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Issue-764 Delete 5 days ago, 10/01/2015 at 5:24pm

Thar Be Pirates10th Annual Pirate Festival
Returns Next Weekend

The pirates are coming, the pirates are coming!

Next Friday, October 9th, pirates will invade Fort Myers Beach once again for the 10thAnniversary of what now has become the 2nd Best Pirate Festival in the nation, according to USA Travel.

Pirate Fest has a long and storied history on our emerald shores, from its humble beginning ten years ago to today - when it has become one of the premiere events on the beach - drawing families and entertainers from far and wide. But who are those entertainers and why do they choose a life of festivals and revelry over much calmer pursuits? For some of them, like the happy duo of For Love or Money, the events occupy most of their weekends while their weekdays are spend at ‘normal’jobs. For others, such as the members of the Craic Show, festival-going is a full-time gig and family affair.

Issue-763 Delete 2 weeks ago, 09/24/2015 at 3:15pm

Fairweather StreetThe Changing Face of
Fort Myers Beach – Annual Rentals

Every community goes through periods of change from time to time. As neighborhoods gentrify or stagnate, businesses move in and out, land value rises and falls, demographics change and the types of people who live in neighborhoods change. Some of these changes are minor, but some hold the possibility of altering the fabric of a town – the very essence of what residents recognize as ‘home’. Our island is no exception. Once a sleepy little fishing village, Fort Myers Beach has changed dramatically over the last hundred years – beginning with the advent of the shrimping industry in the 60’s, to the population boom in the 80’s to incorporation in 1995. Just ask any ‘old-timer’ and that person will tell you all about how the beach was ‘back in their day’ and how different it is now. Whether their day was 20 or 40 or 60 years ago, there’s been change. Now 20 years old, our town is poised on the brink of yet another major change as many of the old beach cottages are succumbing to the challenges of time and weather and are being replaced by elevated million dollar homes – something that is affecting many aspects of beach life. This fall, the Sand Paper will be doing a series on these changes and what they mean to our unique and special way of life on Fort Myers Beach. This week, we look at how the annual rental market has changed.

Issue-762 Delete 3 weeks ago, 09/17/2015 at 6:30pm

SaveOur PoolIn Support of the Beach Pool

Last Friday, the Sand Paper was contacted by several concerned parents who’d been told that funding for the Beach Pool may be cut from the Town’s budget either this year or next. While Town officials deny this is happening, the parents say they were told there’s no point in starting a Beach Elementary Swim League since the pool may be closed. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)’s Facebook page is filled with people expressing their concerns with the future of our pool, as is another page created to draw attention to what may happen if Council doesn’t see support from the community to keep funding the pool.

Currently, the Bay Oaks Recreation Campus and the Beach Pool take up 13% of the Town’s yearly expenses –or a projected $931,500 for coming fiscal year 2015/2016. Of that amount, $253,800 is dedicated for the pool, covering items like salaries ($141,000), maintenance and operation ($25,000), repairs ($30,000) and utilities ($30,000). Projected revenues from the pool for the coming fiscal year are expected to be $45,000.

Issue-761 Delete 4 weeks ago, 09/10/2015 at 4:18pm

Dawn LehnertRooney Out as Town Attorney
Council Selects Dawn Lehnert

The Town of Fort Myers Beach will once again have a new Town Attorney after they interviewed four candidates Wednesday afternoon and in a contentious 3-2 vote, selected Dawn Lehnert of Cape Coral.

During afternoon interviews, the Council heard from all four candidates who had responded to the Towns Request for Proposal for Legal Services: Jed Schneck, Boca Raton; Marsha Segal George of Fowler, OQuinn, Feeney & Sneed, Orlando; Dawn Perry-Lehnert, Cape Coral and Derek Rooney of GrayRobinson of Naples. Some of the candidates had met individually with council members prior to the meeting.