Memorial Day is different than Veterans Day where we celebrate all Veterans who have served our country. While, Veterans Day belongs to all Veterans. Memorial Day is about the heroes who gave their lives in service to our great nation. Most important, it’s a time to remember the women and men who never returned home to their families while fighting for ours.
Memorial Day’s History
Depending on who you ask, Memorial Day’s history and meaning is sometimes forlorn in our busy lifestyles. At the same time, the history of Memorial Day isn’t being taught to the next generation. For this reason, let’s have another look at why we observe Memorial Day each year. In other words, so that we can pass this history and tradition onto the next generation of Americans to honor our fallen heroes.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and began during the Civil War period. Historians argue that graves of soldiers were decorated long before the Civil War period. However, in the late 1860s, national cemeteries were established for the fallen soldiers of the Civil War which had claimed more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history. As a result, after the war ended in 1865, many Americans began decorating the graves of the dead with flowers and reciting prayers for the fallen.
Consequently, on May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for Decoration Day to be observed annually and nationwide. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield delivered a speech at Arlington National Cemetery where more than 5000 Americans decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers and flags.
Disputed Birthplace of Memorial Day
It’s disputed exactly where and who first began the tradition. In fact, several cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day which has been the subject of several studies. However, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Namely, because there was a community-wide event held 100 years earlier on May 5, 1866, which the town businesses closed, and the residents decorated the graves of soldiers.
While the story of Waterloo may be true, the decision to make it the birthplace has been the subject of dispute by many historians. For example, women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate Soldiers’ graves in 1862 with flowers according to the Savannah Republican. Furthermore, in 1863, the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was decorated and a ceremony was held at the grave sites. Finally, many scholars argue that President Abraham Lincoln was the actual founder of Memorial Day with the Gettysburg Address and commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers in 1863.
Traditions and Observations
Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May each year since it became an official federal holiday in 1971. Cities and towns across our country hold ceremonies and decorate cemeteries to remember our heroes. In addition, active military and veterans hold parades in our largest cities to remember the fallen. In particular, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. are historically among the largest gatherings.
At the same time, instead of parades some folks will observe Memorial Day in a different way. Many will observe Memorial Day by simply enjoying some time off from work. Many families will have a barbecue or party to remember the fallen. Likewise, some Americans will take a trip to unite with family or friends they have not seen for a while. Memorial Day for some is simply the beginning of Summer. Above all, we must remember why we are lucky enough to have these traditions. Frankly, it is because of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.
My Final Thoughts
In short, in appreciation it is never too late to give something back to those who sacrificed it all. Sometimes, even the small things we do can make a difference. For example, a few years back, around Memorial Day while driving by an old cemetery I noticed some of the flags had fallen over. So, I decided to stop and pick up the flags and put them back at the headstones of the fallen soldiers. Small as this was, it made me feel pretty good inside. Hopefully, if their family visited the gravesite, it made them feel good as well. And, I remember thinking, hopefully a long time from now, in a similar situation someone might come along and do the same for me for serving this country.
Finally, in 2000, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed into law, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.” The National Moment of Remembrance Act “encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.” I would encourage all Americans to educate the next generation about the history of Memorial Day and give something back to the country which provides them with so much freedom and opportunity. God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.
Millions of Brits had their location tracked without permission. A government report revealed the tracking, which was intended to find out whether being vaccinated against COVID-19 resulted in people being more willing to spend time away from home.
The report discloses 10% of British mobile phone owners were included in a study that used cell tower data to track approximate locations …
The Telegraph reports.
A report from the SPI-B committee of Government scientists admitted that data from one in ten peoples’ phones were tracked in February, without their owners’ express knowledge.
The figures were used by researchers at Oxford University, who carried out studies for the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), which advises the Sage group of Government scientific advisers […]
By comparing the movements of the vaccinated people against a different control group the scientists found that their “average pre-vaccination mobility increased by 218 meters [sic]”.
The government defended the action by saying that user privacy wasn’t compromised as data was anonymized, and locations were approximate.
[The data source was] a company that collected, cleaned, and anonymized the data.
“The data is at cell tower rather than individual level and the researchers were granted access to the dataset under a research contract with ethical approval provided to the researchers from the University of Oxford, working on behalf of SPI-B”.
A Government source said: “This analysis is at the cell tower level of anonymised data and is therefore not individual surveillance.”
While it’s true that locations derived from cell tower data is far less granular than GPS data, it can still be accurate to less than a thousand feet within cities. It’s worth noting that the claimed mobility difference is smaller than the resolution of the location data, so may well be meaningless.
I’m struggling to see how the study could have been carried out in a totally anonymous fashion. At the very least, the government would have to take phone numbers provided for the purpose of scheduling vaccination appointments and flagging those numbers as belonging to vaccinated individuals. So while the researchers may have received anonymized data, there has to be a point at which the phone numbers and vaccination status were held by the company conducting the study.
I should note I wouldn’t have any issue with this personally, and would gladly consent, but it does seem to me that consent ought to have been sought.
Last month, we wrote a story on Circadas, telling you of their coming this year.
Well they have arrived and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. They are emerging in the central US States.... Broods have already been reported an area that spans from upper mid Texas, Mid Kansas, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa all the way to upper-central Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, with broods expected to emerge in N & S Carolinas, and Virginia too.
Many are planning viewing trips as this won't happen again for another 17 years!
Once they make it to the surface, they shed their original bodies and emerge with wings and will only be alive for 6 weeks’.....
1 - 17yr Cicadas have many different color eyes. Most 17yr Cicadas have red eyes, while others could have white, grey, blue or even 2 tone color eyes.
2 - Cicadas suffer with STD's. The STD's are transferred to other Cicadas with mating. The massive Massospora fungus infects Cicadas by filing their abdomen to the point where their whole abdomen will completely fall off. This will then prevent the Cicadas ability to reproduce.
3 - If you want to get close and personal with Cicadas the go mow your lawn. The sound of the lawn mower tricks the Cicada into thinking the noise coming from the engine are other Cicadas. Although if you ever heard a Cicada you know they sound nothing like a lawn mower. So I don't know why they flock to the sound.
4 - Cicadas are very nutritional and are eaten by humans world wide. If your interested in experiencing the delicious taste of Cicada go have yourself some....I don't know...Cicada Gumbo or Cicada Soup. If you live in VA you can get your hand on Cicada Crunch ice cream made with real 17yr Cicadas. YUMMY !??!
5 - Not all Cicadas make sound. ONLY males can cake that iconic sound we all know and love. I'm not saying females Cicadas are mute but the female Cicadas make noises by flicking their wings to respond to the males. Which sounds very similar to a cricket.
Here is a Bonus...
6 - There is roughly 1 Cicada for every Human. As of 2021 there are approximately 7,900,000,000 (7.9) Billion people on this planet. And yes there are about 7.9 Billion Cicadas sharing the planet with us.
Last year, the Salty Crab, located on Fort Myers Beach, held their 5th annual Rum Bucket fundraiser benefiting Golisano Children’s Hospital!
Each year, during the fundraiser, $1 from every Rum Bucket is collected for the fundraiser.
Even though last season was affected by the pandemic with all Florida restaurants being closed on March 17th, cutting the fundraiser short.
With the help of local patrons and visitors alike, they were able to collect $6,400 for their fundraiser. Which due to circumstances is quite a lot but was less than their projected goal. However due to a local patron Jesse Schmid who donated an additional $10,000 for the event, The Salty Crab was able to present the hospital with a donation of $16,400,
which was considerable more than their projected goal of $9,000. This year the funds will be going towards Pediatric Neurology.
"The hospital is such an important part of the community and we love giving back, we have 11 restaurants throughout Florida each one gives back, and its vital to the community" said Jamie McElhone, the marketing director for the Salty Crab.
Despite the challenges of 2020, this is a great example, when we come together as a community to help out, we can all make our world a better place. In this case.... one Rum Bucket at a time!
More than 53,000 Florida homeowners will be looking for property insurance on June 1, the day hurricane season begins, if Gov. Ron DeSantis approves requests by three state-based insurers “in hazardous financial condition” to shed policies.
The contractions are another upheaval in Florida’s stressed property insurance market after state-based insurers reported $1.7 billion in 2020 losses, approximately 60 independents remain after corporate insurers left the state 15 years ago.
The wave of early cancellations and non-renewals comes as the state’s 6.5 million businesses and homeowners are seeing – or will see – double-digit rate increases as high as 45 percent in property insurance premiums when they renew policies.
The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) reported it approved 105 property insurance rate changes in 2020, including 90 for increases and 55 for increases above 10%.
The rate hikes are necessary to stay solvent, claim insurers, citing ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes, coastal flooding and excessive litigation in a market “spiraling towards collapse,” according to a January report, “Florida’s P&C Insurance Market: Spiraling Towards Collapse,” co-authored by Tallahassee-based James Madison Institute.
Among the report’s findings is about 6% of Florida homeowners insurance claims are in litigation, amounting in annual costs to a “solid Cat 3 hurricane.”
Florida lawmakers addressed roof-related litigation during their recently-concluded session by adopting Senate Bill 76, which slashes the time to file claims from three years to two, reduces attorney “multiplier fees” and allows insurers to cover only depreciated value of roofs more than 10-years-old.
The bill, which goes into effect July 1, has not been signed by DeSantis. If he doesn’t veto the measure, it is enacted after 15 days without his signature.
DeSantis is also required to endorse consent orders authorized by the OIR allowing the three companies to pare policyholders as “an extraordinary statutory remedy reserved to address insurers which are or may be in hazardous financial condition.”
“Allowing for the early cancellation or nonrenewal of policies is not a decision made lightly and requires a finding that such action is necessary to protect the best interests of the public or policyholders,” OIR said in a statement.The three companies combined insure about 250,000 Florida properties and seek to shed 53,205 policies:
• Universal Insurance Co. of North America (UICNA): The May 6 order allows UICNA to drop 13,294 of 57,000 residential policies in Florida as part of a merger with Texas-based Universal North America Insurance Co. and in response to losing $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.5 million in 2020.
• Gulfstream Property & Casualty: The May 6 order allows Gulfstream to drop 20,311 of 56,000 residential policies in Florida or it “will deteriorate to an unsustainable level by mid-2021.”
• Southern Fidelity Insurance Co.: The April 28 order allows Southern Fidelity to not renew 19,600 of 133,000 Florida residential policies over 14 months, with approximately 2,300 removed June 1.
In early 2020, the OIR agreed to Southern Fidelity’s request to raise rates by 31%. But the order states the company remains in peril.
“Without the approval of this plan of non-renewal, (Southern Fidelity) would not be able to satisfy the surplus requirements of (Florida law), nor complete its long-term restructuring plan,” the order states.
The stressed property insurance market is placing increasing pressure on the state-backed “insurer of last resort,” Citizens Property Insurance Co., which is seeing its ranks – and the state’s potential liability – grow as private insurers constrict.
In January, Citizens President/CEO Barry Gilway said the state-subsidized insurer was adding about 3,000 new policies a week.
In February, Citizens held 630,000 homeowner policies, up from 542,000 in December. By the end of 2021, the number is expected to top 700,000.
The Center Square
The meetings usually begin with public comment but that was preluded with discussion of the timing requirements for the performance evaluation of the town manager and the approval of the final agenda.
If you were a speaker and I got your name wrong, I will apologize in advance, but it isn't posted anywhere and hard to hear.
First speaker for public comment was Janet Kirtin? asking why Beach Talk Radio was denied a permit to broadcast from Times Square, and asking for consistency from the Town Council.
Next was Jessie Hallman? subject: Consistency of permitting process in zoning and building. Talking about the new zoning change ... "10 foot setback" ... he said "other residence of the community whom filed in Jan and Feb were granted an extension on that 10 foot setback reducing it back to the 7 foot 6 setback.... and I ask the council to consider allowing me that same extension to the 7 foot 6 setback on my lot so I can continue with my project"
His second issue with planning and zoning, he purchased a property that has plants that were legally permitted for plants in the old setbacks, but now that he wants to move his home 3 feet in the air, without disturbing the plants at all, he is told it is now encroaching the new setbacks. Asking for consistency in zoning, and where he can find said rules that prevent me from lifting a home from its original footprint 3 feet in the air.
Third speaker was Tommy Kolar from Light House Resort, subject: Sidewalk from Crescent Street and 3rd Street connecting to Old San Carlos being proposed by the town. Stating they like the sidewalk Idea, asking for it to be put in at ground level like another property on San Carlos where it seems to work very well.
Town Council continues to review location options to provide Mooring Field upland services.
In continued discussion about acquiring or building a facility to be owned by the Town to provide upland services for Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field, Town Councilors reviewed a list of seven possible sites at their regular meeting on Monday, May 17.
These four sites were chosen for further review by Town Council:
• Property for sale at the north end of the island on Estero Boulevard
• Property at San Carlos Maritime Park on San Carlos Island owned by Lee County
• Lots behind Town Hall on Chapel Street that are privately owned
• Bay Oaks Recreational Campus
In other business related to the Mooring Field;
Town Council authorized staff to apply for and execute a grant agreement for approximately $41,000 with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the Clean Vessel Act Grant.
Town Councilors also:
• Approved allocating $15,000 from the Town Hall remodeling project to contract for monitoring and surveying the beach profile along the entire length of Fort Myers Beach, and surveying the burrow area offshore of North Estero Island;
• Authorized the Town Manager to execute the professional services agreement for beach renourishment not to exceed $170,000 and allocate the funds to be reimbursed by the Tourism Development Council (TDC);
• Conducted first public hearing on Ordinance 21:04 for amendment to the Land Development Code related to residential uses and setbacks on non-conforming lots and administrative setback variances; second public hearing is scheduled for the June 7 Town Council meeting;
• Authorized vacation of a portion of the School Street Right of Way to the Lee County School Board;
• Authorized the Town Manager to execute a supplemental task authorization with Tetra Tech for additional services not to exceed $241,780 for North Estero Phase 2 Side Street water and stormwater improvements.
During Councilmember, Town Manager, and Town Attorney reports, topics included a proclamation to designate May 18 as Casey Bishop Day for her success with the American Idol Show on ABC.
Dates for the Lee County Household Chemical Waste Collection days at Bay Oaks.
Use of the FMB Community Pool by a community organization.
Council employee’s review process,
the Lee County Sheriff’s Office search for a new space for the outreach center.
Lake Okeechobee water releases and Red Tide,
and ................ using feral cats to control rats. yup you read that right!
Town Council meetings are broadcast live on YouTube and Comcast Channel 98.
The next Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, June 7, 2021, at 9 a.m.,at Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard.
The Florida Legislature is sending a ratified Seminole gambling compact to Gov. Ron DeSantis and kicking questions about its legalities to the courts.
Lawmakers ended their three-day special session Wednesday by endorsing the 75-page pact that grants the Seminole Tribe of Florida exclusive control of blackjack, craps, online fantasy and sports betting at its seven casinos and on non-tribal pari-mutuels via its Hard Rock Digital platform.
In exchange, the Seminoles will pay Florida at least $500 million annually for the first five years of the 30-year pact.
But the online fantasy/sports components of the deal, signed by DeSantis and Seminole Tribal Council Chair Marcellus Osceola, Jr., on April 23, are only in principle. In practice, they cannot be implemented without enabling legislation.
Lawmakers tabled several special session bills implementing what critics contend would be an illegal expansion of gambling, such as the Fantasy Sports Contest Amusement Act, which would have created sports/fantasy gaming regulations.
Despite withdrawing the bills until 2022, and Monday’s one-page addendum deleting a requirement that the state and Tribe “engage in good faith negotiations” within 36 months “to authorize the Tribe to offer all types of covered games online or via mobile devices,” nearly all agreed Wednesday the compact is certain to be challenged in court.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of doing a gaming deal of the size and scope negotiated by Gov. DeSantis without a legal challenge,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, told reporters after the House approved the pact in a 97-17 vote.
The Senate adopted the compact, outlined in Senate Bill 2A, Tuesday, 38-1. Once signed by DeSantis, it must be endorsed within 45 days by the U.S. Department of the Interior to ensure it complies with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
SB 2A would allow the Tribe to build three more casinos, add new games and spells out a “hub-and-spoke” model between pari-mutuels and servers on tribal lands processing sports bets placed on mobile phones.
Critics say the “hub-and-spoke” provision, even if servers are on tribal land, grows gambling and therefore violates 2018’s Amendment 3, which requires voters approve any gaming expansion.House Select Committee on Gaming chair Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, a former casino executive, said the “hub-and-spoke” model is on shaky legal ground.
“Me personally, I don’t think it’s going to survive,” he said, but added lawmakers did the right thing by adopting the deal because even if the provision is removed, “the compact still goes forward.”
“We still get every dollar we’re entitled to based on those revenue-sharing rates for the enormous business (the Seminoles are) operating today,” Fine said. “The only difference is we lower the minimum payment a little bit.”
Rep. Sam Garrison, R-Fleming Island, said there isn’t legal precedent for whether the model is an expansion of gaming.
“It is an open question, and it’s going to have to be litigated, because it’s not a black-and-white answer that specifically tells us whether the hub-and-spoke model is going to be permitted,” he said.
All 17 “no” votes were lodged by Democrats who submitted amendments stipulating how the $500 million in annual revenues should be spent. Each were deemed “outside the sole and exclusive purpose of ratification” and gunned down.
Rep. Mike Grieco, D-Miami, said it’s a slam-dunk that courts will require Florida to comply with Amendment 3 and ask state voters to approve mobile sports betting in November 2022.
“We’re going to be in court,” he said. “We’re going to lose, and we’re going to see this on the ballot.”
The Center Square
We are all ready for the world to return to normal. Many of us have missed vacations for the last year, avoided family gatherings, and haven’t had lunch out with friends since the start of the pandemic. But there are plenty of signs that things are finally turning around.
As more and more people continue to get vaccinated and many more have established some form of immunity via exposure or having contracted the virus, our world is starting to look more familiar. However, things aren’t perfect just yet. So if you are looking for ways to have fun — and feel fabulous — without taking any unnecessary risks, keep reading for advice.
When you are ready to venture out into the world, you still have plenty of options. Fortunately, many places, including Disney, are finally starting to open back up. This means vacations and other public gatherings are back on the table. If you’re ready to enjoy travel and socialization, consider these options:
Fun at Home
For many of us, finding innovative ways to stay entertained at home has become a challenge. If you and your family are not quite yet ready to venture out, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve exhausted all of your at-home fun options. A few tips to level up everyone’s mood without going into the public are to:
Keep in mind that being bored at home easily leads to tension and fighting. Any of the above ideas can help alleviate some of this anxiety. If you plan to play games, stream videos, or post a vlog online, make sure your internet can handle it. If you live in a rural area, you may want a 5G connection, which will enhance gameplay and increase upload and download speeds.
Planning fun activities, whether at home or away, means very little if you don’t feel great while you’re participating. Elevate your self-care routine now to ensure that you have the energy, stamina, and drive to enjoy your newly reclaimed freedom. Everything you do — from getting enough sleep to using the right shampoo and conditioner — makes a difference in how you perceive yourself. And when you feel good, you’ll have an easier time enjoying your favorite activities, even if you still feel a bit anxious about the virus.
Ultimately, we have to get back into a routine at some point. Part of living a healthy life is having fun with ourselves, our friends, and our families. So whether you plan to venture out into the world or stick close to home, do not allow yourself to get stuck into a habit of doing nothing. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself — from playing video games to taking a road trip, the above ideas can put you back on the path toward living life on your own terms.
The 2021 Nautical Expo event at the Lee Civic Center will be held on May 15 and 16.
The expo will have Salt and freshwater fishing seminars sponsored by MirrOlure and will be held on the hour from local guides including bass fishing expert, Captain Mark King, from Lake Okeechobee.
You will also find Southwest Florida’s most popular boats and fishing skiffs, kayaks, nautical exhibits, coastal gadgets, jewelry, outdoor sportswear, as well as fly-tying demonstrations, outdoor furniture, exotic nautical wood, and metal art as they browse the indoor and outdoor coastal market.
On stage Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm will be the very first “Miss Nautical Mile” pageant hosted by Miss Global United States.
The “Go-Swim” models along with International Mermaid, Faith Lynn, will be on display in an eight-foot clamshell with her 250-pound silicone tail.
Their exhibitors are at max capacity in the 50,000 square foot air-conditioned building, and plenty more vendors will be outdoors surrounding what is being called a “Food Truck Bonanza” where multiple food trucks will be on-site both days serving $5 portions so attendees can try a bit of everything.
Open from 9 am to 5 pm, on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, at: 11831 Bayshore Rd,
North Fort Myers,
General admission is $12, and to encourage boating and fishing in our youth, kids under eighteen are free.