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3 days ago, 01/22/2015 at 5:01pm Delete

And It Isn’t Even Season Yet!

Im hearing that phrase a lot lately and I bet you are too as our seasonal population surges earlier than weve seen in several years. Season is expanding.

Some define "season” as Valentines Day to the week after Easter, but its been pushing those boundaries for several years and even our summers have been busier as our Island paradise is discovered by more and more people.

You can tell by the smiles on our hoteliers and bartenders faces that more people on our Island translate into more business for them. Vacation rentals, jet-ski businesses, retail stores, ice cream shops, restaurants, the list goes on – if you work or live here, season usually means income. It also translates into more jobs, always a good thing. It even seems to carry over into the shrimping industry as one local shrimper just celebrated bringing in a cool $1 million worth of shrimp in 2014 – the first time that has happened – ever.

So, Welcome Back Snowbirds! Welcome Back Vacationers! Welcome Back Day Trippers!

Were happy youre here and are able to experience the Island lifestyle that we love so much we live here!

In season, however you want to define it, there are some challenges that come with an Island crowded with people enjoying the good life, traffic being one of them.

So here is a traffic primer for everyone who doesnt live here year round…

Starting at the north end of the Island, that first mile between Bowditch Point Park and Time Square is owned by the Town of Fort Myers Beach.
 
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Who's Playing On The Beach

 
Issue-728's Top Story 3 days ago, 01/22/2015 at 4:43pm

Propeller LoungeSeason of the Arts

The art calendar is filling up here on the beach, whether its theater, visual arts or musical concerts, youll find it right here in the coming weeks. Plays, Art Shows, Musical Concerts - were providing a brief summary of some of the great events here. Keep your eye on the Sand Paper for more events to come as season progresses.

Theater Arts

Theatre Conspiracy, with a little help from one of our local directors, Rick Sebastian, is bringing its hit play, "The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) to Fort Myers Beach next week, offering two encore performances on January 30 & 31st at 8pm at St. Raphaels Church Hall, 5601 Williams Drive. The play, in the "abridged” style of other massive works turned plays, such as "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” or "The Complete History of America,” takes a brisk walk through the entire Bible leaving both actors and audience a bit breathless.
Birds 3 days ago, 01/22/2015 at 4:56pm
Reddish EgretDreaming of Birds

Keith Laakkonen must dream of birds. I spent an hour with Fort Myers Beach Environmental Sciences Coordinator Keith Laakkonen on one of his regular bird counting walks in the Critical Habitat areas on the south part of the island. We marched through a condo and out onto the sand. He is looking and listening while we walk, but our first pause was at a marshy area where Piping Plovers often feed. Keith starts announcing birds he is seeing while he notes them in his log, "Red Breasted Merganser, Cardinal, Ring Bill Gull, Laughing Gull.” It is obvious that Keith is very disappointed, no Piping Plovers pulling tiny worms from the mud. His concern for these little birds is palpable. There are only a few thousand Piping Plovers in the world, and part of our island is designated as a critical winter habitat for this extremely threatened species. Keith takes this designation seriously.

Rodney Slater 3 days ago, 01/22/2015 at 4:50pm

Rodney SlaterFormer Transportation Secretary
Speaks to Council

The Town Council had quite a bit on their plate at their workshop on Monday afternoon, beginning with a joint meeting with the Local Planning Agency (LPA) and ending with a presentation from former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater on what he thinks can be done, if anything, to address the issue of excessive airplane noise brought to council by the group Aircraft Intrusion Relief (AIR).

During the meeting with the LPA, the members reported that they were beginning a review of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, something required by state law every seven years as part of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR).

City Hall2 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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Weekly "Funideo" - Even Santa Poops.

What happens when all those milk and cookies catch up with Santa on his big night? Kind of gross, but funny none the less. Video courtesy of Poo~Pourri.

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