There has been lots of island traffic this week, probably because the county schools are closed for spring break, plus the increased activity from the lingering winter weather elsewhere.
Here are a couple of news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.
March Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting
Yesterday was our local Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting with two speakers:
The International Osprey Foundation – The first speaker was Jim Griffith from The International Osprey Foundation. The International Osprey Foundation is dedicated to the continuing preservation and recovery of the osprey, others in the raptor family, wildlife and the environment as a whole. The foundation conducts monitoring activities and accumulates data specific to the breeding activities of the osprey population on Sanibel.
Jim said that back in the early 1900’s the island was home to about 60 osprey nests. These raptors have 360-degree vision, are expert fishers (they are also known as the fish hawk), and reside in almost any area that has a large body of water.With the introduction of the pesticide DTT, development, predators, and Mother Nature, the number of nests declined. Nests on Sanibel were at a low following the storms of 2004/2005, but today there are 133. Though these birds like to nest on tall Norfolk pines and electrical poles, here about 40% of the nests are now on man-made platforms which LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) often assists the foundation in erecting.
If you need help in adding a nesting pole to your property or in relocating an existing nest, contact Jim through the Foundations web site www.ospreys.com.
To move a nest, a permit is required from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These local nests are monitored every few weeks (Jan through May) by a group of 40 volunteers who reported that 97 osprey chicks fledged on Sanibel last year.
As part of our Realtors® continued support of island non-profits and charities, The International Osprey Foundation was presented with a donation from the Association of Realtors®.
Jim also reported that Sanibel now has a new species too, the swallow-tailed kite. At the Foundation annual meeting at The Community House on Sunday (Mar 23) at 7 p.m., Dr. Ken Meyer, an avian researcher, will be the keynote speaker. He is an expert on these birds. One of the most beautiful birds in Florida, the unmistakable, elegant swallow-tailed kite is recognizable for its deeply forked tail, distinctive black and white plumage, and graceful aerial displays.
Flood Insurance Update – Kim Kovacs from Heidrick & Company Insurance updated members on the bill that was passed in the Senate last week and is awaiting signature by the President. Though still not official, it looks like some relief is in sight. How long will it take for the President to sign and then FEMA to determine how to implement the bill? Kim said FEMA told her company that it will be at “lightning speed”. More realistically that probably means 6 months to a year.
Here’s a summary of what is in this new bill. It is from an article by Andrews G. Simpson, posted on www.insurancejournal.com on March 13:
“Prevents Skyrocketing Rate Increases
• Creates a firewall on annual rate increases – Prevents FEMA from raising the average rates for a class of properties above 15% and from raising rates on individual policies above 18% per year for virtually all properties.
• Repeals the property sales trigger – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that required homebuyers to pay the full-risk rate for pre-FIRM properties at the time of purchase. This provision caused property values to steeply decline and made many homes unsellable, hurting the real estate market. Under the Menendez/Grimm Bill, homebuyers will receive the same treatment as the home seller.
• Repeals the new policy sales trigger – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that required pre-FIRM property owners to pay the full-risk rate if they voluntarily purchase a new policy. This provision dis-incentivizes property owners from making responsible decisions and could hurt program participation. The Menendez/Grimm Bill allows pre-FIRM property owners to voluntarily purchase a policy under pre-FIRM conditions.
• Reinstates grandfathering – Repeals the provision in Biggert-Waters that would have terminated grandfathering. If grandfathering was terminated, property owners mapped into higher risk would have to either elevate their structure or have higher rates phased in over 5 years. The Menendez/Grimm Bill allows grandfathering to continue and sets hard caps on how high premiums can increase annually.
• Refunds homeowners who overpaid – Requires FEMA to refund policyholders for overpaid premiums.
• Affordability goal – Requires FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums that exceed one percent of the total coverage provided by the policy.”
Fun Events by The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Here are a couple of announcements from the Shell Museum’s recent on-line newsletter:
Marine Naturalist Adventure Cruise – The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and Captiva Cruises present an ecological expedition that will educate and excite marine enthusiasts. Join a Marine Naturalist from the Museum for an unforgettable day with a small group aboard the 40′ sailing catamaran “Adventure”. Trips from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include cruise, lunch, and admission to the Museum. Call ahead for reservations and sailing dates: 239-472-5300.
Parking at Island Inn is free for participants, but space is limited so reservations are required. Island Inn is at 3111 West Gulf Dr.
BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts
The BIG ARTS Chorus and their special Ensemble have performed at various locations this winter, from many holiday events to singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at a Minnesota Twins game, to providing musical entertainment at the FISH Annual Volunteer Luncheon & a Center4Life Dinner Meeting, to belting out Irish tunes at Bailey Center’s St. Patty’s Day Fest.
I’ve missed some of the daytime events with work obligations, but will be part of both groups performing next week during their evening Spring Concerts.
Tickets are going fast at BIG ARTS, rumor has it that they are nearly sold out already for both nights. Hope to see you Tues Mar 25 or Thurs Mar 27 at 7 p.m. at Shein Performance Hall on the BIG ARTS campus.
The program includes a wide repertoire including “A Patriotic Salute” (SanibelSusan gets to toot a kazoo in this one), “Ching a Ring Chaw”, “My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth” (PDQ Bach), Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia”, Brahms “Neue Liebeshlieder Waltzes”. Then after intermission, things will liven up with “We Love the 50’s” and a medley from “Guys & Dolls” (fun costumes and other surprises in the second half both nights).
The Chorus now is 85+strong (no auditions necessary). Rehearsals run from each October through March on Tuesday nights at BIG ARTS. The 30-some member Ensemble requires an audition and has an extra rehearsal each week. We are always looking for new members. It has been fun to see this group grow and become so “in demand”. I was one of the original members when it all started in 1992. Singing provides good real estate therapy too. Think of joining us when you are in town!
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 21-28, 2014
No price changes.
1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 $780K.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.
If you are on the islands this weekend, we hope you stop in to say “hi”, SanibelSusan Realty is open every day!