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Issue 603 Delete 08/30/2012 at 3:57pm

Coastline FloodingIsaac Impacts Beach

Hurricane Isaac may not have inflicted much physical harm on Fort Myers Beach, but his impacts are still being felt by the community. A drive down Estero Boulevard on Tuesday, after the storm had passed and was sitting just off the Louisiana coast, revealed empty parking lots, boarded up rental homes and light traffic. On the beach, there were no signs of vacationers, no parasails flying, no watercraft of any kind in the four to five foot seas.

Businesses from Time Square to Santini Plaza were feeling the effects of the tropical storm on their bottom lines. Michelle Thronebury, Store Manager at Mango Bay Beach & Surf Club in Time Square, explained that the loss of business due to the bad weather not only affects her bottom line, but the loss of wages hurts her employees, as well. Mango Bay closed early on Sunday and opened late on Monday, giving employees unplanned days off. Other Time Square businesses were closed both days.

Issue 602 Delete 08/23/2012 at 3:09pm

IsaacIsaac Comes to Call

Islanders are keeping a watchful eye on the Caribbean as Isaac makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico and a possible Florida landfall.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach had lines for re-entry passes on Thursday morning. If you do not yet have a Town re-entry pass, get to Town Hall today (Friday) between 8:30am-4:30pm and get one. Bring a photo ID and proof of residency (tax bill for owners; lease or landlord letter and utility bill for renters). More info on passes and how to sign up for the Town's reverse 911 or emergency notification system can be found on the Town's website under "For Islanders”> ”Emergency.”

Town Manager Terry Stewart wants residents to know that the controversial re-entry issue has been recognized and solved. The Town's re-entry program identifies Island residents and businesses and allows re-entry as soon as the island has been checked for safety. Assessment teams will check the island immediately after a storm, identifying safe and unsafe areas.

Issue 601 Delete 08/16/2012 at 4:48pm

Kiker Wins PrimaryKiker Wins Primary

For the first time in 24 years, there's going to be a new sheriff, er, county commissioner in town. Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker handily defeated 6-term incumbent Ray Judah in the Republican primary on Tuesday, taking 64% of the votes against a man no one thought could ever be beat. Friends and family were awestruck Tuesday night as they watched the results come in from the rooftop of the Lani Kai, where they waited and celebrated with Larry and his wife, Paula.

"We sent a message out to the people and they heard it,” Kiker said in a speech he delivered shortly after the final results came in a little after 8pm. "They heard it was time for us to invest in local businesses and to get people back to work in Lee County. This message has been clear from the beginning and it's only getting stronger as the minutes go by. But it's not over yet, now we've got November.”

Issue 600 Delete 08/09/2012 at 3:02pm

Alta WhippleIn the Service of Others
– Alta Whipple

Some people in this world get their joy by giving to others. Fortunately for the rest of us, these magnanimous souls can be found in every community – always willing to give a helping hand in times of need or sharing with those who have little. Such is the case with Alta Whipple – long-time islander, Florida native and daughter of the famous 'Island Poet' Harry Whipple. Driven by her faith and empathic love for her fellow islanders, Whipple creates 10-20 gallons of natural laundry detergent every week in her kitchen and then donates it to the food bank at Beach Baptist. We met with this dynamic woman this week to find out more about her life and how she came to be one of our community's unsung heroes.

Whipple grew up in Miami and spent her childhood vacations fishing and camping on Marco Island in a time when Florida had yet to be discovered by northern retirees and was still a place where – in many places – alligators outnumbered humans.