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Thursday, June 25 2009
Hi,

On Tuesday night I moderated a meeting of interested Sanibel citizens about installing Solar Hot water heating systems on Sanibel homes, condos and commercial buildings.  At this time there are a number of State and Federal incentives to assist with the payment of these systems.  The State of Florida is offering a $500 rebate and the Federal Government is offering a 30% tax credit (not deduction) toward the expense of installing such a system. 

Aaron Fields of Advance Solar in Ft. Myers presented a proposal that would install these systems for under $2000 after all the rebates and tax credits.  The payback period for the investment is 2 to 4 years depending on your water use.  After that, the hot water is free of energy expense!  The intention of this initiative is to get as many buildings on Sanibel Island using the energy of the sun to heat their hot water.

Sanibel Island is the perfect place!  From a personal perspective, I have a solar hot water system on my pool and it is great.  Aaron will be visiting my home very soon to see if Solar Hot Water is in my future!  If you call Aaron, reference the Sanibel Solar Initiative for all the details.
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 20 2009
It is definately Summer on Sanibel Island!  The temperatures are climbing and the buzz is all about July 4th.  As many know - Sanibel Island hosts a real July 4th Parade filled with great floats and the streets lined with kids picking up candy thrown from the floats.  It is a real treat and something quite unique.  The entire community comes out.  This year's theme of the parade is "Going Green"  It will be very interesting to see what the parade entrants come up with. 

What is new is that after the parade, in Bailey's Plaza, they are hosting "Bailey's Backyard Bar-B-Q" from 10 - 2 on Saturday the 4th.  This I am sure will prove to be a real hoot!.  There will be lots of fun for everyone and the food and beverage will be outstanding.  So - if you are in the area and looking for something to do - come see the parade and stop by Baileys. 
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 15 2009
Please excuse the long Blog message however this is important and timely!  The economic impact of not ensuring clean water here is huge!  Read on and see what you can do.  Thanks,  Sarah


Newsletter - Bayous Preservation Association - June 14, 2009
 
WE NEED YOUR HELP BEFORE WEDNESDAY!
 
The BPA, working with the SCCF, is doing water quality monitoring at the four sites on Sanibel and Captiva where we have been testing for two years prior to the opening of Blind Pass. We will continue and are funded for water quality testing in the same four sites for a full year following the opening of the pass.
 
HOWEVER--the Lee County Tourist Development Council's Beach and Shoreline Fund, which has previously funded similar water quality monitoring on Captiva, at the Sanibel Caloosahatchee Water Quality Observatory and Sanibel Water Quality Monitoring--San Carlos Bay, has asked the Lee County Commission to pick up the tab this year.
 
In view of of the many increasing threats to the quality of our surrounding waters--due to factors such as runoff, fertilizers, algae, and bacterial pollutants--the support of all concerned BPA members is needed to encourage the Lee County Board of County Commissioners to fully fund in FY 2009-2010 these three important water quality projects.
 
The issue  of funding will be discussed at a budget workshop on Wednesday, June 17 (no public input planned), and the commissioners need to hear from us.
 
WE'VE ALREADY PAID THE TAXES FOR THIS, SO ENCOURAGE THE COMMISSIONERS TO SPEND IT FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR WATERS.
 
If you support the continuation of water quality monitoring on the islands, PLEASE SEND AN E-MAIL to the commissioners before Wednesday morning. Their e-mail addresses are listed below, as are some bullet points you can use to craft your individual message in support of this effort. Your email can be simple and to the point.
 
We in the BPA are lucky that, thanks to generous grants, donations, and memberships, we are able to continue our water quality monitoring program. Let's help these other areas, which are as critical to the water quality of the Blind Pass ecosystem as the opening of the pass, to get the funding they need.
 
We thank you in advance!
 
The Crew at BPA
 
SEND your emails to TO:
 
Commissioner Bob Janes, District 1 -- dist1@leegov.com
Commissioner Brian Bigelow, District 2 -- dist2@leegov.com
Commissioner Ray Judah, District 3 -- dist3@leegov.com
Commissioner Tammy Hall, District 4 -- dist4@leegov.com
Commissioner Frank Mann, District 5 -- dist5@leegov.com
 
MESSAGE POINTS:
 
I urge you to support full county funding in FY 2009-2010 for three important water quality projects previously funded by the Tourist Development Council:
1.       Captiva Water Quality Monitoring, Year 2 at $99,294.
2.       Sanibel Caloosahatchee Water Quality Observatory at $67,689.
3.       Sanibel Water Quality Monitoring -- San Carlos Bay at $30,000.
 
  • Water quality is an essential issue for Lee County, for both environmental and economic reasons. Healthy water is the basis for a healthy environment, a crucial building block to maintain ecological balance in the face of competing pressures and pollution sources.
  • The value of healthy water and beaches for the county's economy cannot be overstated: to bring visitors here to enjoy our coastlines and waterways, to keep residents drawn here by the many water-based resources available to them and to support the industries that rely on healthy water.
  • In a county that promotes its miles of white sandy beaches, its kayak trails, its abundant water-based recreational options and its commitment to preserve a fragile environment that has drawn people to this area for decades, protecting water quality is paramount.
  • In a county that brings in millions of dollars thanks to its environmental assets, spending thousands of dollars to ensure its waters stay healthy and its beaches stay open is a prudent investment for the future.
  • Water quality requires a more stable funding source to ensure this vital effort is adequately supported in years to come.
  • We understand financial times are tough and dollars are tight, but this is simply too important and timely an issue to wait until it's convenient. By then, it could be too late.
 
Be sure to include your name and Lee County address in your email.


--
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 11 2009
Hi,

There is a move afoot by the Lee County Commissioners and Lee County Department of Transportation to raise the tolls on the Sanibel Island Causeway.  To the casual visitor or day tripper, the proposal is for the toll to remain the same $6.00.  The increase comes to those residents and employees on the island who use the transponder discount program.  The proposal is to raise these rates to $3.00 per trip.  This is going to place a huge burden on all our island businesses, not to mention all the residents who have kids in school off island, residents with doctors off island or any other errands that occur off island.  Check out The News-Press article from today's paper for more detail on this issue.    http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009906110321
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009
Hi - I would like to introduce you to a new section of my website  - SanibelGreen.  Having just received my National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designation, I wanted to share some of the extremely useful resources that were shared with me.  What the site pages attempt to do is to be a source for the resources. 

Most of Sanibel and Captiva Island homes and condos were built before any discussion of Green.  That does not, by any means mean that they don't possess elements that conserve electricity and water - key elements of being Green.  It also doesn't mean that there couldn't be cost effective modifications to the property that would make it less expensive to operate and be beneficial to the enviromnent.

I am by no means an expert on Green Building, I am however more aware of what makes a property more friendly to the environment and usually, less expensive to operate.  I will be using this blog space and my other ways of reaching out to my colleagues and clients to bring greater awareness of things we can all do to conserve our resources. 

If you while visiting the site have suggestions for additional resources, let me know.  Over time, I will be adding sections and new links to bring even more helpful information on making your house or condo more Green!  In the mean time - click on the Sanibel Green button on my home page or go directly to www.SanibelGreen.com!
Posted by: Sarah Ashton AT 03:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email


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ReMax of the Islands Sarah Ashton
Sarah Ashton Sarah S. Ashton, Broker Associate, Realtor®
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Sanibel, FL 33957

 

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