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Issue-760 Delete 2 days ago, 09/03/2015 at 6:30pm

Award WinnersIslanders Honored
for Outstanding Hospitality

Every year, the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) honors those in the local hospitality industry who have distinguished themselves among their peers. Familiarly called the "E Awards", the Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards are given in recognition of those who go above and beyond their job descriptions to insure their guests and customers are getting the best service possible.

To be in the running, you must be nominated. People from all over the planet send in letters describing their experiences in Lee County that illustrate why they believe their nominee should win an award. This year, a record 636 nominations were submitted. Of those, one couple and one individual on Fort Myers Beach each came home with a statuette: Al and Kathy Durrett, owners of Fish Tale Marina and Santini Marina Plaza, took home the Honor of Distinction, and David Rashty, chef at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina took top honors in the restaurant division.

Issue-759 Delete 2 weeks ago, 08/28/2015 at 5:29pm

Estero Blvd ProjectEstero Boulevard Reconstruction
to Begin Next Month

The Fellowship Hall at Chapel By the Sea was packed on Tuesday night as islanders and business owners already seasoned by four weeks of the Town’s waterline replacement project turned out in droves to hear what Lee County has in store for them when the first segment of the Estero Boulevard Replacement project begins later next month.

Lee County Commissioner, island property and business owner Larry Kiker began the meeting by saying that he’d asked representatives from the County and the Town, Chris-Tel, the construction company hired to do the county project, the Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) and others to meet with islanders to hear their concerns.

Issue-758 Delete 3 weeks ago, 08/20/2015 at 6:35pm

Jan Ellen AtkielskiShes Painting the Town

The slow crawl northbound on Estero Boulevard has its upside - everyone passing by can get a good gander at our new town hall. At first, it was a noisy, dusty gray bug of a construction site. But in the middle of July, the caterpillar crawled into its cocoon, and now, just a few weeks later, we see the butterfly emerging, spreading its colorful wings. Undulating sweeps of sand, amber and gradations of blue bring to mind the beach, the Gulf and the sunsets we have come to love on our island. Of course, unlike the caterpillar, the building didn’t have this beauty in its DNA; it took the vision, incredible talent and hard work of fine artist and muralist Jan Ellen Atkielski to bring it to life.

Atkielski will be the first to say that the vision for the project was developed in partnership with the project’s interior design team, Ron Kopko and Mark Solomon of Interior Design Solutions (, with whom Jan has done many successful projects and who recommended her to the town.

Issue-757 Delete 4 weeks ago, 08/13/2015 at 3:07pm

Back To SchoolBack to School

Heads up! School will be back in session in Lee County on Monday, August 24th. For some children, it will be their first foray into a classroom. For others, it will be their first year in a new school. For everyone, students, parents, teachers and staff, the first day of school is full of expectation and excitement.

This year, the Fort Myers Beach Elementary School will be as it has always been - a unique place where the teachers and staff form a dynamic synergy of goals, skills, dreams and activities designed to provide a well-rounded education to the 120 students expected to attend this year

Just as he has for the past nine years, Principal Larry Wood will be there to guide them all through what has become a very complicated maze of requirements and assessments one encounters in the process.