FWC wants your input

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be holding three virtual workshops to gather public input about the short-term management of snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in Southwest Florida.

Beginning in August 2018, the FWC made a series of temporary, precautionary regulation changes to help conserve snook, redfish and spotted seatrout following a prolonged red tide that occurred in late 2017 through early 2019. These popular inshore species were made catch-and-release only in all local waters through May 31, 2021.

FWC staff want to know how these fisheries are doing and your ideas for how to manage these species after the catch-and-release measure expires. These workshops begin at 6 p.m., and each webinar will be tailored to a specific area:

• Charlotte Harbor area and south: April 5.

• Sarasota Bay area: April 6.

• Tampa Bay area and north: April 8.

To participate in these workshops, connect here at the time and date specified: FWC.adobeconnect.com/redtide.

If you can’t attend one of the virtual workshops, a virtual workshop will be posted online in the near future on the workshop page.

Family Fishing Clinic

Join North Port Parks & Recreation for the annual Family Fishing Clinic, set for 9 a.m.-noon April 10 at McKibben Park, 5500 Trekell St., North Port. Participants can learn basic fishing skills such as knot-tying, casting, baiting the hook, and safely taking fish off of the hook. No fishing license is required during the event. Children must bring an adult to fish with. Registration is $5 and includes a pole and tackle to take home. Register at http://bit.ly/NPFishing. All participants are asked to practice good physical distancing and are encouraged to wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. For assistance, please call 941-429-PARK(7275).

Computer group

Charlotte County Computer Group has been providing monthly meetings to membership via Zoom during 2020 but the first face-to-face meetings have resumed at the Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda.

Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month with a computer class at 6 p.m. and general meeting at 7 p.m. The meetings feature navigating around computers, laptops and Chromebooks. CCCGC offers membership to individuals for an annual fee of $35 for one individual or $45 for two individuals in a household. Membership fee includes computer repair and classes at no charge. The next meeting will be April 6 at the Military Heritage Museum, 900 Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, guest speaker will be Gary Butler, executive director of the Military Museum. Previous meetings can be viewed at https://youtube.com/channel/UC7Jpkwhi8Sdl-FQSdjnY7Og

CCCGC accepts used computers and monitors and refurbishes these for distribution to eligible families in Charlotte County. Families and eligible college students interested in more information should contact school counselor; veterans should contact Grover Mudd at the club.

More information about club membership, obtaining a computer or computer donation can be obtained at http://cccgc.info or by calling 941-585-0356.

Englewood Beach restrooms update

The restrooms at Englewood Beach at Chadwick Park will be closed for renovation through May 21. Portable toilets and hand-washing stations will be available for public use during this time.

Annual Tree Fair

The Annual Tree Fair sponsored by People for Trees will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 24 at the City Center Green, 4970 City Hall Blvd., North Port. Hundreds of 3-gallon native trees (4- to 8-feet tall) will be $15 each, including sweetgum, elm, bald cypress, slash pine, longleaf pine, southern red cedar, dahoon holly, pignut hickory, red maple, sycamore and sugarberry. “Tree Talks” will start at 10 a.m. There will be planting and tree climbing demonstrations. Florida Master Gardeners will be in the tree nursery area to answer questions about the native trees for sale and have information about Florida-friendly gardening. There will be music and food trucks. For more information, visit peoplefortrees.com or call Alice White 941-468-2486.

Boat ramp closed

The boat ramp at Riverside Park, 8120 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda, will be closed to motorized vessels until further notice. The ramp will remain open for non-motorized vessels, such as kayaks and canoes.

Blood drive

The GFWC Rotonda West Woman’s Club & Rotonda Golf and Country Club are joining for a blood drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12 at The Hills Marina, 100 Rotonda Circle, Rotonda West. The OneBlood bloodmobile will be there. Contact Ellen Lang at grammylang@gmail.com or 917-579-7770 for appointments.

Charlotte County parking pass

Parking pass are now available for purchase at Charlotte County recreation centers and pools. Parking passes can also be purchased through the mail, phone or the tax collector’s office. Download the application online at www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov/parks and click Parking & Parking Passes. For information, contact Mike Koenig at 941-625-7529 or Mike.Koenig@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

'Left Coast Connections' exhibit


The Englewood Art Center, a division of Ringling College of Art and Design, presents “Left Coast Connections,” a group exhibition curated by George Zebot, on exhibit through May 28. This exhibition features the work of 31 artists with connections to the visionary artist and teacher, Dick Oden, who taught at California State University Long Beach. Showings are by appointment only. For more information, visit www.ringling.edu/EAC or call 941-474-5548.

Cultural Center car show fundraiser

A car show will take place at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 17. There will be food, music, drinks, games, door prizes and a 50/50 drawing. All cars on display will be judged and trophies will be awarded. Admission is a $5 donation to the Cultural Center for adults, $2 for kids ages 5-12, and free for kids younger than 5. Register your vehicle in advance for the show by contacting Emily at 941-625-4175, ext. 215. There is a $10 donation to the Cultural Center to register your car. The first 50 cars to register will receive free lunch. Car owners also can register the day of beginning at 9 a.m. Trophies will be awarded for Best in Show along with best vehicles from decades representing the 1930s-1980s. For more information or sponsorship, call Stephen Carter at 941-625-4175, ext. 214.

Cornhole tournament

The 2021 Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association Cornhole Tournament will be held April 18 at the Celtic Ray. Registration begins at noon and bags will be in the air at 1 p.m. Bring a business card for check-in and to determine starting brackets. It's a double-elimination tournament with prizes awarded for first, second and third places. There also will be a 50/50 drawing. A portion of the net proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the CDBIA Young Building Professionals.

Phosphate mining meeting

The DeSoto County Commission will hold a public workshop at 9 a.m. April 20 in the Turner Agri Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St., Arcadia. The purpose of the meeting is to receive and discuss presentations on Mosaic's water quality monitoring programs and practices. No formal action concerning phosphate mining will be taken by the commissioners at the workshop.

Charlotte County Centennial Gala

Charlotte County will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the county’s creation with a Centennial Gala from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. April 23 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. This gala will include a cocktail hour, dinner, cash bar, dancing and live entertainment. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased at www.charlottecounty100.com/centennial-gala. For more information, contact Cindy DiGiacomo at 941-235-5009 or Cynthia.Digiacomo@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Charlotte Chorale concert

Take a walk down memory lane with The Charlotte Chorale's concert "The Rhythm of Life" at 4 p.m. April 24 at First Baptist Church Punta Gorda, 459 Gill St. The Chorale will present songs from various composers highlighting memorable events ranging from our childhood to our sunset years. Join us in sharing the journey of life through song.

A professional-level chorus of local singers dedicated to the enrichment of music of all genres, The Charlotte Chorale is under the outstanding direction of Dr. William Dederer. This will be the final concert for the 2020-21 season. Tickets can be purchased by calling 941-204-0033. Adults $25, students $10, payment by credit card is available. The audience will be limited to meet social distancing guidelines. Tickets and advanced registration are required.

For more information, please visit charlottechorale.com or e mail thecharlottechorale@yahoo.com.

Hibiscus Festival

The 16th Annual Punta Gorda Hibiscus Festival will be held from April 30-May 2 in Gilchrist Park, 400 W. Retta Esplanade. The festival is open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. April 30, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 1, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 2. There will be vendors with crafts, plants and food, as well as live music. For more info, go to thehibiscusfestival.com.

Loveland Boulevard closed

Loveland Boulevard from from Midas Court to Wickens Avenue in Port Charlotte will be closed until April 30. Detour signs are in place to aid in travel through this area. Travelers are encouraged to choose an alternate route when possible. The Utilities Department reminds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of construction zones. For information, contact Dean Campbell at 941-764-4364 or Dean.Campbell@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Community Conversation

The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County, along with Florida Gulf Coast University, Department of Health Sciences at the Marieb College of Health & Human Services, will have its first virtual bi-annual Community Conversation for Spring 2021 from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. May 5.

According to Dr. Pepe, Health Administrator, “Mental health is a key component to overall wellness. As we continue to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, mental health must be a part of that recovery effort. This series is a collaboration between the Health Department and partners to facilitate these conversations more frequently to improve services to our community.”

Community Conversations is a health series by the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County that will invite various public health experts to discuss current health topics and trends most relevant to Charlotte County residents. Each Community Conversation will have a Q&A portion. The first Community Conversation includes Dr. Maka Tsulukidze, assistant professor at the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in the Department of Health Sciences, Marieb College of Health & Human Services, who will discuss current mental health trends and provide practical research-based strategies that we can all take to improve our daily mental health, especially in this time of COVID.

It is free and open to all. To register, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCSpr21.

For any questions about this event, email HealthyCharlotte@flhealth.gov.

Olean Boulevard closure

Olean Boulevard from Harbor Boulevard to Easy Street will be closed until May 14. This closure is required for the Olean Boulevard widening project. The contractor will be installing underground utilities and storm drains. The detour will be Harbor Boulevard, Easy Street to Gibralter Drive. Detour signs will be in place directing traffic. Travelers are encouraged to choose an alternate route when possible.

Intermittent nightly lane closures will be ongoing at the intersection of Olean and Harbor boulevards during this time. Harbor Boulevard will remain open to through traffic. Warning signs will be in place to direct traffic. Travelers may experience intermittent, slow-moving traffic and/or temporary delays and should allow extra time when planning to travel through this area. Travelers are encouraged to choose an alternate route when possible.

The Public Works Department reminds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of construction zones. For information on this project, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov/Olean.

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