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Missy Layfield - Editor
yesterday, 12/18/2014 at 3:57pm Delete

Merry Christmas!

Next Thursday, people the world over will celebrate Christmas. Those who subscribe to the Christian faith will celebrate, once again, the birth of the child, Jesus, who they recognize as the son of God. Those of other faiths or no faith at all may celebrate the Christmas of Santa Claus, silver bells and snowmen. Or they may not celebrate Christmas at all.

Many non-christians have jumped on the Christmas bandwagon, choosing to celebrate the mid-winter holiday without any of the religious trappings or traditions. The reaction to this non-religious Christmas in some quarters is horror. How can anyone celebrate Christmas without Christ? Such blasphemous behavior is an affront to all righteous Christians!

And right there is one of our problems - righteousness. Those that know exactly how the world should be run and how everyone should think, demanding that everyone believe as they do. Wouldnt our world be a better place if we were all a little less sure of our own rightness and a little more humble?

And what better time to make a move in that direction than Christmas? People become more kind to each other, more cognizant of the poor, the lonely, the needy and more apt to reach out to help them. Its as if in December, humanity remembers our commonality and forgets for a brief period, our differences. Theres a reason many charitable organizations focus their fundraising campaigns on the last quarter of the year and its not the tax benefits of giving. People are more generous around Christmas.
2 weeks ago, 12/11/2014 at 4:23pm Delete

The Right Thing

Leadership is a challenge in any community. Each community comes with some common and some unique characteristics that make it what it is. Our local community is no different. We look to a myriad and sometimes confusing array of local, county and state authorities, officials, and employed staff to make decisions that affect our lives as year-round residents, seasonal residents and visitors.

As a community newspaper, we believe our role is to inform and engage the community in a collective conversation on topics and maybe even entertain the community if things go right. While we surely make some people see red on occasion, we deliberately do not choose to create controversy or flaunt the platform that a local newspaper provides to advance our own agenda. We think our readers deserve better.

Today we’d like to call attention to Town Hall, specifically the apparent lack of a consistent decision-making process illustrated by some recent decisions.

Since the last election, we have heard the call for streamlined procedures and better staff management. However the reality is much different and for the good of all of us, a brief look at how Town government decisions are made is needed.

We have no doubt that our elected officials and staff have their hearts in the right place, are devoted to our Town and want to do the right thing. We don’t envy those who run for office or take a job that serves 6,000 people, each with their own idea of how to run the Town. Tough decisions are made all the time and they never satisfy everyone.
3 weeks ago, 12/04/2014 at 3:37pm Delete

Welcome back season!

Our traffic last weekend told us all that it is officially season and time to work out our seasonal travel strategies. For some of us that means heading south to go north. For others it means walking to our destination or biking. Or if those options won’t work for you, it means making the mental adjustments required to sit patiently in hour-long traffic to reach Time Square or exit the island.

Complain as much as you like and complaining about traffic is a local sport, there are no quick fixes, short of our production manager’s persistent suggestion of a monorail down Estero Blvd, which is unlikely to become reality anytime soon, unless the Disney folks suddenly take a keen interest in our little island.

With the return of traffic gridlock, it’s time for everyone to also brush up on their traffic safety IQ. Our island is filled with a new batch of visitors each week, plus a good number of day-trippers. They are not aware of our traffic issues or the numbers of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists all trying to share the same patch of asphalt. All most of them know is that this is their day or week off and they’re at the BEACH!!!

Unfortunately, often with that well-deserved vacation abandon, comes a little bit of ‘suspended reality.’ What’s that mean? It means that sometimes folks on vacation see a happy little beach town and conclude that nothing bad could ever happen to them here. Sadly we know that is not the reality of life on our island.

Our Town and County continue to struggle to make traveling Estero Blvd safer for everyone. A major renovation of the road, sidewalks and bike lanes is in the planning stages ...
4 weeks ago, 11/26/2014 at 2:58pm Delete

Shop Local

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, think of your community before you order online or head over the bridge 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 29th this year, gives local business some well-deserved attention.

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. We are very fortunate here on our Island to have a majority of locally-owned businesses. While some might complain at the shortage of national chains on our Island, many more love living and visiting here for that very reason. We are a small town and in many ways reflective of what small towns used to be like everywhere, before the Wal-marts and Walgreens and Lowes pushed most of the locally-owned businesses aside.

Islanders know how important supporting their own community is. While wed 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. And invite our visitors to support our Beach businesses.