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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Red Tide Update

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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 myfwc.com. Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to ... Read More »

Sandy survivors move to Marco and meet Bedtime Bundles

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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

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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

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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

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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

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By Natalie Strom  natalie@coastalbreezenews.com  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

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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 »

35TH Anniversary celebration and Christmas gala

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff   Marco Island’s Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 35th Anniversary and the beginning of the Christmas Season on December 2nd at Bistro Soleil in Old Marco. 184 celebrants, including most living past chamber presidents, enjoyed soft breezes on the terrace while sipping cocktails and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres. It resembled a school reunion as old friends had a chance to mingle outside of daily chores and occupations. Scott Campbell, CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, led off the pre-dinner proceedings as the Jade Sponsor of the event. He spoke glowingly of Marco Island, the Chamber, ... Read More »

Pets on parade

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff  The 2nd Annual Christmas Island Style Pets on Parade brought over 60 canines and their human companions to the Esplanade on December 4. Dogs dressed in holiday attire and special costumes paraded across the red carpet for judges to choose the top three winners in the categories of Most Festive, Funniest Costume and Most Original. All the dogs were winners as Critter Cafe on Marco Island provided goody bags for everyone. Mila Bridger photography also offered free pet sittings, with ten percent of portrait purchases going to For the Love of Cats. The non-profit organization ... Read More »

Making a go of it in the Glades

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By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Over a century ago, families traveled to Southwest Florida, pioneering the harsh environment and extreme temperature to forge a new life. Everglades City is one of the oldest settlements of these pioneer towns, along with Chokoloskee and Ochopee. Built on trading and raised on fishing, these quiet towns still hold allure to young families looking to make a go of it in the Glades. No stranger to the stories of the pioneer days, Jack Shealy is a third generation Ochopee native. His family has been in Southwest Florida even longer. “We settled down here in the ... Read More »

Marco’s PPK finalist

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com On September 17, 2012, nearly 70 kids arrived at Mackle Park for The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) competition. The PPK program is a national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15. Abigail Meredith of Marco Island won the female ages 10-11 category, advancing to the sectional finals held at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida on November 25. Abigail Meredith went on to win first place at the sectional finals! Her posted results: Punt: 78’6”; Pass: 47’2”; and Kick: 81’6”; for a total of 207’2”. Abigail ... Read More »

River of Grass Greenway update

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By Patty Huff mulletrapper@gmail.com  The planned River of Grass Greenway will be a safe, non-motorized transportation and recreation corridor across the Everglades between Naples and Miami. It will provide opportunities for education, stewardship, and preservation of the environmental, historic, and cultural assets of this unique area. It will offer activities such as bicycling, walking, bird-watching, photography, fishing, etc. Addressing the needs of citizens, local businesses, governmental and tribal officials is crucial to the development of this unique greenway. Currently, a Feasibility Study and a Master Plan are being developed, and a new interactive website is now available online for the ... Read More »

Festival of Chanukah, when faith trumps fate

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By Carol Glassman As Jewish families gathered to light the first candle of Chanukah on Saturday, December 8, it was mind-boggling to recall how far they have come in so many ways. More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to adopt their religious ways. A small band of faithful Maccabean Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God. However, when they tried to light the ... Read More »

Thinking ahead: Developing an EcoConscience

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By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” – “The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law” The Native American creed reminds us that everything that we do has consequences for something else. What we do today will have an effect as far into the future as seven generations. An idea long forgotten by the hustle and bustle of the modern world has once again begun to pick up speed as today’s society is ever more ... Read More »

Ugly Holiday Sweater

By Coastal Breeze News Staff What is Christmas with an ugly sweater? How about an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party? One such party took place recently at the Keller Williams office for Relay for Life teams of the American Cancer Society. In addition to pizza, cookies and refreshments, tickets were drawn for raffle prizes. Raul Medina, Chair for the 2013 Relay for Life, called for applause for the worst sweater. A lavender sweatshirt donned with snowmen won the prize! The teams were given tips to keep fundraising efforts moving, and were reminded of the importance of the mission. This is one ... Read More »

Solidarity among the sisters

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By Jane A. Marlowe janem@coastalbreezenews.com The “Early Birds”, a group of women who gather for exercise at 6:30 AM at Curves planned a special morning for one of their members, Friday, December 6th. Bonnie Kirkley had been absent from the group since her diagnosis of uterine cancer in October. Bonnie is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments almost daily following surgery. Her daughter, Karen, one of four daughters who have been taking turns assisting their mother and father, came to Curves to continue her own exercise regimen. Karen is a member back home in Pennsylvania. Bonnie’s friends asked Karen what ... Read More »

Blue Mangrove celebrates

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By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Happy Birthday to you! On December 6, Blue Mangrove Gallery appropriately celebrated its sixth year in business. The Golden Birthday was honored by a wine and cheese event at the gallery, featuring well known artist Tara O’Neill. Six years ago, Christie Marcoplos, owner of Blue Mangrove Gallery called on her friend and artist, Tara O’Neill to present her work for the opening of the gallery. “I was [Christie’s] first opening act,” explained O’Neill. “When I opened my studio in the Esplanade, it seemed redundant to both of us to have my art in both places. But ... Read More »

It’s better to give, especially to Santa!

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By Danielle Dodder Kids usually obsess over what Santa will be leaving for them, but Olivia Waters paused to consider sharing some holiday cheer for the jolly red man while out on Black Friday shopping with her mom, Michele. The Waters family lives in Naples but came to Marco for dinner and Santa’s arrival at the Shops of Marco. Olivia asked her mom to buy a Santa ring earlier that day and then waited in line to give Santa her gift. Says Michele, “she explained that he [Santa] is so busy giving everyone presents on Christmas, that he doesn’t get ... Read More »

Snook sends to troops

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Sending packages overseas for the holidays is a great way to help someone in need this season. For Brenda Truitt, it is especially meaningful as her son was an active Marine until December of 2011, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan. During his time overseas, Brenda would send him boxes once or twice a month to provide him with every day items he couldn’t get there. “He told me that there were many men and women in the armed forces who don’t receive any mail or boxes. He also told of how the mail was ... Read More »