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Issue 616 Delete 12/03/2012 at 5:03am

Ray JudahRay Judah ‘Set Bar High’

Earlier this month, Ray Judah stepped down after having served our area as District 3's Commissioner for a nearly a quarter of a century. During that time he helped shepherd Lee County through two periods of unparalleled growth and a new era of environmental awareness. With baseball and 20/20 controversies swirling during his last few years in office, some may have forgotten all the positive things he helped create and the fact that – without his input – many of the parks and conservation areas residents now take for granted would likely be covered by so much concrete jungle.

Issue 615 Delete 11/21/2012 at 3:38pm

Barrier Island by Eric PierFrom One Barrier Island To Another

Islanders are well aware that when barrier islands do their job –protecting the mainland --- they often suffer more damage in weather events than the mainland. So Fort Myers Beach residents can sympathize with Long Beach, New York residents who took the brunt of Hurricane Sandy and were one of the hardest hit areas of New York.

Long Beach is a town of 33,000 that sits on Long Beach Barrier Island along the southern coast of Long Island. When Sandy hit, it washed the Atlantic Ocean over a 10-foot dune that protected some areas of town and battered the entire town with flooding and winds. While no one was killed in Long Beach, sand covered the roads, feet deep in some spots, homes were damaged or destroyed. Roads were washed away, homes lost to fire, cars lost to salt water flooding. Their 2-mile boardwalk is completely gone. No water, No sewer for days.

Issue 614 Delete 11/15/2012 at 4:27pm

Rodney MelsekRodney Melsek –
A Passion for Helping Others

Many of our readers are familiar with the stories the Sand Paper has written about locals like Fran Santini and A.J. Bassett, beach kids who grew up on the island during those halcyon days when the paved road ended at the first S curve, no one ever locked their doors and all neighbors were friends. While some of these folks remained on the island after they grew up, others decided to spread their wings and fly.

Such is the case of Rodney Melsek, who grew up on Fort Myers Beach with his brother, Lee, and then left our emerald shores on a long and winding road that has taken him from the Army during Vietnam to the horrors of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath – where we caught up with him this week during one of his 14-hour days leading a FEMA team in New Jersey.

Issue 613 Delete 11/08/2012 at 5:03pm

Sign Variance ApprovedSign Variance Approved

On Monday morning, the Town Council of Fort Myers Beach agreed to a sign variance request from the Dolphin Inn and agreed to rezone the property on which the Heavenly Biscuit is located to Commercial Boulevard. They also decided to participate with the City of Sanibel in a program to educate people on the impacts of excessive fertilizer use on our water quality.

During public comment, Edwina Foster protested the increase in water rates, saying that she has to pay $50 a month even when she is away for the summer, and that the Town’s water utility should use the extra money coming from snowbirds like her to offset the county’s increase.

Mayor Bob Raymond then mentioned that he watched Town Manager Terry Stewart sing at a concert at Barbara B. Mann Hall on Friday night. <