Jenga high stakes: Protecting Florida’s manatees and ecosystems


I’ve never liked Jenga, the game where wooden blocks are stacked to form a tower, then removed one by one until the tower collapses. In 2010, Florida’s manatees and aquatic ecosystems have been caught in a high-stakes game of Jenga, where we watched events unfold around us, hoping the tower wouldn’t crash. The year started out with some positive news […]

Being Muslim in Southwest Florida


If all of Islam — and not just a fanatical minority bent on carrying out horrific acts of violence and terror in the name of that faith — is indeed at war with the Western world, then someone neglected to send the memo to the three dozen or so men, women and children from across Southwest Florida who gathered on […]

Charlotte Harbor Parrot Head third birthday celebration at Joe Cracker

1. Marianne and Terry Higgins 2. Fig and Nancy Newton, Tom and Jenn Bones 3. Mary Jo Frederick and Bob Brandt 4. Debbie Reynolds and Kristen Randolph 5. Barbara and Cal Hitchcock 6. Kathy and David Swann 7. Brenda Warfield and Rick Meese 8. Greg Vogel

Doing the same old dirt

In the August issue of “Elle” magazine, an anonymous male contributor offers a frightening look at the male psyche in his article, “They Like It Like That: Why Every Woman is Desirable.” “You are about to meet three men your mom would be proud to see you marry,” Mr. Anonymous writes, “but you won’t like them from what you hear […]

The barrier islands: shifting sand, fact and lore

Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island started as a haven for sailors, pirates and fisherman. The lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the island was built in 1890. The lighthouse keeper and his family lived in it until it was automated in 1956. The magnifying lens is a design of French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, which allows oblique light from a torch […]

Eve Ensler: Bald, brave and beautiful

Bald, brave, and beautiful: Those words can’t begin to capture the remarkable Eve Ensler. She sat down with me last week, in the midst of her battle with uterine cancer, to talk about New Orleans and the Congo. Eve, the author of the hit play “The Vagina Monologues” and the creator of V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence […]

Wahlburg to head up Taylor Contractors

The Board of Directors of Taylor Contractors of Florida Inc. has announced the promotion of Burton L. Wahlburg to the position of president. “Burt Wahlburg’s 35-plus years experience and tireless dedication in all phases and types of construction has enhanced the efficiency of TCF since joining the firm in 1998. Burt’s adept leadership, problem solving abilities and eye for the […]

Johnson retires as ESC nursing coordinator

Anita Johnson, the nursing coordinator at Edison State College Charlotte Campus, retired Wednesday, Sept. 1, after six years, during which time Edison’s nursing program achieve unprecedented success. Edison State’s nursing program is one of the largest in the nation. Under Ms. Johnson’s guidance, nearly 140 nurses graduated from the Charlotte campus with a 98 percent pass rate on the national […]

Red Cross hires new health and safety director

The Charlotte County Chapter of the American Red Cross has a new health and safety director, Susan Hope Bard. Ms. Bard’s career with the ARC started at the age of 4 when her parents signed her up for a Red Cross learn to swim program at day camp. Eventually, she became a competitive swimmer and lifeguard. After high school and […]

Restaurants rally to keep local food pantries stocked

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Charlotte often distributes food to as many as 40 people when its food pantry is open on Tuesday and Thursday. But the church braces for late summer and early fall, when supplies are scarce. Most pantries are low on food “every year at this time,” said Dorothy Jones, secretary at Seventh-day Adventist, which operates one […]