Announcements, Updated April 23, 2020

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LIONS Scholarships

The Fort Myers Beach Lions Foundation is accepting applications for their 2020 “WE SERVE” Scholarships until May 15. Applications can be found online at fmblions.com under “Lions Services.” Qualifying criteria includes, but is not limited to: Beach residency, GPA, career choices and community service record. Two special awards will be presented to top qualifying students: “Shirley Semmer” Award for humanitarian works and the “Fred Schmiesing” Award for athleticism. Information on application submittal is included with the application.

 Who’s Open?

See a current list of which restaurants on Fort Myers Beach are open for carryout or delivery service. The list is updated every Thursday. In addition, these businesses remain open: Gavin’s Ace Hardware, Sun Hardware, The Goodz, and Publix. Did we miss one? Let us know at info@fortmyersbeach.news

#WeAreFMB

Help local hospitality workers who are out of work due to COVID-19, buy a #WeAreFMB t-shirt to help fund grocery store gift cards for those in need. This effort is being led by a team of local business leaders in partnership with Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation. Shirts  and tank tops are $15 each ($21 if mailed) and can be ordered online.  They are also available at  Skippers Liquors, Hoosiers in Paradise and Estero Island Medical Center. To apply for a gift card or donate to the cause email info@barefooteventgroup.com or visit www.fortmyersbeachcf.com.

EMS Service

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Department is an essential service and continues to provide fire protection and emergency medical service to the fire district. They are using additional personal protective equipment (PPE) when responding to calls. They ask that anyone calling for assistance be clear with the 911 operator about all their symptoms so that the crew can arrive with the right PPE and offer aid efficiently while keeping everyone safe. Do not hesitate to call 911 in any emergency. The FMBFD is here to serve our community. For non-emergency questions about the Fire Department, call 239-590-4200

Food Resources

Beach Baptist offers to-go hot meals on SU from 9 – 10am (upstairs); WE at 5:30pm (outside) and TH 9 – 11am.

Lee Schools Grab & Go breakfast/lunch bags for kids up to age 18 are available for pickup at Beach Baptist from 9 – 11am MO – FR. No registration or school enrollment required.

The next drive-thru food distribution of food supplies from The Harry Chapin Mobile Food Bank will be at Beach Baptist May 5 & May 19 from 10am – 12noon. On Thursday, from 10am – 3pm, the Choice Market food bank is open at Beach Baptist.

Free Meals for Seniors over 60

The Senior Friendship Center is offering free, nutritious home-delivered meals to those over age 60. A box with 7 frozen or shelf stable meals is delivered once a week. Up to 14 meals may be requested from a menu that includes options such as lasagna, Tuscan pork, Chicken Verona and more. Recipients must be over 60 and enrolled in the Older Americans Act, which they can help with. To sign up for meals, call 239-236-8684. For more information on the program, see bit.ly/34FTaXn

Shorebird Nesting

The shorebirds have the beach all to themselves as this year’s Shorebird Nesting Season begins. Regardless of when the beach reopens, the Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area will be closed to people from April 1 – August 31 to allow the shorebirds to court, nest and fledge.

Troubled Waters Video

The documentary  by the Calusa Waterkeeper about the health effects of Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB), “Troubled Waters” is now available for rental on Vimeo for $2.99 for a 2 day rental. The 40-minute movie includes interviews with local medical experts as well as leading HAB research scientists. A movie trailer and ordering info can be found at vimeo.com/ondemand/troubledwatersmovie

Unemployment Applications

To apply for Florida unemployment assistance, go to www.FloridaJobs.org/RAApplication. This new site is mobile friendly, allowing applications from tablets and phones. Before applying for unemployment, have this info ready: Social Security number, Driver’s License or State ID number, employment info for last 18 months for each employer, Employer ID-FEIN # (from your W2 or 1099 tax form), employer name, first & last day of work, gross earnings (before taxes) covering the last 18 months, reason for separation. A new DEO website, https://www.floridajobsresources.com, offers links to the Reemployment Assistance handbook and Claimant Guide, with informational videos, as well as a link to the new application website and a paper application.

Errand Help

The Friends of the Mound House Board is offering to deliver goods, food or medicine to Island residents. They can help you set up a grocery delivery service or if needed, pick up some things for you. If you need help, call Gayle at 651-336-9788 or Sue at 508-641-3405 or Ellen at 734-846-6903.

Stay-at-Home

The entire state of Florida remains under a Stay at Home order issued by Governor Ron DeSantis until April 30 in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. Those 65 and over as well as those with high risk health conditions are instructed to stay home. All others are to stay at home other than for essential activities and essential work. The list of essential businesses can be found at  leegov.com

The Lee Board of County Commissioners opened up county trails on Wednesday, April 22. Pavilions and restrooms remain closed, as do all Lee County Beach Parks.

Beach Library Closed

The Fort Myers Beach Library is currently closed until further notice. Any items that are currently checked out will be renewed for the period they are closed, any subsequent fines will be waived for that period. The electronic book drop on the Bay Road side of the library will still be available 24/7 for items to be returned. Questions can be emailed to library@fmb.lib.fl.us. Updates will be posted on the library’s social media pages and also available by calling the main number 239-765-8162.

Fort Myers Beach

The sandy beach is closed. The Fort Myers Beach Town Council has enacted emergency regulations calling on all those providing transient and non-transient accommodations to cease checking in people through June 26. Those that were already checked in by March 30 are allowed to complete their stay, but no new check ins are allowed. The order applies to all hotels, motels, resorts, time-shares, RV parks, condos and vacation rentals. All Town-owned property and associated activities are closed until further notice.

No Print Issue

The Island Sand Paper will not be publishing a print edition of the newspaper until further notice. We continue to cover FMB news and announcements on our website. Follow us on Facebook for notifications of new articles. The print edition will be back as soon as our Island advertisers’ doors are open again.

Lee Schools

Lee County Schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. School District COVID-19 related information can be found at bit.ly/ispLeeSchool

LeeTran

The beach tram and trolleys are not operating until further notice. Other LeeTran routes that run on a typical Sunday continue to operate. More information is available at leegov.com/leetran Passport service is not impacted by this change.

Business Assistance

There are a number of emergency, disaster and bridge loans available for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the FMB Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 page bit.ly/FMBbizHelp for more information on qualifications and applications. Lee County has also provided information on small business loans at leegov.com/covid-19/business

Florida business information: floridadisaster.biz

 

COVID-19 Resources

United Way 211: General information about COVID-19 and related impacts – reach helpline by dialing 211 or 239-433-3900 between 8am-6pm.

Florida Dept. of Health

Lee County Government

 CDC COVID

Lee Health: COVID info page

 

Government Meetings

Monday, April 27, 9:00am   The FMB Town Council will hold a Special Meeting via ZOOM to review the public health and safety action taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by reviewing the April 3, 2020 Declaration of Emergency Regulations #4. Public comments should be sent via email to PublicCommen@fmbgov.com before 8:30am Monday, April 27. The meeting may be viewed on the town’s YouTube channel or Comcast channel 98. Additional instructions on viewing or participating in the meeting are available on the meeting agenda at fmbgov.com

Tuesday, April 28, 6:30pm  The Fort Myers Beach Library Board will hold its regular board meeting in the third floor conference room beginning at 6:30pm. Please follow social distancing guidelines if you attend. Anyone wishing to attend virtually via the Zoom app may follow the link on the Beach Library webpage, http://www.fmb.lib.fl.us