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Missy Layfield - Editor
08/25/2011 at 3:11pm Delete

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

While Newton was pondering the natural world way back in 1687 when he penned those laws that young physics students memorize, his law can be applied to the current Florida political landscape.

A party in power tends to stay in power. At least in Tallahassee they do. It’s not any physics formula that keeps them in power, it’s the fact that the party in power is in charge of drawing congressional and legislative boundaries each decade. They’ve had free rein for decades. Every ten years the census figures are released and it’s like Christmas morning for the party in power in Tallahassee. They get another crack at drawing custom designed districts to consolidate their party’s power. The result is a state filled with ink-blot test design districts that run from the Atlantic to the Gulf, cross multiple county lines and ignore community boundaries.

The move to change the status quo which culminated in the passage of Amendments 5 & 6 last November by a 62% margin, made the powers that be in Tallahassee so nervous that they were fighting the Fair Districts Amendments last summer, months before the vote. They proposed Amendment 7 that did nothing but muddy the waters of 5 & 6. The courts tossed #7 out. When 5 & 6 passed, the newly elected governor yanked the required request for Department of Justice review as one of his first acts as governor.
08/18/2011 at 3:45pm Delete

It’s once again time to recognize some of those whose efforts make our Island a better place for all of us. Kudos are in order to…

The Beach Kiwanis Club who reached the very cool $1Million mark in donations to Beach kids’ causes this year. Back in 1994, the club decided to help Beach School, the Library and some local kids with college costs. They have given out 215 scholarships and provided immeasurable support to Beach kids through programs like Scouts, Soccer, school or Vacation Bible School.

All Islanders who attended the Visioning Workshops or completed a questionnaire (which is still up on the Town’s website.) You’re helping to decide our Town’s future.

Wiley Corning, named a National Merit Scholar this summer and awarded a scholarship to New College of Florida.

The Beach Senior Softball Seahawk All-Stars who won their Sectional Championship, earning a trip to the state tournament this summer. A great experience for everyone involved.

Nervous Nellie’s & Barefoot Wine who hosted a Beach Clean-up in July.

Everyone involved in the Kenny Conidaris Blood/Bone Marrow Drive held July 16. Thanks to all the donors and the volunteers!

08/11/2011 at 4:19pm Delete

Here on the Beach, we usually recognize our great good fortune to be living in an environment that is rare and precious. Every year, thousands travel to our shores to enjoy that which we have at our doorstep year round.

Yes, we are lucky to live here.

Most of us also try to be good stewards of the natural environment that surrounds us.

Yet there is one area where we could be a bit more mindful.

Our trash. How much we produce, where it all goes and how might we reduce the trash we are responsible for. Living in a beautiful but finite place like an island, should make us more aware than mainlanders that there are not unlimited resources available, whether it be land, water, power or landfill space.

This week in the Sand Paper you'll read about expanded recycling efforts at our beach accesses. You'll also read about the Town's decision to increase the number of trash bins in the downtown area. All good news.

Lee County leads the state in recycling. Residents can dispose of just about anything other than construction debris at no additional cost.
08/04/2011 at 4:19pm Delete

What is the human fascination with the macabre? What makes us watch hours of a program that rehashes every miniscule detail of a truly disgusting crime? If it’s a crime committed against a child-we’re riveted to the screen and the hours of coverage ratchets up.

I’m not talking about those who love horror movies or enjoy reading a good thriller. I’m talking about a society that seems addicted to not just bad news, but truly ugly and outrageous news.

It’s a challenge to go out to eat without finding yourself in a dining room with a TV tuned to one of the "all news” channels. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to enjoy my meal without the latest details of today’s child porn case, complete with fuzzy photos and leering suspect. But they’re inescapable. It’s not the televisions that bother me, it’s the programming. Makes me long for football season to hurry and get here.

The Casey Anthony trial is an example of this fascination with the macabre. Watching the trial was one thing, but add on watching the non-stop around the clock coverage, the parsing of each piece of evidence, the blogs, the analysis, the Facebooking and you’ve got a serious case of macabre.

I don’t care if I ever see or hear another word about Casey Anthony. Ever. Again. But there she is over our heads and in the corner and over the bar, being paraded to and from court, reacting to the verdict yet again courtesy of the never ending video loop. Do they think people missed the video the first 2,357 times they showed it?

Someone with more letters after their name than I have can theorize why this overwhelming compulsion to know absolutely everything about this sad case took hold of so many. All I know is it’s a bad sign.