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Issue 655 Delete 08/29/2013 at 5:08pm

Algae, St. LucieEstuary in Peril
Senate Committee Hosts Water Hearing
Mayor Mandel Urges Estuary Protection

Several hundred citizens turned out last Thursday to hear from water and environmental experts and share their concerns with water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Estuary.

Chaired by State Senator Joe Negron of Stuart, the Select Committee on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin includes eight other Senators, including Lizbeth Benacquisto of Southwest Florida.

Issue 654 Delete 08/22/2013 at 3:16pm

River DumpingWater Wars Escalate

With smelly, brown, nutrient-polluted water pouring into the Caloosahatchee from Lake Okeechobee and no end in sight, the water wars are heating up all over the state of Florida. Just this week, Governor Rick Scott sent a scathing letter to the Army Corps of Engineers' Southeastern Headquarters in Atlanta accusing them of 'not doing their job'. Fort Myers Beach Mayor Alan Mandel has appeared on countless news networks begging folks to write their congressmen and local conservationists and politicians have been busy planning meetings and rallies to get people behind the idea that something needs to change and it needs to change soon.

Issue 653 Delete 08/15/2013 at 5:41pm

ShellingSea Shells by the Sea Shore

The Gulf shoreline is prime real estate for finding the perfect shell, and there’s no place better than the barrier islands of southwest Florida. Fort Myers Beach may not get the same notoriety for its shelling as Sanibel, ranked tops by Coastal Living Magazine, but Parke Lewis knows of no better place than right here.

"What makes our beach so great for shelling is our estuary system and all the sea grass where these creatures feed and grow,” he said. Leading a small group of locals along the beach, Lewis picked up tiny shells no bigger than the tip of his pinky finger and ones nearly the size of his hand, providing an explanation of how they each got here.

Issue 652 Delete 08/08/2013 at 2:26pm

Beach Elementary 1948Beach Elementary Turns 65

When island native Jo Hughes entered first grade at Beach Elementary School, the year was 1937 and the school was actually a rented beach house where Miss Lois Alexander taught 23 kids in grades 1-3 in the living room of the Mayhew Page Cottage that was located right on the Gulf a block south of Chapel by the Sea. 76 years and several generations later, 140 beach kids started school this week at the current building on School Street that is celebrating it's 65th anniversary this year.