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Daily Archives: July 15, 2011

Thom Carr Portrait of a Chief

Retiring Police Chief Thom Carr neatly summarized his view of law enforcement: “This isn’t a job; it’s a profession.” Those few words succinctly characterize a career of remarkable breadth and depth. When Thom was 20, he enlisted in the United States Army, graduated from Officer Candidate School and Flight School, and became a helicopter pilot with the distinguished First Cavalry. He served honorably in Vietnam and collected a trunk load of medals by the time he left the military in 1972. Thom went on to complete his formal education, earning a Bachelor in Science degree from Indiana University. He became ... Read More »

Enrollment Crunch? 20 Families waitlisted at MICMS

By Danielle Dodder Like so many families, Debbie Stute moved to Marco to give her kids what she felt was the best education in the county. She expected her daughter to transition painlessly from 5th grade at Tommie Barfield Elementary to Marco Island Charter Middle. Instead, what she learned was that her daughter was now 17th on a waiting list to get in. “I moved here so my kids could go to school here, we’re working more to pay the higher rent. And now, to get bumped, it’s not fair. There’s never been a waiting list. There are 132 spots ... Read More »


Camera, Lights, ACTION! Have you ever wanted to be in a music video? For most young people, the answer would be a resounding YES! On Saturday, students attending Marco Island Academy and their friends, had an opportunity to be in a music video being produced for the school. Mark Haffner, who is a talented composer, producer, director and writer, is leading the school’s multimedia curriculum. The idea, derived last spring, was to develop a theme song for the school, one that shows how the school can break the mold traditional schools. Mark wrote the music for the video, auditioned bands ... Read More »

Summer sessions key for Island

By Danielle Dodder Marco City Council meets again July 18, and summer sessions for city council mark what Chair Jerry Gibson terms the ‘meat and potatoes’ of council responsibilities.  His terminology may be prosaic, but the goals that the council should accomplish between now and the end of September involve hotly contested issues that impact nearly all of Marco’s residents: finalizing the city’s budget, setting the millage rate (the amount of property tax the city charges separately from Collier County) and addressing water rates. Gibson hopes we’ll be paying attention, saying his objective, and that of his colleagues, is to ... Read More »

Meet the Teacher- Deborah Eby, Academy Counselor

By Danielle Dodder “I don’t know about you, but I want educated kids in charge of our future!”  Guarding children as a precious resource for the future is an over-used but rarely acted on notion that Marco Island Academy’s counselor Deborah Eby wants to make real for her students. Eby is a native of New York State and earned her Master’s in Counselor’s Education in 2002 from SUNY Brockport. Although she and her husband have grown children, it was the toddler they lost at age three to a heart condition who left Eby with the legacy of making sure other ... Read More »

Fire claims two homes in Everglades City

Early Sunday morning on July 10th, two houses in Everglades City burned down. They were located in a development called Club Everglades on an island in the middle of the Barron River. Firefighters from the Ochopee Fire District had to travel by boat to get their equipment on the scene. All that is left of the first house is a pile of debris and a metal roof. The fire also ignited the house to the left which is now just a burned out shell. Fortunately the house on the right side only lost its exterior siding. The damage can only ... Read More »

Council Agenda

Coastal Breeze News hopes to bring readers the City of Marco Island Council Meeting agendas on a regular basis. Some agenda items may include a short description to clarify the topic. Affected residents are urged to be informed of the issues and take part in their city government. Upcoming City Council Agenda July 18th, 5:30 pm  Regular Meeting held at the Community Room at 51 Bald Eagle Drive. Roll Call Pledge of Allegiance Approval of Agenda Presentations a. Police and Fire Youth Academy Awards Consent Agenda a. Council Minutes for June 20th (Regular Meeting). b. Appointment to Beach Advisory Committee. ... Read More »


By Donna Fiala Many of you might remember when PBA flew charters for the Marriott into the Marco Airport.  Some of those charters were for trips to and from Tallahassee. Some were even charters for the Florida Association of Counties to come to our fine county to hold their conventions and meetings. I was working at PBA, and at that time I learned about the FAC and what they do for the counties in Florida. I learned that they lobbied for the counties when the Legislature was considering Bills that might not be beneficial to the counties. They have intervened ... Read More »


By Monte Lazarus There’s an old adage that, as people live and age together, they begin to look and act alike; there’s a newer one that people and their dogs begin to act and look alike. I believe that people and their cars begin to look alike. As time goes by it’s easy to recognize which person belongs to which car…yes, I believe we have become servants of our automobiles. Many people I know well take their cars to mechanics much more often than they take their bodies and teeth to doctors and dentists. Indeed, if I had the power, ... Read More »

The Sons of Italy at Subway

Ever go into Subway to get your $5 footlong sub and find you’re magically transported to a bistro in Italy? Well, it doesn’t really happen quite like that, but having the Sons of Italy serenade you while waiting for your sub certainly makes you feel special! In fact, it’s exactly what Nancy Santucci was trying to achieve when the Sons of Italy pulled out their instruments and began playing. “We have great customers, and we just wanted to say thank you to them for being so great! They’re wonderful musicians and hopefully the customers enjoyed their short time here” The ... Read More »

Marco resident finds success with companies aimed toward kids

By Natalie Strom One of the most popular things to do for young girls on tropical vacations is to have braids and beads strung through their hair.  No one on Marco Island knows this better than Heidi Esala. Ms. Esala has transformed the braiding industry on Marco Island. The success of her braiding company, Knot Head Tropical Braiding, helped her to begin two other company ventures. Both new ventures have also thrived under Heidi’s ownership. Originally from Minnesota, Heidi developed her braiding skills at a young age. As a teen she learned to braid horses at a horseback riding academy. ... Read More »

The Tucker family reunion

Walt Tucker turned 90 this year.  In honor of this special event, his children and their families got together for a family reunion. Coastal Breeze News featured Walt in a Salute to Veterans last year, as a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Eleven of Walt and Sue’s fifteen children came to honor him. They came from all over the United States; California, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and other parts of Florida. All in all, about 38 members of Walt’s family came for the festivities which not only included Walt’s birthday and Father’s Day, it ... Read More »

A return to Paengnyong-Do

By Vince Kiernan and CBN staff It was Christmas Eve, 1954 when Vince Kiernan arrived in South Korea on Paengnyong Island which is about 200 kilometers Northwest of Inchon in the Yellow Sea. The island bordered the famous 38th parallel and they could see communist North Korea with mainland China less than 300 kilometers to the North. Needless to say, their geographic position was tenuous at best should hostilities resume. The Korean conflict had taken a breather after three years of fighting and peace talks were going on at Panmunjom. History had shown the Korean peninsula to be a battleground ... Read More »

The Maroons of Lostman’s Key & Capt. Jocelyn

By Craig Woodward If you are a frequent reader of this column you know that the last issue mentioned how Lostman’s Key and River were named. That information piqued my interest into researching this story and finding out more of the details. It turns out that the villain in the story was a notorious character in Southwest Florida around the late 1800s. Captain Jocelyn (also sometimes spelled Joselyn) was described in 1875 as having “fame in Florida rivaling that of the most bloodthirsty pirate of the China Seas.” While he claimed to be an Englishman from Plymouth, the locals believed ... Read More »


By Pierre Guesnon Per-spic-u-ous Adjective: (Latin: perspicere, to see through) clear in a statement or expression; easily understood. Pro-trep-tic Adjective: intended as instructional. Noun: a book, speech, essay, etc., that is protreptic. hir-sute      Adjective: hairy, shaggy, bristly. u-bi-qui-ty Noun: the state, fact, or capacity of being, or seeming to be, everywhere at the same time; omnipresence. tor-por Noun: a state of being dormant or inactive; temporary loss of all or part of the power of sensation or motion, as in a hibernating animal; sluggishness, stupor.  Also dullness or apathy. Adjective: torpid. Pierre Guesnon is a retired engineer who ... Read More »

Chef’s Express moves

An institution at the Shops of Old Marco, The Chef’s Express,  has moved to the South End of the island and are awaiting permit approval to open. The colorful sails, outdoor tables and colorful umbrellas and other distinctive touches are gone. Regular patrons expressed their disappointment. On the last day of business, we heard from a few of their customers. Bill McMullen said, “It’s a lost opportunity!  In a depressed economy all businesses owners should be given every opportunity to expand.”  Steve Stefanides had just two words, “A shame.” Even Brad and Paula Carlson visiting from Minneapolis with their children, ... Read More »

What’s lighting up the canals?

By Nancy Richie Bioluminescent. A big word for tiny organisms. Each summer, a few locations in the Marco Island canals glimmer and twinkle in the night. Boat wakes, fish movement and jelly fish paths sparkle as the bioluminescent organisms are agitated in the water. Not just the fireworks were lighting up our Island on the 4th of July, but there was a bloom of bioluminescent algae that doubled the pleasure of the fireworks for a few residents. Studies at Scripps concluded that bioluminescent dinoflagelletes thrive in calm waters which most likely results from their extreme flow sensitivity that triggers luminescence. ... Read More »

A tale of two worlds

By Joe Granda Last week I was traveling with my wife Maria and my 10 year old grandson Will on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship doing the Western Caribbean route to celebrate our grandson’s birthday. On the last day of the trip after having lunch at his favorite place, Johnny Rockets Restaurant, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool. About 2PM, people sitting nearby told us to look at the horizon where they saw what appeared to be a raft floating on the water. I quickly realized what was going on ... Read More »

Tia’s moves to next round!

Tia Nielsen, a local TBE student, was selected from more than 2,100 store winners as one of 210 regional winners in the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program. To recognize her contributions, Kohl’s sent Tia a recognition certificate to receive a $1,000 scholarship for her post-secondary education. The regional winners will be named at in July. Now, Tia has been entered in the competition for one of 10 national scholarships worth $9,000. In addition to the scholarship awarded, Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on behalf of each national winner. The letter from Kohl’s congratulated Tia for her service, ... Read More »