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Birds 5 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 5 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).