englewood Chamber of Commerce to recognize Englewood citizens for their contribution to the community. 

The newest Mullet is Mel Kugler, an active community volunteer who has lived and worked in Englewood since 1976. He and his wife Noreen raised their three children in Englewood and in 1987 he opened Mel Kugler Insurance, which merged with Key Agency 20 years ago. Also at the June ceremony, The Englewood Legends Award was presented to the Goff Family for “helping make Englewood what it is today.” Rick Goff accepted for the family. 

Historic Green Street Church is Open Again

The Historic Green Street Church whose move to the land by the Lemon Bay Cemetery we covered in 2018’s Welcome Back, has received its certificate of occupancy and is now available for memorial services, weddings and other ceremonies and events. Esther Horton, a member of the Lemon Bay Historical Society, the non-profit organization that owns the church, called the project “a community event.” Funding was provided by two $50,000 grants from the Community Redevelopment Agency, area organizations, foundations, businesses and individuals, and donations are still being accepted to complete required landscaping. To donate or to learn more, visit lemonbayhistory.com, or call (305) 504-7220. 

Great Season for Sea Turtles

Last year red tide affected the number of loggerhead sea turtle nests and made patrolling the beaches very difficult for the volunteers from the Coastal Wildlife Club who patrol the beaches and monitor the nests. This year the sea turtle numbers surged to record numbers with nearly 5,000 nests counted by Mote Marine in Sarasota. Those 4,974 nests included more rare green turtle and Kemp’s Ridley nests and two extremely rare leatherback turtle nests were documented in Venice and Sarasota. Each nest averages over
100 eggs, although many do not hatch. False crawls, when a turtle comes onshore but does not lay eggs, also increased this year to 11,827. On Manasota Key there were 3 of the rare Kemp’s ridley nests, 319 green turtle nest, and 4061 loggerhead turtle nests. The complete numbers for Manasota Key were not complete at
press time. 

Girls Golf Team is District Champion

The Lady Mantas Golf Team of Lemon Bay High School, coached by Darrell Roach, won their 16th Charlotte County Championship and 14th district championship this season and made it to the State Finals. 

Football Team Makes the Playoffs

Despite losing its first seven games of the season, The LBHS Mantas made the playoffs this season, with a 7-3 record. They lost their playoff game to Tampa Catholic, 35-6.

Red Tide

While red tide isn’t nearly as bad as this time last year, at press time the most recent report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicates that the current presence of Karena Brevis, the bacteria that causes red tide, fish kills and respiratory issues, in South Sarasota County including Venice and Englewood. The good news is that a new state red tide mitigation program dedicates $3 million more per year to fight the problem. As always, if your plans include the beach, it is recommended that you check on current conditions as things can change every day. For the most up-to-date red tide conditions visit myfwc.com.



New Owners

Englewood natives Scott Libertore and Bob Wright have purchased Lemon Bay Shopping Center, home to Libee’s Sports Bar and Grill (formerly Norma Jean’s), which Libertore also purchased. The Plaza also houses Big Lots and other businesses. The new owners plan to bring in a gym and Pinch-a-Penny Pool store to the plaza with more on the way.

The movie theater in Venice, formerly owned by Frank Theatres, is now part of the Missouri-based B&B Theatres. B&B Theatres Galleria Stadium 11 will remain open during an extensive renovation that will involve updating the entire theater, installing reclining seats in all auditoriums, adding a bar and more. You can learn more and sign up for the Backstage Pass Loyalty Program at bbtheatres.com and on Facebook.

New Businesses

Furnishing your home on a budget? Furniture & Décor Encore at 12456 N. Access Road, specializes in gently used furniture and home decor.
(941) 698-9290.

Give yourself enough time to mosey through Blooming Deals On Dearborn, an offbeat thrift store with an ever-changing inventory. 475 W. Dearborn Street.

Your CBD Store at 2650 S. McCall Road is the local franchise of a national network of shops offering a variety of natural hemp CBD products including pain relief, pet products and skincare items. You can learn more at Englewoodfl.CBDRX4U.com or call (941) 208-5813.

Ivy’s on Dearborn owner Karen Tyree knows you can never have too many shoes, so she opened The Shoe Shop by Ivy’s down the block at 460 W. Dearborn Street with everything from beach sandals to reversible shoes and vegan leather footwear. (941) 460-8657.

New Location

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlotte County has a new home. The agency outgrew its location in the Tiffany Square Plaza and moved to Gulf Cove United Methodist Church at 1100 S. McCall Road. For more information on after-school care and programs, visit bgcofcc.org or call (941) 460-6589. 

The non-profit corporation Englewood Open Studio has changed its name to Life Realized and split from the property at 380 Old Englewood Road, which remains open and still houses several other individual businesses and classes. Life Realized is now offering an open mic every Tuesday from 6-9 pm at Mango Bistro and on several Saturdays at Blue Pineapple Bistro, and other programs and workshops. For more information and a full calendar of events, visit them at www.liferealized.org or search Life Realized on Facebook. 

Moving Up &
Moving On

Englewood Community Hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Ehrat, took over that position in May. Ehrat comes to the hospital from Savah Health Martinsville, where he also served as CEO. 

Gene Jones is the new CEO of Sky Family YMCA. Jones has nearly 30 years of involvement with the YMCA organization, in North Carolina, George and Metropolitan Washington, DC. The Sky Family YMCA serves Sarasota Charlotte, Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. 

Phil Snyder, resigned as executive director of The Suncoast Humane Society in September to take the job of executive director of the Hamilton County Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A national search is underway for his replacement. 

Around the Counties

Renovations on the Tringali Park Recreation Center at 3460 N. Access Road, have been completed. The upgrades include a multi-use room, office space, storage, new kitchen appliances and an improved catering space and a control desk. The $700,000 project was funded by the 1% local option sales tax approved by voters in November 2014. 

The Ann and Chuck Dever Regional Park Recreation Center at 6961 San Casa Drive, is completed The $9 million, 23,000-square-foot facility includes a multi-purpose gym, fitness center, multi-purpose rooms, and a community garden. The facility also hosted several Pioneer Days events this year, including the Cardboard Boat Races. For information, visit CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

The Lampp House, built in 1928 and now home to the Englewood Museum at 604 W. Perry Street, was recognized by the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places. The museum is open to the public from October through May, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm. For more information, visit eahmuseum.org or call (941) 475-2696. 

Affecting both Counties and all beach lovers, curbing is underway on Beach Road from Sandpiper Key Condominiums south to the Tom Adams Bridge. Expect possible lane closures, delays and slower traffic than usual. For updates, visit charlottecountyFL.gov. 

You wanted it, you got it. There is now a stoplight where busy Winchester Avenue intersects with Fruitland Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of what’s been happening in our area the past few months. We had so much to share we couldn’t include everything. Don’t forget to keep The Englewood Review informed of what your group or organization has planned. Visit our calendar at www.englewoodreview.com and enter your special event or meeting. You can also submit your photos on our website, browse our classified ads and see photos of many of the events you missed while you were away. For more information, got englewoodreview.com or call the Review at (941) 474-4351.

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