Guardian Ad Litem info 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. If you are interested, attend a one-hour online informational session via Zoom. The May session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. May 12. 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. To receive the Zoom specifics for the May session, call 941-467-4663 or email Rick.Sloan@gal.fl.gov. Other dates and session times available.

Dog park closure

Katherine Ariens Dog Park at Edgewater Park will be closed May 6 for flea and tick spraying of both the large and small dog areas. The Katherine Ariens Dog Park is located at 22410 Glass Lane in Port Charlotte.

Painting at aerial pipeline crossingsPainting at aerial pipeline crossings will be performed throughout South Gulf Cove, the Village of Holiday Lake and Cape Haze starting Monday until May 14. Boat traffic will not be affected. The Utilities Department reminds boaters to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of work zones.

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 Joe 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.

Englewood Opry

The Englewood Opry, featuring The Sidemen and the Gulf Breeze Bluegrass Band, will play classic country and bluegrass from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Life Realized, 501 W. Dearborn St., Englewood. The shows are BYOB and free. Bring a chair. For more information, visit englewood-opry.com.

Taxing units need volunteers

The following MSBU/TU Advisory Boards are seeking volunteers who must be both a property owner within and reside within the Unit. Submit applications to Public Works Department, 7000 Florida St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950; call 941-575-3600 or e-mail MSBU-TU@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

• Boca Grande Street & Drainage Unit: one member to fill a vacant unexpired term through Oct. 31, 2021.


• Gulf Cove Waterway Unit: one member to fill a vacant unexpired term through Oct. 31, 2022.

• Harbour Heights Waterway: two members to fill vacant unexpired terms through Oct. 31, 2021 and Oct. 31, 2022.

• Northwest Port Charlotte Street & Drainage Unit: one member to a fill vacant unexpired term through Oct. 31, 2022.

• Northwest Port Charlotte Waterway Unit: one member to a fill vacant unexpired term through Oct. 31, 2022.

• Rotonda Heights Street & Drainage Unit: one member to fill a vacant unexpired term through Oct. 31, 2021.

• Rotonda Lakes Street & Drainage Unit: five members to fill vacant unexpired terms through Oct. 31, 2021, Oct. 31, 2022, and Oct. 31, 2023.

• Rotonda Sands North Street & Drainage Unit: one member to fill vacant unexpired terms through Oct. 31, 2021.

Coping with COVID A COVID-19 support group meets at Tri-County Counseling for free from 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays, and 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at 12543 Tamiami Trail, Warm Mineral Springs. A mental health counselor helps participants learn to cope effectively with stress, anxiety and depression during this crisis. The counselor also helps with wellness techniques that foster mental and emotional health and gain invaluable support from other local residents struggling with similar issues. For more information, call 941-876-3060 or email ashley@tri-countycounseling.org.

Rotary to host Healing Field of Honor

The Punta Gorda Rotary Club will host the Healing Field of Honor over Memorial Day weekend in Laishley Park, Punta Gorda. The event will display as many as 1,000 U.S. flags waving atop 8-foot poles as a tribute to first responders, nurses and doctors, and the men and women who have served and are currently serving in all branches of the military. Flags are available for sponsorship for $40 each to be taken home after the event, which will run from May 28-31. Donations along with business and corporate sponsorships are also being accepted online at https://www.healingfield.org/event/puntagordafl21/, by any member of the Punta Gorda Rotary Club, or at the time of the event. Flags can be dedicated in honor or in memory of a loved one or your local hero or organization. Healing Field of Honor proceeds will be used for the charitable programs sponsored by the Punta Gorda Rotary Charity & Education Foundation. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks: assembling the flags, putting them up in the park, taking them down at the end of the display, and more. To volunteer, call or text Darcy Hanley at 303-927-9437.

Boat ramp closures

Intermittent boat ramp closures to replace boarding piers will occur through July 1 at Port Charlotte Beach Park, 4500 Harbor Blvd. in Port Charlotte. One boat ramp will remain open at a time for public use while the work is being completed. Park visitors should exercise caution around the construction area.

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.

Mote’s reporting hotline

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium offers a 24/7 hotline for reporting distressed, injured or deceased sea turtles, manatees, dolphins or whales in the Sarasota/Manatee region: 888-345-2335. Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program responds to reports of distressed, injured or deceased sea turtles, manatees, dolphins or whales throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. Members of the community are strongly advised to report to the hotline, and are advised to not attempt to assist any distressed or injured animal on their own. In the rest of Florida, call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.

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