Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: The Year in Review

Ay, Caramba!! 2013 was a VERY busy year. We tried to capture the details for you, in case you missed any of the action.

The 2013 New Years Day Golf Cart Parade
1/1/2013 The Annual New Year’s Day Golf Cart Parade. Starting with the fire trucks and ending with the Island’s own Marching Air Band, the annual “do” kicked off a spectacular year for PIE. Our thanks to PIE Social (Suzy Kett, Chair) for getting the New Year started with a BANG!

1-12-13 INFO CENTRAL Presents: Bill Truex. PIE’s newest committee, “Info Central” (Sally B. Johnson, Chair. Barbara DeYulio) hosted our County Commissioner Bill Truex for a meet & greet at the Palm Island Resort Clubhouse. 

INFO CENTRAL Presents: Bill Truex
1-27-13 Annual Membership Meeting. Hosted by the PIE Administrative Committee (Cathy Schwartz, Chair) PIE members got the year in review from the committee reports, and finished the meeting with pieces of PIE served with cold drinks.

2-1-13 Islandscapers: Walk & Talk with Bill Dunson. PIE affiliate “Islandscapers” sponsored a nature walk along the shoreline in front of the resort.

2-9-13 Street Dance. Once again, PIE Social threw a great bash with the annual membership party, the “Street Dance” featuring live music with the T-Bone Trio Band.

3-31-13 Pancake Breakfast. Our annual tradition of serving up a buffet breakfast following the non-denominational Easter ‘sunrise’ service on the beach.

4-17-13 Coastal Engineering Presentation. Charlotte County 10-Year Beach & Inlet Management Plan. Coastal Engineering Consultants and Coastal Technology Corporation presented alternatives to preserve our coastline and gathered input from Island residents.

Pancake Breakfast 2013
4-27-13 Island Poll sent to members in April of 2013. Shared the results of the Island Poll at the May PIE board meeting and posted the results online. Of the 151 PIE members, 68 responses were received.

5-13-13 BBI Zoning District approved by County Planning & Zoning Board.  PIE’s Island Watch committee kept it’s eyes on the successful creation of the new Bridgeless Barrier Island Zoning District, which updates the zoning of Island properties to single family residential. An exemption was granted to the property adjoining the ferry landing. 5-13 & 7-23-13 Public Hearings for Bridgeless Barrier Island Zoning District (BCC). 

4-29-13 Turtle Patrol: Lights out on the Beach Party. The Don Pedro Sea Turtle Patrol hosted a beachfront “Island Thing” to celebrate the beginning of sea turtle season and to remind Island residents to keep the lights off the beach through October.

Turtle Patrol at "Lights Out" Party
5-28-2013 Coastal Engineering presents Management Plan to the County Commission. On 6-1-2013 the PIE Board sent a letter to the BCC stating “At this time, we would like to express our support of the effort to find a more permanent solution to the beach erosion issues that we have on Knight Island and Don Pedro Island.  We do reserve the right to render final judgment of this project until we have seen how the project budget will impact the taxing units associated with these efforts.”

5-28-13 Board of County Commissioners vote re. the Island Roads & Bridges Advisory Committee. On 6-1-2013 a letter was sent from the PIE Board to the County Commission stating that “we endorse the recent decision by Public Works to fund an external, expert study of our sand roads.  We are confident that the work product of this study will help to resolve some of the issues with our unpaved roads that we have had to deal with for many years. We appreciate the cooperative efforts between Public Works and our local citizens ‘steering committee’, and look forward to a continuation of that cooperation with the future Roads & Bridges Advisory Committee.” 

Insurance for the Barrier Islands
5-29-13 INFO CENTRAL Presents: Insurance for the Barrier Islands. Nat Italiano of Italiano Insurance Services on Boca Grande discussed with Islanders the FEMA changes and their impact on insurance rates. 

6-12-13 INFO CENTRAL Presents: Sheriff Bill Prummell. The Sheriff talked with Islanders about security over holiday weekends. 

10-1-2013 Launch of the new PIE Website. (Meryl Schaffer, Webmistress)

10-19-13 Annual Beach Access Clean-up and Cookout. (Valerie Guenther, Chair) The Island Gardens and the beach easements got their annual makeover.

11-2-13 Community Meeting: R&B Advisory Committee. Linda Cotherman (Chair) and Tim Malone (Vice Chair) presided over a town hall meeting to discuss future plans for road improvement and maintenance.

11-9-13 Art in the Palms  PIE Social directors Suzy Kett & Rose Malone oversaw the biggest, bestest "Art in the Palms" festival yet.

12-10-13 Islandscapers: Annual Meeting & Holiday Party. A wonderful opportunity for Islandscaper member to meet and hear about the Plant Enthusiast's year in review!


OTHER COMMITTEE REPORTS:

PIE ENVIRONMENTAL:
Beach Clean-up & Cookout 2013
The threatened gopher tortoise gets a little help from the efforts of the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Team. This is what they were up to in 2013:

The team performed 10 land surveys for homeowners.  The survey diagram is a required document for the FWC and Charlotte County in applying for clearing or building permits.  Homeowners also use this survey to site the house on the lot.  More owners than ever have giving thought as to how they may leave the burrow areas untouched and the value in doing so.

Meet Sheriff Bill Prummell
If gopher tortoises must be removed, it is done by hand excavating the burrow.  This year over 40 burrows were excavated prior to lot clearing and building.

Lastly and sadly, 8 injured and/or dead gopher tortoises were tended to this year.  Lemon Bay Animal Shelter and Venice Wildlife Center are our partners in this effort. 8 gopher tortoises is a high number.  Please remember to drive slowly, and tell your guests as well.

WHPP has acclimation packets available for new homeowners. If you have not received one call one of the WHPP committee members.  Kjell and Ron report the bobcat at the south end of the island is doing well! (one young bobcat was found dead in November) and the loons are back (the birds that is). 

Also, we will share news on the “build a foraging berm project” for gopher tortoises and other wildlife in February.

ISLAND SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: (Donna Bright, Chair) Three scholarships awarded to: Harleigh Rodriguez-Conner, Emma Crowe, Nick Russo.

Art in the Palms 2013
PIE COMMUNITY SERVICES:
§         House number Signs (Cathy Schwartz, Chair) By April, 34 residents ordered & received free house number signs. 

§         Welcome Baskets (Cathy Schwartz, Chair) A package for new residents including information about WHPP, PIE membership form and phone number list for emergency contacts about wildlife rescues.

§         Interest in purchase of a lot for community park and gathering center. Valerie Guenther is arranging a meeting with a representative from South Gulf Cove with regard to their community facility to glean information about the feasibility of such a facility on our Islands. Valerie, along with Dennis Johnson, Sally B. Johnson, and Meryl Schaffer will begin to research the idea and report back to the Board.

ISLAND WATCH: (Jim Gordon, Chair. Linda Cotherman & Dick Sadenwater, Committee Members) Tracked developments regarding purchase of bulk water from Englewood Water District. Also, organized water testing and reporting for 2013. 

PIE ADMINISTRATIVE: December Membership Drive mailing. New flyer designed & mailed to approx. 850 Island property owners, along with board of directors absentee ballots to 151 current PIE members.

OTHER ITEMS of INTEREST and ACCOMPLISHMENTS in 2013:

1-Gazebo cleanup: The ferry landing gazebo was pressure washed and painted.  Hoover Pressure Washing Co. provided services free of charge, water was donated by Sally B & Dick Aulenti.  The gazebo was prepped for painting by Cathy & Charlie Schwartz and painted by Suzy Kett and Harleigh Rodriguez-Connor (scholarship volunteer).
2-Ferry Landing: debris removal tracked
3-Cable over waterway: Ken Connor got Comcast to secure a dangerous cable hanging over Bocilla Lagoon under the Anne Merry Bridge
4-Portable event stage was replaced with a new stage.
5-PIE Board member Dennis Johnson contacted Florida Power & Light regarding the possibility of burying overhead electric lines. He reported the response as follows: FPL requires more easement for underground lines than what is scoped on surveys, meaning more incursion onto property owners' land. Also, one person or group must pay the entire cost of the project, and FPL insisted that it is easier to maintain above ground service. The consensus of the Board: the action is too difficult and too costly to pursue.

NOTE: Most of the events of 2013 have been described in detail in our posts.  Look on the right-side menu for the BLOG ARCHIVE, and click on "2013".  Each month has articles about the events that took place.  Also, check out the photos at our PHOTO GALLERY!


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