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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sunblogging: Day 5 of the Sundance Film Festival

Day 5 begins cloudy, 16 degrees, but no snow.  The sound of blasting to prevent avalanches continues to fill the morning air.  I see that it is raining in Marco.  I hope none of my friends dare whines to me about the rain!  Four films are on my agenda for today. The first big deal of the festival has been made.  Lionsgate bought Buried for $3.2 million.  The film is about a military contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive with only a cellphone. It takes place entirely in a coffin.  It was not on my list of ‘must sees’. It ... Read More »

Sunblogging: Day 4 of the Sundance Film Festival

Day 4  — and dare I say it?  It looks like it is not snowing!  Oops, too late, here comes another wave. The other day, I wrote about a film being “predictable”.  As I think about it, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a film being predictable. When we see the ending we expect, it reinforces our view of the world and we leave the theater feeling secure.  Unpredictable endings can be unsettling. When I saw the George Clooney film, Up and Away, in which  the plot at one point takes an unusual twist, there was an audible gasp from ... Read More »

Sunblogging: Day 3 of the Sundance Film Festival

Still snowing at Sundance! The Company Men will definitely make it to local theaters.  Featuring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Craig T. Nelson, and Maria Bello, it tells the timely story of corporate downsizing. Often when a film has so much star power, it disappoints.  This film doesn’t. John Wells, the writer/director has a long history in television, having worked on shows such as ER, The West Wing, and Southland.  In speaking about the film after its screening, he noted that the original script focused on the bursting of the dot com bubble and was inspired ... Read More »

Sunblogging: Day 2 of the Sundance Film Festival

Day 2 was a first during our pre-shift volunteer meeting: we talked about what to do in case of an earthquake.  Park City lies near the Wasatch fault, which some say is long overdue for some action. Haiti is on many people’s minds and the festival has set up a special text messaging number to donate to the efforts.  The only problem is that there are so many people here using iPhones, that it is almost impossible to get service: good ‘ole AT&T. Today I saw Happythankyoumoreplease, written, directed, and starring Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother.  It’s a light, romantic ... Read More »

Sunblogging: Day 1 of the Sundance Film Festival

First, a word about the weather.  Two snow storms in two days and the National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for heavy snow and strong winds from tonight (Thursday) until Sunday!  A local weatherman described the situation as a spinning wagon wheel, with us getting hit by spoke after spoke in the form of blizzard like snow. The Kenneth Cole designed uniforms for volunteers this year break with tradition and are white, trimmed in red and black.  For the past few years, the uniforms have been black…which fits well with the festival as the locals refer to Sundance ... Read More »

The Nerve-Wracking Rescue of Kidnapped Heiress Barbara Mackle – Part 2 of 3

Word got out that Robert Mackle’s daughter Barbara, age 20, had been kidnapped in the early morning hours of December 17, 1968. Everyone in Florida and throughout the nation who knew of the Mackles was shocked and paralyzed. Their concern and fear during the early Christmas season of 1968 paralleled the emotions felt 36 years earlier when the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped and then found dead. On Marco Island, in the Mackle brothers’ brand new development, no one could talk or think of anything but the kidnapping. It was as if a local child had been taken. All radios were ... Read More »

Councilman Kiester Holds on by Slim Margin

Just before 11 a.m. today, it was announced officially after a manual recount at the office of the Supervisor of elections, that incumbent Ted Forcht did not gain sufficient votes to maintain a seat on the Marco Island City Council. The recount was called because of the narrow margin of winning votes received by the other incumbent, Chuck Kiester. Since the difference between them was less than .25%, this review was mandatory under Florida law. As a result of the recount, Chuck Kiester received two more votes to keep his lead, while Ted Forcht gained only three – not enough ... Read More »

Magel Asks for Constituents’ Concerns

It’s a humbling experience to realize that over 3,700 voters (61% of the votes cast) on Marco Island supported my campaign to bring fiscal responsibility to Marco Island.  The easy part was communicating my values and vision during the campaign, and now the hard part begins.  My promise to you is to ask the questions of the City Manager and Staff making sure their recommendations are sound, fiscally responsible, and maintain the service levels we enjoy and have come to expect. It will not be an easy task.  I believe we can expect to see decreasing tax revenues over the ... Read More »

Marco Magic Eagles Soar

(Video) -The Marco Magic Eagles cheer team was at the Tampa Convention Center Sunday, January 24th to compete in Jamfest 2010 . Jamfest hosts dozens of cheer and dance groups in this area, five of which will be invited to compete in national level events.  Coach Lyndsi Koszo and assistant coach Brittney Scheyder have worked with the children since last summer to hone their skills, hoping to earn a place in competitions like this.  The competitive cheer group practices twice per week at Mackle Park. Hard work and practice paid off as the team won first place in the Parks ... Read More »

The Sands of Time

Marco Island’s beach is the jewel of our community. With approximately 6 miles of beach from Hideaway Beach to Sand Dollar Island to the main (Tigertail Beach Park to Cape Marco) beach, it gives walkers, fishermen, shell collectors, sunset (and sunrise!) gazers, both residents and visitors, so much enjoyment.  The beach has experienced changes, as any barrier island’s shoreline, over seasons and time. In 1991 the beach was originally renourished by pumping offshore sands. In 2005, the southern area of the beach, from the Hilton Resort to Cape Marco was renourished following erosion caused by Tropical Storm Faye. Sand bars ... Read More »

Undercover Trash

Some reality shows are simply – unreal. All the subjects seems handsome or  pretty and everything seems quite ‘staged’. Now there’s a new reality series about to premier on CBS after the Superbowl on February 7. It’s called Undercover Boss and will show the CEOs of several well-known companies leaving their ivory towers and getting down and dirty with the real people – their employees – incognito. The show is based on a successful English version of the same name, and here in America, although you may not recognize the CEOs you will recognize their companies:  Waste Management, White Castle, ... Read More »

Want to save Money? Harness the Sun’s Energy

The amount of energy we receive from the sun is spectacular by any measurement. It’s hard to imagine, but the earth only receives one two-billionth of the sun’s total energy. In a year even this miniscule amount of solar energy represents about 10,000 times the world’s current energy use. Another way to look at it is the amount of energy falling on just one square mile is about 10,000 megawatts, enough to heat and light a large town. Every minute, enough energy arrives at the Earth to meet our demands for a whole year – if only we could figure ... Read More »

Local Organizations ‘Bag’ Kids Against Hunger Program

Recently, Wanda Day, President of the Sunrise Rotary Club and Event Chair Wayne Purvis gave local residents an opportunity to participate in the ‘Kids Against Hunger’ project. Steve Popper, a Naples Rotary Club member brought the program which bags food for those in need to Southwest Florida in August 2007.   Since then, over 6,000,000 meals have been packaged locally. Although Kids Against Hunger bagging events are held periodically in Naples, it was the first event for Marco Island.  Supported by the Sunrise Rotary Club, Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Kiwanis Club, over 200 people representing organizations such as ... Read More »

Veteran’s Community Park Tree Project

Recently a group of residents met at Mackle Park to discuss applying for available grant monies through the State of Florida to plant trees at Veteran’s Community Park. Carla Mickes explained the various processes and requirements for grant applications as gathered from  Parks and Recreation Director,  Bryan Milk and Leslie Sanford from the City of Marco Island’s Public Utilities Department.       The goal of the committee is to plant trees in small clusters in different areas of Veteran’s Community Park to enhance the park’s visual appeal and increase the usability of the park by offering shade during the summer months.     Committee ... Read More »

Handy Household (and other) Hints

One of the reasons I was always a fan of the Olde Farmers’ Almanac, was for its Handy Hints.  I can’t claim to have discovered the following, but they work for me. Has the grout between your tiles turned a weird shade — does it resist cleaning? This takes a bit of time, but people to whom I have recommended this hint have found it worthwhile and relatively easy to do. Purchase flat, acrylic paint in the color you wish, and simply apply to the grout. There is no need to be extra fussy – just make sure the grout ... Read More »

Robert College

The year was 1860. Abraham Lincoln was elected President of a young United States of America; South Carolina seceded from the Union; a possible Civil War was looming in the future. In Europe, once a mighty Empire, the Ottomans were in a slow but certain decline.  In Istanbul, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, a young American missionary, Cyrus Hamlin was busy trying to establish an American School, having arrived there in 1839. A graduate of the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1837 by way of Bowdoin College, Mr. Hamlin was born in Waterford, Maine to the prominent Hamlin family ... Read More »

Book Review: The Healing of America

This book is a must for anyone confused by talk of health care plans. Well, I guess that just about covers everyone. T.R. Reid’s “global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care” is an easy-to-read explanation of the choices that exist and some of the tunnel-visioned, mind-blocked people who will be making them. Reid begins with the sad tale of 32-year old Nikki White who died prematurely of lupus. Once diagnosed, she could not get heath insurance.  She had too much money to qualify for medical welfare assistance, yet could not afford to pay for doctors’ services and medications herself. ... Read More »

Marco Island Municipal Election Results

Four Contestants, Three Seats Unofficial Results   6,107 Ballots Cast Joe Batte 3,535    24.8% Ted Forcht (Incumbent) 3,472     24.3% Chuck Kiester (Incumbent)    3,480    24.4% Larry N. Magel 3,745    26.3% From the Supervisor of Elections, Jennifer Edwards: Since the difference between the third place finisher, Chuck Kiester, and the fourth place finisher, Ted Forcht, was less than .25%, such a review is mandatory under Florida law. Under the authority of the Collier County Canvassing Board, the machine recount was conducted at the Supervisor of Elections Office immediately following release of the unofficial results on January 26, 2010. The manual recount, which is an ... Read More »

Swinging in the Breeze

Loft and getting the ball to fly high is a result of swinging the club head down and contacting the ball on the downswing. A downward blow creates backspin which, in turn, produces lift.  The golf club goes in an upward motion on the backswing, reaches the top of the swing and starts downward until it reaches the bottom of the arc where it begins to travel upward. When a person fails to meet the ball on the downswing or at the bottom of the swing, the club head starts upward and contacts the middle or top of the ball ... Read More »