‘Santiva Chronicle’ Presents First Half of 2020’s Top 10 Stories

In a year consumed by the health pandemic, it also dominated Santiva Chronicle’s Top 10 Most-Read Stories of 2020. But it’s a list that reminds us the pandemic was not the only occurrence in 2020. The SC today presents No. 6 to No. 10 stories and the ones that made the Top 5 will be revealed next week.

No. 10: Selling Property on Sanibel Continues Through Pandemic
by SC Reporter Reese Holiday, published Oct. 9, 2,824 Views

Home sales on Sanibel and Captiva were up this summer. SC photo by Chuck Larsen

The coronavirus pandemic affected businesses throughout the country since shutdowns began in March, but Realtors on Sanibel found a way to adapt during an unusually busy off-season. They offered virtual home tours and answered more complex questions to give potential buyers a better feel for the property. The lower interest rates, an uptick in working from home and the warm weather may have also played roles in attracting buyers to Sanibel and Captiva.

(Realtors) have continued doing business, and it’s going to be, I think, a record-breaking year for most of our members,” said Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors President Mike Badenoch.

No. 9: Captiva, Causeway Beaches to Reopen Wednesday
SC Staff Report, published April 28, 2,931 Views

The Board of Lee County Commissioners voted April 28 to reopen county beaches and access points, which includes Captiva and the Causeway islands. The Captiva Erosion Prevention District opened Alison Hagerup Beach parking lot, bathroom facilities and beach accesses on Andy Rosse Lane per the BOCC decision.

No. 8: Two New Restaurants Coming Soon to Sanibel
by SC Reporter Reese Holiday, published Oct. 30, 4,776 Views

Debra and Jeramie Campana, owners of Paper Fig Kitchen in Tahitian Gardens, partnered with award-winning Chef Don Yamauchi to open 400 Rabbits, where authentic Mexican food with a unique twist will be served. 400 Rabbits occupies the former Doc Ford’s space on Rabbit Road with a target of opening by the end of the year.

The Sanibel Custard Shack was approved by Sanibel Planning Commission in September 2019 for construction at 1219 Periwinkle Way. It will exclusively serve fresh, frozen custard once it opens. A date is unknown.

No. 7: Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Sanibel Beach
by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes, published Aug. 13, 5,588 Views

A single-engine, single-seat Piper aircraft safely made an emergency landing on the beach near West Gulf Drive access one. Pilot Kevin Vetter of Groveland, Fla., who works for Aerial Banners, reported to the Sanibel Police that his plane began to sputter before he made the landing. The cause was later determined to be an iced carburetor and the plane took off from the beach. No injuries were reported.

No. 6: Sanibel Has Two Confirmed Virus Cases; City Striving to Protect Residents
by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes, published March 26, 6,912 Views

An empty MacKenzie Hall during a special city council meeting. SC photo by Chuck Larsen

The Florida Department of Health reported the first two cases of coronavirus March 25 for Sanibel. City Council met in a four-hour special meeting that morning to extend its local state of emergency and fully vet options to keep the community safe.

Those actions included restricting beach and pool furniture at island accommodations, as well as closing beach parking lots and the public boat ramp to non-residents, canceling special event permits and modifying operations at city hall.

Council also issued a proclamation restricting the Sanibel Farmer’s Market from selling any non-food items, rental of accommodations to transient guests and alcohol sales for on-premise consumption. These were identified as the three greatest issues on the island.

Additionally, council members discussed shutting down the island, a sentiment of many citizens at the time, but ultimately it was an action council unanimously felt was unnecessary. Sanibel Police Chief Bill Dalton told council it would be a “great challenge” to close down the island with the limited number of officers, although not impossible.

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