Our news philosophy
On Dec. 14, 1961, a Cape Coral couple, Dick and Sally Crawford, published Volume 1, No. 1 of the Cape Coral Breeze, the then still-new community’s first “real newspaper.”
As owners serving as editor and “correspondent,” they promised — smack dab on page 1 — that the new weekly would “carry primarily news of particular interest to Cape Coral residents — the daily comings and goings of our community, the important items affecting its growth and prosperity.”
The Breeze promised to provide a vehicle for advertising for the Cape’s locally-owned businesses and a mission — that the paper would attempt to “promote harmony in our community and to assist in everyway possible toward the growth of Cape Coral into the type of city we, the residents desire.”
Cape Coral, of course, was not yet a city at that time — that would not happen until August of 1970. Nor were there many businesses or residents, for that matter. Cape Coral was just four years old, carved literally from pasture land and hunting acreage by brothers Leonard and Jack Rosen, who broke ground for their planned “waterfront wonderland” on Nov. 4, 1957.
The first news story sharing that first front page was a big one — “Cape Coral Bridge Approved by Voters,” with 174 “Cape Coral freeholders” casting a vote in favor and 124 voting against.
The inside pages of the 16-page, tabloid-sized paper were filled with community news — an aerial photo and update on the construction of the $750,000 Yacht and Racquet Club, a feature on the ace FBI manhunter vacationing in Cape Coral, a photo of a young woman who brought back two ribbons from a horse show and a recent golf tourney dinner dance.
On page 4 was The Breeze’s first hard-hitting editorial.
Headlined “It’s time for a change,” the opinion piece criticized officers with the Taxpayers Association, “potentially the most powerful civic group in our community,” for their overreach in opposing construction of the bridge with no mandate from its members and spending association money to boot. The editorial written by Mr. Crawford called for their resignation — his own included — and added that new leadership should be elected.
And if they declined?
“Failing this, I believe the membership should take the necessary steps to force this action,” Mr. Crawford wrote.
And with that, the fledgling paper that had evolved from a one-page mimeographed newsletter, was off and running about the Cape, covering meetings and events, accepting calendar items, press releases and club and social news, while also becoming the voice of Cape Coral — not only of the paper, but of the people so that the new town would become “the type of city we, the residents desire.”
The format of the paper has changed through the years; the page count has bumped up and down as has the frequency of print publication; and the way the news is delivered to Cape residents continues to evolve.
But one thing has held fast through the years: We are Cape Coral’s community newspaper.
The Breeze continues to cover the Cape — the meetings, the events, the happenings, the milestones and the people.
We continue to report the news that matters to our community and our readers. That’s local news, the news that affects our families, our businesses, our quality of life and our pocketbooks.
We continue to be the conduit through which Cape businesses and professionals can reach their respective customers and clients.
We continue our watchdog role by keeping an eye on how your money is being spent and by holding those who collect it and write the checks accountable.
We continue to be the voice of the Cape through not only the myriad of guest opinions and letters to the editor that now publish online as well as in print, but by welcoming — always welcoming — news tips, releases and community contributions.
We think our brand of journalism has a role to play and is here to stay as we move toward our seventh decade and beyond.
Thank you for your support through the years and thank you for reading.
As always, we invite your input.
Publisher Ray Eckenrode:
Executive Editor Valarie Harring
Editor Chris Strine