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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Mier Photography Exhibit

Photo by Connie Mier

Submitted  “Wild and Remote: Photographing South Florida by Canoe,” a collection of photographs by artist Connie Mier, is currently on exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum through July 26, 2016. Connie Mier is a wildlife and nature photographer who derives inspiration from her canoe explorations of the Everglades and Biscayne Bay. She often spends days at a time canoeing and camping in the Everglades to photograph some of the most remote wilderness areas in Florida. As a result, her photographs offer a rare glimpse of these beautiful places, as seen from a canoe. “I have chosen to go deep into the ... Read More »

Sea Turtles Cry Foul Over Dredging Project

Sand Dollar spit creeping slowly to Hideaway Beach will be removed. The area will be dredged to a depth of 9 feet.

Submitted Loggerhead sea turtles, nesting shorebirds and assorted marine life will become collateral damage from the Marco Central beach hydraulic dredging project just getting started at Hideaway Beach. As dredging starts, female loggerhead turtles are navigating their way into our beaches this month through the end of October. Project Detail: At its March 21st meeting, the Marco Island City Council voted 5-2 to approve the Hideaway erosion control project and award the contract to Gator Dredging. They will dredge approximately 40,000 cubic yards of beach compatible sand from the Hideaway Beach Near Borrow Area to improve navigation along the south ... Read More »

Good Luck, George! Longtime Ace Hardware Employee Retires

Photo by Samantha Husted George on his last day at work.

Longtime Ace Hardware Employee Retires By Samantha Husted After 27 years, George Shaler is officially retiring from his job at Sunshine Ace Hardware on Marco Island. In the almost three decades that George has been an employee he’s seen a lot of changes. The Island for instance was a completely different place back in 1989 compared to now. Technologies have come and gone and George has remained, witness to it all. “This is the third owner I’ve been through,” said George “I was with the first guy for two years, the second guy for 14 years and I’ve been working ... Read More »

Hart Goes Out in Style

Photo by Patricia Poling
High fives all around after MICMS girls placed third in the county’s Middle Schools Track & Field Championships.

By Roger LaLonde  When it comes to Marco Island Charter Middle School track this season, it had to have Hart. Ryenn Hart. She easily won both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs to lead the Lady Eagles to a third place finish in the Collier County Middle Schools Track & Field Championships on April 30 at Palmetto Ridge High School. The team missed tying for second by just one point. The girls’ team winner was Gulfview with 82 points, North Naples, 66 and Marco, 64. Hart’s first run, the 3,200, was a breeze. Hart took the lead early then maintained ... Read More »

Baking Babka with Estie

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By Samantha Husted The babka is a Jewish pastry that originated in Eastern Europe. It’s chewy and flaky on the outside, yet gooey and sugary on the inside – not unlike coffee cake, though its texture is more similar to that of bread. And while this Slavic sweet is certainly no beginner’s loaf, don’t be discouraged. All you need is some patience, a little bit of bravery, a trustworthy dough mixer and about six hours, and you’ll be good to go. Luckily I had Marco Island resident Estie Karpman, a seasoned baker, to guide me through the process. As a ... Read More »

Jon Busch Wins Gold Award

Jon Busch. Submitted Photo

Submitted  At an awards event at the Ritz Carlton ~ Tiburon, Jon Busch of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty was awarded the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ prestigious Chairman’s Circle – Gold Award for 2015. The Chairman’s Circle-Gold is awarded to the top two percent of the network’s sales professionals based on gross commission income or closed units. Jon’s professionalism and his committed service to his clients were recognized. President and C.E.O. of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, Rei L. Mesa said, “Jon demonstrates a strong work ethic and is extremely knowledgeable. Jon is a proven sales leader and he always exceeds ... Read More »

Susie Hauze Named to Chairman’s Circle

Susie Hauze. Submitted Photo

Submitted  Susie Hauze of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty has been named to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ prestigious Chairman’s Circle – Gold Award for 2015. Susie Hauze was recognized during the special awards event that was held at the Ritz Carlton ~ Tiburon, Naples. The Chairman’s Circle-Gold is awarded to the top two percent of the network’s sales professionals based on gross commission income or closed units. In addition to this honor, Susie was also recognized as being the #12 sales associate for the entire company who currently has over 1,700 actively licensed sales associates. “We congratulate Susie. Winning the Gold ... Read More »

Marco Hilton to Get Facelift

A rendering of how a portion of the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa’s pool area will appear, post-renovations. Submitted Photo

By Don Manley  The Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa’s $40 million renovation and expansion project is a plus on many levels, according to Bob Brown, chairman of Marco Island City Council. “Any time one of the major hotels in the area does any renovations, it benefits not only them, but tourists, residents, the community as a whole. Certainly the Hilton brought forth a site development plan that shows they’re very committed to make the hotel one of the best the area.” Alex Parker, president of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, agreed. “Ultimately, it will be a great ... Read More »

A Peek Into Marco Island Utilities

The friendly owl keeps a check on the valve.

By Maureen Chodaba Reverse osmosis, lime softening, membrane filtration, aquifer storage and recovery. These are just some of the terms that we heard at the Marco Island Utilities Open House on May 3. Held at the North Water Treatment Plant at 807 E. Elkcam Circle, the informative event was well attended. The event began with a systems presentation. Marco Island Utilities was originally owned by the Deltona Corporation, the original developers of the island. In 1989, it was sold to a private firm. In 2003, the City of Marco Island purchased the water and sewer utilities from that firm. Marco ... Read More »

The Fulfillment of a Dream

Photo by Don Manley
Brandon, Pete, Melanie and Cameron Latulippe enjoying some much needed family time at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa.

By Don Manley The importance of time spent together has taken on added significance for the Latulippe family of Derry, New Hampshire. Pete and Melanie Latulippe and their sons Cameron, 18, and Brandon, 16, are treasuring every moment as they contend with her two-year-long battle against Stage IV colon cancer. The family recently shared six fun-filled days together at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, a trip that fulfilled a dream that ranked high on Melanie Latulippe’s bucket list. The trip was made possible by the Dream Foundation, a national dream-granting organization for terminally ill adults. ... Read More »

Sand Dollar Island Under Assault

Submitted Photos
In violation of the Beach Ordinance, campers cook breakfast at Sand Dollar Island

Submitted On Saturday morning, May 7th, around 10 AM, a dog owner was seen happily walking her dog around a shorebird posted area at Sand Dollar spit. On Saturday mid-day, May 7th, there were kite boarders and boats observed on Sand Dollar Island. One beachgoer, on the Hideaway Beach side, counted 40 boats and close to 300 people on Sand Dollar Island. This area, also known as Big Marco Pass, is a posted Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) and nesting birds are inside posted areas, being flushed by the kite boarders and by the abundance of people walking through the dune ... Read More »

Ask Me About the Birds

From left: Gwyn Goodman, Vivian Patterson, Sue Ordershaw, Frances Diebler and Opi DiFalco take a break from bird watching.

Submitted Calusa Garden Club members are fascinated with birds of all kinds. So it was no surprise when club member Sandy Wallen hosted a late afternoon bird watching event at her newly built home overlooking the ABC Islands. Members arrived with high-powered viewing scopes and cameras, ready to take photos of the colonies of birds hovering over the three mangrove islands. Did you know that the waters surrounding the ABC Islands (just south of the Jolley Bridge) are closed to public access? According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), this buffer protects the nesting and roosting birds. ... Read More »

Winged Foot Candidates

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By Roger LaLonde Patrick Michel Defines the Student Athlete Patrick Michel says he transferred from Lely to Marco Island Academy (MIA) his sophomore year to “reshape myself.” He became one of its top students in sports and academics. For his efforts he is the school’s candidate for the 27th annual Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award. He is one of 13 candidates, representing each high school in Collier County. The winner will be announced at the annual dinner on May 26 at The Naples Grande Resort. “As a freshman at Lely I was starting to digress. I had lost my focus that ... Read More »

Talk About Tournaments

Photos by Tonia Spangler
Adult Guided Grand Champion winners (center) with Senator Richter and Robin Doyle (left) and Jamie French (right)

By Marisa Cleveland The Gene Doyle Memorial Foundation awards adventure scholarships to Collier County students in honor of the memory and adventurous spirit of Robert Eugene “Gene” Doyle, III (1976-1996). The scholarships are funded through the Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament, and this year’s award ceremony was an evening filled with so many families and friends. Sean Morton, a past chairman for the event, said he’s been fishing for as long as he can remember, but it’s more than just the fishing that brings anglers like Morton to this tournament. He loves being disconnected from cell service, playing outdoors on the ... Read More »

U.S. Open Pickleball Exceeds All Expectations

Irina Tereschenko, of Iowa City, prepares to return a shot by Sarah Ansboury of Portland, Ore. in their women’s singles semifinal match. Photo by Don Manley

By Don Manley It would seem that the inaugural U.S. Open Pickleball Championships (USOPC) could not have gone any better, based on the comments of organizers, participants, government officials, spectators and others. Praise for the event, which drew over 800 top-echelon players from 39 states and seven foreign countries, along with 10,000 to 12,000 spectators to East Naples Community Park for the six-day-long event. “Things went unbelievably,” said USOPC founder and President Terri Graham, who organized the event, along with fellow Collier County residents Chris Evon, and Jim and Carol Ludwig. “We went into this with the philosophy that we ... Read More »

Young Sailor Competes in National Regatta

220 sailors, ages 9-16 competed in the invitation-only event.

By Samantha Husted  Meet 10-year-old Ryan Garraty, a fifth grader at Tommie Barfield Elementary School. Ryan is passionate about sailing, an activity he’s been a part of since he was 7. About once or twice a month he and his family will travel all across South Florida in order to compete. Last month Ryan qualified for the U.S. Team Trials Regatta in San Francisco, California, an invitation only event. Garraty is a second-generation sailor. You could say it’s in his blood. His father Robert Garraty got his start in sailing when he was just a teen; he would eventually go ... Read More »

City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The City Council of Marco Island held their regular meeting on May 2. A proclamation for National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – 27) was presented to the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. A similar proclamation was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla at the April 18th city council meeting. The Beautification Committee announced the recipients of the 2016 Marco In Bloom Landscape Awards. The professionally landscaped single family home award went to J. Richard and Cheryl Corley of 1451 Caxambas Court, while 505 Tigertail Court, owned by Trigg and Dawn Kuhn was the ... Read More »

New Manatee Refuge

Manatees are curious, often approaching slow moving boats. Photo by Carl Kelly

By Carl Kelly Drive east on Tamiami Trail, past shopping centers, past restaurants, past gas stations, past State Road 92. Stop at a place where water is shallow and grass is deep on both sides of the road, where you may see alligators, belted kingfishers, anhingas, hardwood hammocks, clusters of mangroves and, on the left horizon, pine flatwoods. The left from road to horizon is Picayune Strand State Forest, a little over 78,000 acres of wild, as well as an extensive road and canal system that developers laid out some 60 years ago, advertising it as the world’s largest sub-division. ... Read More »

Island Garden Center Moving Next Door

Chris Burt, owner of the Island Garden Center of Marco Island. Photo by Don Manley

By Don Manley  The Island Garden Center of Marco Island will soon have a new home after more than 35 years in the same location. But the new location could hardly be any closer. The business is moving to a new building its owner Chris Burt is erecting on the lot right next door to the Island Garden Center’s current site along San Marco Road. Construction began recently on what will be a 40-foot-by-60-foot, open-air building, just like the current structure. Work should be completed in August, said Burt, who purchased the business in 2010. “This property has changed hands ... Read More »

Banff

View of Bow River Valley from Sulphur Mountain.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Ninety minutes from Calgary, in the Bow River Valley, Banff is the unofficial capital of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Located within Banff National Park, its development is tightly controlled. The population is capped at 10,000; only those with a “need to reside” can live there and businesses must provide accommodations for employees. Banff was developed in the late 1800s for tourism; even the main street was built to afford the best views of nearby Mt. Rundle. Its commercial center, with its variety of stores, mini malls, restaurants, coffee and toffee shops, is very busy. What impressed me ... Read More »