Tuesday , July 22 2014
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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

School Board Candidate Forum Held on Marco

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com During the last week of June, the Southwest Florida Citizens Alliance (SWFLCA) held two of four planned candidate forums for those running for the District School Board of Collier County in the Nov. 4 election. The first was held on Marco Island at the Marco Island History Museum on Monday, June 23. Eight of the nine candidates participated in the Marco Island event, which was moderated by Jared Grifoni, the host of “Resistance Radio” on WGUF-98.9, and Marco Island Academy junior Marcus Daffner. Composed of five members from five districts, the Collier County School Board ... Read More »

Follow Your Dreams — To Africa

This crocodile is reason enough not to swim in the river — or dangle a hand!
Photo at left, ‘Roughing it’ while on safari

By Carol Glassman Have you ever decided, spur of the moment, to take the trip of your dreams? I did, and it was the absolute best travel decision I ever made. I thought I was fully travel booked for the year 2014 when last June I received via e-mail a virtual tour of a South African trip: I was hooked! I did the groundwork beforehand, visiting an infectious disease doctor for the necessary shots and medications. All I needed was a typhoid shot, part one of a Hepatitis shot with part two to follow in six months, and malaria pills. ... Read More »

2nd Annual SUP Poker Run

Rescue vessels were on hand to assist in the case of an emergency. Even the youngest attendees took part.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Southwest Florida’s trademark bugs and humidity didn’t deter standup paddle board (SUP) enthusiasts of all ages from enjoying the 2nd Annual SUP Poker Run on Saturday, June 14. The Capri Fish House on Isle of Capri was packed to the gills with volunteers, coaches, participants, athletes and professionals who came to support sending the local Special Olympics (SO) athletes to this year’s SUP Invitational in Key West. The team created the annual poker run with the sole purpose of raising money to help offset the cost of attending the highly anticipated invitational, which includes bussing, food ... Read More »

Bob Brown to Run for City Council

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com On June 17, Marco Island City Councilor Bob Brown sent a letter to the Coastal Breeze News offices. The content of the letter: He intends to run for City Council during the November 2014 election. Marco Islanders will remember that Brown took over the City Council seat vacated by Larry Magel on Aug. 14, 2013. Magel had 14 months remaining on his term, and during the Aug. 18 regular City Council meeting, councilors voted 4-2 in favor of Brown, who was sworn in on Sept. 3. Since then, Brown and his fellow councilors have handled ... Read More »

Focus on Utilities Budget

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Nearly two months after proposing a new — and aggressive — general city budget plan for FY 2015, City Manager Roger Hernstadt and Finance Director Guillermo Polanco were at it again during a special-called Marco Island City Council meeting held on June 19. This time, the Marco Island Utilities budget was under the microscope. The usual scrutiny was given to the Utilities’ perceived “spend-spend-spend” mentality, especially in light of the 7 percent rate hike that took effect on Nov. 1, 2013, and the news that $2 million of the $6.9 million the city received last ... Read More »

The Question of a Public-Private Partnership

Bob Olson addresses the Marco Island City Council during the June 21st  reading of the Marriott’s PUD amendment. Olson spoke frequently against the Marriott PUD amendment in the months leading up to its final approval on June 16. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com During its June 16 regular meeting, the Marco Island City Council put to rest the debate over the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort’s $150 million renovation project, approving the PUD amendments by a vote of 6-1. Even so, new questions rose about the Marriott’s offer to give the city $1 million to expedite the renovation of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge. Marriott General Manager Rick Medwedeff made the offer during the project first appearance before City Council on June 2. The $1 million contribution to will cut the construction schedule by eight months, eliminate any potential ... Read More »

Youth See Police and Fire-Rescue Service Up Close

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By Val Simon Each year, the Marco Island Police Department works closely with the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department to present a Police/Fire Academy through the city of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department. The weeklong camp was headed up by MIPD Officer Al Schettino and Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Bowden. The academy — designed for students in the sixth through eighth grades — gives a hands-on look at the variety of training and skills each of these professions require. It’s an ideal camp for children interested in law enforcement, firefighting or emergency services. They cover everything these first responders do on a ... Read More »

Shoot the bull, chew the fat

By Wade Keller Speaking to the Marco Island council last Monday (June 16) was somewhat goofy. After being on Marco Island almost 20 years I’ve had interesting hobbies from “acting” at Marco Players, Toastmasters, Rotary, Friends of Library on to promoting two clubs, CHESS and Points…CounterPoints. In addition on work side have published personal memoirs along with wife Sue. We’ve done about 40 books. Of those here are a few who lived on Marco at some point: “Tell Me a Story, Grandpa” by Bill Rose, “An Ordinary Man in Extraordinary Times” by Tom Owens, “In the Shadow of Satan” and ... Read More »

Field of Prey

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By John Sandford, G.P. Putnam 2014, 392 pages, Genre: Mystery “There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.” – Joe Ryan   The 24th book in John Sandford’s Prey series proves the author is only getting better at his craft. I was engrossed in this story from page one. Although Field of Prey is a mystery, the reader knows from the beginning who the killers are. The mystery involves how the police track them down. The story opens with the kidnapping of ... Read More »

AAA Lot Mowing Cited for Repeat Violations

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By Carol Glassman Donald Liston, a tractor operator for AAA Lot Mowing owned by Bernard Wegman, ran up a very expensive tab for his lunch break May 12. Liston decided to have his lunch “with a better view” and “possibly seek another client,” but chose the wrong location. 1929 Indian Hill Street is a privately-owned lot that for approximately 15 years, according to city staff, has been deemed unmowable. In addition, the lot has been posted by Wegman himself, as a result of a previous conviction, as a protected gopher tortoise habitat. In December 2012, Wegman’s company was found guilty ... Read More »

D-Day to Disgusting day…

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On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. My father-in-law was amongst these men who accepted his duty to his country without hesitation, without question and with deep commitment to the United States of America, his country. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “We will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. More ... Read More »

Happy ‘100’ Gretchen Hawes!

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Gretchen Hawes was born on June 4, 1914, in White Water, WI, and on June 4, 2014, she celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends in her Goodland home. It was a day filled with hugs, life stories, laughter, Chinese food and birthday cake. To say Hawes has lived through some amazing times and has seen some changes in the world is a grand understatement. When she was born, women were five years away from getting the right to vote. Europe was on the brink of World War I. Woodrow Wilson was president, and Mother’s ... Read More »

MIPD: ‘Take It and Lock It’

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com A weeklong crime spree currently is under investigation by the Marco Island Police Department. Between May 29 and June 5, a rash of residential and vehicle burglaries, as well as two vehicle thefts occurred at various locations near the south end of the island. According to Assistant Chief of Police Dave Baer, the majority of the incidents happened over a 72-hour period, and MIPD is working with the Naples Police Department, Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Region Six Fusion Center to solve these crimes and prevent future ones. “The key to preventing these types ... Read More »

A Celebration of Success

Faculty, staff and members of the class of 2014 prepare for the MIA’s first-ever graduation ceremony, which was held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Family, faculty, staff and school board members joined together Friday, May 30, to salute and celebrate the first-ever graduating class of the Marco Island Academy. The ceremony was held in the Capri Ballroom at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort. Among the local dignitaries in attendance were MIA Founder and Chairwoman Jane Watt, former MIA principal George Andreozzi, current Principal Melissa Scott and Marco Island Marriott General Manager Rick Medwedeff. The ceremony marked the end of a week filled with nervous excitement and anxious anticipation for the 20 students who made up MIA’s class of ... Read More »

‘The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon’

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com What if the great Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon tried to set up a colony along the shores of Southwest Florida? What if he wrote a letter to the king of Spain about the mysteries he found on the gulf coast shores but the letter was lost in the sands of time? What if the letter reappeared 500 years later, found on a beach by a curious little girl and her father? What if finding this letter turned everything historically known about Ponce de Leon and his expeditions upside down? These are the questions ... Read More »

Goodwill and Mutual of Omaha Bank Join Forces

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Submitted Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Mutual of Omaha Bank have joined forces to provide entrepreneurs from low and moderate income backgrounds the opportunity to develop business skills and receive funding to become more independent and successful. Through Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise Institute, more than 215 entrepreneurs have received business training and many have successfully started their own business. MicroEnterprise sessions typically meet for six weeks and cover an array of topics including developing a business plan, feasibility planning and cash flow.  Representatives from Mutual of Omaha Bank and other partners often provide the instruction for the classes. In addition ... Read More »

MIFRD Speaks to MCC

Shown left to right: Firefighter-paramedic Dustin Beatty, MCC  Commodore Joan Kenney and Marco Island Fire Rescue Department Chief Mike Murphy.

Submitted Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department Chief Mike Murphy and firefighter-paramedic Dustin Beatty recently spoke to the Marco Cruise Club members regarding safety and emergencies at sea. They detailed “MERT” — the Marine Emergency Response Team — and the new fireboat 50. The rescue boat is 34’3” long, weighs 11,800 pounds and is driven by twin jet drive diesels capable of a speed of 45 miles per hour. It has a flat bottom and can run in water only 12 inches deep. Having a solid stern platform, rescue victims can be easily lifted from the water on to the boat and ... Read More »

Manatee Middle School Hurricanes ‘ROAR’

Karina Miranda and Seraphanime Garcia paired up with a presentation  on manatees and Florida panthers. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Nancy Richie At Manatee Middle School, the teachers and sixth-grade students didn’t slow down just because school was winding down for the summer. For eight weeks, they worked hard, researching their own Southwest Florida backyards. This hands-on, end-of-the-school-year research assignment is part of the Collier County Public School (CCPS) Pre-Laureate writing program. CCPS’s most capable students have the opportunity to pursue an AP Laureate diploma, the most demanding CCPS diploma available. This Laureate Program continues to grow with 80 Laureate graduates from five high schools this past year, compared with just three at one school when the program began ... Read More »

The Long Trip Home

One last walk along our private Lake Erie beach.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com The mission: a seemingly impossible road trip with the ultimate goal of packing up the last of my worldly possessions. I’ve got to gather what’s left in Ohio and bring it all back home to Goodland. I hear the “Mission Impossible” theme song in my head every time I think about the gravity of the situation, but it’s time to say goodbye to what was and start laying some permanent roots. I will admit, in the weeks leading up to this mission I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Ohio. The daunting 24-hour drive promised to ... Read More »

You Must Build It Before They Come

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd For anyone traveling north on Collier Boulevard from Marco to I-75 — or northwest from Port of the Islands toward downtown Naples, one fact is abundantly clear: East Naples is experiencing a major growth spurt. This renewed development has already provided brand new options for dining out such as Chili’s just south of I-75 on Collier or the new Outback Steak House at US-41 and Collier. Why? New developments and new homes are popping up everywhere. I have heard Collier County District 1 Commissioner Donna Fiala refer to our region as “The ... Read More »