Sea turtle nesting season starts Tuesday residents and visitors are asked to remember to share the beaches. To protect nesting turtles homes and businesses along the beach are required to dim their lights. In the past Turtles coming ashore to nest were scared away by too many lights – and hatchlings were confused – moving toward streetlights – rather than moonlight over the water. Eve Haverfield is with Turtle Time – she shares the same message every spring.
“People living along the beach and people visiting the beach need to share the beach…we can be turtle friendly and still have all the amenities that beaches provide. But people do need to know that they share this particular habitat with sea turtles that depend on this for their survival.”
Leatherbacks, Kemp’s ridley, Green and hawksbill are all endangered turtles. The most common turtle on Florida’s shores, the Loggerheads, are threatened. Sea turtle nesting season continues through end of October.
“One of the approaches we could take is we could go ahead and put a price on all these items and they raise some money for a building fund or that type of activity but what we’re talking about here is giving without any thought of return and I have a feeling that just us giving in that way will open our minds and hearts and so we’ll receive sort of an inner blessing.”
Reverand Rosemergy has put on a Circulation Day for the past five years at his previous church in Missouri.
The congregation at Unity of Fort Myers has donated used items, except for clothing, and the public is invited tomorrow (Saturday) between 8:30 and noon to take what ever folks want. The church is on Ranchette Road in Lee County.
As the drought in Southwest Florida continues – Charlotte County is stepping up its efforts to enforce water use restrictions.
Most of Charlotte County – except for the Babcock Ranch – and the area immediately surrounding it – lies in the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Faced with increasing demand and no increase in supply – in 2001 the district limited lawn irrigation to once a week. Charlotte County Utilities Leigh Spriemont says in light of the lingering drought – that rule will be more strictly enforced.
“We are going to be dedicating 3 of our staff members fulltime to enforce the watering restrictions and distributing the warnings. They will be assigned to specific parts of the county and will be driving around on the lookout for watering violations and issuing warnings and educational materials to ensure that our customers are aware of the restrictions and are following them”
Spriemont stresses that the restrictions include water from all sources – including wells on private property. Ninety five percent of Charlotte County’s water comes from the Peace River – the rest is slightly salty ground water that’s treated with reverse osmosis.
Charlotte County is stepping up enforcement of water use restrictions. Three staff members will be on the lookout fulltime for violators – issuing warnings and handing out educational materials about the need to conserve. Lawn irrigation in Charlotte County is allowed only one day a week – on Tuesday or Sunday – depending on address. Charlotte County Utilities Leigh Spriemont – says this means ALL water.
“our restrictions and the SW Florida water management district restrictions apply to all water sources – that include public water supplies like charlotte county utilities as well as private wells, canals, any water source other than reclaimed water is covered under those restrictions”
Most of Charlotte County’s water comes from the Peace River. The ongoing drought has significantly reduced flow in the river – leading to the increased effort to manage water use.
The Florida Department of Education released district-by-district scores for the 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test’s Writing Exam Wednesday.
This is the first year students have received scores that include their performance on a new multiple-choice portion of the FCAT writing test.
Results on the essay portion – which students have been taking for years – show a slight increase versus a year ago. But the combined scores statewide aren’t as rosy. Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg.
“The results for this year are that in grade 4 60-percent of the students are at or above grade level…that’s level 3 and above on writing skills. In 8th 45-percent of students are at or above grade level. And grade 10 49-percent are at or above grade level.”
Blomberg says individual school grades will be calculated on essay scores only. But that the combined scores will eventually be used to determine if high school students can graduate.
Beginning with the class of 2010 all students will have to score 300 or better on the combined FCAT writing test to graduate. The requirement does not affect this year’s 10th graders… only 49-percent of which met the standard.
Here in Southwest Florida: Charlotte Sarasota County students surpassed the state average – Lee County was almost exactly average…while students in Glades, Hendry and Collier Counties all scored below the statewide numbers.
As parents across Southwest Florida go online for information about the latest FCAT scores…officials at the Department of Education are issuing a warning about misleading websites.
With F-CAT scores now available for parents online, a number of bogus websites have turned up. The actual website is www-dot-fcat-parent-network-dot-com. But officials at the Florida Department of Education say there are a few websites that are just one letter off and are misleading parents for financial gain. Spokeswoman Jennifer Fennel says they take advantage of people’s mistakes.
“It doesn’t have anything derogatory on student scores, basically it’s someone that is trying to capitalize on knowing that people often type something wrong, and going in…it’s paid links, it’s advertising, trying to get people to buy stuff.”
The Department has released the 2007 FCAT writing results. But the actual writing scores come out next week.
Florida’s Senior Senator Democrat Bill Nelson wants Congress to pass the Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2007 after two more Florida children were killed by cars in their own driveways last weekend.
The Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2007 would install technology in cars that could help alert drivers to children behind their vehicles.
Nelson says such a law might have helped save the life of a 5-year-old Fort Myers girl who died Saturday after her 16-year-old brother backed into her while parking the family car. Or it might have saved a Hollywood 3-year-old girl who died Friday because she wandered behind her father's car as he was backing out of the driveway.
“There’s been a 138% increase in the last six years in the number of children killed in these non-crash fatalities in which people back over a child because they can’t see the child.”
Nelson says this month alone 11 children nationwide have been killed in this manner.
The Act would also require a vehicle’s service brake to engage while parked to prevent cars from rolling backwards. And it would mandate power windows automatically reverse direction to prevent a child from getting stuck as the window closes.
Two children died in Florida last weekend after being run-over by cars driven by relatives in their own driveways. One was a 5-year-old Fort Myers girl killed by her 16-year-old brother as he parked the car.
This prompted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida to push the bipartisan Kids and Cars Act in Congress today (Tuesday). Nelson says the law would reduce the number of deaths and injuries by alerting drivers to the presence of a small child, or any object, behind a vehicle.
He says in the last six years, there’s been a 138 percent increase in the number of children killed this way.
“This month alone, April, there have been 11 children backed over and killed in this country. These injuries and deaths continue to occur even though we have the technology to prevent many of them but we need legislation to put this technology to use.”
The legislation would also ensure power windows reverse direction to prevent a child from being trapped and provide for a car’s service brake to engage to prevent it from rolling backwards down an incline.
Nominations are being accepted for the first annual Rose of Care Award. The program is sponsored by the women’s service organization Hadassah and is aimed at recognizing Lee County registered nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty. Linda Sweet chairs the program. She says nurses are unsung heroes.
“they’re the first to go and help in national emergencies – we have many local nurses and we’re getting wonderful stories in that go to different countries to third world countries to help out during summer vacation – it’s a much bigger profession than its ever been"
The program is modeled on the Golden Apple Awards for teachers. The recipient of the Rose of Care Award and 3 runners-up will be announced in October. The award includes an expense paid trip to the Hadassah Hospital in Israel. The nomination period runs through May 30. Applications are at Publix Supermarkets and on-line at Roseofcare.org.
Nearly five million Americans are living with congestive heart failure. According to the American Heart Association there is no cure. But a new therapy using stem cells derived from a patient's own blood is challenging that prognosis. Others question the therapy. WGCU's Valerie Alker has this report on a medical practice in Bonita Springs that's sending patients halfway around the world for a desperate shot at living a longer, better life.