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5 days ago, 07/02/2015 at 5:13pm Delete

Happy Independence Day!

This Fourth of July holiday seems a perfect time for Americans to reflect on the state of our country. Now 239 years old, our republic has weathered countless storms. It has survived attack from within and without. It has grown from a small upstart group of British colonies to the strongest nation on Earth. 319 million people call themselves Americans today.

This experiment in democracy continues to be a shining beacon for those around the world burdened with oppressive governments. Those who think that OUR government is oppressive need to spend time in China or Afghanistan or Sudan. Americans have the luxury of complaining about our government, usually with full bellies and roof over their head and without the need to defend their home and family on a daily basis.

Our nation is not yet perfect, and it will likely never be. It wasn’t perfect back in the good old days of the 1780’s or 1890’s or 1950’s though you’d think it was from the claims of some today.

It’s a natural tendency to idealize a former period of time, but a trap that wise citizens with a sense of history avoid. Any casual look at the history of civil rights in our country alone will uncover that one man’s "good old days” were another’s adversity.

Today will be someone’s "good old days” 30-40 years from now. They’ll look back fondly and reminisce. Meanwhile too many of us are too often consumed with how awful life is now. It’s all about perspective.

Who's Playing On The Beach

Issue-751's Top Story 5 days ago, 07/02/2015 at 4:46pm

4th of July ParadeCelebrate Independence Day
in Fort Myers Beach

All over the island, flags are going up, fireworks are being dusted off and there’s excitement in the air, as people get ready for the big Fourth of July celebration this Saturday. There is nothing like the Fourth in a small town, and ours is no exception.

The fun begins in the morning, with a parade resplendent in red, white and blue. Beginning at 10am at the Beach Library, around 50 civic groups, businesses, veterans groups, kids and others with patriotic spirit will make their way to Time Square, where the Town of Fort Myers Beach will be set up throughout the day selling Fourth t-shirts, glow sticks and necklaces and – at 2pm - hosting the 2nd Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Shrimp Fleet 4 days ago, 07/04/2015 at 1:26pm

Shrimp BoatsShrimp Fleet Prepares
For Summer Season in Texas

While most people are celebrating the Fourth of July holiday this weekend, the hard working men and women that make up our local shrimp fleet are going to be busy gassing up, buying groceries and making final preparations for their annual migration to their summer fishing grounds off the coast of Freeport and Port Aransas, Texas, where the season for Texas brown shrimp opens in mid July.

For over 35 years, George and Chris Gala at Trico on San Carlos Island have overseen the catching, hauling and distribution of fresh caught Gulf pink shrimp, otherwise known as ‘Pink Gold’. Sitting in her office on Monday afternoon, we talked with her and several local shrimpers about the preparations being made and the latest hurdle facing this beleaguered industry – a 75% drop in the price of shrimp since last summer.

Marine Science Camp 4 days ago, 07/04/2015 at 1:25pm
Marine KidsMarine Science Camp –
Teaching Kids Our Island Ecology

The summer months offer parents an array of places to send their kids to camp. From trips to Disney World to sports to entertainment, our area has plenty of opportunities for young folks to have fun on long, hot summer days. One camp is unique, however, in that it is all about nature - at the Ostego Bay Foundation's Marine Science Center camp, kids not only have fun but also learn about our back bay ecosystem and all the critters than inhabit it. And the cool part is that kids progress through the different levels of the camp as they get older, expanding on their knowledge from the previous year and getting the chance to do bigger and more adventurous things.

Natural Gas 6 days 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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