Thursday, December 17, 2015

An encouraging update regarding flood insurance in Florida

From Robin Madden:

Insurers ‘encouraged’ by flood insurance rate talks

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dec. 16, 2015 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Tuesday acknowledged “concerns about fairness” in flood insurance rates and said it will respond to a request by Florida’s top regulator for data to help private insurers better set rates and compete.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty had asked for key rate information from FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. 
“FEMA has received the letter and will respond directly to Commissioner McCarty,” agency spokeswoman Susan Hendrick said Tuesday. “We are aware of Commissioner McCarty’s concerns about fairness in flood insurance policy rates, and FEMA is committed to ensuring our rate-setting process is transparent and appropriate.”
The agency hopes to have additional conversations with Florida regulators “as we publish ongoing and new public disclosures about our rate-setting process,” she said. 
McCarty, responding to a question from state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, said earlier this year he would have to conclude National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) rates are “unfair and discriminatory” if he regulated them in Florida.
Florida has the nation’s most flood insurance policies by far – almost 40 percent of the more than 5 million U.S. policies – but over many years has gotten back in claim payments less than 30 percent of what it pays in premiums, McCarty said. 
Brandes invited state insurers to a workshop this month designed to help them get more information about offering flood insurance themselves. The federal program dominates a market private insurers have largely avoided, though private agents and companies often take fees to administer NFIP policies without assuming any risk. Standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage.
The talks are a good sign, said a group representing insurers, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). 
“PCI is encouraged by the ongoing discussion between FEMA and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on the sharing of flood insurance rate-setting data,” said Chris Hackett, the group’s director of personal lines policy. “It is critical that private insurers have access to data instrumental to the appropriate pricing of flood insurance policies. The sharing of information will promote a more competitive marketplace for flood insurance.”
The group supports “private market insurance solutions that bolster consumer choice,” Hackett said. “We look forward to continuing our work with all stakeholders in order to support a market that provides consumers the most flexibility and choice for their insurance needs.” 

Copyright © 2015 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Charles Elmore. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

An important message from the Island Watch

On Tuesday December 8, 2015, the Charlotte County Public Works Department began work to maintain and/or create parking spaces on North and South Gulf Blvd. The construction is required by the permit for the Stump Pass/ Beach Renourishment Project.  It is also necessary in order to secure maximum state funding for this project. These spaces are considered public and are spaced as required in proximity to the public beach accesses.  Public Works is being paid for this construction out of the Stump Pass/Beach Renourishment taxing unit, not the Don Pedro/Knight Island Streets and Drainage taxing unit (our “Roads & Bridges” taxes). 

Ocean CREST Alliance Fundraiser @ Palm Island Resort


The Ocean CREST Alliance - Palm Island Resort Fundraiser will bring together champions in
environmental, civic, and philanthropy as we honor People and our Oceans.

Don your best and elegant island attire and join us for this first annual OCA - Palm Island
Fundraiser themed: "Your Life, Your Legacy - Adopt A MPA".

Mingle with some of the most amazing people on the planet... featuring an "A" list of ocean leadership, filmmakers, photographers, artists, scientists, deep sea explorers, ocean ambassadors, inspirational leaders and many other notable dignitaries.

Hosted at Palm Island Resort, Cape Haze Florida, by Ocean CREST Alliance, with a special
tribute honoring Mote Marine Laboratory Founder, Dr. Eugenie Clark, keynote speaker famed National Geographic Explorer in Residence and Mission Blue Founder Dr. Sylvia Earle, with featured speakers Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Founder, Dr. Guy Harvey, Mote Marine Laboratory Associate Vice President of Research, Dr. Bob Hueter, and NOAA Office of National Marine Sancutaries Regional Director Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, Dr. Billy Causey. ------ This is an event not to be missed!

The fundraiser supports the ocean conservation organizations; Ocean CREST Alliance,
Mission Blue, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Mote Marine Laboratory and NOAA in their
mission to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of our Ocean and waterways!

2015 Sea Turtle Stats‏

Here's a short form report from Brenda Bossman, coordinator of the Don Pedro Island Sea Turtle Patrol:

Statewide nesting report is done.  Here's some stats. 

Loggerhead nests - 434. Represents an increase of 36 loggerhead nests vs. 2014.  In 2013 there were 248 loggerhead nests.
Green turtle nests - 26. Represents an increase of 25 green nests vs. 2014.  In 2013 there were 17 green nests.
Total # of nests - 460 representing an increase of 61 total nests vs. 2014.  In 2013 there were 265 total nests.

Interesting facts for 2015:
Nests negatively affected by roots:  21
Nests negatively affected by inundation/erosion:  128*
Nests negatively affected by predators:  290*
Predators in order of damage caused: 
Coyote, Armadillo, Crab, Raccoon, Fire Ants, Gulls (probably laughing gulls)
*Note:  Some nests were predated then washed away at a later date

Ms. Bossman did not remember the number of green nests in 2013 being that large.  Still, she found it an interesting increase in 2015 (over 2014 green nests).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Palm Island Transit Christmas Fund

November 15, 2015

Dear Palm Island Transit Customers:

The Christmas Season is rapidly approaching, and we would like to invite you to contribute to the Palm Island Employee Christmas Fund.

Palm Island Transit has many dedicated employees. Some of you may want to recognize their efforts for a job well done during this past year. As you know, our Captains and mates strive to keep your experience on the ferry a safe one; often times in terrible weather conditions. During 2015 the Transit Staff has continued to provide professional and personal service to all our regular customers and guests to the island. The Employee Christmas Fund is a nice way to show your appreciation for a job well done.

The fund is distributed only to captains, mates and rangers. 

You may bring your contributions to our main land office at 7075 Placida Road, Suite 101; or, mail the contribution to Palm Island Transit, 7092 Placida Road, Placida, FL 33946. You may also call Karla at the transit office and she will be glad to help you with this.  Make checks payable to Palm Island Transit and insert “Employee Christmas Fund” on the memo line. 

It is Palm Island Transit Policy that our staff may not accept individual cash tips, gift cards or alcohol. However, gifts of food, baked goods, etc. are acceptable and appreciated.

On behalf of all of us at Palm Island Transit, we wish to thank you for your support and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.


Chris Shepard
Palm Island Transit
7092 Placida Road
Cape Haze, FL 33946