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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

“A Christmas Story” comes to Marco

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By Linda Ickes Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit more than the production, A Christmas Story. You’re invited to celebrate the holiday with 30 school-aged children performing with The Marco Players Children’s Theater. A Christmas Story is a 1983 American Christmas comedy, set in the 1940s, about a boy who has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. The author, Jean Parker Shepherd (1921 – 1999), was an American raconteur, radio and TV personality, writer and actor who was often referred to by the nickname Shep. The ... Read More »

There’s Something in the Water

The white marker indicates a “Very Low” presence of red tide while the green markers indicate there is less that 1,000 cells per liter. The small amount indicates red tide is “Not Present.”

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Marco Island’s waters and beaches have seen a recent invasion by a number of algae species. Some bad, the others just fine. Sightings and monitored reports by FWC have found red drift alga, graceful red weed, Alexandrium monilatum and red tide to be present along Marco’s coastline as well as within Marco’s canals. Nancy Richie, Marco Island’s Environmental Specialist, along with her award-winning crew of volunteer beach stewards, have noted that both red drift and graceful redweed have washed up on Marco’s beaches. Richie noted that often storms or passing fronts from the Gulf can wash ... Read More »

Continuation of Mamie Street Public Hearing

Fences in disarray, a repaved road that doesn’t allow two cars to pass simultaneously and overgrown grass and debris has replaced the once beautiful entrance to the Smallwood Store thanks to FGG. PHOTOS BY NATALIE STROM

By Patricia Huff In a previous article, I stated that on Thursday, October 10, Commissioner Tim Nance along with County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow and the attorney for the Smallwood Store met with Chokoloskee neighbors and the public to discuss Collier County “vacating” a portion of Mamie Street, thereby making it a private road for Florida-Georgia Grove LLP. This issue to vacate came about because Florida-Georgia Grove wants control of the public road passing through its property (which they had bulldozed in April 2011, denying access to the historic Smallwood Store and Museum and a private property owner, both of whom ... Read More »

‘Santa Paws’ Leads Canine Christmas Parade

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The dog biscuits flowed like wine at the 2013 Christmas Island Style Canine Christmas Parade. Some 75 pampered pooches pranced about dressed to the nines at CJ’s on the Bay in The Esplanade, all vying for the top spot in the parade. The winner: Bali, a Golden Retriever/Labrador mix owned by Brenda Kennedy. Dressed as Santa Paws, Bali received the highest marks for a costume complete with a red velvet bag filled with doggie bags for the other lupine participates. Neil Snyder, Wanda Day and Nellie Adams judged the event. Christmas Island Style’s Wayne and ... Read More »

Nominate a family in need

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Imagine, a family facing financial struggles on a daily basis. Holidays magnify these difficulties. They may endure financial hardship or debilitating health issues. Now imagine this needy family, heading through the gates of Walt Disney World to enjoy the holiday magic because they have received an all-expenses paid vacation from the Law offices of William G. Morris. This holiday, one family will enjoy holiday cheer because key staff at the law firm chose this idea as a way to celebrate the firm’s 30th Anniversary. According to Attorney William G. Morris, “This area has been good to us for 30 years. ... Read More »

Christmas on Marco – Island Style

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The first sign of Christmas on Marco is when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived via fire truck with two elves to the Shops of Marco. Children couldn’t wait to greet them and to tell Santa about their Wish Lists and to say just how good they’ve behaved throughout the year. The annual Boat Parade drew thousands of onlookers to the water’s edge from the starting point at Snook Inn to the Esplanade where the People’s Choice award is decided. Boaters decorated their vessels with an array of Christmas décor and they delighted in the “oohs and aahs” of the onlookers ... Read More »

City Manager search consultant resigns

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By Noelle H. Lowery Marco Island’s search for a new city manager has been fraught with drama. It hit Greek tragedy proportions this week when Bob Slavin, president of Slavin Management Consultants, notified Interim City Manager Gil Polanco that he was terminating his search services agreement with the city effective Tuesday, Dec. 17. Slavin also informed Polanco that one of the top six candidates — Colin Donelly, an assistant city manager for Dania Beach, FL — had withdrawn his name from consideration for Marco Island’s city manager position. “Staff will be communicating with the remaining candidates directly to complete the process ... Read More »

The Rosie Project

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By Graeme Simsion Simon & Schuster 305 pages Don Tillman is a 30-something professor of genetics at a Melbourne university who has decided it is time to get married. He has never had a second date in his life, and most of his first dates have ended prematurely.   Professor Tillman has Aspergers syndrome and lives his life with strict adherence to routine; rationality and time management. TV fans should think of Sheldon Lee Cooper (Big Bang Theory) or Martin Ellingham (Doc Martin on PBS) to grasp the depth of Don’s social ineptness. Owing to his cerebral approach to all life’s ... Read More »

Talking Turkey

Turkeys by type population and range map. Courtesy of National Turkey Federation

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com The day after the third Thursday of November every year, many of us who celebrate Thanksgiving look forward to eating leftovers that include tasty turkey sandwiches. Many find this the best part of the holiday! Unless an avid sportsman is in your family, the turkey that filled your home with the heartwarming aroma while roasting all morning, came from a commercial turkey farm. As we sit down with family and friends, giving thanks for all the gifts in our lives, there are about seven million wild turkeys in the United States giving thanks that they ... Read More »

Yoga: the Universal Language

International warriors.

Body, Mind And Spirit Dianne Saywell yogadi77@aol.com Standing before a dozen eager German faces who were ready to take a yoga class with the visiting “American Yoga Instructor,” I was humbled. I was informed that most of them would know English to varying degrees and took note to speak slowly and clearly. Yoga has its own language (thankfully!). I began then to wonder about the language barrier and the ease (or not) in which this class would be for them as students, and for me, as a teacher. The day before I was scheduled to teach, I took a class as ... Read More »

Winter Fishery Changes in 10,000 Islands

More beautiful redfish  caught with Capt. Rapps.

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com Every year around this time, we see some major changes to our local fishery. Around the middle of the December we typically see our first major cold front come rolling through. We have already seen a few minor cold fronts come through in November which brought the night temperatures down into the 50’s. The fronts also brought some days where the wind hit 20+ mph. Expect Gulf water temperatures to drop down into the mid 60’s later this month. Be extremely diligent in December, and be certain to do your homework by reviewing local ... Read More »

The Rising Cost of Long-Term Care

National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care information, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011 The average national cost of a one-year nursing home stay is $80,000 and, in many states, the cost is much higher. In the future, long-term care is likely to be even more expensive.

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing.”    — George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950   Question: What is the difference between Medicare and Long Term Care (LTC) Coverage? Answer: Mistakenly, many people believe that Medicare, the federal health insurance program for older Americans, will pay for all LTC needs. The truth is that Medicare does not cover custodial care, which is usually the kind of care older Americans need. Medicare only provides limited coverage for skilled nursing care or physical therapy. The most common and preferred type of LTC is provided in the home ... Read More »

GCA Holiday Bazaar a Success

JRobert, Robert of the Bridge Trolls and Gator Nate joined up to jam together. All the musicians volunteered their time for the event.

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com It was an extraordinary affair. Two days of music, arts, crafts, food, ice sculptures and a park filled with holiday decorations. The above barely defines the joy had by all at the Goodland Civic Association’s Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. MarGood Harbor Park was the locale for the affair held on the weekend of November 16 and 17. Nearly 60 vendors shared their creations with hundreds who passed through the park. Delicious food was available as well as fresh fruits and vegetables and flowers. Ten musicians from the area volunteered to play music throughout both days, and ... Read More »

Confidence, the Good Kind

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com As I stack more years in the back of the cart than the front, so do many of my friends. Our knees and hips creak, our ankles swell, and our necks and shoulders stiffen… and let’s not forget the vague memories of sleeping through the night without having to get up. These challenges I take in stride, what I don’t appreciate is hearing over and again that “it’s hell getting old.” And the alternative is…? What amuses me is that you hear this much more from people in their fifties and sixties than you do from ... Read More »

Shopping Locally for Travel Gifts

Keep in Touch in Shops of Marco carries a variety of travel accessories. photoS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net It’s no secret that I like to shop. My husband refers to a day filled with shopping as a “Vickie Day”. He never accompanies me on a “Vickie Day”. Although I do my share of internet shopping for difficult to find items, I prefer local “brick and mortar” shops and particularly appreciate that we have a number of goods and services available right here on Marco Island; that was one factor in choosing Marco as our home. For this year’s column on gifts for the traveler, I decided to explore some of what the Island ... Read More »

Caring for Holiday Plants after the Holidays

Christmas Cactus.

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pilcherrima) is probably the best known holiday plant. In the past years they have hybridized this plant into many different colors, but I still believe red is the most popular. I have been asked hundreds of times how to care for them after the holidays so they will bloom next year. The price of poinsettias are so reasonable that most end up in the garbage after the holidays and new ones are bought next year. But if you’re like me, as I hate to see any plant being thrown away, here’s what you have to do to ... Read More »

My friend won’t let me join the Board!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com In the final analysis, I really wasn’t that disappointed when my good buddy did not select me to join the board as he brushed it off, telling me it was due to my lack of experience in the field. Let’s be frank; how could I be deemed an expert if I had limited knowledge in any given area. Which brings me to the salient point of the day. If you have a short shelf life in tennis and play at the 2.5, 3.0. 3.5 or 4.0 levels, please limit your advice to your tennis friends. ... Read More »

A Tribute to Kitt

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: Over the last two weeks my staff and I have shed quite a few kitty tears for an extraordinary Maine Coon cat named Kitt. Mr. Kitt spent the last five of his 21 years here after his person’s home was foreclosed on during that treacherous economic downturn. I arrived at the shelter and established full residency five months before Kitt came along. In fact, It was my idea to make For the Love of Cats his final fur-ever home. I thought it would be kind of nice to have ... Read More »

Comet ISON Survived?

Looking East, 6:15 AM December 6th. Can you spot Comet ISON? It might have been destroyed on Thanksgiving Day.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net At the time of this writing, the ultimate fate of Comet ISON was still in doubt. On Thanksgiving day the comet reaches its closest point to the Sun, (called perihelion by astronomers) and is less than one million miles from the solar surface. At that distance the heat is enough to melt solid iron! On the other hand, the comet is a big chunk of loosely packed ice and dust which is a pretty good insulator; it may well pull through. The odds are around 50-50. Until recently the comet was fizzling out, ... Read More »

Mamie Street Controversy

At one point, Florida Georgia Grove was forced to repave the road to Smallwood after the developer bulldozed it without warning. Now, the BCC is thinking about giving the county-owned road to Florida-Georgia Grove to maintain it, even after the company has failed six Code Enforcement inspections. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM

By Patricia Huff For the past two years, visitors to the Historic Smallwood Store and Museum have had to drive through the unsightly property owned by Florida-Georgia Grove LLC (FGG) on Mamie Street in Chokoloskee. In August of 2012, Collier County Code Enforcement Office sent a notice of violation to FGG to clean up its property. For the past four months, the county has been going through the same process as it did just one year ago. Code Enforcement has sent an inspector out to the site on six different occasions to see if the violation is still outstanding, and ... Read More »