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Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


March 15, 2015

Collier Seminole State Park Naples Florida

Collier Seminole Honey Bee

Collier Seminole State Park Naples Florida

Driving east on US 41 is favorite pass time for me just because of the visual quietness of it all. It is not unlike me to load up the Dill, the fearless Min Pin, to see where the road will take us. A few weeks back I headed out with that very mission in mind and rediscovered the fun little escape of Collier Seminole State Park.

Collier Seminole Photo AlbumThe main portion of the park offers a great exhibit of one of the original Bay City Walking Dredge machines used to build US 41, which connected Tampa to Miami back in 1920’s.  In case you were not aware, the word Tamiami is a combination of the two city names.You will find Collier Seminole State Park about nine miles east of Collier Blvd. (951) on US 41 where it meets San Marco Road. There are a few locations to access the 7,200-acre park so it would be a good idea to Google before you go. The main entrance with the ranger station is just south of San Marco Road and that is where you pay to enter to use the boat ramp as well as pay the trail use and campsites fees located in other locations.

The focus of the trip was to hike the trail that’s located about seven-hundred feet north of the main entrance. A few years back, I gave it a whirl near the end of rainy season and was nearly drained by mosquitos. It was misery. It made me wonder how tough that dredging crew must have been to put up with mosquitos because I was a quitter, with no regret, in record time.

The Old Marco Road trail is nice and fairly flat hike but it’s not exactly a breeze. It’s about four miles in length so eat your Wheaties before you go and bring enough water. Since we have had a few rain showers, the prairies had greened up and there were fields chock full of thistle, coreopsis, tassel flower and Spanish needle wildflowers. Naturally, the flowers attracted the pollinators so there were plenty of honeybees and butterflies to be seen. I was thrilled to have been able to capture photos of a both a Checkered Skipper and the spastic, Julia butterfly.

This trail is fun because of the varying types of vegetation and great scenery at every turn. The sheer windiness of the path made it a fun walk and kept us on our toes. We did see more people than expected. There were mountain bikers, runners and walkers, a hand full of them had dogs in tow. There were a few gators in a marshy area along the trail so keep that in mind if you bring your dog.

In all, it was a great place to hike and it tuckered out Dill, which is hard to do. He was asleep as soon as we were in the car. On the drive home, I realized that we had had a full circle sort of day on that trail. After the loss of my last dog of eighteen years, I applied with a rescue hoping to get a recycled dog. I was actually moping at Collier Seminole State Park when the rescue called to let me know that I had finally been approved to adopt and that they had a black and tan troublemaker set aside for me in Port Charlotte. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you would like to blaze trails at Collier Seminole State Park you can learn more at

Happy trails and boardwalks!

This article is special to the Southwest Spotlight. Find all park reviews at 

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March 8, 2015

Fish Crazy Seafood Restaurant Naples, Florida

Fish Crazy Bar

Fish Crazy Restaurant N. Naples, Florida

If you’ve been around SWFL long enough you probably are familiar with Randy Essig formerly of Randy’s Seafood and Rodes Market, fame.  He’s now partnered with Tony Valego and opened Fish Crazy in North Naples, in the location that was the home of Naples Tomato.

Fish Crazy Restaurant Photo AlbumLet me just say that the restaurant is beautiful, cozy, comfortable.  They nailed the atmosphere. Fish Crazy is just a pleasant place to spend time.  The food, as anticipated, was outstanding.

From the lunch menu, I enjoyed the firecracker shrimp appetizer plus the fried shrimp platter with fries (from the dinner menu) and slaw, as my entree.  My lunch company had the fish tacos with a side of fries and slaw.  Both dishes were decidedly perfect and worthy of the highest praise.  I can’t wait to go back and try the hush puppies and grouper sandwich.

Imagine my surprise walking into a restaurant, a new restaurant that just recently opened, in the middle of tourist season, and getting a seat!  Fish Crazy had been open only a few weeks when I decided to brave the crowds and treat myself to a great lunch. Fortunately, I chose an early lunch on the weekend of the Blues Festival and the Susan G Komen event … the crowds were otherwise preoccupied.

Fish Crazy offers a seafood counter that you’ll see when you walk in the door.  Other stand out features are the huge, full bar with tons of seating plus an indoor bocce court.  The only restaurant I know with a bocce court! 

When you go remember that Fish Crazy doesn’t offer reservations or call ahead seating.  Be sure to “like” their Facebook page and keep up with current events, here:

Fish Crazy Restaurant

14700 Tamiami Trail North, Naples, Florida


Posted in Local Dining
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Feb. 12, 2015

Wild Turkey Strand Preserve | Fort Myers, Florida

Aiden at Wetlands Sign

Touring Wild Turkey Strand Things to Do in SWFL

Recently, I attended a Conservation 2020 guided walk event at Wild Turkey Strand Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. I’ve driven by it dozens of time and like many others I paid no attention to the classic brown park signs on the side of the road. I also had no idea how historically significant artifacts at the preserve were to the World War II war effort.

Wild Turkey Strand Preserve PhotosWild Turkey Strand Preserve consists of just over three-thousand acres and has a really interesting historical twist that many other preserves don’t have; it includes part of the former Buckingham Army Airfield, a World War II-era training base from 1942-1945. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize just how much of Lee County Florida, about 65,000 acres, was once a part of the Buckingham Army Airfield and the Flexible Gunnery School.

Wild Turkey Strand Preserve offers plenty of recreation activities which include hiking on boardwalks and marked trails, bird watching, nature photography and picnicking in addition learning a little bit about WWII history. One of the main trails, Gunners Trail, offers a well-manicured walk around restored preserve lands and a segment of the old gunnery ranges. The concrete munitions buildings and bases for gun turrets remain near the trail. They can easily been seen without leaving the pavement and have plaques which detail their use and training purpose for the nearly 50,000 gunner trainees who attended the school.

The paved portions of trail are made of rubberized asphalt which is easy to walk on, or push a stroller. I had the grand kids in tow on this tour so Wild Turkey Strand Preserve is officially field tested, and passed, for being kid-friendly. That means we easily spotted a few little critters, flowering plants and birds and it wasn't too long for them. In a nutshell, it means that they didn't get bored and turn on me.

Along the trail there are elevated boardwalks and wetland lookout areas. At one of the prairie marsh lookouts we ran into a gentleman who had just hiked the unpaved, marked trail and stumbled upon a sow and a litter of baby wild hogs. Much to his surprise he had interrupted a panther about to feed on them! He was nearly breathless as he shared his once in a lifetime sighting with us. It was fun to hear about as our only drama was a close encounter with a decent sized, non-venomous, yellow rat snake.

We did venture down the unpaved trail but we turned back when we ran into some areas too wet for little feet. There is no doubt that the unpaved portion trail will have a few wet sections if you go after a rain or in the summer months, so keep that in mind when you plan your visit.

For the record, we didn’t see any wild turkey on this trip but there’s always next time …

Wild Turkey Strand Preserve offers free entry plus parking is free and plentiful. The trail is partly ADA compliant with picnic tables and restroom facilities on site. Leave your pooch at home, pets are not permitted.

Wild Turkey Strand Preserve is located at 11901 Rod & Gun Club Road, Fort Myers, Florida located just off of State Route 82. Visit for more information.

Happy Trails and Boardwalks!

Find the entire list of parks and preserves located on a navigable Google map, with links to photos and commentary at


This article is special to Southwest Spotlight.

Posted in Things To Do
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Feb. 11, 2015

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Report January 2015

1 A Decade of Historical Jan 2015 Sales

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Statistics Jan 2015

It’s been a heck of a winter real estate buying season in Bonita Springs Florida, this year.  The month of January 2015 was a little lower than previous year partly due to lack of inventory.  The bottom is coming up by selling off in mass which means homes in Bonita Springs are costing more.  Condo sales have also taken off.  There are shortages of entry level priced condos in Bonita Springs especially ground floor condominiums.

1 How Bonita springs Real Estate is financed jan 2015

How Bonita Springs Homes Are Financed

Cash real estate sales remain king with almost sixty-three percent of the real estate sales paid for with cash, thirty-two percent were financed with a conventional mortgage and the rest were fractional amounts financed with FHA, VA or Owner Financing.

2 Condition of Bonita Springs Home Sales Jan 2015

No More Short Sales in Bonita Springs? Could it Be?

For the first month in years there were no short sales recorded in Bonita Springs or Estero Florida. None. Zip. Nada.  Great news that our market has come up and many owners are “above water” and able to sell with equity. Moving forward, we expect minimal short sales and minimal foreclosures.

3 Condition of Bonita Springs Home Listings Jan 2015

There is No Foreclosure Shadow inventory in Bonita Springs

The foreclosure dam burst up front in Bonita Springs, Florida.  We got hit first, we recovered first. There is no hidden stash of foreclosures that will sneak up and hit the market.  We are inventory bare, the market is going up and foreclosures account for less than 3% of our current listings.  Less than 1% of our listings in Bonita Springs are short sales.  We’re over 96% stable.

4 Bonita Springs home sale Price range

Which Price Range is Selling in Bonita Springs Florida

Continuing the sell-off trend $200-400K homes and condos are outselling the $200K and under because the bottom is selling off and entry level real estate prices are going up. The $600-800K price point continues to be the slowest moving segment of the Bonita Springs real estate market.

To download the Bonita Springs market graphs in printable .pdf form: Click Here

If you have questions about the current real estate market in the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida area or you’d like to work with a fact and numbers based real estate agent in Southwest Florida call or text Chris at 239-273-7430.

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Jan. 16, 2015

Natural Gas in Bonita Springs & Estero Area

Natural Gas Bonita Spring

Natural Gas Communities in Bonita Springs - Estero

For the folks who really like cooking or heating with natural gas instead of electric heat, there are only a handful of communities in the area with natural gas or access to natural gas.  Natural gas is not in every neighborhood in the Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida area because the infrastructure has not been installed in some of the established areas.

Some of the newer neighborhoods in southwest Florida offer natural gas. You can easily search for home in a community that offers natural gas below by clicking on the name.

Posted in Buyer Tips
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Jan. 15, 2015

Cullum's Bonita Trail at Bonita Nature Place

Cullum's Bonita Trail

Cullum’s Bonita Trail at Bonita Nature Place

If you haven’t been to Cullum’s Trail in Bonita Springs you’re missing out on one of the best little trails hidden in plain sight. It’s sort of like one of those “where the locals go” places. Not long ago I invited my friend, The Fraulein, to walk the trail with me and the dogs. She’d not been to Cullum’s trail nor had she heard about it, which surprised me, since she is a full-time resident of Bonita Springs and has been in the area before. I’d previously dragged her to Bonita Nature Place to watch the bats leave the bat house at dusk so she’d been in the area. I know what you’re thinking; I sure know how to show my friends a good time.

Cullum's Bonita TrailIf you’re already slacking on your new year’s resolution to exercise more this is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf. The trail has a few different routes so it’s flexible in length. You can easily map out a twenty or thirty minute walk to add to you morning. The path is made of packed shell and supplemented with boardwalks over low lying areas. There are a few benches sprinkled along the way so you can take some time to enjoy the surroundings.

Cullum’s Trail is a labor of love by Cullum Hasty, a local resident who is an environmentalist and nature lover. He’s helped make this trail a reality for the residents of Bonita Springs, plus he’s still working on the expansion which is coming soon. This special trail runs along the Imperial River and offers views of old growth cypress, towering oak trees plus a huge variety of native Florida flora and fauna.

This trail features a canoe and kayak launch giving paddler’s access to the prettiest and most remote part of the Imperial River. From the launch heading east toward the back side of Nature Place the path is a fun, narrow, loosely groomed trail with a few logs to hop over and vines that swag over the path. There are also a few small valleys to cross, which hold water during the summer rainy season. The trail is marked with metal token hiking trail signs so hikers can stay the course. This is my favorite part of the trail because it is so undisturbed.

As far as accessibility, this area is not totally stroller or wheelchair friendly so keep that in mind when you plan your outing. This trail is easily doable with small kids and they’ll certainly enjoy the adventure. I’d recommend coming up with a scavenger list of items they are likely see to really engage them in the hike. A few things they’re almost guaranteed to see: Mushrooms, birds, spiders, fern, flowers, tortoise, purple berries, bees, fish/minnows and butterflies.

Cullum’s Trail is super east to get to. It’s located on Kent Road in Bonita Springs, just beyond the YMCA. When you turn on Kent Road, drive past Bonita Nature Place main entrance to the parking area for Cullum’s trail. You can’t miss it. There is no fee for parking or entry to the trail. Be sure to visit Bonita Nature Place while you’re in the area, too.

Happy Trail and Boardwalks!


This column is special to Southwest Spotlight

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Jan. 7, 2015

The Management Company Must Document Budget & Fees

Condo Budget Florida LAw

Disclosure of Budget & Fees By Management Company

Today, for the umpteenth time I went round-and-round with a property management company about fees. Some management companies put up websites with info on it thinking that they have covered their own bases and they’re good to go. this particular company only had the application for the purchase hosted online.  The brush their hands and make it easier for themselves but the problem is that they don’t understand real estate law in Florida or what is needed to protect the current condo owner and even future condo owner through the sale and purchase. 

This is important information for both condo buyer and condo sellers especially if they are buying or selling for sale by owner because this is where you will get the information.  You don’t know what you don’t know so consider this.

Florida real estate law reads that whether you’re buying an inexpensive resale in Bermuda Ridge or a resale  high rise penthouse in Tavira at Bonita Bay a condo buyer is legally entitle three days to review the condominium association budget, frequently asked questions (FAQ), rules and regulations and also they need to get a current application to join the association and the association bylaws, articles of incorporation.  If a condo buyer does not receive those items they are legally able to cancel their contract.  That is how the seller is protected through the transaction, by not losing their contract over a technicality.

So, recently I had to make over a half dozen phone calls and just as many emails before I finally got to someone at a professional management company to send me the documents.  The manager is opening the emails (I have a tracking program) but not responding.   I don’t think they understood that in addition to the law there are other items we need to disclose to buyer that actually go in the MLS up front.  I ended up finding someone higher up to get this information:

1. Transfer fees. There are often capital contributions due to the association by the buyer. At the closing time is not the place to find out that there is a couple thousand dollars due.

2.  Quarterly condo fee.  The fee is verified in the budget. Sometimes the owners are wrong and I, as an experienced real estate professional, trust but verify.  Especially at the first of the year when the budget for the year gets changed and released.

3. Master HOA fees.  Sometimes there are more than one fee due from the owner; the quarterly condo fee and the master HOA fee.

4. Special assessments and lawsuits are often disclosed in the FAQ’s.  Every buyer has a right to know if there is a lawsuit (which could effect financing a buyer) or a special assessment to make up a shortfall in the budget or for a major repair.

5.  Reserves for replacement.  An alarmingly  low amount of reserves can be a tip that a condo may not qualify for traditional financing programs.

There really is no reason for this info to not be readily available in a .PDF to email to a real estate agent or potential buyer.  I check the MLS to see how many sales occurred in the complex I have been trying to get the info for.  Forty-two properties have have closed sale in the last year.  That means forty-two times that the manager was annoyed at real estate listing agents and purposefully unavailable to produce the documentation instead of just popping it off in a .PDF. The manager probably just things that real estate agents are pesky and annoying when they could, in fact, stream line what is need and happened forty-two times within the last year.  It’s probably going to happen 42 times next year, too.

This situation isn’t limited to professional management companies. There are some condo associations managed by the residents who get weirded out by handing over the financials. Look, we don’t want bank account numbers, we need to produce the fiscal information to prospective buyers and their lenders (if the buyer is financing) by law.  If you were buyer  you would sure as heck want to know.

Special thanks to those CAM’s and management companies who get it right and know that most of this info can be handled in one interaction, in an email so that every aspect of the transaction goes smoothly from contract through close.

Posted in Buyer Tips
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Jan. 6, 2015

Here are 8 Ways to Find Real Estate Steals in Bonita Springs Florida

Bonita Springs homes for sale

Finding a Bonita Springs Home Steal

If you think you missed the boat because the distressed real estate pool has gotten shallow, here are some great tips to make sure you bet the best deal when shopping for a home in Bonita Springs, Florida. Here are 8 Ways to Find Real Estate Steals in Bonita Springs Florida:

1. Short SalesShort sales have become really unpopular for real estate buyers because of the uncertainty of the closing date and the swiftness of the real estate market.  The fact of the matter is that your buyer’s agent should be able to ask a few pointed questions to screen the transaction for viability and likeliness to close or close in short order.

2. Foreclosures – There aren’t a lot of foreclosures in the Bonita Springs real estate market but when they do come to the market they’re often a deal for a cash buyer.  Financing home buyers can attempt to purchase them but the owning financial institutions often choose a cash buyer over a financing buyer.

3. Heavy Inventory -  This technique takes a little skill from your real estate agent.  Find a neighborhood or price range with a large absorption rate or heavy inventory.  Where there is excessive choice there is always an owner who will negotiate because they want to or need to sell.  Any offer made on a home or condo must have the absorption rate accompany it so the seller understands how many years of inventory there is and how much longer they could potentially own the home between offers.

Search Bonita Springs Homes4. Special Assessments & Lawsuits – This too shall pass … any special assessment is going to get paid or HOA lawsuit is going to be settled.  What happens during the process is an inventory build up by stalled sales. Recently, I located a very affordable condo that was underpriced because the condo association had filed bankruptcy and was suing the master HOA.  Worst case scenario, a $6,000 special assessment could be levied for the condo. Considering how low the price of the condo was (at least 30-40K under value), it was still a deal even if there was a special assessment levied.  *Condos in litigation do not qualify for traditional financing so they would have to be a cash buyer.

5. Shop Above Budget – Look at homes in Bonita Spring above your budget. Look at “days on market” and find the home that has been sitting because it is overpriced. Those home owner may be ready for an offer and may not understand that their property is over priced and will have to appraise if the buyer is financing.  Make an offer that and allow the comparable properties to accompany the offer so the seller understands pricing, appraisal and the offer.

6. Geography - If you like a particular floor plan figure out where else in southwest Florida that home can be located.  If you fall in love with a home in Hawthorne try looking in  Palmira, Shadow Wood or Emerson Square in South Fort Myers.  Same home builder, same floor plan, different location.  At the time of this post publication there are home in of Fort Myers $100,000 less than homes in Spring Run at The Brooks and Copperleaf at The Brooks, plus there is more selection of homes for sale.  Same floor plan, same bundled golf amenity.

7. For Sale By Owner – If you find a home for sale by owner ask your agent to call.  Many home owners cooperate with buyers agents and even if they don’t the properly vetted and negotiated FSBO could be a steal in an upwardly trending market.  Most seller’s don’t understand closed sales and comparable sales and could be mispriced for the market.

8. First In The Hood – New construction  is popping up all over the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida area.  Your buyer’s agent can get you in on entry level, pre-construction prices. This is a great technique for those who may not be retiring for a few years or who do not need a home immediately. Very often there are neighborhood renderings or duplicate neighborhoods to tour.  For example, homes for sale in Bonita National can also be found in Treviso Bay Naples.  Bonita National has no model homes to tour but super pre-construction deals  (Jan 2015) A home buyer can find the model/budget they prefer, choose the home site in Bonita Springs at Bonita National and tour the decorated model in Naples.

If you are searching for real estate in Bonita Springs, Florida and need the services of an Accredited Buyer's Representative contact Chris Griffith by phone or text at 239-273-7430.  You can also sign up for an account below:

Search Bonita Springs Homes

Posted in Buyer Tips
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Jan. 4, 2015

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Report December 2014

Bonita Springs Home sales

 Bonita Springs Home Sales Statistics

We’ve closed the real estate books on 2014 and went out with a bang. Continuing the trend, the 200-400K price range outsold the 200K and under price point only because the bottom inventory is continually selling off driving home and condo prices in the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida areas up. This makes for an improving real estate market, stabilization of distressed property inventory.

Historical Bonita Springs home sales

Historical Bonita Springs Home Sales

Usually, I compile a decade of closed sales, however, seeing that there were 289 closed sales (at the time of data collection) I felt there may be real estate consumers, like me, who were curious about 2004.  Remember the great real estate boom?  I wanted to share how 2014 closed sales compared to 2004 closed sale in the month of December.  2014 officially conquered 2004 in unit sales.

Distressed Bonita Springs Homes

Distressed Home in Bonita Springs Estero

Let me preface the information on the graph above because I believe the amount of closed foreclosure sales in Bonita Springs and Estero represent the lending institutions rush to close properties by the end of the 4th quarter of the  year to record the assets.  The 4th quarter closed foreclosures is about double what was on trend and does not indicate an increase in local foreclosures for sale.

Distressed Bonita Springs Listings

Foreclosures Short Sales Bonita Springs

You’ll notice that comparing this graph of active real estate to the closed sale is a reflection of the expected trend and is a sneak peek into the future of closed sales, equity, foreclosures or short sales.  The active real estate market in Bonita Springs and Estero Florida is only about 4% distressed listings.

Bonita Springs Home Financing

How Bonita Springs Homes are Financed

Cash home sales continue to trend highly followed by conventional mortgages. FHA and VA mortgages represent a fraction of the closed sales partly due to the swiftness of the market and the cash transactions championing multiple offer situations.  Also, entry level priced homes in Bonita Springs and Estero are experiencing low inventory. There just aren’t many homes available at this time.  There are only 20 homes for sale under $200,000 and only 6 of those homes are three bedroom or larger.

If you are curious about cash transactions in other southwest Florida cities:  Cape Coral 43% cash, Naples 62% cash, Fort Myers Beach 82% cash, Fort Myers 60% cash, Lehigh Acres 39% cash, Marco Island  55% cash, Pine Island/Matlacha 72% cash.

Download the FREE December 2014 Market Reports in .PDF form HERE

Posted in Market Reports
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Jan. 2, 2015

Why Doesn’t Bonita Springs Have a High School?

Bonita Springs High School

Why Doesn’t Bonita Springs Have a High School?

This is an appeal to everyone in Bonita Springs but especially to my own grown children, their friends and anyone else who plans on raising a family in the city Bonita Springs, Florida. For the record, my children have purchased homes with the intention of raising their family in the 34135. They don’t realize it but they are at a very important crossroads of what could make or break life in the city of Bonita springs for young families. The future growth of our local economy and the retention of young families actually depends upon it. Continue: Why Doesn’t Bonita Springs Have a High School?

Did you know that the city of Bonita Springs is one of the only cities in Southwest Florida without its own high school? I told a friend of mine who lives in Tallahassee that and she nearly fell off her chair. She couldn’t believe how large our city has grown without having or getting its own high school. I had no explanation for her other than “there aren’t enough people fighting for it”. It’s true. The residents are going to have to fight for it to make it happen. That means you. That means me.

The fact of the matter is that our government and business leaders want to keep young families in Bonita Springs. They also want new families to move to Bonita Springs but there is an issue. We don’t have a high school. So, if you want an education for your children in a convenient location you need to put some skin in the game and actively lobby and fight for your high school.

Here’s a fact: The Lee County School System actually needs and is planning for another high school in south Lee County and they will put it in South Fort Myers or Estero … again, unless you do something about it.

Why should this even matter to any of us? There are parents, both married parents and single parents who cannot afford the time or the gas money to have their kids in football, band, baseball, cheerleading or any other school based club that takes place after school. The purpose of having a high school in Bonita Springs would be to have a well-rounded city infrastructure and to close the achievement gap for ALL of the kids in Bonita Springs. There are many kids who will miss out because “they don’t have a ride” or the financial means to participate so they can build their achievements and hone their skills and talents. Those are also skills that could get them into the college of their choice not to mention a scholarship for excelling. It’s really an economic penalty that the residents and children of our great city shouldn’t have to pay.

Now, keep this little gem in mind: The next “south” high school is going to be the bee’s knees. It will be a spanking new, state of the art school with the newest in education materials, tools and equipment. Why shouldn’t the children of Bonita Springs, the only city in SWFL without a high school, have access to that in their own back yard?

So, what should you do to help? We are swimming through the greatest social media culture in the history of mankind. The sad truth is that I can put this appeal up on Facebook and get one thousand “likes” on it but “likes” don’t move mountains, “likes” don’t register voters, “likes” don’t get residents to show up at town hall meetings and “likes” don’t get residents and parents to write a letter to any of the elected city council leaders of the city of Bonita Springs asking them why they aren’t fighting for a high school for the City of Bonita Springs. Certainly, I can’t be the only person wondering why they aren’t fighting for this high school.

The mayor, Ben Nelson, is doing his best but, frankly, there is silence at city hall. The silence at city hall needs to be filled with the voices of residents and parents who understand that a local high school in Bonita Springs is past due and much deserved. It’s an economic necessity for the people who live here and will be a major factor for any future businesses who will be considering the city of Bonita Springs as the new home of their headquarters.

Why is a high school important to those businesses? Well, their employees will move here and those employees want the best for their kids, too. We are currently not able to offer the best and the best is about to slip through our fingers. Major corporations will skip right over us if we can’t provide a decent education for their employee’s kids with the added convenience of the school being minutes away, not 30 minutes away, each way for the duration of their child’s educational and extra-curricular career. I won’t go into detail about how businesses moving to our area benefit Bonita Springs economically but they do. Heck, some of the current city residents will likely find better jobs at some of the relocating corporations, too.

Here’s the deal, it’s your tax dollars that will be used to build the next high school so those dollars may as well benefit your family, your city and your economic future. It’s our turn. It’s your kids turn. It’s the city of Bonita Springs’ turn.

Put this date in your calendar, January 14, 2015 at 5:30. It’s the date of the next City of Bonita Springs Town Hall.  Please come, bring a friend, and share your ideas, comments, questions and concerns. I implore you to come.

I also recommend that you contact your city council members and ask them “Why, exactly, don’t we have a high school and why aren’t they [council] backing a high school for the city of Bonita Springs by lobbying the Lee County School board on our behalf?”

This is the phone number to city hall: (239)-949-6262 and these are their email addresses, below. You might also choose to drop the printed email off at city hall or mail it to them c/o City of Bonita Springs, 9101 Bonita Beach Road Southeast, Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Stephen McIntosh District 1 Janet Martin District 2 Steven Slachta District 3 Peter Simmons District 4 Mike Gibson District 5 Bill Lonkart District 6

If you aren’t sure who to contact, contact them all.  It's three bucks in stamps and a few minutes of your time.  

Then contact the Lee County School Board and voice your concerns. Call up the board and talk with Cathleen Morgan.  She is your Rep for Bonita Springs. Let her know again and again and again. School Board office phone number: 239-337-8303 and her email is


Very truly yours,

Chris Griffith

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