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Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

Lights of Love


By Natalie Strom We’ve been called the Griswold’s like it’s a bad thing!” Tim Smither of 548 North Barfield laughs as he shares the many comical stories that have developed due to his family’s extensive Christmas decorations over the years. Anything but hard to miss, the house at 548 North Barfield has become a tradition to visit by many and somewhat of an obsession for Tim and his mother’s significant other, Jerry Haas. What started with the purchase of a few wire deer with white lights on them by Tim and his mother, Linda Deppen, has turned into a ... Read More »

TBE tennis debate


By Danielle Dodder For 20 years, an informal group of about 40 locals and snowbirds gathered at the tennis courts at Tommie Barfield Elementary, to play pickup tennis games at the last free public access courts on the island. Earlier this month the courts were closed after the city determined that needed repairs would be too costly. The group suddenly found cohesion in becoming the squeaky wheel. Over the summer, the City Parks and Recreation Committee raised the issue of the courts’ future with Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk. The committee was aware of the courts’ public use and voted ... Read More »

MIAAOR installation luncheon


By Coastal Breeze News Staff  Marco Island’s Realtors were upbeat at their 37th Installation ceremony at Hideaway Beach Club on December 6th. It was almost as though the sunshine on the beach just outside the windows portended good things to come. Increasing sales and listings keyed the optimism as the real estate market continues recovering from a slump of several years buoyed them. Hideaway laid out a sumptuous buffet for 120 attendees, including seven past presidents and guests from associations throughout Collier and Lee Counties. George Percel emceed the event, and was joined by Association President Gerry Rosenblum in looking ... Read More »

Sandbar supports “Iron Man Sam”


By Natalie Strom  “Sam is a nine-year old boy who goes to school, loves to play with his friends, rides his scooter, plays baseball, is into Legos and is a master WII gamer. He also is fighting for his life everyday against a vicious beast in his body; Neuroblastoma cancer. It’s a cancer that isn’t genetic, isn’t self prevented, and has no boundaries. It’s very rare and is known as the great masquerader. It usually presents itself as common childhood symptoms and by the time it is diagnosed it spreads throughout the body and is extremely hard to cure. ... Read More »

Morning Musicians entertain


Tommie Barfield Elementary School’s Morning Musicians, led by music teacher Elizabeth Braren, entertained the Marco Island Women’s Club during their annual Holiday Luncheon. The children sang a number of Christmas favorites and paraded through the room to the delight of the women. After the performance, the Women’s Club arranged for the children to visit with Santa.  [imagebrowser id=147] Read More »



By Lisa Honig, Unit Exec. Director American Cancer Society, Marco Island This is the first of an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Mar­co Island community about The American Cancer Society, the nationwide commu­nity-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, sav­ing lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, ad­vocacy, and service. Our first installment will focus on the Unit Operating Board, a group of volun­teers who are leaders in the community and passionate about The American Can­cer Society. The role of the Unit Operat­ing Board is to ... Read More »

Pedestrian attacks cyclist on morning of Bridge Run


On the morning of the 5K Bridge Run, Saturday, November 18th at approximately 9:45 AM, I was attacked by a pedestrian who effectively body-slammed me to the ground, using his left elbow and shoulder as assault weapons. I suffered a concussion, whiplash, and 23 other injuries ranging from contusions, bruising, abrasions and lacerations to muscle strains, sprains, and damaged nerves. I was taken by ambulance to Physician’s Regional where CT scans of my brain and neck were made, as were x-rays of my hand, elbow, and shoulder. Nothing was broken and there was no brain bleed or brain swelling to ... Read More »

Let it SNOW!


A new Christmas Island Style tradition in the making is happening on Saturday, December 15 at Veter­an’s Community Park. ‘Snowmania’ is set to bring 40 tons of snow to the park, along with games, slides and Santa, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. “We wanted to do something special for kids,” explains Steve Stefanides, the chairperson behind Christmas Island Style. The organi­zation has been saving up for about five or six years. “It costs about $7,000: you’re bringing tractor trail­ers and chunks of ice to make the snow.” Christmas Island Style has planned for three piles of snow divided between ... Read More »



Normally I don’t mention that I conduct about five tours a year spotlighting areas of the county some have never seen, but I thought this might be the right time. This coming year we have scheduled three tours so far, and a couple more are in the planning stages. The first is a visit to the Collier County Jail… from the right side of the bars. We only have so many people that can attend and the last time we held the tour we had to cut off reservations. The tour will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, January ... Read More »



By Monte Lazarus In 1971, Roger Kahn wrote a remarkable book titled “The Boys of Summer”. It was centered on my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers of the nineteen fifties, the team of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Gil Hodges and others. But, this wasn’t a baseball book; it was a book about life, community, small towns and big cities. That world has changed, and so have the folks who run baseball and play the game and live a world apart from us mere mortals. Back in the fifties spring training epitomized the renewal of ... Read More »

A season of “Joy”


TO YOUR HEALTH  C. Scott Campbell The holiday season represents a renewed sense of personal reflection to many and a focus on joy and celebration to even more. A time when the media and public consciousness seems to center on the “joy” of the season as each of us finds ourselves emotionally moved by demonstrations of care and compassion— on television, at home, and in our communities. “Joy” seems to be everywhere. Though the concept of joy takes on a profoundly impactful meaning this time of year, the joy of serving the patient population is our very purpose at Physicians ... Read More »

Middle East – A powder keg…


Beyond the Coast Events in the Middle East are heating up rapidly and will most probably be coming to a conclusion; one way or the other very soon. In order for the readers to connect the dots and make their own conclusions, I will list my interpretation of the latest events and the countries involved. SYRIA By far the most dangerous situation of all is playing out in Syria. Dictator Bashar Al-Assad is taking advantage of the rudderless and leaderless West and has been indiscriminately killing his own people for the last year or so. The latest news as of ... Read More »

Red Tide Update


According to the Harmful Algal Bloom Reports, low to very low concentrations of the Florida Red Tide organism have been found along the Marco Island beach area. Tested weekly, the week of December 1 – 7 reported the findings of small patches of red tide in Tampa Bay, Pine Island Sound and alongshore of the Marco Beach area. According to the report, “Recent sample analysis suggest that the bloom is declining in Southwest Florida between Pinellas and Collier counties.” Statewide reports for red tide levels may be found at Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to ... Read More »

Sandy survivors move to Marco and meet Bedtime Bundles


By Julia Barnett  When the unexpected happens and disaster strikes, what do you do? What can you do, really, except gather your family, pick up the pieces, and find some help from a caring hand and a friendly face. The aftermath of the storm that struck the Northeast the week before Halloween, given the name ‘Sandy,’ involved such disaster and assistance. For some, the damage done to their homes and lives was relatively manageable. For others, the storm devastated their world. Rita Martin was in the latter group when the storm demolished her New York home. The daughter of former ... Read More »

Tigertail timeline


In December of 2011, Collier County announced its plans to update the board¬walks on Tigertail Beach to the tune of $750,000. New bathrooms were also planned at a cost of $100,000. One year later, renovations are still under way, bud¬gets have been changed and the county’s timeline for completion is still somewhat up in the air. Tourist tax dollars are paying for the update, which includes fixing the existing five boardwalks, adding a dune walkover and a new set of bathrooms. “There was a need to replace the old boardwalks at Tigertail,” said Debbie Roddy, President of the Friends of ... Read More »

Personnel problems plague PD

By Coastal Breeze News Staff For a relatively small police department of 33 full-time officers, 2012 was a turbulent year of personnel changes, with several high-ranking officers resigning, lawsuits against the City and a slate of junior officers joining the force. Matt Goetz and Pete Beucler’s careers developed within the Marco Island Police Deparment, but effectively ended this month due to an internal investigation. In June of 2012, an anonymous report alleged that Lt. Buecler had sent a photo of his “unclothed physique” to a female officer while both were off-duty. What was characterized as a “frat boy prank” by ... Read More »

Florida Wildlife Advisory Group Grapples Gators

Basking in the sun.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff There are those who like animals and then there are those who LIKE animals. Walking in the footsteps of Steve Irwin, the famous crocodile hunter known for declaring “CRIKEY” at every new challenge, Kevin Hennings has set up the non-profit, Florida Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG). “The primary principle of the Florida Wildlife Advisory Group is education and conservation. All revenue after operations will be structured into a scholarship fund for kids wanting to pursue a college degree in the science field,” said Kevin. Prepping for an official grand opening in January, Florida Wildlife Advisory Group ... Read More »

BUSINESS BRIEF: Sunshine Auto shines


By Coastal Breeze News Staff  Have you ever taken your car, spitting and coughing, into a repair shop and felt like you were being robbed at gunpoint by the time you left? “Not at Sunshine Auto,” says the new owner Bobby Stolinas. In fact, as the new owner, Bobby has revamped the auto shop and changed the entire business philosophy of Sunshine Auto. “I am hoping to spread the word through personal referrals. Word of mouth is the best advertising. If a customer leaves happy and is confident we got the job done at a fair and honest price, they ... Read More »

Monitoring Marco’s Mangroves


By Natalie Strom  It is no secret that there is a serious problem with the mangroves that exist along San Marco Road leading to the Goodland Bridge. The problem has existed for decades. A sign has been erected explaining the issue in hopes of increasing public support. Scientists have been consistently studying the area and have come up with a solution to the devastation of what is known as Fruit Farm Creek. Now that one phase of the plan has been completed, monitoring the mangroves is more important than ever. Scientists from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida have been ... Read More »

Reading is FUNdamental


By Coastal Breeze News Staff  For over eight years, the Marco Island Kiwanis Club has given books to area students through the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program. More than 32,000 books, in fact. Three times per year, books are donated to the students at Tommie Barfield Elementary and Manatee Elementary. The club also provides for special requests from Manatee Elementary for items such as a World Book Encyclopedia, Science Encyclopedias, Math Problem Solving books and more. In other giveaways, backpacks, school supplies, socks, underwear uniforms and, at Christmastime, toys have been distributed as well. When funds permitted special purchases were ... Read More »