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Scott and Mike for City Council

On March 2, or sooner for those who order mail-in ballots , Sanibel citizens will be able to vote for three new city council members.  Out of the field of six candidates, I know who I will get my vote for two of those positions.  For the third position, I haven’t yet decided. In an outstanding field of candidates, these two really stand out for me:   Mike Miller and Scott Crater.   Both have the kind of expertise and leadership qualities that we need in this somewhat difficult time.   I endorse Mike Miller and Scott Crater for the city council. For the City of Sanibel, there will be economic fallout from the pandemic for some time to come.   The City also needs to continue to take measures to protect against the spread of the virus, as the vaccine rollout is slowed by lack of supply.   We also continue to experience water quality problems due to releases from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee watershed.   To deal with all of this, we need council members with strong science, f

COVID-19 Surges and Vaccinations Have Begun

Assessing the risk posed by COVID-19 on Sanibel and Captiva involves considering the situation at the hospitals in Lee County.  The islands have no hospitals; island residents depend upon hospitals on the mainland.  Those hospitals are on the front line of the epidemic in Lee County. Lee Health, the main hospital system for Lee County, continues to experience high occupancy rates and positivity rates (percent of tests that are positive) for COVID-19 tests processed in Lee Health laboratories.   Over the past week, the occupancy rate was 95% on December 30, and 96% on January 5.   The daily positivity rates were 32.2% on December 30 and 34% on January 5.   Occupancy of adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds was 89% on December 30, and 93% on January 5. Meanwhile, the Lee Health system has been vaccinating its key workers, as well as staff members who are 65 or older.   As more vaccines are received, Lee Health will announce plans for vaccinating residents who are over 65.   National

COVID-19 Update: December 30, 2020

Lee Health, the main hospital system for Lee County, now has both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.  At this point, the vaccinations are taking place three days a week in designated rooms at Lee Health’s Gulf Coast Medical Center and the Cape Coral Hospital. "Lee Health is currently vaccinating its key workers and employees over 65," said Lee Health board member and Sanibel resident Stephen R. Brown, M.D.   "They are preparing to inoculate the general public over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions. Then the general public.   Even with the vaccines we will still need to follow current protocols. Personally, I'm excited about Johnson and Johnson vaccine which should be ready in February. " COVID-19 numbers in the Lee Health system have trended upward during this last week of 2020.   The COVID-19 positivity rate (percent of tests that are positive) for the Lee Health test collection sites has increased from 25.7% on December 21 to 32% on Decemb

Vaccinations are beginning in Lee County

Good news!  Lee Health officials report that today (Monday, December 21) is the day they will be receiving the first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine.  “We will begin vaccinating employees as soon as possible,” writes the Lee Health Facebook page manager. Because this first supply is limited, the Lee Health system will start with vaccinating employees with the highest risk of exposure.   That includes those who work in the emergency department, intensive care, COVID-19 units, respiratory therapy, and the COVID-19 test collection sites. These Lee Health employees will go to one of two locations, Gulf Coast Medical Center or Cape Coral Hospital, to receive the vaccine.   Although vaccinations are just starting in Lee County, over 32,700 vaccines have been administered in the state of Florida as of today, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. In a December 15 update sent to hospital board members, Lee Health CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci wrote, “I assure you tha

COVID and the Sanibel Community

December 15, 2020 The number of COVID cases posted on the City of Sanibel web site is meaningless, because it includes only people who reside in Sanibel.   Our community is so much more than just the people who live on Sanibel. For all Lee County residents, Sanibel is their jewel of a sanctuary island, a place they can visit and treasure.   Those people are also a part of the Sanibel community. The people who work in Sanibel businesses and non-profits for the most part live on the mainland.   Still, they are a part of our Sanibel community. The people who come to work on building, repairing, or enhancing our built environment and landscapes are also an important part of our community.   Most of them, too, live off island. And of course, Sanibel visitors are a significant number of those present on the island every day, especially in late Fall through early Spring.   They are part of the Sanibel community, too.   To protect our greater Sanibel community, our city council pass

In the Days of Roger and Lucia

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When Roger and Lucia Wilcox would come to their winter home on Sanibel Island in the 1950s and 1960s, they led a relatively quiet life.  People on Sanibel were aware that the couple was well-known in the East Hampton, New York, artists’ world, where they often entertained and organized events.  In Long Island, their names were frequently in the newspapers.  But Sanibel people respected their privacy. Lucia Anavi was born in Beirut in 1902.   Her mother was French, and her father was Lebanese.    Early in life, she started to become a gifted painter, sculptor, and cook.   So at age 14, she left home to live in Paris. There she became a part of a legendary group of artists, including Piet Mondrian, Picasso, Marc Chagall, Carlos Montoya, Max and Jimmy Ernst, and many more.   Some of them encouraged her to go to night school, so she enrolled in the Académie Ronsard. In 1938, she and her partner at the time, Fernand Leger, left Paris for New York at the urging of arts patrons Gerald a

A Big Job in a Small Town

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Running for election to the Sanibel city council is not a decision to be taken lightly. The city council consists of five people who serve four-year terms.   Every two years, a municipal election is held in which two or three of the council members are elected.   Sanibel city council members serve voluntarily, with no pay.   They should be year-round residents because important decisions regarding the city budget and other issues are made by the council during the summer months.   In addition to attending city council meetings, each council member serves in liaison roles in organizations throughout the region.   The council meets at least once a month.   In the days before each council meeting, members receive much information to read in preparation for many agenda items.   The time commitment is significant.   Council meetings alone can last for 5 or 6 hours or more. Sanibel City Hall Before deciding to run for the Sanibel city council, potential candidates should prepare by atten