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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Community Development Director Position Eliminated

In the first of several cost-savings measures Interim City Manager, Dr. James C. Riviere eliminated the position of the Community Development Director currently filled by Steve Olmsted. Economic times call for reconsideration of how the City’s services are provided. The Community Development Director is over the building, code compliance, environmental services, mapping (GIS), planning and zoning areas for the City. The down turn in building construction starts on Marco Island was a real factor in reviewing cost-savings in the Community Development Department part of the organization. The reduction in the demand for services can not support the same staff size. Mr. Olmsted’s position will not be filled, saving the City ... Read More »

Boy Needs Help

Andrew Whisman is an 11 year old local boy who is in desperate need of AB positive blood. Andrew has contracted an E-Coli bacterium and his organs are being viciously attacked. He has been hospitalized at NCH downtown since Thursday, March 25th. The bacteria has gotten into his blood stream and his kidneys and pancreas have been shutting down. Andrew undergoes dialysis daily to clean out the bacteria, but is in desperate need of blood transfusions. Needless to say, he also has a rare type of blood AB+. There is a shortage of this blood type in Florida and they ... Read More »

The feeling of being an American…

It was a cold December day in 1979 when I landed at JFK airport in NY and stood in the line marked “Citizens Only.” Showing my brand new blue USA passport to the previously dreaded immigration officer was a proud moment for me; I was an American returning home from a business trip. For such a seemingly mundane event, it may be difficult to appreciate the feelings and thoughts that I am about to describe. It was about a year before, on November 17, 1978 when I had stood before a Federal Judge in Hackensack, New Jersey and was sworn ... Read More »

The Mouse Trail

Remember Biology class – microscopes and dissections; frogs and mice? The descendents of those mice – or some remote relatives – may be coming this way. Recently, at the invitation of County Commissioner Donna Fiala, and at the courtesy of Keith Dameron of Iberia Bank, the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Advancement of Jackson Laboratory briefed a small group of Marco Island residents about Jackson’s hopes and plans for a facility in Collier County – and it all starts with mice. In 1929, the Jackson Laboratory was created. After a modest beginning, with a small cadre of scientists, ... Read More »

Dr. Jim Riviere Voted Interim City Manager

After minimal discussion and no public comment, Marco City Council, by a 7 to 0 vote, named current Planning Board Chairman Dr. Jim Riviere Interim City Manager. Councilman Wayne Waldack nominated Riviere, noting that if approved the position would start immediately. All council members endorsed Riviere. Chairman Frank Recker said Riviere was “methodical, consistent and straightforward.” In dealing with Riviere on the Financial Committee and the Charter Review Committee, Joe Batte said that Riviere was “well focused.” Councilman Jerry Gibson said with a smile, “First, let’s see if he will accept,” and continued, “I can’t think of a better choice ... Read More »

Calusa Garden Club

The  award winning Calusa Garden Club recently held its annual installation of officers luncheon at the Marco Island Yacht Club. The Calusa Garden Club membership is opened to anyone who is interested in any of the many phases of gardening from being a dirt gardener, designer, environmentalist, flower show participant, or enjoys the company of people with similar interests. Both full time and part residents are welcomed. The Clausa Garden Club meets the 2nd Monday of the month from October to March at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship hall, Barfield Drive South, Marco Island. Each meeting is proceeded by a ... Read More »

Marco Island Police Foundation President Elected

The Marco Police Foundation is pleased to announce the election of William G. Morris as the organizations new President. An active member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, his term officially commenced at the March Director’s meeting. Mr. Morris is an Island attorney with offices on Marco since 1983 practicing general law. He has been actively involved in community service since his arrival including President of the Art League of Marco Island, the YMCA, and the Marco Island American Cancer Society. His Board of Director responsibilities have included the United Way and the Marco Chamber of Commerce. The Marco Police ... Read More »

Project Rescue Phase One Succeeds!

Art League Exceeds Debt Reduction Campaign Project Rescue, the campaign to Save Marco Island’s Art League, achieved a major step in insuring the Art League’s future. The campaign, formulated by Marco Islander, Dave Rice, was implemented November 1, 2009, as a two phase project. The focus of Phase I was fundraising, first to eliminate the League’s $100,000 debt and then to establish a Reserve Fund, while continuing to keep the doors of the Center open. The focus of Phase II is restructuring to develop and implement a new business model and to continue building the Reserve Fund to ensure the ... Read More »

Art League Marco Island’s Center for the Arts Awards Scholarships

Since 1983, the Art League Marco Island’s Center for the Arts has been awarding scholarships to Collier County high school seniors who are continuing their education in the Arts. On April 9th, during a public awards ceremony and reception, applicants and award recipients were honored; $4,500 in awards were presented. This Scholarship program provides an opportunity for Collier County high school juniors and seniors to exhibit their original artworks and compete for scholarship funds to continue their education in the arts. All funds provided for the program are provided by dedicated donations from Art League Patrons and the dedicated business ... Read More »

Art League Marco Island’s Center for the Arts Develops Executive Director Search Committee

The Art League Marco Island’s Center for the Arts Board of Directors has been diligently addressing the process to replace outgoing Executive Director Christine Neal. At a special Board Meeting held to address this issue a decision was made to develop a Search Committee in an effort to perform a Nationwide Search for the replacement. Director Maury Dailey was appointed as the Chair for the Search Committee. In addition to Dailey, past Board members Barney Halaschak, Sandra Hill and Education Committee Chair Edythe Newbourne make up the initial committee that developed the proposed plan of action. Dailey states, “We take ... Read More »

Lunch with the Chief

The Marco Police Foundation is excited to announce the next “Lunch with the Chief” on May 19th in the beautiful main dining room of the Island Country Club. In addition to being selected for its outstanding food and service, the Island Country Club will be able to accommodate the large response expected to hear the keynote speaker. Mr. Michael E. Hyde, M.Ed, Vice President for Advancement and External Relations with The Jackson Laboratory group based in Bar Harbor Maine will speak on the possible establishment of a genetics research institute in the area. Enormous challenges must be met before such ... Read More »

The Big Red Truck

I’m biased. I’m biased because of what happened to me on December 7, 2008. On that anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day I collapsed and began losing blood… lots of blood, as I later learned. My wife called 911 and, within a few (very few) minutes there were people and machines at the front door. In a couple of more minutes those dedicated folks had checked whatever vital signs I had left, started pumping something into me, and then put me on a stretcher and lugged me down two flights of very steep stairs at our condo. There was no way ... Read More »

Temporary Posting of Shorebird Nesting Locations

The City of Marco Island is part of the Florida Shorebird Alliance, a partnership that includes Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), City of Naples, Collier County Government. and Sherriff’s Office, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR), Sea Grant, The Conservancy of SW FL, Inc., Friends of Tigertail and Collier Audubon Society. The goal of this Alliance is to support these entities involved with volunteers management, materials and information to improve public outreach and education, while monitoring and protecting resting and nesting shorebird populations. Due to smaller staffs and budgets in all entities, the Alliance is an economic ... Read More »

Fire/Rescue Foundation Hosts 2nd Annual Pancake Breakfast

The Marco Island Fire/Rescue Foundation held a pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 11. “This event was a success! We served a delicious breakfast to over 550 people. Everyone had a great time and the fire station was the perfect venue,” said Diana Dohm,  Vice-President of the Foundation. “When everyone pitches in to help in an event like this, it is bound to be a success.” Jim Curran, President, agreed. “ I want to thank all the fire fighters who pitched in especially Chief Mike Murphy who manned the grill all morning long flipping pancakes. They were all involved. However, they also ... Read More »

Florida Friendly Landscape Demonstration Garden

Landscaping the Florida-Friendly way means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices that also can save money. South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the University of Florida (UF-IFAS) are leading the effort in the State of Florida to incorporate Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL) to protect natural resources, specifically ground and surface water protection and conservation. The City’s Landscape Ordinance (Section 30-432), references Xeriscape, a terminology originally coined in Colorado that refers to practices of irrigation and plant species choices that conserve water use. This practice has morphed into FFL which still incorporates ... Read More »

2010 Earth Day photo and essay contests

In an effort for the City of Marco Island to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, environmental photo and essay contests were conducted for amateur photographers to express a visual celebration of all natural species, both animal and plant life, which inhabit the Southwest Florida and Everglades’ environments and for middle school students to express their views in essays and poems about “Preserving Florida.” Judges included Len Messineo, well known  professional nature photographer and lecturer; Dave Graff, naturalist, photographer, and educator for the Naples Botanical Garden; Vickie Kelber, former City Councilwoman, nature lover and amateur photographer; and Nancy Richie, ... Read More »

Mackle Park Knitters

Now is the time for all good women to pick up their needles and join the Mackle Park Knitting Group. We knit for charity, we knit for family and we knit for friends, but most of all we knit for FUN. So bring your needles, talent, creativity and ingenuity and have some fun too! We meet at Mackle every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. and we will gladly accept yarn donations at that time for our charity projects. Questions?? Call Carol at 642-9696 or Caren 389-4630. Read More »

Fitness on the Force

Dustin Beatly, Engineer Paramedic, has been with the Marco Island Fire Department seven years and was chosen by Captain David Batiato to lead the “Side Shuffle” exercise. Dustin was raised and grew up on Marco Island, attending Gulfview Middle School and Lely High School. Asked if, as a young boy, he wanted to be a fireman when he grew up, Dustin said, “No, I wanted to be an architect.” As a senior at Lely, Dustin needed one more class and choose a work program. That choice changed his life. Taking a first aid class and then volunteering at the Isles ... Read More »

Environmental Protection and Marco Island

Below is an article submitted to the Coastal Breeze News on April 14 by then City Manager, Steve Thompson. In view of the valuable information it contains, regarding actions to protect the environment of Marco Island and the surrounding areas, we have reproduced it here for our readers. by Steve Thompson, Marco Island City Manager The old saw frequently repeated about the top three issues impacting sales of property, ie: location, location, location, is similar to the guidelines for City Managers in communities with active and engaged residents – communicate, communicate, communicate. This article communicates and summarizes the status of the ... Read More »