4 days ago, 12/05/2013 at 4:05pm
We at the Island Sand Paper believe it’s always a good idea to share good news. We use this space every couple months to focus on all the good things happening in our community and the many people who make our island a better place to live, work and play. Kudos go out to…
Fort Myers Beach Soccer Under 18 Teams for winning both 1st and 2nd place in the County Cup!
The Town of Fort Myers Beach, the Marine Resource Task Force, Fish Tale Marina and local businesses for supporting the Dolphin/Gator Alliance, a unique program bringing Island Coast High School and Beach Elementary students together to learn about water quality.
Thomas Bartel on being awarded the Pilgrim Degree by the Loyal Order of the Moose, for his many years of above the call of duty service and philanthropy.
The organizers and volunteers of the Fort Myers Beach marathon and Beach Survival races that brought runners from all over the country to our island for a great weekend of running.
The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva for their recent gift of a dictionary to each 3rd grader at Beach Elementary School.
Beach Chamber of Commerce for another successful Pirate Festival. The family-friendly emphasis is appreciated by residents and visitors alike.
Surfers for Autism who brought a fun event for families to Crescent Beach Family Park for the 3rd year. Volunteers introduce kids with autism to the basics of surfing in a relaxed environment.
Volunteers and the Marine Resource Task Force who planted beach plants as part of the Beachscape program, designed to reduce erosion and create dunes.
Rick Sebastian on his retirement from the role of Town receptionist. Often the first voice or the first face residents encountered in dealing with the town, he offered a friendly greeting to everyone and will be missed.
Manhattan Construction and the Beach Library for their Sand Dollar award for public building design from the Collier Building Industry Association.
Members of the Estero Island Historic Society for bringing interesting speakers to their public meetings each season. They also staff the Historic Cottage museum and have recently unveiled their "Footprints in Time” QR code Historic Tour, offering residents and visitors a glimpse into the past.
2 weeks ago, 11/27/2013 at 2:08pm
As the holiday season kicks into high gear, think of your community before you order online or head out of town for the big box stores. This is an excellent opportunity to support your local community by shopping with your local businesses. Shop Small Business Saturday.
Nestled between the monolithic shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, celebrated on November 30th this year, gives local business some well-deserved attention.
Last year, 67% of shoppers were aware of Small Business Saturday and they spent $5.5 billion at small independently owned retailers, according to American Express, who launched Small Business Saturday in 2010.
Local business is the lifeblood of any community, including ours. They create jobs. They provide services and products that residents and visitors need. They keep our economy running.
Islanders know how important supporting their own community is. While we’d like to draw visitors and shoppers to our island from far and wide, the base of island business enterprise is local support.
We recognize this during the summer months when visitor numbers are down by patronizing our local shops, bars and restaurants. We should remember it during the holiday shopping season also.
Our own Beach community offers an abundance of shopping options. Right here in our community, you can give someone the experience of a sunset cruise or a day on the water in a kayak or a day at a spa. How about a jet-ski afternoon or an oil change or house cleaning?
If you’d like to wrap up a gift, take a look at any of our excellent gift stores. You’ll find unique and clever gifts that no matter how early you rise, you won’t find in those big box stores. The island holds clothing stores, jewelry stores, hardware stores and ship’s stores. Any of them would really appreciate your business this holiday season.
Don’t forget our fun and funky bars and restaurants. Most of them offer interesting and colorful t-shirts and other items. How about a bottle of hot sauce or hand cream or a beach towel? Or a Sand Paper subscription? We, along with all the other locally owned small business owners on the Island, would like to encourage residents and visitors to Shop Local this holiday season. Look for the December Entertainment Magazine, out December 1st -- it’s chock-full of local businesses and gift ideas!
3 weeks ago, 11/21/2013 at 6:18pm
The first event of the holiday season is upon us – Thanksgiving Day! A day to ponder those things and people who we are most grateful for. The big things – families & friends – and the small things – that opening in traffic so you can turn left & the warm sun on a cool day.
Gratitude is an attitude so much larger than one day at the end of November. Most of us can come up with a list of things we are grateful for on Thanksgiving. It’s another story entirely to live each day in gratitude. Sometimes seeing disaster strike someone else triggers our sense of gratitude.
Hearing the description of a man who climbed out of his basement after a tornado had totally blown his house away this week, leaving he and his wife with a single dollar bill between them. They didn’t even have wreckage to pick through; it was all gone. That kind of story makes you appreciate your own messy house and the familiar items that you live with every day that comprise "home.”
Sometimes a sudden tragedy reminds us of how lucky we are to have loved ones in our lives. The recent car crash that tragically involved four young people on our island makes you want to hug your own kids or the neighbor kids. Accidents happen every day. People, just like us, with parents, kids, cousins & siblings have their lives taken every day, or changed irrevocably in a moment. That moment is not on your calendar so you can prepare. Gratitude reminds us all that we don’t know what each day will bring – living with gratitude allows us the opportunity to appreciate those around us each day. Not just Thanksgiving Day.
Our gratitude can be used to grow closer to those we care for, to recognize and act to help those who have less, but only if we are willing to accept the challenge of living with gratitude – looking each day for something to be thankful for. It’s there, even on your worst day. All you have to do is look.
While attending a conference this fall I found myself gazing out a Dallas hotel window at the Texas Book Depository. I also had a view of the Dealey Plaza where John F. Kennedy was shot. Fifty years ago, I sat in a 5th grade classroom as the adults in the school fell apart. In those days kids didn’t see adults cry. The shock was not just that a beloved President was suddenly gone, but that someone could and would kill the President of the United States. The concept was so far out in left field, it was nearly impossible to imagine in the early 60’s. But we’d learn.
4 weeks ago, 11/14/2013 at 5:18pm
Be Seen on FMB
With the American Sand Sculpting Championships opening next week, Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and the Privateer Lynx arrival on the horizon, season has begun.
The Sand Sculpting Championships brings the world’s best master sculptors to the beach for the 27th year. Think about that. Our beach has been hosting the American Sand Sculpting Championships for over a quarter of a century. This year, you’ll find some new twists and interesting events, including for the first time, a Make-A-Wish Day on opening day, Friday, November 22.
We are a Make-A-Wish family, so this organization is near and dear to us. When one of our sons was a teenager and had spent a couple years undergoing cancer treatment, he was offered a wish. He chose a trip to Disney World and planned a perfect 5 days, all arranged by Make-A-Wish. The break from our routine of shots, pills, medical tests and all that comes from being a sick kid was priceless. Other than an unfortunate minor boat collision between two brothers on Bay Lake, it was a perfect vacation. And one that yielded many happy memories in the midst of a lot of stress. Make-A-Wish does great work, offering families a respite with nothing to do but have a good time together. Drop by the American Sand Sculpting Championships on Friday, November 22nd and support Make-A-Wish.
Another sign of the season -- The Lynx will be arriving in December at the docks at Nervous Nellie’s, bringing their educational mission back to our shores. The Lynx Foundation’s effort as a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to teaching America’s struggle to maintain it’s independence is one appreciated by all ages. Watch the Sand Paper for more details.
All the good things that go along with season are making for smiles all around – more business, more sales, more people appreciating our wonderful island. The not so good things are not yet a problem but we can see them from here – traffic gridlock, waiting times at our favorite restaurants, pedestrian safety.
You may have noticed the new "BE SEEN ON FMB” signs overhead on Estero Blvd. They aren’t referring to being one of the cool kids, or maybe they are, since it is pretty cool to be seen on FMB. Their purpose is to remind everyone, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians that we all need to watch out for each other. See one another. The key to safety is seeing. No one ever says, "Oh yeah, I saw him crossing the street and hit him on purpose.” It’s always, "I didn’t see him!”