Monday, April 23, 2007

The Turtles are Coming!

The Turtles Are Coming!

Come one, come all,
To the Turtle Lady’s Turtle Ball.

Come one, come all,
Even if you gotta’ crawl.

Mark your calendar for the first annual Turtle Days’ Celebration to be held the week of May 13 -19, 2007. The week-long events will celebrate the Turtle nesting season and the beginning of summer on the Island. The planning committee, led by local resident Nancy Marsden, is putting together a program of activities to entertain local residents and visitors to the area.

Special events include:
∑ A Turtle Art exhibit at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum in Port Isabel
∑ A Turtle Tea Reception at the Museum on May 17th . The event will honor local artists who have contributed their talents to help support local charitable events such as the Sea Turtle Inc. Fundraiser.
∑ A Sand Turtle Arribada with special sand turtle workshops by Sandy Feet.
∑ The 2nd annual “Lighting of the Tiki Torches” with a flotilla of kayaks traveling south on Tompkins Channel to Palm Street Pier for an Island celebration complete with a drum circle, island dancers, the Calling of the Turtles by the SPI Sirens, and the crowning of the new King and Queen of the Sargassum. Friday, May 18
∑ The culminating event will be The Turtle Ball, a fanciful masked costume ball with the theme: “Where Sea Creatures Meet Sanderella”. The Ball will be held at Padre Bar and Grill on South Padre Island and the “Agency” will provide the music for guests to dance the night away on Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tickets for the Turtle Tea and the Turtle Ball will be available on May 1, 2007 and may be purchased at Zeste or by calling Nancy Marsden at 956-371-9120. Tickets for the Turtle Tea Reception are $5 per person and only 50 tickets are available;
Tickets for the Turtle Ball are $25 per person.

The week-long celebration is intended to raise awareness of the turtle nesting season on the island. The Kemp's Ridley turtle, the world's most endangered sea turtle, is returning in greater numbers every year, thanks to the great work of Ila Loetscher and Sea Turtle, Inc. Monies raised at the various events will benefit Sea Turtle Inc.

This annual celebration will draw visitors to the Island and educate people about the Kemp’s Ridley turtle and the work that Sea Turtle Inc. does to help protect and preserve these beautiful creatures that grace the Island’s shores.

If you would like to assist in the planning effort, want more information about the activities, contact Nancy Marsden at 956-371-9120.

The turtle nesting season is beginning on the Island. It’s important for all beach goers to watch for them on the beach, help keep the beach clean for the turtles to build their nests and call the Nesting Turtle Hotline if a turtle is sighted.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Texas Monthly photoshoot update

The latest:
TM has some child models lined up, so it looks like that is covered. Less glamorously (but with the promise of financial renumeration) it looks like the SoBs are going to need some help shoveling, toting water and tamping (i.e. strenuous physical labor that is oddly exhilarating!)later today (Friday) and possibly early in the morning. If you or someone you know would like to participate in this very large sand sculpture project, please call me at 459-2928 or show up at beach access #17 at around 2 PM - thanks! - sf

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Seora Samantha Hawkes

(my steampunk name)


Another SoB Casting Call

Do you know a cute little girl - age 3-5 - who would like to be on the cover of Texas Monthly?
The SoBs are building a _giant sandcastle for an upcoming cover story and the art people are asking us to help them find a photogenic li’l Texas cutie - fully equipped with bucket and shovel - to show just how big the castle is.

We will have a location picked tomorrow - I will post it here. As of right now we hope to be ready to start shooting on Sat. around 2 PM. Depending on weather/light conditions, there may be more shooting on Sunday.

Stay tuned for more details....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Step right up

and get involved in your community, Mr. & Ms. Local!

Today, April 17th is the Chamber Candidate Forum - 5:30 at the Convention Centre. Let's ask hard questions!

Thursday, April 19th - Jerry Patterson, Chairman of the GLO, will speak about the recent oil/gas activity in the LLM. Ask even harder questions! Starting at 4:30 at the Convention Centre.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunday Sand Sculpture at Wanna Wanna

Rhonda Overton - island real estate agent - has commissioned me to create a sculpture featuring her logo at Wanna Wanna tomorrow. I plan to start about 11 Aam and finish around 4 pm. Come by and say howdy if you are in the neighborhood.


Driving through my neighborhood today - A truck bearing a magnetic sign that says "Pipeline Leak Emergency Response".
Not what you want to see on an otherwise pleasant morning dogwalk.

On a related topic, petitions are now online and available for download at

Friday, April 13, 2007

"the time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be"

Adios, Mr. Vonnegut.


Monday, April 09, 2007

birds birds birds!

The late winter storm may have chased away the tourists early from the holiday weekend, but migrating birds found welcome respite from the wind in my back yard. Here are just a few of the best shots I got today...
Can anyone help identify them?


Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Sand is the new water"

Beach quality sand is a finite resource....


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Damn That Nature

Someone identifying him/herself only as “M. Finch” posts the following report:

At the last EDC meeting Mr. Franke sheepishly admitted that the new Bird Center was running into problems due to “wetland issues.”

The fact that the very native flora and fauna that the center purports to promote and protect has become a problem to the people building it speaks volumes about priorities and how the town seems to think it can become an ecotourism destination merely by using that title in its marketing materials.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Daily Verse - "Hives" by Debra Wierenga

Debra Wierenga, poet - who happens to be my big sister - is having a red letter day. Her new book "Marriage and other Infidelities" just started shipping from Finishing Line Press, and her poem "Hives" is being featured on

For more of her poems and essays, visit


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The second thing we do, let's kill spring break

Right after we kill all the lawyers, and just before we kill the goose that laid the golden eggs -- right?

Spring Break Myth # 53 -- ”Hardly anyone makes money off of spring break.“

According to an article in today’s Monitor, spring breakers are pumping roughly $20 million into town and state coffers.” Do you really believe “hardly anyone” would notice if spring break didn’t happen? Or that the nice families you hope to attract instead are going to pay $300/night during Texas week? Or that huge chunks of the money made from spring break don’t - in large part - stay right here on South Padre Island?

I don’t tend bar or operate a tattoo/piercing business but I can tell you that my rental unit made my April mortgage payment in a single week. And the kids didn’t trash the place and even got most of their hefty damage deposit back. Advertisers on my spring break website paid the rest of my bills for that month. Other business owners who made money during spring break can now afford to pay me to update their websites. And so on and so forth. The only people who are not profiting from spring break - either directly or indirectly - are those who simply don’t have to work for a living, period. And they still benefit from additional services the town is able to offer because of the money those kids spend here. You people can certainly afford to leave town for a week or two -- why not pick Texas week?

I find it really really difficult to understand the energy being wasted attacking spring break when our two most precious resources - the bay and the beach - are in mortal danger. Get a grip, folks: Spring break has been whittled down to essentially ONE WEEK OUT OF THE YEAR! When the beach has eroded out from underneath us, wet t-shirt contests will be the very least of our worries. When the bay is killed and the fishing, ecotourism and watersport industries go belly up, we will all look back on the good ol’ days when traffic occasionally came to a standstill.

I can’t tell you how many of the parental units of the families to whom I give sandcastle lessons tell me that they came here for spring break x number of years ago and the fond memories of the fun they had here caused them to return with their own kids. But it’s a lot. Many people would not even know South Padre Island exists were it not for spring break.

So here are some questions for you: Are you really going to tell a large contingent of paying customers - “do not come here“? Do you really think the majority of the island’s residents would support this stance? Are you really all that eager to pass a bunch of restrictive new ”no fun allowed here“ laws that will have an equally negative effect on attracting new residents as well as the ”good“ tourists?

And where did that goose run off to, anyway?

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

2nd place - two times in a row!

It was a good day for the SPI SoBs in Port Aransas: Kirk and I pulled off another 2nd place win in duos; Amazin' and Christy took Peoples Choice (duo) and former SPI resident Fred Mallett took second place in solo.