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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Local FGCU Graduates

The following local residents recently graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University. * Edward Obrenski of Marco Island (34145), with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Business * Lisa Feola of Marco Island (34145), with a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences * Megan Dalziel of Naples (34114), with a Master of Education from the College of Education * Cassandra Dorillas of Naples (34114), with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Health Professions & Social Wk * Loren Calo of Naples (34114), with a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and ... Read More »

MPO Solicits Apps for Vacancies

The Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is accepting applications to fill vacancies on its advisory committees. The Collier MPO Board is composed of elected officials from the Collier County Board`of County Commissioners, City of Marco Island, Everglades City, and City of Naples and makes transportation funding and policy decisions throughout Collier County.  The MPO receives formal input from five advisors. There is citizen representation on four of these committees. Currently the Local Coordinating Board (LCB) for the Transportation Disadvantaged has two vacant seats, and the Pathways Advisory Committee (PAC) has one vacant seat. Read More »

Pathways Advisory Committee (PAC)

 The PAC reviews and provides recommendations on bicycle and pedestrian related plans and programs. These plans and programs include the Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Map and both the Comprehensive Pathways Plan and The Regional Pathways Map. The PAC meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. at the Collier County Growth Management Department – Planning and Regulation – in Conference Rooms 609/610, 2800 North Horseshoe Drive Naples, FL 34104. At this time there is one vacancy for the following seat on the PAC: Read More »

Citizen At-Large

For more information about one of these vacancies, or for more information about the MPO, please contact Ms. Anne McLaughlin, MPO Executive Director, at 239-252-5884 or e-mail her Committee application forms are available on the MPO’s website To access the form, go to the ‘What’s New’ tab, select ‘Get Involved’ and then select the committee application at the bottom of the page. Read More »

Clerk’s Staff Takes Critical Step Toward Transparency on Invoices

Clerk of Court and Comptroller Dwight Brock announced today an important step in resolving outstanding tourism related invoices that lack the necessary details to determine whether they meet legal thresholds for payment.  A meeting, set to take place Tuesday between the Clerk’s Finance Director, Crystal Kinzel, the Deputy County Manager and County Internal Control Manager, may produce the detail to support the payment of a number of outstanding invoices currently under review.  The meeting comes on the heels of county staff recalling invoices they had previously approved for payment after the Clerk’s office raised concerns.  “This is a positive development ... Read More »

FWC Collier County Law Enforcement

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE COLLIER COUNTY The Miami Regional Communications Center received several calls about a panther on I-75 near mile marker 90. Lieutenant Bulger and Panther Biologist Mark Lotz responded to the area and were on the lookout for the panther. Lieutenant Bulger was flagged down by a construction worker who was in the area and had observed the panther. Once the panther was located, Biologist Lotz was able to open a section of the Panther Preserve high fence and the men were able to herd the panther back through the gap.   Read More »

My Art My Way Exhibit Featuring Students Art

 The Naples Art Association ( – a non-profit organization whose mission is to expand cultural opportunities, broaden education, and enrich Southwest Florida through the visual arts – is pleased to announce the unveiling of the My Art My Way exhibition, which will feature artwork created by students with disabilities from Oakridge and Golden Gate Middle Schools, will be on display May 16 through June 16 at the Naples Art Association’s Watson Gallery. Provided under contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the My Art My Way exhibit is a new partnership between the Naples Art Association, VSA Florida, ... Read More »

Webinars to discuss bear management

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting three public webinars to discuss the FWC’s black bear management program and answer questions. Topics to be addressed at the webinars include new bear population estimates, 2016 bear range updates, Bear Wise communities, results of the 2015 limited bear hunt, and input concerning a possible hunt in 2016. The webinars will be held May 26, May 31 and June 2, each beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. Those interested in viewing the webinar must register for the session of their choice Webinar coordinators request that interested individuals sign up for only one webinar to ensure ... Read More »

Big Cypress

2016 Annual Recreational ORV Closure Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 6, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all management units that allow for ORV access within the Preserve will be implemented. This closure will be lifted on Friday, August 5. The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan calls for a 60-day seasonal closure to allow a period free from resource pressures related to ORV use. The ORV closure within Big Cypress National Preserve was first instituted in 2002. Landowners, and their guests, that hold special use permits to access private properties within the Preserve will retain continued access to property along approved routes. ... Read More »

The Perfect Storm: The Rise of Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump today. Photo by The Trump Organization

By Roy Eaton  The news media and both the Republican and Democratic Parties seem surprised and shocked by Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to the position of presumptive Republican nominee for the office of the president. They also seem both awed and baffled by his accomplishment for he did so without the help of PAC and other special interest money and without major “Party” endorsement and sponsorship. Some, who thought Trump would simply fade away during the primary process, remain in denial, while a small group of others have spitefully disenfranchised themselves from his candidacy and in doing so, from the ... Read More »

MICMS Brings Alice in Wonderland to Life

Photos by Stephanie Simon

By Coastal Breeze News Staff It was a grand finale of theatrical productions for the 2015/16 school year, and grand it was! The show was Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., produced by the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) ALL STARZ for family, friends and faculty. Under the tutelage of the musical director and choreographer, Karen Raymond, with help from Kerri Holdsworth, assistant director and backstage manager, the production was bound to be a great one. This community is fortunate to have productions of such high caliber from their middle school. From the extremely talented individual vocal performances to the ... Read More »

MIA Ranked Top 2%

Photo by Jane Watt
MIA students following an MIT luncheon, from left: Dylan Demkovich, Duneshka Cruz, Caitlyn Schmidt, Jose Ramirez, Cora Stahl, teacher Hal Creech, John Roche and Matt Olzsak. Also attending was Kasey Bersh (not pictured), who was accepted to MIT this year.

By Jane Watt Marco Island Academy, a tuition-free, public charter high school, is rated in the top 2% of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post in 2016. The list is comprised of public, charter and private schools across America. Out of the 22,000 schools that were evaluated, only 2,300 made the list. Marco Island Academy (MIA) made the list at #255- landing the school in the top 2% in the nation. The rankings are based on results from the 2014-2015 school year. Last year, MIA achieved a 97.3% graduation rate, with 85% of the graduates going on ... Read More »

City Council Highlights


By Maureen Chodaba The City Council of Marco Island held a meeting on May 16. Councilor Larry Sacher was on an excused absence. The meeting had an extraordinary start, as Marco Island Fire Chief Mike Murphy read a proclamation making May 16, 2016 “Chris Byrne Appreciation Day.” After 33 years of service to the community, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Byrne plans to retire at the end of the month. Chief Murphy said “It is a sad day for us that he has to leave. He does have to leave, because it is a pension requirement.” He went on to say ... Read More »

Fun Summer Camp Options

Photo by Don Manley
Rocky Cale, president of the Marco Island Community Sailing Center, discusses the organization’s youth summer programs with Diana Pagach at the program’s recent open house.

By Don Manley Local summer camp providers are gearing up to make the season informative and fun for the children they serve. With the school year’s end just around the corner, children and parents have a broad assortment of options for making the summer a constructive one. Camp Mackle The City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department’s Camp Mackle is a multi-faceted program for youths in kindergarten through fifth grade. Camp Mackle operates on weekdays, from 7:30 AM to 6 PM, June 8 through August 5. The cost, on a per-child basis, is $20 a day, $80 a week ... Read More »

A Royal Tern of Events

Photo by Kia Walker
The world’s oldest known bird mother: Wisdom, a 65-year-old Laysan albatross.

By Maria Lamb It was July 1985 in Beaufort, North Carolina when John Weske and Micou Brown banded a royal tern chick and set it free. President Reagan was in his second term as president and the blockbuster movie was about a young man accidentally sent 30 years into the past, called “Back to the Future.” Fast forward to May 17, 2016, Keith Gahagan of Naples was walking near the Naples pier and found a dead royal tern. He noticed its silver band and took the bird to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Wildlife Clinic. The eight-digit code on the ... Read More »

Talk Derby to Me

The ladies line up for the Best Hat Contest. Photos by Jessica Hernstadt

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On May 7, Kentucky Derby excitement came to Marco Island at the 10th Annual Talk Derby to Me Fundraiser at the Marco Island Brewery. The event raised $30,000 to benefit the Upon a Star Foundation and the Marco Island Charter Middle School. As the pre-event derby coverage from Churchill Downs played on the Brewery’s many TVs, guests picked their favorites to win. The silent auction and a variety of raffles kept people busy as they waited for the Kentucky Derby to start. Mint juleps made the wait easier for some. And for many, it was ... Read More »

Dad Would be so Proud!

From left: Kim McIntosh, Jada Shigley, Nikki Popoff and Jill Galloway show their support. Submitted Photos

Submitted May 1st is a special day for Margaret Lamp of Marco Island. Today is her first triathlon event and it was also her Dad’s birthday. Wayne Peters would have been 89 years old on May 1st. She wanted to do something special to honor him. On her Facebook page, Margaret shared this with her friends: “This man, my first love, my dad, passed away five years ago and a triathlon this year happens to fall on his birthday. I’m training for him, I think he’d be proud.” Jada Shigley, Kim McIntosh, Jill Galloway and Nikki Popoff, all from Marco ... Read More »

Mangroves…Florida’s “Walking Trees”

Photos by Bob McConville
Mangrove trees in the background, a great egret prepares to land in search of a meal.

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist  Take a boat ride through Rookery Bay and you will see them. Head the other direction towards Florida Bay and, undoubtedly, they are prominent. Just walk to Tigertail Lagoon here on Marco and they can’t be missed. Mangrove trees are everywhere! Worldwide there are more than 50 species of mangrove trees. Here in Florida three species call our state home. They are the red mangrove, black mangrove and the white one. Of these three the red is probably most well known. They are some of Florida’s true natives, thriving in salty environments. All need ... Read More »

Is it Alzheimer’s, Dementia?


Dimensions of Dementia Shirley Woolaway My experience with dementia is close up and personal, very personal, since both my husband and my mother had dementia. I traveled the journey with them as wife, daughter and caregiver. It was not an easy journey but it did have its rewards including spending quality time together in the early years. Maybe you’re not currently affected by dementia, but worry that you will be. It’s a fear that many of us share. So it might be helpful to know what dementia really is and what it is not. It is not, for example, occasionally ... Read More »

Why I Love Journalism The Amazing Hannah Matthews

Mrs. Matthews (second from left) with her Swarthmore H.S. English Department in 1956. She is beaming at Mary Armstrong, her student at Doylestown H.S., who followed her to Swarthmore. Swarthmore High School Yearbook, 1956

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn I have been writing for Coastal Breeze News since March of 2015. Writing stories about people, places and things is something I have always wanted to do. That I have had some measure of success is due mainly to one diminutive woman – my high school English teacher, Hannah Kirk Matthews (with a nod to my editor, Val Simon, who has taught me a lot). Everything I have written for the last 60 years has Mrs. Matthews’ fingerprints all over it. The tributes paid to Mrs. Matthews upon her retirement were so remarkable that they ... Read More »