April 3, 2014

Art Festival.

The Spring Arts Festival was held on March 29 & 30. Saturday was a rainy day, however, the show still went as planned except that the event closed at 2 pm due to lightning in the area. According to vendors there was a nice turnout and sales were good in spite of the weather.

004 medium

Overnight the weather cleared and Sunday was a beautiful day and lots of folks were on Dearborn Street to support the artists. A visitor, above, admires artwork on the outside of a exhibit booth. About 100 artists were on display including sculpture, paintings, jewelry, photography, pottery, woodwork and ceramics. Visit www.englewoodfl.us to see more photographs from the show.

Cleanup on Dearborn Street.

Former Gas Station

The storm water drainage system seems to be completed and one of the first buildings that has been demolished is the old (really old) gas station that used to be on the corner of Dearborn Street and South McCall Road. The fact that the lot is “clean” makes a surprising difference – now we will wait and see what is going to be built in it’s place. When that takes place I will update this blog.

Floating Crane at Park

A floating crane passing through Lemon Bay in April experienced a problem with the wind and weather and decided to take shelter at the Bay Heights park seawall. Unfortunately the draft of the vessel was greater than the depth of the water and the crane was stuck for some time. A number of power boats attempted to tow the crane into deeper water but they were underpowered for the job and I believe they had to send for a tugboat to get it underway.

 Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix.

April 11 – 13 brings super boat racing to Englewood. On the 11th the action is down in Punta Gorda with a parade followed by a display of the boats.  On Saturday, the 12th, activity moves to the Englewood Beach, with entertainment, Bikini and Beefcake contests, and Super Boat testing.
Sunday 13this Race Day with the Festival opening at Englewood Beach at 9 am and 1st race starting at 12 Noon and the 2nd race at 2 pm.  Awards are presented at 5pm.

Parking will be at various places around Englewood – there will be no parking on the beach, however, air conditioned buses will take you to the race village.






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New Year’s Resolutions.

I am not much in the way of New Year’s resolutions, however, this year I am planning to post more blogs than last year.  One of the things I plan on emphasizing is to urge Englewood residents to do business with local merchants when they can.

Lemon Bay Fest.

Starting on Feb 1st and continuing on through Feb 8 is the week of the Lemon Bay Fest, a celebration of the history of Englewood. The following is a list of the events during the week:

Feb. 1.

10 am – 2 pm    Open house tours of the 1928 Historic Lampp Home.
10:30 – 11:30   Manatee Insanity.  Talk at the Charlotte Co. Library
10:30 – 11:30   Elsie Quirk Library.
2 pm – 3 pm.     Manatee Insanity.  Elsie Quirk Library.

Feb. 3.

9:30 – 1 pm      Open House.   Historic Lemon Bay Woman’s Club.
9 am – 10 am   Hatha Yoga.   Englewood Sports Complex.
10:30 – 11:30  Placida History.     Elsie Quirk Library.
2 pm – 3 pm     Pirates, Rogues and Broadsides.  Elsie Quirk Library
5 pm – 6 pm     A Sense of Place.  Elsie Quirk Library.

Feb. 4

10:30 – 11:30   Music of Old with Dave.     Elsie Quirk Library.11:00 – 12:00   Florida Environment History.      Charlotte County Library.
2 pm  –  3 pm    Music of Old with Dave.       Charlotte County Library.
2 pm  –  3 pm    Florida Environment History.     Elsie Quirk Library.

Feb. 5

8:00  –  10:00   Sunrise Bird Walk.      Lemon Bay Park.
10:00 – 11:30   Pickleball Workshop    Englewood Sports Complex
10:30 – 11:30   The Devil in the White City.     Elsie Quirk Library.
2 pm  –  3 pm    Turn Back Time Band    Elsie Quirk Library.
2 pm  –  3 pm    Englewood History Presentation.      Charlotte County Library.

Feb. 6.

10:30 – 11:30   Adam Miller Folk Singer.      Elsie Quirk Library.
10:30 – 11:30   History of Valentine’s Day.       Pavilion #3 on  Englewood Beach.
2 pm  –  3 pm.   Adam Miller Folk Singer      Charlotte County Library.


Feb. 7.

9 am  –  12 pm       Pine Needles Baskets       Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay.
10:30 – 11:30         The Roaring 20’s in Charlotte County.   Elsie Quirk Library.11:00 – 12:00        Pirates, Rogues and Broadsides      Charlotte County Library.
1:00   –   4:00        Boondoggles.      Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay.
2:00  –    3:00        The Roaring 20’s in Charlotte County.   Charlotte County Library.
2:00  –    3:00        Sea Shells Extraordinaire.       Elsie Quirk Library.

Feb. 8.

10:30 – 12:00       Florida Birds of a Feather        Elsie Quirk Library.
10:00 – 4 pm        CRACKER FAIR                    Pioneer Park on Dearborn St.3 pm   – 8 pm        Open House                              Open Studio on Old Englewood Rd.

For more information and contact numbers, check their website by clicking here

Restaurants worth talking about.

Cove 2 s

We have whipped by this place on numerous occasions and finally pulled in to this delightful restaurant for lunch.

The Cove Bistro is located off Placida Road (8300 Wiltshire Drive) close to the entrance to West Rotonda Blvd.

Cove 1 s

The Cove Bistro combines a menu of German, American and Italian dishes so there is something on the menu for everyone. There is indoor dining as well as an outdoor patio area.
Live entertainment is provided on certain nights. For more information visit their website at: http://www.thecovebistro.com/

A closure was The Egg and I after 28 years on Placida Road, however it was only a few days before another sign went up advising customers that they were now joining forces with Beyond the Sea.  The Placida Road location will remain closed and breakfast will now be served at Beyond the Sea, off S. McCall Road.

Refer to http://englewoodfl.us to keep informed on what is happening in the Englewood area.





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December 2013


I have been producing this webside, http://englewoodfl.us , for close on 10 years now in an effort to promote the area as a excellant place to visit, winter, retire or relocate. I returned to this area after a long absence, over 30 years, and found that little had changed over that period of time. True there were more residents, more snowbirds every winter, more stores, more development, and so on, however there were some things that still remain the same and that is we do not support our local merchants. The same thing can also be said of the local merchants who would rather do business with vendors outside of Englewood feeling that they are getting a better “deal”. I find it interesting that a significant number of people I talk to have never been “downtown” to Dearborn Street, and prefer to go to Venice or Port Charlotte to shop.  A few years ago my wife and I used to enjoy a cup of coffee at the Village Cafe and watch potential clients tug at the locked doors of American Pie 30 minutes after they were supposed to open. They, and numerous other businesses, have closed their doors only to be replaced by the continuing cycle of new businesses moving in and failing after six months or so. The property between the old hardware store and Deborah’s was sold well over a year ago and now is fenced, waiting for what? Some others have “summer hours” others extended vacations, all of which are not healthy.  On the other hand I bought a trailer from Two Morrows and found out that the majority of owners buy their trailers on the internet from dealers in Georgia. I am not sure whether they are aware of the cost of gas to go and get the trailer or have it shipped. Two Morrows does get all the maintenance work because it is tough to take it back to where they bought it.  Disappointed in the Chamber of Commerce who awarded a contract for a promotional film on Englewood to a Tampa company. Do we not have anybody in this area who could do this? How many members do we have from Tampa.   A restaurant on Dearborn Street smugly told me recently that they used a Sarasota web design firm to do their website ….. I am sure that they will get a lot of business from the Sarasota area.

Folks, I still believe that Englewood is a great place to live but a bit of advice I will keep repeating.  SUPPORT YOU LOCAL BUSINESS.



Looking for a great place to stay  while in the Englewood area? Sunrise Rotonda Management Service has a number of 3 and 4 bedroom villas, with pools, available for short or long term lease. So if you have family visiting, are planning to “winterize” but want to upgrade from last year’s accommodations, waiting for your new home to be completed or starting early for next year you need to look into nabbing one of these gorgeous villas in the Rotonda area. Visit their website at http://sunriserotonda.com .

Lance Hendershot is more than happy to give customers advice on local businesses, places to shop, the best local tradesmen, etc., you will have the advantage of a friend in your corner.

Winter Arts Festival.

Winter Art Show #18

The Olde Englewood Village Association produced this event and, as per usual the show produced a number of stunning artists in a variety of craft.  The weather cooperated for the visitors and artists alike.

Click HERE to be taken to the art show.

Taylor : People to People Ambassador 2014

TaylorTaylor has been accepted to join the People to People Student Ambassador delegation travelling to Europe in the summer of 2014. The planned educational journey will include Spain, France and Italy. President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the People to People movement because he believed that ordinary citizens of different nations could solve their problems and live harmoniously. I was born and raised in South Africa and Nelson Mandela, a once in a lifetime man, was an example of President Eisenhower’s vision in this regard. Before settling down in Englewood I have been to 45 different countries, my wife has been to about 10, so our philosophies are in accordandance with the People to People program and we would like to have our grandchild have that experience.

What Taylor is doing to achieve these goals are:

Collecting used cell phones for recycling. Contact her Dad at 941-286-4444.

Collecting items locally that Rob can sell at auction or on the Internet. Call the number above for a pickup.

Cash donations can be made to Taylor Turner at P.O.Box 1471 Englewood. FL. 34295.

The goal is $7,500.  I will keep everyone informed of the progress made.









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October 2013

Buchan Fly In.

Fly In 19 2013 1s

A Maule amphibian shown departing the airport after enjoying breakfast at Buchan Airport. The Maule is based in Gasparillo Island. The fly in is an annual event and draws a number of aircraft including vintage and experimental models.  About 400 local enthusiasts showed up to meet the pilots, enjoy breakfast and look at the immaculately maintained aircraft.  To see more on the subject CLICK THIS LINK.

Changes on Dearborn St.

Downtown Water Project. s

For those who have been driving through the downtown area you will have come across the road construction that seems to be taking place all over the place.  This is all a part of the Storm Drainage project that is taking place in the downtown district. Hopefully this will all be completed by the end of the year, including the retention pond by Garrett Park, at the west end of Dearborn Street.

Coffee at Kathy’s

Coffee @ Kathey's 1s
Changes have been made to Coffee with  Kathy, since they purchased the business from the estate of of Shelley Stout who passed away recently.  There is new merchandise, coffee, pastries and ice cream with plans to have microbrewery beers available in the not-too distant future.

Bay City Grille.Bay City Grille 1s

The latest restaurant on Dearborn Street, opposite the Elsie Quirk Library, has opened to rave reviews. A diversified menu, with a full bar, and reasonable prices are a winning combination. The owner, Pete, insists that it is a restaurant with a bar (#1) and not a bar that serves food.

You owe it to yourself to give them a try and see what they can do.

Support your local businesses.

Real Estate presence on Dearborn.

Florida Shores R.E. s1
Florida Shores Real Estate has taken over the premises of Sandy Beach, across from Vino Loco.


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September 2013

Pioneer Day Parade    Sept. 2nd.

Enjoy a short video highlighting some of the participants in the parade.

Pioneer Days 2013 20s

 Click here to view the video.





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August 2013

A visit with Pauline Fawcett.

Pauline 004Pauline Fawcett is one of the premier artists who live in Englewood on a full time basis. We sat down and talked at her home, which is also her studio, and I videotaped some of the conversation. Pauline is originally from Montreal, Canada, and lived on the east coast of Florida before she and her husband settled in Englewood. Her husband is an avid gardener and some of the paintings come from flowers that grow in her yard.

 Coffee at Kathy’s.

Kathy and Bill Schulte have purchased the Village Gifts and Gallery from the estate of Shelly Stout and are in the process of renovating the store to fit their ideas. The new name will be Coffee at Kathy’s, & Seaside Shop of Sundries. Kathy intends to sell quality items at a reasonable price along with coffee, tea, soft drinks, fresh baked goods, hot dogs, ice cream and lemonade.

Prior to moving to Englewood in May, the Schultes owned and operated a trucking business in California and ran a deck and fence company in Oregon before moving to this area to be near Bill’s father who lives in North Port.  Stop by the shop at 425 W.Dearborn St, and see the progress they are making with the transformation.

New Dollar General Store.

New building …. New store. A new Dollar General Dollar General
has opened on Placida Road (at the bottom of San Casa).

There are a number of “Dollar” stores in Englewood, one on the north side, one in the center of town, one to the south and now this one.

All of this brings up a point ….. Englewood has it’s fair share of excellent artists, stores, restaurants, plumbers, electricians, etc.
As a community, we need to support our local businesses in order for them to survive.






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July 2013

In Memory Of.

Shelly Stout (s)

Shelly Alane Stout.  Nov 4 1962     June 12 2013

Dearborn Street has lost one of it’s brightest stars to a battle with cancer on June 12th. Shelly was the owner of the Village Gifts & Gallery and Roasters Coffee Bar, served as Board Member of the Olde Englewood Village Association and was a booster for all of the store owners on Dearborn Street. Always smiling and cheerful, she was one of the mainstays of the downtown district. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Warm Mineral Springs.

pano 1 Word Press

Warm Mineral Springs, located off US 41 in North Port, is the only mineral springs in the State of Florida. The primary water supply is a spring vent 207 feet beneath the pool’s water surface and discharges an estimated 20 million gallons ( 76 million liters) a day of warm ( 87 F / 30 C) mineralized water.

The 81 acre property was developed into a private resort and spa in the 60’s and soon developed a devoted following of bathers from all parts of the world who believe that the high concentrates of dissolved chloride and hydrogen sulfide in the water provide relief for a variety of ailments.

In December 2010 the property was purchased by the city of North Port and Sarasota County for $5.5 million. The agreement with the operator of the facility concluded at the end of June and the resort is now closed.  The two governments have argued for months over everything from ownership to day-to-day operations of the springs. They have agreed to search for a short-term operator, but finding one could take months, and re-opening the empty buildings surrounding the springs could take many more months.

Sarasota County leaders believe joint ownership of Warm Mineral Springs with the City of North Port will only result in “continued conflict,” however, neither side wants to sell to the other so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. In the interim, the facility is closed, approximately 60 persons have to seek employment elsewhere and a huge amount of revenue in the area is lost.

Sea Turtle Nesting.

Judging by the number of stakes on the beaches these days I would think that we are having a banner year as far as numbers are concerned. One item that is often neglected is the condition of the beach for the hatchlings. When we leave craters in the beach when we leave it becomes a hazard for the hatchlings when they are struggling to get to the water.  Check out more information on sea turtles by following this link.


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May 2013

LBHS pano

Lemon Bay High School Update.

A panoramic view of the Lemon Bay High School shows the progress that is being made at the school with finished buildings in the background.The large expanse in the foreground is the area that used to be occupied by the administration buildings, which were recently demolished and the rubble cleared. Currently the administration section is housed in the trailer located behind the bulldozer. Construction on the new administration building will begin in the near future.

2013 Spring Arts Fest

Click the link above to view the video.

A short video taken at the Spring Arts Festival. I have a verbal commitment from 3 top notch local artists for interviews in the summer and I am really looking forward to it.

 James Sears, bronze sculptures, wood carvings.

Ben Essenburg, Florida wildlife artist creates amazing paintings.

Pauline Fawcett, Floral artist with incredible beauty in her paintings.

Evening Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market is going to be continued during the summer months of May and June every Thursday evening from 4pm to 8pm on Dearborn Street. The location will be on the corner of Dearborn and Orange, on the north side of the street.




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February 2013

Lemon Bay Fest.

February is one of the busiest times of the year as far as events occurring in Englewood, Florida
First came the Lemon Bay Fest, a week-long celebration of the history of Englewood.
Here is a list of some of the activities that happened.

Every Day: Nature cruises with Capt. LeMotte.

Feb. 4th.     Open House at the historic Lemon Bay Woman’s Club.
Dr. Katie McHugh shared information about dolphin research at Mote
Marine.                Elsie Quirk Library.
Music of Old with Dave.   Dave Kilbrade at the Elsie Quirk Library.
Monday Matinee @ the Elsie Quirk Library.

Feb. 5th.    Geocaching 101 at the Englewood Sports Complex.
Bobbie Rodgers, Erin Mahaney and John Bass discuss the history of the  Cookie House and  Bass Lab.  Cedar Point Environmental Center.
Crafting to Hollywood & Beyond with Garry & Cindy Walter.  Elsie Quirk Library.
Feb. 6th.    Lemon Bay Park Sunrise Bird Walk.  A guided walk through Lemon Bay
Pickelball Workshop.   At the Englewood Sorts Complex.
The Natural Treasures of Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Charle Sobczak presented a program on the numerous parks in the two Florida Counties.    Elsie Quirk Library.
The Natural Treasures of Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Charles Sobczak  presented a program on the numerous parks in the two  Florida Counties.  Elsie Quirk Library.
The Natural Treasures of Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Charles Sobczak presented a program on the numerous parks in the two  Florida Counties.  Tringali Community Center.

Feb 7th.   Let the Waves Roll High.    Sail the coast of Florida aboard a Tall Ship with          singer, sailor, songwriter & storyteller Chris Kastle. Elsie Quirk Library.
History of Valentine’s Day Beach Story Time.   Holiday themed craft & story for kids and parents.      Pavilion 3 on Englewood Beach.
Let the Waves Roll High.    Sail the coast of Florida aboard a Tall Ship  with  singer, sailor, songwriter & storyteller Chris Kastle. Tringali Community Center.

Feb. 8th.   Pine Needle Baskets.    Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay.
Crafting to Hollywood and Beyond.    Garry & Cindy Walter.
Boondoggles.   Learn to weave a small palm leaf for a wall decoration.   Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay.
BackinTyme – A Hint of Lemon.   Storytelling and music featuring Frank & Mary Lee Sweet.   Elsie Quirk Library.
History of Indian Mound Park.    Don Schilke shares the history from 1000 BC  to present day.  Tringali Community Center.

Feb. 9th.   Lemon Bay F.I.S.H. Project.   A wading tour with American Littoral Biologist     Chuck Idelberger.   Lemon Bay Park.
Florida Seashell Postcards.   Children 5 & up design and color their own postcard.                  Elsie Quirk Library.

Festivities for the whole family. Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street.

Cutting up the contest entries.

OPEN STUDIO Party.    Visit Open Studio for a tour.    380 Old Englewood Road.

 For more information CLICK HERE.

As you can see, there were a lot of functions during the week, with plenty of things to do for all ages.  If you missed this year, plan on attending next year.

Englewood Book Fair.

Saturday, February 16th, was the 4th annual Book Fair, held at Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street.  Quite a number of authors were on hand to display their works, talk to visitors and to sign books purchased. Some of the authors were here at previous book fairs and it was good to talk to them again.
Priscilla Hurd, author of the 13th Goddess, Priscilla Hurd.is now working on a sequel, so I am expecting it to be out in time for the next book fair.

For more photographs and information on the Book Fair click on the http://Englewoodfl.us/Book_Fair.htm link to be taken there.

 Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon a

After a number of years being closed and the building being ransacked, fixtures removed along with wiring, broken windows it would seem improbable to bring the Blue Lagoon back to it’s former glory.

Bob LaigleBob and Peggy Laigle took up the challenge and recently the Blue Lagoon reopened with new staff, new chef in the kitchen and a new bar, the Blue Lagoon  has once again established itself as one of the finest restaurants in the area.

The menu is designed around American dishes with a Continental flair and some spectacular Italian fare. From Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Vegetarian, Seafood, Fowl and Meat Dishes, Classic Italian Meals, there is something here for everybody.

Dining Room. Local customers enjoying their meal.

 The Blue Lagoon is located on the corner of Placida Road and Oyster Creek Drive, just south of the Lemon Bay High School.  They can be reached at: 941-475-1030.


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January 2013

Wetlands lost?

Not too long ago I became aware of an attempt by a property owner to get approval to fill in over 5 acres of wetlands in Lemon Bay in order to build new homes. I filed my objections to the Southwest Florida Water Management District on the grounds of environmental changes to the area, which includes destroying mangrove trees and upsetting the breeding grounds of numerous species of fish that use that area. Lemon Bay Cove, as it is to be called if built, is to be situated on Beach Road – next to Sandpiper Keys – and is owned by a resident of Fort Myers (in Lee County). My objections were dutifully filed with the Southwest Florida Water Management District for consideration in the matter. In December I received the following reply:

Thank you for providing comments to the Southwest Florida Water Management District regarding the Lemon Bay Cove environmental resource permit application. Your correspondence is now part of the official file of record for this permit.

The District issued the permit on December 20,2012 in accordance with Florida statutes. Though not required, this permit will provide additional water quality treatment that meets heightened aquatic preserve standards.

In addition, impacts to mangrove wetlands at the project site will be offset by mangrove improvements at the Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank in Lee County. There will be no net loss of wetland functions in the mitigation bank service area. The mitigation bank was permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection and its service area includes Lemon Bay.

Environmental resource permits protect wetlands and floodplain functions, treat water quality of stormwater runoff and reduce the risk of new development causing flooding. The District permit does not relieve the applicant from having to obtain any other necessary local, state or federal permits.

The District solicited comments from other agencies on the permit application and did not receive any agency objections.

Attached is a copy of the final agency action. The notice includes information regarding the rights of individuals whose substantial interests are or may be affected by the District’s action.

Again, thank you for providing your comments. We appreciate your input.

I find it incomprehensible how we can fill in the bay to create more waterfront homes, that really are not needed, and as an additional slap in the face to local residents grant the owner of the property mangrove improvements to an area in which she lives (Lee County). Unbelievable.

Children’s Playground.

Work is well underway for a children’s playground area in the Ann Deevers Memorial Park. The playground is located adjacent to the tennis courts and the skate park. Bathroom and baby changing facilities are right there.  This is a great, and thoughtful, addition to the Park System of Charlotte County.

Playground 3

Playground 4


 Makeover and Upgrade.

Taco Bell has recently reopened their restaurant after completing a complete interior and exterior refurbishment.

Taco Bell cropped
The interior has a more open look and feel, the booths in the center of the dining area have been removed in favor of circular tables and stools. New bathrooms round out the modifications.  Taco Bell is located next to the Wells Fargo Bank at S. McCall Rd and Placida Road.

Taco Bell 2 Taco Bell 1


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