SIX CHEERS; Turtles Have Friends

The Florida Times Union, June 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

SIX CHEERS; Turtles Have Friends


Cheers to members of the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol whose alertness may have saved dozens of threatened animals.

With restoration work starting, they checked Jacksonville's beaches for turtle nests. The concern, Shorelines reports, was that hatchlings might not be able to dig their way out of the new sand on top of their nests.

The group found a loggerhead turtle nest and carefully moved its 141 eggs to a safer location.

Turtles.org says loggerheads, which grow to 3 feet in length and weigh as much as 350 pounds when grown, were listed as threatened in 1978 -- and the number of nesting females is continuing to decline.

Eggs typically take two months or more to hatch.

This was an exceptionally large nest -- most contain only about 100 to 126 eggs, according to the Web site -- so the group's actions were particularly helpful to preservation of the species.

LEARNING TO READ

Bank of America recently donated $50,000 for Mayor John Peyton's "Rally Jacksonville" early literacy program.

The money will buy 15,000 books for children, according to bank spokesman George Owen.

More than 7,500 pre-kindergartners are enrolled in the mayor's book club, the city's Web site says.

The more young children are exposed to books, the more quickly they are likely to pick up reading when they get older.

Nobody can function well in modern society without the ability to read, so this is a particularly worthy cause.

REMEMBERING THE PAST

Congratulations are due to Ann Burt for perseverance in her effort to make the historic Norman Film Studios in Arlington a tourist attraction.

River City News reports the complex of four buildings was used to make silent movies, featuring all-black casts "in heroic and romantic roles" during the 1920s.

The city purchased the property three years ago, and a $300,000 grant for renovation was awarded by the state earlier this month.

If the buildings can be restored and turned into some sort of museum, we believe, it would generate quite a number of visitors -- not just African-Americans but all people interested in this city's fascinating history. …

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