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from the editor
November 10, 2015

More information has come to light of late;  it is abbreviated below.  The bottom line is still the same: all discussions thus far involve express denial of public access to the Lukens Tract.  


The Toppings made two “offers” to the Suwannee River Water Management District on October 13, 2015.  Both “swaps” involve denial of public access to the Lukens Tract.


The first involves:
Donation of ownership of parcels of land Parcels 1 and 5 (combined) 2, or 3, to the SRWMD  in exchange for fee ownership of District lands on either side of the Topping’s current property within the Lukens Tract.  The exchange expressly eliminates   public access to the Lukens Tract.

In effect, for one or two small properties (see property sizes below) which are geographically separated from SRWMD other properties, and thus difficult to manage, the Toppings acquire nearly the entire Lukens Tract with no public access.

The second involves:
Donate fee ownership of Parcel 4 in exchange for the removal of public access through the Topping land on Lukens Tract. 

In effect, for one less-than-on- acre-sized property, which is geographically separated from SRWMD other properties, and thus difficult to manage, the Toppings get nearly the entire Lukens Tract with no public access.


Parcel 1 is  9.56 acres of coastal estuary, tidal marsh, fresh water wetlands, some uplands.
Parcel 2 is 0.94 acres of mostly uplands and some coastal estuary.
Parcel 3 is 1.54 acres of mostly coastal estuary and some uplands.
Parcel 4 is 0.92 acres of mostly coastal estuary and some uplands.
Parcel 5 is  0.19 acres of coastal estuary.
Some of these parcels are underwater.

According to the Levy County Tax records as of today, some of these parcels are not currently owned by the Toppings.

The land the Toppings want to the east and the west of their currently-owned Lukens Tract property is approximately 28 acres.


If you would like to have the entire October 13, 2015 agenda packet, do not hesitate to e mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ad we will forward it.  Maps are included.

Cedar Key News is currently investigating and will report upon two very unclear concepts:

  • conservation easements, how they are written and how they figure into such exchanges;
  • the possibility that if these exchanges do not involve money, that there is no need to put the properties up for bid to the public.



NOV 10 CROWHURST E MAIL Kayak launch at Lukens Tract



Cedar Key News Editorial

The kayak launch and access to the SRWMD property at the Lukens, immediately north of the No.4 Bridge, is being closed to public access.
The property is about to be sold to private land owners in Cedar Key and closed to public access.
Lukens Ramp Map xc1
Part of the pristine land and waters that were recently purchased by the SRWMD to help prevent pollution to the clamming waters in the area will be determined surplus and sold or exchanged for other private land in the area.
This directly contradicts the SRWMD written objectives and management protection practices as stated on the SRWMD web site.
This is the only kayak launch area in the SRWMD that leads to the Gulf.
If you have any desire to help prevent this from happening, come to the Community Center for the SRWMD Meeting Thursday at 9 am, November 12th, and to the SRWMD Land Committee on Friday, the 13th at 9 am.
If you want to help, write letters to the SRWMD board members. Come and speak at the meetings Thursday and Friday morning. You must register before the meetings if you wish to speak.
Help preserve the conservation land that was bought with your taxes dollars for the preservation of Cedar Key and surrounding waters.
Frank E. Offerle
CKN Editor

September 5, 2014

SEPT 5 MOMS WHOLE GPColleagues from Palm Harbor, Casselberry, New Smyrna Beach, Belle Glade, and Marco Island converged at the Cedar Key Library’s upstairs meeting room to participate in the workshop designed to teach participants to ably interpret, assemble, and disassemble the Smithsonian’s “The Way We Worked” traveling exhibit, which will remain in place until October 24, 2014.  The group is pictured to the left.

The exhibit will travel to these other five small Florida cities when it leaves Cedar Key in October and these visitors will be the exhibit’s orchestrators in their towns. They came ready to learn and learn they did.   

Welcoming them with smiles and coffee were Cedar Key Vice-Mayor Sue Colson, Cedar Key Historical Society President Ken Young, Cedar Key Historical Society Museum Director Galina Binkley, cedar Key's own Dr. John Andrews, and Levy County Visitors Bureau Exeutive Director Carol McQueen.  Later in the day, participants experienced a first-hand taste of “how Cedar Key works” with lunch at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, a location so integral to the city’s living history of fishing and tourism.  Andrews, Colson, and McQueen are pictured to the right.

What was an empty room at 8am became, before noon, a series of colorful gears, action-filled pictures, informative banners, and interactives explaining how Americans have labored over the past 150 years.                                           SEPT 5 MOMS SUE AND MCQDSCN4265

Smithsonian Institution Director of Exhibits Carol Harsh led the workshop, carefully overviewing the contents of some twelve huge crates and their packing logic and demonstrating, in much detail, the erection of one of the exhibit’s parts.  Instruction included everything from how to introduce visitors to the exhibit’s meaningful content to the repacking of the crates and the truck at the exhibit’s end.  Harsh is pictured in the above left snapshot in the polka-dotted center.


Florida Humanities Council Program Coordinator Alex Buell and his colleagues Dr. Jennifer Snyder and Keith Simmons functioned as the critical support team assisting the small Florida cities’ representatives construct their assigned part of the exhibit.   University of Florida Master Lecturer, the Department of History, Dr. Steven Noll will function as Cedar Key’s resident expert on the exhibit’s content.

Demonstrating the adage that learning is doing, the participants did, indeed, learn as they worked.  Under Harsh’s careful eyes and with Buell’s, Snyder’s, and Simmons’ assistance, the exhibit took shape.  No hammers, no nails, no pliers, no wrenches were needed, so well designed is the exhibit. 

The session ended with no ceiling tiles, no ceiling fans, and no lights lost in the endeavor and learned, confident, smiling small cities’ representatives.    








MoMS Gold XLe


The Cedar Key School Senior Class graduation ceremony
was held Saturday, May 31,2014 at 9am.
This year there was a graduation class of fifteen students. 


From “ag” and “chem” class shenanigans, homecoming court, and the football field and basketball court to the United States Naval Academy, Air Force, insurance, music photography, nurse anesthetist, fishing guide, international relations,  CSI agent, and resting on a beach, the Cedar Key School seniors are a rich a varied group.   

Do, take a moment, and enjoy the photographs below and the Spotlights of each graduate that will appear when you click on the the photos or the blue “View the Senior Spotlights” under the photos.  You’ll enjoy the students’ memories, favorite teachers, and future plans. 
GradPix15x3 pix
*** Click photos above for Senior Spotlights ***