News Briefs for Nov. 25, 2021

Posted

Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park to open for Thanksgiving holiday

Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park and parking lot will be open from 6 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, through 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, for pedestrian beach access over the Thanksgiving holiday.

After Nov. 28, Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park will return to being closed Monday through Friday to allow crews to resume work on the FEMA Dune Enhancement Project. Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park will remain accessible on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information about the FEMA Dune Enhancement Project, go to sjcfl.us/coastalprojects/FEMADunes.aspx.

County to repair South Ponte Vedra Beach pavilion after nor’easter

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is taking steps to address the damage caused by the recent nor’easter. During its Tuesday, Nov. 16, meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve $120,000 to repair the South Ponte Vedra Beach Park dune walkover and pavilion.

“The nor’easter made the walkover and the pavilion in South Ponte Vedra Beach unusable for public access,” said Ryan Kane, director of St. Johns County Parks & Recreation. “The funding approved today will help us restore this public amenity for all to enjoy.”

Additionally, county commissioners voted to authorize the Emergency Temporary Coastal Armoring Property Owner Permit Application Package under Florida statute. Following a coastal storm event, authorizing this statute allows eligible property owners to apply for temporary emergency structure permits.

Applications must be submitted within 30 days from the initial coastal event, which was earlier this month. Properties built after March 17, 1985, are not eligible. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, go to bit.ly/30HI5Yd.

Library food for fines program returns

The Food for Fines program has returned this year to St. Johns County libraries and bookmobiles.

An opportunity to eliminate most library fines, Food for Fines will run through Monday, Dec. 20. The food items collected will be used to stock the county’s Health and Human Services Food Pantry, providing food for county families in need.

A donation of one nonperishable, unexpired food item will remove $1 of fines from a patron’s library record. This fine-reduction program applies only to overdue fines, and patrons may bring in as many items as needed to reduce overdue fines. Fees related to damaged or lost items are not included in the Food for Fines program.

The library also welcomes donations made in the spirit of the holiday season from those who have no fines. Food donations and pet supplies may be dropped off at any of the St. Johns County library branches or bookmobiles.

Last year, county residents provided more than 3,500 nonperishable items through the program.

For more information, go to sjcpls.org.

Holiday dog adoption planned

SAFE Pet Rescue will bring its mobile adoption van to the Ponte Vedra Pet Supermarket store, 880 A1A N., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. There will be lots of fun festivities for visitors and their pets to enjoy.

People can take their pets’ pictures with Santa, enjoy live holiday music by a local guitarist, sample goodies at the bake sale, browse some craft items, sip hot cocoa and meet and greet rescue dogs who are hoping to become a part of a family this holiday season.

Library branches host ‘Giving Trees’

The St. Johns County Public Library System is once again hosting St. Johns CARES Inc. “Giving Trees” at four branch libraries through Dec. 7. This annual initiative has been held each year since St. Johns CARES Inc. was established in 2007 as an all-volunteer organization committed to assisting local charities in the county.

Patrons are invited to fill “wishes” placed as paper ornaments on seasonal trees. Each ornament contains a client wish from one of 40 local nonprofit organizations serving the elderly, veterans, the homeless, children and animals in St. Johns County.

“Communities come together through the library, and this program is one we look forward to each year,” says Heather Sostrom, Anastasia Island Branch Library manager. “We are proud to partner with the volunteers from St. Johns CARES Inc. again to make the holidays a little brighter for community members in need.”

Collection boxes and “Giving Trees” are located at the Ponte Vedra Beach, Anastasia Island, Bartram Trail and Southeast branch libraries. Donations will be collected, sorted and boxed for the nonprofit organizations by St. Johns CARES Inc. Monetary donations are accepted and will be used to purchase unfulfilled wishes and needs.

For additional information about St. Johns CARES Inc. or to make a monetary donation, go to stjohnscares.org.

ElderSource experts available to help Medicare beneficiaries

Medicare open enrollment and the opportunity for seniors to reevaluate their coverage is under way. ElderSource offers free help for those trying to navigate the complex process and significant number of changes for 2022.

Open enrollment – Medicare’s annual election period – runs through Dec 7. Medicare enrollees, who should have received their annual notice of change from their Medicare plans, face a broad array of choices that make research and preparation the key to making sound choices.

ElderSource’s SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Need of Elders) program offers free, independent and unbiased counseling with the goal of helping people find the best information possible to make important health care decisions.

SHINE counselors are now scheduling in-person consults at the St. Johns County Library (Main Branch), 1960 Ponce de Leon Blvd., St. Augustine, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3.

SHINE volunteers are not insurance brokers but specifically trained guides to help enrollees understand the possible changes they can make to their Medicare plans.

Counseling sessions are being offered in-person and over the phone. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 1-888-242-4464.

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