Showing posts from August, 2020

Sanibel Voters Must Meet the Challenge: Keep Sanibel Special

Sunset at Sunset Bay, Sanibel Sanibel voters will be electing three new city council members in March.  Since there are only five members of council, this will be the majority of members – newly elected.  That is a rare occurrence, and it is a great opportunity for residents to ensure that their interests will be represented on council.  Rumors abound about who may be running for election to these positions.  At least it seems that this time candidates will probably not be running unopposed, as has happened at times in the past. The Sanibel Plan , the document that has guided us in ensuring that Sanibel remains special, states clearly by way of background for the Sanibel Vision Statement that we have a challenge before us: “The specter of rampant development has diminished as the community has matured. Nevertheless, unwanted changes are occurring; visitation increases as new ‘attractions’ are developed; beaches and refuge areas are becoming stressed by overuse; traffic congestion is

The Plan

Sanibel Island has about 18.1 square miles of land – similar in size to Manhattan, which has 22.8 square miles.  Two-thirds of Sanibel’s land is designated as conservation land, owned by the City of Sanibel, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Federal government, or the State of Florida. The island’s biggest landowner and land manager is the Federal government, with 8 of those 18 square miles.   The land use of the remaining 10 square miles is strictly regulated by the City of Sanibel.   The guiding document for that control of land use and development is Sanibel’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, better known simply as the Sanibel Plan. Sunrise on Dinkins Bayou, on Sanibel Island (photo by Barbara Joy Cooley) From its beginning in 1976 [1] , the Sanibel Plan has recognized that “unlimited future population growth would be hazardous to health, safety, and welfare of the public.”   The plan also notes that restriction of development is needed for “adequate delivery of servi

Red Horse Bread

During the pandemic, I cook all of our meals at home.  I try to keep as much variety in the fare as possible; I’m always trying something new, or reaching back to re-discover traditional southern foods that we love.  I cook French, Italian, other European, North African, Thai, Indian, and of course, southern American soul food. I just put away the deep fryer for a while, in the interest of cardiovascular health, after having made some fried chicken and red horse bread this week. Red horse bread is a form of hush puppy, but the history of red horse bread pre-dates hush puppies.   The earliest recorded use of the term “hush puppy” dates to 1899 [1] .    But those puppies were inspired by red horse bread, which dates back to pre-Civil War times in the Carolinas.   Some even trace the roots back to creative cooking by 18 th Century nuns in Louisiana. My husband’s father, whose name was also Tom Cooley, made red horse bread, which he called red hoss bread, and served it with fish.  


I was a very shy little girl.  I was so shy that I shuffled my feet when I entered a room full of people.  I lacked self-confidence.  Because I was a year younger than many of my classmates (due to my passing an early entry kindergarten test), I thought I was inferior.  The teachers that I had for kindergarten through third grade did little to help me come out of my shell. Then came the reading test and Mrs. Hardesty.   I took the reading test, convinced that I would be placed in the remedial group.   Instead, I was placed in the small group of kids who read exceptionally well.   I was incredulous, but then I had to admit, I loved to read books – real books, the kind that serious adults read.   And then there was fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hardesty. She was a lovely, energetic, and whip-smart lady who loved to teach kids.   She brought out the best in each and every one of us.   My self-confidence grew enormously.   I felt happy about my possibilities.   Before Mrs. Hardesty, I dread