Candidate forum canceled

Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the overall well-being of our community, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel Wednesday’s 2020 Candidates’ Forum. Chamber officials are, however, planning a “virtual town hall” of sorts for the candidates contending in the upcoming primary election. This information will be forthcoming as soon as possible, and will also then be considered for the general election candidates. Additionally, all question responses provided to the chamber will be made available on the chamber's website, www.charlottecountychamber.org, and distributed electronically to the membership.

Aysen Drive to close

Aysen Drive between Rancagua Drive and Santarem Circle in Deep Creek will be closed from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. through Thursday. Detour signs will be 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 Caroline Wannall at 941-764-4304 or Caroline.Wannall@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Free guided walk at Amberjack

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join Mike Weisensee at 8 a.m. July 15 on a free guided bird walk through the scrub and pine flatwoods of the 217-acre Amberjack Environmental Park in Rotonda. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Back 2 School Bash

Charlotte County Community Services will be hosting a drive-thru Back 2 School Bash from 9-11 a.m. July 18 at Harold Avenue Regional Park recreation center, 23400 Harold Ave., Port Charlotte. Five hundred backpacks will be given away to the first 350 students entering kindergarten through fifth grade, and to the first 150 students entering sixth through 12th grade. Children must be present to receive a backpack and all families must remain in their vehicles. For information, contact Jill Boyd at 941-681-3760 or Jill.Boyd@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Free guided walk at Oyster Creek

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC on a free guided walk at 8 a.m. July 23 through the old growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125-acre Oyster Creek/Ann Dever Regional Park in Englewood. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Canoe/kayak launch to close

The canoe/kayak launch and associated sidewalk and parking lot at Bayshore Live Oak Park will be closed for construction July 27-Aug. 9. Patrons are encouraged to use other areas of the park until construction is complete. Bayshore Live Oak Park is located at 23157 Bayshore Road in Port Charlotte.

Guardian Ad Litem information session

The Florida Guardian Ad Litem program needs community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by the adults in their life. Throughout this ordeal, GAL advocates are a consistent factor in these children’s lives. Your training helps ensure they have the needed services and support to find a safe permanent home. If you are interested in being a champion for the children in your community, attend a one-hour online informational sessions via Zoom. The August sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 5 and Aug. 19. Open to all full-time residents at least 21 years of age with eight to 10 hours monthly to volunteer with staff support and free training provided. For more information or to sign up for one of the August sessions, call 941-467-4663 or email Rick.Sloan@gal.fl.gov. Other dates and session times available.

Free guided walk at Oyster Creek

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC on a free guided walk at 8 a.m. Aug. 13 through the old growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125-acre Oyster Creek/Ann Dever Regional Park in Englewood. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Sarasota County hiring poll workers

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is urging Sarasota County voters to consider working as poll workers for the Aug. 18 Primary Election and Nov. 3 General Election.

“Sarasota County is facing a shortage of poll workers for coming elections, which are only months away,” Turner said. “Recruiting poll workers is always challenging but recruiting during the current health crisis makes it especially difficult to ensure adequate staffing levels at the polls,” he added.

Poll workers are paid for training and for working at the polls. The total compensation ranges from $160 to $275, depending on the position worked. Turner noted that, for the coming elections, his office is also recruiting bilingual (English-Spanish) workers, as well as high school and college students, who meet the criteria listed.

To be a poll worker, one must:

• Be a registered voter of Sarasota County (or be at least 16 years of age and pre-registered to vote);

• Be able to read, write and speak English,

• Complete state-mandated training prior to each election, and

• Be willing to work a minimum of 14 hours on Election Day, from 6 a.m. until after the polls have closed (7 p.m.) and all tasks have been completed.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, visit SarasotaVotes.com. You can complete and submit your application online in just a few minutes. For more information, call 941-861-8640.

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