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Hooper: Treasure Island provides a path other beaches should follow

 
A family, including an older woman in a mobile walker, uses the new MobiMat Rec Path at Treasure Island's Gulf Front Park. ERNEST HOOPER | Times
A family, including an older woman in a mobile walker, uses the new MobiMat Rec Path at Treasure Island's Gulf Front Park. ERNEST HOOPER | Times
Published June 3, 2018

Treasure Island's Gulf Front Park is sporting a relatively new feature: a wheelchair beach path that makes it more accessible.

Samantha Hernandez, whose 15-year-old son Jimmy Ortiz uses a wheelchair, joined other parents to push for the installation at a Treasure Island City Council meeting last September. The path features a mat that prevents wheels from sinking into the sand.

The idea came to fruition in April, thanks in part to a $21,000 donation from Gators Cafe & Saloon.

Now the beach path extends 400 feet towards the gulf, making at least one of our gorgeous vistas and awe-inspiring sunsets more accessible. I think we need more beach paths at more beaches. ...

Blind Tiger Cafe owner Roberto Torres and InSync Healthcare sales director Alex Sandkuhl launched Why Tampa Bay, a new podcast series focusing on why more people are choosing to call our area home. Catch it at theidentitytb.com. ...

Seen on a T-shirt: In dog beers, I've only had one. ...

The next University of South Florida athletic director (Mark Harland resigned to take the same post at Utah) needs to have more success getting students to engage. Bring back DJ Khaled's All I Do Is Win on kickoffs. …

If you ever get a chance to hear Brig. Gen. Thomas Draude to speak, don't miss it. The retired Marine holds an audience's attention with candor, humor and honesty.

Next year we've got to get Pop-Tarts on the tax-free hurricane supply list. ...

Kudos to servers Joe, James and Taylor for holding down the fort at Woody's Waterfront in St. Pete Beach. Adult beverages, friends, sunny skies and fried clam strips. It was a good day.

That's all I'm saying.