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2 days ago, 01/29/2015 at 4:29pm Delete

Yikes! Bikes!

One more near miss in the dark. A bike moving at around 10-12 mph on Estero is quickly overtaken by a car going 35mph. In broad daylight, the vehicle driver has time to see the bike and move over, giving them at least the 3 feet called for by Florida law.

That same law calls for front and rear lights after dark on all bicycles operated on a roadway. I see precious few lights on bikes after dark on Estero Blvd. I also don't see reflectors, though recently, pedal reflectors were the only things that saved a bicyclist riding in the road in the dark wearing dark clothing—in other words, he was, for all practical purposes, invisible. He has no idea how close he came to being one more Lee County accident statistic.

Our streets are really dark. Its difficult for many drivers to see bikes and pedestrians in the dark. Especially when theyre driving south on Estero facing a long line of headlights impairing their night vision. When dark clothing is worn and no light is used, those pedestrians and bikes become part of the very dark background. Riding on the shoulder does not make it ok to not have lights.

I understand that for some people a bike is their only means of transportation. People work late hours and its dark when they have to ride home. A bike is cheap transportation. Lights are expensive and easy to steal. All true.

I've ridden thousands of miles on bikes. I am a fan of bike riding for a lot of reasons. This is not a diatribe against bikes using the roads. Bikes have a right to be on the road. But I sure would like to see a little more care taken by bike riders in our community, especially after dark.
Who's Playing On The Beach

Issue-729's Top Story 2 days ago, 01/29/2015 at 4:08pm

New Parking Stations'Pay and Play' at
New Parking Pay Stations

Many of our readers have no doubt noticed some changes going on when it comes to paying for parking in the downtown area and at our beach accesses. In order to make it easier for folks to get out to the beach - the Town of Fort Myers Beach is upgrading some of its pay stations. This week we met with Administrative Specialist Chelsea O'Riley and Maintenance Crew Foreman Shawn Millis who explained that - in some places on the island, the old practice of scrounging your floorboards and glove box for change is now a thing of the past.

"We have nine new pay stations and will probably be installing a couple more,” O'Riley said. "These are located along Old San Carlos Boulevard, under the Matanzas Pass Bridge, one on Estero Boulevard and one at Newton Park and the Palm Avenue and Connecticut Street beach accesses.”
Ham Radio 2 days ago, 01/29/2015 at 4:24pm
Ham Operator John TozierIt’s Good To Have
A Ham In The ‘Hood

It’s something Fort Myers Beach residents don’t like to think about, but imagine it is day three after the eye of Hurricane Alberto passed directly over Fort Myers Beach. Electrical power is out for much of Lee County and is not likely to be restored for several days or even weeks. Cell phone towers, land lines and Internet connections are either out of service or so overloaded they have stopped working. The good news is that our local governmental agencies learned much from Hurricane Charley in 2004, so new disaster recovery programs are now in place that should help make this recovery faster and easier for residents.

Still, your family up north has not heard from you since the Category 4 storm came ashore. How will you let your loved ones know you are safe?

Chefs Of The Beach 2 days ago, 01/29/2015 at 4:14pm

Chef Reid FreemanChefs of the Beach Reid Freeman
of Smokin’ Oyster Brewery

One of the most popular eateries on the north end of the island, The Smokin’ Oyster Brewery (SOB’s) has enjoyed a steady, loyal crowd since Bill Freeman opened for business nearly fifteen years ago. His son, Reid, was then twelve years old.

But even before that, when Reid was barely out of kindergarten, he spent time, when he wasn’t at school or at Bay Oaks Summer Camp, at the old Snug Harbor restaurant where his mom worked. "I used to do all my homework underneath the old hotel.But I would watch the cooks in the kitchen.”

City Hall3 weeks ago, 01/14/2015 at 2:08am

Megan Will & Matt NobleNew Planners at City Hall

It's hard to believe, but it's been nearly a year since Town Manager Don Stilwell was first hired as Interim Town Manager. Since that time, Stilwell has remained committed to his plans to flatten the hierarchy at Town Hall and utilize employees so that their jobs intersect with one another, something he says makes things flow a lot easier in a Town government as small as ours is. Recently, he added two new faces to the Community Development Department - Senior Planner Megan Will and Principal Planner Matt Noble, who will work with Development Services Manager Belinda Smith (promoted from within last August) to service residents' building and planning needs.

"This is what I call 'taking the collegial approach' to town government,” Stilwell told us. "Using people more broadly saves the Town money and also gives our employees more opportunities.


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