Right whales migrating south along Florida’s coast visible from beach

Right whales migrating south along Florida’s coast visible from beach

, Treasure Coast Newspapers
Published 11:40 a.m. ET Dec. 24, 2019 | Updated 12:28 p.m. ET Dec. 24, 2019

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Now’s the right time to start looking for right whales.

North Atlantic right whales have started their annual migration from the cold waters off New England to warmer climes from Florida to the Caribbean Sea.

The southbound trek should pick up steam in January and February and last until March. The whales tend to swim with the nearshore north-to-south currents, so they can be seen from the beach.

When the whales head back north in April and May, they ride the Gulf Stream, so they’re farther offshore.

On Dec. 16, 2019, a female right whale mom, No. 3560, gave birth to first calf into the world off Sapelo Island, Georgia, the first calf spotted during the 2019-2020 calving season.

The first, and so far only, right whale sighting in Florida this season came Nov. 23, when a female named Harmonia was spotted about 6 miles off Jacksonville.

That’s right: Many right whales have names.

Individuals can be identified by the bumpy spots on their heads. The spot pattern is unique for each whale, like a human’s fingerprints, said Julie Albert, coordinator of the North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation Program at the Palm Bay-based Marine Resources Council.

Harmonia had her last calf in 2016, Albert said, “so it’s possible she’s pregnant again.”

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Into the Sebastian Inlet

In February 2016, a female right whale named Clipper and her calf spent 29 hours in the Sebastian Inlet.

Unfortunately, the mother was later struck and killed by a ship.

The calf, now a 4-year-old male, was named Sebastian.

“It’s possible Sebastian could once again end up in the Sebastian area he was named for,” Albert said.

Last February, another right whale mother and calf were sighted in the Atlantic off the Sebastian Inlet.

There are only about 400 North Atlantic right whales. They’re listed as critically endangered and are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Humpback whales, which also can be seen along the Treasure Coast during the winter, are doing better, with a population of between 30,000 and 40,000 worldwide, according to the American Cetacean Society.

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Stay 500 yards away

Boaters are required by federal law to stay 500 yards — that’s five football fields — away from both species of whales.

Right whales were hunted nearly to extinction in the days before kerosene, when whale oil was burned in lamps. In fact, the species got its common name because whalers considered them the “right whales” to catch.

“First, right whales were easy to catch because they travel close to shore, they’re slower than other whales and the dead carcasses float, to they were easy to haul back,” Albert said. “And right whales have more blubber and produce more oil than any other whale species.”

Now the biggest threat to right whales is getting tangled up in commercial fishing gear. (Remember: Whales are mammals and need to come to the surface to breathe.)

Efforts are underway to develop — and convince fishermen to use — whale-safe gear.

“It involves fishermen, for sure,” Albert said, “but it also involves anyone who eats seafood. We all share the ocean, and we’re trying to figure out a happy medium that works for fishermen and whales.”

In the meantime, Albert said, whale-conscious, seafood-loving consumers should consider eating locally caught seafood.

“Entanglement is more of an issue up north,” Albert said. “Plus, it’s good to support local fishermen.”

Another way to be whale-friendly: Buy American.

The No. 2 cause of whale deaths is ship strikes, like the one that killed Clipper, the Sebastian visitor.

“The more products you buy that don’t have to be shipped overseas,” Albert said, “the fewer ships are out there to strike and kill whales.”

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Thar she blows!

Here’s how to identify an endangered right whale:

  • No dorsal fins on their backs
  • Short pectoral fins on their sides
  • Spout straight-up plumes of water out their blowholes
  • Adults are 35-60 feet long (A 90-passenger school bus, the biggest allowed, is 45 feet long.) and weigh 50-70 tons (or about the weight of 100 grand pianos)

Save a whale by reporting sightings ASAP: Call the Marine Resources Council whale hotline: 888-979-4253. (The information is sent to commercial and military ships so they know what areas to avoid.)

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Weekly-Weekend-What-To-Do (12.27-29.19) – I Love the Burg

Weekly-Weekend-What-To-Do (12.27-29.19) – I Love the Burg

by | Dec 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

The holidays aren’t over just yet. Celebrate the final weekend of 2019 Sunshine City style!

Our weekend events guide is posted every Friday morning and covers the best events over a three day period. If you’re looking for more events, visit the I Love the Burg calendar. For a $5 fee, businesses/artists/organizers can also list events here. The small fee helps this website continue to do what it does best, that’s celebrating the Sunshine City!

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Hey there, this is @harlanyoung, the writer/editor of #ilovetheburg. Every day I’m fortunate enough to work alongside the insanely talented, caring, brilliant co-founder, @decksfab, and art director, @ysann3. I just wanted to take this moment to wish all who follow and support the blog a happy holiday and a merry Christmas. Your continued engagement allows me to work this dream gig where I celebrate everything that makes @stpetefl special. I first moved to St. Pete back in 2011 to study creative writing and literature at @eckerdlife. Shortly after graduating, @brianpatrickbailey, co-founder of #ilovetheburg and unsung local hero IMO gave me my first shot out of school. Since my initial start in 2014, I’ve gotten to grow and evolve with the city itself. I spent some time away in NJ for an exciting opportunity, but moved back in August to continue to pursue the St. Pete dream, and wow did this city feel like home again in no time. I am so grateful to the small business owners who have made this city exciting, the artists who have made it transfixing, and the residents who have acted as invaluable resources for scoping out hidden gems and local treasures. Whether you call it the ‘Burg, St. Pete, or St. Petersburg, I appreciate you. The entire #ilovetheburg team appreciates you. There are a lot of unique projects ahead for 2020, including roller derby, intense yoga, pro wrestling, some fun weird history features. Once again, thank you all for allowing me to do the work that I do, and that we all do on the website. All our best!

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Planning for your concert future? Visit The Mahaffey Theater’s website for a full list of concerts coming to one of the Burg’s premier entertainment venues.

Need more local and indie music in your life? Visit No Clubs’ concert calendar for a look at shows popping up across Tampa Bay.

Want your event featured on I Love The Burg’s website? Click HERE for all the details on how to submit your event.

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Coming Soon: 

Chocolate covered popcorn

I Love the Burg and Salty Sisters present Pelican Tracks Popcorn!

Taste the most delicious new flavor in the Sunshine City. We’re launching a brand new Pelican Tracks Popcorn with the amazing and Best of the Bay Winning Salty Sisters! It’s caramel popcorn drizzled with chocolate and mixed with peanut butter cups. YUM! Visit Salty Sisters at 107 107th Avenue, Treasure Island.

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NYE at The Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete

Get ready for the ultimate New Year’s Eve party in St. Pete. Enjoy a dinner, an open bar, music, and stellar views of the fireworks on the waterfront. Join the museum for a special dinner beginning at 7pm, or just hit up the party that runs from 9pm-1am. Click HERE to reserve your tickets. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive Northeast. Want to win a pair of tickets to this event? CLICK HERE to enter our giveaway!

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Winter WhiskeyFest at American Freedom Distillery! – VIP Tickets are SOLD OUT

Join I Love the Burg for the 3rd Annual Winter Whiskeyfest in partnership with American Freedom Distillery! Choose from over a dozen different whiskeys to taste, enjoy light bites, and mingle with other like-minded whiskey lovers at American Freedom Distillery on a Saturday evening. American Freedom Distillery showcases its stunning new space and benefits a great community cause. Tickets are limited, with room for only 250 of our closest friends and fans. A portion of the proceeds benefit METRO Inclusive Health. General Admission tickets are $75 in advance, and $85 at the door. VIP tickets are $100. VIP tickets include early entry to American Freedom Distillery from 5pm–6pm; an EXCLUSIVE Distillery Tour (Time Slots: 5pm, 5:20pm, 5:40pm); 6 Whiskey Tasting stubs, 2 stubs can be combined for a full pour; and a commemorative whiskey tasting glass. Click HERE to reserve tickets today. American Freedom Distillery, 2232 5th Avenue South.

Pineapple soft serve in a glass

WIN Dole Whip for 1 Year with Pacific Counter!

Are you a superfan of this frozen pineapple treat? It’s your lucky day! One lucky winner will be selected to win one 8 oz Dole Whip Per Day For a Year from Pacific Counter.  Yes, you can give your daily Dole Whip servings to a friend, this prize is transferable. CLICK HERE to enter.

Photo of a couple on the beach

Enter to WIN One Free Cycle of CoolSculpting!

A lucky winner will receive one FREE cycle of CoolSculpting ($700 value) from Gayoso Plastic Surgery! Coolsculpting is the world’s #1 FDA-cleared, non-invasive fat reducing technology. Click HERE to enter.

Events happening this weekend:

Friday, December 27

Spirit and the Cosmic Heart at The Bends 


Get out for live music at The Bends. Spirit and the Cosmic Heart, Cathedral Bells, and Open Culture to perform. 9pm-1am. The Bends, 919 1st Avenue North.

JT Brown at The Independent Bar


It’s not a Friday night in the EDGE without music at The Indie. Music starts at 9pm. The Independent  Bar, 1049 Central Avenue.

Grateful Dead Night at Cage Brewing


Dead Set Florida returns home to Cage Brewing. The event will feature 2 sets of electrifying Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band material. This is the final show for DSF at Cage for 2019. 7-11pm. Cage Brewing, 2001 1st Avenue South.

Damon Fowler Group at The Ale and The Witch


Join the Witch for a special performance in the courtyard by The Damon Fowler Group. Begins at 8pm. The Ale and The Witch, 111 2nd Avenue Northeast.

Christie Lenee at The Hideaway


Singer, songwriter and renowned Fingerstyle guitarist Christie Lenée is more than a musician – she’s an experience. Show from 8pm-midnight. Tickets are $20 in advance – $25 the day of the show. The Hideaway, 1756 Central Avenue.

Chris McCarty at 3 Daughters Brewing 


Get out for live music at 3DB! Chris McCarty to perform from 2-6pm. 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd Street South.

Haunted Pub Tour with St. Peter’s Ghost 


All tours depart from the St. Pete Museum of History. 3 pubs, 4 historic landmarks, and countless possibilities! Click HERE for details and to reserve your spot. St. Pete Museum of History, 335 2nd Avenue North.

Moscow’s Nutcracker Ballet at Duke Energy Center for the Arts: The Mahaffey Theater 


This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. Performances at 3 and 7pm. Click HERE for tickets. Duke Energy Center for the Arts: The Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st Street South.

Saturday, December 28

Westward Ho to Historic Kenwood Tour


This Historic Kenwood tour, on the Saturday after Christmas, is a fun & local event for visiting holiday guests to experience! Tour participants will experience one of the country’s premier bungalow neighborhoods on a leisurely walk led by resident guides excited to show off their neighborhood. 10am-noon. Click HERE for tickets. Meet at Craftsman House, 2955 Central Avenue.

Community Cafe’s Moving On Party (Saturday & Sunday)


Join Community Cafe for their final weekend at their original St. Pete location. The hub for art, vegan treats and more will bid farewell to one space as they prep to move into a new one. Festivities to include live music. Full details. Community Cafe, 2444 Central Avenue.

BBQ and Brews at Cage Brewing


Enjoy some beers at Cage Brewing and some delicious local BBQ. Food from 3-10pm. Cage Brewing, 2001 1st Avenue South.

Jordan Foley and The Wheelhouse at The Hideaway 


Orlando natives Jordan Foley & The Wheelhouse and Matthew Fowler team up to play Hideaway Cafe! Doors open at 6pm, music at 8pm. Click HERE for tickets. Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Avenue.

7th Annual Lighted Holiday Bike Parade at Flora Wylie Park


Light up your bikes and join the community Saturday night for a leisurely, lighted, holiday bike ride through Old NE! This ride will be approximately 2-3 miles. 6:30-9pm. Meet at Flora Wylie Park, 1301 North Shore Drive NE.

Become One with Your Inner Queen at The Queenshead 


Enjoy delightful evening under the stars with Jennifer Real at The Queenshead. 7pm. The Queenshead, 2501 Central Avenue.

Victoria’s Year End Bash! With LGBT Truckers & Florida Trans


Victoria’s Year End Bash! With LGBT Truckers & Florida Trans Proud. Coming together to raise money for VFW Post 39. The group is helping host a event/pageant & Drag Show to benefit the VFW. 7-10pm. VFW Post 39, 2599 Central Avenue. 


Sunday, December 29 

Writers Meet Monthly at Black Crow Grand Central 


Grab your scissors! December’s meet up will feature collage exercises to explore new modes of composition, encouraging spontaneity and interdisciplinary creation. 1-3pm. Black Crow, 2157 1st Avenue South.

Level Up Retro Video Game Night at Grassroots Kava


Bringing you some of your favorite old school video gaming systems, this group encourages all-ages to come out, grab a controller, sip a tea and take a trip down memory lane while playing some of your classic favorites. 6-9pm. Grassroots Kava, 957 Central Avenue.

BYOBaby and Flow with Abby Goodwin


Koin Abby Goodwin for BYOBaby and Flow: a session for folks and babes, with a mix of baby-wearing, baby-chilling and yoga-flowing all in one. Class structure is loose, so you’re free to get up and move around as needed. No one expects class to be perfectly quiet, so squeaks and cries are the new norm!  11am-12:15pm. Click HERE for tickets. The Body Electric, 3015 7th Street North. 


Fort Lauderdale International Airport reopens after heavy rain closed roads, delayed flights

Fort Lauderdale International Airport reopens after heavy rain closed roads, delayed flights

by | Dec 30, 2019 | Worldwide Beach News & Updates

Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post
Published 8:09 a.m. ET Dec. 23, 2019 | Updated 8:37 a.m. ET Dec. 23, 2019

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Heavy rain ahead of a powerful cold front temporarily closed Fort Lauderdale International Airport on Sunday night during busy holiday travel.

The airport has since reopened with flights resuming as of 6:30 a.m. EST Monday. Unofficial gauges show as much as 10 inches of rain may have fallen in the past 24 hours in areas of southern coastal Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Flights at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach are running on time, according to the airport’s website. A tornado watch issued for most of South Florida has also been canceled for several counties, including Palm Beach.

Estimated rain totals in Palm Beach County are up to 6 inches in Boca Raton and up to 4 inches in West Palm Beach. Isolated showers are expected to continue through the morning, according to the National Weather Service in Miami. There could be another area of showers late this afternoon into early this evening as more moisture works its way east from the Gulf of Mexico.

Coastal South Florida, as well as much of the Peninsula north of Lake Okeechobee remain under a marginal threat for severe weather Monday – the lowest threat level on the Storm Prediction Center’s scale.

Rain chances in West Palm Beach today are about 20 percent, increasing to 40 percent tonight, but mostly sunny skies are forecast for Tuesday with a high of 73 degrees. Christmas morning will dawn with a low of 58 and a sunny high of 78.

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Death row inmate’s lawyers: New evidence points to innocence

Death row inmate’s lawyers: New evidence points to innocence

by | Dec 28, 2019 | Worldwide Beach News & Updates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Lawyers for a man facing execution in Florida for the 1985 slaying of a 14-year-old girl filed an appeal Friday claiming a co-defendant in the case is ready to testify he acted alone.

The appeal on behalf of James Dailey comes three days before a stay of execution expires. Dailey was originally scheduled to be executed Nov. 7, but a federal court gave defense lawyers more time to make their case.

Friday’s filing in a Pinellas County circuit court included a signed statement from Jack Pearcy saying he is solely responsible for the death of Shelly Boggio, whose body was found in the water off Indian Rocks Beach. She had been stabbed and drowned. Pearcy, now 64, and Daily, now 73, were convicted of first degree murder in separate trials. Pearcy is serving a life sentence.

Pearcy signed a similar statement in 2017 but then refused to testify at an evidentiary hearing and Dailey’s conviction was upheld.

“He is ready to come into court and come clean,” said Joshua Dubin, one of Dailey’s lawyers.

Pearcy originally told investigators that Dailey stabbed Boggio and held her down in the water.

Dailey’s lawyers maintain he is innocent and say he was convicted on circumstantial evidence and jailhouse informants. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the death warrant in September and has maintained since then that Dailey is guilty.

“We’re praying at some point someone is going to listen,” Dubin said. “The filing that we made just corroborates what we’ve been saying for so long.”

Gunman shoots 3 at apartment complex in Westerly, Rhode Island, police say

Gunman shoots 3 at apartment complex in Westerly, Rhode Island, police say

by | Dec 28, 2019 | Worldwide Beach News & Updates

Tom Mooney and Brian Amaral, The Providence Journal
Published 12:06 p.m. ET Dec. 19, 2019 | Updated 6:31 a.m. ET Dec. 20, 2019

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WESTERLY, R.I. – A 66-year-old resident of an assisted-living complex shot and killed one person and wounded two others before taking his own life Thursday morning, prompting area schools and businesses to lock down, police said.

The shooting victims were all women, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. A 47-year-old employee of the residential complex was killed, Lacey said. Two others, a 38-year-old employee and a 67-year-old resident, were wounded.

Lacey provided little information about the suspect but said that he was known to authorities.

“His name was in our system,” Lacey said.

Authorities would not release any names during a midafternoon news conference; families were still being notified.

The 38-year-old employee was in critical condition, Lacey said; she was taken first to Westerly Hospital and was being flown to Yale New Haven Hospital. The 67-year-old resident was taken to Rhode Island Hospital and was in stable condition after surgery.

Lacey said active shooter situations are rare in Westerly, a beach town of about 22,000 people where Taylor Swift owns a mansion.

“It’s a shock to the community … there’s never any serious type of crimes of this nature,” he said. “This is a low-crime community.”

The first call to Westerly police came in at 10:32 a.m. for a single person shot, Lacey said. Officers raced to the scene in three minutes. They ordered all the tenants in the 151-unit complex to remain in their rooms and began reviewing surveillance camera footage of the area where the shootings took place, searching for a suspect.

They identified one man, a resident, who appeared to come into and out of the area, Lacey said. About two hours after the shots had been fired, a tactical team of state and local police officers took up positions at the door of the shooter’s apartment.

They opened the door with a master key and sent in a robot, which sent back video of the suspect apparently dead, said state police Supt. Col. James Manni. Officers found he had died from a gunshot and recovered a pistol.

The Westerly Public Schools locked down in the aftermath of the shooting.The lockdown was lifted at about 12:45 p.m. but most after-school activities were cancelled.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Twitter that she was “closely monitoring the situation in Westerly.”

I am closely monitoring the situation in Westerly and in constant contact with Rhode Island State Police Col. Manni. I stand with the people of Westerly and all Rhode Islanders in coming together to support the victims and their families during this difficult time.

— Gina Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) December 19, 2019

Reports of gunfire had seven workers at a boat repair business next door hiding in their own lockdown. One of them, Tracy Wise, said the workers had gathered at the In Motion Marine Repair for a company Christmas party when “everyone’s phones just started going off” about a shooting at the apartment complex.

“We locked the doors until they caught whoever was out there,” she said.

“It’s a little scary knowing the guy may be running around behind us,” she said. “I don’t like being this close to something like this. We heard all the schools are in lockdown. It is not my time to die.”

Twelve people at the Granite Group, a nearby plumbing and heating store, were also in lockdown, said Bob Santos, a counter salesman.

“We saw all the cruisers going by and then heard what was going on on social media,” he said. “We are just looking out the window when we can, making sure nothing is going on in our parking lot. No one seems too concerned at the moment.”

Westerly is about 40 miles south of Providence. Babcock Village is a three story elderly preference apartment complex where applicants must meet federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit guidelines. Residents pay about 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent.

Mooney and Amaral write for the Providence Journal. Contributing: John Bacon and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY

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