Mitch Traphagen

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At 25, Seafood Festival takes the best and makes it better

After 25 years, despite huge growth in visitors and vendors, the Ruskin Seafood Festival has managed to keep an intimate feel. Kind of like taking a mini vacation.
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A taste of autumn

While Florida is usually sunny and cool this time of year, those who have relocated south might be missing the colors of fall....
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Observations: Counting blessings

As a young old guy, I’m learning to count my blessings. Right now, I’m pretty happy where I am....
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Observations: Having hope

While we argue over minutia, the world’s next Albert Einstein may be starving to death in Somalia. Or South Dakota....
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Trick or Treat Street serves up family-friendly thrills for thousands

Thousands turned out to show off their costumes and pick up some treats from local businesses and organizations...
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Bowling for dollars, ABWIG crosses the finish line

The goal: to ensure that Apollo Beach remains a waterfront community...
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Without a word, Amazon making huge waves in South Hillsborough

The world's largest Internet retailer is expected to create 1,000 jobs in a new fulfillment center slated for Ruskin....
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Observations: Cracks in the road ahead

The rhetoric on just about everything is so far over the top that people have become immune to it....
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Discover Camp Bayou Oct. 26

At one time an RV park, Camp Bayou is living proof of nature’s incredible ability to reclaim her beauty. ...
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Trick or Treat Street happens this Saturday

It's family-friendly fun for thousands of children and their families...
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Observations: Do they really represent us?

Contrary to growing conventional wisdom, there are good people in Congress but those good people need to start doing more......
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Doby Elementary students make magic with Cardboard Challenge

The games were a collection of amazing creativity, imagination ... and a great deal of hard work...
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Wimauma Elementary holds 'A' night of celebration

It is the only area school to receive an A grade from the state...
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Area live theater is now bigger and better than ever

Two of the area’s largest and most well-known theater companies, Pelican Players, with a home at the Borini Theater in Kings Point, and the SCC ...
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Alpha Pizza names 'idol'

According to Alpha Pizza owner Nick Egarhos, this year’s Alpha Pizza Idol event was the closest finish ever, with talented singer Eva Peake taking top ...
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Apollo Beach Elementary earns national recognition

Character matters at Apollo Beach Elementary School and a program more than a decade in the making, helped by staff and the community, earns a national award....
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Author info
image Mitch Traphagen Mitch Traphagen is a photojournalist, columnist and online editor for the Observer News Publications. He is the recipient of 55 awards of excellence from the Community Papers of Florida for his photography and writing. He has worked for some of the nation’s largest corporations, as Press Secretary for a U.S. Congressman, owned and published a weekly newspaper, and produced a commercial documentary video on sailing. He is a Commodore in the Seven Seas Cruising Association (ssca.org). Mitch is a writer, photographer, sailor and traveler with a bit of a geek thing going on. You can visit his personal website at mitchtraphagen.com
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