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Bolivar is Back Anne Willis and Commissioner Doyle Interviews

Bolivar is Back Crab Festival and Music Fest Had A Huge Turnout. Anne says "come and see how much Bolivar has done since Ike."

Commissioner Doyle promises major funding projects are coming soon and gave much of the credit for Bolivar's recovery to the efforts of the local residents led by the Chamber and Anne Willis.

Bolivar Peninsula residents celebrated the annual Crab Festival and Stingaree Music Festival plus the community's progress recovering from Hurricane Ike's devastation.

Interviews are with Anne Willis the president of the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce and Galveston County Commissioner Patrick Doyle.

In many ways, the peninsula shows plenty of signs of returning from Ike’s devastation. By no means, though, are the Bolivar Peninsula communities of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilchrist and High Island anywhere near their pre-Ike form.

Crystal Beach, where thousands gathered during the weekend after two annual festivals combined for a celebration of the peninsula’s recovery process, has made the greatest progress.

Singer Hayes Carl at the Dunking Booth - He performed later that night

With the crews from Good Morning America the Weather Channel and other national media focusing on Galveston for the start of hurricane season Monday, Reynolds and others on the peninsula are asking, “What about us?”

The peninsula isn’t being totally overlooked. The Good Morning America crew was in Gilchrist on Saturday and plans call for a feature on the community when Robin Roberts broadcasts live from the county Monday morning.

Still, “I do think we got slighted on that part of it,” Bolivar Chamber of Commerce President Anne Willis said during the peninsula’s Crab Fest and Stingaree Music Festival on Saturday. “I haven’t seen a lot of national attention on Bolivar, and I would hope they would come and see what the people themselves have done.

“We’re not just standing out asking for everybody to do it for us, because we want to help do it.” Help additional to the debris cleanup, which has been a monumental task, is on the way.

County commissioners plan to spend $35 million to improve and rebuild the water and sewer systems on Bolivar, to create a series of jetties to better protect the beaches and to build new emergency services buildings. Several million also will go to move and raise state Highway 87, the peninsula’s only means of evacuation.

“It’s not going to be the same Bolivar, but its going to be a bigger and better Bolivar,” Willis said.

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