To the Editor,
I am about to open a can of worms. Image a fisherman doing that.
I have been following online the controversy regarding tarpon fishing in Boca Grande and the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series.
Since I have often been referred to as the guy “who ruined the fishing in Boca Grande,” and then running off to Costa Rica, I feel I am qualified to weigh in on this matter. Wade Stephenson and I introduced the 12 Fathom Jig to Boca Grande back in 1986. Ownership of the company has changed hands several times as well as the design of the jig.
To the Editor:
I believe that all residents here in Boca Grande are much aware of the significance of the INN, an enormous economic engine. I would like to point out that they have minimal frontage on Gilchrist Ave. when compared with the individual residents and so it seems to me that the residents should have a greater impact on the parking issues.
I was surprised to read in your paper last week that the INN was proposing a solution, endorsed by not for profit organizations. Why does the INN gain such a strong voice on this issue? If the INN needs more parking they have a large open lot on the corner of Gasparilla Road and Fifth St; this could easily be converted into a major parking lot and could be walled in and landscaped. Additionally the INN still has other undeveloped land yet to be used.
The parking issue is one that should be resolved by the residents of Gilchrist who continually face the ugly appearance of the parking on the median. Many should recall the awful and dangerous parking issue of the median on Fifth St. which was resolved by the county installing a serious curb around it and thus not allowing any parking!
If we must have parking on the median, let us move ahead with the residents’ plan.
Thank you very much for printing the article last week to inform everyone about the Boca Grande Historical District Audio Tour that is now available at Bike ’n Beach.
But, yikes! The report got a number of things wrong. I’m afraid the many people who know and love the history of Boca Grande will think the tour is a compilation of misinformation. That could not be further from the truth. I would like to set the record straight.
With the neighbor’s Gilchrist Avenue parking plan, arriving from either the north or south will require parallel parking on the LEFT hand side of the street. Difficult and not very possible for most of us. Making room for this plan calls for taking eight feet away from each side of the median. That means the removal of the tall palms that currently hide the very ugly power poles running down the middle of the median. Let’s do better.
As a year-round resident of Boca Grande I am aware that the parking problem on Gilchrist has only recently become a major issue due to the numerous activities at the Methodist Church in season. Trying to turn south on to Gilchrist from 3rd or 4th streets has become a major hazard because parked cars obscure visibility. Please, whatever plan is chosen, make sure that there are plantings (like raised beds) on the corners of the central reservation that preclude anyone parking close to the corner and allow traffic on Gilchrist to be seen.
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