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Production

The Battle on the Blueway 2018 will be held June 9th, on the gulf side of Fort Myers Beach, FL.

This sanctioned WPA points event will feature two distance races (7 mile, 2 mile), a kids' and Special Olympic race, a demo day, vendors displaying paddle merchandise, and great raffles: 2 YOLO Beach bikes, a new paddle board to name a few.

We contacted Mike Hammond at ‘The Great Calusa Blueway’ about the event and he told us that the event is set up as a paddle board race but all “paddle” vessels are welcome to enter, they already have single outrigger canoes entered and kayaks as well.

Registration will begin at 7:30am and the first race: The Ron Jon Pro Race, a 7 mile race, will start at 9am, followed shortly thereafter by the 2 mile race. (actually a little less than 2 miles)
The race will start at Crescent Beach Park on Fort Myers Beach and head north past the pier, paddlers will turn around near the Best Western Hotel and head back to Crescent Beach Park, with the 7 mile pro competitors doing 4 laps.

Spectators can watch anywhere along the beach between the park and the hotel but a great place to watch the whole race will be on the pier.

The awards ceremony will be held at Crescent Beach Park following the pro race.

This event is part of the Fastest in Florida which consist of 8 SUP races in the state of Florida giving points to the top 5 finishers.

One of our local paddlers is leading in points for the women. Great job Cindy Welton Gibson and good luck!

This is a safe family oriented event that will have safety crews, the Fire Dept, and life guards on hand with a festival atmosphere that brings paddling and Florida's native wildlife and Calusa heritage together. Benefiting Lee County Special Olympics.

 

 

 

 

 

Over the centuries, many species of animal and plant life have been introduced to our local environment, some turned out to be beneficial, some....... not so much!

From the first medieval pigs abandoned in Florida in 1521 through the invasion of the lionfish, this presentation, held at The Fort Myers Regional Library, located at 1651 Lee St, Fort Myers, FL. 33901, looks at how escaped or introduced species have impacted the indigenous flora, fauna and sealife of the Sunshine State.

The presentation will take place on June 18th from 6:30 till 8pm.

With information derived from the award-winning The Living Gulf Coast - A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida, author Charles Sobczak takes a sobering look at everything from the Burmese python to Brazilian pepper. Other invasive species included in the presentation will be Australian pines, iguanas, starlings, Tilapia and nutria. Sobczak will discuss possible solutions and warn of other, even more harmful animals, that could impact Florida in the years to come.

Charles Sobczak, a local writer, lives on Sanibel Island, Florida. His first novel, Six Mornings on Sanibel, was originally published in 1999 and is currently in its seventh printing. In 2007 Sobczak turned his attention to non-fiction and published Alligators, Sharks & Panthers: Deadly Encounters with Florida’s Top Predator-Man. The book went on to win several awards and continues to sell well in academic circles. In 2010 he published a nature guide titled, Living Sanibel – A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands. The book quickly became the best-selling book on Sanibel and rose to #34 in nature guide sales on Amazon.com during the winter of 2011.

Sobczak has appeared on National Book TV and has lectured on various nature topics to the Road Scholar organization, Audubon and Sierra Club groups. In early 2017 he became a featured speaker on board the Celebrity Equinox. Excerpts from his books have appeared in multiple local publications.

Charles Sobczak

His second nature guide, The Living Gulf Coast – A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida, won the Gold Medal Presidents Award for the best work of Adult non-fiction, 2011, by the Florida Publisher’s Association.

The book covers all the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians living within the six county region as well as 161 parks, preserves and eco-destinations where residents and visitors can discover these birds and animals in the wild.

This is a must attend event for locals that are concerned with invading species of yesterday, potential harmful invaders we are currently dealing with and those we need to be concerned about for tomorrow!

 

Thursday, 17 May 2018 14:26

Listen Up, NFL Commissioner

Two former National Football League cheerleaders who have filed discrimination complaints against the league have offered to settle            their claims. They don't want a lot of money or even an admission of guilt. All they are asking for is the chance to sit down for a four-hour meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. It's hard to see how the league could turn down the offer -- unless, of course, it's not really serious when it says its commitment to a fair and respectful work environment includes the women who cheer on the sidelines.

A settlement proposal crafted by the lawyer representing former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware offers to settle all their claims for just $1 each if Goodell agrees to meet them in "good faith." The purpose of the meeting, which would include two other yet-to-be selected cheerleaders, would be to negotiate leaguewide reforms of the outdated rules and regulations affecting cheerleaders. Implementation of change, though, would not be a condition. "I understand that they could meet with us, patronize us and do nothing in the end," the women's attorney, Sara Blackwell, told the New York Times. "But it's a risk we're willing to take to try to have real change."

Complaints filed by Davis with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ware with the Florida Commission on Human Relations contend that the NFL maintains different standards for its male employees and its female ones. The cases -- notably that of Davis, who was fired after posting a photograph of herself in a lace bodysuit on her private Instagram account -- have brought new attention to the treatment of cheerleaders. A series of reports by the Times has detailed the indignities they face, including extremely low pay, long hours and sexual harassment -- sometimes physical -- from fans.

Most appalling was the account of some cheerleaders for the Washington football team of a 2013 trip to Costa Rica for a calendar photo shoot. They said they were posed topless or in body paint in front of an all-male audience of team sponsors and stadium suite holders. Some said they were later required to accompany sponsors to a nightclub. The director of the cheerleading squad disputed much of the account, and a statement from the team touted the program as "one of the NFL's premier teams in participation, professionalism and community service."

Whether sideline cheerleading featuring attractive women in provocative attire is integral to the enjoyment of football or a sexist relic of the past is a matter for debate. Six NFL teams do not have cheerleading squads, some for philosophical reasons and one to avoid the impact of a class-action lawsuit over pay. What shouldn't be an issue is that the women who choose to do this work shouldn't be treated like second-class citizens or -- as Washington cheerleaders alleged to the Times -- sexually exploited. That Davis and Ware are willing to forgo any claim to monetary awards to tell their stories in the hope of bringing about change should convince Goodell that, at the very least, he needs to listen.

Thursday, 17 May 2018 13:57

Armed Forces Day 2018

While Memorial Day honors Americas's war dead, and Veteran's day honors those still alive who have served in times past, Armed Forces Day recognizes those presently serving.

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This year it will be celebrated on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Thanks to President Harry S. Truman, it’s a day to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. President Truman led the effort to establish a holiday in order for citizens to unite and to honor our military heroes for their current patriotic service in support of the United States of America.

Although, originally, there were single day celebrations for each branch of the military, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force; this format changed on August 21, 1949, when Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. Stemming from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense, the annual celebration now commemorates all branches of the military during one solitary day.

The first official Armed Forces Day took place on May 20, 1950, and was themed “Teamed for Defense.” In honor of the special day, B-36 Bombers flew over state capitals, a march was led by more than 10,000 veterans and troops in Washington, D.C., and over 33,000 people participated in a New York City parade.

In addition, the first Armed Forces Day also played an essential part in educating society and expanding public knowledge of the military and the role they play in the community. Therefore, it wasn’t only a means to honor those who serve or who have served in the military, but also a way to showcase its top of the line equipment and abilities used to protect those in our country.

Interestingly, the marked celebration isn’t just limited to the United States. Other countries who honor this victorious day include Armenia, Australia and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy declared Armed Forces Day a national holiday. It’s celebrated on the third Saturday of every May and is exhibited by exercises, parades, and receptions that highlight and honor our amazing military and all of its strength.

Since Armed Forces Day is not a federal holiday, many military installations are available for public viewing for those wishing to take part in the celebration or to learn more about our country’s military. Some other ways to celebrate the special occasion include wearing red, white and blue; flying the American Flag, talking with or writing to a military member, donating to military-based organizations, or sending care packages for those serving overseas.

The importance of this day should always be evident. It is a day that our military members rightly deserve and it’s essential that we celebrate it accordingly.

An excerpt taken from an article written in the New York Post on May 17, 1952, sums up Armed Forces Day’s utmost importance, “It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.”

Another great quote: “Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.” – President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Military.com

I just read of another “Law Maker” making foolish, incorrect and ignorant statements. You would expect that a Congressman would actually know what he is talking about, since he makes the freaking laws. This misleads and misinforms his constituents, like the MSM does regularly!

“Asking F.B.I. to drop an investigation is obstruction of justice,” Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense.”

You would think a Law Maker would at least understand the Law and the position the President of the United States holds. Allow me to explain to Congressman Deutch why both statements are truly dumb as can be. We need to assume the Congressman has some knowledge of his government so we’ll start with the Constitution. There are 3 branches of our government; Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Congressman.

Deutch is in the Legislative branch and the President is in the Executive branch. By Law the President is Chief Law Enforcement Officer, CEO, and under Article 2 of the Constitution, has the legal responsibility to supervise his employees and fire anyone, who he has reason (s) to fire… without submitting any explanation to anybody, especially when it comes to Presidential appointees. He hires and he fires, that’s the law.

Assuming Mr. Deutch is talking about the firing of James Comey, there is no doubt the president, who appointed Comey to continue as his FBI Director, absolutely had the right to fire him, when he lost confidence in him and for no other reason. He also, by law, can order the FBI Director to open or close ANY FBI case without explanation. He can order the AG to do the same, with…“Because I said so”, as his only explanation. The evidence shows very strongly that Comey should be indicted himself for Obstruction of Justice- Hobbs Act, Destruction of Government Property, Disclosure of Classified Information T18S798USC, and many more.

The President can walk into any FISA Court and listen to and read any evidence, the same with any NSA secret monitoring site and listen to ANY wiretap he wants. He can Classify AND Declassify any document he wants, without any explanation to anybody.

Next, and I have been writing about this forever, Mr. Deutch should start reading my columns…there is no crime in Title 18 called Obstruction of Justice! There must be a substantive criminal investigation of a violation of Federal Law by a duly authorized Federal Agency, like the FBI; that is being “obstructed”. The Director of the FBI himself told the President, before he was fired, that Trump was NOT the subject of an FBI investigation, which is a moot point because he can close a case even if the President’s name is in the Title! If a person’s name is in an FBI Title, then he is the subject of a criminal investigation…if it is not then he is NOT the subject. That’s the way it works!

He could have told Comey to close the investigation on Flynn because the President believed Flynn was not being afforded fair treatment and equal rights under the Constitution…or just say, “Close the case”, with no further explanation!

Why did he ask Comey, because he was Comey’s boss, he could, and it’s his responsibility to know if someone in his campaign “colluded” with a foreign government, duh. So, Mr. Deutch and anyone else…what’s the Title and Section of USC that the President “obstructed” ? By the way, Mr. Deutch, USC stands for United States Code.

Mr Deutch throws the word “Impeach” around like it is an easy thing to do, just because President Clinton caved when the House threatened subpoena. Had Clinton known there was really nothing that could have been done to force the president to testify and had Clinton stood up, he would have set a precedent that would have helped protect the Office of the President.

A sitting President cannot be charged with a crime, he MUST, be impeached first. He cannot be forced to testify by court order even with the grant of immunity. Contrary to what FOX’s Judge Napolitano has said repeatedly, the President cannot be forced to answer questions before a Grand Jury by subpoena because there must be a crime associated with the subpoena but if the president cannot be charged with a crime, how can he be held for contempt for refusing to testify about “nothing”? He can’t be arrested either.

This was all engineered by our forefathers…the authors of our Constitution because they anticipated sore losers like Schumer, Pelosi, Waters, Mr. Deutch and the rest of the losers would try to interfere with the duly elected president, just like that idiot John Kerry just tried to do with our Foreign policy…oh that’s right…we do have the Logan Act for That! If Kerry isn’t charged with violating the Logan Act we might as well erase it from our laws. Mr Sessions…how about it?

J. Gary Dilaura A 28 year veteran of the FBI, spent his career in Charleston, SC, New York City, and Buffalo, NY. He was active in the FBI’s Violent Crimes Program, finishing his career as Bank Robbery Supervisor. He also worked White Collar Crime and some well known cases including the Oklahoma City Bombing & the Dustin Hoffman, Dog Day Afternoon Bank Robbery, and established and ran the FBI’s Environmental Crimes Program for the Western District
of NY. He received numerous Commendations from every FBI Director he worked for.

There are a number of situations where a party may need to contest the validity of a Florida will. One legal tool that a party may use to protect its interests is the filing of a “caveat.” This is essentially a notice filed with the probate court reserving the right to be notified if an estate has been opened.

Caveats are necessary because a person who files a will for probate–typically the personal representative named in the document–does not have to provide advance notice to any interested parties beforehand.

But if there is reason to challenge or contest the validity of the will, and therefore the personal representative's appointment, it is critical that any objecting parties are heard first. For this reason, Section 731.110 of the Florida Statutes expressly provides that once a caveat has been filed by an interested person–other than a creditor of the deceased–the will cannot be admitted to probate until the objector has a chance to be heard by the court.

 

Florida: A Caveat By Any Other Name Is Still a Caveat

Florida Probate Rules establish the necessary form for filing a caveat. Specifically, Rule 5.260 states the caveat should contain:

● the name of the deceased individual whose estate is the subject of the probate petition;
● the last four digits of the decedent's Social Security number or year of birth, assuming the objector knows this information;
● the objector's interest in the decedent's estate; and
● the name and mailing address of the objector.

Any filing that substantially contains this information should be treated by the probate court as a caveat even if it is not explicitly labeled as such. The Florida Second District Court of Appeals recently addressed this point in a pending will contest from Hillsborough County. The appeals court held a probate judge erred when he admitted a will to probate without first hearing an objecting party's contest.

The decedent in this case passed away nearly seven years ago. But nobody attempted to open a probate estate until five years later, when the personal representative nominated by a will purportedly signed by the decedent was filed with the court. The petitioner said an estate was necessary to probate a piece of real property in Hillsborough County, which under the terms of the will should pass to the decedent's sister and niece.

An objector filed a document labeled as an “Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Petition for Administration” with the probate court. The objector said he owned 50 percent of the real property in question, and he further claimed the will was invalid as the product of undue influence and fraud. The probate court admitted the will to probate without hearing or considering these objections.

The Second District said that was a mistake. Although the objector did not label his filing as a “caveat,” that is what it was, the appeals court said, and it substantially complied with the requirements of Rule 5.260. As a result, the objector was at least entitled to a formal hearing on his will contest.

 

Get Help With a Florida Will Contest/Challenge.

If you are involved in a will contest, either as a challenger or as the personal representative, it is important to work with an experienced Fort Myers probate administration lawyer who can guide you through the process. Contact the Kuhn Law Firm, P.A., today at 239-333-4529 to schedule a free estate planning consultation with a member of our team.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 22:40

The Can't-Do Republicans

 

 

 

Back in '92, the late Paul Weyrich and I held a press conference during the Republican National Convention to make two announcements.

First, we were endorsing George Bush 41's re-election. Second, we'd just made the most meaningless endorsement in history. He had so thoroughly bungled his first term that there was nothing to be done to save him. And we were right.

The Republicans are now facing the same future in November. At this point, they may lose the House and quite possibly the Senate. Worse, they've so botched their opportunity that only they can save themselves now. Their $1.3 trillion omnibus bill was not just the most reckless spending bill in history, it was an abject surrender on every single political and policy pledge made to those who put them in office, save helping the military.

It's been this way from the start. First, they asked for control of the House and its appropriations authority to right the fiscal ship, and as importantly, to end Obamacare. In 2010, they got it -- and immediately stated they could do nothing without the Senate. In 2014, they were awarded that, too -- and just as quickly declared they could do nothing without the White House. So, in 2016 they were handed that, and with it complete control of the legislative process, but now with no more excuses available.

And what have they done? They surrendered without a fight. Any real advance, be it Justice Gorsuch, regulatory relief, minimal border security, minimal tax cuts or minimal changes in Obamacare, has all been driven by the White House. Congress has done nothing.

Here's the difference between the two parties. For the past eight years, the GOP has been the party that begins each conversation with, "This is why we can't do it." The Democrats begin theirs with, "This is how we'll get it done." The crisis for Republicans is so grave that not even a rhetorical shift will save them. Only action, concrete action, might. They must come up with victories.

Here's what they need to do, in six easy steps.

1. Like it or not, they must wrap themselves around the president to save him from impeachment. This means publicly embracing him as their leader. More to the point, it means supporting everything he puts on the table from here through November, and doing it with brio.

2. Reverse that disastrous $1.3 trillion omnibus. This talk about a revision, or worse, a balanced budget amendment, is the height of hypocrisy and the public's not going to stand for it. It's like committing rape and then joining the #MeToo movement. Only tangible results, legislation that reduces the deficit and puts the government on the road to fiscal sanity, will work.

3. Kill Obamacare. Nothing less will do. The public that voted these Republicans in has had it with excuses and half-measures.

4. End the funding of Planned Parenthood. The pro-life movement is leaving the GOP, and for good reason. When Republicans award the operation that proudly massacres more than 300,000 babies annually with $450,000,000 dollars taken from American taxpayers, there's no difference between the parties.

5. Fund border security. The base will not stomach any more of the GOP's public displays of affection for Chuck Schumer while denying funds for Trump's border wall. Promises made, promises broken.

6. Deliver real personal tax cuts. What they came up with last year rewarded big business nicely while excusing nearly 50 percent of Americans from the responsibility of paying taxes altogether. Everyone else was given a small amount of relief. Those were your voters, GOP.

Here is the bottom line. On Sept. 30, five weeks before the election, there will be the need for a new spending bill to keep the government running. Everything listed above can be accomplished in that one piece of legislation. No more excuses. No more punts. No more stalling.

It's so obvious, really. At this point the GOP faithful are set to make a devastating declaration in seven months: "We gave you complete control, and you not only accomplished nothing, you broke your word on virtually everything. Good-bye."

And you know what, Republicans? They're right.

L. Brent Bozell III
and Tim Graham

Friday, 04 May 2018 08:39

The Right Side: Hillary Did What?!

I am still amazed on how many do not understand that Hillary Clinton actually purchased the Democrat National Committee (DNC), AUGUST 2015, 4 months after she announced her candidacy!

Remember when the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, kept stating over and over again, “The Democrats are crooked (true), the Democrat nomination is rigged ( true), Hillary is crooked (true), Bernie Sanders has no chance to win (true)”…did I forget any? It turns out, the then candidate Trump was right about everything he claimed and a “lot” more…wasn’t he?

When the “poles” that the MSM were all quoting, said that Hillary was ahead by double digits, Mr Trump was saying that the poles “are rigged”. I believe the only poles that were favoring Candidate Trump was Rasmussen. It also seemed only a few individuals like Hannity and yours truly, were predicting a triumphant Donald Trump!

Just in case you think I’m crazy, here’s a quote from Donna Brazile in Politico Magazine 11-2-17;

“The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party...This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.”

Think back for a moment…Hillary gained control, (ie, owned the DNC) a “year “ before she “won” the nomination !!! What was Hillary saying back then? Did she let on anything to anybody about how rigged her nomination was? She continued to work so hard…poor thing…to the point of near exhaustion! She should have won an Emmy!

So when she blew up after the CNN “debate” with Matt Laur, the fired pervert, you remember that this is the CNN hosted , audience participation get together where Brazile provided Clinton the Q & A before the “debate” and when Laur asked a “good one” she didn’t get beforehand…Clinton had another melt down ,screamed and cursed her staff, throwing a full glass of water at the head of her staffer and was quoted as saying, “Don’t you f----ers realize that if that f---er (Trump) wins ,he will hang us all”?

We all thought, why would she say that? She must have done something, really bad, improper…”ya think”?!

Hillary Clinton’s complete and total unethical, immoral, crooked, lying , cheating, stealing, deceiving of everything, may have just had an “itsy, bitsy” part in her loss to now President, Donald Trump…what do you think?

Now that all the “after election” attempts to unhinge our duly elected President, have failed, she does the only thing any crooked lawyer would do…”sue the bastard”! My attorney Dewey Screwum , would be proud…but remember what she said after the Matt Laur CNN deal…Hillary,it’s not smart to piss off the new Sherriff, he’s the hangman ‘s boss !

If all of the above is true, and it is…add to that all of the, charges against Clinton, “yet to come”, and they will…email server, classified document violations, money laundering, influence peddling, et al!

Now look at the charges that have been leveled by the Democrats against the President that have been proven…there are none !? I haven’t heard the MSM or Schumer /Pelosi mention that …have you?

The Russian peeing prostitute allegation is the best…an unnamed Russian informant told his Russian handler that he “thought” he saw Trump enter the room two prostitutes usually use and he passed this valuable info on to another un-named Russian official who assumed Trump participated in the peeing that they are known for, and passed it on to Chris Steele…! You be the judge of that!

Nothing that has been leveled against this president has had a foundation in fact, substance or law…nothing…yet he continues to do things Obama only dreamed about after his prayers to Allah, of course! And the MSM accepts any lame, unfounded, allegation they can dig up against this president as true even after the former Obama appointed FBI Director Comey said in Jan 2017, the info remains unverified and salacious after a year of investigating or attempts to verify. Even offers of rewards by idiots with money, to help prove “collusion” or anything else against the President has proved futile!

Let it go and let this guy do his job, your stocks are climbing and our enemies are losing, just like you! 

Congressman Shiffty and Senator Schumer should watch and learn…some day they too could be believable and…successful…so they could finance their own election campaign without begging money from businessmen like the President !

J Gary DiLaura
Retired
FBI Agent

Monday, 30 April 2018 13:45

CINCO DE MAYO

 
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo 2018 occurs on Saturday, May 5. A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
BENITO JUÁREZ
 
In 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.
 
In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces. France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.
 
 
THE BATTLE OF PUEBLA
 
Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla.
 
The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army—supported by heavy artillery—before the city of Puebla and led an assault.
 
The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash.
 
Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867—thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War—France finally withdrew.
 
The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico in 1864 by Napoleon, was captured and executed by Juárez’s forces. Puebla de Los Angeles was renamed for General Zaragoza, who died of typhoid fever months after his historic triumph there.
 
 
CINCO DE MAYO IN MEXICO
 
Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely victory occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration.
 
Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.
 
 
CINCO DE MAYO IN THE UNITED STATES
 
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.
 
Chicano activists raised awareness of the holiday in the 1960s, in part because they identified with the victory of indigenous Mexicans (such as Juárez) over European invaders during the Battle of Puebla.
 
Today, revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
 
 
CONFUSION WITH MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
 
Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.
 
Independence Day in Mexico (Día de la Independencia) is commemorated on September 16, the anniversary of the revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s famous “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”), a call to arms that amounted to a declaration of war against the Spanish colonial government in 1810.
 
History.com
        
 Just in time to kick off the end of season, when more of us locals come out to play, Popeyepalooza IX returns to the Beach Pub on Sunday, April 29th. It’s host and founder Michael ‘Popeye’ Dearden has been busy getting everything together to make this annual island tradition even better than last year!
 
For those of you that are not familiar with this event we asked him to give us some history of what exactly is a Popeypalooza anyway, and how did it begin? Here's how he explained it.
 
“It all started nine years ago as a party! Every year, I throw a Memorial Day BBQ for my friends. One year I had 75 people attend, and I turned to good friend Jim DiMilia, at the time president and a coach for the FMB Soccer League, and said, This is nuts! If I'm going to get this many people together for a party, we'll have to raise money for something!"   "Well, how about my kids' league?", he replied.
 
We were halfway planning this for the following year, when somebody hollered, "Hey Popeye, you're on the radio!" Another friend, first time attending my BBQ, was having the time of his life, and called a DJ friend of his and was on the air, telling people, "If you're looking for something to do today for Memorial Day, go check out the POPEYEPALOOZA BBQ on Eucalyptus Ct. on Fort Myers Beach!" .......Now we had an event, AND a name!
 
I held that 1st Popeyepa-looza at my home back then, and with 150 people attending thought, "I'm gonna need a bigger boat!" The next 3 years we enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the Mermaid Club and Valerie's Lounge. 
 
Something was still "missing" though, as I'd always envisioned a "Beach Party" event.... Enter the Beach Pub.... This is our 5th year at the Pub, and we've grown exponentially on the sand!
 
That first year we raised $1,100 for the Soccer League. After Popeyepalooza IV, then club president Rick Loughrey requested we split our earnings, adding the little league. We ramped up the event and gave EACH league $1,600 in 2014.  After raising a record shattering $6,841 at last year's Popeyepalooza VIII, our 8 year running total for youth sports on Ft. Myers Beach is $25,951! Our goal, as always, is $1 more than last year!
 
Festivities will include our incredible beach BBQ. At $10/plate. You get my Capt. Morgan BBQ chicken & ribs, beans, pasta salad, chips, and bread! We will have live entertainment from noon to 7pm! We give away thousands of dollars in goods and services in our raffles, silent auctions, and live auctions! There are also 50/50 raffles going on all day! Hats and t-shirts will be available for $10 each! " he said.
 
A new addition to this years event is the Popeyepalooza Bazar and Crafts fair which is co sponsored by the Sea Gypsy Inn. "We're introducing our first ever Popeyepalooza Bazaar that morning! We're calling on artists and craftspeople who would like to participate in this years fundraiser. For a mere $50 table fee and 25% of your proceeds you can have a table at the bazaar in the Sea Gypsy courtyard right on Estero Blvd. Interested parties can contact me at (239)645-2402. The Bazaar will begin at 9am." he added.
 
'Popeye' modestly left out one very important fact, he is currently the grill master at the Bayside Grille on San Carlos Blvd and he will be smoking all the meat for Popeyepalooza IX himself.
 
Not only will there be great food, prizes and givaways, but as all "Palooza"  parties around the globe, Popeyepalooza is founded around great local live music and will feature live performances by
Tommy V and Sean, DVS Trio, 10,000 Views, and Smack Daddy.
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Tommy V & Sean
 
10000 viewsSMACK DADDY
 
 
"Tommy V once again will start the days live entertainment with Sean, followed by DVS Trio, and Yes, that's right!!! local faves...10,000 VIEWS are in town for that weekend from Vegas and are giving Popeyepalooza a set!!! Do these guys rock or WHAT!!! Everybody loves these guys because of their high energy show, and SMACK DADDY!!! will be closing out the event!!! What a lineup!"
 
"The night before Popeyepalooza IX was to be Patrick (of Smack Daddy) McGuire's last gig, as he is resigning from the music industry to pursue his real estate venture wholeheartedly with his lovely lady and better half Suzanne McGuire!!! These two are ROCKING their business!!! From the bottom of my heart, I wish Patrick N Suzanne McGuire the best of luck!!! Now we have the honor and privilege of sending our Beach Brother out with a bang at the Popeyepalooza IX, I cannot tell you how amped and thankful I am to announce this news! IT'S GONNA BE HUUUUUUUUU--never mind. I think you get it!!!!!" Popeye added!
 
As soon as Popeyepalooza VIII ended, 'Popeye' started thinking about this year's fund raiser, he continually beats the pavement, telling people about his charities and collecting prizes, money and raffle gifts to ensure the following year's event is a success.
 
'Popeye' told us of some of the raffle items he’s already collected from generous local businesses, and they are plentiful and quite amazing. They will be giving away thousands of dollars worth of goods and services, spread out in raffles, silent auctions, and live auctions, including several hotel and resort stays! The Grand Prize in the raffle is an $800 3-day/2-night stay at Diamondhead Resort!
 
He also wanted everyone to know that his event is once again getting back-up from the Florida Helps Foundation – a 501c3 organization that allows those making cash contributions over $250 to write off as donations on their taxes.
 
Those who can't attend but would like to contribute to the fundraiser can write a check made out to ‘Florida Helps Foundation’ and put ‘Popeyepalooza ‘ on the memo line and mail to: Popeyepalooza, PO Box 6056, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, 33932. “They reimburse the charity penny for penny, and that way it’s tax deductible,” Popeye told us.
 
Adding “Each year this event has raised more and more money for our kids, and this year we’re hoping to shatter records like we do every year. And I’m so glad to be holding the event at the Beach Pub again – I love having them as a sponsor,  it has been a great association. 
 
The Sea Gypsy Inn is located on the corner of Avenue E and 1698 Estero Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach and the Beach Pub is at 1668 I street, on the beach sand, behind the Sea Gypsy, just down Avenue E.
   
In closing Popeye wanted to personally invite you all to enjoy the party at Popeyepalooza IX and added "We have a fantastic, fun day planned for all, and can't wait for what we've got in store for our 10th anniversary next year!!!"”
 
Save the date:  Sunday, April 29th!!! This is a MUST ATTEND if you like Amazing BBQ!, Great Music!, and want to be a part of a Funtastic Fundraiser!