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Missy Layfield - Editor

Serving Our Community

As our busy season ramps up here on the Island, the Sand Paper crew would like to let our readers know how much we enjoy serving our community.

We use the work "our” as a legitimate claim. The Island Sand Paper is the ONLY newspaper available on Fort Myers Beach that is owned by Islanders. Tax-paying, property-owning, voting Islanders. We experience life on our Island just as our readers do. Every Shrimp Festival, every water main break, every 4th of July party, every storm evacuation, every traffic jam, every beautiful sunset, every power outage on a sunny day – we experience it right beside you.

All of our core staff live on the island also. Take a look at those smiling faces to the right that make up the Sand Paper family. All but one, live directly on Fort Myers Beach and have for a number of years. Not nearby, not some of the time, but full time right here between the bridges. Combined we have over 100 years of Island living in the Sand Paper staff!

Know any other paper that can claim that?

We are committed to providing the staff necessary to cover Fort Myers Beach news and events. Not just a Publisher and Editor, but our Associate Editor, Production Manager, Circulation Manager, Webmaster, Advertising Manager, Sports columnist and a collection of talented contributing writers. They all, each and every one, live right here on the beach. And the sole off-island staff member has 17 years of Fort Myers Beach residency on her resume.

Our slogan, "By Islanders, For Islanders,” is taken very seriously by everyone in the Sand Paper family. We hope we transmit that devotion to our community to our readers and advertisers each week.

The Island Sand Paper knows Fort Myers Beach.

We know that there are other papers that can be found on the beach and that carry some beach news – some daily, some weekly. Their corporate offices are located in…Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.

Not Fort Myers Beach.

With off-island corporate offices that handle multiple newspapers in multiple communities, many decisions are made off the beach. How can a publisher located miles away possibly understand our beach community as well as someone located right here?

Time after time, we watch as decisions are made by off-island business owners that don’t seem to make a lot of sense here on the beach, that don’t take into account the unique community and business environment here. Anyone who has lived here more than 10 minutes recognizes the unique character of Fort Myers Beach and its proud residents.

The Sand Paper devotion to Fort Myers Beach is a reciprocal relationship. We know Islanders love the Sand Paper because we hear it all the time. Really. Just yesterday, a man walking by our office, stuck his head in the door, hollered, "Love the Sand Paper!” and left.

We are grateful and humbled each time we hear that. This is your paper. We hear that also. While we pay the bills, the Sand Paper is an Island paper, belonging to Islanders. It carries your stories, your jokes, your interests and your letters. Without readers, the Sand Paper would not exist.

We’re excited about season approaching and the return of our many visitors. They’ll be stopping in our office to pick up some back issues to get caught up if they aren’t already print or online subscribers. Many of our visitors are very connected to the Island.

Our community captures the imagination of people near and far. We have proof of that because we have readers who log onto the Sand Paper website regularly to read the Sand Paper from all over the U.S. and further afield, such as China, Germany and Brazil. People love Fort Myers Beach! They love the Sand Paper because it reflects life on Fort Myers Beach.

We are committed to continuing that tradition and ask the community to continue to support us in that effort.

When your group or club has something planned, let us know. When you have something to celebrate – a big anniversary or engagement or family reunion, let us know. Got a great joke (PG-rated, please), send it to us. Got something on your mind, send us a letter and tell other Islanders. Take a great photo? Send it to us! All our contact info is in the column to the right. We want to reflect all of our community.

Even with the Sand Paper family’s devotion to Fort Myers Beach, the newspaper is a business with costs and expenses to manage. We’d by lying if we claimed it’s been easy. Just as every business owner has had to do over the last few years, we’ve worked to find strategies that allow us to continue our mission serving the Island as only the Sand Paper can. Most readers are unaware that another newspaper made an effort, continuing now for 4 years, to drive the Sand Paper out of business by slashing their ad rates nearly in half--easy to do if the corporation has several other papers to support it while they wait for the Sand Paper to fold. The Sand Paper family is proud of the fact that the Sand Paper is still here and going strong. And that is thanks to our great advertisers.

As a free paper, the Sand Paper is totally supported by advertising. Our printing costs, rent, salaries, utilities – you name—our advertising sales have to support it. So, next time you are patronizing one of our loyal advertisers, let them know you appreciate their advertising in the Sand Paper. We sure do!

"By Islanders, For Islanders”

We mean it.


Bob & Missy Layfield