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Yearly Archives: 2012

City Committees: A Few Key Changes and A Special Magistrate


By Danielle Dodder “Another avenue for citizen input shut down.” The chair of the city’s Beach Advisory Committee found city management’s proposal to consolidate city committees into four bodies plus a magistrate, distressing at the December 20 meeting and workshop. From city inception, volunteer committees have been a cornerstone of citizen input and oversight in local government. City council members agreed, passing on the proposal that would have merged seven committees down to three: a cultural advisory committee, environmental advisory committee and a financial advisory committee. The Planning Board would have been renamed the Quasi-Judicial Board. The Beautification Committee has ... Read More »

First “A” for Lely High School


By Coastal Breeze News Staff It was announced to students just before winter break. For the first time in its history, Lely achieved an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education for the 2011-2012 year. The announcement congratulated the students for their hard work and honored the school’s administration. The Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kamela Patton said in a press release by the District, “I am so proud of all of our high schools. To see four schools improve their grades – including two improve two letter grades – and five schools maintain their grades, despite all the many ... Read More »

Tending Tortoises is Serious Business


By Carol Glassman When city staff showed “irreparable and irreversible damage” had been done to environmentally protected gopher tortoise burrows on an undeveloped lot, at the December meeting the Code Enforcement Board ruled that AAA Lot Service owner Bernard Wegman mitigate with a contribution of $1,950. The money will be used to purchase warning signs and Wegman will also pay the $250 administration cost incurred. One of Wegman’s employees, terminated from his job since the incident, mowed not just the right of way at the undeveloped lot at 1750 Dogwood Drive, but also, according to city environmental expert Nancy Richie, ... Read More »

Change is Good


By Natalie Strom Over the past four months, employees of the Marco Island Marriott Resort and Spa have been handing in their loose change to support the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. As a part of the Marriott’s Spirit to Serve effort, jars to collect change were handed out to each department. On December 19, all the coins were counted and the results were remarkable. In total, the employees at the Marriott raised $1,811.66 just by donating their spare change. The challenge began on August 14, as the entire staff gathered in the Islands Ballroom for the ... Read More »

Obituary: Nina Capilets

Nina Capilets March 4, 1923 to Dec 20, 2012 Nina (Lazzara) Capilets of Naples, FL and Amagansett, NY, formerly of Marco Island, FL died peacefully on December 20, 2012 surrounded by her loving family. Nina was born March 4, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY. She loved her summers in Amagansett, NY. Anyone who met her would see she was a “fashionista” and a master in the art of shopping. Known for her culinary talents, her marvelous meatballs were legendary. She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Joseph. Her five daughters; Joanne (Timothy) Finnegan of Saratoga Springs, NY, Corinne ... Read More »

City Notes: New Old Water Rates, A Fire Contract Averts Salary Wars and Trespassing Tennis Players


By Danielle Dodder Water Rate Increase Voted Down The water rate debate has been a slow and costly one, spanning years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultancy fees. It’s also arguably a major reason three of the four new city councilors ran and won seats. On December 20, they voted to halt the process of setting new rates which were approved by previous council, set to go into effect on December 28. The M-54 model, recommended by Burton & Associates, is a revenue sufficiency model designed to compensate for negative elasticity of demand. In other words, when a ... Read More »

An active Chamber of Commerce


By Monte Lazarus After Five Contributes To Christmas Island Style $1,210. That’s how much the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce turned over to Christmas Island Style on December 19th. The occasion was the Chamber’s monthly After Five event. This one, in keeping with recent tradition, was held at the Marco Island Hilton Hotel. Incoming Chamber President Nancy Carrington turned over all proceeds from 100 generous attendees to Christmas Island Style Chairman Steve Stephanides. Festivities began with Hilton General Manager Mac Chaudry welcoming guests and expressing his appreciation “for the opportunity of holding this particular After Five at the Hilton ... Read More »



Donna Fiala First, I hope everyone reading this column had a wonderful holiday! We are so blessed to be able to worship in any manner we want! We are so blessed to live in America! Being that most of my five kids and all of my grandchildren live right here, we celebrated together as a family for Christmas. And I wish everyone a very Happy New Year filled with good health and much happiness. I couldn’t help but exclaim over Barb and Lou Prigge’s home completely adorned by darling angels everywhere! What an outstanding display for all of us ... Read More »



By Monte Lazarus For the last few weeks the Police Department (at least it appears that way) has been stationing official cars at certain places with no drivers, or others, in the cars. Apparently someone in the P.D. believes that these “dummy” cars will encourage drivers to slow down and also obey all other traffic laws. I believe otherwise. My view is that drivers of other cars will divert their attention to see who is in the “dummy” car, thereby increasing the chances of accidents. Admittedly, it is conceivable, but not likely, that a corps of special midgets has ... Read More »



BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun 2012 has certainly been a very interesting, confusing and, in many ways, a terrible year. My only wish is that 2013 will not be a repeat performance. Friday, December the 14, 2012, was and will remain as the worst day of my life. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to get the events of the day out of my mind; I can’t. I dream about them, I think about them constantly and I lose it. I routinely cry when I think about the whole event more than once a day. Talking about it ... Read More »

Ah! Tuscany


SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber The abundant art in the cities. The countryside dotted with dark green cyprus trees and golden fields. The vineyards. There are so many wonderful places to visit in Tuscany, it is difficult to know where to begin when writing about this region of Italy. Within the 10 provinces of Tuscany, there are the tourist draws of Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano. Then there are the small hill towns such as San Quirico d’Orcia, Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Sant’ Angelo in Colle, or the tiny La Befa that offer charm and not more than one or perhaps a ... Read More »

BUSINESS BRIEF: Simply Siblings


By Marilyn Honahan There are many local business partnerships made up of husbands and wives, fathers and sons and mothers and daughters. However, one of the latest businesses to open its doors on Marco Island is actually sibling-owned. Brother and sister, Nick and Kristina Lambros recently opened Simply Cupcakes located at 912 North Collier Blvd, next to Island Pizza. This new venture grew from a desire to relocate to Marco Island where Kristina and Nick’s grandparents moved a number of years ago. The siblings, both of whom studied business in their respective schools, desired to open a business that would ... Read More »

Pathways to Safety & Fitness


By Danielle Dodder It’s almost too easy to see cycling enthusiasts as hobbyists living in their own little niche of speedy bikes and neon, zipping down their path on the side of the road, but for the group of them who make up the city’s volunteer bike paths committee, concern for creating a safe riding environment extends to the entire community, including its youngest members. The Safe Routes to School project wrapped its first phase of construction this month: installation of eight-foot sidewalks around the perimeter of both Tommie Barfield Elementary and Marco Island Charter Middle, up Cushing Avenue to ... Read More »

River of Grass Greenway seen as top priority


By Natalie Strom In an effort to develop a statewide trail and paddle system, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Division of Recreation and Parks recently updated the overall vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS). The new five-year plan lists the River of Grass Greenway as a priority. In early fall, the Division of Recreation and Parks launched the new plan, calling for public comment on what specific trails and paddle ways should be considered areas of initial importance. After hosting six public meetings throughout the state, opportunity and priority maps were developed. This ... Read More »

Philharmonic Coming to Marco!


The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island welcomes back the Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet for another fine concert on Saturday, January 5th at 7:30 PM. This performance is part of the Congregation’s Cultural Series, now in its’ 19th year of offering exceptional program to this area. Highlights of this concert will include the Fire Dance, Gershwin, “Duke” Ellington, Fats Waller and William Handy. This production is an outreach program of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts and the Naples Museum. There will be delicious pastries available at a Viennese table and Starbucks Tasting following the show. The public is invited. Come ... Read More »

Santa Calls Marco Kids


By Natalie Strom “You better not pout, you better not cry, you better not shout, I’m telling you why… Santa Claus is coming to town!” For more than a decade, Santa and his sleigh have been making a regular stop at the Marco Island YMCA in mid-December to make phone calls to local children. This year, he stopped by on Sunday, December 16, along with Rudolph and a few of his elves. Children were delighted to hear from Santa and were surprised to learn that Santa really did know if they had been bad or good. With Rudolph’s bells ... Read More »

Joy of Giving wraps up 24th year


By Coastal Breeze News Staff Another 950 children were able to celebrate Christmas thanks to all those who contributed to the Joy of Giving. Year after year, this non-profit charity has provided the less fortunate families of Collier County with the means to provide a real holiday experience for their children. The children and their siblings are identified through teachers and after school youth organizations. “Major sponsors include Island Country Club and Walmart, but there are so many groups that contribute, I wish I could name them all,” said Nicki Davis, founder of the Joy of Giving. The Island Country ... Read More »

Everglades Celebrates the New Year


BUZZ FROM THE SWAMP Patricia Huff First of all, a very Happy New Year to everyone! We have had so many readers who have come to Everglades City and our surrounding area to enjoy the wonders of our natural environment. It is only by visiting our community and the parks that people will understand how truly unique and inspiring our little place in southwest Florida really is. On this last weekend of 2012 the PANCAKE FLY-IN will be hosted by Wings 10,000 Islands Tours and will take place at Everglades Airpark on Saturday, December 29, from 10 AM. until noon. ... Read More »

Everglades Activities


By Marya Repko The month of January brings a slew of family-friendly activities in the Everglades. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the River of Grass as you head to these exciting events that give a glimpse of life in the glades. Historical Movie Night Relive your childhood memories! The Everglades Society for Historic Preservation is hosting an “Old-Fashioned Movie Night” featuring two of the 38 segments from the TV program “The Everglades” which ran for one season, 1961-62. Ron Hayes stars as Constable Lincoln Vail, an Everglades “county patrol officer,” who travels by airboat to solve crimes. The series was ... Read More »

Wheeling into 2013


PEDAL IN PARADISE By Matt Walthour If you are reading this, either the world didn’t end, or you snuck out of your bunker and hopefully pedaled your bike to the closest newsstand and grabbed this issue of Coastal Breeze. Whatever the reason, I am happy we are all still alive and you have found the time in your renewed life to read my article. As I look towards 2013, and reflect on 2012, I think about all the bicycles I see, whether on the back of cars, in bike racks, at stores or schools, and the hundreds of people I ... Read More »