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6 days ago, 07/23/2015 at 2:23pm Delete

Gerrymandering, Florida-Style

Politicians are fond of saying that we regular people just dont understand the complexity of how government works. And few would contest a comparison between the making of legislation and the making of sausage. Neither is very pretty.

But our elected representatives in Tallahassee take it to a whole new level.

Over four and half years ago, Florida voters approved dual Fair District amendments to combat the Florida Legislatures bad habit of gerrymandering voting districts for both state reps and U.S. Congressional representatives.

The constitutional amendments prohibit the Legislature from drawing districts to favor or hurt incumbents, parties or minority groups. Districts must be contiguous and compact. Those pesky Florida voters thought that was a good idea. Not so our elected officials.

And like their recent treatment of Amendment One for land and water conservation purchases, the Legislature proceeded as if the Fair District Amendments did not exist.

Voting district lines are redrawn every 10 years based on census data. They brought in party consultants, Republican, because they control both the Florida House and Senate, and a few lawyers. They held a ridiculous series of meetings around the state, supposedly to ask for input, but hamstrung Floridians by not having a map to comment on at the meetings. And in the end, drew up a map with lots of gerrymandered districts.

Who's Playing On The Beach

Issue-754's Top Story 6 days ago, 07/23/2015 at 2:05pm

Roger DesjarlaisCounty Manager Gives Two-Year Report

On Wednesday morning, County Manager Roger Desjarlais gave a ‘State of the County’ report to members of the public during a luncheon hosted by the Tiger Bay Club at the Harbourside Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers.

Desjarlais was hired by the County in June 25, 2013 - joining Lee government in a troubled time amidst employee and voter distrust, issues with emergency services, a slowly recovering economy and many more issues, something he touched on at the beginning of his presentation.
National Clown Week 6 days ago, 07/23/2015 at 2:20pm
Turkleberry the ClownAugust 1 - 7 is National Clown Week

Islander Sally Scanlon has been the perpetrator of fun and laughter for about 25 years in her recurring role as Turkleberry the Clown.Scanlon is a member of Clowns of America International (COAI). The purpose of COAI, as stated on their website ( is "to share, educate, and act as a gathering place for serious minded amateurs, semiprofessionals, and professional clowns. COAI provides its membership with necessary resources that allow them to further define and improve their individual clown character.Visitors who are interested in the clown arts will find a variety of resources that will stimulate their interest, foster their curiosity and offer pathways to valuable information.” To that end, the whole country will be celebrating National Clown Week with Turkleberry from August 1 through August 7th. That’s right, by Presidential Proclamation, which appears in its entirety below, the first week in August is officially National Clown Week (there are many who would argue that, these days, every week is National Clown Week in American politics, but that’s another story).

Street Performers 6 days ago, 07/23/2015 at 2:13pm

Pirate MikeNew Street Performers Series
To Debut in Sand Life

Here on Ft. Myers Beach, whether it’s August or spring break, you will find street performers at Time Square, especially around sunset. In a special new series for our monthly magazine, The Sand Life, over the next few months we will be introducing our readers to the street performers, or "buskers" here at Ft. Myers Beach.

The entertainers that perform at Time Square come from all over the country from California to the east coast, from countries outside of the United States to right here in Lee Country. Whether from Ft. Myers Beach or France, the type of entertainer varies as much as where they come from. In the next several issues we will bring you the stories of our musicians, magicians, balloon sculptors, jugglers, puppeteers, artists, crafters, living statues, acrobats, and more. Ft. Myers Beach is one of the best "pitches" in the country.

Natural Gas 4 weeks ago, 07/01/2015 at 5:37pm

Operations manager Hugh MacfarlaneNatural Gas – It’s Now or Never

TECO representatives met with local businesses and residents Friday morning to explain their plans to add a natural gas line along Estero Blvd during the road’s first stage of reconstruction.

Hugh Macfarlane, TECO Regional Operations Manager, explained where the new line is expected to run.

"The line will extend from an existing line on 3rdStreet to Crescent, then down Crescent to Estero Blvd. Once at Estero Blvd, we’ll take the line south first, then come back and go north to the park and the area of new development. The gas line will be placed between two water lines the Town is placing, a 16” and a 10” line. The 4” gas line will run between them. Due to the narrow right of way in this first section, the line will run under the street, so it’s very important that we know who is interested in a gas connection before construction begins. We need to get permits from the county.

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