BY DR. ROSEMARY BOWLER - Education in our public schools has been widely criticized for many perceived failures, such as: Lack of clear direction; hazy, contradictory aims; deterioration of standards of instruction; failure to achieve democratic values; and over-permissiveness and lack of discipline.
These specific criticisms, however relevant they may be today, were in fact made over 50 years ago in a report of the National Society for the Study of Education. Last Friday, a group of panelists looked at the current condition of our schools, underscored the complexities of educational reform and warned against “silver bullet” solutions and “one-size-fits-all” answers.
BY LIZA STROUT - Two years ago it was retrofitting openings and installing hurricane shutters. Everyone with a home valued over $750,000 was required to update to Miami-Dade standards to keep their Citizens’ insurance coverage.
This year, Citizens’ Property Insurance, the state’s “insurer of last resort,” has announced that they will not be renewing windstorm policies and multiperil policies that include wind coverage on homes valued over $1 million.
According to Italiano and Citizens’ Insurance, it has been common knowledge that the insurer has been attempting to reduce the number of polices, but the first that anyone, even those in the insurance business, heard of this latest plan was Friday the 13, when a memo went out.
MARCY SHORTUSE - At the Thursday, Jan. 12 meeting of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, one consistent fact shone through in the financial discussions: Let’s get input from the public on how to get more money.
This meeting was an open dialogue on cost oversight, as well as alternative financing. Another meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26 from 12:30 to 3:30 at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium to obtain public input, which will enable the board to make the hard decisions that will, hopefully, have positive results for all.
BY MARCY SHORTUSE - The 2012 Taste of Boca is a little different this year. The date’s about the same, the number of restaurants is, too. But this year on Monday, Feb. 6 there will be one big difference: Tents. Tents are a good thing in February. It’s been proven time after time at Taste that gusts of wind and spatterings of rain can dampen the spirits of even the most devoted food aficionado.
This year, the tickets cost a little bit more to cover the cost. And, if Murphy’s Law is consistent, there’s a good chance those tents might bring clear skies and calm winds. But, in the event that things turn out like they have many times before, here is what those tents will cover.
This is the first of a two-part series that we will run on the Taste menu. It includes all 15 restaurants.
The Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center, along with the Boca Grande Fire Department and Lee County EMS, will host a community picnic this Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Boca Grande Community Center. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The fire department will be serving chicken, barbecue and hot dogs. Island restaurants will also be providing side dishes, and drinks will be on hand.
“It’s meant to give back to the island community, because they do so much for us,” said Marta Howell, Executive Director of Friends.
For more information call 964-0827.
BY LIZA STROUT - Among the topics discussed at the Gasparilla Island Water Association’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17 were the relocation of GIWA's mains with the construction of the new bridges on the Boca Grande Causeway, improvements that the water association is making to equipment, the annual audit, and the election of new board members.
The improvements include both a new communication network and new water meters. The new network allows GIWA to inform individual account holders when there is a problem with the water system. Alerts are available by phone, email, or text. Sign up is at mygiwa.com.
The Boca Grande Garden Club is pleased to announce that Els Teunissen, an internationally-known Dutch floral designer, will be speaking at its Wednesday, Feb. 1 meeting in place of Nancy Clarke, who was recently hospitalized and had to cancel her presentation.
Els was on our short list of speakers for next season, and is known for her warm, down-to-earth personality, as well as her love for flowers. She has spent nearly three decades perfecting her distinctive work, sharing “in” trends in European floral design, and demonstrating how flowers touch, amaze and rejuvenate people around the world.
As part of the Flower Council of Holland’s design team, she travels the world demonstrating design techniques and making appearances on television and at international exhibitions. Her artistic creations have been a part of many diverse groups, including the 61st Academy Awards, the United Nations, and the National Horse Show.
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