Is wildlife too messy to intrude in our world?


As I drove to Nokomis Beach two Sundays ago (to pick up trash), I pass the T.J. Maxx-Winn-Dixie shopping center.

“Wow,” I thought, because I saw three vultures perched atop the light poles with wings outstretched.

As I proceeded north on U.S. 41, instead of the usual two ospreys on light poles, there were six or seven. Very unusual.

So on the way home I looked for the osprey next on the Winn-Dixie side of the plaza — gone!

Then I saw that the vultures I saw were not real but black, metal light fixtures. Were these particular ones chosen to keep the birds away?

Later in the week, I saw the same “vulture” light fixtures in front of the new Publix at Blackburn Road.

We have taken their trees. Have we now told them to just go away? They are too messy for our shopping plazas? Do we want only cement? Do we really think we don’t want the wild to intrude in our lives anymore? Do we think...

Jane Moskowitz Mack


Polio: Forgotten but not gone in Florida


September was the big month for polio cases in the U.S. during the epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s. Polio has been forgotten but is not gone. About 1 million North American polio survivors are still alive from the polio epidemics, with more than 70,000 living in Florida.

Recovered from polio, survivors now have post-polio sequelae, the unexpected and often disabling symptoms — overwhelming fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, sleep disorders, heightened sensitivity to anesthesia, cold intolerance, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. These occur decades after the acute polio infection when the reduced number of remaining poliovirus-damaged neurons “brownout” or fail due to overuse.

Living with post-polio sequelae is challenging, especially when few medical processionals know about polio or how to treat PPS. It is with hope that this letter can bring much needed awareness. Polio survivors have been forgotten, but we certainly are not gone. Written with the help of my physician and friend Dr. Richard Bruno.

Sandra Donnellan


Venice: Be ready. They’re coming


I no sooner opened the paper this morning; but there’s the headline “Venice Municipal Pier is open.” Yippee!

Having not made any plans for the day, what better way to start but with a ride to the pier. Off I go before 9 a.m., a quick stop for my favorite cup of joe, and I arrived in no time.

I was surprised to see only a handful of people had arrived but I forget it’s Saturday morning.

The pier is everything the Gondolier described and then some. Fishermen were already testing the waters and the Brazilian walnut used in the refurbishment is striking. Pigeons were staking their claim on the railings and I expect the seagulls are soon to arrive.

As I enjoyed the walk to the end and back, I’m thinking of the enjoyment this will bring to residents and visitors.

The day was young and I traveled next to the South Jetty and on to the Farmers Market. It was now after 10 a.m. and Venice was awake. A generous gathering of market shoppers was present and the enticing smell of food was in the air.

My final leg of the morning was on Venice Avenue through the downtown shopping area. What a beautiful ride accented by a smooth new road, designated cross walks and award-winning landscaping (in my opinion).

Now, if we can only keep that nemesis (red tide) away, Venice may be on track for its best year ever.

Venice be ready. You built it and they’re coming.

Mike Clukey



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